How to Market Online Course and Boost Sales
What’s the difference between Master Shifu and Mark Manson? Master Shifu didn’t have to market his lessons.
In the real world, Mark Manson had to build a following on his blog over several years before he could publish a global bestseller, charge for access to his website, and create a successful paid online course.
But as an online teacher in 2023, your marketing path isn’t as difficult as his.
Since the pandemic, listings for teaching-related roles on the Indian job portal naukri.com have increased four-fold. Every other connection on LinkedIn is either teaching or learning new things online.
The surge only means that the initial phase of convincing a new audience about the credibility of the offering is over, it is now just about convincing them that your personal offering is worth their money and trust.
Secondly, everyone is a social marketer today. Your social media profiles are essentially marketing for yourself, so you’re not exactly new to marketing.
If you too have a great online course but not a great marketing plan, here’s where you can start.
Homework for marketing your online course
1. Establish your expert authority
You are the face of the online course!
To market your online course, you need more than just a LinkedIn profile to convince students. It starts with simple things such as posting advice on social media and engaging in conversations on Quora and Reddit.
There is something for you to capture on each platform. Make a list of your achievements and promote them strategically on each of them.
More importantly, keep reading and sharpening your skills to stay fresh and updated.
2. Profile your target audience
Every good marketer starts by profiling their target audience. Determine who your best prospective student is, and create a few sample profiles based on the following questions.
- What age group do they belong to?
- Where do they live?
- How much do they/their parents earn?
- What are their hobbies?
- What kind of content do they consume online?
- What attracts them to your subject matter?
- Who makes buying decisions for them and how?
Once you establish your online authority, it’ll be easier for you to interact with, study, and profile your target audience.
3. Identify problems and solutions
Once you know your target audience, you will understand what exactly they need in your subject area that they aren’t getting from your competitors.
Let’s say, you’re a soft skills instructor. There is no dearth of your kind. But you find out that middle-aged professionals with a considerable amount of work experience, mothers returning after a break, or people making drastic career changes all have their specific needs.
Is there anyone who is catering to the nervousness that comes with being out of touch for a year or two, or the uncertainty of changing industries at 35? Can you delve deeper and tackle these?
Conduct thought experiments, talk to your audiences, and zero down on a core purpose for your course that you can spell out in one comprehensive sentence.
For example, “My course will help busy working mothers learn a set of 7-10 quick, healthy recipes that they can prepare for themselves and their children.
12 Ways To Market Your Online Course
Once your homework is done, you can start drawing your real marketing strategy. If you’re completely new to marketing, take it as you are learning something new yourself in the process of teaching something new to others!
1. Optimize your website
If you create a course on any popular online course marketplace, you will have to play by its rules every step of the way. With a customizable platform such as FreshLearn, your website will become your voice. Everything from the colors and fonts to lesson plans will be an extension of your marketing plan.
The first step to building authority online is to optimize your website for search engines to draw traffic to your online course.
This is especially important for online creators since your entire product is based online.
It's important to optimize your website by addressing a few basic requirements first -
- Update your homepage with your details like photographs, qualifications, and testimonials, if you already have any, to build authenticity.
- On your About page, include information on how your course can solve your customers’ problems and provide value to them.
- Make sure your website’s contact page displays all the necessary and accurate details that can help your customers reach you easily. You can add more than one contact method, such as your phone number, your email ID, or your contact form.
- Add a product page for every course you have launched. These individual pages must provide a detailed guide on what the respective courses offer.
- Lastly, we cannot stress enough the importance of a good sales landing page that will convert your visitors into customers.
- It should list all the digital products that you have to offer with short descriptions and links redirecting visitors to individual product pages that we discussed above.
- Once they have a detailed idea of what your course offers, and they are sure that is what they are looking for, they can come back to the landing page to subscribe.
- Make sure you have a proper membership site from where your customers can sign up and log in. Here’s how to build a clean membership site, if you don’t already have one.
Think about how each of these decisions reflects upon your brand, and make the most of the following features of FreshLearn.
- Heavy on-course personalization
- Ideal user journeys
- Prompt quizzes and assessments
- Custom domains for every course
- Effortless payment unification
- Smart third-party integrations
- Completely Whitelabel and re-brandable features
- Next-gen reporting and analytics
2. Focus on content marketing and SEO
One of the primary things you should do when optimizing your website for search engines is to create high-quality content that is both engaging and relevant to your course topic.
This can include blog posts, how-to guides, videos, infographics, or other types of content that your audience will find valuable and helpful.
Additionally, you should aim to build backlinks to your site from external sites - for example, by including links in guest posts published on popular blogs in your industry.
Another key element of search engine optimization is conducting keyword research.
This involves identifying which keywords are most relevant to your course, as well as how competitive they are in terms of search volume and how difficult they will be to rank for.
Once you have this information, you can focus on including these keywords throughout your site - for example, by including them in titles, meta descriptions, headings, and other areas where appropriate.
By incorporating the right keywords and using other best practices like creating high-quality content and building backlinks, you can increase your visibility and reach more potential students.
If you are able to consistently implement these strategies and actively promote your online course through various marketing channels, you will see improved results in terms of increased traffic and engagement from potential students.
3. Start your own podcast
Another way to get your courses to more people is by setting up a podcast!
With the right strategy, you can use your podcast to increase awareness of your course and get more people interested in learning more about it.
- First, consider who your target audience is. This will help you determine the topics and themes that you focus on in your podcast. For example, if you're targeting business professionals looking to improve their skills or advance their careers, you might choose topics like leadership development or career growth strategies as the focus of your show.
- Next, think about how you can create valuable content that will resonate with your audience. This could mean sharing tips and advice, interviewing industry experts and thought leaders, or even hosting Q&As or listener challenges to engage your listeners on a more personal level. Whatever approach you choose, be sure to keep your listeners in mind at all times, tailoring your content to their needs and interests.
At the same time, don't forget to promote your podcast through other marketing channels as well.
Distribute your podcast via Google Podcasts, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or your own website.
Once you build a strong following for your podcast, your expertise will be established. Prospective students get a glimpse of your teaching abilities from the way you explain concepts in your articles and podcasts.
4. Invest in growing your social media presence
At a first, glance, growing your social media presence might seem like a daunting prospect – how do you attract new followers and engage with your existing audience in an effective and meaningful way?
With the right tools and strategies, it is entirely possible to build a strong social media presence that effectively markets your online course.
One of the most important steps in growing your social media presence is choosing the right platforms to focus on.
1. Facebook: Audiences across age groups and professions are active on Facebook. You can explore features such as Facebook Live, Stories, and interest-based groups to drive your course.
A business page linked to your Instagram business page could also be a good idea for targeting the right people.
2. Instagram: An Instagram page is a must for creative course teachers. That doesn’t mean business and strategic online courses cannot be marketed on this platform.
With features such as Q&A, polls, and the immense creative potential of Instagram, it becomes a great place to interact with your audience and register yourself in their minds.
3. YouTube: You can treat YouTube videos as practice course videos. You could even upload these and send them only to a select few people for feedback. Or you could publicize them on all other social platforms and gauge reactions from your social circle as well as the audience on YouTube at large.
4. Twitter: Twitter can serve the same purpose as your blog or LinkedIn page, in a limited number of characters. Comment on new developments in your course area and use trending hashtags, mainly to add to your credibility and online exposure.
5. LinkedIn: If not to connect with your audience, LinkedIn is surely a great place to connect with fellow teachers and experts, to keep track of businesses in your field. Having an illustrious LinkedIn profile in addition to creative Instagram pages and blogs can help in adding to your professional credibility.
Once you've decided on your platforms of choice, it's important to create high-quality content that is both engaging and relevant.
This might mean posting videos or infographics with useful tips and advice or sharing articles and blog posts that are related to your course topic.
Another key component of growing your social media presence is building a community around your brand.
This can be done by fostering relationships with other influencers in your field and responding to comments and questions from your followers.
At the end of the day, growing your social media presence takes time and effort – but if you invest the necessary resources into this important marketing channel, you'll be well on your way to successfully marketing your online course to a wider audience.
5. Volunteer to guest post on other websites in your industry
According to FreshLearn creator Erica J., one of the most effective strategies to market your online course and build a stronger following is to write guest posts for other websites in your niche.
“Guest posting allows you to share your knowledge and expertise, while also helping others to learn more about your course and how it can benefit them.”, says Erica.
But how do you start off?
Here are some steps that are tested, tried & validated by creators using Freshlearn
- First, start by researching the websites that you want to write for. This will help you to select topics that are relevant to their audience, and also help you to come up with new ideas for your own posts.
- Next, plan out your posts ahead of time. This will help you to stay organized and ensure that your posts are well-written, while also giving yourself enough time to get feedback from others and make any necessary edits.
- Finally, focus on building relationships with the editors and other writers at the websites that you are writing for. This will help to keep your posts in front of the right people, and also ensure that you are getting the most out of your guest posting efforts.
If you want to effectively market your online course, writing guest posts is one of the best strategies that you can use.
By following these key steps, you can create content that will help to generate interest in your course and build a stronger following for your online business.
6. Give and take: testimonials and guest blogs
You can give influencers in your field free access to your course and ask them to publish an honest review on their pages.
Additionally, you can contact credible blogs and pages, and find out if you can publish a guest blog, a guest post, a handle takeover, or a video post based on your subject matter.
They should generally allow you to promote your course, social handles, website, and other content.
Online teaching need not be a solo endeavour. Through social conversations, you can get in touch with fellow teachers, combine your strengths, and publish collaborative content.
If you are putting together a comprehensive cooking course and know an expert baker, you could have them conduct one special lesson in your online course. Collaborations help both parties and give them access to each other’s audiences.
8. Live webinars and events
Live webinars can give you a good classroom test. Reading your blogs and posts is one thing, but watching you speak and interact is what can truly convince people that you can be a good teacher.
Running a successful live webinar is all about planning ahead, keeping your presentation engaging, and making use of interactive tools like Q&A sessions to build community among your participants.
Now, if you dread speaking to a live audience more than getting stranded on a deserted road, you may want to host a pre-recorded webinar.
If you are unsure, quickly check out this life vs pre-recorded webinar comparison guide.
Once you have a good following on your blog and social accounts, host a live webinar, and look for opportunities to take part in events as a speaker, panellist, etc.
9. Discounts: to offer or not to offer
Even after being one of the most successful teachers in the world, Mark Manson sells online courses in a package along with exclusive blog articles and other content.
Discounts and offers are not necessarily a bad idea, whether you’re starting out or are established.
They only increase the number of registrations, which means increased exposure that helps branding in the long run.
FreshLearn allows you to easily create product bundles to sell them as memberships in 2023.
With product bundling, you can group together a number of related products or services into one "bundle" that offers significant savings over purchasing each item individually.
This is a great way to get more students enrol in your online course, as customers will be drawn in by the attractive savings on offer.
All you need to do is -
Step 1: Navigate to Products -> Product Bundle and click on the ‘Add Product Bundle’ tab.
Step 2: Next, give your product bundle a catchy name, but what all it includes in the description, add a thumbnail that best fits this combination, and hit ‘Create’.
And that’s it!
Now, you can get sales of multiple digital products at once every time a customer signs up for a product bundle.
In addition to product bundling, you can also offer discounts and special promotions on your online course.
This could include offering free shipping for purchases above a certain amount, or coupon codes for your customers.
You can create both single-use and multi-use coupon codes from your admin dashboard on FreshLearn!
Just make sure to not over-discount and maintain your standards.
A). Contribute to public forums
Another effective marketing strategy is to write engaging content for public forums like Quora.
Here, you can share your knowledge on topics related to your course, build a following, and connect with potential students who are interested in what you have to offer.
To get started, it's important to choose the right keywords that relate to your course topic.
Next, think about how you want to present yourself on these forums.
Your tone should be engaging and witty so that you can stand out from the crowd and attract more readers.
Another key strategy is to network with other experts in your field, either online or in person.
This will help establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry, while also driving more traffic to your posts and courses.
With these tips, you can successfully market your online course on popular forums like Quora and Reddit, gaining exposure and attracting new students along the way. Good luck!
B). Offer upsells
Upsells are nothing but additional products or services that you can sell to customers who have already shown interest in your course.
At first, it may seem like a daunting task to come up with effective upsells that actually resonate with your customers and help to boost sales, but with a little strategic planning and creativity, it is definitely possible.
Here are some tips for how to market your online course and create effectively upsells that will help you attract more customers and increase revenue:
- Do your research - Before you begin creating any upsells for your course, it's important to understand what your customers are looking for and what their needs and desires may be. Look at reviews and feedback from past students, as well as conduct surveys or interviews to get a better sense of what your audience is looking for in an online course.
- Identify the right timing - When you're planning how to market your online course and offer upsells, it's important to think about how and when to pitch them. Consider how your customers are engaging with your course - for example, how they're signing up, how often they're completing lessons, or how they're interacting with the content. Based on this information, you can decide which moments in the customer journey are the most appropriate for offering upsells or other ways to further engage and motivate learners.Offer value-added products and services - When creating upsells for your course, it's important to choose products or services that add value for your customers. This could mean offering complementary or supplementary materials, for example, or providing access to exclusive resources or discounts on other products and services.
10. Audience interactions
For an online course business, audience interaction is not just personal responses to messages and comments. It also includes regular Q&A sessions, actively seeking feedback, sharing positive feedback that you receive, and rewarding loyal audiences.
Rewards can be something as small as sharing screenshots of their positive feedback, their well-made assignments, or sharing personalized advice.
A). Start an affiliate program
To start affiliate marketing for your own online course, the first step is to identify how you can best help your audience.
Think about your own skills, interests, and experience – how can you provide value to others by sharing what you know?
Once you’ve identified your target audience and how you’ll help them, it’s time to start searching for affiliate networks or companies that offer relevant products or services.
These networks will allow you to tap into a huge pool of potential customers, and you can earn commissions on every sale you make.
To succeed with affiliate marketing for your online course, be sure to align yourself with products or services that are in high demand and offer real value to your audience.
11). Paid Ads
This step is not extremely necessary, but it can provide great reach. Paid Google ads, social ads, YouTube ads, and website ads give you great access to your audience.
These platforms allow you to set your budget and control how much you spend on each ad, so you can get the most bang for your buck while still reaching potential students.
To get started with paid online ads, it's important to do some initial research and find out which platform will work best for your business, just like other social media marketing strategies.
This means considering things like your target audience, goals for promoting your course, and how much time and resources you have to spend on advertising.
Once you've chosen the right platform, it's time to start crafting your ads.
This involves thinking about how you want to present your course and how to grab the attention of potential students.
You may also want to consider using video ads, as these tend to be more engaging than text-based ads.
Spending money to make money might not be everyone’s idea of a great marketing plan, and you can take your time to evaluate this option.
A). Invest in influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is another of the most effective ways to market the online course that you can invest in, besides paid ads.
This can be especially true if you’re an expert in a field that isn’t very well-known yet, or if you want to reach potential students who are likely to benefit from your expertise.
There are multiple ways to invest in influencer marketing for your online course.
The first thing to consider is how you plan to approach potential influencers in your field.
You may want to reach out directly with a personalized message outlining how they could be a good fit as an affiliate or partner, or you might prefer to collaborate with an agency that connects brands like yours with relevant social media influencers.
Another key factor to consider when investing in influencer marketing is how you’ll measure success.
For example, you may want to focus on the number of followers an influencer has, or how many leads they’re able to generate for your course.
You may also need to track how long it takes for them to start generating leads for you, and how cost-effective their efforts are.
Whether you choose to work with an agency or approach influencers directly, make sure you do your research, set clear goals, and track your results along the way.
12. Offer Course Completion Certificates
Add an extra level of prestige to your courses by offering your students course completion certificates.
This is one of the best ways to show your students that you value their hard work and dedication.
By doing so, you not only acknowledge their efforts but also motivate them to continue working hard and striving for success.
Course completion certificates can be given out at the end of the course, and can be customized to include the student's name, the name of the course, and the date of completion.
They can also be personalized with a special message from the teacher. Whether you choose to give out certificates on a regular basis or not, doing so is a great way to show your students that you care about their success.
How To Market Your Online Course Using FreshLearn
Being a course creator is a lot like being a juggler, juggling between content, technology, and pedagogy.
If you're looking to create and deploy on-demand courses efficiently and without hassle, look no further than FreshLearn.
It's an intuitive platform that allows you to create, manage and deliver your material without worrying about technology or sacrificing user experience. So you can focus on what you do best - creating great courses!
Looking to attract more students? FreshLearn can help. Here are some things you can do:
Create On-Demand & Cohort-Based Courses In Minutes
If you're looking for a quick and easy way to create on-demand or cohort-based courses, you've come to the right place. Our platform makes it simple to design and deliver courses that meet your specific needs.
Whether you're looking to create a self-paced course for your employees or a cohort-based learning experience for your students, we can help.
FreshLearn makes it easy to upload content, create assignments, and track progress.
FreshLearn makes it simple to get started, and you can be up and running in minutes. Plus, our cohort-based approach ensures that your students are learning together and supporting each other, which can lead to better outcomes.
Take Learning To The Next Level By Creating A Masterclass
If you're looking to take your students' learning to the next level, why not create a Masterclass for them?
A Masterclass is an intensive learning experience led by an expert in their field. By creating a Masterclass for your students, you'll be able to give them the opportunity to learn from the best and gain valuable insights into their chosen field of study.
Not only will your students benefit from the wealth of knowledge that you'll be sharing with them, but they'll also have the chance to network with other like-minded individuals and build valuable relationships.
So, if you're looking for a way to take your students' learning to the next level, launching a Masterclass with FreshLearn is a perfect solution.
Entice Your Students By Making That Perfect Sales Page
Think about it – a sales page that highlights all of the amazing things your course has to offer, and that makes your students want to learn more. It could be the difference between a course that your students love and one that they dread.
A great course sales page is the key to convincing potential students to sign up for your course. And with FreshLearn, it's easy to create a stunning sales page that will make them want to learn more.
It offers a range of beautiful templates that are easy to customize with no coding knowledge, so you can create a page that's just right for your course. You can also add images, videos, and testimonials to really sell online courses.
Creating a sales page with FreshLearn is the best way to get more students to sign up for your course. So why wait? Get started today!
Drive Engagement With Gamification
Gamification is a wonderful way to increase learner engagement. By adding game-like elements to the learning experience, learners are more likely to be engaged and motivated to complete their courses.
Gamification can also help learners to better retain information and improve their problem-solving skills.
Rewards are a great motivator for learners. We understand. We use them to motivate our team members to do what we want them to do.
Luckily, FreshLearn is here to make issuing rewards easier for anyone that uses our system. With FreshLearn, you can issue badges, send notifications, and give rewards to learners in real time.
Get Paid Your Way With Integrated Payment Solutions
With FreshLearn, you can easily sell your courses online and accept payments from a variety of payment methods. We have partnered with leading payment providers to offer a variety of options for our customers, including credit and debit cards, PayPal, Stripe, and bank transfers.
Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for our customers to sell courses online, and our integrated payment solutions will help us achieve that goal. We also offer a built-in affiliate management system, so you can easily promote your course and earn commissions. And if you want any help along the way, our team is always here to assist you.
Your marketing plan is almost as important as your online course design. The good thing is that none of the above-mentioned online platforms is alien to you. After a few more days of racking your brains, you will have made your perfect marketing plan.
So go on, become the world’s next favourite music teacher, business strategist, brewer, or any other kind of teacher, and enter the marketing hall of fame simultaneously!
FreshLearn lets you transform your knowledge into an online school. Start creating and selling online courses and launch your online academy in less than 60 mins.
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