Before we dive into how to avoid these 3 common mistakes when you’re getting ready to launch, I wanted to let you know that this blog post contains affiliate links (they are identified by a *). This means I may earn a small commission to fund my coffee habit if you use these links to make a purchase. However, I only recommend products I have personally tried, and you will not be charged extra – it simply keeps me supplied with caffeine, so it’s a win for everyone, really.



Getting ready to launch your first online course can be an exciting venture, but it’s also fraught with potential pitfalls. Let’s dive into the story of Kelly, a talented business coach with a wealth of knowledge who decided to launch her first group programme. She knew she could make a difference to the lives of her clients. However, Kelly made several critical mistakes many coaches make when launching their first group programme or online course.

She launched a course nobody wanted, built it in the wrong format, and did it all without a solid plan. The result? Disappointing sales, frustrated students, and a disheartened Kelly.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure a successful course launch that leads to increased sales, happier students, and a thriving coaching business. So, let’s take a look at the three biggest mistakes coaches make when launching their first online course and how you can avoid them.


Mistake #1: Launching a Course Nobody Wants

The first and most significant mistake is launching a course based solely on your expertise rather than your audience’s needs. Kelly, for example, designed a programme based on advanced goal-setting techniques, a topic she was passionate about. However, her target audience was more interested in the strategies to grow their business. And as a result, her course didn’t resonate with her potential students.


The Problem:

Creating a course based on what you think is important instead of your audience’s needs can lead to low sales, poor engagement, and negative reviews. If your course doesn’t address your audience’s pain points, they won’t see the value in buying.


The Solution:

Conduct thorough audience research. Use surveys and polls to identify your client’s pain points and desired outcomes, interview past clients to better understand their challenges, and analyse social media conversations in your niche to see what topics are generating interest.


Actionable Tips:

  1. Develop a Clear Ideal Client Profile: Understand who your ideal client is, including their demographics, interests, and pain points.
  2. Focus on Solving a Specific Problem: Tailor your course to address a particular problem your audience faces.
  3. Validate Your Course Idea: Before fully developing your course, validate the idea through pre-sales or interest lists to gauge demand.


By aligning your course content with your audience’s wants, you’ll create a product that sells itself and provides real value to your students.


Mistake #2: Building the Wrong Course Format

The second mistake is choosing a course format that doesn’t suit your content or your audience’s learning preferences. Kelly opted for pre-recorded video lessons because she thought they were the easiest to produce. However, her audience craved interaction and real-time feedback, leading to low engagement sales.


The Problem:

Selecting the wrong format can overwhelm students, resulting in low course completion rates and dissatisfied learners.


The Different Course Formats:

  1. Pre-recorded Video Lessons: These offer flexibility but can feel impersonal.
  2. Live Workshops: Interactive and engaging but less time-efficient.
  3. Self-paced Modules with Worksheets: Great for independent learning but can lead to low engagement without proper motivation.
  4. Hybrid Model: Combines elements of the above formats for greater flexibility and engagement.


The Solution:

Align the course format with your content and your audience’s preferences. Consider whether your ideal clients prefer visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learning styles. Choose a format that allows you to deliver your content effectively.


Actionable Tips:

  1. Understand Your Audience’s Learning Style: Survey your audience to find out how they prefer to learn.
  2. Choose a Format that Fits Your Content: For example, interactive content might be better suited for live workshops, while detailed, step-by-step instructions might work best in pre-recorded videos.
  3. Start with a Hybrid Model: If you’re unsure, a hybrid model can provide the flexibility to adapt based on student feedback.


By choosing the right format, you’ll ensure that your students remain engaged and complete your course, leading to better outcomes for them and more positive reviews for you.


Mistake #3: Launching Without a Plan


The third mistake when getting ready to launch is to do it without a solid plan. Kelly was so excited to share her course that she skipped the planning phase, leading to a chaotic launch. She missed key opportunities, provided poor customer service, and failed to meet her deadlines.


The Problem:

Winging the launch process can result in low enrollment, poor customer service, and missed deadlines.


The Launch Plan Essentials:

  1. Setting Launch Goals: Determine the number of students you want to join to enable you to hit your revenue targets.
  2. Creating a Timeline: Develop a timeline with key milestones, including pre-launch, launch week, and post-launch activities.
  3. Developing a Marketing Strategy: Use email marketing, social media promotion, and collaborations to spread the word.
  4. Building Sales Funnels: Capture leads and nurture them toward enrollment with a well-designed sales funnel.
  5. Creating Systems for Delivery: Ensure you have systems in place for course delivery, student support, and community management.


Actionable Tips:

  1. Use Project Management Tools: Tools like Trello, AirTable* or Asana can help you schedule tasks and track progress.
  2. Automate Email Sequences: Set up automated emails for lead nurturing and sales promotion to ensure consistent communication. Mailerlite* is a great tool that you can get started with for free.
  3. Identify Launch Partners: Collaborate with other coaches or influencers in your niche for a wider reach.
  4. Rehearse Your Sales Pitch: Practice your sales pitch and presentations to ensure a smooth launch.


A well-planned launch increases your chances of success, helps you meet your goals, and provides a seamless experience for your clients.


So, Are You Ready To Launch?

Launching a successful online course or group programme involves more than just sharing your expertise. By avoiding the three biggest mistakes—launching a course nobody wants, building the wrong course format, and launching without a plan—you can create a course that sells well, engages students, and builds your coaching business.

Now, here’s the exciting part – putting your course creation dream into action… Start by taking my Launch Success Quiz to see how ready you are!



Who am I?

Well, I’m Emma, a launch strategist and copywriter who helps passionate coaches who are getting ready to launch craft irresistible messaging and develop and execute launch plans that get results. I’ve witnessed firsthand the power of a well-executed launch, and I’m here to guide you through the process.


Ready to Make Your Next (or First!) Launch Epic?

Let’s chat! Schedule a virtual cuppa with me to discuss how I can help you plan and execute a launch strategy that attracts your ideal students and propels your coaching business forward.

Together, we can turn your coaching expertise into a thriving online course that empowers you and your audience.