Are you thinking about creating a digital course, but you don’t know where to start? Or, maybe you have a digital course, but it’s not making as many sales as you’ve hoped?
Last week I joined a powerhouse Clubhouse panel hosted by Amy Porterfield to talk all things DIGITAL COURSES!
I was joined by Pat Flynn, Corinne Crabtree, Jen Gottlieb, Chris Winfield, Ryan Pinnick, Matt Andrews, Sonja Stribling, Lindsay Padilla, and Jeff Walker who are leading authorities in creating and launching digital courses!
We talked about everything from course creation to launching. If you’ve been thinking about creating a digital course or launching a digital course to make more revenue, then you’re in the right place!
I’m sharing the best-kept secrets from the panel on what works, what doesn’t, and how to get started the right way in successfully launching a digital course!
Here’s a sneak peek of what we talked about:
- What we wish we knew when we were creating and launching our first digital course!
- Common mistakes to avoid when creating or launching a digital course!
- Strategies that work and don’t work for launching your digital course!
- Strategies that work to sell your digital course!
- Top things that you should do when launching your digital course!
The following is a transcript from the CH panel that has been edited for brevity and clarity.
What We Wish We Knew When We Were Creating and Launching Our First Digital Course
When I create my course, Lights Camera Branding (LCB) in 2016 I let perfection hold me back from launching. Had I not held onto perfection I could have launched that course an entire year earlier. I still launch the same course, but the only thing that resembles the 2016 version versus the 2021 version is the name.
So, the important thing to remember is that your first course is not your last course. People put so much emphasis on the course creation when we really should be learning marketing, copywriting, and launching instead of trying to make this course so perfect.
Even if you do magically create the perfect course how are you going to get human beings into it? Now 80% of our energy goes into marketing and building the list for our next launch instead of refining the course itself.
Here’s what the rest of the panelist had to say:
- Amy Porterfield: I wish I knew that you could create one digital course and relaunch it instead of reinventing the wheel. If you’re always starting from scratch all the time, then it’s going to take so much longer to launch your digital course. Instead, create a digital course, launch it, and learn from your mistakes so that you can do better the next time you launch it.
- Pat Flynn: I used to think the more content in the course the better. We’re not just offering the solution, but a convenient way to get to the solution. It’s not about packing information in your course but helping people get the result that they want and the transformation that you are promising as soon as possible.
- Corinne Crabtree: Looking back I spent more time thinking that the first version of the course needed to be perfect because it was the one that I would use forever. I was making it my forever project rather than getting it out to my people and refining it as I go along. Just get it done, get it out there, and put your people through it.
- Chris Winfield: It feels like in the course industry, there is a lot of emphasis on the Product Launch Formula (PLF) model, which is amazing, but it’s not right for everyone. When Jen and I discovered the Challenge model we realized it worked really well with our energy and how we show up. I really wish I had understood that there are multiple ways to launch a course earlier.
- Jen Gottlieb: Before Super Connector Media, when I had my own business I had no idea what I was doing, but I knew that I wanted to create a course. The tip I would give myself back then is that done is better than perfect. We think that everything has to be perfect before we can launch it and it makes us never launch it. It does not need to be perfect, it just needs to be done.
Common Mistakes To Avoid When Creating or Launching A Digital Course
I read Pat Flynn’s book, Will It Fly?, while I was on the plane coming back from working my buns off for 48 hours at QVC trying to create an extra stream of income. His book truly helped me vet out what my beta course was going to be about.
When I first launched LCB, I did a semi-beta and filmed way too much stuff that had to get rerecorded. That’s time and money!
Make sure you test it out with humans and do that before you create all the modules and all the lessons. I would not create a course again without beta testing it.
Here are golden nuggets the panel had to share:
- Matt Andrews: One issue course creators have is overloading their courses with stuff that doesn’t need to be there just for the sake of feeling like you need more when really you need less. Think about what you want when you buy something. It’s the simplest way to achieve that objective, learn that thing or implement that strategy. Why not do that for the people that you’re creating the course for?
- Chris Winfield: One of the biggest mistakes that people make is thinking about what they want and the cool features they can add instead of listening to exactly what the burning pains are. The most important first step that you can make is to think about what people actually want and need.
- Pat Flynn: Validation is key because you want to remove as much guesswork as possible. Instead of finding customers for your products, create a product for your customers that addresses their pains and challenges by having conversations with those people in your target market to find a solution that works.
Strategies That Work and Don’t Work for Launching Your Digital Course
The reason that I’ve had successful courses is that I’ve had successful live launches! There’s no better way to figure out how to market your program than with a live launch.
It is a blessing in disguise to only have a handful of people when you’re first launching your digital course because you get to co-create it together.
Learn live video! Do it between your launches to set yourself up for success during your live launches!
Other strategies to set yourself up for success are:
- Corinne Crabtree: I give my digital course away for free because I wanted to teach them the simple steps they can take to get started. I’ve had over half a million people come through the free course. I get emails every single day from people who may never be able to join the paid program, but whose lives have been changed with the free course.
- Pat Flynn: Strategies and tactics don’t work if you don’t know that what you have to offer is actually valuable. You have to know what it is about you and your course that is different and unique. Become more confident in what you’re selling.
- Ryan Pinnick: I started off by working with people 1 on 1. Then, I created online training and events where I could run 5-10 people through the perceived curriculum for the course. I let them know that they’re getting extra bonuses for being early adopters and always over-delivered. That allowed me to expanded from working 1 on 1 to 1 to many.
- Jen Gottlieb: Sell them what they want and give them what they need. In our marketing, we talk a lot about getting on TV. In the challenge, we give them what they really need, which is mindset coaching and the community that we bring together.
- Sonja Stribling: When you’re building out your program, 90% is mindset and 10% is skill. Use is your secret sauce which is your story and how it got you here. That is what you have to bring to the table that no one else does.
- Lindsay Padilla: Tap into who you are as a teacher. Everyone has something to share, but they’re going to share it differently. When you launch your product and start teaching the better you will get the more you talk about it. As you step into that role your special way of teaching is going to shine!
Strategies That Work to Sell Your Digital Course
I kick-off our launch with a testimonial contest where I’m showcasing my students and what they’ve been able to accomplish since joining LCB. It’s not about me, but the transformation. I make sure to highlight the different types of students I’m looking to attract on the front end and in between launches.
You want to make it about their internal objections. Am I good enough? Is this right for me? Will this be another course I never complete?
Then, tie it back to who you were when you started on day one and where you are at now to speak to their internal objections.
A few amazing strategies shared by the panel are:
- Amy Porterfield: A strategy I use in my business is webinars. You’ve got to launch live at least twice with the same course and the same webinar before you move onto automation or evergreen. You won’t know what your audience wants if you don’t hear their questions at the moment while you’re marketing. During cart open, I have students join me live to share where they were before the course, what it felt like to go through the course, and where they are now.
- Pat Flynn: 60% of our sales come in on the last day of the launch and we typically send out three emails on the last day. The first in the morning on the last day to cover objections. The second goes out mid-day around 12 pm Pacific/3 pm Eastern with the subject line, I recorded this just for you and a link to an unlisted YouTube video where I have a heart-to-heart about who the course is for and who it’s not for. The last email goes out in the evening as a final call.
- Corinne Crabtree: In every email, during the launch, there is a link to a Typeform where they can ask questions and get a video response. I have prerecorded responses to common questions that are sent out through Bonjoro. This allows us to scale the intimacy so they know we’re in this with them. On cart close day, I send them an email where I tell them about the concept of NO REGRETS and let them know that no matter what their decision is, they made the right choice.
- Jen Gottlieb: We do a “How They Did It” success panel where we invite 10 people to share their greatest wins, objections, and how the program changed their lives on Facebook Live. It’s a win-win-win! They get to be on stage. People debating on joining the program get to hear real-life results and testimonials.
- Sonja Stribling: The first time I built the course I offered it live from the stage. I hadn’t built the course yet, but that didn’t stop me from launching it.
Top Things That You Should Do When Launching Your Digital Course
The live launch builds the buzz for the program. Like a wedding date, soon as you “marry” the date for your launch everything else can be planned.
Make sure to let your audience know when the launch is, show up during your launch with energy, and do it for people!
A little bit of additional insight from the panel is:
- Amy Porterfield: If you’re live launching with a course that you have on evergreen, you need to have new and different bonuses than what you’ve been offering all year long that go away when the cart closes.
- Pat Flynn: Warm up your audience by coordinating your launch with the content you have on your blog, podcast, and videos. Use Post-it notes when you’re creating your content to help you understand where the customer is at, where you want them to go, and everything that must happen in between.
- Ryan Pinnick: Have bonuses that handle legitimate questions and offer real value. And, make sure to enjoy the process and the courses you’re creating.
- Jeff Walker: When you’re first starting out you need to think about being collaborative and interactive with your first few people. When I sold my first product I had six people buy from me and those six people helped co-create the product with me.
- Sonja Stribling: As you’re building out your products and services think about who’s going to benefit from what you’re doing. Who is the audience? The ideal client? The family who is going to benefit from it? Who is the person you’re going to become? And, have fun doing it!
- Lindsay Padilla: Charge for the first course that you launch. Don’t think that the beta is any less than what the course is about to become. Charge for it because it’s a unique learning experience for you and your students. They get to be your cocreators and co-conspirators. As you go out to sell that opportunity remember that it’s so valuable for your students and you because you’re doing it with them. Teach it live so you can see the real reactions and be as present as you can with your people!
With Grit & Grace, xo!
Tiffany aka Coach Glitter