Expert Online Course Building Advice: Sell It Before You Build It
Selling a course is the best way to convince yourself it will sell. That may sound obvious, but you'd be surprised. Many business owners try and sell their online courses via an online sales page and wonder why it doesn't. Part of our Profitable Online Course Building program is to build a sales page using the information we gathered from surveying potential customers. We use what they have told us about the problem they want to solve to build the sales page we first use to sell it. What we do NOT do is post that page on our website and send Facebook traffic to it.
It just doesn't work that way.
What we first recommend people do when they first come up with an idea for their course is to get on the phone, or maybe even in person, and sell it. Get in front of people and see how they respond. It's always nice to get a sale, but in this case, what we want is the feedback. What is it that worked? What part of the offer wasn't clear? What obstacles came up that you had to address? You start collecting this information.
As you do this for the first 5, 10, and 15 customers you learn how best to sell your online course. You convince yourself it will sell at your initial price. You gain confidence and you likely decide to up your price.
This approach seems tedious, of course, but it's how great sales pages get created. If you've purchased an online course, you'll notice these long-copy sales pages. They start off with a flashy headline to catch your attention. They usually follow that up with a secondary headline that tells you more about it. These two parts are all about getting you to continue reading. They're designed to pique your interest.
As you go down the page you'll learn very little about the actual offer and online course. That comes later. They next want to explain the kind of problems you need to get solved. If you a realtor selling with issues selling property, it will ask you things like:
- Are you frustrated watching others in your real estate office selling all sorts of property and you can't even get the phone to ring?
- Do you fear you'll have to get a regular job because this real estate gig just isn't working out?
- Is your biggest challenge getting people that want to sell their house to list your house with you?
They haven't told you anything about what it is they're selling you. They have used the copy to connect with you and get you thinking, "These people know me."
The great sales pages are the result of doing a lot of customer surveys and building sales pages that have evolved over time. You start off with in-person selling so you can learn. Then you build your sales pages for use with online traffic using all the intelligence you're gathered via your in-person selling.
When you study good sales pages closely, you'll notice that many of these pages include customer testimonials. They give you examples of people that have worked with them and what results they got. The best ones not only give you the name of the person who gave the testimonial. They will get you a picture of them, their name, the company they worked for, and the city and state they live in. That makes it harder for the reader to think, "This is a bogus or made-up testimonial."
Finally, you'll have a section describing what it is they will get from your online course. The good ones will be very clear and concise. They leave no doubt in the reader's mind about what is included and what is not included.
Of course, they'll include the price. You can't make the purchase without knowing how much you'll have to pay. Please note, that our recommended process for building sales pages includes surveying real customers to ask them how much they'll pay for your program. I find that most business owners, especially when they first make their offer, sell their online courses for too low a price. They don't value what they are for lack of confidence. You really want to ask a potential customers and often times they'll surprise you. I have one business owner planning to sell their course for $99 who found potential customers would pay almost $500 for it. That's another benefit of selling in person. You can gauge whether a customer would have paid more if a price seems to be an obstacle. That gives you the opportunity to address price before you leave it up to an online sales page that doesn't give you any feedback at all.