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10 Steps To Develop Your Own Custom Learning Platform

1. Find a topic

Picking a topic is the first and most important step. Make it specific and niche to avoid competition. The most important thing is also to make sure you’re passionate about it, how you know that you could talk hours on this topic if asked. Look to your career experience you’ve built for inspiration. And lastly, know your audience so you can emphasize with what they’ll find most valuable. Make sure you identify and answer all their questions.

2. Choose a platform

Consider the following questions when selecting which platform works best for what you need.

Develop Your Own Custom Learning Platform

We strongly recommend Learndash (check out this Learndash review) or Tutor because of how they integrate with WordPress and allow for easy ongoing maintenance without high costs. Both require some web development technical support.

Develop Your Own Custom Learning Platform

3. Create a course outline

Use this template to create an outline of all the material you will have to create. Make sure these titles are engaging, interesting and a little clickbaity! Make sure each subject, module and topic includes a short paragraph introducing the topic.

  • Subject matter
    • Module 1 
      • Topic 1
      • Topic 2
      • Topic 3
      • Quiz
    • Module 2
      • Topic 1
      • Topic 2
      • Topic 3
      • Quiz
    • Module 3
      • Topic 1
      • Topic 2
      • Topic 3
      • Quiz
    • Final Exam

4. Develop your content

Now the meat of the bones, the value of what students will be buying. Above all, make sure you are providing the amount of value you are charging. Whether they walk away with a certification, necessary knowledge for their career or just a new interesting skill, make sure all your customers are satisfied with what they receive. When developing your content, decide what format you thrive in: video, powerpoints, written, interactive, worksheets. Look up competitor examples to make sure your content is professional.

Develop Your Own Custom Learning Platform

For videos:

  • Shoot horizontal with a modern phone or high quality video camera 
  • Make sure lighting is adequate
  • Make sure audio is captured with a decent microphone
  • Edit with a branded introduction, captions and an outro to give sense of progress
  • If in doubt, find a professional to help 
  • If you’re not super comfortable making videos, consider B-Roll footage coupled with voiceover

Develop Your Own Custom Learning Platform

For worksheets:

  • Provide diagrams, note lines and other interactive documents to provide more value for students
  • Allow printable PDF downloads to create a well rounded experience
  • Make sure they’re branded and designed professionally to create credibility

5. Prepare front end sales content

Almost ready to sell? Design, or work with a designer to create an attractive homepage banner introducing the courses as a whole. Show students preview images of the contents of the lessons, similar to video thumbnails. If you are the brand, include professional looking headshots to put a face to the courses and add credibility.

  • Homepage banner 
  • Course preview images
  • About the instructor images
  • Accreditations, publications, logos of anything that adds credibility

6. Create written summaries of your course contents

  • About you – as the course creator: who are you? Why are you credible? What accreditations, awards and recognitions can you show to build your trustworthiness?
  • Course headlines – Name your course something that feels irresistible to your students.
  • Course description 
  • List of what’s included (example below)
    • X available courses with worksheets
    • X hours total/ X weeks or up to X weeks of study
    • Video instruction provided
    • Online exams
    • Lifetime access to materials & videos
    • Course completion certificates
  • List of what they’ll learn

Develop Your Own Custom Learning Platform

7. Prepare email messages and graphics

Here are the emails you should prepare, or make sure the program you are using will include: 

  • Registration/Payment Confirmation 
  • Welcome
  • Certification

When you create marketing funnels, also prepare:

  • Content downloads
  • Follow up write-ups 
  • Webinar signups

8. Create valuable free content to market your course

Time to sell! The first step to capturing your audience’s attention is to provide them something of value with no obligations. The goal is to create an irresistible offer they can’t refuse. Below are some options. 

  • Detailed guide – Create a multi page information kit on the subject matter. Don’t be afraid to provide real insider information, exclusive secrets and real data that supports the value of your product. Offer it for free downloads to capture emails, then make sure to follow up.
  • Webinars – Be your own salesperson! Organize webinars to introduce aspects of your course, then address common questions and concerns. Again, make sure you offer real valuable tidbits of information that make attendees walk away understanding the value of what you bring to the table.
  • Quizzes – Offer a valuable quiz that answers a burning question. Look to uncommon topics like how much money can be made to create an irresistible offer.

9. Use social media marketing to target potential students

Market your free content to establish that initial level of brand awareness with your ideal customer. Use social media targeting to really hone in on who that person is. Go beyond typical demographic parameters like age into interests, search history and life events. Make sure you A/B test various graphics, videos and headlines to find the right combination that speaks to this customer. Find a sustainable cost per click and make sure the conversion rate is effective. Use a webinar software so you can host free online seminars to attract potential customers. Top social media marketing and influencer marketing agencies micro-target potential student demographics to find a niche who best aligns with your platform and inspires them to become loyal members. 

Develop Your Own Custom Learning Platform

10. Follow up!

If someone has clicked one of your ads or submitted their email for free content, make sure you continually follow up with emails if they haven’t decided to make a purchase. Here are some examples. 

  • FAQ 
  • More content
  • Promo code
  • Limited time offer
  • Do you have any questions? 
  • Book a phone call