Nationwide lockdowns forced universities, colleges, and schools to resort to online education. The trend may have caused inconvenience in the beginning, but learners, instructors, and institutions are fast getting used to the new online education era. More than ever, people are searching for online courses to assist themselves in acquiring new skills, escape the daily grind, and reinvent themselves.
Hence, there’s no better time than now to ask yourself: how to set up an online education business? If you have an inspiration and passion to share knowledge, and you are willing to help learners educate themselves, you should start an online education business.
If you've been pondering over how to set up an online education business, you’ve come to the right place. This guide will take you through a comprehensive step-by-step process to develop your online education business.
Step 1: Define Your Target Market
The first step to starting your online education business journey is to determine your target audience. This will essentially depend on what you want to teach. Think about the area you possess enough knowledge, expertise, and skills to teach others. There are likely several aspects between your professional and life experiences that you know enough about to set up a course on.
If you want to educate people about digital marketing, for instance, it’s obvious that your core target market will be marketing managers and teams. However, it helps to dig down into the personality or characteristics that make up your ideal learner.
In other words, you must develop your buyer persona, defining their age bracket, their location, and their most critical pain points; how are they going to use the knowledge and skills you plan to teach, and so on. This way, you’ll identify the group within your broader target audience that will be more likely to convert or become your paying students or learners. The more specific you can get with your buyer persona, the better. For example, if ‘online marketers’ is your targeted group, the ‘online marketers in the financial industry’ fraction is more targeted.
Targeting a niche should also make it remarkably easy to develop course content, devise your pricing, branding, and marketing strategy, and plan other areas of your online education business.
Step 2: Choose Your Specialization
While answering the question on how to set up an online education business you should choose your specialization within the subject you plan to teach. These could be the topics you’re going to focus on or the core skills you plan to teach. These are areas your online education business should be built around.
If we stick to our same example of digital marketing, the online education business can focus on the following 3 specializations:
Social media marketing: In this case, your course content will cover paid and unpaid marketing tactics on top social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linked In, Snapchat, etc. It can take the learners through how to get started with social media marketing, how to advertise on those social media networks, the best marketing practices, and the most common social media marketing mistakes.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO): The content for this specialization will primarily cover methods of improving search engine rankings or boosting organic traffic to business websites. The online course creator can include on-page, off-page, and technical SEO techniques based on the latest Google algorithm updates.
Pay-per-click (PPC): This specialization should focus on teaching learners how to execute paid ad campaigns on Google. Course content should provide a deep understanding of the process, helping learners know how to make the most out of their financial resources while marketing on search engines.
When deciding how to set up an online education business make sure you choose evergreen topics or specializations: those that will stay relevant to market trends and your target audience for a long time and will require minimal updating. The cornerstones listed in our digital marketing business example are certain evergreen but subject to regular changes. This means that the online trainer will need to update the course content frequently to adapt to the latest digital marketing trends.
In today’s fast-paced world, it can be extremely difficult to find a subject that involves little changes. Even if you can find some, you may not necessarily have sound knowledge and skills in that area. Thus, you may begin your online education business even if your area of expertise is subject to frequent changes. Just make sure that your topic stays relevant for years to come.
Companies like Raccoon Gang that specialize in building online education platforms or online education website development offer flexible solutions that make it incredibly easy to update course content. Thus, you need not worry much about course updating.
Step 3: Deploy Your eLearning Content Using Open edX platform
If you want to ensure high-quality teaching and achieve top learning outcomes for your learners, the learning experience you deliver must excel. One of the various resources that companies, educational institutions, and even governments use to deliver online content to their audiences includes the Open edX platform. Originally developed by edX, it’s an open-source LMS used all over the globe to deliver Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), training modules, and classes to online learners.
For your particular case, the Open edX platform is the perfect solution to provide education and training to remote learners. The capability of the platform can be judged from the fact that it’s used to power not only online learning platforms but also national platforms including the Israeli National Digital Learning platform.
One of the most compelling reasons to choose the Open edX platform to set up your online education business is that it’s constantly improving. Because it’s an open-source solution, its community is made up of countless developers, research teams, technology partners, and users worldwide. Based on their research, innovation, and the rapidly changing customer needs, they’re continually making improvements. For this reason, the Open edX platform can deliver the best when it comes to instructional design and learning sciences.
Here are some of the features that an Open edX platform offers:
Convenient learner interface for both web and mobile
Different types of content and diverse delivery features
Advanced functions, such as course organization, administration, and content creation
Solid analytics and reporting features
Seamless integration with corporate databases and internal systems
High customization to incorporate branding
Latest user engagement features, including adaptive learning, gamification, and more.
Let’s take a look into how the Open edX platform delivers some of these functions:
The user interface of your online course design is crucial to the overall learning experience. With strong community influence, the Open edX platform features a simple, clear yet helpful interface. Serving diverse purposes, the interface provides everything a user may need while attending the course. It excludes all elements and visuals that would distract learners from the learning process.
Easy Course Navigation
While defining how to set up an online education business you might think about easy course navigation. With Open edX’s structured course navigation panel, learners can conveniently switch between lessons and modules. On top of that, users can always see their progress in the course and the number of lessons that remain in the current subsection or module. If there are any assessments or quizzes to complete, users would know about them immediately.
For both learners and instructors, assessing progress is a critical part of the education process. The Open edX platform comes with a highly transparent progress dashboard that allows learners to easily track their performance at any point during the learning phase.
These, along with other features, make the Open edX platform a perfect solution for setting an online education business.
Step 4: Create Your First Online Course
Creating your first online course is no doubt the most exciting phase of setting up your online education business. However, it may be the most time-consuming step too.The question of How to Set up an Online Education Business depends on the nature of your online course and the level of difficulty you want to incorporate, it can take weeks or even months to create an online course. The best approach by far is to adopt a comprehensive learning management solution (LMS) from an experienced vendor.
The LMS you choose should be highly customizable so that you can:
Easily upload content;
Organize your modules;
Choose the right content type such as video, audio, infographic, text, etc.;
Edit and update your lessons;
Create quizzes, tests, and assignments; and
Easily integrate with your online education website.
When creating your online course, don't mislead yourself into developing a 'perfect' course. The problem here is what you perceive as perfect may not be what your targeted learners view as perfect. Plus, your online course doesn’t even need to be perfect to be valuable for learners and sell.
The drive to develop a perfect eLearning course has stopped even the best trainers from finally launching their online courses. You certainly don't want to be among them, do you? As long as your course is helping learners, it deserves to get published and is good enough to sell.
Also, it's the results that your initial online course generates that will help you improve your eLearning platform and make it closer to perfect. Based on the feedback obtained from learners, you can add or remove content, training modules, quizzes, and refine your online course in other ways.
However, everything comes down to how reliable your LMS vendor is. If you want to Set up an Online Education Business, consider using an LMS from Raccoon Gang. It will help you deliver your course content seamlessly and provide an extraordinary online education experience to learners.
Developed using the Open edX platform, the LMS solution is designed for individual expertise trainers and educators, career colleges and training centers, and online learning consultants and freelancers.
The major features of this incredible LMS include are:
Error-proof and seamless LMS configuration and deployment
Custom feature development so that you can fully personalize your eLearning course
Mobile app development, configuration, and deployment to facilitate online course accessibility
Integration of custom e-commerce feature to set up a smooth payment gateway for learners
LMS usage training to make sure that your online education business earns the most from the courses
Consultancy for training development and eLearning content creation
OAuth2 and single sign-on authentication for robust data security.
Multiple connectors and powerful API to ensure smooth LMS integration with the eLearning business software ecosystem.
In-depth analytics configuration to offer detailed insights into training efficiency and learner engagement.
By now, you should have developed a clear understanding of how to set up an online education business. From developing an initial plan to building an online education platform to creating your eLearning course, we’ve tried to cover the most important steps in the journey. Also, we've recommended one of the best LMS solutions backed by the Open edX platform.
To schedule a demo with Raccoon Gang, click here.