From Kelly Forst July 23, 2021
Discover the benefits of creating and selling an online course, plus practical tips on how to successfully promote your course to increase sales.
As an entrepreneur, you have likely amassed a great deal of valuable industry knowledge over the years. What you may not realize is that often people are willing to pay good money for this type of knowledge. Have you ever thought about creating and selling an online course to share your expertise with the world?
If not, you could not only miss out on some profits – but also the opportunity to become an industry leader.
Benefits of Selling an Online Course
There are many benefits to creating and selling an online course regardless of the industry in which your company operates. For starters, these courses can often serve as marketing tools on their own; they spread awareness of your brand and help you reach a larger audience of potential clients and customers.
Now, online courses are easier (and cheaper) to create than you might think. There are many platforms out there that make setting up your online course a breeze – and many of them offer free trials so you can get a feel for the platform and its features before you commit.
You can even sell an email course or challenge if you want to deliver lessons to students via email.
An online course is also something that you can work on in your spare time and from almost anywhere.
Lastly, an online course can help you generate passive income; Many course creators can bring in between $ 1,000 and $ 5,000 per month on course sales alone. Once your course is created and available for purchase, you can continue to make profits on every purchase indefinitely.
Should your company create and sell online courses?
If you have industry knowledge that you want to share with the world, you can (and should) create your own online course. However, there are a few other criteria that can make you and your company great candidates for digital course creation.
- You want to build your reputation in your industry
- You want to generate a passive income
- You are motivated to help and inspire your audience through education
- You want to use the course as a marketing tool to attract and retain your audience
Of course, you also need to be willing to invest the time and go to the trouble of creating a course that will highlight others in your field. This isn’t easy for everyone, so keep this in mind before diving in.
How to Sell Online Courses: A Step-by-Step Guide
So you’ve made the decision to create and sell your own online course, but you are not sure how to create an online course for sale. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can follow to get started.
1. Decide on your topic
The first step is to find out what your course will cover.
Of course, this is entirely up to you. However, when considering options for the subject of your course, consider what your audience will find most interesting.
You may even want to conduct audience research (such as a poll or poll) to measure interest in different course topics. From there, you can proceed with the knowledge that the topic you have chosen is legitimately useful to your audience.
2. Create your online course
Once you know what you want to cover, it is a good idea to create a general course description. This outline should cover the broader topics that your course will cover, as well as ideas or concepts that may arise from each topic.
From there you can start creating your actual course content. Ultimately, how you want to present your course is up to you – although most online courses these days rely heavily on video. However, incorporating some other forms of media into your course can make it more dynamic and useful for different types of learners.
In addition to creating your actual course content, you also want to create lessons and assignments for your students. PDF is often the best format for this – but again, you can play around with your options and decide what works best for you.
3. Decide how you will offer your course
How should your audience consume your course? Via email, a course platform, a PDF? Something completely different?
It all depends on what experience you want your students to have. Using a medium like email to deliver your course can make it easier for consumers to consume and know exactly what to do that day. Or you can email class reminders or check in occasionally.
You can also use a platform like Thinkific to host your course and provide a platform for your students to review the material.
Once you’ve decided on a medium for your course, it’s time to start marketing.
4. Promote your online course
Once your course is complete, it is time to publish it and put it up for sale.
No matter how informative your course is, it won’t sell itself. Chances are, you will have to do a lot of marketing if you are to make your course successful and profitable. Fortunately, there are many simple but effective ways to advertise an online course and get more people to buy it.
The easiest way to get your course published, leaving you in control of all profits, is to simply sell online courses through your own landing page.
With a landing page template like the following, you can create your own landing page to easily promote your course, collect payments, and automate the delivery of materials.
A dedicated landing page for your online course should have an accurate call-to-action to buy the course and email it to you today. In addition to being effective, landing pages are great for SEO and could help drive more prospects online to stumble upon your course.
Email is another great tool for promoting your online course. If you already have an established email list, use it to your advantage. You can send emails before your course is even available to generate hype and interest.
You might even consider offering an early bird discount to those who buy in advance. Once your course is live, you can continue to market your course to your subscribers via email with special discounts.
Social media marketing
Also, don’t overlook the effectiveness of social media when promoting an online course.
Use your existing social media accounts on popular platforms like Facebook and Twitter to generate excitement for your course before it starts. This is a great way to reach a large audience of your existing followers, with the potential to reach even more people through shares and other announcements.
When promoting your course on social media, you shouldn’t overlook professional platforms like LinkedIn either. When most people think of social media, they think of platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. However, a professional network like LinkedIn is suitable for promoting an online course to people who are specific to your industry.
Other marketing strategies for selling courses online
Social media, email, and landing pages are probably your best choices when it comes to promoting your course online. However, some of the other possible promotional tools to consider include:
- paid advertising (on Google or other search engines)
- Blog posts on your business blog (for information and SEO purposes)
- YouTube promotional videos
- Third party websites and influencers
- Affiliate programs
- Webinars and Podcasts
- Pop up ads on your own website
5. Collect and consider feedback
After your course has been in the market for a few weeks or even a few months, it is a good idea to send out surveys to those who bought and attended your course. This is a great way to gather valuable feedback so you can get a better idea of what people about your course found helpful and what could potentially be improved.
After receiving feedback, take some time to evaluate and revise your course as you see fit. This requires that you budget additional time and resources; However, these revisions can pay off if you can improve your course, improve its ratings / reviews, and encourage more people to buy.
Of course, as your industry continues to change and innovate, it’s also a good idea to update your course material to make sure everything is up to date. These little efforts don’t go unnoticed and ensure that the information you provide to your paying customers is as accurate and useful as possible.
Selling digital courses: the bottom line
Creating an online course can be a great way to generate passive income while growing your brand awareness and establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
And while it takes some time, persistence, and motivation to create a digital course, it can help you share your knowledge with others. In the meantime, by following some basic marketing and promotion strategies as outlined here, you can help your course content reach as many people as possible.