How to Leverage AI Tools to Create Online Courses

Whether the idea of AI thrills you or terrifies you, the reality is, it is here to stay, and it will eventually drastically change the way we work.

The ability to craft content in record time is obviously a huge benefit to entrepreneurs and solopreneurs. With juggling so many hats, the never-ending to-do lists sitting on our desks, and the consistently blacked-out calendars, who wouldn’t jump at the chance to delegate? Especially without the price tag that comes from virtual assistants or freelancers.

Mix AI tools in with the fact that having an online course rolling on auto-pilot creates immense leverage and cash flow, and you have a match made in heaven. One that delivers freedom and the bandwidth to extend our impact, right?

There are many influencers and experts out there enthusiastically shouting from the rooftops that now anyone can create an online course using AI, without having to create any of your own content.

The thing to notice is WHO is promoting the use of AI for creating an online course…

  • It’s platforms, that want you to host your course with them for a monthly fee…
  • It’s marketing gurus, who need you to have a product to market to buy their social media coaching…
  • It’s the AI tools themselves, claiming they can “do it all”…

The truth is, while AI tools can generate copy and content for your online course or launch, they simply cannot generate a high-quality, complete product that delivers results for students (yet).

Unfortunately, typing your course idea into a text box will not deliver a finished course ready to add to your learning platform.

But alas, everything is not lost! AI tools can support you in the course creation process, if you temper your expectations and use them intentionally.

In this post, we’re diving into how AI tools work, the statistics behind why they are a poor substitution for working through the course creation process yourself, and opportunities for how you can leverage AI tools in your business.

Why Relying Solely on AI Tools to Create Online Courses Doesn’t Work

As a company that has helped thousands of experts create and launch transformational online courses, it’s concerning to see the narrative of AI tools being touted as a shortcut for creating quality online learning products.

The overall purpose of an AI writing tool is to generate content quickly, but it lacks the ability to make the crucial strategic decisions required for creating an online course geared toward results.

The content being generated is only as good as the prompt you are providing, and the leap from “course idea” to “fully crafted content” is too far of a gap for AI tools to bridge on their own (at least for now).

To create an impactful online course, you first need to have clarity on key strategic decisions like:

  • What is the transformation I want my students to achieve?
  • Who am I helping with this course? Who is (and is not) my audience?
  • What are the steps in my process and how many steps are there?
  • What are the results within each of those steps that will move my students forward?

Additionally (and equally as important), artificial intelligence writing tools are not able to weave in your years of experience, personal stories that help you connect with your audience, or niche-specific knowledge that only you would know. In fact, most of the AI tools our team has tested actually include disclaimers to explain that you should not rely on the output to be factually correct (and the content might even be ethically or legally harmful to your brand).

The list goes on…

The lack of clarity on audience, results, and industry knowledge can result in a poorly crafted product that offers no real result for our students. It can also feel robotic and cold, especially when you’re trying to nurture relationships with your students via your course content.

And without results? You’re looking at low completion rates for your course and high refunds.

The industry average completion rate for online courses is less than 8%. And standard refund rates on courses can be as high as 30%.

But the good news? You can create a quality product for your people that totally contradicts these stats.

The online courses our team has designed get up to 88% of students to the finish line, with approximately 3% of students refunding.

The key is to formulate the structure and outline for your course first, then use an AI tool to help you brainstorm, get unstuck, or fill in any gaps. Having clarity on this foundation is critical because it allows you to structure your content in a way that’s engaging and transformational for your students.

And, there are pieces and parts of the process you can definitely outsource to AI tools.

Let’s dive into some ways you can easily leverage AI tools to get your course to the finish line!

4 Ways to Leverage AI Writing Tools in the Course Creation Process

1. Video Scripts

When working with private clients to support them in scripting videos for each of their online course modules, our approach is always to script out the “framework” for each video and then come back to flesh it out further.

Videos from one of our online courses

By focusing on the framework for each video, you’re ensuring you’re weaving in the most critical pieces to hit engagement metrics and get your students to the finish line. These elements can include key teaching takeaways for each video, laying in the result you want your students to achieve, a clear call to action at the end of each video, etc.

After setting the structure and framework for each video, you can absolutely employ an AI tool to help expand on the content, so you feel confident to record. Having the structure for each video in place also ensures you have clear prompts to feed the AI tool so you can easily fill in the gaps in your script.

2. Tool Copy

Examples of tools in an online course

The same holds true for the tools within your program. Tools are anything within the program that moves your students into implementation after watching the module video. This could be a checklist, quiz, reflection, worksheet, etc.

Once you’ve determined the tools for each of the modules in your course that will help move your students into action, an AI tool can help you flesh out things further (as long as you’re using the output as a guide and not verbatim).

Are you working on a checklist assessment for entry-level managers? >> Start by getting clear on the result of the tool, brainstorm some different questions, and ask an AI writing tool to provide more ideas for your assessment questions.

Are you crafting a reflection journal for a mindfulness program? >> Start by getting clear on the result you would like your students to achieve, then ask the AI tool to provide some options for additional reflection questions.

Creating a guide to help your students implement a process in your course? >> Share the guide with the AI tool and ask it to draft an introduction and closing.

Let AI show up here to help you think through new ideas and take some of the heavy lifting off your plate!

3. Marketing Copy

You have your online course close to the finish line, and now you’re set to start building your marketing pieces. When it comes to promoting your course online, there are a TON of elements of the process that require copy and content. 

Example sales pages for our client’s online courses

Sales page copy… 
Email campaigns… 
Social media captions… 
Lead magnets… 

You get the idea. 

A great way to leverage AI for your marketing components is to rephrase or rework content you’ve already written in your course – especially your video scripts and tools. 

For example, you could share your video scripts with an AI tool and ask it to summarize each module. You could then use these summaries to craft your module outline for your sales page.

Or, you could share your sales page with the tool and ask it to craft some social media captions promoting the page.

When you’re crafting these pieces of copy for your launch, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel for every piece. Work smarter, not harder, by letting the AI tool draft specific chunks of content to warp speed this process. 

4. Getting Unstuck

“I’ve used this word 20 times already… How can I rephrase this?”
“I need a metaphor to explain this, but I can’t think of any!”
“I’ve written the entire sales page, but I’m not sure how to close it.”
“I’m not sure if this makes sense!”

via Giphy.com

What may be the most underrated use of AI writing tools is helping you see your content through a new lens when you feel stuck.

Writer’s block is a real thing – especially when you’re crafting content in a lane you’ve been in for years, or even if it’s a lane you’re dipping your toe into. The ability to spark new ideas or think about this differently allows you as the expert to move forward and build momentum in the creation process.

Next Steps: Craft Your Course Framework

Prior to diving into AI and maximizing all its benefits in the course creation process, you need to have a clear framework and structure outlined for your program.

  • What is the transformation I want my students to achieve?
  • Who am I helping with this course? Who is (and is not) my audience?
  • What are the steps in my process and how many steps are there?
  • What are the results within each of those steps that will move my students forward?
  • How many videos are in each module? What am I teaching in each of those videos?
  • What are the tools I am weaving in to ensure implementation?

One of the first things we do together in our Create 6-Figure Courses Virtual Bootcamp is build your Content Storyboard that outlines your entire course from front to back. We work together to map out your content so you have a visual plan laid out to help you work through the content creation process (especially with AI as your new handy creation tool).

Click here to learn more about the Bootcamp

What other questions do you have about using AI tools? We would love to hear your thoughts on its impact on the course creation space!

PS: None of the content of this blog post was creating using an AI tool. 🙂

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