This article was first published 21 October 2013 and was updated on 11 August 2016.
So, you’ve designed your own signature coaching program and you’ve decided to turn all of it or part of it into an online course. Exciting!
So, what next? How the heck do you bring everything together, online and make it all work?
Well, here’s exactly what I did that’s worked wonders for my coaching business…
- Choose an awesome online coaching platform and get it set up for business
- Create an sales page on your website for your online course
- Get at least 3 people signed up for the first test-run
- Publish a lesson each week
- Add in plenty of bonuses at different phases (keeps people engaged and titillated)
In this article, I share my approach with you in hope that you may get some good ideas for your own future online courses. I’ve fleshed out each step below…
1. Choose an awesome online coaching platform
The first thing you need is a way to securely deliver your content to your participants online. There are several systems out there for delivering content online, but if you want something that is super easy to use and that has been specifically designed for coaches, then check out Life Coach Office (LCO).
Life Coach Office is what I’ve been using since it launched in 2013 and I love it. But I must warn you that I am biased. I designed it and I think it totally rocks!
Set up an online course in 15 minutes with Life Coach Office
If you follow the steps below, you can have an online course ready to go in about 15 min.
Go here and subscribe to Life Coach Office (plans start at $24 per month).
Once you’re in, click on the ‘Cog icon’ (top right) and go to ‘Branding’. You’ll probably want to upload your logo, pick your background color/image, and add in your Paypal address (so you can get paid!).
Once you’ve done that, go to Groups and create a ‘New Group’. Give it a name, tick the box for online registration and save!
Once your Group is created you get a link for online registration. Simply paste the link into your sales page and you are open for busienss!
2. Create a sales page
Wow, your sales page is SUPER IMPORTANT. I recently re-wrote the sales page for my online course and what a difference! Your course can seem ‘OK’ or ‘OMG AMAZING’ depending on your sales page.
My tips for sales pages:
FLOW – be sure to answer these questions within the page in this order:
- What is the course called what’s the format and give super brief description.
- Why does the reader need to do the course? How will it change my life?
- What is the curriculum?
- How do I join?
MODEL THE BEST – Think of a sales page for a course that you were really tempted to buy even though you didn’t really even need the training. Model it! I did this for my last online course sales page and love the outcome.
IMAGES – Use beautiful inspiring images. People connect through pictures. Beautiful words with no images or bad images leave us flat. Beautiful images with inspiring images leave us wanting more!
3. Get at a few people signed up
Getting a few people to sign up for your online course is a great thing to do BEFORE you spend too much time creating content. Start by promoting your new sales page. Reach out to your current network: your email list if you have one, your past and current clients. Ask your friends to spread the word to their friends. Put the word out through social media. If you have a big network, this may be all you need to do to fill a few spots.
If you don’t get enough traction from your network, seek out publications that your ideal clients read. Try writing for those publications. Advertise with them. One of my clients recently advertised her course in a regional religious publication. Between that and her network, she filled 16 spots in just a few weeks!
It is inevitable that your online course will change and evolve after you run it once. So planning an initial test-run is a good idea – it also unconsciously takes some of the pressure off which feels good and makes the whole experience more fun! But just because it’s a test-run does not mean that you run it in a half-ass way. You still charge for it and run it as professionally as possible. Your goal is to learn how to make it even better the next time around.
4. Publish a new lesson each week
Each Monday, I email participants a friendly note to start the week. The email includes a link to the week’s lesson which is stored in the Life Coach Office Classroom. The lesson is always a short audio so students hear my voice and understand the goals for the week. The audio may be all I have or it may refer to additional video lessons and/or downloadable exercises (in PDF or .docx format).
It’s that simple – repeat each week until you get through the topics you need to cover.
Voilà, you’ve got an Online Course!
BUT, you can take it even further…
5. Add in plenty of bonuses
There are plenty of bonuses you can add on to your online course to make it even more mind-blowing, awesome and life-changing. If you are running a long-term group (3 months or more), adding in new communication mediums really helps to keep people engaged and titillated. It just breaks up the routine and keeps people excited, like…”Wow, what’s she gong to surprise me with next?!”
Here are some ideas:
- Build in an accountability framework from day one (set the days and times that you review material, assign everyone an accountability buddy).
- Add in monthly one-on-one Skype coaching call(s) with you.
- Set up a private Facebook group for participants to share links and ideas with each other. I like FB because, the majority of my clients tend to be active on FB everyday, so I’m leveraging their existing communication preferences – hanging out where they already are.
- Introduce a group call so each member can hear, first hand, the challenges and successes other members are having.
- Upload free surprises like bonus lessons, worksheets and workbooks (they did not expect to get) which adds even more value to their results.
Time to Get Online!
If you follow these ideas, you’ll find that results are phenomenal. With a bit of planning and the right tools, you too can create dynamic, fun, highly productive online course that you can run with individual clients as well as groups.
If you want more motivation and inspiration to get your coaching business online, be sure to grab a copy of my Online Life Coach: Launch Pad – a free toolkit of 8 templates to help you plan for the big move online.
Stop dreaming of the online life coach lifestyle and start making it happen.
Online Life Coach - Launch Pad
8 simple, yet powerful tools to help you start the big move online.
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