You spend hours or days creating a value-filled, easy-to-understand online course. But no one buys it, and all your effort goes down the drain. That hurts, but it’s the reality many online course creators face today. To help you scale these sales hurdles, we have compiled 8 proven methods to help you effectively sell without breaking a sweat below.
9 Proven Methods To Sell Your Online Courses!
First, you must understand that online courses can be sold singularly – where your buyers only pay once to gain lifetime access. Or as a membership-only online course, which can only be accessed through a continuous subscription. Regardless of how you monetize your online course, you need to implement a few or all of the methods below to generate a good ROI.
Come up with a Winning Course Idea and Create It
You need to zero in on what your potential students want to learn. This is extremely important because it allows you to create a course that meets a demand in the market. Riches are in the niches. This means you must consider positioning your course to be unique in the market. For example, if you want to teach web development, you can go extremely specific, like “How to build a CRM from scratch using the Laravel PHP framework.” Or you can angle your course to meet demand, like “How to build a CRM for small offline businesses.”
You can also consider niche overlapping. An example is “How to use Canva to create stunning visuals for your blog posts.” Canva is a design software that bloggers and businesses widely use. But by positioning your course to be about Canva + blogging, you immediately make it more valuable and unique. The key here is to develop an idea that’s unique and in demand.
Once you develop course ideas, it’s time to validate them. The best way to validate your ideas is by surveying potential students. Before that, you need to define your target audience. To do that, answer the following questions:
- Who is your target audience? (E.g., female entrepreneurs, stay-at-home moms, etc.)
- What are their biggest pains and challenges?
- What are their interests?
- What is their income level?
- Where do they hang out online?
You can use Google Forms or SurveyMonkey to create your survey. Include strategic questions that will help you validate your ideas. Once validated, you can use tools like Notion or other similar tools (including mind-mapping tools) to map your course content from the module to the lesson level. Without using strategic tools for thought, if you start writing or recording, you’ll often find yourself all over the place, and your course will lack focus.
I’m a big fan of externalizing my ideas, and I think you should be too. If you don’t, all your ideas will only exist in your head, which isn’t very effective. When you’re done, it’s time to start production. Keep it simple by recording yourself on video (using a tool like Loom) and/or screen capture software. Make sure your audio is clear as well. Invest in a decent microphone if you have to, as audio is way more important than video quality.
Build A Great Landing Page
Whether you generate signals through organic means or paid ads, you need a webpage dedicated to receiving the drawn leads before sales can occur. You can perhaps consider using MotoCMS if WordPress seems more technical for you. You can choose from our premade templates. Moreover, statistics show that the average conversion rate for a well-designed landing page is 9.7%. For every 100 leads generated, about 10 people will buy your online course. However, a subpar landing page will probably yield less than a percent of conversion. So keep the following in mind when building a landing page for your online course:
- Make it relevant and welcoming.
- Use visually aesthetic elements with storytelling images.
- Optimize your landing page for mobile usability.
- Crosscheck your CTA (call to action) links for errors.
- Include testimonials and social proof.
- Integrate responsive chat support.
- If your check-out page and landing page are the same, ensure visitors have a variety of payment methods to choose from.
Funnel Sales From Your Blog (If You Have One)
Now that you have a place to send your leads, you can start generating signals from sources like your blog. As a blogger, you have a measurable number of monthly visitors. Let’s say you receive 30,000 monthly visits. You could create a short blog post on your online course and make it available to your audience. A reasonable percentage of the 30,000 visitors will surely read through the post and take action that brings them to your online course’s landing page.
With a 9.7% conversion rate for well-designed landing pages, sales for your online course will spike to a new level. Read more about funnel marketing here.
Make Use Of Online Courses Platforms
There are several learning management systems and course platforms out there, such as Udemy, Teachable Thinkific, and Kajabi. Visit their pages as a vendor and register your online course for sale. Unlike Udemy, which takes a 50% cut from your course sales, other platforms like Thinkific and Kajabi allow you to keep 100% of the revenue and also give you more control over the design and marketing of your courses
If you choose this route, It would be best to incorporate an upsell or cross-selling strategy to increase the Average Order Value (AOV). A fair deal?
Go For Paid Ads
You can take things a bit further by paying for ads. Advertisement platforms like Google Ads and YouTube will promote your online course to millions of users. Leads generated through ads are directly taken to your landing page and gently nudged through the sales cycle before the conversion occurs. You can use old funnel marketing or newer models like flywheel marketing.
Note that leads generated through this method convert more slowly than those obtained through organic means. Because the frame of mind of buyers who see your ads are mostly undecided or even skeptical. However, if properly executed, you will have a good return on your investment.
Don’t Neglect Social Media
Social buzz is real, depending on how you use it. If you already have a good number of followers, let’s say, on Twitter, you should organize a good thread that speaks value and throw in a link that leads to your online course. Another effective way to sell online courses through social media is by creating communities – groups, broadcasts, and pages. Creator community economy is a thing, and it’s working wonders for those who understand how to tap into it properly.
Develop a loyal fanbase in your social communities using your course as a focus point or leverage an existing community. When you have a community, you own a piece of the internet, and that’s a significant advantage in today’s digital era.
Create An Email Course
An email course is like movie previews or trailers. They feature a short but valuable part of your online course and nurture your email leads until they are ready to buy the main package. Take this as a good example. Imagine you created one of the systems on how to build apps using Java. You could extract a short excerpt from the course, which will then be emailed to your leads. Or create new content entirely. Consider topics like these for your email course sequence:
- Day 1: A welcome email and an introduction to what Java is.
- Day 2: Popular applications built with Java.
- Day 3: How much does a Java programmer earn annually?
- Day 4: Top companies where Java developers are in high demand.
- Day 5: How to become a Java Developer (Input your online course here).
- Day 6: Begin your journey as a highly paid Java developer (Sell your online course).
You can also repurpose and integrate your blog content with your email course. The goal is to nurture leads and buy them after the sales cycle. However, none of this is possible without an email list. You can build an email list by offering lead magnets, list buying, social media like LinkedIn, and webinars.
Organize Live Webinars And Leverage Podcasts
Webinars and podcasts work like email courses. You pick a topic relevant to your online course and teach it to a well-researched audience. The goal is to position yourself as an authority who knows the ins and outs of the topic. Success testimonials and a convincing conclusion will turn your warm attendees into hot buyers in no time. Moreover, a good practice for every webinar is to collect your attendees’ emails and seek their permission to be added to your email list.
The podcast industry is booming. This attention economy is all about being where your audience is. People multitask and love to listen to podcasts while doing other things like commuting, working out, and even caring for their babies. To ease out creating content for your podcast, you can use leverage by interviewing other guests in your field. Here’s a good guide by Riverside.fm to get you started.
Introduce Referral Contests
65% of fresh business opportunities or sales are gotten through referrals and recommendations. Offer your existing customers a tangible perk such as a monetary bonus or new course unlocks whenever they successfully refer others. Also, request reviews from loyal buyers to boost your online course’s credibility. The more positive reviews your online system has, the more likely people will buy it.
Sell Your Online Courses Successfully – Conclusion
There are several ways to sell online courses, and the strategies vary depending on your goals. You can use social media, create an email course, or organize live webinars to increase leads and conversions. You can also introduce referral contests to get more business opportunities. By combining the abovementioned methods, you can generate a steady flow of income.