How to Bootstrap an Online Course Business with $500

Aug 3, 2018

Starting any business takes money, but there are ways to bootstrap if you’re short on cash.

We’re lucky enough to live in a time where it only takes a few hundred dollars to start a business on the internet and we don’t have to physically walk into a bank for a huge business loan.

If you only had $500 to start your online course or info-product business, what should you spend it on?

You’ll definitely need things like…

– A course platform
– Sales pages
– Order forms
– A way to take payment
– An Email service provider
– Custom domain

This week, I discuss specific ways and tools to get your online course business up and running with only $500.

Have $1000? I also cover a few extra things you could spend money on with a little higher budget.



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Video Transcript

Hey there, this is Julie and today I’m doing something different. I’m doing a bootstrapping series where I explain what I would spend my money on if I were starting a business from scratch and I really didn’t know what I needed to know to build a course or info product business.

So today I want to talk about what happens when you only have $500. Now that’s not very much money for a course based business and if you really only have $500, I would encourage you to actually start a service-based business and I have episodes that explain exactly how to do it with $500.

But even though it’s not very much, I’m going to go ahead and give you the $500 budget.

First thing is you’re going to need three months of ClickFunnels at $97 a month. That’s about $291. And here’s the reason why I encourage you to use ClickFunnels.

Number one, it’ll be your members’ area for your course.

Number two, it will also be all of your landing pages, your sales pages, webinar pages, any kind of pages you need.

Number three, it will take all the payment that you need. It’s really everything in one.

Plus, they give you a domain for free for a year, so you don’t even have to buy a domain.

Now, you’ll probably want some storage. I want a professional email address, so I would go get three months of G-suite. That’s $10 a month. That’s going to be $30 bucks.

Next, I want you to go get the Internet Marketing Bible that’s Dotcom Secrets, Expert Secrets, and the Funnel Hacker Cookbook. This will teach you everything you need to know about marketing and selling your products online.

The two books, Dotcom Secrets, and Expert Secrets are $8 bucks each, and then the Funnel Hacker Cookbook is free, so that’s super easy.

Next, you’ll need a way to communicate with your list. I prefer Convert Kit. Convert Kit starts at $29 a month, so for about three months, you’re looking at $150. It’s not too bad.

Okay, so at this point, you’re really close to about $500.

So for those of you who are like, well, I don’t have any money for ads, how do I build my list? Yeah, you’re gonna have to bootstrap it because you really need ClickFunnels.

You need Convert Kit, you need all those things to build a course-based business.

So this means a lot of attraction marketing. Go get on podcasts, do blogging, get guest posts, do interviews, open up a Facebook group.

You’re going to have to do a lot of organic traffic methods because you’re not really going to have money for ads just yet.

Now, if you have a thousand dollars to spend, now we’re talking, maybe you have some ad money. It’s still not very much, but you have anywhere between three and $500 to spend on ads.

You can start to get even a small little list. Do a webinar and see if you can sell some of your course so that you can then bootstrap and continue using ads.

A couple other things you might want to think about at that $1000 mark, you may want to get something like Zoom with a webinar feature, three months of that will cost you $150 and that allows you to go live and Facebook Live stream your screen, record it, save it, all that good stuff. I love Zoom for webinars and live streaming.

And lastly, I don’t know if you’ve heard about ManyChat or messenger bots, but three months of ManyChat will cost you about $30 bucks and this is a great way to communicate with the people that are joining your list because the open rates are amazing.

So with $1000, you have more room for some ads and a couple extra little features. You’re going to have to hustle hard no matter what, with the course-based business.

So I know the best conversations happen after the camera stops rolling. So if you’re interested in starting a course-based business and you only have $500 to $1000 to spend, let me know in the comments below what you’re thinking.

And for more episodes like this, you can go to Thanks. And I’ll see you next time.

Julie Chenell initials

Get in touch! I teach strategic business growth tacticss for everyday people.


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