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Want to know how to build your email list to sell more of your books or professional services? While there are many ways to go about list building, using online courses as a lead generation tool is one that is often overlooked.

To help you grasp the power of using online courses to generate leads, we sat down with Alli Worthington, a published, author, speaker and coach to learn her strategies for building an effective sales funnel for her business.

Watch the video below to learn Alli’s strategies for growing her email list and filling her sales funnel using online courses.


Creating Book Companion Online Courses

In addition to being an author, speaker, and business coach, Alli is the creator of multiple online courses relating to different facets of her business.

With her first book, Breaking Busy, she created an online course as a companion resource to help readers dive deeper and apply the topics in her book. For her second book, Fierce Faith, Alli also created an online course as an optional study tool to use alongside the book.

In addition to these ‘book companion’ courses, Alli offers an online business course called Gainful Growth where she teaches people how to validate their business ideas and decide what product or service to start.

Before we get into how Alli uses her courses as lead generation tools for her business, let’s break down how her online courses and books relate.

Using Online Courses As A Lead Generation Engine

Alli’s decision to create an online course for her books was something that evolved during the book writing and launch process. Realizing that not everyone identifies as a book buyer, Alli saw an opportunity to use a short, free online course as a way to generate interest around her book.

“With my first book Breaking Busy, my target market was people who were busy – it would be unusual for them to sit down and read a book. So I created video content in a free online course as a way to convince people that it would be worth their time to read my book.”

– Alli Worthington

Alli created a course that included short video snippets that summarized key concepts in her book. She then used the course to promote her book across her digital and social channels.

Her goal was simply to recycle and re-present her content in a new way, giving her busy target market the push they needed to go ahead and buy the book. After all, busy people will sooner watch a five-minute video than commit to buying a whole book.

This strategy worked well as a lead generation tool for her book. Alli saw hundreds of people go through her course every month, and steadily built her email list and selling more books in the process.

“The free course helped so many different groups of people find me, including people who aren’t even searching for recommended books. It’s been a great tool for people to find me in a new way.”

– Alli Worthington

Designing Your Online Course For Lead Generation

If you want to try using an online course to generate leads, where do you start? What should go in your course, and what should you keep in your book?

Alli’s strategy was to go through each chapter in her book, and pull out the key learnings to create the course structure around that. If you have 10 chapters in your book, you could aim to create 10 short video lessons. To help identify the key learnings, ask yourself:

  • What is the overall lesson in this chapter?
  • What are the three things people will learn from the chapter?
  • What are the action steps they need to take to apply what they’ve learned?

Alli created a five-minute video with key learnings from each of her chapters, and developed a worksheet explaining action steps for each course module.

Pro tip: Avoid including long stories in your course content, particularly in your videos. People will tune out from sheer boredom or frustration in no time.

Even though you may have some great stories in your book, avoid pulling them into your video lessons. Instead, focus on the meat of the chapter, and get straight to the point so that the viewer feels as though they got some actionable value from your content.

“When creating your course videos, focus on what problem you are solving for your audience, how it will make their life better, and what they need to do to achieve the result they’re looking for.”

– Alli Worthington

Marketing Your Online Course To Collect Leads

Alli’s strategy for marketing her lead generation course is a combination of organic marketing and paid advertising.

Leveraging organic channels like her podcast, website, and social media, Alli gained considerable interest through sharing live content on social. “Pinterest, Instagram Stories and Facebook Live are all big drivers of traffic for me,” she shared.

Once she started sharing on social, Alli invested in paid ads to sell her book. Her team ran social ads to a landing page with an offer for the book that included her course for those who submitted their email address.

Alli has set up her marketing flywheel to frequently point back to her online course to capture leads, and communicate about her books and coaching services to her new subscribers.

“Every two weeks I talk about my book, my course, or the Blissdom conference on my Podcast. I try to be really intentional that every piece of my business supports the other pieces.

– Alli Worthington

Once leads are collected through her online course, Alli segments them based on interest with follow up email sequences.

To hear all the details of Alli’s sales funnel and examples of the email sequences she uses to nurture leads, watch the video above!

Want to get started creating your own online course to start collecting leads in your business? Download our free and comprehensive guide to creating an online course!