Last Month’s Earnings


The Smart Passive Income Podcast

AP 0777: How Do I Market and Validate My Online Course Idea?

AP 0777: How Do I Market and Validate My Online Course Idea?

By Pat Flynn on

AskPat 777 Episode Transcript

Pat Flynn: Hey, what’s up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 777—jackpot—of AskPat. Thank you so much for checking in today and as always I’m here to help you by answering your online business questions, five days a week.

We have a great question today from Bobby but before we get to his question I do want to let you know about an upcoming launch happening next week, which is dope because I’ve been working on this for almost six months now. Already a set number of students have gone through my upcoming course Smart From Scratch and it’s being released to the public next month on my email list so if you want to check it out and get subscribed so that you can get the notification when it comes it you can go to That will take you to a page where you can read all about what’s in this course.

Who’s it for? Well, it’s for those of you who are starting from scratch and who maybe have started already but you don’t know what you’re doing or you didn’t get the results you were looking for. I’m here to help so is where you go and you can read all about there and sign up so you can get notified. Thank you so much.

All right, now here is today’s question from Bobby.

Bobby: Hey Pat, my name is Bobby Sanstrom. I purchased Will It Fly? yesterday because I have a suspicion that I was putting the cart before the horse on a project that I’ve been working on for the past couple of weeks. I decided to create a course on Udemy entitled Mastering Simple Mind, Mind Mapping Software. It hadn’t occurred to me to do some homework first and find out how much interest there was on this subject. The question is because the course is nearly complete at this time do I finish the promo video, which will take a chunk of time itself or do I do some research into it’s viability? I’m very interested to hear what you have to say about this being that I’m far along into the project. I am thankful that I was able to get a hold of your book and this won’t happen to me again, I can promise you that. I would love to hear your thoughts on it Pat. Thanks a lot.

Pat Flynn: Hey Bobby, what’s up? Thank you so much for the question. Thank you so much also for purchasing my book Will It Fly? It will be the perfect complement to what you were doing now and I actually was quite surprised that you have already set up a course on Udemy. Actually, I have recommended to many people that Udemy be the place where once you get to a certain point in the research that you do, once you get a general understanding of what it is you want to offer, if it’s a course than actually putting it on Udemy is a great place to test the waters. You can put it out on Udemy for free or you can put it out on Udemy for lower prices and see if people would actually pay for it. Either way you are actually putting things on a platform where the technology isn’t going to hold you back, right? That’s the nice thing about Udemy Plus there are people there who are looking for things and so if you begin to collect students from there. Whether it’s again free or a paid course you can then take them to the next step, which is let’s get into the bigger and better thing.

Hopefully, I don’t have any of my own courses on Udemy but I’m hoping that you’re able to communicate with those students, collect their email addresses or at least send them messages so you can then have conversations with them, offer them something more. I think the mind mapping idea is great but I would challenge you Bobby, by asking “Okay, well that’s a great first step to a lot of things but what’s next?” If you were to collect students on Udemy for example, and it seems to be going very well, well what would be the next thing? I think this is something that you would be able to start even just thinking about now at least. A mind map leading into what? There may be a deeper course into something like how to write a book or how to set up a blog or things like that which mind mapping is absolutely useful for.

Mind mapping is step one, that’s the 101 situation, what’s the 102 situation? That will be something that I think you can drive toward and be able to survey your students on Udemy if you collect any. What it is that they are actually using the mind mapping for.

Now let’s pull back a little bit. There is some market research involved with this and again Will It Fly?, since you picked it up should have already helped you with that which is cool. If you do not get students then the problem is well, how do you know what’s working or what’s not? A lot of people, they spend a lot of time building a course or creating products, physical, digital, whatever and they launch it and then they don’t have anybody who purchases and then you end up wondering why. That’s why a lot of conversation needs to happen first before you get to the point at which you sell so that you can understand if people don’t buy you have a group of people you can go to and say, okay, well you said you were interested in this for one and that’s even pulling back even more.

If you don’t get anybody interested then that should tell you something. Interested in even having a conversation about you or downloading a free resource related to it that’s a sign that something at that points going wrong. You don’t even need to create the course yet you have to figure out what the offer should be and what that pain that you’re solving is.

If you get past that stage then you get to the point at which you’re having conversations with people, collecting email addresses and if you sell to people who are interested and they don’t buy well then you have people who can give you feedback on why didn’t they buy and that will give you your next steps. For example, if people say “Oh, I didn’t buy because it was to pricey.” Then you can change the price, just for them to see if they would transact because typically when people use price as the excuse, there’s something else deeper in there. A lot of times it might be, “Oh, well I just didn’t understand what the offer was.” In which case, then it’s a copy issue or an offer issue. The timing wasn’t right for me, well then it’s a mindset thing and helping people understand or urgency situation. There’s a lot of answers that can come from the customers that don’t buy and that’s the benefit of going through the Will It Fly? process. You’ll see and hear and read as you go through the book.

Bobby, I hope that helps and gives you some good clear thoughts to start with and I want to wish you the best of luck and again thank you for picking up my book, Will It Fly? For those of you who want the hand holding through this process of validating an idea, first of all finding an idea or honing in on one if you have multiple ideas and picking one, doing the research, validating it on multiple levels as a litmus test to make sure that’s something you want to do. Like Bobby said, you’re not putting the cart before the horse. Bobby, thank you so much. I want to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. For those of you who are listening, if you have a question that you would like potentially featured here on the show, all you have to do is head on over to and you can ask right there on that page.

Finally, here’s a quote to finish off the day by Epictetus. He said, “Nothing great is created suddenly anymore than a bunch of grapes or fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer you that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bare fruit, then ripen.” Now I’m hungry.

Thanks guys, take care and I will see you in the next episode of AskPat. Bye

Let's figure out what works!

Join 150,000+ active members in the SPI community

Email address required
No thanks, I'll pass for now :)
  1. 1. Free Stuff

    You'll get instant access to free resources, including my most popular book, Ebooks the Smart Way! (Downloaded over 125,000 times!)

  2. 2. Content Tailored to You

    Over time, I'll get to learn more about you and deliver content that actually matters.

  3. 3. No Hype

    Just real content that's meant to make a difference.