This is a complete guide on how to market an online course. Learn how to get traffic to your online course and build your audience with using these 3...
Sell Online Courses: 9 Proven Marketing Strategies in 2022
Learn how to sell online courses with Learnyst. Create a proven marketing strategy to sell your online courses effectively
You want to sell courses online and earn consistent recurring income from it.
But, here is the thing. You just can’t get started.
If you are someone who wants to start your own knowledge selling business online, this article will give you some key marketing strategies that will help you get started.
By the end of this blog, you will have the right tools, the clarity you need to make revenue from courses.
Let’s get started.
Things to Consider Before Sell Your Online Course:
- Course content
- Pricing plan
- Course page and website content
- Supporting articles
Understand Why to Sell Courses Online?
Because, there are people who are ready to pay for your expertise and learn from you. Selling your online courses is currently a golden opportunity to earn passive income.
Teaching online does not need any proof of your qualifications. You can win over your audience with some expertise, enthusiasm, and constant work. To generate money from what you know, you must deliver value to your potential learners!
Some of the benefits of selling courses online is,
- Earn a passive income
- Reach a wider audience
- Work from anywhere
- Flexibility of time
- Easy to start – no extra cost or paper works
The majority of online course creators embrace selling online courses as an additional revenue source. Online courses are less expensive to create, require less time, and have no delivery expenses, while you have a product that can be sold unlimited times.
The growing knowledge industry, where knowledge is power, has also increased the demand for online courses!
The global E-Learning industry is going to reach $374.3 billion by 2026.
The best part about online course is that anybody can create and sell courses online. All you need is some knowledge and the capacity to teach passionately about your niche.
Validate Your Online Course idea/topic
Have you got a wonderful concept for an online course but aren’t sure if there’s a demand for it?
This is a question that every course creator faces.
To determine whether your course idea is viable, you must first condense it into a value proposition. Answering these questions will help you in refining your online course idea.
- Why would anyone want to pay for this course?
- What problem(s) does the course address and solve?
- What outcome(s) can they expect in the end?
During the validation process, you will find competitors that provide similar online courses. Make sure that your elevator pitch explain how your course differs from others on the market.
Here are the 5 free tools to validate your online course idea
Here is some of the most profitable online course ideas:
- Arts and crafts
- Health and fitness
- Competitive exam
- Stock Market
- Science and math.
These are wide topics. Within these topics, you should try to finds more specialized topic.
How to Create an Online Course
Let’s go through the basics of creating an online course. Visit our comprehensive guide on creating online courses for a more in-depth look : How to Create A Course Outline
It’s up to you whether you make your course video, audio, or text (or a combination of the three)— make sure it makes sense for your audience.
Create the course material and fine-tune your distribution. To keep your audience interested, include interactive components such as quizzes, tasks, and to-do lists.
Along the process, test your course material on friends and coworkers to verify you’re on the correct track.
How to Price Your Online Course
When it comes to figuring out how to sell courses online, this is one of the most often asked topics. It’s a bit of a guessing game when it comes to pricing your online courses. Finding the ideal pricing for your online courses will need some trial and error.
Consider the following factors when choosing the pricing of your online course:
- Time taken to develop the course?
- The cost to market the course
- Competitor pricing
- The income level of your target audience.
There are 3 basic ways you can structure your online courses pricing.
- One time payment for lifetime access to the course
- Subscription type payment (e.g. monthly payments)
- Multiple payments, or a payment plan, where the audience can spread a one-time cost over multiple payments.
Evaluate your target market to determine how you want to structure pricing plan.
It will take some trial and error to figure out the perfect price.
It’s better to start with a low price, launch your online course, get feedback from your audience,and then gradually add more value while increasing your cost.
Course Pricing Tips Best Practices
These are some guidelines for choosing the right price for your online course.
1- Not price the course based on its length: The length of your online course should not be used to determine the pricing of your course. Price your course based on the worth of the content rather than its length. If you can educate someone to achieve their desired goal in 3 hours of instruction, don’t develop 7 hours of course.
2- Research competitors: Do not base your course pricing on what your rivals charge for their courses.
Investigate your competitors to confirm that there are individuals willing to pay to learn about your topic. Do it to confirm market demand, not to determine the price of your course. You could also buy an identical course to learn more about it, and then use that information to create your own online course.
3-Test different price points: This takes time, but it may be an excellent strategy to discover the best pricing for your course.
If you want to experiment with different pricing points, you should definitely start with a low (but not too low) price and progressively increase it from there. Keep raising your prices until you see resistance in your sales figures.
4. Give a completion certificate: These certificates can be a great value-add as they give your students something to “show off” after they have completed your course. They can also be useful for enhancing student engagement because the reward of earning a certificate provides an extra motivation for your students to complete your course.
5- Create different price tiers: If you only have one pricing for your course, people will most likely look at other courses as their alternative possibilities. You meet your buyer’s demand to examine different possibilities when you develop several pricing levels for the same course. And the best thing is that they will become your client regardless of which of your pricing levels they pick
Course Pricing Strategy
Selling courses online draws members and delivers value, allowing you to build your membership and keep those learners over time. Your online course programming can limit membership growth if your pricing does not correspond to the value these members receive from your courses.
One Time Purchase
This model offers your team with immediate, but less predictable, income. It allows you to identify which courses are in great demand so that you may reproduce them in the future, and members can purchase only those that interest them the most. This is perfect for high-value courses since you may raise the price of courses as demand grows. The disadvantage of this technique is that determining the cost of particular courses can be a time-consuming and difficult procedure.
Membership-based models are ones in which users pay a monthly, quarterly, or even annual subscription to have access to your full eLearning collection.
This mode helps you to more accurately anticipate the monthly or annual earnings from your eLearning programming It provides members with discounted access to a wide range of eLearning courses. As a result, it’s better suited to simpler material, such as webinars, rather than lengthy, sophisticated courses.
The hybrid pricing strategy combines one time purchase and subscription pricing models. This will help you to better serve customers and diversify their revenue streams.
Choose a Platform To Sell Your Courses
Your online course must be on the internet. You’ll want a hosting system that makes the course easy to access, allows you to customize it, and looks professional.
When it comes to hosting and selling an online course, you have three options:
- Learning Management Systems
An online course platform that is meant to cover all of the demands of a course producer, from video hosting to marketing .
Set up your own server with a hosting firm to host and sell online courses through your website. While it might be costly and complex, self-hosting allows you total control and flexibility over your content.
- Online course marketplace
The third hosting option is to use a learning marketplace like Udemy or Masterclass. Marketplace platforms host your course and allow you to personalize the branding. It is important to note that these platforms have tight restrictions and may charge up to 50% of your earnings.
Understand Your Audience Need
If you don’t know who your target audience is, it’s nearly hard to know how to sell your online course.
Every business has a target audience. Consider your target audience to be those who would pay to hear you speak at a conference. They’re interested in your topic, want to learn more about what you teach, and are prepared to pay for advice, direction, or instructions. You provide a product or service that answers their issues.
Creating audience personas is a reliable technique to identify your target audience. These fictional biographies, also known as buyer personas, describe your target audience in minute detail.
Try out the following to build your buyer personas,
- Learn about your customers’ online habits and meet them at home (e.g. Which social media platform are they using? LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube or Instagram?
- Adjust your social media posts to suit your customers’ preferable tone of voice
- Create content that applies specifically to your target audiences
- Work with public figures, influencers, professionals, or companies your customers look up to
You can collect information on your clients in a various ways. for example, conduct keyword research. Use your social media or online school statistics from your learning management system, surveys, feedback forms, and so on to Google the phrases your consumers look for online.
A social media strategy can take much time to implement if you are doing it manually. So if you are running an online course, you need to streamline your social media process and hire social media marketing agencies or you will get overwhelmed.
Create Your Buyer Journey
A buyer’s journey is a set of decisions made by your target audience when investigating a purchase. The buyer’s journey defines the process a buyer takes to make a purchase. In other words, purchasers do not decide to buy on a whim. They go through a process in which they become aware of, consider, and assess a new product or service before deciding to acquire it.
There are three stages in the buyer’s journey:
- Awareness Stage: The buyer becomes aware that they have a problem.
- Consideration Stage: The buyer defines their problem and considers options to solve it.
- Decision Stage: The buyer evaluates and decides on the right provider to administer the solution.
Your marketing activities should assist potential customer in navigating the customer journey to purchase the online courses. Each phase will need a unique content strategy approach.
Build Your Sales Funnel to Achieve Consistent Conversion.
A sales funnel, on the other hand, is the complete process that you direct potential students through before they decide to enroll (or not enroll) in your course.
What Does AIDA Stand For?
Awareness: creating brand awareness or affiliation with your product or service.
Interest: generating interest in the benefits of your product or service, and sufficient interest to encourage the buyer to start to research further.
Desire: for your product or service through an ’emotional connection’, showing your brand personality. Move the customer from ‘liking’ online courses to ‘wanting it’.
Action: CTA – Move the buyer to interact with your company and taking the next step ie. downloading a brochure, making the phone call, joining your newsletter, or engaging in live chat, etc.
Retention: We all know that this is key to upsell, cross-sell, referrals, Advocacy and the list goes on.. as companies are also focusing on LTV.
Many marketers neglect the importance of awareness. It is assumed that the product or service has already attracted the consumer’s interest – which may or may not be the case. In any case, don’t presume that everyone is already aware with your product. One of the most effective methods for gaining customer attention is “creative disruption,” which involves disrupting current patterns of behaviour with a highly innovative message.
Essentially, the purpose is to make customers aware of the existence of the product or service.
Here are some marketing strategies you can use to build brand awareness among your potential and existing customers:
Build brand awareness on social media:
The growth of social media is a gift since it allows you to reach out to new audiences quickly and cheaply. Because social media platforms make it simple to share material, one individual may display your content to their friends and family. You are almost easily reaching out to new audiences by showcasing your modern logo and your appealing brand message.
Video ads can increase brand awareness by 170%, increase your brand favourability by 500%, and increase the intent to purchase by 270%.
- YouTube has over 2 billion monthly active users.
- 68% of YouTube users watch review videos, and tutorials when making purchasing decisions.
- More than 70% of YouTube watch time comes from mobile devices.
- Video ads give a positive ROI
Read more: How to sell online courses using YouTube?
The most recent addition to Facebook’s ad platform is Brand Awareness campaigns.
Facebook can now predict which people are more likely to view and recall your ad by measuring how much time they spend looking at different adverts, and tailor the campaign appropriately.
Read more: How to sell online courses using Facebook?
Here are some of the reasons why you should prioritise Instagram in order to raise brand recognition for your company:
Instagram allows your business to reach new audiences with ease:
Instagram allows companies (like yours) to reach out to new, high-intent consumers. This is because platform features such as hashtags, location tags, Reels, and the ‘Discover’ feed are meant to assist users in discovering new companies and items that they may be interested in.
Instagram is a visual-first social media platform: Building brand recognition is all in the familiarizing people with your brand. What better place to do this than on a social media platform that prioritizes rich, engaging visual content?
Instagram gives you access to engaged, active users: Did you know that the typical consumer spends 53 minutes each day on Instagram? Instagram, the second most popular social network, is the place to be if you want to increase the reach and visibility of your brand among a highly engaged audience.
SEO and brand awareness may coexist. Although search engine optimization is primarily used to create organic traffic, it also helps to boost branding and raise brand recognition. Now, learn how to utilise SEO to increase brand recognition. Now, learn how to utilize SEO, with the help of a B2B SEO agency, to increase brand recognition and how to evaluate its performance.
Google Ads: Using Google’s Display Network is the conventional and perhaps best approach to utilise Google Ads to increase brand recognition. The advantage of the Display Network is that you may reach a large number of people for a low cost per click. This makes it great for our requirement to get our brand in front of as many consumers as possible in the most cost-effective way feasible.
Unlike Google Ads, Facebook Ads target users based on their individual demographics, interests, activities, and connections.
Because individuals on Facebook aren’t explicitly looking for your course, it’s best to advertise a webinar or blog post first. You may then capture their email address and use email campaigns to market your course to them.
- Reach a broad target audience at a fairly low cost.
- Create hyper-targeted audiences and select who sees your ads.
- Boost brand awareness among tech-savvy younger audiences.
- Turn people who saw your ads into customers, with remarketing.
- Maximize customer value. For example, existing customers are more likely to purchase again after seeing your brand ads.
For centuries, word-of-mouth has been a successful marketing approach. Influencer marketing is a digital version of conventional word-of-mouth marketing. However, because the entire action takes place in the digital domain, you can reliably assess audience response using indicators such as the number of likes, shares, and so on.
Influencers, by definition, have a significant number of devoted social media followers. These followers see them as experts in their fields and value their suggestions.
With over five billion people possessing a mobile device, listening to podcasts is one way people in the modern world acquire information and enjoyment. There are currently an estimated 54 million podcast episodes and 800,000 active podcasts worldwide.
One of the benefits of podcasting is that it allows your company to have a powerful voice. With your chosen material, you may highlight your organization’s mission, personality, and character. As a result, you may naturally attract more clients and raise your sales targets. Podcasts, as opposed to forceful and conventional advertising, which consumers no longer trust, allow you to develop more honest client connections. In business, trust is essential for building a devoted following in a market that is already oversaturated with products and services. Most importantly, trust equals more sales!
Under no circumstances disregard the audio, visual and creative aspects when you design your podcast, and be sure to match your podcast logo, colors and thumbnails with your podcast brand to create a unified voice.
Interest: Use Lead Magnet & Get Emails
You must develop the potential buyer’s interest in the online courses to move prospects to the second stage. This is often where benefit phrases come into play. Many marketers successfully employ narrative in their direct mail methods to pique the attention of their prospects. If you can pique the prospect’s interest, you can typically convince them to agree to an appointment, at which point you can advance the prospect further forward in the sales process.
A lead magnet is a free resource that entices potential clients to click on your link. Visitors are more likely to join your email list and eventually become paying clients if you use this free material. This is why lead magnets are such a vital aspect of your content marketing approach. Offering a freebie, like an ebook, email signature generator, course, or live or on-demand webinar, are some examples of lead magnets.
This is why lead magnets are such a vital aspect of your content marketing approach.
Offer a freebie, like an ebook, course or live or on-demand webinar are some of the example of Lead Magnet.
Blogging is an important component of any content marketing strategy. It is the section on your website that will be updated most frequently with new material to keep users engaged. Blog material is frequently used to persuade visitors to visit your site and begin to create your brand’s following.
Regular blogging also contributes to the growth of your firm. Distributed high intent content may be an excellent approach to attract new clients and increase interest of existing client. A blog gives you a place to share new information on a regular basis. Customers that follow your blog will receive a continuous stream of intelligent pieces, which will assist strengthen their loyalty and trust.
Long-tail keywords are search queries that contain three or more words. A long-tail keyword includes the more generic “head” term, as well as a few more phrases that make it more targeted to a certain set of people.
- Long-tail keywords have less competition and, therefore, such keywords are significantly easier to be ranked for.
- Furthermore, unlike “head” keywords, long-tail keywords have the best conversion rate.
Decision: Engage with your audience
If you’ve successfully captured and maintained customer interest long enough to communicate knowledge about your product or service, you must now cultivate consumer desire.
A desire to learn more about what your product has to offer might assist build a desire to explore how that product can meet a consumer’s demand. Adding to the information and characteristics that the buyer already knows about your product can help to increase demand.
Alternatively, you may be provoking a consumer to question how they have gone so long without your service. At this moment, you are essentially preparing the customer to make the ultimate decision to act.
Because email marketing outperforms social media by a factor of 40. It serves as a direct route to your students – both potential and current – via which you may discuss your courses.
It’s also a marketing alternative that’s essentially impervious to altering industry trends, global catastrophes, and being overlooked. (How many times have you checked your email today?)
Create a Sales Page
A sales page is a page on your website that has only one goal: to persuade visitors to buy.
It must provide an offer that is so enticing that your target audience cannot say “no.” The finest sales pages convert because visitors feel compelled to take action. An email marketing and marketing automation platform such as ActiveCampaign can help you with the whole process of designing and implementing your funnels.And to ensure that emails do not spam or protect recipients from spoofing, and phishing, most campaigns use a technical standard known as DMARC.
Pick the perfect headline: The finest sales pages begin with a strong statement that includes USP. benefit-driven, and address their intended audience.
Showcase testimonials: Having social proof lends credibility to your course and promotes conversions. On your sales page, testimonials from consumers who loved your course and succeeded as a consequence serve as social evidence.
Run a LIVE Webinar (Clear student doubts)
You may personally connect with your audience while speaking in a webinar. That’s a lot more successful than an online email series that’s easy to dismiss. You can market your goods or service more successfully if you can connect with your audience.
It’s finally time to pitch your product. You’ve earned your customer’s trust and fed them knowledge about who you are, what you do, and how you can assist at this point in your sales funnel. Not everyone will be ready to buy from you right now, but a portion of your target audience will be.
It took until Stage 3 of our Sales Funnel to really make a sale. This may appear to be paradoxical, yet it is the only way to stand out in today’s competitive market.
So, how should you pitch your online course?
You will require four components:
- Long-Form Sales Page
- Checkout Page (for those ready to purchase)
- Email Follow Up Sequence (for those still unsure)
- Retargeting Ads
Your ongoing email campaign (and retargeting ads) will push your message towards your long-form sales page. You’ve just taken them on a journey which has won their trust and exposed them to the type of work you do. there are a few important aspects you should include in your sales page:
- A Catchy and Memorable Headline (and sub-headline to reinforce it).
- A Short Story that introduces the pain and problem.
- A section that covers the main Pain Points and highlights your Solution.
- A more in-depth section that dives into your Solution and the main Benefits on offer.
- A Testimonial section where your previous customers may share their success stories
- A Social Proof section
- CTA (Add a purchase button or create a QR code for it ).
- An FAQ area to answer questions, overcome objections, and reinforce the benefits.
These are the essential components of your sales page. The point is that you are now at a point where you can go into detail with your audience. You’re asking customers to make an investment (both financially and in terms of time), therefore a long-form page is beneficial because it provides them with more information.
When they arrive at this page, your audience will do one of two things:
If they choose to purchase, you should direct them to a simple, clean, and easy-to-navigate checkout page where they can make the payment.
If they don’t purchase, you need to “retarget” them with a new set of ads and Email marketing. These ads and emails remind your audience to make a purchase. You can offer a coupon or discount code to encourage them.
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Retain, Upsell & Grow / Scale up your course-selling profits
Offering extra items upon purchasing is one of the finest strategies to generate more money with your course. These are known as upsells.
Upsells generate an additional buying opportunity before the first transaction is completed. Here are two simple upsells that almost everyone may give with their first course:
Coaching: You may provide one-on-one phone coaching, a monthly webinar, email coaching, or even a face-to-face meeting. Coaching is frequently an expensive purchase.
Group training: in real time. Provide group training that includes more in-depth teaching and discussion topics.
When someone enrols in a course, you may send them a thank you message containing freebies. This simple, low-cost marketing tool is a digital age gift.
So, when students sign up for a new course, provide them a link to other courses on comparable topics that you may have created. You may, for example, present the first module in a three-part series. They may then buy the rest of the series at a reduced price.
Run exclusive, limited-time sales to new members
A time-sensitive strategy works effectively with most customers who are interested in a product. This is true for seasonal things like Christmas wrapping and pumpkin spice tastes in the fall. This is a tried-and-true sales strategy utilised by some of the world’s most recognisable firms.
For example, if a student purchases your course, you may offer them a discount coupon for 20% off other courses within 10 days, or 50% off if purchased immediately. This may be done in a follow-up email as well.
Show similar courses students might like.
Cross-sells are a type of marketing tactic that is comparable to upsells. When you cross-sell courses to students, you may show them how extra courses will help them reach their goals. For example, you might teach a course on how to earn a certification or how to locate universities that offer degrees in similar subjects that can lead to improved job prospects.
Making and selling online courses might be more than simply a side hustle you started a few years ago. In fact, in the perspective of future generations, if you are devoted to it and sincerely feel that you can make a significant difference by teaching your favorite topic.
Creating your own courses, on the other hand, allows you to not only share your knowledge, but also to provide others with your unique vision and inspiration. To share your ideas on current industry concerns that may influence future trends.
This combination with your “digital” signature beneath it will stay in people’s minds forever. Your legacy will be far more than anything anyone expects of you or for you!