Online Business – Six Steps to Starting Your First Online Business – Part 3

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Online Business – Part 3 – Getting Your First Sales

Once you have created your first digital product, you have to get out there and sell it.  Forget the idea, “If I build it, they will come” that only happens to Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams

Here are some of the key issues you must focus on.

Course/Product Title

  1. What keyword are you focusing on?
  2. Have you researched this in Keyword Planner?
  3. Is this keyword at the beginning of your title?
  4. Do You have a benefit in your title
  5. Does it appear once in your subtitle?
  6. Can you be more specific about benefits in your subtitle?
  7. What are your competitors doing?

Course/Product Image

  1. Does Your Course Image stand out from the Crowd?
  2. Does it “Pop” – Enhance saturation and use contrasting colours
  3. Listen to Episode 121 of the Online Learning podcast to hear Kirsten Palana discussing the use of colour to create standout images. .

Course/Product Sales Page

  1. Use the AIDA formula – Attention, Interest, Desire, Action – to sell your course/product in your sales copy
  2. Get Attention – following your catchy title and sub title
  3. What problem are you solving? Have you ever struggled….; Does it frustrate you that…
  4. Emphathise: I know how you feel, I know where you are coming from
  5. Up to now the only way has been….and that has been difficult/expensive/time consuming
  6. Solve the problem: this is why I have made this course…
  7. Establish Authority – My name is….. and I have…..
  8. Benefits of the course/product….
  9. How Your course/product differentiates from the others
  10. Bullets – this is what you will discover in the course….
  11. Quotes from happy clients (when you have some)
  12. First Call to Action – Take action  – and then get them to follow clear instructions explaining how they are going to be able to purchase your product
  13. De-risk – 30 day guarantee – Life time membership – all future updates are included at no additional cost?
  14. Questions – here to help, message me, start a discussion – encourage engagement with your students
  15. Imagine how great you will feel when…
  16. Call to Action Two – Take action and click now
  17. Try to make the layout easy to read ,
    1. use +++++ across the page to break it up further and make it easier to read for scan readers
    2. Italics
    3. Bold
    4. Bullets
    5. Short sentences


What should you charge for your course or product?

How long is a piece of string.

Firstly, let me share the Product Pyramid concept with you.  You should design your products to cover a full range of prices. The higher the price, the more access your customer gets to you.

  • Free – great for lead magnets and building your list
  • Low/Mid Price – simple courses and products <$100
    • Kindle ebooks
    • Courses on Udemy/Skillshare
  • High – more complex and valuable content, host off market places on your own website or on platforms like or $100 – $500
  • Premium – high end coaching or mastermind groups, providing personal access to you. >$500

However you price your product, make sure that your pricing is consistent across all platforms and market places.  Be prepared to create discounts and offers for your products and therefore build this expectation into your pricing.

Endorsements and Social Proof

One the best ways to get early sales is to get some of your earliest customers and clients to give you honest and appropriate feedback and to get their permission to quote these reviews of your products as endorsements for the product.  You don’t have to use their names but if they will allow you to do so, showing this and ideally a photograph of them, makes the endorsement much more credible.

If you are just starting out, you can always take personal endorsements from Linkedin or from other customers and just quote them in the context of you personally rather than the product.  Change these over once your reviews come in.

If you can get a personal endorsement video from a client, this can be hugely powerful.  Here is one from one of my coaching customers.

Friends, Family and Free

Don’t be afraid to give away a few coupons to your product or course to get the ball rolling.

Everyone hates to go first.  If there are NO people enrolled in your course, it will make the first sale much more difficult.

So, approach your friends, family and online communities and share some free coupons.  Keep the number limited and make sure that there is a date expiry on them.  If you post them online, you can expect them to be shared so this is really important to keep a lid on things.

Make A Launch Plan

It really helps to have a plan!

I recommend breaking down the plan into three phases

  • Pre Launch
  • Launch
  • Post Launch

Pre-Launch Marketing

  • Building expectation in your educational announcements of your other products and services
  • Choosing the right course URL
    1. Make sure you have your keywords in your URL before you hit publish.
  • Blogging
    1. Create a blog post about your up coming course and if possible create a landing page which you can collect email addresses in advance of publishing your course
  • Ensure that you have Google Analytics set up on your course/product page so that you can see where your traffic is coming from
  • Sharing in your Facebook Groups – let people know that your new course is coming
    1. Find relevant Facebook groups, join them. Don’t spam them with an announcement but drop hints when commenting, that you have a course on this coming up.
  • Preparing and warming up your reviewers – cultivate your inner circle
    1. Build up good will by reviewing their courses and getting some good will in the bank
    2. How to ask for a review – you should ask for “an appropriate review”
    3. How not to ask for a review – you should not ask for a “Five Star Review” or even a “positive review”.
  • Engage with instructors/product creators you don’t know and sign up for their free courses. Leave them a positive review. Contact them, tell them how great their course was and tell them you have left them a Review. When you publish your course, you can go back to them, offer them your course and ask them to consider leaving a rating and review.
  • Creating an landing page – collecting emails, Lead magnets and free offers, first to know, plus other bonuses, add to your mailing list, create scarcity…
  • Be clear in your launch pricing strategy
    1. Where and when to offer free
    2. Pricing through launch – Launch at a special launch price and make it clear that the price will be increasing
    3. Incentives to buy soon – offer an extra bonus (checklist, extra content, ebook, recorded webinar) for a limited time to get them to sign up
    4. When not to offer for free – think hard about this. Certainly not after the initial launch period, other than on a strictly limited basis.

Launch Marketing

  • Setting up launch offers
    1. Coupon Codes ranging from Free to your launch price
    2. Address different audiences differently. Its OK to have different offers around
    3. Offer special deals to those closest to you and discount offers to new connections
  • Using Free for social proof, early on
    1. This makes your course look appealing to new students
    2. Helps you your course or product to get traction
    3. A paying student, even at $1, is more valuable than a free student
  • Offering bonuses
    1. Include extra bonuses which are only available for a limited amount of time around your launch
  • Updates
    1. Frequent updates keep your course moving forward
    2. Consider launching with a section or two up your sleeve and publish these a month or two after launch
  • Using reviews in your marketing and course summary
    1. Include these in your marketing and quote a couple in your course description landing page
  • Previews and Audio content to spread buzz
    1. Post your promo video on Youtube, share it on other video sites too: Vimeo
    2. Take the MP3 sound track from one or two courses, mix into an audio promo and publish on Youtube, Soundcloud and other Audio sites
    3. If you know any podcasters, try to get on their show to talk about your courses

Online Business – Part 4 Marketing

In Part 4 of this Series we are going to look more broadly at your Marketing Strategy for your product and service.  Just Click here to go to Part 4