Building a Rock Star Team: First Roles to Outsource in Your Online Course Business

So, you’ve decided to expand your team so you can stay in your zone of genius and get all those distractions off your plate. Finally, some breathing room!

But then all the questions start popping up: What kind of roles should I be hiring for in this type of business? How do I know if someone has experience in creating online courses? What can I expect for compensation?

Every minute you are doing something outside of your zone of genius is time you could be investing in creating value for your clients, which is what creates growth in your business.

In this post, we’ll dive into how to get started hiring your amazing team, including the common roles for an online course business and important guidelines to consider that are unique to this type of business.

What Role Should You Hire First in an Online Course Business?

This is the 100 million dollar question, right? In any business, it is critical that each new team member increases your ability to generate revenue and profit. For many of our clients, the first focus is hiring someone to help you create a product that does not involve your time to deliver it.

If you’re a coach, speaker, author, or other type of expert, we recommend that you first have a main offer (an online course) that allows you to serve one-to-many. This way, you can generate revenue even when you are not coaching, speaking, writing, or delivering your expertise. With an online course, you will have unlimited potential to serve, and your profit potential is much higher.

You can also fund a rock star team and grow your business without being involved in every single thing.

The first action item for most experts is: creating a product that allows you to serve one-to-many, like an online course.

Let’s focus on the types of roles that will help you create an online course and later free up your time to work on more high-impact and high-revenue-generating activities.

Who to Hire: Common Roles in an Online Course Business

Curriculum Developer

What they do: A curriculum developer (or instructional designer) will help you create your online course. They will help you decide on the transformation for your course, the steps/modules in your program, what tools to include, and will help you create the first draft of your content for your students.

What to look for: You’re looking for someone who has experience creating transformational online courses for entrepreneurs. Many instructional designers only have experience creating corporate training or coursework in the academic space, which are completely different types of programs. Be sure they have experience in how to position a course in a competitive market.

General compensation guidelines: Approximately $5,000 or more for project-based compensation depending on your course’s size.

Copywriter

What they do: Copywriters are an integral part of your team because they will translate your voice and brand into copy that will convert your prospects into customers. Your copywriter can create your sales page, email copy, social media copy, ad copy, and more.

What to look for: Not all copywriters have experience with sales pages and the type of copy online businesses need. When interviewing, this is a crucial point to discuss. You’ll want to ask about previous experience and results for online course sales pages and launches.

General compensation guidelines: Copywriters usually work on a per-project basis. Compensation varies based on their experience. Typical project fees for sales pages range from $1,500 to $5,000+ and can include performance-based bonuses.

Project Manager

What they do: The Project Manager is responsible for ‘trafficking’ everything in your launch. They can also support you in spearheading the course creation process prior to launching – driving the process, action items, and more. They will set the timeline, assign tasks, manage your team, approve deliverables, and keep the project on budget and on time.

What to look for: Project Managers vary in their experience and responsibilities in your launch. An entry-level Project Manager would be responsible for creating and assigning the tasks in your project management system and ensuring your team completes the tasks on time.
A more experienced Project Manager will not only be able to manage the project aspects of your launch but can also be a partner in quality control, making sure every aspect of your launch aligns with your strategy.

General compensation guidelines: Project Managers can work on either an hourly basis or a project basis, with an average hourly rate starting around $50/hr. An average 60-90 day project could range from $3,000 to $6,000 depending on scope and experience.

Graphic Designer

What they do: Graphic designers translate your brand and product into visuals. They might create your sales page design, ad images, branding, tools, PowerPoint slides, course handouts, and more.

What to look for: Look for a designer who has experience working with online course launches and advertising.

General compensation guidelines: Graphic designers are usually compensated per project. An average engagement could range from $1,500 to $5,000+ depending on your needs and the designer’s experience. Designing a sales page is an extensive project that typically starts at $2,000 and up.

Video Editor

What they do: There are many types of video experts you may need for your online course. For example, you may need a videographer, who comes to you and shoots video for your online course, or you may need a video editor, who takes the videos you or your videographer shot and creates the final video to upload to your course hosting portal.

What to look for: First, take a look at their portfolio to ensure that the quality aligns with your vision for the course. While you may not require an Emmy award-winning team, if you are investing in high-quality video, it is important to ensure that it suits the specific needs of your project, including video style, turnaround time, and scope of the content.

General compensation guidelines: Videographers and video editors usually work on a per-project basis. The compensation range depends on the number of videos, the complexity of the edits, and other factors. For videographers, you will likely be invoiced for travel, equipment rental, sound and lighting kits, and the producer/camera operator. It’s also important to ensure you are given a copy of all raw footage for unlimited use in the future.

Program Manager

What they do: Program Managers are the customer-facing role in your online course. There are different levels of this role, ranging from a customer service specialist to a team member who takes on a more advanced community manager and sales role. A customer service-focused Program Manager will answer questions from prospective customers, help students with technical challenges, and set up Q&A sessions. A more advanced Program Manager could do all of those tasks and also focus on sales, nurturing client relationships, and filling your higher-level programs and events.

What to look for: Look for someone who has experience managing online courses, events, or who has sales experience. Most importantly, you want to find a Program Manager who can build relationships with your customers.

General compensation guidelines: Program Managers are usually compensated per hour, with an average rate of around $25/hour.

Next Steps

If you haven’t already created an online course, that is the key strategic “piece” to put in place in your business to massively leverage your time and expertise.

When you’re exploring hiring to support you in bringing your course to life, think through which buckets of support you need the most.

For example:

  • If you need someone to partner with and guide you through the course creation process, you’re looking for a skilled and qualified Curriculum Developer.
  • If the idea of learning to edit your course videos makes your head spin, find a Video Editor to slice and dice your video footage for final course videos ready for upload into your learning portal.

If you need full front-to-back support, our recommended first “hire” could be a freelance Curriculum Developer to help you build out your content. Then, you would move to hiring a Copywriter and Graphic Designer to finish your course.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or unsure where to start, and don’t have the time to lead the strategy, hire freelancers, and manage your project, you may benefit most from an all-in-one, inclusive team to get this to the finish line for you.

Our Course Creation Support team is here to help. We have the expertise and resources to guide you through the process and help you create your own transformational course (often in less than 90 days).

Don’t let your busy schedule hold you back from creating an online course that can have a significant impact on your business.

Take the first step and reach out to our Fast Track Coaches to discuss your ideal level of support. Once you share your business or course idea, our team will reach out with next steps.

Click here to share your course idea with our team.

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