So you are all ready to create a course (and maybe even have created the course) but when you launch it you can’t help but ask yourself “how do I sell an online course”, am I right? Without a list or large following, it’s going to be hard to nurture subscribers and get people to actually click that buy button. Creating an Opt in that relates directly to your course content will help you build a list of people who will be more likely be interested in the course itself (which will make the selling part a whole lot easier).
Your course doesn’t have to be huge, it could be a workshop, it can even be something like a mini-course. One example is my Opt In Funnels Workshop, which is a very low investment course that helps you set up an opt in funnel that helps you turn strangers into fast friends, clients, and customers. It walks you through the steps of creating a landing page, a thank you page and to help you setup your subscribe form and lists on your email marketing account. It’s important to create opt in to help you with your end goal; an opt in has to serve a purpose—to market your products and services. In order to help sustain your business, you need to upsell or make money using your opt ins.
Opt ins are here to help support and promote your services, which is why it’s so important to make sure your opt in is aligned with your offerings and what you’re trying to sell. The Opt In Design Workshop was a massive opt in that I created—it’s literally 5 days of emails, videos and Canva templates, FOR FREE. I made this workshop originally because of how many people are out there with businesses and are just overwhelmed with all the things they need to do to create an opt in, deliver it and then finally launch it (because yes, you should launch your opt in!). Why is it free? Because I want people to be able to design beautiful, strategic opt ins that will help them grow their business.
I started off by creating the Opt In Design Workshop — I purposefully poured tons of time and energy into that workshop because I wanted people to get that opt in designed and to get it up, set it up and launch it and be ready completely to welcome their new subscribers.
And then the next step to that opt in experience is to go with the Opt In Funnels Workshop, a paid product, which helps you enhance that experience for your subscribers. It can help increase your conversion rates with great landing pages, asks your subscribers to engage with you, to share your content, and to follow you on Instagram all with a thank you page. It welcomes them with an awesome email to get to know you more, as though you were taking them out to coffee. So it takes the opt in experience to the next level. I actually do offer a discount to the students who’ve taken the Opt In Design Workshop, which is how I created a funnel that brings people directly to my paid product (Opt In Funnels Workshop). Even though the opt in is free, I’ve monetized it by inviting my students to take the next step and invest in their opt in experience so for a low investment (less than $30) I teach you how to create landing and thank you pages, and welcome sequences, all of which are really important to have.
Haley is a creative who is amazing at automating and systemizing. Because she’s so good at systems, she made an opt in based on that. Her opt in teaches people the basics of how to use Asana in your business – Asana Basics. She then uses that free opt in to funnel people into her course, Asana for the Entrepreneuer which gives you tips, tricks, and resources for your business so you can be the most productive and organized you’ve ever been in your business, and it’s only $27.
They’re crazy good at business, at strategy, basically it seems like just crazy good at everything! They put out some really great content. Last year around Black Friday/Cyber Monday they did a free Facebook Live about how to get ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. But in the midst of that, they were doing their 5 Days to Launch Challenge (listen to their podcast episode about it) which isn’t an evergreen challenge, they only release it every once in a while. This challenge is actually what helped me launch the Opt In Toolbox! The 5 Days to Launch Challenge helps you to define your MVP (Most Viable Product) and helps you get something to sell in your shop (or Etsy, Creative Market, etc.) in 5 days.
At the end of the challenge, they opened the doors to the Strategy Academy, which is a higher paid course ($2000). The more valuable your opt in is, the more people will be willing to purchase your course/workshop because of how much value you gave them for free.
TIP: When coming up with your marketing strategy for your course the number one is to get your opt in out! That will help build your list, so when you’re ready to launch your course you’ve got an engaged following ready to buy whatever you’re launching.
The simple formula to create an opt in that will help you sell your next online course is to figure out the very first step which is usually the WHY and the natural next step would be to offer the HOW as your paid offer. To start, break down your online course (this also works for digital products) into modules. Break it down from the end goal to the beginning. What are they going to get out of it at the end, and work your way backwards.
With step #1, give that away for free. This is usually the WHY they need your thing.
An example of an online course idea for Branding Designers would be a DIY branding course. From discovering their brand to designing the mood board to creating their logo, color palette, typography and even collateral. At the end they’ll walk away with a brand that speaks to their ideal client.
So the first steps would be the brand discovery process and creation of the mood board. For your opt in freebie you could do a brand discovery workshop/masterclass/XX day challenge that would then funnel into your full branding course. The main goal is that the quality of the opt in is to be at the same level of the course you’re wanting them to buy and is super related to it.
Just remember: Not everyone on your list is going to buy your course. Typically, statistics say about 1-3% of your email list will buy your course. The bigger and more engaged your subscribers are (and the more you are able to focus on what exactly they need), the more likely they are to invest in your paid offering!
What are your goals? Why do you even want to sell an online course, and how can you map out a plan to make it happen? Have a question or need help brainstorming your opt in? Leave a comment below or click the “Have a Question?” and reach out!