“Do I really need to create a launch for my course?” is the question I got from one of my clients this week on our wrap up call. We were wrapping up the last few things on a fantastic course and my answer to her was, yes. You definitely need a launch the first time you run your course.

You see, you can’t just sit at your desk and say “Ta-Daa!!!” and expect people to start buying your course.

It’s going to take a bit more than that. It’s going to take a launch. There’s a lot of confusion about what a launch is and there are a lot of different launch strategies out there. So, I thought I’d break it down to make it a little easier to understand.

What is a launch?

It’s essentially a marketing campaign designed to get buyers for a product (or course).

Think about Apple and how they create a buzz before a new iPhone gets released. They’re very good at building hype so people queue through the night to be the first buyers.

How does it work?

I’m going to break it down to its simplest form because there are many different types of launches, and they can get very complicated.

Before you start – you need 2 things (asides from a course to sell). You need an audience and a platform to talk to them on. That could be an email contact list or a Facebook group or a list of followers on Insta.

If you don’t have an audience yet, then I’m sorry to break it to you but you’re not ready to launch your course. I’d recommend you start by building your audience first – especially if your course is a high-ticket item (or costs more than $100).

An alternative solution could be to partner with someone who does have an audience who’d be interested in your course topic – and use their audience (then split the profit).

Once you have an audience, make sure you communicate with them regularly (to build trust) and then take the following steps to launch your course:

  • Step 1 – Start hinting that something is coming and entice them a little (persuasion technique no. 1 – make them curious to find out what you’re working on).
  • Step 2 – Give away some very strategic content (persuasion technique no. 2 – build trust and position you as an expert). The strategy behind this content is that it should lead them to your course offer. For example, it could be the first steps people need to take and then your course provides the rest of the solution.
  • Step 3 – And when you’re ready and you feel your audience is ready – announce that your course is available to buy for a limited period only (persuasion technique no. 3 – create scarcity so people are more inclined to buy).

That’s a launch in a nutshell. You’re building a buzz and getting buyers for your course using a couple of ethical persuasion techniques.

If I already have an audience, can’t I just tell them about my course?

Well, not exactly. I mean you could, and you’d probably make a couple of sales. But a launch allows you to make a much bigger impact and sell a lot more courses using those ethical persuasion techniques.

You see, you can group an audience into three types of people:

  • Cold Audience — People who are your ideal client but don’t know you.
  • Warm Audience —People who have seen some of your content, perhaps visited your website, liked your Facebook page or commented and engaged on a post or ad.
  • Hot Audience — Someone who’s signed up for your email contact list. They know who you are and trust you enough to hand you their contact details.

Would you approach a complete stranger on the street and ask them to buy your course? No of course not. That would be weird. Well, it’s the same in the online world. You need to warm them up a little first. You need to take them from cold to warm, to hot.

Sure, you could create ads to target a cold audience – and if your course is less than $50 you may have some success. But it’s a lot harder to sell to a cold audience than to a warm/hot one.

A launch is what moves people from cold to hot and ready to buy your course. It’s what will make or break the success of your course.