I’ve been a successful online course creator for several years. Believe me, there’s no way to sugar coat this truth:
Creating and launching a profitable, high-value online course is hard.
I’m not saying this just to prevent you creating your profitable, high-value course. I’m saying this because irrespective of what you’ve been told, creating a profitable, high-value course, that sells well, is not as easy as you think.
I confident you’ve read tons of Facebook Ads featuring business coaches claiming that YOU can make a five to six digit yearly income, with a high-value, online course. Just as they have done.
Each business coach claims they have the just right formula to create such a high-value course.
I’m okay with this marketing spiel. What I’d appreciate is that such business coaches are a ton more transparent (and honest) about the amount of sheer hard work (i.e. blood, sweat and tears), that they’ve put in. After which they’ve achieved the success they enjoy today.
I’ve launched a few high-value, online courses. I’m personally vouching for the fact that it was definitely not easy to do, for me.
When I first kicked off creating my first high-value, online course, I hadn’t a clue about just how tough it was going to be. Simply because no one told me so.
I encountered several issues that made me sweat . . . buckets.
Scripting and creating videos that engaged participants
Converting video transcripts to beautifully formatted and engaging PDFs
Technical issues in course content delivery
Just name an issue, I’ll bet I faced it.
Looking back, I was pretty naïve when I started creating my own high-value, online courses.
In this Blog post, I’d like to share 10 hard truths which no one told me about when I first kicked off creating my high-value, online courses. I’m focused on helping YOU get a close look at several issues. Issues you will face when you begin creating your first, high-value, online course.
I’m positive my post will drastically reduce your struggles when you create (and attempt to sell) your first high value, online course.
Issue #1: You’re Creating An Online Business.
Your high-value, online course is a course, it’s an online business.
There’s a ton of things you’ll have to do to get your online course to sell.
A sales page on your website is certainly important BUT not enough.
Today you cannot put some videos online, call it a course, and expect course participants to start rolling in by the dozen and buying.
You’re going to have to:
Brand your course
Create a sales funnel
Write Blog posts that are engaging
Create an irresistible freebie
Build an Email list
Create engaging email content to market your course to your mailing list members
Create engaging content for social media posts that draw in people to your website
And tons more . . .
It’s an online business that requires this level of effort. This is what you have to come to terms with right when you start crafting your high-value, online course.
Issue #2: Creating A High-Value Online Course, Is An Emotionally Draining Exercise
When you kick off creating your high-value, online course, expect it to be an emotionally draining exercise.
You’ll experience several hours (if not days) of sheer frustration getting all the technical systems that deliver your high-value online course, to work exactly as you want them to.
Then you’ll experience gobs of happiness when your first sales start coming in. That’s when your PayPal (or bank account) starts looking healthy.
There will be the disappointment, of not making a single sale via a webinar. A webinar you spent many sleepless nights preparing for.
Next, there will be moments of satisfaction, pride and self-doubt (often a touch of sadness) when positive and negative testimonials appear in your inbox.
You must always be prepared to take care of yourself emotionally while creating your first high-value online course.
Issue #3: Your 8 Hours Of Beauty Sleep Gets Wrecked
I assure you that you will be up all night. For several nights. Testing and re-testing your course delivery processes before your course launch.
Constantly tweaking your sales page content
Testing all the links that must work together in harmony to see that they do
All to make sure your high value course launch is a successful one.
Even if everything you’ve crafted worked flawlessly, my bet is that you will be too excited, nervous, and anxious to sleep.
After your wildly successful launch, you’ll be up handling queries from course participants from all over the world.
You’ll be worrying about why a valued affiliate has not responded to your high-value, course launch, even though you’ve sent out three emails to the affiliate.
If you are expecting 8 hours of sleep, so that you don’t get bags under your eyes think again.
Issue #4: Recording Video Lessons Takes Forever
Recording the perfect, 10 minute video lesson, takes hours of recording and editing.
You’ll want to re-do the recording multiple times if you mess up when speaking
You’ll watch and re-watch the recording several times to ensure you’ve covered everything
Then you’ll re-record it because you forget something that just must be said
You’ll edit, then join different video clips
You’ll overlay callouts and captions on your video lesson
You’ll overlay watermarks and logos on your video lesson
Suddenly, you’ll realize just how long it takes a video to render fully
Finally, don’t assume you can record all your course video lessons over one weekend
Issue #5: Writing Engaging Copy Is Darn Hard
Writing engaging copy, which shows exactly how you’ll add value to a course participant is really, really hard to do.
NOTE: A simple solution would be to hire an experienced, copy writer to do this job for you.
Writing engaging content (i.e. copy) for your sales (or landing) page is tons harder than you think. It’s such page copy, which must engage then trigger a huge interest in what you are offering to your site visitors. It’s never easy to get your sales page content just right.
Sales page content, which is just right, drives the reader to BUY. Even after you believe you’ve got it just right, you’ll be making adjustments to such content based on your sales figures, almost continually.
Issue #6: All The Stuff You Hate Doing Is What Actually Makes Your Course Launch Successful
As a domain expert, you want to share your passion with others. You’re all excited to do this using video lessons. You know you can engage and educate.
You love planning your course modules. You’ll spend hours happily tweaking the topics of each course module to deliver the maximum it can to a course participant.
Here’s what you don’t like BUT have to do.
Scheduling and doing joint venture webinars to get the best affiliates to support you
Testing the technical system that delivers your course content to course participants
Creating social media group posts to drive website engagement
Creating FB Ad content for maximum conversions
Analyzing your FB Ad results
Making corrections to Ad content where necessary
Creating the most appropriate Email sequence content for your mailing list
Analyzing your Email driven course conversions
Tweaking your Email sequence content for your mailing list based on your analysis
And tons more . . .
Yes! I know you are domain expert BUT creating and launching a successful, high-value, online course is not exclusively about creating awesome training videos alone.
It’s all about the tasks I’ve listed above. You just cannot turn a blind eye to these tasks because you don’t like doing them OR don’t know how to do them.
Not if you really want to have a successful high-value, course launch.
Issue #7: Competition Makes You Rethink Everything You’re Doing
You’ve chosen to create and launch your high-value, online course in a popular niche. Now you are going to experience others who have also launched their high-value, online course in the same niche.
You’ll read their sales page content carefully. You want to figure out what are your differentiators.
You’ll download their free content and spend time comparing it with your free to download content.
You’ll deliberately enter their sales funnel to understand what they are doing to increase conversions that are different from what you are doing.
You’ll begin to doubt everything that you’ve done so far. Including what you’re planning to do.
You’ll buy their course and compare your course content to what they are delivering. You’ll always feel your course content is worse.
NOTE: Here’s my advice. As an online course creator, your audience is not exactly the same as your competitors. Even if you are teaching the same material.
Focus on growing your own community of dedicated followers. Do not waste your time thinking about the success you perceive in your competitors.
You’ll get your course participants from your own community of dedicated followers, simply because they trust and believe in you.
Issue #8: People Aren’t Paying Attention To Details Until They Are Forced To
No one cares about your refund policy until they want their money back.
No one reads your terms and conditions unless they have a bad experience with you.
No one keeps track of how many hours of video training you advertised until they are looking for some reason to justify their request for a refund.
When you start off your online line training business you may have found it easy to focus on the big picture of getting course participants to sign on to your course.
Remember you are creating an online business. You NEED to pay attention to such details right from the beginning.
You must have a way of handling any situation that comes up between you and your customers.
My advice? Define your business policies right at the beginning. When kicking off your online business.
Create your business policies. Document these clearly on your website. Then stick to them.
Issue #9: Your First Launch Might Not Be A Financial Success
For many online course creators, this is the hardest truth to accept. Every online course creator wants their course to sell well the first time the course is placed on the market.
In reality, their online course may not sell at all. There could be a ton of reasons for this.
NOTE: If you know how to pre-sell your course, you will significantly improve your chances of your first launch being a financially successful one.
That said, there is no guarantee.
Your high-value online course is not something you launch and then forget about. You have to learn from mistakes made if any. Fix those. Then launch again with an updated/new approach.
Issue #10: Hard Work Doesn’t End When Your Course Goes Live
A true high-value online course is the flagship program of your online business.
You’ll have to be constantly working to improve your content. Refreshing your content so that it stays current and fresh.
You’ll have to offer steady, responsive support to your course participants.
You’ll need to constantly get feedback from your course participants (diplomatically) so that you understand which module topics could do with improvement.
You’ll have to be constantly alert, seeking new affiliates to partner with to relaunch your course in the future.
A lot of the one-time effort may be over BUT hard work to keep on earning via your high-value online course just does not stop.
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