Business Idea: An Online Course You Can Start + Scale in 30 Days

Want a bulletproof idea for a profitable online course?

One you could create and start selling in the next 30 days (even if you’re starting with no audience)?

Then you came to the right blog post. 🙂

I’m going to give you the marketing plan for an online course that’s perfect to start right now, including:

  • How you can get your 1st customer (with no audience and no email list)
  • How to build an email list of 1,000+ qualified customers within ~60 days
  • Why NOW is the perfect time to create this course

Step #1: The Opportunity

Diet and exercise are always hot topics.

It doesn’t matter if there’s a pandemic or not—there will always be a significant number of people who feel they are a tad over their ideal weight and want to lose some body fat.

BUT…the pandemic has impacted the ways people lose weight for sure.

Going to the gym, for example, is not an option for many people right now.

That’s why now is the perfect time to teach people straightforward weight loss methods they can implement at home.

Enter OMAD.

OMAD stands for One Meal A Day. It’s a diet plan that is based on (you guessed it!) eating just one meal a day and fasting for 23 hours in between. And it’s exploding in popularity.

Seriously—it’s certified “Exploding” on right now!

Reminder: Exploding Topics is a free tool that sources data from searches across the internet to surface topics that are rising in popularity. Great way to spark business/product ideas.

As you can see from the searches-per-month chart, OMAD had a big spike in 2018 and has grown steadily all the way to 33,100 searches.

People want to lose a few pounds. They’re stuck at home.

That’s where you come in.

Step #2: What’s the business idea?

Obviously, people are interested in implementing OMAD in their diet.

But there are a variety of products and services you could create to teach them how to do it.

Let’s brainstorm your exact product with these 4 questions:

  1. What online course could I create?
  2. What service could I provide?
  3. What resources could I create?
  4. What coaching service could I provide?

Here’s what I came up with:

1. Create a $27 recipe guide ebook. Healthy OMAD meals that will keep your energy high. Reach out to prominent health/OMAD influencers and get them to submit a recipe in exchange for being featured in the guide. 50 recipes. Each fits on a page.

2. Create a $997 online course. OMAD Made Easy. 30-day guided experience that teaches you to eat 1 meal per day. 15-minute video to start the course, then a 2-minute video every day. Daily check-in via email every day to stay on track and ask questions. Super simple. Lose weight by doing less things. Comes with a guarantee: lose 5 lbs in the first 7 days w/o additional exercise or your money back.

3. Create a $1,500 30-day bootcamp. 4 one-on-one online coaching sessions. Each week you get a custom meal plan + implementation guide. Daily check-ins via email.

All of these are products that are easy to imagine succeeding. How do you narrow it down?

3 questions:

  1. Which one of these ideas is the most exciting to me?
  2. Which of these could I legit help people with?
  3. Which of these could I make good money on?

My winner, as you may have already guessed, is the $997 online course.

It’s probably the same amount of work to create as the ebook, but I’m confident customers will have a higher success rate with it (which is part of the reason you can charge so much more for it).

Plus, it’s more scalable than any coaching service (like idea #3).

Step #3: How to land your first customer

Let’s start by defining the best fit customer:

  • 28-55 years old  
  • Works out or has worked out regularly
  • Has done some tinkering with nutrition (macros, IF, etc.)
  • Wants something simple
  • Wants something that works
  • Wants something that’s less work
  • Hears the idea of OMAD and is intrigued in < 2 minutes
  • “You mean I can eat similar amounts less often and shed fat? I’m in!”

Now let’s go find our first one! Here’s how to do it without an email list, an audience, or even a website:

  • Post a summary of OMAD on your social accounts
  • Make list of everyone that comments or likes
  • Reach out to them 1:1
  • Tell them you’re starting a guided OMAD course
  • Share basic details
  • Ask them if they know someone that might be interested
  • Discount price to $99
  • Get first client with pure hustle
  • Go over the top to make sure they are successful with the course
  • Get raving fan video testimonial
  • Ask if that 1st client wants to continue with 1:1 coaching
  • Make package if so
  • Get referral to 1-2 others
  • Follow up with referrals

Step #4: How to get your next 3 customers

You can get your next handful of customers following a similar approach.

No website or platform needed. Just hustle:

  • Join 20 Facebook groups where your Best Fit Customers are likely to hang out
  • Ask how people are losing weight and staying in shape
  • Engage with everyone who responds
  • DM them all asking questions
  • No pitching!
  • Just curious and data gathering
  • 1 week later, share your OMAD story in the group
  • DM anyone who engages
  • Tell them about the guided course you created
  • Show them the basics
  • Ask if they know anyone that’s interested

Time for a blast from the past. This is literally what I did to sell my first course ever (on how to make explainer videos) back in 2013:

I DM’d everyone who responded to this post and another one and ended up selling 19 copies of a course I hadn’t even made yet.

So don’t tell me you can’t get 3 sales from this approach. 🙂

Step #5: How to build an audience of 1,000+ email subscribers and sell 10 courses per month

If you hustle Steps 3-4, you can get your first handful of customers in ~60 days.

That should give you time and resources to work out the kinks, level up the product, and build out the key marketing assets you need in order to scale (website, landing pages, email service, etc.).

What do you need to keep scaling? Eyeballs.

Specifically, if you want to sell 10 courses per month ($10k in sales), you would need around 5,000 qualified people to see your offer every month (assuming a conversion rate of 0.2%).

How do you get 5,000 people a month to see your offer if you don’t have an existing audience?

Simple—get someone who already has an audience of your Best Fit Customers to tell them about your business.

That could look like…

  • Getting interviewed on a podcast
  • Landing a guest post on a popular blog
  • Co-hosting a webinar or FB Live
  • Any other type of marketing partnership

Here’s how you can ramp on to landing and executing 1 partnership per week:

  • Make list of 100 people/companies/influencers that you’d love to have promote you to their audience
  • Podcasters, YouTubers, bloggers, IG accounts, FB groups, etc.
  • DM them all
  • Offer to teach their audience about OMAD / related topics (follow the pitch script examples included in this blog post)
  • Continue 1 partnership per week until your email list is to 1,000 subs
  • Validate your course to them
  • Make sure it works every time
  • Get more raving fan videos
  • Referrals
  • They are in LOVE
  • They all get results
  • Then launch to everyone
  • Resume 1 partnership per week—this will be the fuel that keeps the engine running (500 – 1,000 new subscribers per month)

Start layering on repeatable systems:

  • Create Welcome Offer Email Sequence for All New Subscribers: This will make sure all the new leads you’re bringing in get a chance to buy your course. Follow the structure in this email sequence template. 
  • Host 1 Webinar for Your Audience Every Month: Invite a successful student to tell their story and show how they implemented your course to get results. Find customers who have a unique angle to keep the content fresh. Pitch course offer during webinar.
  • Run 2-3 Live Promotions to Your List Per Year: Follow an open/close cart structure with expiring bonuses built in. Doing one in January is a must for a weight loss product. You could do a second during the summer and built in a special Black Friday promo as well.

Maybe OMAD and health/fitness isn’t your thing.

But that shouldn’t stop you from stealing this plan and applying it to an idea that’s in your wheelhouse.

You could be a handful of days away from your first sale.


If you want my team and I to personally help you grow this business or come up with a plan to grow your current business, we run a 1:1 coaching program that does exactly that. We’d love to talk and work with you.

Book a strategy call with us here