Online courses are a great way to supplement – or replace – your current income. The problem is how to overcome the impostor syndrome (feeling of self-doubt) that many course creators feel.
In the past, we have written on the benefits of creating an online course. This includes the flexibility it offers, plus its huge profit margins. So, we are not going to rehash that information again.
Instead, this article will dive deep into WHY people are afraid of creating an online course in the first place. People give various reasons for not creating their courses:
- Lack of time.
- No budget,
- A conviction that nobody will buy.
Of all three excuses, the last one is the most pervasive. This kind of thinking stems from a lack of self-confidence. Experts call this an impostor syndrome.
By the end of this article, you will have a good understanding of how to overcome imposter syndrome. Which is a very self-sabotaging feeling.
What is Impostor Syndrome?
Impostor Syndrome is a strong feeling of fraudulence and insecurity. People who suffer from it have a nagging feeling of self-doubt about their accomplishments, expertise, and knowledge. They feel they’re not good enough to be seen as an expert in their field.
Impostor syndrome can affect anybody regardless of demographics. But it often strikes smart, successful people, especially after a notable accomplishment. It could also rear its ugly head when considering a new venture, for example, creating an online course.
Types of Impostor Syndrome
Many people are unaware that what they are feeling is called impostor syndrome. Studies have revealed that there are five types of impostor syndrome. These are:
- The Perfectionist: he or she sets very high goals for themselves. When they fail to reach these goals, they go through a bout of self-doubt.
- The Superwoman/man: he or she believes they MUST work hard to measure up to other people’s expectations.
- The Natural Genius: he or she believes they MUST get something right on the first try.
- The Soloist: he or she believes asking for help will reveal their “secret” of being phonies.
- The Expert: he or she believes they don’t know enough to be qualified to be seen as an expert in their field.
But of all these types, the “Expert” seems most prevalent among people looking to monetize their knowledge.
If you’ve ever thought to yourself “who’s gonna buy my course and listen to ME when there are other experts out there?!” – then you fall under this category. But don’t feel bad. At least 70% of the people will experience impostor syndrome once in their lifetime.
The easiest way to overcome this feeling of self-doubt is to first understand one key principle. To be an “expert”, you ONLY need to be ONE STEP ahead of the people you want to teach.
That’s all the mental shift you need.
The people who want to learn from you do not care about your certificates.
They do not care about your race or religion or culture.
They only care about themselves.
They only care about how you can help THEM.
It’s not about you, and the sooner you understand that, the better. You must realize that your experience and knowledge is valuable – and people will pay good money for it.
How to Overcome Impostor Syndrome
Overcoming impostor syndrome can be as easy (or as hard) as we make it.
From our experience, we’ve discovered that impostor syndrome stems from two factors:
- Comparing yourself to others in your field of expertise.
- Assuming that you need some certification or award to be considered an ‘expert.’
First off, do not compare yourself to others. Nobody is perfect. Instead, look at what they’re doing right and model it.
Secondly, you do not need any certifications to help people. Unless you plan on creating an info product on DIY open-heart surgery.
If not, then all you need is the willingness to teach people what you know.
We have several success stories of people who had no certifications and yet, are crushing it. Making money and impacting lives.
With that said, here are five tips to help you overcome impostor syndrome when creating online courses.
1. Focus on Your Expertise
A great way to overcome impostor syndrome is to focus on what you’re actually good at. It is not uncommon for people to feel self-doubt when venturing into a new niche or field of expertise.
For example, let’s say you’re a successful IT consultant. Without prior experience in e-commerce, you decide to create a drop-shipping course. It is obvious that this will cause you to struggle with impostor syndrome.
However, you’ll find it easier to create a course teaching others how to start an IT Consultancy. And because this is your area of expertise, you can create better content than can be found on YouTube.
By focusing on your expertise, your self-confidence will soar. This puts you in a better position to kick self-doubt to the curb. Not only that, but you will end up creating better courses. Courses that can actually help people solve a real problem or achieve a tangible result.
2. Focus on Helping People Get Results
Another way to overcome impostor syndrome is to help people get results.
Many people let self-doubt limit them from achieving great things. This is especially true when creating information products.
Nobody cares about your degree unless you’re a lawyer, doctor, or accountant. Rather, what they care about is how you can help solve their problems.
When you focus on helping people get results, your self-doubt disappears. Not only that, but the validation you feel will boost your self-confidence.
It is hard to argue or compete with results. As long as you can replicate your process for others to get a tangible result, then you’re the real deal. Reflect on this whenever you feel you’re not qualified enough to create your own online course.
3. Understand that an Online Course is Profitable Business
There’s more to creating an online course than putting together training videos, templates, and cheat sheets.
You need to understand that you’re not just creating an online course – you are creating a business. A business that can help you become financially free.
The global market for online education is worth billions of dollars. And with the current trend, it doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
And the best part of selling online courses is that you only need to put in the hard work once. After that, especially with a good sales funnel in place, just relax and watch as the sales keep rolling in.
4. Follow Proven Course Creation and Marketing Strategies
Another challenge many first-time course creators face is the overwhelm. The overwhelm of creating and selling the product. Creating an online course is not an easy task. So, it is understandable to feel overwhelmed.
However, it is easy for impostor syndrome to creep in when you are stuck and unable to get anything done. Especially if it’s something you’ve never done before – like how to structure and record your courses.
This is why you must follow proven strategies from people who’ve done it before. Whether you’re looking to launch a membership site or create a sales funnel, there’s someone out there with the expertise.
You can overcome impostor syndrome when you are armed with knowledge and information to solve your problems.
5. Find Solace in a Community
Another way to overcome impostor syndrome is to join a community of like-minded people.
As we have pointed out, the fear of being found out as a fraud stems from self-doubt and insecurity. And that is because you feel you’re not qualified to teach others.
By joining a community, you get to see other people like yourself who are taking action. People you can turn to when you’re stuck on what to do next.
Facebook groups provide a unique opportunity to join communities of other like-minded individuals. For example, you can join a group for online course creators. There, you can get actionable feedback on any problems you’re facing.
This will give you the needed motivation to get out of your head and take action. Life becomes easier when you are part of a community of people who look out for each other.
Our Facebook group is a perfect example. We have a loving, non-judgmental community of people looking to make an impact with their expertise. We invite you to join us today.
Online courses are a great way to supplement or replace your current income. You only need to put in the hard work of creating the course once. After that, you can sell it over and over again.
Apart from the financial rewards of selling online courses, you also have the opportunity to impact people’s lives. Unfortunately, many people let fear and self-doubt hold them back from sharing their expertise with the world.
Impostor syndrome is the fancy name for this fear and self-doubt. The fear of being discovered as a ‘fraud’ is prevalent among many people.
The best way to overcome this feeling is to focus on your area of expertise. Another way is by helping people achieve results. Finally, joining a community of like-minded individuals can help you overcome impostor syndrome.