$2,000 seems a bit modest, and it is!
The fact of the matter is, you’re not going to make $10,000 pre-selling an online course when it’s your first time doing it. Since you clicked on this article, I’ll assume you haven’t successfully sold an online course yet.
If you have, then sweet! Stay a while–I’ll still show you a few things.
When I “created’ my first online course (I only created the idea, not the actual course) six months ago, I made about $2,500 pre-selling it to 15 students.
I was EC-STATIC.
Seeing the email notifications from teachable saying a bunch of people were purchasing Medium Mastery after my webinar was wild.
This is not going to be an article that gives you nothing but fluff, but I do want to stress that a few things need to happen BEFORE you sell anything to anybody..
1. Know Where Your Skills Lie
Sit down, pull out a sheet of paper, and start listing your best skills on the left side of that paper. Writing? Drawing? Leadership?
Make sure you have a couple years of experience in any skill that you list.
Good, now draw a line through the center dividing the left side from the right.
Now on the right side, leave a number 1-5 of how much you like talking about or using that skill.
Make a short list of the 4’s and 5’s, then come up with a short bio introducing yourself as an expert in that particular skill. You can list:
- Years of experience
- Any dollar amount you’ve made with said skill
- Any time spent mentoring or managing a team with said skill.
- How much of a following do you have that listens to you about your expertise with said skill?
Great, you have a skill that you like talking about that you can teach people how to wield. This should sort of be your “niche” as a writer anyway. If it’s not, start working it into your future blog posts.
2. You Have To “Pre-Heat” The Audience
What do I mean by this? Obviously I’m not talking about putting your audience in a sauna.
What I mean is, many of the people who purchased Medium Mastery were people I already knew quite well.
I had been engaging with them for months and offering up my expertise for free whenever they asked me questions. This is largely because I had no idea I was going to create an online course later, but it was also largely because I just try to be a good person whenever I can.
Chances are if you’ve been blogging for a long time, you have 10-20 people that read everything you write (or close to it).
Chances are you have people commenting on your posts and asking you questions.
Engage with them. Never miss an opportunity. Never let a comment go by without a response. You never know whether these people might be interested in doing business with you later on.
3. You Have To Put On A Webinar
I owe my belief in webinars to Mariah Coz of Femtrepeneur. I owe my execution, however, largely to myself because I used tools like Webinar Ninja and Google Slides to create my first webinar (unlike Mariah who uses/used YouTube I believe).
There’s a lot of reasons why you need to put on a webinar, but the main one is you can cover a LOT of ground in terms of trust-building when you do.
You can either spend 3-4 months “pre-heating” your audience, or you can spend 1 hour interacting with them on a live stream (which is much more personal).
The fact is, this post is about selling.
Selling requires trust.
Who are you going to trust more: a random writer you’ve never physically seen before, or someone who’s right in front of you on a livestream calling you by your name and answering your typed-in questions?
Now that we know a webinar has to take place, let’s talk about what needs to happen to put a successful one on..
4. Here’s How To Get Webinar Sign-Ups
I’m about to share a strategy with you to get webinar sign-ups that you’ve likely never heard of before.. You ready?
I got alllll my first webinar sign-ups from the call-to-actions that I placed in my Medium stories. It’s true. The fact is, Medium is a place you and everybody else needs to take a little more seriously. And by little I mean a lot.
If you want to learn how to get your first 1,000 followers on Medium, take my free 5-day email course!
I go over other ways to build up your own Medium following elsewhere, but the general gist is you need to leverage the audience of Medium publications (by writing for them) to get in front of bigger audiences.
How do you get into Medium publications? Again, I go over that a little bit here. I’m sorry, I just want to get on with webinar tips before I bore all of you to death talking about Medium.
IMPORTANT: Your particular niche might not be a topic that does well on a platform like Medium. Topics related to technology, creativity, and personal development do well there. Just a fair warning.
5. Use Leadpages To Create Your Landing Page
As far as creating landing pages are concerned, there is no equivalent to Leadpages. At least, no equivalent for me.
Here’s the landing page for my own webinar. I’ve kept it the same since November of 2017 largely because it’s the exact same webinar with the same great advice.
I used one of the branded landing pages and just inserted my own information inside.
Since Webinar Ninja is not offered as an integration with Leadpages (yet), you have to send all of your leads to your email service provider. Mine is ConvertKit, but you could use Mailchimp if you have another one.
What I mean by integration is, Leadpages will send the contact info of each new sign-up to ConvertKit automatically. When new people sign up for your webinar, they will automatically be imported into ConvertKit for you to easily email later.
ConvertKit gives you a one-month trial period, and I highly recommend taking them up on that. My email open rates/click-through rates have skyrocketed since I switched from Mailchimp.
Anyway, it’s easy to integrate ConvertKit or Mailchimp in Leadpages. Here’s an article that will help you do that.
6. Use ConvertKit To Remind People Of Your Webinar
You’ll have to capture leads then send them to your Webinar Ninja webinar page afterwards. It sort of sucks, trust me, but Webinar Ninja really is a cheap and reliable alternative to webinar powerhouses like Webinar Jam, which requires three monthly payments of $189 to purchase for the year.
With Webinar Ninja it’s about $39 per month for 100 live attendees, which I doubt many people will exceed (100 live attendees is seriously amazing).
This is a really annoying work-around, but all you have to do is use ConvertKit as your bona-fide email reminder system and send out emails to the webinar page 24 hours, 2 hours, and 15 minutes before your webinar.
You should be more than okay doing that–I know I was!
Again, I’m just trying to give everyone an affordable work-around that I couldn’t, for the life of me, figure out.
You could finagle services like YouTube Live and work with code and create a page on your own website OR you could just use Webinar Ninja to take care of all that so you can spend more time on your presentation.
Speaking of your presentation..
7. Ten Percent Of Live Attendees Should Purchase Your Offer
Let’s run through some numbers really quick..
30% of webinar sign-ups should show up live.
Another 40% will watch the replay.
Of the 30% who show up live, 10% of them should purchase your offer at the end.
So if 100 people sign up for your webinar, 30 of them will show up live. Of those 30 people, 3 should purchase your offer. Another 40 should show up to watch the replay, and maybe 1-2 of them will purchase your offer, too.
They don’t stick around as long because they know there’s no live Q/A at the end, and the fact that it isn’t live in general sort of turns people off I think.
So these are your benchmark numbers. I hope you can exceed them. 🙂
8. Create A Fantastic Presentation
I knew nothing about webinars one week before I put one on. I actually just watched a webinar from one of my favorite authors, took notes, then tried to structure mine how they structured theirs.
Do the same for yourself.
You could always just watch mine, too, to see what I do.
I’ll go over webinar presentation secrets another day, but this is honestly all you have to do.
Use Google Slides to create your own presentation. It’s free and super, super easy.
9. Come Up With Your Course Idea
Ahh, the $2,000 question (because that’s how much you’ll be making).
To come up with a good course idea, you sort of have to stay true to yourself. Don’t think about what certain bloggers might or might not already be teaching about. Just ask yourself these questions..
- Knowing what you know now, if you could take an online course based around your specific skill set, what would you want it to teach you?
- What are some of the things that are ACTUALLY important that other resources don’t highlight as often?
- What will students be able to do after they’re done taking your course?
Write lessons down as they come to you on a sheet of paper. My Medium Mastery course was completely ideated on a scratch sheet of paper in about 30 minutes. I just knew what I wanted to teach.
Try to draw comparisons to certain lessons and create whole “Modules” while you’re at it. 5 modules of 10 lessons or so is a great start.
The key here is to give yourself complete creative control while not interrupting flow.
No idea is a bad one.
By the end of an hour or two, you’ll have the idea for your course completely ideated.
10. Create A Sales Page On Teachable
That’s the top of my sales page!
I’ll save you a lot of grief, okay?
Teachable is the best platform for online courses there is.
Create your own account, pay the $39 or so it costs for the monthly membership, and begin making a sales page for it. It doesn’t need to be super long. Here’s mine to show you a good example.
This sales page is the place you’ll be sending people during the webinar to sign up for your course.
Teachable takes care of freaking everything (payment, emails, etc.), and it’s seriously a low-stress solution for those who want to get started selling online courses without having to learn a ton of new things.
11. Keep Your Course Priced Between $199-$249, And Promise A Lot Of Personal Attention
I forgot to give you all a crucial piece of information…
36 people showed up to my first webinar. Technically, under my previous calculations, only 3.6 of those people should’ve signed up for my online course (I know, the whole .6 thing throws me through a loop).
I had 7 people sign up for my course during my webinar. That’s almost a 20% conversion rate.
Why did I have such a high sign-up rate?
Because I kept my course priced low ($199 if they signed up during the webinar). I let the audience know that normally this course would retail at $397, but I kept it low to get a lot of great feedback from my students as I created it.
I also promised a TON of personal attention. I gave out 6 free content critiques to those who signed up during the webinar. I promised a free 30-minute call with me at the end of the course.
I gave away so many things, and my audience jumped at it.
They got a lot of value for their money.
12. Have A Sick Email Follow-Up Sequence
Again, maybe one day I’ll create a post detailing how to create a great email follow-up sequence, but for the most part all you have to do is this..
- Email them right after with the link to the webinar replay (whenever it becomes available).
- Email them the day after.
- Email them the day after that.
- Email them twice more on the third day to tell them that you’re closing the cart for the online course at 5 PM on that day.
I had my live webinar on a Tuesday, so it made sense for me to close the cart on a Friday at 5 PM before everybody went off to (possibly) travel for the weekend.
The email follow-up sequence won me 8 more sign-ups, so this part is CRUCIAL.
I’ll create some posts based around this in the future, but this was my general strategy.
This was a MONSTER post, wasn’t it?
I hope you save it, bookmark it for later, and come back to view it later.
I talk a lot about blogging — could you tell? I actually have a free 5-day email course called “Your First 1,000 Medium Followers” that will teach you how to build an audience on Medium! Sign up for it right here.
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