How to Launch an Online Course Even With a Small Email List

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One thing that goes hand in hand with a successful online course is a large email list. I’m sure you must have read or come across the emphasis on an email list time and again, but the question is what if a course creator has a tiny email list?

Should they drop the idea of launching the course?

Of course not!

Yes you can take a breath of relief.

On the plus side a course is the fastest way of growing your list anyway!

Many course creators have launched a course with an email list as small as 100-150 people and managed to earn a lot.

But there is a whole process behind it – some steps you can take to launch a successful course with a small email list.

In turn through the success of your first few courses you’ll develop a list of thousands of potential clients willing to buy almost everything you offer in the future.

Before we go about discussing the steps, let’s discuss a big factor that usually gets in the way of a course launch…..FEAR! Don’t be afraid to take action.

Many thoughts can hold you back like “I’m not sure if it’s good enough” or “it’s not ready”, “Is it the right audience” and so on. Be brave enough to launch the course and then you’ll see how your tribe helps you in making it better. Trust me, you’ll figure it out along the way!

NOW let’s see how to go about launching a profitable course through the help of the following 7 steps.

Step 1: Before you create a course, test its ‘sellability’

Some research on the course topic before you create the course will help in refining it and is a good way of finding out whether or not your audience will buy your course.

One of the ways of testing your idea is using a research tool like Amazon. You can use it as a search engine and a customer focus group! Others similar ways can be:

  • Surveys
  • Blog posts
  • Online discussion forums (search on Google for them)
  • Pay-per-click testing
  • Social media

On all these avenues, pay attention to what your audience is interested in and what questions they are asking. The insights you gather will help in reshaping your course idea and content.
A successful online course idea lies in hitting the sweet spot. What is the sweet spot? It is the centre point of a) your client’s problem, b) your expertise and c) what your client is willing to invest in.

Step 2: Give your audience what they want

After Step 1 you’ll be pretty much clear on what your audience is looking for. Now you need to create a course focusing on fulfilling that need for your audience. The key is to be ‘specific’. Specific course content tends to be more compelling and more marketable.

Focus on the specific problem your client wants to get rid of and not what you ‘think’ your audience would like.

Step 3: Keep the content just the right size

Too much content is overwhelming (and useless) and not enough content will frustrate the audience so strike a balance. Your course content should be able to get results for your audience.
It is challenging to decide what content to keep and what to leave out so keep your objective at the front at all times to filter through the content.

Another way to filter content is by keeping content that your audience ‘needs to know’ and maybe getting rid of content that is ‘nice to know.’

Step 4: Make your audience ‘apply’ what you teach them

Your audience needs to ‘do’ something after taking your course. Create opportunities in your course to go do it with your guidance.
Your audience cannot just keep watching videos and tutorials on a certain topic and become better at that subject. They need to physically try it out – taking action is what you need your customer to go for.

Hence design a course that focuses on application of the content you’re offering so your audience can be fully engaged and achieve results.

Step 5: Get the content flowing quickly

You need to create the content fast. Work on taking out the excellent ideas out of your head into a course quickly. Here are some ways to do that:

  • Make the content visual
  • Group the content and outline it
  • Use a repeatable template (templates help in making the process easier through steps and swift progress)

Step 6: Time to record and publish the course

Now that your course content is outlined in a template, you can record it easily via screen capture video.

You can create your online course with simple screen capture videos (where you record your audio in sync with the view on your desktop screen) and can later add in your face in them too.

Here’s a quick look into how to go about it:

  • Use Powerpoint or Google Slides to make your course content.
  • Record your voiceover audio.
  • Upload your course video on a course hosting platform.

Right now at this step, believe it or not, you can actually have people paying to help you refine your online course content even before you officially launch. Sounds crazy? It’s perfectly doable.
You can do a ‘beta’ launch with paying clients going with you as you create the content.

Step 7: Ready to launch!

After passing through all the steps it’s now time to launch and start earning. Many experienced course creators will tell you that it’s not necessary to have your course 100% ready before you launch.

Remember Step 1? You’ve done the research on what questions your audience is asking and you also where to find them on paid or free social media.

If you have a small email list, use Facebook ads to get an audience for your first course. Profits from the first successful course launch will go back into Facebook ads for the next launch which will allow you to expand your reach fast.

Other ways of getting traffic can be blogging, podcast interviews etc.

What you need to focus on is growing your email list alongside making money. When you create a product you will know what your people want, so do it fast!

A long email list is not the measure of your success – your success lies in the quality of your relationship with your customer which determines the speed at which your business will flourish.
Simply put – your email list will grow when you know what your audience needs and you create a product to fulfill that need.


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