Part 2: How to Make Recurring Revenue From Your Course Without a Sales Funnel

course creator course design entrepreneurship Dec 17, 2021

Not everyone is a natural-born salesperson. For some solo and small entrepreneurs, selling your work is one of the absolute hardest parts of their business. I get it. I'm really great at developing learning offers but I'm not so great at selling products.

That's why I found a way to sell without sales. No sales funnel. No chasing pitch after pitch. I found a business model that generates passive income in a way that works for me.

If you're dreaming of developing multiple streams of revenue, developing a learning offer might just be perfect for you. So let's turn that passive income dream into a goal — into a plan. And the first step of that plan is figuring out the business model that works best for you.

So what types of business models exist?

When it comes to making and selling learning offers, we are tackling five different types of business models in this article.

First, the digital course model: This is the super common model where you developed an automated self-paced course that people sign up to take. This business model usually relies on heavy marketing and can be done on a regular schedule of launches — say twice a year — or it can be done with an evergreen sales effort — meaning people just sign up and start whenever. Both of those marketing models involve a lot of work and iteration to set up effectively.

Second, the membership model: This is a community-based model where members pay a monthly or annual fee. With a membership, you have to regularly show up to serve these members — from both a content perspective and from a sales perspective. This passive revenue model is not really that passive.

Third, the coaching model: This can be a one-on-one model or a group model. You show up regularly and you're actively involved in providing a service to clients. Again, this passive revenue model is not passive at all and can actually become increasingly demanding as your client base grows.

Fourth, the workshop model: This is a one-to-many model where you prepare and facilitate your content. But it doesn't necessarily have to be you facilitating the workshop. You can also train other people to deliver your content for you.

Fifth — my absolute favorite business model — the licensing model.

What does a licensing business model look like?

Licensing your content involves you packaging up your proprietary materials and selling those materials to someone else to teach. Licensing works best when you fit four criteria: 1) you're a specialist in the field; 2) you have a strong reputation; 3) you have a model prepared and documented to ensure its proprietary, and 4) you have researched and recognized that you have content that other people want.

So let's say you check all those boxes. How does licensing actually work as a business model? Well, there are two different ways to approach licensing:

You could find a gap in someone else's program. Maybe there's a general business course that wants to teach advanced PR or accounting but the course creator doesn't have that expertise themselves — but you do. That's where you can license your content for them to include in their program. I'm actually doing this right now. I've licensed materials on learning design that are only available within another generalized start-up business program.

Or you could find a business or corporate entity that would benefit from your content. This is called white-labeling or off-the-shelf learning. You provide the learning materials that a corporation or business will use to train their employees. To do this most successfully, it helps to have someone who knows how corporate training works. Lucky for you, that happens to be my exact professional background.

You can achieve passive income with integrity — and I want to help you get there. That's what this series is all about. You won't want to miss the next episode.

Catch up and listen to all episodes in this mini-series starting with episode #26.

Need advice from a learning strategist? Schedule a free discovery call today with Manja Horner, Founder of Boost Learning Design today to talk about your dream project.

We will Audit your existing learning and can help build your dream learning product. The longer you wait, the longer it takes to get that new learning product to market. So connect now for a call.

Test your own capabilities as a learning designer by taking the Course Creator Quiz

And, get mega organized in your business with the Complete Business Productivity Notion Templates.

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