Tech Savvy Creatives

#008 Tech Tools for Online Course Creation

September 03, 2021 Kylie Ross Season 2 Episode 8
Tech Savvy Creatives
#008 Tech Tools for Online Course Creation
Show Notes Transcript

This episode I discuss the Tech Tools for Online Course Creation.

There are phases you go through to create an online course, and various tech needed during these phases to help streamline and automate your content creation process:

  1. Outline your Course
  2. Draft the Course Content
  3. Create and Edit Course Content
  4. Upload to an Online Platform
  5. Record Sales, Give Access To Students
  6. Review,  Edit, Re-Use snippets for Social Media and Advertising


Tech Savvy Business Academy


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Intro Snippet

[00:00:00] You've got all these different sections and modules to your course, and you've got all these pieces of the puzzle. I want to be there to help you, to give you all the information and give you value to actually take all the frustration out of your business to get you tech, savvy and tech confident!

Podcast Into

[00:00:17] Hey there I'm Kylie Ross, and welcome to the Tech Savvy Creatives Podcast. Now, if you're any type of Content Creator, Entrepreneur, Small Business Owner, Blogger, Writer. If you're creating any type of content, you're in the right place. Now, today, what I want to talk about is the tech tools that are useful in planning and executing, that is creating, an online course.

This Podcast Episode

[00:00:48] So creating an online course, I've created a few of them now over the Ooh, six years, and I've used different platforms and different methods of collating all the information together. So I've learned quite a few tips and tricks along the way.

[00:01:02] So I'm going to share a few of those with you today, because it's not something that everyone thinks about going forward, and you need to think about the end game and where you want to end up, and make your life easier to get there. So when we're doing any type of online course, obviously you need to start with the planning and drafting of what you're going to include in this course.

[00:01:27] You can just use pen and paper. Absolutely. You can use a Google doc or a word document anywhere that you can record that information, but it's not very useful to you if it's in a file somewhere. Because you've got to manage the whole process. So you need to know. Okay. For each lesson or for each module, each section, whatever you're going to call it.

[00:01:51] What are you going to include in it? Are you going to have a video? Are you going to have texts? Do you need to transcribe it? Do you need to add captions? Are you going to create a checklist or a guide or some kind of workbook? Are you going to create it all into an ebook at the end of the day? Now all of these things need to be managed and if you like to batch them together, then you need to have the list and all the bits and an easy way to manage it all. In a document is not a useful way to manage it. It's very hard going. You don't want to then print it out and tick it off because it's, it's harder to manage that way and then you've got to mark it on your calendar and block out time, and when am I going to do what. There's a lot of manual, fiddly busy work.

[00:02:35] So what I would recommend is using a project management app to design and draft your course, because you can change it as and when you want, you can move and drag and drop items around, into different orders really easily and all of the bits, all of the collateral, all the sub-tasks that go under that will move easily as well. Trust me, it will make your life so much easier. Now, what I'm talking about when I'm talking about a project management app is something, like ClickUp, which is my personal favorite. I've been using it for the last six months and I've tested a lot of them out so it's, it's one of my preferences for value for money and all the bits that it does. But equally you can also use a tool like Asana,, Notion. There's a raft of other ones out there.

[00:03:23] You can also use Trello. I don't find it quite as easy to manage all the bits and pieces, the way that I like to visually look at it. But Trello has all its boards and its checklist, which captures all the same information. So it is also a good option as well. Now you can also use something like project software like Microsoft project. I just, I moved away from it and I, I come from a background as an it consultant and I've used, you know, Microsoft project for donkey's years, but it's a file that's stored somewhere. Whereas if you're using a project management tool, it's a web app or a on your tablet or on your smartphone, it's not an individual file, it's in the cloud. It's an app that you can use and you can use it anywhere any time. And you can use it for multiple purposes at one thing. So it's not just a file for that project, just that online course. You can have all your your personal to-do's is in it. You can have how to run the rest of your business.

[00:04:23] Are you also doing a podcast? Do you need social media content? Do you need to call back a client? Have you got client work to do? There's all the things and project management software offers you a more efficient way of running your business and looking at it. So why you wouldn't use it for also detailing down your online course is beyond me, but you know, again, one size does not suit all people. So one app does not suit all people. However, I would recommend that you do look at project management apps to do all the drafting. Now, as you go through this, you, then you've drafted it. You've got all the bits and you've said, okay, I'm going to create an online course.

[00:05:01] Now I'm going to get into the meat and bones. So you are going to break it up into sections or modules, however you like to term it. Then you need to create the content. The content that you're going to create, you need to decide what you're going to produce.

[00:05:14] Usually these days you'll be presenting it via a video tutorial. Now, when you do that, it's also quite good practice to create a transcript of what you talked about in the video. Captions so that you can put them on for hearing impaired. And that's always quite useful, so you can broaden your audience.

[00:05:33] You can then use those transcriptions to create collateral. And what I mean by collateral is a PDF Workbook, or a checklist that your students can download and use any way they want to. They can either print them out or use them on an iPad, which is how I like to do things these days. But you don't need to reinvent the wheel and re-type everything up.

[00:05:57] If you've got the transcript, you can reuse. So some tools to keep in mind when doing all of this. Now, when you're creating a video. So you can use the camera on your, on your laptop or on your computer, on your phone, you don't have to do fancy stuff. You could go out and get a lovely camera and, and microphone, et cetera.

[00:06:20] Given the, where I work in my home office, I don't have the right sound and acoustics for having a microphone away from me. So I use the headset, which is what I use all day when I'm on online meetings and, and online calls and things. So I found that I didn't need to go and buy all this extra equipment.

[00:06:41] I can quite easily do this. Now. Obviously it doesn't look as professional and as impressive as not having them, but it suits my purpose and it works.

[00:06:51] Okay, so we've got our video. All right. Now there's a software called Descript, D E S C R I P T, and it is awesome for translating your video, yourself. So once you've got your video, you could send it off to an editor and have someone transcribe it for you.

[00:07:10] Quite often. What they'll do is run it through software like this and tidy it up. So Descript is quite user-friendly and it's quite affordable you can either pay for a monthly subscription or a yearly, and for the amount of things that I use it for, I find that really money well, well spent, I think at the moment I'm paying 20 Australian dollars a month and I use it for all my online course videos, as well as all my podcasts.

[00:07:35] So this one I'm using here today, I create a video and an audio and I transcribe it. And any tech tips, videos that I do as well, where I need a transcription, I just run it through the script. So I use it almost daily. And it's brilliant. So then you have your video, you have your transcription.

[00:07:54] Descript can also export at just the audio file, which I then use on my podcast at Buzzsprout and then I've got the video I put onto YouTube. You can also export a captions file. So I can also upload captions to anywhere that I show that video. So it puts the captions on the bottom of my video. So win win one transcription and off it goes, now the transcribing part of Descript that makes it really powerful is that it is super easy to edit your videos. You can just look at the words and go, actually, I just want to delete that whole sentence. So you just highlight the sentence and it deletes the video as well. It's really quick, really easy. And I just can't recommend it enough at the moment.

[00:08:37] So we've got Descript. Okay. So that's giving me a lot of the content and that's playing off the videos. Now you then need to create, well, you don't need to, but if you are choosing to create PDFs of workbooks, checklists anything else? The app I really recommend for that is Canva, C A N V and a lot of you have probably heard of it. It's very well known for image editing. It is also really great for creating checklists and small workbooks. I don't recommend it for a large ebook. Just because of the way you have to copy and paste the content in there, that would be quite painful to have to do that. You could. I just think it's a lot of busy work that I don't need. So I use Canva for my workbooks and checklists, and I use different software for the ebook, which I'll get to in a sec.

[00:09:29] So I've got all of this data now, where do you keep the text and all the PDFs? I recommend a cloud storage or some kind of storage. I don't recommend keeping all of this information on your actual device because videos can get quite large and you've got the raw video. Then you've got the audio, then you've got the transcription.

[00:09:54] So you're building up a lot of files, a lot of collateral for each of these courses. So I do recommend some kind of a cloud storage option and what I mean by that cloud storage and things that are in the cloud. It just means it's not on your device. Okay. It's still on a server or a computer somewhere in the world.

[00:10:15] It's just not on your device. So cloud storage is always automatically backed up. It's it's covered for disaster recovery and usually if you've got a good provider, not easily hackable. I use Microsoft one drive. I also use iCloud because I love my Mac, my apple products.

[00:10:35] So I've got iCloud and Microsoft one drive. So I've got all my files. I've got all my pieces of the puzzle. Now what you want to do then is just thinking ahead, okay. If we were just doing this and we're putting this on a website somewhere, and I'll get to that in a sec about the different options, but we've put our video, we put our transcript, we put our PDF checklists and workbooks already on a website already and downloadable. So that's one bit, okay. Now, if we don't keep that information somewhere, that's easily accessible. How do you edit it? How are you going to maintain it? How do you know what you wrote? So if you just copy and paste your transcript from descript straight onto the website, you've got nowhere that you're keeping that information for yourself.

[00:11:24] Now, thinking ahead okay. So we've copied and pasted onto Canva and we've got our workbooks and we've got our PDFs, but they're all separate PDFs. So you've got all these different sections and modules to your course, and you've got all these pieces of the puzzle. If at some stage you want to roll all of that in together and edit that into an ebook, I recommend using a software that writers use to do that because you can collate up all the different chapters, sections, whatever you want to call it, and there's usually a way to export the whole thing as one file.

[00:12:00] Then there's ways that you can format that and edit it for different purposes. Now, the software that I recommend and that I thoroughly use is Scrivener. S C R I V E N E R. Now this is one of the apps that is really popular in the writing world and for writers, but anyone can use it obviously. But people putting together a book it's very useful for, because you can add research in it, you can add images for reference, and then you've got the manuscript section that you actually used for writing.

[00:12:33] Now, Scrivener does have a lot of bells and whistles, but the benefit of it is that you can have multiple books in a file if you're world-building or writing a series, but you can also have your online course as one project file and have all of the different modules and all of the different bits of text you can put in there, links to your videos and to, you know, to all your collateral, if you want to as well.

[00:12:55] So you can find everything, but then what you do is you export your manuscript at the end of that into one file. Now it does have some formatting options they're not, I, I don't love them. It can be a little bit cumbersome and a little bit complicated to use. So I tend to export it as a word file and I use, because of a Mac lover, I use Vellum, V E L L U M, to format the book.

[00:13:23] What I found when I came to do my online courses is that putting all of that information into a book at the end of creating all that course is one reason to use the writing software. The other reason is that it's really easy to then go and find all the pieces of texts that you wrote for that course and all the links to all your images for that course and all the PDFs and what you've done for that course.

[00:13:49] It's all there in one place. I don't have to go to this file or that four file or go look up the website where I put the course or go and scroll through Canva or, you know, I don't have to go and faff about to find it. I've got everything in one place.

[00:14:03] And I can then edit it and then copy and paste that to the website or to wherever I want to go. I can then go back to Canva and tweak some words and export a new PDF and upload that. So I've got one place to maintain it all. And I can't stress that strongly enough that you maintain your collateral, yourself for you. You don't rely on it being on the internet, on a website somewhere that you have no control over. So this is only if it's not your own website, your own domain, because if someone goes out of business, you can, you know, the potential is there to lose contact. Now it doesn't happen if you're using reputable sites but you need to keep this in the back of your mind. How easy is it to maintain and edit all of this data if you don't know where your source text came from or the source video.

[00:14:51] So Scrivener is one that I use, I also use Ulysses app, U L Y S S E S app, it does the same thing as Scrivener it's just less fussy. Now to put into context, Scrivener is a desktop or a tablet like an iOS app. Ulysses is a web app so you don't put an application to a desktop, you use it live on the web.

[00:15:19] Ulysses Is useful for other purposes as well, and so is Scrivener. So if you think, if you go outside of just the online course think, well, okay, I have a blog, I have a podcast, I create social media. All of these things are text, videos and collateral images that you need to capture somewhere. Where do you do that? Where can you do it so that you can recall it easily? Now I've tried using the project management software that I manage all of this in and while it's great that it's all there and all the pieces are there. I can't export it and repurpose easily.

[00:15:58] You have to go and find that post that you wanted, and yes, you can search and find things. But I find if I use Scrivener or Ulysses, so I use Ulysses for my blog posts because I can I've got a plugin that loads it up to my website and to medium. So I don't have to copy and paste.

[00:16:15] Scrivener doesn't have that option because it is a desktop app, not at a web app. So I use Scrivener for all my online content creation and my fiction writing and non-fiction writing. Each of them has their purposes and because Ulysses app is distraction free, it's less fussy with all the commands and the bells and whistles. For what I use it for I don't need all the bells and whistles. I just need to be able to write and to go and find a blog post easily and then I can repurpose it if I need to.

[00:16:44] Whereas with my writing, I have a book series in one Scrivener file and I have my online courses. I have each course in a separate file and then I can go and find what I need quite easily and simply there.

[00:16:59] So if thinking ahead, okay, we've got our project management software, we then need to create our content. We then need to store our content so that we don't lose it and we can find it easily. Then, if you choose to want to create a book from it, you can just export all it. You just go and cherry pick the pages, the chapters, the sections that you want and create the book and you can drag and drop in different orders in Scrivener as well.

[00:17:25] You can move things around into whatever order you want it to be, you can add chapter headings, et cetera. So I thoroughly recommend you go and check that out. If your view at the end of all of this is to also produce a book simply and easily, because if you're putting all of this into a word document, no matter how good you are at typing and editing, it's going to be a long battle of editing and getting it all together and being able to find it all.

[00:17:52] But it's doable. It's just not efficient in my view of the world and, and, and how I've used all of these apps. Okay. So moving on now, we've got all our content together and we've planned it out. Where are we going to actually put it? Okay. So we've got some options. Now, if you. If you like having your own website, if you've already got your own website, WordPress is free open source software, which means you don't have to pay for the program, but all the bits and pieces that go with it, what they call plugins.

[00:18:29] So you have a plugin from learn dash for example, which has my preferred learning management system, but there's equally, there's many others out there as well. And they're all a plugin and some are free to start with. Some are paid. So it all depends on what you plug into it. Now I took a while to learn WordPress because I hadn't used it before and understanding what works well, what works efficiently, what works speedy, what isn't too to high-intensity on the, on the workload of, of the software. Getting the right streaming website host, all the things. So WordPress is the one that I use now. I have also looked at Thinkific and Teachable.

[00:19:11] Now these are websites that are marketplaces of courses, and you can go and just put your course up there. You don't have to worry about making it look pretty or doing anything. You don't have to worry about payment gateway. You just give them your bank details and they pay you. They usually take out a commission and or a fee but it's the lowest tech knowledge that you need apart from, so get all your content together and then just put it up there.

[00:19:33] WordPress is more management to do it. Now you can also outsource that you don't have to do it all yourself. But it isn't once you get your head around it. I quite like it, but I, and that's me because I like to learn all the tech but I can maintain things on the fly whenever I want to and I'm happy with that.

[00:19:50] If you don't want to manage all of this and you don't want someone to come in and do it all for you, then Kajabi is another really good option for you. Now, Kajabi, K A J A B I, is high-end. Okay. It's not cheapest kid on the block by any means but it looks beautiful. It looks awesome. And it has all the bells and whistles. It has everything in there. It has your sales funnels it has, you can host your podcast on there, your blog, as well as your course, you can link up your payment gateways.

[00:20:20] You've got your newsletters and email everything's everything's in there. So you've got all the bits. You pay for that obviously, but it also has an app that comes with it. So all your courses are automatically optimized to run on a mobile phone. So there's a few, few options for you on where you're actually going to host your course and depending on that depends on how you do the payment gateway and what automation you need, because once you've made the sales there are options to integrate those sales with your financial software.

[00:20:57] I use QuickBooks online which is very similar to NYOB and zero FreshBooks, et cetera. And you can see. I sync WooCommerce, which is how I sell my courses. I sync every sale, and order into QuickBooks. So it puts the sale in there and then when I take the money via PayPal or Stripe, and then that money gets transferred to my bank account, my bank accounts automatically linked up to QuickBooks as well, so I've got the whole financial picture in there and I don't have to manually enter everything. I just need to reconcile it. And that is a huge time saver. Now, if you've only got one or two sales manually entering, obviously isn't a big deal, but the whole plan that the whole reason we do this is to sell loads and loads.

[00:21:43] So if you've got hundreds and hundreds of orders coming in a day for your courses, then you don't want to be manually sorting all of that out. So my integration I use Integromat. What it does is I go from WooCommerce, so every time I get an order that's paid for, I add a contact to my ActiveCampaign, which is my email list. I also add a sale to QuickBooks and it creates a contact in both of those and it, or it updates if it's the same customer coming back and buying a different course and then it puts the sale in there for me as well.

[00:22:17] So that is all streamlined and automated and tested and that's how I go end to end with my online course. So we've got our project management software. We've got where we're going to capture all our content and how we're going to produce it. Then we've got our website or how we're going to sell it.

[00:22:38] Then we can integrate it in with our financial software. So we've got our full end to end cycle. Also thinking about if we're going to produce an ebook out at the end of that as well, because I, you know, having another income stream is thoroughly recommended. You don't want to put all your eggs in one basket and just rely on one thing.

[00:22:55] Now if understanding all of this, how to put this whole online course together, because I've just spoken a lot of words and I've thrown out a lot of tech names to you, but if you want to learn how to do this yourself and have some help and some guidance along the way.

[00:23:14] I am about to release the Tech Savvy Business Academy and what I'm putting together in that is I've been listening and I've been there and I understand how hard it is to know where to start. If I get this app, will it integrate with this one or can I integrate it? What are all the bells and what are the differences?

[00:23:34] You don't have to start with the top of the range. You can start with free versions of a lot of apps and then scale up as your business scales up. But I guess it's just understanding when that's relevant and when that works well and that's what I'm going to help with. So the Tech Savvy Business Academy, this is the first time I'm launching it and I'm, I'm, I'm out looking for founding members at the moment. So I've got a really good deal on at the moment I'm offering for 550 Australian dollar. You get all of this. Okay. So what you get is there's a whole lot of modules there's so there's end to end all the tech tools that you need or could use to create an online course.

[00:24:14] So I would list down all the apps, but I also go through and put popular ones together. There's a lot of different apps that you can put in the, in between and it all depends how you like to learn, how you like to use your apps, because no one app suits everyone. It all depends on what else you're doing in your business. So we've got online course end to end, the tech tools that you could use, how to use them, how to implement them and we're going to have weekly Q and A's and group sessions. So there's a, there's a group call and a Q and a call each week. And I'm actually going to take your questions and help you work through it. Okay. So we have small groups so that I can answer all your questions and we'll have as many groups as we need, depending on how many people join, but I'm going to walk you through all of it.

[00:25:00] So online courses is one. I'm also going to do the same type of end-to-end process for Podcasting for Content Creation for Sharing Your content and also for Writing a Book. So it's also for fiction/ nonfiction authors. Also, if you're creating a book from your content that we've done in the previous sessions.

[00:25:20] So each of these modules, I will go through all the suggested tech and, how it all works together and how to implement it. So you'll get actual video tutorials on how to use these for various different use cases. Now it doesn't just stop there because when you're putting a business together, the biggest issue I've had is keeping all my data, all the information together.

[00:25:45] I'm talking about my mission statement, my customer avatars, my sales forecast my P and L forecast and all the collateral and bits and pieces for my KPIs and where I'm keeping everything. What tech tools am I using and which business workflows am I using them for? So I got fed up trying to find and shoehorn in what I wanted into all these different apps to do it.

[00:26:07] So I've built my own app. Okay. I just got fed up with not having what I wanted. So I built one. So the app is included in the founding member price, this is lifetime access to both the app and the online course, and the online courses will evolve over time because tech changes. So they will be kept up to date.

[00:26:26] So each year I'll be doing an update on them and you as a lifetime member, we'll get to get all of those updates. So as we move through the years, things will change and you'll, you'll be there for, for life. So it includes the app which is going to help you to record all the tech. Now, when I went through and started this process a couple of years ago, I had about 120 tech tools.

[00:26:50] It was insane. I don't know what, and when I actually started detailing down what I was using them for, like which business process, which workflow were they in? I found I had different apps that did the same thing. Now they may not have done the same thing when I originally bought them. But as apps evolve, developers add new, more features to them, so I found that I had quite a few apps all during the same thing that I was paying for. So I was able to analyze that and start streamlining down what I was using them all for and now I've got a really good list of apps, and this is what this tool is going to help you with.

[00:27:25] We're going to basically do a systems audit on all your tech and look at, do you have any gaps? Okay, here's some tools that you could use for that. Now, given that you've got this tool and this tool, this one would integrate well with that. Or this one and we're go through and then you've got the options to have a look at that. I also lay out all the prices. So what are you paying for all of these tools and what does that do to your profit and loss?

[00:27:50] So each month, what are you paying for all of this? And if we streamline this, how will that affect you? You may not know, but in my former life, I was an accountant and I specialized in systems and cost accounting in quite a lot of different industries. Mostly manufacturing and service-based industry where you're, you're doing things and you've got all pieces to the puzzle.

[00:28:10] So I understand how knowing your numbers is such a critical part of managing your business, as well as knowing where to find all the information that you need. As well as all the tech tools and the other info that we're capturing, we're also going to be capturing KPIs your key performance indicators.

[00:28:28] So how many followers have you got? You know, how many sales have you made? Was there a campaign running at that time? So it's, it's not full-blown analytics, but it's a way to capture all the pieces of the puzzle and help you manage your business. So I hope that you find that interesting. You can go and check out more on my website.

[00:28:48] I hope you find that interesting and you can go and find more on my website at I've got everything in there, all the courses and the Tech Savvy Business Academy page on all the bits and pieces and detailing all of this down.

[00:29:00] There's also a wait list if you're not ready to jump in, but I'm only offering the founding members price of the first hundred that come along and join. The price is going to double after we really get rolling on this course. But

[00:29:13] I want to be there to help you, to give you all the information and give you value to actually take all the frustration out of your business to get you tech, savvy and tech confident. That's my main aim get your tech savvy and tech confident. And I have to say I didn't grow up with tech. Okay. So I'm 52. All right. Put that out there. I did not grow up with tech.

[00:29:35] I didn't start using a computer until I was in my twenties, and I also went to uni then, but that's a whole other story about why I didn't do that sooner, but I wanted to learn, I found it interesting. So over the years I've learnt more and more about computers and tech, and I now for the last 15 years, I've been teaching software, to a lot of different people in different organizations in various different countries. I understand the different learning styles of a lot of people. So what I'm doing with my online course and with the Tech Savvy Business Academy is to really give you a lot of different options and ways to learn and, and record all your information and be able to easily use it and to become tech savvy and tech confident.

[00:30:18] I hope you've enjoyed this podcast today. I always enjoy talking about the tech and I'm happy to answer questions if you have any. I've got a contact form over on my website at If you go forward slash podcast, you'll find all the show notes for this podcast there as well.

[00:30:35] So have a great day and just remember that if you want to learn, you will! It's as easy as that, but it's not always instant. We all had to learn to walk and run and write, so just take it easy on yourself and just remember that if you want to learn, you will. Okay. Thanks a lot, Bye