Launching a course is a fantastic way to increase your sales, share your expertise, and begin the venture into juicy, juicy passive income. But with great power comes… you guessed it, great responsibility!
Undertaking a course launch can be so “oversold” in ads that you might fall into the trap of thinking it’s quick, easy money. Or, you might get started and feel like it’s a Mount Everest level project compared to what you’re used to.
I’ve created a COURSE framework as a methodical phase-by-phase process to follow to make the whole thing a lot more doable. Instead of standing at the bottom of Everest staring up, you have a plan for every step of the way. When your focus is on putting one foot in front of the other and keepin’ it moving, you’ll be at the top before burnout and overwhelm have a chance to set in.
The COURSE framework phases are simple: Collect, Orient, Undertake, Refine, Setup, and Execute. Yes, it spells out COURSE on purpose! 😉
Let’s break it down.
Gather data on your ideal client, organize the data, and discover the trends that create the common theme of your course. You’ll complete this phase by talking directly to your ideal client about their desires, struggles, wants, who they serve, etc.
It’s tempting to create an arbitrary avatar like “6-figure business owners” but if you don’t have clarity on who they are and what problem you’re solving for them, your course will be a lot of work on your end for a disappointing outcome. You might think 6-figure business owners want a “Guide to the 30 Day Content Calendar” because that’s what you offer.
In your research you might find that they’re way past that, and need someone who can provide something more in depth. OR, you might find out there’s another ideal client that’s dying for that specific content calendar and eager to buy your course. There’s way more info to collect that I’ve covered in this blog post, but I can’t emphasize enough that without completing this phase, the rest of the framework won’t have a solid foundation to stand on.
In this phase you’re creating the compass that will guide the rest of your launch material. You’ll choose your course title, price, positioning, target audience (you should be SOLID on this one), marketing plan, and tech stack. You have to be decisive in this area or you’ll drag through analysis paralysis forever.
Create a master document with this info and then think through the workflow to complete it all. When you get to the marketing and tech stack, be realistic about your bandwidth and skillset to do it yourself. It’s much easier to delegate and outsource from the beginning than to panic-hire halfway through. Kinda like when you decided to cut your own bangs and showed up to the salon embarrassed and stressed because “it seemed so easy on YouTube!”
Plus, outsourcing frees you up to tackle everything else on your plate with freedom and focus! However you choose to go about your task list, create a funnel map for each area so you can keep track of progress as you move forward. Plan a realistic revenue goal for your launch so you can measure results, and begin undertaking your tasks!
Take a deep breath. Tug your content creating beanie down over your ears. Take a sip of coffee and get ready to develop all of the assets that go with your launch. I’m talking copy, design, video trainings, slides, and all the elements that make your course pour out from your head into the hands of your students.
This is not an exhaustive list of everything your course might require, but it’s a baseline to get you started. Hopefully you’ve already decided what you’ll be hiring out during this phase, because this is the most intense and time consuming phase! Read: hiring out = less headaches *cough cough*
Course material to create:
Copy elements to write:
Design elements to develop:
Again, this isn’t an exhaustive list, but it’s already a lot. Keep one foot in front of the other, and you can do it! Getting the big chunks out of the way like handouts and emails will make it easier to pull snippets for social media later.
High five yourself, you’re over the hump! But also, don’t take a bite while it’s too hot. In the refine stage, we’re reviewing everything and making sure your plan and assets are on the mark. If you skip this stage, errors and mistakes can come back to bite you, slowing down the rest of the process.
Set aside time to look over your plan and assets with an eagle eye. Make sure you’ve completed all the steps so far first for completion and then for perfection. I can’t tell you how many folks have launched a course only to find that they’re missing a key piece of copy, forgot to record a video, or create a handout. It’s the little things that get overlooked!
And then pretend you’re your high school English teacher. Check for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and messaging in your copy. Is it seamless, error-free, and easy to navigate? Do the same with design. Do your colors and fonts match? Is your branding clear? Are your slides or handouts easy to read?
Now we can move onto the final stages.
This is where you get tech-y, set up your launch, and get ready to let ‘er rip. This stage can also be the most nerve wracking if you’re not familiar with your system. Again, outsourcing is great! But if nothing else, be sure to watch the demo videos provided by the platform. There are usually simple solutions to our tech questions, we just have to be willing to find them instead of trying the same thing over and over and getting nowhere.
Kajabi and Teachable are two of my favorite hosting platforms because they’re literally made for courses. They’re pretty user friendly, good with support, and quality products. That being said, there are a lot of moving pieces so remember to take it one step at a time. Within your hosting platform you’ll create all your modules with the assets you’ve already created and perfected in the last phases.
I want to re-emphasize that this isn’t the most thorough, comprehensive guide to setting up your course. But partnering with a launch expert to climb Mount Everest with you (especially since they’ve done it before) can make all the difference in your launch. For this phase, I’m just going to point out the mistakes I see the most so you can be sure to double check these for your own course.
The end is in sight, don’t trip now!
FIN.AL.LY!!!!! You’re here! This is where everything comes together and becomes a real product to put out into the world. You get to sit back, crack open a White Claw, and watch the sales from your adoring audience spill in.
One last step, though… keep track of your metrics and conversions during your launch. If you find that people are falling off at certain points of your funnel, you might want to make some tweaks and optimize it or save the “feedback” for the next go-around. Otherwise, trust the process!
Once it’s over, make notes of your metrics (I’ll tell you more about that in a future blog!) and keep them as a goal to beat in your next launch!
Whew, what time is it? That was a lot to cover! Now that we’re launch besties, you should know that I can help with basically every single stage of the launch process. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in my contact form to talk about what’s going on in your launch!