Online courses.. are they unicorn fantasy businesses?
Do people really make millions? Will finding the ‘secret sauce’ make you a success? How do you separate fact from marketing fiction? How do you ignore the nay-sayers and give this world of online courses a fair crack?
I have been at this now for quite a few years and I cringe when I see the bold get-rich-quick and “only I have the secret sauce” type marketing. I thought I needed that dang sauce. I spent close to $2k on someone else’s sauce with their promise that it would turn me into an overnight success (self-admitted sucker right here..). Their sauce was lame. Their sauce was nothing more than the same 7 steps I had been following for years. The secret wasn’t in the sauce, the secret wasn’t even a secret. More about that later… for now .. here are the 10 Myths you need to know about!
Myth #1 – You have to make six figures or you’re an online loser
Six figures or bust right? Wrong! This myth grinds my gears so much I wrote an entire blog about it. You don’t need to make an arbitrary number to be successful. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise!
An extra $2k per month might completely change how you live your life. Earning $10k online each year could open up a whole new world of possibilities for you. The “six-figure” goal is irrelevant, what matters is what YOU need.
I started my online course to bring in a little more income as I just could not squeeze any more one on one clients in without dropping my quality of coaching. At the time my mom was in the last stages of breast cancer. I knew I needed some type of income that wasn’t reliant on me “showing up”. I didn’t quite get my course up and running in time but after she passed away I knew I wanted a different life, so I did something crazy. I finally launched an online course.
Whoa.. it will change your life.. if you allow it to..
Myth #2 – Before you launch you need a big ol’ list of subscribers
You don’t. I pinky swear! You need a small list of the right people who need the solution you offer. I only have quite a small list, I am sure many people would be shocked by just how small it is. It makes me a very healthy profit each month because I am all about quality, not quantity.
Focus your time on attracting a small number of highly engaged people and give them your best. Interact with them, answer questions, provide knock-your-little-cotton-sox-off content. I guarantee they will be excited to join your online course when you’re ready to launch.
Myth #3 – People only buy from people who are experts
People buy from people who have the right solution at the right time for them. End of story.
No one cares if you graduated expert school (that mysterious place where someone grants you the title of expert). People care if you offer them a clear path from where they are today to where they want to be. People care if you’re authentic and real. People care if they can trust you! Provide awesome content and they will fall in love with you.
Myth #4 – You need to be a camera ready svelte extrovert (with flowy hair and sparkly eyes)
You don’t. You just need to be you. If you’re not comfortable on camera then do something else! There are many amazing online entrepreneurs I follow that never get in front of a lens.
I didn’t want to film myself in the beginning, but I have to say once you start making money and receiving amazing feedback about how your product helped someone you want to get out and share your message. Being in front of the camera really doesn’t bother you when your tribe is eating up what you’re dishing out with gratitude and praise.
Myth #5 – Outsource everything so you can concentrate on spreading your magic
The more you outsource at the start the less profit you have to grow. You will notice the rise and fall of many six-figure gurus if you pay enough attention. One day they’re telling anyone who will listen about their amazing life funded by their wads of online cash. The next day… silence…
Where did they go? What happened to all that coin they were making?
Often they have outsourced so much of their business they have no profit left to pay themselves. That six figure launch they were gloating about might be quickly absorbed by ad experts, web builders, virtual assistants, community managers, videographers, mastermind groups and more!
Should you never outsource? Of course not! You need to work your way there though!
Myth #6 – You need the “special sauce” to be successful, and only a few people have the recipe
Wondering what this dang special sauce everyone keeps talking about is? There is no special sauce. Even if there was you might not like the taste of it. It might not suit you.
Stop paying for anyone or anything that promises something secret or elusive. There are no secrets. There are systems to help you get the best results, there are steps you can follow to make the journey from idea to launch much faster, there are programs to help you figure out the midfield of ‘stuff’ out there .. but none of it is secret.
Myth #7 – Everything those online peeps say and post about their business is 100% true
Bah! I got caught up in this. I literally thought every single thing six figure gurus posted was 100% true. Google the word “naive” and you will see a photo of my face. Those fancy photoshoots in gorgeous locations? I thought that was their actual home. The six-figure launch claims? I thought that was their profit, not sales. The carefree Instagram shots of beaches and yoga classes and happiness… I thought they were never stressed about anything.
It is all smoke and mirrors! It isn’t their fault, it is mine. I wanted to believe it was all true. That made it easier for me to hide away and hold myself back. I didn’t have anything Instagram-worthy so I was a failure, right? Someone slap me!
Myth #8 – There is no more room at the top, the experts are hogging it
There is plenty of room in the wildly growing online marketplace for you. Just because there are other people with millions of followers and tons of sales doesn’t mean you can’t squeeze your fine self in.
There is something unique about you that attracts your buyers. Oh, and can I also mention… a lot of my course members don’t purchase just one solution, they purchase many. People often want to see a variety of awesome (purchased) content to help them achieve their solution.
Don’t hold back for fear of not being able to compete with more successful and well know course creators. You’re robbing yourself of a very cool and fulfilling income stream! You’re robbing your potential course members of the awesome unique solution only you can offer.
Myth #9 – An online course is a “fantasy” business
Here is the problem with the online course world. Smart people hold back on building and sharing their courses because get-rich-quick jackwangs jump on board fast then tell everyone it’s a hoax.
The get-rich-quick crew doesn’t put in the work. They don’t follow the basic steps. They don’t invest the time. They spend big bucks on lots of courses but follow none of the advice (because there is work involved). They tell good folk like you that it is all a scam. It isn’t. It just requires patience and work like any business.
If you’re looking for a get-rich-quick opportunity you best hit up the blackjack table because you will get no joy with an online course. Those willing to put the work in to be successful will reap the rewards!
Myth #10 – Success is only for the lucky few
I left this one until the end, it is so untrue. I remember online-stalking people I really admired. I would spend hours pouring over their Instagrammable lives. I would save blog posts and emails that outlined their latest success to inspire myself. The problem was I wasn’t being inspired. I was using their success to prove they were they lucky ones. They were the online lotto winners. They were not me.
After years of stalker-booking, I noticed a few common traits the “lucky” online course creators had. They were all consistent. They were all persistent. They were all treating this opportunity like a real business with real work.
Oh .. so it ain’t about luck then?
Success in this online world has nothing to do with luck and everything to do with investing the time and effort to make this business opportunity work. Don’t get me wrong, you don’t need to invest hours and hours to create an awesome online course that will sell. You just need to cut out all the noise of fear and doubt and focus on the high-value actions.
If you’re not sure what those actions are you can download my 7 Step Guide + Action Plan here for free to get started. No secrets, no magic, just a logical 7 step breakdown to help you move easily and quickly through the process of idea to launch.