So, you have an educational course or a course idea that you are certain will fly! You have (or can acquire!) the necessary experience, the knowledge, and know that you can add value to many through your course(s). But the missing piece of the jigsaw is how on earth you are going to relay this message to your prospective audience? By the end of this post, you will have a much better idea of how to sell educational courses online.
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Get clear on why you want to sell your course online
Selling a course online is a very smart idea indeed because you only have the one-time cost of creating the course. Compared to other products that have manufacturing, shipping, or perhaps even importing costs, it is an absolute winner. However, if you approach the business with making a ton of money as your aim, you are very likely to fail. Instead, ask yourself this question:
Who am I trying to help?
By asking yourself this question, ideally, before you have created your course and certainly before you go out to sell it, you will put yourself in a position of service. While I totally get that you need to make money, taking the focus off of yourself and onto your prospective customer which will help you clearly identify what they will need to get out of the course and who they are.
Your first job before you go out to sell anything is to build trust with your audience. You build trust by sharing who you are, what you know, your success with the program you are sharing with them, etc. Don’t be afraid of sharing things you did that didn’t work and how you have struggled in the past (only if you have struggled in the past though which is highly likely). It will make you relatable as the people looking for your course are looking for help to overcome their own struggles.
Where will I find my audience?
If you intend to run Facebook ads, there is a really simple way to find the demographic of your audience using Facebook Insights. Even if you don’t intent to run Facebook ads, it is useful to know the demographic of your audience in any case so you know how to angle the content you produce.
All you have to do is set up a Facebook ads account and in your ads manager, search for Facebook Insights in the search bar. There you have the opportunity to put in the country you are targeting, and the interest you are looking to target and it will show you where you what percentage are men and women, and their age along with their job titles and education!
If you are using this strategy, you will want to drive responders to a landing page where you can capture their data and email them with whatever you were offering in the advert. At this time, you should be offering value rather than trying to sell something directly from the ad for the simple reason that they will not have build up any trust. It’s not impossible, but the chances are that you a) won’t make the sale and b) won’t capture the data. Alternatively, if you are very keen on selling straight off, make it a very low-cost purchase like $7 or a similar amount.
Naturally, you will continue to email these people with value content interspersed with sales offers.
If you will have a limited budget (or no budget) to get started, YouTube is a really great place to be as you can create videos and build a following totally free and you don’t necessarily need expensive equipment to get up and running. Don’t worry if you don’t actually want to appear on camera. You can record your screen and share valuable information on your chosen topic.
Naturally, you will be looking for subscribers to your channel but there is also an opportunity to capture email addresses and keep in touch with your audience. You would do this via email by using a lead magnet offering something they will really want to know.
It could be that they get the first lesson of your course for free which may lead them to make a purchase further down the line or something else with perceived value. Again, to do this you need a landing page or website. You don’t have to capture data from visitors to your channel but it absolutely makes sense.
Instagram is getting more and more popular with businesses and individuals who have something to promote – some do so very successfully. The biggest down-side is that you cannot put your link in your post and prospects have to search for the details on your profile which is not very user-friendly so for that reason, I won’t be focusing on that in this post.
Pinterest is often quoted along with other social media but it is actually a search engine as well. And the amazing thing is that you don’t have to have many (or any) followers! In order to get impressions on Pinterest, the best thing to do is to create 10 boards and post 5 pins to each, then post 5 pins per day (they don’t have to be all yours, it’s good to re-pin a mixture of posts). If you have a blog, it’s best to create 5 different pins for each post and post them a day apart.
You will need a website for this strategy as Pinterest generally doesn’t like links going directly to a landing page.
What else can I do?
Write a captivating blog
Without a doubt, a captivating blog is a great place to build trust, share value, and get your audience warmed up over time. You get to share what you know about your subject and visitors get to learn.
One of the main benefits of a blog is that you will be using SEO – Search Engine Optimization – which basically means that your audience will actively be searching for what you have got to offer which is so, so valuable. It will also give you that all-important central point to drive traffic to if you are advertising on social media or Google Ads.
If you don’t already have a website, what you will need is:
- A website platform such as WordPress
- Website Hosting
- A website builder unless already included in the above
- A keyword research tool
- SSL Certificate as you will be handling payments
- Training (if you are new to website building)
If you already have your website in place, Google Ads is very good for driving traffic to your website for specific keywords so it can be like SEO on steroids if you get it right. The challenge for a newcomer is learning how to use Google Ads to the best effect so it’s worth taking some time out to learn all the ins and outs.
(Don’t forget about Bing and Yahoo ads which can be good value too.)
My number one recommendation
Whether you are just starting out or are some way down the road toward getting your Course business off the ground, my number one recommendation is Wealthy Affiliate which offers everything you will need (listed in the bullet points above) and even includes a free starter membership and the option to have a free website including hosting for 6 months, giving you the chance to make extra sure that you are on the right path.
Check out my review here for more information.
Do you have experience of selling educational courses online or is it a dream of yours? I would love to hear about it in the comments below.