How I’m Building My First Online Class

I published my first book Land the Job, early in 2020, which led to many other ideas. One of those was to create some online courses to walk people through the book’s content in various ways. So I started putting together my first course, which covers resumes. Here’s how I’m going about it.

Why Resumes

Honestly, this is a funny choice. Resumes are the least interesting or exciting part of what I teach people to do, but ironically it’s one of the more essential pieces. I could have done the entire contents of my book or gone for other components like handling offers, various interviewing strategies, and the like.

While my passion for resumes is a factor, the other major factor is how obvious the content is for me. I haven’t made an online course before, so one thing I want to do is not get derailed by all the ways I can present things. Keeping it on a cut-and-dry topic is one less thing I’ll have swimming in my head.

I’m also pretty sure it’ll affect my sales, though, as it is not a sexy topic.

Start With the Promise

I’m now thinking about someone who discovers that I have this class. What promise do I offer the student that would grab their interest?

Thinking of the promise they want or the outcome they want is how I’m identifying my customers. I identified two promises, which also identifies two different customers.

  • Get up to 100% more interviews
  • Negotiate higher pay and faster promotions

I came up with those after thinking through all the various benefits I can offer through teaching people about resumes and then distilling it down further and further until I hit these two.

If my customers don’t want either of those promises, I made a pretty big mistake.

Milestones and Frameworks

An approach that I’ve started with is identifying the handful of milestones I want my students to achieve in my class. From there, I can expand out to the, “Stuff,” I’d teach them so they could hit those milestones.

This turns into a rough outline, but the milestones are excellent because they are easy to reason about. It offers me flexibility in how I accomplish them, and they are useful for me to describe to people without getting into too much detail.

As for the stuff, I did this one way, and I’ll do it another. The first is to do the rough outline, as I mentioned, but the second is also how I wrote my book. I start by asking a question related to the promise or milestone like, “Do I know how to use my resume to get up to 100% more interviews?” Then I think of the question I’d ask before that and before that and so on.

I’m collecting all the questions someone will have along the journey. My job is now to systematically answer those questions in an order that resembles the same journey.

If that doesn’t make sense, I’ll provide the list of questions I might build, starting with the final question.

  • Do I know how to use my resume to get 100% more interviews?
  • How will I know I’m getting more interviews?
  • What do I need to do to apply and have the best chance?
  • What will make my resume stand out?
  • What will make my resume go in the trash?
  • What about my portfolio?
  • How much time will this take?
  • Why resumes?

I would take this list, invert it, and my material now is focused on answering each question.

Tools and Tech

Every geek gets lost by picking the tools, platforms, etc., that they use to do whatever, and I’m no exception. I looked at doing this as an email class where I’d send emails out with an embedded video, and people can respond to the emails for conversation. I looked at LMS platforms like Teachable. I looked at video editing software, microphone settings, ring lights, and all of that.

Now, on some level of quality, these all matter. I also know that it takes me to learn all of that. I could be having a few students who don’t mind the rough spots. I’ll favor that instead.

So what I’m starting with is LeanPub for my course platform, Wave.Video for editing my videos since I own it and the rest will have to be as it is.

Pricing

The old adage is the price is what the market can bear. Right now, my overall strategy is to get the course done and not worry too much about pricing or all that. Overall I want to use this course or other smaller courses as an easy lead into a premium course that would be more personal.

For now, though, I am focusing on making it. While I know I should spend more time marketing, it depresses me, and I’m a bit lost on it still. So I hope that some people will see what I’m putting out and share it. I may also offer a free cohort to get started. We’ll see!

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