Adopting pre-sale strategies is crucial for your business. At the rate at which new developments are being made in multiple disciplines, it is only a matter of time (and it is not too long) before every online course starts becoming outdated. That’s right, your online courses are perishable products. The quicker you can start selling the courses, the better are your chances of getting more students on board. In fact, you can actually build up the hype before the course is even ready for the market.
This is referred to as pre-selling. A pre-sale is technically a targeted sale before your course actually goes live. You will be selling the idea of your course to a small portion of your audience before you create all your courses in their entirety. You can set this up by creating a sales page, discounting using an “early bird” rate, and promoting it through outbound marketing channels including social media, emails, etc. This process also has the unintended benefits of offering you feedback to improve your content before it is finally ready for launch.
Why pre-sale is needed?
The most important benefit of pre-sale is that it gives you valuable early-stage feedback that can help you improve the course and adjust the overall game plan before you launch the course for the mass market. It is extremely beneficial to collect genuine feedback from people who want you to succeed.
Pre-selling gives you the confidence that your course will make money. It also ‘almost guarantees that the course will be accepted by your audience.
Strategies to pre-sell
In the below section, let us discuss the key pre-selling strategies you can use to sell your course faster –
Observe and learn
If you are doing things right, you already spend a lot of time in groups, forums, and communities where your target audience is present. All you have to do now is take notes of the conversations and discussions that are noteworthy. This practice will eventually let you zero in on common pain points. You will be able to provide maximum value to customers when you know what your audience is struggling with.
Take little steps
If you are just starting off as an online educator or if you are getting ready to create a new course, do not build the entire course and then try to sell it. It is recommended to slowly drip out the course and start adjusting or creating new content based on feedback. Then you can take the necessary steps to make the course reach the mass market. Pick not more than 20% of your course and make it available to your beta testers.
This step is important because:
- Just in case you decide you don’t want to continue creating a particular course, you can repurpose whatever you have created. Either way, your time will not be wasted.
- You get genuine feedback from your beta testing audience. They might say that they prefer a video tutorial over a PowerPoint presentation or that they have seen this content elsewhere.
- You are much more likely to stick to deadlines when you have students waiting on you to give them an update. Content creation will not be delayed.
- If you are looking for some finances for let’s say to upgrade your equipment or hiring a designer, pre-selling your course is a great way to earn that much-needed money.
Show and sell
Before you can start pre-selling activities, you will need a place to send your prospects. That is, you need a sales page. You can either hire a web developer to do this or do this yourself if you are using an LMS platform like Learnyst.
You can let your creativity flow endlessly as you create this page. In addition to the standard features of a sales page, you should also consider adding the below elements –
- Explicitly mention that this is a pre-sale. Let prospects know that they are part of the beta program and content will be dripped out to them. Also mention when the course will go live and officially launch. If you are this honest, most people will be more than happy to genuinely help improve your course.
- Make the discount apparent by writing it directly on the enroll button that the course is now at a special rate. Knowing that the price will eventually increase will create some kind of urgency.
- Add a countdown timer showing exactly how much time the course will be available at the discounted rate.
- Incorporate testimonials from your peers and keep adding student testimonials as you get them.
- Add an author bio to establish yourself as an authority in your field.
Use your networks
For your pre-sale, you should not market the course to your entire audience. Instead, you can market to a select group of people from your own network. For example, you can share it with your immediate friends or family. Another option is to send it out to select people (preferably people who have already bought a course from you) from your email list.
Other ways to sell faster
Reddit is one of the most powerful yet underutilized platforms for marketing. You can start by creating a username similar to that of your online institute or course. Then filter out subreddits related to your course and start engaging to establishing a relationship with your audience. Sharing jokes, memes and engaging in discussions can go a long way.
Further Reading: Guide to selling courses online using Reddit
Create blog posts on topics directly related to the course and post them on your website. You can also add guest posts on popular websites to get better traffic. If you constantly write blogs, you can nurture the audience and eventually get sales. You can even start rolling out blogs even before your course is officially launched. Keep SEO best practices in mind when you are writing and uploading your blogs.
Use Google, Facebook, and YouTube Ads
Ads are effective at finding good leads for your course. For course is general, YouTube is a natural choice to begin promotions by actually showing your course content. Carefully place relevant keywords the description area. Google Ads and Facebook Ads are also very important since more people are spending more time online these days.
Quora is a platform where people come to get answers. Responding to questions that are related to your topic can attract prospects. Don’t be too pushy with selling your course though. It might deter people away.
Further Reading: Online Course Marketing: Promote Your Courses On Quora
How Learnyst can help sell your courses>
With an ever-growing client list and new technologies implemented as when available, we are one of the most sought-after Learning Management System providers in the country. After you have created your course using inbuilt authoring tools, we can help you sell them to the right audience. To begin with, your custom website created on Learnyst will be SEO optimized. You can also seamlessly integrate marketing platforms like MailChimp with Learnyst. This is just a pinch of what we can do for selling your online course. To learn more about us, get in touch with us now!