#2 How do you choose the right course topic for you and your audience

How do you choose the right course topic for you and your audience? You know that thing you do that you find super easy? Well, that could be an ideal course topic. In this episode, I share tips on how to choose the right course topic for you and your audience – as well as 2 important things to consider when choosing a topic. 

Things You’ll Learn in this Episode of Sidekick to Success:

  • Why the thing you’re good at could be the best topic for your course
  • What it means if there are loads of other courses with the same topic
  • The 2 most important considerations when it comes to choosing a course topic

You know that thing you do that you find super easy? Well, that could be an ideal course topic.

But why would anyone want to learn something so simple?

Consider this, just because something comes easy to you doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easy for others.

You might be good at growing house plants. And that’s a skill that, Mary, who’s just thrown away her 24th dead houseplant, might like to learn.

We all have different talents and skills that we can share with the world. Talents and skills that may help other people in some way. Why wouldn’t you want to help someone out by sharing them!

But what if there are hundreds of courses teaching the same thing?

Sure, there may be hundreds, but none of them teaches it in your voice and from your unique perspective.

It’s the same with songs, there are probably millions of songs about broken hearts written over the years. But what if Adele thought, “I can’t write another song about a broken heart. They’re so overdone and no one will want to buy it.” We’d never have ‘Hello’ or come to think of it, most of Adele’s music.

Now think about the Life or Business coaching space. There are plenty of people in that space. Tony Robbins, Marie Forleo, Kate Northrup Tim Ferris and they’re all essentially teaching the same things. Just in quite different ways.

For example, I’ve just had a look at some of their home websites:

Tony Robbins – “Live a healthier, wealthier, more fulfilling, passionate and purposeful life …”

Marie Forleo – “… give you the courage and confidence to create a business and life you love.”

Kate Northrup – “… grow your business while living a life that you love.”

You see – similar offerings but different approaches. Where Tony, will resonate with some, others will prefer the way Marie teaches.

So sure, there may be hundreds of people teaching your thing, but they aren’t doing it in the same way you would.

And the fact that people are already spending money on your topic is a promising sign for your online course success. It means that people are prepared to pay for your solution to their problem.

You just need to figure out your own unique spin on the topic or find a narrow niche. For example, there are probably hundreds of people who offer yoga courses online. But there probably aren’t too many who teach yoga for people with scoliosis.

Are you thinking “But the thing I’m good at is such a silly thing!”

Well, there’s plenty of space in the world for silly. Especially the world we live in right now.

So if you are really good at creating knitted outfit’s for bunnies – please, please create a course. The world (erm… ok me) really needs to see bunnies in bonnets.

Still don’t believe me?

Well, someone thought people would be interested in learning How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse. And he was right, close to 5000 people WERE interested.

How about learning how to judge beer – yes there is a Beer Judge Certification Program.

Or if you’re really successful with the ladies then you could create a course on How to Text a Girl You Like.

So you see, wanting to teach people how to knit bunny outfits doesn’t seem that weird or silly anymore. There will always be people who want to learn just that.

So how do you choose a course topic?

Think about the skills or knowledge you’ve gained in your personal life, work or career.

Do you have any hobbies that you’re really passionate about?

What topics do people come to you for advice on?

Have you undergone a personal transformation like overcoming anxiety, quitting binge drinking, or successfully removing a narcissist from your life?

Now write a list of possible topics you could create a course on, and then we’ll start to narrow that list down. 

When considering what to choose for your course topic, there are really only two things to consider:

  1. Can you do the thing well
  2. Do others want to learn how to do the thing

1. Can you do the thing well?

Take a look at your list of possible topics and for each option I want you to consider whether you have you already gotten results in the topic you want to teach for yourself or for others?

Your course should be a reflection of something you have done yourself, a process or transformation you’ve gone through, or skills you’ve learned and are now ready to share.

Think back on when you started learning about each topic.

What knowledge or resource do you wish you had back then? You could create a course that teaches what you wish you had back when you started.

But what happens if the things you’re good at aren’t things you want to teach.

Now this is a tricky one, because ideally you need to enjoy teaching it to others.

If you’re a bit meh! about it, that will come across to your audience and they’ll feel the same. It should be something you enjoy doing.

In this instance I’d recommend trying to find a way to make it interesting for yourself – or choose another topic.

For example, if you want to teach copywriting, but copywriting in general doesn’t excite you – but you’re passionate about fashion – maybe create a course about copywriting for the fashion industry.

2. Do others want to learn how to do the thing?

Back to your hopefully smaller list

Now I’d like you to focus on the things that the people in your audience want, need, crave, or need help figuring out

And if you’re not sure what their needs are then you’ll need to find your people and talk to them

I recommend doing short interviews or a calls and ask them about their struggles, what they need help with and what they are scared of. Listen more than you talk. Let them have the space to think and share with you some amazing insights.

Especially look out for trigger sentences like “I’m embarrassed to say this, but . . .”, “I hate to admit it, but . . .” or “I feel so silly to tell you this, but . . .”. When people start using sentences like those, this is when you want to listen even more, because that’s the golden stuff that will help you understand if your course idea is right.

Episode recap

So that’s how you do it.

Brainstorm a list of ideas of possible course topics you could cover. Make sure that you can do the things on your list well and that there are others who want to learn how to do it (and bonus points if there are already existing courses on the same topic)

So please don’t stop yourself from creating a course because you think it’s too simple – or there are too many other people doing the same thing – or it’s too silly. And if you want to make sure that there will be interest in your course – find your people and ask them.

And then just do it!