Getting real about how common marketing and sales strategies contribute to a larger problem.
How many online courses or programs have you invested in and then despite your good intentions, you didn't fully participate in them or finish them?
I can definitely put my hand up and say, several!
Observing this trend has been playing heavily on my heart.
I've watched my ideal clients sign up for multiple programs (including mine) both free and paid. They have a little dabble and then get swept away chasing a new (but very similar) course offering that they believe will be the answer to their problems and all they'll ever need..
This pattern generates lots of 'activity' but no real movement forward in terms of creating a sustainable business.
So why this churn and burn of online courses?
When I surveyed my email list I learnt that the number one reason that they committed to multiple courses (without completing what they already had) is because they were presented with early bird offers and bonuses that tipped them over the edge to 'buy now'.
They got caught up in all the hype and then ended up feeling overwhelmed because they had too many things on their plate.
This 'intel' caused me to bring my own marketing strategies into question...
I thought I was doing a great thing when I created 'juicy offers' that made my training more accessible to people. Now I see that these approaches to getting sales contributes to a larger more serious problem.
Here's what I've noticed about the roll on effect of stacking on the discounts and bonuses for online courses:
- Students who enrolled in for a lesser price had lower participation and implement rates, so in effect their investment was wasted.
- Those students end up feeling bad for investing in another course that they did't have the space to complete.
- They end up spinning their wheels jumping from training to training and ultimately feeling doubtful and disillusioned as to if it's even possible to create a business doing their soul work.
BTW ... I know that each person is ultimately responsible for their own choices, but I'm choosing to no longer contribute to the growing probmen of overwhelm and disappointment in online business.
What is the solution here?
I believe the solution is to adopt trust based business strategies. In doing so we can allow the most suitable clients to work with us when they are ready, and in their own time.
Personally I've now put an end to special offers and bonuses. Instead I'm offering my services for a reasonable fee. Sure this may lead to less 'sales' initially but the integrity of this choice will ultimately draw in more of my ideal clients.
And when I thought about my best clients none of them have never come to work with me via a 'special offer'. They came to me because they were ready. I didn't need to persuade them with any 'deals'.
While often the ones that paid the least ended up being the most high maintenance clients.
The other side of this coin is my own purchasing of trainings. Here is what I'll be considering before I click 'buy now' ...
- Am I ready for this right now? Do I actually need more learning or do I just really need to implement what I already know?
- Am I considering buying this because everyone else is and I want to be part of that gang and not miss out?
- If there were no special offers, fast action bonuses or 'doors are closing' reminders ... would I even be considering this?
- How many more hours per week will I need to commit to this training and being in front of my computer? And am I 'really' willing to do that? #BeHonest
- Would it serve me better to invest in one-on-one sessions so I can receive personalised support and accountability to actually achieve my goals?
I'd love to get a conversation going about this topic so please share your thoughts below.
Business & Marketing Mentor
P.S. If you're also feeling uninspired to offer or invest in online courses then here's why I think small group masterminds will be big in 2018.