How to Launch a New Online Course in 3 Weeks

How to Launch a New Online Course in 3 Weeks

In this post, I’ll continue the case study about my client, Alexandra, to show you how we launched a new online course in just three weeks without tech headaches, time-consuming production, a fancy sales funnel, or a course website.

When we last left Alexandra’s story, she’d lost half of her income due to COVID, so we decided she’d launch a course for stage performers.

That’s when I stunned her, saying we’d launch the course in three weeks.

Alexandra looked at me in disbelief. “But how am I going to record all of the videos in that time? Don’t I need to set up some kind of course website? I keep hearing I need a sales funnel, too.”

I reassured her, “You’re not going to do any of that. We’ll use my Lean Launch Method to sell your course quickly and easily with as little cost and risk as possible.”

“How do I do that?” she asked.

“You don’t need to create any videos because you’ll teach the course as a live pilot via Zoom the first time. You have six modules. That’s six weekly calls.”

Her look of disbelief softened a little.

I showed her how I’d used the Lean Launch Method to run a $3000 pilot course using nothing more than:

  1. A Google Doc as a simple sales page
  2. Paypal links for payment
  3. Zoom for teaching and group discussions
  4. A shared Google Drive folder to store course materials

“Technology won’t be an issue. We’ll use free and inexpensive tools that are easy to use.”

She nodded slowly, then suddenly furrowed her brow, “Didn’t people hesitate to take a pilot course that sounded unproven?”

I shook my head, “My students didn’t care that it was a pilot. In fact, they loved getting direct access to me. I also told them they would help me craft the course to their needs by giving feedback.”

I outlined four reasons why launching a pilot first was beneficial.

  1. You get to verify people will buy the course before investing a lot of resources into producing it.
  2. You get paid to create the course.
  3. You generate cash faster.
  4. You get valuable feedback to help test and refine the course before spending resources on production.
  5. You get testimonials to use as proof when selling the course in the future.

“But what about making a beautifully produced course?” she asked.

“That will come down the road, I explained. “We’ll make a ‘nicely produced’ course once we know it will sell and you’ve refined the course based on feedback.”

Her disbelief had now dissolved. “Let’s do it!” she said, smiling.

Here’s what Alexandra had to say after running her pilot.

“The pilot was great. Double the students signed up than I expected. It felt so inspiring to know there was a market for this course. It gave me enough confidence and optimism to spend more time further improving the course.”

Alexandra now sells a pre-recorded, polished version of the course. Her most recent launch brought in more than 50 students and 10k in two weeks, requiring only a few hours of her time to run.

Does the Lean Launch Method make launching a new course sound more doable? What questions do you have about this process?