August 2nd, 2017 Business

Many people are afraid of coming across as “too sales-y” when they are starting an online business selling courses. I am here to tell you that being sales focused is okay. In fact, it’s necessary.

No matter what business you start, from online courses to physical products, you will face competition.

If there is any value in your market then don’t expect to be the only player in the game. Sure, this is intimidating but you should also feel good about it – this means you have a viable market!

So let’s say you spend months creating your online course content and you have been blogging about it during this time to build up an email list and establish some visibility.

Then suddenly you catch word that someone else is offering a similar course looking to solve the exact same problem. Here is where people commonly have one of three reactions:

  1. Frustration causes them to lash out, talking bad about the other product
  2. They do nothing because they feel that their course will “speak for itself”
  3. They assess the competition and ramp up their sales efforts accordingly

The first two reactions are not good for your business.

The first one is pretty obvious. If you lash out on the internet then it is going to live forever and be a black-eye on you and your business. Don’t do that.

The second one is where most people fall into, and I think I know why.

It’s Easier to do Nothing

Competition can be scary and whether we like to admit it or not it is sometimes easier to do nothing than it is to adapt to the new entrant. In theory we like to believe our customers will tell the world how great we are – and perhaps some will – but you don’t build a business on hope. You build it on action.

Your course may actually be way better than your competition but others won’t know that. If they buy  a competing course then that means they likely aren’t going to purchase yours. You have to secure the sale when you have their attention.

So how do you do this? By understanding the approach your competitors are taking and modifying your messaging accordingly. There is nothing wrong with telling people why your course is the best for them. That’s what they are looking for anyhow.

Sure, you don’t want it to be obnoxious but remember that when someone is interested in their product they want to know what is in it for them (i.e. why your course is the best for their needs). So tell them. Use examples, case studies, video, introductory lessons, so on and so forth. Give them free reports or trials.

Far too few people focus on writing compelling sales copy. It is sort of an art. If you aren’t good at it then hire someone. If they are any good at what they do then it will pay for itself over and over again.

The point is that you can’t be afraid of competition, and doing “nothing” is not a strategy. You know your industry. Use your knowledge to intelligently position your course for those who are looking for it.

Justin Ferriman photo

About Justin Ferriman

Justin Ferriman started LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Justin's Homepage | Twitter


6 responses

Leave a Comment

Great points Justin! Thanks!


Glad you liked it Michael!

Avatar Dawn Duque

Inspiring.. Very nice writing..!!

Avatar Suresh Ramanujam

so how can I get my program accredited? I see articles about why we should get acredites however they don’t say how to do this? can you please inform us.

Avatar Lizey

Hi, Thank you for the great read. I am with Suresh, how do we accredit a program? I am searching the internet but nothing is showing HOW to get it done, how to start.
Thank you for listening

Avatar Desere E Muller

Comments are closed.

Your course could already be online!

We offer a 15 day money-back guarantee and have a world class community to help you get your course online today!

See LearnDash in action. Online Demo


👋 Meet LearnDash Webinar

Are you trying to decide if LearnDash is the right learning management system to build your online courses? Join us for our next live walkthrough.

Join Our Next Webinar!

LearnDash webinars are designed to teach you how to build, grow, and scale your course-building business. Join our team in one of our next live webinars.