Everyone and their granny talks about the best way to launch an online course or product.
The five emails on cart close day!
But what if your launch strategy was dependent on something that happened literally weeks before your launch?
The prelaunch phase of launching a course is just as important as that fancy launch you’ve got up your sleeve. Yet most course creators completely forget about the importance of warming up their audience to their offer before they hit the big, red ‘LAUNCH’ button.
Image description: DeDe from Dexter’s laboratory cartoon pushing a big red button on a remote controller
I caught up with one of our amazing SERP Slayer members, Sally Ofuonyebi, who is a launch copywriting expert, for an exclusive interview on how to nail this crucial “prelaunch” phase of your launch.
Take the wheel, Sally.
What are some of the biggest challenges when it comes to launching an online course? What common mistakes do you see course creators make?
When it comes to launching an online course, some of the biggest challenges I see are:
- The fear of failure: So many course creators postpone their launches and abandon their strategies because they are afraid to fail.
In a course I took a while ago, I learned that there’s no failure, only feedback.
And that’s it.
There’s a whole world waiting for you out there. Someone’s transformation is waiting on your courage. So, launch!
- Low self-confidence: In my strategy sessions, one thing I hear often is: I don’t know what to say. But, you do. You might not know how to say/write it, but you know what it is.
You don’t have to be a guru to talk about your course. You created it. And there’s something I say every time, “You’re not selling slots. You’re selling a transformation.” This is the mindset every course creator should have.
- Messaging struggles: Your marketing copy will always reflect the state of your mind. It’s not voodoo. It has the power to show that you’re desperate, unsure, or unexcited.
Every great course needs copy as good as it. If copywriting isn’t your thing, it’s more results-driven to delegate it to an expert while you focus on your zone of genius.
And when it comes to the most common mistakes online course creators make it has to be:
- Having a poor launch strategy or not having one at all
- Marketing slots, modules, and features of their courses only
- Not knowing their audience well enough
- Forgetting to prime their audiences
Tell us what the “pre-launch” phase is?
The pre-launch phase is the period to prime your audience before releasing your offer. Many course creators exclude this part while launching.
The pre-launch phase is important for every successful launch. It usually takes about 6-8 weeks for effective priming, although some do it in 4 weeks.
This period is a time to:
- Build brand trust and authority
- Let your audience yearn for a solution to solve their problem/achieve their dreams by stacking up strategic content
- Enlighten your audience about your upcoming launch
Why is this phase so important for a successful course launch?
If you put a pot of water on the gas stove, it doesn’t boil right away. It first warms up.
It’s like that with launching too. You can promote your course effectively for about a week and still not be proud of your launch revenue if the people you’re selling to don’t know you, what you’re selling and why.
If your audience followed you on Instagram or subscribed to your list because you’re a course creator in your niche, that doesn’t make you top of their minds.
They are probably subscribed to several other lists like yours.
That’s why you need to consistently show up (talking about topics related to your TK course) so that your audience is already warmed up before your open-cart period.
What type of content should course creators be producing during the pre-launch phase?
During this time, talk about your course as a topic now – not a product. For example, if it’s a course about selling on Instagram, talk about Instagram marketing.
It’s not as simple as that sounds. It’s better to put in the work and build a strategy around this by:
- Choosing a tease piece. This could be a live masterclass, webinar, or pdf download. This will be the main entry point to acquire leads for your course launch. They’re your hot leads.
- Creating cluster content. This will be content — social posts, blogs, emails, forum posts — around your tease piece & course topic.
During your pre-launch phase, share:
- Educational content
- Aspirational posts
- Personal stories
- Promotional content
And share them by exploring different content formats: text, videos, emails, images, and infographics.
What type of copy should course creators have ready (eg landing pages, welcome sequences, webinar sign-up sequence etc)
- Pre-launch copy
- Content for social media & other channels you use
- Emails to prep your audience
- Landing page copy for your tease piece
- Tease piece (e.g webinar, pdf download, live masterclass) sign-up sequence
- Sales page copy for your course launch
- Launch sequence during open-cart
- Post-launch & abandoned cart emails
Need copy for your upcoming launch? Check out Sally’s custom copy packages to help you smash your revenue goals
I’m Sally Ofuonyebi, a launch and website copywriter for coaches and creative entrepreneurs who want to stand out and sell big.