170. How To Choose The Right Name For Your Online Course

23 Aug 2022 | By Salome Schillack

So you already know that launching an online course is the easiest way to change the way you work and create wealth for you, your family, and your community - You know that right! ‘Course you do

So you’ll want to give that course a cool name!

The name is just a tiny part of your course, but it’s easily the one part that most often leads to procrastination.  

Tune in to today’s episode of The Shine Show to hear all about my own naming course naming confusion and how you can avoid making the same mistakes I did.  You really will thank me. And I’ll also reveal what to do instead

P.S. If you’ve been here a while you’ve probably heard me talk about my mentor Amy Porterfield and the life-changing (I kid you not!) impact she’s had on me. Amy has been my mentor since 2015 and as someone who has spent over $30,000 every year for the last 3 years on online courses, I can tell you that Amy’s training is hands down the very best in the industry. I know, because I have bought it ALL!! This year we are offering the best bonus ever for anyone who wants to learn from Amy AND also for anyone who has learned from Amy before. Yes, we will be offering a massive bonus when Amy launches her signature course Digital Course Academy this year but we are also extending that offer to any of the DCA alumni in our community. 

P.P.S If you are new to Amy’s teachings and want to find out exactly how she helped me quit my job and create a successful online courses business click here to sign up for the Digital Course Academy waitlist. 

P.P.P.S If you are already a DCA Alumni and you want to get the opportunity to go through the experience with us this year click here to find out how you can qualify to get access to our bonus. 

When you subscribe and review the podcast not only does that give me the warm and fuzzies all over, it also helps other people to find the show.

When other people find the show they get to learn how to create more freedom in their lives from their online courses too!!

So do a good deed for all womenkind and subscribe and review this show and I will reward you with a shout out on the show!!


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This is episode number 170 of The Shine Show. Today, we are going to talk about how to choose the right name for your online course.

Giving up your time and freedom to make money is so 2009. Hi, I'm your host, Salome Schillack, and I help online course creators launch, grow, and scale their businesses with Facebook and Instagram ads, so that they can make more money and have an even bigger impact in the world. If you are ready to be inspired, to dream bigger, launch sooner, and grow your online business faster, then tune in because you are ready to shine. This is The Shine Show.

Hello, my friend. Episode number 170. I tell you, there is something that feels good about building up a body of work like that. I give myself a gold star for consistency and a gold star for just getting on with the discipline of doing the thing. There really is value in the snowball effect of just showing up consistently.

How are you, by the way? I wonder how you are right now. Over here in Brisbane, finally, it's starting to warm up a little bit. We are over the hump of winter down here, down under. It is not completely freezing cold in the mornings when I go swimming anymore. It's just cold. It's still cold, but I am swimming my little heart out because I've got that 100, 100s coming up in September, which I was crazy enough to enroll myself in. And if you've been following along, then you will have heard me talk about how my brain is completely freaking out to the point where I am now scared swimming, but it's good for my commitment.

Sometimes, they say stress and anxiety is bad for us, but I am experiencing the upside of anxiety with the swimming, because it is scaring me to get into the pool more often. It is scaring me to work a little bit harder, and all of that is really good for my health. It's actually really good for my mental health and good for my physical health. So, I don't think stress and anxiety is necessarily that bad for us. I think it's just our relationship with stress and anxiety that might be good or not good.

Anywho, today we are talking about how to choose the right name for your online course. I know because you are here that you're an online course creator or an aspiring online course creator. I know because you are here that you love or love to learn Facebook Ads so that you can sell more online courses. And I know because you're here that you are probably a woman, you might be a man, or you might be somewhere in between, and you are looking to create more wealth in your life, and you are looking to change the way that you work in this world, and you would love your work to make an impact in other people's lives whilst making you bags and bags of money so that you can live your life, so that you can be free to do with your time what you want and to do with your energy what you want.

If that is you and you are not already inside Amy Porterfield's Digital Course Academy, then I want to invite you to sign up for the wait list by going to shineandsucceed.com/amy to get all the details, to get the scoop on our amazing bonus. We call it the Accelerated Launch Digital Course Academy Experience. It's a mouthful, but it is exactly that. It is going to take you from not having a course to launching your course faster. And if you are a DCA alumnus, alumni. What's the right word. If you are already in DCA, then I want to tell you that our bonus this year is designed with you in mind too. We want to get you results faster. We want to get you a kickstart. We want to get a recommitment from you.

It's like a wedding vows renewal or a recommitment ceremony. That's what we want. We want to renew your DCI vows with you, and be your partner in getting your course out into the world before 2023. Let's do that, so that in 2023, you can quit your job, or you can take on fewer one-on-one clients, or you can finally work and earn wealth the way you want to. And if you go to shineandsucceed.com/amy, you get to sign up for the wait list to hear about our bonus as well. But now, let's talk about how to choose the right name for your online course.

I know you're starting an online course or thinking about creating a new product, so you have this great idea and you can just feel it in your bones that it's going to work. But first things first, naming that brand new cyber baby. I've seen entrepreneurs agonize for days and days and lose sleep over finding the perfect name, because nothing feels quite right. And guess what, it won't ever feel right or normal. It's like buying a new pair of shoes. It takes time to become comfortable in them, but at the start, it's going to take a little getting used to.

As a Shakespeare once wrote, "What's in a name?" Would an online course still sell as sweetly if it were known by any other name? I don't think Shakespeare talked about online courses, but he did say what's in a name. Now, this week, on The Shine Show, we're going to unpack how to choose a name for your online course, so that you attract more of your dream students faster.

The first thing I want you to know about your online course is it's based if your online course says exactly what it is. If you try to be funny or use innuendos that only a small group of people are going to understand, it can easily be confusing and you could be turning away a lot of potential students. If a six year old can read your course title and understand what it's about, exactly what it's about, then you're on the right track. A lot of entrepreneurs shoot themselves in the foot with lots of jargon, me included.

I'm going to tell you about a situation where we recently experienced where my overactive creativity, my overactive creative brain, maybe got me into a little bit of this course naming trouble. You know the expression less is more, simplicity is key? That applies here when choosing a name for your online course.

I wonder if you've heard me talk about Flapper Club. Flapper Club is a great name for me. Flapper Club is my favorite community. Flapper Club is my favorite name that I've ever come up with. And it is for those of you who know, or those who don't know, it is what I call the community we have for my online course, A-Lister. It's a place for online course creators to bring all their list building questions, to get coaching and to connect with each other. We teach them how to build their email lists and how to make sales straight away within the first few days from those people who joined their email list.

So, if the course is called A-Lister, and the community that goes along with it is called Flapper Club, in my mind, that's brilliant and fun. We've decked out the whole A-Lister brand with 1920s theme, hence Flapper Club. But I'm going to be really honest and vulnerable with you here. Naming the community for A-Lister, Flapper Club, and separating the community from the actual course in that way didn't really land very well, and ended up confusing people during a launch. So, I thought that people would easily differentiate between A-Lister as the course content, which the name A-Lister actually makes sense because they learn list building mostly. And it's A-Lister because it's a list builder who makes money, so A-Lister. I mean, to me, that makes kind of sense.

I went with the 1920s branding because Facebook Ads is so dry. I feel like we need to make it fun. Now, it still worked really well when it was A-Lister and pictures of me in a 1920s dress, which is fun, because it's still me. I'm just dressed up and it's A-Lister. But then, I pulled out the community, I pulled out the Facebook group, I pulled out the support, and I wanted that to stand on its own, and I called it Flapper Club. I called it Flapper Club because of the 1920s theme. But the 1920s theme was actually originally designed to support A-Lister.

Now, with naming the community Flapper Club, I have made the 1920s theme the focus, and I have confused people. Because now, what happened in our last launch is, I'm talking about you buying A-Lister and getting access to Flapper Club. And then, we get emails from people saying, "But if I join Flapper Club, do I still get the course content?" And we're like, "Yes." Or I get an email saying, "But if I join A-Lister, do I get support?" And I'm like, "Yes, in Flapper Club." And then, I even had people buy A-Lister, join Flapper Club, and then still ask me what's the Flapper Club thing. So, that is a great example where my smarts got in the way, and I should have just kept it simple. I should have stuck to A-Lister. You get support inside there, and it's just the A-Lister community, so that didn't serve me very well.

When you zoom out and look at the big picture, A-Lister is designed for course creators who are getting their head around their list building aspects of their business, and there's a lot to take in. The 1920s branding, even though it's fun and pretty, it has nothing to do with building a list. It has nothing to do with online courses. The branding and the name actually cause people to feel more confused, and we probably lost sales because of it.

As entrepreneurs, we can sometimes have this deep desire to be original and to stand out from the crowd. But sometimes, that creativity can be our biggest stumbling block. Sometimes, the boring option is the best option. Use that creativity for your current students who get you and understand where you're going and can appreciate your clever ideas. So, I'm sticking with the 1920s branding because I also feel that it shows people how we do things in A-Lister.

A-Lister is supposed to be fun. Facebook Ads as hard enough as it is. We don't take ourselves too seriously. We have fun. I'm a little bit dramatic. If you're not cool with that based on my funny 1920s dress up, and then, you're probably not going to love being in my community. So, we're sticking with that, but Flapper Club, we won't sell it as Flapper Club again.

I was recently chatting to one of my team members who's creating her own online course, and she was coming up with all these names that were relevant to her. She likes plants, and she used the word propagate. She knows her audience likes Prosecco. So, she tried a title with the word Prosecco. She even equated the freedom she's teaching with birds and throwing the word uncaged. All of these are okay and you nail it completely.

But in the end, I asked, "What is the one word which all her potential students use to describe how they want to feel at the end of her course?" And without a doubt, it was confident. So not surprising, she's now dropped all her creative left-of-centers, somewhat confusing titles, and is settled on one, which explains the outcome without any question.

She settled on confidence being the main focus of her course title. And for me, it's a clear winner. If you need a touch of creative inspiration with some solid stats to back up that you're not entirely left of field, a great tool to use is Twinword, twinword.com. Check out that website. Choose a few keywords from your course and search alternatives to spark some creativity. Let's say we type in confidence, then we'll get some other words that are similar. So, synonyms... Is that the right term? Synonyms? Twinword will show you the number of searches per month each word has on internet searches, which is a great way to see how relevant or commonly used it is.

Let's talk about using some of these keywords. Not all the keywords have the same power. For example, if you own a pizza shop, the keywords would be take away food or it could be mouth watering, cheesy pizza. Rule of thumbs, always go for the cheese option. Here are some tips on how to choose a cheesy mouthwatering name that will have people queuing up for your online course.

Choose words that speak to this solution. Here's an example. Product Launch Formula. Product Launch Formula. It's Jeff Walker's signature program. It is a formula that teaches you how to launch a product. Who to [inaudible 00:15:22] it? Product Launch Formula. There you go. That is a great solution-focused name. Your course title should make it clear what it's all about. More crucially, how your students will benefit from it, and what outcomes they should expect.

Lining up the name with the outcome is much better than naming it in line with the problem. I have seen this happen in coaching world especially, where people want to teach other people how to feel less overwhelmed or stop procrastinating, and then call their courses something that is the thing that people want to move away from. Best is to name your course according to what you want people to move towards.

Aim for a reasonable outcome that's consistent with the course material. So, don't make promises you can't keep, and keep hyperbole out of it. If you are describing it as the amazing, incredible, fantastic, awesome course that gives you X, Y, Z outcome there, it's just a little unbelievable. Keep in mind your audience ultimately wants to buy the outcome that the online course will give them, not the course itself. Therefore, be sure to express your outcome that will deliver clearly to them.

Do some web research if you're unsure of what your audience is looking at. You know how to find your ideal customer online already. You know how to go to Amazon and Google and type in the type of searches that your audience is looking for. So, just put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself, "What would my dream students be typing into Google if they were looking for a solution?" And start there.

Another way you can name your course is the process that your students will be creating. Digital Course Academy is a good example of this. This is Amy Porterfield's flagship program that is launching very soon. Digital Course Academy tells you that you're going to learn academy. It's like a school. You're going to learn how to create a digital course. I want to know that. I want to know how to create a digital course. So, Digital Course Academy works. It has that collective element to it. Academy or experience or school or community. These can feel really stock standard and everyone's using them, but everyone is using them for a reason, because it gets the message across and audience's understand it quickly.

Nouns are great names for courses too, as it provides a real identity and a sense of belonging for your students. When you think about the noun that's going to stand out based on how your community would describe themselves, when they refer to themselves, think about what would work well. I have the Launch Lounge. My members inside the Launch Lounge, I would say, we're not quite there in nounifying ourselves. Because with the Launch Lounge, we've picked up on the term loungers, which is great, but loungers makes it sound a little bit like we're lazy. Because these women in this membership is not lounging around. I'll tell you that.

It does suggest a sense of ease, which is important to us. But to me, the focus is on being a group of launchers rather than a group of loungers. So, there's another imperfect name, but it still totally, totally works. Names like Funnel Hackers or B-Schoolers and A-Listers all work really well and can be a great way to name your course and to keep in mind the noun that's going to come out of it. It's also usually important that your name speaks specifically to your audience. Sometimes, you can also do this via your branding. But if you only work with authors, for example, then your course title should be fairly clear about that. Think about your niche, and what will they call themselves.

Finally, do your due diligence. It can feel like every name under the sun has been taken and you might have finally landed on the perfect name that makes sense and feels right. Your last step before you name your course is to type it into the cyberverse and look for trademarks. Even if you have to pay a lawyer to do a search for trademarks, it is worth it, because the last thing you want is to launch your course and then find out someone else has already trademarked that name. Especially if it's a name you think, "Ah, this is the best name ever. How has nobody ever thought about it?"

And then, see if the URL is available, the domain. So, I bought the launchlounge.com. I bought that. It wasn't cheap, but I bought it because I want to own it, because I own the trademark, The Launch Lounge. And then, see if social media handles are available. When I started The Launch Lounge, both Instagram and Facebook had The Launch Lounge available, and I don't know why I didn't snatch them up because the next time I checked, they'd been taken on both. There's no leg to stand on, the fact that I have the trademark, it doesn't mean I automatically get the handle. So, do those checks so that you don't get ever any nasty lawyer letters from anybody saying you're infringing on their trademark, or just check so that you can grab those social media handles.

The name of your course is just a tiny part of your business. It can feel like a really big deal at the time, and it can feel like the make or break at the start. But nothing is set in stone, and if you get it wrong the first time, it's okay with all rebranded courses. All the big industry leaders have done it too. Going back to the drawing board is not the worst thing.

I'll tell you what is the worst thing. Procrastinating starting your course, because you're stuck on a name. Now, that would be a real tragedy. So, have fun, play around with different options, do your research, see what you come up. There is so much more to your brand than the name of your course. The content is way more important, the way you show up for your students, and the way you communicate to them matters the most. And consistency. Show up consistently.

Good luck with naming your course. Keep some of these tips in mind when you do. But most of all, take action and get going on getting that course created, getting it out of your head and into the world.

If you are eager to learn how to get your course created and into the hands of many, many, many of your best students faster, I want to tell you about my mentor and friend, Amy Porterfield. Amy has been my mentor since 2015. Over the years, she's helped me quit my job, stop hustling for one-on-one clients, and scale my income, creating more freedom for me and allowing me to build wealth for me and my family my way. If you want to hear more about Amy and her program, Digital Course Academy, that'll be opening for enrollment soon.

If you want to know exactly how me and my team can help you accelerate your launch and make even more profits, then be sure to go to shineandsucceed.com/amy, and get on the list to hear all about it. Even if you are DCA alumni, we are creating our bonus, so you set yourself up for the best 2023.

All right, my friend. I hope you have a fabulous week. I will be back here next week with another episode of The Shine Show. I look forward to talking to you then. Bye for now.

Thank you so much for listening. If you had fun, please come back next week, and remember to hit that subscribe button so you never miss a thing.