How to Create Online Courses That Sell

June 26, 2014

One year I created an amazing product (or at least I thought I did).

I designed the curriculum. Created a sales page and promoted it.

When I opened the doors expecting customers in droves I didn’t get a single sale.

I’d worked on it for months only to have no one show up and buy.

Devastated I threw up my hands. Called all my business girlfriends and cried.

Clearly I’d failed.

But being a true entrepreneur I didn’t stay down for long. I brushed myself off and hopped back on my computer and researched how I could sell the product.

When I made some tweaks, revisions and adjustments I was able to sell the product. Not one but many and I still sell it today.

In the end I learned not only how to design a program but how to launch it so that I’d fill it, sell it and make money from it.

Maybe you’ve had a similar experience. Poor results with selling your online courses. Or maybe you haven’t created one yet.

Before you get started on your next one let me share some strategies to help you create an online course that sells.

#1: Create What They Want

By far the biggest mistake I made in creating my product was not knowing what my ideal client wanted. Instead I created what I thought they wanted.

You cannot guess on this. You must know what your market wants to buy. 

All businesses do extensive market research before they sell their products, so why should entrepreneurs be any different?

A simple way to find out is to poll your existing clients and find out what they want to learn more of. Ask them follow up questions and ask them to be specific.

Not only will it help you know what to create but you’ll then have the marketing copy (their words) to help you sell it later.

#2: Find Out How They Want It Delivered

Once again, you can’t just make an assumption that you know how they want to receive your content. You need to ask.

Your goal is to provide the content in a way that’s easily consumable and desirable.

I once saw a course that had incredible content. I was all set to buy it until I realized that the only way I’d have access to it was through livestream and for only a 2-week period. Even though the content was great, I didn’t want to invest in something that I wouldn’t have access to long term.

How can you deliver your content in an easily consumable manner?

One of the ways I was able to sell my product was I went back and asked my ideal clients what they wanted when it came to learning more about that particular product.

#3: Choose a Delivery Source

A mistake I made in the beginning of not organizing my content and making it convenient for my customers to access it. Now there are many resources you can use to deliver your content from:

  1. Hosting it on your website (password protected)
  2. Setting up a Member Forum at: http://www.optimizepress.com
  3. Using WishList Member: http://member.wishlistproducts.com/
  4. Or Jigsaw Box at: http://www.jigsawbox.com/coaching/get-started/

#4: Design Your Curriculum

The next step is to design your curriculum. Now this is going to come from what you’ve been told your ideal clients want and what you know you need to provide in order to give them the results they need.

An easy way to do this is organize each step that you teach and order them.

Within each step identify if there are any exercises, worksheets or templates that will enhance the program.

The content organization and creation piece may take time but if you break it down into creating one module at a time it will be much easier.

#5: Create a Sales Page

This is often the most time-consuming and cumbersome part of the job. Writing a good sales page can take days. Another option if you don’t like to write is to use video.

What goes into a good sales page?

You need to make sure you’re speaking to the right person, conveying that you understand their challenge, explain how you’ve uncovered the solution and show them why you’re the right person for them to learn from.

Of course your sales page must include the features of your course and the benefits (the results) they’ll get from going through the course.

Practice makes perfect with these and if all else fails, hire a copywriter to assist you!

#6: Launch It

This is where most people struggle – the launch!

There’s a lot to this step and often times people don’t estimate the amount of work that goes into an effect launch.

Before any launch you need to create a plan and ask yourself these types of questions:

  1. When can I launch this?
  2. Do I have anything else on my calendar I’m promoting?
  3. Which strategies should I use to launch this – one, two, three or more?
  4. Should I have colleagues help me promote?
  5. Should I have affiliates?
  6. What do I do before I launch?
  7. What do I do during the launch?
  8. What do I do post launch?

Using these questions will help you with designing your launch.

Creating a course, program or service can be extremely rewarding and profitable when you do it right.

Make sure you take your time on it. Don’t rush the project and be willing to tweak it if you see signs of life even if you think it didn’t work.

I’d love to hear from you, what questions do you have with regard to creating your online courses?

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Wondering how you can grow a profitable online business with more clients, cash and freedom? Let’s connect over a complimentary Strategy Session to get you started!

Jeannie Spiro: Business Coach & Strategist

Hey there!

I’m Jeannie Spiro, business coach and strategist for woman coaches and service-providers. Want to make more money in your business? Here’s how I can help.

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