Are you selling magic beans?

There’s always a get-rich scheme. And sometimes the scheme is telling other people how to get rich.

More specifically, there’s no shortage of people online who have ‘made millions’ selling online courses and high ticket affiliate programmes. They go to great lengths – and time and expense – to tell you how much money they’ve made and how successful they are.

What’s more, because they are kind and generous and have only your best interests at heart, they also offer to tell you just how they did it… to let you in on their money-making secrets so that you too can make hundreds of thousands of dollar-euro-pounds.

There is a lot of money to be made telling people that there is a lot of money to be made and offering to show them how.

“If you pay me just $997 I’ll show you how it works.”

It’s tempting, right? After all, as a coach, you may have (or be working on) an online course to offer to your clients. Now, if you could only monetize it like this ‘rich person’ offering to tell you how. After all, it worked for them – how could you resist?!
Unfortunately, their tempting offer translates as,

“Won’t you buy my magic beans?!”

Beans and a magic wand

Get-rich-quick schemes don’t work for the people buying them

If you’re thinking you can take your online course and make a lot of money selling it, you may be doing it for the wrong reasons. Besides, very few people make real money selling just online courses (except maybe for online courses that teach how to sell online courses – that’s a potentially never-ending pyramid scheme).

Selling an online coaching course is difficult. It’s a hard sell. You’re asking someone to trust you, trust that you know what you’re talking about and trust that you can deliver the outcome.

The temptation to use a few ‘tactics’ is understandable. Countdowns, charm pricing, and promises of making large amounts of money can get you sales. But if sales are all you’re chasing, you may be in the wrong business.

However, if coaching is the right business for you, let’s consider the buyer’s perspective…

Too-good-to-be-true offers – from the other side

The art of this particular deal lies partly in asking people to make an uninformed decision. They don’t fully understand the problem, issue or feeling they have and while an easy solution sounds tempting, the real solution to such issues usually involves understanding them first. Such schemes are focused on sales, not solutions.

Ask yourself, would you buy this offer? Do you want to sell this offer?

Diagram showing 5 Levels of Client Awareness

Where does your online course sit in your wider offering?

An effective course – one that sells well because it works and not just because of a manipulative sales process – is usually just part of a wider selection of products and services.

What’s more, sales are usually made via recommendation or because the course is part of a broader programme of coaching or training.

In other words, it’s not a case of “buy my magic beans,” but instead has a clear value and contributes to the personal goals of the buyer.

You’re selling that course as just one part of the client’s journey.

And positioned like that, it works. The course is the part of their journey that they can walk on their own (guided by your course materials); they don’t need personal attention from you, can go at their own pace, and it’s more affordable than a series of one-to-one sessions.

Your course can get people from problem aware to solution aware: from knowing they have an issue or problem to work on but not knowing how, to understanding that there are solutions available and getting ready to commit to one. This is what we call the client’s journey of consciousness.

An online course can be a great way of sharing your knowledge with people who are just starting out on their journey or who are overwhelmed with options. A structured course might be just what they’re looking for: a necessary stepping stone on their journey.

How to make your course part of the journey

Let’s take a real example. Our Coach’s Marketing Journey model explains our method to problem-aware coaches. Then our Coach’s Marketing Journey Self-Service course is for those who want a structured way of working through that method. For those who want to take this method to the next level, we then have the Braver Way Programme.

The online course sits in the middle. It can deliver the essentials of our method to a large number of coaches. It doesn’t take up loads of our time, and a buyer isn’t paying for personal attention. It helps them along their journey, and it doesn’t promise to make them rich quick!

How does your course fit your clients’ journey? It might not fit just yet, and that’s okay. Look at your method, your product, the bigger picture for the client. Ask what you need to deliver to the client at this stage. Keep it simple and make it manageable… Ask us inside the community if you want some guidance with these steps.

Magic beans

But… So-and-so has made millions selling online courses!

Maybe so (although there’s always the nagging doubt: Did they? Really? Or is this just sales smoke in your eyes?). But if their pitch is all pressure sales, countdowns and prices ending in “7” then what are they really going to teach you? Probably just tactics to get your clients to buy but nothing about the value you deliver afterwards.

If all you’re interested in is $$$€€€£££ then selling magic beans may not be a bad option.

But if you’re interested in coaching, better to position an online course as part of something bigger and more valuable to the client…

  • Give away your ‘ideas’ – just tell them your method for free, then charge those interested in learning and doing more for the implementation and guidance.
  • Focus on where you really add value.
  • Whatever you’re offering should fit with the journey your clients are on and need to make.

Done right, your online course will sell because it has real value, not empty words. And for you, by effectively automating the delivery of this part of your offer, you have more time to spend with one-to-one and group coaching, where you can deliver more personal value.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or need more clarity with your marketing then we have a structured way to work through the process. Our online course covers the essentials you need to get your marketing working in a manageable and magic beans-free way.

You can also join our community of coaches who are all working on their marketing and building their coaching business. We take time to reflect, share and collaborate in our safe space just for coaches. Learn more and join us today.

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