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How and why to monetise your specialist knowledge

Using interactive teaching visuals, worksheets or audio, creative freelancers can make a great side hustle living through specialist knowledge of their specific skill – and in this cost of living crisis that extra cash could really come in handy!

Online learning really accelerated during the pandemic. LinkedIn’s LinkedIn Learning platform saw a 46% increase and enrollments for courses on global course provider Coursera more than doubled in 2020 and increased by over 30% in 2021. The e-learning market is estimated to be worth over $450 billion by 2026, a boom largely fuelled by the need to reskill for a future job force and work landscape that looks very different from how it stood pre-pandemic. 

If you’re looking to become an e-learner all you need is core content (in the form of curriculum), an idea, an intuitive format and a great pricing strategy. As with many digital fields today, your niche will factor in here. Finding your niche will make marketing your skills all the more easy. Otherwise you risk being crowded. 

The Outline

Once you find your niche, shape the course outline. Design the curriculum and the lesson plan outline and decide what format you will provide the course in – PDF, video tutorial etc. 

Target Market

Decide who would want to attend the course. Aspiring makeup artists in their 20s and 30s? Postgraduate illustrators? Retired seniors with a passion for illustration? Creating a customer avatar is a great way to shape your course to cater to the audience’s needs and desires which makes marketing all the more targeted. Spending behavior, age and language are factors to consider. 

The Pricing Model

When it comes to how your students access the course there are a few options to consider. Maybe you want to do a Netflix and charge a monthly subscription fee that is able to be canceled at any time. If you’re starting out and testing the waters then maybe a “night school” format works better where students pay lesson to lesson. The shape of your curriculum will determine this. If there are tests involved then of course it isn’t ideal for students to pay lesson to lesson as they won’t feel so committed to the landmarks put in place. 

In regards to how much you should charge we have one word; competition! Look at those offering courses of similar sizes, format and expertise. Look at what they’re charging and give it a go. 

How to Market

Of course, you need to get the word out to find attendees. SEO is important here to ensure that your course is easily discoverable on Google. If you’re a TikTok wizz – use that to your advantage and share sneak peaks to intrigue people into the course. Paid advertising via Facebook ad manager can also bump those numbers up. 

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