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The Ultimate Guide To Creating and Selling Online Courses!

More than 44 million Americans currently have student loan debt.

When billionaire Robert F. Smith paid off the entire class of 2019 Morehouse graduates student loans it cost a reported $40 million dollars for a graduating class of just 400 students.

The average student debt per college graduate is approximately $17,126.

The expense of higher learning is just one of the many reasons that learning has been moving online! 

Think about it, when you want to learn something these days do you head on down to the local learning annex or community college?

No, you jump on Youtube or look for an online course! 

And why not? 

It’s been proven that e-learning works better than traditional learning. 

E-learning increases retention between 25-60%! 

This is exponentially higher than the 8-10% retention rates seen in live training.

With E-learning, participants learn nearly 5X more material without increasing the time spent studying the material.

Over 4.6 million college students already take at least 1 course online with estimates ranging as high as 50% of all college students using e-learning. 

And it’s not just students that love learning online, companies love it too! 

E-learning has led to an increase in revenue for 42% of companies. 

Revenue generated per employee is 26% higher for companies that offer e-learning to their employees. 

Every dollar invested in online training leads to $30 in productivity! 

Corporations save between 50% and 70% when they replace instructor-based training with E-Learning. 

IBM saved over 200 million dollars by switching to E-learning. 

Learning moving online has created a HUGE opportunity for entrepreneurs to begin creating their own e-learning courses. 

In this video, Kajabi President Jonathan Cronstedt goes through the state of the E-learning business and why now is the perfect time to create an E-learning business! 

Back in 2015, the e-Learning industry was estimated to be a 107 billion dollar industry, now just a few short years later, e-learning is expected to grow to 325 billion dollars by 2025.  

Self-directed e-learning such as digital courses alone accounted for 46 billion dollars of sales in 2016.

There has never been a better time to create and sell an online course! 

Here at Kajabi, we have helped thousands of online course creators sell more than $700 million dollars of online courses. 

Using Kajabi you can create an online course and have it ready to sell in just a few hours.

And if you don’t believe us try it for yourself with a Free 14-day Trial!   

No coding or HTML required. 

We’ve changed the way entrepreneurs from all fields teach online by building a true all-in-one online course platform that lets you create, market and sell your online course all in one system, for one price!

Having worked with thousands of creators including people you’ll hear from later in this article like Brendon Burchard, Chalene Johnson and Mel Abraham we know what it takes to create, market and sell your course. 

In this guide, we’re going to show you how to go from having an idea to making your first sale in an easy to follow step by step manner. 

We’ve broken this guide up into sections so that you can read it all the way through or skip to the section that most applies to where you are right now! 

In section number one, you’re going to learn why right now is the perfect time to create an online course as well as learn the top 5 benefits of creating an online course. 

Section number two is all about helping you figure out what to teach. We’ll walk you through picking a subject, niche, and market as well as how to solve your audience’s pain points and create amazing transformations. 

In section number three, you’re going to learn how to use a concept called a “seed launch” to verify whether or not people want to buy your course BEFORE you even create it!

Section number four will walk you through what you need to do to actually record your course, including the exact equipment we recommend to our Kajabi heroes in our exclusive 28-day challenge! 

In section number five we will show you all of the different ways that you can host your online course from doing it yourself to online course platforms! 

Section number six will take you through the often confusing process of pricing your course and creating an offer your market will find IRRESISTIBLE! 

In section number seven you’ll learn about marketing pipelines and how to create a simple easy to use pipelines to sell your online course.

Section number eight is going to teach you how to get visitors and web traffic to your online course pipeline. 

In section nine we will go over some tips for making sure your students get the most out of your online course and have tremendous success. 

Each section will have a homework assignment at the end. Be sure to actually do the homework assignments before moving on to the next section! 

Table of Contents:

  • Section # 1: Why Should You Create An Online Course?
  • Section # 2: Picking a subject, niche, and market.
  • Section # 3: Verify Your Idea is Sellable
  • Section # 4: Create Your Course
  • Section # 5: Hosting Options
  • Section # 6: Pricing Your Course And Creating An Irresistible Offer
  • Section # 7: Create a Marketing Pipeline
  • Section # 8: Driving Traffic To Your Pipeline
  • Section # 9: Helping Your Students
  • Section # 10: Conclusion 

Ready to get started! 

Awesome! 

Section # 1: Why Should You Create An Online Course?

Let’s start with why you should create an online course. 

We already talked a little bit about the MASSIVE opportunity presented by creating an online course in the introduction to this article. 

E-learning is a $46 billion dollar a year industry and growing! 

In addition to tapping into that opportunity, there are five major benefits to creating your own online course.  

  1. Creating an online course adds a new revenue stream to your business. Whether you have a successful business or are still working a 9-5 job with big dreams, creating an online course gives you a new way to earn money outside of what you are currently doing. 
  2. Creating an online course gives you passive income. Sure there is some work upfront when you create an online course (don’t worry we’ll show you exactly how to do the work in section 4) but once you’ve done that work and created your marketing funnel you can make sales while you sleep, hit the gym or spend time with friends and family. 
  3. Creating an online course is a great lead generator. In just a few paragraphs you’ll hear about how our Kajabi Hero Chalene Johnson used an online course to generate over 75,000 leads in one month! A free online course is a great lead generator for your business. 
  4. An online course gives you credibility. If you don’t have a fancy degree or 30 years of experience, an online course shows people that you know what you are talking about. It establishes your expertise, credibility, and authority. 
  5. An online course helps you get your message out there and touch people. If you have a message you are dying to get out there to help people, creating an online course is a great way to do just that!  

Let’s look at each of these benefits in a little more detail.

Creating an online course adds a new revenue stream to your business. 

The most obvious benefit of creating an online course is that you can make money selling it. 

 Whether you want to create a side-hustle or create a completely new business, an online course is a great way to generate revenue online. 

Here are some types of entrepreneurs who may want to create an online course:

Youtubers: Creating an online course is a great way to monetize your following on Youtube and offer other ways for your audience to learn! 

Youtuber Jordan Cheyenne uses Kajabi to make over $40,000 using a variety of income sources including an online course.

 In this video, she goes through her income streams and gives a blueprint for success for anyone using Youtube.  

Podcasters: If you have a podcast, creating an online course can be a great way to generate revenue while also increasing your authority and getting your message out.

 Angie Lee uses her podcast to promote her courses on niche marketing and using Instagram stories. 

Authors: Creating an online course based on your book is a great way for authors to add an additional revenue stream to their book launch. 

Rachel Hollis the NYC Best-Selling author of mega-hit “Girl, Wash Your Face.” and sequel “Girl, Stop Apologizing” created an online course and community in Kajabi to grow her fempire.

Speakers: Speakers often find that as they become more successful they are still stuck trading time for money. And there are only so many speeches you can give. 

Brendon Burchard, one of the world’s most successful speakers, initially started using Kajabi to sell his books, but eventually, he used Kajabi to create a variety of online courses and masterminds which give him passive income between speeches. 

See exactly how Brendon Burchard designs his landing pages on Kajabi to sell!  

Coaches and Consultants: Coaches and consultants are another group that really benefit from creating an online course. Coaches can break out of the time for money trade, while consultants can create and sell trainings for corporate trainings as well as individuals. 

James Wedmore is a coach who helps entrepreneurs master their inner game to become unstoppable. James uses Kajabi to get his message out and help even more entrepreneurs unlock their hidden potential.

You’ll meet these people and more, including fitness experts, personal trainers, artists, math nerds, and others who share their skills and knowledge online using Kajabi! 

So if you have a skill, a passion, an audience, or content that people want, then selling it as an online course is a great way to generate revenue.

Creating an online course gives you passive income. 

Another benefit of creating an online course is that it lets you earn money 24 hours a day 7 days a week, no matter what you are doing.

With an online course, you can earn money while you sleep, spend time with your family or even sleep!

Mel Abraham is the expert on experts.

Mel teaches thought leaders how to “get known for what they know.”

 As a speaker, Mel had racked up over 2 million airline miles, on a single airline!  

 Using Kajabi to create his Thoughtpreneurs Academy allowed Mel to free his time up to spend more time with his son! 

 As a single father, reclaiming this time was invaluable. 

Mel says

" Kajabi gave me my time back to be with the greatest gift in my life which is my son." 

 By being able to create income without travel, Mel was able to build not just an amazing business but an amazing relationship with his son who helps him in his business today!

 Creating an Online Course to generate leads! 

 While many businesses use online courses to generate revenue, that is not the only way to do it!

 Our very own Kajabi Hero Chalene Johnson flipped the script a few years ago and created a free online course to build her email list.

Here’s what Chalene did.

First, Chalene's created a Kajabi course called  “The 30-day push challenge”.

In the 30-day push challenge, Chalene taught goal setting in a very simple way.

The goal of the product was to help her students reach their big goal for the year in just 30 days.

Chalene filmed one video a day for 30 days and let the Kajabi system take care of the rest.

With Kajabi, no matter when a student joined the 30-day push challenge the system automatically delivered the right videos in the right order!

Chalene announced the 30-day challenge in December and by January had more 75,000 people join! 

The 30-day push challenge was so successful that Chalene continued to use the free course to build her list for more than 5 years.

That list also helped Chalene become a New York Times best-selling author! 

Chalene says

“Without that list, I built using Kajabi, I would not have become a New York Times Best Selling Author.”  

The 30-day push challenge worked so well that it was Chalene’s only lead generation tool for 5 years! 

Creating an Online Course Gives You Credibility!

His friends and family were shocked when Kyle Buchanon quit his corporate job to become a memory coach.

Many wondered if that was even a job.

Then Kyle’s courses earned him 6-figures and over 1 million views on Youtube in just a few months  

Now his friends are asking how they can create their own online course.

Creating an online course is an EASY way to make yourself credible in a new industry or even create a new job like Kyle did. 

An online course demonstrates that you are an expert. 

What unusual skills do you have that might make a great course? 

Learn the Top 10 Under The Radar Niches According to our Kajabi Data here!  

Using an online course to help spread your message! 

Do you have a message you are DYING to get out to the world? 

Or even that one person who needs to hear it? 

Kajabi Hero Mel Abraham tells a story about a kid named Kyle that illustrates how important getting your message out is even if it only gets to one person. 

Kyle was a kid who was getting bullied in high school.  

And one day as he was walking home from school a bunch of kids started hassling him.

They knocked him over and his books went everywhere.

Then a jock who was walking behind him came up behind him, helped him with his books, and told him “those guys need to get a life.” 

These two became fast friends. 

Kyle ended up becoming the valedictorian of the class and when he was giving his class speech he said 

“Our days in high school are truly impactful. We’re impacted by our teachers, we’re impacted by our teachers and we’re impacted by our friends. That day you asked me why I was taking my books home on a Friday and I didn’t say anything. But I was miserable I was hating life and that weekend I intended to take my life. And I didn’t want my Mom to have to come back and clean out my locker but you saved me.” 

Mel says

“ My book sold over 16,000 but it’s not about those 16,000 people. It’s about that one person who needs to hear that message right now! That one person who might be close to giving up, if you can reach them, it’s ALL worth it.” 

If your online course reaches just one person and changes their life, it will ALL be worth it! 

What message do you have that the world NEEDS to hear? 

Those are just 5 of an almost limitless amount of benefits to creating your own online course. 

How can your business benefit from creating an online course? 

Homework: write down 3-4 benefits you want to receive from creating your online course. 

This will help you get really clear about why you’re creating an online course.

And greater clarity leads to greater success! 

When you’re done with that, let’s move on to how to actually figure out what your course should be about by picking a subject, niche, and topic. 

Section # 2: Picking a subject, niche, and market.

The first step to creating a profitable online course is to decide on your subject, niche and market for your course. 

Let’s start by defining each of those terms and then we’ll show you how to go about finding each of them.

A subject is a broad category that you are going to teach about. 

The “holy trinity” of online course subjects are Health, Wealth or Relationships.

A niche is a more specific piece of a subject. 

So for the subject of health, your niche could be the ketogenic diet or teaching people how to go vegan. 

 A market is a group of people you are going to be selling to. 

 For many of you reading this, you already know exactly what you want to teach, but for those of you who aren’t sure how you pick a subject for your course business here are a few tips.

 The best way to pick a subject is to start with what you know already. 

 What are you already an expert in? 

 What have you taught before? 

 What are some things you’re REALLY good at?

 What do your friends and family always ask you for help with?

 If you can’t think of anything you are already an expert in or have experience with you want to teach the next question to ask yourself is

 What are you passionate about?

 What do you really like talking about?

 What would you like to learn more about?

 What subject would you LOVE to teach?

Once you have a subject in mind, it’s time to move on to your niche which is going to be 1 specific area of your subject. 

Some of the most profitable and popular niches for online courses are : 

  • Dating and Relationships
  • Health 
  • Fitness and Weight loss
  • Pets
  • Making money
  • Beauty

Let’s say you picked the subject of Wealth.

Some wealth niches would be things like: 

  • Personal Finance
  • How to get out of credit card debt
  • How to save for retirement
  • How to trade Forex
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Stock trading
  • Savings tips

Once you know your niche it’s time to figure out who your target market is.

Your market is who your product is for, the people who are going to be most likely to buy your online course. 

Let’s go back to our wealth example which we will use throughout this article. 

The subject is wealth, let’s say your niche is how to get out of debt.

Now your market could be almost anyone.

 Almost everyone has debt they want to get rid of.  

 You could target your course to recent college graduates who want to pay off student loans.

You could target your course to new parents who want to get out of debt and save for college.

You could target your course at professionals around 30 who want to get out of debt to buy a house.

Make sense?

You pick a broad subject, and then really zero in on your niche and your market. 

After you have a niche, you want to figure out where your market is in the “Buyer’s Journey”

There are 4 stages of awareness in the buyer’s journey, they are:

  1. Totally unaware. The totally unaware person knows things are BAD but they aren’t sure exactly what the problem is yet. They might know the area the problem is in like their health or business but they aren’t sure of what exactly the problem is yet. To go back to our personal finance example again the totally unaware person knows they are living paycheck to paycheck but not what is causing that. In this stage, people start googling things and reading articles. 
  2. Problem-Aware. People that are problem aware know what the problem is but they aren’t exactly sure what to do about it. In our example, the problem aware person would know that they are in debt and paying too much to their creditors every month. In this stage, people have done enough research to become aware they have a problem but they are not yet aware of their options. 
  3. Solution-Aware. The solution aware person now has an idea of what they are doing wrong and what the solution is, they aren’t yet sure what the best option is to pursue the solution. In our personal finance example, the person in debt might read a little about debt consolidation or personal finance and has probably checked out a few pages to learn more about what their various options are. 
  4. Niche-Aware. The last stage of awareness is when the person knows about the niche you teach in. So the person looking for help with personal finance now knows what’s going on in the niche, he’s read blog posts, bought a book like “I will teach you to be rich” by Remit Sethi, downloaded a few lead magnets, maybe even had a free phone consultation with a teacher or two. He knows who the big players are in the niche. He just has not yet decided on who he is going to learn from yet. 

Picking a market where most of the audience is totally unaware is like swinging for a home run your first-time at-bat.

Yes, you might be a disruptor and find the problem that the market didn’t even know about.

In that case, you’re going to become one of the big winners in the course market and make A LOT of money.

But there might be a reason that the market doesn’t know about the problem...

So if you’re trying to market a course to a totally unaware market, you better be right that a lot of them have this problem.

And are willing to pay for a course to solve it! 

Ideally, you’d target a market that is either Problem or Solution aware. 

That’s the sweet spot where the majority of people know they have a problem but they aren’t sure what solution is right for them.

 Once you know where your market is it’s time to figure out what their pain points are! 

A pain point is a specific problem that your audience is struggling with. 

Pain points keep your audience up at night tossing and turning. 

Pain points are important because they’re going to help you create content and marketing for your online course that solves their BIGGEST problem.

This is going to make it really easy to create a course that sells because you’re going to be speaking to the issues your audience is concerned with. 

The 4 most common types of pain points:

Process. Process pain points involve the person not understanding what the process is for going from where they are to where they want to be. 

A process pain point would be something like I don’t know how to start an online business.

Obstacle. Obstacle pain points are where the person wants to do something but there is a perceived obstacle in their way. 

For example: how do I start an online business without quitting my job? 

Time. Time pain points are related to wanting to do things faster or within a certain period of time. 

  • 51% of small businesses say “time required” is the biggest barrier to adopting new technology. (Business Insider, 2017)
  • 81% of entrepreneurs report working overtime with 89% regularly working weekends, 30% working more than 40 hours and 20% working more than 50 hours weekly. (Fundera, 2019)

A time pain point might be how do I make my first sale online within 28 days? 

Money. A money pain point relates to things people want to do cheaper or ways they can make or keep more money. 

  • 77% of small businesses rely on personal savings to start up. (Small Business Trends, 2017)
  • 27% of small businesses owners report not having access to the required funding. (US Bank, 2018)

A money pain point might be “how do I start an online business for less than $1000?”

How do you find out what your audience’s pain points are?

You ask them.

An easy way to do this is to create a short survey and then ask people to take it.

Your survey should have a few simple questions on it. 

First, you want to ask on a 1-10 scale how important fixing this problem is.

Your second question should ask them to pick which of the 3-5 problems you’ve identified is the most important to them right now.

Your 3rd question should ask about how urgent it is to fix this problem, give them multiple choice options like I want to fix it right away, and I can wait up to a year to fix this. You want to make sure that your pain point is urgent to your audience.

Finally, ask them how much they would spend to fix that problem.

If you have existing customers send them the survey.

If you don’t have an existing audience you can send it to people online who fit your target demographic through social media. 

Send them a message that says something like 

Hi (name),

I am doing some research on (Subject) I noticed that you have asked a few questions about that on here and I was wondering if you’d be willing to answer a super quick 4-question survey. It would really help me out with my research!

Thanks 

(Your name)

Expect to get about a 10% response rate when you send out this survey cold to strangers so plan to send it to at least 100 people.

If you want to go a step beyond, you should look for local meet-ups and conferences related to your niche. 

Go to these events and actually ask your survey questions in person.

If you’re having trouble getting people to respond to your surveys or questions, offer to bribe them with a $10 Starbucks or Amazon gift card. 

It’s well worth spending a hundred dollars to really nail down what your customer's pain points are BEFORE you start creating content. 

Remember you’re not just looking for the solution to the problem but what emotions the solution to the problem will allow them to feel!

You want to get as many responses as possible but after you’ve gotten 10-50 responses you’ll start to see a pattern emerge and the most common pain points of your audience will become obvious. 

This is going to be the slowest part of the process but you really have to figure out the pain points you’re solving and verify them or you’re just going to be guessing when you create your course.

And that almost never works out. 

So you got your subject, your niche, your market, and your pain points.

What’s left?

 What you’re going to teach of course! 

And the TRANSFORMATION your course is going to offer your customers. 

A transformation is what your students will experience AFTER they join your online course. 

Think of pain points and the transformation as the Yin and yang of course creation.

Your course needs to solve a pain point and in solving that pain point your students will become transformed when they reach their goals. 

Let’s look at a couple of examples. 

The most common transformation story in marketing and media is called “The Hero’s Journey.” 

Joseph Campbell is a historian who has studied storytelling for over 50 years. 

Campbell wrote a book called “The Hero with a thousand faces.” which is an incredible piece of research boiling down everything from the bible to The Wizard of Oz to a series of steps the hero must go through to become transformed.  

Check out this awesome video on “The Hero’s Journey” which explains it all:

 Fun fact: George Lucas based Star Wars on The Hero’s Journey.

 The Hero or heroine’s journey has a basic structure of 3 acts. 

In Act # 1 The hero is just an ordinary guy or girl who is called to adventure and refuses the call until they find the right mentor. They call this stage “The reluctant hero.” 

Act # 2 sees the hero finally heed the call, be tested, overcome an ordeal and claim their reward. In act two the hero is called to greatness and responds to the call. This act is called the call to greatness. 

In Act # 3 the hero returns to their ordinary world with the elixir or solution for all of the problems in that world. This is where transformation happens. Not only does the hero become transformed, but they return home with the tools to change the world! 

Kajabi Hero Alan Belcher never planned on teaching an online course. 

Alan spent over 20 years competing in mixed martial arts in the UFC and other promotions around the world. 

 At the same time, Alan figured out how to run an extremely profitable MMA gym in his hometown of Gulfport Mississippi. 

 Alan was so successful he was able to open 3 different locations! 

After a few years, other MMA and combat sports gym owners started asking Alan to teach them his system. 

Reluctantly Alan agreed and his MMA gym consulting business was born. 

From there Alan created an online training using Kajabi and has earned over $700,000 from the online course alone! 

Another very common transformation is the local boy makes good transformation.

This is also sometimes called the everyday joe transformation. 

This is used ALL the time to sell online courses. 

With the local boy makes good transformation, there is an average or often below average man or woman who somehow through hard work and cleverness is able to pull themselves up by their bootstraps into success. 

Brendon Burchard uses the local boy made good transformation when he talks about growing up in a tiny town in Montana and dreaming of one day earning $40,000 a year! 

The Before and After is another transformation that is often used in the health and wellness or make money niches. 

The before and after is meant to show an extreme transformation like going from living paycheck to paycheck to owning 3 rental properties in a short period of time like 30 days. 

It’s called a before and after transformation because of those side by side comparison shots that supplement companies started using in the early 90s. 

Those pictures would show the worst possible angle of a person at their heaviest juxtaposed with a picture of the person 30 days later looking toned, tanned and fabulous.

Now that you have an idea of what a transformation looks like,  let’s talk about how you can find your profitable transformation.

Start with your market’s pain points! 

You’re going to start your transformation development by finding solutions to all of your pain points. 

Try to find 1-2 solutions that solve ALL your pain points.

Next, you’re going to big then winnow down. 

On the show Modern Family there is a scene where Cam and Mitch are redoing their kitchen, Cam’s strategy for interior design “start big then winnow down.” is going to help you come up with the best transformation possible. 

The first step is to start as BIG as possible

Ask yourself. “If I could snap my fingers and get my students the 100% PERFECT transformation what would it be?” 

To use our finance example if the most important pain point was feeling secure about their future. 

Our perfect solution might be to guarantee that they will have enough money to retire. Or handing them a lump sum of cash. 

Neither of which are really doable. 

So now we have our big impossible transformation and we have to winnow down. 

By winnowing we’re looking to make the impossible possible and create the largest transformation possible. 

You can’t hand him $500,000 but you can find the best most financial plans out there that would allow him to save $500,000 in the next 7-10 years or so and show him exactly what he has to do to get there step by step.  

This plan will allow the student to feel more confident about their finances and have a plan that if they follow it will lead to success.  

Set a time period. 

The 3rd step of the transformation creation process is to attach the transformation to a timeline. 

In reality, every student is going to be different and go at a different pace, have different strengths and weaknesses, etc… 

But your timeline should be based on the shortest amount of time you think an average student could make this transformation. 

In our example it’s probably unrealistic to think a student can go from feeling insecure about his/her future finances to feeling secure overnight (Though a lot of times simply purchasing a product gives students relief because they feel like now at least they have a solution) but it’s not unlikely that within 30-45 days they could have set up new investments, savings plans, budgets, insurances, etc… 

So you would make your timeline 6 weeks give or take.

When you’re teaching something for the first time you are going to be estimating so err on the side of it being slower, rather than faster. 

Ask for feedback.

Once you have your transformation defined, it’s time to get some feedback.  

In our example, our transformation would be something like secure your families’ financial future in just 6-weeks. 

Then we would go back to the people we did our audience research with and see if that’s something they’d be interested in.

Never assume you are right in the research process, wait for confirmation.

Once you get positive feedback from at least 75% of the people you did your audience research with, your transformation is ready to be turned into a course!

Homework: Use the processes described in this section to define your subject, niche, and market. Once you have your niche and market find the market’s top 5 pain points and solutions to those pain points. Use those solutions to develop your transformation!

You can snag our FREE Course Creation Checklist to make sure you’re on the right track: Download it now! 

Once you have your transformation it’s time to make sure that your online course is actually something people want to buy! 

You’ll learn how to do that BEFORE you create your course in our next section!

Section # 3: Verify Your Idea is Sellable

42% of entrepreneurs fail because there is no market for their product. (Blue Corona 2018)

Once you have an idea for a course that solves a pain point and offers a transformation, it’s time to verify if it’s actually going to sell.

After all, you don’t want to go through all the work to create and launch a course only to find out no one wants to buy it.

In this section, you’re going to learn one of the secrets of one of the “OGs” of internet marketing.

It’s called a seed launch and it was first taught by Jeff Walker all the way back in 2004.

 

A seed launch is a small launch to a percentage of your audience. 

It’s called a seed launch because you start with just a little seed of an idea. 

A seed launch is perfect if you are new and just starting out. 

This type of launch is ideal if you have a small list (30-100 names), or no list at all. 

The Seed Launch offers the perfect avenue for business owners to converse with their audience, uncover their most significant questions and needs and ultimately identify “what the market wants.” 

The beautiful thing about a seed launch is that you don’t have to create a whole marketing sequence for it. 

Instead, you’re going to directly send out a “test balloon” message on social media or to a small segment of your list saying something like: 

“People have been asking me to put together a course on getting out of debt forever, and I’ve never really considered doing it, but I’m thinking of putting an online course together to really help accelerate your progress with my teachings. If you’re interested, let me know.”

You’re not looking to sell a ton of courses with your seed launch, the main objective is to gauge the interest from your audience and test out your ideas to make sure that it is viable and valuable. 

If it is, it’s easy to water that little seed into a full-grown launch! 

When people respond, have them sign up for a new email list specifically for those people interested in joining your course.

You’re going to send out 2-3 emails full of content related to the benefits of your online course and what is going to make your course so amazing! 

These emails are like the coming attractions preview for your online course. 

They give your audience some of the highlights, make them laugh, and get them interested in the full-length feature.  

These emails should give away a few tips and tricks and tell your audience that you will be putting on a webinar in a few days where you’re going to talk about the course live.

With Kajabi you can easily add an event like a webinar with a few clicks.

Once you have a list of interested people send them a survey or assessment that asks: 

“If you could ask me three questions about getting out of debt, what would they be?” 

You will use those questions to create between 30-45 minutes of content for the webinar. 

At the end of your webinar, you are going to make an offer for your course. 

Then you will send them to a sales page where they can sign up. 

You can either create the first module of the course BEFORE your webinar and have it be instantly accessible when they sign up or you can let them know when it will be released. 

Make sure that you record the webinar beforehand and test to make sure it records correctly with good sound quality. 

After the webinar, be sure to send out a replay to everyone on your list who either missed the event or didn’t buy. 

Homework: Create a seed launch for your list and send it to your audience to validate your idea. 

Once you have a few paying members who have validated your idea it’s time to create your course! 

Section # 4: Create Your Course

You have already come up with an idea for an online course and verified that it’s something your audience is willing to pay for.

Congratulations!

Now it’s time to actually create your online course. 

Let’s start with the equipment you need to record your online course.

Here’s what you will need: 

  • An HD video camera. While you can in theory record with your laptop, Ipad or phone’s camera, I don’t recommend it.  The Canon VIXIA is a great low priced option that is easy to use. As is Sony HDR.  
  • Lighting. You don’t want a dark badly lit video that makes it look like you are recording in a bunker so you’ll want to get some professional lighting. Lighting rings are a great cheap way to light yourself easily for online course videos. You might also want to get a studio lighting kit on Amazon. That will have everything you need and costs around $100. 
  • A Green Screen. The green screen is the key to high production value as it will allow you to swap out the background for any image you want and will make it easier to add images, graphics, and b-roll footage. If you want to create professional-looking online courses you MUST start recording in front of a green screen. You’ll also want to make sure that you pull the green screen taut so that there are no wrinkles or sagging as that can show up in the videos when you swap out the background. 
  • Wevideo. If you already have a professional level of editing experience you can skip this and use a more professional level editing software like Final Cut Pro. However, If you have minimal editing experience or none at all this software will allow you to learn to make professional-looking videos with graphics, royalty-free music, background images and more with less than an hour of training time, even if you have never edited a video before in your life. It is by far the easiest and best video editing software on the market for non-professional editors and is relatively inexpensive at only $15.99 a month. 
  • If you don’t want to get on camera OR you have something that needs technical walkthroughs like designing a website or setting up online ads then you can create a screencast video. Use a program like Screenflow or Camtasia and create videos of presentations, slide decks and more. 
  • If you want to use a full script there are apps like Teleprompter lite that you can use to turn a laptop or tablet into a teleprompter so you can read the script while looking into the camera. 

Place the green screen on the wall behind you, then set up the camera on a tripod in front of you and place the lights behind the camera. 

Once you have your little mini-studio set-up it’s time to record. 

Be sure to do a test recording first to make sure that you look and sound good. If you see any sort of shadow on your face or body adjust the lights accordingly to eliminate it.  

One thing that has helped guys like Ryan Deiss and Ryan Levesque create great video content is recording each video at least 3 times. For whatever reason and I’ve seen this with everyone I’ve ever recorded with it takes about 3 times to REALLY nail the delivery and everything. 

Block a FULL day out, 8 full hours at least where you have NOTHING to do but film your course.

Hunker down, record everything until it’s 80% right.

It doesn’t have to be perfect.

Michael Masterson the genius marketer behind publishing powerhouse Agora a 9 figure business wrote a book called “Ready, Fire, Aim.”  

In it he explains that because being able to get a product to the market fast is such an advantage, you don’t need to make things perfect before taking them to market, you only need to get it about 80% of the way right for it to be a huge success. And this is a guy whose company makes HUNDREDS of millions of dollars a year.   

 Before you start recording, take some time to think about ways to make your course entertaining! 

In internet marketing, this process is often called “Edutainment”

Edutainment is the process of combining education and entertainment. 

Let’s face it you can probably find whatever information you want online for free.

People pay for products because they want someone to make learning entertaining. 

If you have ever tried to struggle through a textbook you know that most educational materials are BORING! 

One of the major advantages of creating your own course is that you get to make it your own. 

One Kajabi course creator dresses up in costumes or wears various animal ears in her courses.  

Another Kajabi course creator uses animation to help explain the most crucial concepts in his course. 

The only rule when it comes to making your content more entertaining is that there are no rules. It’s all up to you. 

But if you’re stumped or need a little kick start to your brainstorming here are 

6 ways to make your courses more entertaining:

  1. Use stories, and jokes. One of the easiest ways to make your course edutaining is to include stories, jokes, and anecdotes related to what you’re teaching. 
  2. Make the course interactive. Courses that are interactive are more entertaining. Wouldn’t you agree? Asking questions is an easy way to keep the audience engaged and interacting with your course. Another great way to make your courses interactive is to use a callback. Callbacks come from the world of comedy where a comedian will make a joke early on in the set and then call it back later. 
  3. Don’t take yourself or the subject too seriously! This is a REALLY big problem for a lot of people when it comes to creating a course. One of the most common mental barriers that keeps someone from creating a course is that they think they have to be the MOST knowledgeable person in the world about whatever they are teaching. Because you want to come off as knowing what your talking about you end up coming across stiff and boring. And your students stop hearing you and start hearing the teacher from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off “Bueller, Bueller.” It’s important that you not take yourself or the subject too seriously. Have fun! 
  4. Use repetition. Repetition is one of the most powerful tools for teaching and it also makes your courses more edutaining. In the musical Hamilton itself a brilliant example of edutainment the words “Alexander Hamilton” are repeated 231 times over 2 hours. Why? Because repetition works. Studies have shown that it takes between 3-5 exposures to learning materials for them to sink in. In your online course, an easy way to utilize repetition is to tell your audience what you are going to teach them, teach it and then tell them what you just taught.  
  5. Create your own language. If you’ve ever been really into science fiction or fantasy books you know that the most successful entertainment properties have a world and language of themselves. Everyone who is into these worlds knows things like Kryptonite is Superman's weakness. Wolverine’s claws are made of Adamantium and Chewbacca is a Wookie. If you look at successful online courses they do the same thing. Ryan Deiss talks about tripwires, Jeff Walker has his students do the Launch movement and has his own dance, and so on. If you want to really delight and entertain your audience create a world for them inside of your course.    
  6. Use all your available communication channels. One of the GREAT things about video is that it allows you to use communication channels like body language, movements, and facial expressions. Take advantage of this. When you tell a story do body movements for the characters. If you’re talking about a really tall guy use your hands to show how tall he was, etc. You can also use funny voices or imitations in stories to give the characters a voice. Comedians like Chris Farley and way back before movies had words Charlie Chaplin made their whole careers on using nonverbal communication channels to make people laugh. Go watch a Chris Farley movie or silent movie clip to get ideas for ways you can use your body language, vocal tonality, and facial expressions to entertain. 

Edutainment is the idea of CONSCIOUSLY trying to make your videos entertaining as well as educational. 

A really easy way to know if your content is entertaining enough is to show it to a friend and watch their reaction. If they’re not laughing, asking questions and paying attention you might need to go back to the drawing board. 

Homework: Create your online course! Be sure to include 2-3 ideas for edutainment! 

Once you have created your course you’re going to need to figure out where you’re going to host it online.

Let’s go through your options! 

Section # 5: Hosting Options

 Once you have your course you need to host it somewhere.

 You want a hosting system that makes the course easy to access, let’s you customize it with your branding and looks professional.

 There are 3 options when it comes to hosting your online course.  

  1. Self-Hosting. With self-hosting, you are going to pay for and set up your own server with a hosting company like Godaddy. With self-hosting, you get the most freedom to create a completely custom solution for your hosting your online course. The downside to self-hosting is that it can be expensive, especially if you are hosting large video files or a lot of large video files. Another downside to self-hosting is that you will either need a lot of technical know-how or you will need to hire someone to set up and maintain your server. 
  2. An Online Course Marketplace. The second option for hosting your online course is to use a learning marketplace such as Udemy or Masterclass. Marketplace platforms host your course and let you customize your branding. However, marketplaces often have a lot of rules about who can sell courses on their platforms and how much they can sell their course for. Additionally, marketplace platforms charge transaction fees of up to 50% 
  3. An Online Course Platform. An online course platform is a hosting solution specifically designed for you to host your online course on. There are 4 types of online course platforms. 

The 4 Types of Online Course Platforms:

  • Standalone Platforms 
  • WordPress Plug-Ins/Themes 
  • Marketplace Platforms 
  • All-In-One Platforms 

Let’s look at each of these types of platforms in a little more detail so you can decide what type is right for you.

What is a Standalone online course platform?

Stand-alone platforms are designed for entrepreneurs or small businesses that want a simple way to sell branded courses online. Stand-alone platforms provide everything you need to host and sell your course along with support and educational resources. Some stand-alone platforms have marketing functionality but it is usually very limited.  

Who should use a stand-alone online course platform?

You should use a stand-alone online course platform if you are a solo entrepreneur or small business that wants a turnkey way to create a branded online course and doesn’t need to worry as much about email marketing or creating marketing funnels.

What is a Wordpress Plugin online course platform? 

Wordpress plugin platforms are tools that allow you to create and sell an online course with an existing WordPress site. Wordpress plugins are generally inexpensive and often have a one time fee for lifetime use. You will need a little more technical skills to use these platforms. You will also need to integrate multiple plugins to create all the features you need. This can create problems if one part of the system goes down or needs an update.

Who should use a WordPress plugin online course platform?

You should use a WordPress plugin platform if you have a high level of technical skill, are experienced with selling courses online, and already have a WordPress site that gets a lot of traffic. If you’re going to use Wordpress plugins be sure to buy only from reputable companies that have been around for a while and have successful students. Your whole business can be shut down for days or longer if you buy an off-brand plugin from a fly by night developer.  

What is a Marketplace Online Course Platform?

Marketplace platforms provide you with all the tools you need to create an online course. In addition to tools, education and support marketplace platforms also provide you with a marketplace to sell it in. Marketplace platforms can be a great way to sell your online course if you don’t want to do the work of marketing it yourself. You should be aware that marketplace platforms charge a transaction fee and often take more than 50% of your entire course sale. 

Who should use a Marketplace Online Course Platform?

You should use a marketplace platform if you are not worried about making money from your online course. If you want to use your online course to boost your credibility or establish yourself as an expert in your field but don’t want to build a business around your course, you might want to use a marketplace course platform. 

What is an All-In-One Online Course Platform? 

All-in-one online course platforms provide everything you need to create a complete web presence. In addition to all the tools you need to create and host a course and website, all-in-one platform also provide email services, community building, and more. All-in-one platforms provide a little bit of everything so that you only ever need to use one system. 

Who should use an all-in-one online course platform?

If you are stuck and want a platform that lets you skip the integrating and get everything you need all in one place, an all-in-one platform like Kajabi is a great choice. 

See how 15 Different Online Course Platforms Compare In Our Ultimate Guide To Picking The Right Online Course Platform.

Homework: Decide on how you are going to host your online course and set up your hosting. 

Now that you know where you are going to host your course, let’s talk about pricing and creating an irresistible offer! 

Section # 6: Pricing Your Course And Creating An Irresistible Offer!

“How much should I charge for my online course?

This is one of the most common questions first-time course creators have.

But it’s actually the wrong question.

What you should be asking is how do I create an irresistible offer?

What is an irresistible offer?

An irresistible offer is everything your new customers get when they join your course. 

There are 4 Parts to an irresistible offer:

  • Your Course
  • Price
  • Bonuses
  • Upsells/Downsells

The course is pretty self-explanatory, so let’s start with the price.

Pricing is a bit of a guessing game when you create your first course.

Later on, after you sell 100 or so courses or get into paid advertising you’ll know what your lifetime customer value is and all that fun stuff.

Check out this article on creating your second course for more information on Lifetime Customer Value. 

But for now, you’re going to have to guesstimate.

The best way to start your guess is to look at the competitors. 

Find out what the most expensive and least expensive options are, then price your course somewhere in between. 

Another way to estimate a price is to think about how much you would charge a student to teach them this in real life one on one. 

Ultimately you want to price your product high enough to indicate you’re an expert and there is value in what you have to say, but not so high that people won’t buy it!

The next part of your offer is your bonuses.

Every good online course offer has bonuses.

The easiest way to get bonuses for FREE without doing any creating yourself is to make a list of complementary skills that would go along with what you’re teaching. 

For personal finance, we could list skills like investing, trading, life hacks, and savings tricks. 

Once you have your list, google those topics and find a few people who teach them who have FREE lead magnets like reports, videos, etc. 

Email those people and ask them if it would be ok if you included their free bonus with your course. 

Repeat until you have a bundle of bonuses you can include with your course for FREE!

Now you might ask “ Why would they let me include their bonuses with my program for free?”

Keep in mind that these reports and videos are lead magnets these other teachers use to sell their courses. 

You’re actually doing them a favor by allowing them to get introduced to anyone who buys your course and might later buy theirs. 

If you don’t want to get bonuses from other course creators look at what you could create that would go along with your course and help your students reach their goals faster.

For the personal finance course example, you might include a report on how to lower your tax bill, a video on how to get your kids through college with scholarships or grants, and a cheat sheet of all the banks and services with industry-low fees. 

Make sure that you place a HIGH cash value on these bonuses so that when it’s time to make your offer you can say “This bonus package is valued at over $500”

Your offer should have at LEAST 3 high-quality bonuses.

The last part of your offer is your upsells/downsells.

The best way to make more money on your course launch is to have multiple things to sell during the initial transaction or upsells.

With upsells, you’re going to create another offer you will present to your customer AFTER they buy your course but before the initial transaction is over.

Using Kajabi you can instantly create what’s called a “one-click upsell” where all the customer has to do is click a button and you will add the second product or service to their order without them having to enter in their credit card details again.

 Now I know what you’re thinking.

 You’re thinking “ I JUST created my first product I don’t have anything else to sell them.”

Oh but you do.

You’re about to learn 2 EASY ways to create upsells when all you have is your initial course. 

It’s so simple it’s going to blow your mind you didn’t already think of these. 

The first way to create an upsell is to offer coaching.

You can offer one on one phone coaching, a monthly webinar, email coaching or even meet up in person. 

Another great thing about coaching besides not having to create anything is that coaching is a high ticket item. 

Depending on what you teach and how much access you’re willing to give you could charge up to $500 an hour for coaching.

That’s why it’s great as a first upsell because it’s a high ticket item if people buy it great. 

If not that’s ok too because we’re going to use the psychological concept of “anchoring” to set up a downsell. 

Anchoring is the idea of getting your potential buyer attached (anchored) to a higher price so that when you present them with a lower-priced offer it seems like a great deal! 

Let’s say in the example you are willing to offer 3 months of 1 on 1 get out of debt phone coaching for $1995 as your upsell and your course is $197. 

Someone may spend $197 but not have $1995 for one on one coaching or not want to spend that much right away.

So after they decline the coaching offer you’re going to make them another offer.

This is your downsell. 

This offer is going to be significantly less than $1995 but more than $197. 

Because you have used anchoring to attach the customer to $1995 price point they will be much more likely to buy your downsell for let’s say $397.

$397 would have seemed expensive originally but compared to $1995 it seems like a steal! 

How do you create a second offer when all you have is the one course?

It’s easy!

You create a LIVE group training where you will go even more in-depth on the subject in your course. 

You can call this a “Masters academy” or “Mastery group.” 

You tell your customers that the first training will be two weeks from today and you’re going to be teaching the modules live through webinars where afterward they can ask questions. 

Back to the example

Your online course is $197.

Your first upsell is 3 months of phone coaching for $1995

Your downsell is a live group training on getting out of debt fast for $397

Now instead of your biggest sale being $197,  you could make up to $2,589 if the customer takes all 3 offers!!!! 

All without having to create ANY new content!

Pretty mind-blowing stuff huh?

So that’s it.

That is everything you need to create an irresistible offer! 

Homework: Create your own irresistible offer for your online course then move on to the next section of this guide!

Section # 7: Create a Marketing Pipeline

You’ve probably heard of a sales funnel.

A sales funnel is a term used to help companies visualize how they sell to customers throughout the different stages of the buyer’s journey.

Your sales funnel is the step by step roadmap you’re going to lead your potential customers down. 

Its job is to create a steady stream of new customers for your business. 

Here at Kajabi we have created done for you marketing funnels which we call marketing pipelines. 

A marketing pipeline like a marketing funnel is the buyer’s journey your customers will actually go through from your first landing page through your sales page and upsells. 

The goal of a marketing pipeline is to move the customer from one stage to the next.

You’ll start your marketing pipeline by getting your website visitor to opt-in to your email list.

The most common way to do this is by giving away a freebie like a report or short video on a subject your audience is interested in.

To go back to our finance example you could create a report on the top 7 mistakes people make that keep them from getting out of debt or a video on how to automate your saving and investing in 90 minutes. 

There are 

 Each pipeline should contain: 

  1. A landing page
  2. An email sequence
  3. A delivery page like a download or sales page

The 6 Types of Pipelines Are:

  • The Freebie Pipeline. With the freebie pipeline, you get a landing page with a video and an opt-in button so that your audience can get the freebie and join your list. The freebie campaign comes with an opt-in page, 1 email, and a download page. 
  • Sales OVO pipeline. With the sales pipeline, you are going to go directly from the opt-in page to sending emails in Brendon Burchard’s OVO sequence. Brendon Burchard calls this the OVO sequence, which stands for opt-in, value, offer. In the first stage of the OVO sequence, you’ll offer your audience something valuable like a free report or video in order to get them to opt-in. In the V stage, you’re going to send them a bunch of valuable information through email. Finally, in the last stage, you’re going to make an offer for your online course. In the sales OVO pipeline, you get an opt-in page, 8 emails, a sales page, and a checkout page! 
  • Free Book OVO pipeline. In the free book OVO pipeline, you are going to use a free + shipping offer to get people to opt-in followed by a few one-click upsells. In the free book OVO pipeline, you get an opt-in page, a checkout page, and 10 emails. 
  • Zoom Webinar pipeline. With the Zoom webinar pipeline, you are going to get your audience to opt-in by registering for an upcoming webinar. This is the PERFECT pipeline for running a seed launch as it gives you a registration page, confirmation page, 4 emails before the event, 1 event, 5 emails after the event, a sales page and checkout page! Everything you need to have your seed launch up and running in just a few hours! 
  • Coaching pipeline. With the coaching campaign, you can sell coaching over the phone, through monthly webinars or in-person. The coaching pipeline is designed specifically for those Kajabi users who sell coaching! With the coaching pipeline you get an application/sales page, 3 emails and a thank you page so you can sign up for coaching students for the next step in your application process. 
  • Product Launch pipeline. Designed by Brendon Burchard himself, the product launch pipeline is the perfect pipeline for launching your online course. The product launch pipeline contains an opt-in page, 10 emails, 3 value pages consisting of a headline and video, and a checkout page. If you’ve already done your seed launch you can move seamlessly to creating your full product launch with this simple pipeline. 

Kajabi also allows you to build your own custom pipelines consisting of as many or as few pages as you want! 

To begin building your own pipelines start by thinking about what sort of incentive you could offer to get your audience to opt into your list. 

Go back to your pain points.

What is the # 1 problem or question your audience has?

Answer that question in a report or video. 

Next, you’re going to write a few emails that like during your seed launch will preview your online course, and move your potential customers to the next step of the buyer’s journey. 

Finally, you’re going to send your email readers to either a sales page or a download page.

If you send your audience to a download page instead of a sales page, you are then going to continue to market your products and services to them through email using the OVO sequence you learned above.

It’s really that simple! 

Homework: Pick a type of marketing pipeline to use and create your pipeline! 

Section # 8: Driving Traffic To Your Pipeline:

You did your research, created a seed launch, got a few sales launched your product and then…

Crickets.

Why?

Because you’re not getting enough web traffic! 

Web traffic or visitors you get to your webpage is the # 1 factor in how many sales you make! 

So after you create and launch your course you need to spend most of your time generating traffic! 

There are 4 main ways to generate traffic online. 

  1. Content traffic. Content traffic or “free” traffic comes from creating and promoting content in places where people are likely to see it. Content traffic covers things like SEO, blogging, guest posting, and local media. 
  2. Paid traffic. Paid traffic is traffic you get through paid advertising on platforms like Google Adwords or Instagram ads. Paid traffic can be expensive and competitive depending on the niche. 
  3. Social Media traffic. Social media traffic is traffic that you get from posting content on social media platforms like Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram. 
  4. Referral traffic. Referral traffic comes when someone recommends you either online or off. Examples of referral traffic include reviews, recommendations, and joint ventures.

Now let’s take a closer look at each of these types of traffic and 21 ways you can generate traffic to your marketing pipeline. 

Content traffic:

Content traffic is traffic you receive from creating content on your website and other people’s websites. 

  1. SEO. Search engine optimization is a dynamic and often changing field. You can use SEO to generate content traffic by writing articles on your website which answer questions your market is asking search engines. To go back to our finance example, you would want to write articles that answer questions like “ What is the best way to get out of debt?” or “Get out of debt fast!.” You can find out what questions your market is asking with tools like Google Keyword Planner and answer the public.  
  2. Blogging. Similar to SEO, blogging is a great way to generate traffic for your blog. The most important part of blogging is being consistent. Master marketer Neil Patel ran an experiment and found out that blogs that are updated 6 days a week get the most traffic! Be sure to incorporate SEO principles into your blog writing to get the best results!
  3. Youtube. Youtube is the 2nd biggest search engine in the world after Google. And as we discussed earlier Youtube is often the first stop for people looking to learn something online from tying a tie to writing code in Python. Creating videos on Youtube is a great way to generate traffic for your website for free. Like with blogging, consistency is the key to success. 
  4. Quora. Quora is a question and answer website which is a HUGE source of free traffic. Here’s how to tap into that traffic. Go to Quora and search for questions related to what you teach. Answer the question to the best of your ability and then link to the landing page for your marketing pipeline or other pieces of content you have created like your blog or youtube account. 
  5. Podcasting. Creating your own podcast is a great way to generate traffic! You can create an ongoing podcast series or a mini-podcast that covers a certain subject like getting out of credit card debt in a few episodes. Be sure to upload your podcast to all of the various podcast directories from Stitcher to Apple podcasts. You can also embed your podcast in your blog on Kajabi. 
  6. Guest Posting. Posting on your own blog consistently is a great way to generate traffic over a long period of time. Guest posting on someone else’s blog is a great way to get a bunch of traffic all at once. Make a list of the top 10-20 blogs in your industry that post GUEST blog articles. Once you have that list send an email to the owner or editor asking what the process is for submitting a guest blog. Spend at least 10-12 hours writing the BEST guest post you possibly can. Remember this guest post is essentially another lead magnet, you want it to be so good that people follow the link to your marketing funnel. 
  7. Local media. Your local media from radio shows to local news is a goldmine of free traffic. These small local shows are always looking for content. Especially new and unusual content about local people. These “human interest” stories are a huge opportunity for you to get your ideas and website URL in front of a lot of people at once. Start by finding the reporters responsible for these local business stories. Write the appropriate person an email that emphasizes how unique your teachings are and the fact that you are local. Most cities and towns have multiple newspapers, news shows, and radio shows be sure to write to all of them. 

These are seven different ways you can tap into content traffic to get more visitors to your marketing funnel.

Now let’s take a closer look at using paid traffic.

Paid Traffic: 

Paid traffic is just a fancy way of saying online advertising.

With paid traffic, your goal is to buy leads or customers in an affordable way.

Paid traffic is a very complicated and ever-evolving subject.

It’s also very easy to lose money with paid traffic, so be sure to do your research beforehand and start with a budget you can afford to lose. 

For more information on using paid traffic to sell your online course, check out this article from our course creator’s series. 

  1. Google Adwords. Google Adwords is the most popular paid advertising platform online. With Adwords, you create ads and ad groups based on keywords. Google AdWords is the most expensive online advertising platform with some industries like legal costing upwards of $6 per click. Not per sale. That’s $6 every time someone just clicks on your ad. You really need to know your numbers in order to run a successful Google Adwords campaign so be sure you know what your Lifetime customer value is and how much you can afford to pay per click and per sale while staying profitable.  
  2. Twitter Ads. While Twitter has fallen in popularity and user size, it’s ad service remains one of the more profitable options out there. Why? Because of user engagement. Twitter users tend to be more engaged and spend more time on the site than any other social media site oftentimes updating between 30-40 times per day. Twitter also has seen a drop in ad cost compared to Facebook and Adwords. While it’s not a great first option, twitter ads can be an effective 2nd platform for an already successful campaign.
  3. Facebook Ads. After Google Adwords, Facebook is the second most popular ad platform. One of the benefits of Facebook ads is that they allow you to target your ads by demographics and psychographics. This allows you to target your ads specifically to certain users based on life events like having a baby or getting a new job. Facebook also allows you to “Boost” articles and posts to make them more likely to be seen by your ideal audience. 
  4. Instagram Ads. Since Instagram is owned by Facebook, you can set up your Facebook ad campaigns to run on Instagram as well. Recently there has been a slight drop in the effectiveness of Instagram ads based on algorithm updates. However, Instagram video ads remain a proven profitable strategy. Be sure to check out the formatting on your Facebook ads to make sure they don’t get distorted or edited strangely by the default Facebook ads editor. 
  5. Youtube Ads. Youtube ads are limited to just a few seconds before certain videos. Since Youtube is owned by Google, you can move your successful ad groups and keywords from Google into your Youtube campaigns. Your video ads need to grab a viewer’s attention in the first few seconds. Make sure you use an interesting visual and offer value in the first 5-10 seconds of the video ad. 
  6. Amazon ads. While other guides might recommend outdated technology like banner ads, we suggest using Amazon to sell your online course. Here’s how, while you can’t sell an online course on Amazon you can sell your course by turning it into an Ebook, video, audiobook or physical home study course. You can sell your course at full price or you can offer a free Ebook version of your lead magnet report and then use Amazon ads to promote that book. Amazon ads are low cost and often have very little competition! 

Those are 6 different ways to generate traffic using paid advertising, 

Now let’s look at using social media to get people to your pipelines. 

Social Media Traffic: 

Everyone uses social media in 2019, but there are specific ways to use your social media accounts and pages to drive traffic to your marketing funnel. 

Here’s how.

  1. Facebook Page. In order to take advantage of Facebook ads, you need to create a Facebook business page. This business page is going to be where you are going to post all of your best content with links leading to your marketing pipeline. You should also use your facebook page to connect with your potential customers, ask them questions and chat about what they want to learn. 
  2. Online Communities. One of the best ways to generate traffic to your marketing pipeline is to create or join an online community. With Kajabi you can create your own community that you own! But when you’re first creating your online course you might not have enough members to really start generating traffic in your own community. That’s where other online communities like Facebook groups, Linkedin groups, and industry forums come in. You don’t want to just join groups and start spamming. Instead, you want to become a part of these communities. Ask and answer questions, give advice, share things from your life. Once you have become a part of the community you can begin sharing content that directs people to your marketing pipeline.  
  3. Instagram/Pinterest/Twitter/Tiktok/etc. Once you have set up your business page and you have joined a few online communities. It’s time to start posting on other social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest. Which platforms you pick depends on two factors. First, don’t pick more than two platforms. Two platforms plus a Facebook page and a few online communities is plenty of social traffic. Secondly, pick the social media platforms that your audience is active on. It doesn’t matter if you love Pinterest if your audience is all on Twitter. Go where your audience is. The research shows that you should be updating your social media around six times a day. 

Now that you know how to use social media to drive traffic to your marketing pipeline let’s talk about how to get traffic from referrals.

Referral Traffic:

The final way to generate traffic for your marketing pipeline is to use referral traffic or traffic that comes from someone else sending you traffic.

Here are five ways to get traffic from referrals. 

  1. Affiliates. Affiliates are other marketers who are willing to promote your online course in exchange for a percentage of sales. Kajabi comes with built-in affiliate tracking so that you can generate codes and campaigns for your affiliates with just the push of a button. A good way to recruit affiliates is to go the affiliate marketplace Clickbank and see what other course creators have similar courses to yours. Once you have a list of 5-10 of these course creators reach out and see how they choose affiliates to promote. 
  2. Joint Ventures. Like affiliates, joint ventures are other course creators or marketers who are willing to help you promote your online course to their audience if you will then promote their course to yours. To find joint venture partners you should look for other course creators whose courses are complementary to yours. Then email them and ask them if they are interested in doing a joint venture together. With joint ventures, you’ll want to tailor your pitch to your partner’s audience. Ideally, you would also do a joint webinar or Facebook live instead of your normal sales webinar or sales page. 
  3. Reviews. Reviews are an excellent way to generate referral traffic. Earlier you learned how to turn your lead magnet into an Amazon product, now you can use the reviews of that product to generate more traffic to your marketing pipeline. Here’s how. Make your ebook or video lead magnet on Amazon free for twenty-four hours if your audience promises to leave a review. Once you have a free book or video join every Book review facebook group you can find and tell them that your book is free for twenty-four hours if they leave a review. Put a post on Product Hunt. And be sure to mention your free book on every forum and social media profile you have. Using this strategy you should be able to get at least 5-10 positive reviews on Amazon within the first couple of days. Those reviews will inspire others and drive traffic to your marketing funnel. 
  4. Testimonials. Testimonials are another great way to get referral traffic. When a student gives you a testimonial for your online course be sure to share it on social media. You should also ask the student if they wouldn’t mind sharing it on their social media pages. When a person posts a testimonial on their own page it is even more effective because it is being seen by people who already know and trust that person. You can also get testimonials from other experts in your industry vouching for your expertise. You can see what this kind of testimonial looks like in the blurbs on the back of books. Authors always get famous people from Bill Gates to Jonathan Franzen to blurb their book because it shows that important people think the book is worthwhile. Having experts endorse you in a similar manner will generate traffic to your marketing funnel. 
  5. Public Speaking. One last way to get referral traffic is through public speaking. With public speaking, the person hosting the event will promote you and your website to the event attendees. Even if you start by speaking at a free meetup.com event, the host will still promote your website to every member of that group, whether they attend or not. As you get better at public speaking you can even start to get paying speaking gigs where you can get paid to get referral traffic!  

Homework: Pick 2-3 ways each to generate content traffic, paid traffic, and social media traffic for your course. 

Section # 9: Helping Your Students 

Congratulations! 

You have come up with an idea for a product, done the research to determine your niche and market, tested your product’s viability with a seed launch, and finally launched your product for real while driving traffic to it!

Now what?

Now it’s time to make sure that your students have as much success as possible!

Here’s how! 

  1. Focus on Customer Experience. Your customer experience is how you make your customers feel throughout their interactions with your business. You want to create the best, most memorable experience you can for your students. Once you have launched your course go through the marketing pipeline yourself and make notes of what it feels like and what is missing. Then go back and make adjustments. Remember you don’t just want an ok customer experience, you want a customer experience that blows their socks off!
  2. Map out your student journey. As you create and sell your course, you want to get an idea of what your students go through. The better you understand and support your student’s journey, the more they’ll spread the word about their fantastic experience. You can use a software called Fullstory to watch how your students interact with your course. Map out their journey from starting your course to finishing it. Make notes of what milestones, small wins and setbacks there are. 
  3. Add additional value to your course. One of the easiest ways to ensure student success is to give them more than they expected. A few ways to add additional value to your course include adding a free Q&A call, adding additional modules, or creating a community.
  4. Encourage your students to re-watch your content. The more your students go through your materials, the more they will feel like they know and like you. Be sure to recommend re-watching specific modules in your community, on your live chats, and in your course. 
  5. Get and apply feedback. Another way to help your students succeed is to listen to them. Gather feedback on your course using assessments and then apply it to make your course better. 
  6. Consistently update your course. You should update your course at least once a year. Updating your course shows your students that you care about them having the most up-to-date information, even after they bought your course.
  7. Add troubleshooting and FAQ content. As you update your course and get feedback you are going to run into the same problems and questions a lot. This is a great opportunity to turn those problems and questions into troubleshooting and frequently asked questions content inside your course. By addressing the most common questions and sticking points your students have in separate content inside your course you make it easy for students to find the help they need. 
  8. Keep track of your students progress. Keeping track of your student's progress is easy to do when you just start out and harder to do when your business grows. Pick 2-3 students from your initial seed launch and your full launch to keep an eye on. Follow them on social media, send them emails from time to time checking in. These students will be your canary in a coal mine for any problems that your students might be experiencing with your course but too timid to speak up about. 

Follow these eight suggestions and you will be sure to help your students succeed beyond their wildest dreams!

Homework: Pick 2-3 ways to start helping your students succeed to implement this week. 

Conclusion: 

That’s it, everything you need to know to create, market and sell your own online course. 

Before you finish let’s quickly recap everything you learned in this ultimate guide.

In Section # 1 you learned about all of the benefits of creating an online course. 

The five major benefits of creating an online course are:

  1. Creating an online course adds a new revenue stream to your business. Whether you have a successful business or are still working a 9-5 job with big dreams, creating an online course gives you a new way to earn money outside of what you are currently doing. 
  2. Creating an online course gives you passive income. Sure there is some work upfront when you create an online course (don’t worry we’ll show you exactly how to do the work in section 4 but once you’ve done that work and created your marketing funnel you can make sales while you sleep, hit the gym or spend time with friends and family. 
  3. Creating an online course is a great lead generator. In just a few paragraphs you’ll hear about how our Kajabi Hero Chalene Johnson used an online course to generate over 75,000 leads in one month! A free online course is a great lead generator.
  4. An online course gives you credibility. If you don’t have a fancy degree or 30 years of experience, an online course shows people that you know what you are talking about. It establishes your expertise, credibility, and authority. 
  5. An online course helps you get your message out there and touch people. If you have a message you are dying to get out there to help people, creating an online course is a great way to do just that!  

Section # 2 was focused on picking a subject, niche, and market. 

A subject is a broad category that you are going to teach about. 

A niche is a more specific piece of a subject. 

A market is a group of people you are going to be selling to. 

You also learned how to dig in and do the research to discover your own subject, niche, and market for your online course. 

In Section # 3 you learned how to verify your idea is sellable with a seed launch.

A seed launch is a small launch to a percentage of your audience. 

It’s called a seed launch because you start with just a little seed of an idea. 

A seed launch is perfect if you are new and just starting out. 

This type of launch is ideal if you have a small list (30-100 names), or no list at all. 

The Seed Launch offers the perfect avenue for business owners to converse with their audience, uncover their most significant questions and needs and ultimately identify “what the market wants.” 

The beautiful thing about a seed launch is that you don’t have to create a whole marketing sequence for it. 

Instead, you’re going to directly send out a “test balloon” message on social media or to a small segment of your list.

You can create an entire seed launch in just a few hours using our done for you Zoom webinar marketing pipeline.

Section # 4 was on the work of actually creating your course.

You learned what equipment you should use to create beautiful high-quality video courses and how to make sure that your course is a combination of entertaining and educational known as edutainment. 

In section # 5 you learned about a variety of hosting options.

There are 3 options for hosting your online course.

  1. Self-Hosting. With self-hosting, you are going to pay for and set up your own server with a hosting company like Godaddy. With self-hosting, you get the most freedom to create a completely custom solution for your hosting your online course. The downside to self-hosting is that it can be expensive especially if you are hosting large video files or a lot of large video files. Another downside to self-hosting is that you will either need a lot of technical know-how or you will need to hire someone to set up and maintain your server. 
  2. An Online Course Marketplace. The second option for hosting your online course is to use a learning marketplace such as Udemy or Masterclass. Marketplace platforms host your course and let you customize your branding. However, marketplaces often have a lot of rules about who can sell courses on their platforms and how much they can sell their course for. Additionally, marketplace platforms charge transaction fees of up to 50% 
  3. An Online Course Platform. An online course platform is a hosting solution specifically designed for you to host your online course on. There are 4 types of online course platforms. 

Section # 6 was all about pricing Your course and creating an Irresistible Offer!

The four parts of an irresistible offer are:

  • Your Course
  • Price
  • Bonuses
  • Upsells/Downsells

You learned how to create all four parts of an irresistible offer and use 1-click upsells in Kajabi to make them work seamlessly!

In Section # 7 we walked you through how to create a marketing pipeline

Here at Kajabi, we have created 6 done for you marketing pipelines which are:

  • The Freebie Pipeline. With the freebie pipeline, you get a landing page with a video and an opt-in button so that your audience can get the freebie and join your list. The freebie campaign comes with an opt-in page, 1 email, and a download page. 
  • Sales OVO pipeline. With the sales pipeline, you are going to go directly from the opt-in page to sending emails in Brendon Burchard’s OVO sequence. Brendon Burchard calls this the OVO sequence, which stands for opt-in, value, offer. In the first stage of the OVO sequence, you’ll offer your audience something valuable like a free report or video in order to get them to opt-in. In the V stage, you’re going to send them a bunch of valuable information through email. Finally, in the last stage, you’re going to make an offer for your online course. In the sales OVO pipeline, you get an opt-in page, 8 emails, a sales page, and a checkout page! 
  • Free Book OVO pipeline. In the free book OVO pipeline, you are going to use a free + shipping offer to get people to opt-in followed by a few one-click upsells. In the free book OVO pipeline, you get an opt-in page, a checkout page, and 10 emails. 
  • Zoom Webinar pipeline. With the Zoom webinar pipeline, you are going to get your audience to opt-in by registering for an upcoming webinar. This is the PERFECT pipeline for running a seed launch as it gives you a registration page, confirmation page, 4 emails before the event, 1 event, 5 emails after the event, a sales page and checkout page! Everything you need to have your seed launch up and running in just a few hours! 
  • Coaching pipeline. With the coaching campaign, you can sell coaching over the phone, through monthly webinars or in-person. The coaching pipeline is designed specifically for those Kajabi users who sell coaching! With the coaching pipeline you get an application/sales page, 3 emails and a thank you page so you can sign up coaching students for the next step in your application process. 
  • Product Launch pipeline. Designed by Brendon Burchard himself, the product launch pipeline is the perfect pipeline for launching your online course. The product launch pipeline contains an opt-in page, 10 emails, 3 value pages consisting of a headline and video, and a checkout page. If you’ve already done your seed launch you can move seamlessly to creating your full product launch with this simple pipeline. 

As mentioned earlier, you can use a Zoom webinar pipeline to test any idea you have for a course with a seed launch in just a few hours.

But you can also have an entire online course launch ready to go in just a few hours using our product launch pipeline as well

No matter where you are in the online course creation process you can have your entire marketing pipeline done in just a few hours and be ready to make sales! 

In section # 8 you learned 21 different ways of driving traffic to your marketing pipeline.

There are 4 main ways to generate traffic online: 

  1. Content traffic. Content traffic or “free” traffic comes from creating and promoting content in places where people are likely to see it. Content traffic covers things like SEO, blogging, guest posting, and local media. 
  2. Paid traffic. Paid traffic is traffic you get through paid advertising on platforms like Google Adwords or Instagram ads. Paid traffic can be expensive and competitive depending on the niche. 
  3. Social Media traffic. Social media traffic is traffic that you get from posting content on social media platforms like Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram. 
  4. Referral traffic. Referral traffic comes when someone recommends you either online or off. Examples of referral traffic include reviews, recommendations, and joint ventures.

And you learned a variety of tactics for each type of traffic generation from blogging to public speaking! 

Section # 9 was all about helping your students have incredible success!

You learned nine different ways to make sure that your students are supported and have the best information through every step of their customer journey.

The only left for you to do is get out there and start building your own online course empire! 

So get out there and make it happen! 

P.S: We want to hear from you! Leave us a comment below with your BEST take-away from this post or a question you have about online courses you'd like to see covered in an update! 

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