6 Top Tips To Help You Launch A Successful Online Course
If you’re still reeling from 2016 where we lost Bowie, Cohen and my personal hero Prince, and we gained Brexit (I lived in Spain for two years, can I please identify as Spanish???), Trump and a divided world… then you may also be feeling a little other than empowered.
Are you feeling like the world has finally tipped that point and gone crackers? This is pretty much what us mystics have been predicting, so while you’re not shocked, you are thrown off a bit…
But we still have to live here, and there is still so much love, beauty and optimism in the world, and there are ways of making your life awesome while everything around you feels like it’s falling apart. How? by going global. Read on…
For the last two years, I’ve focused my attention on helping ethical businesses, maybe like yours, to get up and running under my Grow Your First Million brand. Who am I to do that? I’m author of five books including Naked Chocolate, the book that kick started the raw chocolate revolution, author of several apps totalling over 600,000 downloads, hostess of the world’s first and only raw food TV series and founder of Europe’s largest superfood company. After turning over $20m, I sold this company in 2012 and retired aged just 43. Woohoo.
So I know how to help you get stuff done, while making sure you don’t compromise your beliefs. My biggest business mantra is “bring your vision of love to the world“. That’s what I did, and now I help a handful of clients do the same.
Nutritionists, healers, coaches, artists, yoga teachers, and those making ethical retail products feature high in my client list.
I like to work one on one with my clients, and only take on a handful a year, because I’m doing this for the love, not for the money.
But something shifted recently, and I am telling this tale today because it can really help you bring your vision of love to the world. It came about because I needed to move my Life Mastery Membership site Shazzie’s VIP Room (get your freebies here)… it’s seven years old and the tech it lived on wasn’t the best anymore. Long story… I found a great course platform called Thinkific. It’s simple to use as a teacher as well as a student, so I moved it all there, relaunched it and made a nice tidy sum while I was at it.
And it made me realise that I want to turn Grow Your First Million into a membership club so I can teach more people the magic that I teach my bespoke clients. Instead of you having to pay something like $12,000 to work with me, you’ll be investing just a fraction of that and getting everything I know delivered to you in easy to implement video format. I will still offer hands on advice in the form of some kind of group. And I might even do a special offer to some of you to beta test it as I build it. I haven’t got it all figured out yet but I do know that I want it to be the best Business Mastery Training out there. If it interests you, just go here and you’ll be the first to know when it goes live.
For me, it means that ultimately I’ll just have two membership clubs and nothing else, once my current clients have graduated. Gulp…
For a multidimensional brain such as mine, that feels weird, but I don’t want to or have to work much, I just like to keep my brain sharp and be of service to the world still. I turned over $20m doing what I love, and I feel like it’s my duty to teach you my secret sauce… how great that I can now teach it to even more people without me having to put in more hours at the heart office.
And the other great thing that came from moving Shazzie’s VIP Room is that it gave me the chance to work out how I might launch GYFM Club. I used it as target practise really!
I hate sales, launches, pushiness and all that stuff. It’s not how I made my money… I just dressed up in crazy clothes and enthused my passion (OK, I did a lot more than that, but it all came from LOVE, not “I GOTTA SELL STUFF”)… But having a good sales technique is necessary when you are making a living out of online information. “Buy my stuff” or “look at what I made” just doesn’t work.
And that’s why I’m telling you this stuff today. I want you to get what you love out there to the masses. I want you to bring your vision of love to the world. And one of the easiest ways to do this is to create an online course or membership site.
And when you do, here are my top tips on making it a successful launch…
1) Make it time sensitive and build in scarcity
For example, only open the doors for a week at a time, and then only launch once or twice a year. The rest of the time, build your list and give your clients masses of free value, so when it comes to relaunch time, they will already think they owe you because you’ve given them so much.
2) Offer an upgrade option that includes the personal touch
This is a great financial boost. For example, when I just relaunched Shazzie’s VIP Room I offered a $10 monthly fee, a $297 lifetime fee and a $1497 lifetime plus mentoring package fee. Even if you only get one mentoring package, you’d have had to get five extra people at the normal lifetime rate to get the same revenue. And besides, you’re an expert in this stuff and so it’s good for you to share what you know to those who are willing to reward you appropriately. It’s always worth doing an upgrade package whenever you create an online course, a coaching package or membership site.
3) Enjoy the ongoing fruits of your labour by offering a low priced no brainer subscription option
As I said, I offered a $10 a month package. It’s one of those they can cancel any time. When you do this, you’ll get the “on the fencers” joining. They can check you out without a big risk, even thought you really should be offering a refund guarantee too.
Let’s look at how the figures add up when you do a monthly membership offer:
1 member = $10 pm = $120 pa (must try harder 😉
10 members = $100 pm = $1,200 pa (this amount pays for your tech costs)
100 members = $1,000 pm = $12,000 pa (this pays for some of your living costs)
1,000 members = $10,000 pm = $120,000 pa (this is more than enough for most people to live on)
10,000 members = $100,000 pm = $1,200,000 pa (this is the millionaire zone… you’ve cracked it!)
When you work with a monthly membership model, you get to decide what you want to earn, then you figure out how many members you need to make that happen, then you do all you can to attract those members… that means you do clever launches, offer awesome value for money and keep your membership site fresh so they stick around.
4) Drip feed the content so people are left wanting more, and so the course can’t be bought, ripped off and then refunded
One of the unfortunate problems with online courses is that some bad people buy your course, rip it off, demand a refund and then sell it for a fraction of the cost on some dodgy web site.
Ugh. All your hard work… gone.
Luckily, most people don’t do this, and most clients don’t buy from these sites. After all, there is no support, upgrades, community or probably even refund options.
But you can cover your back a bit by not offering the whole course at once. With Thinkific, you can drip feed the content, so the majority of it comes out after the refund period. This also means your clients must start at the beginning (not easy for us creative types), and work methodically through the course or club, rather than flip through it and forget about it.
Drip feeding a club such as Shazzie’s VIP Room is seen as normal, drip feeding a course isn’t as normal, but I like it for the reasons I’ve just stated. Try it with your audience and ask for feedback.
5) Offer a Facebook group to avoid anything to do with VAT MOSS 😉
VAT MOSS is a VAT MESS. Avoid it at all costs by offering a significant live element to your online course or club. The easiest way to do this is to offer real time support (from you and other members) via Facebook Groups. You could also offer group calls via phone or Zoom, or some 1-1 Skype sessions, which is my personal favourite.
6) Ask your fans what they want from you and offer that
Most importantly, when creating an online course or club, you should offer what your fans / tribe (hate that word) / gang / clients want. How do you know what they want? You ask them 😉 The best way to do this is to create a simple questionnaire on Typeform and sent it to your email list. Ask them what content they love you to deliver, what format (video, audio, live etc), and other questions, and then you can create a course or a club that they will already want. Then the yucky selling bit isn’t such an issue 😉
Of course, there’s a lot more to creating an online course or membership site than this, but these top tips will help you get yours more visible and more loved by your audience.
And the best part? No matter what your country’s politics are doing, when you earn your money online, you become a part of the global economy. Thriving countries have access to your stuff, and you’re not depending on your country finding its sanity again, which for us Brits and Americans feels like sweet relief.
PS: Remember, if you want to be the first to know about my Grow Your First Million Club beta testing, then do sign up here. I’ll start spilling the beans with you on how I turned over $20m and retired aged 43 by doing what I love very soon!