Career + Money

Should you create an online course? My controversial opinion…

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It seems like everyone is saying this is the answer to creating a business that allows you to serve more.  

Make it once, sell it over and over again.

Makes so much sense, right?

Now don’t get me wrong, I love an online course.

Since launching AFE just a couple of years ago, we have enrolled over 100 students and made hundreds of thousands of dollars, and it is AMAZING. I LOVE the community and it’s allowed me to work with so many more women around the world. 

But here’s my ish with online courses… 

…even though it is a GREAT strategy for growing your income and serving more people… when you try to implement this business strategy at the wrong TIME in your business, it can be a huge waste of time, energy, and money.

Here’s what I mean….

When I started my business, I was working with coaching clients at $1500 for 3 months. 

(AKA Exactly what I teach you how to do in The Aligned Female Entrepreneur)

I focused on signing 1 new client a month, working with 8-10 clients at a time and making $4-$5k a month… not bad for only coaching 10 hours a week! 

People got great results, and life was good. 

I had very minimal business expenses and was able to save money, reinvest in my business while working flexible hours

Then I was like ok I need to create a course… THIS is the way to really “make it” as an online entrepreneur… so I launched my first course called Light, Fit and Free: a nutrition and lifestyle course to overcome emotional eating and lose weight in a healthy and aligned way. 

Here’s the numbers from that 1st launch…

  • I spent $2k on a website designer to create a website for my course
  • I bought the domain for something like $14 and 8 years later still pay about $40 a year to have it hosted online. 
  • I also got a trademark so I could sell this long term without someone suing me for using their name – about $1000.
  • I spent $700 on Facebook ads to have people learn about the course because I didn’t have a big audience.
  • I hired a personal trainer to create little videos for the workouts part of the course – for $800.
  • I also sent out personal gifts to everyone that joined.

Total investment: about $5k

But the biggest investment was my time. I spent about 6 months trying to create the content, 40 hours alone on the sales page, and even did a video launch with tons of free content. I edited the videos myself, and all in all spent hundreds of hours.. 

I had 6 people join, 2 of which were my relatives. So, of the 4 paying clients, I made about $3800.

I was actually pretty proud of myself because I made some money and people I had never met signed up for my course… I thought, ok cool I’ll just sell it forever on repeat.

But the problem was people were not signing up the 2nd time or 3rd time I ran it.

So I dropped the price. I was making less and less. 

The last time I ran it, 1 person joined at $500 and I had to run the whole 8 week course for that one person! 

So what happened?

Light, Fit and Free is honestly a great program, people still talk about it, but my problem was that…

  1. I was investing a lot of money into something that I didn’t have proof that people wanted. People didn’t want to spend $950 on a high end weight loss program.
  2. I didn’t have a systematic way to get people amazing results at the time. The results varied.
  3. I didn’t have an audience, so once I scooped up those 6 people, I had no more people to purchase, even when I dropped the price.

SIDE NOTE: There was also something else that contributed to this not being successful long term – I changed. Wasn’t obsessed with losing weight. The program and the work I was teaching actually healed me. I wasn’t aligned with the message of losing weight. So as time went on, even though I was doing everything “right” from a marketing standpoint, I wasn’t having people sign up. We talk about this a lot in The Aligned Female Entrepreneur… when your energy isn’t aligned, it doesn’t click. When we create something we think we should create or share in a way, we think we “should” share to make money vs. serve people at our highest capacity, we end up stunting our success and income.

Case and point, a few years later I felt called to teach about food and emotional eating and habit change again. I ‌quickly put together a course called Experience Food Freedom. I didn’t talk about diets or weight loss; I talked about breaking free from food obsession so that you could free up your energy to make a meaningful impact in your LIFE and in your work. I priced it at $333, had over 20 people sign up and with no expenses but my time, it was ALL profit. No Facebook ads, no fancy website, just the right offer for my people aligned with my desire to serve, and no fancy bells or whistles. 

Here are the common mistakes that I see most soul-centered women entrepreneurs making – listen in and make sure you aren’t making these mistakes:

1. Launching a course before building your audience: When you launch a course, you need to sell 10 people into it to make the income you would make by selling 1 high end client. When you don’t have an audience or a group of people, you have already established deep connections with… getting 10 people is not easy and you need to really put in effort to bring in those 10 people. PLUS, if you do fill it, after you run it once, you need to keep bringing in lots of people into your world to fill it again. I didn’t do that so even though I had an ok first launch, no one was buying when I tried to sell it over and over again like the marketing gurus tell you to do.

2. You don’t have a clearly defined methodology: Meaning, you don’t have a way for people to get amazing results without you needing to walk them through it personally. The only way to create a powerful offer that gets results is to test with‌ REAL people – perfect it through 1:1 get amazing results for your clients, and THEN once you expand your audience and have a system that works, and a full practice built on the fact that you have tested your business concept, THEN you want to scale to a group course. Ideally, this group takes the place of ONE 1:1 client and you have a group of people pay a lower rate to go through your system as a group. THIS is how you scale.

3. You over-stuff or over-work your course: We think we need to put everything we ever learned into this course, so we spend a year or more creating the content before having any proof that someone wants to buy this. Do not do this!

  • Instead – I teach my clients how fill their 1:1 practice so you have money coming in the door working the least amount of hours possible, grow your audience, and THEN pre-sell your course to your people and create it as you go so you know people are going to enroll before spending hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars creating it, plus because you’ve tested your unique methodology you get amazing results for your group.
  • One client, Hana did this, started with a smaller group and in her second launch she enrolled double the amount of people and made over $30k in her launch!

4. You spend money before you make money: we think we need to spend all the money (like I did) on a custom website. We use Kajabi and love it, but it’s $2k a year. Until you have a proven concept, this is just a pretty-looking shelf to hold a product that no one is buying. Instead, I suggest creating a password-protected page on your website for free, running your beta/test course, to create the content and once you know people are going to buy it THEN invest in a fancy platform, Facebook ads, etc.

If you avoid these common pitfalls, you will save YEARS off your learning curve and help you scale your income and build your business the fastest.

And if you are ready for more… 

I share with you EXACTLY how to test your offers, create an irresistible offer people can’t wait to buy, how to grow your audience, and, when you are ready and have something that works – scale it into an online course that will allow you to maximize your income in the least amount of time while serving more people in an aligned and impactful way.

Learn more at krissyleonard.com/aligned-female-entrepreneur 

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STRATEGY OBSESSED, ENNEAGRAM 3, HUMAN DESIGN REFLECTOR, BUSINESS MINIMALIST, NATURE WORSHIPING YOGA-FOODIE  

Hi, I'm Krissy.
Your BFF + New Creative Coach.

I’ll help you cut through the noise of internet marketing and show you what it really takes to create a highly profitable business aligned with your soul purpose, unique gifts, talents, and expertise. I’m all about that woo-woo life but live for solid biz + marketing strategies that allow you to make more money in less time so that you can free up your time and energy to create a meaningful LIFE. 

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When you create a business in alignment with Spirit all that is needed comes through you as an act of love and service for the world. You can truly create anything you want in this life. I’m here to show you how. 

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