How to Create a Mini-Course [and Why You Should]6 minute read
Do you want to create an online course, but you are not sure if anyone will buy it?
What if there was a way to test the validity of your course idea, without having to put in hundreds of hours of work?
If you read our blog, you know there are a couple of ways to validate your course idea before launching, including pre-selling an online course.
But today, we will share another way: creating a mini course!
If you have heard the term "mini-course" or "short online course", but you are not sure what these products look like or how to create one, keep reading below. In this article, you will learn what an online mini-course is, how to create your own mini-course, and why you should do it.
What is a mini-course?
As the name suggests, a mini course is simply a short course. The content in a mini-course can be consumed quickly by the students, and typically, mini-courses help people reach a very specific result in a short amount of time.
Compared to a full course, a mini course is much more concise and helps students learn a new skill in a few hours (much quicker than a regular online course).
What are the benefits of mini-courses?
There are so many reasons why online course creators should try building a mini course. These benefits apply to both creators and students. Let's see them below:
Easier and faster to produce
Since a mini course is shorter and less complex than a complete course, it is much easier to build from the creator's perspective. Keep in mind that mini-courses should focus on helping students reach a small goal or learn a new quick skill. This means that the content should also be quick and to the point.
Mini-courses also require a smaller monetary investment (if any) from the creator!
Great for validating your online course idea
One of the main benefits of mini-courses is that you get to test if your idea will be profitable without investing a huge amount of time and money in the production of your course.
When you create a mini course, you can validate your idea by seeing how many students enroll in the course and gathering their feedback.
Can help you collect new leads
Mini-courses are incredibly versatile and can be used as lead magnets. A lead magnet is a digital product you offer with the goal of collecting new "leads" (potential customers among your target audience) and gathering their information, such as name and email address.
Check out this article from our blog to learn more about lead magnets: How to Create a Great Lead Magnet That Converts to Promote Your Online Course
Offering a mini-course as a lead magnet is a great idea, as it is much more engaging and action-packed than the more classic PDFs or eBooks.
Creates an additional revenue stream
Depending on how you decide to use the mini-course, it has the potential to create an additional revenue stream for your online business.
We will go into pricing a mini-course later in the article. If you decide to offer it as a lead magnet, chances are that its price is very low or even free. You can also offer a mini-course as an order bump or upsell when someone enrolls in your flagship course (we will go into more detail about this later).
Even if the price of the mini-course is low, it still has the potential to create an additional leveraged income stream.
Students learn a new skill quickly
People love mini-courses as they are easy to digest and a way to learn a new skill quickly and inexpensively.
By offering this opportunity to your online audience, you are also showing off your teaching skills and giving them a taste of what they could achieve by purchasing your flagship online courses.
Higher student engagement
As a mini course gets students to a result very quickly, it has the potential to be highly engaging.
When it comes to online course creation, you know about the importance of producing engaging content. Check out this article from our blog to learn more about this: 9 Proven Ways to Increase Student Engagement and Completion Rate in your Online Course
How long is a mini-course?
No rule dictates how long your online mini-course should be. However, most mini-courses do not take more than a couple of hours for the learner to complete.
To create a mini-course, try to keep it as short as possible, also in terms of the number of modules, lessons and video content included in the course. Your goal is to bring students from point A to B in the fastest way possible and teach them a new skill very quickly.
How much should a mini course cost?
Pricing a mini-course is very different from choosing the price of a full course.
The best way to come up with the right price for your mini-course is by defining its goal. What do you want to achieve with this mini-course?
Typically creators use mini-courses as a way to validate their ideas for future online courses, collect new leads, offer upsells or simply spread the word about their online course business.
If you have the same goals, then you should consider offering your mini-course at a low price.
We generally advise creators to price their online courses high and target a premium price; however, mini-courses are different. You are not trying to make money with a mini-course.
Especially if you use an online mini-course as a way to validate your idea, you should aim at enrolling as many students as you can and collecting feedback from them. The more students, the more accurate their feedback will be.
That said, a high price has its benefits: students are more motivated to engage with the course content if they paid a lot of money for it, and - of course - you get higher profit margins.
Check out this article from our blog to learn more about how to price an online course: Ultimate Guide to Pricing Your Online Course (With Earnings Calculator)
Tips for creating mini-courses
As we already established, creating an online mini-course is different from building a full-length course or a classic online course. Let's see what some things you need to keep in mind during your mini-course creation process.
#1: Choose an actionable mini-course topic
Mini-courses work best when they help your target audience achieve a very specific action or learn a precise skill. Generally speaking, the result of a mini-course should be something that can be achieved pretty easily by the student.
Steer away from complex topics and try to center your mini-course around a feasible result that can actually be reached in a short period of time.
Great mini-course examples help students with actionable results:
"Master the Cobra Pose in yoga"
"Learn one song on the guitar"
"Cook homemade pizza"
"Set up your lead magnet"
"Build a one-page website"
"3-day makeup challenge"
All the mini-course examples above focus on one very specific result that can be thought in a short period of time.
#2: Use the mini-course as a lead magnet
Another tip is to use your online mini-course as a lead magnet. A lead magnet is an item that is given away for free with the purpose of collecting new prospects' contact details for future promotions. The most common lead magnets you probably see on the web are PDFs, eBooks, and worksheets.
Another popular lead magnet idea is offering a free (or inexpensive) mini-course in exchange for email addresses.
This works great as it offers a higher perceived value than a PDF and lets your prospects get a sneak peek of your teaching style.
#3: Create a mini course in the form of a challenge
The idea of "online challenges" is widely popular among course creators. You have probably already heard about online businesses offering courses like a "7-Day Challenge".
Online challenges are highly engaging for students, as new lessons are released daily or on a set schedule. They are also an excellent way to collect new leads, build your email list and upsell other products on your site.
So you could even build a challenge and use it as a lead magnet! Learn more about this here: How to Run an Online Challenge as a Lead Magnet to Increase Online Course Sales
What is the difference between a mini-course and a challenge?
A mini-course is simply a classic online course but shorter. A challenge is a completely different educational product. Challenges are time-based online courses: this means that students who enroll in a challenge all go through the content at the same time, and start on the same day. The lessons are pre-recorded, as in a traditional online course, but they are released on a timely schedule.
Learn more about challenges here:
- Introducing Challenges in Heights Platform: (How to Increase Engagement and Boost Online Course Sales)
- Build a Community in Your Online Course Running Challenges
Challenges are an excellent format for mini-courses, as they are highly engaging and usually work best with short-time learning.
#4: Use the mini-course as an order bump
An online mini-course can also make an excellent order bump!
An order bump is an upsell displayed on the checkout page. Order bumps are a way to increase the customers' order value and offer an impulse buy at checkout.
You can potentially use your mini-course as an order bump to your online audience, to offer when customers purchase one of your other products.
#5: Re-use your flagship course content
Building your online mini-course doesn't have to be difficult. You can even reuse part of the content of your own online course. Maybe your mini course is simply a module taken from your full-length course.
As long as the content in your mini-course helps students achieve a specific result, you can repurpose it!
How to create mini-courses in Heights Platform
So how do you actually create a mini-course?
You need an online course platform like Heights Platform. You can create any type of online course on Heights, and you can get creative on the product you build! Heights lets you create online courses, mini-courses, challenges, and membership sites, sell digital products and more.
You can also create an online community and build every aspect of your own business using Heights (design web pages, build a blog, start your own affiliate program...). Start creating online courses today with just a few clicks!Create Your Online Course Today