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You’ve created your course and you’re ready for people to learn from it. But, alas! you haven’t had many buyers yet.
You know your insight’s useful. You know people will benefit from the lessons you’ve recorded. So what can you do to sell your online course?
This question may arrive with a bit of panic at first. Many course creators figure “if you build it, they will come” only to be awakened from the daze of memorable Hollywood movie quotes to the cold reality of online marketing.
And the truth is, the building may be completely done, but the work has only just begun.
For people to buy your online course, you need to market it, and to market it, you need to consider the 5 core pillars of marketing.
Product, price, place, people, and promotion.
As you can see, your product (aka your incredibly insightful, engaging course) is only one piece of the marketing mix.
There are 4 other Ps to this puzzle. If any one of them is off, your work’s going to be tougher and profits could be a little farther off than you’d originally planned.
So, before we get into marketing techniques that will drive sales through the roof – let’s consider the sell-ability of your product.
That means hitting the pause button on creating Facebook ads, postponing your sales funnel creation, putting a pin in that marketing campaign taking a step back to honestly evaluate your course against those 5 Ps to see how it stacks up.
Your course is your product, and your product is one side of a very critical equation – the product/market fit.
Without a product/market fit no matter how perfectly priced, how widely placed, and how vigorously promoted your course is, you’re not going to sell it. That’s because, without a product/market fit, you don’t have anything.
Product/market fit is what sells things. Giving people a course they need is what sells your course.
Your main job when you’re focusing on selling your course is to make sure you have a course and people that want to learn from it, aka – a product/market fit.
When you have that, there’s no need for ‘persuasion’ tactics, or ‘power’ pitches, or ways to appeal to people’s emotions with ‘FOMO’-type tactics.
So before we get into marketing tips – ask yourself this:
Are you 100% sure there’s an audience for the course you’ve created?
If you’re going on a hunch, it may be time to backtrack a little bit and consider getting some cold hard data that proves your instinct irrevocably.
It doesn’t take much. A little desk research. A bit of social feedback that you can get from online forums, similar course reviews, and social media comments.
It’ll pay off mightily. Because if they tell you there’s genuine interest in your course, you know it has a market. If they’re lukewarm or uninterested, face the music. It’ll save you going all-in on marketing and wasting more of your precious energy, time, and money.
Speaking of product/market fit. People! That’s who your market is made up of. Moving, living, breathing, people.
So it’s important to understand your market and to be 100% sure you have a product that they need and want.
An effective way to understand your audience is to define your ideal customer’s persona. Having a handy customer persona on hand will quickly remind you who you want to connect with, who you’re targeting in your campaigns, and who you’re speaking to with your copy. It clarifies a whole lot of other things like the marketing channel, tone, style, and approach to choose.
At the heart of it, your course is about giving your people, your market, something they really really want and need. Whether they know it or not.
At the end of the day, knowing your audience is what sells your course. They are, after all, one-half of the product/market fit.
How much are you charging for your course? That’s one of the first things people will ask after they get a grasp of ‘what is this course about?’ and ‘who’s teaching it?’.
Price could be one of the most difficult decisions you make because it’s directly connected with your profitability. It’s also linked to the payment model you’ll choose for your course, so let’s take a look at those options first.
How to charge for your course:
There are several ways you could charge customers for your course.
How much to charge for your course:
You want to get paid what you’re worth. You don’t want to undercharge and miss out on larger profit margins. But you also don’t want to overcharge and price yourself out of your market.
The wrong price equals missed opportunities which is why pricing could be challenging. You want to seize every opportunity you have by being competitively, yet profitably priced.
So what is your Goldilocks pricing zone? Not too high, not too low, but just right?
A bit of research here can also go a long way. Find out what similar course creators are charging. See if you’re adding more value that could place you at a higher price point.
For premium course content you could charge $500 or more. With higher prices consider offering payment plans (installments) instead of a lump sum to make it easier for your customers to afford your course.
If you are going to charge $500 or more for your course, consider using these great sales strategies for selling courses priced $500 or more.
Any good appraiser will tell you, when it comes to evaluating real estate, only three things are important: Location, location, location.
It’s good to keep that in mind when you’re marketing your course by considering where your customers are going to buy your course.
Is that location easy for them to locate? Is it user-friendly, and easy to access? Is it quick for them to stream or download from?
To sell well, there are 3 main ‘places’ your course has to have:
If all the other Ps are in place, promoting your course is going to be a lot more efficient and effective.
With content that solves a problem, knowledge that people are waiting to hear, at the right prices point, that you can access easily, you can send out a smoke signal or a pigeon* and you’ll still get the attention you need to sell more courses online.
Still, there are a few ways that are more effective than others, and you can find them all here in the top 7 best strategies to market your online course in 2022
A few simple ways to get started with promotions is to:
*Pigeon is definitely not one of the 5 Ps of marketing 🙂
It’s daunting to think of how to get people to buy an online course that you’ve spent time and effort creating.
Selling in itself may feel like a remote and intimidating task. But it doesn’t have to be.
By assessing your course against the 5 Ps of marketing, you’ll have a clearer idea about whether your course has an audience, and who that audience is.
When you’re clear on your course/market fit, promoting your course will easily translate to more sales, more easily, and more profitably.
We hope this article was helpful. If you’d like to know more about selling your course online, get in touch! We’re always happy to help. Otherwise, head over to our article’s main page to learn more about marketing, or sign up for our newsletter to get our latest news.
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