Avoid Being Labelled as a Scammer. Sell Online Courses with Integrity

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Over the last couple of years, online courses have started getting a bad wrap.

A select number of people have seen the financial result that you can achieve with creating and selling online courses, and turned that into their own personal get-rich-quick-scheme.

This had led to many people handing their money over to these charlatans, and either never receiving the product, or receiving a poor level instruction.

This forces legitimate educators to rise above the noise, and provide more value upfront to gain the trust and respect of their audience before they ask for a sale.

Another result of the rise in online course scams is that customers have become much more critical before they hand over their well-earned dollars.

This is great news!

It forces online course creators to list their credentials, continue their education, be clear and realistic about results, as well as stick by their money back guarantees.

Course creators are being held accountable, and it’s a GOOD thing.

To create a course with integrity is to always follow these guidelines:

  • Be honest about who the course is right for, but also who it is wrong for
  • Lay out exactly exactly what is included, so there’s no misinterpretation
  • Have a period of time where you allow refunds (even if it’s only 7 days), and be clear about your refund policy
  • Prepare your audience for what to expect (6 modules + 1 coaching call per week etc.)
  • Be clear with the expected results
  • Make sure the format best serves your users, and the content (not just how you ‘want’ to deliver the course)
  • Be open to feedback, and constantly iterate on your programs to best serve your audience goals

Remember, the cream always rises to the top!

Until next time,


What is the difference between a Membership and an Online Course?

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What is a Membership (or Members Portal)?

In the world of online business, there seems to be an infinite amount of business models and terms for what your online offers could be.

Let’s talk about two of the most popular info-product models to emerge in the last decade from online business owners.

The Membership Model and The Online Course Model.

These are similar in that they both offer the knowledge and expertise of the creator to their audience, for a fee.


What is the difference between hosting a Membership Program and an Online Course?

The answer is simple on its surface, money.

In the realm of memberships and online courses, a membership is a content delivery method (webinars, weekly lessons, forums…) that you pay for monthly for and loose access after you cancel your payments.

An online course is a chunk of knowledge that you pay for upfront (or in a payment plan) where the payments end and you still get access to all of the material from anywhere from a full year to indefinitely. These are usually in the form of traditional video lessons, PDF downloads, and a sequential timeline of instructions that lead you to a specific result.

These models correlate to other places in our lives where we use memberships, like Netflix or a gym membership. Those are recurring fees where your contend delivery/service only lasts as long as you’re paying for it. Whereas, online courses don’t necessarily correlate payment with length of service.


What should you do?

It depends!

In simplest terms, if you have a community where you’re offering hands-on support with continuing education, and new material constantly being introduced and updated, you should package it as a monthly membership.

If you are teaching a number of lessons meant for people to achieve a specific result after your lessons are completed, you should package it as an online course.


Hybrid Models

Are you offering step-by-step guided lessons with a ton of hands on support in an ever-evolving industry? You can also consider a hybrid model which charges a flat rate for the online course portion, and an ongoing membership fee to be part of the community.

There is no right or wrong way to sell your info-products, just be sure that the model serves the content, and not the other way around.

First priority should be how to best serve your audience this information by making it as accessible and digestible as possible, not shoehorning content into a specific model.

Happy content creation!

Stay posted for next week when we cover all in one solution, and I’d love to hear any questions I can answer to support you in your online course journey.


4 REQUIRED Components of Launching and Online Course

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The 4 REQUIRED Components of Launching and Online Course

When you start the process of launching your online course, things can get complicated very quickly.

Instead of being overcome by analysis paralysis of all of the possible technologies and automations, we want to make our first launch easy peasy, and build up from there.

As I go through the 4 steps, I’ll include a few examples of each that offer a cheap/free option, as well as a more advanced option to keep in mind for future growth..

Here’s the 4 critical foundational elements you need to launch your online course:


1. Landing Page/Website

First things first, we need a place to send people to tell them more about the online course that you’ll be selling. In that, we will need a unique URL (website address) that brings us to a page with information about the program, and a course description on it.

This can be fast and easy, but can also become complex quite quickly, so don’t get caught up in details. Name your course, get a URL, and create an outline that you can share with people.

Often the software you use will come with the option of obtaining a URL through that software. Do this to start, don’t waste time going down a rabbit hole of DNS, keep it simple!

**Cheap/Free Softwares:**

WordPress.com (not .org)








2. Checkout/Payment Processor

After people have been to your website and read about your online program, they need a way to purchase it from you. I highly recommend setting up the following accounts and hooking them up with your bank accounts to be able to receive payments.

Setup a Stripe and PayPal account. These are both free to use, but will take a percentage of your sale as their fee (usually around 2.9%). They allow you to set up purchase buttons that you can embed directly on your website for easy checkout.

**Good for All Stages:**



Sometimes the checkout experience needs more features or an elevated level of marketing and customer experience, so **here are some advanced options**:


Thrive Cart


3. Content Delivery Method

After the customer has paid, they need to get access to the course materials. These materials can be in any format that best serves the content, but the most popular are PDF’s, videos, worksheets, spreadsheets, and audio recordings. The cheap/free options will allow you to upload all of those materials into a folder you give the customer access after purchase, and the advanced versions will allow you to put more complex restrictions on accessing that content (ie: time released, gated…).

**Cheap/Free Softwares:**

Google Drive








4. Email Service Provider (ESP)

Once people are welcomed into your course, you will also need a way to keep in touch with them, and have them receive updates and support. Some people will just use a Facebook group, but I prefer to use software that gives me direct access to their inbox for important updates and future announcements. The complexity of the system you choose will be determined by the amount of contacts you have, and your future ongoing marketing efforts. However, the cheap/free solutions will bring you quite far.

**Cheap/Free Softwares:**





Keap (formerly Infusionsoft)

The recommended softwares above have all been used personally by me at various points in my career, so I’ve tested their capabilities as well as limitations. You’ll be in good hands whichever you go with, and sticking with the cheap/free options until you grow out of them is 100% what I’d recommend.

Stay posted for next week when we cover all in one solution, and I’d love to hear any questions I can answer to support you in your online course journey.