As an Educator, you are probably an expert in an exciting area of knowledge, and you have plenty to teach others about it. However, selling it and delivering it to your potential learners / customers is a whole different story. Are you ready to become an Edupreneur?
In this article, we would like you to consider your learning content, not as part of a course, but as part of learning ecosystem that you create around your own brand as educational entrepreneur. Think about the type of course you will be offering, there may be some obvious ideas, but also some hidden gems that no one else has thought of, and you happen to know this area really well. At first you may think you have only one course to offer, but you are an expert in your field, so why not create a series of courses for different levels and types of audience. Instead of one rigid course that doesn’t fit everyone, you can introduce your content in different ways to different audiences and thus generate satisfied customers, because they will have learnt the best way for them at a given moment. You may vary your training offer based on the following models that will suit different audiences or purposes.
Simple mini course
A few introductory articles, short videos or online module tasters can be priced very low, maybe even offered for free, in order to attract learners and show them how much more there is to learn. This mini course will act as your practical advertisement and proof to your learners that you know what you’re talking about.
Depending on your area of expertise, you can design a short course which deals with the basics. Focus on the topics that are most recurrent and that your learners ask you to help them with in person and you often do it for free. Such a course will free up your time from repetitive training activities, that can be automated (videos, online modules), or at least streamlined (short, blended course, with minimum face-to-face support to learners). This type of course shouldn’t be too expensive, as it is practically self-running: learners achieve their modest learning goals, and you invest very little time.
We are no longer in the area of easy courses to advertise or introduce your training content. A complete course typically consists of quality learning modules, support resources like additional videos, downloadable practical files, handbooks, etc. The current MAP project is an example of a complete course. As this project is funded by the Erasmus+ programme, it comes free to you as a final beneficiary of EU funding. As a trainer, however, you should value your work highly and those of your learners who already appreciate your expertise from the first two types of courses will understand that it would be a good investment for them to pay for your complete course. Still, you must consider the financial capacity of your potential audience. Children will obviously not pay the same prices as wealthy company managers.
Blended support courses
It may be that your area of expertise or the type of your learners require more personal involvement and customised support, and this is a great teaching/learning situation for those who enjoy human interaction, active help and problem-solving. Such a course would typically involve learners who are already familiar with the general knowledge of the topic, but they require extra support to suit their needs and circumstances. A combination of live (in presence or online) sessions with additional individual learning and customised follow-up tasks requires thorough preparation and as such entitles you to appropriate remuneration, certainly no less than for the complete course.
Once you have created a few courses or enough individual learning content, you could set up an online learning platform where learners can access your different content and pay a subscription fee for long term access. Such a learning platform requires careful curation, frequent new content and accompanying online sessions to keep the interest of your subscribers. To determine the correct price for access to your learning platform you need to correlate the quality of your content and the potential number of learners. An affordable price would attract a larger number of learners, ultimately leading to higher combined income from a large number of subscribers at lower cost. It’s a good deal for the trainer, as well as the learners.
To learn more about the type of courses you could create, the pricing principles and your position within a competitive market, we invite you to read the second part of our MAP Handbook, which will be published shortly.