The Online Courses Bubble

A few years back, I did some work with the great Danny Iny. Danny is one of the smartest guys I know. He’s an amazing entrepreneur with the gift of being a deep, strategic thinker.

And in the sea of people screaming about how they can teach you to start an online course, Danny’s THE guy I always tell people to listen to.

During my time working with Danny, I learned a ton from him… but there’s one lesson in particular that always sticks out.

And that’s the difference between selling information and education.

Back in 2015/2016, Danny was the first person I remember talking about how the “age of $2,000 info-products is coming to a close.”

He quietly (and calmly) pointed out that selling info-products for thousands of dollars was all a big bubble…

And, eventually, it was all going to come crashing down.

Check out this comment from a Conversion Engineering reader… that gets straight to the heart of Danny’s argument:


“Being from the Midwest the idea of “selling” myself and duping people into paying way too much money for something that promises more than it delivers just feels unethical.

One woman claiming to teach you how to do online courses said she made $250,000/year. Except she charges $1,000 for her courses. So she only needs to sell to 250 people a year! Seemed like a ripoff to me.”


This reader isn’t wrong!

Charging $1000 for JUST information IS a total rip off, IMO.

I mean, most books cost less than $20… and usually have just the same info as an online course.

Is delivering that same information via a video portal really worth 100X more?

As Danny explains, information alone isn’t enough to get MOST students the outcome they’re looking for.

Sure, SOME people can take the information in an info-product and make it work.

There are those rare extremely determined students that “figure it all out” by themselves.

And for the course creator, it’s easy to show the testimonials and case studies from those determined students… and watch the sales roll in.

Meanwhile, everyone quietly hides the fact that most programs have a 2% completion rate and an even lower success rate.

Low completion rates = the dark secret of the online courses industry.

Still… no one asks:

“Why are the completion rates so low?”

Well, I have my own theory.

And it has to do with the way that people sell their programs.

It’s nothing but LAUNCH… LAUNCH… LAUNCH!

Fake deadlines!
Countdown timers!
Last Chance!

All this means prospects are nearly ALWAYS buying courses at the WRONG time.

Sales are just a response to FOMO and scarcity.

They’re not buying when the time is right for them to tackle the problem the program solves…

So they BUY… and then…

“Hup-ho… it’s off to the info-product vault you go! Maybe you’ll be useful someday!”

Another flaw in the industry that Danny talks about is how most people aren’t instructed to create courses the right way.

So many people believe the assumption that…

MORE information = MORE value.

“I’ll just give them EVERYTHING… and they’ll have all the answers… and if they don’t get the result… well that’s their fault.”

No one takes that mindset intentionally or maliciously… but it’s the excuse people fall back on to rationalize the price they’re charging for just a bunch of info.

That means a ton of info-products get designed by people who just aim to “download” everything they know about a topic into their program.

40 hours of video training.
89 workbooks.
164 templates.

I mean, it’s worth stopping and asking… how useful is all of that STUFF?

Is it REALLY all necessary to help the student achieve the RESULT they’re looking for?

Let’s say… for example… that your target market is a WICKEDLY time-strapped professional looking to change their career…

The outcome of “changing career to something I love” is easily worth 10-20X more than a $1,000 charge… if you can deliver that outcome!

In some ways… that price is a STEAL!

But, considering the constraints of their life… do they really want a “hands-off” 40-hour online course?

Does it serve them to release ANOTHER 2 hours of training every month?

Maybe not.

Still… it’s worth taking a hard look at those sorts of questions when you’re assembling your offer.

Because if you’re not getting the conversions you’re looking for, it’s probably not because your Conversion System or funnel isn’t working.

It’s probably because your offer isn’t what your target market is looking for.

You might be solving the right problem.

You just may not be solving how they want it solved.

Anyways, if you want help getting to the bottom of that sort of problem, that’s exactly the first thing we get up to inside of Open Every Day…

Step one is all about getting your offer, positioning and value proposition TIGHT.

If you’d like help with that… and getting it to a point where your offer is “singing” for your market… consider joining me for the next round of the Open Every Day Implementation Program.

The next group is starting next Monday, on June 1st.

I’m scheduling everyone’s Welcome Call for that week, so if that works for you… join the party before Sunday.

Get all of the details here…

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