“The good part about using a beta test as a launch experience is your course doesn’t have to be done! “
My special guest this week is an expert on course launches! I know a lot of us are making courses or have courses we want to repurpose.
That’s what we’re going to talk about today: How to successfully launch an online course!
Jenna Soard started her business about 7 years ago. After teaching design and creative entrepreneurship at a couple of different universities, she started creating her own online courses when she realized she could make more money by having her own school instead of teaching for someone else.
She didn’t want to just create beautiful websites for products that were terrible. It was a tough decision to come to, but she asked her audience what they wanted to learn. They wanted to learn how to create courses!
Her first beta test helped her overcome the fear of selling, which I know a lot of us share her fear!
Beta testing doesn’t have to be you giving away your content for free. Jenna says most people in the industry charge for their beta testing. People doing beta tests with their courses usually charge half price. A beta test can be a tough sell when your potential participants don’t know you.
Jenna took the beta test and turned into a launch list building experience. In her method, you are flushing out what you are doing, getting feedback and testing your materials. Beta testing like this helps you save time and create content people want.
There is a specific way to do this. When Jenna was going through her beta tests and engaging with her students, she learned that she could create courses that were super student-centric. She could make programs that people felt like it was really made for them.
If you can’t sell it for free. If you can’t get people to participate for free. Maybe you aren’t targeting the right people. You might have the right people, but your offer might not be what they are seeking. There are so many learning opportunities through beta testing.
You can use the beta testing as an opportunity to grow your list. She learned from her mentor, James Woodward, that beta tests add 10-15,000 people to their list just by creating the launch experience.
The good part about using a beta test as a launch experience is your course doesn’t have to be done!
You will know you are pursuing the right topics based on people’s response and participation to your ads. Jenna sees successful course topics around: how to make more money, how to lose weight or get healthy, and how to find love. These are pretty timeless regardless of what is happening in the economy. Especially right now since people are spending more time on their computers. They have time to invest in themselves.
Use the beta testing as a check to see if people are responding to your topic. It’s a good gage to see if you want to move forward with it.
Jenna teaches people how to offer a low ticket and high ticket offer at the same time. Jenna and her team teach people how to take advantage of cold traffic with the low ticket offer. They assume not everyone has a list when they come to them. They treat it like a list building experience. Jenna assumes people who want to build a course are starting from ground zero.
Jenna has a couple of different approaches to course building. First, there is the pre-recorded approach. They take beta testers through a few modules then sell to them. Then there is the live approach, where course builders teach live and film a course live. Then sell to the beta testers the following week where they do a testimonial contest. The winner gets a big prize like having a VIP day with the course builder. When you have a big prize, people end up watching the pitch and will sign up to be on your list.
Jenna takes both recordings (pre-recorded and live) if they convert or not, you are still learning and failing forward from the process. They have course builders sell into a $1200 or a $6000 program. Positioning both the high and lower ticket offers on the sales page. The course builder offers a payment plan either 12 payments of $97 or 12 payments of $497. There is a high ticket offer without making a sales call.
Having both on the same page, makes the low-ticket offer more appealing and more reasonable for the majority of potential clients. To protect the course builder’s energy, the low-ticket offer is with student coaches or DIY and the high-ticket offer is a VIP experience directly with the course builder.
Jenna teaches course builders to take their best clients and turn them into coaches to support the low-ticket offers. So that it’s really a group coaching scenario with a course as a foundation.
As Jenna films the launch content for course builders, she also shows course builders how to take launch content and create a self-liquidating offer, which is a $27 to $197 program that you sell directly with Facebook and Instagram ads. So then you have your evergreen system funneling people in 24/7 without having to launch again.
The recorded version of a course works better for converting cold traffic. The live version works better for hot audiences. When a person is live and has a following, the following is excited to see the person live. It kind of depends on where people are at with their audiences.
Jenna doesn’t believe in emailing her audience daily. She doesn’t post on social media consistently. She doesn’t believe in being everywhere all the time. Only after you have a product that is thriving should you sprinkle it in social media and email. You don’t need a huge following. All you need to do is have a product people want and put it in front of them.
An important lesson Jenna recently learned is that selling one product is way easier than selling a million products. So everything she creates points back to her one major course she offers. It’s good to create new content and mini-courses to draw people into your larger offer because there is a know, like and trust factor.
To have a mini self-liquidating offer is a bonus for higher ticket clients and a good entry point for people who don’t know you. Jenna offers a self-liquidating offer that can apply to a larger membership.
Final thoughts from Jenna: Lead with service first. Can you create transformation for people first before the sell? You want to become an advocate for the thing that your potential client wants to achieve.
Also, if you are a coach looking for a little more marketing support come join my private Facebook group, the Consistent Content Club! I also have another group that goes even deeper. If you’re interested in the new Tidepool group, set up a time to chat with me directly!
If you want to talk more about building a course or if you just need some positivity right now, let’s set up a time to chat!