When it comes to building out your online course, the thought of creating content can be pretty daunting.

There are many obstacles that get in the way of getting it done and the biggest obstacle we hear is the doubt that you can create the content.  “I do not have the time to create content.” OR “I do not have the budget to produce videos.” OR “I might not get the ROI on my content.”  Content experts are very busy individuals.  Most of the time you are booked solid with speaking opportunities, in person trainings or workshops on your expertise.  After all that is what brings in the revenue month after month.

But if you want to diversify and create that additional revenue stream that will provide you with more time to do things, more flexibility in your business and more money to change the way you do things, then you need to see if the online course option is going to work for you.

There are a bunch of different ways to create content for your online course that will not break the bank. In fact, some cost nothing at all, keeping your initial investment on this endeavor pretty minimal.

Here are a few to consider:

DIY with Smartphone – The video camera on the smartphone nowadays is just as good, if not better, than some expensive DLR video cameras.  Leverage the tools you have to construct an in home studio, to capture some great footage on your smartphone camera.  Use a simple tripod to hold your camera steady and straight, setup a chair or desk near a big window to get the natural light shining on you, and maybe a plug in microphone to minimize background noise and direct the audio at you.  You can acquire this equipment on Amazon or B&H for under $100.

Record a Session via Zoom – There are lots of “screen share” software programs that let you hold meetings and have a live session.  One software in particular lets you share 2-way video between you and your meeting participants, in addition to screen sharing capabilities.  The software is called Zoom.  The cool thing is, it lets you record the meeting when you are done and it sends it to you in MP4 format.  This is a great way to create training content.  We’ve had clients capture one-way video of just them talking into the camera, two-way interview/role play videos on a particular topic, and even screen simulations detailing a complicated software product.  All you do is click a button for record, and it does the rest.  The software costs about $9 per month.

Barter with a Client – This is a popular option I have seen recently.  With more and more clients having onsite video capabilities, the opportunity to have a client record and produce the content for you is more feasible than you think.  We have a number of clients go this route, with mixed results.  These clients are not a creative production studio, so you are likely not going to get anything too creative or studio quality, but if your expectations are aligned with what you are getting, it is a nice way to get proof of concept videos for your course at little or no cost.

Take a look at your corporate client list and think about which one might have the capacity to record and produce your content.  The idea here is to offer to speak or train a group of their users at their office or headquarters for no cost.  In exchange for that gracious offer, you ask that they record and produce your session so you can turn it into an online course.  Most of the time, they will jump at the offer because they know it would cost them 5k to 10k to have you come meet with them in person.  And you know, depending on how long and how many videos, it could cost anywhere between 5k – 10k to produce your content.  It is a win win.

A lot of times, these clever ways to create content are great for a proof of concept course offering, making sure clients will like the digital content and want to consume it.  It’s worth the time and effort to build your online offering to diversify your business and free up your time for better things. These clever ways will help you get started without breaking the bank.



Author: Peter Getchell

Peter joined Knowledgelink in 2005 with more than eight years of experience in client services and sales. He currently is a member of the executive team and spearheads all business development initiatives for Knowledgelink. As a long time Boston and Phillies sports fan, Peter catches a lot of slack from the New York faithfuls. Peter now resides in Connecticut with his wife and two beautiful daughters.