Let’s be honest with ourselves, marketing in today’s world doesn’t come cheap. In fact, if you want to build brand awareness and generate sales for your online course/academy, you have to shell out a significant amount of money for marketing. This is particularly true if you are new to the market and would like to start earning as quickly as possible. Of course, if you want to build your brand organically over a long period of time, you can do that too. The most common means to do that is via SEO. However, there is another way to do this and it is known as Zero Budget Marketing.
The term itself is self-explanatory; you have zero budget for marketing. That means no paid ads or any other form of paid marketing. Your only option is to build the audience using organic marketing. The following are the benefits of zero-budget marketing.
- The main advantage is that since you are on a zero-budget, you will come up with some creative ideas to market your course. You could be inspired by something or come up with something completely new. This is a serious upgrade to your skills as a marketer.
- It helps you optimize your marketing budget better since you will be aware of what marketing activities should be prioritized.
- It gives a competitive advantage because you will be literally getting free leads while others will be paying a good amount of money for the same.
But is SEO the only way to organically market your course? The other option is to leverage the most popular websites and steadily build an audience. Let us look at seven of the best websites to market your course organically.
Facebook is one of the largest social media platforms with over 2.85 billion active users. Even if you manage to reach 1% of them, it would be an outstanding achievement. Building your audience organically will take time. Start by creating a page for your academy/course and posting action-inducing content regularly. Your objective is to showcase yourself as a thought leader in the space that you are focusing on.
Create groups about specific topics or create a general topic associated with your course and invite people in your network to join. The advantage of creating a group is that it gives a safe space for members to interact with you and with each other. If you don’t want to create your own group, you can also join relevant groups and promote your content there.
If you want a platform where most members are serious about the time they spend and the type of content they consume, look no further than Reddit. Probably the greatest benefit of Reddit is that it only allows people (or Redditors) to post on subreddits – channels within Reddit that are created around a specific topic. To know the level of engagement on Reddit, simply ask a question on r/AskReddit. You are very likely to be flooded with answers in a matter of minutes.
To market your course, you can join a subreddit relevant to your course’s topic. For example, if your course is related to Dog Training, you can join subreddits like r/DogTraining or r/ dog training, or r/Dogs. Then start answering questions and interacting with posts with genuine interest. Slowly but steadily, people will start warming up to you. They can even check all of your activities by simply viewing your profile.
Further Reading: Guide to selling courses online using Reddit
Next to Facebook, Twitter is another popular social media platform. Twitter is where people come for the latest news and thought leadership content. Think about the most popular person on Twitter in the recent past, Elon Musk. His personal brand is so good that his companies don’t even require a marketing department. If you are confident that you have enough skills and knowledge in your field of study, you should try building followers on Twitter.
Once you have gained your follower’s trust, you can start recommending your courses to them. You can also reach out to other influencers like you and request them to tweet about you and your course.
ProTip: Find what hashtags are popular in your niche and start using them in your tweets.
Ask any question on Google, and it is almost guaranteed that a bunch of Quora links will be on the first few results. When in doubt about something, there are people who turn to Quora to get ‘answers’ from complete strangers and thought leaders. Users can also ask follow-up questions for answers, so it seems like an open conversation.
For someone selling online courses, Quora can be a goldmine to market and sell your course. Start by creating a solid profile with all the necessary information pointing to the fact that you are qualified enough to pass your opinion on certain topics. Then find questions in your niche and start answering them. The trick is that you should not sound like you are trying to sell something. Be as genuine and as descriptive with your answers. Interested people will go to your profile and research about you.
Yes, LinkedIn is a professional network for people to build connections to benefits their careers. On the demand side, there are millions of people trying to improve their skills in their domains, and on the supply side are people like you, educators offering a course/courses to help them upskill.
Before marketing your academy/course, it is vital to building your personal brand. Write posts and long-form articles regularly about the latest trends and advancements in your field of specialization. When people ask you questions, either in your inbox or through comments, don’t hesitate to answer as it helps build trust. Creating a group surrounding your core topic is also a great idea to get a hyperfocused audience. Once you are confident enough, you can start recommending your course to people.
If you feel like your content is not getting enough traction on social channels, Medium can help you solve that. Another great thing about Medium is that it doesn’t care if you are a huge brand or not; all it cares about is the value of your ideas. You can start writing and build your audience on your own or ask a publication owner to add your articles to their publications. The latter will help you reach people beyond your list of followers. Another neat little trick is to delete and republish articles that you think are not getting enough views.
Further Reading: Market courses on Medium: A how-to guide
Craigslist is the most popular classified site right now. So much so that it is ranked as one of the 30 most visited websites in the U.S. It has a huge line-up of categories that allows you to market and sell any product or service, including your online course.
What is Learnyst?
Now that you know everything about zero-budget marketing, it’s time to know more about Learnyst. We are an exciting group of individuals who set out to create the most comprehensive tool to help online educators start and scale their online education businesses. And we have succeeded. Thousands of educators now use our platform to custom build their courses, host content on their custom website & App, and sell courses to thousands of learners. Educators using our platform have collectively earned over INR 300 Crores in revenue.
Interested in knowing more about us? Get in touch now!