Profit Principle For Pre-Selling An Online Course Successfully

May 29, 2024


Pre-selling a course online is not much different than an author pre-selling their next book. Still, it can be a bit of mental gymnastics to get into the proper brain space to pull this off well. In this post, Jonathan explores the advantages of pre-selling a course and ways to organize the process. 


Online Course Creation: The Ultimate Guide to Selling and Promoting Courses Online

Creating and selling online courses can be a powerful way to share knowledge and earn passive income. To succeed, focus on identifying a topic your target audience is interested in and willing to pay for. Start with a practical course outline that addresses the fundamental problems your students face and offers clear, valuable outcomes.

Building a solid pre-selling strategy is crucial. This includes designing a compelling landing page, writing persuasive email sales copy, and creating promotional materials that build trust and demonstrate proof of value. Your ultimate goal is to ensure potential customers feel confident in the benefits your course will provide before it even launches.

To market your course effectively, engage with your audience through online communities, such as Facebook groups or email lists. Regularly testing and refining your materials will help you find the best ways to promote your course and achieve a successful launch.

Key Takeaways

  • Identify a topic your target audience wants and is willing to pay for.
  • Build a solid pre-selling strategy with a compelling landing page and promotional materials.
  • Engage with your audience and continually test to refine your marketing approach.

Profit Principle for Pre-Selling an Online Course Successfully

Profit Principle for Pre-Selling an Online Course Successfully

To pre-sell an online course successfully, engaging potential customers early is crucial. Start by identifying your target audience and their needs. Understanding what they want will help shape your course content.

Next, create a landing page that clearly outlines the value of your course. Highlight key benefits and use strong call-to-actions to drive interest. This page should be designed to capture email addresses for further engagement.



Offering a pre-sale discount can create urgency. This special price motivates potential students to commit early. Make sure the discount is appealing enough to attract attention but still profitable.

Another effective strategy is to use social proof. Share testimonials from early users or similar past courses. This builds trust and credibility.

Promote your pre-sale through social media, especially in relevant Facebook groups. Engaging posts can drive traffic to your landing page. It’s also beneficial to leverage your email list with personalized emails.

Regular updates and exclusive previews can keep your audience excited and engaged. These updates not only sustain interest but also provide reassurance about course quality.

Lastly, track performance. Use analytics to monitor which strategies are working best. Adjust your approach based on this data to maximize pre-sale success.

By focusing on these principles, you can optimize your efforts and increase profitability before launching your course.

Why Would You Sell a Thing Before It’s Ready, and What Does Preselling Entail?

Why Would You Sell a Thing Before It's Ready, and What Does Preselling Entail?

Preselling means offering a course to potential customers before it is entirely created. It has several benefits for online course creators.

Validate Your Idea:
Preselling can show if there is demand for your course idea. If people are willing to pay for it before it’s finished, it’s a good sign.

Generate Early Revenue:
It helps to earn money upfront, which can be used to cover production costs.

Build a Community:
Early buyers can offer feedback, helping shape the course content and making it more valuable.

Reduce Risk:
By preselling, creators can avoid spending time and resources on courses nobody wants.

Determine Pricing:
Creators can test different price points to see what customers are willing to pay.

To presell a course, follow these steps:

  1. Create a Landing Page:
    Provide details of what your course will cover and its benefits.

  2. Build an Email List:
    Collect emails from interested people for updates and launches.

  3. Offer Bonuses:
    Early buyers could get extra materials or discounts.

  4. Engage with Potential Customers:
    Use social media or a Facebook group to answer questions and gather feedback.

Preselling helps to validate ideas, generate revenue, and build a community. It reduces the risk of failure by ensuring demand before investing too much time and effort.

You Must Have an Audience, and You Must Be Very Familiar with Them

You Must Have an Audience, and You Must Be Very Familiar with Them

Are you creating an online course? First, you need an audience. Without people willing to buy, your hard work goes unnoticed.

Identify your target audience. Know their age, interests, and problems. This will help you tailor the course to their needs.

Use social media and email lists to gather this information. Join relevant groups and communities.

Create content that speaks to them. Use their language and address their pain points. This builds trust.

Engage with potential customers regularly. Reply to comments, ask questions, and get feedback. This helps refine your course material.

Survey your audience to understand what they want to learn. Use these insights to develop your course outline.

Test ideas before fully developing the course. Share snippets or mini-courses to gauge interest and gather feedback.

An engaged audience is more likely to buy and recommend your course. So, invest time in getting to know them.

You Need a Solid Outline of the Problems That Your Students Face

You Need a Solid Outline of the Problems That Your Students Face

Understanding the problems your students face is essential for creating a successful online course. Knowing these challenges allows you to offer real solutions.

Common Problems Include:

  • Lack of Time: Many students struggle to find time for learning.
  • Complex Topics: Difficult subjects can be a significant barrier.
  • Motivation: Maintaining motivation is often challenging for online learners.

Steps to Outline Student Problems:

  1. Survey Your Audience: Ask potential students what they find challenging.
  2. Analyze Feedback: Look for common themes in their responses.
  3. Join Online Communities: See what issues are frequently discussed in forums or Facebook groups.

Consider Using Tools:

  • Google Forms: For creating surveys.
  • Excel or Google Sheets: To organize and analyze feedback.
  • Social Media: This is for engaging with your audience and gathering insights.

Understanding these problems helps you craft course content that meets your student’s needs. It also boosts the perceived value of your course, making it more appealing.

You can build a more effective and engaging course by addressing these challenges.

Outline of Course

Outline of Course

To create a successful online course, it’s crucial to have a clear outline. This helps in planning and ensures all essential topics are covered. An effective outline improves course structure and keeps learners engaged.

Basic Structure

A typical course outline includes:

  • Introduction: Welcome message, course overview, and objectives.
  • Module 1: Basic concepts and foundation.
  • Module 2: Intermediate topics and exercises.
  • Module 3: Advanced topics and case studies.

Detailed Sections

Each module should have:

  • Clear titles and subtopics.
  • Video Lessons: Short, focused lessons.
  • Reading Materials: Articles, PDFs, or e-books.
  • Assignments: Practice tasks.
  • Quizzes: Tests to assess knowledge.

Tips for Creating an Effective Outline

  • Consistency: Keep a consistent structure for each module.
  • Clarity: Use simple language and clear instructions.
  • Engagement: Include interactive elements like discussions or live Q&A.

Examples of Components

Section Content
Introduction Welcome video, course objectives, and syllabus.
Module 1 Basics, key terms, foundational concepts.
Module 2 Intermediate skills, practical exercises.
Module 3 Advanced strategies, real-life applications.

Having a well-organized course outline saves time in the creation process and improves the overall learning experience for students. It provides a roadmap that keeps both the instructor and learners on track.

Sell Outcomes, Not Courses

Sell Outcomes, Not Courses

When creating an online course, it is more effective to focus on the outcomes than simply selling the course itself. Learners want to know how your course will change their lives or solve their problems.

Instead of listing what the course includes, highlight what students will achieve. Use benefits rather than features. For example:

  • Don’t say: “10 video lessons.”
  • Do say: “Master coding skills.”

This approach appeals to potential customers because they can see the value your course provides. They are more likely to invest if they believe it will help them reach their goals.

Examples of Selling Outcomes:

  • Become a professional photographer in 30 days
  • Land your dream job in tech
  • Achieve fluency in Spanish in 6 months

These outcomes inspire and motivate people to buy because they focus on what they will gain, not just what the course contains.

Tips for Selling Outcomes:

  1. Know Your Target Audience: Identify their needs and desires.
  2. Communicate Benefits Clearly: Use simple language.
  3. Use Testimonials: Show how past students reached their goals.
  4. Highlight Success Stories: Real-life examples inspire confidence.

By emphasizing outcomes, course creators can make their offerings more attractive and increase sales.

Design Your Landing Page

Design Your Landing Page

A well-designed landing page is critical to marketing your online course. It should grab attention and make viewers want to sign up.

Critical Elements of a Landing Page:

  1. Headline: Clear and concise. It should state what the course is about.
  2. Subheadline: A brief description of the course benefits.
  3. Call to Action (CTA): Buttons like “Enroll Now” or “Learn More.”


  • Use high-quality images and videos.
  • Include a photo of the instructor to build trust.

Social Proof:

  • Testimonials: Share quotes from past students.
  • Stats: Numbers or percentages showing course success.

Course Details:

  • Modules: List what each module covers.
  • Benefits: Highlight what learners will gain.
  • Instructor Bio: Include credentials and previous experience.

Design Tips:

  • Colors and Fonts: Stick with a color scheme and simple fonts.
  • Responsive Design: Ensure it looks good on all devices.
  • Easy Navigation: Make it easy to find critical information.

Contact Information:

  • Provide an easy way to get in touch for questions.
  • Include links to social media profiles.

Trust Badges:

  • Include any certifications or endorsements.
  • Display payment security icons if online payment options are offered.

A well-crafted landing page can significantly increase course enrollments by making it clear, engaging, and convincing.

How Are People Going to Pay You?

How Are People Going to Pay You?

Choosing the correct payment method is critical. Different people prefer different ways to pay.

Common Payment Methods:

  • Credit and Debit Cards: Widely used and convenient.
  • PayPal: Popular for online transactions.
  • Bank Transfers: Direct, but sometimes slow.
  • Cryptocurrency: Gaining traction, but not yet mainstream.

Payment Platforms:

  • Stripe: Integrates well with many online course platforms.
  • PayPal: Easy to set up and use.
  • Square: Good for both online and in-person payments.

Ensuring security is essential.

Security Measures:

Setting up trusted, secure, diverse payment options encourages more people to buy your course. Make sure to display accepted payment methods on your landing page. This helps build trust and can lead to increased sales.

Email Sales Copy

Email Sales Copy

When creating email sales copy, quickly capturing your readers’ attention is essential. Start with a compelling subject line that sparks curiosity or offers a clear benefit.

Use personalization—address recipients by name to make the email more personal.

Next, write a clear, concise opening line that draws your readers in.

Consider using bullet points to highlight the key benefits of your online course. This will help readers understand the value of what you’re offering.

Example Benefits:

  • Learn at your own pace
  • Access to exclusive materials
  • Direct support from the instructor

The body of the email should be short and to the point. It should focus on one main message and one call to action (CTA).

Example CTA:

  • “Sign up now to get started!”
  • “Get instant access today!”

Formatting can help break up text and highlight important information. Use bold text to emphasize key points or offers.

Use testimonials or success stories to build trust and show credibility.

Example Testimonial: “This course helped me achieve my goals faster than I ever imagined!”

Finally, include a strong closing statement reiterating the main benefit and enticing the reader to act. Keep your tone confident and clear.

Example Closing:

  • “Don’t miss out on this opportunity!”
  • “Join hundreds of successful students!”

Preparing Promotional Material

Preparing Promotional Material

Creating effective promotional material is critical. It helps attract and inform potential customers about your online course.

The first step is to create eye-catching visuals. Use clear images, engaging videos, and attractive graphics. These will grab attention and convey the course’s value.

Craft compelling copy for your promotional material. This includes slogans, taglines, and descriptions. Please focus on the benefits of the course and how it helps solve a problem for the learner.

Build a landing page. This page should provide all the essential information about the course, including testimonials, instructor bios, and a clear call to action.

Consider creating a video trailer for the course. This should highlight critical aspects and what students can expect to learn. Keep it short and engaging.

Use social media to spread the word. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn can be very effective. Share updates, insights, and user testimonials regularly.

Email marketing is another powerful tool. Create an email list and send regular updates about the course. Highlight special offers and new content.

Leverage partnerships. Work with influencers or other course creators. They can help promote your course to a broader audience.

Offer free content. Share free materials like articles, webinars, or mini-courses. This builds trust and showcases your expertise.

Prepare unique selling points (USPs). These should clearly outline what sets your course apart from others.

Finally, gather testimonials from early users. Positive feedback builds credibility and can persuade others to join your course.

Trust and Proof Are Key

Trust and Proof Are Key

Trust and proof are essential when selling an online course. People need to feel confident that your course will deliver the value you promise. The best way to build that trust is to show proof that your course works.

Ways to Build Trust:

  1. Show Testimonials: Include quotes from past students who found your course valuable.
  2. Share Success Stories: Highlight real-life results from your students.
  3. Use Reviews and Ratings: Display ratings and reviews on your landing page.

Providing Proof:

  1. Showcase Case Studies: Share detailed examples of how your course helped others achieve their goals.
  2. Offer a Money-Back Guarantee: This shows confidence in your course and reduces the risk for potential buyers.
  3. Share Course Previews: Give potential customers a sneak peek of your course content.

Tip: Make sure any claims you make are backed by solid evidence. Avoid exaggerations.

Credibility Boosters:

  • Expert Endorsements: If an industry expert supports your course, share their endorsement.
  • Social Proof: Mention the number of students enrolled in your course or the positive feedback you’ve received.

Building trust and providing proof will make potential customers more willing to pay for your course.

Write Your Sales Copy

Write Your Sales Copy

To sell an online course, the sales copy is crucial. It catches the reader’s attention and convinces them to buy.

Start with a strong headline. Make it clear and enticing. For example, “Unlock Your Potential with Our Ultimate Coding Course!”

Highlight the benefits. Tell potential customers what they will gain. Use bullet points for clarity:

  • Increase your skills
  • Gain confidence
  • Boost your career

Address pain points. Show how the course solves their problems. For example, “Struggling to keep up with the latest in coding? Our course simplifies complex concepts!”

Use testimonials. Share success stories from previous students. This builds trust and credibility.

“This course changed my career trajectory!” – Alex J.

Include a clear call to action (CTA). This guides the reader on what to do next. Examples include:

  • Enroll Now!
  • Start Learning Today!

Emphasize exclusivity. Limited-time offers or bonuses can drive urgency. “Sign up now and get a 20% discount!”

Keep it concise and to the point. Avoid long-winded explanations. Stick to simple, direct language.

Showcase features. Lists are effective:

  • Interactive lessons
  • Expert instructors
  • Lifetime access

Compelling sales copy can significantly improve course sales. Focus on clarity, benefits, and emotional appeal to engage potential students.

Test, Test, and Test, Then Finally Launch

Test, Test, and Test, Then Finally Launch

Testing is crucial before launching an online course. It’s essential to ensure everything works smoothly and the content is explicit.

Create a beta version of the course. Invite a small group of trusted people to take the course and provide feedback.

Collect feedback on:

Use this feedback to make necessary changes. Ensure all videos play correctly, links work, and the platform is easy to navigate.

Pre-sell the course. This helps gauge interest and gather reviews. Offer the course at a discounted price to early buyers. Their feedback will be invaluable in refining the course.

Test marketing strategies. Try different methods to see what attracts the most attention. Use social media, email lists, and landing pages.

Check the course price. Ensure it reflects the value you provide. Compare it with similar courses in the market.

Before the final launch, double-check everything. This includes content, user interface, and payment systems.

When everything is set, launch the course confidently. Announce it on all your platforms, update your email list, and post it on social media.

Monitor the initial response and be ready to make quick adjustments. This helps you provide the best experience for your students.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the best online community-building tools in 2024?

A: The top online community-building tools 2024 include platforms like Mighty Networks, Tribe, Disciple, and Circle.

Q: How can I sell my online courses effectively?

A: To sell your online courses effectively, you can utilize marketing strategies like social media promotion, email campaigns, partnerships with influencers, and hosting webinars.

Q: How can I determine the price for my online course?

A: You can use an online course pricing calculator to determine the right price for your course based on factors like course content, market demand, and competitor pricing.

Q: What are some popular course topics for online courses?

A: Popular course topics for online courses include digital marketing, graphic design, coding, photography, fitness, personal development, and language learning.

Q: How do I create my online course?

A: To create your online course, you must choose a topic, outline your course content, create engaging lessons, choose a platform to host your course, and market it effectively.

Q: Is there a complete guide available for building an online course business?

A: Yes, comprehensive guides and resources are available online that provide step-by-step instructions on building a successful online course business.

Q: Where can I buy online courses?

A: You can buy online courses from online learning platforms like Udemy, Coursera, Skillshare, Teachable, and LinkedIn Learning.

Final Thoughts

Creating and selling online courses can be an excellent opportunity to share knowledge and earn income. It starts with choosing a course topic that resonates with the target audience.

Building a strong email list and using social media, such as a Facebook group, can help in pre-selling the course. This approach ensures interest and customers willing to pay.

A landing page is key to attracting potential customers. It should highlight the value and benefits of your course. Offering a free course or a sample lesson can also engage visitors and convince them to buy.

Pricing the course right is crucial. Factors like course length, content quality, and the audience’s expected value determine the price. Testing different price points can help find the most effective one.

When it comes to promotion, using multiple strategies increases reach. Email marketing, social media advertising, and partnerships effectively promote your course.

It is important to choose the right online course platform. Features like ease of use, payment processing, and community support make a difference. Popular platforms include Teachable, Udemy, and Skillshare.

Once the course is launched, continuously seeking feedback helps refine and improve it. Engaging with the online community and updating course material keeps it fresh and valuable.

Selling a successful online course requires planning, effort, and ongoing customer engagement. With the right strategies and tools, anyone can create and sell a course that makes a difference.

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