The Nitty Gritty

  • Why Sarah decided to offer her online course Bank Boost in a live setting using weekly emails and live Q and A sessions
  • The values and psychology behind her product pricing and how she markets the live courses in a low-key way without webinars
  • Why she goes offline for a couple days at a time to work on content — and how that frees up the rest of her time to work with clients and so much more
  • How she plans to market her live courses in the future
  • What Sarah’s different streams of income look like

Sarah Von Bargen writes and teaches about “the space where money and happiness meet.” In this episode of What Works, Sarah walks us through her decision-making process to transform one of her popular eBooks into an online course and everything else that goes into promoting and running it.

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Why take things live?

“It’s a values-based thing. It doesn’t feel good to me to take hundreds of dollars from someone and then they don’t use the thing that I sold them. I believe in the work that I do, I believe in my course, and I know that if they did the course, it would be life-changing. But if I can make some tweaks on my end, and help them get to the place that they want to go, why wouldn’t I?” — Sarah Von Bargen

Why did Bank Boost go from an eBook to an online class? Well, Sarah wanted to create an opportunity for her audience to not only benefit from the information — but to work through it along with a community of like-minded people going through the same thing.

While small business owners might shy away from turning a DIY experience, like working through an eBook, into a live curated one for their customers or clients, Sarah says that it’s not that much extra work. When the course is running live, Sarah spends about 20 minutes engaging and liking posts while her assistant answers questions.

When she and her assistant aren’t chiming in, the community members step up to the plate every time. “The community that I’ve worked really hard to create is incredibly supportive,” says Sarah. “If somebody posts something in the Facebook group asking a question, 9 times out of 10, I don’t even need to be the one to weigh in and answer it because everybody is so excited to share their insights and advice.”

Marketing live online courses

“Because of the price point and because it’s such an easy yes, I do not do any webinars. I know when I’m going launch and the 2-3 weeks leading up to it I write blog posts that touch on the topic of finances. Then I make sure to include at the top that Bank Boost is opening again and to get on the wait list.” — Sarah Von Bargen

The Bank Boost online course costs $35. Yep, that’s it. As Sarah declares on the sales page: “That’s less than most impulse purchases at Target. I didn’t want you to go into debt in order to learn how to save money!” Awesome.

Because the price is a no-brainer, Sarah skips the webinars. Instead, she focuses on sharing in Instagram Stories, in her free Facebook group, and in her weekly Sunday link round-up.  She also sends emails to her list — and particularly any subscriber who joined by way of a finance opt-in.

To promote the course, she also updates her website banners and popups to promote it and her Facebook header. Then, once the course is open, she sents out an email to the waitlist.

Listen to this episode to hear more from Sarah Von Bargen on how to promote an online course, pricing your products, and how to make time for content writing.