Whenever you search for tips on successful online course production, it’s always the same four steps that come up:
- Get a topic
- Identify the target audience
- Gather relevant information
- Put it together.
Seems simple enough until you get down to do the work and you realize that launching an online course takes more than light research.
The truth is that the process of launching a course begins even before you create the course.
It is possible, and recommended, to sell your course before you’ve even made it, so let’s start there.
We put together a step-by-step guide to help you create and launch a successful online course.
Step 1: Pre-Launching Your Online Course
After creating the course, it’s time to tackle even tougher questions:
- How will your potential customers hear about your online course?
- How do you convince buyers that your content is worth their time and money?
- Will it be profitable?
Launching your course is not just about publishing it online, you need to be strategic about it. The most important thing is to get sales, and this means lining up your audience way before you launch.
Getting sales before you launch can also be great motivation to create an amazing online course. This is not to say that you should sell your audience a completely non-existent course.
You should have some idea of what you want your online course to be about and set a timeline for creating it.
It’s enough to start with an outline plus one or two samples and see how people respond to it before diving into online course production.
Start with the Audience
It seems counterintuitive to look for an audience before deciding what subject you want the course to cover.
But you need to launch content that people actually want, or need, and they may not even know they need it.
You might discover interests you never knew your readers had. You can check out your most popular content to find the topic that most interests your audience.
But just how can you be certain that people are interested in what you have to sell?
This is where the beta-version comes in.
You have probably come across, or even tested, the beta versions of mobile applications. It’s a standard practice because it reduces the risk of your product failing in the market.
In online course creation, it is essential to test the product, one reason being that there are thousands of online courses out there.
Launch a Mini-Course
One way to test the value of your course is to create a mini-course out of it and sell it to a few customers. You can then use their feedback to develop the main course.
You can fix the audio and video quality and elaborate on any parts that the audience may have found confusing.
Take 50 or so subscribers who have expressed interest in the content of the course and send them an introductory email.
You can repeat the process with as many as 3 distinct groups of people.
Pre-launch reviews are also a great way to get social proof and generate more sales for your online course.
Launching a mini-course has the following advantages:
- It provides value upfront and lets your audience know what you have to offer.
- The reviews from early clients build trust and familiarity. Besides, social proof addresses any fears your customers may have. You can also spread the word about your course using relevant videos, blog posts, and webinars.
Discounted early-bird prices are always a great incentive to get people to join your course before you even launch it.
Step 2: Building your Online Course
You have identified the topics that most interest your audience and tested your product successfully. Now that you are sure people will buy your online course, it’s time to build it before your launch date.
Pick a Format
There are two formats you can choose from when building your own online course.
The Reference Format
Do you want your learners to have autonomy over how they consume the content? The reference course allows students to jump around and go through the modules in any order they choose.
Rather than being open-ended, the specific course is all about accomplishing a direct goal. While the reference format teaches different strategies, the specific format focuses on helping students execute what they already know.
What is the Name of Your Course?
Knowing what your course is about and what format it will take makes it easier to pick a name. The name you choose needs to clearly communicate the contents of your course.
Find some top-selling courses and see how their names are structured. You can model your course name after one you like.
Create the Content
You need an outline of your course, and you can develop it by answering the following questions:
- What skills or strategies will you include in your online course?
- How many modules will your course include?
- What order will they be in?
You should also define the goal you want to achieve with your online course and write an action plan to work through the various milestones (modules).
The next step is to write up the content, and this can take some time, so ensure you start early. Remember to craft amazing video and audio e-learning scripts.
Remember to keep the modules precise, even as you are writing them.
It’s easier to create content when you have precise goals and action plans to guide you along the way.
When formatting the content, don’t flood your audience with too much information at once. Divide that 20-step guide into 5 modules with 4 lessons each.
Bite-sized information is easier to understand and will help your students stay motivated through the course.
Want to work with online course production pros instead?
Pick an Online Course Production Platform
Will you offer a live training online course, or will you deliver the content through email? You can also use a membership site or blend multiple platforms to customize your course.
The platform you choose will depend on your budget and the type of content in your online course. No matter where you launch it, ensure your course looks professional and allows marketing, support, and analytics.
Step 3: Launching your Online Course Successfully
After creating their online courses, a lot of people make the mistake of ignoring the personal connection from their students.
A lot of online course launch strategies recommend complex retargeting campaigns and fancy email sequences. Although these techniques work, there is more to online course production than sales videos.
The truth is that if you spent enough time researching and building your course, you have nothing to worry about when launching.
Remember, you already have paying customers who have expressed interest in your online course. You could launch your course in one day, but you need to deliver high-quality content or it won’t have a chance.
Design the Landing Page
Everyone judges books by their covers even though we are not supposed to. Give your online course a beautiful landing page design to give a great first impression and increase sales.
Include testimonials from previous clients to build trust and familiarity.
Divide your email sequences into three:
During the period leading up to the launch, let your audience know what you are planning. Point out the problem to your audience, emphasize it, and then provide a solution with your online course.
No matter how good your online course is, you have to prepare your audience for it. Otherwise, they may not buy it.
It’s standard for a launch sequence to start with an email that addresses various concerns or questions among students. You can address concerns about payment plans, course purpose, and timeline, as well as the frequency at which the content is released.
At this point, you are deep into the launch process, and moving forward, you can introduce incentives, more social proof, and time constraints to gain more sales.
After the launch, send out an email to everyone who didn’t join and ask them why they couldn’t make it.
Maybe they were not interested, or it was just bad timing.
The replies you get (or don’t get) will give you insight into what people want, and you can implement this in your future online course production process.
Marketing your Online Course
There are various platforms you can use to get the word out about your newly launched course.
Social media and paid ads are among the best ways to get to people. You can also market through affiliates and partnerships within your industry.
One More Thing
All through the process of creating and launching your online course, remember to keep track of everything.
And we mean everything.
All the numbers you gain, and even the time you spent developing and writing content could come in handy for a future course.
Numbers will give you a precise idea of the progress you are making.
It’s easier to make decisions when you know exactly what you want to achieve and have a way of measuring this success consistently.
Tracking data will help you develop a long-term and more solid strategy to help in launching any online courses you may build in the future.
Launch Your Online Course with Bunny Studio
Are you ready to publish your online course successfully? You can follow this step-by-step guide and achieve the results you desire.
Don’t have time to set it up yourself?
We have got you covered! Tell us all about your project and let us do the rest.