There’s always something new to learn about launching an online program, no matter how many times you’ve launched one. Tools are constantly being developed to provide new ways of targeting prospects from your ideal audience more exclusively and powerfully during a launch. Your audience’s expectations and digital behavior can alter. However, the nuts and bolts of putting together a successful online program will always be similar. Here’s what to add to your list of steps before launching your next one.
Know Who Your Target Audience Is
Without this step, even the best content can go unappreciated. Targeting is becoming so advanced that most audiences expect content to be focused on their needs and solve their problems in very specific ways. This value judgement could be due to the perception of more demands on their time. It could also be affected by the dwindling collective global attention span. A recent study performed by the Technical University of Denmark suggests it is narrowing due to the amount of information presented to the public. But attention problems don’t just affect young people. It can also affect older people who may be part of your ideal audience.
Once you know who your target audience is in great detail, it can inform every subsequent decision you make as you build your online course. The best way to find out what your audience would like to learn from your online course, take the time to ask them. Create your program based on their feedback. Doing this will remove a lot of anxiety about your program, because you will be providing what they want, not just what you believe they want from the program.
Pick the Perfect Course Topic
Picking the perfect course topic will be easy once you have interviewed your ideal audience. The process, when done diligently, will give you information about what topics they’re most interested in. Fill the most important niche for them if you can. Looking at competitors’ programs can also help you identify gaps in the market that you can fill. Your topic choice should also ideally reflect your own interests so that you’ll enjoy the process of building your program even more, and it will show during its presentation.
Create Magnetic and Compelling Learning Outcomes
Most people will be interested to know what they learn as they work through your online program, and how it will make a difference in their lives. So working out the learning outcomes and making them as attractive as possible before you begin creating the content is key. List the benefits your program will provide, and it will also help you market your program later. It will help your prospects with their logic and emotional decision-making regarding purchasing your program. Ask yourself some questions. At the end of the program:
- What skills will they be able to demonstrate?
- What new knowledge will they have obtained?
- What feelings will they have moved away from or towards?
Create Your Online Program & Choose The Format
Once you have covered all of the above, you will be ready to create your program. You may already know from your research what you want your program to provide for your ideal audience. You may also be able to picture the transformation clearly in your mind.
But if not, now is the time to go back to your research material and identify the most important topics to cover during the program.
Map out your entire program now. Begin by listing out between six and twelve topics that you know are absolutely essential to your clients’ transformation from the information they have given you. If it doesn’t seem obvious, go back and confirm these with them.
Once the necessary topics become clear to you, place them in the order you think will make the most sense. Imagine holding your ideal client by the hand, and guiding them, step-by-step, through their journey to transformation. What would the journey look like?
Once you have the topics written down, fill out your outline for each one. Then create your content based on the format you have chosen for the program.
When it comes to format, video takes the lead for the most commonly used format in content marketing this year. This may be because it is helpful for various learning styles, including visual and auditory. Research also confirms that video content improves learning results. Forrester Research estimates that one minute of online video equates to approximately 1.8 million written words. What’s more, 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text.
Making videos for your online course need not be costly nor time-consuming. You can use narrated Powerpoint or Keynote slide decks for your ‘content' or do face-to-camera videos, or a combination. This way, people will be able to hear your voice as you guide them through each session, helping them connect with the content more easily and growing trust. Options for recording your sessions (or modules) include Screenflow (for Mac), Camtasia (for PC) or even a platform like Zoom.
In addition to the narrated slide presentation, provide your clients with a PDF file of each session so that they have a hard copy option to read through if they’d like to. An economical way to do this is to convert the PowerPoint or Keynote presentations to PDF files by choosing “PDF” after selecting “Save As” in the “File” dropdown menu on your computer.
As a side note, adding self-assessment questions to your program could also help your clients improve their learning outcomes.
Set Your Pricing
Your pricing will depend on what you include in your program, but the most effective way of finding out the best price point for your program is to test it on a beta group. As a guide, you might choose to price your program at 1/2 – 2/3 of the fee you would normally charge for a one-on-one consultation fee, per hour of your program. As you gain more experience, exposure, and momentum, you will probably increase the fee. However, you may want to initially set your price low enough to expose your program to more people, so testing it will provide more reliable results for your analysis. Raising your price later may also seem more logical and positive than later lowering it.
In addition, You want to offer a 3-7 day, limited-time pricing offer (or early bird special) when you launch your program. When you offer a limited-time incentive, it creates urgency, which can increase enrollment.
Another option is to offer both the pricing incentive that ends 7 days before your program start date, and a bonus offer ending 3 days before your start date. The first incentive is a discount, and the second one could be a recipe guide, or other useful pdf or video. You might also offer a one-to-one session to the lucky winner of a draw your prospect can enter into after successful completion of the program to help them get even better results.
Market Your Program
Once you have a start date in mind for your program, and the content is 80% complete, you’ll want to begin promoting your program. Approximately three weeks before the start date is usually an appropriate time.
Invite email subscribers, post on social media, and contact any connections you may have to help you promote your program. You could also host a webinar or provide a live workshop to invite people to your online program, and help you build your email list at the same time.
Choose a webinar/workshop topic that addresses one of the problems your prospects believe they have that may not be the true cause of their issue, and discuss the reasons why they have the problem and what is at stake. However, instead of providing answers to the problems discussed, promote the benefits of your program. Send out a series of automated emails to your list about the program, bonuses and discounts.
In addition to a webinar, you may also like to create at least one high-value, detailed blog post about a topic that relates to your program, including a link to the page that goes to a free resource if you would like to build your list of subscribers. Promote the article several times per week on your social media at different times of the day.
For an extra boost, use live streams to share helpful tips, too, and add a call to action at the end about joining your program.
To create professional images, hire a graphic designer to help you develop graphics to promote your online program on social media and via email.
Check Over Your Program
Before you launch your program, go through it to ensure everything is set up correctly. All the links must work, and your content should be scheduled to go out on the right dates. Your online program will evolve over time as you test it and make improvements.
The only task left to do once all of the above is in place is to launch it. Initially, you may choose to offer it only to your group of beta testers, so you can make changes to the program based on their useful feedback. Or perhaps this isn’t your first launch, and you are ready to offer your program to your client base and warm contact list.
Having an online course is a wonderful way to create a passive income, educate your patients and clients about the benefits of lifestyle changes and help them make better choices when purchasing supplements online. Research now confirms that the health risks caused by lifestyle- and dietary-related issues such as obesity increase for infectious diseases as well as chronic conditions. Now is the perfect time to incorporate an online program into your offerings that helps your patients navigate the waters of the current health climate and beyond in a way that’s beneficial for all.
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