7 Key Reasons Online Course Creators Fail at Selling

Photo of frustrated man at laptop representing failure of online course creators

You’ve probably heard that the market for online courses is booming. That the global market for e-learning is projected to grow to more than US $240 billion by 2023, And, it seems like with a market that big, it would be relatively easy to build a thriving online course business.

The truth, of course, is that the online course business is like most other businesses. Most start-ups fail – and that includes most online course creators aiming to sell their courses.

In my experience, there are 7 key reasons that aspiring online course sellers fail: [Read more…]

Where Does Marketing Start?

Source of spring water. Where does marketing start?

Here’s something I haven’t done lately – and I am going to go out on a limb and guess you haven’t done it either: called up five to ten of my customers and asked them to tell me about the challenges they are facing these days. And then listened.

And listened some more.

And ideally, I’d call up five to ten people who I would like to have as a customer, and another five or ten that I have not been able to win as a customer (yes, I confess, it happens!)

This is different from sending out a survey, or conducting a focus group. These tools have their place, but even at their best they tend to be fraught with potential errors and biases.

It’s different from e-mail, though that may have to do in a pinch.

And it’s different, even, from using some of the great social media approaches that are now available for validating your market and “listening” to the Web.

Nothing beats good,  one-on-one, personal conversations for helping us to break down assumptions and put ourselves in the shoes of our customers or members.

That, in my opinion, is where marketing starts: at the place where no assumptions exist.

Why you probably already know how to market your online course

Woman at flip chart pointing at viewer - marketing teaching similarities

There’s a great old song by the band America with a line that goes “Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man, that he didn’t already have.”

The Tin Man, you may remember, was the Wizard of Oz character who wanted a heart. He didn’t have one – or so he thought – because he was not a real man. The Wizard helps the Tin Man understand that he already has plenty of heart, he just needs to open his eyes a bit and appreciate his own best qualities.

The situation is similar for many edupreneurs. [Read more…]

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…]