Are 'Special Offers' Doing My Audience Harm?

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Waking up to how our 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 lack of income generation.

This pattern generates lots of 'activity' but no real movement forward in terms of generating clients and income. #BrightShinyObjectSyndrome

So why this churn and burn of online courses?

When I polled my email list I found 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: 

  1. Students who enrolled in for a lesser price had lower participation and implement rates, so in effect their investment was wasted.
  2. Those students end up feeling bad for investing in another course that they did't have the space to complete. 
  3. 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 put an end to special offers and bonuses that tip people over the edge and 'buy now'. 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. 

After all in my case my best clients (the ones who have achieved the best results) 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'. 

As a final note this is what I will be considering before buying any further trainings myself ...

  • Am I ready for this right now?  Or am I considering buying this because everyone else is, and the special offers and bonuses that I am being presented with? #FOMO
  • How many hours per week will I need to commit to this training? 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. 

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Danielle Gardner
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.