This online course launch checklist will help you stay on track for the kickass and highly successful course release you’ve been hoping for. It will highlight all the steps you need to take from start to finish.
Whether or not this is your first course launch, releasing it online is tough.
By now you must be sure what your course is about, who the target market is, and what the course curriculum and structure is like. You’ve probably even shot all of it and edited it. Or if that hasn’t happened, you probably have an idea and are now looking for a blueprint to guide you. So without further ado…
Here’s your course launch checklist
This phase is where you turn your course plan into a reality with our course launch checklist. Let’s begin! 🎉
✅ Name it wisely
Some of the major deciding factors of whether your course can be successful or not is it’s name, its price and where you choose to host it. Make sure it contains the keyword you want to optimize for, isn’t cheesy, and functional.
People on the internet are making judgements every minute they’re online, so be vary of the name you choose for your course. It will show up in pretty much all your promotional material.
✅ Pick the right price
Moreover, choosing the right price for your course is absolutely crucial to your sales. If you undersell your course, you run the risk of lowering your perceived value. Whereas, if you overprice your course, you end up making it unaffordable and thus lose potential business. So pick the price your target audience would pay.
Additional read: How to determine the right pricing strategies for your online course.
✅ Select a hosting platform
Unless you’re doing a small, one-time live course – Zoom isn’t going to be work out in the short or long-term for you. Now that you have a course ready to be uploaded, be sure to select your hosting platform mainly based on the features and the pricing model.
If you’re low on cash, don’t want to spend much on the course until you’ve earned from it, going with a free hosting option would suit you. Airschool is one great example of an online course hosting platform where you get:
- A dashboard equipped with analytics, course setup, wallet, etc.
- 24/7 customer service to convert your leads into customers via CALLS!
- Automated emails on your behalf from those enrolled in your courses, those left to pay, those who’ve purchased, etc.
- Get your dedicated course sales page and brand page – build your own URL
- Simple transparent pricing – Airschool keeps 20% when your course sells (15% commission, 5% transaction fee) and the remaining 80% is completely yours. No investments, no subscriptions needed.
✅ Decide on a date
Before the big release, you must schedule your course launch. Decide on a launch date as this will give you a timeframe to finish your course launch essentials within.
A great way to advertise for your launch is via offering early-bird discount offers. Such offers act as incentives for prospects to join the course. This also helps you plan and schedule all your promotional material, which we’ll be coming to later.
✅ Create a course sales funnel
Start a course sales funnel to spread the word about your course launch. A course sales funnel is a journey your potential customer goes through before finally qualifying to purchasing your online course. During this journey, your focus should be on getting as many learners as possible.
Here is a great guide on how to create a course sales funnel that you can check out.
✅ Do the tech check
An important but oft overlooked part of a course launch checklist: tech check. This step is where you check your course for any technical lags before the launch. You don’t want any technical difficulties, especially right at the time of the launch as it will leave a terrible impression on your customers.
Make sure there are no dead links on your webpage, that the video player works and doesn’t freeze. Besides, send a demo email to ensure if your email sequence is not place or not. Most importantly, confirm that the course content is functional and updated – this really goes without saying.
A perfect way to avoid any mishaps is doing a beta launch. You can do this while you’re trying to pre-sell your course – by making it available to those who have so far shown interest and been part of the journey. Not only will you know what adjustments to make but at the same time also convince prospective buyers to purchase your course. BEFORE it’s properly launched. See more about how you can pre-sell your course.
✅ Sell with words
Pick your pen, or rather pick up your fingers and start typing the most persuasive copy you have ever written. Imagine advertisements that left a mark on you. Think about how they touched upon your pain points, your struggles and made you utter, “wow, that’s how I feel. How they did think of that?”.
Similarly, you’re “they” in this equation and now you’ve got to come up with something smart, witty, relatable. In this effort you will craft stories, one-liners, anecdotes and they’ve got to be about your target audience. Test them on your friends, when you are pre-selling, see what the response is. And then use for your promotional material and sales!
✅ Get artsy and design your material
Design is an important element of your course business. How your landing pages, course imagery, and course pages look impacts the appeal and eventually the profitability of your business. The design needs to be unique, catchy, but most of all easy to follow.
You can use free design tools like Canva, Adobe Spark, Fotor, etc, to assist in designing your course promotional material like a professional. There are plenty of templates available to create attractive images, plus a myriad of tutorials. Now you don’t have to hire graphic designers and pay hefty service fees for the job. This is a significant part of your course launch checklist, so be sure to pay proper attention to it.
✅ Spread the word far and wide
One of the best assets to have with you is a supportive friends and family circle who are proud of your accomplishments and want to share within their circles. While not targeted, these circles can identify a few people who might be interested in what you offer and hop on the bandwagon.
Moreover, if you have a community of your own – like followers on a page or members in a group, share your course with them. Using your prominence and personal brand as a valued group admin, thought leader can go a long way in selling your course.
✅ Write about it
Once you have your course up and running, your job is to maintain it. An absolute must-do is to run your blog page alongside your course. It is extra work for sure, but hey if you optimize it, you will most likely get extra traffic.
Moreover, your blogs will act as little guides for your customers and solve their queries without reaching out to you for every little concern. While you are at it, you can also post your blogs on other sites too and redirect their traffic towards your webpage. If you don’t have a blog, write long-form posts on social media channels and share them with your community. They may get shared and bring your more visibility.
✅ Shoot videos
Another great way of generating marketable content for your online course business is via YouTube. Alongside running their courses, creators also post small demo videos related to their courses to promote their courses. Also, if properly done, it can add to your passive income. A popular online course creator, Brandy Dudas is one such course and content creator to make use of YouTube.
Moreover, don’t forget to shoot promo videos for your courses. These videos require an instant hook to reel in an audience and can be highly beneficial in your ad campaigns. Everyone is watching videos nowadays!
✅ Start a podcast
If showing up on video isn’t your forte, you could opt for something like podcasting. While not as explosive as videos, podcasts have a following of their own and can be found on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Pandora, JioSaavn even and more.
Talk about your expertise, give advice, invite guests and mention your course at the end of every podcast. Keep the messaging strong and consistent, and keep the podcasting consistent too. Plus, network and establish connections with other podcasters. Once you’re established as an authority you can show up in other people’s podcasts and soft-sell to their audience too. 😉
✅ Host webinars
Webinars are perfect to target a large audience and convert them into your customers. Begin by deciding on the discussion topic, which should be answering a question or asking a question, and then create an impressive presentation. Create events around it on Facebook and/or LinkedIn. Create pre-hype material, release sneak peaks and send exciting emails to your webinar attendees.
See more on how to make use of webinars to get emails and maximum conversions through your webinars!
✅ Write email sequences, press send
If you’ve effectively established a course sales funnel for yourself, like we talked before, chances are you’ve built an email list. Start a chain of emails to let your followers, super-fans, and general audience know that you are out with a brilliant course for them.
Email marketing has the highest return on investment rate, so you better not skip this. While some of the course launch platforms do provide an inbuilt email marketing feature, you can also pay a small price for an add-on service.
👀 See also our thorough guide on email marketing tips.
✅ Use social media
If you don’t already have social presence, make sure you do now and identify which platforms work the best for you and your audience. You don’t necessarily have to be present on all social media platforms – just stick to the ones you know best and which contain your audience.
Social media supports a lot of formats and each platform has their own native features, so use them. Utilize feed posts with relevant hashtags, tag your videos, feature testimonials, talk about popular topics and people and tag them, use polls and put up interactive stories that feature you. Every now and then go live to engage with your audience and catch up with them. Use all these tactics to let everyone know you have a course they’re going to regret missing out on.
Plan a content calendar in advance, come up with informative and engaging topics to talk about. Tweak each post according to the social media platform, and schedule them. If you’re using Facebook and Instagram, even Twitter, you can freely schedule everything in advance without spending any extra money. If you want to put up ads, social media is the place to put them up and test them! 🎉
Once you’ve got all these points in the bag, push the launch button! 🚀
I hope this course launch checklist helps you streamline your course release. Along with this, keep an eye on your course analytics. Monitor the activity on your course pages to have an idea of how well the course is doing. And never forget, conduct surveys periodically to keep your course up-to-date.
Wait a minute! Still haven’t created your course? That’s okay 😊. You can create one now with Airschool.