Everything you Need to Know about Selling your Online Course
Is it possible to talk about all aspects of course sales in a single article?
Probably not. But you don’t have all the time in the world either. So, here’s what you really need to know in order to begin making a profit with your course.
And by “begin” I mean both literally - get started AND if you already have a course (or one in the works) and you haven’t sold out your launch yet - how to start making money!
If you want to scale with an online course or program, there are 6 key strategies that make a difference when it comes to sales.
Plus, if you have an existing course that isn’t earning its full potential, then these tips will put your mind at ease so you can make the 1% shift you need to increase sales. #YouCanDoThis #YouCanTurnItAround
Think bigger than the present moment.
Lots of people tell you to “Reverse Engineer” your outcomes. However, it can be a little confusing, especially if you are new to course design or find yourself stuck between starting and sold out.
Figuring out the result you want is probably the easiest part. Except, in order to figure out how to achieve it can get overwhelming really quickly.
Your business, marketing, and course outcomes are not mutually exclusive. So, you will need to think bigger - much bigger - than the present moment. Where you are in business now does not define your ability to create and sell an amazing course that gets your students results and helps you scale. It’s all under the same umbrella.
With a clear vision of your *new* business model - a thriving multi-revenue stream business with the right marketing, support staff, and offers - you will begin to operate from that place of abundance so that helping clients, making sales, and meeting your revenue goals in a bigger way will happen without the resistance you might be feeling now.
The cart can (and should) come before the course.This might sound a little backwards if you ascribe to the age old adage that the cart cannot come before the horse. However, all courses should be created with one thing in mind - students’ needs. Even if the course is a certificate or training program, students’ needs are key to designing the best possible course because they are the ones whose problems must be solved (and they have purchasing power.)
For this reason, a needs analysis (academic term for market research) must be completed so that the course idea and content can be confirmed or validated.
Market research goes hand in hand with sales of any sort. However, it is even more important when it comes to selling an online course that you understand your market’s desires, as well as needs, in order to build the most effective solution.
When you tap into the needs of your audience from their perspective you can position the course to sell - even before the course outline exists.
Now, if you didn’t take this approach to selling your course, it’s not the end of the world. But in order to leverage your course as the solution your clients have been searching for, you will need more than just the help of a marketing team or a beautiful website.
Courses are more than just digital products.
A course solves an intellectual problem, not just a need or a desire for a widget. It shapes the way that students think, provides examples, and causes the student to think and interact differently upon completion.
Many courses are, for this reason, used as references even beyond their completion because students rely on them to help them produce results.
Nonetheless, online courses require a different types of marketing from the average “consumer product”, which is why I discourage spending big money on advertisements before certain conditions are met.
Relationship marketing is much more appropriate.
It doesn’t always take money to make money with online courses.Relationship marketing is a process that fosters customer loyalty, interaction and long-term engagement. It develops strong connections with customers by providing them with information directly suited to their needs and interests, as well as promoting open communication. Its success is largely due to its emotional appeal to consumers (1).
When selling an online course or program, you must appeal to all aspects of the consumer - intellectual, physical, and emotional.
The relationship begins before the course is even developed and it grows throughout the sales process. And for students who enroll and complete the course, the relationship deepens even further.
Adspend may generate sales in the short term, but it can create problems with sustaining sales and building relationships.
Someone who purchases a course from an ad does not enter into the equation with a large degree of trust or brand loyalty. Pair that with a course that isn’t well crafted and does not help students write their success stories, and you have a recipe for refunds and bad press.
The Bottom Line.
Online courses and programs build personal and intellectual relationships, which is why they are so vastly different from other products on the market.
They sell at higher rates of return than books, and are frequently preferred over the book version because they are actionable and help students achieve the results they need faster.
Incredible online courses and programs can practically sell themselves when relationships have been developed the entire course development and sales process.
When we focus on designing courses and programs that produce students who sing their praises we help students learn better, and reap the benefits of a “job well done”. They produce more, higher qualicty leads (students who actually enroll) because they are “the course” that people chat about in Facebook groups and at the watercooler.
Additional benefits include justifying increases in pricing, as well as easily developing subsequent products that meet the needs of graduating students.
Well-designed courses and programs, cost less to market as well as manage. They have lower refund rates and maintenance costs too, so you can really leverage your expertise in ways that feel good and keep you laser focused on making money.
No matter where you are with your online course sales - it’s not too late! If you want to secure more sales with profitable online course strategies that make sense, let’s talk.
What an Online Course Strategist can do for your courseIf you’ve been wondering how to increase your business with an online course or program, then this is the perfect opportunity to get all of your questions answered.
By the end of your Free Assessment, you’ll gain clarity on the overall effectiveness of your course with respect to student results, technology, marketing and sales, as well as its automation potential, and true earning potential based on your numbers.
For folks just getting started, the Free Assessment will clarify which type of course to offer, when to offer it, what to call it, the exact tools you’ll need to get started, and how much to charge. I will even help you crunch the numbers to give you an idea of what your earning potential would be based on your numbers!
Just imagine how *awesome* you would feel to have all your bases covered, so that the only thing left is to say YES to making more money in your business with your online course or program.