One of the first E-books I bought on the topic of Virtual Assistance, when I was just a starting out as a VA, was The 5 Key Steps to Your Successful Virtual Assistant Business by Lisa Suling-Maslin. Her ebook gave me an idea of how this industry is bound to grow and it gave me a few practical tips that I kept in mind all these years. Through this ebook, Lisa has helped many aspiring Virtual Assistants all over the world to realise their dream of working from home.
Now, Lisa is busy helping entrepreneurs create irresistible online courses so that they can share their brain cells with the world. She started out in business as a Virtual Assistant back in 2004 and over time moved into becoming a Digital Marketing Consultant, helping clients establish and grow their online presence.
She has also run live teleseminar courses on this topic and now specialises in Online Course Creation. Originally from London, Lisa’s love of travel has taken her all over the world and she is happy to call Australia her new home.
In this blog post, you’ll find out more about Lisa’s journey and how she has constantly evolved and succeeded in business from being a Virtual Assistant to an Online Course Specialist.
Way back in 2010, I’ve seen you’ve established yourself as an experienced Virtual Assistant/VA coach. Fast forward 2016, you’ve now positioned yourself as an Online Course Specialist. What made you decide on this shift? How did you go through it?
I started my business as a Virtual Assistant in 2004 offering the skills I had at the time which were mainly desktop publishing, Powerpoint presentations, formatting documents, research, and admin. Prior to that, I had graduated with a Business Administration degree and then worked as an Executive Assistant for 11 years, mainly in large corporates.
In 2005, questions started coming in from people who were stumbling across my website – they wanted to know how they could work from home too. I noticed that similar questions were being asked over and over again, so in 2006 I created an online Toolkit called “The 5 Key Steps to Your Successful Virtual Assistant Business” which has helped many aspiring Virtual Assistants all over the world to realise their dream of working from home. I also ran live teleseminar courses on this topic.
As time went by I added to my services by taking courses at night school and online – I learned web design and internet marketing, and gradually transitioned to working with clients as an Internet Marketing Specialist. I particularly enjoy helping clients run membership sites, create webinars and online courses so that’s why I decided to specialise in that field.
What were the pros and cons of your shift from a VA to an Online Course Specialist?
I can’t think of any cons, because I really love what I do. The pros are getting to help people translate their expertise and knowledge into online courses so that they can, in turn, reach people all over the world, and the thrill I get from helping them create a leveraged asset for their business. This means that they can move away from relying on working with clients one-on-one, and they can free up some of their time because of their online course income.
Is there a big opportunity for online course builders? If yes, what are the top 4 skills a person should possess so she can thrive as an online course builder/specialist?
There’s a huge opportunity for freelancers to offer online course creation services. Elearning is a multi-billion dollar industry and the upward trend is only going to continue. There are so many clients out there that need help with online course creation!
Below I’ll cover the top 4 skills in online course creation. You can either choose to become proficient at all of these or you can offer one or two of these skills and work alongside other online course specialists as part of a team, and offer online course services that way:
One of the biggest obstacles that clients have is the technical aspect of setting up online courses, so it’s really important to have good technical skills to be able to assist. This includes being able to create sales pages, set up membership sites, autoresponders, and connect to a payment processor.
Being able to help create slides using programs such as Powerpoint and Keynote, and design the PDFs which go with the course such as worksheets and checklists.
Video creation & editing skills
Videos are an important part of effective online courses, so it’s useful to be able to guide the client in recording videos and also editing them.
Clients usually create the content for their online courses themselves, but often they need help with deciding how much content to include, how to outline the course and structure the modules and lessons.
Most people find it hard to start narrowing down what they’d include in their online course, what’s your top 3 advice to them so they can move forward?
Even though you know a lot of things about your topic, there’s no need to cram it all into an online course. Avoid overwhelming your students and keep in mind that they are investing in your course to save time and to get from A to B in the most efficient way possible.
Always look at the outcome you are providing with your online course. What do you want your students to achieve after your course which they were not able to before? Think in terms of the transformation that you’re helping your students to achieve. This makes it much easier to narrow down and decide what to include.
Another aspect to consider is, what stage are your potential students at? Are they beginners, intermediate or advanced? So for example, if they are beginners then you know you need to include the fundamentals to get them started, and for intermediate and advanced you know that they already have the basic knowledge in place.
What are the recent projects you are working on?
At the moment, I’m helping a therapist create a course on one of her specialities, and also a mindset coach with her online program. I have also recently finished putting together my own online course called T.E.A.C.H. Virtually which helps entrepreneurs such as business coaches, life coaches, authors, consultants, holistic practitioners and creatives create their own online courses. Basically, if you are providing a service in your business you can create an online course based on your expertise, so instead of selling your time, you’re selling your knowledge.
My course is also useful for Virtual Assistants and other freelancers who want to learn the process of creating an online course so that they can provide this as a service to their clients.
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