When it comes to mini-courses, you can throw out any preconceptions you may have about traditional online courses. A mini-course is meant to be tactical, full of quick and actionable information that can help your audience achieve a specific learning outcome.
Keep in mind that “mini” is key here. Your course should be no longer than 10-30 minutes, and it shouldn’t take you more than a few hours to create. To achieve this, you’ll want to ask yourself these questions:
- What do I want my audience to learn or do in a quick mini-course?
- How can I teach this learning outcome in a quick presentation or a casual conversation?
Ultimately, a mini-course should be an extension of your content and workflow as a creator. It should also be an extension of how your audience already consumes your content. For example, if your creative output is mostly voiceover videos, consider producing and presenting your mini-course in the same style.
In this article, we’ll explore everything from the basics of what a mini-course is, to mini-course ideas, what to look for in a mini-course template, and mini-course pricing strategies. We’ll even give you some mini-course examples!
Whether you’re an educator or simply a passionate person in the beginning stage of your creator journey, you’ve got some knowledge or insight to share. Read on to learn how to create a mini-course with The Leap’s AI-powered mini-course builder, all without breaking the bank.
How to create a mini-course in 5 steps
Curious about how to create a mini-course online? Or more specifically, how to create a mini-course for free? We got you! Here’s a step-by-step guide.
Step 1: Choose a mini-course creation platform
First things first, you need to find an intuitive — and ideally free — platform that can help you build a mini-course quickly and easily. Some key features to look for in a mini-course creation platform include:
First and foremost, you want your mini-course creation platform to be easy to use! It should feel intuitive, like an extension of your current content workflow. That means looking out for platforms that look and feel like the social platforms you already produce content on. Think TikTok, Instagram Stories, or Reels.
As a creator, you already know that most content is produced and consumed on mobile devices. So you’re going to want to produce your mini-course on a platform that allows you to do it from your smartphone. Not only should it be easy for you to produce a mini-course on your phone, but you also want it to feel intuitive for your audience to consume it from theirs.
AI is a valuable tool for creating content quickly and effortlessly. Finding an AI-powered mini-course creation platform like The Leap, which can build digital products in just minutes, can save you time and even help you generate content ideas! All you have to do is tell The Leap what you’re good at, sit back, and watch the magic happen.
Sales and promotion
Ideally, your mini-course creation platform also comes with the ability to promote and sell your product. The Leap automatically generates sales pages for your mini-courses, with links that are added to your customizable link-in-bio storefront.
Pricing and payment
Ideally, finding a free platform like The Leap will only allow you to increase your ROI even more. Additionally, a platform that offers flexible pricing options and integrated payment processing makes things easier for both you and your audience. The Leap’s plug-and-play Stripe integration requires no subscription and no revenue sharing. All the customer and lead data is 100% owned by you at the low cost of a 2.9% Stripe transaction fee.
If you’re wondering how to create a mini-course online, try The Leap out for free today!
Step 2: Select a topic
Selecting the perfect topic for your mini-course is all about merging your expertise with what your audience craves.
Begin brainstorming by thinking about your target audience. What are their pain points and interests? Tailor your topic to address their needs and offer solutions to their challenges. Mini-courses work best when you focus on a small promise. If you can help your audience solve a problem or achieve a small goal in 30 minutes or less, then you’re on the right track.
Next, consider your passions and expertise. What do you genuinely enjoy and know a lot about? Figure this out, and your enthusiasm should shine through in your course content and engage your learners.
If you’re still stumped thinking about mini-course ideas, consider using The Leap’s AI-powered mini-course template, which will generate mini-course ideas for you. All you need to do is enter your expertise into The Leap’s AI generator and voila! You’ll have a mini-course template in no time at all. Here’s an example of what that looks like:
Step 3: Plan your video content!
When it comes to planning your content, you don’t need a word-for-word script, but you should consider what your overall key structure and points are to cover. This planning will help make your mini-courses more effective and engaging.
Your content outline should be clear to your audience from the get-go. Keep in mind key components of your content, such as:
Start by introducing yourself as an expert on whatever topic you’ll be teaching. Give context to your experience and expertise. Spew out any stats you have regarding the success of your creator career so far — a mini-course is not the time to be shy!
What is the learning outcome?
Next, outline the learning outcome of your mini-course. Clearly express to your audience what value they will gain from engaging with your content. For instance, what problem are you solving for them? What pain point are you addressing? What are you setting out to help them achieve?
Remember to provide context on why it’s valuable for your audience to learn more about your topic. For example, if you’re a florist who’s offering a mini-course on creating bridal bouquets, you might want to remind your audience that the preparation for a bridal bouquet is much different than, say, a bouquet intended for a vase.
Step 4: Create your mini-course content
Once you’ve planned your content, it’s time for the best part: Creating!
Keep in mind that several different forms of content delivery are what make a mini-course interactive and engaging. For example:
Text and images
Think of using text and images as a way to signpost the beginning of a new chapter, section, or step.
To help your audience remember what you’re teaching, it’s helpful to incorporate some elements of a review before diving into new ideas. This is a great opportunity to use slides of text in the form of headings or outline key points, or use images and diagrams to help illustrate points.
Some examples of key points may include an important quote from your lesson, or essential ideas and recommendations. Consider including an outline of bulleted points or recommended next steps for your audience at the end of your mini-course to help instill a sense of value and help further learning.
Generally, video is one of the best forms of media to deliver your content. Not only does it give you the ability to capture both visual and auditory elements, it’s also one of the best-received story-telling mechanisms out there.
“Microlearning” videos are typically short to allow our brains to take a break to process the information we’re receiving without the expense of cognitive overload.
The shorter the video, the more engaged your audience will be. A general rule of thumb here is to make sure each video in your mini-course is less than five minutes.
There’s no one-size-fits-all method for video delivery. As a content creator, you’ve probably already figured out what works best for you. Some options include:
- Talking head
- Screen recording
- Demo videos
Pro tip: When it comes to video, you want to make sure that you have the right equipment, aka a proper microphone and tripod, or a gimbal stabilizer if you’re using your smartphone. Keep your background simple, make sure your space is well-lit, and always be mindful of background noise.
Low-stake quizzes are one of the best ways to ensure the lessons in your mini-course are fully watched, while also helping your audience think about the material you’ve just dished out.
Keep in mind that, despite your best efforts, some of your audience might not watch your entire mini-course. For this reason, quizzes work as a helpful self-learning tool for users to reflect on what they’ve consumed and to assess whether or not they’re ready to move on.
Depending on the subject topic and length of your mini-course, you can decide to include multiple quizzes (for example at the end of each lesson) to help keep your audience engaged.
Pro tip: It’s usually best practice to include at least one quiz at the end of your mini-course to allow your audience to test their knowledge.
Links or downloadable assets
Whether you’re linking out to supplementary material or downloadable assets, providing links can be a super flexible way of adding even more value to your mini-course.
Essentially, links are an opportunity to dive even deeper into a subject than your mini-course may allow. Not to mention they’re a great opportunity for promoting other digital product offerings you might have, like templates, other mini-courses, ebooks, or even long-form online courses.
Ultimately, external links help with further learning for your audience, or help them put what they’ve already learned into practice.
Step 5: Put a price tag on your mini-course (or don’t!)
Once you’re done building your mini-course, it’s time to set a price for it. Alternatively, you can offer your mini-course for free as a lead magnet.
Many creators choose to offer their mini-courses as freebies (aka lead magnets) to attract new followers and collect valuable contact information that contributes to a more robust email list. Of course, it’s always up to you as a creator to decide what mini-course pricing structure is of more value to you at any given time.
There may be times that you decide earning some passive income is of utmost importance, and other times you may come up with the perfect mini-course topic to attract new potential followers or subscribers. The beauty of offering a digital product like a mini-course is that you have options!
“Pay What You Want”
Some digital product builders offer a sliding scale option — an alternative to a traditional fixed-rate — like The Leap’s “Pay What You Want” feature. Some creators prefer this option for a digital product like a mini-course, because it can attract a wider audience and build general goodwill.
As a creator, you might choose this approach to empower your audience, accommodate different financial situations, or even potentially receive more generous payments from those who value your work. At the end of the day, it’s a nice option to have for fostering an improved sense of trust and community.
If you decide to stick to a more traditional fixed rate for your mini-course, most creators keep their content within the ballpark of $5 to $50 maximum. This is because the idea behind a mini-course is that you want it to be accessible.
Remember, a mini-course should be an introduction to your expertise that might inspire interest in higher-ticket digital products like a long-form online course, ebook, or membership-based service or content.
Looking for some inspiration? Check out these five great examples of mini-courses, all built on The Leap.
1. How To Become a Creative Director by Kate Terentieva
Kate Terentieva is a professional creative director and branding strategist. On TikTok, she posts educational content related to her profession, aimed at helping others who aspire to become creative directors, themselves. In a field that can be notoriously vague in terms of how to get started, Kate’s advice on being a creative director, alongside inspirational marketing ideas, and her opinions on the latest in the world of marketing are a refuge for many creatives.
Kate’s mini-course, titled “How To Become a Creative Director,” guides learners through exactly what a creative director does and how to kickstart your career. Kate offers her mini-course for $19.99. In the week after its launch, she made 10 sales for her mini-course!
2. Launch Your Wedding Planning Business by Candice Coppola
Candice Coppola is a business coach, author, and wedding planning expert. Candice took her wedding planning business, Jubilee Events, from scratch to a six-figure enterprise in just two years. In 2019, she sold the business and shifted her focus to assisting fellow wedding professionals in establishing profitable businesses like her own.
On her Instagram, Candice generously shares the strategies and insights that propelled her wedding business to success, offering advice on revamped marketing strategies, building a distinctive brand, and leveraging AI for growth in the wedding industry.
In addition to her educational content, Candice sells a range of courses and guides through her website. Her most recent mini-course, “Launch Your Wedding Planning Business,” was crafted using The Leap’s AI-powered authoring tool. Concise and video-centered, Candice’s course is designed to help users develop a comprehensive business plan for their wedding planning ventures.
Using her marketing expertise effectively, Candice offers this mini-course for free as a lead magnet tool to grow her email list.
3. Building Your Email List by Millie Adrian
Millie Adrian is a prominent YouTuber and creator educator, and the founder of The Modern Influencer. While working 9 to 5 as a project manager, Millie grew her social media audience to 400K+ followers. Now, she’s helping her audience do the same.
Leveraging the knowledge she gained from project management and drawing on her personal experience balancing a day job and side hustle, Millie provides her YouTube and Instagram following with everything they need to know to build their brands while working a day job.
As a firm believer in prioritizing email list building, Millie recently applied her expertise and knowledge to a brand new mini-course created using The Leap’s AI-powered digital product builder. This video-based course teaches users how to build their email lists. In it, she touches on the importance of lead magnets and the concept that your social media followers are a “rented” audience.
Sign up below for access to Millie’s mini-course — it’s free!
4. Planning Your Digital Products by Juan Galán
Starting his journey working in marketing for corporate and startup companies, Juan Galán treated Instagram as his side hustle for years until he decided to finally take the leap. Today, he’s a full-time Instagram creator and founder of his own business, IG Creator Academy. Through his company, Juan seeks to help content creators embark on their own entrepreneurial journey.
Juan brings over 10 years of marketing expertise to his educational content, which spans macro topics like leveraging AI to elevate your business, to smaller tips like crafting the perfect IG caption.
Recently, Juan teamed up with The Leap to create a brand new mini-course using our AI-powered authoring tool. Juan’s course teaches you how to plan which digital products to sell, by using your audience to research pain points and adopting an MVP mindset.
This mini-course is packed with incredibly useful insights and tips for understanding the digital product sphere. Get free access by signing up below!
5. Creating Video Content by XayLi Barclay
XayLi Barclay is a seasoned video consultant and an expert in course creation, having successfully generated close to $1 million in revenue from her expertise. With a significant following of over 7,000 learners in her online school, XayLi has also empowered numerous course creators on their journeys.
XayLi’s mini-course is divided into four key parts: unlocking the secrets to powerful video content, mastering simple tricks for mobile filming, expert tips for crisp audio, and digital product tools for the best video post-production.
Throughout her mini-course, XayLi highlights the importance of video content in the digital learning landscape, emphasizing its interactivity, ease of consumption, and high engagement levels. She describes video content as a way to bring the platform into the palm of learners’ hands, capitalizing on the boom in online learning and people’s willingness to pay for unique insights.
Want to learn more? Sign up for the mini-course for free.
Benefits of mini-courses
If your brain is swimming in mini-course ideas, then you’re in a good place to start! There are a multitude of benefits that a mini-course can bring to your creator career. We dish out our top favorite benefits below.
1. Create a direct relationship with your audience
At The Leap, we think and talk a lot about the difference between an “owned” audience and a “rented” audience.
What this means is that while you may amass many followers on social platforms, they represent a “rented’ audience. On the flip side, an “owned” audience is amassed by collecting contact information (like email), which gives you the ability to target communications beyond social algorithms.
For this reason, one of the best ways you can build your “owned” audience is to grow an email list by offering a lead magnet — or a digital product like… you guessed it, a mini-course.
Mini-courses help you build a direct relationship with your audience by capturing their email, so you’re no longer reliant on other social media platforms to communicate with them. That means no more spending hours producing content that might not even land in your audience’s feed.
Think about it this way: A mini-course shouldn’t take you any longer than a few hours to create, so if you offer it as a lead magnet, that’s extremely valuable time spent collecting contact information that could go a very long way.
Plus, thanks to email analytics and reporting, having a more direct line with your audience also leads to a better understanding of what content lands well, or not so well — equally beneficial insights.
2. Earn some extra cash!
Ahhhh, sweet, sweet passive income. As a content creator, is there anything better? Considering the ROI on digital products like mini-courses, we’d have to argue no.
That being said, keep in mind that a mini-course isn’t intended to be a high-ticket product. Generally speaking, you want to keep your mini-course pricing low. Think within the $5 to $50 price range.
Many content creators using The Leap consider offering their mini-courses as freebies (or lead magnets) to attract new audience members and collect their contact information.
In other words, a mini-course might not be the thing that helps you quit your 9-to-5 (at least, not right away). Still, if done correctly, it could lead to a more robust email list, validating bigger digital product ideas, and better understanding your audience’s content needs. All of which leads to more cash down the line!
3. Validate bigger digital product ideas
If you’re at the stage where you’re considering how to create a mini-course online, remember to keep in mind that it’s different from a full-length online course.
You should be thinking about your mini-course as a “bite-sized” resource, a chunk of content that has a short run time and doesn’t take long to produce, but still provides your audience tons of value.
Often, a mini-course can lead to bigger digital product ideas. Whether that’s a higher-ticket online course, membership-based premium content, or an ebook.
But what happens if your mini-course isn’t the huge success you were hoping for? Don’t sweat it! If you approached your mini-course the right way, you only invested a minimal amount of your time in a topic that you now know your audience doesn’t care that much about. That insight is just as valuable as knowing what your audience cares about.
Think about it this way: a mini-course is a low-cost, low-risk way to experiment with what your audience likes and doesn’t like.
This is why digital products, particularly mini-courses, are so great! They allow you to create a collection of validated content valued at $0 to $50 each, that you can later package into a higher-ticket digital product, like a master class that can sell for a few hundred dollars. Sounds pretty sweet, right?
4. Engaging format for delivering value
A mini-course is an exciting digital product because it provides value to your audience in an intuitive format that’s specifically designed to help them learn something new. Remember, a mini-course isn’t meant to replace long-form online courses. It’s intended to be a bite-sized offering of a specific subject area of your expertise.
At The Leap, we like to think of mini-course material as either “wide and flat” or “narrow and deep.” For example, if you’re a social media marketing pro, a “wide and flat” mini-course topic might be an “Intro To Social Marketing.” Meanwhile, a “narrow and deep” topic might be “How To Optimize Your Content for the TikTok Algorithm.”
Like any style of short-form content, engagement is key. That means every image, video, sound bite, text — and their delivery — matters. No pressure, though! As long as you know your target audience, do your research, and stick to your content niche, producing engaging content should come naturally!
When you’re trying to figure out what topic can provide the most value for your audience, ask yourself what it is that they need, not just what’s going to make you the most bucks. If you can identify what your audience needs — and come up with a unique and fresh way to address it — then your mini-course automatically becomes another way for you to deliver value to your audience.
5. Terrific ROI
A mini-course may not be a high-ticket product that will lead to you quitting your day job, but since this digital product shouldn’t take you a long time to produce, you’ll get a high ROI over time.
If you’re using a free mini-course creation platform like The Leap, you’re kicking off your potential ROI right out of the gate.
When considering how to make a mini-course online, the golden rule is that a mini-course shouldn’t take more than a few hours to create. Mini-courses should be easily digestible for your audience. They should achieve a targeted learning objective while staying unique to you and your voice.
The key here is to not overthink it. You may be a perfectionist when it comes to your content, but a mini-course is not the place to apply Hollywood-style perfection.
Rather, you want to think about spending less time on a mini-course, so that you can spend even more time producing the content that might lead to bigger digital product ideas that justify higher price tags.
Not only does a mini-course help you earn some passive income, it also helps you build a stronger relationship and reputation with your audience. All of this for only a few hours of work that’s free to produce? If that’s not a sweet ROI, we don’t know what is.
It’s no secret that content consumption has been trending towards mobile for years now. We’re seeing the microlearning trend moving in the same direction. Like it or not, the reality is that we’re all attached to our phones. So you want to build a mini-course on a platform that focuses on a mobile-first delivery.
Think of it this way, a mini-course should be an extension of how you work as a creator, and how your audience consumes your content. That means it should be easy to build, sell, and promote a vertically-oriented mini-course all from your phone.
If you’re wondering how to create a mini-course for free, The Leap’s AI-powered tool is a good option for you. Not only is it free to use, The Leap mini-course creation tool is designed to help you make the most of mobile-first content as a creator.
Create your own mini-course today!
Want to start small by building and selling your own mini-courses? We have a tool for that — try The Leap free today!
Still not sure if you’ve got the chops to build your own mini-course? We know you do! But if you want to see an example before you begin, take a look at this introductory mini-course about mini-courses. Whoa, so meta.
What is a mini-course?
A mini-course is a compact, bite-sized online course that delves into a specific topic. Think of it as a valuable nugget of knowledge that’s easy to digest and perfect for busy folks who want to learn something new without a big time commitment (or attention span).
How can I build a mini-course online?
Building a mini-course online is super easy to do if you find the right mini-course creation platform. Ideally, building a mini-course online should feel like an extension of your existing content workflow on social media platforms. Going with a free, AI-powered platform like The Leap will not only save you time and money, but it’ll also look and feel intuitive to your audience.
How can I build a mini-course for free?
The easiest way to build a mini-course online for free is to find a platform that is willing to help you do so. The Leap is a completely free AI-powered mini-course creation tool that helps you generate a mini-course in minutes, Either build your mini-course from scratch, or if you’re feeling stumped, The Leap’s AI mini-course builder can help you come up with the perfect topic.
With other helpful features offered by The Leap, like easy payment processing, an automatic sales page, and 100% ownership of customer and lead data, building a mini-course online can be an amazing ROI for your content creator business.