So you’ve got a shiny new online course idea that you just know your audience is going to LOVE…but now that it’s time to sit down and actually create the thing, you may be at a loss for where to start!

So what’s the first thing you should be creating to make sure your course is irresistible to the exact type of future student you’re dreaming of enrolling?

Content! But not the kind that lives inside the course…

The free kind.

‘Umm, what?’

‘Isn’t the whole point of selling an online course is that people would pay me actual dollars for my expertise!? Why on earth would I want to go giving any of that away for free?’

I hear you!

But if you’ll stick with me through this post, I’ll be sharing why your free content (like a Blog, YouTube, Podcast, etc.) is just as important as the paid content you are creating for your online course!

And why making THIS your first focus is the exact ‘leg up’ you are looking for when it comes to actually enrolling paying students on launch day!

 

Creating & Selling An Online Course:

Why your free content matters just as much as your paid content

 

Reason #1

It makes investing in ‘next steps’ with you feel like a no-brainer

Do you want to know the #1 bit of feedback I hear again and again when asking students why they opted to invest in MY course when there are literally endless other options for people they could be learning this topic from online?

It ALWAYS has something to do with my free content, and how I was able to help them long before there was ever any money on the table.

Feedback like…

“I had been following Paige’s life saving blog posts for a while, trying to get every bit of knowledge she put out (freely) and when I heard she was coming out with a new course, I knew I had to jump on it!

I actually had the launch date marked in my calendar so I wouldn’t forget!” – Christian

Annnnd…“I bought Paige’s course without even thinking twice, as from her extensive blogging, I trusted her expertise.” – Freya Rose

 

Yup. Real words from real students right there. (And hundreds more just like ‘em.)

Moral of the story?

Make yourself a valuable resource for the people on the internet looking for help with your topic.

Keep them coming back for that sweet, sweet advice again and again so that when you do announce your nEW paid thing, the only question left in their mind is “where do I sign up!???”

 

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Reason # 2

You’re giving potential students a clear reason to choose YOU (over another course creator with a similar offering)

Your free content isn’t just about giving out a bunch of freebie solutions and then crossing your fingers someone in your audience feels like they owe it to you to buy your thing.

It’s actually about giving your potential students a taste of the unique perspectives and experiences you have surrounding your industry…the things that make you most like THEM, and therefore better able to truly understand and help them.

When people buy your course, they aren’t just buying ‘how to do XYZ thing.’ They are buying ‘how to do XYZ thing’ like YOU.

They are buying your lifestyle, your ideals, your personality, and your values…these are the things that truly set one course creator apart from another, even if you are teaching on the exact same topic.

 

But your free content is also about helping your students to find the right ‘fit’ in terms of teaching style.

If they can’t stand the way you speak and present ideas in your free content, they are probably going to have an awfully hard time sitting through 12+ hours of you droning on about that topic inside your paid course.

So the fact that your free content might actually turn off some potential buyers is a good thing!

When it comes to who you want inside your courses, it’s those students who are eager to learn from you specifically, because they know your story and have mad respect for your approach.

These are the students who will trust you enough to actually follow through on your advice, even when they feel ready to throw in the towel. Who believe deeply in what you do and will keep putting in the work long enough to see real results.

You want your course to be filled with people ready to become your next greatest student success story (and the reason your next group of students will excitedly line up before the doors even open!)

But if they were never able to experience all this through your free content first, then every time they see your offer, they will just add you to the pile of random people popping up on their scroll, shouting at them to buy their thing.

 

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Reason # 3

You can stop competing on $$$ (and start pricing your course based on value instead)

So you know that quote I shared earlier? From the past student who already had the launch of my course marked on her calendar so she could be the first to enroll?

Well, her kind words didn’t stop there! She went on to share…

I wasn’t even concerned about the price because I knew that whatever information Paige would teach would be worth every penny!” Christian

Because of how she had benefitted from my free content, she already knew exactly who she wanted to be learning from when it was time to take her business to the next level.

There was no tire-kicking or price-shopping to see if there was a ‘cheaper’ course out there (spoiler alert: there was).

She knew that if she was going to do things the way she had been reading about and dreaming about on my Blog, she needed to go straight to the source and find a way to get access to my next-level help.

You can be thee absolute top dawg and expert in your niche, but without some way to prove that to your audience upfront (like through consistent, genuinely helpful free content) you’ll end up having to seriously discount your expertise in order to outbid all the other ‘experts’ who seem to be promising the same thing you are.


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Reason # 4

It attracts people in the right stage of their journey to be ready to buy

You’ve got this amazing new course idea…something you know deep down in your heart is exactly the thing your audience needs to get from where they are to where they want to be.

There’s just one problem…the industry newbie who is just dipping their toes into your topic for the first time?

They don’’t know what they don’t know, and therefore may not know that a solution like yours exists, and that it is the right next step on their journey.

Their assumptions about the industry might actually be pointing them in a completely different direction, or have them skipping straight to the sexier sounding topics that seem to promise overnight results, totally ignoring the foundational skills and knowledge your course covers.

Again, YOU know they need your course. But do they?

So how do you get your audience thinking about their need for the specific type of help you offer?

Your content!

Your free content points to all the steps they might be tempted to skip along the way, and shares the ‘why’ behind your specific approach or method, along with what sort of transformation they can expect if they follow it to a ‘T’.

Then once you’ve shown your audience the ‘why’, in comes your course to show them the ‘how!’ ‍♀️

Not only this, but by sharing valuable, long-form content on the interwebs for free, you will naturally be covering all the keywords and search phrases your future students are likely to type into Google, earning you alllll the SEO brownie points and organic search traffic needed to attract new eyeballs to your offer.

You can only stuff so many SEO keywords into your ‘Home’, ‘About’, and course sales pages before it starts to sound like it was written for robots (and not the humans who will actually be buying your course.)

The Google gods loves to get it right when giving search suggestions, and if you are consistently creating fresh, helpful content on your topic, they will assume you are the most up to date source for learning about that thing!

Oh, and if someone doesn’t buy the first time they land on your site (highly probably given the size of the investment) your irresistible free content gives them a compelling enough reason to come back again and again while they wait to make their buying decision!

So if you’ve been stewing over what to create for your online course to make sure it sells like hotcakes, your free content may actually be the best place to start!

 

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