In today’s digital world, starting an online class is one of the top 10 profitable online business. The online course business is gaining popularity and taken seriously by students, individuals, housewives, working professionals, etc. to make a career out of it. However, the major challenge is how to promote and sell online course. Presenting you a champion’s guide to sell online course across globe.
COVID-19 & Year 2020
In 2020, the COVID-19 had resulted in school closures all across the world. As a result, education has changed dramatically. With the distinctive rise of e-learning, teaching is undertaken on digital platforms especially during this pandemic situation. With massive demand for quality teachers, you should create online course.
Traditionally, the E-learning is considered the web-based training delivered over the internet or a corporate intranet to browser-equipped learners. Instruction were delivered by a combination of static methods, such as learning portals, hyperlinked pages, screen cam tutorials, streaming audio/video and live Web broadcasts; and interactive methods, such as threaded discussions, chats and desktop video conferencing. Not many could afford the cost for E-learning setup and just a handful of players dominated the E-learning world.
Now in 2021, we are here to change the way entrepreneurs teach online by building a true all-in-one professional learning community! Below is the 7-step process to sell online course.
Step 1: Picking a subject, niche, and market.
A subject is a “holy trinity” that you are going to teach about as it falls under the broad category that comprises Health, Wealth or Relationships.
- A niche is a more specific piece of a subject. It could be about health, beauty tips etc.,
- A market is a group of people you are going to be selling to.
Once you have a subject in mind, the further narrow down to find your niche. The niche will be one specific area of your subject.
Let’s take this article as example. I wanted to teach people “how to sell online course”.
- Subject: Education and Technology (EdTech)
- Niche: E-learning, Online courses, Learning Community
- Market: Coaches (offline & online), entrepreneurs active on social media platforms.
Step 2: Pain points & Transformation
Pain points are important because they’re going to help you create content and marketing for your online course that solves their biggest problem. They include the process, obstacle, time and money. For some reason, you cannot sell online course, then deep dive further into this step to analyse the pain points.
Analyzing the Painpoints
- One common mistake to avoid is stop asking people about your “IDEA”, instead talk about your “Value Proposition” to get the feedback.
- You can run a webinar and market it to people online who fit your target demographic through social media. You should now have a list of pain points.
Pain Points: Dependent on many technologies (website, video, course content creation, payment integration etc.,), need a developer or technical team to assist me.
Value Proposition: Complete solution under singe roof at affordable price and minimal delivery time (2-4 weeks).
Painpoints to Transformation
Transformation starts with finding solutions to all of your pain points.
- Start with winnowing to make the impossible possible.
- Attach the transformation to a timeline.
- Feedback from qualified audiences. If you a get positive feedback from at least 70% of the people, your transformation is ready to be turned into a course!
Transformation: Selling both Learning Platform (product) + Developer (Service) as one solution. My competitors sell only the platform.
Step 3: Seed Launch
For people from start-up background, it is like “Seed Funding”. The Seed Launch offers the perfect avenue to gauge the interest of their audience about the product or idea and get concrete data to define “what the market wants.” You don’t have to do a lot of marketing activities for a seed launch, the success is minimal. The ideal promotion strategy would be to message on social media or to a small segment of your list saying something like:
“Employees do not hate companies, they hate only bosses. On the similar lines, schools do not mould students’ future, only teachers do. How about teaching students under your brand?”
The main objective is to gauge the interest from your audience and test out your ideas to make sure that it is viable and valuable. Highly recommended not to proceed further to sell online course, without “seed launch”.
Step 4: Course Content & Learning Community
The Covid-19 pushed us 3-4 years forward in terms of digital adaptation. Today, the E-learning or online course is not only about videos and quizzes. The learners need something beyond traditional classroom experience. The learners have more options to pick their tutors and institutions.
Entertaining courses and Learning Opportunities:
Edutainment is the idea of consciously trying to make your course content entertaining. For instance,
- Videos to Interactive videos
- Test to Adaptive tests
- Teacher-to-student to peer-to-peer learning
- Classroom discussion to Online forum discussion
- Age-grade system to Skill-based study group
- Linear methodology to Non-linear ways with interactions and access to the wider world
- Completing the curriculum to Imparting knowledge
- Finally, Bill Gates to Elon Musk
Designing the course curriculum and content is the most challenging & time consuming phase. From the technology standpoint, the technical stuffs such as domain name with SSL, web hosting, video hosting, concurrent users, payment integration, certificates, course uploads etc., will be handled by LMS Master.
Step 5: Driving Traffic
To build a sustainable business, we need to learn the art of converting visitors/unknown people into customers. Usually, when you launch a business, early revenue can be generated with the help of family & friends. In most cases, they place the order for you NOT for your offering.
In online business, I recommend following the ratio of 1:10,000, meaning 10,000 impressions can get you an order initially (family & friends excluded). So, all the efforts should be focussed on driving traffic to the courses. This phase is critical in determining the perceived value proposition. The perceived value is more important the course price.
Some marketing ideas to drive traffic to your course page,
- Send an Email to existing database.
- Share the link in your website or social media pages or groups or channels to grab attention.
- Send the course access link via text message or simply share the link in a Youtube’s/blog’s comment section.
- Provide the link in a chat box or chat channel like Telegram.
A detailed strategy on how to market and sell online course is in progress (to be available soon). No traffic means you cannot sell online course.
Step 6: Pricing Strategy
Once you start getting positive feedback from the customers, it’s time to focus on enhancing the sales. Pricing is an important turning point where you travel through the game on creating your first course. It is advisable to estimate your first course price by looking at the competitors and offer more bonuses to attract the audiences. If your competitor is offering 10 sessions, then you offer 12 or 15.
Upsale or Upsell is the powerful magnetism to make more money on your course launch with multiple things to sell. The first way to create an upsell is to offer coaching. In this, you can offer one to one coaching by counselling the candidate or give a free demo and detail the course plan as per their requirement. Implement a solution that reads the trends of buyers and then suggests some other products based on other buyers’ trends.
Anchoring & Downscale
Festive offer like BlackFriday, Diwali, Christmas etc., is the best example to understand “Anchoring”. On normal days, your potential buyer is attached (anchored) to a standard price. So, during the festival season, when you present them with a lower-priced offer it seems like a great deal! What do you think of “Udemy“? Is Udemy using “Anchoring & Downscale” strategy to sell online course?
Anchoring means you start with the higher price intentionally and offer discount later, so the product is perceived as a great deal. The “Downscale” comes into play, when the potential buyer decline the “anchoring” offer. Then, you’re going to make them another offer. This is your downsale.
Step 7: Sustainable Business Model
You have come up with an idea for a product, done the research to determine your niche and market, tested your product’s viability with a seed launch, and finally launched your product for real while driving traffic to it! What next? Turn it into a sustainable business model.
- Focus on customer experience by creating the most valuable time spent by interacting with them to give an awesome feel.
- Map out the student’s journey from the starting to the end. Make notes of what milestones, small wins and setbacks there are to guide them further.
- Add additional value to your course by adding a free Q&A call, adding additional modules, or creating a community.
- Encourage your students to re-watch your content on your live chats, the more they will feel like they know and like you.
- Gather feedback on your course using assessments and then consistently update your course to build a firm bond.
- Add troubleshooting and FAQ content by addressing the most common questions and sticking points your students have in separate content inside your course to make it easy for students to seek your help.
- Keeping a track on your student’s progress from your initial seed launch by following them on social media, sending them emails from time to time helps us to analyse the pros and cons and improve the business further.
These days, we have AI-based marketing automation tools to automate the steps above (Not All) to give your customers a personalised feel. The days are not far, where the AI or robots can sell online course on your behalf.
The virtual world of e-Learning has catered the needs of all stages of education from pre-primary to university level. Also, the technology has been considered central to the reform of school education and has gained unprecedented momentum during this pandemic. It is being perceived as a panacea to combat all the education/schooling related issues and encourage the learners to improve their skills in an effective way.
The world needs almost 69 million new teachers to reach 2030 rducation goals. What are you waiting for? Hope this guide on “how to sell online course” is helpful. Feel free to leave a comment below for any clarification.