One great use of our MemberPress membership software is to launch an online course. With MemberPress Courses built right in, MemberPress is the best WordPress membership plugin to protect your course materials and build a space for your course attendees to download important information, receive updates, and even interact with one another.
So in this post, we'll share our top five tips for launching your own online course.
1. Build a team
With MemberPress Courses, implementing an online course is a simple drag-and-drop process. But the first step — putting together all the content for your course — can be a lot of work.
You need to create course materials (workbooks, videos, worksheets, forums, etc.), promote and sell into the course, answer questions, collect feedback, and so much more.
If you want to create a truly top notch offering, you may want to delegate out the work and build a team. Play to your strengths and hire freelancers, independent contractors, or reputable agencies to handle the rest.
Love writing but Microsoft Paint is about the extent of your design capabilities? Hire a designer to create a beautiful PDF workbook for your course. Decide who you need, what you can afford, what your launch schedule looks like, and delegate, delegate, delegate!
2. Plan it out
The most important part of launching any online course is making sure that you have a realistic launch schedule. Give yourself ample time to create your course materials and promote via email and social media.
This is especially important if you’re working with a large team of professionals. Be clear and upfront about your deadlines, but be sure to give yourself a grace period for last minute edits and emergencies.
It might be a good idea to use a project manager platform with a built in calendar to map out your project milestones, task breakdowns, deadlines, and scheduled promotions. Three of our favorite project management tools are Asana, Teamwork, and Basecamp.
3. Use the tools
Speaking of tools, there are a number of tools that can help you get ahead of your launch schedule and minimize stress. If you can, I highly recommend that you prepare your promotions and course materials ahead of time.
Pre-write your emails and social media promotions and schedule them out using AWeber, Mailchimp, Hootsuite, and Buffer! By automating your promotions for the days, weeks, and even months leading up to your course you can knock one thing off your list and focus on organizing other aspects of your launch.
4. Know your limits
Set a realistic cap on the number of attendees in your course. There’s nothing worse than having tons of people sign up but then leave negative feedback because they don't feel like they got enough value or time with you for the money.
On the flip side, there’s nothing better than selling out, getting stellar reviews, and being able to offer the course a second time around (maybe even at a higher price point) with rock star testimonials to back you up!
Know and respect your limits, and don't forget that the people who are signing up for your course are doing so because they want YOU. So be sure to deliver as much one-on-one time to each of your attendees as possible.
5. Create a DIY version
This is by far the greatest tip, and something that could completely change the way you monetize your skill set. If you're running an online course with live video sessions, I highly recommend you record those sessions and reuse them in a DIY version (or use them as a script to record videos for a DIY version).
Bundle these videos with your workbooks and worksheets, and use an AWeber or Mailchimp autoresponder to automatically deliver the bundle or login instructions via MemberPress to access the course materials.
The beauty of taking these extra steps when creating an online course is that you put in the hard work once and then sit back and let the passive income roll in. It also allows people to take your course at times when you’re not offering it live, or allows them to work through your program at their own pace. It's a win-win all around!
Hopefully these tips have inspired you to launch your own online course in your area of expertise. We’d love to hear about some of the exciting programs you’re building and how you’re using MemberPress Courses to enhance your offerings.