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Sell an Online Course in One Minute or Less With the 4 P’s

To sell an online course in everyday networking situations or structured marketing you have to be able to confidently share what you do. If someone asks, “What do you do?”, can you convey the results your work delivers in less than a minute?

The old “elevator pitch” is a great place to start.

An elevator pitch is the statement you respond with when someone asks, “What do you do?” It’s called an “elevator pitch” with the idea that you can convey it in the time required to take a short elevator ride. In the digital space, it needs to take less time than that.

I have heard a lot of pitches over the last few days. I am writing this from a 3-day Tech Conference. Of the 10,000 people here, I would say half are entrepreneurs pitching their new digital product and the other half are investors looking to invest in high-growth potential companies.

Some pitches were pretty good. Many needed some help.

One poor guy standing on the pitch stage in front of a sea of investors shared that his new app, “Empowered indigepreneurs to create.”

What does that even mean? I looked around the audience and you could see that he had instantly lost everyone’s attention… in less than a minute flat.

When marketing online,  you only have couple of minutes maximum to intrigue your audience and grab their interest.

How to Stand Out and Sell An Online Course in the Billion Dollar Online Course Market

We all know there is an enormous opportunity to sell your online course in the 3 billion dollar online course market.

Here’s the truth: It’s noisy in the online world filled with marketers offering similar solutions to yours. And, to be heard in that noise, you have to quickly and clearly convey what you do and why it is different.

Whether you want to sell your online course in your webinar, create instant interest in a discovery call with a prospective client, or even invite someone at the local Chamber to your next live event, you have to clearly convey who you serve and the results you can help generate.

A simple statement that sums up what you do is a great place to start.

I like to call this a “transformation statement.” A transformation statement is one sentence that conveys who you are going to serve, what problem you will solve and what amazing results you are going to create together with your clients.

When I first started consulting and coaching,  I often found myself rambling on when asked, “What do you do?”

Now, I can clearly and quickly answer that question and it sounds like:  “I help coaches, consultants, authors and experts who are tired of trading dollars for hours to create, package and sell online courses that create a steady stream of revenue in their business.”

When I share this response, the person I am talking to is typically intrigued and they  want to know more. And, most importantly, they begin to ask questions about how my work might help their business.

You have less than a minute to grab attention online. Click To Tweet

Whether the next opportunity on your calendar to sell your online course is a webinar, or sales page copy you are writing, or a one-on-one call with a prospective client, here’s what to think about when explaining the transformation your online course (or any other offer) provides:

The 4P’s: How to Sell Your Online Course (or Any Other Offer)…In Minutes

A clear response to “What do you do?” includes the following four essential elements:

1. People

Who is your audience? Who are the people your offer is designed to serve? Be specific.
My example: coaches, consultants, authors and other experts

2. Pain

What is the problem they are dealing with now that they really want to go away? What pain are they experiencing that they want to eliminate?
My example: tired or maxed out in selling their time

3. Possibility

What new possibility do they want? What new reality or outcome do they dream of?
My example: a steady stream of revenue delivered by a product that is not their time

4. Product

How do you help them move from their current pain to a new possibility? Describe what your product helps them do.
My example: create and sell an online course

When you put it all together it sounds like:

“I help coaches, consultants, authors and experts who are tired of trading dollars for hours to create, package and sell online courses that create a steady stream of revenue in their business.”

You can stand out in your niche when you are clear on this – even if your niche is already crowded with competitors. I successfully market my offers in what must be THE most competitive online marketing channel.  I teach online product development and online marketing in a niche filled with the best marketers in the world.

And, even with all the amazingly skilled marketers I compete with to get attention on my offers, I am able to grab the attention of my audience.

This year alone, over 30,000 experts like you have experienced my courses, programs and products.
Being able to clearly convey the transformation working with me provides has been the key to making that connection.

Selling your online course begins with deciding who you are going to serve, what problem you will solve and what amazing results you are going to create together with your clients.

Action Steps

1. Your next step is to explore the 4 P’s and combine that into your own pitch or “transformation statement”.
2. Share your 4 P’s in the comments!
3. Need help? If you want to see how to narrow the focus and results you deliver in your online course, I talk about this and share examples of real-world courses in the FREE Webinar: 7 Steps to Creating and Launching Your Profitable Online Course. Click here to learn more and save your spot.


  1. Camille Bullock says:

    Great info! I need to refine my Transformation Statement. You hit the nail on the head. This totally needs to be clear to us and then easily stated to those we talk to. Otherwise, doesn’t matter how good our offering is – others will not even get that far.

  2. I love the simple way you explained the 4 P’s! Instantly the light bulb turned on and I came up with this.

    I help women who are embarrassed and tired of living in an outdated home create a sanctuary they love coming home to and are excited to share with family and friends.

  3. Jacqueline Destremps says:

    I have been struggling for years to come up with a short, succinct message and this article finally hit home for me. My brain needs the steps broken down with examples and the 4 “P”s did that perfectly!
    I was able to work through 2-3 messages in about 10 minutes…something that in the past took me hours (and in the end I still wasn’t happy with what I’d come up with).
    Whew! Thank you!

  4. Michael P says:

    Good post!
    I usually say: I work with people who want to start a business and small business owners that want to grow their business. My passion is to help people by not blowing their nest egg on the wrong business for them.

  5. Mary says:

    Here is my 4 P statement. I would love feedback. I will be at the webinar on Thursday.

    I help people with chronic illness build wellness. Pain, lack of sleep can shrink our reach in life. Wellness practices increase stamina and reduce pain and fatigue. Rebuild your health and begin to thrive. Engage with your health each day build wellness and get back to what you love in your life.

  6. Chanelle says:

    Thanks Jeanine, great post! I’m torn between using “online marketplaces” vs “Etsy” would love to hear your thoughts:

    I help creative makers & handmade brands, who are tired of online marketplace limitations, sporadic sales and lack of traffic – create, launch & market their own ecommerce store that creates a steady stream of sales & leads to grow their handmade business.

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The key is to figure out the one thing you can do that will make the


Then, do that ONE thing first.

-Jeanine Blackwell

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