HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY CREATE AND LAUNCH AN ONLINE COURSE

Tips on how to successfully create and launch an online course with Jonathan Denwood:

  • One of the great things about creating an online course is it's an opportunity for somebody to build a real business online, which is possible to do while still doing your day job.
  • The main thing is not to make building an online course a daunting task. But a lot of people that do their first course, and this is totally understandable, is to prove that they're offering great value to their students, they feel that they've got to literally build War and Peace in a course format.
  • But he was giving examples where he's had to adjust pricing, and adjusting pricing has made an enormous difference on a course that didn't seem to be selling. Then suddenly, and it wasn't always downwards.
  • But as a way of building brand recognition, I think Udemy has benefits and it's great. But building a real business on somebody else's platform, especially with a notorious discount as like Udemy, it's not a great idea
  • With WordPress for an online course because of the plugin construction, you can select plugins that are top of their product in that specific functionality that you're looking for. 
  • But the future of actually learning, of people giving real value, and I can only see it getting bigger and bigger and brighter and brighter. And I think people more and more are going to expect their training online.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY CREATE AND LAUNCH AN ONLINE COURSE

[just click to tweet]

HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY CREATE AND LAUNCH AN ONLINE COURSE

The main thing is not to make building an online course a daunting task.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Doug: Well, welcome back listeners to another episode of Real Marketing, Real Fast. Today we're going to talk about all things e-learning online courses and that whole industry. And joining me in studio today is Jonathan Denwood. He runs a company called WP-Tonic. He is a leading influencer in the WordPress space, and he's also a fellow podcaster with a focus on e-learning, entrepreneurship, and WordPress. He is a champion of e-learning and works with entrepreneurs who want to build substantial online businesses. Many people have great experience and a lot of knowledge to share in their fields, but we all get caught up in choosing and trying to choose and implement the right technology to get our first course out. So Jonathan is going to help us demystify that, and he's going to help us work through the process of getting over this hurdle so we can concentrate on marketing our courses to our target audience.

Jonathan also helps those who have found themselves trapped in a SaaS platform, which they've outgrown, and they want to move to a more flexible and powerful WordPress platform where they can be in complete control of the design elements and the functionality of their online course. There are multiple balls for us to juggle when we're launching an online course and to manage a course successfully, and Jonathan has some great insights to help you get over those fears. So we're going to talk about what it takes to build your first online course, and what the difference is between WordPress and a platform such as Kajabi. So welcome to the Real Marketing, Real Fast podcast today, Jonathan.

Well, Hey Jonathan, I'm super excited to have you on the Real Marketing, Real Fast podcast today. So welcome to the show.

Jonathan: Oh, thank you, Doug. I really appreciate you having me on the show.

Doug: Well, it's interesting looking at your background, because we're kind of kindred hearts in that we are both in the online space and trying to help our clients make a difference in the world and I'm in your camp. I'm a big WordPress fan. So do you want to share just a little bit of your background on kind of what you guys are doing and how you got there?

Jonathan: Yeah, sure. I try and keep it as a not too big an intro as possible. Basically, I'm not American. I was born in Britain. I came to America about 12 years ago. My wife was an American. She got fed up with the rain, Doug. And I had a successful retail business in the UK, which I started when I was 24, run that for over 20 years, and I was a little bit burnt out. I got into web design and development as a hobby really, and I got into computers at a later stage in my life. And I was doing some development work using actually Flash. I was big into Flash in that kind of scripting in the day shows you how old I am. And then we moved back to America, and now we live in beautiful Northern Nevada and near Lake Tahoe, and I'm really blessed to live in such a beautiful area, and it's still reasonably close Sacramento and the Bay Area.

Doug: Yep.

Jonathan: And I basically became a freelance developer, specializing in WordPress. Got into WordPress just before version three, and that was when the menu structure was introduced and action post types. So there were early days. So I got into WordPress and that became my passion and platform.

Doug: Well, that's really cool. I mean, that's, it's coolest. I mean, you've seen lots of changes then, because I've used it for a long time, and as you said, it's improved greatly over the years.

Jonathan : Oh yeah. It has become a total CRM, a content management system. And then about two, almost three years ago, I was trying to find a niche, and I did a job for an agency where they had a client that was looking to utilize WordPress for a membership learning management website. And I really enjoyed the project, so I decided why not specialize in that area? And that's what I've done, and it's been one of the best decisions. Funny enough, it's not intuitive, really, to specialize in one area, but I've really enjoyed it and I've had the best year ever for my business really specializing in helping people with membership learning management systems based on open source software, i.e. WordPress.

Doug: Well, I mean, like you said, it may not be intuitive. But I mean, if I want to have somebody on my team, whether it's for myself, or my client, to set up an LMS, I want a specialist. I don't want a generalist who can, you know, recommend one of 15 platforms and knows a little bit in each.

Jonathan: Exactly. And we mostly work with Lifter LMS and LearnDash. They are the two leading products. I'm not being disrespectful with the other WordPress plugin learning management systems out there, but they're the two that we mostly work with. I personally know the owners of both businesses, and they're great teams, highly respectable. Chris from Lifter – Chris and Tom from Lifter LMS, and Justin from LearnDash, they've been on my own podcast for interviews, and they're both great plugin systems that, really, I have no … they're slightly different. They have strengths and weaknesses, but both are great.

Doug: Well, I mean, we should talk, make sure our listeners get the grasp of what the market looks like. So I had recently read that the spend for online courses this year is around $8 billion.

Jonathan: Yeah. So, I read that as well.

Doug: I wonder if we get the same emails and read the same stuff.

Jonathan: Probably.

Doug: So if people are wondering, hey, is there an opportunity for me to develop either a side hustle or to grow my business by offering online training? It sounds like the answer might be yes.

Jonathan: Yeah, and I think one of the most exciting things is we've got to keep a balance here. So I'm going to attach an additional comment to what I'm just about to say. One of the great things about this, Doug, is that it's a real opportunity for somebody to build a real business online, which is possible to do with still doing their day job. You don't have to throw everything, put your house up, remortgage it, buy a franchise, get yourself into debt and with a hope and a prayer. I'm sure you do your due diligence, but a franchise, a physical franchise is extremely expensive. But you could start this and it's manageable. It's possible. It's not pie in the sky. You've got to obviously know what you're doing. I would suggest hiring us to help you. The advice side that we provide is great value. I've got a great team of experts, a lot of freelancers, other people that work for me directly. So we are passionate about this, and I think we offer a lot of value.

But the only additional bit is it will require work. And I don't want to not … people that say that you can build this and it'd be passive income, because I'm sure you know, Doug, there's nothing passive about running a business. And so I kind of knock those people that say you can build something like this and it will just be passive income. But on the other hand, I still think it's a great opportunity.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY CREATE AND LAUNCH AN ONLINE COURSE

[just click to tweet]

HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY CREATE AND LAUNCH AN ONLINE COURSE

The main thing is not to make building an online course a daunting task.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Doug: Yeah, I mean, I think you're right. The passive income, you may get passive income if you're investing in the equity markets where your only requirement is to kind of be checking on the market. But I mean, even in passive income, if you're buying homes or rental homes, you've got property managers and meetings and taxes and lawyers and all those sorts of things. So yeah, I'm sure somebody has got a solution for a truly passive income where you don't have to do anything and money just shows up. But honestly, I haven't found it.

So can we move into the course, to the opportunity, to like you said, either start a side hustle or to use this to supplement what you're doing as a consultant or business practitioner? But what does it take for somebody to set up their first online course? It sounds like a really overwhelming, daunting tasks. You're going, okay, I want to have an online course. Where do they start?

Jonathan: Well, that's a great question. And the main thing is not to make it a daunting task. But a lot of people that do their first course, and this is totally understandable, is to prove that they're offering great value to their students, they feel that they've got to literally build War and Peace in a course format. It's totally like 15 sections. It's got to be like 20 weeks in length. It's got to have a video. It's got to have downloadable PDFs. It's got to have this, that, and the other. And the reality is, really finding the initial problem that your experience or the training you have can offer somebody that's slightly below you, and offer something of value that will help them move forward. And then find these various mechanisms that you can test, will people pay money for what you're going to offer, and keep it small, because actually, your first batch of students, you're going to learn an enormous amount from those actual first batch of students. You really going to learn what their real concerns and problems are, and it's really going to be informative for your next course. So treat that, you know, build that first course. But it comes from the startup community. Build your first minimum practical course, first minimum product, and then learn from that.

Doug: Yeah, and I think that's great advice. I mean, lots of times in marketing, or in … someone wants to write a book or write something, they paint this really big expectation for themselves. And I'm in a place in my life now where if somebody has an online course or training, I'm actually less likely to buy it if it's 20 weeks or it's 500 videos. What I'm looking for is, and maybe it's just my personality, I'm looking for a course that's one video long that can solve all my problems today, and I'm happy to pay, pick a number, $1,000 to solve the problem. If you could do it in the day, I would just, I'd give you the money more quickly than a guy that's going to make me take a week to go through all the stuff.

Jonathan: You sound like your in a bit of a rush, Doug.

Doug: Well, I've been through the courses, like you said, that are like weeks, and weeks, and weeks, and weeks long. And it's like, let's just get on with the program. Just tell me how to solve the problem.

Jonathan: Yeah, I think there's a balance. There's a balance depending on what the problem is. But there is a balance. But they feel, and it's totally understandable, I'm not … if I was in the person starting their first course, I'd be just in similar attitude that they really want to offer value. They really think they got to really offer a ton. And if it's pushed too far, it does the opposite. It does what you've just said. It puts off potential students from actually signing up.

The other thing is the price. Now, pricing is a strange beast. If I could offer, I was talking to somebody this morning on my own podcast about pricing, and this is an individual that's has a very successful course platform around digital marketing and SEO. And it was an individual that's worked with Heidi Powell and a number of other Fortune 500 companies. But he was giving examples where he's had to adjust pricing, and adjusting pricing has made an enormous difference on a course that didn't seem to be selling. Then suddenly, and it wasn't always downwards. That's the thing. He gave an example where had a $10 course that didn't go anywhere. It lowered it to $5, still no signup. Then he put it up to over $50, and he had over 200 people signed up for it.

Doug: That's funny.

Jonathan: There's no rhyme or reason. I'm fascinated by it, but pricing is a nightmare, Doug.

Doug: So do you have any advice, or, I mean, you've probably seen hundreds of people come through your doors that you've helped to help them launch their course. Is there any rhyme or reason to how you should price what you're doing?

Jonathan: I think it's down to getting this minimum viable course developed, and then offering it at a price that's not too low, around the $50 mark, I think, is a sweet point to start off with this. And then give a discount for those that sign up early maybe. Get that splash page up and say you're looking at developing this course. If you sign up early you get a bonus, or some extra value, or you can get a discount on the price. But I think the $50 mark is the sweet point to start off with. What do you think, Doug?

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY CREATE AND LAUNCH AN ONLINE COURSE

[just click to tweet]

HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY CREATE AND LAUNCH AN ONLINE COURSE

The main thing is not to make building an online course a daunting task.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Doug: I don't know. I guess, like you said, it depends on the problem that you're trying to solve, because the market's different. I mean, I've been working … I published a book a little over a year ago, and I thought, hey, I should take the book and I should expand it into a course. And I started doing some research on pricing, and I'm thinking, hey, I should understand this. And I got some direct feedback from the marketplace very quick. And the feedback was, it's too cheap.

Jonathan: Yeah.

Doug: So I thought, hey, you know, I'll start at like $500, $495 US. And the guy said, “Really?” I said, “Yeah.” He said, “Then I'll buy one right now.” I said, “It's not done.” He says, “Yeah, I know that. But I want to give you my credit card right now, and I want to tell you something.” I said, “Okay.” He said, “Have you processed my card?” I said, “Yes.” He says, “Good, it should be at least a thousand dollars.” I went, “Okay.” So there's, now that's not enough feedback to validate. I mean, that's a small survey, but when somebody speaks with their credit card, I have more respect than someone just giving me advice.

Jonathan: Exactly. But it does depend. But I thought about, based on my experience, it was a very generalistic answer, but I thought I better provide something. But around that mark, because you get a lot of people think, just charge. I think when it's a Udemy price of 10 bucks, I think you starting to have some problems, because now they're notorious discount discounters, and I'm not totally against Udemy. I think if you're looking, … I interviewed a guest a few months ago, and I'm fortunate I've got his name. But he built his business in paid for click and he's the most … he sold over a hundred thousand courses through Udemy around Google Pay Per Click and training. But he did it as a way of building a brand, and now he sells his courses on his own platform. But as a way of building brand recognition, I think Udemy has benefits and it's great. But building a real business on somebody else's platform, especially with a notorious discount as like Udemy, it's not a great idea, Doug.

Doug: Yeah, I'm always a bit skeptical about having anything on anybody else's platform. And that's why I've been a big proponent of build your own email list. Yes, we use social, and our clients use social, but we have no control over the social media networks and how long they'll let us use it the way they let us use it, and the rules are always changing. So that's a great transition into why you'd want to build your course on your own platform. So the question I've heard people, and I've been on calls with people, and they're going, okay, I want to do this, but I didn't know where to start. Do I start with a Kajabi? Do I start with Infusionsoft? Do I start with ActiveCampaign, do I start? And so there's this confusion around all of these options. So how do you guide somebody from a, hey, okay, I've got an idea for a course. I've started to produce some content. Now I need to take it to the next level, as I need to be able to get this into a platform so I can, whether I'm going to run a beta or I can start selling.

Jonathan: Well, if it … it depends on what your, what the business outcome is. If it's really just going to be a small side project which offers some additional income, and that's what it's always going to be, now look at Teachable. For that particular purpose, I think it's got some great strengths. It's got some fundamental weaknesses. But it's got some strengths if that is the purpose. On the other end, if you're used to WordPress and you want to stay in the WordPress world, there's a number of solutions that can get you up and running just as quick as Teachable.

Now, if we're going into Kajabi territory, don't get me wrong, the two founders of Kajabi are fantastic marketers. They are expert on online marketing, and they've done a fantastic job of building Kajabi. Now, it's a Swiss army knife, and that has its strengths and weaknesses. And to build a Kajabi site, even utilizing what they say is their suite of integrated tools, is no easy undertaking. And they tend to emphasize, and I'm not suggesting in any shape or form that they're misleading, but they do suggest that you can just go into Kajabi and build something that has all the all total marketing automation, the pipelines, the landing pages, the courses. And they can do it, and it's going to be easy. Well, based on what we have built out some Kajabi membership sites for people, because they've been committed, but they still wanted to work with us, I try not to do it, because we specialize in WordPress. But they've been … but it isn't easy. That's what gets me. And the problem is you're building a business on somebody else's platform.

And also there's a restriction on design and look. On the other hand, it used to be difficult to build landing pages, to actually build marketing funnels. But in the past year, a lot of those restrictions, that's why people went to Brendan's click funnel. But anybody that has utilized Click Funnel, it's a great product, but in design terms and some key functionality, it has its restrictions, where with WordPress, because of the plugin construction, instead of getting a Swiss army knife, you can select plugins that are top of their product in that specific functionality that you're looking for. So ending up with something that's not good at, it's not terrible, but it's not good at everything. You can end up with the best of a particular niche, and then combine it into WordPress platform.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY CREATE AND LAUNCH AN ONLINE COURSE

[just click to tweet]

HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY CREATE AND LAUNCH AN ONLINE COURSE

The main thing is not to make building an online course a daunting task.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Doug: Yeah, as you were talking, I just made my notes. It's really about coming up with a list of minimum requirements. So there's what is it you need it to do? I mean, we're looking for a particular product, not looking for a new CRM. And I've used a variety of platforms, and it really came down to say, so what is the true functionality that we need? There's stuff that will do everything, including make coffee and order me breakfast. But what do I really need? And when we scaled it back, we went, well, we can get a much smaller solution, because these are the features and the functionality that we need. And I think often with CRMs and online platforms, we get sold this huge suite of stuff, then we use 5% of it.

Jonathan: Well, I think, in our pre-show talk you mentioned one of my interviews, and don't get me wrong, I'm not against this particular product, but Infusionsoft came into my mind as you were talking. Now, Infusionsoft, it's gone through a rebranding. It's now called Keep, but they are two separate. Keep is aimed at the small business market. Infusionsoft is aimed at a more individual with a larger business. But when Infusionsoft started it was the only solution for a lot of problems if you're online marketing at a price that was affordable. It wasn't cheap. But Infusionsoft, it caused a lot, it could cause a lot of confusion. It was a difficult product, and I would never recommend it to a client unless they were at a certain level of needing marketing oomph.

You know, I used to utilize ActiveCampaign quite a lot. But recently, the founder of this particular product is a WordPress plugin. It's called Groundhogg, and agents become my co-hosts. He and his team have built a fantastic plugin that enables you, and it's got a great simpler interface than ActiveCampaign, and it's a great WordPress plugin, and he's actively going to the C support now. So it's future is guaranteed and he's building it out with his team. And I think in the coming months it's going to be a real engine, so you won't have to go outside the WordPress ecosystem to have a great CRM, Doug.

Doug: Well, that's really exciting, because like you said, it really comes down to if you're a brand new startup, should you go to Infusionsoft? Probably not. Not a great idea.

Jonathan: I would never recommend that route.

Doug: If you're going to build your business, and you want to be in the eight-figure realm and you need something that's really robust, well that's where all the eight-figure guys are camped. So like you said, I think you said at the beginning, get something out. So same with the course idea, get something out and get it working. And so proof of concept, and then build. And I think if we take that advice on our marketing and the tools that we use, that we don't need to buy the Ferrari when all we need is a skateboard. You know, let's start small and then grow it.

Jonathan: I can only base it on my own experience, Doug. I'm sure somebody like yourself or people in your team, but the average business owner, it's impossible for them to set up Infusionsoft on their own. It's just, it's not going to happen. Unless they've got a lot of prior experience in digital marketers in the same hub Infusionsoft. They're going to end up having to get the help of a consultant. Something like ActiveCampaign can get pretty hairy, but it's possible. With Groundhogg, with the interface reading some of the tutorials, average person of average intelligence can knock up some marketing automation and to be quite truthful, that's one of the great things of Click Funnel is it's reasonably easy to build something. It's got some other fundamental, the same thing with Kajabi. But Kajabi's got a hell of a lot going on and you certainly got to do some studying. You're certainly not going to dive in if you've got no prior knowledge and start knocking all this together. That's why I've got to be careful with more wording, is that I just feel it's slightly misleading, some of Kajabi's propaganda if you understand what I mean.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY CREATE AND LAUNCH AN ONLINE COURSE

[just click to tweet]

HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY CREATE AND LAUNCH AN ONLINE COURSE

The main thing is not to make building an online course a daunting task.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Doug: Well, I think that's not uncommon. I mean, we've got marketing software companies marketing their software to consumers and entrepreneurs. And what's interesting to me is, I love where you live. I've been through your neck of the woods a few times for business. And I was down on Lake Tahoe at a conference, and I was talking to another entrepreneur there and they had Click Funnels and Leadpages, and they were Infusionsoft, and they were moving to ActiveCampaign. And so they had all these things, and I said, “So how are they working?” And they just were really honest. They said, “You know, we've bought all these things, but we really don't know how to use any of them.” So I think you're right. You buy one, whatever the tool is, and you open it up, and then you realize that it's not so intuitive that you can just tell the computer what to do. You need to study it and you need to go through the help videos and the training videos unless you've got a team to do that. And so then you shelf it. And then the next offer comes along. You buy that. And then you quickly realize that's not going to be my easy solution either. So at some point, you're going to need some help.

Jonathan: Yeah, well that's true. But I think with as … you can always use LearnDash or Lifter LMS. You can buy the whole thing, the basic free. So they actually shut up where you can take payments and it's probably going to cost you $99 for their Stripe add on. With LearnDash, for one site license is $149 roughly. And that comes in, you can take Stripe and PayPal with buying that. Used to not have that, but they have had a massive update recently with LearnDash 3.0 where Justin hired one of the leading WordPress design agency, 10up, to help him, which is based in Sacramento, 10up. Jake, who's the, I've actually interviewed Jake a couple of times, who founded 10up, is one of the premier WordPress agencies out there for development and design, has over a hundred people work for him. They helped Justin develop the UX design, and in my opinion, it's got a better UX front and back design than Kajabi, Doug.

Doug: So what do people do if they're on another platform? Because that's often the other challenge too, is you get into a platform, and I'm not going to go through naming specific CRMs, but as a CRM example, there are some companies that once you're in their platform is very difficult to get your data and to move, which shouldn't necessarily be the case. It's not a really good way case to build customer retention, making it difficult for people to leave if they don't like you, or they've outgrown you, or whatever the reason for changing is. So do you work with companies that say hey, I'm on this platform, and I really want to have it on my own system to be able to painlessly migrate and get back up and running?

Jonathan: It's another great question, Doug. Obviously, we're mixing learning management systems with CRMs.

Doug: Well, I use CRM as an example. But okay, so with LMS, so if somebody is on a different LMS system as it was more my point, can you move them from a hosted situation to a WordPress situation where they own it? So go from renting to owning.

Jonathan: Yeah. And it applies to both. Both learning, what we're going to say about learning management systems and CRMs. The truth is, no there is no easy way to do it. We can do it for you, and we offer packages to do it. And the price depends if you're going to sign up for a year. One of our year hosted plans, the price goes down. If you're going to go month to month, we have to charge you a bit higher, because we're taking the risk that you might jump ship. I don't see why or many people. But you can't please everybody can you, Doug? But the truth is, Kajabi, Teachable, all these learning management systems on the CRM side, ActiveCampaign, Drip – their business model is, I'm sorry, I'm just going to be blunt about this – their business model is not to make it easy for you to escape their clutches. They would deny it to some extent, but that is part of their business model, Doug.

Now, when are you looking at learning management systems, Lifter LMS and LearnDash, they offer a JSON export format where you can export the data. You will not, even using an, and I'm being a bit geeky here, but the JSON is a great mythology technology, but you can't just take the LearnDash and then put it into Lifter and boom, you're going to have your course up. That is not possible. But compared to the situation with the leading SaaS products, like Kajabi, and it seems like I'm knocking Kajabi, but I'm not, I'm just explaining the reality of the situation. There is no easy way of exporting the data. It's got to be done manually.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY CREATE AND LAUNCH AN ONLINE COURSE

[just click to tweet]

HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY CREATE AND LAUNCH AN ONLINE COURSE

The main thing is not to make building an online course a daunting task.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Doug: Well, I'm sure. But I mean, so that's something that's a service that you guys offer. So if someone is in a different platform, a hosted platform, and they want to move to something they have more self-control or more control over the design, the look, and feel, and own it, that's something that you can help them do.

Jonathan: Totally.

Doug: Looking forward to the next six to 12 months in your industry, what are you most excited about?

Jonathan: Well, I'm really, I've spoken to a number of people in the area with my own podcasts, and there are two outlooks. Some people, I think if you're in this kind of … there's a kind of thing going on on the internet. If you go to YouTube and watch anything about online marketing or anything, you start getting a lot of videos saying we've got this course. We call it – and it will tell you how to start up a business on Amazon, or it will teach you how to set up a Shopify web eCommerce website and selling stuff that you can … we'll show you suppliers from China and how you can become a millionaire in six months by following our detailed plan. And they're talking to you and in the background that have a Ferrari or Lamborghini, which they rented for the day shoot, obviously. But there's a lot of that going on isn't there, Doug?

And I think people are starting to getting a bit wiser, and there's these certain … and I think it's cultural in the way it appeals to Americans. I love Americans, I've become an American citizen. I have dual nationality. But the future of actually learning, of people giving real value, and I can only see it getting bigger and bigger and brighter and brighter. The idea of going, I think there always be a place when I think universities, a lot of universities are really going to have to change the way they structure themselves. And the idea of going to a physical entity, like a university, and spending four years of your life there. I think the days of that, the writing's on the wall already. And I think people more and more are going to expect their training online, Doug.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY CREATE AND LAUNCH AN ONLINE COURSE

[just click to tweet]

HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY CREATE AND LAUNCH AN ONLINE COURSE

The main thing is not to make building an online course a daunting task.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Doug: Well, and I think, there's a hybrid in the balance. This is no different than events. So there are lots of events. You can do virtual events, but often, nothing really builds a relationship and builds your network quicker than sitting, having a coffee or a beer with someone face to face. So I think you're right. There's going to be a change for sure. But what I think we still need human connection. And so it'll definitely be a combination because we … I work home base, I love working home base. But every once in a while I need to go out and meet a few people, and not just be on my computer.

Jonathan: Yeah, I totally agree with you. I do, honestly. I think you're totally correct there. I think an example of that, that started in the 1960s and based in Britain was, it's called the open university and it enables mature students to get normal British degrees about three years in length, but now, somebody needs to get a recognized degree from a respected organization, which is government-backed, the open university, in five years. And you can do it online with, depending on the course, with weekend meetups and summer camps as well. It's a hybrid that totally meets what you've just said. And I think that will increasingly become a pattern when it comes to higher education.

And then you've got the whole area, which is a totally separate conversation, about using a learning management system for company training and staff onboarding, which is another whole different section, Doug.

Doug: Absolutely. I've got a friend of mine in the US in the St. Louis area, and he runs a very large team of staff offshore, and he's in a very good job at documenting the process and building the systems, and he's done exactly what you've said. He's got a lot of the systems are documented and set up for onboarding and training and all the tools and applications so they can serve their clients best. And it's set up so it doesn't require a person to be answering those questions and making those introductions. It's basically a self-serve option, which works really well.

Jonathan: Yeah, I totally agree.

Doug: So a couple of questions for you. Who's one guest do you think I absolutely have to have on my podcast?

Jonathan: I knew you were going to ask that. You did warn me.

Doug: I did warn you because it seems to be a tough question. So I thought I'd give you a heads up.

Jonathan: I just wondered. I think there's one, Cole Carson. He came on the show, and he runs the learning platform, and he's been involved in the learning area for a long time, and he came on my podcast and he's been quite controversial about his statements about the future of traditional education, and especially higher education, because he came on my podcast about six to eight months ago, and we had a great discussion.

Basically, he feels that apart from the Ivy League universities that in the next 10 years, the bulk of state and private universities that have online campuses, a lot of them are going to go under. He really doesn't see the student debt being sustainable. I agree with him. And he fundamentally feels that getting back a more beneficial system would be trade schools, the traditional apprenticeship, this expansion in higher education in the US, and in Britain, and requiring students to get in mind-bending debt at the beginning of the career. He just doesn't really see that it's sustainable, nor do I, Doug.

Doug: Yeah, it's changing times. I mean, our kids are all through school and their higher education, and we've got grandkids coming. And I really just don't know what that's going to look like.

So let's move on to the most important question. So for our listeners, what's the best way that they can find you? Reach out and connect with you? Learn more about you, your company, and what services you offer?

Jonathan: It's really easy. I make it pretty easy to get ahold of me. You go to the front page of WP-Tonic. There's a whacking big button – Book a free consultation with me – and you can have a half-hour of listening to my English tones, and hopefully some wisdom. I'm not too sure sometimes, but I do my best. We can have a half-hour discussion, and you can ask me anything. And also, on the website, we have an easy message system, and you can send me a message asking me anything. But if you want a face-to-face conversation using Zoom – if you can't use Zoom, we can speak on the phone, I'm really happy to spend a half-hour with anybody and give them some advice, Doug.

Doug: Well, perfect. So I'd just say thanks so much, Jonathan, for taking time out of your day, and just shedding some light on the opportunities for people that want to develop or have an online course, and just giving them some options of what it might look like if they owned it instead of renting it.

Jonathan: Oh, I've really enjoyed the conversation, Doug. Thank you so much for having me on the show.

Doug: Well, there you go listeners. I'm a huge fan of owning what you can and renting the minimum amount of platforms so you have control over your data and control over your look and feel of what you're doing. So I've had a look through Jonathan's website and he's right. It's very easy to connect with him. It's funny that he said that it's very easy to connect, because so many websites, and often mine probably falls into that category, it's not easy to find how to have a conversation. But in Jonathan's case, it is. Just head over to W-Tonic.Com and there he is. Or WP-Tonic.Com and you can connect with him there, and there's a live chat that pops up. So I want to say thanks again to Jonathan. Thanks for tuning into this episode. If you have any questions, don't be shy. Reach out to Jonathan or post a comment in the bottom of the show notes when they show has been published. And we look forward to serving you on our next episode.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY CREATE AND LAUNCH AN ONLINE COURSE

[just click to tweet]

HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY CREATE AND LAUNCH AN ONLINE COURSE

The main thing is not to make building an online course a daunting task.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Get in touch with Jonathan:

Find out more about Jonathan:

Links to other related podcasts:

HOW TO CREATE, MARKET AND SELL AN ONLINE COURSE

HOW TO BUILD A SUCCESSFUL ONLINE COURSE FOR YOUR BUSINESS