Back in 2014, I took Zero to Launch and joined the community. Everybody in the group talked about how I “needed” to create an online course.
It was tempting after hearing about their successes and seeing how generous everyone was with their advice on how to launch a product.
But since I was a coach, I didn’t think it was possible for me to package up what I taught one-on-one into a course. It would be like if your doctor said they were going to make a course for you so you could diagnose all of your problems yourself.
However, the thought of getting people incredible results without me needing to be there was attractive. So I decided to test the waters by creating a program and offering it to a small group of people.
If they found it valuable, I’d know there was demand, and then I could flip that into a successful launch.
Which is exactly what happened for my social skills course, Be Magnetic. After using 3 simple steps to test, tweak, and eventually launch a perfect product people want, it’s gone on to sell over $15K.
Sales after my launch.
Now I know that coaching services can be packaged into a course. And I’m able to help more people and add an additional income stream outside of client work.
In this post, I’m going to show you the 3 steps I followed so you can turn any coaching service into a product and guarantee it sells when you launch.
The best part? This is a repeatable process that can be done with any new product or service you create, saving you a ton of time, money, and resources up front.
Step 1: Find the right people to test your course
One of my first questions about testing a course was: How many people do I need?
There’s no magic number. I figured if I could get 10 people from diverse backgrounds to go through my course, then I would be onto something.
From working with past clients, I knew that I could get results and help people from all walks of life. I wanted my course to do this as well.
So when I targeted the 10 people I wanted to join my course, it was important that:
- They were already interested in improving their social skills
- They had a relationship with me (either through my email list, helping them on a free call, or they were a colleague)
- They were not close friends or family — they are unlikely to give you honest, critical feedback
Lastly, I needed to price my course. I chose $97. That’s not high enough to exclude anyone, but that’s enough to make people follow the material and take it seriously.
With that plan mapped out, I emailed and Facebook messaged people from my email list and people I had done free calls with. I asked if they would be interested in testing my course.
The result? I got 11 people to buy.
Going through this first step reduces your risk as a business owner. You get to test demand and create the best product possible before you go through the hassle of launching.
When you start doing this, it’s okay if you don’t even have an email list. The idea is to ask people if they’re curious in a product you’re thinking about offering. This alone gives you immediate feedback to see if people are interested and willing to pay.
Here’s what you can do to recreate this process:
1. Identify what types of people would be best for the course you’re thinking about offering.
2. Come up with a list of 10+ people who meet the criteria you’ve identified.
3. Pick a price that’s low enough to get people on board, but high enough that they’ll take it seriously.
4. Email your list of people. Explain exactly what the course is about and how it will help them. (What kind of results will they get? Six-pack abs? More charisma and ease talking with people? Increased productivity?)
Here’s an example script I used:
Make a clear, direct ask to people you know are already interested in learning more from you
5. Give people who respond an idea of the commitment. Is it a 4-week course, or an 8-week course? Is it a video course? Give them a clear idea of what to expect so they don’t have to think and can trust you’ve got it handled.
Make sure they are okay with the price you’re offering as well.
Step 2: Build a world-class product on the fly
Now that you have your testers, it’s time to do your trial run. When you do this, you want to get as much feedback as possible during the entire test. Then use that information to continually improve your product along the way.
It literally pays to listen and iterate when people are telling you something is — or isn’t — working. Because you’ll create a product that’s better than anyone else’s.
When I did my test, I told people that they could email anytime they got stuck. I wanted them to feel like I was there to support them and help them. Plus then I could make course improvements as needed.
For example, multiple people told me they struggled with a module about storytelling. They kept thinking that they only had boring stuff to share.
So I created an additional mini audio class breaking down a few storytelling concepts in more detail. I also explained how they could take mundane details and turn them into interesting stories.
I haven’t had a complaint about the storytelling section since.
Another piece of feedback I received was that 10 days was too short to go through my entire course.
So I extended the length and spaced out the modules so the program lasts 3 weeks. This allowed people to digest the videos, implement their action steps, and see results without feeling overwhelmed.
And it’s another part of the program I haven’t had a complaint about since.
I also sent my testers a survey at the end of the course to collect even more feedback and make finishing touches to my product before launching:
An example survey I sent to testers in Be Magnetic
There are three key things to ask about in your survey. This information will help ensure you launch with the best product possible:
1. What surprised them about the program? How is it different from others your testers have tried? Use that feedback when you write your sales page and other launch copy so you can show how your product outshines the competition
2. Where did they get stuck or confused? This helps you pinpoint exactly what needs to be improved in your product. Plus, you can ask your testers what would be a perfect solution for them instead of trying to come up with one on your own
3. Ask them to write a “before” and “after” testimonial for you explaining what they were like before the course, and what kind of results they’ve gotten from it. This is important for the next step
Step 3: Launch to an audience eager to buy
Now that you have this inside knowledge from beta testers’ feedback and testimonials, it’s time to use it to make buying your product a no-brainer.
From my test, I realized I had to speak to introverts who thought improving their charisma would be a huge drain on their time and energy. I overcame this objection in my sales copy, like this:
An example of how I used beta test feedback in my sales copy
Then I added testimonials so that people who were thinking about buying could feel safe that others had gotten results from the program.
I wanted to reassure people that my course was tested and worked for different kinds of people.
Testimonials on the sales page address customers’ concerns before they even think of them
Like I said before, this is an easily repeatable process. When you’re writing your marketing and sales copy, here’s how to use the feedback and testimonials from your testers:
1. Your sales page copy should logically lead readers from one point to the next. Show people where they are now, what their problem is, and how your product can solve that problem. Give details on exactly how the product works and how they’re going to get results.
2. Show your testimonials as social proof after each claim that you make. For example, I used a case study to prove my point that introverts can be more charismatic without needing to be more extroverted. Vivid before-and-after stories like this make it easy for people to see how your product can help them.
3. Address the deeper concerns people have about buying. Maybe they’re afraid this won’t work for them because they’ve tried so many things before that haven’t worked. Or maybe they believe that what you’re teaching can’t be taught.
Address these throughout every part of your sales page and emails. This way, people will feel more confident about buying from you.
Do the work up front, and profit 24/7 after
As a result of doing all of this testing and research up front, Be Magnetic launched with a 6.7% conversion rate to a very small list of ~700 people at the time. People even emailed me months after I launched to see if they could still get into the course.
More importantly, I realized that while some people benefit from coaching, that didn’t mean I shouldn’t create a product. I’ve been able to help way more people this way, plus it’s an additional income stream.
Feedback from a Be Magnetic customer who’s found herself connecting with people on a deeper level
Because the product continues to sell, it brings in passive income month after month, and continues to do so even 1 1/2 years after launching!
Plus, because I deliver a high quality product, my audience trusts me even more. Going through this process is totally worth it because you end up with something that can stand the test of time.
Now, it’s your turn to start your first successful beta test.
I have two questions to help you get started:
- How are you going to find your first 10 people to ask if they can beta test your course?
- How will you ask them to test your course?
Put your pitch in the comments below, and I’ll give you feedback on how to get the best response.