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3 Reasons why your online course or membership isn't selling & how to fix it.

aligned strategy
Women at computer sad & confused because online course isn't selling.


Launching to crickets is probably the number one fear that most of my clients have when they start working with me. And I don’t blame them, for most online business owners their biz is their baby and the last thing they want is the baby to be rejected. 


But here’s the thing: business is a science. And each launch is an experiment and just like that time my volcano didn’t erupt the 4th grade science fair ( I was crushed BTW), there is no way to guarantee your results. So, as hard as it might be, it is important to separate yourself from your launch results and not let the success of a launch define you or even worse let it affect your self worth.


REPEAT after me: “If your launch fails, YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE.


This is especially the case if this is your first time launching your product or service. Your first launch is not the finish line, it's the first step on the journey to doing what you love. You're just getting started, each time you launch you’ll gain important data to guide your decisions next go around. So instead of getting all emotionally bent out of shape by your results, celebrate the areas you did win in (I promise there were wins; every launch has them) and use the valuable data you collected to make your next launch even bigger & better.


Truthfully there could be a multitude of different reasons why the course doesn’t sell but they all come back to focusing on the customer. Keep reading to identify why your course or digital offer isn’t selling what you can do to remedy that issue the next go around. 

Your customer doesn't want your online course or membership.


The first reason people won’t buy your course is pretty simple but I see a lot of course creators get hung up on this because they are creating a course that they want to create, not what their audience wants. Your course topic should always be in response to what your audience wants. What are the big questions that you get asked about all of the time? What is the most confusing part of your niche or industry? What are others in your industry teaching about? A Lot of people are afraid to get into a crowded niche, because they fear competition, but actually getting into a crowded niche is a great thing because you know that there is demand for it. 


Diagnosis Questions:

  • Is there demand for my course? Have I been asked about this topic before?
  • Is there demand for the subject matter of your course? Are people googling this information or searching for it on Youtube or Pinterest? 
  • Do people care about what you are talking about in the course? Does your current audience frequently ask you questions about this topic? 
  • Do people want this information in general and from you? Are you selling your people what they actually want versus what you think that they need?

Prescription - Perform market research to validate the idea for your online course. 

  • Use google trends or google ad words to determine if people are searching for your product
  • Google Search to determine if there are others offering courses around this topic. (Remember Competition is good thing. )
  • Use google forms or typeform to deploy this Survey to your audience & offer them an incentive to reply. 
    • Have you ever tried _____?  If No, why not?
    • What is your #1 Biggest Struggle or Obstacle?
    • How are these problems affecting you?
    • What is the ideal Solution?
    • What are you hoping to achieve?
    •  If you could sit down and ask me any question, what would it be?
  • Use the question sticker on IG to ask your audience What is your #1 Biggest Struggle or Frustration related to your niche? Or ask them any of the above questions.

Your customer doesn't understand the value of your online course or membership.


Oftentimes the problem isn’t what you're selling, it's how you are talking about it. Especially as a creative type is can be tempting to get “cute” with the words you use to talk about to describe your offer but as far as sales messaging goes creativity doesn’t sell & clarity is key.Your messaging from your social posts to your sales page should be crystal clear about who your offer serves and how it will help them survive and thrive in their life. If your sales page lacks a clear messaging or confuses your customer you are definitely going to be leaving money on the table so it's important to spend time getting clear on your ideal customer and how your offer uniquely serves them.


Diagnosis Questions


  • Does your messaging communicate the value of your audience learning your content?
  • Does your messaging communicate how their life can transform after learning this content?
  • Are you specifying who this content is valuable for? 
  • Are you clarifying exactly what your process is?
  • Are you stating why your solution is awesome compared to other alternatives?
  • Are you using persuasive language in your marketing?


Prescription - Clarify your sales message. 

  •  Have a friend look at your current sales page for clarity. 
    • Can they easily identify who you offer it to?
    • What transformation do you provide?
  • If you're struggling with this, read Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller. I promise this book will change your business. If 100% changed mine.
  • Download my creating clarity workbook & spend the next week working through it.

Your customers can’t buy it your online course or membership.


The third reason why your course isn’t selling is because your customers can’t buy it. And there are two main reasons why they can’t buy. The first reason is pricing. They want it. They see the value of it but they just can’t afford it at this time. This is a reason I’m actually ok with because just because they can’t afford it this go around doesn’t mean they won’t be able to afford it during your next live launch period. People’s situations change and if they truly see the value in what you are offering they will find a way to raise the funds to invest in your offer in the future. T

The other reason why they can’t. They can’t buy your course because they don’t know about it because it is not being promoted to them. Either they don’t know about you because you have low visibility or you have high visibility but you are uncomfortable with getting in front of your audience that you’ve worked so hard to build and selling.  A Lot of entrepreneurs that I work with are afraid of coming off too salesy and to be honest if you are worried about being too salesy you're probably not. There’s also a way to sell that still adds value and allows you to show up authentically . You can share your transformation story, focus on the benefits and outcomes of your products, share case studies & testimonials, and intentionally answer questions your audience may have. But the bottom line is that you have to show up & let your people know what you are offering so they can decide whether or not to invest. If you're not selling you're actually doing your audience a disservice because your digital product could be the thing that helps them overcome the frustration or roadblock that is holding them back from achieving their goal. So get out there and shout your offer to the rooftop, mmmkk?!?


Diagnosis Questions:

  • Have you established a clear step by step  journey that will take someone from stranger to customer?
  • Do you have an email list? If so, do you send regular emails to connect with them and add values to their lives?
  • Have you created a proactive promotional schedule to talk about your paid offers regularly?


Prescription - Create a promotional plan to sell your online course.

  • If you don’t have an email list. Put this at the top of your to do list. I break down all the nitty-gritty of building an engagement email list in this article.
  • Start writing a weekly or bi-weekly newsletter to your list to engage & build trust.
  • Set a goal to promote your offer weekly either via email or social media. I include a link to work with me in every email (after I’ve added a ton of value) & have IG slides set up & scheduled to automatically promote my services. 


So there you have it, 3 reasons why your customers aren’t buying and how to fix them. I guarantee the unlock to your launch success lies in one of these areas. So take time to diagnose which one impacted your last launch the most & then get to work implementing some of the remedies. And if you’re looking for some extra guidance in this area, or just want an extra set of eyes on your launch, I would love to invite you to book a complimentary clarity call with me.  It’s totally FREE and just requires you to show up with your latest launch metrics; I guarantee in 20 minutes we’ll uncover profit boosting opportunities for your next launch.

Have any questions? Want to chat it through?

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