How Does an Online Course Launch Work?
Even if you have followed many launches as a consumer, when you sit down to create your first online course launch it can be overwhelming to figure out all the pieces you need to have in place and how they all fit together.
I know this was the case for me. I had purchased many online programs. Yet, when I sat down to start to work on my first online course launch, I was so confused about how to actually do this.
If you are in the same boat, let’s walk you through how to create your own successful course launch.
What is a Launch?
First, what exactly is a “launch”? Think of this as an experience that unfolds from the time a prospect discovers you through the moment they decide to do deeper work with you.
This is a launch funnel map we use to guide the creation of your launch in our Launch Lab program. You can see how it moves left to right and organizes the sequence of the components you will create in your launch:
Let’s take a deeper look at each step in the funnel.
Step One: Generating Traffic into Your Funnel
First, your people discover you.
The way to get people to discover you is to put content out into the world that generates interest in your offering.
There are many ways that you can bring people into your launch including:
- Facebook ads
- Posting on social media – either text, image, or video
- Creating and posting blog articles on LinkedIn
- Sending emails to your list
- Inviting a promotional partner or affiliate to send to their list on your behalf
This does not have to be complicated. You DO NOT need to create all of this. In fact, I recommend creating a webinar as your first piece of content. A webinar is the fastest way to grow your list. Big bonus: you get to grow your list AND market your offer at the same time.
Step Two: Webinar Opt-In
A webinar is by far the best way to introduce your people to what it is like to work with you, because they will experience you as a teacher. This builds confidence and helps them decide if you are the right guide for them.
In this step, your audience will land on your webinar enrollment page. This is also referred to as a “webinar opt-in” page.
With the right copy on this page, your audience will say, “Wow, this webinar sounds great. I’m going to sign up.”
They opt-in with their email address. Now, they’re on your email list and plan to attend your webinar.
Step Three: Show Emails
But, here’s the thing: Often, people plan to attend webinars but they don’t actually show up.
One of the first things you will focus on in your launch is help your people remember why they signed up and need to attend. To do this, you will send emails between the time people sign up and the time they actually show up in your webinar. We call these “show emails” (very creative, I know.)
These emails are content rich emails that remind your webinar registrants that your webinar is going to be a powerful learning experience that shouldn’t be missed.
Step Four: Your Webinar
Next, your people will show up at your webinar. A webinar is a great opportunity to show up as a teacher and guide. It is the most powerful way to find and enroll your ideal clients into your online course.
You will teach content related to your offer, overcome objections and invite your audience to do deeper work with you.
At the end of the webinar, you invite them to visit your sales page.
Step Five: Your Sales Page
The sales page is essentially an information page about your online course or other offers.
Some of the elements you can include:
- Your story
- Client success stories
- Information about your offer or online course in detail – module descriptions, bonuses, etc.
- A link to your checkout page to purchase your product
After reading through your sales page, your potential customer needs to decide if the program is a good fit for their business and/or life.
Here’s what I didn’t know about webinars: Most people wait to decide.
The first time I led a webinar, I was expecting instant registrations. Most people need to think about the decision.
This is why you need to send “closing emails”.
Step Six: Closing Emails
You will write a series of closing emails that help your audience overcome objections to joining your program.
You can think about:
- What stories can you tell to show them this program is for them?
- What information can you provide to help them overcome their objections?
- How can you share social proof?
- How can you establish credibility?
Keep in mind that 80% of your people will wait until the last couple of hours of your launch to enroll. Keep sending content-rich closing emails until the registration deadline.
When you’re building your online course launch, everything is important.
Building a launch is not a buffet. Unfortunately, you don’t get to pick and choose which parts you want to do and what you will skip. You need all the pieces in place to optimize your launch.
To recap, here are the steps to creating a successful online course launch:
- Begin thinking about all the ways you can get in front of your audience. How can you generate traffic, whether that’s through your email list, partner or affiliate lists, or through ads?
- Invite people to your webinar by creating a Webinar Opt-in Page (which means you will now have their email address and can send them valuable, relationship-building content)
- Send “Show Emails” so your webinar registrants attend the webinar
- Deliver a compelling webinar and invite your audience to your sales page at the end.
- Create a Sales Page that includes all the critical information your audience needs to make the decision to enroll.
- If they don’t buy right way, continue to send your audience “Closing Emails” to help them navigate through whatever decisions they have to make to do the work with you. Make sure every time you send an email, you include a link to your sales page.
Imagine the flow of how your people through this experience with you. Sketch it out. Put it on your wall in your office space.
Would you like step-by-step support in building and refining your launch? Once a year, I open The Launch Lab, my most popular program on how to launch your course (or any other offer). This week, we open our 2019 session. If you want to have your first funnel up and running this year, now is the time to join.
Feel free to share any questions in the comments below! I’m excited that you’re launching and putting your work out there. Cheers to that!