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HOW TO GROW YOUR AUDIENCE + LAUNCH YOUR FIRST ONLINE COURSE (#CHAMPIONCOURSE SERIES)

By September 30, 2016ONLINE COURSES
How to Grow Your Audience and Launch Your First Online Course (#ChampionCourse Series)

Yeah!!! We are here!  You made it to the last part of the #ChampionCourse series. Good for you! Now this is where it gets super awesome. In this last lesson we are going to cover how to grow your audience and launch your first online course. Don’t be scared!! It’s time to share your course with the world!

Now, look, no one wants to launch to crickets. And no matter how amazing your online course may be (and I know it’ going to be super awesome), you won’t make money unless you get folks to push that buy now button. The more people that know about your course the more that will buy. It’s simple math!

So how do you build buzz around your online course? You have to focus on growing your audience and more importantly your email list. I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that growing your community, building your awareness and creating visibility not only your your course but you brand is absolutely vital to creating a sustainable and successful business. So let’s talk about it…

How to Grow Your Audience and Launch Your First Online Course (#ChampionCourse Series)

PART 10: CREATING YOUR COURSE LEAD MAGNETS

The first step to promoting your course is to attract your perfect fit fans with a lead magnet. A lead magnet is a “gift” that you give away in exchange for someone’s name and email address. The idea is that you attract people who are the “perfect fit” for what you have to offer, giving you a better chance of taking them from subscriber to valued customer.

That means your lead magnet needs to be relevant, relatable and results-driven. What’s the point of creating a lead magnet that doesn’t attract people who want you buy your course? EXACTLY! There is no point. So don’t do it.

Consider your lead magnet a taste test or sample for what future students can expect to get from you. If your lead magnet is not yummie, no one’s going to want to buy the main course.

So, if you’re creating an online course on yoga for kids, you can create a lead magnet like, “Ten Reasons Why Your Kids Should Be Doing Yoga” or “7 Basic Yoga Poses Your 3 Year Old Can Master.” Both of these examples pique curiosity and interest for any parent who’s looking to introduce their kids to the benefits of yoga. So now that you have the attention of your perfect fit fan, when you release your full Yoga For Kids Workshop or Course you’ll be speaking to people who are already hot on you and your course topic.

Here’s an example of a lead magnet from Caitlin Bacher who has a popular online course called Fab Facebook Groups. It was this very lead magnet that drove me to buy her course!!

How to Grow Your Audience and Launch Your First Online Course (#ChampionCourse Series)

STEP 11 : SETTING UP YOUR EMAIL LIST + OPTIN BOX

So how do you set up a bangin’ lead magnet and opt-in box? If you are creatively challenged check out my Winning Worksheets Masterclass to learn how to begin creating high-converting and super cute lead magnets. Next you need to get that email list of yours set up.

Why do you want to grow your email list, you ask? To sell more stuff, make more money, and rule the world! No, but really:

  1. First of all, you own your email list. If Facebook was to fall off the face of the earth (no pun intended) then that is an entire following you’ve lost. Having people on your email list is something that belongs to you. You own it!
  2. Email is personal. People aren’t necessarily hanging out on your blog all day long or waiting for you to post on social media, but they are checking for those emails on a regular. So, why not meet them right where they are? This builds relationship, loyalty and trust.
  3. Your email list leads straight to the money. Cha-ching. When done right, your mailing list has the potential to make you thousands of dollars in sales with one click of a button. It’s what I like to call push-button profits! Every person on your list is a potential customer, client, or reader. When you publish a post of post a status update there is no guarantee people will even see it, but people people are checking for that email everyday, multiple times a day, it’s a more reliable way to reach your audience.

Need help getting your email list going? Start with these 7 steps:

01: Get a reliable email marketing tool where you can store your subscribers’ emails, create opt-in forms (a signup form where your visitors will enter their info to subscribe), and send emails. I use Aweber but there’s Mailchimp which is free up to 2000 subscribers, GetResponse, ConvertKit and a slew of others. The point – get you one!

02: We just talked about this. Make it easy for people to sign up. Create a killer freebie like an ebook, worksheet, video, private Facebook group, challenge, email course, or real pretty printable that is full of value. If you’re thinking that giving away your best stuff is a bad idea, read this blog post HERE then get to creating something amazing!

03: Once you’ve created a killer freebie then add an opt-in box w/a strong call to action and a catchy headline in a visible part of your blog or website. In fact put your opt-in in multiple places. Some examples:

  • Your Homepage
  • After Your Blog Post
  • About Page
  • Top Bar
  • Sidebar
  • Footer
  • Comment Box
  • Email Signature

Most email systems, like Aweber and Mailchimp, come with sign up forms that you can use and embed into your site. However, to fully customize the look of your form without a whole bunch of coding, try plugins like OptinMonster, or one of my faves – LeadPages. I also highly suggest creating a landing page for your lead magnet. A landing page is a grown up version of your opt-in box and is essentially just a single page devoted to promoting one specific lead magnet.

I use LeadPages for all of my landing pages and they have very sexy and simple-to-use templates where you can create a beautiful page without having to know a lick of code. It’s a God-send! This is an example of one of my LeadPages landing pages:

How to Grow Your Audience and Launch Your First Online Course (#ChampionCourse Series)

You can view the live page here.

04: Recognize the power of the content-upgrade. A content upgrade is like the surprise inside the cracker jack box. It’s the freebie everybody wants but can’t have until you dig deeper into the box. Well, when people read your content, you want to add you own little surprises (aka content upgrades) in your posts. Similar to a lead magnet, a content upgrade is a freebie embedded within your blog posts and typically relates to the post itself. A content upgrade can be a cheat sheet, action guide, ebook, printable, video, membership, or anything else that your audience can download. I began offering content upgrades a few years ago and my email list exploded! Like literally blew up. The free workbooks I’m offering at the end of this post is an example of a content upgrade.Yay!

05: Invite people to join your email list via social media. Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, Paid Ads, Free Ads, Sponsored Ads, Periscope – I mean the options are endless. If you’re hanging out online you might as well be inviting people to kick it, right? Add calls to action within your social media profiles and after posting value based content add a link letting people know where they can get your freebie or content upgrade, which will encourage them to sign up.

06: Plan out your content, yo! For real. To grow your email list, you have to produce amazing content consistently. Stay on top of your email list. Make it a priority. Plan out your content and schedule it in advance if it is overwhelming to you. Produce content that is results-driven and actionable; content they would run + line up for.

Now that you know the steps to growing your email list, it’s time to turn window shoppers into buyers. To do this you need a sales-page. A super sexy salespage…

How to Grow Your Audience and Launch Your First Online Course (#ChampionCourse Series)

STEP 12: SET UP YOUR COURSE SALES PAGE

Before you can create your super sexy and stylish sales page, you need something to create it with! Here are a few of the best products and tools I know to help you create a sales page that sells itself:

LEADPAGES

We already know Leadpages is the bomb.com and in addition to the opt-in boxes, landing pages, webinar pages and thank you pages it comes with a ton of tried and tested sales page templates that you can easily style and customize. It takes me a good 15 – 30 minutes to set up a sales page in LeadPages depending on how much copy I have. I use LeadPages just about every week and it’s definitely a time saver! I am so in love with Leadpages.

To see how LeadPages works in all it’s glory check out the demo here. You can also just click the image below to download the FREE workbook. That opt-in box you see – born and raised in Leadpage!! Boom!

TEACHABLE

Now looky here! I love love love Teachable. If you’re creating an online course, then Teachable is the ticket! I highly recommend signing up for Teachable (you can sign up for FREE). Teachable is the platform I use to host all of my online courses and gold meda masterclasses and I absolutely love it! Teachable has a really cool drag and drop sales page editor where you can create sales pages for each of your courses. You can check out a sales page I made on Teachable for my course, Create Your Champion Course, here.

CUSTOM PAGE ON YOUR SITE

If you have the patience and the tech savvy, designing a custom web page is another option for creating your sales page. Now a days, wordpress templates are so robust and feature-rich that you can easily create a high-converting sales. There are still occasions where I’ll create a sales page on my own website. If you are not tech savvy though it can be a bit of a challenge, but if you’re on a budget and don’t want to have to invest in a third-party tool like teachable or LeadPages, then it can be a great option.

I hope this post was helpful, my sweet infopreneur pal. I’ve got something exciting and extra helpful brewin’ for ya, so make sure to click the image below to sign up so that you’ll get to hear about it first.

Now the last step in launching your course is driving people to your course sales page. To ensure that you actually sell some courses you will need a solid launch strategy. So let’s talk about it.

There are a TON and I mean a TON of ways to launch and sell your online course but here is a quick and easy “Questions To Ask Before Launch” checklist to help you think about how you want to launch your first online course.

  1. Will I PRE-SELL my course? Pre-selling your products and services is the most telling form of validation but if you do this make sure you can deliver. Surveys, keyword searches and social media trends are all useful tools that can give you great insight into what’s selling and what’s not, but as good as these validation methods are, they are nowhere near as valuable as having people open up their wallets and pay you. If you can get some initial sales, you know you are good to go. (Plus it can pay for any product creation costs!)
  2. Will I have an OPEN or CLOSED launch? A closed launch is when you have a set launch period, So you open up the shopping cart on a Monday and the doors close on Friday. And once the doors are closed, no one else can buy or purchase until the next time you decide to launch again. An open launch is an evergreen course, something that people can come to your site and purchase at any time. There is launch date but no date where the shopping cart closes.
  3. How will I promote my course to meet my launch goals? When launching it is important to know how you are going to get in front of potential students. Here are a few of the most effective ways to promote your course:
    • Through and Email Sequence To Your List
    • Guest Blog Opportunities
    • Webinars
    • Join Ventures and Partnerships
    • Affiliate Program (can be set up through Teachable)
    • Social Media
    • Paid Ads and Promoted Posts
  4. If you plan on investing in paid ads you’ll want to ask yourself…What’s my budget? Even if your budget is teeny tiny, it’s important to know what you are willing to spend (if anything) to promote your course.
  5. Do I have testimonials? You can use testimonials as social proof and as third party validation on your sales pages. You can also use these testimonials to attract potential students via your social media posts and other promotional materials. It’s a good idea to send out some review copies to a small select group of beta testers and people whom you trust and respect. Or better still – people who are respected as industry leaders in the area of your course. If others have offered feedback or have said nice things about your course, ask them if you can include them on your sales page. A link back to their site is good too, so be sure to ask them if there’s a particular page they’d like you to link to.
  6. Lastly, you’ll want to ask…Do I have a post-launch plan? Your post-launch plan is just as important as your pre-launch and launch plans. Selling your course doesn’t end once your initial launch is complete. Will you need to close the shopping cart, create a post-launch sequence, pay affiliates, evaluate what worked, what didn’t, open up access to course bonuses, etc. In my course Create Your Champion Course I walk you through every single steps of your pre-launch, during and post-launch strategy so you don’t overlook anything. Having a post-launch plan will help you make necessary adjustments and tweaks so the next time you launch your course, it will be your best launch yet!
How to Grow Your Audience and Launch Your First Online Course (#ChampionCourse Series)

Now, don’t forget, click here to grab the #ChampionCourse Series workbooks:

Now it’s up to YOU! Got questions about launching your first online course? Let me know in the comments.

Also, I just wanted to give you a virtual hi five and say thank you for being getting down with the #ChampionCourse series. I had an absolute blast creating this series and it is my ultimate hope that it encourages you to get that course out into the world for everyone to see. I know we covered a lot but don’t think too hard, just ACT. Knowing this information is not good enough, doing something with it, is what it will take if you want to build a profitable online course business. Make sure to use the #ChampionCourse hashtag so that I can give you a big ole shout out once you launch your first online course!

In case you missed the first three posts in the series, you can check ’em out below:

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