Teach Online | The Importance of Accurate Student Targeting

Whether you're creating online courses for Udemy, Teachable or hosting on your own website, there is a framework and system to follow that will greatly improve your chances of success.

In this episode, I'm going to share some of the information I've learnt through the Eben Pagan coaching programs that I'm enrolled in.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Eben, he is probably considered the Godfather of digital product creation. Eben has been creating products for over 15 years now and has made multiple tens of millions of dollars in sales. Some of his coaching programs sell for US$10,000. In short Eben is a guru in this field.

You can learn more about Eben and his products here.

One of the most common questions I'm asked on my coaching calls is, “How do I get more sales?”.

To look at this, we're going to take a 30,000-foot view of the entire process and how all the pieces fit together.

It's important that you take the time to address market research and niche targeting. In order to create a course that is going to meet the needs of your chosen audience, you must first get to know your audience.

You must get to know their fears and frustrations. You must get to know the language they use, the terms, the phrases because all of this is going to play a role in your overall course design and marketing.

Niche Targeting

Lack of laser-focused targeting is a common mistake when it comes to niche selection. In a lot of cases, the selected niche is still obscure. It doesn't talk directly to your target audience, it doesn't scream - “I'm the answer to your problems”.

Niches are needs - Eben Pagan

Tweet: In order to be a successful online course creator you must target an unmet need. http://ctt.ec/E0T3f+ #podcast #coaching
In order to be a successful online course creator, you must target an unmet need.

You must also sell on the benefits of what completing your course will do for the student. The majority of instructors focus on the features of their course which fails to connect with the student on an emotional level.

Emotions drive sales then logic rationalises the purchase

As humans, we have three brains. At the root of our being, we have our reptilian brain and its main focus is on physical survival - food, shelter, reproduction.

The next level is the mammalian brain and this is the centre of our emotions.

And lastly comes the conceptual brain, our language and communication centre. Our thinking, rational, logical brain.

The point is, our logical brain is not involved in the purchasing decision. It turns out that our buying decisions are totally irrational and driven by emotions and physical need.

By the time someone has identified a need and they're looking for a solution they are being driven totally by their reptilian brain. No logic at this point whatsoever.

So when preparing your marketing material, you have to talk in terms of physical results.

What is the tangible take away from completing your course?

Being clear in our communication

When we're looking at how to communicate the benefit our online course will bring to the student we must be very clear. We must use words that anyone can understand and reduce the risk of misinterpretation.

Let's look at the word 'Finance' - what does the word 'Finance' mean to you?

The problem is that it could mean any number of things - investment, saving, borrowing, debt etc.

The big disconnect

You've no doubt heard the term, “There was a disconnect between the instructor and students”, but what does it really mean?

Those of us who are interested in teaching and developing courses are thinking at a higher level, we are conceptual thinkers so we're up in our conceptual, logical brain.

Those looking for a solution to a problem are driven by emotion and physical need, they are not thinking rationally.

So the course creator and prospective students have totally different thought processes going on.

While it can be difficult for conceptual thinkers to look at things in the here and now, it is imperative that the instructor break the concepts down and relate them back directly to the emotional and physical needs of the student.

You must be specific in your offer

To be specific, your offer must be measurable, verifiable and believable.


How are you going to quantify the results in numbers, time, money, weight or whatever?

Let's look at a couple of examples -

Udemy course creation for beginners” or “How to create a Udemy course in 5 days or less

Udemy course creation boot camp, create a quality course fast” or “How to create a Udemy course in 5 hours”

Do you see how including a time frame clarifies the objective of the course?

Simply using a word like 'fast' really means nothing. What's fast? Fast to one person could be a month where fast to another could be 5 days. Fast just isn't specific enough.


There must be some obvious way of verifying the result. How are we going to verify that our students are moving towards and attaining their learning objectives?

When we can verify and prove results this keeps our reputation intact. As we become known as instructors who deliver high quality, measurable results our sales will grow accordingly.


The numbers, time frame etc. that you're giving must be believable and hype-free. A prospective student must be able to look at the promise you are offering and feel confident that they can achieve the result in the time frame stated.

Always be clear

There are no prizes for using big complex words or creative word play in your titles. Make sure your titles and all your marketing material is written clearly, using words that anyone can understand.

Most importantly when it comes to your title make sure your promise is clearly stated. That your prospective student knows exactly what you are offering.

Please take a couple of minutes and let me know what your #1 challenge is when it comes to creating or marketing your online course.

Need help getting started with the creation of your online course?

Check out Bob Marx's course for only $10!

How To Create a UDEMY Course in 5 Days or Less (Part Time)

If you have a question about any aspect of online course delivery, from concept to market, please feel free to send me an email at AskTim@EcourseDomination.com. I'd love to hear from you and your question could very well feature in a future podcast.

I want to deliver relevant material so keep those emails rolling in.

If you enjoyed this episode please like, share and comment below. Help get the news in the streets. If you could take a moment to pop over to iTunes and leave an honest rating and review I would truly appreciate it.

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