Want to get more momentum and traction with your courses?

The key is to first understand where you are.

Are you testing and refining an idea?

Or do you have a well-developed course that you know people are eager to sign up for?

It’s essential that you match your course development and marketing tactics to your phase of growth.

Now, let’s look at these two phases of growth in your online course business…

Phase 1: You’re ready to launch a rough, work-in-progress “beta” or pilot course.

We advise new course creators to start with a “beta” or pilot course. (Is the beta/pilot course idea new to you? We go over it in much more detail in 5 Steps to Your Online Course).

If your goal is to engage participants in a beta course, then your promotion can be very casual and personal.

You can start by sending short personal emails — either directly to people who you think would be interested, or to your email list.

You can also post updates on Facebook about the ideas in the course that excite you, and why you’re teaching it.

The key: It’s your personal passion for the topic, and your desire to engage, that will attract people into this rough work-in-progress course.

What about pricing?

Some people run a beta course for free, but I always like to charge at least a little bit. Participants are often much more engaged when they are paying for a course. Considering offering a 50% – 80% discount off the price you ultimately plan to charge.

Type 2: You’re ready to launch a full-fledged, premium course or group coaching program.

For the second type of course, you know you have a solid program and you want to help as many people as possible with it (in other words: lots of participants and revenue!).You’re ready to ring the cash register.

Here, you’re going to want to plan a more extensive launch campaign.

Start by working backwards from the first day that people can register for the course. Then plan a campaign of email and content that leads up to this date. For example:

5 weeks from today – last chance, registration is closing!
email: recap benefits of course + why you should join + emphasize deadline

4 weeks from today – registration opens!
email: the course is live, sign up today

3 weeks from today – warmup #3
email: 1 key idea from course + how to apply it (e.g. self-assessment, worksheet, quiz, etc.)

2 weeks from today – warmup #2
email: how someone’s life/work is transformed if they can overcome they key problem/issue you help with

1 week from today – warmup #1
email: the challenge or problem that motivated you to design this course

This is just a VERY rough guide, but the key principle is to tell the story of your course and how it will benefit people. Let that story unfold over time, ideally a few weeks, so people in your community have time to absorb it.

So, where do you stand?

Are you creating a Type 1 or Type 2 course?

And what are you struggling with when it comes to promoting your course?

We want to help. Ask us a question on Twitter (@ruzuku), or shoot me an email: abe AT ruzuku DOT com. We’ll get right back to you!