Let me take you back to the early 2010s.
The world was just discovering the power of social networking. (Instagram was in its infancy.) Influencers were discovering they could build a platform.
It didn’t take long for those influencers to start looking for ways to make money from their respective platforms, and a new business model was formed.
Self proclaimed “experts” started monetizing their online presence by building info-products—online courses that taught you everything from social media marketing (did you pick up that Myspace course?), to dropshipping, to how to launch a course.
(Yes, I have taken multiple courses about building courses. Don’t @ me.) Thousands lined up for the opportunity to profit from the online course gold rush.
Then, a strange thing happened. Consumers began separating the true experts from the savvy marketers. Transformational products rose to the top.
Fast forward to today—online courses from industry experts are a proven way to build a foundation for an online business. It seems like everybody is looking for an expert to teach them something.
The e-learning market is exploding. Across the board, market researchers project the industry will be worth around $300 Billion by 2025. In 2018, Global Market Insights found the industry was already worth $180 Billion.
I suspect that’s what prompted you to read this post. Are you ready to claim your corner of this booming industry?
There’s an entire online classroom full of future students waiting for your expertise to guide them.
The knowledge you possess can influence lives and impact people in ways they can only dream of. It’s time to make those dreams a reality…but how do you break into an industry that’s already booming?
The internet is the gateway to an enormous audience, but it’s already a vast, crowded space. There’s limitless potential, but there are also endless questions.
- How do you outline your courses to best share your knowledge with others online?
- What if you get started with the wrong platform and strategy?
- Even after you set up your course, how will you attract paying students?
Leverage Creative Group has years of experience with assisting experts in designing online courses to help them educate their students. We’ve experienced successful and unsuccessful launches.
We’re aware of the importance of these types of courses, and the bedrock they provide for your online business. We’ve learned what doesn’t work, and where you should seek qualified help.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process for setting up your own online course. Just remember, there’s no magic shortcut to overnight success.
In fact, we tell all our clients: a profitable online course requires a dedicated strategy with a long term view, and far more time than most are willing to commit.
But with the expertise you have to share, we believe your dedication will be worth it.
5 Steps to Creating a Successful Online Course
Step 1. Decide what you are most qualified to speak on.
It’s easy to want to take the knowledge you have and do an information dump of everything into an online course. After all, you have a wide range of expertise, why not use it?
Don’t fall into this trap.
People aren’t looking for wide ranging courses. They want condensed material that will take them from point A to point B in the most efficient way possible.
So, choose the niche you are most qualified to speak on. The more narrow your focus, the more precise and helpful the course will be. This will help you avoid creating a mediocre course.
You want a course that outshines everyone else in your niche. Ensure this by providing transformational content that engages your users and allows them to see progress in that solitary niche.
For example, we created a course for one of our experts to teach their students how to write a novel. This course does not include every possible topic on writing. There’s far too much information to pile into a single course.
Instead, we focused on giving customers a precise path to get them from ideation to manuscript. (Allowing students to see a physical manifestation of their work is a course technique we will touch on in a bit.)
You may think casting a wide net will gain you more students and more profit. But, the bigger the net, the wider the holes.
Students have specific problems that need specific answers. They already have the entire internet at their disposal, so you need to be the niche expert. Your course should provide specific, valuable solutions for specific students.
Let’s look at some numbers.
Imagine you have 100 potential students who want to become better writers.
That’s a broad topic, but you want to get the most students possible, so you teach general writing tips. Grammar, sentence structure, the basics of storytelling, the best writing websites, helpful writing apps—you throw everything at them.
Even though there’s a little something for everyone, no student sticks around for long. You end up with a couple of students, but none are fully engaged.
What if, instead, you found out that 30 of those 100 potential students need help developing characters for a novel, so you create a course for how to develop compelling characters?
You’d instantly lose 70 students that don’t have a problem writing characters, but you specifically engage 30, and they stick with you. Not only that, they are very involved, because this is exactly what they need.
Finding your specific expertise may sound counterintuitive when you are thinking about the whole. But 30 engaged students are a lot better than a couple of hang-ons that don’t care and aren’t seeing improvement.
And those 30 will tell others about the expertise you provide. (We’ll cover marketing below).
Focus on the user’s end goal: what is the singular thing they’re trying to accomplish, and how can your expertise help them reach that goal?
One more example: that same writing teacher built a membership site. It includes everything they know about writing, so it’s a bit antithetical to what we’ve discussed so far. You’d be right to assume this was the wrong approach.
In fact, over time, we saw more and more students abandoning the course. Why? Because they weren’t seeing progress. They were overwhelmed by the volume of material.
Our solution was to create multiple paths for users to choose. They now self-assign to particular curriculum interests. The results have been telling. We’ve seen a dramatic drop in the loss of users, and a significant rise in engagement.
Why? Because we narrowed the focus.
That’s the trick.
Ask: what is my customer’s singular goal?
Then meet that goal.
Step 2. Find out what customers need.
Whatever your topic, there’s already someone talking about it on the internet. Don’t view this as a loss. Competition in a niche is probably an indicator that there is high demand for more guidance on that topic.
Take advantage of this by learning exactly what your customers are looking for. Then, focus on speaking directly to that need.
Search Amazon for books about your topic. Read the reviews. This is direct customer research that allows you to see exactly what they like, dislike, and what specifically they’re looking for.
Do reviews say customers wish the book was more detailed? Did they still have questions once they finished the book? Did they like the teaching style?
These types of questions can help you refine a course suited precisely for the audience you want to attract.
And, if you need more information, don’t forget a good old fashion face-to-face chat.
You may have people in your life that are potential students. Talk to them. Ask them questions about their struggles, and what they would want in a course. I used this method to start one of my businesses. It allowed me to find and fill a huge need for creative professionals.
You can’t afford to skip this step. As you start growing your student base, think of ways you can learn from them. Surveys are a quick, easy way to determine their needs and how you can meet them.
Ask questions that focus on what’s happening in their lives, and what prompted them to search for your topic. What problems are they facing? What would their lives look like if you were able to provide the solution?
If you can, go beyond surveys. Set up interviews with potential, current, and former students.
You may not get a huge response from students who desire a phone or video chat, but the students who are willing will be a valuable resource, especially if you’re able to dig deeper and ask follow up questions.
These steps will go a long way in getting you started. If you can build and market your course to focus on the exact needs of your customers, you’ll set yourself apart from the competition.
Note: You read that right, I said market. You should already be preparing and acting on a marketing strategy. We’ll discuss this in detail in Step #5, but it’s good to keep in mind now. A lot of these steps will run concurrently. This guide is an action plan, not a timeline.
Step 3. Design a solution-oriented course.
Always know where the course will end, and what specific question it will answer for your students.
When we designed the course to help students write a novel, we made sure they had a finished manuscript by the end. Why? Because we discovered the primary problem they faced was the inability to finish writing a novel. By the end, they literally had the solution in hand.
Knowing what problem you’re solving informs what add-ons, upsells, and next steps to offer your students. In this example, once a manuscript is written, we can offer editing courses or a professional manuscript workshop.
The problem you solve doesn’t have to be the end-all of your topic. (Remember, keep it specific). It can be a single step toward the end goal.
In other words, don’t focus on going from A to Z. Focus on taking your reader from A to B, then B to C. If a course can cover multiple steps, great. But it doesn’t have to be an all inclusive guide.
Along the way, add some instant gratification.
This is always a good thing to keep students motivated. Give your learner small wins, so that they are encouraged to continue and accomplish their ultimate goal. Then, the rest of your courses will fulfill the remaining steps in your topic.
Maybe you’re thinking, wait, the rest of your courses?
Yep. We believe a fully-developed course suite is more transformational than one course that tries to do too much.
Put simply, teaching works best as a progression.
Here’s a practical example: our novel course sees students write their first few pages early on to have a tangible sample of what they will have by the end of the course.
Then, part of our offering lets them send those first 10 pages to a professional editor for critique. That critique then encourages them to move forward without feeling as though they’ve lost time.
The crucial takeaway here is to always put your students first. It’s not about showing off what you know. It’s about making sure the lives of your students are changed for the better and they have what they need to accomplish their ultimate goal.
Here are a few issues we are asked about frequently:
Pricing Your Course
The two main things to consider when you’re pricing your course are:
- Make sure that you don’t undervalue your skills.
- Make sure the market will support your offering.
When I say don’t undervalue your skills, I mean you shouldn’t offer something that commandeers your time and doesn’t have a substantial cost associated with it.
In other words, don’t sell the milk and give the cow away for free. You want people to understand that your expertise is worth a premium.
At the same time, you need to review competitor’s courses to see what the market will bear concerning price.
For example, we had a client who taught educators. When we were discussing how to price his course, we considered the likely limited disposable income an educator would have, and priced the course accordingly.
Visit this site for great pricing insights: https://www.priceintelligently.com/blog
Organizing/Editing your course
The best way to ensure the value of your course: remove anything your end user doesn’t need or want.
Some of this organization is instinct, but a lot of it is done through good old fashioned communication. Talk to your customers, email list, followers, fans, event attendees, etc., and ask them what is their biggest struggle.
Then, design a course that will meet that need. Edit more heavily than you think you should on sections that may/may not be useful. You can always add what you cut as bonuses, upsells, or core content at a later date.
Researching other courses
A key step in this process is competitor research.
You should be an avid consumer of the courses your competitors offer. Doing this has myriad benefits:
- You gain insight into their marketing
- You gain insight into what price the market will bear
- You gain access to customers (in facebook groups or comments) you can mine for marketing language or market research (do not try to steal customers from competitors this way, you evil geniuses, use it purely for research)
- You might even learn something. If you don’t, you’ll gain confidence knowing that you can provide the expertise that’s missing
Now that we’ve covered the instructional design of the course, let’s dive into the more technical aspects of course building.
Step 4. Choose an online course platform that’s right for you.
We’ve found that sometimes experts fear the technical side of setting up an online course the most. It makes a lot of sense.
There are a lot of options available, and you want to focus on the content, not the delivery. So, we want to make choosing the right one for you as simple as possible.
The most important thing you can do when choosing a platform to host your online course is make sure it’s something that works for you.
Understand the payment plans of each, or how they make their money off your course. Specifically, you want to make sure this split in revenue is ok with you.
Then, make sure it technically does what you need it to. (Does it connect with what you need it to connect with? Does it require coding knowledge? Does it host videos?…)
Each platform offers something a little different, but we want to help you get started comparing a few of them.
Udemy is excellent if you want a lot of support while creating your first course.
They offer tutorials for marketing specifically with their platform, and provide feedback on your material. They will help you add content into a template and make it available on their marketplace, which is full of other thought leaders.
Udemy allows for a lot of control within the scope of their platform.
You have full access to the analytics for your course, which keeps you updated on your progress. You are also able to collect email addresses from your students, and communicate with them on the platform.
Worth noting: the email addresses are collected through Udemy. If you want to build your own list, this is worth considering.
If all you want to focus on is online courses and you have no intention on building an email list for other marketing efforts, Udemy may be the right fit for you. (See the marketing section below. It may influence your decision.)
- Training for first-time course creators
- Access to communication with students and analytics for your course
- Easy-to-use templates
- Email collection is through their platform
- Commission is taken on your sales
- Limited choices outside of their style templates
Kajabi works as a white-label option. In other words, it lives within your brand’s ecosystem, not on a marketplace like Udemy.
There are a lot of different options for how you can automate your email through Kajabi. (We will elaborate on the importance of email marketing strategies below.) It is, however, limited by the one-size-fits-all idea. Unless you know how to code, it isn’t very customizable.
Kajabi allows selling on its platform. If you offer products in addition to your course, Kajabi may be a great option for you.
The marketing options on this platform are also ever-changing. New features have been added to Kajabi’s tool kits, including an option to add a webinar for your course.
- Integrates into your own technical ecosystem
- Great marketing and email gathering tools
- Allows you to sell more than just your course
- A pricey option, higher monthly subscription
- Limited customization
- Greater learning curve integrating into your platform
Teachable is a bit of a mix between Kajabi and Udemy. It has a marketplace, but you don’t have to be on it. You can use its platform to sell, and there’s even some light automation.
Teachable offers a little more than Kajabi in the way of style customization. This enables you to customize, even if you don’t know how to code.
This may be a better option for you if you have your own email list and plan to market to your students on your own.
- Good if you want to integrate into your own platform, or use theirs
- Expanded customization and automation
- Lower subscription price point for starting plans
- Fewer marketing options to sell the course to students
- No built-in system to communicate with your students
- Cannot sell other digital products
- The paid version takes a transaction fee from course sales that’s nearly twice what other credit card processors charge
Custom may be the way to go if you don’t want to be confined to templates and best practices.
Do you want to make something that’s truly, remarkably different? Hire a team to custom build it for you, outside any of these platforms.
- Total control over all design features
- No commission costs, lower subscription fees
- Sell whatever products you like, in addition to your course
- Need to know how to code, or have the ability to pay out of pocket to hire a designer and/or developer
- You solve any maintenance issues
- Steep learning curve without a support team
These options just scratch the surface of what’s available to you. Still, we hope our recommendations give you an idea for what direction you’d like to go.
Remember, regardless which you choose, the quality of the content will always speak loudest. You can have the best looking design with integrated marketing and communication systems, but it’ll be ineffective if your course fails to provide transformational content.
You might get them to your course with a flashy look and great marketing, but your students will see right through content that doesn’t solve their problem.
…Speaking of getting students to your course…
(Sometimes segues are awkward…what can I say?)
Step 5. Set your marketing foundation.
Finding a good niche is about finding the right audience. Make sure you’re marketing to a specific group.
The more you hone in on that niche, the more you will be the preeminent resource on your topic. Where your competition might try a scattershot approach to marketing, you need to be laser-focused.
Generally, we think of this type of marketing as marketing to a person or avatar, not to a group.
You want to keep one singular person in mind as you market. It’s a similar concept when public speaking. You don’t want to talk to the “thousand-eyed monster,” but rather, individuals.
To help with this, when you have an idea for who your customer is, get a picture of them. (No don’t snap random photos of people on the street that match your audience!). Find a stock photo and print it. Tape it to your computer, and speak to that individual.
Give the person a name. Make it so personal that you feel like you are writing to a friend.
This might seem a little bizarre, but it’s a great way to constantly remind yourself that you’re talking to one person. Don’t let your voice get lost by trying to talk to everyone.
If you’re having trouble getting this idea: Remember it’s just one person at a time that will be reading your emails and advertisements. Talk to that individual alone. For more, read our empathy map template post.
Marketing can take at least 6-9 months of content generation before you start seeing results. Be patient and realistic with your expectations.
We believe SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a powerful, critical piece for successful organic marketing. You want to make discovering your course on search engines like Google as easy as possible.
Search engines essentially catalog all data from the internet. (Not an easy task.) It does so by looking at individual websites for keywords and language to help it understand what kind of content is on that site. This is called crawling and indexing.
You want your voice to be loud and clear, so to speak, so search engines will realize what kind of site you have. You want to be naturally as near the top of search engines as possible to allow organic traffic to find you.
(Organic simply means that you didn’t have to pay to direct visitors to your site.)
The key is offering quality content.
As technology progresses, so do automated search engines. Sites like Google are beginning to understand what a good blog post looks like vs. one that is created simply to try and trick the algorithms into cataloging the site higher on its results pages.
(This is called Black Hat SEO, in case you see that term thrown around online.) You may notice this post is extensive, for instance—that’s not accidental.
Quality content also identifies you as an expert, and allows future students to get to know you.
They will want more, and sign up for your email list. Getting your followers, fans, friends, and readers to sign up for your email list is the goal, so that you can continue to communicate with them.
You will need to do your research, just like you did when you researched the needs of potential students. What are other articles out there on your topic? Find what potential students are searching for and write your own content based on what you find.
This will also give you clues as to what keywords to use in your articles and marketing material, and will help your site be discovered more easily if you include keywords that potential students are searching for in Google.
How many articles do you think exist on writing your first book? Hint: more than you can count. But the content we help experts create shares their experience on that topic. There’s plenty of people researching it, and we make sure they can find high-quality content.
Then those people searching the internet become subscribers, and subscribers become students.
One quick side note: It may seem hard to understand how you transfer these site visitors into email list subscribers. Don’t overthink it.
On each SEO-optimized post, make sure you have a lead magnet—a free content upgrade download—like the top 5 tools every writer needs, or the PDF version of a 5,600 word post, and then make sure you ask the visitor to download.
This can be done throughout the post, as an exit intent pop-up (if you don’t know what that means, check out our tools post here), or as an opt-in at the bottom of the post. Then, deliver the content upgrade using your CRM.
If you’re not sure what your lead magnet should be: Ask your clients what they need.
We’ve done this multiple times for clients, and boosted their email lists by thousands of people, just by providing them what they ask for. The easiest way to do this is to survey a list you can’t control (hello, Facebook algorithm) and then offer them the download so they go on a list you can control (email, SMS, etc.).
This is critical.
Once you have students on an email list, you have a platform to share your course.
Maybe you’re wondering if there other ways to market your course. What about paid ads, and YouTube, and becoming a Udemy star professor?
There are many ways to build an email list—more than just the few ways we’ve already mentioned. The key to this part of your strategy is to build a lead engine.
Ours are generally built on SEO, because it’s the cheapest way to get the most leads over a long period of time.
The key here is to pick a lead generation strategy and perfect it.
If it’s SEO, research how people are winning with SEO, and play the game to make sure you are winning, as well. If it’s paid ads, take courses to find out how best to optimize the ads, then test your hypotheses, and iterate until you get the best results possible.
To help, here’s a quick action plan with some resources for the three main portions of this work:
- Lead Generation
- Lead Nurture
Action Step 1: Choose Your Lead Generation Engine
Timeline: 10 Days
Remember you can try one (with a sufficient test) and iterate or pivot, but it’s important to take the first step.
10 Lead Generation Engine Ideas
- Speaking Engagements
- Amazon (write a book on your topic)
- Paid Advertising
10 Lead Generation Resources
Once you choose an engine, learn everything you can about how that lead generation engine works.
Listed below are some resources we recommend for each of the engines listed:
- SEO → https://academy.hubspot.com/courses/seo-training (free), https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo (free, great beginners guide), https://www.quicksprout.com/seo/ (broad, blog)
- Youtube → https://www.udemy.com/course/youtube-masterclass/?LSNPUBID=vedj0cWlu2YranEAID=vedj0cWlu2YranMID=39197ranSiteID=vedj0cWlu2Y-VUKOU87CSR5zfL6AgP3m9Autm_medium=udemyadsutm_source=aff-campaign (paid, masterclass), https://www.digitaldoughnut.com/articles/2018/april/10-effective-ways-to-generate-leads-using-youtube (broad, blog)
- Facebook → https://www.facebook.com/business/learn/categories/lead-generation (free)
- Instagram → https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/6-instagram-lead-generation-tactics/ (free, blog), https://www.udemy.com/course/how-to-generate-leads-with-instagram/ (paid, $95)
- Twitter → https://www.udemy.com/course/twitter-followers-lead-generation-system/ (paid, $20), https://optinmonster.com/using-twitter-for-lead-generation/ (free, blog), https://academy.hubspot.com/courses/twitter-strategy (free, course)
- LinkedIn → https://fabiennefayad.com/linkedin-lead-generation-training-courses/ (free, course) https://www.udemy.com/course/linkedin-lead-gen/?utm_source=adwordsutm_medium=udemyadsutm_campaign=DSA_Catchall_la.EN_cc.USutm_content=deal4584utm_term=_._ag_95911180068_._ad_436653296108_._kw__._de_c_._dm__._pl__._ti_dsa-41250778272_._li_9013185_._pd__._matchtype=bgclid=Cj0KCQjwhb36BRCfARIsAKcXh6GPSlmSKuFbZBIllZc7bVga0aJLal5RCtHZ_NE-gHsVP0xGKWWgnisaArRJEALw_wcB (paid, $13)
- Speaking Engagements → https://www.bluleadz.com/blog/generating-leads-at-speaking-engagements
- Paid Advertising → https://www.clickminded.com/paid-advertising/
Action Step 2: Set up and Implement a Lead Nurture Strategy
Timeline: 30 days
This doesn’t give you much time, but I’m intentionally pushing you to move forward. It’s not hard, but it is labor intensive.
Think about the best way to become the problem solver for your leads. Ideally, you’ll also be the subject matter expert for them.
Here are some action items for this step:
- Mine Amazon reviews and online reviews of similar products to determine what are the biggest pain points for your audience. (we’ve already covered this, so refer back to that section.)
- Survey your own leads as they come in. Initially, this could be a phone call with each lead. Over time, put a survey in place that asks:
- What is your biggest goal for the next 12 months?
- What is your biggest obstacle to reaching this goal?
- How would your life be different if you reached this goal?
The answers will be a treasure trove for how to talk to your audience about their problems.
- Provide immense, thorough, free content to new leads. We do this through an onboarding sequence. These sequences can last for 2 emails or 2 months, depending on your CRM’s ability to automate.
Put your best foot forward, remembering that you are trying to solve your lead’s biggest challenge, while positioning yourself as the subject matter expert.
Action Step 3: Use what you learn to convert your leads to customers
Timeline: 90 days
Wondering if you can really be making money within 90 days?
Sure! If you’ll focus on implementing these steps in a really amazing way for your leads.
Remember, your online presence and any courses you create are not about what you know, they’re about how you can help your audience. Build a trial product you can adjust to provide the most value to your leads, then launch that thing.
As you launch, you’ll learn that:
- Launches are incredibly tough on morale. There’s a real struggle to keep spirits high when you’re in the midst of it. Forge ahead. If you’ll follow the steps we’ve outlined for building your course, results will come.
- Your leads are hungry for good information. When we’ve launched courses, customer response has been positive for how the material has helped. That’s the goal. Create transformational content that changes lives.
- If you continue to provide amazing free value throughout your launch, people won’t mind being sold to. Sure, you’ll get your fair share of folks that get angry you’d ever try to make money, but by and large, if you focus on value (giving everyone on your email list a takeaway from their launch), you’ll remain in their good graces.
We exclusively use Breakthrough Launch (the course by Ramit Sethi). Other trusted resources for other brands include
- Product Launch Formula
- Russell Brunson’s Tripwire/Perfect Webinar Launch Models
Selling Your Online Course
While you market your course, you’ve been gathering emails for a reason.
Once your online course is ready for students, it’s time to start an email launch sequence.
A launch sequence is a string of emails and webinars designed to heighten the interest of your course while providing high-quality content to your most loyal audience.
As you market yourself online, you’ll want to provide a consistent flow of content. It’s important to find the right balance of information vs. sales. If you constantly push sales, you’ll lose your audience quickly.
Don’t believe it?
Consider your own inbox: what do you do when a company continually tries to sell, sell, and then sell you more?
You unsubscribe. Your audience will react the same way.
Another big mistake most new email marketers make is packing too many links into the body of an email. Keep it to one clear call to action. (This applies to most of the content you generate. Blogs and articles should follow the same rules.)
Too many options elicit indecision from future students. This is not good. You want them to make a confident decision to join your course.
The email launch should be designed to provide quality content for free, and set up the larger problem one step at a time. By the time your future students get through the sequence, they’ll be ready to sign up for your course.
A basic breakdown of the email sequence should look something like this:
- Email 1: Hook your reader. Give some interesting information about your topic—entice them to learn more. Don’t mention the course at this point, this is free information.
For our course on writing a novel, this looks something like hooking a reader with the reasons why they haven’t finished their novel. It’s a lot of work, it’s a hard industry to break into, and rejection is embarrassing. If we meet them where they are, they understand we get it.
Now they’ll pay attention to what’s next. We haven’t even mentioned the course. It’s entirely about them.
- Email 2: Include high quality, in-depth information—a sneak peek at your course that includes links to additional content you provide to your future students for free.
For our potential novelist, now we will start to give them concrete ways to begin writing. It’s more than a motivational story and interesting facts, it’s solid, helpful advice—completely free, which continues to build trust.
Then a hint at something more. We’ve given them motivation, steps to follow to get started, and they understand the course will provide something of value.
Why? Because we have already given them something of value for free.
- Email 3: Announce your course. You’ve given them high-quality information with a setup to a larger problem. The solution, naturally, is your course. Get right to the point about the content of your course.
This isn’t a fluff piece. It’s all about your course. That’s why the set up for this email is so important. You want to be sure you’ve established trust beforehand.
This email needs to quickly highlight exactly what they’ll get from your course.
Then, show them what their life might be like if it’s transformed by the knowledge they receive from your course. (Which is why we wanted to know what their lives looked like with their specific problem solved. It helps us speak directly to them.)
- Email 4: Urgency. It’s their last day to sign up before the launch window closes. You will see a spike in sign-ups after you send this email. In general, people don’t like feeling left out, and this maximizes the effect of that emotion.
Make them face the decision. It’s easy to read an email, see something we want, and still brush it aside. It’s much harder to do when a time limit is pressing them to decide.
You can edit this typical launch sequence in various ways, and you should try a lot of different techniques to see what works best for you and your audience.
For example, add a webinar. A webinar includes thirty minutes to an hour of a free teaching session filled with quality content to get your students started—started being the key word.
By the end, you’ll convince them of your expertise while revealing the larger issues your course will solve.
As you sell your course, it’s important to keep placing yourself into the shoes of your future students. What will they need to be convinced of as you promote your course?
Prompt them to envision themselves living their lives with the solutions your course provides. What, specifically, does this look like?
When we created the coursework for writing a novel, we knew it would be a life changing process. A completed manuscript is the dream of every student taking the course. Published or unpublished, it’s something to be proud of.
Our promotional material reflected that. We made sure potential students envisioned themselves and the feelings they would have after completing an entire manuscript. (Remember, in surveys and interviews, we suggested asking for what life would look like with a solution to our student’s problems)
We used that language to help promote what the course would do. This is called “future pacing” and it can make the language of your marketing resonate with your customers in a powerful way.
Marketing and setting up your course is only the root system for an online business built around online courses. Launching is what prompts growth.
The better the root system, the bigger the tree will be. In other words, all of it still relies on the quality of your course and the leads you generate.
If your students don’t take away something worthwhile, all the marketing in the world won’t get them to return, or to spread the word for you. It hinges on what they get out of your content.
It’s All About the Student
Your course is ultimately about the students you desire to serve. Keep that in mind from the very beginning. They purchase your course to learn and build a better version of themselves.
Are you providing a quality product for your customers?
Are you contributing positively to their lives?
Will this course change them for the better?
It’ll be beneficial for future students, but it’s helpful for you right now, too. As you create this course, you may want to give up or let the fear of failure stop you.
An excellent way to push through the negativity is to keep in mind the incredible value your course will provide.
If your content adds value to the life of your students, you’ve got something worthwhile. You can’t fake that kind of quality.
Not only will you have students who are eager and ready to learn more from the additional courses you’ll offer, they’ll also spread the word to other potential students. The best promotion is organic.
We hope this guide will be helpful to you.
Do you have other questions? Please feel free to contact us to continue the conversation.