Developing an online course is one of those rare opportunities to really immerse yourself in the process. It’s a true labor of love. And, if done correctly, you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of your effort for many years to come. In reality, online courses generate 80% of the revenue of the world’s wealthiest bloggers. It takes so much time and effort—building your website, structuring your curriculum, editing content, recording videos, and creating assessments that it’s not unusual to put your online marketing ideas and sales strategy on hold until you have a perfectly polished product.
Here are the most effective ways that you can actually improve your Teachable Sales
1. Design a student avatar that reflects your personality
This is a crucial initial step before using any of the tactics discussed in this article. Before you start marketing your course, figure out who your ideal student is. This will help you come up with marketing messages that speak directly to their problems, needs, and wants.
Your ideal student avatar is a depiction of the ideal student for your course. Write a one-paragraph description of your ideal student and keep it in mind as you use the marketing methods recommended in this article.
2. Identify your one-of-a-kind value proposition.
Investigate some of the existing online courses pertaining to your topic to get a sense of what is covered and how the material is presented. The idea is to figure out how you’ll set your course apart from the competition. What aspects of your issue would you address that your competitors have overlooked? What unique value can you bring to your course that the others don’t?
Determine your distinct value proposition (also known as a differentiator) and include it on your course sales page as well as in your marketing communications. It also helps to have a decent response when people inquire, “How is your course different from XYZ?”
3. Conduct a survey of your target audience before creating your course.
This phase is crucial because it ensures that you develop an online course that people desire to take. Send a poll to your audience (from a blog, podcast, email list, social media, etc.) to find out what topics they’d like to learn about. Make a course around what they want, not what you want to make.
Involving your audience in the course design process is also a wonderful way to build excitement for your course before it is released, as well as to validate the need for your course topic before investing any resources into it.
4. Based on keyword research, create an engaging course title.
Consider, for a moment, that you are looking for information about your subject. What search terms (also known as keywords) would you use to locate the information you require? For example, if you wanted to learn how to design logos in Adobe Photoshop, you’d probably type in “how to design logos using Photoshop” or a variation of that phrase.
Identify the most popular keywords relevant to your course topic using a service like Google’s Keyword Planner or BuzzSumo, and incorporate those keywords into your course title. This can help to position your course as exactly what a potential student is seeking when conducting an online search for your topic.
5. Promote your online course in advance.
Pre-selling a course is a terrific way to avoid the sad predicament of developing a course that no one buys. Trying to sell something before you make it may seem illogical, but trust us on this. It’s far better to sell your online course concept to your target audience and discover they’re not interested in it than to spend major time and money developing an online course that no one buys.
After you’ve released your online course, you’ll need to figure out how to sell it. Following the creation of your course, there are a few things you can do to help enhance your sales:
6. Use your blog to promote your course.
Your blog, especially if you consistently produce free content relating to your course topic, is an excellent area to promote your course. Every person who visits your blog is a possible student for your course if you produce articles about the same topic that you teach in your course.
The top bar of your website (if your blog’s theme doesn’t feature a top bar, you can create one using Sumo or Hello Bar), the end of each blog post, your sidebar, and your About Page are all fantastic areas to promote your course. You can also create a sales widget for your course and publish it anywhere on your blog using Thinkific.
7. Establish your own YouTube channel.
The second most popular search engine on the planet is YouTube (after Google). On a daily basis, millions of people search YouTube for “how-to” videos. In the search results of several search engines, YouTube videos might even score higher than websites.
Create a YouTube channel dedicated to your course topic and regularly post instructional videos. In your video descriptions, include a link to your website or course.
8. Make a YouTube video to publicize your course.
To market your course, make a short video and upload it to YouTube. To enhance awareness of your course, you might even make many promotional movies, each with a distinct title. Make sure your video names and descriptions include popular keywords relating to your topic so that they rank well in search results for those phrases. In your video descriptions, include a link to your website or course. Consider running ads for your marketing video on Facebook or Google, for example, if it does well.
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9. Include testimonials from students on your course’s sales page.
The importance of social evidence in the decision-making process of a buyer cannot be overstated. Few people relish the prospect of being the first to buy a product or service. They want to know if other people have purchased your course and had a good experience with it. That is why customer feedback and reviews are so important.
Add a few positive testimonials from other students who have taken your course on your course sales page. If no one has taken your course yet, allow a few people to take it for free in exchange for a testimonial.
10. In your email signature, include a link to your course.
On a daily basis, you presumably write and respond to a lot of emails, and some of the individuals you’re emailing would be interested in your course if they knew about it. Include a link to your course in your email signature with a short sentence. Even if the person who views your email signature isn’t interested in your course, they could know someone who is.
11. Create a page for your course on your main website.
If you have a website or blog, include a page on it with information about your course. Once that page is up and running, add a link to it to your website’s main menu so that people can locate it and learn more about your course. Include a link to your course’s purchase page on that page, or a link to your course’s sales page, so people can learn more about it and decide if they want to purchase it.
12. Create a mailing list
Most customers need to hear from you multiple times before they decide to buy from you. This is why maintaining an email list is so beneficial. When someone signs up for your email newsletter, you have the opportunity to win their trust over time by offering them relevant insights and advice on your topic. Because you offered value to them before asking for the sale, they are more inclined to buy your course when you eventually promote it to them.
13. Create a podcast
Starting a podcast on your course topic is a great way to establish an audience of people who are interested in that area. Every person who listens to your podcast could be interested in enrolling in your online course. In each podcast episode, offer a call-to-action to visit your website and/or learn more about your course, and at the end of each episode, include a call-to-action to visit your website and/or learn more about your course.
You may reach hundreds or even thousands of listeners on a monthly basis for free by uploading your podcast to sites like iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. This will give your courses and brand a lot of exposure.
14. Take part in podcast interviews
By doing some research, you can find podcasts that are connected to your topic and have an audience that would be interested in your course. If you’re looking for podcasts, iTunes is a wonderful place to start. Make a list of the podcasts that appear in the search results by entering some keywords related to your topic in the search bar. Before contacting the host, read the description of each podcast (and, even better, listen to a couple of their episodes). Send a tailored email to each podcast host, introducing yourself and explaining why you think you’d be a good fit for their show.
Remember that the goal of a podcast interview is to provide value to the audience. Your interview should not consist entirely of a sales pitch for your course. Tell the audience how they can contact you and learn more about your courses at the end of the conversation.
15. Ensure that your social media profiles are up to date.
Your social media sites are an excellent way to establish your personal brand and establish yourself as a subject matter expert for your course. Update your bio to represent your area of expertise on any social media platform where you have a profile. Include a link to your main website (or even your course) in your profiles so that people who want to learn more about your course topic can find it.
16. Create a free mini-course
Make a mini-course out of selected sections or themes from your main course. Give away your mini-course for free, and then ask your students to buy your main course if they want to learn more about your subject. This technique provides a risk-free way for potential students to learn from you before purchasing your main course.
17. Plan a live webinar.
Hosting a live webinar for people who are interested in your topic is one of the best ways to sell online courses. Share some of your best stuff for free during the webinar. This helps to establish you as an authority figure, as well as trust before you promote your course and seek a sale.
18. Increase the visibility of your webinar recording.
You may use the recording of a successful live webinar to sell more courses after you’ve hosted a successful live webinar. Send an email to anyone who signed up for your live webinar but didn’t show up, along with a link to the recording. You could even utilize the recording to create an automated webinar and then advertise the webinar to generate recurring revenue.
19. Create a number of courses and cross-promote them.
Make a series of courses that address different aspects of the same general topic. Each course in your “series,” like in a book series (think Harry Potter), serves to promote the other courses in the series. Mention that you have more courses on the same topic at the end of each of your courses. Creating more courses for your current students is never a terrible idea because they are the ones who are most likely to buy from you again.
20. Offer course bundles and discounts.
You can bundle courses that are closely connected by topic and offer them at a discount once you’ve made several of them. For example, if you have three courses that each sell for $197, you might bundle them together and sell them for $497 (saving your customer $94). This incentivizes individuals to buy many courses from you at the same time.
Rather than attempting to execute them all at once, commit to implementing a handful at a time and evaluating the results before moving on to the next. Determine which ones are most effective for your course topic and intended audience, and then focus on them.