Congratulations – you’re all set to launch your online course! Sharing your expertise and knowledge with others can be such a fulfilling experience not to mention a great source of income too.
Online courses work so well for anyone trying to learn something new. You find an expert on the topic, buy their course and get working efficiently on your project. On the other hand for the course creator an online course provides the chance to connect with the audience personally by sharing their knowledge while not being ‘at work’ all day. Win-win situation!
Since you’re aspiring to be a course creator I’ve decided to share my experience with you of whatever works and what doesn’t in this journey…so let’s get started!
1. An email list is VERY important
In fact, an email list is mandatory so if you don’t have one yet may be drop the idea of the course launch till you generate one. Too many people spend too many months on building courses but unfortunately they end up with zero sales – why? No email list.
Don’t confuse social media subscribers or followers with an email list – a person with an email list will generate the most sales. We’ll talk about how big your list needs to be up ahead in this post.
2. Go for a all-in-one course hosting platform
Avoid the hassle of course building, making and implementing a marketing plan on regular platforms or your own website – choose a system that is made for hosting courses.
Some special features of these course hosting platforms are:
- Sends reminders to students for payments.
- Automatically removes students who haven’t paid up despite 4 reminders.
- Shows student progress over the course period.
- Students get an individual log in.
- Students can fix password issues without having to contact the course creator.
- Your email list is automatically integrated so emails can be sent to specific students for various announcements.
- Integrated check out system enables taking all course payments through one platform.
Since these platforms are made for a specific purpose, they make your life easier giving you all solutions at one place so that’s money well spent!
If you are considering to self-host your online course on your website, you’d need to get yourself a domain name and a hosting account.
Keep your videos unnumbered
You might have everything planned but ideas can pop in anytime or a certain situation would need to be addressed so if you number your videos you won’t be able to squeeze in/update something or delete something from the sequence.
Hence choose the safer option of not numbering the videos of your course.
Decide whether your course needs a Facebook community or not
Running Facebook communities requires a lot of work and while they’re beneficial for some courses, for others they can be easily avoided.
Let’s look at the difficulties attached to running Facebook communities so you can make an informed decision.
- In the case of starting a Facebook community with no end date, the cost associated with maintenance and paying a community manager is a lot. You might get profit through new students but in the long run you’re just running a membership with no steady income coming from members.
- Down the line if you decide to change your course topic in an unlimited Facebook community, it’ll be hard to discuss that on a group made for a specific topic.
- If you keep your Facebook community time-bound, students will keep requesting the duration to be longer.
- Keeping the community open to question/answers means becoming a 24/7 helpline! You will have to be present on Facebook daily so no day offs!
- If you choose to not answer questions about your community and keep it just as a place for connection with students, management is still needed. You will have to look out for irrelevant postings, ads, inappropriate content etc.
- Some students might try having a personal connection with you via friend requests, or messages on messenger and that can be pretty difficult to manage.
So there you go – a few downsides of running a Facebook group for your course. If you think your course will truly benefit from it then go for it, otherwise you should definitely skip it.
Make the audience act now!
You need to convince your students to make the decision – create an enrollment urgency. Of course the decision is up to the customer whether to buy the course or not but pushing things off for a ‘later time’ is bad for you and the customer.
Many people who are waiting for the launch of your course will get their hands on it as soon as you offer it. Also offering an ‘early bird’ discount creates urgency and people tend to not miss this opportunity.
Another way is to hold a webinar and offer something ‘special’ to only those students who enroll there and then. Also a final round of reminders before closing the enrollment motivates the students to finally take action.
Without the deployment of tactics like urgency, discounts, price increase deadlines, bonuses and ending date it is impossible to generate double the sales.
Discounts work better than bonuses
Simply put, discounts will bring in more sales for you than adding free bonuses, however don’t overdo it because you don’t want to devalue your product.
Email, email and email!
If I were to put a number on it, you’ll probably need to send 2-3 emails before the enrollment and around 9-11 during the enrollment process. Emails form the basis of a course launch, so don’t shy away from them.
Add an option at the bottom of your email where readers can unsubscribe from the launch sales email if you’re worried about irritating your audience, but they’ll still be on your email list for future content.
Just dive in!
Yes it’s good to be well-prepared before launch but don’t let your fear let you keep delaying the launch. Don’t keep giving yourself unnecessary targets like ‘I’ll launch when I have XYZ followers or ABC hits on my blog’.
What you do need is:
- A great online course idea and a plan to execute it
- An email list
- A sales page
- Sorted out payment method details
- Terms and conditions of sale contract
Other than these essentials if you’re waiting for something to happen or achieve before you launch, think again! Maybe you’re just adding things to your pre-launch to-do list because you’re scared to launch just yet.
Trust your skills and planning and go for it!