My sandbox project is coming along. When I began the RWMBA project at the start of the year, I knew right away that in order to stay engaged and feel the benefit of hours of study, I needed to make an online course for passive income. I am calling this my “sandbox” project.
However, between the last time I posted and now, a lot has occurred!
I am an account manager at a strategy agency, and sometimes projects roll in that take all my time. Even if it’s just a normal day, that’s a full day of mental engagement and problem solving, and then I hit the gym, and I have nothing left in the tank after. This is one of my weaknesses, and I fall prey to thinking I can wake up earlier the next day to get caught up on things I don’t do in the evening. More often than not I don’t, and then I feel bad about it all week. A week turns into a month, and here we are.However, I have definitely been building something BASED on LWA, even if I haven’t posted about it yet. I started to learn how to make an online course for passive income, and I am days away from executing on my vision.
I have been building a program called “Your Job In Japan,” which is a course that leverages my experience working as a recruiter in HR at Hitachi Automotive Systems in Tokyo, and is aimed at teaching people how to get their job in Japan. I chose this topic because: 1) I’m an expert of sorts and can talk about it for hours. 2) It’s super niche, and though there is info out there around it, nobody has a definitive guide that takes users from beginning to end. 3) The end result makes people money! If I can help people get a job in Japan, I am helping them make a salary, and that helps me justify charging a price for the course.
At the end of the day, I really needed it to be something I felt good selling. If you don't believe in your product, how can you expect someone else to?
I have done physical products before. They're fun, but they require a lot of active input: packaging, runs to the post office (until you can scale to automated shipping), holding inventory, dealing with returns, lost packages... I've seen and done it all, and until I have the time to devote to it, it's not something I can start right now.
I decided to make an course for passive income because it had fewer of these issues (in theory). Who knows, I could be totally wrong and this ends up sucking days of my life up just to make it work, but I feel pretty optimistic. Not to mention, the process is teaching me a lot of things I didn't know about creating paid members areas on WordPress, course design, etc.
The first thing I did when I decided to make an online course for passive income was to research my target audience. Browsing forums like reddit.com/r/japanlife and various comments on “work in Japan” type Facebook groups, I got the sense that lots of people generally think they want to work in Japan but they can’t articulate why and they don’t know how.Well hmm. How can I capture some of this audience right away before the course was ready and use their input to shape the direction of the course? I made a Facebook group! It’s nothing crazy, but I threw about $80 at 2 separate ad runs targeted first at Nepal and the Philippines (to get some social validation on the ad), and then at Americans who study Japanese. The difference in acquisition cost was crazy, with my American leads costing upwards of 1000% more than Nepal or the Philippines.
Next, I knew that to make an online course for passive income, the passive part was very important, so I needed to set up my funnel. I began establishing authority in my niche within the group and built up a good active user base who cared what I had to say. I began dropping hints that I was developing a program to help them get a job in Japan and linked over to my site yourjobinjapan.com.
Then I used Fiverr.com to pick up a reasonable ($60) 45 second explainer video that could help convert visitors into waiting list email sign ups! (The logo was designed by my buddy Benji from atlaskane.com over about 30 minutes in my living room)
Pretty decent for $60, right?
Currently, my course is set to go live in less than 2 days, so I am feverishly making course content.
Yeah, I let that part of the equation slip.
I'm not super comfortable on camera, so I kept putting off the actual lesson filming until it was crunch time. Now I'm holed up in my apartment all weekend feverishly putting out videos and written course content, and also trying to tie it all neatly into an organized package that students can access for a reasonable price.
My plan is to release for less than my target price, and build it up over the next few months. My target price (after looking at how to price online courses) is about $97 for the mid term, and I would ideally like to build it up until I think I could charge $197 for it. Maybe I will have a couple tiers. But for now, I will release at $47 just to get some traction and see if it sells. Users who pay the $47 will get lifetime access to all improved versions of course material, so it's a pretty good deal.
The choice to make an online course for passive income came after months of banging my head against a wall, trying to decide on what my sandbox project should be. This is step one of the actualization of things I have learned in the Real World MBA, and I hope you get some value out of this. I will post updates over the next weeks once my course goes live and discuss things like video production, marketing strategy, and actual results.
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