Sills are big deal in the world right now and they are only going to become more important. The knowledge age is based on skills you can bet your last dollar that people will p[place more importance on learning skills as we progress. This is good news if you have skills and the ability to teach them. With advances in technology, teaching skills has become so much easier and that means selling courses that teach these skills has become easier. Let’s take a look at the idea of selling courses in Zimbabwe.
Education and courses
Education has been and always will be important. Those who debate the importance of education are simply living in the false dichotomy of either/or thinking when experience tells us that success is usually found where all facets are combined. However, education is changing. Things are changing faster and faster. A Marketing university degree from 10 years ago wouldn’t have spent much time on social media management. However, any good one right now must at the very least acknowledge it. In the same breath, social media management from 5 years ago would not include WhatsApp Business, TikTok or Clubhouse. The learning needs are changing faster and faster which means skills courses are being taken up more frequently.
There are so many things that could be taught via courses and there is no way we could cover them all. We will focus on a few examples here and there. Some of the popular areas for courses include graphic design, web design, repair of electronic items, writing, vlogging, photography, cooking, baking, software applications, coding, makeup, jewellery design, crafts, financial management, hydroponic farming and the list is seriously endless. The point is rather to provide quality content in your courses. One thing that characterises education has been the obsession over attaining certificates rather than skills. And while certification is certainly a bonus what matters most is teaching relevant and applicable skills.
Another very important decision you will have to make is the platform you choose to provide your courses through. So firstly whether you are going to go online, in person or hybrid. And once that is decided how you will go about exploiting each avenue. In-person works and is necessary for some things and some people. Offering the option is great but we also have to be cognizant of the issues that Covid-19 and lockdown bring to the party. Online is a great way to increase your reach and avoid some of these issues. Online will also help you automate all or part of your teaching process. Consider something like SMBLO which provides a platform for online education. Some cases will require partial face to face interaction so also consider using a hybrid approach.
This is the part of this article you are most interested in, how the money is made. We will look at this through the lens of the ways you can charge customers for your courses. You can of course be more adventurous.
This is simple enough, you charge students upfront for course fees. It’s safe and dependable but involves a lot of heavy lifting on your side in terms of convincing the students that it is indeed worth their money.
Free course, charge for certification
This is smart but works best if you first have valuable certification for the course you are teaching and secondly the skills are not worth much without the certification. That way customers will be compelled to pay for the certification.
Charge a subscription
Subscription really lightens the load on students and allow flexible participation. Say you have all your courses in the form of video lectures online you can ask students to pay a fixed amount per month for access to the courses. Whether the course takes 3 or 12 months to complete is up to the student.
Free course and sell supplies
This is one of my favourite ones and it works very well given the times we are in. Let’s face it, information is awash on the internet. Name a subject and you can find roughly 100 free resources offering education in that item in a single search. While the information in courses is valuable it is not the ultimate value. You could for example teach people to grow an in-demand plant and then make money by selling them the seeds /seedlings and all inputs concerned. Or teach people mobile phone repairs and supply them with parts. There are so many ways of looking at it.
The issue of certification is a tricky one but can become very important. Having some sort of accreditation can help in some regards but not in all. For example certification for computer repair would make sense whereas it would not for a personal finance course – the results will show up in your personal finances.
Remember to package your courses in a brilliant offer. You need to look at your marketing and all communications and make sure you’re communicating in the way that your potential customers want to be approached and spoken to.