“I hate swarmy online sales methods!”
I hear that a lot from fellow writers who don’t want to sell digital products online.
On one hand I can understand where they’re coming from. Nobody likes a try-hard salesperson who keeps their “secrets” tight to the vest and is out to screw everybody out of their money.
On the other hand, this simply isn’t selling.
Good selling is about delivering a great product, not swarmy sales tactics.
It’s not like online course sellers have the power of mind control, either. It’s not like we’ve hypnotized people to pull out their credit card and pay us money.
Selling isn’t a bad thing. Heck, using sales methods that seem “swarmy” isn’t really a bad thing either. What’s bad is delivering a crappy product.
The fact is, if you want to double, triple, or quadruple your income as a creator online, you need to go on a few dates with selling.
I’ve found many who criticize online course creators, anyway, are either jealous or scared. They’re jealous of people making big bucks, and they’re scared to sell because they think they’ll fail. Some may even be scared of what others will think of them.
What selling a course makes us look like to other people is largely irrelevant for a few reasons..
1. Focus On Making Your Product Awesome, And Nothing Else Matters
The only time we should condemn online salespeople is when their product sucks. Personally, I don’t care if someone condemns my methods. I sell my online course with webinars. Some people really hate webinars since most of them are a sales pitch instead of an actual learning experience.
I can see that. I hope people learn things during my webinar, but I care about one thing more than that:
I care about whether my course is actually awesome.
If it’s not awesome, I’m not going to sell it.
How you feel about sales tactics is irrelevant if the product is fucking good.
Selling is not bad. Selling somebody a crappy product, however, is bad. I exercise a lot of these demons and doubts by updating my courses every 6 months.
I won’t lead people down a path that ends up at a cliff. Selling folks is simply leading them down a path — your job is to make sure a big beautiful bridge awaits them at the end instead of a 300-foot drop.
If the latter awaits them, we deserve all the criticism in the world.
2. Nobody Needs To Buy Anything
Like I said before, I’m not inside people’s heads commanding them to buy things from me. I make a good case for why they should buy my course, but if they don’t I give them a smile, a thank you, and let them go on their way.
3. Be Generous With Your Refund Policy
I have a 14-day refund policy. Honestly though I’ll give a refund to anybody who asks for it regardless of timelines.
I don’t like disappointing people and I really don’t like keeping their money against their will. 99% of the time people ask for refunds because they don’t have the time to commit to the course, anyway.
So if you feel weird about selling, just be generous with your refund policy and let people know they can get their money back at any time if they’re not 100% satisfied.
4. It Doesn’t Matter What Anybody Thinks Of You
Are your haters paying your bills? No. If you’re a course creator, your students are. Listen to them instead.
What everybody else thinks about selling tactics doesn’t matter. They probably got burned by a bad course in the past or are jealous of you.
You’re in the business of selling products that people love. If your students are happy, then you’re doing a damn good job and should continue to do exactly what you’ve been doing.
Nothing has brought me more joy than teaching people how to succeed as a writer online. You’ll be surprised how things that are obvious to you are completely mind-blowing to somebody else. It feels good to give them that “ah-ha” moment and most of the time, people will really love taking your course.
Don’t Be Afraid To Sell Something
You don’t need to feel bad for selling stuff. Anybody who tries to make you feel bad is probably bitter. Collect your money, do right by your students, and leave the haters in the rear view.