Anticipation, buzz, hype… whatever name you give it, one of the absolute best times to be marketing your course is before it’s available to purchase.

Whether it’s the anticipation buildup of watching a trailer for an upcoming movie, commercials for the next season of Game of Thrones (we have to wait until APRIL!), or Apple’s latest product announcement, buzz is all part of the excitement. Your upcoming online course should be no different.

Marketing in advance and building buzz can not only lead to a truly successful launch, but also gives you plenty of opportunity to build an even larger list before you go live.

Here are a few tips to get started:

  • When you start putting together a course, begin marketing at the same time. A “coming soon” banner on your website, talking about what you’re up to on your blog and emails, and social media mentions are all great places to start
  • Supercharge your existing website prompts to join your mailing list (or add this if you’re not doing this now). Rather than “sign up for my newsletter,” change your call to action to something related to your new content, such as: “Join my VIP list and get 5 tips from my upcoming course right now”
  • Talk about benefits, not features. The compelling message isn’t that your new course is going to have 27 lessons of content with videos and so on, the message is how your audience will be better off. Turn those messages into prompts for action – “5 days to the release of my course which will give you back 5 hours a week in lost productivity. Don’t lose another hour – sign up for early access”
  • Let some people in on it early. Select tips to VIP audience members, signups for advance access, and early release to key influencers in your community (think review copies) can be a great way to get people talking about it up front

Entire courses can be written on planning a successful launch, but these few tips should help inspire a few ideas that you can get started with, even if you’re still perfecting your content!