How ‘Passive’ is an Online Course?

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Urghh.. can we talk about this topic openly and honestly…

There is nothing passive about the start-up phase of an online course. It is a lot of work to get an online course to the point where people are going to want to buy. You can’t create a course and hope people will find it. It doesn’t work that way. You have to put in time and effort and most of all you need to be persistent.

Sounds like hard work?

All businesses require work to get them off the ground. That is just a fact and any course, coach or product that promises zero work and huge returns is obviously scamming you. If that was really ‘a thing’ then everyone would be doing it. An online course isn’t a magic ticket to print money or golden money tree beans to plant in the backyard. It is a legitimate business with all the of the same frustrations of any other business. But it isn’t all bad news…

An Online Course CAN change your life

If you’re willing to put the work in and persist through the challenges you can create a pretty dang amazing opportunity for yourself. I say “opportunity” because what you get out of it is completely up to you.

Don’t fall into the six figures or bust trap where the message is “if you’re not making six figures you’re failing” because not everyone needs to make six figures. There are a lot of people whos world would be completely changed if they had an extra $1000 per month in income.
Maybe you only need to earn the same as you do in your part-time job to make the effort worthwhile. If all you earn right now is $300 per week that should be your first goal and that is really achievable.

Your online course could give you just enough to allow you to work from home so you can be with your kids more often. Once again that is completely life-changing for some parents. Being home with their kids might be the opportunity you’re looking for.

So how “passive” is an online course?

How you choose to set your course up will dictate how passive it is. If I am completely honest I think passive is totally overrated anyway. I would hate to sell a product to someone and then have nothing to do with them ever again. They purchase then that is it. End of relationship.

For me, there is zero joy in doing that. If I think about my winning moments from the last year it has been Anna who hit $17,200 in her first launch with a tiny list. I would never have known that if my offerings were 100% passive. Just recently Jodie smashed her annual sales goal by mid-October. I would never have known that or been able to see my own method of online course strategy working for anyone but myself if the relationship ended at the point of sale.

Even the small wins are so significant. Jen was able to sell 12 of her intro product and while it was only a few hundred dollars in revenue we celebrated like it was millions because we knew she had started the ball rolling. Likewise, Cindy had her first-course sale after months and months of fighting self-doubt and fear. She also pushed through the frustration of competitor products popping up all around her. Deb made a sale from her online photography course out of the blue with next to zero effort in marketing. These small wins are what shows me that what I teach works.

So where the heck is the passive part?

The passive part of online courses can be the automation you build in. I have a membership program that creates ongoing revenue each month without me billing anyone. It all happens on auto-pilot but I still “show up” for those members or they wouldn’t stick around and they wouldn’t continue to pay monthly. I create content for them continuously and I also interact a lot in the private group.

Create Your First Online Course is about as close to passive as most people will ever get. The sales funnels are passive so when you opt in you get high quality (at least I hope YOU think they’re high quality) emails and videos with all my best hints and tips. Once you have received enough information that builds your confidence in my knowledge, your trust that I am an honest person and helps you make the decision if my course is the right solution for you, you get an invitation to join. I am super lazy with list building so I use Facebook Ads. The full funnel from attracting potential new members through to converting is all automated, so you could call that a passive income. I still provide a lot of support in the private members group and share everything I am testing and learning, so that part is not passive at all!

Is passive really what you want anyway?

Most people aren’t actually after a completely passive income. They want to share knowledge that positively impacts other people. They want to do good and they want to earn an income. That’s what I want. I want women to access honest, accurate and quality education on creating profit from their business and I want to share everything I know about course creation with people who otherwise would buy a solution that is completely passive. One where you get sucked into the sales funnel and the minute they have your money that’s it, no more interaction or support. I purchased one of the “experts” courses and it was clear that because they had a completely passive business going on they didn’t engage with the customer at all. It was just a big support group full of people with no clue trying to figure out how to best create their online course.

So there is NO WAY to have a passive online course business?

There is. You absolutely can have a passive online course business. You will need to invest a significant amount of money though. Someone has to write content, build sales pages, put sales funnels together, run and monitor ads of some sort, deal with customer issues etc.. There is still work involved, it is just a matter of who does the work. Do you do it or do you pay someone else? The goal for many is to start earning quickly so they can outsource as they grow.

When I say passive I mean…

When most people in the online business world say “passive” income ( I know I have done this!) they mean passive sales where they focus time on getting the sales bit right so they can spend more time putting out awesome high-quality info and then the education and conversion part is all happening on autopilot. What people who aren’t familiar with online business hear when someone says passive income is “make money online doing nothing at all”. Ain’t that the golden dream!

So now back to you…

Forget about passive income, instead, focus on the opportunities of increased income and total flexibility to work where and when you want because when you create an online course that is the opportunity on offer. It is a pretty cool way to make a living!


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