5 Lessons Learned from My First Course Launch

Thinking about launching your first digital course? Not sure where to start with launching a course on-line? Check out the 5 lessons I learned during my first course launch, that I couldn't learn from another coach or course. The Confused Millennial

Thinking about launching your first digital course? Not sure where to start with launching a course on-line? Check out the 5 lessons I learned during my first course launch, that I couldn't learn from another coach or course. The Confused Millennial


No matter how many coaches you work with or courses you take, I don't think anything can really prepare you for the roller coaster that is your first course launch.... at least not for me. I just needed to go through the launch in order to learn these lessons, even if people said them to me in the past, they didn't really sink in until I loved it. 

I had wanted to launch a course for about 8 months now. I kept telling myself "it just isn't the right time" or that "I don't know enough yet" -- Who can relate?

Then one day I was just HIT with this wave of "I NEED".

As in..." I NEED TO LAUNCH A COURSE" as if my life depended on it. The week after that was a flurry of blind chaos. I decided on an impulse I would do it on Instagram since I had just seen over 600% growth in one months time and was on target to more than double that in the second month (As I sit here writing, 2 months and one week after I decided to get serious about Instagram, I have now seen over an 1800% increase in followers and went from having less than .5% engagement on posts to over 8% engagement on posts!)  I decided that I've seen what I can do, and I've answered enough peoples questions about the social media platform, that I must have something worth teaching.

So I decided to just start writing a course. No market research. No testing whether it was viable or wanted. I just did it. 

In that past, I had studied so much about the "right way" to go about a course launch... but I didn't care, I just wanted to get it done.

In in two days time I had 4 modules completely written out. I designed the slides and graphics, and then decided I hated them, so I gave them to my designer... then I started writing my email campaigns and creating my content calendar for social media promotion while I waited for the slides re-design.

Once I got the slides back, I spent 5 hours recording all of the audio and video for the course, in one day! By that night, I was bleary eyed and exhausted, but excited to start editing the next day... I woke up, sat down at my desk, and opened the files to start editing and then the horror started sinking in...

... one after one...file after file...

The audio was completely unsalvageable! 

Seriously, terrible feeling that I hope you never experience. I was BURNT! I didn't want to keep going, I wanted to quit or push the launch date... But somehow I rallied. I can't really tell you where I mustered the strength... I stared at my computer screen, robotically spooning oatmeal into my mouth, and nothing went through my head. Then all of the sudden, I was like "Ok I need to get started again!" and just opened up my recorder to start again.

I finished recording and editing the videos a few days before the final cart launch. I thought that I would be able to close the "Cart" at a certain time on Teachable, but it doesn't appear I can... so now I feel kind of bad because I kept advertising "cart close", but now I realize why all the big coaches who host their courses on Teachable advertise "bonuses ending", its because they actually leave their courses up for purchase all the time... they just do "re-launches" with bonuses and to get buzz going again. 

Main takeaways from my course launch:

1. You really need 90 days from start to finish. I did everything in less than 60 but half of that I was working 16 hour days like a crazy woman. 

2. Re-launch bonuses, not the actual course.  The big coaches who "re-launch" the course seem to sell the course year round, and just re-launch to get the buzz going and sweeten the deal for customers. I think... leave me a comment if this is wrong or a misunderstanding!

3. Really only focus on 2, max 3 social media platforms. I was on Instagram, Periscope, Twitter, and Facebook and what I really should've done was run FB and IG ads, while building relationships and engagement on Periscope and Twitter. 

4. Don't worry, just get it done. Seriously this was the biggest lesson I learned. I kept going back and re-doing certain parts of the course, even over the weekend while people were going through the course. The perfectionist in me was already re-writing the e-mail campaigns and opt-ins and actual course content to make it even better. Finally I talked with my team and created a new schedule to re-launch the bonuses for the course in the coming months and am leaving things alone until then! 

5. The course is never done. Aside from the points outlined above, the other reason I kept updating and changing information is because of how quickly things evolve on the internet, by the time you perfect the course, the information would be outdated. I am speaking from experience here. I had entire modules done and then with the Instagram June API and policy changes, I was going back and editing/updating those as we learned more and more about third party apps no longer integrated.

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What lessons have you learned from your first course launch? Or what are you nervous about? Drop me a line in the comments below!  


Rachel Ritlop

Rachel Ritlop is a millennial career and business coach. Rachel passionately empowers her clients to make more money and build their dream careers. Rachel is also the founder of TheConfusedMillennial.com, a Gen Y lifestyle blog sharing experiences, struggles, insight, and educating readers to navigate their twenties and thirties.