Should I Build an Audience First?
“Raitis, should I build my list and my following before I create an online course?”
I get this question ALL THE TIME. This may seem like a valid question to many people from an outside perspective. However, consider this: how would this work in the traditional business world?
Let’s say the owner of a shoe store asks you if you’d buy his or her company’s shoes. You ask to try on a pair, but the owner replies that there is not yet a product, he or she just wants a commitment. Does this make sense?
Now that we’re on the same page, you can see why this question will often times make me laugh. I get it–market research is huge, and by NO means am I suggesting you go full bore building a course without any prior research.
We’ve actually released other articles and videos suggesting exactly the opposite. But at the same time, what often happens is that people will go overboard with planning and never actually create a product!
You know what I mean. “Paralysis by analysis” or “putting the cart before the horse.” Ultimately what’s happening here is people waiting for the perfect circumstances so that they KNOW their course will be an immediate hit. Trust me, I can totally relate and I am not putting those people down as I was one of them! But take it from experience, this is not possible.
“To wait for the perfect set of conditions is to wait forever.”
Let me expand on what so many people do.
So many times I hear of people spending thousands and thousands of dollars doing things like building their website, designing business cards, going to seminars–the list goes on and on. The problem here is that none of these things are CONCRETE actions that get them closer to a finished product.
Others have a better grasp on what they need–something to offer–but they choose to create a less-than-optimal product. What I mean here is not a bad course. I mean that they choose a totally different domain of teaching by doing something like writing a book.
Is writing a book bad? Of course not! I will have some of my own in my lifetime. But what we’re talking about is growing your following as quickly as possible with a tangible revenue-generating product.
Books are great when you’re already a somebody. As a nobody? They can take several months (or years) to write and still result in lackluster return on investment due to higher overhead and lower marketability.
So, what do I suggest? Create a product FIRST–and preferably something you can easily automate and scale. What is the easiest way to do this? An online course!
Let me walk you through a scenario. Let’s say you book a speaking gig where you agree to teach on your topic FOR FREE to 300 people.
Remember, our number one goal is to ADD VALUE.
How can you add more value?
Well, at the end of your speaking event, casually suggest that anyone who wants to learn more should visit your website and check out your online course. You even offer them a half-off deal since they were at your event, so you drop your course from $1,000 to $500.
This is not pushy or salesy at all, you’re just offering more value to those who want it!
The next day, you check your website to find that 10 NEW CLIENTS have signed up for your course equating to $5,000 in gross profit!
Had you not created a product, you would still have gained valuable speaking experience, but you would not have made any money! In addition, how many books would you need to sell to gross $5,000?
Create your product.
So again I say, my answer to you is not to worry about your audience, but rather to create a product you can automate and scale. You’ve got to start somewhere!
If you think you want to create an online course, we would be happy to help.
We are ALWAYS trying to add value in any way we can, so book your FREE consultation now.
We would love to offer perspective and advice to help you determine if creating an online course is right for you.
YOU CAN DO IT!
Raitis is a motivational speaker, trainer and entrepreneur with a passion for breathing life into big ideas, all while aiming to elevate and inspire your personal and business life. He is the founder and CEO of ThriveCourses.com