How to create your first e-course and make it sellable
Online education is becoming more common - on the Internet you can find the opportunity to take an online course in almost any specialty. Earlier we wrote about how to create online courses that will be popular with the WordPress CoursePress plugin. Now we would like to continue the topic of online education by publishing a translation of Marya Jan's article on how to create your first electronic course and make it sellable . Although we do not always agree with her approach, however, it seemed to us quite interesting and useful.
We want to mention right away: the article does not concern the technical side of the issue, the author, first of all, focuses on those necessary elements when creating an online course, which you must pay attention to when starting it.
We hope you find our publication interesting!
It took you months to create this fantastic online project. You spent a huge amount of time collecting material, shooting a video and decoding it, creating tables and handouts. Common situation?
You know that your creation is of high quality and in demand on the market (for example, in one way or another it is connected with the five most promising areas in the IT field) You have studied the market and made sure that there is nothing like this anymore. Of course, there are competing products, but yours is more practical, easy to use and effective in training.
You expect that the number of subscribers will grow rapidly, and there will be no end to those who wish to purchase a course. Unfortunately, none of this happened. You create your course and put it up for sale, and the results are far from expected. They disappoint and oppress.
Perhaps a similar situation happened to you earlier or you heard about it from beginner entrepreneurs. It scares you. Of course, you want to create your own course or update an existing one, but you don’t want to take risks without having guarantees of success. Do not be afraid, in today's post I will talk about how to launch your e-course so that it is sold. So, let's begin!
Stage 1. Research.
If this is your first online project, you need to make sure that what you devote so much time and effort, someone really wants to buy.
Here, many make the most important mistake, which leads to a complete failure of the course. I would say that even if you succeed in completing all the subsequent steps perfectly, anyway, that which is not in demand will not be sold. There are no options.
So, the first step is research. The same applies if you want to restart a course that was not successful enough for the first time. You need to analyze everything with a pencil in your hands to be sure that the expected demand is not just the fruit of your heated imagination, but in fact there is a niche that your course can fill.
Start by interviewing your target audience. Your most loyal users will tell you the truth. Ask what doesn’t suit them the most in the topic you have chosen and how to fix it.
Do not stop there. Ask what they have been doing recently to solve this problem and why it didn’t work. Ask to tell what exactly does not suit them in all those solutions that are on the market today.
You can ask all these questions in the form of a survey or in a one-on-one conversation. If your audience is small, there are other ways to find a niche in the market. You can join online communities and groups on Facebook and listen to the opinions of the people you are targeting. You can also read comments on the blogs of leaders in your industry. Ask friends who work with the same target audience, but in a different direction, to help you do the survey or just let you talk to some people.
This step is critical. If you handle it, it will largely guarantee that your product launches successfully. Now let's move on to the second stage ...
Stage 2. Course creation and beta testing
At this point, you need to start putting together the materials of your electronic course. If an electronic course or an Internet project is poorly implemented, you will have difficulty getting good reviews and recommendations from beta testers. But if you do this step, it will significantly increase the value of your project at startup and in the sales process.
Start with what you are really strong at and what you are familiar with. If you have experience creating a course, great. If not, I recommend working with a specialist in the creation of courses or pedagogical design.
It will help you outline the program, organize the material, choose the right information and course structure. It will also give you an idea of how adults learn, and about the different types of students - visual, audio, kinesthetic. A well-designed course will allow you to become a cut above the competition.
Now you need to check whether your course brings the benefits that you promise. To do this, you need to get feedback from real consumers of your material and see if they like it: maybe they are confused by something, something is incomprehensible or difficult to apply in practice, maybe there are gaps in the learning process (remember, you work from the point expert opinion and be sure to miss something that is difficult for a beginner).
You can hire a group of beta testers for free or for a small fee, depending on the specific course and your relationship with the audience. Sometimes, for people to really take the material seriously, you have to pay, otherwise they will not pay due attention to this.
Found beta testers? Excellent. Begin by serving them with material and monitor their reaction. They can help you adjust the format, for example, it may turn out that they prefer written materials, or they can tell you to create a Facebook group as additional support.
The beauty of this stage is that you can create material in the process, based on the feedback you receive. After completing the course, ask test participants to provide their opinions in writing. Ask permission to use part of these records as recommendations and in promotional materials.
After the course is ready, you can contact other people who are actively working in your field and ask them to write a review about your course. Feel free to mention those positive feedback that you received earlier - you deserve them.
Stage 3. Pre-launch material
If you are satisfied with how the work on the course is progressing, you can start creating pre-launch material.
Another reason why starting your project may not bring the desired results: you have not sufficiently fueled the interest of people from your mailing list. In addition, your pre-launch material can also help expand your mailing list.
You need to start working with the starter material by creating a series of issues (this can be a series of videos or a series of just blog posts), the purpose of which is to arouse the interest of the audience in your electronic course. Send more material than you would normally do: if you do newsletters usually once a week, start doing it once every three days.
Many fear that if they start sending out mailings more often, this will cause some people to be frustrated. In fact, only those who are not suitable for your project may be dissatisfied. They, like the "freebie" searchers, will unsubscribe from the newsletter as soon as the product is launched. What does it matter? What do you care about those who were not going to buy anything from you anyway? No need to chase the number of emails sent. Removing those who will never make a purchase will have a good effect, making your expectations more realistic.
If your business is associated with different types of customers, it makes sense to create a separate newsletter for each group. You can offer a very specific, free bonus that people who join your list will be able to get.
Finalize your launch plan. Think about how many pieces of material you will send out. Think about the topics that will be covered, and how they will be related to the theme of the next post in the series. In this case, if someone sees the middle part of the material, he will also want to see the previous parts. Focus on what you are good at.
If you know how to stay in the frame, make a video with your speech. If you speak well, make an off
-screen comment. Or perhaps the best option for you is a written format.
Finally, give people enough time to absorb your information, but not so much that they lose interest in it. 7 days of pre-launch material is a good solution.
Stage 4. Buying a course (with a mandatory deadline)
As people follow the natural development of your pre-launch material, you can make them an offer. In this case, you need to remember a few nuances.
Your offer should be absolutely transparent. Tell us exactly what people will receive and at what price. Talking about the benefits, show what they get in the end. This can be materials from your course, video transcripts, tables, templates, checklists, handouts, personal access, group training webinars, or access to a closed Facebook group. Tell us in detail about this so that it is absolutely clear. Remember, he who does not understand does not buy.
Set a deadline for your purchase. It’s human nature to “pull the rubber”, but it’s better for you sooner rather than later. For persuasion, you can play on urgency and a limited number.
First, you can make an internal launch for people on your list, giving them the opportunity to make a purchase at a special price for subscribers, at a discount. To help them decide, say that for the bulk, the price will be higher. If your course involves one-on-one work, the number of people cannot be too large, this is a natural and not an invented restriction.
Having opened the opportunity to acquire a course, you need to do two main things. First, you need to convince as many people from the start list as possible to sign up by sending them regular reminders. Depending on the length of the period open for purchases, you can send letters every other day, and twice on the last day. You will see that most people will put off their decision at the last moment and join only a few hours before the end of the period. So send one letter in the morning and the other a few hours before the deadline.
Secondly, for the launch to be successful, you need to constantly work on attracting new people. So, let's look at the last part of the launch work.
Stage 5. Advertising on social networks
You should constantly advertise your pre-launch and starting materials. It is very important to attract new people, this increases the chances of a successful launch.
Let's take a quick look at the numbers. On average, 1-5% of the people on your starting list will register for the course. Now let's count. If you want to recruit 60 people for a course costing $ 500, then, with a conversion rate of 3%, you need to have 2,000 people on the list in order to earn $ 30,000 on launch.
Such calculations help set realistic goals. If you have 500 people on your list, and you plan to earn $ 50,000, and as a result receive only $ 10,000, you should not assume that your project has failed. In fact, the result is good enough. The problem is that your expectations were too high. If you want to achieve such a goal, you need to have an appropriate list, so creating a mailing list should be a priority from day one. To really achieve such start indicators, you need to start creating the list already at the stage of developing the concept of the course.
Start by actively working on your pages on Facebook and all social networks. If you can’t do it yourself, hire an assistant who will ensure your presence on social networks. Post a series of guest blog posts related to your business. Begin to establish contacts with those who have influence in this area as early as possible, and try to get as many posts on various blogs as possible closer to the time of launch.
If you can, it would be nice to hold webinars. Use Facebook ads that link to your landing page so people can subscribe to the newsletter, and advertise your webinars there too. On Facebook, you can promote your pre-launch materials. Join forces with people who work with the same target audience, not intersecting with you and not being your competitors.
Launch an electronic course!
Remember, if you have created a competently implemented course for which there is real demand, warmed up the interest of subscribers and made an attractive offer, the launch will meet your material expectations. Nothing super complicated, simple math.
The launch will be successful if you do not ruin it yourself, for example, setting sky-high prices, sending out weak pre-launch material (which is the face of your course) or creating something that has a controversial potential for success in the market . Therefore, do what is described above, perceiving not as a dogma and a literal guide to action, but rather as a starting point to develop your own approach and everything will be all right.
I wish you success.