Lukas helps Langpreneurs with a YouTube channel with over 100K subscribers, generating over 6-figures with product launches. Having a degree in linguistics, he started his career as a language course creator. He wanted to work online and travel the world, but he realized that in order to do that, he first had to learn online marketing. Lukas fell in love with marketing and has been combining his language and marketing skills ever since. Two years ago he met a YouTuber in the language education space who had a big audience but didn’t yet have a language course. She also didn’t know how to sell courses on YouTube at the time.
They decided to partner up and they sold courses generating revenues of over 100K EUR during the very first launch. Since then Lukas has been helping YouTubers with a big audience to 10x their revenue.
Lukas earned a degree in applied linguistics at university and speaks 5-6 languages. He wanted to create an online language business but he realized that it was only going to be possible if he learned about online marketing. This is how Lukas created his passion for combining languages with marketing.
You can’t travel the world and run an online language business if you don’t learn online marketing.
Many Langpreneurs have their own teaching method. In order to be successful you have to be able to package what you offer in such a way that it is appealing and that it speaks to a certain audience. If you talk about your method in an academic way, like a linguist, you will scare off potential buyers. Learning how to sell online is crucial if you want to make it in our industry.
How Lukas learned online marketing
First I just tried to figure out everything by myself, searching for online business-related articles on Google. I also enrolled in several online courses, but working with mentors and coaches has always worked the best for me. Learning about online marketing is not so much about finding the right information, it has more to do with mindset. When you’re learning by yourself you’re constantly asking yourself questions like: – Can I do this myself? – Will this work in the language space?
– Is this going to work for me?
The only way to overcome these questions is to just give it a try and find out yourself. Having the support of a coach or mentor helps a lot.
Lukas in Action
YouTube AdSense VS. selling your own products
If you’ve grown your YouTube channel to a size where you can live off your AdSense income, you’ve done a great job. AdSense is a good way to generate a monthly base-line income and you don’t even need to do much for it once you’ve built your channel. The problem is if you’ve grown a big channel with, let’s say 50.000 or 100.000 subscribers, your AdSense revenue stops growing proportionally. At that point you have many people in your audience who have been following you for a while and trust you. Many of these people want to learn more closely with you and would be happy to buy a course from you. That’s a great opportunity. If you find a way to successfully sell courses to your audience on YouTube, you can easily earn 5, 10 or during the launch itself, even 50 or 100 times more than what you earn with AdSense. This is how you can turn your channel into a real business.
If you find a way to successfully sell courses to your audience on YouTube, you can easily earn 5, 10 or during the launch itself, even 50 or 100 times more than what you earn with AdSense.
The big opportunity for Langpreneurs with a big YouTube channel
Your followers already know you, trust you, and see you as an expert. You’ve also earned a lot of goodwill by creating a lot of free content. You’re audience is going to be very warm and it will be relatively easy to sell them courses. On top of that, you already know how to make videos and you how to teach a language. You might need some help setting up your first course, but that has also become much easier these days thanks to all the platforms out there where you can easily create and host your courses. Doing a YouTube launch works particularly well for people with a language channel, because most of us teach something very specific. If you have a channel about lifestyle, for example, some of your followers might be interested in traveling, fashion or makeup. If you have a channel where you teach Spanish, for example, a very big group of your audience is going to be interested in your Spanish course.
Doing a YouTube launch works particularly well for people with a language channel, because most of us teach something very specific
Lukas speaking at Langfest in Montreal, Canada
How should YouTubers go about creating courses?
There are many options here. I would say it depends on what your audience wants and what your own ambitions are. Some people sell learning materials for lower prices ($60-70). The problem with cheaper courses is that completion rates are usually very low because people are not very committed. Others sell high priced coaching programs for $1000 where they help professionals to pass exams so that they can get a job abroad. We often aim for something in between.
The power of offering guided self-study
What has been working really well for Lukas is what he calls ‘guided self-study’. These are courses with videos, PDFs, mp3 recordings and exercises that your students can work through at their own pace. At the same time, he also hosts weekly group calls where he answers students’ questions. Everyone is going through the same lessons during the same week and this way you really create a study group where people help each other, keep each other accountable, and share each other’s progress. We do this in the form of a challenge and that has been working really well for us.
How much should you charge for these challenges?
Lukas has had really good results in selling these courses for between $250 and $400. The thing is that with a challenge you’re not just selling information, but an opportunity. That makes it easier to charge high prices. If you charge high prices, the completion rates are extremely high because people are more committed. That’s also great if you want to collect testimonials afterwards.
You can run these challenges with more than 500 students at the same time. You do the maths on how profitable these launches can be, for those who have a big following.
Should you focus on creating courses for beginners or advanced students?
This depends on your audience. If you teach Spanish and you only speak Spanish in your videos, most of your students will be advanced students so you should create something that fits their level. If you have content for both beginners and advanced students, it usually makes more sense to launch a beginners course first. Beginner courses are, in general, easier to create. The benefit of creating advanced courses is that you can sell them, in general for higher prices. Advanced students are usually more passionate and need to speak the language well – for their work, for example. They often have a stronger desire to learn and there are fewer intermediate courses out there. Therefore, you can usually charge more.
If you have a mailing list you can also survey your audience and see what kind of courses they are most interested in. You can also survey your audience on social media or by simply asking what your audience wants within a YouTube video.
How many YouTube subscribers do you need to have to make the YouTube launch you described worthwhile?
Lukas only works with language educators on YouTube who have more than 100K subscribers. If you have a smaller channel with 20K subscribers, for example, you could still make a few thousand bucks with a YouTube launch. Those who are still relatively small could maybe better spend their time on growing their channel and building an email list. YouTubers with 100K, 200K. 500K subscribers can easily make over 100.000 EUR with one single YouTube launch. And, they can do multiple launches per year… Comment from Jan: Most Langpreneurs don’t have a big following on YouTube. That’s why we always recommend people to start building an email list from day one. A mailing list is probably the most powerful tool to promote your courses. For big YouTubers with a small mailing list, a YouTube launch is highly recommended.
STEP 1: Decide what kind of course you’re going to sell
What kind of course would your audience want? Are you going to focus on beginners or intermediate students? Are you going to sell learning materials or something in the form of a 12-week challenge? Survey your audience, see what has been working well for people in your niche, and chose a course format you believe in. Once you’ve figured out what kind of course you’re going to launch, you’re ready for the next step.
STEP 2: Warming up your audience for the launch
Week 1: In the first week Lukas delivers what he calls a ‘workshop’. This workshop is a video series which should be a bit different from your usual videos. If you usually teach Italian on your channel, this video series could be about ‘’how to learn Italian’’, for example. Monday: In your first video you announce the workshop and tell your audience what it is going to be about. It’s important to mention that it’s going to be something special. Also make sure to include scarcity and urgency by saying that they should watch your videos now, because you’re going to take them down in two weeks. Also try to create engagement by asking your audience what their biggest struggles are. Thursday: In the second video you show how your method works. Show how your method can help them to learn their target language. You also might want to give away samples of your course. Week 2: Monday:
The third video should be a motivational video where you let people imagine what their lives would look like if they spoke their target language fluently by using your method. Show them the roadmap of your course. Show them, for example, that in the first two weeks they will focus on dialogue. Show them the results that they’re going to get after finishing each module of your program. For example, “After finishing the sixth module you will be able to approach someone on the street in your target language and feel way more confident and not so clumsy anymore”. Talk about feelings.
For this workshop, Lukas also creates a Facebook group where the participants can interact with each other and directly with him. Remember, the aim of this video series is to offer value and create engagement. You’re not selling here yet.
STEP 3: SELLING YOUR COURSE
Thursday (of the 2nd week): You announce that you have created a course using all the principles you’ve talked about. Talk about the benefits of your course and tell them that enrollment is now open. Mention that there is a 5-day enrollment period and that the program will start directly after the enrollment has closed. This is a good way to create urgency. During the enrollment period, make sure to create one of two videos in which you answer your students’ questions about the course, and include case studies with testimonials if possible. You can publish these videos on your YouTube channel or upload them to your Facebook group. If you have a mailing list, also make sure to send out these videos to your email subscribers. Make sure to send out final reminders 24 hours before you close the enrollment across all of your platforms.
STEP 4: DELIVER THE COURSE
Remember to first sell your course, and only create it later. It would be a good idea to finish one or two modules before the launch, but you definitely don’t want to finish the whole course in advance. Students will give you feedback and it’s important to listen carefully to what your audience wants and take their feedback into account when creating the subsequent modules. Many students really like the idea of co-creating a course. If you create a course based around what your customers want, they will become real superfans.
STEP 5: NEXT COURSE
If your students have gone through the course and they liked it, they might want more. This is an opportunity for you to upsell them to the next level. You could, for example, give existing students a discount for the next program and about 40 to 50% of your students will stay on. This is a classic example of generating more revenue with existing customers.
Lukas with YouTuber Anja Winter, one of the YouTubers he works with.
But this is not going to work for me…
I don’t have a big YouTube channel
Well, fair enough. Please take into account that this kind of launch is for influencers whose brand is based around their YouTube channel. For most online language businesses, YouTube is just one channel from which to generate traffic.
Other ways to build an audience include starting a podcast, blogging, Instagram, etc. Choose the medium that you can potentially be good at. We always recommend people to start building an email list from the beginning, because that’s where you will make most of your sales. Even if you don’t have the ambition of building a huge YouTube channel, you can still learn a lot from the launch strategy that Lukas described. Offering value first, having your own method (unique selling point), creating scarcity, selling on emotion, etc., are all basic marketing techniques that work for any kind of product launch.
But my audience doesn’t have enough money
History shows that this is not true. Depending on your audience, most sales will come from English-speaking countries. Having said that, almost half of your sales will come from countries with lower wages. Lukas has seen people buying expensive courses from all kinds of countries including Bangladesh, Pakistan and Morocco.
Why would they pay for my courses? There is so much free content out there.
You’re not just selling information. You’re also selling community and personal attention. Some of your fans have been following you for so long and just feel like they owe you and they want to give you something in return. On top of that, people get much more than what you give them on YouTube. In your courses you can also provide, in-depth videos, PDF worksheets, mp3 files, flashcards, weekly Q&A calls, personal encouragement, accountability, and much more.