If you’re eager to get rid of food and famine within your business and earn a steady income, an online program or a membership could be a tempting possibility.
Offering online courses or operating an online membership site can allow you to provide your customers with an easier way, helping you cut down the amount of travel, spend the time you want with your loved ones, and get a better balance between work and life.
Before you start, however, take a moment to do an honest review. If you’re looking for a “get rich quick” method, this is it. Success stories that happen overnight are rare and hard to come by.
The reasons why online courses and memberships are difficult
If you’re thinking of creating the first online training course or joining or membership, you might be enticed by the notion of earning passive income. However, in my personal experience, you can’t have a concept of passive income.
A friend of mine once said to me: “If you construct your farm, you must continue feeding livestock’. Although there could be an alternative way of phrasing the issue (I certainly don’t consider the clients I work with as animals!), there’s a lot of truth to how she described it. Creating an online membership or course and letting it run by itself isn’t possible. A technical glitch is bound to arise now and then, and you’ll constantly be looking for ways to improve and update the contents.
Another aspect to take into consideration is the audience you have. It doesn’t matter if you’re an authority in the field or have great content. If you’re not able to reach an audience on the day of your launch, you’ll not have any sales.
You shouldn’t design your online course until you’ve created an audience.
Making your online class or joining a community can be exciting. I’ve had conversations with many clients eager to dive right into it – but I advise you to begin slow. There are a few essential aspects to think about before you begin.
The first step is to be aware of your audience. What size is your audience ? And where do they spend their time on the internet? The majority of people don’t use social media to purchase. While you might be able to convince users to buy with an ad on Facebook or social media posts, most sales will be made within your email inbox.
If you have a significant social media presence but only a few people are on your list of email addresses may require you to rethink your strategy. The typical online conversion rate is about 1%, which means that only one or two will buy for every 100 people on your list. This is why you require more customers than you imagine.
When it comes down to creating an audience, it’s more than the game of numbers. Suppose you want people to buy from you. In that case, especially if they’re spending a couple of thousand pounds and more, they’ll know, love and trust you, and that can take time from analyzing my own sales statistics, that it typically takes approximately seven to eight contact points before they are ready to purchase either by downloading your worksheets, checking out your blog, getting your newsletter, or engaging with you through social media.
Another aspect to think about before making your online courses is the type of content the audience wants or expects from your course. You may have a concept of what you’d like to convey or what is important to you; however, I’ve lost track of the times I’ve talked to entrepreneurs who have spent hours and dollars creating online courses only to find that the course isn’t exactly the kind of thing their customers are seeking.
Step 1: Calculate the number of people you will need
When creating an online training or membership scheme, the first step is to determine how large your audience has to grow, i.e., how many people should be added to your mailing list to reach your sales goals.
Then, you can create an idea of the membership or course you’d like to design and the amount you’ll have to charge and how many you’d like to sell. If you’ve determined that you want to offer a top-quality membership program, which costs thousands of pounds, You may need only some thousand people on your list of email subscribers. However, if you’re selling a course for the lower end of the price scale, it’s best to aim for 10k or higher.
Step 2: Create a following on social media.
I used to advise people to create an audience through social media, their blogs, and email marketing at the same time. However, I’ve learned that if your company hasn’t achieved the perfect social media content and content, it’s challenging to increase your followers on your other platforms. It’s only by creating content and connecting with users through social media that you can truly become aware of your customers’ issues and the best way to address these issues.
Once you’ve determined the type of content that appeals to your target audience on social media, you can apply this knowledge to make the appropriate content for your blog as well as the email list (which is the area where you’re most likely to generate sales) and also encourage your readers to sign up for your email list.
The first step in establishing an online following through social networks is discovering where your potential customers hang out. If they are on Instagram, then it’s the place you should be. Wherever your audience’s target market spends their time, that’s the place you should invest your time.
At first, I’d suggest you pick the two or three social networks you use. You can then play around with different posts until you discover what appeals to people. Once you’ve found that, you can modify your content to ensure it’s suitable for other platforms that your target audience is using. You might want to consider joining Facebook groups, whether you start your group or join with existing groups. This is an excellent method to discover what your ideal customers struggle with, so you can begin developing content that can assist them.
Step 3: Create your readership on your blog
Once you’ve cultivated an online following, you’re ready to grow your following through posts.
The presence of a social media audience is essential; however, using it exclusively isn’t a good idea since you’re creating your followers on the other side of the fence. Each social media platform can be affected by an issue. And if you’re trying to present a product or program to your followers when the outage occurs, you’re bound to remain in the dark until the outage is fixed.
The ability to publish content on your website, whether it’s blogs, podcasts, or embedding video, lets you control how you connect to your readers. It’s the way to take people away from the borrowed world of social media to your territory.
In addition, posting regular blog posts can assist in attracting more visitors to your site, increasing your odds of appearing in Google search results, and assisting in building an email database. It’s also an effective method to make people know your name and trust you. I can remember one of my customer’s pet photographers Kerry Jordan, telling me she had booked tickets for any of my events live after listening to my podcast frequently. She felt as if she knew me and trusted my ability to keep my word.
I suggest that you choose the most popular type of content, whether a blog post or podcast or even a YouTube channel and spend time becoming familiar with the structure. If you’ve completed the steps listed above to boost the engagement of your social media platforms and have taken the time to study the types of content your potential customers are interested in, then you ought to have an idea of the kind of content you want to include for your podcast or blog.
To provide an example, If you were looking to create content on audience building such as the one I’m writing about here, you’d see a lot of people looking online seeking information about how to select the best blog subjects, ways to grow an audience on social media, and how to determine what topics to write about, when to blog, or how to increase the number of blog readers. Because I can see that these are all problems my ideal clients are dealing with, I am confident that they’ll be great blog topics.
If you’ve got a broad topic, you should research keywords to ensure you’re using keywords or phrases people use to search for the content on Google.
Don’t forget the last aspect, that is promotion. This is yet another reason why it’s essential to increase your social media following before you begin to ensure you are able to reach a broader audience to share your blog, vlog or podcast (albeit smaller at first).
Check for How to Sell on Your business Blog for blog ideas and subjects.
Fourth Step: Expand your email marketing audience
If you’ve got a substantial email list, you’ll instantly reach thousands or hundreds of your ideal customers that probably already know, respect and believe in you. With a list of email subscribers of 15,000 users, I am confident that if I wanted to earn money, I could design courses in the space of one weekend and earn sales right away. That’s the power behind email marketing.
How do you convince people to join your mailing list? Our inboxes are overflowing with emails that we’ll never finish studying, and the one thing that people don’t want to do is sign up for another email newsletter. Suppose something is fascinating to read in it. Creating a lead magnet or an info product, e.g., checklists, templates or a step-by-step guide that helps the ideal client solve their issues – is the best method.
Once you’ve set up the lead magnet(s), It’s time to go back to that fervent social online following you’ve built. Promote it on every platform you’re using to get new subscribers to join your list.
Be careful not to stop after they’ve signed up. Getting confirmation is only the first step of your friendship. To ask for a sale at this stage is similar to offering to someone who has only been able to agree to an outing with you.To further move the relationship forward, I prefer to utilise an email-based nurture process which may sound fancy but is just a method to describe a sequence of emails with meaningful content that new subscribers would be able to use. These emails will be spread across a period of maybe three days or weeks based on the type of lead magnet and then gradually build the like, know and trust element.Learn the steps to make a compelling lead Magnet right here.
Step 5: Beta testing
I’m putting this in the fifth step, but don’t feel that you must wait until you’ve achieved your goal of attracting an audience before you experiment. If you’re at the point that you’ve got a large enough audience that you can get 10 people to sign up by offering, a test version of your course or program could be a good idea.
I would not recommend offering your course for free since individuals are more likely to finish the work when they’ve put their money into the course. However, you can give a substantial discount to a small group of people in exchange for their input when they’re working through the course materials. I’m not convinced you to have to wait until you’ve designed the entire course before conducting an initial test. Making your course week-by-week and making adjustments as you go in response to feedback from your beta testers are highly productive.
Step 6: Do a pre-launch
In the same way as the beta testing stage, the pre-launch shouldn’t need to be delayed until just before your launch date. This is something you should think about as you’re building your community. Make it clear that you’re creating a course and include your followers with the course. Display them the course you’re working on and request their feedback. Invite them to create the course together with you. If I do this, I’ve found that it’s not just that I receive fantastic feedback that can help me shape the content of my courses and content. Still, the audience also becomes very engaged in the course I’m working on, frequently asking how they can sign-up before me being ready to launch the sales.
If you’re considering establishing an online membership program or course, I believe the two most important things to consider are the ability to adapt and patience. Suppose you don’t have an extensive, active mailing list. In that case, you can expect the entire process to take about a year and be flexible about everything, from the expected timeline to the course’s contents and delivery. Be ready to experiment and let your audience guide them where they want to go.