As an online business strategist I specialise in helping coaches and consultants package their expertise into online products and programmes. As part of planning the launch we always have a Marketing Discovery session where we review if this program idea is likely to sell and what would be the best way to promote and launch each particular product.
Here are the top 10 questions my prospects and clients ask me about how to create highly profitable online programs.
1. How Should I Price My Program?
Online programs come in 3 varieties:
- low-end offers (also known as tripwires) which are designed to help you make back the investment on ads. Typically $1-50.
- core offers (most of the group, self-study, DIY programs) where you deliver a curriculum helping your students achieve a life/business transformation, but without 121 support. Typically $50-500.
- premium offers (group masterminds, group programs with live element) which are a step up from core offers by limiting the number of participants and adding more live support and training. Typically $500-$10,000.
Your profitable online business funnel will consist of several of these offers taking your prospect step by step from free to premium. If you only focus on low-end and core offers you might struggle to make your business profitable when sending paid traffic to it, as it can easily cost this entire amount to bring in a sale!
In order to make your program easier to sell at higher prices, consider making it a structured program that includes personal assistance from you at each step of the way.
2. How Can I Make More Money In My Online Business?
In addition to selling your online programs as the first point of joining your online funnel, you need to consider Lifetime Customer Value.
What else can you offer to your clients and non-buyers?
Maybe you could plan out:
- VIP days
- Private coaching
- Done For You services
The higher is your Lifetime Customer Value the more you can afford to spend acquiring that customer.
3. What’s The Best Way To Launch My Premium Program?
To launch your premium online program, the first thing you’ll need to do is set up an online appointment system. Set up a scheduling link so people can book in appointments with you and then invite them onto calls. On these calls you’ll establish whether your program is the right fit for the lead and make an offer.
There are several ways to get your first few leads:
- LinkedIn messages
- Emailing your email list if you have one
- Facebook posts on your profile and your Facebook page
- Blogs and articles
- Offline: networking groups, events, speaking
Once you are sure about the offer and how it’s best to position and sell it, you can start generating leads for your calls via paid ads. Facebook Ads are currently working best, although Twitter & LinkedIn works to some degree as well.
4. What’s The Best Way To Launch A Core Offer Program?
Core offer programs rely on the scale to make profits therefore it’s unrealistic to plan to sell them via 1-2-1 calls. You would normally need a sales page on your website explaining all the ins and outs of your program, who it’s for, what’s included, what are the benefits of joining, why take action, guarantee, testimonials, why you created it in the first place, why you are the expert to teach this…
You will then need to send traffic to the sales page which you can do through several one-to-many selling systems:
- Blogs and articles
- Emails to your list if you have one
- Social media posts
- Speaking and events
- Multi-part video series
5. How To Actually Sell My Online Program?
If people are on the phone with you – you simply need to find out where they need help in your area of expertise, show them how you can add value, and then tell them about the program you’re launching. At this end of the conversation give them some options for working with you – like payment plans if you want to make it easier for them to afford to say yes – and then take the first payment.
To take payment over the phone you will need a credit card system in place. My recommendation is Stripe – you can set it up online and be ready to go in 24 hours, and it pays out in 7 days.
If you are selling online on a web page or via a webinar – you need an automated system where people can pay you over the Internet. PayPal is one of the most commonly used when you are first getting started. Here are some options to check out in addition to/instead of PayPal.
6. How Technical Do I Have To Be To Launch A Program?
- You’ll need to use a form of paid traffic such as Facebook Ads to find and connect with your audience. This will give you the most reliable and manageable way to achieve regular sales.
- You’ll need a webinar program such as GoToWebinar if you’re planning on running live webinars. If you’re going to run automated webinars, you’ll need a platform such as Everwebinar, Stealth Seminar or ClickFunnels.
- You’ll need to make videos to promote your webinar or to record the actual automated webinar offline. So you’ll need tools like Camtasia or Screencast-o-Matic.
- You’ll also need to create landing pages and sales pages where you will be sending traffic – so you can use tools like ClickFunnels or LeadPages.
- You’ll need an email marketing system to collect details of everyone who registers for your webinar or video series, and who buys your program. You can use tools like MailChimp, AWeber, Active Campaign, Ontraport, Infusionsoft and many others.
7. What Tools Do I Need To Run The Program?
First of all I’d recommend that you create an online community for all your students. Create a Facebook or LinkedIn group and add your new clients to it. This will keep your students more engaged and motivated to complete the course, and will save you from having to track VATMOSS.
To deliver your program’s content you can record videos each week using PowerPoint & Camtasia. These videos will help your students achieve the desired results step by step and get them taking fast action. Videos can be hosted on a secure video hosting platform such as Wistia and links added to the group, sent by email, or added to a membership site.
You can also create worksheets and checklists using PowerPoint (A4 slide size) and then export them as PDFs. Again these resources can be emailed to your students.
With a premium program you can run a call each week using Zoom or GoToMeeting, speak with each member in turn to answer their questions, and provide additional training.
If your program is going to be very large with too much content to track via emails and group – you can create a membership site and organise your content into modules and lessons. Tools I recommend are OptimizePress Member, Zippy Courses and ClickFunnels.
8. What If No One Buys My Program?
If you’ve done your research… and if you’ve built the right type of funnel for your promotion… and if you’ve used the right targeting when filling your funnel with traffic and leads…
It can still happen but far less likely. Of course I can’t guarantee your results – but from my experience in this business for over 7 years, if those 3 pillars have been done right, your program launch will be successful.
Plus, remember the point about the Lifetime Value of your customers. Once you have them on your email list, you can continue selling them other programs, 121 coaching or training, done for you services, events and masterminds. So even if they didn’t buy the first offer (yet!) they can still become your clients further down the line.
9. Do I Need A Large List And/Or Social Media Following Before Launching My Program?
No you don’t. It will certainly help with launching and getting results quickly. And it will help you with testing your idea before investing thousands into a full-scale online funnel launch project.
However if you’ve done your research and you are confident your ideal will sell – there is no difference why you can’t start now, especially with an evergreen automated webinar or video series. If your webinar is always available (and so if your program) you can start investing slowly, $50-100 per day, until you’ve tweaked your funnel and your offer to ensure that for each $100 you invest into ads you are able to make back $200 or more.
10. Do I Need To Create My Program In Full Before I Start Selling It?
Definitely NO! If it’s a new product that you’ve never sold or tested do not waste all that time on creating content for a program that might not be very successful. During the launch and testing you might find that positioning, naming, benefits, some of structure need to change based on the feedback you will be receiving. Therefore it’s best to get sales in first, and then start creating your program.
So what you will do is you will announce your program open day several weeks in advance. Then you will spend these weeks running webinars, having 1-2-1 phone calls, posting on social media or writing blogs – basically doing as much marketing and selling as you can to fill your program. When the open day arrives you will either have enough sales to warrant announcing your program is open, or enough feedback to know what you need to change in order to do it again – with more success. If you only get 1-2 sales you can choose whether to deliver the program (especially if you are not going to change anything) or simply refund the payments in full and try again.
If you still have questions or not sure how you can implement these tips for you particular situation you have 2 options.