After speaking with a client recently, I realized that a lot of people are creating their online course and just expecting people will just show up to buy it.
Remember the old movie, Field of Dreams? He kept having the feeling that he needed to do something different and finally figured out he needed to build a baseball field. And the one thing that he kept hearing was, “If you build it, they will come”. He didn’t know who would come, but after a while there were miles of cars coming to his field to watch the game.
In the internet world of, anybody can build a website or launch a course relatively quickly, the “if you build it they will come” mentality doesn’t work.
3 Secrets to successful online course
- Test your idea first
- Build up an audience of potential buyers
- Build out the course based on user feedback
#1 – Test your idea first
Before you spend days, weeks, and/or months developing a 70 module course, make sure it’s something people want and are willing to pay for.
You can test your idea with a free offer; webinars, mini courses, a single video, ebook, etc…
It doesn’t have to be free, you could charge $20 for a webinar, or $27 to $47 for a mini course (i.e 3 videos).
This test product is something you can create in a couple of hours. This doesn’t mean you don’t put effort into it and make it good, it just means you don’t try to figure it all out.
You just need some valuable content that people can consume and provide feedback on to determine if there is a real interest for your product.
Which leads us into number two..
#2 Build up an audience of potential buyers
To build up an audience you need to collect email addresses. Grow your mailing list with people who are potential buyers of that specific content.
You’ll need a landing page to promote the free offer and collect emails in exchange for the content.
To reach people and drive them to your landing page I recommend you do two things.
- Leverage your warm market, these are people who know and like you enough to give you honest feedback on your product.
Ask them to share your test product with their networks.
If you promote this through Facebook friends for example, when your friends like it or share it, their friends will see it.
Use Facebook comments on your offer page so that as people comment their friends will see what their doing and possibly come check out your offer.
- Use an advertising method that has a high ROI but don’t spend too much money on your test product.
Facebook ads are probably the best place to spend your initial advertising dollars. Because you can target a very specific demographic or even a competitors audience the ROI is huge.
Once you’ve gathered some data and feedback, you’ll have a better idea which way to go.
Either you’ll realize the idea was off and not what people want or need, or you’ll discover how to tweak your idea making it more adequate for your audience to be willing to pay for.
Which takes us to the final secret…
#3 Build out the course based on user feedback
Because you’ve allowed your audience to test out a sample product and tell you what they want, you can now create it and sell it to them and experience success.
Here’s the catch, you have to give them what they want, even if it’s not exactly what you think they should want.
And even if it takes your original idea in a new direction.
How do I know this will work? 3 factors…
- You’ve listened to your target audience and created exactly what they wanted.
- You’ve built a list of buyers through your test product.
- You can create a better ad because you have a clearer idea of the who and what.