March 12, 2022

How to Presell an Online Course in 6 Steps

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Today, I’m going to walk you through how to presell an online course before you even start building it.

The reason that preselling is so critical is that it helps validate that people actually want what you’re building.

Here’s what happens when you don’t presell:

Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence.

So many people I talk to spend countless hours and dollars building their online products without ever validating that people have an interest in buying them.

Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen to you.

Instead, I want to walk you through the 6-step process I used to create $90,351 in presales before even launching my online course.

Here’s how to do it.

Launching an online course in 6 steps

  1. Choose a topic you could easily talk about for 30 minutes
  2. Create course benefits and outcomes
  3. Create a presale promotional plan
  4. Build out your product in Gumroad
  5. Build a landing page
  6. Execute your promotion plan

Step 1: Choose a topic you could easily talk about for 30 minutes

Online courses should be about transferring your specific knowledge to the student.

If you can’t talk about a topic for 30 minutes, unprepared, you probably don’t know enough to sell a course.

For example, my most popular course is how to grow & monetize your LinkedIn, called The LinkedIn Operating System.

I knew everything I had done, and I could easily sit with someone and guide them through the entire journey.

No research, no reading other people’s takes, no stealing content from blogs, etc.

This is how you should think about picking your topic.

Step 2: Create course benefits and outcomes

Once you choose a topic, so many people start building out the product. Please don’t do this!

I know you’re excited and dreaming of passive income while you sip margaritas on the beach. But I promise you that creating course benefits and outcomes is a step you can’t afford to skip.

Here’s what you want to clearly define:

  1. What specific problem will you be solving?
  2. What are the benefits and outcome(s) a student can expect?
  3. Create an outline for your product that helps solve #1 and delivers #2.
  4. Keep it short: consider helping them reach their outcome in less than 45 minutes.

Step 3: Create a presale promotional plan

Once you have features and outcomes down, it’s time to create a promotional plan.

I recommend starting with how long your presale will be available - 14 days? 30 days?

I presold for roughly 30 days because it gave me a little more time to drum up interest.

Next, decide what channels you’ll use to promote it:

  1. Social media
  2. Your email list
  3. Any community you’re in

Then, sketch out your promo content:

  1. Announcement
  2. Reminder
  3. Last call

Make sure your promo content answers this question: Why should someone buy this course now, during my presale?

All of your content must highlight the answer to this question.

Step 4: Build out your product in Gumroad

Once you have the first 3 steps completed, the hardest parts are done. Now it’s time to build out your product in Gumroad. I choose Gumroad because it’s fast, cheap, and easy.

Choose your product name, description, and price to get started.

Then head over to Canva to build out a nice product image that represents what people will get when they buy.

Make sure you include an automated email (available via Gumroad workflows) that lets people know when you’ll deliver the finished product.

Step 5 (optional): Build a landing page in Carrd

This step is optional, but I love building out a robust landing page using Carrd.

Carrd is a simple one-page website builder that costs $19 per year. Yes, you read that right. Per year.

The benefit of choosing to use Carrd is that you can build out a professional-looking landing page that helps improve conversion.

Here’s what a landing page should include according to Harry Dry of

Step 6: Execute your promotion plan

Ok, you’re finally ready to execute your presale promotion plan.

Start by including the link to the landing page in your social profiles. Add it to:

  • The featured section of your LinkedIn profile
  • The website link on your X (formerly Twitter) profile
  • Any Instagram or YouTube accounts you use

Then it's time to announce on social, your email list, and via any communities that you’re a part of.

Your first post is the announcement post, where you talk about the benefits and outcomes, plus answering the question, “why should someone buy this course now, during my presale?

At the midpoint of your launch journey, you can use a reminder post, and then close it out with a “last call” post.

That's how you launch a course successfully.

P.S. This is a small sneak preview of my flagship course, The Creator MBA. 14 Chapters and 111 Lessons of instructional video that will teach you how to build a lean, profitable internet business (even if you're just starting or don't have an idea).

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