How To Know If Creating An Online Course Is Right For Your Business

If social distancing has turned your business upside down, this is a special episode of Sticky Note Marketing you’re not going to want to miss…😳

Each week I share what’s working NOW to improve your marketing and WOW your audience. On today’s LIVE Show: Not Another Online Course!

Yes – the digital learning market is forecasted to hit $325 Billion by 2025… but that doesn’t mean an online course is the RIGHT next step for your business!

Listen in so that you can avoid the painful mistakes so many business owners make when it comes to launching a digital course and how to turn those land mines into goldmines. . .

Ready to create your irresistible lead magnet offer to grow your list with ideal prospects? Click HERE to grab my step-by-step action guide:


Hey everyone, Mary Czarnecki here for Sticky Note marketing. This is your live weekly marketing show to tell you and share with you the best tips, strategies, and techniques that are working now to wow your buyers, grow your audience, and increase your revenue. Right now the world is kind of upside-down right now.

If social distancing and this crazy pandemic thing have turned your business upside down, this is a special episode I wanted to air this week, just speaking to you. I am a lifelong marketing geek and I still remember being a little kid watching a baseball game with my dad on the weekends and I’d fall asleep during the game and he’d wake me up for the commercials and we’d talk about them. I’ve always been fascinated by consumer behavior or creating engagement, how you communicate with people to get them interested in what you have to offer.

I am digging deep into my 20 years of professional experience, my MBA in marketing strategy, and bringing you some fresh ideas.

Who This Is For…

Now, today I want to specifically talk to you if you have been kind of looking for new opportunities with this social distancing, with the pandemic. If your business is in a place of transition, I want to speak directly to you. This is for you if you are in a place where your business is actually blooming and ramping up, then you’re positioned well for what’s going on right now, this is still relevant, so stay tuned.

All right, so when it comes to transforming your business and especially starting to grow a business online, the knee jerk reaction I’m hearing from a lot of people is that they’re going to develop an online course. What I keep hearing in my own brain when I hear people say this is, not another online course – kind of like not another teen movie. When I think about online course development, I think yes, it’s a great idea for some people… and that’s what I wanted to come online and talk to you about today.

Not Another Online Course…?

When I’m saying not another online course, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not the right next step for you. But there are three specific things that I want you to think about when you’re thinking about, okay, is developing an online course the right next step for me. I’ve had a lot of people come to me who are service-based providers or local businesses whose businesses have to transform, at least in the short term, from being a face to face or a physical service’s location to doing something online.

Now, for some of those people, an online course makes sense. For some of it, it’s not potentially maybe the best strategic move for them. And here’s what I’m talking about. So when you’re thinking about, okay, is an online course or an online training program the right thing for me to spend my time on right now developing, or should I be doing something else?

I want you to think about three things.


Number one, think about your audience. No matter what kind of business you’ve been building, whether you’ve been building an online audience, whether you’ve been building a physical, local business, whether you’ve been working with people face to face or online in the past, you have an audience of people who are interested and who respect what you have to offer. Now, when you think about that audience and you think about what their needs are right now, what kind of needs, what’s top of mind for them that you can address that you specifically have a skill set, an offer, a solution or something that it can address.

Think about your audience. You want to think about even if you are an offline creative entrepreneur, even if you’re an offline local business and now you’re trying to figure out, okay, what can I offer them online? Look at what their needs are. So try to understand from them even going to the extent of like reaching out to your email list if you have it, or setting up some coffee chats, virtual coffee chats with people and talking to them about where they’re at. Like, what kind of needs do they have that relate to your space, to your niche?

That’s the first thing is you want to look at what kind of audience you have already built. Because a lot of people I’m talking to are underestimating the people who are already raising their hand and having in the past expressed interest in the value that they provide.

We need to understand from them though, what do they want now? Not necessarily what they need, but what they want.


The second thing I want you to think about is your expertise. So a lot of people are dealing with different layers of grief and transition. When it comes to, I was doing this thing that I was enjoying and I was so great at and it was profitable, and now I can’t do that thing. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t value that you still have to offer. So look at your expertise. What is it that you do well? What is it that you can do? And when you do it or when you share it, or when people ask you questions about it, people are like, Whoa, they’re blown away. But for you, it comes naturally. So what are those areas? And maybe it’s something that you weren’t tapping into before that this is the time to tap into.

Now the thing about those areas where you have, you know, been the expert, where people come to you and ask questions and look for your advice and it’s a resource that you can provide to people. So it’s an area of expertise for you. So another way to think about this too is what do you like doing? Do you get lit up by working with someone one-to-one? Do you get lit up by teaching a group? Do you get lit up by creating something and then delivering it without interacting with people at all? So think about how not only you’re bringing value, what your area of expertise is, but also the method in which you really enjoy delivering that expertise. So that’s the second part. So the third part when you’re trying to decide, okay, is an online course really the best next step for me and my business.


The third thing I want you to think about is your resources, so developing an online course is not just a build it and they will come. There is a strategy to it. There are tech that needs to be involved. Yes. Can you build a minimum viable course for you know, a shoestring budget and get it out and launched? Totally. But to do it well is going to take time. This isn’t something that you can do overnight. And there is tech involved, there is video involved, there’s research, there’s scripting, all these different things.

Now it’s totally doable. But here’s the thing, you need to assess whether I need to get dollars in the door today. And if that’s the financial situation you’re in, no judgment, no judgment at all, but then a course may not be your fastest path to success. Are there people who can make $100,000 from an online course in 30 days? Absolutely. Do most of them have someone in their corner helping them out and moving them along that journey? Yes.

What You Need To Succeed…

Here’s the thing. No, you don’t need a huge list. No, you don’t need a huge budget to be able to succeed with online course. However, you do need some sort of resources in terms of your time investment and a support network to help you do it, right? When you’re thinking about your resources, think about how tech savvy are you? How fast do I need to get dollars in the door? How willing am I to do the research to make sure I’m creating a content, a course or an online course that really is something people want to buy, right? We want to pretest it. Do you have enough time to do the pretesting?

All of these things about your resources, your time, your energy, your financial, your tech threshold, think about your resources and how you like to work and what you have available to you.

What is your support network right now? What is your free time like right now? How much time do you have before you have to start getting dollars in the door?

The Fastest Path To Cash…

The fastest path to cash is not necessarily an online course. For most people who don’t have an audience prebuilt, the fastest path to cash is going to be working with people individually and connecting with those people who are already in your warm audience.


That’s the three things I wanted to invite you to think about today. If you’re considering pivoting or transitioning your business, or expanding your business to include an online digital course. 


Number one, Who is your audience? What do they need? Think about the people that you’ve served in the past, even if you’ve been offline, even if you’ve been a local business, what is it that they need now? Get inside their head.


The second part is your expertise. What can you bring to the table that’s unique, that’s your proprietary thing. That is something that you have always found to be natural to you that’s come easily to you, but people are wowed by.

And the second part of that is what do you like to do? How do you get lit up in terms of working with people? Do you like to create the thing and then hand it over to them and not talk to them? Do you like to really have a lot of interaction with your customers one-to-one? Do you like kind of teaching a group and working in a group format?


And then the third part is really what are your resources? How much time do you have? How much budget do you have to work on this? How fast do you have to get dollars in the door? What’s your tech capability or comfort level?

Those are the three things that you need to think about in order to decide whether an online course or digital program is going to be the right next step for you.


Now, if you’re thinking, okay, Mary, well I thought through it and basically I know what my audience needs. I know that I have an expertise that can be easily translated into an online course and I have the time and the tech thresholds to be able to invest in creating a good, quality online course. Then I am here cheering you on. If this has made you think, Hmm, okay. Well what else could I do? I don’t know what else I could do. This is where I want to talk to you. I want to hear more about your individual situation.

I am here to help you brainstorm and I’ve opened up hours in my own calendar to jump into my private community to answer some questions and do some brainstorming with people in my community. Join me there (

A Free Gift…

I’ve also given you a free gift to one of my most popular guides right now. It’s an action guide all about creating your irresistible lead magnet.

And the reason why I’m sharing this with you specifically on this topic today is that when you’re creating a lead magnet, which is a free offer to grow your audience in your email list, you need to think about what is going to be that first A to B transition solution that is going to get them a quick win. If you’re able to do that same thought exercise. It’s the same thought exercise that you’re going to need to do if you’re going to be building out a paid offer. It’s a good kickstart for you guys to start thinking about that.

I’m going to put the link to that free gift up here ( and I’m here cheering on your success.

Closing Thoughts…

I know this is a crazy time for all of us, but I do invite you to come over to the community. Let’s continue the conversation so I can help you brainstorm your next best offer. And, I’m excited to have you in the community and cheering on all of you guys. Bravo. If you have any questions, post them below or post them over in the group and I will catch you on next week’s episode. Cheers.


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