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Is My Course Scam? Design Advice Needed

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How do you like the design?

  • 5 - It's amazing - I am loving it and would pay higher price!

  • 4 - It's very cool!

  • 3 - It's what I expect for $197 course

  • 2 - Not really good (let me know in your comment why)

  • 1 - Terrible


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TopDirective

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Nov 15, 2017
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It's 0:34. Something totally unexpected happened today. Just before shooting Youtube pre-roll ad, I felt completely frozen and and unhappy. Not sure if it was due to watching ludicrous amount of advertising. That helped for inspiration for sure, but there was something else. I just could not resist the fact that... my course sucked. Not the content thought. But the design. I packed my stuff together and after deep diving into the problematic I was kept the last 6 hours coding frantically a new design of its pages.

Yep, another online-course thread, free continuation of my previous thread.

I am afraid of red flags or coming off as "created from the couch" kind of scam.

Your feedback will help me massively to create a course that I can be truly proud of, not just a money machine.

PS: The videos are finished, and so is the website. I am rather looking for ways to promote it so people get interested and buy.

  • What do you think of the dark-red color palette?
  • How is the layout?
  • What is your general "feel" - would you put $197 into learning strategic goal-setting for this Academy Training?

In short, I am teaching people Strategic Planning. How to set long-term, mid-term and short-term goals. I strongly believe in the value offered and was studying the problematic since 2016.

Please let me know what you think of the design inside. I took an existing WordPress theme + LearnPress plugin but done much of the coding myself.

Price for the course (yet to be established): $47 - 197

Sales Funnel
1) Landing Page (Just updated 5th Februray)
Note: This is only an excerpt, full landing page test render is available at The Ultimate Planning Base – Matej Peco | Member.


2) Sign-Up Page (100% finished, open to feedback)



3) Checkout Page (100% finished, maybe change colors to match Inside Course page?)

Members' Section
1) Main Members Page (pretty much finished, just need some life to it)
2) Inside Course - Design finished by 90%, I will code comments, survey and review system shortly
I am most proud of this design, feeling blinded by pride, appreciate raw feedback!

If you can't see the gif, click here: https://i.imgur.com/BfcEcUB.gif



Thank you so much!

-Top
 

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Last edited:

AllenCrawley

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It looks very "internet marketing" from 10+ years ago. From what I can see there are no trust elements, no copy, no reviews, poor design, and bland. Nothing exciting. So much work needs to be done here.
 

Maxboost

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Yup as Allen Crawley mentioned, there is nothing new here. In order to get, you need to give value first.

You have no following, no real new ideas, no proven track record, no credibility, now you want us to give you $47? Sounds a lot like a well defined man LOL.

I would suggest you give %90 of the course away for free than you sell the remaining %10 at a premium. If its good than people will have no problems paying you. Let the market dictate what your course is worth.

Good luck.
 

Mainstream7

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Looks guruish and boilerplate.
Make something true to yourself. Listen to yourself. It doesnt feel right because you know its bullshit, even though your guru says its not.

A website/landing page that provides value:
-free helpful content
-low-key marketing!!!!!
-integrity!!!!!
 

Envision

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Dude have you actually done anything you're saying on your landing page?

Have you 10x'd your income?
Do you never worry about your finances?
Do you not procrastinate?
Do you wake up fulfilled everyday?

Everyone's already said most of my thoughts but since i despise this business model I'll finish with this you're opening line is "Gain clarity, confidence and crush it in life The Ultimate Planning" but you're not even clear on your course and you're on a forum trying to figure out if it's good or not.

The in-congruency is overwhelming and I think rather than being a 20 something year old life coach you'd benefit more from creating a business or product that adds value and actually gain experience first before trying to sell a course or how to advice.
 

MJ DeMarco

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I won't be as harsh; I think the content looks interesting and the design is adequate.

However I will also echo what @Envision stated... are you a living example of what you preach?

Or just another 20 year old life coach trying to figure things out by coaching others?

Listen to the first 30 seconds of this vid...

 

jesseissorude

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I personally think it looks great!

I've signed up for courses that had similar pages, and--honestly--when I was reading your pages, I actually got a little interested in buying your course.

I think the success will more depend on how you nurture your leads in the run up to your course launch date. Once you've given them value (webinar? email drip? not sure what you already have in mind) and they end up on that page, that page will just reinforce what they already think about you and your course and is designed to just take their money.

I like it! If I were you, I'd move on to planning the launch.
 
OP
OP
TopDirective

TopDirective

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Nov 15, 2017
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It looks very "internet marketing" from 10+ years ago. From what I can see there are no trust elements, no copy, no reviews, poor design, and bland. Nothing exciting. So much work needs to be done here.
Thanks well, that's just the start! I added testimonials about my other work, and will fill it up with relevant ones once they come.

Yup as Allen Crawley mentioned, there is nothing new here. In order to get, you need to give value first.

You have no following, no real new ideas, no proven track record, no credibility, now you want us to give you $47? Sounds a lot like a well defined man LOL.

I would suggest you give %90 of the course away for free than you sell the remaining %10 at a premium. If its good than people will have no problems paying you. Let the market dictate what your course is worth.

Good luck.
Thank you, giving away free content like a tripwire is actually a very good idea! I was thinking maybe a full free 3 days no-credit-card-required trial would do...


Looks guruish and boilerplate.
Make something true to yourself. Listen to yourself. It doesnt feel right because you know its bullshit, even though your guru says its not.

A website/landing page that provides value:
-free helpful content
-low-key marketing!!!!!
-integrity!!!!!
Yeah thanks, I did not write this content like I usually do to be honest, I connected parts together and wrote something here and there. Will be writing a copy from scratch from my heart soon!

Dude have you actually done anything you're saying on your landing page?

Have you 10x'd your income?
Do you never worry about your finances?
Do you not procrastinate?
Do you wake up fulfilled everyday?

Everyone's already said most of my thoughts but since i despise this business model I'll finish with this you're opening line is "Gain clarity, confidence and crush it in life The Ultimate Planning" but you're not even clear on your course and you're on a forum trying to figure out if it's good or not.

The in-congruency is overwhelming and I think rather than being a 20 something year old life coach you'd benefit more from creating a business or product that adds value and actually gain experience first before trying to sell a course or how to advice.
Okay you got me lol. I'll try to answer your questions honestly:

1) Yes, I had more than 10x my income since I first started selling in 2015.
2) Yes for the first time ever in Fall 2018 I made a stress-free budget based on stable 8 sources of income. Since, I know exactly how much to make at minimum, and I don't stress about it. In fact, I usually make at least 1.5 more (for example this January - after Christmas season).
3) Yes and no. Perfection is an ideal that, in my opinion, is worth striving but it's an illusion. I am actually procrastinating sometimes but generally I am going into the right direction. I believe in long-term perspective and results over temporary highs and instant gratification, so I am strong on that point as well.
4) I would say 50-50, I wake up in rather neutral state tbh. Having morning ritual for months now.

Look, of course I seek advice. I am not thinking that I am too good for this. In fact, I encourage my viewers to be critical and do their own diligent research and seek evidence for claims they hear.

However, the fact that I seek advice does not automatically make me incongruent. I feel very strong about what I teach. The age (21) may be a big pill to swallow and I understand that. My life's course is actually pretty clear to what I can compare.

Same for the online-course's course/direction.

The only thing is that I am just starting out as a public persona. I'm rather flexible to aligning my online-course with what the market demands, then being blind and trying to sell something nobody wants. That's why I am trying to get feedback here.

I won't be as harsh; I think the content looks interesting and the design is adequate.

However I will also echo what @Envision stated... are you a living example of what you preach?

Or just another 20 year old life coach trying to figure things out by coaching others?

Listen to the first 30 seconds of this vid...

Thank you for replying. Just took few deep breaths to really think about it.

Yes indeed. I am just 21. I cannot teach many things because I don't know them myself.

For sure someone dedicated in his niche for 21 years alone would 99% likely pose be a superior choice compared to me...

I usually was the guy in the background, the engineer (coded since childhood) so I pretty much wanted to step up.

I understand, maybe there's a better way for me to express my passion / turn it into money / move forward / whatever this rather than publishing an online course.

Btw, I read TMF in 2017, changed my life, thank you so much!
 
OP
OP
TopDirective

TopDirective

Contributor
Nov 15, 2017
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It's weird because, for the longest time I thought that the most effective way of promoting is this:

MentorBox LLC or even this (7) Seven Simple Scientific Tricks to Have ANY Woman You Want...

An extremely pushy, urgency-generating aggressive sales letter (with an $89 "chosen by our most successful members" upsell that "can never be purchased again" and more $297 upsells crap like that once you get in).

...

However, I am more and more discovering that people actually build on trust, relationships and beliefs than being tricked into emotional buying.

Have any of you split-tested two copies, one being more pushy, and the second building more trust and transparency, and got better results in the second one?
 

Envision

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Hey man, if you've done it and you believe in what you're doing go for it! And im not necessarily against your age as much as you people doing what they've said they've done.

If you've done it and you want to teach it because you believe in it go for it! I would make your original intro video more personable as thats everyones first impression of you but that will come with time in front of the camera.
 

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COSenior

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Full disclosure: I didn't look at what you shared. Based on what feedback you have from others, I assume it is the marketing for your course. You've got plenty of feedback for that.

What I want to know is whether you have the cart before the horse. Have you designed the course yet? Can you deliver whatever it is you promise it will do for the students? Do you even have any idea how to design an online course so that the students actually learn? Maybe you do, but if you don't or if you haven't even thought about that, private message me. I know a woman who's piloting a course on something she knows a lot about - instructional design. I'd be happy to put the two of you together.
 

Mainstream7

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Hey man, glad you're taking the critique well. You're getting the gist of it :)

Here's an example that uses copywriting but at no time did I think that they used sales techniques on me. The focus is on the product:

East Oaks Studio

Maybe hit up @SinisterLex for tips on writing copy.
 

Rabby

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Related to your later comments - go with trust and honesty.

Trust - this is the only way I've built anything (so I guess someone who builds businesses on mistrust could pipe in, but...). Same for every long-term entrepreneur I know personally. It works. You don't need scammy, boiler room, fake urgency, hard sell, hard close, tactics. Those things probably work on certain people. They push plenty of other people away. I know there is no quicker way to end a sales pitch on me than to introduce false urgency. It worked on me once, when I was a teenager buying scrap leather for an early business. I'll never forget how stupid I felt. False urgency and fake "if you come back later it will be twice the price" BS closings fill me with the urge to kill to this day.

Also, if you build on trust, the same people will buy from you 100 times, no matter what you do or where you go. Your clients from 3 businesses ago will be your friends and allies today. This is true whether you're at the center of the business, or building it for other people (or automation) to run -- the fact that you are part of it gets around, and people learn to either trust you or avoid you.

Honesty - Goes right along with trust. If you're 21, you're 21. Be candid about that and clients will respect you. Maybe that detail is worth mentioning and maybe it's not, but definitely don't go and say you're 56 with 30+ years in business. I hope that's obvious. Being candid also has the interesting side effect of discovering natural markets. You might find that some people strongly prefer to hear from a 21 year old "like them," compared to someone with years of experience. Or more experienced people might want to buy a course from the adorable kid who's good at <whatever>.

I really think it's worth reading your own copy after it cools down. Read it for honesty. Don't ruin it with weird details or anything, but do cut anything that you wouldn't want to justify to a news reporter. Call it the "front page of the news test." Stick to true facts, real solutions that you know work (or tell them they're buying the beta-test solution), etc. People will respect you for this.

In case it's not clear:
  • "you can never buy this again" or
  • "buy in the next 24 hours" with a cookie timer that ups the price a little more each day
... don't pass the honesty test. Not unless it is literally impossible to buy after a certain date. Not unless deleting your cookies has no effect on the price of the course. "Recommended by our top customers" when you don't have any customers also does not pass the test.

Make trust and honest your policy, and you'll like yourself and your customers better. For yourself, you'll have nothing to criticize or feel defensive about. If you marketed that way in the past, change and move on. For customers, you'll have more smart, accommodating ones, and fewer neurotic troglodyte ones. It's 100% winning.
 
OP
OP
TopDirective

TopDirective

Contributor
Nov 15, 2017
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107
Hey man, if you've done it and you believe in what you're doing go for it! And im not necessarily against your age as much as you people doing what they've said they've done.

If you've done it and you want to teach it because you believe in it go for it! I would make your original intro video more personable as thats everyones first impression of you but that will come with time in front of the camera.
Thank you! Yes I mean, I am living what I teach. I will check out the intro.

Full disclosure: I didn't look at what you shared. Based on what feedback you have from others, I assume it is the marketing for your course. You've got plenty of feedback for that.

What I want to know is whether you have the cart before the horse. Have you designed the course yet? Can you deliver whatever it is you promise it will do for the students? Do you even have any idea how to design an online course so that the students actually learn? Maybe you do, but if you don't or if you haven't even thought about that, private message me. I know a woman who's piloting a course on something she knows a lot about - instructional design. I'd be happy to put the two of you together.
I have recorded, edit and published 100% of the course. Everything is setup and ready (website, videos, payment gateway etc.), the only thing that's left is to get people to buy it.

I have published 1 course already and getting sales every day for the last half a year so the fundamentals should be clear, however I am always open to feedback so thank you!

Hey man, glad you're taking the critique well. You're getting the gist of it :)

Here's an example that uses copywriting but at no time did I think that they used sales techniques on me. The focus is on the product:

East Oaks Studio

Maybe hit up @SinisterLex for tips on writing copy.
The critique here is 0 compared to what I am getting for my first online course haha (getting sales every day fyi).

That website is indeed a completely different style of writing. I understand that the target group (niche)
is completely different but there are still lessons to take.

Actually, I followed Sinister and read every posts on his "Gurus" thread, was an epic experience!

Related to your later comments - go with trust and honesty.

Trust - this is the only way I've built anything (so I guess someone who builds businesses on mistrust could pipe in, but...). Same for every long-term entrepreneur I know personally. It works. You don't need scammy, boiler room, fake urgency, hard sell, hard close, tactics. Those things probably work on certain people. They push plenty of other people away. I know there is no quicker way to end a sales pitch on me than to introduce false urgency. It worked on me once, when I was a teenager buying scrap leather for an early business. I'll never forget how stupid I felt. False urgency and fake "if you come back later it will be twice the price" BS closings fill me with the urge to kill to this day.

Also, if you build on trust, the same people will buy from you 100 times, no matter what you do or where you go. Your clients from 3 businesses ago will be your friends and allies today. This is true whether you're at the center of the business, or building it for other people (or automation) to run -- the fact that you are part of it gets around, and people learn to either trust you or avoid you.

Honesty - Goes right along with trust. If you're 21, you're 21. Be candid about that and clients will respect you. Maybe that detail is worth mentioning and maybe it's not, but definitely don't go and say you're 56 with 30+ years in business. I hope that's obvious. Being candid also has the interesting side effect of discovering natural markets. You might find that some people strongly prefer to hear from a 21 year old "like them," compared to someone with years of experience. Or more experienced people might want to buy a course from the adorable kid who's good at <whatever>.

I really think it's worth reading your own copy after it cools down. Read it for honesty. Don't ruin it with weird details or anything, but do cut anything that you wouldn't want to justify to a news reporter. Call it the "front page of the news test." Stick to true facts, real solutions that you know work (or tell them they're buying the beta-test solution), etc. People will respect you for this.

In case it's not clear:
  • "you can never buy this again" or
  • "buy in the next 24 hours" with a cookie timer that ups the price a little more each day
... don't pass the honesty test. Not unless it is literally impossible to buy after a certain date. Not unless deleting your cookies has no effect on the price of the course. "Recommended by our top customers" when you don't have any customers also does not pass the test.

Make trust and honest your policy, and you'll like yourself and your customers better. For yourself, you'll have nothing to criticize or feel defensive about. If you marketed that way in the past, change and move on. For customers, you'll have more smart, accommodating ones, and fewer neurotic troglodyte ones. It's 100% winning.
Thank you I needed to hear that! The "false urgency BS only works short-term and on the wrong target group" is definitely something that resonated with me! As the course will be $197 and up, I am not looking for teenagers but for serious committed people (that will attend live-calls and post in the FB group to actually get results). I understand that these people are not so "easily fooled" and require good ol' deep rapport and trust with honesty and transparency. Will build these values!

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Alright guys, thanks for all the fish! The last weeks I spent reading Brilliance Breakthrough, Cashvertising, Win Bigly and The ONE thing, and many hours of studying landing pages (from the sketchiest ones to actually good ones) and watching informecials.

I came to realize much of the things I needed to hear or learn. I signed up for Sam Ovens' Consulting program and that really kicked me in the butt. Actually, that sales funnel was one of the most honest and trustworthy one I encountered for long.

So to conclude, I will just keep everything as it is right now and learn. No sales will likely be made as I stopped the ads. After some weeks, I will see the gaps better and be able to change stuff around.

So thanks!
 

justacar

Bronze Contributor
Oct 27, 2018
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so, my background is coding + UX. so a few tips on the UI here.
on the sales funnel:
- people read left to right (exceptions, ie arabic). so put the main info to the left.
- people read top to bottom. so the image of your solution should be below the start today button, showing people where it will take them
- the copy is inconsistent. what is your biggest struggle? - start today. it should be challenge - solution.
- don't use a youtube embed. there is too many UI items there that distract.
- delete the *finally after... - what's the point of that?
- change the title from matej peco to the name of the program

sign up page
- again, left to right!
- too many small items to read. 6-7 points tops, more can't be handled by short term memory
- too many CTAs - signup and questions. delete the questions link. if they are signing up, it's the wrong place for that
- footer misaligned

checkout page
- put the image to the left, outside the column
- put the features / what you buy column right next to the purchase
- separate purchase / bill from info to enter
- here's why: you want to make clear what they are getting, what it costs, then ask for info and money
- eliminate 50% of the text.
- offer inconsistency> 30 day insider free membership, but 60 day refund?
- again, footer, again questions CTA

member section
- if i have just bought something and all i see is locked content, i'm heading for that refund
- remove "available products"

inside course
- looks like teacheable or thinkific
- exchange "description" for something else
- text = video content? if yes, change the text
- drop the image background for something neutral
- check out udacity and see how they do the visual design of their courses

good luck!
 

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