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How to launch a Course... Profitably

Step 1: Start with what works

If you have been following me for a while you know I’m a huge advocate for kickstarting your course first instead of launching.  Some people think that means I don’t like launching, I do!  I occasionally run launches myself!  But the difference between what I do and what some other “gurus” teach is I’ve already done my course kickstart before I do a launch.  So because of that kickstart I already had these vital components for my launch.

  1. I’ve already made money from my course so I know it sells
  2. I know what messaging works
  3. I have assets built up that I can repurpose for a launch. 
  4. I have a group of fans that I can build up for my launch

There is nothing worse than spending $10k and three months on a launch and losing all of that time and effort because nobody wants your course. It is a completely preventable problem!  Just make sure to Kickstart FIRST!  

 

I learned that the hard way so you don’t have to.  (In fact, I believe in kickstarting so strongly I offer a free training on it here)

Step 2: Plan your timeline

Before starting step 2 you should have already proven your idea and sold people into your first round of your course. After your successful kickstart you should have 

  1. A group of at least 200 people that are interested in your offer 
  2. A solid offer that has proven to sell 
  3. A webinar that is proven to sell
  4. A fully fleshed-out course.  

If you skipped over kickstarting, now would be the time to turn back and complete step one.

Lets get on with the fun stuff!

There are going to be a couple moving parts here that you will need to keep track of as we’re going to be both building up your audience, prepping your launch assets, and keeping everyone excited.  I like to organize this in my business using a Trello board to make sure everything is assigned and scheduled at the proper time.

This is how I plan out my launches.  The launch itself is about 4 weeks long.  The first two weeks are dedicated to audience building, list building, and growing your know, like, and trust with your audience.  The third or fourth week is when you do your actual training and pitch (usually a series of webinars or a 5 day challenge), and the last week is focused on cart closing sales.

The first time you do a launch you will want about a month before hand to build all your assets and get everything scheduled.  I’ve seen a lot of people approach this with a “just in time” mentality.  And while it works… I don’t need anymore grey hairs.  Nothing is worse than spending $$ on facebook ads and finding out that the landing page isn’t working correctly and you just wasted all that money. So avoid an expensive mistake and just work ahead.

The next time you do a launch you won’t have to rebuild all this stuff, and if you link everything into a trello board you will barely have to replan all this stuff!

Neat huh?  When people say “Systematize your business” this is what they are talking about!

Step 3: Assets and Audience Building

I know I said the last step was the fun step, but as a creative I do love creating things.  This is the step where you get to have some fun in Canva building out graphics for your nurture posts, contest posts, reminder posts, and cart closing posts.

If you want a quick and easy system that helps you do all of this in one go check out my content creation system.  If you just want to overview and don’t need all the step by step, I’ve got you covered too.

So to avoid repeating myself here, basically build the templates in canva, schedule them out with Meet Edgar, and congratulate yourself on a job well done.

Next you are going to want to build your launch signup page and your email sequences. This takes some time, but if you are using something like Kajabi you can just populate the whole funnel using the Events pipeline template.  Go ahead and tweak them to your voice and message.  Don’t just use the default ones!

While you are doing this take some time to go live in your Facebook group.  Announce your launch and drum up some excitement.  I really like doing Q&As as a facebook/instagram live.  It lets you get a feel for what your audience wants and lets them get to know you and trust you.  You also get to strut your expertise and show your unique you.

At the same time you will want to run a group grow.  If you aren’t familiar with that, basically give away a prize to the person who invites the most people to the group.  Another contest that helps a ton if you already have a sizeable group is to do an engagement contest.  If your Facebook group starts having tons of engagement, Facebook starts showing that group to people who might be interested. It is like free advertising that is already targeted to your ideal customer!

All of this work should be driving everyone to your launch signup page.

Step 4: The Launch

Ok, so you have built up your audience, you have all your launch assets ready to go, and now is the time to make the magic happen!

To do your launch there are a couple popular methods.  Mainly it is either webinars or challenges.  Try both and see what works better for you.  One of the big “secrets” is that the message and story format is pretty much the same for both.  Webinars you do it all in one go and challenges break it up into several days.

Personally I like challenges because more people will watch five 30 minute presentations than will watch one two hour presentation.  Not to mention it is a lot less taxing to give a short presentation than it is to do a long one.

When you planned you should have figured out all your dates for when your cart closing and pitches will happen.  I use the formula of 2-3 weeks of buildup, 1 week of launch, and have the cart close halfway through the next week.  But make it work for you!  If you don’t want a long cart close, then don’t do it!

Step 5: The AfterMATH

This final step is something that hardly anyone talks about for some reason.  Probably because they sell launch programs to people who aren’t ready for them and don’t want them doing math at the end of it.  But that is a post for another day.

At the end of your launch you need to do some math.  Find out how many people signed up, how many people SHOWED up, and how many people bought.  If you did paid ads make sure you sum up all that you spent, get all your key metrics together like CTR, CPL, etc.

And the last and most important pieces of data you need to gather is how much REVENUE you brought in and how much CASH you brought in.  This is something that confused me for a long time.  Lots of marketers use what my husband calls “marketer math”.  So for example lets say some guru says “I just launched and made a 100,000 dollars!”  Odds are they aren’t actually sitting on a hundred thousand dollar stack of cash. What they mean is that they sold 100k, but probably only collected a fraction of that. Usually it is something like selling 100 people a $1,000 program but with payment plans that are $100 a month for 10 months.  So they may have a 100k in revenue, but if everyone did the payment plan, they only actually have $10,000.  Not good if they spent 50k in ads right?  This is called “growing broke”.  If you go into debt to get a customer as you scale that debt becomes bigger until it bankrupts you despite being “profitable”.  It gets worse when you realize that most of those payment plans won’t finish their payments!

So at the end make sure to gather all your numbers, look at where your biggest opportunities are and your biggest wins.  Then make it better for your next launch!

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