Coaches: How to Create and Sell an Online Course - The Ultimate Guide
Want to scale your coaching business and grow your revenue without working 24 hours/day? Follow our complete, step-by-step guide on creating and selling online courses.
As a business coach or consultant, you may have already reached the dreaded point where you can no longer help more people without having a nervous breakdown. Your ultimate goal is to transform people's lives as you build your business, but there's only so much of you to go around. It's impossible to scale your business without using your resources more efficiently, and your biggest asset is your own expertise.
So how can you grow without cloning yourself? By creating and selling online courses that help more people at one time, rather than always working 1-to-1 with clients.
In our Ultimate Guide to How to Create and Sell an Online Course, you're going to discover exactly what you need to do to create your online course, and then launch and sell your course. You'll even learn 7-figurehow you can grow a 6 or 7 figure course business!
Why Create an Online Course as a Business Coach?
That's the million-dollar question, isn't it? You've already set up your coaching or consulting practice to help people, and you gained clients and a good reputation. But you quickly found yourself running out of time and drained of energy and enthusiasm. You're caught on the treadmill of chasing clients, getting clients, coaching clients, and covering all the things in between! You thought you'd have more freedom in your life, but you realize you have a job with a tough boss!
It's time to go easier on yourself and create an online course.
Among the many benefits of creating an online course are:
- You can reach a wider audience. With an online course, coaches can provide their expertise and knowledge to students who may not be able to access coaching services in person. This can be particularly useful for coaches who want to reach students in different parts of the world or who have busy schedules and cannot commit to regular one-on-one coaching sessions.
- Generate passive income. By offering a self-study or virtual program, coaches can generate income even when they are not actively coaching clients. You'll still have to spend time on marketing, so it's not completely passive, but you can be selling courses at the same time as other activities (like going on vacation!)
- Create a new stream of income. Online courses can provide a more stable and consistent source of income, which can be especially helpful for coaches who are just starting out or who want to supplement their existing income. They also diversify your risk, since you're not relying on just one source for your livelihood.
- More freedom and flexibility. With an online course, you can create your own schedule and operate on your own terms. You get to decide when, where, and how much you work.
But how is an online course different from online coaching or coaching programs?
Online courses are typically pre-recorded and self-paced, whereas online coaching involves live, one-on-one sessions with a coach. Coaching programs, on the other hand, are more structured and may involve a series of sessions or meetings with a coach, as well as additional resources and support. However, your course can easily blend all 3 options to create a more robust experience for your students.
There's another big benefit to creating a course:
Your online course can help you sell more of your other products, services, and coaching!
You gain more credibility and a reputation as a thought leader when you teach a course. And your students get a chance to know you and the value you offer. Both those factors alone will enable you to cross-sell and upsell your other offers, such as 1:1 coaching packages.
How Much Does it Cost to Create an Online Course?
The cost of creating an online course can vary greatly. It depends on things like the length and complexity of the course, the tools and resources used to create it, and whether or not you choose to outsource any part of the process. In general, you can expect to spend anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars on creating an online course.
There is a wide range of tools and resources available that make creating an online course easier. Some of the most popular options include video editing software, screen recording tools, and presentation software. These tools can help you create engaging and professional-looking content for your course.
In terms of time, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to create an online course, depending on the length and complexity. It's important to factor in time for planning, creating course materials, recording and editing videos, and testing and refining the course.
When it comes to cost, remember that your time is part of it too. After all, you don't coach clients for free!
If you don't have the time or expertise to create an online course on your own, you can always consider outsourcing some or all of the work. Outsourcing can help save months and ensure that your course is the highest quality, but it will also add to the overall cost of creating the course.
An even more time-efficient and affordable option is to use White Label courses, like the ones we offer here at Content Sparks. It's like having your own team of professional course creators at a fraction of the cost of hiring your own or teaching yourself.
Is it possible to create an online course for free? Possibly, but this will likely require a significant amount of time and effort on your part. There are a number of free tools and resources available for creating online courses, but these may not be as feature-rich or professional-looking as paid options. It's also important to again consider the value of your time and expertise when deciding whether or not to create an online course for free.
How Much Can You Make Selling Online Courses?
It's difficult to say exactly how much you can make selling online courses, as it will depend on factors like the topic and content of your course, the size of your audience, and your pricing and marketing strategies. However, many people are able to generate significant income from their courses, and it can be a profitable venture for coaches and other experts who have valuable knowledge and experiences to share.
There are 3 main formulas you need for calculating how much income you can make from your course:
1. Total Revenue
Your total revenue is based on how many course sales you make, which in turn is based on an estimate of how many people you can reach with your marketing and how many of those you can convert. Until you've done some marketing, this will be a rough guess based on whatever information you can gather:
2. Total Cost
When you calculate the cost of creating your online course, include your variable and fixed costs (such as an assistant, outsourced projects like graphics, and your course platform) plus your time at whatever hourly rate you would charge when actively coaching or consulting.
3. Total Profit
How much profit you ultimately make from your course comes down to a simple calculation:
However, your online course profits don't end with one launch of your course.
One of the key advantages of selling online courses is also the potential for passive income.
Once you create your course, you can continue to sell it and generate income without having to put in additional time and effort. This can be especially beneficial for coaches who want to create a consistent and stable source of income.
Another factor to consider is the scalability of your online courses.
You can reach a potentially unlimited number of students with your course and generate income from each sale. This can be a powerful way to grow your income exponentially and expand your business - all without having to invest in additional resources.
If you want to ensure that you get rave reviews and that your sales accelerate over time, it's important to carefully plan and create your course. And once it's created, you need to launch your course using the most effective marketing and pricing strategies to maximize your earnings.
What Are The Steps to Creating an Online Course?
It's a sad fact that most online courses never make the impact their creators dreamed of. Why? Because people who are experts in their field tend to dump all their knowledge into a course, making the mistake of assuming more is better. The result is overwhelmed students who have no idea what to do next.
The other common mistake course creators make is neglecting to think from their students' perspective. You need to get into your student's head and consider what they know, what they need to know, and how they will actually implement what you teach. The implementation and results are what you are promising your students.
Creating an online course that delivers on your promises requires a structured approach. In the professional world of training and development, that process is called instructional design.
Fortunately, you don't need to be a certified instructional designer to create an online course that gets results. You just need to follow these 7 steps:
- Step 1: Select a Profitable Course Topic
- Step 2: Choose Your Online Course Format
- Step 3: Identify Your Course Goal and Actionable Learning Objectives
- Step 4: Structure Your Online Course
- Step 5: Create Your Online Course Content
- Step 6: Record Your Online Course Videos
- Step 7: Set Up Your Course on an Online Course Platform
While there are also sub-steps to each of these, don't overcomplicate the process. If you're new to creating and selling an online course, take the simplest and quickest path so that you can get your online course set up and earning for you right away. As you get more experience, you can always expand your courses and add on more elements.
Step 1. Select a Profitable Course Topic
Your first step is to select a profitable course topic that also excites you. This will ensure that your course is in demand, will appeal to your target audience, and will keep you motivated through all the work of delivering and selling your course. Here are some steps you can take to select a profitable course topic:
a) Understand your audience:
Before selecting a course topic, take the time to understand your target audience. This will help you choose a topic that is relevant and interesting to your potential students. You can gather this information through market research, surveys, and by talking to potential students or existing clients.
b) Test your idea for market demand:
Once you have a general idea for your course topic, test the market demand. Will people want to buy your course? This can help you determine if there is a need for your course and whether or not it is likely to be profitable. You can test the demand for your course by creating a landing page or sales page and promoting it to your audience. You can also consider pre-selling your course to gauge interest and gather feedback from potential students.
c) Consider pre-selling your course:
Pre-selling your course is a great way to validate your idea and identify the need for your course. This can help you determine if there is enough interest in your course to make it profitable. You can pre-sell your course by offering a discounted price to a limited number of students who are willing to purchase your course before it is completed.
Pre-selling can help you gather feedback, make improvements to your course, and build buzz and anticipation for its release. If no one is willing to put down a deposit, there's a high risk that they won't want to buy the topic you've picked. But by asking for feedback, you may hit on an even better idea!
Step 2. Choose Your Course Format
Once you have selected a profitable course topic, the next step is to pick the type of online course that's both right for you as a coach and which meets your goals. There are several formats to choose from, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Here are some common types of online courses:
Mini-courses are short and targeted on a specific topic or skill. These courses are quick to create and can be a great way to get started with online teaching. Mini-courses are typically focused on helping students achieve small goals, such as learning a new skill or improving their performance in a particular area.
Deep-dive courses are more comprehensive ones that cover a single topic in depth. These courses are designed to provide students with everything they need to achieve a specified outcome. Deep-dive courses can be a great way to provide value to your students and help them achieve their larger goals.
Certification courses are more advanced and are designed to help students master a specific skill or topic, with proof of that mastery at the end. They involve a series of lessons and assignments, as well as a final exam or assessment. Certification courses require students to meet set standards or criteria in order to pass the course and earn a certification.
Membership courses are ones that students pay for on an ongoing basis in order to maintain access to a specific course or set of resources. Courses on membership sites are typically focused on providing students with ongoing support, guidance, and access to a community of like-minded learners.
Overall, the type of online course you choose will depend on your goals, your own preferences, and the needs of your audience. By considering the different types of online courses available, you can choose the one that is right for you as a coach and that will provide the most value to your students.
Step 3. Identify Your Course Goals and Actionable Learning Objectives
Before you can figure out exactly what content to put into your course and how to structure it, there are two things you need to determine:
- Your goals for the course, both for students' transformation and to meet larger business goals
- Actionable and compelling learning objectives that will give your students the results they want.
Aside from your course topic and market demand, these are what will make or break the ultimate success of your online course. They drive your decisions around content to include, the flow of the content, student learning activities, and any other resources you need to provide.
Identify Your Goals
To set your course goals, answer the following questions:
- What do you want your students to be able to do at the end of the entire course? For example, if you're putting together a course on video marketing, your goal could be helping your students put in place a video marketing plan for their business and develop the skills for implementing it.
- What is the transformation that students will achieve by the end of the course? Where are they starting from and where will they be afterwards? For example, students taking your course on video marketing may be starting with a fear of being on camera, but by the end, they will be both confident in their ability and enjoying the experience of creating video that brings them more engagement and sales.
- How does your course goal align with related business goals? While this isn't a direct goal for your students, it influences your thinking when picking your content and messaging. For example, if you want to increase sales of all your courses, you might want your video marketing course to lead to enrollments in your courses on branding or social media.
Develop Actionable Learning Objectives
While your course goal paints the big picture of what students will achieve by the end of your course, the course learning objectives give the details that make that result a reality.
This is where you break your goal down into the flow of what you'll be teaching and the actions your students will have to take along the way. Your learning objectives should be measurable or observable.
The key is to think in terms of what your students will be able to DO. And that means your learning objectives must use "action verbs".
Examples of action verbs for learning objectives:
Examples of verbs to avoid in learning objectives (not actionable):
To make it easier, just complete the sentence, "By the end of this course, you will be able to....".
For example, by the end of the video marketing course, you will be able to....
- Decide on the target audience for the coaching program you want to promote
- Write a script for your first marketing video for promoting your coaching program
- Record your video using a combination of slides and on-camera formats
- Upload and publish your video on your YouTube channel
- Add your call-to-action elements to the description of your video
As you can see, each learning objective would need some teaching content and student resources for people to be able to achieve them. They also need to be organized into a logical flow, so that students can see the progression of their development and what comes next.
And that's where your course structure comes into existence in the next step.
Step 4. How to Structure Your Online Course
If you've done a thorough job writing your course goals and learning objectives, you know exactly what you want your students to be able to do by the end. But how will you get them there? What does their online course journey look like?
This is another place where coaches tend to get stuck when creating a course. You have all that knowledge and experience you want to share, but you're not sure where to start.
To ensure your students have an engaging and effective learning experience, organize your learning objectives into themes, specify the learning activities, and decide what your students need in order to complete those activities. That's your course structure. It's also your blueprint for when it comes time to create your course content.
Start with your high-level outline, where you group your learning objectives. For example, it could look like this:
Welcome and Introduction
Module 1: Theme
- Lesson 1: Topic
- Learning Objective
- Lesson 2: Topic
- Learning Objective
- Lesson 3: Topic
- Learning Objective
Module 2: Theme
- Lesson 1: Topic
- Learning Objectives
- Lesson 2: Topic
- Learning Objective
When the grouping of learning objectives feels logical, add more detail about what actions students will take at the end, your mode of delivering any content, and any resources you feel students will need.
Here's what a partial template for your more detailed course structure might look like for just one section:
Module 1: Theme
- Lesson 1: Topic
- Learning Objective:
- Learning Activity (Action Step):
- Mode of Delivery:
- Content Needed: (to be added in the next step)
Unless you're creating a course outline for a large organization, don't make it any more complicated than that. You'll add in the specific content to include in Step 5: How to Create Your Online Course Content.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when structuring your online course:
- Consider the type of course you are creating: The structure of your online course will partly depend on the type of course you are creating. For example, a mini-course may be focused on providing quick skill development in one area, in just a few lessons. A deep-dive course may be more comprehensive and involve a series of modules, lessons, assignments, and assessments.
- Include live elements, self-study, and assessments: An effective online course should include a blend of live elements, self-study materials, and assessments. This will provide students with a well-rounded learning experience where they can both work on their own time and get help when they need it. With assessments, you'll also be able to observe whether your content is effective.
- Use the mode of delivery that works for your audience and you: While live elements can make a course more effective, it doesn't mean it's right for everyone. You may not be ready or comfortable enough right now to deliver a course live. Your audience may be in different time zones, which makes live sessions difficult. Or they may just prefer self-study so they can work at their own pace. If you're not sure what they prefer, ask!
- Create a community: A strong community can be a valuable asset for your online course. By creating a cohort of students who are learning and growing together, you can provide additional support and motivation while offering a sense of belonging and connection.
- Plan your lessons: Once you have decided on the organization of your online course topics, it's important to plan each lesson. This will ensure you know what content to include and where you have gaps. It will also show you where you might be overloading one lesson and need to break it up.
When planning your lessons, it's also important to consider the following criteria:
- Entertaining: To keep your students engaged, your lessons should be interesting and enjoyable to watch or listen to. That doesn't mean they have to be humorous. But you don't want them to be dry and colorless either.
- Actionable: To ensure that your students are able to apply what they have learned, your lessons should provide clear and actionable steps or advice. These are the 'learning activities' or action steps that match up to each learning objective you defined.
- A logical flow: To help your students understand and retain the information in your course, your lessons should follow a logical and clear sequence. Just as your overall course structure needs to flow from one theme to the next, your lessons also need to have a progression that's easy to follow.
It may seem like a lot of work right now, but planning out a detailed course structure will save you an inordinate amount of time in the long run. If you dive right into gathering and creating content, you can quickly lose track of where you are or start dumping all your knowledge into the course!
Step 5. Create Your Online Course Content
Now that you have a detailed structure for your online course, the next step is to gather and create the course content.
To decide what content you need, answer these questions for each module and lesson:
- What do your students need to know in order to achieve each learning objective?
- What do they already know?
- What is the gap? I.e., what do you need to teach them?
- What type of content is best for filling that gap? Eg, a live demo, text, video, worksheets, 1:1 feedback, etc.
Write down your answers and you'll be able to identify exactly what content you already have and what you need to create.
Here are some steps you can take to create your online course content:
- Determine how much content you need: The amount of content you need for your online course will depend on the type of course you are creating and the learning goals you have set for your audience. A mini-course, for example, may only require a few video tutorials and worksheets, while a deep-dive course may require a more extensive collection of materials.
- Consider the types of content that are best for your course: There are many different types of content that you can use in your online course, including video, audio, slides, text, images, and more. When deciding on the types of content to use, it's important to consider what will be most engaging and effective for your audience. Using different media formats can also help students retain information more effectively.
- Decide whether to use existing or new content: Once you see what you need to teach to meet your learning objectives, you may have the option of using some of your existing content or creating new content specifically for your course. Be sure to consider whether your students will have already seen some of the content, such as in other courses of yours, and whether you're just trying to use existing content to save time even if it's not the best fit.
- Add your content to your course structure outline: Now that you've decided on the types of content you will use and whether to use existing or new content, add your content to your course structure outline from Step 4. This will help you ensure that your content is well-organized and aligns with your learning objectives and flow.
- Set dates to create your content: To ensure that your online course is completed on time, it's important to set specific dates for creating your content. This will help you stay on track and avoid delays or setbacks in the course creation process.
You've now completed the hardest part of creating and selling a successful online course! Determining learning objectives, course structure, and course content are all steps that most course creators and coaches approach in a haphazard, disorganized way. That's a guarantee for failure. It's also why many coaches hire an expert in course creation or purchase white label courses instead. You can see how time-consuming it can be to create your course from scratch!
Step 6. Record Your Online Course Videos
Once you have your detailed online course structure outline, you'll probably have a big component of video in your list of content to create. However, that's also a challenge for a lot of coaches. But even if you're not comfortable with video now, you'll quickly become an expert with practice.
Here are some steps you can take to record your online course videos:
- Choose the right tools for recording your course videos: There are many different tools you can use to record your online course videos. Some popular options include Zoom, PowerPoint, Canva, and your smartphone. The right tool for you will depend on your budget, the type of content you are creating, and your personal preferences. Try each and see what you like best.
- Use a consistent and professional setup: Every coach wants their course videos to feel professional. Using a consistent setup will guarantee that. Include a clean and well-lit background, a good microphone and camera, and a comfortable and professional-looking outfit.
- Practice before you start recording: To ensure that your course videos are smooth and polished, it's important to practice before you start recording. This can help you get comfortable with your content and delivery, and then make any necessary adjustments to your setup or script.
- Record in segments: To make your course videos more manageable and easy to edit, record in segments rather than trying to record everything in one go. This will allow you to focus on one topic or lesson at a time, and it makes your life easier when it comes to edits and improvements later on.
- Edit and refine your course videos: After you have recorded your course videos, make the extra effort to edit and refine them to make them more user-friendly and engaging. This can include trimming unnecessary footage, adding graphics and transitions, zooming in on areas of the screen, and adding music and sound effects.
Recording your online course videos doesn't have to be a massive and terrifying task. The key is to stick to a tool that's easy for you right now, take it one step at a time, and practice. Before you know it, you'll be recording an entire course in a day.
Step 7. Set Up Your Course on an Online Course Platform
You have your course all created, but where should it go? How will your students access it? Once you have all your content and videos ready, the next step is to set up your course on an online course platform. There are three major ways to upload and sell your online courses:
Online Course Marketplaces
Online course marketplaces are websites that offer a platform for teachers to sell their courses. Examples of popular online course marketplaces include Udemy, Skillshare, and Coursera. These platforms offer a range of tools and features for creating, selling, and delivering your online course. But they typically take a percentage of your course sales as a fee.
Learning Management Systems
Learning management systems (LMS) are software platforms that enable teachers to create, deliver, and manage online courses. These systems typically offer a range of features and tools for creating, organizing, and delivering your course content, as well as tracking student progress and engagement. Some also take a percentage of course fees, depending on your level of paid subscription plan.
Plugins or Software on Your Website
Another option for selling your online courses is to use a plugin or software on your own website, such as Thrive Apprentice. This can allow you to have full control over the design, branding, and functionality of your course platform, but it may require more technical expertise and resources to set up and manage.
Some of the best recommended online course platforms include Teachable and Zenler. These both offer a range of tools and features for creating, selling, and delivering your online course. They also have a good reputation among teachers and students.
So how can you choose the best online course platform for you? Take a look at the features of different popular platforms and consider whether they have what you want, can grow with your business, and will fit your technical abilities (or lack thereof). Then test out ones that have a free option as much as possible so you can get a feel for what you like. Don't forget to check for their customer service availability too!
How to Make Your Online Courses More Engaging
You have your online course all completed and set up on an online course platform by this point. Now the key to success is to ensure it meets your students' expectations for a learning experience that delivers results. Here are some tips for how to teach an online course and make it more engaging for your students so that they get the results you promised:
- Use interactive elements: To keep your students' attention and involvement, use interactive elements in your online course. These can include quizzes, polls, discussions, and other activities that encourage students to participate and interact with the material.
- Provide support and feedback: One of the key advantages of online learning is the ability to provide support and feedback to students without having to be with them in person. By offering regular feedback on assignments and quizzes, answering questions, and providing guidance and support, you can help your students learn and grow.
- Create a community of learners: Building a community of learners can be a powerful way to make your online course more effective for everyone. By creating a forum or online group where students can connect with each other and share their experiences, you can provide additional support and inspiration without having to be present all the time.
- Use multimedia and visual aids: To address every student's learning style, it's important to use multimedia and visual aids in your lessons. This can include videos, audio, slides, images, and other types of content that help illustrate and reinforce your key points.
- Keep your lessons focused and actionable: To ensure your students implement what they learn in your course, it's not enough to make it engaging. You need to provide clear, concise, and practical information that your students can use to achieve their goals.
By making your online course more engaging, you'll be able to stand out from other courses in your market, deliver exceptional results as promised, and earn the testimonials and loyalty of your successful students.
How to Launch and Sell a Profitable Online Course
At this point, you have a winning course that you know will help your audience and that they'll love. That's a huge achievement and you should be proud of yourself! Now, how do you get the word out to your target market so you can start making sales, enrolling students, and reaping the financial benefits of all your hard work?
Here are 5 key steps you can take to launch and sell a profitable online course:
1 - Create a course marketing plan
Before you launch your online course, it's important to create a marketing plan. You'd be shocked at how many business coaches never create a marketing plan for their online course, even though they tell their clients to do this every day! But without a detailed plan, you run the risk of latching onto the latest shiny marketing strategy, picking the wrong tactics for your market, and wondering why you're not making any sales.
Your course marketing plan should outline the key steps you will take to promote your course, including which tactics you'll use, creating marketing materials, building a mailing list, using social media and other channels to reach potential students, and your timeline for everything.
2 - Craft a catchy title for your course
Your course title is far more important than you can possibly imagine. If it's too vague or overly clever, your audience will click away without even bothering to take a look. Your title needs to tell people what the course is about, but still be catchy and memorable. If you can include your target audience and branding in the title, even better. It's a tall order, but there are many formulas and title generators you can use to help you brainstorm ideas.
3 - Build anticipation and excitement
Veteran course creators use a proven strategy to ensure they get sales from the very first day of their launches - buzz-building. They educate their audience about the benefits of their course topic, offer a few quick wins (like running a 5-day challenge), and help them see if they need a bigger solution.
To create buzz and anticipation around your online course, you can also use this strategy and start promoting it before you launch. Your tactics can include sharing sneak peeks, teasers, free webinars, a behind-the-scenes look at your course, and building a waiting list or pre-launch group.
4 - Create a sales page
While there are situations where you can sell your course directly from a webinar or presentation, sending people directly to checkout, you'll still need a sales page for steady sales. Your sales page lives online, either on your online course platform or website, and it's where you send interested prospects.
Make sure your page clearly outlines the benefits and features of your course, and that it provides information on how to enroll. Using a sales page builder, you can also ensure it's well-designed, professional, and easy to navigate.
5 - Use email marketing to promote your course
If there's one thing that every business coach and course creator will tell you about marketing, it's that you need to build an email list. This is your direct line of communication to both leads for your course and existing customers. While social media is great for building buzz and community, you're at the mercy of someone else's decisions to show your content. However, your email list is always in your control.
Start building an email list as soon as possible, especially before your course launch. Then use email to share updates, announce promotions, and provide valuable content that will help build trust and interest among your audience.
It's easy to get lost in the sea of recommended course launch strategies online, so use your own judgment and knowledge of your audience to decide on your own strategy. Then stick to it consistently until you see success. You can always add or change tactics later.
How to Price Your Online Course
Course creators and coaches tend to agonize over what to charge for their online course. You're afraid to set too high a price and scare off potential students. But you know that if the price is too low, the course won't earn enough to make it worthwhile. These are both legitimate concerns, but there are some steps you can take to price your online course for maximum profitability.
- Consider your competitors: When first pricing your online course, take a look at the prices of similar courses offered by your competitors. This will help you understand the market and get a feel for what your audience is accustomed to paying, even if those courses aren't on the exact same topic as yours.
- Select your launch model. Another first step in pricing your online course is to select your launch model. There are two main options: open/close or evergreen. Open/close courses are only available for a limited time, while evergreen courses are available for purchase at any time. You can usually charge more for an open/close course since the value is higher when people know that can't buy it any time they want.
- Calculate the ideal price point: Once you have selected your launch model, the next step is to calculate the ideal price point for your online course. This isn't a simple formula of target revenue, number of projected sales, and cost. Instead, also look at the value your students will get from your course, the elements you've included in it, and what your market will be willing to pay. And remember, your price isn't set in stone.
- Offer multiple pricing options: To make your online course more accessible to a wider audience, consider offering multiple pricing options. This can include different tiers of access or support, or you can offer bundle pricing that includes additional resources or bonuses. Stick to no more than 3 levels or people will have trouble deciding which to buy.
- Test and adjust your pricing: Once you have set a price for your online course, it's important to test and adjust your pricing to ensure it is profitable and sustainable. Look at how many sales you've made at one price, test different pricing options to see what works best, and ask for feedback from students. It's possible that students would prefer to pay more to have more content or support. Or they may want payment plan options. Let your ideal student be your guide.
While the price of your course is an important decision during your launch, remember that it can always be changed through offering different options, adding or taking away content, or changing your launch model. Just don't worry too much at the start about how many sales you'll make. If you can sell 1 spot in your course, you can sell 100!
How to Create an Online Course Sales Page that Converts
One of the keys to launching and selling a profitable course is to create a sales page where people can learn about it and enroll. This is another point where coaches and course creators get stuck. What should you put on your page? How should you structure it? How can you make it look professional?
Follow these steps to create an online course sales page that converts:
- Determine what to include on your course sales page: A successful course sales page should have all of the key information about your course, including the learning objectives, course structure, features, benefits, and pricing. To make it high-converting, include your own story, student or client testimonials, and case studies that showcase the success of past students.
- Build your course landing page: To create your course sales page, you will need to build a landing page on your website or online course platform. This page should be well-designed, professional, and easy to navigate. It should also include calls to action and other elements that encourage visitors to enroll in your course, such as a guarantee and variety of visuals.
- Use a course sales page copy template: To make the process of writing your course sales page easier, you can use a course sales page copy template. This template will provide a structure for the flow of your sales page, places to highlight the key features and benefits of your course, and the key elements that will increase your conversions.
Here's what a proven course sales page template looks like:
- Intro Video (optional)
- Audience Problem/Importance/Solution (include your story here, if relevant)
- Course Description (overview, benefits, learning objectives, module overviews, features)
- Case Study/Testimonial
- Call to Action and Price (with payment button)
- Instructor Bio (why should they learn from you?)
- FAQs (anticipate questions and objections)
If this is the first sales page you've created, it may take you longer than you'd like. However, the key to making sales of your online course is to have a place for people to pay and enroll. So focus on putting together the minimum of information needed for students to see the benefits and features of your course, along with at least one image. You'll end up editing and adding to your page anyway as you see how it converts, so don't wait until you have the 'perfect' sales page. There's no such thing.
How to Successfully Launch Your Online Course
Your course launch is where it all comes together. It's where you announce that your new course is ready for enrollment. Just like with any product launch, those anticipated sales won't show up unless you carefully plan and implement a launch strategy.
Here are some steps you can take to successfully launch your online course:
- Create a launch plan: Don't launch your course on-the-fly or you'll be floundering around looking for new tactics just when you've started getting people's attention. Create a launch plan that includes all the tasks you need to do before, during, and after your course launch - in detail and with dates attached.
- Prepare for your course launch: You'll need a variety of content and systems as part of your launch, so make a list and set all of that up well in advance. Then, during your launch, you can focus your time on engaging with your prospective students. Your prep work can include creating marketing materials, building a mailing list, and setting up any necessary automations or tools for delivering your course.
- Build your audience in advance: Part of your pre-launch activities is building an engaged audience of eager buyers for your course. Then, when you announce that your course is live, you can make sales on Day 1. In the month before your official opening for enrollments, build excitement about your upcoming course and create a way to directly communicate with your target students. This can include running weekly livestreams on different topics related to your course, offering free content in exchange for email addresses, posting updates with a timer on a 'coming soon' page, or pre-selling spots in your course for a special price.
- Offer a limited-time discount or bonus: Everyone loves to feel like they're getting a good deal, and your audience is no exception. To encourage students to enroll in your course, you can offer a limited-time discount when you launch. This could be a percentage off the regular price, a bundle of additional resources or bonuses, or even a 30-minute coaching call with you (best for higher-priced courses). Call it something enticing, like an "Insiders Bonus", "Founders Price", or "Early Access Special".
- Announce your course launch: When you're ready to announce that your course is open for enrollment, you have a few channels you can use. These include email, social media, and your website. You can also run paid ads or do free 'quick win' training sessions for other people's audiences (similar to your own). Remember to update your 'coming soon' page too. Your course launch announcement should include key information about your course, as well as a call to action to enroll.
- Use a course launch checklist and calendar: To ensure that you don't forget any important steps in the course launch process, use a course launch checklist and calendar. This can help you stay organized and on track, and make sure that you are prepared for every step of the launch process.
Your course launch doesn't end with the sale. Be sure to add your post-launch activities to your launch plan too. Those should include all of the following:
- Enroll students and onboard (all automated in advance)
- Follow-up with leads for more sales
- Get feedback from students and from people who didn't buy
- Schedule the next launch
Remember to track your metrics too. After your launch is over, look at which tactics and channels resulted in the most enrollments. Then you can tweak your strategy for your next course launch.
How to Make Your Online Course Evergreen
An evergreen online course is one that can be taken at any time and will always be relevant and up-to-date. This type of course is designed to be timeless, so that it can be taken by new students at any point in the future without you needing to take out time to make frequent revisions.
Anyone who has expertise in a particular subject and wants to share their knowledge with others can create an evergreen online course. This includes educators, professionals, or anyone with a skill or knowledge base that they believe others would benefit from learning.
To create an evergreen online course funnel, you will need to:
- Identify your target audience and their needs. This will help you create a course that is relevant and valuable to your students.
- Create a course outline and plan. This should include the topics you will cover, the format of your course (e.g. videos, quizzes, etc.), and the length of the course.
- Develop your course content. This could include creating videos, slides, or other materials that will be used in your course.
- Set up a landing page or website where you will promote your course and allow students to enroll.
- Develop a marketing plan to promote your course. This could include using social media, email marketing, or other tactics to reach your target audience and encourage them to enroll in your course.
The best ways to market an evergreen online course will depend on your target audience and the platform you are using to host your course. Some effective strategies for marketing an evergreen online course include:
- Creating a landing page or website with information about your course, its benefits, and how to enroll
- Using social media to promote your course and engage with potential students
- Creating content (e.g. blog posts, videos, etc.) related to your course topic to attract potential students
- Running paid ads on social media or search engines to reach a larger audience
- Partnering with influencers or other experts in your field to promote your course to their followers
- Offering a discount or special offer to encourage people to enroll in your course.
You'll notice that many of the steps for creating an evergreen online course are the same as for any course. The biggest difference is that your goal is to reduce the amount of time you spend on your course-building and focus more on the marketing. Evergreen courses are also great candidates for automating parts of your marketing, which will give you more semi-passive income.
How to Build a 6-Figure Online Course Business
Building a 6-figure online course business requires a combination of creating a curriculum of high-quality courses, marketing those courses effectively, and providing excellent customer service to your students.
Here are some steps you can take to build a successful online course business:
- Identify a profitable niche in which you have expertise and can create high-quality courses.
- Create a series of courses that provide value to your students and are priced at a level that allows you to make a profit.
- Set up a website or online platform where you can host your courses and allow students to enroll.
- Develop a marketing plan to promote your courses to your target audience. This could include using social media, email marketing, paid ads, or other tactics to reach potential students.
- Provide excellent customer service to your students, including answering any questions they have and providing support as needed.
- Continuously improve and update your courses to ensure that they remain relevant and valuable to your students.
- Consider offering additional products or services, such as done-for-you options, coaching, or consulting. These will provide additional value to your students and generate additional income.
It's essential to have more than one online course for a 6-figure course business, because it provides multiple streams of income and allows you to reach a wider audience. Universities and colleges don't just teach one course. By offering a variety of courses on different topics, you can appeal to a broader range of potential students and increase your revenue potential.
Having a library of courses on different topics also allows you to diversify your business and reduce your risk. If one of your courses doesn't perform as well as you had hoped, you will still have other courses generating income for your business. This can provide stability and help you weather any challenges that may arise.
Additionally, having multiple courses can help you build a loyal customer base. If a student enjoys and benefits from one of your courses, they may be more likely to purchase additional courses from you in the future. This can help you build a community of engaged and loyal students who are more likely to support your business over the long term.
It is possible to build a 6-figure business with just one online course, but it will require a high-quality course that addresses a specific need or problem for a large target audience. Additionally, you will need to market your course effectively and provide excellent customer service to your students.
Here are a few examples of people who have built 6-figure businesses with just one online course:
- Ramit Sethi: Ramit Sethi is the creator of the popular "I Will Teach You To Be Rich" course, which teaches students how to improve their personal finances and build wealth. The course has generated millions of dollars in revenue for Sethi's business.
- Marie Forleo: Marie Forleo is the creator of the "B-School" course, which teaches students how to build a successful online business. The course has generated millions of dollars in revenue for Forleo's business.
- Amy Porterfield: Amy Porterfield is the creator of the "Digital Course Academy" course, which teaches students how to create and sell online courses. The course has generated millions of dollars in revenue for Porterfield's business.
You'll notice all of these famous course creators started with one course, but now launch several courses over a 12-month period.
Is it realistic to build a 6-figure business with just one online course? Yes, but it will require not just a high-quality course, but also dedicated marketing, repeat launches, and excellent customer service.
Most coaches find three or four courses is the perfect base for their online coaching and course academy. You can add new courses a few times a year to grow your library of courses. Especially if you leverage the power of white label courses like the ones here at Content Sparks, so you don't have to go through all the steps of creating a course from scratch!
And then you have the ability to focus your marketing budget on your full range of course options, rather than just one.
That's when you start to not only grow a 6-figure online course business, but also scale your coaching business to 7-figures and beyond!