How to start your own online education business
As higher education continues to evolve in the digital age, new avenues for online courses are being pioneered. This has created a fertile ground for investors and startups to champion new ideas for the future of learning.
According to the eLearning industry, the global eLearning Market reached $107 billion by 2015. The global self-paced eLearning market reached $32.1 billion in revenue in 2010, with a five year compound annual growth rate of approximately 9.2 per cent. Thus, the self-paced eLearning market earned revenues of $49.9 billion in 2015. The growth of eLearning market in India is expected to be 55 per cent, which reveals its revenue opportunities.
Starting an online education business can be the most profitable venture provided certain steps are taken care of. Read on to find out what these steps are:
Validate Your Idea
Validating the idea primarily would result in answering ‘how to evaluate demand before putting time & effort into creating your course.’
It requires a thorough research to be done before you actually start implementing it. A research on its existence, reach etc should be known beforehand. Secondly, feedback from people whom you trust should be sought. Entrepreneurs have a tendency of getting stuck in "idea lock", when they strictly believe that their idea is a winner, regardless of what others say. If you are the only person who truly thinks the idea is good, then it is time to reassess. If the idea is found to be rocking, set a prototype of your course, check whether you’ll really use it, after which you can start building a brand around it. Lastly, a plan should be worked on as to how you will attract visitors to your website.
It is an overview of all the different ways you can create and deliver content. The delivery models for an online education course vary in terms of the method of the course design. The primary models are ad hoc online courses and programs, fully online programs, School-as-a-Service, educational partnerships, competency-based education, blended/hybrid courses and the flipped classroom, and MOOCs.
Shooting High-Quality Video
Creating and publishing your own videos is a part of an integrated marketing communications program. Video is essential to a well-rounded marketing plan, and ignoring the opportunity only limits your ability to reach those you can influence.
There are a number of issues that need to be resolved when contemplating the inclusion of video in the marketing program of your online education program, including:
- Production and script development
- What equipment to use
- How to get the best lighting
- The framing of shots
- Audio and sound considerations
- Editing and postproduction effects
- Uploading and publishing online
- Optimising for search
Video provides your business with a chance to display your company’s personality, virtues and wares in living colour, making it available to anyone with a screen and even the slightest interest in what you have to offer. It also provides confidence to the students regarding the credibility of the program.
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A comprehensive walkthrough of ScreenFlow lets students take an overview of the course online with easy to use tutorials. This, if designed well, can impact a visitor very positively.
Marketplace and LMS Reviews
Udemy, Skillshare, Teachable, Sensei, Gumroad and other learning management systems are great to start an online program. Consult professionals and compare various LMS to choose the best for you .
Hosting & Selling Your Course
The first step is to decide whether to market your course independently or with the assistance of another site, whose job it is to do so. Sites like Udemy and Skillshare host courses on their platforms while sites like Skilljar offer people the chance to sell through their own websites using their course-building tools. A comprehensive course needs to be built and developed. The most important step is to make sure there is a clear subject aimed at a specific audience. From not having the correct technology background to time constraints during production, every creator comes across their own unforeseen challenges while trying to put together their courses.
Also, easy payment policies need to be looked into. An analysis of the different options related to hosting your course and payment processing are imperative to increase the reach of your program.
According to Ralhan, Founder and CEO, Next Education, “Technology is the backbone of discipline not only in terms of product but technology in terms of delivery of the product also makes a difference. Also focus on customer service experience goes a long way in expanding your client base.”
Pricing & Discounts
How to price your course, when to offer discounts and subscription revenue models are a few questions to look into before you price your program. Consider the audience which you plan to target, their paying capacity, offering easy EMI facility and price your products accordingly.
Multiple Products & Bundling
You can offer multiple courses, bundle different products and manage upscale when running an online education business.
Internet Marketing & Promotion
Starting an online education website and not promoting it would fetch no revenue and ultimately would lead to the closure of the business. Internet marketing and promotion is a must for promoting any trade now-a-days. It is a strategy and tactic one uses to sign up more students and drive more revenue. One can use one or more from the online marketing tools listed below:
- Online advertising
- Online personal selling
- Online sales promotion
- Online public relations
- Online direct marketing
Thus, opening an online education business requires research and dedication but it can also be very profitable and satisfying in terms of providing education to a massive population at competitive rates.
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