If you’ve been in the online coaching space a minute, you’ve likely heard a horror story (or ten) about a successful coach who spent months creating a shiny & practically perfect online course (even one their clients basically begged for) but didn’t wind up making a single sale.
Sounds pretty terrible, right?
Well, we’ve got good news and bad news:
The bad news is it can happen. (And it does!)
The good news is there is a tried-and-tested (and super smart) way to ensure it never happens to you. Whew.
Say hello to pre-selling, friend.
If you’re looking for a surefire way to never work for ‘nada’ again, pre-selling is about to become your new business bestie.
When you pre-sell, you get to put cash money in your pocket now and create your actual course later. Yep, you read that right!
If you’re curious as to how this all works (aka how you can pre-sell your first or next course so your next ‘big grand idea’ generates loads of cash–and not lots of headaches or heartache), then keep reading, my friend.
We’re about to dive into all things pre-selling and exactly how you, too, can set up a wildly successful pre-sale so can make money while simultaneously validating your idea.
Because let’s be real: Nobody wants to create a course nobody wants to buy. Right?
But first, let’s talk about the benefits and why all this matters so much.
The Benefits of Pre-Selling
Pre-selling has a number of them, including:
1) It allows you to gauge interest in a topic (and figure out if people actually care enough to pay to learn more about it, from you)
2) It can help you build community around the topic and/or test new topics or niches
3) It can help you generate buzz for a bigger, more lucrative course launch down the line
4) It also provides you with bonus cashflow you can invest in your actual course content, if you’d like to. Professional videographer or photoshoot, anyone?
5) And perhaps best of all, you can get valuable feedback before you create any content, which means you’ll not only not waste time (aka our most precious resource), you’ll also be able to tweak & perfect the course based on what your actual buyers are asking for. It’s an all-around win!
Now that you know why pre-selling your course is just about the smartest business decision you could ever make (if we do say so ourselves), let’s talk about how to pre-sell your first or next course like a pro, step-by-step:
How To Pre-Sell Your Online Course
1) Get clear on what you’re selling. It sounds obvious but nailing down a course topic and title is the first place to start. (And lucky you, we have blog posts on both!) Before setting up your pre-sale, you’ll need to have at the very least a general idea of what your course is all about and what transformation it will provide. What outcomes will your course students achieve? What skills will they learn? You can map these out in module form if you’d like, but don’t be afraid to switch them up in the future (and as you figure out more about what your audience truly wants and needs!).
2) Pick a launch date. For starters, this will keep you accountable. Second, providing your audience with a firm date they can expect to receive what they paid for will build major trust (and excitement!).
Oh and keep in mind, you don’t have to create all your course content at once–you can also drip it out over a few weeks, creating it as you go.
3) Skip the lengthy sales page and create a Google Doc instead. We’re big fans of sales pages around here (we offer professionally written sales page in all our done-for-you courses), but you can (and should) skip this step when you’re pre-selling. Instead, create a simple Google Doc with the basic information, including the course name and subtitle, an attention-grabbing headline, a few bullet points about what problem the course solves, a few more bullet points about what outcomes they can expect to achieve, and you can even include the course curriculum. Oh, and don’t forget about including social proof here, too!
If you have any testimonials or case studies from previous students, be sure to showcase them prominently to help build trust and boost your credibility with potential buyers.
4) Create an easy-to-use checkout page. You’re not making a fancy sales page, but you do still need to create a way for people to pay you. The easier you make it for people to buy, the more likely they are to do it. Use clear and concise copy on your checkout page letting them know what they’re going to get (and by when!) and offer multiple payment options (including PayPal). Easy, peasy.
5) Offer incentives to buy now. Urgency is essential in any sales process and there are many ways to build it in during a pre-sale. Maybe you’ll provide a special bonus for buying early (an “early bird” bonus, if you will), offer a heavily discounted or BETA price for those willing to take a chance on this new venture or you can even just provide a special or exclusive piece of content upon purchase. For example, you could deliver a free copy of a lower-priced digital product after they purchase so they have something to ‘chew’ on before your course drops. Giving potential students a taste of what they can expect from your course can be very useful in alleviating any potential buyers remorse, too!
6) Get the word out. The best place to start is by letting your current audience know what’s coming. You can use email marketing, social media marketing or even paid marketing to start creating buzz before you even start pre-selling. This might include a waitlist landing page that comes before the pre-sale, where potential students can sign up to receive updates. Be sure to include a captivating headline, images, and an opt-in form so you can capture their emails to keep in touch. You’ll also want to sell (a lot!) during the pre-sale. And it’s up to you whether you want to have your pre-sale lead into a bigger launch, or if you’d rather simply deliver your course to your pre-sale people and tweak the course based on their feedback before offering it up to a potentially larger audience. Your call!
7) Last–but certainly not least–be sure to deliver your course on time. This way, you’ll build trust with your current buyers who might then go on to become repeat buyers, referrals and more. You never know who you might impress with your professionalism and crazy-good course content, of course!
By following these simple tips and tricks, you’ll be on your way to pre-selling your online course like a pro–and ensuring you don’t waste precious weeks or months years creating slick videos and rockstar marketing emails only to wind up with zero students at the end of the day.
Don’t want to create a course from scratch at all? We’ve got your back. CoachGlue offers tens of pre-made, done-for-you courses that don’t require you to create any content from scratch. Grab one today and you’ll find everything you need inside, from a professionally-written sales page to every single course module, done and dusted. Sound good? Learn more about CoachGlue’s VIP Club right here and never create a single lick of content from scratch again!