18 Aug How To Guarantee Your Next Course Launch Will Be Profitable and Loved
How To Guarantee Your Next Course Will Be Profitable and Loved
Create a solution for an existing problem
So you’ve spent months building your course and now you’re ready to show it to the world.
Where are the people that want to take your course?
How do you build trust and make them care?
Better yet, are you going to get a return for any of your efforts?
When you create an online course, you need to know if it’s going to be profitable before you launch.
There is an easy way to tell if there is a market that wants your product, there are already courses
Understand the problem your course solves and who has that problem. You can reach out to a
community or create your own for market testing purposes.
Let your audience help you build your course by interacting with people directly and find out if they’re
interested in your solution to their problem. There are an abundance of tools available that you can use
to conduct keyword and content research.
What Problem Can You Solve that People Have Questions
What are your most popular pieces of content?
What do people already appreciate from you?
It’s possible to create a course around fulfilling your own need.
However, you need to be sure you’re solving a need you share with many other people and not just
making a course you want to make.
Market proof is your first idea validation strategy. Why sell online courses without knowing how many
people are interested in buying it?
It is beneficial if people are purchasing courses similar to yours. Though this is competition, it is a good
thing that someone has tested the market and proven that people are willing to pay money for the
See what people are searching for every month with the Google Keyword Tool. Also, look at things from
another perspective by viewing the ads and keywords that other companies are paying for using SpyFu.
Identifying Problems to Create a Solution
Using the keywords from your keyword research, find questions your course can answer on Q&A sites.
This also helps validate your idea.
Let’s say there is no competition in your niche, but you’ve successfully identified a problem that many
people have questions about. This proves to you that there is a high demand that is not being met.
Dig deeper into solving problems by finding valuable niche sites where people are asking questions. Use
Google search queries with advanced operators. For example, if your course was about building drag
race cars, you could enter “build drag race car + Q&A”, “build a drag race car + questions” or “site:
answers.yahoo.com + how to build a drag race car”.
When you begin to think of consumers as people, it’s easier to find a problem to solve.
Think about the day to day frustrations that people experience. The most innovative courses and
products are successful not because they can save the world, but because they alleviate the pain that
hundreds or thousands of people share.
Here are a few courses that have proven to be quite successful:
● 101 Crucial Lessons They Don’t Teach You in Business School by Chris Haroun
● Real Estate Ads Academy by Ryan Stewman
● The Complete iOS 10 Developer Course by Rob Percival
Carve Out a Space for Yourself in Your Niche
Narrow down the problem you’re going to solve.
If your course addresses a specific problem rather than a broad one, It’s more helpful to the person
taking the course. It is easier for your audience to pass on generic offers, so be specific.
Specific courses better address needs.
You could sell online courses showing how to create and grow a garden. However, this is too general. A
course on how to grow a garden in your apartment is much more specific and addresses needs more
What are the most pressing problems people in your niche face today? What is being shared and talked
about the most in your niche? Conduct consumer trend research by using Google Trends, BuzzSumo,
Think with Google, and Facebook groups.
Analyze the results of your research and consider what your course can add to someone’s life. Next, you
need to find out if you’re testing the market first or if it’s already being tested for you.
Setting Your Course Apart from the Crowd
Are there other courses in your niche or are you a pioneer?
Learn about other courses in your niche and study what they are missing.
Conduct your market research on platforms where hundreds of thousands of courses have been taken
and nearly as many reviews have been left:
○ MIT OpenCourseWare
○ Open Education Database
Read the reviews of those who have taken a course in your niche. What do they praise and criticize?
Think about how your course can fill in any gaps in information.
Are there many compliments on the videos? Videos are an excellent engagement tool that could be a
part of your course.
Add the information you’ve collected from reviews and market research into your course.
For example, someone could complete a course and leave a critical review that they feel the course did
not adequately equip them to solve their problem. Ask yourself if there were fewer modules on that
course or if there were no engagement tools used (videos, printouts, app, etc).
Join a Community, Create One or Do Both
Let’s say you’ve built an email list or you have a social presence already.
How do you know when your community is large enough for you to launch your product? You can
safely assume that 2% of your community will accept your offer and take the course.
Multiply this number by the price of your course and see if it meets your expectations. You have
community-building to do either way, but especially if the number doesn’t meet your expectations.
You should always be campaigning to grow your email list. Ask your email list what they are having
problems with. If you don’t have an audience yet, you should join a community so you can build one.
Take tips on the community’s pain points.
Identifying a difficult problem your community is facing so you can create a solution is very valuable.
Increase your sales by identifying difficult problems and solving them.
Make it your goal to get to know what the community’s struggle points are. You want to make sure your
course includes these struggle points and shows your community how to resolve them.
Search for questions in the community containing keywords related to your course. You’re helping to
guarantee your sales by working with your community to both create a course that solves their problem
and includes material that other courses don’t have.
When it’s time to launch you course, it’s time to market. You can’t just solicit and talk about yourself
right? Your marketing campaign should add to the community by offering value through a lead magnet.
Why create a lead magnet? Because your relationship with your customer has just begun and you’re
providing value for the long term.
Offer Value Towards Your Community’s Problem
Your design and your headline are a large part of the success of your lead magnet.
There are many templates available to help you construct your lead magnet and cut down on
Introduce your sales funnel within the lead magnet. You can use Leadpages, OptimizePress,
ClickFunnels, or create your own.
The lead magnet that you send via email will introduce your new prospect to your sales funnel.
It’s still very effective to use webinars to connect with your community and provide value. Save your
paid offer until the very end of your webinar, after you’ve provided your audience with valuable content.
Use the email list that you build to communicate to continue solving problems and communicate your
offering. When it comes time to sell your online course, you’ll be looking to your email list and your
online community. That community will be there because you’ve been building your email list from your
social community by providing value in the form of lead magnets.
Reach the full scale of the audience interested in your course through your pricing structure. Consider
how successful payment plans or subscription model businesses are.
You can reach different segments of the market by having a $2,000 online course that you offer in 10
payments of $200. This kind of pricing makes sense for everyone. This makes it possible to get the full
value of the course up front, while not making it out of reach for a customer with $200 to invest.
Test out a pilot version of your course on a small group of volunteers. These volunteers are a part of the
creation of your course and you can thank them with a small discount on the course. Use your volunteer
group to work out any kinks or errors in your course before you officially launch. Are there questions
you repeatedly get from testers about the course? You can consider adding in this information.
The Pre-Launch of Your Course
To start your pre-launch, send an email to those who expressed an interest in the topic covered in the
This is an example of how a product hypothesis email for a Python course could look:
Your list should be segmented by interest or how they opted in so you know who to email. You could be
emailing a group of 30 or 100 people.
In this email, you’re asking for the opportunity to get their opinion and feedback. To the people who
respond, send them a link to a short survey.
In the survey, ask your prospect questions about what makes them want to buy, what module they
expect to see in the course, and how would their life be different after making improvements from the
Make sure one of the questions on the survey is “Do you want to buy the course?”
Send a link to pre-order your course to everyone who said they want to buy the course.
Do this by sending them a product hypothesis detailing how and why the course works. The product
hypothesis is basically an email with a pre-order link inside. This is a way to test the waters and see hard
numbers of people who will pay for your pre-launch.
If you’re launching a course to make a profit, you’re going into business. Nearly every successful
business has a sales department. Why don’t you?
There are thousands of salespeople that get paid from commission. How much commission could you
give away to grow your business and still be happy?
If you have a $1,000 course and you’re willing to give away 20%, that’s an $800 check for your
salesperson. Your salesperson could make $3200 from generating 4 sales per month for 4 months.
There are a multitude of different ways to play with these numbers to find something that works for
Create a recruiting document that shows the highest amount your salesperson will generate within a
given time period and place an ad. This kind of ad will help you get the leverage you need to grow your
course sales. You may be surprised to learn that there is an ideal person to help you grow your course
sales if you share the profits.
Getting Traffic to Your Course
Some high performance content producers aim to get traffic from at least 50 sources.
Consider bringing Adwords and Facebook ads into the equation if you haven’t already.
Promote your course in the obvious places like your blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. Some
platforms may apply more than others depending on the type of course you offer. Consider having a
presence on Medium, where your content can be exposed to a great deal of online readers.
You can get to your goal faster, ensure your course actually helps people, and know that your course
will generate a profit by doing these activities. There are easy ways to find problems that can be solved
by your course.
Once you’ve built your course, make a video demonstrating how to use it. Derek Halpern of Zippy
Courses has said the following about creating a demo video for your audience, “I believe
demonstrability allowed me to sell out all of my licenses in 21 minutes…”
If you build it, they will not come, you need a community. Benefit from building a community to serve
and communicate with in the process of market research for your next course launch. Go back and
update your course to ensure it stays relevant. New research or technology may emerge that affects
your course, so you may need to update it.
Call people whether they have purchased your course or not to see why people buy and why they don’t.
Take the time to connect with people. You’ll have better testimonies as a result of getting their stories. In
this digital world, a gesture like that alone sets you apart.
Developing a Plan
If you’re trying to figure out what your course should cover, begin by looking at the information people
depend on you for. What do you get questions about? What do people ask you for assistance with?
What is your most popular piece of content online?
Look for problems to solve first and the profits are sure to follow. Study your market, validate your idea,
and figure out what’s missing from your niche so you can fill the gap. Engage with people who have
taken courses and analyze what they have to say. Find your place in one or more communities and
work with them to create a course around their problems and needs.
Begin creating value for the community through downloadable lead magnets. Use your lead magnet to
build your email list. Once you have your list, begin the pre-launch of your course. Email your survey to
prospects who are interested in the course to see who is ready to buy. Create a commissioned sales
team of two to four people to leverage sales efforts.
You want assistance with your sales so you can focus solely on traffic and communicating with your
audience to improve the course. Planning the launch of your course this way prevents you from building
a digital product in the dark, hoping someone will buy. Building your audience while you build your
course helps guarantee future business. This is an effective plan to grow an audience from zero and still
make a profit.
What do you use to determine if your course is going to be profitable? What has worked to get
more students enrolled in your online course?