Last week I shared 15 ideas for yoga related online courses with you. I hope those ideas inspired you and got you excited about the idea of creating your own online course! I highly recommend that you go back and listen to that episode if you haven’t done so, maybe after this one.
Now, let’s say you already have an online course, or it’s nearly done and you’re ready to launch, which means you’re ready to sell it. Maybe you’ve been so busy creating your course content that you didn’t even start thinking about how to do that. I get it – creating the content is definitely the fun part!
But if you’ve been thinking about just emailing your subscribers and telling them about your course, let me stop you right there. Unfortunately, this isn’t really going to work. You have to put in a little bit more effort, and I promise this doesn’t mean that you have to go all pushy used car salesperson, but you owe it to that amazing product you created, and you owe it to your potential customers, to market it as best as you can.
But what should you do? There are many different ways to sell an online course and today I want to share 3 different ways with you.
In this episode I’m talking about:
- 3 ways to launch your online course
- Why a live launch is so important, even if it might seem scary!
- What email sequences are and why they’re so important for your launch strategy
- Why it’s important to utilise videos and get in front of the camera
- What webinars are and why they’re a great way to launch your online course
Starting Your Launch
You might want to start small with your first launch or maybe you’ve launched already but you launched small. Maybe you just sent a few emails or did a quick FB Live and called it a launch. It’s very normal to launch small when you’re scared to launch. I know this because I’ve done it before.
But as I said, you owe it to your online course, this amazing thing that you created, to market it as well as you can, and to give it your all. I know the fear of launching because I’ve been there. I’ve played it safe in my business. But with every launch, I’m getting a little bit braver, and you can too. Stepping into the role of a leader that your customers deserve and playing a bigger game means taking risks and learning new things that may feel completely scary, like doing a webinar.
I want you to step up and do a live launch for your online course. A live launch means that you open and close cart for all your customers at the same time.
So you send them an email at the start where you say something like “hey, so excited to invite into my new program…”, and then you close the option to buy your program for everyone after let’s say 1 week. This creates urgency and excitement around your launch and it’ll help you sell. It also gives you the opportunity to focus on working with all your new students after your launch, because everybody’s at the same stage, and it makes your life easier.
The opposite of a live launch is called selling on evergreen (like an evergreen tree), where people can buy your course all the time. This is a different strategy and I’m not going to talk about it in this episode. Today we’re focusing on live launches.
Strategy #1 – Email Sequences, Subscribers & Live Videos
The first and easiest way to do this is with emails. You can email your subscribers and tell them about your new course and that they should buy it. But it’s not enough to send out 1 or even 3 emails and call it a day.
You should plan an email sequence where you address questions and objections your potential customers might have. There’s actually a strategy behind it. You don’t just send out a few random emails. I normally send between 8 and 12 emails when I’m launching an online course. Yes, you read that right!
I know it sounds a lot, and when I started, I too was afraid to annoy my subscribers and that they would all unsubscribe. It’s a fear a few of my students have, they say that they will change the plan I recommend and teach, and send out fewer emails because they don’t want to be pushy or annoy their students. I get that, but I always tell them to follow my plan for their first launch because it’s been proven, and if it doesn’t work for them, they can start experimenting and changing things.
Also, it’s not about the quantity, it’s about what you share in your emails. If you sent out 8 emails where you shout buy, buy, buy – then yes, you would be annoying your subscribers. This is not what you should do. Instead, you use your emails to share stories, to educate and to inform your potential customers.
Have you heard before that we need to hear or see something 7 times before we come to a purchasing decision? There’s actually a study that showed that. So don’t be scared to repeat yourself. And also, don’t worry about people unsubscribing. That will happen when you launch something and send out a lot of emails. It happens to me, too.
But you know what? I don’t care! If someone unsubscribes from my email list because they never want to buy from me, that’s totally fine, that’s actually a good thing! Or they might unsubscribe because they are just not interested in what I’m offering right now, but they might subscribe again at a later time. I do this too and it has nothing to do with me not liking the person. You just have to let this go. Now, emails are great but they can only go so far in building a connection with your customers.
Utilizing Video & Getting In Front Of The Camera
There’s the written word, and then there’s video! Which will help you connect to your audience and build trust so much faster. I shied away from doing videos for a long time and, to be totally honest, it hurt my business! It really did.
I think for a successful launch you need to incorporate video in some form. This can be personalized videos that you send to your subscribers, for example with an app like Bonjoro. Or you do a series of Facebook or Instagram lives. Anything that gives people a chance to get to know you.
It doesn’t have to be a big production, being authentic and real actually is best. You don’t need perfect light or sound, simply take your phone and go live for 10 to 15 minutes, introduce yourself, teach something that you also cover in your course, give people the chance to answer questions and most importantly, add a call to action. A great example of this would be to invite them to check out your sales page to learn more about your course and to enroll before the early bird discount expires or something like that. But you need to do it. Plan to go live at least 3 times and choose the platform where the majority of your audience hangs out.
Strategy #2 – Webinars: What They Are & How They Work
Strategy #2 to launch your online course is with a webinar. Sounds scary, right? Well, time to take a deep breath. Webinars can be scary if you’ve never done one before, but I promise that they don’t have to be. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, a webinar is basically a presentation that you deliver digitally (through Zoom for example), where you teach something and then invite people into your paid offer. It should be around 1 hour long and free of charge.
You need to put some thought into planning it and creating a presentation that you will talk through. I don’t recommend to just wing it because there’s a proven order in presenting things for it to convert.
To actually host the webinar, I recommend Zoom, because it works really well and nearly everybody’s familiar with it. There are other platforms like Webinarjam or Gotowebinar, or you could do it on YouTube live, but I only use Zoom these days and not even the webinar plan but the normal meetings plan.
HOW WEBINARS WORK
Okay, here’s how it works:
- You invite people to your webinar
- They need to subscribe so you can collect their email addresses
- In your webinar, you teach and you introduce your online course, everything that they get and how much it costs
- You tell them where they can go to buy your course and share the link to your sales page
- After the webinar, you send out the replay and follow up with your launch email sequence
The replay is really important because most people won’t be able to join you live, so with the replay, they can watch it later. Webinars work incredibly well for a lot of people. I mean, there are people who build multi-million dollar businesses just with webinars. Like Amy Porterfield for example, the queen of webinars, and from whom I’ve learned how to do them. But I also know that they can be intimidating because of the tech and presenting live, and they are not the best way to share what you teach for every topic.
Strategy #3 – Free Training Or Challenges
You invite your students to participate in a free training or challenge, and on the last day, you tell them about your course and invite them to join! It works so well because the participants get to know you and your teaching style, you share tons of value and advice which really builds trust, it fosters community, and it creates excitement for your course.
One thing to keep in mind though is that it needs to be doable. If you overwhelm your participants and they feel overwhelmed because they couldn’t keep up, they are not in the right mindset to buy your course, to invest in themselves. That’s why I like to do trainings now instead of a challenge because it feels like less pressure.
But for you, a challenge might be great! For example, when you do a yoga course, a challenge to get people on the mat 5 days in a row could be a great motivation. In both cases, keep it short. I recommend 5 days, any longer and there’s the danger that it fizzles out at the end and then nobody’s interested in your online course anymore.
So you offer a challenge, you go live every day for 4 days and teach something, and on the fifth day, you invite your participants into your program. This is my favorite way to launch because it works really well and is a lot of fun! I normally mix it up and do a webinar on the fifth day, but you don’t have to do that. You can also have 5 challenge days and then start your launch email sequence. So, there are of course other ways to launch an online course, but these are the strategies I’ve used myself and recommend.
I hope in this episode you could hear my heart in all of this knowing that I am so, so passionate about helping you grow your business in a way that feels aligned and authentic but also set up for success.
I can’t wait to see what you create over the next 12 months and what you launch and I would love to hear from you. I’ll talk to you again soon, have a great week.