How to Pre-Sell a Course?

by Paleus
31 replies
I am planning on putting together a lengthy course on the "economics of bitcoin" for my audience.

Before I go and invest the time and resources into building this course (which I plan on making quite extensive), I was wondering if there is a good way to first test the market and determine if there are actually buyers out there who are interested. The last thing I would want is to make a course such as this as have no one purchase it.

How can someone pre-sell a course such as this so that they know a customer base has already been built up? Will customers get angry if I ask for money before having the actual course ready?

Thank you in advance to all help and advice with this!
#presell
  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    In this case we all know there is a Bitcoin audience.

    Segment further.

    WHAT ABOUT Bitcoin does your target want to learn more concerning?

    One of the most powerful things I have helped clients do is transform the mindset of their audience.

    They bring in people who are already very interested in the topic. Then they educate them on a different way of thinking about the topic.

    And then they release a product that automates that different way of thinking.

    The education portion can be the pre-sales or warm up part of the funnel. You can charge for this, but I would not until after the launch. That way you have content that is proven to excite buyers.

    You can build into the funnel engagement steps to get testimonials along the way.

    Honestly, I think you have a long way to go without help.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10267623].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author eliocarchidi
      Thanks for your help!
      Please can you suggest me a good courses pre-sales page template?
      I'm finding in my language but I cannot find it?
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10271395].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author timpears
    Jason Kanigan knows his stuff, so pay attention.
    Signature

    Tim Pears

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10268141].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    For a quick test, see if your targeted audience are very responsive to a freebie. Send them to a squeeze page and see how the traffic converts to your free offer. If the conversion rate sucks, abandon project and do something else. If the conversion rates are off the charts, then proceed with selling your material. Once you determine that the demand is there.... create your product, and THEN release it to your email list for purchase.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10268170].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author leilani
    Have you done forum research to find out what questions people have about bit coin and see if your course will address those questions?

    Have you researched to see if there are other courses that may be similar to yours? This would indicate that there is an interest in the subject.

    Which brings to mind one guru who decided to create a course/book to help college students get good grades. Spent lots of time developing the book only to find out no one wanted to buy it. Moral: Do your research first which is a plus for you.

    Sharing.

    Leilani
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10268266].message }}
    • Your best option is to dive into the market first hand and see what is out there. There's tons of information about bitcoin, and there's definitely a large audience.

      You should get in there and personally ask questions (Forums, Social Media groups, Blogs, etc.). Seems like tedious work but its worth it in the long run.

      You can also set up a Freebie of some sort (Related to Bitcoin) in return for a short survey that your audience could answer to give you some insight on their needs.
      It's all about upfront value and giving your audience what they want, not what you can offer.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10268294].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author fthomas137
    Without a shadow of doubt, pre-sell your product!

    I never invest a huge amount of time unless I'm pretty confident that the product will sell. I've wasted a lot of time making products that were duds because nobody was interested in them.

    You do need to know why your prospective client wants your product. You'll need to illustrate this in your sales page. And do create a sales page that tells them that you are taking special pre-launch sales and if they decide to purchase before launch, they'll save 'x' dollars before launch.

    This works! Once you have a strong client base, you can pre-launch without a discount to current clients as you should have built up trust with them and they know that they will get what you promise.

    But dont' be afraid to sell your idea before you make your idea. I've done this concept for years and it does work.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10271368].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author DustonMcGroarty
    I've actually done this many, many times... I call it "Getting Paid To Create Your Product". In fact, I just did it again last week and before that in June.

    The way to deliver to these presell folks and keep them happy is by selling it as a 4-week, 6-week or 8-week training. Tell them this is a one-time deal that you won't ever do again and when you release it (your final product) to the public it will cost 10x more.

    I've had great success with this using just a small portion of my list. You could just as easily advertise a lead magnet, get them to opt-in then offer the training on a specific date. I run these like mini-launches. I'll send out three "pre-sell" emails then the fourth one "the cart is open". I don't even put up a sales page. Just sell it straight through email and straight to a PayPal link to buy.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10271386].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author RyanJohnson1
      I think you want an actual plan someone has actually done and not just theory...

      85% of the courses that I have sold successfully were sold before any piece of content was ever created.

      I would go crazy if I created a product first, spent my time and resources on it only to have no one buy it.

      So let me give you an example of how I have best pre-sold people into an upcoming course.

      I'm going to assume you have a list in bitcoin already or i don't know how successful your launch would reallybe...

      So what I did was created a paid webinar on the topic my future course was going to be about. I only charged a $1 for it however what this does is it gets your most hyper responsive people to show up and be attentive.

      80% of the people who purchased the paid webinar showed up live...

      And over the course of 3 hours I walked them through 3hours of pure content of what I believed were the most exciting point of what of what I wanted my course to be about.

      At then end of the 3 hours I then made an offer for them to buy my course in advance where I would walk them step by step through everything I had just talked about for the last 3 hours, and 50% of the people who showed up live purchased.

      When you do it this way you're only talking to buyers...and buyers will buy when presented with a good offer they actually care about.

      Hope that helps.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10271406].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author waynmeyer
    This post is a good learning curve for me thank you warriors.
    Signature
    Build Your Online Business With Me From Scratch!!
    Join waynemeyer.org to experience professional level support

    Learn how i rake in over $600 000 p/m PROFIT with ecommerce websites, directory websites, affiliate websites, blogs, business websites, membership websites and Social networks.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10271408].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author stevefox88
    Very informative and I learned something. Thanks
    Signature

    Give Up? Do it now so that you regret later

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10271424].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author John Dell
    Guys, this thread is a fantastic read? Kanigan, Duston and Ryan does this convert to all sort of niches? are these techniques would only work for Make Money Online niches.

    I am working on a product about "how to revamp plr product into a shiny new product in any niche". But I am unsure if this will click, and this has resulted in my go slow over the creation.

    I would like to hear your suggestions for me
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10271464].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author winnermarketing
    Originally Posted by Paleus View Post

    Will customers get angry if I ask for money before having the actual course ready?
    Yes, probably they will!!

    I think you will not obtain the results you hope!

    The best thing to do is to give possibility to book your course in exchange for a discount!

    you will obtain:
    1 visibility
    2 to know how many people are interested in have the course
    3 Get more customers couse of the discount!
    Signature

    Free Guide to Make Money Online [Now!]
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10271501].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Cosmo Demopoulos
      Originally Posted by winnermarketing View Post

      Yes, probably they will!!

      I think you will not obtain the results you hope!

      The best thing to do is to give possibility to book your course in exchange for a discount!

      you will obtain:
      1 visibility
      2 to know how many people are interested in have the course
      3 Get more customers couse of the discount!
      Why would they possibly get upset?

      I tell them the course is in development and THEY will help develop and tailor the course through their input.

      I then poll them several times (free Survey Monkey version) about what they want covered, what I missed, etc.

      It works. I've been doing course my entire life and this is the latish, and I believe best, model
      Signature
      Wine - bubbles and more
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10275661].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
        Originally Posted by Cosmo Demopoulos View Post

        Why would they possibly get upset?

        I tell them the course is in development and THEY will help develop and tailor the course through their input.

        I then poll them several times (free Survey Monkey version) about what they want covered, what I missed, etc.

        It works. I've been doing course my entire life and this is the latish, and I believe best, model
        It works.

        I did this in 2013 with the Sales Judo product. It was a 4-week membership site product. The first week's content was existing material I had from an email campaign.

        I used a Facebook group for engagement and feedback. The course as it developed became much stronger than I'd originally intended, which was cool. So it ended up being a better product because of the weekly content creation. I could react to the actual issues my clients were having in the field.

        The secret here is that you have to KNOW something beforehand...have some expertise so you can riff around it and fill in the blanks as customers identify them.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10276004].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
          Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

          The secret here is that you have to KNOW something beforehand...have some expertise so you can riff around it and fill in the blanks as customers identify them.
          Repeated for emphasis.

          This is nigh near impossible if you're trying to use either the "fake it til you make it" or "learn as you teach" models.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10276612].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Cosmo Demopoulos
            Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

            Repeated for emphasis.

            This is nigh near impossible if you're trying to use either the "fake it til you make it" or "learn as you teach" models.
            Absolutely agreed! You need to know your stuff extremely well. The "product" comes from your opre-existing knowledge, tailored to the needs and desires of your buyers
            Signature
            Wine - bubbles and more
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10277940].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author fated82
              I would start with providing short courses, probably a 45 mins presentation on a particular subject and see what the take up rate is.

              I will also look at Bitcoin theme forums to see what people are asking, what problems they have and if your eventual course can help solve those problems.

              Once you have a series of short courses (all related to each other), then you can consider repackaging them into a course that sells for a higher price.

              Hope that helps....
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10277971].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
          Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

          It works.
          The secret here is that you have to KNOW something beforehand...have some expertise so you can riff around it and fill in the blanks as customers identify them.
          I run a variety of continuous memberships where each month I run live training sessions.

          With each live session there is a registration page and the thank you page has a simple three question survey.

          In the live training I thank the survey respondents and add their questions to the list of upcoming episodes.

          I've been running things this way now for nearly four years now.

          With each of the training modules they also become physical products that get sold. The training gets transcribed and then extracts get made into a variety of lead magnets including Kindles.

          Once you get rolling you have a never-ending source of content that is always up to date for your members and often that hives off other products that follow on naturally from what you do.

          New members get put in a drip feed sequence and all the content keeps getting repurposed and resold.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10278303].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Paleus
            UPDATE

            We went ahead and did an email blast and social media postings for our upcoming course earlier today. Nothing too intensive or complex, simply sent an email to our list of about 450 people and posted a link to the landing page on each of our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages.

            Our landing page did not convert very well on a pre-launch offer for a $50 course. I will also say that our landing page is not great in terms of sales copy or conversion potential as far as sales pages go. If you are intersted, you can take a look here: https://diginomics.com/products/econ...itcoin-course/

            Our landing page had 16 unique page views for the day (not great).
            Of these 16 people who had an average time on page of 10:44, one person plunked down the $50 for this upcoming course. This would give us a current conversion rate of 6.25% (1/16 unique visitors)


            My question is threefold:
            1. How can we get more targeted visitors to our page? It seems our email list is simply not cutting it.
            2. Looking at the landing page, how can we improve the sales copy? Does it seem like we have addressed a client need?
            3. Given the current conversion and results, does it seem worthwhile to proceed with producing the course?

            Thanks for reading and looking forward to hearing helpful responses.
            Signature
            www.diginomics.com - bitcoin research, news, & analysis
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10323818].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
              Originally Posted by Paleus View Post

              Our landing page did not convert very well on a pre-launch offer for a $50 course. I will also say that our landing page is not great in terms of sales copy or conversion potential as far as sales pages go. If you are intersted, you can take a look here: https://diginomics.com/products/econ...itcoin-course/
              I don't mean this to be harsh, but I don't know any better way to say it. To say the copy on the sales page is not great is to wildly overstate the positive. The copy might be fine if you were writing a course description in a college catalog, but for an online course, it's just plain bad.

              Originally Posted by Paleus View Post

              [*]How can we get more targeted visitors to our page? It seems our email list is simply not cutting it.
              Again, not trying to be mean, but if the email invitation was in a similar style to the sales page, it's not the fault of your list. Before you start worrying abut more traffic, you need to improve your offer. Your take on your conversion rate is meaningless due to the miniscule sample size.

              Once you have real sales copy and a "sexier" offer, you could run another test. Do a mea culpa, and admit that you did a less than stellar job of presenting the value of your course. For that reason, you'd like to offer the course again.

              Originally Posted by Paleus View Post

              [*]Looking at the landing page, how can we improve the sales copy? Does it seem like we have addressed a client need?
              One of the first lines of your sales copy is:
              The Economics of Bitcoin Course is a detailed, 4 lesson curriculum aimed at entrepreneurs, investors, and enthusiasts in the digital currency industry.
              At best, you may touch on the third segment, "enthusiasts in the digital currency industry," but there's really nothing of interest to entrepreneurs or investors. I'm not saying that there's nothing to bitcoin for these people. I'm saying that there's no obvious benefit in your copy. After that, there's a curriculum written in academic-ese.

              On another note, why do you have links to additional courses at the bottom of the page? Give people two choices, take it or leave it. Give them more choices, and most people will simply choose not to choose.

              Originally Posted by Paleus View Post

              [*]Given the current conversion and results, does it seem worthwhile to proceed with producing the course?


              Thanks for reading and looking forward to hearing helpful responses.
              Based purely on current results, probably not.

              The good news is that by retooling your offer and language, you could be onto a winner. You might want to post a request for critique in the copywriter section of the forum. Put on your Nomex suit, because these guys are both blunt and merciless. Some of them are also among the best in the business, and if you can stand the heat, you could come away with gold.
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10325064].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Bayo
    Originally Posted by Paleus View Post

    ...Will customers get angry if I ask for money before having the actual course ready?!
    You've got some unique responses to many parts of your question so I'll focus on the last bit.

    If you pre-sell the right way there's no reason for this to happen. In actual fact I recommend to my students that they sell the course BEFORE they create it because it ensures there's a market for it as opposed to creating a course because YOU like it or you THINK there's a market for it.

    The money you make upfront is undeniable proof that you are likely to be successful if you do the other parts correctly.

    BAYO.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10271509].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author cgkoste
    One thing you can do is offer a webinar about your topic- Instead of a 'free webinar' do a paid webinar. $7. You are getting paid to create part of your product, and on the webinar take pre-orders on the main product.

    Good Luck

    Courtney
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10271541].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author mrmaquilan
    Wow! Surely, I've learned a lot from this thread.

    Thanks for the nuggets from all these experienced marketers that we have here.

    I was going to say that if you already have a list, then you might want to ask them first what topic interests them the most and the questions in their mind that they want to be answered. That way, you'll hit them head on when you create your own product.

    But doing webinars and getting paid before even creating your own product. That some really genius idea right there. Well done.

    Mike
    Signature
    -> Free Rebrandable Report Reveals 5 Done-For-You Sales Funnels With Viral Loopholes <-

    * You can use this report as well as a Lead Magnet to build your list for free!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10271569].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author BigWally
    Which of these suggestions would apply to launching a crowdsourced book?
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10271655].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author gtgart
    Where the market is mature and obvious, this process is relatively easy.

    For your market, you just need to do a little research first. Bitcoin is obviously a market but the product you are intending on creating would be best pre-tested by doing some keyword research.

    When I search "economics of bitcoin" there is already an exact match domain that addresses this question.

    If I go a little further and drop this into a keyword research tool, I come back with 90,500 people searching for the keyword "bitcoins" per month. Google Keyword Planner.

    Check with Clickbank for Bitcoin products for sale and I see one that has Gravity 18, which means that approximately 18 affiliates are making sales with this product(s).

    So, since your product is educating people about the economics of Bitcoin, I am assuming that your product would helping people to make money with it, from what I can see you would be on a winner of some description of a market.

    I educate people on search engine optimization and before creating my courses, I really didn't need to do much research, as everybody wants to figure exactly how get free traffic from Google. But I have products in other markets and these types of simple research basics are a great way to test a market before entering.

    The last thing you want to do is create a product and then hope to create a market - this usually spells disaster. Been there and done that too.
    Signature

    Want to learn SEO from a Pro? Sign Up - Free 2015 SEO Mastery Training Today!.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10272068].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author mrclean0325
    I am going to make some assumptions here.

    You wrote, "I am planning on putting together a lengthy course on the "economics of bitcoin" for my audience." So I am assuming you have built a list from your website (nice one by the way) and this is your "audience".

    Since your site is based on education for the Bit Coin Economy, you should have a good base to use. If your list is responsive...I.E. you have people emailing you with questions, people are buying other similar product you are sending, etc.; the best way is to send out a survey to your list. Ask pointed questions to judge the overall understanding of what the course covers.

    After that compile the results and send it out explaining a a bit (not too much) on the questions and at the end ask a question like, "If you would like these and other questions answered, click the link to pre-sign up for free for the waiting list of a brand new course which will answer these questions and more...blah...sales stuff.. blah, blah...

    Once they sign up, you can get an idea of the interest. Then send another survey describing the course and the content with a question of, "Would you be willing to pay...X, Y, or Z for this type of information?"

    Once you do this, you will have concrete data to plan and implement the course with a solid base. If there is little interest or the price point sucks...you can send an email like, "Due to lack of interest, this project has been delayed" or something along those lines. If you have already made the course and find no interest, then also offer a "OTO" of the course for a high price point to try to recover some of the costs and go on with your life.

    You could also offer a coupon or other freebie for referring someone else who wants to learn it. This will get the people who may already know a lot of it but don't want to buy the course and don't want to teach it.

    Obviously this is a bare bones description and you need to flesh it out for your course and situation. It also won't tick off your audience if things don't go well with it.

    Best of luck!
    Signature

    Just because it quacks doesn't make it a duck....

    How To Avoid Work At Home GOTCHAs

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10273356].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author craigels
    I believe there is a good market for educating people on Bitcoin , I myself belong to a club that allows people to invest in mining contracts for Bitcoin


    People who understand how digital currency works and understand good mining contracts versus bad do very well investing in Bitcoin .
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10277219].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author dmarc
    Customers might not get angry if you ask for money before you have a product... but I highly doubt they'll fork over any dough... and at the very least, it will probably leave a bad taste in their mouth.


    Secondly, there is definitely a market for this type of thing. I can't say if your list is the right audience for it, but the audience is out there.


    You can gauge your lists interest by promoting related offers (make sure they're not crap, so you don't ruin your credibility). See how those convert. I'd go for some low dollar offers, as the goal is not so much to make money from those commissions, but just to see if the interest is even there.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10277376].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author mrclean0325
    You might want to consider using your free ebook as your sales end. Make sure it "pops" and gets people interested. At the end have 2 links. One to your newsletter sign up and the other to your course. Maybe give the people clicking the link the first chapter of the course for free or something similar. Make sure the ebook "teases" the reader, not giving away too much; but, covering the topics of the course. Use a "For a more in depth experience to learn all there is about BitCoin, consider our complete course by clicking the link below" or something similar.

    Use redirect links in the ebook so you can do split testing of different sales copy for conversion of both sign ups for the newsletter and the course sales. You may also consider different versions of the book with specific redirects in each ebook to check conversions.

    Start putting the ebook in all the free PDF download sites. Make it a totally "no string attached" download - meaning a direct download where they do not have to do anything except click the link to get it. The object is to get it into as many peoples hands as possible.

    You could also do free webinars covering the basics of the content of the course - use the ebook as the script. You could put a link at the end of the ebook to sign up for the webinars and send it to your list too. At the end of the webinar offer the ebook as a gift and the course link.

    Send the ebook to sites and blogs who also do financial or BitCoin topics and ask for a review.

    None of this is "new" or ground breaking and doesn't cost anything to implement. Many book authors use similar to market their books.

    The sales page is a bit sparse. you might want to consider using some sub-heading to describe what each chapter is about. Like "1. Course Introduction (Bitcoin: An Internet of Money) What does BitCoin have to offer you, as an investor, and how you can take advantage of BitCoin to build a better financial future" or something similar.

    The advantage of using this type of marketing is you get more targeted people. They won't download and click the links unless there is some interest. The downside is it is a bit slow to build up. Once you get some numbers to crunch, you can scale it up with some paid advertising to give it a kick in the butt.

    If you make all your marketing point toward the ebook, you can hook them with it. You get the "like/trust" thing going immediately.

    Hope this helps!
    Signature

    Just because it quacks doesn't make it a duck....

    How To Avoid Work At Home GOTCHAs

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10324896].message }}

Trending Topics