Launching your first cohort-based course is hard
Because of course it is
I didn’t think it would be easy; nothing worth doing ever is.
I’ve also done this countless times throughout my career - embark on a project which I know will be taxing, yet still be surprised by just how much work is actually involved when I finally get my teeth into it.
This is absolutely the case with cohort-based online courses, as I’ve discovered while building the Medium Academy.
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The idea came to me last year. After writing an eBook about how to become a successful Medium writer and build a path to earning over $2,000 each month on the platform, I thought, why not do an Ali Abdaal and turn it into a full-blown live online course?
So, I did, and registrations for the first cohort went live yesterday.
I’m super proud of the Medium Academy, and it hasn’t even started yet. The sheer amount of work that went into getting the website off the ground, building the course structure, defining the sessions, and creating the content has been a huge learning experience.
I’ve launched products before, and I’ve run countless marketing campaigns, but this felt so different. I think that’s because I’m now a solopreneur. Those aforementioned products and marketing campaigns weren’t instigated by me; I was carrying them out either for someone else or as a cog within a team.
I’ve had help with the Medium Academy - I needed it. Kallum from TUGA was instrumental in getting the Kajabi-based website up and running and will play a key role in helping me drive new students into the sales funnel.
By the way - who’d have thought I’d be talking about ‘sales funnels’ three years after starting my YouTube channel?!
I have big plans for the Medium Academy, but it’s no secret that this first one is very much a tester. Although I have a sizeable waiting list, I’m fully aware that conversion rates for such courses are pretty low, which means I need to generate a lot of interest in the Academy by continuing to peddle myself as an authority in the online writing space.
Will it work? I genuinely have no idea. I’ve been careful to price the Medium Academy membership options fairly, and I’m working hard behind the scenes to generate content on various platforms which gently nudges people towards it. But it could still fail - I’m open to that. I have to be; I may only get three students signing up for the first cohort. Like so many projects you undertake as a solopreneur, this one is a risk both financially and mentally.
Despite this, I wouldn’t be where I am now if I didn’t take risks. Working on projects like this (which stray far from the realm of YouTube video-making) gets me out of bed in the morning.
You can check out the Medium Academy here. Please do share with anyone who you think might benefit from it.