Online Business – Six Steps to Starting Your First Online Business – Part 6

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Online Business – Part 6 – Scaling Your Business

Online vs Offline

When it comes to scaling your business, you should not just think about Online but also Offline sales.

The key here is to try to broaden your audience for your product and services by repurposing the marketing and lead generation strategies on other platforms, market places and in “offline” environments, such as conferences and seminars.

When constructing your product/service offering “Pyramid” ensure that you have a range of offerings at different prices but at the same time, make sure that as you prices increase, you are offering increasing access to your most valuable asset, your own personal time.

By looking at your business as a range of product offerings which are passive, semi-passive and hands on, you can easily construct a range of products and services to address your target market of customers.

Online Market Places

This is the market leading B2C market place for online courses and a great place to start.  The team at Udemy are really proactive at making sure that your courses are of sufficient quality and giving you advice on how to improve your courses as you go.

The latest price changes on 22nd August appear (at least initially) to have reversed the decline in sales following the 4th April pricing policies which are now seen to have been a retrograde step.


This increasingly popular courses market place operates on a subscription basis and tends to offer shorter courses which include a class project.  When designing your courses, it is useful to consider a Skillshare Course as possibly a section of one of your long Udemy courses and by including an “Activity” or Project your course material can be freely transposed to both platforms

Key Tip: NEVER ever mention (as I have done in some of my earlier courses) the names of any of the course platforms which means you are always free to publish them on new platforms when the opportunity arises.

This is a new market place which is owned by the Economist and, for that reason, I believe it has real potential.  It is always a smart move if you can identify a future market leader and get your courses on to the platform and establish your student body there at an early stage.  This is the case, in my view, with

Amazon Video Direct

Anything that Amazon decides to do should be taken very seriously.  Its decision to move into distribution of user generated video content, both courses and films, will in time be seen as an important step in the evolution of the Online Courses industry.

So far, progress has been slow and Amazon insists (at the moment) on the inclusion of “close captions” or subtitles.  While these are technically easy to include, creating the CC file is tricky, particularly ensuring that the captions are accurate.


One of the major drawbacks of online market places, is that you are not in control.  When they make changes, these may not suit you and indeed, can adversely affect your online courses business.

The solution is to host your courses on a Course Platform where you pay a monthly fee in return for the course video hosting as well as continually improving functionality.  The two platforms (and there are many) that I use are Thinkific and Teachable.

I use both by the way because I keep my low and mid priced courses separate from my premium course content.  Premium on Thinkific and Mid/Low on Teachable.  You could do this the other way around too or not at all.

Thinkific – this link will take you to the main Thinkific site.

If you would like to see my Thinkific school, click on this link.

Teachable – follow this link to the main Teachable Website.

If you want to take a look at my Teachable Academy, click on this link.

Media Repurposing Strategy

Repurposing is one of the most important strategies in developing your online business.

Think how you can reuse content in different forms and in different places.

Take this blog series for instance.

I could reuse this by:

  • Turning it into an ebook
  • Recording it as a short audio book
  • Creating a series of training videos which in turn
    • Could be offered as a lead magnet
    • Could be published as a course on Skillshare
    • Could be included as an update to to an existing Udemy or Teachable Course
  • Publish the videos on Youtube to drive traffic to my site
  • Include the videos or one of them on my Facebook page or Linkedin Pulse.

Consider how you can use different media types to repurpose your existing content.

  • Video – Youtube
  • Audio – Podcasts
  • Text – Kindle Books
  • Presentations – Skillshare

The Product Pyramid

I have mentioned the Product Pyramid above but it is worth spending a little time explaining what this is all about.

You should have different pricing tiers for your products:

  • Free
  • Low
  • Mid
  • High
  • Elite/Premium

When you are building a relationship with a potential customer, it is most unlikely that you will see them your premium or high priced products first.  Instead, you need to build the relationship and the trust by bring them through your free and low priced products first.

Price vs Accessibility

There is another axis on the Product Pyramid to consider that I have also already aluded to.  This is the axis that reflects Price to Access to you.  The lower the price, the more passive the income for you and the lower the level of client access to you.

Your time is your most valuable asset and personal one on one time should be regarded as the most valuable product/service you can provide. Its important to ensure this is the case.

If you do not do this you can find your time being completely filled by very low priced products and services which will consequently reduce your income and profitability.



An online business should only be part of your business strategy and once its established you should turn your attention to how you can leverage your content and expertise to the offline world.

Delivering presentations and speeches or teaching seminars are the two options which are most easy to exploit.  Develop your network of contacts and find people who are running events that you can contribute to.  Expect to start doing these for free until you develop your expertise and reputation in this area.

  • Events
  • Seminars
  • Conferences


Offering 1:1 products and services should be at the very peak of your Product Service Pyramid.  Consider how you can provide value to your community by offering direct access to you.  They benefit from sharing from your knowledge and expertise and you can benefit from the premium you can charge for direct access to you.

  • Masterminds
  • 1:1 Coaching

Direct Coaching from John

If you would like to benefit from my expertise by joining my exclusive 1:1 Coaching Programme, please email me john[at]jbdcolley[dot]com to arrange a complimentary 30 minute discussion to find out what you need to take your business forward and how we can work together.

Online Business – Six Steps to Starting Your First Online Business – Part 1

Blog Images.001Online Business Part 1 – Getting Started

Have you started your Online Business yet?

Yes? Great, how is it going?

No? Why not? What is holding you back?

Getting started is the most difficult part of any business and finding the right place to start can be a real challenge.  So I thought I would create a series of posts to help you get started.

This Series is going to cover:

  • Part 1 – Getting Started
  • Part 2 – Product Creation
  • Part 3 – Getting Your First Sales
  • Part 4 – Marketing
  • Part 5 – Lead Generation
  • Part 6 – Scaling your Business

So, lets dive in and get started right now!

Step One – Getting Started!

Firstly I want to share an important framework with you – which I use for my Online Courses business:

  • Plan – get your business plan organised
  • Produce – produce your digital product
  • Publish – get the product out there
  • Proof – obtain endorsements and social proof
  • Promote – gear up your marketing efforts
  • Platforms – expand and scale your business with repurposing and by using different platforms, on and off line.

You need to decide what your online business is going to focus on.  The options are very wide indeed but I will be focusing on just one as I think its the easiest way to get an online business started.

You could:

  • start an ecommerce business – eBay, Amazon FBA, etsy
  • become an affiliate – click bank, jvzoo
  • write ebooks – kindle
  • create digital products
  • high end private coaching over Skype
  • sell products on your own website
  • sell your services through your website or through a podcast – consulting

My favourite of these is creating your own digital products based on your own expertise.  We are all experts in so many topics and through the internet we can find literally millions of people who are prepared to pay you to share that expertise with them.


So, your first step is to identify your own expertise.

So what are you expert at?

Evaluate your own skills based on your training and experience. Cast the net wide and consider everything in which you have any expertise. Remember the definition of an expert is someone who knows more than you do.

  • Work
  • Qualifications
  • Experience
  • Hobbies and Passions

There are some Evergreen topics for which there is always demand.  Consider some of these – identify those in which you have existing expertise?

  • Leadership
  • Investing
  • Productivity
  • Sales
  • Motivation
  • Spirituality
  • Marketing
  • Health
  • Parenting
  • Business
  • Relationships

Next I want you to focus on the PAIN that your potential customers are suffering from. Remember – pain sells!

  • What do people around you ask you to solve for them?
  • What do you know they need?
  • What results to they want, but cannot achieve on their own?

Once you have identified the topic on which you are going to establish yourself in, you need to plan your first digital product.

Remember, you may be an established expert in your field already, what you need to do is to bring that expertise to your online audience and become known and respected as an authority in that field.

Here are the key steps you need to follow.

  • Have a Course Planning Road Map
    1. To be successful you need to have a portfolio of courses and digital products to offer to your students.
    2. The worst way to create these is one at a time with little or no planning
    3. Instead, work out what you are going to create for your first six to 10 courses. They should be in related but not overlapping subjects
    4. You want to build a student body who know, like and trust your courses and to whom you can cross sell.
    5. Creating a cluster of unrelated courses is a critical mistake and will greatly reduce your income potential
  • New Course Content
    1. Once you have created some core courses, I recommend that you create several 30-45 minute niche courses which relate to your existing core content. You can cross sell these to your existing students.
  • Topic Selection
    1. Create courses which address a pain or problem for your students.
    2. Teach a new skill – preferably one with career, business or money earning benefits
    3. Be specific, have a clear end objective for the course.
    4. General “theoretical” courses do not compete well against courses which are addressing specific student needs.
    5. Review the Competition – What are other experts in your field doing?
    6. Remember above all your students are asking, Whats in it for me?
  • Course Length
    1. Consider your product/course price and related the length and quality of your content to the price you plan to charge for it.
    2. Course Quality is important and it must deliver the result promised
    3. The minimum length I would recommend is 60 minutes for a stand alone course
    4. Max length? This is a hotly debated topic. No longer than 2 hours and ideally 60 to 90 minutes in my view
    5. Students prefer concise courses that solve their problem
    6. If you have six hours of content – split it into Modules or separate parts and create three separate courses

Online Business Part 2 – Product Creation

In Part 2 of this series, I am going to share with you how you go about creating a digital product. – Just Click Here

Startups – Get Pitching for Funding Masterclass

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If your Startup needs to get investor ready, then check out my Course!

“John has done a great job creating this course. i havent finished yet, but i simply cannot tell you how much i have already learnt! jump on in!” Simon K, 5 Stars

“The course is a total guide for Entrepreneurs to Startup Funding. It is a cornucopia of information on how to find investors to start your own job. The course includes many details, business and financial plan templates. It covers every aspect of the subject. Thank you John Colley for sharing your knowledge” Ioanna I. 5 Stars

Click here to find out more about the Course!



Online Business Management – How I Organise My 2015 Online Business

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Defining an Online Business Framework

My work at the end of 2014 involved planning for 2015 and that helped me to bring my business into focus and to decide on my goals and objectives for the coming year.  In addition, I was able to look at my systems and processes to see what I was doing, what was working and what was not.  Bringing these processes into line with my Goals and Objectives has helped me to refine my business framework.

I am creating a series of video course modules about this to add to my Course Design Masterclass.  I am developing a sustainable and scalable online business and I am documenting what I am doing (as I always try to do) as I go along.

How Can I Help You with Your Udemy Business?

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Are you ready to have a chat about how I can help you?

Lets set up a 30 minute no obligation call to discuss where you are and what you are doing.  This will help me to understand what you need and how I can help you.

Simply click on this link – – to take my short and simple 9 question survey!

There is no obligation at this point.  I will review your registration and then get back to you within a few days.  We can arrange a short call if you have any questions and then move forward.

Here is the link again to take the short Survey –

Online Business Management

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