15 Ways to Validate Your Online Course Idea

Have you got what you think is a great online course idea, but are wondering if there is really a market for it? It’s a question every course creator faces: is this a product that will sell?

Fortunately, it’s also one that technology makes easier—and more affordable—to solve than ever before. There are now many free and low cost ways for online course creators to assess and validate the potential market for their courses. In this this article, we’ll take a look 15 of them.

“Validating” your market simply means taking steps to be as confident as you can that the market is there and that there are people likely to pay for a course on whatever topic you have in mind.

To make this process and the list of tools easier to digest, I’ve grouped the different approaches you can use for market validation into four types of activity: searchinglisteningasking, and testing. You don’t have to use all of the tools I suggest, but I encourage you to use at least one tool in each activity area. This is the best way to vet your idea from the ground up and ensure that you get high-quality results. [Read more…]

The 4 Critical Components of a Successful Product Launch Formula

product-launch-formula[Updated May 10, 2018] Do a quick search phrases like “launch online product,” successful product launch,” or “product launch formula” and you will see that a lot of people – perhaps even you – seem to be looking for insight into how to get a new product off the ground successfully. And there are plenty of self-appointed “gurus” out there happy to take your money in exchange for their “formula.”

Of course, if your goal, like the goal of most readers here, is to sell online courses and other educational products, then there is no denying that having a sure fire product launch formula would be incredibly valuable. What may not be so valuable is forking over hundreds or even thousands of dollars – and usually quite a bit of time – to get access to some guru’s secret formula.

Why? Because there is no secret formula.

Yes, there are always new tools and techniques you can pick up to improve how you build and launch a product, but the fundamentals of a successful launch are well established at this point. If you don’t have them in place, fancy tools and techniques are practically worthless.

So what are the fundamentals of a successful product launch formula? Here they are – no credit card required: [Read more…]

Don’t miss this rock solid example of audience building

I recently did an interview with the folks at WP Tonic and I think it is worth highlighting for a number of reasons that apply to edupreneurs.

Here’s the interview link:
https://www.wp-tonic.com/podcast/269-wp-tonic-show-wednesday-interview-special-guest-jeff-cobb/

Here are the reasons: [Read more…]

How To Price Online Courses – 10 Tips from 20 Years of Experience

How to Price Online Courses - photo of person setting prices with calculator, laptop

I get a lot of questions about pricing in my line of work. That’s certainly understandable: most edupreneurs understand, even if only intuitively, that the level at which you are able to price your offerings while still driving sales is one of the most fundamental determinants of your business success.

Basically, the higher you can price without causing a major drop in sales volume, the more revenue you will generate. And, if you can keep your costs constant – or better yet, reduce them – while raising prices, the more money you will make overall.

What happens more often than not, though, is we feel controlled by what we perceive as the possibilities for pricing in our market. While it is true that the sky is not the limit – there are, of course, prices that will be higher or – we often forget – lower – than customers are willing to pay, it is also true that we have a lot more control than we think over pricing.

Based on years of consulting about pricing and on my own needs to set prices, here are my top tips for controlling your pricing rather than letting your pricing control you. [Read more…]

Marketing You Can Offload, Marketing You Can’t

Picture of overwhelmed female entrepreneur who wants help to offload marketing

One of the issues readers write to me most often about is marketing, and many want recommendations for companies that will do their marketing for them.

My usual thought when receiving these e-mails is that “if you are in the course business, you are in the marketing business, like it or not.” As I have argued before, you need to spend at least half your time marketing if you are serious about building an audience and – by extension – growing a successful online course business.

Still, I recognize that response is not very helpful to people who simply do not want to do their own marketing. (Or, who want to do significantly less of their own marketing.)

So, it’s worth asking: what parts of marketing can I legitimately offload without risking the success of my business? To answer this question, I find it useful to think in terms of the classic “4 Ps” of marketing: product, placement (distribution), pricing, and promotion. [Read more…]