Before I get into the courses and tasks you'll need to accomplish, let's have a look at some of the incredible advantages and disadvantages of creating and launching an online course.
Running an online course has a number of advantages.
You can save time when you teach or coach 1-many rather than 1-1.
You are able to minimize your fees to suit your clients/students by providing them with your knowledge at a lower cost.
Because you're leveraging your time, you can help more individuals.
You can earn more money by serving a larger number of individuals at once.
You can relaunch it or keep it as an evergreen product that customers can purchase at any time, allowing you to make more money without putting in a lot more effort.
Running an online course has some drawbacks too:
It takes a lot of time and effort to put together; deciding on a title, writing material, and dealing with delivery and technology.
Marketing and selling an online course require a lot of effort and thought.
You must have a clear sales funnel (also known as a customer journey) and nurture leads toward that course with free, value-driven content.
Because there are so many online courses available, you must stand out.
The FIVE things you must do before launching your online course
#1 Market Research
To begin, ensure that there is a market for your course. The biggest mistake I made and the one I see other businesses make all the time is that they get excited about their fancy title and way of helping people with their unique set of talents or modalities, and they run with it.
Making this decision without first determining whether or not people want or need it, is a significant error, as you'll likely find it much more difficult to sell than you think.
As a result, you must conduct market research focusing on who your potential clients are (even if you are unsure) and what they require assistance with.
What issues do they want to be resolved?
What are their ambitions or aspirations?
Find a way to ask them if you don't know.
#2 Keep your ideal clients in mind while developing the course
Know your audience so well that you can build a course that they already want or need, in the format they prefer. You'll know what this is if you did step 1 correctly.
Always strike a balance between your skills, talents, and expertise and what your prospective clients want assistance with – this is what your course should cover, not something that came to you one day during a meditation. On this spectrum, most people chart their journey from a point too far over to what they desire to bring into the world.
I'm all for deep listening to your inner wisdom, but don't forget to listen to your head as well. If this is your business, and you need and want it to make money, you must create a course that directly benefits your ideal clients.
#3 Know what works
Before you design an online course, the third thing you must do is thoroughly understand what your potential clients struggle with, what they need help with, where they fall short, and what works for them.
If you're a coach, therapist, or wellbeing practitioner, the ideal approach to do this is to work with clients one-on-one initially. Another common blunder I see is entrepreneurs developing courses and releasing stuff that they have no idea works!
Consider how you can provide that 1-many in a course after you've figured out what works individually and what the common challenges and themes are.
What helps them implement it and get the best outcomes is how that help is best offered.
#4 Get feedback
You don't have to go it alone if you don't like to.
It's all too tempting to believe that you have to design every single element in secret before exposing anything, that asking for help will jeopardies your credibility, or that spilling the beans early will ruin the surprise or launch. This is not the case.
People love to help and express their opinions, and your audience wants to be heard.
Furthermore, getting feedback from the people who will be interested in purchasing your course on things like the title, sales copy, images, content, and so on will greatly improve the marketability of your course. If done correctly, you can even use your questions to begin introducing your course and generate interest early on.
#5 Make a promotional plan
Start by presuming you'll need to advertise it 10 times more than you think you'll need to, and plan ahead.
Make a promotional plan for your launch that includes at least a 6-week lead period (depending on the size and scope of your course).
Before you do that, make sure you have a warm audience to whom you can pitch the course. Don’t create a course idea you're really thrilled about, if you don't have anyone to sell it to. People will only buy from you if they like, trust, and know who you are. That will take some time.
Gather all of your ideas on how to market and sell it and put them into a plan.
So, there are my five things you must do before you launch an online course.
The one thing you shouldn’t do
The last point is something you should avoid doing before establishing your first online course (which is seriously going to surprise you).
“What? “How am I going to launch and market something that hasn't been produced yet?” I get what you're saying...
As I previously stated, creating a great course involves a significant amount of effort. If you put in all of that effort up front and then launch and no one buys, you've wasted your time.
So, here's what you'll have to do.
First, prepare a course outline. To ensure that your potential clients achieve the desired result, be very explicit about what the courses or modules should be and in what order they should be delivered.
Consider it carefully so you know what will be covered in each lesson.
Allow some time (a week or two) between selling and starting so you can at least create the first lesson.
After that, market and sell it.
You can postpone the start and go back to the drawing board if you don't sell any (or enough).