Easy ways to launch an online live course without complicated tech
So many clients and fellow entrepreneurs tell me how hard they find it to find their way around online tech. They may want to teach an online course, or a masterclass of some sort, but the idea of having to study platforms, payment systems and integration makes them run for the hills. Such a shame! So today, I am going to share my favourite tricks to launch a paid online programme, course or masterclass without giving yourself a headache.
The possibilities are endless now. Teachable, Thinkific, Membervault, Kartra, Podia, Kajabi…they all have exotic names, and all have their own tech attached. Also, you often have to spent AGES making the pages look the way you want, so it matches your branding, etc, and before you know it, another week has gone by before you even started creating the actual content! Oh, and let’s not forget the Pro upgrades you most likely need, which hammers your budget once again.
Keep it easy, perfection is overrated!
I felt like this a few months ago, before I launched my own group programme From Overwhelmed to On the Ball (which I will be running again in autumn). I felt all stressed out, and in the end, I almost didn’t do it. But then I decided to take a step back….and do it my way. The easy way. Because that is how I roll.
So where do I host my course? A weekly Zoom call, a PDF, and a private Facebook group.
I created a sales page, embedded a payment link, and now send a zoom link and a PDF attachment via email to my small group of participants. That’s it. THAT’S IT!
People want your knowledge and support, not a shiny system
OK, OK, there was a slightly longer run-up to actually getting people to sign up. I also created a landing page for a free challenge on Mailerlite, my email system, so I gathered lots of email addresses. Then I directed them to a special private Facebook group, where I gave the free training, and then promoted my paid course. But even the 3-day challenge I kept really simple. No PowerPoints, or complicated long presentations, but simply a daily 30-minute training on Facebook Live. I just showed up and talked. Easy peasy.
My advice? Keep it simple and just start. Learn as you go, tweak on the way, review it afterwards and improve. Get feedback, try things out, and next time it will be even better. We get so sucked into the tech bits, that we forget what it is actually about: YOUR KNOWLEDGE.
People don’t sign up because of your brand colours, or how pretty your freebie looks. They come to you for help. Go and help them. In all your beautiful imperfection.
What I recommend to launch your live online course
To build your audience:
A much better system than Mailchimp, in my opinion, Mailerlite gives you a very straightforward option to build a landing page to sell your course on, or gather email addresses (if you offer a free download or challenge). You can set up an automated email sequence as well, to start a funnel. It is free for up to 1000 subscribers.
Forget the pages and the profiles, it’s groups that are your best tool. Through any freebies you are offering, make sure you direct your subscribers to your free group, to nurture them some more. Promote your group wherever you can, so people will join. If it is clear who the group is for (in the title, the header and the description), people will join if they see the benefit.
In your group you can host Lives, events, free challenges and promote your paid courses. The more engaged your group is, the higher the chance that they will buy. For my live paid course I set up a separate private group, so my participants can chat with each other or ask me questions in between the weekly group calls.
To collect payments:
Paypal is often the first payment app people think of, but they take a hefty cut. I discovered Tillypay recently, which is from Stripe, and it works very well. They take 2.5% off the sale price, whereas Paypal takes around 4.4%. If you set up a Stripe account you can very easily create a Tillypay payment link, which you can share everywhere you need, in emails, on social media, wherever you promote your course. I created buttons on my web page and linked them to Tillypay. Simple. Once someone pays, you collect their email address, so you can contact them. You can also direct them to a URL (or your Facebook group).
To create pretty graphics and PDF workbooks:
Whether it is pretty posts for your social media, or an e-book, Canva is your best friend for nice looking graphics. I created my downloadable freebies in here, but for my paid course I also designed the workbooks and the whole presentation I share during the live training. I use my brand colours and make it all look good.
To deliver the training:
And then there is the delivery! I have a Zoom Pro subscription, so I can hold meetings longer than 40 minutes, but if you stay under that, it is a free app. I schedule the weekly training, and then send out my group email the day before with the link, and the PDF workbook attached.
I record the Zoom training calls, and download them on my computer. I then upload them onto Vimeo, so I can easily share the replay with my participants, or post it in our private Facebook group.
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