8 Tips To Develop & Sell Online Courses From Your Own Website
Last update: 24 November 2023 at 11:48 am
With the advent of COVID-19, our daily life has become more digitalized. This includes building new skills through online courses rather than attending one-on-one training or ordering food online from a food restaurant that’s just a few meters away. Starts to sell online courses from your website today!
Recent statistics estimated the e-learning market worth to be as high as $374 billion by 2026. Moreover, that’s just an estimate. The demand for digital education could spike several times more than the expected figure.
As a creator, you can gain from this huge market change by selling online courses. However, this is only possible if you are well-equipped with the necessary know-how.
In this article, we will discuss the six major things you need to consider when creating and marketing your online course.
Create For A Target Audience
You need an audience – and a very specific one at that – before creating your first online course. These are the people you want to create and sell your content to.
Since they are the end-users or consumers, you need to tailor your course content to solve their pain points accordingly. Otherwise, you might end up creating a course that no one wants to buy.
Here are the things you should do:
Develop a learner’s persona
The learner’s persona, also the buyer’s persona in marketing terms, is a detailed profile containing your ideal learners. It includes their general traits, common problems, demographics, and other useful details.
A learner’s persona will help you figure out your means of approach – formal or informal, dull or sharp, straightforward or sugar-coated, and many more. Moreover, this will help you create a personalized learning curve that is suitable for your audience.
Use Surveys And Social Platforms
Build short surveys to collect statistical reports on your audience’s pain points and what they want to see in your course.
Another way to collect good data is through social platforms. Join social media platforms and see what people are talking about. Focus on conversations related to your intended topic.
Quora is a great place to listen to related conversations or ask targeted questions for the public to answer.
Remember that you can’t create for everyone, and neither should you. You only need to identify your target queries and audience.
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Choose An In-Demand Topic
Although using a topic that drives too much competition is not advisable, you should steer clear of redundant or below-average ones.
Do your research and see what problems people are facing. You can extract these things from Google trends with SEO tools like semRUSH.
Collate different online course ideas, pick a hot topic around these trends and narrow it down to something really specific and engaging.
Keep It Short And Simple
There are no exact statistics for the best duration for an online course. But you need to be careful of creating online courses that are too long or too short.
Your audience most likely consists of busy people who ditched long-duration physical tutorials for an online course just so they could learn faster. Thus, there’s no need to complicate things with a 10 to 16-hour course.
The recommended duration from us is anywhere between 2 and 5 hours.
Moreover, course creators need to segment their online courses into episodes or sections. This allows students to take a break when necessary without disrupting their learning progress.
Preach Value Through Your Content
You don’t need a college degree to create a course. The only requirement is to be an authority in whatever niche you choose. This means your knowledge of the addressed topic should be above average and sufficient to instill value.
While the majority of online course business owners prioritize sales, content value is more important. Teach your audience something new and effective. Solve problems instead of creating more nuisance and confusion.
A value-filled course should drive your learners toward a positive outcome after completion. This will, in turn, bolster your reputation and drive even more course sales for the existing and new ones.
But if your course lacks originality, it will do you more harm than good.
Leverage Several Marketing Channels
You should never make the mistake of using a single marketing channel, as that could limit the number of leads you generate. A good rule of thumb is to try out multiple pipelines for a complementary effect. If a channel fails, then the other ones will fit in immediately.
Here are some marketing channels to consider:
- Social Media Platforms
There are a number of social media platforms you could leverage to promote your course. A great place like LinkedIn will help you interact with professionals and have them check out your content.
- Go All-out With Influencers
Influencers are groups of people with a considerably large fan base. You could pitch two or more of them to share your course with their audience in exchange for free access or monetary compensation.
The power of influencers in modern-day marketing, cannot be denied. Influencers are quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with. Their opinions can make or break entire businesses especially if the market is millennials. So we know the importance of influencers, but what differentiates Instagram influencers from influencers on other platforms? Instagram is where followers […]
- Generate Sales Leads Through Paid Ads
For content creators with a huge budget, paid ads are another great way to facilitate sales and build a strong market base. Alternatively, you can try driving leads from your online course website or guest post for another website and link back to your course.
- Register With An Online Course Platform
One good thing about the majority of online course platforms is that you don’t have to create a sales page or manually validate payments. An online course platform features a variety of excellent learning environments and gives students easy access to other attached resources.
Integrate Referral Incentives
If you have a considerable customer base already, you should introduce a referral program. Existing customers will most likely opt-in to promote your course and share it with others so long as you properly reward their efforts.
The incentive provided could be discounts on your next course, monetary prizes, or complete access to some of your premium resources.
Cross-sell and Upsell Your Course
Upselling means recommending another course to your customers immediately after their first purchase. Most online course platforms have a predesigned “thank you” page that customers are redirected to after their first payment. On this page, there is often a list of similar courses available that your prospect might be interested in.
If you choose to create and sell online courses from your own website, make sure there is a custom page that comes immediately after customers make their first successful purchase.
Another fun marketing tactic to increase your returns is cross-selling. Instead of recommending similar or complementary courses at the end of a purchase, you show it to your prospects right before making payment for the first course. That way, your learners can pick multiple courses and pay for them together with just a few clicks.
Not Too Expensive, Not Too Cheap
Talk about a marketing killer – no matter how valuable your course is, you can’t just place a large price tag on it and expect affordability. That’s why it’s very important you understand your target audience so that you are aware of their income capabilities.
When calculating your course price, include the total expenses for creating the course content and other packaging costs. Then add your preferred profit percentage anywhere from 10% to 30%. Beyond that, prospects will flag your course red.
If your audiences are middle or top-level income profiles, you can make it 60 to 70% or even more.
Be careful of setting an unreasonably low price for your course. Most people, and probably you too, believe that luxury comes at a cost. So if a course is truly valuable, then it should be expensive, not ridiculously cheap, right? If you can think so, your prospects also can.
Optimize Website For Faster Checkout Experience
Using your own website for upselling and cross-selling your course has a lot of perks such as total control over your web functionalities and access to running Google Ads. But that also comes with a downside such as having to fix a variety of technical problems like a slow website, frequent downtimes, bugs, 404 errors, and so many others.
Or imagine your prospects having issues with using the payment method you linked to your website. That’s enough reason to dump your online course in the cart.
If you are a tech geek, you can sort things out yourself and get yourself busy with optimizing your website for faster loading speed to provide an awesome user experience. And if you have no in-depth knowledge to handle the technical details of your website, make sure you hire a web design agency to sort things out proactively or as they arise.
Check your payment method, checkout experience, pages’ uptime, email confirmation, and other crucial functionalities periodically. Otherwise, opt in for online course marketplaces like Udemy and Coursera.
Creating a valuable course takes more than just penning down ideas and stringing them into video clips. You need to consider your audience and develop content that will help them solve problems effectively.
Don’t forget to keep your courses short and simple enough. Cross-sell and upsell your online courses with custom thank-you pages and pre-recommendations. And lastly, use multiple marketing channels to ensure a steady generation of leads.