Let me tell you a little story about the three things I wish I knew before I launched my very first course. I'll take you back to the beginning- my early days of entrepreneurship. It was the summer of 2015. I had just quit my job to start a blog (yup... I did that scary thing that everyone thinks you are crazy for doing) and I was giving my dreams a big GO FOR IT. I did what any normal aspiring blogger would do. I spent my first few months living on Pinterest and google to learn all the things. Hours a day I dedicated to my entrepreneurial study; creating content, writing blog posts, building my instagram account, obsessing over SEO, and trying to make two cents off of a random google ad or two. Then It hit me: "Lauren, you should design an online course!" (talking to yourself is a really common thing when you work alone.)
When I came up with this "original" idea, I thought I was the most innovative creative AF human being on the planet. No joke, I literally thought I was like, the first person ever to come up with the idea of designing an online course for personal development.
"What if I teach people how to do something on the internet and make money for it!?!"
Little did I know this was actually an entire F-ing industry that already existed. But hey, we are all guilty of fluffing up our ego from time to time.
My very first course was called The Perfection Program. It taught woman how to find self-confidence and love themselves. I sold the four-week program for $30. My very first launch I made about 400 bucks and felt like I was the wealthiest girl on the planet. "It's working it's working!" I thought. "Gone are the days of making 80 cents off of one lame ad on my website. Now I am going to be a millionaire!"
I'm exaggerating.... but It actually it did happen. Today our company makes 90 percent of its revenue through online courses. We have digital products, paid group coaching programs, and passive evergreens. It's magical. But when thinking back to that very first course I ever launched, there were things I definitely wish I knew back then.
When I started my blog I didn't have a group of engaged followers. Like most bloggers, I just kind of woke up, decided to start a blog and then went on bluehost to buy a domain name that sounded fun. Boom. I was in business. I had a quirky web presence and could create good content, but I was talking to crickets for much of the first year of my business because I didn't have. proper audience growth strategy. Here's the reality of the course creation world: you can either spend thousands of dollars on Facebook ads that don't work unless you really know what you are doing. or, you can create an audience organically. Either way: you need to have humans in front of you and having a strong engaged audience is key to financial freedom. I'll be honest, it took me a few rounds of launching online courses to figure that one out. Today, we use a really solid organic growth strategy that has turned Badass Business Babe into a multimillion dollar company. If you aren't focused on growing your audience, you really should be.
Designing an e-guide titled, "5 of my favorite crystals" will never sell as well as, "5 crystals to heal your anxiety." Why? Well, because one title is about you and one is about the customer. The title of the course (or the tag line of the course offering) should be designed with your ideal client in mind. What problem does she really want to solve right now and is your product effectively marketing to solve the problem? Spend some time really sitting with your products before you launch them and ask yourself, "what is the ultimate outcome of this offer?"
I can't even begin to dream up the large amounts of money we left on the table simply because we didn't have a launch strategy. Back in the day, I didn't really know what a launch strategy even was. I thought I could just announce I was selling something and people would buy it. Creating a program, making a sales page, sticking it in the internet ethers, announcing it on Instagram and Facebook and just waiting for someone to buy it was basically my step by step sales process. And it didn't work well.
Today, I see a lot of clients following that game plan, and I just want to hug and shake them all at the same time. The truth is, this is a stressful messy business disaster waiting to happen. After I learned the ropes of online marketing, I realized that an effective launch strategy was the make or break decision between selling out a product or staying stuck in a low-income lifestyle.
There are tons of launch strategies floating all over internet land. My advice would be to find one and really go all in with a rinse and repeat step by step plan.
Do you have a launch strategy for your course right now? What have you been doing to fill your programs?