I’ve been teaching marketing classes via online webinar and in live workshops for just over 5 years now. I’ve accumulated dozens of presentations, worksheets and spreadsheets.
Last year, I planned to turn all these classes into a comprehensive online course and price it somewhere between $1,000 – $2,000.
Upon reflection, I decided against it.
Because I think the ship for selling higher-priced information products has sailed.
Teaching is the new marketing
If you make money by selling professional services:
- Offering support and accountability so that your clients actually take action
- Doing the work for them as a freelancer
- Providing advice, customized implementation plans and troubleshooting
Then you can give information away for free. (Yes. Including the “how to” part.)
I’m seeing this a LOT in software as a service companies:
- Webinar hosting services teaching free classes on how to run and market effective webinars
- Email list services teaching free classes on how to build and sell to a list
- Online learning platforms teaching free classes about how to build, market and deliver profitable online courses
These courses are not low quality “infomercials” designed to get people to buy into a $2,000 course.
These are high quality well produced courses – designed to help people successfully use the service they’re selling.
I believe this is one of the reasons why the days of selling $2,000 online courses are numbered. It’s hard to compete with free. (Especially if the free option is high quality.)
I’m expecting to see even more of this in the future.
Marketing via education is a great way to build know, like and trust.
And it doesn’t have the ick factor inherent in manipulative tactics.
Instead, you demonstrate that you can help people by sharing your expertise. Then if they need help with implementation, they can buy your services.
Which brings us to the second reason:
Self-study online courses don’t work for most people
If all it took to succeed is 6 videos and some worksheets, anyone with $2,000 to spend could become a 7 figure success in 6 weeks.
Most people don’t achieve those “results not typical” outcomes.
Not just because many of these courses are low quality, taught by people with no instructional design or teaching experience.
Most people are unable to implement what they learn on their own. Even if the course is high quality, they get stuck. They get confused. They have trouble relating the material to their own life or business. Or they simply don’t learn well on their own from watching a video.
Customers are getting jaded. After dropping a few thousand dollars on programs and not getting results – they’re hesitant to buy again.
A common objection? I need to get through the 5 programs I already bought before I buy any more courses.
This is horrible news if you’re in the business of selling $2,000 online courses.
This is great news if you’re a coach, consultant, counsellor, freelancer or wellness practitioner
What’s stopping people these days is NOT lack of information.
Anything you want to learn is a quick Google search away. (I just searched “how to market your small business” and got 125 million results.)
Here’s where the real problems lie:
- Confusion and overwhelm sorting through the various options and conflicting advice. What should I do? What’s right for ME?
- Frustration trying to apply the information; not seeing how it fits into their own business or life
- Procrastination and self-doubt – leading to lack of action – or…
- Taking action and not seeing results. Knowing something is wrong, but not being able to see where the problem lies.
These problems are not solved by providing more information.
They’re solved by coaching, advice, guidance and done-for-you services.
People need help DOING that thing they’re trying to learn
Help with implementation. Help taking action. Advice about which strategies and tactics will work for them. Assistance applying the information to their situation. Accountability and support to get stuff done.
This kind of support comes with a lot of access and personal attention. One-to-one sessions. Or small group programs.
It’s ideal for those of us who work closely with our clients.
So instead of creating an online course, I decided to offer an affordable small group program to help people get better at their marketing by doing it – and getting feedback, support and advice as they need it.
And that pile of stuff I was going to turn into a course?
I’m going to give it away piece by piece over the next year.
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