Launching: How long do I promote my course for?
If you’ve been thinking about online courses then you have likely been bombarded with ads and sponsored posts telling you about two things:
The importance of your email list AND how to nail down the perfect launch strategy.
Creating your online course took a lot of time and, when it’s time to take it to market, you might be feeling unsure of what to do now or even scared to take the next step:
- Will anyone want what you’ve worked so hard on?
- What if they don’t want to pay you for it?
- What if your launch day comes and there is nothing but crickets?
That’s why you’ve likely clicked on the all of the posts promising to tell you the secret to a successful launch, bought the bundles of templates to get you sales or opted in for the freebie that was meant to deliver you your personalized launch roadmap.
Launching your online course can be just as exhausting and overwhelming as creating your course:
A typical launch runs, on average, six to eight weeks before your 'stop selling date.' The launch will include all kinds of promotion to your audience, a new lead magnet or masterclass, and then a seven to 10 day period where the doors open so people who are jumping from the excitement you've built up up until this point FINALLY have a chance to purchase your course before your sales period ends.
And that's after all of the work you put into creating your awesome course.
But the truth is: no matter how much research and work you put into your launch, it can still go wrong. There are no guaranteed sales strategies when it comes to launching. Because launching only looks at one blip in time for your audience, your business and your sales and marketing strategy.
If you’re only focusing on the benefits your online course will bring to your audience and the problems you are going to help them solve during your six to eight week launch period, then you’re doing it wrong.
Many course makers are moving away from short launch periods and instead are building content year round that will provide value, build their authority and engage their audience long-term:
Of course, moving away from short launch periods doesn't mean that doors to courses and programs aren't still opening and closing during certain promotional cycles. Certain courses will still become the focus of your sales strategy during some months of the year and not others.
What does it mean then? It means a content marketing strategy that delivers more than just 'fluff.' Posts, videos and interactions that are value driven in your zone of genius. 'Get to know you' and motivational posts are great, but your emphasis always needs to come back to your audience, their pain points and how you can help them get past them. A consistent presence that builds your authority is going to be key here instead of only showing up on hyperdrive when you want to sell something.
Here are 3 ways to show up consistently with authority building content:
No one wants to be the sales person in hyperdrive who only comes around to their audience when they want to sell something. It doesn't feel good to be that person OR to be sold to by that person. Below are three things you can do to make sure you are NOT the hyperdriven salesperson:
- Lead magnets on four to six week cycles: Growing a social media following that comments on the things you post is huge. Getting them to continue the conversation with you off of that platform is an even bigger deal. And that's always where the magic happens. That's why you need a to build a system that has you publishing lead magnets that are relevant to the problems your course will solve regularly to bring your audience onto your email list.
- Use your course curriculum to drive your content: Showing up consistently on social media channels and in your audience’s inboxes with authority building content and actionable tips and tricks is the name of the game. But the key to this strategy is to make sure that the content you are delivering is preparing them for your online course when it goes on sale. Grab content nuggets based on topics from the most sought after lessons of your course that proves to your audience that you are the one to help them solve their problems.
- Relationship building that focuses on what they need: Building a solid relationship with your audience is likely not news to you. But often, we forget to do the foundational work that has us getting to know them, what they need and what kind of wins they want. When we make that the first and foremost action of our relationship building for months before you ask for the sale, you are going to see real and relevant connections form that turns your audience into raving fans who trust you to help them.
Yes, you may garner new audience members right before the doors to your course or program open that might lead to sales. But if your audience or email list isn’t a mixture of new leads and established relationships when you start promoting, you’re going to hear crickets nine times out of 10.
The good news is: if you choose to take these tips and start applying them today, you will definitely have a line-up of people who have been getting to know you for months, know exactly how you can help them and trust that you are the person to do it and, most importantly, are primed and ready to buy whatever you are selling. And that’s a much better foundation to release an online course on, don’t you agree?