Here’s a persistent trend I’ve seen this year:
Meet “Jane,” a teacher of Japanese who is exhausted from her 1:1 online lessons. She decides to create an online course (priced at $100) and sell 10 of them monthly to boost her income and free up some time.
So off she goes to build her first online course by
- Paying $599 for an online program that teaches her how to create a course.
- Investing $200 into a new camera.
- Paying $25 monthly for an online course creation account.
- Spending several months putting the course together.
- Investing $100 into FB ads.
Several months later the course doesn’t sell. Jane is desperate. She joins a bunch of Facebook groups for online language teachers and asks for help. She gets a lot of contradicting advice, and that stresses her out.
She buys a book by another famous coach and figures out that what she needs to learn is how to sell. Jane understands she has to buy a course on sales to finally figure things out. So she
- Buys the course for $399.
- Pays $100 for an app that makes payments easier.
- Upgrades to a different course hosting company and pays $50/mo.
- Runs another series of ads for $200.
- Invests another $500 to buy the coach’s “Secret Sauce for Hot Sales” mentoring program.
The result: lots of money spent, more confusion and overwhelm, and no idea about her product. Nothing has been tested or sold. Jane is in despair.
If you are Jane or if you know a Jane, for the love of everything you hold dear, please stop her. Share this post with her, read it to her via phone, hold her hand.
Do something. Or else she will hate this online business world and (most importantly) give up on her dream to create something of her own.
If I only had a few words to tell her, here’s what I’d share.
3 (Not-So) Secret Ingredients for Hot Online Course Sales in 2019
#1: Don’t rush into the creation process. Build connections first.
Teachers often create stuff as an escape. It’s an avoidance technique. “I’d rather quietly build something than connect with people who may tell me they don’t even want this. I’d rather create what I think they need and then learn how to sell it.”
#2: Share your core message even when nobody seems to listen.
Your core message is what bothers you and what compels you to do your work. For me — it’s helping language teachers exhausted from cheap-Skype-lesson drudgery to regain their passion and creativity, and to build a smart business that gives them freedom to do what they love.
What is your core message? Why do you do what you do? When you dig deep into your message, you will no longer be intimidated by competition and a feeling of “lack.” You’ll be compelled to share it because you’ll feel that this idea can change the world.
Increase online course sales by focusing on your niche, core message and community building (no sleazy gimmicks here).Click To Tweet
#3: Build your community.
When two or more people tune in to what you have to say and resonate with your message, you have a community. It will start growing. Slowly and painfully at first, gaining more momentum as you keep doing the work, sharing your art, inspiring people to change.
This year my community has helped me raise $2,300+ for my new book before it was sold. When you don’t have a community (which can’t be built just by selling a few courses), it’s hard to make sales, even after taking the most “effective” sales course. When you do have a community, sales become a byproduct.
So, going back to the beginning — if Jane’s story sounded familiar, here’s what you should take care of first:
- Discover your niche and your ideal client (good news: the way to learn it is by digging inside yourself, not by using someone else’s “blueprints”).
- Coin your core message (write your brand story, understand why you do what you do and why anyone should care).
- Take time (show up every day) to build your community and learn their needs.
On this note, I’d love to thank my wonderful online community who shares the vision of smart online teaching and wants to see my crazy projects come to life. Below is the list of people who backed my Flowers in the Frost book – an epic work where I share the untold stories of online teaching. Thank you, one and all!