8 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting to Sell Courses

You know you want to start an online course business, but you worry about making mistakes that will stop it in its tracks.

While it’s great that you are aware of the potential for error, there is no need to be afraid. You can learn from mistakes that others have made and take action to ensure you do not fall into the same traps.

Here are some common mistakes to avoid when starting an online course business.

1. Not giving yourself enough time to create great content.

When people sign up for online courses, they expect to receive useful content that dives deep into the subject matter. You can’t create that kind of content in a couple of days.

Set a realistic launch date for your online course business and start working on creating the content in plenty of time to meet that deadline. Include time in your schedule to review and revise the content to ensure the quality is high.

2. Making your courses too broad.

People who take online courses typically want to gain specific knowledge that will help them achieve their goals. They don’t want to pay for a course that covers a wide range of topics, only some of which are relevant to their aims.

Make your courses deep, not broad. Focus intensely on a single topic. If you want to cover related topics, you can make more courses.

3. Forgetting to pre-sell your courses.

Some new online course business owners think that the correct way to launch a course is to plan it, build it, and only then to start marketing it. This is backward. You should start to create a buzz around your course as soon as you start planning it. Sign up students and get them excited about the launch date.

4. Not doing enough testing.

When your course goes live you need to be sure that every aspect of it works perfectly. Videos that won’t load leave students feeling angry and clamoring for a refund. Checking all your content works correctly doesn’t take long and can make a big difference to the success of your online course business.

5. Pricing courses too low.

Many new course creators make the mistake of pricing their courses too low. They think that dropping the price will persuade more people to sign up. However, the opposite is often true. When people see a cheap course, they assume that it will not provide value.

Price your course high and invest in marketing to convince potential students of the value that it can provide to them. This strategy is much more likely to result in satisfied students than a “rush it out, price it cheap” strategy for an online course business.

6. Failing to build an email list.

A mailing list of interested people is essential for selling any online course. Before you even finalize your first course you should be collecting email addresses from students who are interested in the courses you plan to offer.

As the course launch date approaches you should email your list to let them know they should go to the course page and sign up. Keep mailing students to remind them to log in and engage with the course content so they don’t miss out.

7. Not listening to feedback.

When you have put your heart and soul into building a course, it is tempting to label anyone who doesn’t appreciate it as difficult and unfair. But ignore negative feedback at your peril!

Unsatisfied students have a lot to offer you. Their feedback can help you improve your courses. If students have misunderstood the scope of a course then that is a clear sign that you need to improve your sales pages to offer more clarity.

Before you rush to blame unhappy students, take the time to consider how you can make your courses and marketing materials more insightful, clear, and user-friendly.

8. Failing to plan ahead.

Getting an online course business off the ground can take a lot of time and effort, so it is not surprising that few entrepreneurs take the time to look ahead. However, it is important to know where your business is heading.

As you gain more of an audience you will be under pressure to create more courses and respond to a greater pool of students. You might need to bring in someone to help you develop and market new courses to meet customer demand. Start thinking now about who you might like to partner with and which parts of your business you could delegate to give yourself more time.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can give your online course business the greatest possible chance of success.

While you might still run into challenges, you can dodge many common pitfalls by being aware of these common mistakes and taking action to avoid making them. Follow these tips when launching your online course business to help increase your chances of success.

Author

Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Twitter | LinkedIn

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