Why your online course won’t sell

March 21, 2022

If you were a fly on the wall in my mentoring sessions, chances are you’d over hear many conversations like this:

[student] So…I want to develop a course that helps couples prepare for birth. To teach people all the things they REALLY need to know about birth and postpartum.

[me] Amazing. But what’s the ‘grab’? (*I’ll come back to the grab in a sec)

[student] Well, it’s just so needed!

[Me] I agree it’s needed, but is it wanted? Do people search for this late at night?

People often don’t know what they need. As health practitioners, it’s our job to guide them, starting from their original search point (their want), using the same language as they do.

A bit of a real life example – my new website is glitching. It’s causing me all sorts of stress about not being able to launch it yet.

It’s Google’s (and Trevor from tech support) job to make sense of the language I use to explain what I’m trying to do. I’m not an expert. I don’t know exactly what I need to search for (to mea ‘sticky scroll’ is something you buy at a bakery, no?).

I’m going to click on the first thing that helps me FEEL understood and solves my problem.

As someone who sells birth trauma books and courses, I can tell you that no one is searching for the terms ‘birth trauma’.
They search for ‘bad’, ‘scary’, ‘confusing’ birth maybe, but rarely ‘trauma’.
Pregnancy, birth and anything postpartum anxiety/depression are really over saturated markets.

Does that mean you shouldn’t come up with a course in these areas?

No, it just means you need to get clear on:

  1. Is this something your ideal client wants?
  2. Exactly what words would they use to describe the problem or thing they are looking for
  3. What’s the ‘grab’, hook or point of difference?

The grab is like when you have acupuncture – the point at which the needle kicks off the endorphin response. The bit where you go “oh, that’s it. That’s the spot” and you FEEL something.

A red poppy in a field of white

In the north west coast of Tasmania, where I grew up, the countryside is dotted with poppy fields which are harvested for opium. They are supposed to be white, but every now and then a red one will pop up.

You want to be that red poppy – the one that stands out as doing something really different.

Every Hypnobirthing, Calm Birth, She births, Lamaze and every other pregnancy-training based practitioner will tell you how tricky it can be to convince people their training is ‘worth it’ compared to other options.

Free hospital classes, their friend’s Hypnobirthing folder they recycle instead of going to a class (grr!), a used book on Gumtree, or ‘preparing’ themselves by binge watching shows like One born Every Minute.

Where is the actual pain point your course is solving?

I want you to really, really consider – from the client’s perspective (not yours) where is the pain point? Where is the evidence that your course will deliver a transformation and make someone FEEL something?

How are you giving them a full sensory experience for their eyeballs, heart, and hormones of how this product or service will transform their life?

People pay for 50 thousand dollar weddings because they can put themselves into a clear picture of how they are going to feel. Years of rehearsing this moment in their mind’s eye and self-hypnosis goes into creating these associations.

New parents spend their dollars on a Bugaboo instead of a birth class because of a feeling. More than a feeling actually – they can insert a version of their future self into an entire lifestyle.

Don’t pretend you’re immune to amazing marketing.

Look, I’ll go first.

When I was pregnant with my first daughter, I watching Offspring. My pregnant lady eyes gazed at a beautiful baby lying fast asleep in a gorgeous round cot. My pregnant brain flooded with happy hormones, my heart fluttered and my probably very dilated pupils began to weep. It grabbed me. I had to have this cot. I didn’t care that I didn’t need it or that it wasn’t exactly in the budget. I knew it was product placement. I didn’t care. It made me feel something.

OF COURSE both my kids would scream like baby mandrakes from Harry Potter every time they were placed in it.

But I didn’t think about that. I’d already weaved a story. One in which I starred in my own Nina Proudman-esque fantasy about how blissful motherhood would be with my angel baby who would sleep for 9 hours a night.
All because I bought her the perfect round Scandinavian cot.

Look at her. Does she look like someone who is going to listen to anything about how maybe, just maybe, I should invest in a doula, meals or a breastfeeding consultant instead?

You will have experienced your own ‘la la not listening to what you’re selling’ moment…

The ex-partner everyone said was no good for you.

The Rachel haircut that didn’t suit your face.

The Sass & Bide East Village Hipster jeans that were too low cut and uncomfortable, but it was 2003 and you kind of just had to have them.

Stuff that your rational brain knows doesn’t really create happiness or confidence, but in a moment you just really, really bought into the idea that it would change your life?

So here is the dilemma – if your client doesn’t see the pain point, they’re not going to buy into what you’re selling. Even if it’s what you think they need.
People need to arrive at their own conclusions and in their own time.

So, how do you sell a course when people don’t know they need it yet?

Be patient. Really patient and stop telling people how much they need your course.
Instead, keep showing up with your mission and your message and wait for the best marketing around – word of mouth.

Be a good camel spotter.
Whatever course you choose to develop, start with being an excellent listener. Eavesdrop on conversations in the daycare pick up line. Look for repeated themes in forums.
Be listening for what people want and can’t find, not necessarily what you think they need.
Have your ears open to what people wish they could find but can’t. If there are similar courses, what’s a point of difference or gap that you could fill?

Do you want to test out Course Creation for the Caring Professions?
I have so much I want to teach other health professionals about how to do what I’ve done!
In the interests of showing you that ‘done’ is better than perfect, you can get started on Creation for the Caring Professions now. Before I’ve officially launched it. The sales page isn’t up yet. Rather than waiting until everything is perfect, I’ve decided to just open the cart and see what happens…

With this course you will:

  • Stop leaving money on the table when all you offer is 1:1 sessions & people need help NOW
  • Earn money even if you take a sick day, holiday or can’t do 1:1 sessions that day.
  • Understand how to launch & market your first course (or tweak one that’s not selling)
  • Feel comfortable with the tech, presenting & editing
  • Help hundreds, even thousands more people than you ever could before
  • Tick something off your “I should do that one day…” list

You’ll get 6 weeks of self-paced learning, released one module at a time so it’s not too overwhelming. You’ll have ongoing access to my monthly Q&A Zoom calls once the course is officially launched.

Use the code BETABABY50 for 50% off (expires April 2nd, 2022)

After the course, you also have the option to become an affiliate. Basically, I refuse to give money to Zuckerberg for Facebook ads if I don’t have to. I want money back into the hands of powerful women!
So, it’s pretty simple. You can apply for a unique link. If someone else buys ANY of my courses using your unique link, then you’ll get money. Woo!

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I specialise in birth trauma and perinatal mental health. I also write books, create courses & provide clinical supervision & business mentoring.


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