Andrea Merson, Senior Director of Marketing & Creative at Thinkific.
Data released by the U.S. Department of Labor last month showed that career quit rates are at an all-time high. A record 4.3 million employees quit their jobs in August 2021. This number can seem daunting, but for many quitting is the first step in an exciting new chapter.
Over 50 million people count themselves part of the creator economy. They’re developing dynamic content, interacting with online communities and running self-made businesses. For creators, launching online courses is a growing part of this economy. It allows them to monetize their expertise and reach a wider virtual audience who are hungry to learn. A no brainer really.
New search data from Google Trends reveals that for the past 5 years, there has been a consistent spike in user searches for “online courses” around the New Year, a roughly 150% increase from December to January. We also know from our own learnings at Thinkific that an online course can take an average of four weeks to create.
So, the best advice I can offer creators who are considering launching their own online course? Timing is everything, and right now is your time. Late November is a critical period to successfully build, launch and market online learning products to catapult your business.
These three factors explain why this is the moment to seize.
Get ahead of the New Year’s rush
The most likely explanation for the “online course” search January jump is the routine people follow of setting New Year’s resolutions for personal self-improvement, including the commitments they make to learning and development. I know I do.
As a result, many course creators see an increase in student enrolments around this time. Online course participation is typically a self-initiated action step toward a larger goal which is amplified during the New Year, so it is important to structure and position courses as a vessel for the goal achievement.
With this insight, course creators should build and launch their courses in time for the New Year knowing that their content will meet the demand of a new crop of bright-eyed students who are motivated and eager to learn.
Good content takes time
If creators want their courses to be ready for the New Year’s rush of students, they need to consider the time it takes to create quality and engaging course content.
A key insight from our network of course creators: a minimum one-month lead time is recommended to develop compelling content for students. This approximation is based on learnings from the average time spent by course creators on the platform to build their courses before they publish, though needs can vary from course to course.
Depending on the topic and creator, course development can include shooting video lessons, building out a new curriculum, or drafting student assignments. It’s easy to underestimate the time this can take, but accounting for course development in advance is a key factor for success.
Leverage the resources for course creators currently available
Launching your first online course can seem daunting, but there are some helpful tools available to new creators if you know where to look. For example, at Thinkific we have this bundle available now. It’s a terrific resource that gives access to easy-to-follow training, helpful tools, live coaching, and best of all, our powerful platform that’ll help build, market and sell an online course.
According to Miranda Lievers, our Co-Founder & COO at Thinkific, “The last two years have shaken business models around the world and prompted countless people to reconsider how they invest their time. The future of business is online, and we are here to support entrepreneurs in that shift.”
The pandemic has ignited a fire in a new generation of creators and the early stages of success are critical to the long-term sustainability of any business. Entrepreneurs are looking for creative and dependable ways to scale their business and grow their revenue.
So whether the so-called “Great Resignation” is motivated by burnout, workplace health and safety concerns, or the chance to rethink career ambitions that come with long periods of work from home, one thing is clear, people are ready for a change. For many, this change means taking the leap and to launch and sell online courses that monetize their own expertise.
Andrea Merson is the Sr. Director of Marketing and Creative at Thinkific. With a background in both Entrepreneurship and Industrial Design, she’s held various creative and strategic positions across advertising and tech industries. Since joining Thinkific, she’s helped grow the company to more than 50,000 course creators worldwide. She leads a team of 30 marketers at Thinkific, dedicated to helping online course creators succeed.