How to Validate Market Demand for Coaching or a Course

Are you thinking of, or in the middle of, launching your very own online course? How do you validate the market demand for a coaching or course product?

First — good news. There has never been a better time to validate the market demand for a course and launch your very own. The global e-learning (online courses and training) market is set to reach an astounding $457.8 billion by 2026!

Next, it’s time to, well, validate the market demand for your course.

Here’s why this is so critical (and good for you for starting here!).

It’s one thing to have an idea for coaching or a course, a brainchild you think will work and bring in customers and revenue for your brand.

It’s another thing to know, without a doubt, your coaching or course idea will succeed out of the gate.

What’s the difference between the two?

Learning how to validate market demand for your coaching or a course idea BEFORE you go ahead with it.

Actually finding out whether your idea is worthwhile…

Versus worth nothing (e.g., it won’t garner interest, it won’t bring in customers, because nobody cares about it OR needs it).

So, let’s do it – let’s discuss how to find out if people want/need your course or coaching program.

market demand course

How to Validate Market Demand for Your Coaching Program or Course: 4 Steps

Overwhelmingly, validating marketing demand for your coaching or course offer is all about research, research, research.

If you don’t know where to start, begin by working through the following steps. They’ll help you answer these vital questions:

  • Why would somebody pay for this course/program?
  • How is your program different from others already out there?
  • What will your course/coaching provide in terms of outcomes for students?

In four years and $300k+ earned on the SIDE in course sales… here’s what I’ve learned about validating, creating, and selling courses.

free training content transformation

1. Research Market Demand in Terms of Prospect Action

For many reasons, when verifying market demand, you need to forget what people are saying. What are people doing?

That’s because people’s actions will reveal a deeper truth about what they need. What they say could be influenced by any number of factors, and could easily change. What they do is concrete.

Specifically, look at your target audience (if you have one already, that is – if not, move on to step #2). Look at how they’re interacting with your content and/or existing offers. Check:

  • Analytics for both your website and blog – What content is getting clicks? What content is getting read and shared? What content is garnering interest? Analyze the topics covered.
  • Social media analytics – What posts are doing well? What topics do they cover?
  • Email analytics – Which emails are people opening, reading, responding to? What topics are generating interest and buzz?

If your potential course/program topic is showing up as a hot one, you’re on the right track.

Hot tip 🌶: According to market and job reports, these types of courses are going to be in demand in the coming months.

  • Inbound digital marketing
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) for business
  • AI deep learning
  • Design thinking (i.e. creative problem solving)
  • Market research
  • Negotiation techniques and strategies

2. Research Market Demand in Terms of Keywords and Google Search

To validate market demand for coaching or a course, one of your best sources for research is none other than Google.

The process couldn’t be simpler:

  1. Think of specific keywords you’d use to find your course/program on a search engine.
  2. Enter them in Google.
  3. Look at the top results. Is your specific topic well-represented? Don’t forget to check who is taking the top spots in search. Are they reputable, well-known brands? Are they competitors?
  4. Look at Google PPC ads. Are there any ads for similar programs to your idea? Ads in particular are a great sign of market demand, as it means advertisers are competing for paid ad placements in Google because they know people are searching for that topic.
    • Check what the courses here are selling for – at, around, or above your price point is a great sign.
    • Also, check for signs of a course selling well, including the age of the course, reviews, testimonials, and the total number of students.

 

market demand research for a course

 

A Google search for “ad copywriting courses” reveals PPC ads from brands like Udemy and LinkedIn Learning. Definitely investigate these!

If you have access to a keyword research tool, like Semrush or Ahrefs, you can dig a little deeper and find hard numbers about market demand for your topic/course/program. Here are a few metrics to focus on in particular:

  1. Monthly search volume – This metric will tell you how many people are searching for your topic in a given month.
  2. Competition – This metric will give you a picture of exactly how competitive the topic is for paid ad placements in Google search. The higher the number, the more advertisers who are bidding on that keyword/topic. This means they want their ads in front of potential customers – interest is high.

Remember: Search for more than one keyword, including variations and synonyms, to get the clearest picture possible of demand for your topic. E.g., if you search for “ad copywriting,” also search for “ad copywriting courses,” “copywriting course,” etc.

serious business owner

3. Check Course Marketplaces, Amazon Book Reviews, and YouTube for Market Demand

Once you’ve done the routine searches for your topic, take it further. Google isn’t the only place people search for solutions to their problems!

  1. Check Amazon for books and ebooks on your topic. Are there pages of options? Only a few?
    • Check the reviews of books on your topic. Particularly look at negative/critical reviews to see what readers are missing – and what you could add to your program to make it better.
  2. Check YouTube for videos on your topic.
  3. Look on popular online learning platforms like Udemy or LinkedIn Learning for similar programs/courses.
    • However, don’t be misled by the potentially cheap prices you’ll find there, i.e. the false appearance of low market value on offers. I have successfully sold $999 courses that have a supposed $9 counterpart on Udemy. My offer was 10 times more valuable, and all I had to do was establish and prove that value. It’s all about the value in your offer, and what’s tied up in that value: your unique expertise, point-of-view, and who you are, wrapped up in a bow. 🎀

market demand research on youtube

A YouTube search for “ad copywriting” brought up lots of evidence of demand, especially for Facebook ad copywriting.

If the search demand is high for your topic, that’s a big clue people are interested. If it’s REALLY high, depending on your market and audience, you could potentially niche down to find a sub-topic that fills a specific demand. Either way, you have a shot because you know there’s an audience out there who needs what you’ll teach.

Conversely, if search demand is low for your course or coaching program topic, that’s a sign the market demand is also low. This signals you should take a step back and rethink things. (You might want to pivot to a different topic!)

Feeling overwhelmed? Help is here! 🙋‍♀️

In my Content Transformation System, I teach you exactly how to validate the market demand for your product, offer, or program and find your target niche. This is just ONE step in my 5-phase pathway to developing a self-sustaining business. Get clarity, get help, get expert insights, and GROW your biz – Apply here to get in the program.

4. Validate Market Demand by Talking to Your Target Audience

Once you’ve scoped out the demand for your program or course through Google search, Amazon, online course marketplaces, and YouTube, you should have a pretty good idea of whether you should move forward.

At this point, if your idea shows promise and there’s evidence of demand in the market, it’s time to talk to your target audience directly.

If your brand is established, these people are literally at your fingertips. Tap into your email list, your social media following, and your online community.

If you don’t have an audience yet, ask the people you know!

  1. Reach out to your social media friends and send out feelers.
  2. Post a poll or survey pitching your course or coaching idea and ask who might be interested.
  3. Outline the topic and what they would get out of enrolling.
  4. Include a question asking, if they’re interested, would they be willing to share their opinion with you?

If you can, try to talk to people individually. Whether you reach out to them through direct message or email, whether you set up a simple phone call or Zoom meeting, try to pick their brains on their particular needs, pain points, and the obstacles they face when trying to solve them.

Ultimately, your course or coaching program should have the solutions your ideal audience needs to overcome these obstacles and solve their pain points. Try to find out if the value in your course or coaching offer would fill that need for them.

How to Pre-Sale Your Coaching or Course Offer

Doing a pre-sale of your offer just means you open up enrollment before you release the product. This gives people a chance to reserve a spot before the curriculum/coaching is available.

This is a great way to gauge interest and verify your offer. For example, you could offer early enrollment to 10 people. Once you hit 10, you’ll close enrollment until your program is open for business.

There’s another great benefit to pre-selling: The pre-sale enrollers will also dive into your materials earlier than everyone else, so you’ll get early testimonials that will be critical to selling your offer long-term.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Create a Simple Landing Page

A landing page is a static web page where you can write up your offer and what it entails. Lay out all the benefits and explain what’s in it for your intended audience. Specify a time set in the future when the curriculum or program will go live.

At this point, this page can be super simple (you can make it fancy later!) with nothing but text, a few headers, and maybe an image or two. The goal is simply to get sales before you launch to prove that interest in your offer exists.

Drawing a blank when writing your landing page? Brain-dump what you want to include and hand it off to a copywriter. (Try Express Writers’ marketing writers.)

writing mistakes

2. Send the Landing Page to Your Email List

Next, send your page to your list and ask for feedback. Does the offer interest them? If so, would they be willing to get on a free call with you to talk about it and the transformation they’ll get through your program?

If you get bites, you are a GO. Set a date for when your curriculum/program will go live. Time to build and develop your program to completion!

yay

3. No Email List Yet? Try a Low-Budget PPC Ad

If you don’t have an email list yet, let alone an audience, try setting a low-budget PPC (pay-per-click) ad to target the specific keyword people would type in for your program.

Using Google Ads, write a summary of your offer tied to the landing page you just created. On the page itself, include a waitlist or inquiry form.

Since you’re reaching out to a cold audience (they have NO clue who you are and probably don’t trust you – yet!), ensure you run the ad for at least two weeks to allow ample time for people to see it.

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Validating Market Demand for a Course or Coaching Program? Get Expert Guidance

It takes a decent amount of work to validate demand in the market for your offer, program, or course.

But, it’s beyond necessary.

Without that validation solidly behind you, you risk a lot:

  • Trying to sell something nobody wants or needs
  • Pouring resources into a product that will inevitably bring you zero revenue
  • Wasting time, wasting money, wasting effort

Validating that the demand is out there for what you want to sell is how you future-proof it. Validate it once, do it well, and you’ll sell more in the long run.

That said… Proving your offer and market is a rigorous process if you’re fresh to the business waters.

If it seems like a mountain in front of you, don’t worry.

Help is FINALLY here.

In my Content Transformation System, designed with LIVE coaching plugged in so you never get stuck in the process of building your business, I teach you every step in building a long-term brand, including proving a specific target market wants/needs what you’re selling before you get around to selling to them.

Because you don’t have to do this alone. 🙏 Instead, tap into the minds of experts who have been there, done that.

Want to develop a proven offer to a proven market with live coaching feedback along the way? Take the next step and apply to our Content Transformation© System for a free strategy call today.

About Julia McCoy

Julia McCoy is an entrepreneur, 6x author, and a leading strategist around creating exceptional content and brand presence that lasts online. At 19 years old, in 2011, she used her last $75 to build a 7-figure agency, Express Writers, which she grew to $5M and sold ten years later. In the 2020s, she's devoted to running The Content Hacker, where she teaches creative entrepreneurs the strategy, skills, and systems they need to build a self-sustaining business, so they are finally freed up to create lasting legacy and generational impact.