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Joanna Lott Coaching

How I made £160k from a digital course

how do you make money with an online course?

The Inside Scoop and Lessons Learned

So, how do you make money with an online course? I rarely talk about how much I earn, because our industry is bombarded with people shouting about their income, and it’s not always truthful either.

But, I’m on a mission to help women make money AND make a difference, so I want to share an honest account of what’s possible, because we’re all told that it’s sooo easy to make a lot of money creating and making money with an online course or a group coaching programme.

People are always asking, ‘how do you make money with an online course?’ What’s much less talked about is what you need to put in place to achieve that success, so that’s what I’m going to share with you here. 

So, how have I earned £160k from my digital course over the last two years?

It started where most new coaches start, seeing others launching impressive digital courses and me thinking, I could do that! I can passively earn a fortune whilst lying on a beach living my best life!

Nearly every coach I talk to, especially when they’re earlier on in their journey, wants to launch a digital course or a group coaching programme.

Most of the time, they haven’t yet got the foundations in place to make a success of it.

It can still be helpful to join a programme to learn how to launch a course like that, though. I paid £2,000 over four years ago to do just that and here I am, having got my course over the line two years after that, and I’ve since earned £160k from that course. So it was a brilliant return on my investment.

Group coaching works

I’ve always loved group coaching; right from the very beginning it’s been where I get my energy. I’ve created several courses throughout my business so far, in different niches, and I’ve also sold into organisations.

I then created my Business of Coaching course, and my Offer to Market sprint. I also have a new programme, which I haven’t announced yet, called Signature Solution, because I know there are so many people who just want to nail their niche and create their signature coaching programme without committing to a big programme.

How do you ensure the best results with an online course?

I’m always thinking about how people can get the best results from my courses, and I genuinely think that, a lot of the time, people get more from being part of my group programme than they would if I were talking it through one-on-one. 

In creating the group programmes, I’m methodically thinking about what you need to know first and why, then leading into how you can achieve it, and moving on to what you need to do next.

It’s harder to be that structured when you’re working one-to-one.

So how do you make money with an online course? In my group programme, people watch a module, send me their content to review, I give them feedback via video so they can really nail it, and then they move on to the next step. 

Getting your course over the line

When you’re an entrepreneur, and you’re your own boss so no-one’s going to sack you if you don’t meet your targets this month, it can be hard to prioritise what you need to get done.

That’s where external accountability can be really powerful. 

Sell something, then you have to create it!

With my Business of Coaching programme two years ago, I’d sold seven spaces before I even had the content on the portal. I’d roughly mapped out the content and I’d explained to my cohort that a module would be released week by week so it wasn’t overwhelming, and I made sure that I created the content on time every week.

You can spend years perfecting your content before you go out and sell it, and it might be that no one buys it! 

There’s something exhilarating about my ‘Lott Last Minute Method’ that forces you to create to a pre-set schedule.

And now, the content is all there and I’m able to pass on my knowledge to many, many people, without re-creating it over and over.

Marketing strategies for launching your course

I launched my course with a Five Day Challenge two and a half years ago. It was an amazing experience, but it was also really intense. 

There is so much involved in a launch and, being my first time, I had no idea how demanding it would be. What I learned is that it’s all about being organised and being prepared. 

Allow yourself enough time to prepare all your content in advance… your emails, a webinar maybe, anything that helps people to gain insight, take a step forward, get motivated about what you’re going to help them to achieve. 

They’ll either take those learnings and go off and make it happen, or they’ll realise they need more help to get their course over the line and they’ll sign up to work with you.

I’m super excited to be running my Five Day Challenge at the end of February, to help you get started with your group programme, so do look out for that because people have made huge progress through my Five Day Challenge.

Know. Like. Trust.

So, how do you make money with an online course? Running events like a Five Day Challenge helps people to really get to know you, to build trust and build a connection with you. That’s what you need to successfully launch a group programme – it’s really easy to underestimate all the moving parts; the amount of work involved and the amount of fear that can come up.

So allow yourself lots of time to plan your launch, using your 6-8 week window to take step by step actions.

And, even if you’re not ready to launch right now, once you’ve planned your launch you can refer back to your mapped out plan and follow those steps at any time.

Here are the key lessons I learned in launching my digital course

Lesson 1: Value over volume

Focusing on one course is much more effective than selling many courses – the more courses you create, the less you’ll sell because you’ll be so busy in creation mode which is bound to take more time and energy than you estimate.

My £160k income has all come from one digital course.

Lesson 2: Focus on authentic marketing

The buyer’s journey can be long. The more you embrace that, the more your business will grow. Someone joined my Business of Coaching programme recently who did my Five Day Challenge over two years ago.

So, don’t think you’ve failed if no-one signs up, or not as many as you’d have liked. Focus on the fact that you showed up, and you gave value, you’ve potentially changed people’s lives, and you’re feeding into that value bank which will pay dividends in the future. 

Yes, we need to give deadlines and encourage our clients to take action if it’s right for them, but always remember that everyone has their own internal deadlines too.

Running my evergreen group programme has taught me that we don’t always need hard deadlines. Sometimes people will just buy.

It’ll be interesting for me to launch my new closed programme that isn’t evergreen. You either join at a certain time or you don’t join at all, which makes it an intense sales process.

Experimenting with different ways of making money with an online course

I’m experimenting with this closed programme as I think it’ll be too much to run two evergreen programmes at the same time. 

It’s going to be interesting to see how it works out. I love continually learning, and I’m excited to test this different way, to see if I enjoy it and what I learn from the experience.

Lesson 3: Feedback and iteration

I am changing my programme all the time, as you’ll know if you’re part of it. 

We have just taken on a coach mentor, Jacqui, to support me and my clients with a more strategic overview. I’m really excited about this, knowing that she will provide challenge and support, and add that different dimension of checking in on targets for each person. She is incredibly supportive but also direct, which will be the perfect complement to the loving and empathetic support that I naturally give to my clients, because I understand where they’re at. 

Having real, strong accountability in a loving, nurturing yet challenging space is so important. It’s something I always wish I’d had in my own journey so I feel extra passionate about creating it for my clients.

Lesson 4: Scaling the business 

The goal is to serve as many people as we can. When I first started my Business of Coaching programme, it wasn’t a digital course. I was presenting live every week to two people. 

Then, when I created a digital course, I had seven people. Now, I probably have 25 current clients in my programme. So, it’s been about taking a different approach but being confident that you’re adding to people’s experience, and the shift is not something to fear. 

I make sure that we’re strategic, by making sure each individual has goals and that we speak to them personally every single week – checking in on where they’re at and what challenges they’re facing.

How to successfully scale

The only way to successfully scale and still help people on a personal and practical level is by having the right systems and processes in place, and hiring resources if you need to.

I know that my clients are still being deeply served in my scaled programme, and are still getting an amazing experience. 

One way I’ve recently refined my programme process is by switching from Facebook to Slack for our communications. This makes it much more efficient to help people, for example within Slack I’ve set up an Accountability channel, where people can add their plans. Having everything in one place makes it easy for me and my mentor coach to keep on top of people’s action plans and ask how they’re getting on.

Slack also allows voice messaging and document sharing, making it easy to track and find content and to interact back and forth. I’m excited about how this move has deepened and improved my relationship with my clients.

Actionable tips for you to run with

Niching 

This is even more important in group programmes because, to build that bond, we need to be with people who are on the same page as us; creating content alongside others with the same shared goal.

Creating compelling content

Keep each video to 3-4 minutes of content. People don’t have time to watch hour-long videos.

Break down your content into topics that help people and give them something to implement. For example, in my set up, they have to send me their niche, then send me their offer and so on, so every step of the way we’re building in accountability and they’re taking action and getting feedback, which then energises them to go on to the next lesson.

Marketing your course

It takes more than just a few social media posts to launch a group programme. 

We’re talking a 6-8 week process of consistently showing up to really get your offer off the ground, depending on how warm your audience is. 

In the new programme I’m launching, I will be encouraging people to launch their programme within the first four weeks of us working together. 

You don’t have to do that, but it’s a really good way to get started and get out there. You can work on bigger launches further down the line.

Ready to take that next step

I hope this article has been helpful if you’re thinking about creating an online course or group programme.

And, if you would like my guidance to do that, get in touch with me now to find out more about my new programme.

I am so excited to be able to help more people to make more money in less time.

Women, in particular, often have limited earning potential if they’re not working for themselves, as they can be busy caring for children or parents or others.

Creating a successful group programme can be a fantastic way to earn a decent, sustainable income, which can really change people’s lives.

And, the best way I can achieve my huge personal goal of helping a million people, is to help as many coaches as I can to help as many people as they can. 

Prefer Audio?

You can also listen to all my new content on my podcast  Women in the Coaching Arena

Whenever you’re ready, here’s how I can help you grow your coaching business:

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Interested to know how to make money with an online course? Check out my Business of Coaching programme here.

Hi, I’m Jo, and if you’re here, you’re probably asking, ‘how do you make money with an online course?’ I spent 20 years in corporate HR but faced challenges balancing work and family. Refusing to settle, I ventured into coaching, seeking financial success aligned with my values. Overcoming limiting beliefs, I developed strategies to attract clients, leading to the creation of my Reliable Results Path. Now, I support coaches in achieving their goals through my Business of Coaching program. My values of honesty, personalization, and courage guide me, fostering a community of impactful coaches who believe in inclusivity and making a difference. More about me

 

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Hello and welcome! I’m Joanna Lott, and I’m passionate about empowering qualified coaches like you to build brilliant businesses.