4 Steps to Test the Profitability of Your Idea… Before You Create It
I bet you have no shortage of ideas when it comes to creating offers for your audience. How do you know your idea is going to work? How do you know if that idea is something your ideal clients are looking for and will invest in?
We all wish we had a magic eight ball to tell us our online course idea will be profitable before we start creating it.
Unfortunately, I’ve yet to find a magic 8 ball that will deliver the answer, “Your online course idea is a winner!”
However, there are ways that you can test your idea before you start working on creating your online course. This is one of the first things we do together when you create your course with me in our Create 6-Figure Courses Community.
We narrow your topic and your audience. Then, we begin to test your ideas by using simple tools at your fingertips.
4 Steps to Test the Profitability of Your Course Idea… Before You Create It
Step 1: Search Online
The first thing I recommend doing is to conduct a quick search online. Here are two places I would start:
Type your course topic idea into Google and see what’s out there. You want to notice:
- Are there other courses being offered?
- Are there books being published?
- Any e-books or videos?
- Are there topics related to your online course already out there?
Udemy is an online marketplace for online courses. The site caters to low-priced courses. I don’t recommend pricing low. However, this is a great place to go look to see if other topics similar to what you want to create are being marketed there.
- Are similar topics being offered?
- What content is being included?
Notice the topics that have the most positive reviews and students. This can help you identify content that the market is consuming.
Step 2: Use Amazon as your Focus Group
The second thing that you can do is head on over to Amazon.
Amazon is a great research tool. It’s like having a focus group where you can dive in and see what people are buying related to your topic. The way to do that is to search for books on Amazon.
When you go to the Amazon search bar, click on the dropdown, and pick “books”. Then, simply type in your topic. You’ll be able to see all kinds of books related to your topic. Dive deeper into book selections and notice the customer reviews.
The reviews can help you identify what the audience likes about the content.
Tip: I make a table on a sheet of paper with a plus column and a minus column. I write down all the things people are loving about the book in the “+” column. I write all the things they find lacking in the “-” column.
This can help you flesh out your course idea:
- What might you add in to include the things that people love?
- How can you stand out by adding in the things that people are missing in the books that are already out there?
Step 3: Focus on the Questions
The third thing you can do is really notice if people are asking questions about your course idea.
You can go into online discussion groups related to your topic. For example, let’s say you’re a leadership coach. You can go onto LinkedIn, go into a leadership development group, and you can look to see what types of questions people are focused on related to your topic.
If you are looking for those kind of groups, you can simply Google “the best LinkedIn groups for x”. There are all kinds of groups based on your expertise such as:
- Leadership Development
- Art Techniques
There’s always ways to find groups that are talking about your topic. Notice the questions people are asking. You can search for online forums on Google.
Type in “your topic + forum” and you can easily find online discussion groups.
Step 4: Pay Attention to Free Content Out There
The fourth way that you can really research your topic is to start to noticing free content being shared.
- Are you seeing people sharing content related to this?
- Are they leading free webinars?
- Are they promoting their free e-books?
- Can you go into Youtube and find some videos on your topic?
These are all indications that people have an interest in your topic.
Just because there’s free content around your topic doesn’t mean that you can’t create a really compelling course and have lots of people want to invest to do that work with you.
In fact, one of our Create 6-Figure Courses members created a successful course on training horses even though there are plenty of alternative (and cheaper) options out there.
What To Do If There’s No Content Around Your Idea
I often get asked, “Jeanine, I can’t find anything!! Does that mean my course idea won’t work?”
The first thing I suggest is going more broad in your search. If you are not seeing anything, it may mean the subject you are searching is too narrow.
For example, just yesterday I was working with someone in our Create Six Figure Courses Community who is working on the topic of fertility. To get even more specific, this expert is creating a course on non-interventionist and natural ways to improve fertility.
She wasn’t seeing any results from her search. This made her wonder if her idea had traction.
We had to “swim up” and go broader in the way we defined her topic. Instead of “non-interventionist fertility methods”, we searched “fertility”.
Once she opened up her topic idea, she found all kinds of information that helped her validate and improve her course idea.
What to Do Next
I invite you to choose one of the strategies above. Do a bit of sleuthing and let me know what you find.
This is the first step because once you do this research, you can then figure out how you need to refocus your content, maybe narrow your content, or maybe broaden your content.
I can help you do this in our Create 6-Figure Courses program. I cannot emphasize this enough: there are many ways to refine your idea. Think of this as fact-finding rather than pass/fail.
What you learn from this experiment is going to help you figure out how to create a really profitable course that helps the people that you really want to work with.