One of the most common misconceptions I hear from would-be e-Course creators is “I can’t afford to create an e-Course”. We’ve all seen, and probably bought, flashy e-Courses run by our online idols with gorgeous branding, customised websites and sales videos that belong on Netflix. So naturally we think that it must cost a bomb to create them. Why even try? But let me drop a truth bomb here: this way of thinking is stopping you from getting a share of the $100 billion dollar online education industry! A small budget shouldn’t stop you from creating an e-Course and here are three reasons why.
You don’t have to ‘go pro’ straight away
Of course there are definitely some entrepreneurs who have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in creating and refining their signature programs. And yes, I have also been honest about how much money I’ve put into my programs (hint: it’s a considerable amount). But this does not mean that you have to go to this ‘pro’ level straight away.
There are plenty of entrepreneurs who have had a small budget, who’ve invested a fraction of what the big-timers have… and who are still making an excellent profit!
In fact, if you look at a breakdown of investment versus profits, many of these smaller players outrank the high-profile ones in terms of ROI.
Lots of people think that they have to invest heaps of money straight away to create an e-Course but I’m a big believer in incremental upgrades.
Incremental upgrades is what happens when you invest low at the beginning and upgrade or improve something each round (I talk more about this here). This is exactly what I did with e-Course Launch Formula!
My first launch of e-Course Launch Formula was completely DIY (including the logo). I continued to upgrade the course in future launches by investing in a semi-custom sales page, then a designed membership site, then better sales copy, then I got some graphic design help.
Finally I invested in a full rebrand and new sales page, sales page video, professional copy and membership site as well as finally getting my content designed. This is the version of the program you’ll see available now – with tiny upgrades still being made each launch.
And just so you get the visual, here is what e-Course Launch Formula looked like when I first launched it…
And here is what it looks like now…
You see how none of this happened overnight? I didn’t even get my content designed until after my program hit 6-figures!
The lesson here is to just get started! Get a feel for the e-Course arena, invest what you can and see how you can leverage it from there!The good-enough e-Course you create is better than the perfect one you don’t. Click To Tweet
There are lots of small budget tools you can use
I mentioned before that I completely DIYed my first launch of e-Course Launch Formula. And even better – I did it for as little as $200!
- I created my own logo in photoshop
- I purchased Wishlist for $99
- I bought a basic website theme from Bluchic for $40
- Recorded and edited my videos using a free windows recording software
- Hosted videos on Vimeo Pro for $10/month
- Designed my own materials
- Used free trials to record videos and create PDF documents
- Marketed my e-Course through social media and email marketing
- Used Mailchimp for $10/month
Keep in mind – this was five years ago and there are even more great online tools available now.
DIY will obviously take up more of your time (unless you’re a tech whizz) but is great for entrepreneurs who are short on budget but still want to enter the e-Course arena.It doesn’t matter how you do it. Just do it! Click To Tweet
You can focus more on your return on investment (ROI)
I have this theory that having a small budget means you have to make more deliberate investment decisions and ultimately focus more on your return on investment than someone who has the money to splash. I also believe that some investments are smarter than others.
Smart investments include:
- Strong brand identity and logo
- Copywriting for sales page and/or sales emails
Risky investments include:
- Branded content (like workbooks and worksheets)
- Expensive course platforms
- Professional video
Keep in mind that you don’t want to invest in something that might change later on. I mentioned previously that I didn’t get my content designed until my big rebrand (when my course was already earning 6-figures) and this is because I knew it was likely to change in later rounds.
This differs from your brand, logo and sales page copy which are unlikely to change (or changes will be small and easy to make) in the future.
Ultimately, starting with a small budget allows you to test your concept, get your head around your ideal customer, best content and flow before investing in design and you can generally see a profit in the first launch (not always achievable in the first round when you decide to go pro).