Launching an online course, program or school is an excellent way to scale a business as an expert, educator, speaker or practitioner, but making the transition from your in-person practice to the online space can be overwhelming at times.
It is no secret that there is currently a global, unprecedented conversation around going virtual, and I want to break down the three pillars of being profitable when launching or re-launching your online course or school.
Regardless of the stage of business you are in — whether you own a clinic and have built a community through your practice, or you are starting from scratch — you can set yourself up for success by having an engaged, aligned audience.
It is so important to realize that you do not need a large audience to successfully launch an online course or program. There are billions of people existing online, ready to receive your life-changing work. What truly matters is being in front of the right audience that is interested and ready to invest in working with you.
WHAT SIZE EMAIL LIST DO I NEED TO HAVE PRIOR TO LAUNCHING?
I recommend having an email list of at least 500 people before launching your online offer. If you are starting from zero, this may seem daunting, but realistically, leveraging Facebook or Instagram Ads effectively can get you there in a short amount of time, usually within a month or so.
However, arriving at the 500 member mark is only part of what makes an email list valuable. Your audience has to be warmed up to you, your expertise, and your approach in order to be willing to invest in your course or program.
STEP ONE: DEVELOP AND EMPLOY A PASSIVE LEAD BUILDER
In order to nurture your audience and demonstrate your knowledge to your email list, I recommend developing a passive lead builder. A passive lead builder is free resource, typically presented in a PDF format. These can be a resource guide, a mini eBook, or a how-to guide.
Passive lead builders are an excellent tool for intrinsically qualifying people as interested in your area of expertise. Creating your passive lead magnet is step one in building an audience that is engaged.
A passive lead builder should be designed to give your target audience a quick win. You are not trying to get them from point A to point Z; instead, you are trying to get them from point A to point B. This builds their trust in you and allows them to see themselves moving forward towards their ultimate goal.
STEP TWO: BEGIN RUNNING FACEBOOK OR INSTAGRAM AD CAMPAIGNS
Whether you are starting from scratch or simply growing your email list beyond that 500 member recommendation, you will want to set Facebook or Instagram ad campaigns for this passive lead builder that you have created. Once they have identified their audience, many clients of mine are able to massively grow their audience utilizing ads spending only a few dollars per day.
Growing your audience in the months leading up to your launch ensures that you are not pitching to a completely cold audience. The nurture phase of pre-launch has a massive impact on your profitability.
STEP THREE: DEVELOP AND EMPLOY AN ACTIVE LEAD-BUILDING EVENT
Now, we want to take it a step further. The issue with solely having a passive lead builder is that people get distracted. We want you to stay top-of-mind, so there is a crucial step two to amplifying your audience: employing an active, lead-building event.
An active lead builder infuses energy and focus into both your existing audience and your new audience. There are three types of active, lead-building events that I teach:
- Content Webinars. These are an online workshop in which you are teaching, connecting and serving. There is no sales pitch involved.
- Five-Day Challenge. These allow you to build instant community over the course of five days.
- Virtual Summit. These are a big project, but are ideal if you have great connections and have been teaching for a very long time.
I recommend selecting the type of active lead builder that excites you the most. Don’t try to do all three! Focus your efforts into just one.
Choose the format that feels best to you. How do you show up most effectively?
When you layer a passive lead builder and an active lead builder, you develop a winning combination that will capture the attention of your audience and deepen your connection. This ensures that when you are ready to launch your life-changing online course or program, you have an engaged, interested audience that trusts you and knows the value you bring to the table.