034 - Why Good Courses Don't Sell
Discover The "Hidden" Framework Behind Wildly Successful Digital Products.
Most courses & other online programs stop selling after the initial launch.
They don't pass the "Cold Audience Test", forcing the sellers to constantly be creating and launching new products to stay profitable.
[A cold audience is an audience that doesn't know you yet.]
The reason for this comes down to marketplace "perception" and not the actual quality of the course.
In other words, if your course looks and feels THE SAME as every other course out there, it simply WON'T sell.
For example, Keto was REALLY big for a while because it was new.
But, then, everyone started to make Keto courses. And the later courses, though they may have been better, didn't sell as well.
Because IT LOOKED like the same kind of course as all those that came before.
Here's the lesson: If you're course Looks & Feels the same as what everyone else is selling, it simply won't sell.
It's the "me too" offer problem.
Here's the answer: By POSITIONING what you offer as something NEW and DIFFERENT, you can almost immediately turn an unprofitable course into a profitable one.
This principle is the same principle that Jesus used when He started His earthly ministry.
He introduced a NEW concept to the marketplace of Judaism.
The concept: "The Kingdom of heaven is at hand (aka available for all who reach out for it)."
It was DIFFERENT.
And, people WANTED to learn more.
Then, He'd demonstrate this "Kingdom is at hand" reality and taught the people.
His positioning was powerful.
In the same way, you must create powerful positioning for your course if you want to affect the people you're called to.
We'll do it by following the PCS framework.
PCS stands for Problem, Culprit, Solution.
I came across it specifically when I came across the story of this marketer that was hired to sell Pepsodent toothpaste in the 1920s.
It resulted in it becoming the BEST selling toothpaste for 20 years.
Then, I started noticing that almost EVERY profitable brand ever used this framework as well, without KNOWING it.
It's the key to building a profitable offer that will be profitable with ads to a cold audience.
Let's break it down.
1 - The Problem
First, the key to a good offer is to FULLY understand the REAL problem you solve for your audience.
However, I've found, after working with many different course creators, that MOST don't actually KNOW the problem they solve.
They only know what they're selling or what their audience wants.
Without a clear problem, there isn't much reason for people to BUY what you have to offer.
Your offer is ONLY a "good idea" and those DON'T SELL.
Examples of problems vs good ideas...
Problem: I gained weight after having the baby and it's not coming off.
Good idea: I want to lose some weight.
Note: The good idea is a want, not a true problem they're facing.
Problem: I have a hard time sleeping because I feel so anxious
Good idea: become a more mentally strong person
Note: The good idea is just words that don't mean anything. The problem is clear.
You must FIND the ONE to THREE clear problems you solve for your customer.
Yes, chances are you've solved many problems, but PICK the main ones.
Pepsodent recognized the main problems they were solving were yellow teeth, gum disease, and rotting teeth.
These are very real problems that people WANT desperately to fix and avoid all together.
Find your real problems.
2 - The Culprit
Next, after you know the REAL problem you're solving, you must identify the MAIN culprit you're going to position your product against.
The culprit is the thing that has kept them stuck in the problem they're having.
There are two main ways to identify the culprit:
- The OLD PATH - this is the path the audience thinks they need to take to be successful, because it's what others in the marketplace is telling them.
- The CURRENT "THING" - this is the thing people are currently using or experiencing that's causing the problems their facing.
Let's look at examples of both of these.
Weight Loss: the culprit you could point out are "fad diets". Calling out different fad diets and showing people how they're not sustainable and how they aren't actually good for them can be powerful.
Mental Health: the culprit you could point out is "unrooted declarations". Showing people how speaking declarations that they don't believe in can actually empower feelings of shame could be powerful.
Weight Loss: the culprit you could point out is their "mindset on food". If you can show them how their relationship with food is keeping the weight on this can be a powerful culprit to call out.
Mental Health: the culprit you could point out is the "mindless scroll". By showing them how social media is actually empowering their anxiety and that there is a better way can be quite powerful.
Pepsodent dug into the CURRENT "THING" and identified it as the "FILM" on your teeth.
Essentially, if you didn't brush your teeth, what you eat and drink starts creating this film that you can feel when you run your tongue over your teeth.
This was the THING that was causing all of the problems (yellow teeth, gum disease, and rotting teeth).
It was a clear culprit that people were really drawn to.
Even Jesus had a culprit He called out; the way of the Pharisees.
Find that culprit that you can position your brand against.
This will instantly set you apart from your competition and help you pass the "Cold Audience Test".
3 - The Solution
Finally, to solidify your ability to make a profit from a cold audience, you must present your solution as something NEW.
If it's the same solution presented in the same way as others in the marketplace, people SIMPLY won't pay attention.
They'll feel as if they've "heard that before".
Therefore, what you MUST present a NEW PATH that obliterates the culprit and solves the problem.
This new path must be different than what the marketplace as a whole is telling people, BUT it can't be so different that people question it's validity.
At the least, even if the path you teach is the SAME as others, you MUST use NEW language to present it.
The new language can make it different.
Here are some great positioning examples I've come across:
Golden Mic Method:
Problem: Getting in front of a high ticket audience
Culprit: typical high ticket funnel
Solution: Create a podcast where you interview your ideal audience you can build trust and offer them what you do at the end of the podcast episode.
Problem: muscle gain plateaus
Culprit: repetitive workout plans
Solution: By constantly changing how you workout, you're muscles will be worked out in a way that will help you break through any plateaus.
Take time to do the same for yourself.
Find the solution that you'll use to solve the real problems that people have.
For Peposdent, this was their positioning:
Problem: yellow teeth, gum disease, teeth rotting
Culprit: film on your teeth
Solution: Brush your teeth daily with Pepsodent.
While simple, this worked really well in the 1920s because the idea of "brushing your teeth daily" wasn't something that was commonplace. It was something new and fresh.
Take time to find your simple, yet new and fresh solution.
When you figure out the main Problem, the main Culprit, and how you'll present your Solution, you can create positioning that will help you pass the 'Cold Audience Test' with ease.
Your course will start selling like hotcakes.
You must take time to think through each of these things.
And have some fun with it.
Here's a simple process on how to find the best one for yourself:
- Identify the Problem, Culprit, and Solution other successful businesses are using in the marketplace. This will give you an idea of what is working.
- Think through your process of helping people. Identify the things about your solution that you could bring out as the NEW PATH you're inviting people on.
- Brainstorm as many different angles of the Problem, Culprit, and Solution as you need to.
- Then, simply pick one and try it out. You can always change it later if you need to.
Ultimately, when you find the RIGHT way to present what you do to the marketplace, it'll make it WAY easier to make sales.
Get this right and you'll have a million dollar business in no time.
This is something I'm going to be helping people do in the 'Spirit-Led Creator Collaboration'.
It's currently only in idea phase, but to show that you'd be interested in joining, sign up for the priority list by clicking here.
AUTHOR: Justen Miller
Have you ever expressed yourself in a way where the people around you came alive in some way? That's what moves my life. I love seeing people come alive while giving them a simpler, more joyful perspective on life and business. That's what this newsletter is all about.
Thanks for reading!