You may still be reeling from a sudden and massive interruption in your income, and, like many of us, you may be rolling up your sleeves to give some assistance to supporting the NHS during this pandemic. But once you’ve found your feet, I’m going to encourage you to think about how you could grow additional revenue streams for your Private Practice.
And I’m not talking about writing a book.
I’m talking about building an online course. Why? Because most of your patients and colleagues are living their lives online right now. They are looking for people who can help to solve problems or enable them to be able to achieve something.
Think of the last time you took and online course. (Incidentally, if you’ve never taken an online course before, you almost certainly will have by the time this pandemic plays out). Perhaps the course was a compulsory one (e.g. fire safety and diversity and inclusion training), but perhaps you’ve also purchased a course for your own personal or professional development.
What was it that lead you to taking the course? Was it to tick a box (e.g. you needed it as a requirement for my PDP), was it to learn a skill (e.g. Facebook Ads), or to learn to do something you’ve always loved the idea of (e.g. a PADI e-learning diving course).
Any time someone signs up for a course, it’s because that person either needed to fill a learning requirement, or it will give them a skill they wanted to learn.
In other words, the first step in building a successful online course is that you need to ensure your course willether fulfil a learning requirement or teach a skill. There’s no point in spending hours developing a course on ‘shoulder injuries’ if it doesn’t take the learner through a useful transformation.
Here are some key areas to focus on when it comes to planning out your online course:
Firstly, I want to urge you not to hold back from creating a course if you’re concerned that ‘it’s already been done’. Most ideas that we have has human beings are not original (O.K., I’ll grant you that Trump has some pretty ‘original’ ideas when it comes to running a nation – ?), but how it’s how we individually impart our learning that gives impact.
Think back to when you were a child at school. Mathematics is Mathematics, but I bet you had one teacher who really stood out as being terrible or excellent. In other words, it’s not so much what you teach, as how you teach it.
Through your learnings as Clinician, you’ll be able to impart the tips and tricks that you know are the key to making progress.That’s what sets you apart from different educators.
Choose a course title that solves one problem or teaches one skill.
If you’re really enthusiastic about your particular subject (e.g. running injuries), it can be tempting to try to solve all of the problems that runners have, by building an encyclopaedic-sized course.
Focus on one thing that your course solves. Why? Because it’s easier to market a course that solves a particular problem, and also, huge courses will often overwhelm the student, which leads to rapid disengagement.
Decide on who your course is for.
Is this a course for postnatal mums with Rectus Diastasis issues, or do you want to teach physios and osteos how best to care for post-op Brostrum’s repair patients? Don’t try to make the course all things for all people.
Make sure there is a true demand for your course.
A course on managing frostbite might seem very exciting to you, but are people actually going to need it? If the course is too vague or doesn’t fulfill a learning need (e.g. ‘dermatology update for GPs’), it’s not likely to be sort after online.
How can you tell if your course is likely to be in demand? Type it into a Google search. If we look up ‘ACL rehab online courses’ we see listings of great courses on page one. If Google tells you that your course is potentially in demand, how can you make your course more ‘niched’ so that it stands out from the rest? E.g. ‘ACL rehab for runners online course’.
Set specific and attractive learning outcomes.
You may have a clear idea in your head of what you want to teach people, but it’s just as important to be able to define what your students will learn – and how it will help them going forwards. Will your teaching enable to them to gain a new rehab skill that will help them to confidently treat a post-surgical patient, or will it enable them to safely return to running after breeding.
Crucially, can you articulate how the student will be feeling at the end of your course; will they feel confident, pain free, or relieved?
Test out your idea.
You need to see if you course is likely to have legs, so can you first produce a short and sweet version to see how people respond to it? One of the easiest ways to do this is to make a mini email course. You can literally ping people course content in email forma (this could be in written format, or via short videos hosted on YouTube or video). You can set up a new email list in your email marketing machine for this purposeand invite people to sign up for the course.
Did they watch or read what you sent them? Did they take action on their learnings?
Ask for frank feedback, and don’t just send it to friends and family. Send it to people who need it, and who would be your ideal student going forwards.
Want to get started with your planning and get in touch with me if you’re looking for help with your course design or planning. Css@privatepracticeninja.co.uk
P.S. But wait a minute! What if now isn’t the right time to build an online course?
How do you know if it will be a complete waste of your time?
Building an online course will teach you many things, but it will be a complete flop if you don’t have an audience to ‘sell’ your course to (obvs).
By an audience, I mean an email marketing list, or a social media following.
How many people do you need to have in your ‘audience’? Well according to Janet Murray (an eminent UK marketer), at any one time, about 1-2 % of your audience will be prepared to buy from you. So, if you have 500 people who regularly show up to listen to what you have to say, between 5 and 10 of them are likely to buy.
What should you do if you don’t have a big an audience to sell your course to?
You should focus your time on growing your Private Practice audience.
Want to learn how to do this, or feeling stuck with another aspect of Private Practice?