Sell First, Build Later

reading-at-computerRecently I had the pleasure of attending a webinar by Clay Collins, the founder of the ultra-popular LeadPages platform.

The topic of presentation was on selling products (something that I am naturally interested in given what we do at LearnDash). While there was a lot discussed on the call the main premise was this:

Sell your product first (pre-sell it) and then build it only after it has sold.

This same process can be applied to your online courses.

If you have an idea for a course that you plan on selling to a certain audience then it doesn’t make sense to “guess” what the learners want to know.

If you do then you run the very real risk of creating an entire course that doesn’t sell.

You will have wasted months of your precious time.

Even worse, you may refuse to give-up on the course because of the time you spent creating it. In essence you will be staying on a sinking ship which prevents you from moving onto other endeavors.

That’s why I think pre-selling your course is the perfect way to go.

If you are on any kind of social media platform (you should be) then reach out to your target audience from there. If you have a website already then you can poll you visitors.

Join forums and Facebook groups to gather insights.

Find out what it is people are most interested in learning. Then, create just one lesson on that subject (not an entire course) and offer it for free.

These free sign-ups are going to be the foundation on which you build the rest of the course.

Interact with the people taking the course. Start a forum and encourage the free users to share what they liked and didn’t like about the content. Most importantly, figure out what it is they want to learn and use this to build out the rest of your course.

By pre-selling your course you are better prepared to build something that people will actually purchase by the time you put a price-tag on it.

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About the Author:

Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by the world's leading organizations, such as the University of Michigan, Digital Marketer, WPEngine, and Infusionsoft. Justin has made a career as an elearning consultant where he has implemented large-scale training programs for Fortune 500 companies. Twitter | LinkedIn

4 Comments
  1. Ludovic

    Hi Justin,

    Thanks for your post.
    How many time between the pre-selling with only one lesson, and all the courses, is correct for you ?
    Thanks
    Ludovic

    • In 2013 we released a small, free introductory course (as a gateway) to a paid course. Over 800 people signed-up in one-month. We didn’t advertise it heavily and never mentioned it to LearnDash users. There was just a small link to it on our blog at the time. We gathered feedback but ultimately shifted our resources back to the software itself. We may revisit the idea.

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