Virtual and in-person webinars have been a staple in the financial education space for decades. This is because both webinars and courses allow creators to scale their impact and business. Instead of helping people on a one-to-one basis, a webinar can give you the ability to reach dozens of people at once without geographic limitations. But at the height of the pandemic in 2020 the entire world was forced to shift to an online format. Not just webinars, but even weddings and baby showers were carried out online.
If you are considering launching a new webinar or course you might be curious about the benefits and whether the market is too saturated with courses. Below we will discuss both topics and provide a few tips if you decide to launch a new webinar or course.
Benefits of Webinars and Courses
First, let’s define the difference between a webinar and a course. Generally, a webinar refers to an overview of a broad range of topics usually in 90 minutes or less. These are meant to raise awareness, educate, and spark action for attendees.
A course is more focused on a specific set of skills or topics. Those who sign up for a course have the expectation of finishing with a new skill that they can apply in the real world.
There are three major benefits to webinars and courses:
- Low Overhead Costs
While this medium may not be a fit for everyone, it is difficult to find an avenue that can check each of these boxes, especially in an environment where audiences are paying more attention to video versus blogs and books. Webinars, depending on size, can be hosted for free through a number of programs including live screen sharing through your own social channels. You can also host a course on a platform like Thinkific or Teachable for $50 or less in most cases.
What About Saturation?
The demand for online education has grown significantly and consistently over the last several years. Coursera, an online course website, saw 21 million students register for an online course. By the end of 2021, this figure rose to 92 million according to the World Economic Forum.
Naturally, seeing a nearly 5-fold increase in demand would lead one to believe that the market is too saturated but there are a few things that you should keep in mind. While the growth of online courses and webinars has exploded, your unique niche can help set you apart. There may be thousands of people who can talk about credit cards but within that broad category are special topics and categories where you can deliver value without getting drowned out.
A few quick examples could include:
- How to Find the Best Travel Rewards Cards
- Understand Your Card’s Hidden Rewards
- How to Find the Perfect Credit Card for Business Owners
All three examples are about credit cards but they address different interests and audiences; this helps avoid saturation and allows you to provide a viewpoint that may be overlooked.
How to Articulate Your Value
The benefits of having a course are completely nullified if you cannot accurately describe the value you provide. Your unique value is the thing that will draw students in, drive referrals, and ultimately revenue.
Start by taking an inventory of your personal origin story. How did you arrive at this point and what skills did it provide? How did that experience help you to teach this topic?
For me, my unique value is that I started as a teacher before becoming a financial advisor. I took what I learned on Wall Street managing $140M and give those lessons to my students in a way they can understand and apply.
The statement above does a few things:
1) It separates me from the pack. There aren’t that many people who’ve worked as a teacher and as an advisor.
2) It shows that I can deliver a quality lesson since that was my profession at one point.
3) It addresses a major pain point. My audience caters to new investors and learning to understand the stock market has been a major concern.
Having a good value statement can help you find the right audience for your message while building trust and authority.
Both webinars and courses can be beneficial to your audience however, they are not tools that should be applied blindly. Consider co-creating a webinar by taking a sampling of your audience’s biggest needs, questions, and objections and addressing them with your webinar. This ensures that the content will be relevant and that you’re using your time and resources effectively.