So you completed the glorious task of creating your online course, you proudly and determinedly took on the task of promoting and monetizing your creation, and now you’re trying to make more money and scale up, expand.
Smart move. The online learning industry is expected to generate $333.98 billion by 2026. That’s a hit-in-the-face sign of the potential for growth in this sector.
People always want to learn, and they’re willing to pay money to do that. Your focus is on how to find these people and convince them to pay for what you’re trying to sell, or teach in this case.
If you’re looking for ways to expand your school and increase sales of your online course, then you must do the following:
Diversify Your Marketing Channels
When most people hear “marketing”, they think about social media, search engines, and email marketing. But marketing is a much broader scope and there are several more ways you can market and increase sales apart from the three methods mentioned above.
Importantly, if you haven’t started to use those channels, social media, search engine, and email, then you must do so now as they’re pretty vital and basic aspects of selling your online course.
Here, we’ll focus on alternative and very profitable marketing practices you must consider if you want to increase sales:
Submit Guest Posts
This is a relatively fast way to generate new leads and attract a new market because the results can be almost instantaneous.
There are blogs and magazines in your industry with large amounts of readers that they need to constantly update with content.
Offering to share the value and knowledge of your expertise in that niche to their readers is an idea they will be open to.
For them, it’s a way to satisfy their audience’s usually constant expectation of valuable insights, for you it’s a way to introduce yourself to a new, vast market whose interest in your expertise is already established. It’s a fantastic way to advertise your course.
It’s also a fantastic way to boost your appearance on the search engine, as these websites are usually top guns with large amounts of traffic.
Of course, this means you will have to “give up” some information as you’ll be writing blogs and articles that are generally required to contain helpful topics and be generous with information.
But this is definitely a small price to pay if you consider the possible rewards of placing your brand in front of a substantial number of people that are hungry for what you know.
Most of these blogs might allow just one link back to your site or preferred landing page so what you can do is whet their appetites with knowledge and offer your online course as the full package.
Or you can build your email list by offering to give them some sort of value for free in exchange for their email address. This would attract a way higher number of leads because there’s a free perk involved, and then you have a targeted mailing list you can always market your course or services to.
In case you were wondering, you can find out blogs that are open to guest articles from your industry by identifying the keywords people use when searching for topics in your niche and typing these into a search engine with the format: [write for us].
This will generate a list of related blogs you can choose from. Here’s an example:
Alternatively, you can use this guest site generator for a more detailed and convenient search.
Webinars are another way to introduce your course to people that are already interested in what you have to offer.
Anyone who takes the effort to register for your online seminar is definitely interested in your brand and that’s a clear encouragement for you to cash in.
Another advantage of webinars is that they increase the element of trust. Your audience can see and interact with you personally, and this ultimately makes it easier for you to win them over and make them buy that course. The webinar funnel also helps to build customers that will stay loyal and invested in your brand.
Of course, to do all of those right, you need to know the webinar basics and how to confidently use one. You also need to know the best webinar platforms and how to use one to sell your online course.
A standard, fail-proof webinar takes 45 to 60 minutes and will go like this:
A little meet and greet to ease the atmosphere and then an introduction of your brand and the webinar’s agenda (10 minutes).
A major, inspiring story (usually of yourself) to engage the audience and keep them motivated (5 minutes).
The main content, delivery of your webinar’s topic (30 minutes).
Gradual ease into pitching your course. Generally, you should have whetted their appetites with your main content (10 minutes).
A question and answer session (5 minutes).
Start a Podcast
Podcasts are almost like webinars in that they present a form of physical communication and build an emotional connection. The difference is that podcasts are only in audio format and don’t generate immediate feedback.
But a major advantage of podcasts is their ability to build stronger emotional connections with your audience. They’re not as structured as webinars and are generally very free-flowing and more relaxing. In fact, this is one of the best assets of podcasts and why you should invest in them.
This however doesn’t mean that you don’t have a strategy for dispensing content. Your content should be modified in a manner that suits this channel and positively represents your brand.
Build on podcasts’ emotional advantage and propensity to quickly generate vast amounts of traffic and you will start to see the rewards in your course sales.
Create Multiple Formats For Your Content
Video is considered the most effective way to spread information, so it’s probably safe to say you have followed this wisdom and video content is an integral part of your online teaching strategy.
That’s great and standard but your efforts can become so much more productive and easier once you utilize the magic of transforming your video content into different formats.
Doing this really streamlines the process of promoting your course on diverse marketing channels and subsequently boosts your sales plan.
The first thing you can do is transcribe your videos into written content or find a transcriber to do this for you. If you script your videos before making them, then you don’t need to do this.
Of course, this should be free, educational, engagement videos you must have posted on YouTube in your career as an online teacher, not video content that are actually in your paid course, you don’t want to unwittingly give out what you’re trying to sell. If you don’t have Youtube videos, then better late than never to realize that a Youtube channel is one of the best ways to get recognized as an online teaching force in your field.
Once you have the transcribed version, there are several ways it can be used as a marketing tool. The first, most immediate value is that your videos now have closed captions and this is so much better for their viewability and acceptance.
Next, you have to edit it into a draft that can be used as an article or blog post. The spontaneous nature of your video speech might not be so great on paper so you have to structure it and make it more efficient.
Now, you have an article that can be used in several profitable ways, just from transcribing a speech from your video. You can post or guest post it on blogs. You can send it to your mailing list. Whatever you do, now you have a smart, energy-saving way of consistently creating content, instead of always having to draft new blogs or new emails.
You can use your edited transcription for social media marketing too by editing it to be smaller and interesting enough to be used as a social media caption.
This process can be very interesting and energy-efficient in that it’s often possible to use one article to generate several social media posts by cutting snippets and points from it.
Use these points to create infographics to go along with those captions and your engaging social media content is complete.
It doesn’t end there. You can go really big by transcribing several of your videos, mostly related ones, even the ones present in your paid course this time, and make these transcriptions into a book.
It’s very possible, with very nice editing and some more writing, you can create a very valuable and fantastic ebook and even hard copies. By marketing these and selling on Amazon and other marketplaces, you can make huge sales from your online learning material.
Finally, you can extract the audio from your video and upload it in acceptable format to streaming services and online radio sites.
Of course, you can use this audio to create a new podcast and upload it on other podcast channels.
Talk about minimizing effort and maximizing efficiency.
Give to Receive
You must have probably sensed this notion of having to give “free” content as a marketing strategy while reading up to this point.
It’s a simple psychological maneuver you just have to use if you’re hoping to scale and it’s more than just the occasional free article, podcast, or video to get audiences interested.
You can go even further by actually offering the course for free and only charging for a professional certificate. As risky (and insane) as this might sound, it’s actually a great strategy.
Several online course platforms and schools have achieved much success by using this model. And why has it worked for them?
It sends in traffic by the droves. Nothing like free candy to get people salivating. Anticipate a much higher number of people registering for your course. You can then use those numbers in subsequent marketing efforts.
It builds immediate and long-lasting trust. Your students will (very willingly) trust and recognize you as a very reliable option for education in your field. This type of trust is particularly useful if you’re trying to grow into a top online course brand.
But then you just want to make money off your online course. How do you do this when you give the course away for free? How do you expect people to pay for the certification when they already have the knowledge?
You should understand that a good percentage of people who register for online courses are ambitious professionals who are interested in building a reputable portfolio. A standard certification will look very attractive to them and they will certainly be much more interested in paying for it.
Use Psychological Tricks
This is related to the previous point of giving for free as it’s a psychological method itself, but there are several other ways you can utilize the psychology of your potential customers:
Create a Sense of Urgency
The principle of scarcity, or the sense of it, is that it raises demand. People always feel the need to rush a product when it seems like it’s scarce or about to go out of stock due to popular demand, even when there’s no logical need to.
Capitalize on this tendency by adding a special offer or discount that has a limited time offer to your courses.
You can also indicate that there is a limited number of slots for the course itself. Do these, and you have a very realistic chance of increasing sales.
Build Trust with Reviews
Humans are social animals, and most of the time will only do things because others are doing them.
Being aware of this, you need to let your audience know what other human beings think of your course. An overwhelming percentage of consumers prefer to read reviews before making a purchase decision.
Display your positive reviews on your sites and marketing channels, so they can be motivated to believe in your brand because others do.
These reviews must be from people who actually enrolled in your course and enjoyed it. You can get them by including a pop-up interface through your online course platform that asks for your students’ reviews and thoughts after the course or even midway through it.
Psych with Your Pricing Plans
Offering pricing plans is itself a mind trick because it creates the feeling of having to choose from an option for your potential buyers. It’s harder to say no when there are several choices as opposed to just one.
But you can get more creative. You can use one price option as a decoy for a more attractive one. Usually, you use a lower priced option to make an expensive one look attractive and more reasonable.
For instance, if you had three plans, the first one: $50 for a course. The second: $80 for a course and certificate. The third: $90 for a course, certificate,e, and very useful software or learning materials.
The immediately attractive plan is the last, most expensive one, because the price difference between it and the second is just so low. It automatically makes sense to go for the full package with such a feeble price difference.
Another trick you can use is naming your bundles with empathetic tags. Your prospective students are professionals that like to identify themselves in a particular manner within their industry.
They will be looking for details that relate most to them or their situation to know which package is the best fit for them.
Take advantage of this by using interesting, relatable names for your bundles, as opposed to generic, default names.
Your prospects will see themselves in these tags and be more motivated to click that “buy” button.
Making more money off your online course as you scale as a brand is a compound process that includes an inexhaustible list of practices and strategies. There are always more things to do and better ways to do them. Consistent market and consumer research along with steady learning of your industry and competitors’ practices are your best friends for growth. Never forget that.