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7 Sanity Saving Tips for Launching Your Online Course

Posted By Ellen Jackson 4th of October 2016 Other Income Streams 7

7 Sanity Saving Tips for Launching Your Online Course | ProBlogger

This is a guest contribution from ProBlogger Expert Ellen Jackson of Potential Psychology

If you are going through hell, keep going – Winston Churchill

In December last year I hit publish and launched my first online course. I’d love to tell you that I sat and watched the dollar metre click over as funds swelled my Paypal account but this is not a rags to riches tale. It’s more The Little Engine That Could.

I was unschooled in online marketing of an e-product (Read: I had NFI. Case in point – don’t launch a month long course days before Christmas.)

I wrote the content, created the slideshows, pulled together some videos and a workbook and hit the publish button.

*crickets*

7 Sanity Saving Tips for Launching Your Online Course | ProBlogger

A week later I had five students. Three were my friends.

Two students were active participants in the course.

I loved working with those two students but with the late nights and the cost of coffee required to produce scripts, videos, presentations, course notes and workbooks I was earning less than one cent per hour.

I told you it wasn’t a rags to riches tale.

I gave up for five months. Didn’t touch a thing.

Then I attacked it again. Creative pursuits get under your skin like that. You’re tormented you but you go back for more.

I’ve plugged away for another five months. I think I can, I think I can. I’ll soon relaunch on the incline of a steep learning curve. It’s been an exercise in grit and determination but psychologists say that perseverance trumps talent on the path to success. I’ll run with that.

phot7 Sanity Saving Tips for Launching Your Online Course | ProBlogger

Here’s what I’ve learnt the hard way, in order to save your sanity.

  1. A wise man said, ‘You don’t learn until you launch’. He was right. You really don’t. Until you hit ‘go’ you know nothing. Maybe your course and marketing is perfect? Maybe it’s not. Only your audience can tell you and they can’t do that until they see what you’ve got to offer. I learnt that my audience (small as it was) loved my content but I had no idea how to the message out there. Next step? Understanding the marketing process. Step up, launch and learn.
  2. Make all the mistakes. My initial sales funnels sent prospects to the cul-de-sacs of the internet. I forgot to factor PayPal fees into my pricing. My course content was overwhelmingly complicated. My branding was ugly. I did it all then I unpicked it all and did it again, better. The beauty of the internet is that you can go back and fix what didn’t work the first time. Don’t wait for perfect. Perfect will never come. Strive for excellence instead.
  3. Pay for expertise. With limited budget but unwavering determination I initially confronted landing pages, Facebook ads and autoresponders convinced I could figure it. Wrong! It was long, slow and painful descent toward insanity. I called in the experts. My business coach, a dab hand at the sales funnel and its intricacies, took about three minutes to sort out what had taken me days to tangle. Experts have expertise that you don’t have. Save your sanity and employ their help.
  4. Be patient. Life is a long distance event and so are your online projects. Nine months in and I’m still refining. I’m still learning. I’m still working out what I’m doing. Even as I face a second launch I remind myself daily that this is not make or break. It’s another little step on the long road to success and I’ll learn from the bumps and potholes, as will you.
  5. Paddle your own canoe. Paddle your own canoe. Paddle your own canoe. Chant it with me because as soon as you compare your content, marketing, branding, success or lack thereof with others on the internet you will slide into despondency and utter procrastination. I went there. Learn from my mistake.
  6. Don’t believe the hype. There is no one way to ‘create an online course in minutes’. Nor is there a ‘simple strategy for money-making courses.’ You know your content. You know your audience. You know your marketing style. Experiment and find what works for you. Creativity is producing something new from your ideas. Test and try them.
  7. Don’t underestimate yourself. All achievement comes from a modicum of talent and a whole lot of hard work. I know I’ve done tougher stuff that this before. So have you. Be like The Little Engine. Believe you can do it. Turn ‘I think I can’ to ‘I thought I could.’

Onwards and upwards!

About Ellen Jackson
Ellen Jackson from Potential Psychology is a psychologist who does things differently. She writes about people and why we do what we do. She coaches, she teaches and she helps workplaces to do the people part better.
Comments
  1. Ellen, this is a GREAT post!

    Too many people quit before they learn enough to make their online course work for them. I see so many great courses full of awesome content get ditched because a launch didn’t work the first or second time.

    Stick at it! 80% of my current revenue is driven by online courses. There is a freedom that comes with this type of business model, if you’re willing to stick at it.

    p.s The untangling of your sales funnel was easy, you had done an amazing job and just taken one small deviation! Congrats on your progress so far ;)

  2. Hey Ellen,

    We all do mistakes and can’t learn until we launch. It’s always good to experiment. An online course may be beneficial only if you have the correct approach.

    Patience is what we need. There should be a perfect plan before the launch. Taking advice from the influencers may help.

    You have added some great points here.
    Thanks for this informative article.

    ~Ravi

  3. I love your “The Little Engine That Could” story, Ellen. It’s inspiring and gives us a realistic glimpse on how to make an online launch work, and the work required to make it work. I was just wondering, though. How were you able to become comfortable with the idea of paying for expertise? Especially if you aren’t sure if you would be able to recuperate the cost prior to launching? I mean, there’s always that worry that your online course might tank, right? Thanks in advance.

  4. Hey Ellen,

    Everyone who creates a course hopes to launch it, hit publish and watch the sales roll in. But the pressure to get it right and make it work can feel almost insurmountable. If we’ve read anything about online marketing, we know that our email list should be the backbone of our business. It’s how we gather a group of people interested in our course topic. More importantly to a launch, it is literally the only way to directly contact our tribe and notify them of a new product. With the right email sequence we can build trust, anticipation and urgency to increase sales.

    Our goal is to generate demand for what we’ve teaching by educating, creating an understanding of our product, increasing a need for the benefit and build trust through high-quality content. We know our audience better than anyone else, what they crave and what they hate. We should remember to write to our audience and for our audience in each and every email. Show off our personality with Corney jokes, italicized sarcasm or heartfelt mantras. Eventually, thanks for sharing your information with us.

    With best regards,

    Amar kumar

  5. Hello Ellen.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences and for being honest. I hope that your next course will become super successful.

    My best.

  6. I am not providing any course but after reading this I want to start one.

    Thanks for sharing this vital information

  7. Great tips Ellen, thanks. Your tips are practical. I hope that your next course will become super successful.

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