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How I Launched My First Online Course

When I recently asked what you wanted to know about launching – the resounding answer was “How I launched my first online course”

Was I surprised? Heck no!

Because as humans we’re curious and we want to know all the juicy details about how things work and what other humans are doing

And you’re lucky that I’m an open book and happy to share it all with you!

Which is why in today’s episode of the How I Do Content Podcast I’m revealing ALL.

I’ve gone back into my Asana launch board and I’ve crunched the numbers and I’m going to take you behind the scenes of how I launched the School of Content Wizardry for the very first time – the process, the lessons I learnt and of course how much money I made.


So let me take you back to April 2020…

Now launching an online course was something that I’d thought about prior to this but I was fully booked with client work so I wasn’t sure how I’d fit that into my workload!

AND I’d also convinced myself that I hadn’t been in business long enough to create and launch an online course.

But when I suddenly found myself with extra time on my hands after I lost all my clients thanks to my old mate COVID – I took it as a sign from the universe that it was time to get moving on my first online course.

how i launched my online course the social bolt

My first step to launching was…

NOT to map out and create the course…

I didn’t plan out the modules or record any of the videos or choose my course platform of choice…

And if these things are tripping you up and keeping you from actually launching your course…step away from the shiny objects!

Because the first and most important step when you’re planning to launch an online course, as it is with creating any kind of content for that matter – Is to know and understand your ideal client or customer.⁠⁠

Because you can have the fanciest course platform or a program filled with Oscar-worthy videos BUT if it doesn’t solve a problem your people have or it’s not something they need…⁠⁠ ⁠⁠



Buy. ⁠⁠

It.⁠⁠ ⁠⁠

When you’re planning to launch a new program, service, product, podcast…⁠⁠ ⁠⁠

Ask your community what they want to learn and how you can help them.⁠⁠ ⁠⁠

When I was thinking about creating my course I had an idea in mind of what I thought it would look like, but then when I asked my community what they actually wanted from me…⁠⁠ ⁠⁠

It gave me other ideas and opportunities to create a program that would meet them where they were at! ⁠⁠

And this gave me the clarity and confidence to be able to launch and KNOW that it was something they wanted AND would buy. ⁠⁠

So if you’ve been thinking about launching something…but are feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start…⁠⁠ ⁠

Start by talking to your community.

This can look like:

  • Posting some polls on your Instagram stories
  • Sending a couple of DMs to potential clients asking them what they’re biggest struggle is with whatever your zone of genius is
  • Creating a simple questionnaire on Google Forms or Survey Monkey etc and ask your community to answer a couple of questions for you

I put together a Google Form with 10 questions and shared it with my email list and my social media community and the 13 responses helped me to develop my course idea AND it gave me gold nuggets in the form of voice of customer data which I infused throughout my launch copy and content.

This is how you speak to the soul of your ideal client and is such a key piece of the launch puzzle.

how i launched my online course

My second step to launching…

Now if you think my next step was to create the program – you would be wrong.

Because you don’t actually need to finish creating your offer or 100% perfect it before you launch it.

This might be a story that you’re telling yourself because you’re scared shitless that you’ll launch and you might fail.

But all it’s doing is stopping you from launching and sharing your magical offer with your community. I didn’t create anything for inside the School of Content Wizardry before I launched it.

I created it on the go.

What I actually did next was to MAP OUT MY LAUNCH TIMELINE – from choosing my launch trigger to mapping out my launch timeline and allllllll the content I would need to create for my launch.

I also chose the name for my program.

Fun fact originally I named it DIY Content Wizard but on my daily trip to my local coffee shop (shoutout to the Deli on Central in Mt Lawley – best coffee in Perth) the name School of Content Wizardry popped into my head and it was a full body YES!

So let’s get down to the juicy details of my launch…

My launch trigger was a 3 day challenge – 3 content creation mistakes and how to avoid them.

I had 116 people register for the free challenge.

And at the end of the 3 days of training I hit the launch button on the School of Content Wizardry for the very first time.

My launch was for 8 days and during that time:

  • I sent 13 launch emails
  • I published 8 social media posts (which I repurposed from my emails because REPURPOSING is the best!)
  • And I lost count of the amount of stories I shared

My focus was to put myself out there, to show up and share my excitement with my community and thankfully that translated into sign ups.

I can still remember how I felt when I got that first sign up on the first day – I was literally jumping up and down dancing in my office. So thank you Kim for being the first ever wizard inside the School of Content Wizardry.

So I had 4 sign ups in the first couple of days and then it was crickets for the next 6 days.

It felt like the longest 6 days ever. I ended with a bang and had 5 sign ups on the last day so it definitely made my launch a rollercoaster of emotions.

And when I closed the doors at the end of the 8 days I had 12 wizards signed up to Ned’s Army including the 1 free spot I gave away as part of my 3 day challenge.

So that means for my first online course launch I made a total of $7,583. I didn’t quite crack 5-figures but I did reach my goal of 10 wizards signing up and I also learnt SO much in the process of launching.

Lessons that have supported me through ALL of the launches I’ve done since.

So I’m going to share the top 3 lessons I learnt from the first launch of my online course…

The top 3 lessons I learnt from my first launch…


Even when you think no one is watching – think again.

When you launch:

  • The open rates of your emails will decrease
  • People will unsubscribe
  • You’ll get less likes and comments on your social media posts
  • Your IG story views will drop

And you’ll start thinking you should just stop because no one is even listening or watching what you’re doing…


Before you throw in the towel I want you to remember that there’s always someone:

  • Who’s watching
  • Paying attention
  • Hanging off every word you’re saying

So keep going because you never know which email, post or story is going to lead to them hitting that buy now button.

Everyone makes purchase decisions differently – so cater for them.

Everyone is unique – especially when it comes to their purchase decisions.⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

You might be the kinda person that sees something you like and if it lights you up…you hit buy now faster than Harry chasing the Golden Snitch.

News Flash – just because YOU purchase a certain way…doesn’t mean your audience will too. 

Don’t assume everyone is like you…knows what you know…wants what you want.

This means when you’re launching you need to cover your bases and cater for different types of decision-makers.  ⁠⁠⁠

The person reading your sales page, your launch emails, your social media posts may need more information or more time to make the decision to buy from you. ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

So it’s up to you to:

  • Make it easier for them to buy from you.⁠
  • Give them the information they need
  • Support them to make the best decision for them

How can you create incentives for fast action takers and create urgency for more considered buyers?

This also highlights why you can’t simply post once, disappear and expect people to throw money at you.

You have to consistently show up and create launch content that speaks to what your ideal client is struggling with or where they’re at.

To give them evidence how your offer can help them, how your offer solves their problems and how your offer is the solution to what they’re struggling with.⁠⁠ It’s more than just one post, one email or one story.

It’s consistently showing up and proving to them that you can do that.⁠⁠⁠⁠

This is why knowing and understanding your ideal client is SO helpful when you’re creating your launch content.

Celebrate your launch and schedule in some REST time.  

When the timer runs out and the cart officially closes – you deserve to celebrate.

No matter the result. You gotta celebrate it all. 

You also need to allow yourself the chance to rest and replenish your energy. 

The first time I launched the School of Content Wizardry, I closed the cart on Friday and started running the program the following Monday. It’s safe to say I was EXHAUSTED!

So when I launched the second time around I scheduled a week in between cart close and the program beginning. And I’ve also started to book in rest days and fun days in the middle of launches – wild I know!

But you’re not a machine…and it’s ok to rest!

So that’s how I launched my first online course – and this is also when everything changed for me. 

I suddenly had a scalable business model. I was earning more money, impacting more people, all while working less and having more fun! 

And fast forward close to 30 launches later (for my clients and myself)…

I learn something new every single launch.

I take those lessons and adjust my launch plan accordingly. In the process I’ve nailed down a rock solid launch strategy that gets results without being complicated…

And that’s why I created my new program Become a Launch Wizard. 

It’s your step by step process from scared shitless to launching with confidence in 4 weeks. 

This program guides you through everything you need to launch your offer into the world minus the overwhelm of figuring it out for yourself through trial and error. And doors are now officially open for the very first time.

So if you’re ready to launch your magic into the world trusting that you’ve set yourself up for success – Ned & I would love for you to join us.

You can find out more HERE

If you have any other questions – please reach out and let’s chat. Send me a DM over on Instagram at @thesocialbolt

I can’t wait to guide you to launch with confidence – whether it’s your first launch or your 50th.

online course launch the social bolt

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⚡️ Instagram: @thesocialbolt

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Content & launch wizard, business coach, podcaster & your new teacher

Combining my love of writing and degree in marketing, my services are designed specifically to support businesses (like yours) with their online strategy and content must-haves


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