How to Build an Online Course with Kajabi
You can’t get very far into the world of online business without hearing about the boom happening in the eLearning industry. The numbers speak for themselves.
- The global online education industry is expected to compound from $107 Billion in 2015 to over $325 Billion in 2025 (Source).
- eLearning options cut the emissions and pollution costs related to education by up to 85%.
- For every $1 a business invests in eLearning, they can expect to make $30 back in productivity boosts and innovative solutions (Source).
Here’s one more number to take with you… People who use Kajabi to create and sell online courses are responsible for over $1.1 Billion of the eLearning industry (Source). Yes, billion with a b. You can listen to people rave all day about how successful their platform is, but Kajabi has the numbers to back it up.
Creating vs. Selling Courses Online
In this article, I will cover a simple framework you can use to build courses (eLearning products) quickly and cost-efficiently using Kajabi.
Something to keep in mind, though, is that the process for creating a course is very different than selling a course. Both require their own specific steps and expertise. I plan to write a post focused on the selling-portion in the future, so if you're interested in that topic, take a moment to subscribe to our newsletter.
Also, if you're still brand new to what Kajabi is and what it can do for you, I've written a few articles you might find helpful, including a general overview of Kajabi, a breakdown of its 3 different price points, and more. Plus, you can always take advantage of the Kajabi free trial if you prefer a more hands-on approach.
With that, let’s jump into the phases of creating an online course.
What is the ADDIE model?
ADDIE is an instructional design methodology used as a template to ensure that eLearning products adhere to basic educational principles. During my time as a higher education professional, I discovered this model and then really got to understand its inner workings through my Master of Education degree.
ADDIE stands for:
- Analysis – Identify what problem you are trying to solve.
- Design – Create a basic outline of the instruction you want to create and what it might look like.
- Development – Bring your outline to life with a tool such as Kajabi or another course/LMS platform.
- Implementation – Enroll your first students.
- Evaluation – Get feedback on what improvements could be made to your course.
You might be thinking - Wait, why have I never heard of this framework before?
It’s because many of the loudest voices in the online business and marketing space know nothing about education. I’m not being harsh, just honest.
This is a huge reason why so many online courses suck. They don't follow the basic principles needed to create a useful, engaging, practical product for the student. Knowledge dumps do not equal good online courses. You need structure.
Step 1: Define the Problem You Are Trying to Solve. (Analysis)
The first step to creating an effective learning experience is to spend some time identifying the problem you want to solve.
Most advice tells you to start with a topic you’re an expert on. But that approach leads to far too broad an answer. Without any tangible, actionable results tied to what your students will learn, your course will devolve into another knowledge dump that will soon be forgotten.
Instead, try to figure out what problems you’ve solved in your own life – related to your expertise or not.
- Did you solve this problem faster or cheaper than most?
- Did you solve it for your demographic better than others?
- Why did this problem need solving in your own life?
- What about your solution makes it worth sharing?
These will get on your way to creating a profitable course. The clearer the benefit, the easier it will be to market.
Step 2: Create an Initial Outline for Your Course. (Design)
Your course should have the following macro-layout:
- Explain that you understand where your customers currently are (most often because you have been there yourself).
- Identify where the goal is.
- Detail and demonstrate the steps needed to reach the goal.
- Show what the goal looks like and what the experience will be like for the students once they reach it.
I guarantee you, course structure will only be as complicated as you make it. If you are creating a course based on a problem you have already solved, then all you have to do is work backward and provide as much detail as possible so that others can follow your recipe to success.
After you have completed the preliminary work of thinking about what your course should include, this is when it's a good time to look at what other courses, books, and videos are out there on your topic. The reason is so that you can fill in any gaps you might have overlooked in your content.
The reason I advise you to do this after you've already outlined your course is that too much early influence will almost always sway your design to echo what is already available in the market.
Looking to others for inspiration is okay, but copying their work (structure, content, examples, etc.) will only hurt you in the long run.
Step 3: Create Your Course in Kajabi. (Development)
This is the fun part (at least in my opinion!). Now you can start the production or development phase, which is where you sit down and create the content.
- Write out your lessons and scripts.
- Record your video or audio lessons.
- Create your visual assets such as graphics, downloads, and more.
After all of the content is made and edited, it's time to upload it onto the Kajabi platform. Kajabi makes the whole process, dare I say, enjoyable.
Simple login to your Kajabi account and click the “Products” button on the left column of your user dashboard. From there, you’ll have at least 7 different product templates to choose from. Since we’re covering online courses in this article, that’s the template we’ll choose.
Once inside, you’ll have the ability to create Categories (i.e., Modules), Sub-Categories (for Module organization), and Posts (i.e., Lessons).
An online course should have anywhere from 3-8 modules. If you want more than that, you might need to restructure your course. If you have fewer than 3, you might want to consider adding additional content.
Within each Post or Lesson, you have the ability to add:
- And Kajabi Automations
You don't have to be tech-savvy to create a beautiful course in Kajabi. It's a lot easier to use than the WordPress plugins I've battled in the past. And I even prefer it over Teachable because I've never mysteriously lost content out of the blue (like I have on their platform).
If you’d like to see what the internal course creation features look like for a few minutes, I recommend watching the video below.
Step 4: Enroll Your First Few Users. (Implementation)
Before you launch your course to the general public, or even your full list, I highly recommend finding a small, core group to run through your content first. Call it what you want: beta users, a dry run, trial, etc. This step can have a huge impact on the quality of your final product.
Real people will be able to catch things you might have missed, such as grammatical errors, broken links, misplaced downloads, unclear directions, and more.
If you already have an established audience, finding 2-5 people to perform this function should be as easy as sending a personalized email to each of them. If you’re still building your audience, I would recommend getting friends or family who understand your niche/problem to engage with your content. In this scenario, strangers would always be preferable over closer relationships because they tend to be more honest about the quality of your course.
Step 5: Use Feedback to Improve. (Evaluation)
This last phase can look a number of different ways:
- Using end-of-course surveys to capture student’s thoughts.
- Conducting 1-on-1 interviews with your learners.
- Hiring a course consultant to offer professional guidance.
Whichever element you choose is great. Most course creators only use their revenue as an evaluation tool, which is pretty shortsighted. How much money your course makes at first tells you little to nothing about the quality of its content.
But, a well-organized course that solves a clear problem and is easy to digest will increase in revenue over time as the successful students become your best marketers.
One final note on the 5-step process – ADDIE is meant to be cyclical. You find a problem to solve, design and develop an eLearning solution, then use feedback to solve that problem even better, and make an improved course your second time through, and on it goes.
Kajabi Makes Course Creation Easy
I chose Kajabi because I was tired of spending more time solving technical issues than I was creating. Now, I use one tool to host my website, send my emails, create and sell my courses, and about a dozen other things.
If you love the course platform you’re already using, no worries. You can utilize the ADDIE model with any platform, just change the development phase as needed. If you’re looking to build your first course, or maybe move a course you’ve already created onto Kajabi, I recommend you give their free trial a try and see if it’s a good fit.
eLearning isn’t going anywhere. Some of the biggest players 5 years from now haven’t even started yet. Don’t miss this opportunity to turn the knowledge in your head into money in your pocket.