14 things no one tells you about creating and selling online courses

Since 2013 I have been creating online courses for my community and today I want to confess some things. I love creating online courses because it seems as the perfect method to reach any part of the world and to share your knowledge. Nevertheless, behind all the creation and selling there is a great work that they never really explain and that no one talks about.

1. Launching a course takes a lot of time

I always tell my readers and customers that there are no magic formulas. With courses it is the same, they are not created magically nor are easy to create and launch. Behind an online course there are hours planning, recording days, and days to prepare everything.

2. The real price of your online course

If you sell a course at 100€, that is not what you will really gain. It is clear that it depends on the country you live in, but I leave you an example of your minimum expenses: commissions, taxes, and cost per sale (all that you pay to obtain every customer through ads).

  • Original price: 100€
  • Commission: 10€
  • Taxes: 21€
  • CPS (Cost per sale): 8€
  • Final price: 61€

Many professionals like to show off their incomes, but remember that behind a final number there is always a lot of expenses ? .

3. Behind your online course there is financial management

Selling online is the same as selling in a physical store, you will have to manage all the steps, emit bills, deal with returns (if your course offers this option) and last analyse the final return of your online course.

financial manegment

4. Your sales funnel has to improve yes or yes

If something works, your mission is to make it work even better. Do not be a conformist and try to always obtain more results. I know of cases of professionals that have been selling for 5 years the same product, nevertheless they dedicate a lot of hours a week to improve their conversion funnel to always improve their sales and incomes.

Remember that having a big advertisement budget does not guarantee selling a lot of courses, this is why you will have to design a good sales funnel if you want to obtain the best results with the minimum investment.

5. You do not have to create a free mini course to sell your course

Many professionals ask me if they have to create a mini online course to sell their course and it is NOT like that. Mini courses are awesome to increase your list and educate more openly many people. Many professionals release these mini courses to then sell their paid programs. Nevertheless, I can assure you that is not necessary. There are many ways to launch your course, I share three examples:

  • Advertisement campaign.
  • Create a wait list with content in your blog related to the topic of your course.
  • Webinars.

5. Affiliates are not your best sales campaign 

Having affiliates also does not guarantee that your course will have many registers. You will need to help them creating a promotion campaign and have the best program of your segmented audience and an awesome sales page. It is worthless that traffic is sent if your proposal is poor and your sales page is bad.

6. The methods and payment plans are important

If you really want to reach the masses you will have to adapt to your objective audience. This is why I recommend:

  • Selling in different currencies, minimum euros and dollars if you are directed to the Spanish-speaking audience. Remember that with Hotmart you sell automatically in different currencies, if your customer is in Mexico he will pay in Mexican pesos.
  • Offer payment plans if you sell products that cost more than 200 euros/dollars. For example, lets see how you can offer payment plans for a product of 1000€.

payment options

7. To sell your course you have to offer help 

Having a super list of topics and a super landing page does not guarantee that your course will sell by itself, you will have to offer support to convert those indecisive students. This is why you will have to respond in the best way to all the doubts your customers have and also tell them that they do not need to take your course if you know it will not help them. It is better to lose a sale today than having an unsatisfied customer.

8. You have to write A LOT

As you sell online, your texts are your sales pitch. In an online course you have to write a lot, so prepare your fingers or hire a professional that will help you. In an online course you will have to write as minimum:

  • The content of your downloadable resources (Many hours)
  • Texts for your slides (Many hours)
  • The scripts of your videos (Minimum 15 minutes per video)
  • The promotion and sales emails of your course (Minimum 4 hours)
  • The texts of your sales page (Minimum 8 hours)

9. Competition will always exist

Today you launch a complete course and tomorrow your competition will surpass you. Do not get frustrated, I love having competition because that makes me even better. Also you will have to know that your program is unique and that your customers are too. This is why you will have to offer unique things that only you can give, for example:

  • Experience in what you are selling.
  • Tracing groups to help your students as a group.
  • Challenges to help your students implement.

10. You have to INVEST to WIN

To launch a course you will have to invest in staff, tools, and resources. The experience of your students is very important and this is why you will have to choose the best of the market. You can see my post with all the tools and resources you will need to create and launch a course.

11. Your launch campaign is improved in real time

I have launched many info products (packs, e-books, courses) and in one campaign I have lived the sad experience of just selling a 1% in the first 24 hours. In a launching you have no time to get depressed, you only have time to improve and implement new actions. Cry for a couple of minutes if you need to, but then dry your tears and get to work, it is your product and no one else will sell it for you.

Focus a lot on your last-call, this is where you will have the most sales. In all my releases in the last 24 hours is when I obtain more than the 50% of the sales.

12. The course does not end when you launch it

Many professionals believe that after launching a course what is left is to enjoy the success of their launching. But it is not like that, after launching your course the most important part is left, the tracing. When we talk about tracing we are referring to:

  • Confirm that all that have passed are in the learning platform.
  • Help the ones registered so that their formation experience is the best.
  • Answer all the doubts of your registers through the Facebook group or form that you have created.
  • You will have to update constantly your content to continue having a competitive program in your market niche.
  • Trace the customers that have payment plans to confirm that they make all the pending payments.
  • You will have to correct all the mistakes of your course.

13. Success is not measured in number of registers

We have an obsession of measuring success by number or income. When we talk about online courses we need to be clear that success does not rely on the number of professionals or companies registered. In reality the success of a good online course relies on how many people succeeded thanks to your info product. For example, with my next course “Succeed with your course” I will measure success with the number of customers that have launched successfully courses obtaining even better results than mine. That is the only way I can brag that my program is a success because in one way or another I have impacted positively in the work of other professionals.

Also you will have to help your students to finish their formation. Many users will purchase your course and few will finish it.

14. After launching and managing your course you will need vacations

I can assure you that your team and you will end up very tired after launching and managing the first part of your online course. Listen to me and take part of your incomes to disconnect for some days. You will need it and it will come in handy. Creating a course can take you weeks and months, but launching it is condensing many actions in little time and that is EXHAUSTING, who ever says that is not true is lying.

During a launching forget about:

  • Sleeping a lot, that would be a luxury.
  • Train as always unless you want to sleep even less.
  • Have your email with zero inbox.
  • Go out to party unless you want to be the unfriendly one that is with their phone chatting with prospects (possible students).
  • See your television series without interruption.

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