How to See the Value in What You Have to Teach and the Fable of “I’m Only Self Taught”5 minute read
We’ve seen some online course creators battle doubt and worry that they aren’t qualified to teach others. These feelings might be a result of being “only” self taught or simply a result of having not yet reached some ideal, ultimate goal of aiming to be at the absolute peak in all aspects of a given field.
This internal feeling of being “found out” or exposed as a fraud for being under qualified is called imposter syndrome. It is extremely common for entrepreneurs and creatives to suffer from imposter syndrome.
Below we share a few reasons why that doubt can be discarded, and why your knowledge is valuable to others, even though you might not have all the answers yet, and whether or not you were self taught.
Why assume that being self taught is worse that learning directly from a teacher? By being self taught you choose what to learn, rather than potentially being limited by what the teacher teaches. With self training, you can learn exactly what is relevant to the specific goals that you wish to accomplish. If your online course can facilitate a result that matches the goal of your students, then students will consider your program a success. When you can confidently communicate that your online course can provide the result that potential students are looking for, it doesn’t matter to your potential students that you were self taught or not. If your specific knowledge (self taught or not), matches the knowledge your students need to reach the same result, then providing anything extra might end up only serving to slow down the process for students.
In fact, we’d have you consider that in order to teach someone, you only need to be a single step ahead of them. If you are too far ahead then you might be too disconnected from the position the student is at now, and consequently it might be harder to teach them. Being only one or two steps ahead of the people you are teaching, means that you still remember all of the common pitfalls and nuances you learned that got you to where you are at now. This grants the ability to provide concrete and immediate answers to your students. People in the position of being one or two steps behind where you are the ideal customers for your online course. You might have heard some course creators and coaches refer to these people as your “tribe”.
If you are teaching others from experience, you have the ability to teach the exact steps to get there. Knowing all of the theory behind it doesn’t matter; in practice that extra information isn’t necessarily helpful when what your students need is the steps to follow to get the results they are after. If you ever feel doubt around this, remember your students only care about the result they get. Saturation in mastery of theory is a traditional academic approach and serves to be broad in teaching without aiming to a specific goal. We believe a more modern approach towards teaching around specific results is both the best way to teach and the easiest way to sell your online course. (See our post on why building your online course around a result is important)
There is an Audience Searching to Buy an Online Course Taught from Your Unique Perspective
Everyone has a unique perspective in what they know, and unique value they can provide. Your personality and your position is unique and there is an audience out there that is looking for someone exactly like you. Be genuine, be yourself, speak your mind, and you will attract your tribe.
Selling on the internet might seem difficult if you haven’t sold anything online in the past, but consider this: Instead of having to rely on selling your online course or coaching to those in your local town or city, you can reach and sell to anyone in the world. The potential market is massive. More importantly though, this means that you should never worry about fighting for a sale for the following reasons: there are more than enough people out there who already want exactly what you have, who are ready to take action, and who are ready to pay someone to help them. A common pitfall is that online course creators think they need to serve everyone. In reality, trying to serve everyone is not a good approach to take if you want to succeed. Speaking specifically to those who would be considered your tribe is the best thing an online course creator can do. When you find someone who acts as if they want to buy from you, but is asking for something different than what you provide, it is important to realize that they aren’t your ideal customer. It isn’t worth the effort and wouldn’t be serving your ideal customer to try to shift yourself to please that one individual. This person might have gotten your hopes up when the engagement started, but realize they weren’t meant to be your customer, and know that you haven’t failed because of one lost online course sale.
To summarize, a few points to remember:
- Your students only care about the result
- Don’t worry about not knowing everything
- Embrace imperfection
- Don’t worry about having not taught before
- Share your authentic and unique story of how you got to where you are
- Share failures and topics that you got stuck on and how you overcame them
- Focus in on your ideal customer and serve them best, not worrying about pleasing everyone
Education is changing. Degrees and accreditations don’t mean what they used to. Our product was built and founded by people who don’t have college degrees, yet we’ve been in business for over 10 years without taking on investors. As a mentor creating an online course with Heights Platform, you are making an impact in shaping education. If you are a victim of the voice in your head saying that you can’t do it, don’t let negative thoughts and impostor syndrome hold you back from your potential. Online course creators just like you are succeeding, and you can too.
If you ask yourself why wouldn’t what you have to teach be valuable to others, and the only answer is because you are self taught, or because there are people who know more than you, well then in our eyes those aren’t very good excuses. So get out there, keep building your online course and start making an impact by spreading knowledge!Create Your Online Course Today