101 Easy Ways to Market and Sell Your Online Course (Part 2)
Following on from part one of our series, let’s dive straight into part two for more easy, practical and powerful ways to market and sell your online course.
51. Meet the needs of modern students
Online courses are becoming more mainstream, but they also need to be engaging, enjoyable and convenient to meet the needs of consumer-driven customers. Platforms like Kajabi make it easy to create, market and sell your online courses to the modern, savvy student.
52. Book discovery calls
Let your students know how your course can solve their problem with a discovery call. These calls allow you to build a rapport and trust with potential students. Software, like Acuity Scheduling, makes it easy for prospects to book discovery calls.
53. Craft an elevator pitch
As an online course creator, you should have an ‘always be selling’ mindset. That means being prepared to talk about your course at the drop of a hat. The best evaluator pitches include the audience, their pain, their desires and how you can help.
54. Use Reddit
Reddit normally flies under the radar in terms of social media, but it’s the sixth most visited site in the U.S. Offer valuable and original content most of the time to build trust (give 80% and promote 20%). This Social Examiner post takes a deep dive on how to market on Reddit.
55. Publish on LinkedIn
Publish articles that are jam-packed with value on LinkedIn. Make connections with your target market to up the chances of the right people seeing your work. Include a link to your course landing page in your LinkedIn bio.
56. Include Twitter
Twitter is still a good way to get influencers’ attention. If you’ve mentioned an influencer in your course or landing page, let them know and politely ask for a retweet.
57. Set up interviews
Success by association is a useful way to market your online course. Contact influencers and ask for an interview. Keep it short and sweet. Publish this interview on your site or on social media, like LinkedIn.
58. Create an expert roundup post
Roundup posts are where you get a bunch of expert answers to one question. Ask influencers to answer one question that cures the pain point of your audience. Include all answers in one post with details of how your course can fully solve this problem.
59. Organize a virtual summit
A virtual summit brings together leaders and experts around a given topic. Dr. Marc T Wade has a wealth of experience on virtual summits, and has recently launched the keys to hosting a one-day summit. Here’s his blog with a lot of great information. This online course marketing technique exposes you and your course to thousands of new potential students.
60. Hang out in forums
Find specific forums related to your course topic and be on hand to answer questions. Find the right forums by searching for your course topic and “forums.”
61. Start with your network
Use the people you already know to help you spread the word about your course. You can even use your close network to provide reviews and testimonials if they’ve found your course useful.
62. Create a swipe file
Swipe files are an easy way to grow your email list. They allow people to copy and paste the information to use as-is. Digital Marketer’s Ultimate Social Media Swipe File is a good example of this type of marketing technique.
63. Maximize your images
Images aren’t only there to make your copy attractive. Put them to work by including ALT text. This helps the visually impaired and also prevents some email platforms from blocking images.
64. Maximize Instagram
If your course is targeted at those in their 20s or 30s, Instagram is a great marketing tool. Use images and videos to market your online course. Include a CTA in your profile description, your image and caption.
65. Use Instagram Stories
As an addition to using social media to market your online course, Instagram stories are a great way to tell the story of your course and make your brand more human and more memorable. Research the best times to post and always include a direct CTA.
66. Pre-launch your course
Sell your course before the big launch by offering teaser content to your email list. The aim is to whip up excitement before the course is available, so your subscribers will snag it up.
67. Make phone calls
Getting on the phone can seem outdated but, if you’re marketing and selling B2B online courses, this could work well. Start with companies you already know and have a relationship with.
68. Plan a meeting
This follows on from a phone call. Organize meetings with the contacts you’ve made over the phone. Use this technique to sell your online course if it has a high price point.
69. Offer certificates
Let potential students know that they’ll be getting certificates of completion after going through your course. Your course hosting platform should make rewarding your students easy. For example, Kajabi integrates with Zapier to allow you to send certificates of completion.
70. Provide coaching
Offer a coaching session to develop a relationship with potential course students. Provide enough value to show you know your stuff and point them to your course for more information.
71. Praise your students
If you’re offering a free community as part of your course, highlight one or two students per week who have made great progress. Invite them to share their breakthroughs from using your course.
72. Invite experts
Reach out to experts and ask if they want to contribute to a module in your course or offer a bonus. Choose an expert who has a good track record and large following. Offer affiliate payments to entice the expert to agree to be part of your online course. Include a condition that the expert needs to market your course to their audience.
73. Speak at conferences
Showcase your expertise by speaking at a conference. Give your audience innovative ways to solve problems. Include stories in your speech to help to capture (and maintain) your audience’s attention.
74. Apply to give a TED Talk
If you’re accepted as a speaker at a TED Talk, or even a TEDx Talk, you will be instantly exposed to a captivated audience and your talk could go viral. Check out Brené Brown’s TED Talk that has amassed a staggering 41,452,819 views. Giving a timely, engaging and impactful TED Talk could have a big impact on the sales of your online course.
75. Arrange a virtual bootcamp
Invite your subscribers or group members to take part in a bootcamp. This is where you provide support for people to achieve a quick-win on a topic related to your paid online course.
76. License your course
Businesses as well as individuals need to learn via online courses. Create online courses for businesses and sell licenses. You can ask them to handle the technical parts themselves.
77. Add a free library
Keep all your free resources in one library and offer access by requesting website visitors’ email address. Depending on the resources they download, send them information about the most fitting course. See Melyssa Griffin’s free resource library as an example.
78. Create a membership site
This is a step further from a resource library. Although most membership sites are normally paid, start one for free if your online course has a high price point. Use your membership site to upsell and cross-sell your other courses.
79. Set up a challenge
Motivate your subscriber to achieve a goal that’s related to your course. An example could be a challenge to write the perfect blog post if you’re selling a ‘how to start a blogging business’ course.
80. Give chances to spin to win
Who doesn’t love winning stuff? Market your online course by giving your website visitors the chance to spin to win different prices. Neil Patel uses the spin to win technique to grow his email list.
81. Design a quiz
Take advantage of people’s curiosity by including a quiz on your website. Keep it simple and to the point. Ask a few questions and ask for email addresses to reveal the answers. You can then market your online course to these leads.
82. Upsell you courses
Upsell to existing students, if you have more than one online course. You’ve already put in the hard work to market one of your courses, so your chosen platform should make it easy to upsell your additional courses.
83. Add a website welcome bar
Market your online course by adding a welcome bar to your website. Add this to the top of your site to draw attention to important announcements. Check out our welcome bar announcing our big news.
84. Give a cheat sheet
Give your website visitors a cheat cheat, which is a more detailed checklist. They include a process to follow, which acts as a shortcut to an aspect of your online course. Jon Morrow of Smartblogger’s 52 Headline Hacks is a good example.
85. Layout the welcome mat
A welcome mat is a pop-up or a full page cover your visitors see when they first click on to your website. It communicates your message easily. Jeff Bullas uses a full-screen welcome mat with the promise to “Double Your Traffic.”
86. Give away printables
If your online course has a creative element, printables are a great way to market them. For example, Anchored Women has an ultimate list of free printables. These serve as introductions to their paid products, which includes a digital monthly subscription kit.
87. Solve a problem with a spreadsheet
A pre-populated spreadsheet with formulas is a winner when marketing an online course relating to money management. Debthelper offers a free budgeting spreadsheet to take the hard work out of budgeting.
88. Offer a tutorial
Choose a specific aspect of your online course and offer a tutorial. Include how many steps will be included in your tutorial so people who sign-up have a clear idea of what they’ll get.
89. Try audio downloads
Free audio training helps to fill the gap if customers don’t have time to read or watch videos. If you’ve already recorded a video, repurpose the content by turning it into an audio file. Marie Forleo offers free audio training on “How to get anything you want.”
90. Write a manifesto
A manifesto is a simple report that spells out your intentions, ideals and values. They should be the same as your target audience and should therefore resonate. The Writer’s Manifesto: Stop Writing to Be Read & Adored by Jeff Goins is an excellent example.
91. Build a Slack community
There may be times when social media groups aren’t suitable because your target market don’t hang out there. Start a Slack group as an alternative.
92. Open a waiting list
This is a clever way to market your online course as it builds anticipation. Making your online course available only once or twice a year gives an air of exclusivity, which will entice customers.
93. Generate ideas
Your customers may be looking for new ideas. Generators take simple information and provide relevant ideas. HubSpot’s blog topic generator is an example.
94. Write or share a report
This marketing method is useful if your online course is geared towards B2B. Create a report packed with useful stats and insights or share a report by a respected organization. For example, Marketo offers free access to a Gartner report.
Selling your course
Now we’ve given you the lowdown on different ways to get your course out there, here are some ways to sell it.
95. Use an all-in-one platform
There’s so much to think about when creating, marketing and selling an online course, including finding the perfect price point. A tool like Kajabi is an all-in-one platform with the features you need to build your business.
96. Explore discount website
Coupon sites are best known for bagging bargains for goods and services. However, some of them have ventured into the online learning market. For example, Groupon offer a variety of online courses. Most of the courses are heavily discounted, so think about the effect on your bottom line before taking this route.
97. Accept one-off payments
This is the easiest way to sell your online course. The student gets the course when they pay and it’s as simple as that. This payment option works well for low-priced courses.
98. Go for premium pricing
For more expensive courses, think about offering payment plans with the options to make one payment or pay for up to three, six or 12 months. In fact, here are three effective ways to price your online course.
Students normally pay subscriptions for online courses that include a membership site element. The subscription pays for updated content, exclusive deals and access to experts.
100. Accept bank transfers
If you provide online courses to big businesses, you may be required to accept payment by bank transfer. You’ll need to be flexible in terms of how you accept payments when selling your online courses to big companies.
101. Protect your installment and subscription payments
The sad fact is that some students will miss payments. The normal way is to activate automated emails (known as Dunning software) to ask your students to reinstate their payments. This technique can only go so far. Think about partnering with experts in payment recovery like Gravy, who engage your students with empathy and consistency.
At Gravy, we work with online course creators, membership site owners and subscription businesses to protect their bottom line by recovering failed payments. Gravy is the industry leader in recurring revenue to boost customer retention. After you’ve put in so much effort into marketing and selling your course, do everything you can to retain your customers. Book a chat to find out how we can help to protect your bottom line and increase revenue by retaining the customers you have already won.