What they really mean, of course, is “How do I find an idea that will sell?” No one wants to spend days or weeks or more planning, developing and launching a course only to hear crickets on the big day. You want to know you’ll have at least some measure of success.
But don’t overthink it. The answer is simple. Just give your audience what they are asking for.
- Check out the competition. What are they creating? If you serve a similar audience, then what sells for them will very likely sell for you. Now, before you break out the “But it’s already been done!” line, keep this in mind: No two coaches are alike. You may create a similar course, but your voice, your experience, your teaching style, and your personality are all very different. No one else is you, and for some customers, YOU are the only one who will resonate with them.
- Pay attention to your ideal client. What questions does she ask in private groups, in your help desk, and elsewhere? What posts are she reading on your blog (check your Google Analytic stats)? These are all valuable sources of intel about exactly what she needs and wants from you.
- Ask. Still not sure what your dream client is looking for? Ask her. Create a survey and ask her to tell you what she struggles with, what keeps her from realizing her success, and even what she’s tried before in an effort to solve her issues.
- Check the bestsellers list. Which books in your niche are outperforming others? These are the ones that offer answers your clients are seeking. Flip through the table of contents and read the online reviews to dig deep into the topics that really resonate with your audience.
- Read the FAQs. Check the frequently asked questions section on competitor blogs and in forums and Facebook groups. Also check blogs for “Start Here,” and “Quickstart” pages. Many times the most common questions and concerns are addressed here.
- Review the available resources. Which are the most common resources your colleagues and competitors are recommending? There are often questions surrounding the use of software and other tools, and these can be great ideas for eCourses.
- Check your email. If you’ve been in business for more than a few months, chances are you receive questions from friends, clients and even strangers on a daily basis. What are they asking about? Look for common themes and trends.
- Revisit your keyword research. Review the terms and phrases that your community most frequently searches on, and use them as a basis for your own research.
- Check your search terms. Google Webmaster Tools allows you to check which terms are sending visitors to your website. Since people often search on questions (“how to design a logo” or “how to start a business”) this can be a rich source of ideas.