Today, virtually anyone can sell online courses on various online learning platforms. As a result, we have online courses for almost every topic imaginable. If you want to upskill for your career or just learn new skills as a hobby, you can just take an online course. Even traditional education institutions are moving to online learning and certifications. So if you want to learn how to sell online courses then you have come to the right place.
Firstly, do you have an online course?
Before you sell anything online, you need to at least have a product and a way to deliver that product to your end customers. In the case of online courses, you need to have a course that people can purchase online and access the content of the course. The most popular online course content format consists of a series of videos divided into multiple lessons and activities.
There are many learning management systems available in the market that helps you build and sell online courses. However not every LMSs are the same – some are easy to use while some require highly specialized technical skills.
If you are building a simple course that you want to sell on your website and do not require complex features, then you need to choose a simpler online course builder platform like Coursebox. Coursebox provides a simple interface for you to build and sell online courses.
So once you have a platform to host your online courses. It’s time to sell online courses!
How to sell online courses?
If you have ever tried googling for an online course for any topic then you are aware that it is a crowded market. People are bombarded with ads, content and promotions of multiple online courses every hour. Hence, you need to build a winning strategy to sell online courses. Let’s go through some useful tips and tricks.
1.Website for your online course
You need to build a dedicated webpage for your online courses. It will help you provide details about the courses and their benefits. Moreover, it is your main sales pitch to sell your online courses.
An effective sales page to sell online course contains:
Video about the course
Details about how the course is different from other online courses
All about the course content and its length
Reviews and comments from the learners of the course
Logos of organisations that are partners and customers
List of associations, affiliations and accreditation
Recommendation from influencers who are recognised as thought leaders in the topic you are teaching
You need to ensure that the website is doing all the sales pitch for your online course. You can check the websites of many online courses and you will find these elements common. If you want to sell online courses then you need to help learners decided why they should be buying your courses.
2. Social media presence
Having a social media presence is a must if you want to sell online courses. It is by far the most important step in building your online influence and building your brand. Also, as you build your social media presence, with time it will become easier to sell future online courses and other digital products.
To begin with, you should regularly publish content related to your course topics on platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. This process also allows you to understand your target audience better and can inform your future courses.
Many popular online tutors have an influential status that allows them to engage with their audience to ideate on new course content. On the other hand, many celebrities and online influencers are leveraging their influence to sell online courses.
In addition, you can also engage in other social networking platforms like Quora, Reddit, Facebook groups and other communities to soft-sell your online courses.
Therefore, it is important at a very early stage to start building your social media presence.
3. Search engine optimisation
Blog! Blog! Blog! Blogging is one of the oldest online marketing tricks that still work. Many successful entrepreneurs use blogs to build their thought leadership and useful micro-content. It is also a more relaxed form of content because you can simply pen down your thoughts and publish them.
Moreover, blogging has great search engine optimisation benefits which allow your audience to discover your online course organically. As a result, you can sell online courses without spending a huge budget on paid ads. It is, however, a long term strategy and requires planning and research.
4. Free YouTube content
Youtube is the most relevant and powerful platform for online course builders and sellers. You have to start sharing your content on Youtube for free to build your own community of learners. In today’s market, not being present on YouTube to sell online courses is a missed opportunity.
For example, there are hundreds of YouTube channel offering free online courses on various topics like marketing, SEO, website design, programming and so on. Each channel has its own niche community. These community members are not just learners, but also an advocated of the channel and can become an evangelist for your paid online courses.
The simplest strategy is to upload micro content (9/10 minutes) of your full course and link to the main paid online course. This will help you sell online courses to people who discover your Youtube videos.
5. Leveraging online course marketplace
The other way to build quick traffic to your online course is by publishing your content on a marketplace like Skillshare, Udemy and so on. By making your content available on these marketplaces, you can leverage their traffic and audience to kickstart your own community.
Many online courses tutor have gained success by starting at such marketplaces and then moving on to their own platforms to sell online courses independently.
Launching your course on these platforms is also a good way to gauge the interest of learners in the topic you are teaching.
6. Events and Webinars
The next best approach to sell online courses is to participate in online or offline events as a speaker. This provides social proof and puts you in front of your target audience.
Events also help you build your brand over time. However, you need to be consistent with your event presence. You need to have a regular presence at different places to boost your familiarity with the target audience. Once you are more recognised within your community, it gets easier to sell online courses.
7. Collaboration and Podcasting
The best thing about the Internet is that anyone can collaborate with anyone from across the world. When you are starting to sell online courses, it is important to reach out to other influencers or professionals in your industry who can introduce you to their audience. This is how YouTube influencers gain their audience and subscribers. Every day hundreds of Youtubers and podcasters appear as a guest in each other’s platform and promote their content.
For example, if your online course is targeted towards sports enthusiasts, then it makes sense to collaborate with an influencer who makes videos and podcasts around sports. Also, it is important to collaborate with the right influencers. Not all types of exposure are good exposure. For instance, if you get a chance to appear on Joe Rogan’s podcast to sell your online courses, it might not work because his audience might not be the right audience for you.
8.Building an email newsletter
When a visitor comes to your online course website, the easiest way to engage with them is via email newsletters. It allows you to send drip learning content and move them up your sales funnel to purchase your online course. There are many free and paid platforms that you can use to easily create your email newsletter. Also, email is not dead. In the last couple of years, it has gained back its prominence due to various paid content platforms like medium and substack. Therefore, email newsletters are great ways to sell online courses.
9. Paid Ads Promotion
Once you have a website and a decent social media presence, you can move to the next phase of your online marketing – paid advertisement. There are various platforms to run your online ads – Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and so on.
You need to experiment with different platforms to find which one works best for you. Each of these platforms has its own pros and cons.
Google is great at targeting audiences with an intent to purchase an online course.
Facebook/Instagram are good at targeting audiences based on their interest.
LinkedIn is great for targeting based on their job profile and educational background.
YouTube is great in delivering video ads in video content that talks about your topics.
10. Finally your online course platform
We have discussed most of the marketing strategy that can help you sell online courses. However, the most crucial element is where and how you are hosting your online courses.
Does it have an easy way for your learners to purchase your courses?
Can people get refunds?
How long can your learners access the content?
Can you build monthly subscription fees for your online courses?
Is your online course accessible on mobile platforms like iOS and Android?
Do you provide certifications?
How can your learners share your course with their friends and colleague?
Does it have an easy onboarding experience?
All these questions are important before you even begin building your online courses. If your online courses are built better, then it easier to sell them online.
If you looking for more information or need help with building your online course, reach out to us for recommendations and advice. Coursebox has experts in the field of online learning who can help you build a winning strategy to build and sell online courses.