The 5 key pieces to think about before launching your online course

​As I prepare to update my 
Authentic Course Launches training, I’d like to clear up a major myth, as well as share the 5 pieces to think about if you’re interested in launching your own courses. 
The major misconception is that creating courses is primarily about choosing the right platform -- Thinkific? Kajabi? MemberVault? LearnDash? MightyNetworks? Something else? 

To see the results of my research: which online course platform is best for the solopreneur? 

By choosing the right platform, you’ve made the main decision for your course business, right?

In my 12 years of experience in launching more than 30 courses, and also experiencing various tech platforms as a student, I've found that the actual course delivery technology/platform is a minor factor in the success of a course.

The factors that are more important are: how you choose the course topic, how you market the course (really, how you build your audience), and the rhythm of how often you create & launch courses. By paying attention to those, you make it more likely that your courses will succeed.

Why deciding on course topic is so important

You would love to teach a course that is meaningful and enjoyable for you to teach, but shouldn’t you also choose the topic based on whether it will get you any students?

This is what so many course creators don’t do -- they don’t conduct market research before deciding on their course topic. I encourage you to do at least some market research. Get confirmations from your audience (starting with the people in your network) that the course topic you’re thinking about is actually interesting for them. Better yet, give them 3-5 options to vote on. Then, you’ll have greater confidence that there will actually be students for you to teach!

This is why in my training (Authentic Course Launches), market research is an essential early module.

You need a rhythm of course launches

The first time you launch your course isn’t going to be your most successful launch. It doesn’t even matter much, in the long-term, if it was a “failure”. More important is that you learn from every launch, to make it better and better going forward.

Ideally, you would commit to having a rhythm (or schedule) or course launches, for example, one every 3 months, so that you can continually improve the process of your course launch and creation.

“Every 3 months?!”

You might wonder if that’s too often. No, not if you keep your course launch process light and gentle, as the way I like to do it. In fact, from 2017 through 2020, I launched 1 course every month. Again, it’s because I believe in light launches. This allows a much faster learning process for yourself (the creator/launcher), and it’s even helpful for building your audience, too.

I encourage you to take on a healthier and more joyful mindset about your process of launching courses -- don’t make it so heavy and be attached about how many students you must enroll each time.

By taking notes on what worked well, for each launch, and what might be done better, you’ll become increasingly more effective, both as a teacher, and a course marketer.

You need a clear checklist for your course marketing

Each time you launch, are you flailing around trying to get everything done last minute?

Maybe the first few times.

I hope that going forward, you’ll start creating a launch checklist that includes the various details you need for each launch. Of course, in my training I’ll give you my checklist and explain everything. 

But even if you don’t take my training, just start your own checklist and make it better each time. This way, your marketing gets more relaxed over the months and years. Your course launch rhythm will become more personally sustainable.

The 5 areas to understand for course launches

  1. The Strategy of Course Creation -- how does it fit into your overall business model? You shouldn’t expect that your deepest transformation with clients happens through a course. Deep impact happens more easily through 1-1 services or in a small group program. You need to put your courses in context of your overall offerings.

  2. Choosing Topics, Pricing, and Preselling -- this includes brainstorming ideas, market research, deciding on the format of your course, and collaborating with your audience (or network) on clarifying the outline of what you’ll be teaching in your course.

  3. Course Marketing Checklist -- as mentioned above, having a checklist that you keep adding to and improving over time, is essential to making it easier on yourself for future launches.

  4. Creating the Course Content -- continually improve your process for how you create course content, to make it meaningful for the students and enjoyable for you.

  5. Course Tech & Registration Process -- decide on your hardware and software (your course delivery platform), how students will enroll (logistically) and how you follow-up with course materials afterwards.

If you’d like to study with me, these are the 5 major modules in my training (Authentic Course Launches). Either way, I hope you’ll think carefully about these 5 areas and gradually improve your processes over time.