A lot of you are probably on a tight budget. Or maybe you don’t even have a budget. You’re likely wondering if you can truly create an entire e-course on your own.
Not one lick of outsourcing.
Well, people do it all the time, of course. But what would you be getting yourself into?
Here I’ll cover all those things that could be outsourced so you get a feel for the kinds of expertise and skills that are possible. Then you will have the information you need to assess your own ability to DIY your own course – or not.
What are the things that people outsource or get help with?
Here are the 9 most common tasks or areas of responsibility that people sometimes hire out for:
- Branding Specialist
- Graphic Artist
- Course Designer/Instructional Designer
- Programmer/Technical Virtual Assistant
- Video Editor
- Launch specialist/ Virtual Assistant
- Customer Service
Let’s break that down so you know what each entails.
This person is in charge of your brand strategy across the course and the launch. They can do things like build your slide deck, design a logo, and create worksheet and cheat sheet templates.
If you are going to handle this yourself you’ll want to/need to become familiar with choosing color palettes, fonts, headers and subheaders.
This person can provide the elements of your brand as long as you give them their parameters.
If you are going to handle this yourself you’re going to want to/need to be able to work in a program that will allow you to build a logo and identify a font.
Course Designer/Instructional Designer
This person will work with you and some of your potential learners to make decisions about the length, depth and breadth of your course as well as the structure.They’ll also identify the teaching methods they think will work best for each module/lesson, and identify supplementary materials (like worksheets and cheat sheets). You might even hire them to pull all your content together (in other words, compile the course) and put it up on a course platform
If you are going to handle this yourself, I recommend you roll out a pilot first and get in-depth feedback on its effectiveness before fully launching.
This person takes your copy and makes magic with it! Great for launch material (sales pages, etc.).
If you are going to handle this yourself, ask your mastermind group (if you have one) or others to read your copy and give you some suggestions for writing really grab-y copy.
Programmer/Technical Virtual Assistant
This person may recommend and then interface with the course platform of your choice. If you’re going with a WordPress plug-in, this person will do the tweaking to make the platform work for you.
If you are going to handle this yourself, I recommend choosing a super easy, stand-alone interface like Thinkific or Teachable. You’ll just have to throw a domain name on it and it’ll look like it’s coming from you. No tweaking but you will have to put up with their design choices and work within their parameters. Still, this will be a huge time saver.
It’s such a treat to have someone else deal with the camera and lighting and let you just focus on the delivery. Plus, they bring their own camera and audio and lighting so you don’t have to worry about any of that.
If you are going to handle this yourself, see if you can find a friend or family member who can be on the other side of the camera (and mic). If you’re just thinking this through, I recommend some fairly easy and inexpensive tech here.
This person takes all your footage and makes it flow. No more bloopers, just smooth, fine edits making you look good! They will also create an intro and outro sequence if you want to really brand your video and make it look professional.
If you are going to handle this yourself, I’d keep it simple by just using the video software on your laptop. For more fancy stuff, check out Adobe Premier Elements which goes for about $60.
Launch specialist/ Virtual Assistant
Launches can be TOUGH. You’ve just poured your heart and soul into making your course and NOW you have to launch it? A launch specialist takes the zillions of details out of your hands and just tells you when and where you need to show up! It’s sweet.
If you are going to handle this yourself and it’s your first one, I recommend going small… really small. I help you think through the launch here. Take a look!
If you’re planning to have a lot of students (more than 50 or so), it’s going to save you some sanity to hire someone to handle customer service. There will be tech problems, lost passwords, some refunds, and some complaints. Send all these to your customer service person (which is more often than not a virtual assistant who specializes in customer service).
If you are going to handle this yourself, make sure customer service is part of your daily workflow. Shoot for a consistent 24-hour turn-around time. Every time you respond to a customer, create a template for yourself. Then turn these templates into a troubleshooting FAQ that you load into your course.
So, what do you think? Are you up to the challenge?!
I hope so! And remember, as soon as you start making money from you course you can always go back and hire someone to beef up an area, rebrand, and even reshoot.
Best of luck – it’ll be worth it!