The 10 Visuals You Need For A Money-Making Launch
You're a client-based entrepreneur that's ready to launch your signature course. You've achieved amazing results from working with your one-on-one clients, but you don't want to be working with clients forever. You want the real freedom and flexibility that comes from having a low-touch product offering.
Creating an online course is a great way to open up that passive income stream. And with your experience working with clients one-on-one, you already have all the knowledge you need to create life-changing content.
What you need help with is putting together all the technical and visual elements that go along with a successful signature course. Use these checklists to stay focused on what you need to be working on.
When it comes to launching courses, Mariah Coz really knows her shit. And her recommendation for when to start your prelaunch is between 40 and 50 days before your launch (or roughly 6-8 weeks).
So what do you need to prelaunch? What does that look like?
- First, you need to know your course name (it's kinda obvious but worth mentioning).
- You'll want to make sure that you can get a custom domain with your course name. I mean, honestly, your premium course deserves its own domain. If you're using Squarespace, they now offer the ability to purchase your domain directly through their platform. Other awesome choices for domain service providers: Google Domains, Namecheap, and Hover.
- Now that you've got your course name and custom domain, you'll need to give your course some pizazz. That means a custom logo and brand style guide. Really before you do ANY content for your course, you need to have your brand message defined. I always recommend clients start with honing in on their brand voice and visual aesthetic before digging into the content. This just makes your job a lot easier when creating the course visuals and content. And I have a blog post with a downloadable Course Brand Discovery Guide if you need more help on that.
- Next up is the splash page (aka cover page or "coming soon" page). The purpose of this page is simple: to collect email addresses from interested potential customers to put them on your launch email list. If you're launching a live program, SplashThat is pretty fucking cool. But for something a bit simpler, Squarespace cover pages are a solid go-to.
- And, of course, you need a sweet sweet opt-in incentive. This is the kickass freebie to get people to sign up. When creating an opt-in think of giving your audience a taste of what it's like to work with you. You can teach them a pre-cursor (i.e. what they need to know before taking your course) or give them a high-level overview (like a checklist).
- Get excited on social. When you're launching your signature course, that's the online business equivalent of opening up a coffee shop. You want to tell everyone your know that you're opening soon. Pick your top 2 or 3 social media platforms (the ones that your target clients are most active on) and schedule out your launch posts with eye-catching graphics to draw them in.
- You may want to include mockups on your splash page and in social media graphics during this prelaunch phase. But you'll definitely want them for your launch phase, so you might as well prepare them now. Having mockups of your course materials and videos is a great selling point. This gets your audience to visualize all of the awesomeness that awaits them inside your course. You'll want to use mockups on your course sales page and your webinar slide deck during launch time.
Here are the elements you'll want to have in place during your launch phase:
- Make your webinar resonate with a solid webinar slide deck. When you're launching a course, one of the most effective tools you can use is the webinar (or a series of webinars). Whether you're doing a joint-venture webinar or going solo, you need to have a slide deck that excites and connects with your audience. I go into what makes webinars awesome in this blog post.
- You need a landing page to sell your course. This page has all your connective sales copy with no external navigation (meaning no links clicking off away from your page except for your buy button). Make sure the copy speaks to your target audience of people that are primed to buy. Provide testimonials, visuals of what they'll get (your sexy mockups from the prelaunch phase), and several big fat buttons (calls-to-action) that link them to your payment processor of choice.
- Finally, you'll need kickass course materials. You're planning on using worksheets in your course, right? If you're not, please read this blog post on why you really need to include worksheets. Your workbooks should provide REAL value and add to the overall experience of your course. It's not about quantity, but quality. Canva is a great free tool to make worksheets or workbooks. But, let's be honest, you'll rarely find a designer using Canva for client work, so invest in Illustrator or InDesign to kick your workbook game up a notch.
*BONUS tip: you need bonuses. The thing about bonuses that not everyone seems to get, is that it's not about more stuff. You're not stuffing this course package full of content to increase the perceived value ("You're getting $45,967 worth of content for only $37!"). Not the way to go. Think about it, what makes your course successful? Is it about the number of people you get to sign up? Or, is it about the results that your students get from going through your course? You know it's the latter.
So, when creating your bonuses, think about what you can give students that will help them get through the whole course, take action on what they learn, and get results. Mariah Coz gave a brilliant Periscope talk about this where she listed the top 5 types of bonuses (I'd link you to it, but Katch is no more, which really makes me question the future of Periscope –but that's for another time).
In short, when it comes to bonuses, it's not about creating more stuff, it's about making it easier for your students to get through the course and experience transformation.
P.S. Let's start a discussion. Are you planning on launching a course this year?