Teachable Online Training Courses – (How to create, produce and sell)

Learn how to create and sell your first online training courses using Teachable with this 9 part guide.

This training course guide will highlight the steps you need to take, the resources you need and the key challenges you will face.

Bit on the side

An online training course should not be your core business.

It should be your bit on the side.

My wise father told me he used to buy old property and modernise it in the evenings and weeks but he never gave up his day job.

“When the side job income exceeds the day job income, then and only then should you consider quitting your day job”.

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Find A Need, Fill A Need

The online training courses I created and sold arose out of the website we were building for existing clients.

The first training course I produced was a Facebook advertising course because clients wanted sales enquiries, fast, for their business.

Whilst that course is very specific in the problem it solves, generating sales leads not likes, in retrospect it’s still probably too broad a subject.

It should have been an online training course for generating sales leads for fitness instructors or generating sales leads for dental practices.

list of online training course

The next training course I created was SEO for Adobe Business Catalyst.

Again, I was doing SEO for clients and the training course is a way to communicate my expertise in that area, productise it and sell it.

Again, there are a million and one SEO experts; there are probably hundreds of SEO courses, but very few SEO training courses specifically for the Business Catalyst platform.

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Homework & Research

You can do keyword research, and I’ve outline here how to do keyword research for an online training course, but keyword research won’t tell you the need or problem people have.

You can do Reddit Keyword Research.

Reddit Keyword Research will tell you how many searches a month for a search term and give you links to subreddits for you to discover the context in which people are talking about that keyword.

For example, people were talking about ‘html and css” on Reddit.

I previously ignored this search term until I delved into Reddit only to find marketers were talking about how these html and css skills would further their careers.

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Main Ingredient: How To

I have done keyword research and discovered how many searches there are each month for banana bread recipes each month.

The keyword research and idea is only half the battle.

The other half is actually creating a course or recipe that includes a “how to” element.

People want to learn.

People want to do it themselves.

If your training course includes step-by-step instructions and the ingredients, then you increase your chances of success.

Type of training course to avoid creating

The absolutely worst types of online training courses are the one where the presenter talks over slides.

You will see training courses such as ‘How to Create a Unique Selling Point’ where brand or business people talk over slides.

The key to a great online training course is watching the presenter do something and then you copy them and you do it yourself.

Look at the main searches on Google or YouTube; they all start with “How to.”

People want to learn.

Serve them the “How To “element in the creation of your training course content.

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Course Storyboard

Movie producers have storyboards made before they start filming a movie.

They know exactly what they are going to produce before they invest time and money in filming.

Write down a list of all the areas you want to demonstrate.

Here’s an outline of my Subscriber Boxes Training Course

outline of online training course chapters

Notice the duration of each video; ideally each video should be kept 2-5 minutes in order to keep the users’ attention.

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Training course tools for filming & editing

I must have spent 40 hours watching YouTube videos learning about filming videos.


I have the iPhone 7 Plus and the phone is OK for filming yourself; even with the rear facing camera.

Rhodes Octopus tripod

I was a bit of a cheap skate and purchased the Rhodes Octopus tripod from Amazon.

After 2 weeks the legs on the tripod broke.

Yes, I bent those legs a lot and even used the tripod to watch Netflix in bed at night.

Thankfully I got a free replacement.

Next time, I will purchase the Joby GorillaPod for the iPhone.

Commlite Comiray mini led light

Natural light in Scotland in February and March is not great.

So I took the advice of a YouTuber and purchased a mini led light.

Man this this light is bright.

What’s cool about it is that you can attach it above the iPhone whilst the phone is attached to the tripod.

Write out my scripts on Google Docs

The next step was to prepare what to say in my videos.

I wrote out my words on Google Docs and I was going to print out on A4 paper with the words in a large font size.

Then I was going to place the A4 on top of a mirror behind the camera and read from there.

I did a test video and my video looked awful.

iPhone Teleprompter app

So I found this app called Teleprompter that enables you to import your script, record and read your script looking into the phone’s camera.

You can control the brightest and exposure by pressing the AE button.

I had to experiment a little with the brightness of the led light and the light coming into my room.

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Use rear facing camera

This app forces you to look into the camera lens instead of the screen; which again increases the professionalism of your video.

Put tripod on a table

  • I put my iPhone and tripod on a table about 6 feet away from me.
  • I made sure I had some space behind me and the wall.
  • The top of the camera was just below my eye line.
  • I aimed to show my body from my rib cage at the foot of the screen to the my top of head just below the top of the screen.
  • I had natural light in front of me coming from a window facing me.
  • Another tip I received was to look at the camera you should be on right hand side of screen.
  • Then look to the left where teleprompter text appeared on the screen.

Use Camtasia to edit videos

The Mac version of Camtasia is around $99 and the latest version includes some animations and slide designs for your course chapter graphics.

Once I had filmed my videos, I connected my iPhone to my Mac and imported the videos.

There’s an import option and you import the videos from the camera roll.

For a new project, you import the videos onto a timeline and then set the project size to either 1920 x 1080 or 1280 x 720.

I edited the start and end points of the videos and sometimes I will add in an opening and closing slide.

I can add in nice little transitions too.

And I highly recommended adding subtitles to your videos.

This feature is built into Camtasia.

Since you already have the video text script, you just copy and paste and then adjust the appearance of the text on your timeline.

For a 60 second video it will take 3 or 4 minutes of editing time.

Video Size for for course videos, YouTube and LinkedIn

For course videos and uploading videos to Teachable, YouTube and LinkedIn use the 1920 x 1080 or 1280 x 720 size.

Share videos on Facebook and Instagram

If you want to make little promotional videos under the 60 seconds in duration, you would save the original video under a new file name.

Then alter to 800 x 800 for sharing on Facebook and Instagram.

What’s really cool is that the subtitles will adjust to suit the screen size.

You will have to adjust your video to suit the screen and any slides you add.

When you are ready, select Command + E to export.

For Instagram you will then need to use AirDrop to get your video back to your phone to add to the Instagram App.

Instagram Stories

You can make a further copy of your project if you want to make Instagram Story videos.

The video dimensions are 500 x 889 for Instagram stories.

Again adjust the video to suit the dimensions, save and export.

For Instagram you will then need to use AirDrop to get your video back to your phone to add to the Instagram App.


Next I will invest in a microphone as iPhone sound deteriorates the further away from the phone.

Next time I film

I found it very difficult at home to find a good filming location.

I just watched this video and I love the white background, the table with the Mac on it; very professional looking.

But, hey, video production is a learning curve and I’ll improve and invest over time.

Create PDFs or Supporting Guides

Sometimes there are PDF’s or excel spreadsheets to support the videos.

PDFs are created in Word and saved as PDF.

How long did it take to create the content for the course?

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Teachable training course platform

I tried GumroadRainmakerKajabi and even the Adobe Business Catalyst platform to build a bespoke online training course solution.

But the functionality I required was found in Teachable.com that had the following key features.

  • The hosting and CMS provided
  • Sell multiple courses
  • Sell under my domain
  • Use PayPal or Stripe as payment method
  • Easy to upload videos and attachments and move them around
  • Quiz and question functionality
  • Blog functionality
  • Email marketing
  • Send out course chapters in a drip feed manner every number of days.
  • Pricing in multiple currencies
  • Offer course bundles – buy this one, get that one
  • Offer Codes – single use and multiple uses
  • Multi level pricing for one product

The only downfall to Teachable is that they hold onto funds for 30 days on lower price plans.

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You see most teaser trailers for movies 6-9 months before the movie comes to the theatre.

Rogue One (A Star Wars Story) released the teaser trailer in April 2016 for the cinema launch in December 2016.

pre promote online training course with youtube trailer

I use Teachable.com for my training courses and you can set up a landing page up or coming soon page to collect email address and “pre-sell” your course.

You might have existing customers or you could run a small Facebook advertising campaign to get people to opt in and be notified when your course launches.

In our banana bread recipe example, we can easily target fitness freaks on Facebook advertising, serve them a page and form to opt-in.

I ran a guest post on the Adobe Business Catalyst website, got 160 people to opt-in .

Then, and only when I had what I regarded as prospects, do I take the plunge and create my SEO course.

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Selling training courses

I had a prospect list from my guest post and a customer list that I could email market to when I launched the training course.

No one purchased immediately at full price.

So I ran a promotional code every month with an end of month offer.

I started with 25% off then each month I reduced the discount amount by 5% to ensure my original buyers were not disenfranchised.

discount code for online training course

I emailed prospects every week with helpful content about the course.

I opened up a chapter free of charge to the course each week.

Cross Selling with a Free Course

I have the ability to create free courses at Teachable.

So I have created a number of free course.

A free course entices a user to opt-in.

I get their email address; they get a free course.

Then I can begin email marketing and cross sell my premium courses.

Use Facebook Advertising

You will have to use Facebook advertising at some point to reach new prospects and customers.

No business will ever succeed without advertising.

  • I would recommend using the Facebook video advertising format.
  • Use a teaser trailer
  • Give them a free trial or free chapter
  • Use email marketing to cross sell your premium paid for courses.
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Writers block and challenges

Here’s a list of key challenges you will face creating your online training courses.

a. You will send too much time on design, production and editing and not enough time marketing; 80% of time marketing, 20% creation and production.

b. You will try to perfect your course; if the course solves a problem with ‘how to’s’ then you good to launch the course.

c. You will feel like a fraud; don’t worry that’s natural; if you found and filled a need you are a hero.

d. I prefer to call writer’s block resistance; this is an unknown force that will put every obstacle and excuse in your way to stop you from finishing your course.

Resistance hates you finishing anything and it will strike you right at the very end of your project.

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Here’s an extract from John Grant’s The Marketing Manifesto that he wrote and published in 1999.

A journalist once asked me to complete the series ‘Designer 80s, Caring Sharing 90’s …’. My answer was the knowledge noughties’.

I believe that education on an unprecedented scale will be a key feature of the decade to come.

Partly for the very simple economic reason that in the service and knowledge industries (i.e.: 70% of all jobs” you need to learn in order to service).

That book had a big impact on me and it’s probably the reason why, today, I have ended up creating and selling my own online training courses.

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