How to Identify Your Target Audience for eLearning Program or Online Course?

There are a lot of decisions that go into creating an eLearning program. One of the most important considerations is who you want to build the program for. Identifying your target audience for eLearning will influence the decisions you make along the way. 

Your target audience can affect the tone you take, the level of technical jargon you use, and the education or experience that you assume the learner has. 

How to Identify Your Target Audience for eLearning Program or Online Course? 

#1. What Challenges Do You Solve?

The first and most important question to ask yourself is, what challenges do you want to solve with the eLearning program? 

You can start by thinking about the most common challenges your clients, employees, or people around you face on a daily basis. 

Write all of the challenges in one column on the piece of paper. Now think about specific people who are struggling with those challenges. Write their names next to each of the challenges they have. 

This is crucial because you should group your learners based on the challenges they face. This may seem counterintuitive if you are used to grouping people by demographic information, but the challenges are much more important for eLearning. 

Remember that the primary goal of your eLearning program is to take your learners to a new point. They are currently at point A and want to reach point Z. Your program gives them the tools and knowledge they need to reach that point. 

But you can’t create the program if you aren’t sure what challenge is stopping them from reaching point Z. 

After the program, your learners should be able to successfully reach point Z. Doing so will mean they successfully overcame their challenges. 

Related Read: How to Structure Online Courses to Help Students Get Better Results

#2. Determine the Most Common Challenges

Once you have a list of the challenges that your program will solve, you need to figure out which ones are the most common. 

This is true whether you are creating an internal program for training or selling an external online course

First, if you are a company creating an internal program, you want to maximize the success of the eLearning program—i.e., your ability to get learners to point Z. This means that you want to address the issue that the largest number of people face. If you focus on a less-common challenge, your results will not be as significant. 

It is a similar situation if you plan on selling your program. If you address the challenge that the largest number of people face, then you will maximize the size of your target audience for eLearning.

#3. Take Note of the Other Challenges for the Future

While you should start with a target audience for eLearning based on the most common challenge, you don’t want to forget about the others. 

After all, assuming your first eLearning program is a success, you are likely to make another one in the future. It should even be easier to make your future programs thanks to the experience of creating the first one.

If you have a list of challenges, then you have a starting point. Just be sure to reevaluate which ones are the most common before creating your next program, especially if a lot of time has passed. 


Define your target audience for eLearning based on the challenges they face. Brainstorm a list of the challenges your program will solve, and then focus on the one that is the most common. The people dealing with that challenge are your target audience. 

Want to createĀ a successful online course?

WatchĀ our free masterclass and we'll show you how to build anĀ online course in less than 90 days and save $10,000 in the process.

+ receive exclusive content direct to your inbox every week.