Planning Online Courses – Discover Your Inner Expert and Dismiss the Imposter Syndrome!

If I asked you, just off the top of your head, what you are expert at, what would you say?

Perhaps modestly, you would decry that you are not an expert at anything. Alternatively, you might answer that you have some expertise, but who is going want to learn from you?

The Imposter Syndrome is something we have all suffered from. The feeling that you are not good enough, that others are better and smarter than you, better positioned to be taking the leading role. I am here to tell you that, categorically, that is not true. You are and will be a great instructor and many students are going to benefit from your knowledge and expertise.

The definition of expert, that I like the most, is “someone who knows more than you”. We are all experts.

When I was speaking on this topic at New Media Europe in September 2015 in Manchester on this topic, I asked my audience – How many of your are experts? Approximately half the room raised a hand. But when I asked, How many of you have a skill or an interest about which you probably know more than the random a course in miracles person sitting next to you? Many more hands were raised.

This is the point.

You have many skills and life experiences which you can share with others. The trick is to harness those skills in an organised and coordinated way.

I want you to take a piece of paper and create six columns. At the top of each column I want you to write the following headings:


  • Workplace Qualifications
  • Workplace Skills
  • Personal Skills
  • Experience
  • Hobbies/Interests
  • Passions


Now I want you to spend 10 minutes writing down all the different topics under these headings which you feel you might be able to turn into a course. Let me give you some examples of my own.

    • Workplace Qualifications
      • Financial Business Planning
      • Venture Capital Funding
      • Mergers and Acquisitions


    • Workplace Skills
      • Company Valuation Modelling
      • Presentation skills
      • Negotiation


    • Personal Skills
      • Public Speaking
      • Podcasting


    • Experience
      • Leadership
      • Motivation
      • Applying for Jobs
      • Writing CVs


    • Hobbies/Interests
      • Fine Wine
      • Modern First Edition Books
      • Running (not very far!)


  • Passions
    • Technology – reviewing new products and software
    • James Bond
    • Toy Cars

That only took me a few minutes and if I spent more time on it, the list would be a great deal longer. The fact that I have nine courses currently in draft is evidence of that.

Not all of these topics would make great courses and in some cases, while the courses would be interesting, it is possible if not likely, that no one would want to buy them.

However, I want you to brainstorm this list. Keep it close to you for a day or two and when you think of something to add to one of the lists, just jot it down and then carry on with what ever you were doing. Let your subconscious mind do all the hard work.

This is designed to help you identify your areas of expertise but I want to leave you with my vision for your future. I believe you can transform yourself from an Expert to an Authority and this process is designed in part to empower you to do this. This is definitely part of my agenda. Whether I achieve it is not down to me but rather, is down to you. Authorities are recognised by those around them as the “GO TO” person on a topic.

I have been fortunate to be working with a great community around the topic of creating online courses and only you can judge how far towards becoming an Authority on the topic I am. The challenge I set for you is to become an Authority in the area or topic you choose and yes lets just focus on one to start with.

In the next step, I want to help you consider the wants and needs of your audience as this will help you to start to focus on the topics which are going to have most impact with them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *