This special guest post is brought to you by the Website Superhero, a.k.a. Natalia Real.
You’ve got it goin’ on. You’ve got a rad business on the rise, you’re loving the ride (excuse my rhyming), and you’re working on your next (maybe first!) online course. Things are pretty awesome.
So, I’m gonna walk you through 6 steps to handle the techy side of your next course to make sure it goes spectacularly, whether you decide to hire out the technical side of your course or launch or DIY the whole shebang.
1) Hammer out the details or Video, PDF’s, or Audio? Decide.
I know, I know: planning it out is the most boring tip ever and not exactly techy. But as Farideh can attest, 193,807 things can go into even a soft launch .
- What’s the type of content your peeps love the most (video, PDFs, audio, a combo)? (Don’t know? Go ahead and ask your ideal clients!)
- How will you deliver it (all at once or over time)?
- Will you offer payment plans?
- Will you have affiliates?
Write it all down so you can hammer out the details and — this is key — make a spreadsheet with everything you need to do (don’t know where to start? Farideh has a brilliant checklist! And here’s where it ties directly into the techy shiz…
2) Where will you host your content?
Many new launchers are surprised to discover that creating the tech side of course is akin to an entire new website.
Your content needs to be hosted somewhere online. You have 3 options: Subdomain, New domain or email.
Sometimes a subdomain (for example, courses.yourdomain.com) is best for setting up a membership site,
A new domain (mynewcourse.com) is best if your new product or service isn’t an obvious part of what you already offer. Or if it is robust and you want your students to have their own portal.
For example, I’m a web designer/developer and I’ll be launching a DIY MailChimp course in a couple of months, which is unrelated enough from my main service (custom websites) that I decided to set up the membership site in a unique domain with a different look and feel than my main site.
Another option is Email Delivery: Take it super easy the first time around and deliver your entire course via email. Which leads me to…
3) New design or old design?
Is this a flagship course or one based loosely around your main services/products? This will help determine whether you wanna give it a snazzy new look and hire a web designer to make it gorgeous or keep your existing look and feel. One way to think of it is whether you want the membership site or course to convey something different than your original brand — for example, if your brand is for luxury products and a bit serious, but you’re launching a DIY makeup course and want it to feel fun and cheerful, you may want to redesign with brighter colors and friendlier fonts.
4) Choose the right software
Depending on the format of your content (video or pdfs), where you’ll host it, and whether you’re designing a new look and feel — you’ll need:
- A mailing list service (like MailChimp or Aweber)
- A place to host your videos so they’re available only to your members (such as Vimeo Pro)
- A payment gateway to make lotsa money with your fantastic course (keep it simple with PayPal or get fancy)
- Software to restrict access to all your rad content (for WordPress, I love the plugin WishList Member, although the best option for you depends on your specific needs)
5) Make it hella accessible to everybody
You probably know this already: to get as many eyes on your sales page as possible when promoting the course, be sure to have a responsive website (a.k.a. one that looks fabulous on not just computer screens but also phones and tablets). More than half of your visitors coming from the U.S. are checking you out on mobile devices. Charm them with a responsive site to up those sales! If it’s not responsive, this can be fixed with code (so if you’re not a CSS geek, reach out a friendly web developer for help).
6) Testing, testing… 1, 2, 3
Finally, test the hell out of everything — and have a friend or two lend a hand as well by having them “beta test” the payment and registration process (you can refund or set up a 100% coupon code for them) and check out all the content you’re offering. Do people get their login information right after payment? Do the payments go through seamlessly? Are there any broken links? Does anything look wonky on different browsers and mobile devices (try it in Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and IE)? If all is well, then, BAM, you’re good to go! Be sure to test far ahead of the launch date to leave time for fixing any mischievous glitches and calling customer support.
May these 6 steps help you greatly in sorting out the tech side of your next e-course and may it be epic and life-changing for your peeps, my friend. Godspeed!
@nataliapresent shares her 6-step plan for soring out the tech side of your next e-course #launching #entrepreneur – TWEET THIS!
Website Superhero, a.k.a. Natalia Real, helps world-changing women entrepreneurs get more clients and make more moolah by designing + developing excellent websites for them.Get tips on what makes a website that sells — and apply them to your sales page to make it extra effective so you can get more clicks on your “buy” button for your next launch.