Entrepreneurs

Council Post: How To Successfully Market Your First Online Course

By Chris Christoff, co-founder of MonsterInsights, the leading WordPress plug-in for Google Analytics.

Are you interested in selling your first online course? If so, you’re not alone. Many business owners and leaders now fully realize the value of creating paid and free lessons for their audience. Online lessons are an excellent way to boost engagement, build your lead lists and grow your profits. Additionally, you can teach your existing customers how to maximize the value of your product or service, which could lead to more repeat customers.

Believe it or not, the learning management system (LMS) market size is expected to grow to $28.1 billion by 2025. Consumers are more eager than ever to take part in LMS courses and learn about topics that appeal to their various goals and pain points. 

If you want to learn how to successfully market your first course, stick around. We are going to take a dive into some of the effective strategies you can use to make your first online class a hit. 

Ready? Let’s get started!

Create a designated landing page. 

The first thing you should do when marketing your online course is to create a designated landing page on your website. You want to let new visitors and returning customers know about the upcoming release. Not only will this strategy help you build hype around your course, but it will also help you secure more pre-order sales. 

Your landing page should focus on the value proposition of your class. In other words, what do visitors have to gain by signing up? You’re more likely to get signups if you go beyond talking about what you teach and instead direct your energy into explaining how what you teach will help participants. 

You can also incentivize early signups on your landing page. Some businesses give discounts or extras to folks who sign up well before launch. 

Use live events to give consumers a sneak peek.

Another way you can effectively market your first online course is by hosting live events on social sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Currently, over 3.6 billion people use social media, so you can bet that your target audience is out there waiting to hear from you. 

There are several types of events to choose from, and they can all potentially lead back to your course. 

For instance, you could host an educational webinar that touches on one part of your lesson plan. This free lesson will help you get people invested in your brand, which could lead to more signups for the complete course. Similarly, Q&A sessions that focus on topics covered in your plan are a great segue to introduce your classes to participants. 

I also recommend using this opportunity to get to know more about your audience. During the event, take notes on some of the common questions and concerns from your audience. You may want to consider sending out a feedback form afterward so you can fine-tune future marketing campaigns. 

Reach out to existing subscribers.

Between social media, email marketing and push notifications, there’s a good chance you already have quite a few established leads. You’ll want to spend time creating marketing campaigns for each of these platforms for your existing subscribers.

The more leads you have, the more opportunities to get signups. If you want to maximize your results, don’t forget to segment your lead lists so you’re only sending offers to customers who will find your lesson beneficial.

For instance, an online pet store owner would segment their list if they were creating an online course on how to take care of a new puppy. A cat owner likely wouldn’t want to attend a lesson that’s not relevant to the animal they own. But customers who have purchased products in the dog category on their site are the perfect leads for this type of class. You can apply this logic to any product or service. Consumers want to learn about the topics that interest them.  

When sending out emails and push alerts, make sure you send multiple messages and reminders leading up to the event. You could send out your messages a month before the event and then once a week leading up to the release of the course. At my company, we like to send one or two extra messages during launch week. 

As for social media, the key here is to engage with your existing subscribers. In other words, don’t create a couple of posts promoting your lesson and call it a day. Instead, spend time in the comments section responding to the users who have questions about the course. When people see that you’re responsive and genuinely want to help, they are much more likely to register for your class.  

Final Thoughts

Marketing your first online course may seem like a daunting task. However, with practice, you can master this aspect of your business and dramatically grow your traffic, sales and engagement. Use the tips we’ve covered today to start your journey. Once your first lesson is live for a few weeks, review all of your data and use what you learn to improve your next lesson plan.

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