I thought I would be as rich as Bill Gates by now.
I think if you shifted your target audience, then your sales would do much better. I've found most software engineers don't really want to be influencers, but they are more interested in how to get in FAANG or some stuff about DS and Algos.
There are other factors that you didn't touch on here that I think are just as important:
1. A 1.5% on-page conversion rate feels abnormally low to me. This is just gut instinct, but speaking as someone who has bought some courses (but still skips most), I usually don't even end up on a product page unless there's a strong possibility I'll actually purchase, certainly better than 1.5%.
2. Your topic (the engineer influencer one at least) is hyper-niche. There's a good chance that many of the people in your orbit aren't necessarily a great fit for that content due to its hyper-niched nature.
3. Speaking as an engineer with aspirations of being someone with some influence (see how I danced around the word "influencer" there haha), I should be almost perfectly in your target audience, and yet I was one of the people who went to your product page (when you launched it in fact) and didn't decide to buy. There are multiple reasons for this, and it starts with this: I didn't feel like the thesis was communicated well (that you should build an audience before you build a business) in your course materials. Also, like you stated, I'm interested in building an audience as a means to build a business down-the-line, not in being an influencer for the sake of being an influencer, so the title of that course is kind of off-putting in that way.
4. I also come from seeing you on Medium, and tbh, the fact that I don't see you writing all that often on Medium (or at all really) makes me feel like you don't have the authority on the subject that you claim (not saying that you don't, just that you haven't inspired me to think that you do). It kinda feels like you stumbled into a few viral hits on Medium that built you an initial audience but that you haven't done the hard work on maintaining and nurturing that audience since then and continuing to deliver the value that a good influencer is supposed to deliver. And again, I'm just giving you my honest impression (and I like you and want you to be successful), but if you make an impression on me that you aren't even that good of an influencer and haven't really validated your own thesis (building a successful business on the back of building an audience online), then why would I be inspired to buy your course on the subject?
I think your main problem is just that you went too early. If you spent another year really getting your content down, growing the audience moderately, but really deepening your relationship with your audience, then I suspect you'd find a lot more support then. If I were you, I'd want to spend the next year getting really good at the influencing part of things while also building some sort of app (again, to prove that thesis that it's easier to get a business off the ground with a pre-built audience), before doing a "refresh" of the Engineer Influencer course and a relaunch event with refreshed content based on your new experiences, a tighter focus on the premise but a wider appeal (don't call it an "influencer" course), and a deeper, more engaged audience. Maybe even choose a steeper price point if you feel the value is there.
Okay that ended up being way longer than I intended, but I hope it's helpful.
I wonder if its the kind of thing were you eventually hit escape velocity and one of your courses takes off.
Certainly if you build enough courses you will become better at talking on camera and presenting topics and your output quality will increase.
I built my first course in November in around 40 hours here and there with a newborn at home.
So far my udemy course has yielded 22$
But i know that the video quality is not great, and i didnt even make a landing page. I think the next one will be way better quality due to the gained experience, and I'll make a bit more.
Appreciate the honest and humble explanation here Michael. I spent a few months trying to generate feedback and gauge interest in a course on Interpersonal Communication- mainly LinkedIn. It was pretty crickety out there... Then just started posting short clips on YouTube.
Bit by bit, bird by bird. Still in progress... ;)
Thanks for sharing Michael! I've spent 120 hours on my Udemy video course and it generated around $200 right now :)
But I believe in the saying: "You can't put a price tag on learning and growing as a person."
From my journey, I've learned to assign multiple values to my tasks and goals. This way, I maintain my enthusiasm and benefit from them.
My work, for example, helps me to have financial stability and gives me inspiration for topics that I can create content about them. My content generates low income, but it increases my reach, audience, business contacts, and the opportunities that come with it. So in the end, it's all about finding the silver linings and making the most of every opportunity that comes your way.
Yours is practically the only newsletter I read. Thanks Michael