Thursday, January 11, 2018

Creating Your Online Course Content: The Key To Your Personal Instructor Brand



As many writers and other artists move into the realm of teaching others what they know and are learning, online courses are popping up everywhere. This is a great thing. Whether you are sharing your knowledge with your peers in an informal Facebook group or are launching a course to subsidize your art; your personal brand should be considered as you create the course content. It will improve the experience for both you and your students. Here is what I mean:

The title of this blog post may strike you as odd. Should one really have to think of something as superficial as personal branding when creating course content resources such as videos? The short answer is "yes". Think about the scenarios in which personal branding already makes sense: the job interview, introducing yourself to a face to face class, and selling a class from your own website. In each of these cases, you are aiming to both inspire confidence in your abilities as well as engage your hiring committee, clients, and students to want to work with you again and again. Here is where creating your online course content can do double-duty and go to bat for you as the key to your personal instructor brand. There are a few items to keep in mind to keep your content as consistent, efficient, and engaging as possible:

1. Inject your Personality into It - Your voice, your sense of humour, your insights, and your photography hobby can all be engaged to bring together videos and resources that come from the same angle, let the students know what to expect each time, and create a cohesive experience as they move along your course.
2. Keep a Professional Tone - While I mention using humour in point one; of course, always keep it in the realm of workplace/professional humour even if the course is online. You don't want your professionalism to come into question and detract from your student's confidence in you.
3. Limit Distractions - Also important to remember in the professional approach is a clean uncluttered background in videos, polished presentation of content, and staying with one topic at a time. It will inspire confidence as well as promote a better learning experience.
4. Wrap up by Reminding your Audience Who You are - The conclusion is the perfect time to restate the main points, offer additional resources, and remind students of your availability. Knowing that you are there for them makes them more likely to engage in their learning and feel less overwhelmed by what is expected of them. This makes for the likelihood they will look for you as an instructor in the future because they enjoyed their time with you and already know what to expect from one of your classes.

Blog post image is from my own instagram account. The original image can be found here.
A version of this post originally appeared on my blog Tales from the Classroom

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