How to Successfully Launch an Online Course
You’ve created a rich and valuable online course, congratulations! Now, how do you serve this course to your audience?
How do you tell the world that you’ve created a course about XYZ that will be very beneficial to them?
Heck, how do you even get them to listen to you in the first place?
Online courses are great. They are a good way to share your knowledge about something, build your personal brand, and ultimately create a revenue stream for yourself.
But, your launch strategy is twice as important as the course itself. We understand this, and we’re here to help.
In this article, we’ll show you how to launch an online course the right way and make massive sales from it.
Let’s get started!
Why Should You Launch an Online Course?
There are several reasons for you to launch an online course. It could be to make money, to help people better understand a topic, to build yourself as an expert in your chosen industry, and lots more.
The e-learning industry is growing rapidly. By 2026, the global e-learning market is forecast to reach almost 400 billion U.S. dollars. In 2019, the global e-learning market was sized at almost 200 billion U.S. dollars, according to Statista.
Whatever your reason may be for launching an online course, it’s totally valid. As it can help you build your income faster.
So, if you’ve decided to launch an online course, the first step is to create it. Afterward, you determine the right time to launch your course which can be whenever as long as you have your course 60% ready.
What do You Need to Launch an Online Course?
To have a successful launch, you need to have the following in place;
- A goal
- A launch strategy
- A launch funnel
#1. A goal
A wise man once said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Having a laid down goal you intend to achieve with your course launch helps you stay on track and avoid misplaced priorities. At every stage, you know if what you are doing aligns with the goal you have in mind.
Ask yourself these questions to help you set a goal.
- How do you intend to launch your course?
- What do you need to make it work?
- How many people do you want to enroll in your course?
- If you have a community, by how much do you want your community to grow with the release of your course?
- How many sales do you want to make? (If it’s a paid course)
Answering these questions helps to arrange your thoughts in devising a good launch plan.
#2. A launch strategy
After you’ve made a plan for your course, the next thing is to devise a strategy to make it work. In other words, what actions need to be taken to achieve your goals.
You may choose to drive organic traffic to your course or you may decide to run ads to boost your traffic rate, or you may even decide to do a combination of both methods. Whichever one you choose is entirely up to you. The most important thing is that you are getting results.
Ask yourself these questions to help you devise a strategy;
- How will you get people to enroll in your course?
- Do you have an audience ready for your course?
- How do you intend to put your audience in a loop where they are fed content about your course till they make a purchase?
- How will you hit your sales goal?
- What will you do if nobody enrolls in your course?
- How will you handle feedback?
- How will you provide support to your audience when the need arises?
#3. A launch funnel
After you’ve created a buzz around your online course launch, what next do you do with the traffic?
A launch funnel is a structure you set up that allows you to attract and enroll students in your course. It’s like a pipeline where you draw them into and continuously feed them content that influences their buying decision.
In general, how do you turn them from people just aware of your online course to buyers and eventually loyal customers?
- A lead magnet. A free product that attracts people to sign up to your email list
- A landing page.
- An email sequence. A series of various email content types you intend to share with your audience.
- Good ad copy. Read this article on writing effective sales copy
- A sales page.
Good thing, We’ve written an article that shows you How to Create a Sales Funnel to Sell Your Online Course
How to Launch an Online Course
Launching an online course is in three stages;
And to have an effective launch, you need to get these stages right. Let’s look at this step-by-step guide on how to launch an online course in detail below;
In the pre-launch period, you are building anticipation. You are letting your audience know that something is coming and they should be prepared for it.
However, to even create a buzz around your online course, you need an audience. You need to have people who know your brand at the very least, to be able to sell to them or inform them about your course. This is where having a community is important.
One way to do this is to give value upfront. Provide value to people, help them fix a problem, and build relationships with them. Typically, a pre-launch period should last about one month if you already have an audience. But if you don’t, you’d want to dedicate at least six months to building one.
Our digital creators who earn seven figures from sales of their online courses say that having a community is an effective marketing strategy.
You can build your audience in different ways such as; through social media, interviews, YouTube videos, or partnerships.
Additionally, you can organize online events aimed at solving problems for your users. For example, you can organize an online test where your audience tries to get something done and you guide them to achieve results. So they know that they can get XYZ value and more when they take your course.
Generally, the aim here is to create a buzz around your course. Literally run your mouth on social media and other media channels about your course.
After you’ve created enough buzz around your course, and hosted all necessary activities, it’s time to launch your course. A typical launch period should last about two weeks or less.
However, to have a seamless launch experience, it is important that you choose a platform that provides you with all the tools you need to manage your students.
Selar is an online e-commerce platform that gives you all you need to successfully host your course.
At an affordable price of ₦8,000/$20 per month, you can easily host over 10 courses on Selar, have unlimited videos, drip content, and all the tools you need to successfully manage your students.
The best part is that you can easily receive payments from students without the hassle of conversion.
You can learn more about Why Selar Is The Best Platform to Host Your Online Courses
This is everything you do after you have successfully launched your course. The activities you put up at this stage determine how much sales you’d make. This is a continuous process even after your course is launched.
Hence, to make massive sales from your online course and even better which translates to a successful launch, you need to put these tips into practice.
Offer additional support
Let your students know that they have access to you if they encounter any challenges. You can decide to host a live webinar where all your students come to you with their questions. You can also set up a private Facebook or WhatsApp group for your student alone.
This helps you build trust between your students and even better, makes it easy to sell to them again in the future! Why? They know that buying your course means they get to share their challenges with you.
When done properly, you can decide to set up a coaching program later and sell to your audience.
Build a community
Yes! Form an in-house circle of followers who enjoy your course, have benefited from it, and are getting results from it. You can also share their testimonials to encourage more people to sign up for your course. Everyone loves to get positive results.
Feedback helps you to grow as a course creator. By listening to your students share their opinions about your course, you have a better idea of how to improve it. Additionally, it creates a feeling of “value” for your students, because they feel like their opinion really matters to you.
Yet to decide whether an online course is best? Read this guide Online Course vs Ebook Which Should I Launch?
Tools Needed for Successful Course Launch
The tools needed to have a great course launch are;
- A course hosting platform
- Graphics design tool
- Email marketing software
- Page builder
- Payment gateway
- Course builder
#1. A course hosting platform
To successfully launch your course online, you need to first have a hosting platform for your course. We recommend using Selar as your course hosting platform.
With Selar, you can host your course, integrate your favorite tools, set up your affiliate marketing system, monitor your students, and view their progress with your course. We’ll give you everything you need to sell online so you can focus on the more important stuff – creating your online courses.
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of creating a WordPress site to host your courses, you’re welcome to use Selar. The best part? You don’t have to worry about operation costs or technical difficulties. You just need to upload your course. Every other thing you need to successfully manage your students and see your course performance is sorted for you.
Get started by creating a free account on Selar.
#2. A graphics design tool
If you need to design your course thumbnail, course slides, or anything else, we recommend using Canva.
Canva is a very easy graphic design tool, with lots of templates you can easily customize. It offers a free account with access to some of its features. However, to access its entire collection, upgrade to a premium account.
#3. An email marketing software
Email marketing is one marketing strategy that provides optimum results. More so, as a course creator, you need an email marketing tool that allows you to send out information about your course to your audience.
We recommend using Mailchimp. It’s a very simple and easy tool that provides you with real-time marketing data to monitor your email marketing campaigns.
The good news is, that when you use Selar, you can easily integrate Mailchimp into your Selar account. So you can manage all your student’s data from one robust Selar dashboard. Cool stuff!
Watch this video of how to set up Mailchimp integration on Selar.
#4. Page builder
You need a page builder to build sales pages, landing pages, subscription forms, and lots more. You can use WordPress to design, edit and customize your page layout.
But there’s more.
One of Selar’s outstanding features is that it has a page builder that allows you to create sales pages designed for your products. There are unlimited page templates for you to choose from, and the best part is that it has zero technicality.
#5. A payment gateway
To successfully launch a course, you need to set up a payment gateway. There are lots of options to choose from. The most important thing is that you choose a gateway that is easy to set up and one that you are comfortable with its conversion rates.
Selar has integrated multiple payment gateways such as PayPal, Stripe, etc to enable you to receive payments from anywhere in the world. So all your students can truly pay without stress.
#6. A course builder
Having a course builder helps you to arrange your courses into modules and subsections, to allow for easy delivery. There are lots of course builder platforms available, one of such is GoSkills.
GoSkills is an online learning platform that empowers course creators to build and deliver courses. It provides tools and features for creating engaging and interactive courses on various topics.
With GoSkills, course builders can design content, incorporate multimedia elements, and track learners’ progress through its user-friendly interface. The platform aims to make the course creation process efficient and effective for both educators and learners.
Checklist for Launching Your Online Course
Finally, it’s time to apply what you’ve learned. Here’s a checklist to guide you;
- Create the course
- Create your sales page
- Devise a launch strategy
- Set up a launch email structure
- Set up a launch funnel comprising automated emails for your students.
- Choose a suitable online platform to host your course(s)
- Organize launch events to create buzz
- Launch your course
- Provide additional support to students to build a relationship
- Get feedback
- Rinse and repeat.
So What’s Next?
Well, firstly is to create your course if you haven’t. The next step is to carefully plan your launch strategy to ensure you make sales.
Remember, how you present your course to your audience, determines their interest level to make a sale. Your course is an asset and will continuously sell provided you have the right strategy.