Are you wondering how to get your first online course up and running but unsure where to begin? Continue reading to discover key strategies for assembling the proper tools and launching an online course successfully!
It seems like EVERYONE has an online course these days…and I totally get the appeal. You get to share your knowledge, build a personal brand in your niche, and even make a little money while you sleep what’s not to love?
I’ve seen people consider whipping up their online coaching program but naively think they could just film some quick videos, slap up a sales page, and eager students would come flooding in. They couldn’t be more wrong!
There’s a whole lot more that goes into it behind the scenes. You need to lay a super solid foundation, or that course you spent ages designing risks falling flat.
The deal is creating an amazing online program that transforms lives takes time, thought, and testing. I don’t say this to discourage you…instead, I want you to go into it informed so you don’t burn out. With the right strategy, you can build a course you feel fired up about that also wins rave reviews!
So, in this guide, I want to walk you through the key general steps you need to take to launch a successful online course. Let’s dive right in!
How To Launch An Online Course Successfully
Launching your inaugural online course is both fulfilling and lucrative, yet demands substantial effort. Adopting a strategic approach is imperative for ensuring your course’s success. With that in mind, follow this step-by-step manual to steer you through the course creation process:
Step 1: Find Your Subject Area and Ideal Audience
The very first step is identifying a course topic and target audience that truly aligns. Finding the right online course topic is all about zeroing in on an audience and the problems they’re begging you to solve. After all, creating kickass content that lights up lives is what matters most!
Before worrying about fancy funnels or camera gear, you need to know who your audience truly are. What gets them jumping out of bed each day? What challenges do they wrestle with? Uncover their true pain points, desires, and dreams!
Then, get vulnerable about your own journey and knowledge around this topic. Ask yourself: What lifelong passions, professional expertise, and personal tales can I share to lead them from struggle to success?
Once you uncover the intersection of their needs and your knowledge, that’s where course magic happens!
Step 2: Establish Goals and Organize Content
Nailing down exactly what students gain takes an online course from meh to amazing! Beyond broad topics, defining tangible takeaways shows who your course serves and why. So, skip the fluffy claims and get ultra clear on transformations.
Start by completing this sentence: “By the end, students will _______________.”
Fill that blank with specific skills, knowledge, or abilities they’ll master. Will they confidently launch online businesses, skillfully navigate difficult conversations, or effortlessly prepare healthy family meals?
Getting super precise about outcomes helps attract ideal enrollees eager for those specific perks! It also builds excitement around achieving milestones during each lesson. Even better, you steer clear of those dreaded refund requests when goals are clear from the start.
Step 3: Develop and Prepare Course Materials
Creating a great course content is all about mapping a journey that takes students from point A to their goals at point Z!
Instead of getting overwhelmed trying to dump every lesson into one giant document, I’ve got a way easier system: First, cluster related topics into modules–kind-of like organizing Lego pieces before building something awesome. Maybe that’s setting up tech, mastering outreach strategies, analyzing data, etc.
Then, within each module, break things down even smaller into individual lessons. Keep these bite-sized and sequential, so concepts develop.
Finally, align everything to those tangible outcomes we defined earlier and eliminate any fluffy filler. If lessons don’t ladder up to tangible takeaways, delete them!
Repurposing existing content you’ve created works great too. Plus, you can also sprinkle in some personality and stories to breathe life into hard facts!
Step 4: Select a Suitable Online Course Platform
The next important step is choosing the right online course platform to host everything. This platform will be the housing development for the amazing community you’re building!
I know, I know there are so many options out there! Kajabi (my favorite), Udemy, Teachable, Thinkific, Leadpages, AccessAlly, and so on…how do you even choose? Each platform has different perks, but you want one that’s easy to customize so it visually matches your personal brand. After all, you’ll essentially be moving in here with your stuff!
I’m currently loving Kajabi because it makes setting up sleek sales pages, landing pages, and hosting multimedia content so simple. See more of my favorite business tools and programs HERE! And, here’s everything you need to know about creating a course on Kajabi!
Once you commit, make that dashboard your own before your students move in… Upload your videos, quizzes, workbooks, and the works. Pick some banner colors and fonts that pop. Add your personality through and through. Then, when those excited future students show up at your front door, everything will look polished and professional!
Step 5: Sort Out the Pricing
Finding that sweet spot price that makes both students and your bank account happy can feel like a shot in the dark. But, a little detective work makes it super straightforward!
First, analyze competitors’ rates for similar programs. This gives a ballpark baseline. Just make sure YOU believe your unique value merits the price tag. Don’t undervalue your knowledge!
Next, test different tiers on small survey groups of your audience. See which price points get the most bites or pushback. Offer different payment plans too, so more people can access the gift of your knowledge!
And remember, you bring more to the table than most with your specialty experience and passion for the material. Let that inner confidence guide your pricing north more than you may initially feel comfortable charging.
At the end of the day, a “fair” program investment reflects the immense transformation you facilitate. And by crafting a course that truly adds value, you may discover your students are more than happy to invest MORE once they experience the elevated ROI!
Here’s more on the frequently asked pricing questions I get from business-owners just like you!
Step 6: Announce Your Course Launch
It’s time to spread the word so everyone gets pumped for your launch and pre-sell your product as a course creator!
First up send out some launch emails to your mailing list announcing the big news. Maybe even include an early bird discount to create urgency. And obviously, post all over your socials and don’t be shy about asking friends to reshare for extra buzz!
A live webinar unveiling could be cool, too. You could detail exactly who the course will help and what they’ll gain so people get value even before buying!
Also, writing some big blog posts to publish everywhere could prove very beneficial. You can also see if relevant, popular bloggers will share it for added exposure!
The key is driving everyone towards the sales page consistently. Wherever you spread the word, it should point potential audiences there to enroll.
Step 7: Launch and Further Market Your Course
You’ve created your course and it’s live but now comes the time to get the word out so those sales start rolling in.
Starting with webinars is a total no-brainer for lead magnets generation and spreading the word! You can really capitalize on live events by sharing sneak peeks of course content, having mini lessons on hot topics, and overall building hype and buzz around your course. Not to mention, it also aids in growing your email list for future marketing!
For email, having an established subscriber list to tap into is clutch. You can share things like:
- Exclusive discounts for subscribers only, ideal for early adopters
- Testimonials and transformations from past students to build credibility
- “Behind the scenes” footage and updates to foster community
- Reminders as deadlines approach to nudge readers to purchase
Scoring podcast appearances is big for expanding our reach, too! Getting in front of hosts’ engaged audiences allows you to organically demonstrate expertise and personality. And podcast listeners are great targets for your course!
When it comes to social media say yes to consistently sharing fun and value on the daily! Give followers on IG, TikTok, LinkedIn, etc., a steady stream of tips and insights to build familiarity and trust.
Paid ads are where the rubber really meets the road since they put your sales page right in front of qualified eyeballs! The targeting power of FB/Google ads can work magic. It’s worth testing a small budget to begin with and scaling up based on ROI.
Finally, optimizing SEO for long-term visibility only sweetens the deal. You’ll get slow and steady organic growth over time! If you’re not sure where to start, I help online business owners feel more confident in marketing their businesses because they feel legally protected. Reach out to me using the link below for more information!
Step 8: Get Feedback and Make Improvements
You’ve launched your masterpiece course! But, a true boss knows success means continually improving. This is the time to gather feedback so you can level up the audience experience even more!
Consider adding an optional survey on the course site with some incentives for filling it out. You can also encourage feedback on your Instagram or Facebook groups. Getting insights straight from your users is marketing gold!
By seeing what’s resonating and what’s coming directly from the source, you’ll know exactly how to take this course from amazing to total knockout status before relaunching an upgraded version.
User reviews may sting a little if you get any constructive criticism! But that means you created a space where the audience feels safe to be honest and that’s how you grow.
Online Course Launch Checklist
It’s time to put all you’ve learned to good use. Use this online course launch checklist to dot every I and cross every T.
It’s time to successfully launch your first online course!
Are you feeling overwhelmed about finally creating that online course that’s been swirling in your mind? I get it! Launching a biz requires a bazillion puzzle pieces to align perfectly. It’s always nerve-wracking taking your passion project public!
But here’s the stellar news with the right pre-launch and post launch strategies, you can totally pull this off and I want to help you make it happen. You don’t need to figure everything out alone! Picture me right by your side, cheering you on every step, and answering questions along the way!
I’ll help you sort all online business legal requirements and registration to avoid trouble down the line. Afterall, you wouldn’t open a bakery without legal protection–so why start an online business without any? I help online business owners feel more confident in marketing their businesses because they feel legally protected!
So what do you say want me in your corner? Watch my free legal training “5 Steps to Legally Protect & Grow Your Online Business” to learn how to form your online course business legally, protect your course content, and most importantly – how to stay within the scope of practice for your industry when it comes to your online course. You’re only 60 minutes away from the peace of mind that comes with having a legally sound business… You can also check out my highly valuable program, the Ultimate Bundle™, along with easily comprehensible templates, blog posts, and podcasts for resources that’ll help make your launch run smoothly.
Let’s do this!