Cartoon by Lisa Rothstein, from Amazon Bestseller The Art of Impact by Pam Hendrickson

Cartoon by Lisa Rothstein, from Amazon Bestseller The Art of Impact by Pam Hendrickson

It’s a pretty UN-awesome feeling.

You’ve created your awesome online course. It’s your baby. You know it will help a ton of people, and best of all it will help you get off the dollars-for-hours hamster wheel and finally be able to take a vacation (or a nap) without your business coming to a halt.

There’s only one problem. No one’s buying! 

Before you throw up your hands, throw out the baby with the bathwater, or throw anything else at the wall or your nearest loved one, take a breath.

With all your expertise and heart for helping your clients, I’m guessing it’s probably NOT your course that sucks. It’s your copy. (Or lack thereof.)

In case anyone reading this is unfamiliar with the term, “copy” is the words that sell stuff, and “copywriting” is the act of creating those words. A “copywriter” is someone who makes a living creating those words for other people. And for many years, both in the corporate ad agency world and out here in the entrepreneurial Wild West, that’s been my job.

I’ve seen mistakes made by companies like IBM as well as by the solo consultant selling an info-product or course, and they are remarkably similar. Believe me, when you’re IBM, it’s a lot more expensive to make these mistakes. But they are fixable. So take heart!

Want to attend a FREE webinar where I teach you the simple way to write the copy that sells your awesome online course? Go here to register (you’ll also get the replay and the sales page brainstorming tool I use with my clients! )

Here are my three top ways to instantly improve your copy and get people excited about buying your online course or info-product:

1. Get Over Yourself

Yes, I know you’ve put your blood, sweat and tears into every Powerpoint or Keynote slide. I know your 8 modules and 52 handouts are packed with goodness and years of your distilled wisdom and experience. But your customer does not want modules. She didn’t wake up wishing she had more pdfs to download. She wants to solve her problem. So talk about that in your copy both before and more than you talk about your stuff.

When I worked with IBM, all they wanted to do was talk about in their copy was how many “megaflops” their computers could run. (Whoever thought it was a genius move to call ‘a million floating point operations per second” a “megaflop” is another story in itself.) Granted, they were talking to geeks (IT professionals) but geeks are people too. It took me an hour of asking “What’s so great about that?” for my client to finally shrug and tell me, “Well, operations that used to take a team of people three days can now be completed in minutes.” DING DING DING! Teams could complete work faster, get more done, move on to other things and get home to their families. I put that in, and the IT guys couldn’t buy it fast enough. Megaflops and all.

What life-changing transformation is the human who is your client going to get out of purchasing and consuming your product? Write about that. 

2. Forget Your Website

I’m sorry to break it to you, but websites do NOT sell products. No, not even pretty websites with amazing logos and taglines that cost thousands of dollar to design. Not even websites with a tab that says “Products” or “Work with me”.

Too many people still obsess over their “web presence” and try to sell with an “if I build it, they will come” attitude. Sure, go ahead and put your course on your website if you want, you may get the odd sale that way. But the problem is, it’s not a system, and worse, you are not in control. At all. Do you really want to depend on some random web visitor clicking around your site being ready to buy right now (before they really even know you) or, even if they are interested, bookmarking your product page thinking they will “come back later”?  How many bookmarked pages do you have in your browser?

Instead, forget your website and put 99.9% your effort and focus on the path your client takes to come into your universe, get to know you and take the next step and buy.

We’re talking an opt-in page, email sequence and a sales page. Those three steps are the only copy you need to write and have online to have a successful business, with the possible exception of paid ads such as Facebook ads. BUT I wouldn’t even buy ads UNTIL you have the three steps in place (I call this the three step Copy-to-Cash Machine).

You’ll see that nowhere does a website figure into this equation. I personally know several coaches making multiple 7 figures who don’t even have one. They do ALL their business using basically the three components I mention.

Look, I’m not saying to throw your website out. Obviously, you want people searching for you online to be able to find you and learn more about you. But if you are just starting, or have a course to sell right NOW, put your time, energy and money into these three steps first. Otherwise, you are mostly talking to yourself.

3. Stop trying to get into bed on your first date

“I posted a link on Facebook and no one bought!”

“I sent an email and no one bought!”

“I paid for ads that went to my sales page, and no one bought!”

Well…and I mean this in the nicest way…DUH. 

For many people, especially those new to doing business online, the trouble is we are not patient. We want results NOW. It doesn’t work in dating, or weight loss, or peanut farming …but for some reason we expect it to work in business.

You may know that you and your prospect are a match made in heaven, but that’s only because, frankly, you’ve been stalking them. Making an offer to people you have just met in life and in business is just creepy, and more to the point, it’s ineffective.

The internet IS magical in that it allows us to get in front of people we never could before, but laws of nature and relationships still apply, and you can’t push the river. This is another reason why I advocate for the 3-step Copy-to-Cash process I touched on above. The first step is the equivalent of giving them a smile and getting their phone number, the second is continuing the conversation over a series of dates and the third is where you finally suggest they come back to your place and take it to the next level. As in dating, it takes some people longer than others to warm up to that idea. The good news is, since you have a way of staying in touch on your terms, you can give them as much time and casual contact as they need until they are ready.

There’s the famous statistic that people need to be “touched” 7 to 10 times before they are ready to purchase. (A touch could be seeing an ad, downloading your free report, getting an email, watching a video etc.)

There are ways of accelerating the process, like videos and webinars, or live speaking, where they get a bigger dose of who you are — the equivalent of an awesome all-day date. But there is no such thing as “buy at first sight.” That’s the good news if you’ve struck out trying to sell to strangers and wondered why. The challenging news is, there is some work to do — both on your copy and your expectations.

Want to attend a FREE webinar where I teach you the simple way to write the copy that sells your awesome online course? Go here to register (you’ll also get the replay and the sales page brainstorming tool I use with my clients! )