Course launches can be the most exciting, fulfilling, ‘Oh my God. Pinch me! I just did six figures in a week!’ moments.
You can be legit on top of the world, your confidence soaring through the roof as sale after sale after sale just blows up your phone notifications…
Orrrrr they can be absolute train wrecks! A week of complete work exhaustion with no students and no sales to show for it. 😩
Well, there’s two ways to find out!
One…read this post/watch this video all the way to the end as I share the most common mistakes that I see newbie course creators make. (So you can avoid them!)
And/or you can also take the shortcut with my 60 quiz! 👇
Now I’ve met way more entrepreneurs than you could imagine who have launched to crickets. 🦗🦗🦗
It’s actually not that unusual of an occurrence.
I think a big part of the issue is that a lot of people go into it with massively unrealistic expectations. Just zero clue on the math behind predicting your course sales results.
That and assuming that just opening doors and three social media posts is enough to drive a rush of sales.
Now, you might be thinking, “Well, I see people talking about making six figures or million dollar launches all the time? Is it all just one big internet lie???”
While I can’t vouch for every single course creator sharing their launch results out there, I personally know dozens of course creators who are pulling this off launch after launch after launch!
So yes, 6 figure launches really do happen.
Today I’ll be sharing the 7 most common mistakes I see new course creators making that totally effect the outcome of their launch. I share them-not to be a debbie downer-but to help you avoid the same struggles that have other newbie course creators wanting to throw in the towel after just one launch!
Now in all logical worlds, if you walk into a room that is completely empty and then you’re like, “buy my thing!” that thing could be thee greatest ever invention, but if there’s literally no one there to buy it, well…
It’s kind of a problem!
So we need to have an audience (A.K.A a room full of people) who are pretty interested in that topic in order to have any realistic chances of our course actually being sold and helping people.
The most effective form of audience/room is to have people on your email list.
Email is something that people tend to check every single day, and in terms of “internet math” just tends to convert much higher than trying to sell an identical offer to a much more passive social media audience (especially with the whole algorithm situation you’re up against!)
Even if you have 100K followers (wouldn’t that be nice!) only a small fraction of people are actually going to be seeing your post in their feed, whereas an email goes straight into their inbox.
Obviously whether or not they choose to open and read that email is another thing (which yes, can be a real issue, but generally still converts much higher on average!)
So when you go to launch your course, make sure you have built the audience beforehand, preferably in a place like an email list or a group of some sort and not just followers (social media, YouTube, Blog, Podcast etc.) because again, you need to be able to reach these people directly in a very specific, short frame of time.
Building an audience takes a lot of work, takes a lot of effort, and takes a lot of time.
So people are just like, “you know what? I’m just gonna not do that.”
“I’m just going to round up a bunch of affiliates, use THEIR audiences, and give them a cut of the sale!”
“I’ll just run a ton of ads to my course sales page!”
This doesn’t work for a couple reasons…
audiences don’t know you, same thing with ads.
If you’ve just suddenly come out of the blue, and have had zero to do with these people before (and them with you) then that lack of relationship is going to make it a heck of a lot harder to sell.
These are what you’d call a cold audience, and the conversion rate of pitching an offer to this crowd is going to be much much less than serving the same pitch to a warm audience (or an audience you HAVE established some sort of relationship with!)
Who are your warm audiences?
People who have known you for a while (usually because they searched something on the internet and found your helpful content).
In order to make it worth affiliate’s while, you’re going to need to give away a pretty decent size slice of the pie on any sale they bring in, meaning the actual profit margin on your course sales is going to be significantly reduced.
Ads are even more costly, because these you pay for up front, whether or not you actually end up making the sale! And ad prices are highly unpredictable (not to mention crazy expensive) at the moment and so you won’t often know how much you’re spending per lead/sale until the damage is already done.
So while these strategies can complement an existing audience, they are often going to be a lot more expensive and less profitable, and just generally have much lower conversion rates than you were intending.
As much as I would love for it to be different, when it comes to selling courses, it seems like people really only take action when they have to make a decision and get off the fence one way or another.
I’ve tested leaving a course open for enrollment year round vs. open and closed cart style launching and ironically, closing the doors for all but a few weeks each year resulted in wayyyyyy more sales.
Because if I go to your website and see your course is available to purchase any time, I’m going to think…
“Amazing! This course looks like exactly what I need! But I’m just super busy this week, then next week I go on vacation, then after that I have that other commitment…oh, and I should probably solve this one other issue first before I devote myself to this course…”
So knowing it’s there whenever I need it, I just keep pushing it back thinking “I’ll do it later.”
This is why I can’t recommend having open and closed enrollment periods enough.
I personally love giving my students lifetime access to the course content so that it doesn’t matter whether they are ready to dive in THIS SECOND, or whether they have a few more busy weeks to get out of the way first, they will still be able to access everything they need to succeed.
They can go through it at their own pace, and then even go back through it again later (many do!)
But this way, they’ve actually had to take action and commit to their goal of joining you inside your course!
Without some sense of urgency that the doors are going to be closing, many people who truly need your help won’t be getting it because they simply won’t ever make a decision.
Nothing sounds better than selling courses on evergreen (I can’t think of more truly passive income!) and many new course creators see this sexier side to online course sales and think “why would anyone ever do all the work of live launching???”
I’ll tell you why!
So a friend of mine, Louise Henry (super successful YouTuber and online course creator!) is very open about the fact that she did this very thing…went straight to evergreen, skipping right over the whole business of live launching.
She quickly realized there’s so much more hype, excitement and energy around a live launch, resulting in much better conversion rates than the expensive ads she was using to get traffic into her evergreen funnels.
“Did my offer resonate with people?“
“Was my fast action bonus intriguing enough?”
“Was my webinar on the right topic?”
“Should I leave early bird cart open longer?”
The results are so much easier to track when you have numbers coming in right away during a launch, rather than waiting for months to see trends in your evergreen sales before spotting potential issues in your marketing or tech.
Once you’ve done a few live launches and you have your messaging/offer/sales funnel truly nailed, that’s when you can start to really kill it with evergreen because you’ve already tested your process!
Many people go into their launches with very little to show for planning.
There’s no real schedule of exactly what they’ll do when to create that much-needed launch hype. They just sort of pick some dates and say “this is when I’m going to launch” and open and close their carts accordingly.
Launches are overwhelming. There’s no getting around it! There is just so much going on and also just so so many emotions happening during that time, so you don’t want to wait until the week of pre-launch to decide what you’re posting, or when you’ll go live in that Facebook group, or when to send that email announcing your new bonus, and risk not being able to follow through!
Even if they did have a hyper organized launch plan, with all the busyness of a launch, many course creators find they are suddenly having to cut things out of their promo calendar simply because they didn’t have it ready to go out in time.
If you don’t create it ahead of time, I promise you’ll never put out as much content or resources as you had planned because launches are just THAT busy.
So step 1 is to make a promo calendar/launch plan. And step 2 is to actually batch prep all the things that make up that plan in advance.
Every single email, social post, webinar slide, and IG live script is written and ready to go before the launch even happens!
This way you don’t end up slacking mid launch because “Oops, I never got around to creating xyz!”
Mistake number six I see newbie course creators making is not having strategies/plans in place to be dealing with the emotional rollercoaster that is sure to ensue during a launch!
Launching is one of the hardest things emotionally I’ve ever handled in my life.
You just have so many hopes and dreams…you’ve put all your heart, time, and energy into this thing just praying to God that is works!
And it’s not just the ‘bad’ stuff that’s hard to handle as a course creator! It’s both the ups AND the downs!
One time I had this launch just bust out of the gate with so many sales…wayyyyyyy more than I was used to or anticipating.
Without a plan in place, if things aren’t going the way you hoped, it’s super easy to fall into feelings of defeat, which lead to defeated actions, meaning your plans to show up for another day of live Q&A or a live interview with someone get scrapped because you literally cannot bring yourself to do it.
So again, having the plans in place for how to handle your emotions is key to you actually finishing the entire launch the way that you planned.
So often when it comes to selling, we focus on the strategy, the numbers, the marketing…all this sort of masculine energy stuff. But we forget that there is also a very feminine side to launching, and it takes planning for and balancing the two for your launch to go well!
Mistake number 7 has less to do with the launch and more to do with the course that you plan on launching…
And this is many course creators don’t realize the need for market research (surveys, 1:1 calls with ideal clients, etc.)
This leads people to launching courses that genuinely no one wants.
Many people when they hear the advice to be validating their course idea think, “Pfff, I already KNOW my course idea. This isn’t going to happen to me.”
Until it does.
It is extremely easy to be messing this one up. I’ve totally done it myself, so let me tell you that story!
Oh, they all wanted it! Don’t get me wrong!
But they were not at the point yet in their business where they were actually ready to be taking action on what I planned to teach inside the course.
My mistake here was two fold (and honestly a pretty common one!)
1. I could have solved this by free creating content that would have attracted people at a slightly different stage (the right stage) to be benefitting from this particular paid offering.
2. I could have created a sort of prequel to this program. Something that would have taken them from where they are right now to where they needed to be to truly benefit from the program I really wanted to be selling/teaching!
If I had done the proper market research and validated my idea with the audience I had already built before going through the work of designing the program, I could have avoided making this mistake in the first place!
So while this technically isn’t a ‘launching’ issue, it definitely impacts the success of any launch!
Launching can be a really unenjoyable experience for new course creators if they are falling prey to these easy-to-make mistakes.
It’s just several weeks of you starting to feel more and more awful about yourself, and your confidence slowly just erodes until there’s nothing left to give.
Every day there are people out there launching their courses with a bang–the doors opening and tens, hundreds, and even thousands of sales flooding in all at once!
It’s just a matter of taking the right steps pre-launch to set yourself up for success! (And pretty much doing the opposite of everything we’ve talked about here today).
The path to becoming a full-time course creator isn’t as far off as you might be imagining!
Insane up levels can happen really quickly in the online course world if you have the right ideas paired with the right strategy!