Things You’ll Learn in this Episode of Doing it Online:
- Behind the scenes of my first ever online course launch and how I brought it to life
- The biggest wins from my first ever launch
- The lessons I’ve learned after creating and launching over 12 different online courses and programs
When I sat down the other day, I figured out that in the last 6 years, I’ve created and launched over 12 different courses and online programs.
So today I wanted to take a trip down memory lane and walk you through my very first ever course launch…
Because it’s all well and good to hear about funnels and launches from people who have been doing it for years and years…
But I know that you still haven’t pushed that button yet…
You still haven’t taken the leap to create and launch your first online course or program.
Or maybe you have…and it didn’t go quite as well as you’d hoped.
Which is why I think it’s so useful to lift the curtain and see where people started…not just where they are.
This episode was actually prompted by a Facebook Memory that popped up of a screenshot I’d shared of my very first web design that I designed myself (including my logo created in Paint). To see where my website started and where it is now just shows how things can change when you take imperfect action. The same goes for launching online programs.
As I take you through my very first course launch, you’ll see it was very imperfect too.
But the most important thing is that it happened! And I started…which has led me to launch twelve times and arrive at the business I have today.
Let’s start that walk down memory lane of my very first online course launch…
How my first online course started…
I’ve been running my business Drop Dead Gorgeous Daily since 2007 and it’s considered “successful” earning multiple 6-figures with a team of content creators, in our own little office.
However the profitability of this business….sucked!
And the way I was working (ads sales, cold calling companies to advertise with us) just didn’t light me up.
At this time I had completed a couple of online courses, and other people had mentioned I should create my own online course around setting up a successful blog because that’s what people wanted at the time.
But I kept rejecting that suggestion because I had a story in my head that “those that cannot do…teach” and even though I don’t truly believe this narrative…it stopped me from taking action.
And then two things happened (coincidently)…
- I went out to dinner with one of my blogging friends and when we chatted about our businesses and what we were doing within them…she suddenly started taking notes. The things I was talking about, I just assumed that everyone else was already doing this in their businesses…but apparently not! I realised I had a lot of knowledge that could be valuable to other people.
- While I was relaxing during a massage…on the massage table an idea came to me. A solution to me working so hard and not making enough money…becoming more and more burnt out. Kinda like a slap to the back of the head…why don’t I just create the damn course?! It was the first time I allowed myself to consider it as an option…and by the end of the massage I thought “heck why not?! What have I got to lose?”
So that’s how it all started…
Bringing my first online course to life…
Now at this point we had an online store (through WooCommerce)…but I’d never tried to set up any of the tech side of things.
Yes we were creating content…but creating an online course is a whole different kettle of fish.
Me, being the impatient person that I was…I just wanted to do it NOW. The excitement was bigger than the fear so I went all in and dove head first into the tech.
I whipped up the most basic sales page you’ve ever seen – it was kinda more like a blog post. Created some super simple graphics. Named it “Secret Bloggers Business”.
I spent the most time trying to find a way to take payments…that wasn’t going to add another expense to my list with a plugin or third party online course hosting platform. I ended up using Paypal to create a button for my sales page.
And then I sent out an email to my list (caveat: my email list was a decent size)…that was filled with people who were not exactly my ideal client for my course.
This was one of the scariest moments of my life.
But I hit send and sat back and waited…
And then people started buying! I was shocked – I was half hoping they wouldn’t, because then I’d have to figure out how to actually run the course!
I promoted it for 2 weeks and by the end of it I’d made around $14,000 AUD. 60-70 purchased the course at $197. I was shocked!
And then I had to create and deliver the course!
Using free plugins and my own very basic coding skills…and trying to emulate B-School…I ran the program. And people LOVED IT! Which again, shocked me because #impostersyndromeisreal
That was my first dip into online courses!
And ever since…it’s been a real labour of love. I have the online course bug and I’ve never looked back.
Biggest wins from my first online course launch
- Getting it done – I didn’t let the fear or the limiting beliefs that I had stop me from launching my online course. I put myself out there and I got it done. With any launch…taking the action is the biggest step you’ll have to overcome.
- Proving the concept – that the idea you have actually sells. It’s something that people want your help with and that they’re willing to pay for it.
If you do these two things when you first launch your online course…that’s the biggest win in my opinion. These should be your two goals when you launch your online program. And then you can keep promoting, keep launching and keep perfecting your message and your offer. This means they will keep improving over time.
What I would do differently if I was launching my first online course today
- I would tell myself not to get so hung up trying to find a free way of doing everything. The tech has come SO far and is so affordable nowadays. You’ve got Podia (around $39/month) which is one of my favourite online courseware platforms that can do everything seamlessly for you. And it saves you time! Your time is worth way more than the $39 / month to get a tool (that works!) in place.
- Make a public announcement ahead of launching my online course, that the course was coming. Spending time creating some warm up content, so that my list and my community was prepared for it.
At the end of the day, the two most important things are that I got it done – I launched my first ever online course! I got over the fear and I took action and I proved that not only did people want to learn from me…but that I really enjoyed doing it too!
I’d love to hear where YOU started. Take a screenshot and share that with me over on Instagram @katemckibbin.