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Mapping out the online course buyers journey

Blog Post Buyers Journey

Understanding the online course buyers journey can be a game changer when it comes to increasing your online course sales.

In this video I’m going to share an extremely valuable process you can use to visually map out the EXACT steps a customers takes to go from a complete stranger to a loyal customer.

In this particular example I’m sharing my buyers journey for an online course I recently purchased from Flux Academy called Brand Design Mastery.

(00:00) hey guys so the purpose of this live is kind of twofold right now i’m just testing out streaming art it’s the first time i’ve used it since i am going to be live i figured instead of rambling and just talking about random stuff i would actually provide some value and share a process that i do personally that i find
(00:12) extremely extremely helpful when it comes to really understanding the buyer’s journey for online courses and actually this would work for anything but since my area of expertise is online courses that’s what i’m going to focus on and so anytime i purchase something of some type of significant value something that
(00:32) was high enough to kind of make me think about it i like to map out the entire journey that i went through personally when i first learned about the brand product or service how many touch points were made before i purchased what objections did i have to overcome before buying what beliefs that i need to
(00:52) formulate before purchasing and then how much content did i consume so ideally we would love to know this information from our actual customers and i do highly recommend asking your customers as well like why they purchased how they found you and questions like that because that is invaluable insight
(01:11) the problem is sometimes it’s easier said than done or we’ll get some answers that are useful but we really won’t get the whole picture because most likely one they don’t remember two they might not even be aware or even maybe honest with themselves of why they actually purchased maybe they’re giving
(01:27) you the logical reasons when really there’s emotional reasons that typically drive our buying behaviors and then we rationalize those emotions with logic and so consciously like we think we purchased because of this but really we purchased because we wanted to feel a certain way but if you do this for yourself then you
(01:44) can be a lot more honest in the entire process and you can get really granular you can spend the time to think about all the different um touch points and just different thoughts that came up so i i believe it was yesterday maybe it was two days ago i purchased the course and i believe it’s called brand mastery
(02:02) i’m going to share i like documented the entire process and i think this is a really cool one to share because of how short the time span was so i often get asked like oh how do you sell online courses or what’s the best way to launch and when i explain things i like to start with the strategy because i think you need to understand
(02:20) like the foundational strategy before you move into tactics and mechanics because there’s so many different ways you can go about executing the strategy but when it comes to actually selling anything whether it’s a core service product there’s certain objections that you’re going to have to overcome and
(02:34) there’s also beliefs that you need to formulate in order to get that person to give you their money because unless someone was just not smart they’re never going to give you their money unless they feel that the value that they’re getting from whatever they’re purchasing outweighs the value of their hard-earned
(02:50) cash so i highly suggest also spending some time in really thinking about and getting clear about the objections that your customers may have and also the beliefs necessary in order to purchase and if you don’t have those or you don’t know where to start with that there are a few universal ones that regardless of
(03:05) who what where and when these objections are all gonna have to be overcome and that’s i don’t have the time i don’t have the money and this won’t work for me i don’t think there’s any product service or business i’ve come into contact with that didn’t really have to overcome those objections and as far as
(03:21) an example of a belief another one that’s pretty universal is your customers need to feel or believe that you’re the right person to learn from and that you can deliver on the promise that you’re stating you’re going to provide within the course so this is my documentation for the buying process and what’s cool about
(03:38) this is it proves you don’t always have to have a real elaborate or extended launch when selling an online course even at a 600 price point which is kind of like the mid-tier prices for courses it only takes a few touch points as long as you have clear messaging and you resonate with your target customer i’ll
(03:55) walk you through all this documentation but first i want to reiterate the purpose for doing this and while i think it’s always valuable to study other sales funnels and see strategies and what’s working and what’s not working the real real value with this is getting insight into the exact steps and process that you
(04:12) went through to purchase and it’s like funnel hacking on steroids because this isn’t based on hypothesis or studying swipe copy this is based on a real person’s buying experience yours which allows you to get so intricate and detailed with the process so the first step is to identify when you first entered the awareness stage of the
(04:32) buyer’s journey when did you come in contact with this brand or company and realize that they existed the next question to ask yourself is how many touch points were made before you made the purchase so how much content did you consume how many youtube videos did you watch how many instagram stories
(04:47) did you see how many facebook ads did you possibly come across how many times did you hear other people mention the product or service or company and then ask yourself what led you further down the buyer’s journey when did you subscribe or opt into a lead magnet and when did you enter the consideration
(05:07) phase where you actually started thinking about purchasing whatever it was that they had for sale the next step is where you get really really valuable information and that’s asking yourself what questions were going through your mind when you were considering purchasing what objections could have prevented you from
(05:24) purchasing and how was the company able to overcome these objections that made you feel comfortable with moving forward the other important part is like i mentioned before what beliefs did you formulate that contributed to making that buying decision and one of the universal beliefs when it comes to buying an online course is you
(05:42) have to believe that this person is the right person to learn from and they’re able to deliver on the promise that they’re stating you’ll be able to achieve after taking the course if you can see this here it shows that i subscribed to them on march 22nd 2021 so basically like a little bit just over
(06:00) exactly a year ago i watched three videos a year ago and then i hadn’t seen any other videos from them up until the one yesterday before i purchased so on i was on youtube and a video was recommended to me based on my past search criteria like search history so it wasn’t even something i was actually
(06:20) searching for but it was a suggested video that came up because of something i’ve searched for in the past and the video was this one right here so full branding case study textile brand or maybe you’re just looking for some inspiration okay what i took note of here because i think this is also a really important
(06:43) point is that when you do create content that first sentence is super super important to keep people engaged so i click on a video all the time and then click off within one second but the video or the sentence here like it hooked me i was like oh like this is actually useful this is for me and it was if you’re about to kick off a
(07:00) brand identity project or maybe you’re just looking for some inspiration to revamp your process i’m gonna take you behind the scenes and share my process and so um the word process intrigue me um something that i like always try to improve upon is getting more systematic and more efficient with the different process that i have within my
(07:18) business i posted the description here because another important point that led me to the next step of becoming a customer and that was they had a free lead magnet here which was a free brand brain design workshop enroll and then also mentioned the i highlighted here the course they were promoting and so i did the next step was that i
(07:40) signed up for the free workshop i watched that and then i so this is a screen capture of the landing page i did not read the landing page i did not look at any of the content if you have high value content on the front end then i think you have a lot more flexibility with a lot more grace with the copy and the
(08:00) landing page along with the sales page one thing that i that’s important to me that i added as the helping to formulate the beliefs was i did think that it was really clean it was a clean design it didn’t look like a cheap or like super ugly page those are the type of things that i pay attention to it’s not like
(08:19) probably not for everyone but depending on your market you need to know what your customers actually care about and especially with this with it being something about branding design obviously the aesthetics of their business is going to be extremely important so i clicked on the sales page i skimmed it i did not watch the video
(08:38) on the sales page i i did read the the bullet points right here again i’ve heard this time and time and again that the bullet points are the most um important part on your sales page probably the same with landing page or any page on your website so i can contest that personally that that was true for me and then i scanned down and
(08:56) i i didn’t read any of the other content i just looked at the a little bit of the curriculum here and then i went to purchase i also made no note of a friction point in the buying process because this honestly like almost cost them the sale because it was just not as easy to purchase as i would have liked
(09:14) and i was in a rush i was about to leave the house and i was getting a little bit frustrated with it so i almost just like was like forget it maybe i’ll do it later or whatever i know myself pretty well like my buying behaviors and if i had not purchased then i really doubt i would have ended up coming back and
(09:31) purchasing it not because i had like a vendetta against it just you get busy and you’re not in that buying mode and it’s just not top of mind awareness with everything else that’s going on so the friction point was that in order to purchase um they have the platform unteachable it teachable required you to
(09:47) log in in order to to continue on with the payment and i tried to log in it said my password was wrong i tried to use my lastpass and then that wasn’t working so then i had to reset my password it said it was going to send me a a code i assumed the code was going to be text so i’m like looking back on my text messages it
(10:07) wasn’t there i didn’t see my email and that was the point where i was like okay forget this and then like right when i was about to just like put down my phone and get ready to go out the door then i saw the email come through with the code i put my code in to reset my password and teachable and then i was able to
(10:22) purchase i just don’t think that it’s ever a good idea to add any additional friction points to the buying process then absolutely necessary so making someone log in before again like um this isn’t just like hypothesis this is just like my actual experience like it was this close to not actually buying it because of the
(10:43) it just wasn’t as easy the objections that i was thinking about before i purchased was do i do i need this right now is is it worth the money is this just meant for freelancers that are starting out i already have a really established agency and business in charge on the high end um those are questions
(11:00) that i was kind of debating back and forth and somewhere between um just watching a little bit of the the workshop video and then the probably bullet points on the sales page that helped me overcome those objections and so the rationalizations let me just move this i can’t um the rationalizations here for purchasing one
(11:19) point was the community aspect was a really strong benefit for me it’s probably a little bit of a different reason than most people because the reason that i’m was interested in like connecting with the community is that this is a service i probably don’t necessarily want to do myself but it is something that there’s like a huge need
(11:37) for it um with my client base so i’m really interested in finding other designers that i can hire on my team to maybe execute this and even if it wasn’t branding i’m always looking for designers for my business for online course design development and that’s been a really big pain point for me like i’ve had spent a
(11:55) lot of money a lot of time energy trying to find designers that have the same type of aesthetic and just kind of like the creativity or i don’t i don’t even know how to articulate it maybe that’s why it’s hard but i haven’t been able to find like that it factor in designers and so i just figured thought through
(12:10) the process of like oh having that community i would be able to interact with all these other designers because i think they have a few thousand people and that would give me a good opportunity to see like uh what type of like person they are their personality like the designs like like the right kind of aesthetic that
(12:25) i’m looking for let me see what the other the other one this was a right time right message type of situation i was about to send out two scope of works to clients and i was just really interested to see that how they positioned and how they formulated their scope of works and proposals and things of that nature the
(12:42) other belief like that universal belief that i had mentioned earlier uh is this the right person to learn from will they be able to deliver on their promise i did believe that because the course creators provide high-end services so i felt that their insights would be valuable and then it’s also always a
(12:58) good question to ask as well how did you formulate that belief why do you believe that they know what they’re talking about and that they provide um high-end services and so i thought back to it and it was things that they’ve mentioned maybe just like unintentionally or strategically unintentionally of the type of projects
(13:15) that they worked on they showcased things on their youtube channel about that type of work and then the other thing that helped that what with the trust building was the clean and aesthetic visual identity that they had so this 600 purchase oh one more thing to mention was they did have the use deadline funnel on their sales page
(13:35) to offer um a 48-hour discount of i think 100 and i don’t typically recommend using discounts i think it trains your customers to um or your audience to only buy when you like have something on sale instead i usually like i recommend instead of having limited time bonuses and i think that would have
(13:58) worked just as well because the the bone or the discount did help move the needle for me i’m like okay and you get a hundred dollars off great because i had already had that anchored in my mind that 600 and i’m like oh now it’s only 500 but i’m wondering if they had had other some other type of relevant bonus that that would have
(14:15) worked just as well and then that way they’re not giving up that 100 you can also always just like price your your course higher than what you actually like maybe you wanted to sell it for 500 and then you know you want to give a 100 discount so then you’re gonna say it’s 600 that’s another thing that you could
(14:32) do and so to summarize all of this this was like the whole process other than the videos that i watched a year ago took like maybe two hours before i went from not being a customer to being a customer and so when you have really high value content and you are really good with your messaging and you understand
(14:56) exactly what your customer or your customers are looking for it doesn’t need to be this really big elaborate launch like it can be something just as simple as providing like high value content on youtube and then making it very easy for your viewer to move on to the next step so which here they had the
(15:14) free brand design workshop to enroll in and also a link to the course another thing to mention because i get asked this a lot too is if courses should be like drip content or if they should be full access meaning that you give like one module a week if this course had been set up that way i would not have i know there was no way i would
(15:35) have purchased because it was again one of those like right time like right time right message situations and those proposals and scope of works had to go out immediately like if that was gonna be in week three i would not have i would have not have bought i do see some situations where drip content is
(15:54) really valuable but it just really depends on the um specific course the market the industry what you’re teaching if it tends to be something like this where people more want to consume it like in in bulk versus it being i don’t know more of like an intangible topic that you’re teaching on maybe more
(16:15) like mindset or fitness or like relationship coaching maybe that should be dripped out i’m sure there’s a lot of other different options there that that would make sense i think more and more it it makes more sense to have full access though at least that’s how my my buying behavior is and i know a lot
(16:33) of people that i’ve interviewed is like that they don’t want to have to wait an entire week for the next module like it’s something they usually like it’s a pain point they have right now they want to solve it as soon as possible that’s why they’re willing to pay premium prices for online courses so
(16:46) that was another point that i mentioned um but then i also don’t want to over simplify this as far as being like oh well i had to do what i have to do is put out a youtube video and then someone will see it and then they’ll the purchase right away so yeah technically yes but in order to to make that happen like if you really backtrack
(17:07) the steps of what was needed if i had not previously subscribed i wouldn’t have seen that video also if they didn’t have a high reputation on youtube youtube never would have showed that to me in suggested videos so it means that they’ve done their due diligence and spent time on building their credibility and authority on
(17:27) youtube do probably a really good job with the descriptions keywords keywords tagging and also really a lot of time in producing high value front-end content and that was what made me subscribe originally a year ago i was like oh i like that video it was valuable i subscribed i watched a few more i didn’t
(17:44) watch anymore for a year um but then it just ended up popping up in my youtube feed and then i ended up purchasing so that is the entire process obviously if it was going to be like a much higher dollar price point it would probably be a longer um journey there would need to be more connection and rapport built with the
(18:03) course creators and i really i’d really have to have like a little bit more trust in the brand i guess money is all relative and it just depends on the certain person and situation for me like if i it was awful and i lost 500 like it would be okay i wouldn’t be happy about it but also they do offer uh 30 day guarant money back
(18:22) guarantees i think we all know that in twitter that’s pretty much 101 is the guarantee is important so yeah that was my entire buyer’s journey and i do this with and like everything what’s really interesting about this like is to look through the ones that are like super high investments and really dig
(18:43) down into the emotional reasons that i bought um i didn’t do that as much with this one and i probably i probably should like kind of ask okay i give i know what my rational reasons were but like what were my actual emotional decisions for buying um like oh i wanted to connect other designers to hire them
(19:00) oh i wanted to see their process to streamline it then you can always use like that seven level z question or like well why did you want to streamline your process um well i want my business to be more efficient okay well why do you want your business to be more efficient well i want to feel successful okay then i
(19:13) already got into feeling like two questions i’m literally just doing it on the spot uh why do you want to feel successful well this is when it gets harder usually the third question um well i would feel like people would respect me i would feel proud i would um feel like i could scale my business um and yeah so
(19:35) i’m not going to go through all of it now now but just keep asking well why won’t why until like you get down to those like core root feelings and that was that i’m going to check to see if my stream went live and if it did then i’ll use this tomorrow for my facebook youtube live if not then i will go back to ecam
(19:53) which i also love but streamier does seem to be like pretty user friendly has a little bit of a cleaner interface and i think it also integrates with your website a lot um in a much simpler way it could almost be automatic like there’s a plug-in you can put on wordpress where it automatically shows your lives which i think is cool so i’m
(20:11) going to test all that out and then we’ll see how it goes no i just have to figure out how to actually um get out of this thing though that i did not oh and broadcast that’s simple

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