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Running an online course or program as an entrepreneur is an amazing way to build your influence, leverage your time and resources, and establish your expertise alongside a recurring income stream. While it might feel overwhelming at first, once you learn how to sell an online course or program these simple steps will have you up and running in no time.

1) Validate your idea

Validating your idea is essential to make sure you are going to create something there is a real need for.

Create surveys, do your research, and even use Facebook Live and Periscope for live video streaming to ask for real-time feedback on ideas.

Doing this work first can save you an incredible amount of time later, so it really is worth the effort.

2) Make it compelling

Make sure your course idea is compelling and irresistible, with a tangible outcome.

So, rather than “How To Lose Weight”, it could be “Drop A Dress Size In 30 days”. Or, in place of “Hand Lettering Basics”, it could be “Learn To Letter From Scratch In 10 Minutes A Day”.

See how Selz entrepreneur Amanda Bisk does it, right here:

online course

3) Map out the modules

From your research, map out the modules you would like to include in your course.

Consider the format, length of course, and how you would like it to run.

It can be a good idea at this stage to seek extra feedback from your ideal clients before you create any modules, to test the content is something they need, want, and would pay for.

You can even consider offering early bird pre-sale access at this stage to entice your first course attendees for a discounted rate.

4) Create a sales page

Write a sales page that shows your customers how the course will help them, what’s inside, and how they can gain access.

Use visual imagery to make sure the page stands out, and work with compelling copy to enhance the need to click the buy button!

Your sales page is where you can easily add your Selz buy now button or widget for customers to read more and gain access.

5) Set up access

There are different ways to give customers access to your course after they purchase from your Selz store or sales page. This depends on how you want to deliver your course. This is a good question to ask when first validating your idea.

Here are your options.

Sell your course or program as a digital item on Selz

 

This is the most simple way to sell your online course on Selz.

Simply create your course as a digital workbook, PDF, or a self-directed digital course within a downloadable file. If you set your product up as a digital item on Selz, we auto-deliver any number of files to your customer via email immediately.

online course
Greg Brookes sells his kettlebell program as a digital download.

You can also set your up your course as a digital product with a PDF that includes any URLs, instructions, and log in information required to access your course if the course is not delivered digitally as a download or via email. This usually means your course is set up on a password protected page on your website or blog.

online course

How to password protect a page on your website

If you want to run your course somewhere else, like on your own website or blog, creating a password protected page with access to the course modules and content, is an ideal way to go. This is easily done by setting a password within WordPress or setting a password within Squarespace. Even if you don’t use WordPress or Squarespace, most website builders provide this feature.

Sell your course as an email series

You can set up your course or program as an email sequence and drip the campaign out to your customers using Mailchimp’s automation feature. Be sure to add your Mailchimp API token to enable an autoresponder once your customers buy through your Selz store. You could also email an autoresponder with a PDF version of the course and links to modules with relevant passwords.

One caveat with Mailchimp. Our integration with Mailchimp means that your customers are auto-added to a single list within Mailchimp that you choose when you add an API. At the moment, any and all customers are added to a single list, so automating this process may not work. Instead, we recommend manually adding your customer’s email addresses into a specific list within Mailchimp if you’re dripping content out to them. The easiest way is to add people within 24 hours of purchasing so you aren’t wasting valuable time adding people on and off throughout your day. You can also create a new segment depending on the product the customer purchases within Mailchimp.

Sell your course or program as a service item on Selz

If you set your product up as a service item on Selz, no digital file will be delivered upon purchase. In this case, we recommend adding new customers to your course, email automation list, or membership community manually. You can add customers manually by opening up the Orders page, viewing your customers by item purchased, and downloading the CSV. You can also copy and paste the emails directly if your enrollments aren’t that high yet.

You also receive order confirmation emails per new order, so you can simply copy and paste the email address from the order confirmation email wherever your course is being held.

6) Build a buzz

Create a buzz around your course before you open up the option to buy.

You could create an opt-in that adds value to your potential customers, run some live webinars, and create some content that leads people back to your offer.

You might also want to create a press kit, and approach relevant media and websites to talk about your course.

7) Add modules and resources

Building modules and resources for your first course can be very easily and inexpensively done.

You can record audio or video and host on your website or embed in emails.

Quicktime for Mac is a wonderful free resource for screencasts, audio and video, or simply record to camera and host on YouTube, Wistia or Vimeo.

You can create worksheets easily using Canva or Google Docs to easily make resources to add to the learning experience.

Onto you

Your very first course or program will be a fabulous learning experience to discover what your customers want and need, how they like to learn, and how you work best too.

You can upgrade and update your first course as your skills and confidence grow, or create a new one from scratch when you are ready to add a new product to your income stream.

Creating a course or program and selling it on Selz can be so simple, and waking up to sales while you sleep is something you can definitely learn to get used to!

About the author

Jo Gifford

Jo Gifford

I help people work in smarter, creative ways + get their message out to the world via killer content—blogs, copy, images + social. I am a designer, writer, blogger, mentor, author, creativity addict + prolific geek.
 You could call it a portfolio career of multi-potential multi-passions. I call it being me.

3 comments

  1. Art S Lieberman

    Thanks for this article. I was right in the middle of trying to figure all of this out and you gave me exactly what I needed.

  2. Nikki Tester

    Hey lovely people, I cannot get the download for the PDF to set up a course. Can you send it to me please?

    1. Selz

      Bryce Patterson

      Hey Nikki! Thanks for checking us out and for your interest in FounderU. I think you should have received the eBook, but please reach out if you have any questions or concerns!

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