As an aspiring online program entrepreneur, you might be asking yourself the question: how can I find a topic for my online program that people will actually pay for?
Gaining confidence that people will actually purchase your online services or programs is a common barrier to overcome. We understand that parent entrepreneurs also want to have a sense of security — that they’re taking the right actions — in their business-building.
So, please know this: it’s almost a prerequisite to CEO success to feel the pre-launch jitters + wonder if anyone will buy that idea you’ve been tossing around in your head. It’s completely okay to question if you’re headed in the right direction.
Remember, there is plenty of fish in the ocean. Yes, the online course/coaching industry is BIG + people do have a lot to choose from, which means that choosing a topic + packaging it well is important. You’re not wrong for identifying competition + wanting to make smart choices.
The online course industry is also projected to grow to a $370 BILLION DOLLAR INDUSTRY by 2026, which means the demand is growing exponentially.
Take this as your sign of an amazing opportunity to build an impactful business from the comfort of your home. Choosing WHAT to sell as an online program does not need to be a massive obstacle to overcome. Let this be exciting! There is plenty of abundance to go around. Your ideal customers are out there — already ready + waiting for your upcoming offer.
Today, we’re sharing how to start finding an online program topic those ideal people will pay you for.
Let’s get to it!
No. 1 — Survey the market
Want to know what other people are thinking? Ask!
Stressing out over whether or not people will be interested in purchasing a product on a specific topic isn’t going to help you or your future students. You need to actually ASK them.
Here are two effective ways we have surveyed the market before launching products that you can implement with very little effort:
- Go into Google Forms, make a quick 5 question survey + send it out to all of your friends. Post your survey into all of those Facebook groups that you joined once upon a time for “market research” (aka scoping out the competition). Quizzes are an easy way to question a focus group with a small time commitment.
- Ask a number of people who fit the description of the ideal client to be part of a focus group. You could even pull these people from the list of survey respondents. Buy them a cup of coffee in exchange for 30 minutes of their time to hear your pitch + ask them to give detailed feedback. Almost everyone loves Starbucks — or for our fellow New Englanders, Dunkin’ — so this is a win-win. ☕️
The key here is to get into “asking action”. Whenever there is a question that is holding you back, go out + ask your ideal clients for the answer. What better way to get the idea for your online program than by asking the community who will be ideally buying it?
There isn’t one.
No. 2 — Solve your own problem (or a close friend’s)
Remember in school when we were encouraged to ask questions because others would likely have the same question? Well, those teachers were onto something then + now FAQ pages are a necessity for any online-based business product, too. This tells us that the need for answered questions never changes, even if the answering format does.
Problems work the same exact way. When you can solve your biggest problems, both past + present, we can confidently say there will be a lot of individuals in the world facing the same issue + looking for that solution in an accessible format.
OrganicFamilyCEO solved a challenge we faced. We were always asking: How can we be at home more + at work less? We solved that. And it turns out, there are a lot of parents who were or are searching for help to do the same.
We have built a profitable business sharing our experiences + education as parents in an accessible online platform that’s easy for our ideal clients to use.
It’s proof that this is so possible for you, too. No matter what your area of skill is — gardening, cooking, health, business, animals, painting, building, plumbing, ballet, you name it — the problems often faced are similar across the board.
For example, time management is a skill every parent entrepreneur needs. Time management is also a common challenge across parent entrepreneurs. Bringing an accessible solution for time management to the table will resonate with nearly all parent entrepreneurs, which means we’re all the more likely to make SALES.
When you solve your own biggest problems + document them in your own unique way + make the user experience simple, you can turn around to help the next person in line while having increased your expertise through lived experience + thus, your teaching authority. This is SUCH a worthwhile effort.
No. 3 — Stop talking + listen!
There is a reason why we have two ears + one mouth. “Listen more than you talk,” as the old saying goes.
Listening to those around you can be a powerful topic-choosing tool. Whether it is friends, family or an online community of near-strangers, people will be more than willing to hear themselves talk. We can thank our natural egos for that one!
Step back from joining in on the conversations + become the observer.
Look for the root cause of your ideal clients’ challenges. Listen for their wishes + dreams in life. Then connect the dots from where they currently are to where they want to be, considering how you could explain how to remove barriers + open doors to a transformation along the way.
Listening will give you everything you need to know about what others need. It really can be that simple.
No. 4 — Check topics other experts are talking about
A great way to see what topics are resonating with your target audience is to look at the content themes of the more popular industry thought leaders + experts.
For example, go to a few popular-in-your-industry podcasts + browse their recent free content lineup. These more established personalities + brands have taken the time to investigate their market research (+ have often invested lots of capital to do so, too!).
So, if you think of their “recent episode lists” as your own market research tool, you’ll find an abundance of well-sourced topic keywords for next to nothing except the expense of your well-spent time.
For example: say the #1 entrepreneur podcast is spending a lot of time talking about outsourcing. This is a clue that outsourcing is highly resonating with the entrepreneur community.
We can take the outsourcing topic + start to generate content through our own brand filter. For example, we could generate an outsourcing program specific to parent entrepreneurs with online-based businesses (which we did with The Outsourcing Masterclass in our online shop + community, actually!).
The point is this: You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You only need to build a different car on top of them (+ how to build that different car aka paid online program is a topic we’ll share more about on a different day).
No. 5 — Create + hit GO!
Being confident that an online program is going to sell is important. Using surveys, solving your own problems, researching the existing market + simply listening can be great ways to build confidence in a quality online program offer.
After you have done all of the validation steps, the final (+ best) way to know if people will pay for your product is to put it on the market.
Remember: there is plenty of abundance in the world for all of us. Go out + grab it.
And if you’re looking for more support around building your paid online program, so that you generate passive income while you parent, then check out our coaching + course online program — Passive Income Parenthood™ — where we teach you how to build an evergreen online-based business as a parent (+ step in to build it with you!) in 90 days.
Tell us: what one step will you take today to grab your share of the abundance in the online course industry?
We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below.