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If you’re launching an online course soon or thinking of creating one, this post is for you.
Here, I’ll be giving you my 6-week course launch plan that my team and I did to have a 6-figure course launch.
Course Launch Plan Overview
Luckily for you, I created a free downloadable for you to use and follow as I go over my course launch plan. So, please use it as I go over my step-by-step process!
Start With the Essentials
To start off, you’re going to fill out the fields on the first page. These fields are to help you structure the smaller details as we get further and are foundational to a successful launch.
Even though it’s not on the downloadable, I’d recommend starting by finding the right platform to host your course. Personally, I prefer Thinkific, as I had the best user experience when using it as a student.
So go out, do your homework on hosting platforms and keep your future students in mind.
Now, let’s get to the checklist. Start by writing down your:
- Desired launch date – The day you want to start selling your course.
- Content due date – When gearing up for a launch, you’re going to be posting a lot of content to help you sell that launch. All of your content should be created by this date, before the start of your 6-week launch plan (we’ll go over what content in a bit).
- Course name – Easy.
- Course topic – Easier.
- Transformation that your course promises – Typically, with an online course, you’re guaranteeing some sort of transformation. For my course, The Modern Influencer, I teach people how to grow and make money on Instagram. That’s my transformation.
- Prices – Is it just one flat price? Are there monthly payment options?
- Bonuses – Any bonus you will offer throughout the launch (we’ll also talk about different bonus strategies). For ideas on what bonuses to offer, check out my post here.
- Testimonials – If someone has already taken your course, you can provide testimonials or links to testimonials that students have left for you.
- Goal – How many signups do you want? Is there a specific number or monetary figure you want to hit?
Filling this out is important as you start building your course. Whether it’s just you or you’re working with a team of any size, anyone can go back to this as a reminder of what the goal is and keep you on track!
Create Your Content Checklist
On the next page, you have your content checklist.
The content on the checklist, you will already want to be finished for a seamless rollout. So, even though the 6-week plan is 6 weeks of preparing and promoting your launch, you will want all of the content ready beforehand.
I would say you should start creating the content about 6 weeks prior to the launch plan. In that case, I guess it’s more of a 12-week course launch. But those first 6 weeks are pivotal to a successful 6-weeks leading up to the launch.
In the checklist you will see:
- 5 Nurture Emails + 5 Nurture Instagram Posts
- 4 Webinar Invites via email + 3 Webinar Invites via Instagram
- 7 Course Promo Emails + 5 Course Promo Instagram Posts
- 3 Webinars
- Your Bonuses
The reason I chose to send emails is not just because I already had an active email list. It’s because people who sign up for email lists are people who want to hear from you and consume your content! That’s the perfect group to promote your course to!
If you don’t have an email list yet, that’s okay. You can always start your own email list and build it pretty quickly!
I chose Instagram to promote my course because it’s my main platform for engaging with my audience. If you have a platform with higher engagement, feel free to use that instead of or in addition to it.
Before breaking down the 6-week plan, let’s go over each content-type you will be making for the launch.
Nurture Emails & Instagram Posts
Are you wondering what a “Nurture Email” even is?
Nurture Emails are not sales emails. Nurture Emails are educational emails that teach the importance of your course topic, leading up to your course launch.
If I’m trying to sell The Modern Influencer, which teaches how to grow on Instagram and make money as an Influencer, the subject of one of my Nurture Emails can be, “Do I need to have 10,000 followers to land paid brand collaborations?”
In that email, I’ll briefly touch on what I’ll be covering more in-depth in my course. I’ll educate them on how to land brand collabs and that you don’t need 10,000 followers to land those collaborations!
Those are purely educational emails to awaken your list if they aren’t currently active.
The same goes for Instagram. These posts are educational posts on your course topic, not selling your course.
These can be In-Feed posts, Carousels, or Reels, and it doesn’t have to be 5 posts. It can be 10 or even one Reel a day. It’s up to you.
What I have on the checklist is just what my team and I thought was best and how we staged it out.
Leading up to your course launch, you’re going to invite people to your free Webinar.
“Wait, Millie… Now I have to have a webinar?”
Ah yes, glad you brought that up.
As I mentioned before, we used the Live Launch Webinar Strategy to get people to sign up. I planned 3 1-hour, live Webinars that were completely free!
In the 3 Webinars I did, I taught on a specific topic covered in my course, and at the end of the webinar, I plugged and sold my course.
To prep people for your Webinars, we sent out 4 email invitations and 4 invitations on Instagram.
Course Promo Content
Your Course Promo Content is where you’re actually selling your course and trying to get people to buy your course!
As an example for your Course Promos, you can have an email including student testimonials with the subject, “What people are saying about [your course name]”.
Or you can create an email with the subject, “A peek inside of [your course name],” that gives them a peek inside your course!
As for your Instagram posts, they can reflect or imitate the content in your emails. When we sent out that promo email, we also created an Instagram post that said, “What people are saying about [your course name],” with screenshots in the Carousel.
Same for our “A peak inside…” post. Along with sending that email, we created an Instagram post with screenshots in a Carousel giving our followers a peek inside my course.
Lead Magnets (Get People Interested!)
Your Lead Magnet can be whatever you want it to be.
For us, we chose to use a Webinar. But even before that, you can use other Lead Magnets.
The very first time I ever launched, I created and sent out a Course Waitlist 2 months before I launched my course. That was a great way of seeing who, if anybody, was interested in my course! And it gave me a list of people I could rely on to buy my course as soon as it launched.
To create a Course Waitlist, you can use Google Forms, since it’s free, and put it in your ‘Link in Bio’.
Tell people about it and start gathering emails from people who are already interested in your course!
For my course launch, we had 4 different bonuses:
- Cart Open Bonus
- Webinar Showup Bonus
- Webinar Exclusive
- Cart Close Bonus
For the Cart Open Bonus, if someone bought within the first 48 hours of launching, they got a bonus.
The Webinar Showup Bonus was used to encourage people to show up for the Webinar. Basically, anyone who showed up to the Webinar got a free digital download.
There’s the Webinar Exclusive Bonus, which is if anyone buys the course during the webinar, they get an additional bonus.
And lastly, there’s the Cart Close Bonus, which is essentially a “last chance” bonus. When your bonus is ending, let your audience know there are only 24 hours left to purchase and get your bonus.
This is your last hoorah for anybody who’s on the fence.
Launch Content Calendar Breakdown: The 6 Weeks
Now, we have the 6-week launch plan. Again, please refer to my free downloadable on my launch plan. This information is best learned visually as opposed to in word-form on my blog, so follow along over there as well!
Looking at the 6-week calendar I created, you’ll see it starts on Monday. There’s a reason for that.
I tried launching on a Friday before and… let’s just say I learned my lesson.
We received a high volume of emails, feedback and even issues over the weekend after launching. My team was out for the weekend and I couldn’t get ahold of anybody until Monday… so just save yourself the hassle, enjoy your weekends, and launch on a Monday.
The steps below are assuming you’re starting on a Monday.
Course Launch: Weeks 1 and 2
On the first Monday, day one, you want to get your Waitlist or Lead Magnet out and in your ‘Link in Bio’ as soon as possible!
Next, whether your email list is brand new or you’ve had one for a while, you want to bring that to life. The following Wednesday and Friday of week 1, you will send out your first 2 Nurture Emails.
On week 2, you’ll send out Nurture Emails 3 & 4 on Tuesday and Thursday, respectfully.
Why start with Nurture Emails?
Well, you don’t want to bombard your new and existing email list subscribers with salesy emails. They most likely subscribed for updates on your brand and educational information on your industry. They don’t want to be sold, they want to be educated.
Sending these emails will give them what they really want and it will warm them up to the idea of your upcoming course.
Not only that, but since your emails will be filled with amazing, juicy content, your open rates will be astounding. That’s more awareness for your course.
Now that your email list is warmed up, it’s time to warm up your Instagram.
Course Launch: Week 3
On Monday, Wednesday and Friday in week 3, post your first 3 Nurture Instagram Posts.
Note: this is not a replacement for your current Instagram strategy. This is in addition to. So if your current strategy is posting every day, include these posts as your everyday posts, and continue to post your normal content in between.
Again, these are educational posts, not sales posts, so these shouldn’t be too far from what you’re currently doing anyway.
Posting your normal, day-to-day content in between may even be more beneficial as it will come across as normal to your audience and they won’t think twice about it. That said, you should still be strategic and intentional with your Nurture Posts.
On Wednesday of week 3, along with your Nurture Instagram Post, you will also send your last Nurture Email to your email list.
Lastly, on that Friday, you will send your first Webinar Invite Email. This should be about a week and a half before your Webinar, giving your audience enough time to prepare for it.
Course Launch: Week 4
Monday of week 4 is Webinar Invite Day! Hooray! Send your 2nd Webinar Invite Email and your first Instagram Webinar Invite.
Whether you use Reels, In-Feed, Live, Stories or all of the above, you’ll want to promote your upcoming Live Webinar and have people signup for it in your ‘Link in Bio’. So that means today you will also change that link from your Lead Magnet to your Webinar Signup Page.
This gives your Instagram audience a week to signup for your first Live Webinar!
Wednesday and Friday of week 4, you will continue with posting Nurture Posts on Instagram.
On Thursday you will send out your 3rd and final Webinar Invite Emails. This leads us to…
Course Launch: Week 5
Monday of week 5 is a jammed-packed day because it’s… Webinar Day!
That’s right, today you’ll do your first Live Webinar! That also means it’s the start of your Bonuses.
The first bonus you’ll be announcing and offering is the Cart Open Bonus to get people to hop on the Webinar and Course while they’re hot and fresh!
You’ll also create an Instagram Post (or Reel, Story, etc.) promoting the Webinar and promoting the bonuses you’re offering during your Webinar and throughout the rest of the week.
For the Instagram Content going out this week, I recommend pre-recording or creating it and scheduling it ahead of time, that way they’ll go out and you can focus on the Webinars, making sure the launch is smooth and everyone is happy.
It will be a busy week, you will be happy you did.
Every day in week 5, you will send your Course Promo Emails. Now, it’s not mandatory that you send an email every day. Some people don’t want to be a burden or risk too many people unsubscribing (which, as a side note, people will unsubscribe as you continue to send emails, it’s inevitable).
How often you send out your emails is up to you. However, I recommend sending 2-3 emails during the last 48 hours as your Bonuses will expire.
Tuesday and Wednesday, along with your Promo Emails if you decide to send those, you will also post the first of your Course Promo Instagram Posts.
Thursday is the day of your second Live Webinar, so it will be very similar to Monday. Post on Instagram promoting the last chance to join your Webinar, send your final Webinar Invite Email and do your Webinar!
On Friday, you will send another Promo Instagram Post, another Promo Email and you will host your final Live Webinar! Congrats, you did it!
Saturday and Sunday, you will send your final Promo Emails and Post your final Promo Posts on Instagram, but these will also mention the last chance to take advantage of your bonuses!
That’s right, Saturday is the start of your Cart Close Bonus (the final 24 hours) and Sunday is the closing of your Cart Close Bonus. So make sure those are active, promoted, and running smoothly.
What a busy week, huh? But even though your posts and emails are finished and you’ve promoted the heck out of your successful launch, you’re not quite done.
Course Launch: Week 6
While you’re done with Webinars and Promo Posts, you still have work to do.
Since you had a successful launch, you will have a ton of new students! These are people who paid and invested in your course. That’s a big deal.
During this week, make sure that onboarding is smooth. Make sure there are no hiccups.
Even with doing everything right, you will still get a bunch of emails. Whether it’s alerting you of bugs, students sending complaints, or messages of appreciation, you and your team have to be available to respond promptly.
Basically, just have a pulse on your course and your students and make sure everything is running according to plan.
And there you have it. That is my 6-week launch plan.
Follow your joy!