What if "audience before course" is back to front?

~ 2 min read | Category: Newsletters

“Before you build your course, you need to build your audience.”

That’s the accepted wisdom. And I used to believe it, 100%.

After all, if you don’t have an audience, who’s going to buy your finished course? Friends and family? Good luck with that.

That’s why the most common advice is to build your audience first.

But here’s the problem…

Building an audience is hard. It takes time and patience.

The result? Many people whose hearts are set on creating an online course push the audience-building part to one side.

They lock themselves away in their course creator’s cave and emerge months later, excited and hopeful, only to discover…

No-one they know wants to hear about their course, let alone buy it.

And then they understand why everyone was telling them to build their audience first.

However, I’m actually starting to think that the “audience first” rule isn’t 100% true.

Don’t get me wrong, I still think it’s a mistake to attempt to create a profitable course without having at least a modest audience to promote it to.

But what if a course (the right sort of course) could actually help you build that audience in the first place?

I’m talking about a course that’s designed to generate leads instead of revenue.

One that could also pave the way for a revenue-generating course down the line.

In fact, that’s what exactly I did recently with the Online Course Sprint.

Having worked behind the scenes for someone else for many years, I didn’t have an email list. Or a big social media following. I didn’t even have much of a profile in the world of online courses.

I simply had some real-world experience and a desire to build my reputation by putting that experience to good use by helping people.

And by creating a free course to demonstrate my expertise, I was able to build my email list from (literally!) nine people to over 300. I was able to get my name “out there” as an online course expert. I was able to build an active community on Facebook with a shared interest in online courses.

Now, I won’t lie. It was a ton of work. And looking back I think I could have done it a lot more efficiently. (You live and learn, right?)

But the bottom line is that a small course helped me to jump-start my audience. (Filled with people, by the way, who are now predisposed to learning from me online.)

So if you want to create and sell your own online courses but keep getting stuck at the audience bit, try creating a short course that gives people a taste of what it’s like to learn from you.

I have a feeling you won’t regret it.

See you soon,


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