How to launch an online yoga course to a small community
Do I need a big community to launch an online yoga course?
This is hands down the most common question that we receive from yoga teachers who want to launch an online course and have been holding themselves back because they believe that they need to have a huge community first.
And, it’s a valid question, especially if you’re considering launching an online course with a tiny audience or non-existent email list. However, while your community size matters, you do not need a massive community to have a successful course launch. And, in fact, a small community can be your biggest strength if utilized properly to your advantage.
Sometimes we see big brands and influencers with huge followings have their products sell out the moment they put it out there and we try to replicate their strategies. However, in reality, these strategies will not work for you if you have a smaller audience. Having a small community means that you need to use more personalized strategies that are tailored to properly utilize your community.
For example, Digital Yoga Academy student Annie had her first-ever online course launch which generated $6500USD in sales, and she did this with a small audience of just 800 by using strategies that are tailored to her audience size.
We have many success stories like this at Digital Yoga Academy, and there is no reason why you can’t have your own success story if you currently have a small community. You simply need to use the right strategies to nurture and build trust and engagement within your community.
Whenever we refer to your community, we are referring to the size of your email list. However, what really matters is not the size of your list, but how you nurture and communicate with that list.
As a guideline, the conversion rate within the online education industry is about 2%. So about 2% of your email list will convert into paying course students. However, this is just a guideline, and you can definitely reach much higher conversion rates if you take the time to nurture your email list subscribers and personalize each interaction. In fact, at The Digital Yoga Academy, we had a conversion rate of 11% during our last launch.
Of course, it has taken us 5 years to get here, yet this is the result of launching over and over again even when the launch didn’t generate much revenue. As yogipreneurs, we tend to focus a lot on the revenue of our launches and determine its success by how much revenue a launch generates. Yet, there are many benefits such as increased product awareness, collaboration opportunities, and strategic relationship building that come from a launch even if you generate zero sales. Therefore any effort that you choose to put into a launch will not be wasted.
Launching definitely takes courage. However, those who are successful at launching, launch, and regardless of what happens, launch again and again. This helps them to learn from any mistakes they made in their previous launches and make each new launch better than the last one.
So, if you have a small community, the key to having a successful launch is to use personalized strategies that are tailored to your small audience size.
The number of people on your email list is a vanity metric. What really matters is the relationship that you have with each individual that is on your email list. These relationships are what will help you to have a successful launch.
To have a successful course launch with a small community, you need to stop thinking about a small list as being a disadvantage, because in reality, you can really use it to make it your greatest strength.
When your email list is small, you can personalize your interaction with your community a lot more. For example, in the early days of The Digital Yoga Academy, Kelly reached out to everyone who signed up to the email list with a personalized video using a tool called Bonjuro and this helped create a deeper connection between Kelly and her community. However, this is not scalable and you probably won’t have the time to do this once your audience grows.
It’s the same for having one-to-one conversations. When you have a small audience it is a lot more feasible to have many one-to-one conversations, whether that’s in your inbox or your DMs. By doing so you can create one-to-one personalization with a small email list – and this will really help to nurture, and build trust and engagement which is exactly what you need to have a successful and profitable launch with a small community
So, If you have a small email list, use it to your advantage and start personalizing it today!
Launching is not just about talking about your course and trying to build that hype. It’s about sharing strategic content that’s going to grow and nurture your audience so that they are ready when you open the doors.
An essential part of this is you showing up and being super visible in order to nurture relationships and build trust with your community. This means that you have to show up on Live videos, and stories and show up on your social media consistently.
If you haven’t done this before it can feel uncomfortable, but it is crucial to move past that fear and show up if you want to have a successful launch when launching to a small community.
It’s important to remember that you’re not an influencer with an audience of hundreds of thousands of followers. However, this doesn’t mean it’s not possible for you to have a successful launch. It just means that you need to be strategic about your launch and you need to have a launch strategy that guides your potential students to make an informed decision by the time you open doors to your yoga course.
The founding member strategy is a strategy that we used at The Digital Yoga Academy when we launched our first-ever monthly membership.
This strategy creates an opportunity for you to take action and not wait because waiting until you have an audience of thousands is nothing more than procrastinating on the opportunity that’s right in front of you. Instead, a founding-member launch allows you to get going, and create momentum, with just a tiny audience.
To execute the Founding member strategy you have to share with your community that you’re creating an online course and that you want them to be part of the development of the course. In return for their feedback, you offer the course to your founding members at a heavily discounted price.
This allows you to validate whether there’s actually interest in what you want to create and, it allows you to make money before you create anything. And, most importantly, it allows you to get testimonials and case studies for your next launch and gives you that extra push that is necessary to start creating your course even if you haven’t done so already.
Yes, your community size does matter, however you do not need a massive community in order to have a successful launch. It is possible to have a successful launch with an audience of a few hundred people.
If you do not have an audience of a few hundred people then your focus should be to grow your community. This can be easily achieved within a few months by creating consistent content, being visible, and engaging in strategic collaborations.
Once you have a small audience, it’s important to use the right strategies–mentioned in this blog, to make sure that you are using your small audience size to your advantage so that you too can have a successful online course launch even with a small audience.
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