Checklist to Seed Launch your Online Course? – Complete Guide with Examples & More

Once you’ve finalized and perfected your online course, you may feel it’s ready to be released to the public. 

While you can definitely release it as is at this point, it can be highly beneficial if you conduct a seed launch of your online course before actually publishing it. 

In this post, we’ll go over what seed launching is, what its benefits are and what you’ll need in order to conduct a seed launch effectively. 

What is Seed Launching? 

Within marketing, seed launching a product is a strategy where you release your product to a small group of people in order to judge how it performs. 

It’s a way to “test the waters” and see what kind of feedback you receive from the people that go through it initially. 

It’s important that you gather feedback from the audience you conduct the seed launch with as that’s the entire point. This feedback will help you further refine your online course and ensure that you’re solving your audience’s problems and addressing their pain points to the fullest.

If you’ve never launched a product before, then a seed launch can also be implemented as a type of “test run” to help you gain experience on what it’s like to launch something online. 

What are the Benefits of Seed Launching? 

Amateur online course creators tend to skip seed launching and jump straight to fully launching their online courses to the public. 

While you can definitely do this and see success, there are a lot of benefits that you’ll be missing out on. 

Benefits such as: 

Lead Generation 

A seed launch helps you nurture a relationship with your potential audience. 

When you conduct a seed launch, the group you do it with is typically 

  • Your email contact list 
  • Your peers
  • Your colleagues
  • Your friends

And while many of these people may be going through your course just as a favor, others may be genuinely interested in what you have to offer. 

In this way, you’ll introduce them to your online course’s content and they may go on to tell their friends and peers about it. 

Thus, when your online course actually launches, many people will already be waiting in line to buy it. 

Seed launching your product is a great way to generate buzz and get the market ready for your product. 

Feedback for Refinement 

We’ve already mentioned this but seed launching your online course will also help you identify any kinks that may have slipped by you. 

A small group of your target audience will be able to give you much better insight into how your online course could be improved than you could ever have on your own. 

Thus, it’s important that you gather feedback from every single person that goes through your online course as part of your seed launch. 

You can then use this feedback to further refine your online course and make it more engaging so it clicks better with your future students. 

Readying the Market

One reservation that you may have as an online course is whether or not your online course is even something that your audience wants. 

Naturally, you will have made your online course according to the needs and problems of your target audience but oftentimes, this is still not enough for a course to gain popularity. 

What a seed launch does, in this case, is make audiences aware of what your online course has to offer and what problems it’s going to solve for them. 

Your seed launch may make your target audience privy to problems and issues that they may not have even known they had. 

Since your online course will present a solution to these problems, this will result in your online course gaining popularity before it’s even properly launched. 

You can then use this momentum to market your online course once it’s fully launched either on your own website or on an existing online course platform.

Increasing Online Authority

When you release your first online course to the public, you will most likely not be very well known within your topic niche’s online community. 

You will take steps to increase this authority with your marketing efforts but one way you can increase it before that point is through seed launching. 

As said earlier, seed launching helps you build a relationship between your target audience and yourself. 

This also gives you the opportunity to showcase that you know what you’re talking about. 

As you present solutions to your audience’s problems via your online course as well as through the discourse around it, this will help build your prominence and authority among the community. 

Thus, in the future, people will think about you and seek your opinion on matters related to your topic niche. Building prominence online can be the key to boosting your online course’s sales. 

When you finally fully launch your online course, it will be met with less scrutiny and more trust since people will already know who you are and they’ll also know that you’re a knowledgeable person on the course topic. 

Online course launches can become very hectic with several variables you need to keep track of and manage. 

There are several tools available online that can help you with this and make product launches much more manageable. 

How to Conduct an Effective Seed Launch?

While a seed launch does not require a full-blown marketing strategy as an actual launch would, it does require some level of planning and research. 

In order for your seed launch to be effective, there are some guidelines and steps you’ll need to follow. These are as follows: 

Step 1: Create a Pre-Launch Checklist 

Before you do anything, you need to create a checklist that details how you’ll conduct your seed launch. 

  1. The first thing this checklist should have is a list of contacts that you reach out to in order for them to take part in your online course’s seed launch. 
  2. Next, it should have details regarding how you’re going to reach them. This will typically be through email but you can also consider social media. 
  3. If you’re going run promotional material or ads on your social media or blog, you should make a bullet point regarding that as well. 
  4. A list of incentives you’re going to provide to potential participants. This could be access to a webinar, a podcast, extra resources, etc. 
  5. You should create a feedback form for individuals that go through your online course as part of its seed launch. 

Step 2: Prepare Your Audience 

The very first thing you need to do is make your audience ready and willing to participate in your seed launch. 

You can do this through a variety of approaches such as: 

  • Promoting it on your website or blog. 
  • Promoting it on your social media pages. 
  • Promoting it through an email marketing campaign.

All of these strategies will help you interact with your potential audience and will also give you the opportunity to address any apprehensions they may have. 

Quick Tip: It’s a good idea to have incentives to entice people to take part in your seed launch. The first, very obvious incentive is free and early access to your online course. Other than that, you can give access to webinars, podcasts, extra resources, etc. 

One great incentive to have to take part in your seed launch is discounted prices for your actual online course as well as other courses that you release in the future. This is a type of offer that is extremely popular and effective among customers. 

If you run an email marketing campaign, make sure to adjust it accordingly to have appropriate follow-ups with individuals who may not have replied initially. 

When it comes to social media ads and posts, be sure to schedule them evenly and at appropriate times. 

It’s a good idea to schedule posts between the 5 pm to 10 pm timing every day as that’s when people are most likely to browse through their social media. 

Step 3: Seed Launch Your Course Through a Webinar 

It’s typically a good idea to turn the seed launching of your online course into an online event. 

This makes your audience feel welcomed and like they’re a part of a community. 

We mentioned earlier how one of the incentives you should have for taking part in the seed launch is free access to a webinar. 

The webinar you could give free access to could be this very webinar that you’re conducting to seed launch your online course. 

Provide the date and time for it within your marketing emails and social media posts and people will feel enticed to take part in it thanks to all the value you’re offering for free. 

What do I Talk About in this Webinar? 

You may be confused about what exactly you’ll be discussing within this webinar so, here are some general guidelines that you can follow: 

  1. A brief introduction of yourself: Start by telling them a little bit about yourself, your background and how you got into your online course’s niche. Make yourself relatable by telling them your struggles and how you overcame them. Bonus points if you mention that you’ve detailed the solutions to these struggles within your online course. 
  2. The purpose of the seed launch: Next, you should talk about “why we’re all here”, i.e. the seed launch of your online course. Explain how you hope to improve the online course before its launch and emphasize that you welcome feedback and any improvements that the participants may have in mind. 
  3. Q&A session: A Q&A session may seem like the hardest part of a webinar but it can also be the most crucial in terms of you securing potential customers. Not only can Q&A sessions help build your authority but they can also help convert customers that may be on the fence about buying your product. 
  4. Conclusion: Conclude the webinar by further reiterating what the online course is about and what problems you hope to solve with it. Don’t forget to emphasize once more that you value your participants’ feedback more than anything. 

After your webinar is concluded, participants should be redirected to a page that begins your online course. 

It should either be hosted on your own website privately or it may be hosted privately on an online course platform where only the people with the specific link can view it. 

Quick Tip: As part of the seed launch, make sure to have a small feedback form at the end of each lesson. It could ask how the lesson could be improved or what they felt might be missing from the lesson. 

Step 4: Analyze Feedback and Make Improvements 

Now comes the part where you went through all of these steps for the feedback

Remember that while seed launching does have other benefits such as building authority and educating your audience, the main purpose of it is to gather valuable feedback. 

If you don’t make efforts to gather feedback from participants of your seed launch, you won’t be utilizing its full potential. 

We mentioned earlier how you should add feedback forms at the end of each lesson as part of your seed launch. 

This will result in you having a hefty amount of feedback to go through regarding each individual lesson within your online course. 

Note that you don’t have to follow every piece of advice and feedback that you receive from your participants.

That being said, you should definitely give each piece of feedback an equal amount of thought and time to determine whether it’s viable or not. 

Quick Tip: When going through the feedback, it’s a good idea to make a list of all feedback that you feel is good and could be implemented to make your online course better. Once you’ve gone through all the feedback and have a sizable list of implementable actions, you can start acting on them. 

Once you’ve implemented all actions through the feedback you received, you’ll be left with a refined online course that perfectly addresses the problems of your target audience. 

Take a look at our website to learn all there is to start an online course business.

seed launch your course

Wrapping Things Up… 

Many new online course creators consider seed launching an unnecessary step and a waste of time. 

We’ve dedicated this entire post to describing how beneficial seed launching can be and how it’s definitely worthwhile for you to put in the effort to seed launch your course. 

It helps you build authority, builds relationships with potential customers and also, helps you refine your course to make it the best it can be. 

If you ask us, these reasons are more than enough for you to conduct a seed launch for your online course. 

Let us know in the comments below what you think of seed launching online courses.