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recession proof your online business

Recession-proof your Online Course

Jan 16, 2023

Does the current state of the economy have you uncertain about the future of the online course industry?

The economy is always changing, and business owners who have weathered a few economic storms can tell you that being willing to pivot and ride the wave is the key to long term success.

So how do you stay afloat? That is the question.

I started my business in 2019, but I have been a digital creator since 2011, so it's fair to say I have seen my fair share of storms. And its because I have this long-time hindsight, I am not worried about the current economic climate.

Sure, I am not enjoying paying $10 for a dozen eggs, but I know that like all things, the market is always changing, always flowing. (cue me singing "Just around the River Bend" from Pocahontas)...

 ANYWAY... here are my 3 best tips for recession-proofing your online course business.

1. Be clear why people should buy your course.

Here's the thing. People have money. I know that sounds weird, but it's true. Travel is at an all time high, people are packing into Disney Parks at a record pace- its not that people don't HAVE the money. So if they aren't spending their money on your course, it's probably because you haven't shown them why they should.

People will always pay for courses and programs that have improve their lives. I have broken this into three core outcomes.

People pay for courses that help them solve a problem or dilemma.

The answer is probably yes- but do you make that clear in your messaging and marketing? I think the biggest mistake course creators make with this question is thinking that problem or dilemma has to be a big problem. It really doesn't.

For example, last summer when I was knee deep in my Sourdough era, I was searching for a course that would help me bake better sourdough. I wanted more oven spring! I wanted to create more intricate scores. None of this was a big problem, but it was a problem I had. And I was ready to buy a course solving that problem until the doors to said course were closed- but thats another story for another day.

People pay for courses that make their lives easier or better.

There is a reason personal development is one of the biggest industries. People want to live happier, better, and easier. And they are willing to pay for it. Know a hack to make dinner easier? I am in. Teach me how to keep up on laundry? Yes please! Show me how to talk to my kids so they actually listen? TAKE MY MONEY.

If your course makes someone's life easier or better, be CLEAR about that. That is what people really want.

People pay for courses that teach them how to make or save money.

ESPECIALLY when they feel like money is scarce, people want to know how to make more or keep more of it! And we live in the age of the side hustle. Everyone wants to MAKE more money. So show them how.

You don't have to be a money guru or manifestation queen to teach about money. People aren't necessarily looking for information on how to slay the stock market or manifest a million dollars. Just teaching people a simple way to budget or a side hustle they can do without losing time with their kids can be a game changer for people. 

How can you position your offer accordingly?

When you can show that your program can do these 3 things, people will buy it no matter what is happening with the price of eggs. 

ps: prefer to listen? Check out episode 121 of the Quantum Course Creator Podcast to dive deeper



2. Look at this as an opportunity, not an obstacle.

You know by now that HOW you look at something has a lot more to do with the outcome than the actual thing. You know the saying "whether you think you can or you can't- you're right". Its true.

Which means you can look at this economic climate as an obstacle, or as an opportunity.

24% of companies in the 2019 Fortune 500 were founded during an economic downturn. That's over 100 of the most successful companies! You bet they saw opportunity!

There will never be a perfect economy to grow your business. It's how you respond to the ebbs and flows that will determine how your business sustains long term. 

Look at what your audience is looking for. How can you fill that need?

Now is not the time to assume no one can afford your products. Now is the time to take a step back, look at your buyer's behaviors and beliefs, and fill the gap they are experiencing. This is how we are pivoting in our business, and its what has kept my business successful for the last 12 years.

Innovation is the name of the game. How can you do something different? How can you anticipate the needs of your audience and fill it in a unique and exciting way? This is how you become a stand out brand in the face of $10 eggs. By standing out by doing something different.

3. Play the long game with your pricing.

I'm not saying people aren't investing in high ticket programs, they are, but is there an opportunity to play the long game and focus instead on Lifetime Customer Value? I think sometimes we can be so short sided in the pursuit of profits that we forget about the value of keeping a customer longer than just one purchase.

Do you have a customer journey? Do you have an on-sell process? How can you capture a client where they are at, and extend the time you have with them, and the value they receive? People are far more likely to keep working with someone they know and trust than they are to seek out a new solution to a problem they know you can solve. 

Think outside the box to how you can serve them. Maybe add in a low ticket offer. Maybe add in a high ticket done for you service. There are opportunities at every level.

Most importantly, don't bury your head in the sand. When I see an energy guru spew "I just don't believe in the recession" I want to barf. It's happening, and your clients are paying attention to it. Ignoring it isn't going to help you. You don't have to blow up your business and start over, but you can use this as an opportunity if you face it head on.

Is your business recession-proof?