Successful courses solve a burning problem or pain point
Customers may not initially know that the problem you’re willing to help solve is one for which they should be seeking a solution. However, when they see your course title they should have an “Aha!” moment. They should immediately recognize the value you’re offering. They should clearly understand that your course will improve their life in some way.
Successful courses almost always operate within a narrow niche of a broader market
Successful courses cut through all of the noise within a market by hyper-focusing on solving one unique problem with a specific and proven strategy. And they are often able to enter their segment of the broader market with little to no competition as a result.
Successful courses offer clear expectations of the outcome your customer can expect
They use concise and precise language when describing the intended outcome. They do not paint a vague picture of what a customer will get from the course.
Successful courses don’t just solve a burning problem or pain point…they solve an URGENT problem or pain point
Your prospective customers are going to be constantly bombarded with information and advertisements each and every day, all while being pressed for time to get things done in their own busy lives. Your course needs to frame your solution in a way that they make it a priority regardless of all of the other noise in their lives. Otherwise, they brush it aside as a “maybe someday” idea and we don’t want that.
Successful courses “niche down” within their markets, but they cater to a market nonetheless
We can’t create demand where there is none, so we have to stay just broad enough to ensure we have customers to whom we can sell our course.
2. Craft a Great USP
No matter how crowded your online course topic’s niche is, if you can clearly and concisely communicate precisely why yours is the best solution then you will make sales. Lots of them.
Your unique selling proposition, or USP, is your elevator pitch. It’s the one-sentence statement that causes a prospective customer to say…
“Wow…you really have experienced my struggle, you understand it, you created a solution that worked, and if I follow in YOUR footsteps my life will be better in some measurable and meaningful way!”
But it takes some work to distill things down into such a powerful statement.
A great USP begins with asking yourself:
What is the outcome that your ideal customer truly wants?
How can your course create that outcome for them?
What factors would motivate them to purchase your course?
Why would they choose you to lead them to that outcome?
And in the end it should loosely follow this format:
For (ideal buyer persona) who (want to solve this burning pain point), (course title) is (why your solution is best) unlike (the other solutions which are inferior).
Here’s a link to a free copy of the action guide from that lesson within Simple Course Creation. It will walk you through the process of crafting a great USP.
3. Leverage YOU!
At the end of the day, there’s only ONE you!
And that’s potentially your course’s greatest selling point of all.
Only YOU have the combined life experiences that have brought you to where you are.
Only YOU have your unique perspective on your course content.
Only YOU have your voice and personality.
Only YOU could have combined and cooked the content ingredients of your course the way you have.
I don’t mean to sound corny, but…you know what?! Forget that! I DO mean to sound corny!
You can leverage your unique strengths and abilities to differentiate your course in a far greater way than a USP or identifying a particular pain point ever could.
What unique skills or experiences do you have that you can capitalize on?
We have a client who has a successful course in the crowded “how to start a podcast” market. While almost every course focuses heavily on video and audio content because the creator wants to appear as a master of technology, this course creator chose a different path.
See, he’s a truly visual learner. And in the truest sense of the visual learning style, these learners don’t respond well to video and audio. They need freeze frames of information to digest and assimilate.
He also happens to be an infographic all-star and can create brilliant information diagrams and flow charts from scratch. His course does use video to discuss the concepts of each stage of the podcast production process, but where his course really shines is in the printable process infographics he’s created.
Those will remain in his customer’s view with his course logo on them long after they stopped watching his videos, since almost all of his students print them out and keep them in a binder or tape them to the wall of their office. He also sells laminated full-color versions as an upsell! If his students are ever seeking to up their podcasting game and he’s released advanced courses, they’ll likely check in with him for advice first.