Welcome to Creator Columns, where we bring expert HubSpot Creator voices to the Blogs that inspire and help you grow better.

Digital courses can be a game-changer for your bottom line, whether you’ve been in business for ten years or ten days.

But if you’re like many of the folks I work with, you might be wondering where to start when adding a digital course to your business. My name is Amy, and I coach entrepreneurs on how to use smart marketing strategies to grow their businesses. One of my specialties is creating digital courses — it’s something I’ve done (to the tune of $100 million) — and it’s something I love helping others do too.

→ Click here to download our free guide to digital marketing fundamentals  [Download Now].

Why add a digital course to your business?

Before we get into the how, let’s talk about the why. Digital courses offer some compelling advantages:

  • Scalability: Once you’ve created your digital course, you can sell it over and over again. It’s like having a 24/7 cash machine. This passive income stream can offer financial stability and room for your business to grow.
  • Reach and Impact: Digital courses break down geographical barriers, allowing you to reach a broader audience. This accessibility makes it easier for people who might not have the means to engage with you in person or through traditional services.
  • Become Known as the Expert: Creating a digital course allows you to maintain control over your content and brand. It can set you up as the go-to expert in your industry. You can customize the learning experience to align with your business’s identity, ensuring that it reflects your values and meets your audience’s needs.

Creating a digital course is what skyrocketed my business to new heights, has allowed me to work from anywhere and create a business that I absolutely love, 100% on my terms. I even founded Digital Course Academy so that folks spanning industries and backgrounds can find success with online course creation too.

What types of businesses are best for digital courses?

The beauty of digital courses is that they can be seamlessly integrated into almost any business model, regardless of the industry or niche.

Your knowledge and expertise can literally be transformed into a structured learning experience that’s accessible to anyone interested in your offer.

And when it comes to the digital course topic or area of interest, I’ve seen everything under the sun, from courses on urban beekeeping to speed-reading sheet music.

So, let’s talk through four approaches to adding a digital course to your existing business, along with the three most effective types of digital courses.

4 Strategies for Adding a Digital Course to Your Business

1. Coaches and Consultants

If you’re a one-on-one coach (e.g., a health or life coach), or a consultant (e.g., a stylist or social media consultant), adding a digital course to your business is a no-brainer because you’ve probably already created a lot of your course content.

Here’s how it works:

  • Take your proven roadmap or step-by-step client process and turn it into a digital course.
  • Offer your course to those who might not be able to afford your one-on-one services or prefer to work through your content on their own. You could also make this a prerequisite before working with you at a premium price.

Offering a digital course with only a handful of one-on-one coaching or consulting spots also allows you to work with best-fit clients.

2. Membership Sites

If you run a membership site, adding a digital course is a great way to diversify your content and make some extra cash.

While memberships typically offer ongoing resources, courses can dive into specific topics in greater detail, offering members a more comprehensive learning experience.

Consider these two approaches:

  • Front-End Membership: Offer a low-price membership experience to build trust and prime your audience first before offering your digital course as an upsell. Create a course related to the central theme of your membership, but offer a different angle, more in-depth guidance, and a supportive community.
  • Back-End Membership: Offer an exclusive membership to students who have completed your digital course. The key is to keep your back-end membership about supporting people in the implementation of what they’ve already learned from you — not about continuously teaching more.

Adding a digital course to your membership business is a wonderful way to keep growing with your students. It also positions your digital course as the gateway to your other offerings.

3. Service Providers

If you’re a business owner providing a service, like graphic design or dog training, leverage your expertise with a digital course. Here’s how:

  • Take your know-how and your roadmap (i.e., expertise) and turn that into a digital course.
  • Continue offering your services, and provide a course as an up-leveling option.

The benefit is that, just like the coach or consultant, you’re able to expand your reach and impact.

And don’t worry, you don’t have to give up your practice as it is. If you love working with customers, keep meeting with them. There will always be people who would rather pay for the convenience of having someone else do the work.

4. Lead with Your Digital Course

If you want your digital course to be your primary revenue source, here are some important guidelines to follow:

  • Consistently create content that is aligned with your digital course — even when you’re not actively launching.
  • Use content to attract and nurture your Ideal Customer Avatar (ICA), keeping your course featured prominently.

Digital Course Academy is my signature course and the primary revenue generator for my business. I focus on creating valuable content and nurturing my digital course audience year-round.

What type of digital course is right for your audience?

Now that you know how to add a digital course to your business, let’s consider the type of course that suits your business best. There are three primary types of digital courses:

1. Starter Course

This is a course centered around helping your students get started in your area of expertise. It is:

  • Ideal for beginners
  • Just enough information to move its audience forward
  • Typically priced between $100 and $200
  • Great for coaching, consulting, and service-based businesses

Many digital course creators will use a starter course to prepare their students for their signature course. Starter courses are also typically a lower price point product for those who want to test the waters before jumping completely into a lengthier, more expensive program.

Starter Course Example: Louisa Deasey

One of my Digital Course Academy students, Louisa, is a memoirist who teaches others her techniques and tools for writing memoirs.

She has a Starter Course called 30-Day Journaling for Memoir Course that’s priced at $247.

She created her Starter course to help her students gain the insight and fuel they need to be published. If they’d like to do a deeper dive, they can take the next steps to work with her one-on-one.

2. Spotlight Course

This type of course takes a deeper dive into your content and focuses deeply on a specific topic. It typically:

  • Provides students with in-depth knowledge
  • Is priced between $200 and $500
  • Works well with a membership experience

Spotlight Course Example: Claire Le Roy

Claire Le Roy is an Australian interior designer who worked directly with clients for seven years before diving into digital courses. She created her spotlight course, Sketchup for Interior Design Beginners, for designer clients who want to learn how to use a popular piece of design software called SketchUp.

This type of course works well because she saw very little online support offered for interior designers and decorators.

3. Signature Course

A signature course is the most in-depth course offering. It’s specific and detailed, and it includes the entire framework for a transformation or result. It’s usually:

  • A comprehensive system for a complete transformation
  • Priced higher, from $500 to thousands
  • The number one revenue generator for a business

Digital Course Academy is my signature course because it offers a comprehensive program for creating, launching, and successfully selling digital courses. Even if you have no idea where to start, it offers the roadmap and resources you need to achieve your digital course goals.

Signature Course Example: Rhea Whitney

Rhea is a wedding photographer, coach, and educator who teaches rising pro-photographers how to run a profitable photography business through her signature course, From Hobbyist To Pro.

She teaches her students how to build a solid photography business with the exact roadmap she used to become a full-time photographer.

Digital Courses: The Case for Building Your Own

Adding a digital course to your business is one of the smartest moves you can make. They are flexible, scalable, and can revolutionize your revenue streams. All you need to do is decide on the approach that resonates with you and choose the course type that aligns with your business objectives.

A digital course has transformed my business and the businesses of thousands of my students. I truly believe they are the best way to start or scale your business — and I know you’ll feel the same!