Want to make money online, selling online courses? - Some honest reflections
First thing first, successfully selling courses online is more than just recording some course content. You need a great product and you must do your competitors analysis. Your product must be tailored to your target group and priced according to what your target group is willing to pay for it. THEN to be able to successfully market your product, you need to build your social media presence and your credibility by showcasing your knowledge and experience (but without giving away too much for free). Depending on your launch strategy you might also need to build your email list.
Sounds a bit daunting? Selling courses might not be for everyone, as it requires motivation and a lot of hard work. Of course, for some people, it is easier, as they already have a great social media presence or they are well known in media, but for most of us, it requires a lot of careful planning, testing, failing, and then trying again. BUT when done right (and with success) it offers some really amazing opportunities.
Your product and target group
The course, course platform, paid webinars etc. that you create needs to be nothing less than extraordinary. For people to buy your product your product needs to stand out and you must be able to convince people that you have extensive knowledge within your field (which of course requires you to actually have great knowledge of a particular field). It also requires you to do your research:
What areas are of interest within your particular field?
Who is interested in your particular field? Is it people with a lot of existing knowledge or is it people with no prior knowledge?
How would they like to learn from you? Do they prefer to watch you talk or do they prefer slide shows etc., and do they want tasks and/or a diploma/certificate?
Should you do a course platform with new videos every week or should you do live workshops?
Of course, we understand that the dream for many is to be able to sell a high value product and not actually have to do a lot of work when the course is done.
BUT the reality, however, is that one must consider what people are willing to pay for the product and NOT what you would like for them to pay. How much people are willing to pay for your product depends on various factors, including your product and your target group, and most of us must also take competitors into consideration when setting a price.
Your current status is also of importance. If you have a great existing social media presence or an extensive email list with active followers, these people already know you and might be willing to pay more than those who just discovered you.
For most people just starting up, it is better to start with a low price, ensure that your product sells, get positive reviews and people that refer their friends, than to set a high price and only sell a low volume. Feedback, regardless of it being positive or negative, will help you improve your product and increase future sales.
Your launch strategy
There is a a lot of possible ways to make people aware of your product. There is not necessarily a right or a wrong strategy, and one should take the target group and your current social recognition status into consideration when planning your launch.
Create a lot of great content on social media and build your platform, then advertise organically (not paid) on your platform.
Pros: If you manage to grow your social media profiles without spending a lot on ad spend, social media offers you a great platform to sell your product.
Cons: It is most often easier said than done to grow your social media platforms and it will take TIME and require a lot of work. You need to create content tailored to your target group and you need to engage your audience for them to actually see your content without having to target your audience through ads.
Offer freebies and free webinars to build your email list, then sell courses through email marketing.
Pros: You grow your email list, and have the opportunity to convert leads to buyers over time. Most often it's rather cheap to get leads this way.
Cons: You need to find a balance between offering a lot of value for free, but not so much that there is no reason for people to still buy your actual paid product. You must also ensure that you attract your actual target group, and keep in mind that people looking for free training are not necessarily people that are willing to pay for your product. ALSO, writing a lot of emails and keeping track of open and click rates etc. requires time.
Advertise your course on e.g. social media channels with paid advertisement.
Pros: Why make it more complicated than it is? If people are willing to buy after visiting your landing page then go for it! Keep track of your cost per sale.
Cons: Your success depends on various factors, among them your ad, your credibility, your product, your target group, your price, and your landing page. It is always a good idea to aim to optimize your ads over time.
Join or contribute to other people's podcasts or platforms, if their target group includes your target group, you can find a lot of (potential) customers through such exposure.
Pros: A great way to gain traction and most often a rather cheap alternative.
Cons: It might take a while before you find this opportunity.
Use a mix of all the above
Pros: You can keep track of where customers come from to find the best strategy for you. This might change over time, so it is always a good idea to be prepared to change/update your strategy.
Cons: This approach has the risk of making you jump from one thing to another, with no proper plan.
So, would you like to get started? It might sound complicated, but if you have a product that people would like to buy, you have a super exiting opportunity to make money doing what you LOVE. And, we are happy to help you!
Want to hear what we think about your product? Book a free call with us here.