The gurus make it seem so simple when they tell us to “create a course and sell it online and make millions, just like I did!” Eh. I don’t believe it’s really that simple. I’ve seen people struggle just to try to understand the marketing and selling part (insert slow hand raise right here).
It’s simple to the gurus because they are experts at it and that’s why they are teaching others to create a course. But if you’re just making your first course it can all be extremely overwhelming – the course PLUS the sales and marketing.
I’ve seen course creators go through it. I’ve seen them in tears. I’ve seen them hire Virtual Assistants to help them create a course, but not knowing what to tell the assistants to do – because they don’t know themselves. They feel like they are failing. But the truth is they aren’t failing at being successful course creators, they just don’t know all the sales and marketing mumbo jumbo, yet they are being told it’s simple enough to do it themselves.
We are motivated. We want to turn our expertise into a course and share it with our audience or clients. As far as time goes, well most of us are able to make time. A few hours here and there throughout the week for a month or so can usually get us pretty far. We invest our time and hearts into an amazing course that we are proud of. And now we want to sell it.
More challenges, and a whole new field of knowledge we need to learn. Gosh, new words. We have to learn new MEANINGS of words. Let me tell you sis, a funnel isn’t found in your kitchen and you don’t take your list to the grocery store.
So I just want to share with you some things that you will need to figure out once your course is complete if you indeed want to sell it online:
- You will need to market it and continue marketing it. Have you thought about how potential customers will even know your course exists? Marketing your course should ideally start right around the same time that you begin your content creation. Social media, ads, lists…it’s a whole new world, kid.
- You will need to make your product enticing by possibly having some ecovers or videos or other marketing materials created. This means you will need to hire a graphic designer to help put together a snazzy look and brand for your marketing campaign. Yeah, there it is, you’ve got a campaign now.
- You will need a sales page. This is what I find the most challenging out of ALL the marketing and sales steps that need to be taken. While your graphic designer can help you with the style of the sales page, you will need to be able to write the copy that convinces your customers to buy it. This can take a fairly long time to get it just right.
- You will need a payment processor. How will you accept payments? Maybe you’re thinking, “I’ll take PayPal.” Ok, that’s great but there are many other hitches before you can really use PayPal to accept payment for your course. Like the next challenge…
- You will need to have a delivery mechanism for your course. The name of the digital product game is “Instant Gratification.” And that means your customers want your product minutes (if not seconds) after submitting their payments for you. If you use PayPal – well you will have to figure out how to make that happen!
- You will have to protect your content. You spent all that time creating it, you sure don’t want some thief getting hold of it and giving it away, or worse selling it as his own!
- You will need to establish a customer service process. How will you handle customer questions, complaints and refunds? Don’t forget about technical issues as well. While you may think you’re the least techy person around, believe me when I say there is always someone who knows less than you. And guess what? Their lack of knowledge about how to access or use your product can be a trigger for a refund or complaint campaign against you!
Did I scare you? I hope so! (not really) Lucky for us we are in a time where there are systems that can handle all of the things I mentioned above for us. Funnels and security and payments and all. So don’t worry. The internet has you covered. And those gurus I mentioned earlier? They all have courses or programs of their own and many will walk you step-by-step on sales and marketing (they love that stuff). I just want you to be aware there’s more to it than course creation if you want to sell your course online.
If you don’t plan to sell your course, then…never mind. If you want to, try to educate yourself on some of these marketing terms and strategies and find an expert you trust.