A Profit From Products community member asked how to create a course and how best to launch it online. Is it best to launch with a fully complete and polished product, or to create as you go along?
This is a great question because it touches on so many points around digital business. Here are a few tips to follow when launching a course (but remember, many of these are also true for all kinds of other digital products).
Remember that things can change
You don’t need to have a complete course to launch online. In fact, there are many advantages to creating your content as you go along. You might discover that your customers prefer one part of the course. You might realise you need to give more emphasis to a certain module. Or, you might just have a great idea for some new content that you didn’t think of before.
If you’ve spent a long time worrying about tiny details and getting your course perfected, you’ll be much less likely to want to change things and this can be a big disadvantage. Instead, you might want to consider launching with the first few modules of your course, and create the rest as you go along. That might seem scary, but read on…
Be honest with your customers
You might be thinking “Won’t my customers be annoyed that I’m not delivering a finished product?” The simple answer is no, as long as you’re honest with them. Explain to your customers that you’re running the course for the first time and that they’ll be involved at the beta stage. You can offer discounts to encourage people to join the course at this stage, but another (often more effective) incentive is that the customers can help to shape the product. Their input at this stage is so important.
Which brings me to…
Get customer feedback (and use it!)
Find out how your customers are getting on with the course. You should do this regularly and in a way that clearly shows the customer that their view is valued. You might want to have mid-module ‘check-ins’, for example, where you ask your customers to fill in a questionnaire. By asking specific questions about your content you know how to improve going forward. Always follow up afterwards. Send your customers an update and tell them how their feedback has been incorporated into the course.
Keep your customers engaged
A great way to keep your customers engaged and communicating with you is to create a fun and rewarding learning process within your course right from the beginning. So often when you embark on a large learning journey it’s easy to get bogged down and lose enthusiasm. You can use your mid-module check-ins to give customers feedback on how they’re doing too. Try to create a feeling of a “little win”, maybe you could even give out rewards and prizes related to your course.
Remember that digital businesses succeed when they’re willing to adapt. You do not need to launch with a perfect product, in fact, you shouldn’t. So, what are you waiting for?