Selling online courses nowadays seems to be a new, yet already flooded market. Despite it being so flooded, and it being hard to stand out. As long as you find somewhat of a unique niche, it is still possible.
Why do people start an online course?
Starting an online course can be somewhat of an asset that at the start will require a ton of knowledge, hard work, and dedication. Once it has been created, the asset can be developed, promoted, marketed and essentially people will pay for the course. Using many types of automation, they will receive the course instantly and after the asset has been developed.
It will require little to no work whatsoever which essentially means that you will be earning a passive income from it. It is possible to sell courses without owning your own website but it is likely to earn less money. This is because there are many companies that have dedicated websites to learning. And they are generally run by content course creators.
You will need to do a ton of research beforehand in regards to setting a price, outlining your course details. And it may be worth even giving the course away for free to (X) amount of people. Just to get some positive reviews which will, in turn, bring in more customers. Also, you will need to make more relevant blog articles that can help your sales funnel to increase sales.
What to make an online course about?
Knowing what online course you should create is difficult ground. Realistically, you should make sure that it is based upon a subject that you are very knowledgeable about or something in which you have a lot of passion.
Of course, if you want to be successful in selling a course teaching other people how to do something. You must have an extensive amount of knowledge on a topic. Especially, if you want to be taken seriously. No matter what way you think about it, you are technically not selling a course, you are selling your knowledge and so if you do not have any regarding the topic, you cannot provide any value to your prospects.
Even if you have a ton of knowledge about something, if you lack the passion it will show. Imagine a café, or restaurant. The food in this situation is (the knowledge) and it tastes delicious, however, the waiter who brings it to your table is moody and rude to you (lack of passion.) You may end up eating your food, but will you come back? It’s likely to be a resounding no.
You may be thinking so what? If people buy my course, I don’t need them to come back. In one way you are right and in the other, you are extremely wrong. This is because if you exceed your clients’ expectations and make them happy. Not only will they be happy with your service, likely end up following you on social media, reading your posts, sharing things that you share with them, but they are also likely to talk about your course with their friends and family.
With mentioning your course and some information, this could provide more customers and essentially you could have all of your customers complete all of your marketing on your behalf which means that you will not need to pay for any marketing.
Word of mouth after all spreads like wildfire. So not only would a lack of passion have a negative impact on your business model but even if you ‘fake it, and continue regardless, the person or competitor of what your doing who is more passionate than you will likely score those other clients and you will always struggle to obtain customers because your work will be very average.
How can blog articles help with marketing?
Before you can start an online course you will need your own website or platform. This is so you can use it to reach many people. Your marketing will be focussed around writing blog articles related to your course, and this is many ways will be your free gift to the many interested readers.
When people are searching online for answers to something, your articles will be there to provide a solution. The article must be useful, but should also invoke somewhat of an intrigue. If you manage to pique your readers’ interest by providing true value. It is likely that they will want to learn more.
How to be successful with my online course?
On your website, you can have your course advertised. It can, however, be very difficult to compete when it comes to online courses and this is because of the competition. For example, there is a website called ‘Master-class’ it is a showcase of hundreds of online courses and is the home to many celebrity endorsers who offer courses based on acting, music, photography, cooking and much more.
For this reason, if you would like to be successful within selling a course, you must either become an expert in a specific field. This can be easier than it sounds, you will simply need to read many books on the topic. Doing a ton of research, and to be an expert it doesn’t always take that long, especially if it is in a niche area.
The other option, if you are not going to go the expert route, would be to become an internet personality. This works by building up a foundation of content online such as blogs, videos, etc. If you create a lot, and people enjoy watching you, you can create quite a following and these loyal fans are likely to want to take your course especially if you seem knowledgeable.
Now going forward, assuming you are either an expert or an internet personality. That you own your own website and have already started giving away free content in the form of blogs and short videos. The next step would be to brainstorm and plan what it is that your course is about. Once you are sure of what it is that your course will involve, you can then begin creating your course. It can be in the form of multiple videos taking the viewer through stages teaching them specific building blocks to form expertise in a specific field.
Utilise social media
I cannot stress enough how important social media is with any business model. Nowadays every business is on social media and if you are not, you are missing a huge opportunity. You don’t have to be active on their every day, the main important thing is that you set up the accounts for the top platforms and put some content on their. This is because when people are looking for you or your course, they will likely search it on google and your social media accounts will appear at the top of the results.
When prospective customers go on to your social page, they should see content that funnels them towards purchasing your course. Must have social media are – Facebook, twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.
For each platform your content will slightly vary but the same content can be adjusted for each. On Facebook and Twitter, whilst some marketers say that you should try to post everyday, if you are not too keen on using lots of social media, try to at least post once per week. You can connect your Twitter and Facebook account so that you post on one and it automatically posts to the other. With Instagram and Pinterest simply upload your images if you have any that are related to your course / company. Use relevant hashtags and once your profile is set up with some basic content that contains links to your website or course, you don’t need to do anything more if you don’t want too.
YouTube is a wonderful platform for creating some videos that explain your core offering. You can either make the content yourself or you can outsource it on a website like Fiverr and get fantastic content made for you. Videos will help bring in an already interested community of people and will help funnel them to your website or course. YouTube can also be used to make money.
Understand your audience
This concept is not just related to making your own course but to most business models in the world. Yet it is often overlooked as something that can be skipped. To help give you concept. Let’s say you are selling a course about how to market yourself on YouTube to gain subscribers and thousands of views.
Ok, so you know that your target audience is people who are interested in being successful on YouTube. With this concept in mind, it would be completely pointless targeting people who are already established on YouTube and have a huge following, it would also be pointless to target the general public who do not make videos for YouTube.
In order to be successful in selling your course, you must know a lot about the person that you want to sell it to. You need to speak their language and understand them and their communication preferences so that you can be understood by them. This is, unfortunately, research that you will need to do and you must not skip it.
If you’d like and it will help. Draw a picture of someone who might be interested in your course. Better yet, become them so that you understand their desires and then include it all in your course. If you struggle to emphasise with them, then get out there and speak to the growing YouTube community and listen to what they have to say. Knowing your target audience is one of the most important aspects and it will decide whether your hard work does well or not.