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8 Simple Tips for Choosing the Perfect Name for Your Online Course

Ever stumbled across an online course with a name so cute and catchy and clear that you felt compelled to snap it up (even if you didn’t realize you needed it in the first place?)

Yep, us, too.

We know creating an online course is hard work. We also know coming up with an amazing name to go along with it can feel even harder.

What’s in a Name?

First, let’s be honest. Does your course name matter that much? Well, yes and no. The title of your course is the first thing potential students will have to ‘judge’ your course by—and while lots of other factors will ultimately contribute to whether or not they click “I’m In!”, it’s definitely an important piece.

A good title will pique curiosity, set expectations, and reflect the quality of the content within. In other words: yep, a catchy name does matter.

And this is where things can get tricky How in the world do you come up with a name that’s both clear and understandable and also so undeniably catchy that it stops your future students mid-scroll (especially when there are so many cute cat videos–not to mention other coaches–to compete with)?

Those are all fantastic questions. But don’t worry, friend. Below, we’re diving into a few must-know, proven tips for coming up with an attention-grabbing title for your next course:

8 Simple Tips for Choosing the Perfect Name for Your Online Course

1) Keep it short, sweet and to the point. Course names are usually just 1-3 words. You want your students to be able to read and understand the name easily.

At the end of the day, clear trumps clever. It’s more important that you choose something catchy and descriptive than something that’s overly clever or punny, so don’t worry so much about having the ‘coolest’ or ‘funniest’ course name on the block.

2) Consider your target audience–and their desires. As you’re brainstorming names, it’s important to keep your target audience in mind. After all, they’re the ones who will be taking your course, so you want to make sure that the name appeals to them, uniquely and specifically. Think about the type of person who would be interested in taking your course. What are their interests? What are their needs? And ultimately, what are their desires?

The best course names generally speak straight to the heart of what your potential student desires–so much so that when they read it, they’ll immediately think, “I’d like some of that, please!” That said, be sure to get clear about the goals for your course and what you want people to walk away with. How can you turn that ultimate goal or concept into a name?

You’ll also want to think bout what kind of message you want your course title to send about your brand. Is your brand funny and cheeky? Is it more serious and professional? Be sure that’s reflected in your course name, too.

3) Make it memorable by using puns or wordplay. If you’re looking for a fun and unique way to name your next course, why not try a play on words with a fun pun? Check out the online Idiom Dictionary of the primary topics of your course or do some Google searches. This can be a great way to add some personality to your course title and make it more memorable for your students.

4) Use keywords that accurately describe the content of your course. What is your course about? Write down and brainstorm some key words or phrases that describe it. You can also consider how your target audience might search for a course like yours in an actual search engine. What keywords would they use? For example, if you’re creating a course on social media marketing, you might want to include keywords like “social media” or “marketing” in the name of your course to keep things clear and simple. Keyword research tools can also help you come up with additional keywords related to your course topic, and that can spark ideas for a title, too

5) Create an acronym. Acronyms are a great way to create catchy, memorable names for your courses that will help you stand out from the competition–and ‘stick’ in your potential students’ minds. To create an acronym, start by brainstorming a list of key words or concepts that you want to include in your course name. Then, use those words to create a short, snappy acronym that will be easy for potential students to remember. For example, if you’re creating a course on social media marketing, you could use the acronym ‘SMM101’ to represent your course title.

This isn’t always the easiest, so if you’re struggling to come up with the perfect acronym, there are plenty of online tools and resources that can help. Just do a quick search for ‘acronym generator’ and you’ll find tons of helpful results.

6) Ask your audience and colleagues. If you’re feeling super stuck or overthinking your course name like crazy, it might be time to get out of your own head–and into someone else’s. Don’t be afraid to ask industry colleagues–or clients!–for their ideas and opinion on a course name. After all, they’ll be the ones taking it! Seeing their ideas can help get your own creative juices flowing–even if you don’t wind up using their suggestions.

7) Find inspiration in other people’s work. When it comes to naming your first (or next) course, taking a quick look at what others in your space have done can be super helpful. You’ll not only get a feel for what’s out there (so you can make sure to differentiate your name enough so as not to cause confusion–or copyright infringement), scoping out the competition can also spark an unexpected idea for your own name.

Don’t know where to find courses on your topic? Start with some Google searches or take a peek on a course platform like Udemy. Once you find a few courses that stand out, pause to think about why that particular name caught your eye. Is it funny or punny? Is it clear or straightforward? What made it an ‘immediate yes’ ( or ‘immediate no’) for you?

You can also look at the names of past courses you’ve taken. Did the name influence your decision to join at all–and if so, how? What are the most ‘attractive’ ones–and why?

8) Use a word map. Never heard of one? A word map is a fantastic, little-known way to come up with a course name super quickly. Here’s how this simple brainstorming technique works:

    1. Write down the main topic of your course in the middle of a piece of paper.
    2. Draw a circle around the topic.
    3. Write down every single word and phrase that come to mind related to the topic.
    4. Draw lines connecting each word or phrase to the central topic.
    5. Review your word map and see if any patterns emerge. What name or name(s) would capture the essence of what your course is all about? Et voila!

Above all, don’t expect perfection! There’s really no such thing as the ‘perfect’ name. And remember, you can always change it later on, if necessary. Instead, just grab a notebook (or pop open a fresh Google Doc), have some fun and set a timer. When the timer goes off, commit to choosing a name and simply moving forward.

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