Thanks to the popularity of online courses, therapists have an unprecedented opportunity to share their expertise with the world. The global e-learning industry is projected to be worth $325 billion by 2025. While it takes an initial investment of time and energy to create an online course, the maintenance is minimal and the earning potential is nearly unlimited! Where to begin? Follow our 7-step guide to creating a successful, informative online course.

Specify your target audience

Sure, you want your online course to reach the widest audience possible, but you’ll have more success if you narrow your focus. Rather than being mildly helpful to a broad range of people, aim to be extremely helpful to a specific niche. For example, instead of creating a course about anxiety, tailor it to a specific phobia or type of anxiety. And don’t forget that healthcare professionals, students, and other therapists are also potential consumers for your online course!

Conduct market research

You don’t want to spend hours creating an online course only to discover that the market is already flooded with similar courses, or worse, there is no demand for the product you are trying to sell! Take some time to research your competitors, what they are offering, and how much they charge. Make customer development calls to find the pain the market has. When you have a couple of possible topics, run your ideas by colleagues to confirm that there is both a need for and interest in your course.

Choose a topic

Once you’ve identified your target audience, brainstorm potential topics for your course. Think about the subjects most likely to interest your target audience. What problems do they have that you can help them to solve? Choose an approach with an established “proof of concept,” meaning you have used it successfully with a number of your own clients. And come up with a catchy title using SEO keywords and power words.

Choose a platform

There are a variety of platforms available to host your online course; which one is best for you will depend on your preference, level of technical skill, and budget. Some of the most popular are Teachable, Thinkific, Udemy, and Kajabi. Look for features like free trials, ready-made templates, integrated marketing, and built-in payment processing.

Outline and create your content

Now that you’ve selected a platform, you can start creating your course content. Make sure to include interactive elements like quizzes, discussion forums, or live Q & A’s. Eye-catching graphics are a must, as is an organizational structure that is easy to follow. One format that tends to work for online courses is individual modules, each with an informative video, summary of content, worksheets, and suggestions for additional resources.

Beta test

At this point, you are probably eager to share your finished product with the general public. However, there are a variety of reasons to hold off before launching your course. Beta testing will help you to verify that your course is bug-free and user-friendly, so invite a group of colleagues or other volunteers to download your course and give feedback. This will also help you to create “buzz” around your new course, increasing interest and broadening your customer pool.

Market your course

The only thing left to do now is market your course! In addition to using the usual outlets like social media and newsletters, you might want to consider paying a consultant. Your usual marketing techniques might work to maintain a 30-40 person caseload, but you’ll want to aim higher than that if you want the best return on your investment. You can also consider offering potential customers a free trial or access to limited course content to generate interest and build a following.


Online courses are a great way for therapists to share their expertise with a wider audience while earning some additional income. If you are looking to diversify your services, develop a new skill set, and establish yourself as a thought leader in your treatment niche, consider creating an online course! You can then modify your course for different populations or update it with new content to keep your learners connected and engaged.

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