Is the market for online offerings now saturated?

A client asked:

“I’m feeling overwhelmed by all the online offerings that are popping up everywhere, now that people are in self-isolation. This is putting me off wanting to offer online stuff too. Isn’t the market saturated? Any advice or encouragement?”

My thoughts:
Truthfully, for years there has been much more online content than people can consume, and more online offerings than people can attend. You could say that the market has already been “saturated”, well before this pandemic lockdown.

And yet, those of us who offer online things continue to thrive as long as we:
  1. Offer what’s currently interesting to people
  2. …and we have a big enough audience (or are willing to do outreach 1–1 to our network.)

Every year, more people are getting accustomed to consuming content online, attending events online, and taking classes online.

Due to social distancing, there’s more attention online than ever. As an example, here are my Facebook Ads numbers for March 2020 compared to 1 year ago…
  • Cost per reaching 1,000 people: now 30% cheaper than a year ago
  • Cost per click: now 34% cheaper than a year ago
  • Watch time for my videos: now 50% more than a year ago
  • Cost per post engagement: now 70% cheaper!

Clearly, more people are consuming content than a year ago.

There are millions of people who are attending online events for the first time, or who are now doing it regularly. We who have online offerings have more opportunity now than ever before.

A few recent examples from members of my MasterHeart Business Mentoring Group:

  • Sarah Davies has facilitated many in-person dance classes and is now doing them online. She wrote: “My weekly in-person group is usually 40 people and now I’m getting 70–100 people online. The monthly group in-person was usually 100 and now I’m getting 200 online. It’s been extraordinary, having such large groups in Zoom… all from one small MacBook pro. Some people now attend who wouldn’t have come to an in-person event… for them it’s a way to get a ‘taster’ without the commitment of having to go anywhere. It’s been thrilling, heart opening & phenomenally touching to offer the thing I do (mindful movement / conscious dance) to people in their homes… and to hear back how valuable it is for them.” Visit her website: Sarah Davies Wave of Energy

  • Angie Evans successfully transitioned to teaching online prenatal/birth classes for pregnant women, as well as training for doulas. See her upcoming events.

  • Clara Moisello works with an organization that has transitioned some of their previous in-person classes to online and they are going well. NYC Non-Violent Communication

  • Anne Marie Pizarro wrote: “I just converted a live workshop to an online weekend workshop. It went very well. I see this as more of a wave in the future. Plus, more people were able to attend from different regions rather than just the one location.” Anne’s website re: spiritual transformation.

Kim Marie, life coach for women, wrote in with some tips:
I find that people often came to in-person courses/activities because they want connection, so moving online should include connection. I satisfy this in a few ways.
  1. Regular Group Calls that take time for connection check-ins
  2. Worksheets/Activities/Exercises that engage participants
  3. Group space to reflect/share/contemplate/ask questions
  4. Online learning space that feels sacred/private/connected
  5. For larger groups, I find that small sub-groups can keep things feeling intimate.
  6. Nurture the online program much more than in person…i.e. more emails/reminders/outreach/etc. to keep it feeling personal.
— Kim Marie Coaching

As more and more people shift their offline attendance to online, the opportunities for connection, teaching, and impact is only growing.

The principles of authentic marketing have not changed:
  • Create content from a place of exploring your soul and your passions.
  • Distribute that content online.
  • Notice who responds and get to know them, so that you can create (or curate) offerings that are of genuine interest to them.
  • Serve people honestly and well.
  • Collaborate as often as you can.

​Do these things and you’ll continue to succeed in any socioeconomic climate!