Do you have an awesome online course and want to share your hard-won knowledge with others?
Perhaps it’s your way of giving back. Or you may be looking for ways to generate a recurring income or even educate your customers. Building an online course is an effective way to accomplish all these goals and more. You can grow your brand and build a community around it with an online course.
But just making a training course isn’t enough. Like any other business, you have to promote your online course effectively to find students.
And that’s what we’ll focus on in this post. Let’s look at some practical and effective marketing steps you can take that will help you sell your online courses to the right people.
Offer free content
A great way to break through your audience’s skepticism and risk-averse mindset is to offer some of your content for free. You could provide your entire course material for free for a limited time-period. Or you could make a shorter, condensed version of your course and share it for free on YouTube, social media, and your website.
Let your audience know that you have even more incredible content to offer in your full online course. If you’ve offered some great tips and engaged your audience, then customers will readily sign up for your course. They know what to expect and will avoid the feeling that they’re risking time and money on an uncertain experience.
There are other added benefits: you’ll get an audience that’s genuinely interested in your material, you’ll lower churn rates, and you’ll build trust in your brand.
Build an email list
The most effective marketing technique to sell courses online is email marketing. And the first step to making your high-converting email marketing campaign is building an email list.
An email list consists of people who have agreed to hear from you intermittently via email. These subscribers expect high quality content, offers, and other information that provides them value. By sending emails with such material, you can nurture your audience and convert them into paying students later.
Another way to build your email list is to have an optin pop-up on your website so that visitors can subscribe to you. Also, add calls to action on your social media posts, videos, and other platforms and keep nudging people to sign up.
Once you have an email list,make sure that you segment it according to your audience demographics, interests and other factors like purchase history or engagement. You can tailor your messages to highlight specific benefits that will appeal to different groups.
For example, younger adults will be interested in how your course will help them get a job. Older groups may want to educate themselves or switch careers. Segmenting your audience will affect your language, choice of words, tone and more, which will lead to better responses.
Encourage user-generated content
When people do research on an online course, they’re concerned about the value they get out of it. Will they become a better artist? Can your course improve their MS Excel or Communication skills?
You can answer these questions and build social proof by encouraging user-generated content. Ask your current students to post their success stories or projects on social media and on your website platform itself.
Skillshare does this well. Every course has a ‘Student Projects’ section where the student can upload their work based on what they learned.
- Students share their projects showcasing what they learned
By showing your students’ user-generated content, you create social proof. You can also get attention on social media by asking your audience to use relevant hashtags and to mention your business. Make sure that you celebrate such work on your own social media and feature testimonials,ratings, and reviews too. In this way, you’ll overcome your audience’s risk aversion mindset, gain trust, and successfully market your online course.
Make a Coming Soon page
A lot of marketing is about using psychology to create conversions. You work with the same principles to sell an online course and get more students.
So, how can you build anticipation, excitement and curiosity even before your online course is completed?
You do this by making a Coming Soon page.
A Coming Soon page is a landing page that does one thing – inform your site visitors that something exciting is on the way. Work with a Coming Soon WordPress plugin to build a page with exciting imagery and content that shows people when your site will be live.
You can even set up a countdown timer and a registration form so that users can sign up for email updates – another way to build your email list.
- A coming soon page builds excitement (and your email list)
Many businesses have used this method to launch new products and create momentum that garners a lot of attention on social media. You can leverage this too and get more students for your course.
Work with the right platform to promote your online course
Marketing an online course is hard work. However, the effort is more than worth it. Online courses offer you recurring revenue, help build your brand and even create a community.
Here, we’ve looked several ways how you can market a training course. You need to work with all these ideas and make sure that the quality of your course content is good.
Create actionable content and offer practical examples. Ask your students to carry out real-life work to apply what they’re learning. Also, use good equipment to record your material and engage your students by asking questions and providing feedback.
The platform you use matters too. You could put your content on an existing platform like Udemy or Skillshare. But if you want complete control and to keep all your revenue, then working with an LMS or a membership site is important.
There are helpful plugins like MemberPress which allow you to build online courses along with other membership features without coding knowledge. If you’re looking for ways to educate customers or keep them engaged after going through the course, then an option like this makes sense.
There you go, you have the techniques you need to successfully promote your online courses. Stay consistent with your efforts and you’ll win over your audience fast.