The global demand for online courses has been growing eminently, and it’s no secret. Online course selling business has created a booming market for edupreneurs to tap. The tremendous growth has also given birth to a few misperceptions which are hindering edupreneurs from selling online courses successfully.
There are a few myths around what is required to build an impactful and successful online course.
Unfortunately, these myths hold back many aspiring edupreneurs like you from creating a wildly successful online course.
Why should you sell online courses?
There are people who need help with what you already know. You can use your expertise in that particular subject & make money out of it.
Selling Online courses is a massive opportunity that you can leverage.
- E–Learning Market size surpassed USD 200 billion in 2019 and is anticipated to grow at over 8% CAGR between 2020 and 2026.
- Global e-learning and course consumption has increased dramatically during the pandemic and many experts expect that to continue.
With these numbers and the right technique, it’s definitely possible to launch your online courses.
You can also launch your online courses that can serve as a marketing tool. It would strengthen your connections & build your credibility. With the right knowledge & the ability to be passionate about the subject, creating a profitable course is possible.
HOW TO SELL ONLINE COURSES IN 2021
In the first section, I will take the opportunity to bust the seven most common myths that have shaped over time.
Myth 1: “A big fat launch is critical for success.”
With too much information getting published online, the aspiring online course creators have started to believe that it is vital to have a big fat launch. In other words, if your sales didn’t ring up big numbers in the initial few days, the game is over.
Big launches are not essential to your success. It is imperative to put in your hundred percent effort in making it as huge as possible. But, in the long run, it doesn’t define your success. You would be off to a great start. And that’s it. Trust the process. Understand that you can’t make all the money in a single push.
Marketing an online course is a consistent, long-term commitment.
Myth 2: “You need to create multiple courses. A single course won’t sell.”
We constantly hear from many aspiring course creators who believe that creating a single course won’t fetch them the desired result. They think having one or two courses in their arsenal, won’t give them enough firepower to establish themselves as an authority in their domain.
Reality: There are course creators who are selling single courses through Graphy. They have succeeded in generating income equal to more than those creators who are selling multiple courses.
All I am trying to say is that the number of courses has nothing to do with how you are going to perform in the world of e-learning. Please understand that quality is more important than quantity.
The top three important elements of selling a course successfully are:
- The course topic: Choose a profitable course topic. There must be a market demand for the kind of courses you create.
- The content: There is no end to the free information available online. Hence, you have to offer something far more valuable. Something that would cut through the noise and quickly help achieve learning objectives.
- The audience: You need to establish a relationship with your audience. Which means, selling a course shouldn’t be your primary focus. When you provide consistent value through interactive videos, webinars, blogs, and social media, your sales automatically start to escalate.
Myth 3: “You need a large e-mail list.”
It’s a common belief that you need to have a large e-mail list in order to launch an online course.
Reality: The size of your pre-built audience matters. But, it doesn’t mean you need to wait for a certain number in order to launch your first course. You can start small and keep moving up the ladder. Your ability to convert your existing audience to paying customers matters.
In the long run, you must work towards building an audience. The audience can be in the form of an e-mail list, youtube subscribers, or just social media followers. If you are transitioning from offline coaching, even better. Focus on creating a larger pool of potential customers. But, don’t let them stop you from getting started. You can begin with zero.
Myth 4: “Too many people are selling the same course, so my course won’t sell.”
Because of the obvious reasons, more course creators are joining the online course creator squad. If you find a huge competition, you might look at it as a sign of worry.
Reality: Competition is actually a good sign. Knowing that there is a market demand for your topic, makes it a profitable one to consider. On the other hand, no competition shows not many people are interested to pay & learn about this topic.
The best way to go about it is to accept the competition and focus on ways to position yourself that would set you apart from the competition. Try to find your USP and highlight it wherever possible for selling online courses Successfully.
Myth 5: “I need to offer my course at a relatively cheaper price”
Most beginners, as well as advanced course creators, set the course price too cheap in order to attract more customers who would buy the course. They believe that pricing low will increase the volume of sales.
Reality: Pricing is all about the amalgamation of communication and perception. Setting a low price might send a negative message about the quality of your offering. Do market research. Price on a competitive range depending upon your brand value.
You can also price your course with multiple variants depending on its validity and course packages. While selling courses through Graphy, that’s a cakewalk. Don’t forget that price is just one of the many factors that determine whether a prospect is buying your course or not. If you primarily focus on establishing your authority as an expert in your domain, you already get ahead in the game.
Myth 6: “Technology isn’t as important as other aspects of online course selling business.”
If you build, they will come. Technology isn’t as important as finding your topic, creating course content & marketing it.
Reality: Technology matters. How conveniently your audience skims through your course platform matters. You can use the best online course platform in order to provide the best user experience. As a matter of fact, using hosted platforms like Graphy
eliminates the cent percent scope of you worrying even a bit about technology.
Don’t get overwhelmed by all the options that are present out there. Weigh them as per your needs and stick to one. If you are unsure about it, start with just a YouTube channel and a free Graphy account. In the meantime, create a buzz about your courses through social media & blogging.
Myth 7: “You need to have a huge marketing budget to thrive.”
The final one says that it’s a myth that you have to spend a large amount of money on running ads, and other forms of marketing to sell courses.
Reality: Without a shred of doubt it’s competitive out there. But, most effective marketing has more to do with your content quality and the authority you are able to cultivate. Just focus on providing consistent value at the beginning & building trust. With these elements in place, every penny spent on marketing reaps the greatest results.
Busting the Myths, Seizing the Opportunity
A whole article dedicated to busting the surfaced myths gives us the chance to face up to them.
Are any of these myths currently holding you back from selling online courses successfully?
If the answer is yes, it’s time to let it go.
The key is to make a plan and take action.
Now that the myths are busted, let’s get into the step-by-step process of Selling Online Courses In 2021.
Conduct Market Research
If you are just getting started, you probably have more than one, course idea.
But coming up with a course topic idea before conducting thorough customer research might not be a good approach. Consumers’ current pattern generally determine their future direction.
If the market is already shopping for Course X, you can respond to its demand by bringing something that has already been demonstrated in the market.”
Market research helps you in identifying the problem that other course creators might have missed.
It could be using the most suitable course platform.
Or, adding an ample amount of quizzes.
Look into customer interviews & their feedback. More often, customer data leads to better business decisions.
Analyzing consumers’ data would help you uncover patterns and preferences of your learners, they never knew they had.
There are plenty of resources available online. They will point you in the direction beneficial for you. Make sure you trust yourself in the whole process & remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
Pick a business niche
To create a profitable online course, you’ll need to address some specific problem for a specific group of people.
Educators at Graphy recommend, “Rather than asking ‘What can I create or sell?’ question yourself ‘Who can I reach, and how can I add value?’”.
Target a customer group you belong to. It can magically save precious time & effort, and resources. Not just that, It would boost your chances of course success, too.
- Offer a highly specific solution that would fetch you initial interest.
- These sales would lead to word-of-mouth marketing.
- As you get the ball rolling, you can build up to it while expanding related niches.
Besides, as per a report published 91% of consumers are more likely to purchase with brands they recognize.
Hence, building your branded online course platform is imperative to success. Solving a specific problem for a particular audience would create that brand presence for you.
At Graphy, we are empowering teachers with the highest quality, affordable and scalable education technologies.
Create a course prototype first
Course creators stress the fact that the hardest things about introducing new courses are to “understand learners’ preferences”.
Now, that you have done your part of customer research. Hence, it would give you an idea of what would work & what might not.
But, online research won’t make up for practical experiments. You need to get your hands dirty.
Let’s look at it this way, Customer research is like learning how to drive a car from online tutorials. It educates you about a ton of things. But, only your own insights can give you tangible or personalized advice.
Releasing your first online course could be scary and exhilarating. There will be unexpected adventures.
Hence, pre-selling your courses would save you overwhelming surprises. You can read the full-fledged guide to pre-selling here.
This could be a game-changer for you. You can use the feedback & concerns received from your initial learners to launch a better version of your course.
In fact, you could also sell a basic version of your course to see if this works for your audience.
Define Learning Goals in Advance
Once you decide on the course topic, get crystal clear on your course objectives. What exactly my learns would achieve by the end of the course?
Determine your learners’ outcomes in terms of skills learned or problems solved. It would attract the right kind of audience. Your learners would exactly know what they would achieve by the end of the course.
Structure Your Modules and Course Plan
Once you do the rigorous search of the topic, you would have ideas piled up. Write them down. Don’t forget to jot down all the subtopics you would include in your course. Break them down even more. Now, it’s time to divide them thematically.
Put all those topics in a logical order and make a list. Take some time to structure them in the most engaging and creative way possible.
The E-learning industry has a promising future. Hence, if you are planning to launch your online courses, you might want help with the top principles of Creating Online Courses.
Despite the huge number of students opting for online courses, the debate over low completion rates has never really stopped.
With online courses being entirely different from traditional classrooms, it’s still possible to eliminate the possibility of drop-outs. This article covers the top four most effective ways to reduce attrition in online classes by improving course completion rates. A carefully curated course curriculum saves your time and helps your learners to learn better.
4 main principles of creating online courses
Online teaching, in many ways, is similar to physical classroom coaching. You have study materials, you know your learners, and you deliver the lectures. That being said, if you inculcate this structure into your virtual coaching mechanism, you would succeed at it. Your students’ retention would increase and so will your course effectiveness.
While launching your online courses, keep in mind the below points:
- Simple Graphics
- Short Lessons
- Building Engagements
- Seeking immediate Feedback
Including words & pictures to your PowerPoint slides and then talking your way out of it is a common practice. It’s so wrong. When we process new information, our bandwidth is limited. Hence, educators would be able to inhibit student learning when they inculcate pictures, written as well as spoken words.
As your learners can process just a few bits at one go, you must avoid redundant information.
Hop to it:
The pictorial charts & graphical representations do not need many words. The process of communicating through visuals & minimal words is an effective way.
Our attention span has plummeted over a period of time. Your learners can’t stay attentive throughout your 80 minutes of lecture videos. Hence, you must keep your lessons short. Divide your module into little parts. As an instance, you can divide your 80 minutes video into 4 videos of 20 minutes each. Alternatively, you can include quick quizzes in between.
Hop to these:
a) Incorporate frequent moments of engagement through interaction. Especially when you are conducting virtual live classes.
b) Take feedback from your learners after every class. Some quick ways to get feedback while conducting live classes are as follows:
- Ask learners to submit doubts through public chat window or private audio.
- Ask them a question.
- Take a poll.
- Discuss a problem.
- Illustrates a concept by creating a picture
Ask them to act on anything that would help them assimilate the Course content.
Hop to it:
Include meaningful & communicative visuals on your slide to cue your students to engage.
During an online classroom setting, teachers and learners usually forget that there are actual human beings they are interacting with, virtually. Being an educator, you must foster healthy relationships with your learners.
A supportive and low-conflict relationship is vital as it promotes academic performance and builds learners’ engagement.
It’s natural for students to be willing to work harder when they feel supported by their educators. Furthermore, you can offer them a discussion forum to interact with their peers.
You can create a supportive learning environment by letting learners know that you will be there to extend your help when needed. You can conduct weekly doubt live class sessions. As you are designing your presentations, think about how you can convey your enthusiasm for your students and their success.
Hop to these:
- Tell your students you are available to extend your help whenever needed.
- Schedule some time every day to resolve their queries and doubts.
- Conduct weekly live online classes.
- Offer public discussion forum to give learners an opportunity to interact with each other. Graphy does a wonderful job in it.
Various research studies have shown that teaching religiously coupled with frequent feedback results in Effective Learning.
As a matter of fact, academic feedback is consistently related to achievement far more than any other teaching behavior. This relationship is prevalent irrespective of grade, socioeconomic status, or demography of your learners.
Using an LMS while launching your online course allows you to track your learners’ progress and hence provide immediate feedback.
Design courses that work for you
Using an LMS that allows you to launch branded course content with a well-designed interface would just make your work so much easy. Courses and platform that simplifies the whole teaching-learning process are a win-win for both parties. While launching your online course content, make sure you inculcate these 4 principles of creating online courses.
Determine the Most Effective Delivery Methods
Once you know the syllabus & table of content, the next challenge is to make it available to the users in the best medium. Study your rivals. Study what your target audience is inclined towards. Figure out whether you will go for video lectures or text content or slide share, or a combination of all.
Plan out the whole content setting.
Getting into the Creation Phase.
Once you have all the steps planned out, the execution phase comes. Set out a target duration to complete the course creation process. Don’t get overwhelmed by the amount of content you will have to create. Break them down into topics & sub-topics, they create them within your planned time frame.
The final step is to LAUNCH!
LAUNCH YOUR ONLINE COURSE PLATFORM
You can choose to launch them either on your own website, or some marketplace. With Graphy, we provide you with a complete branded course selling platform, which you can trust with your business.
To know more, about how to set up your own branded education business, begin here.
The E-learning business is booming in 2020. If you are selling or planning to sell your online courses, doing things that can improve your sales process would be beneficial to your whole organization. One of the simplest routes to boosting your online teaching ROI is to stop with the online course marketplace. Instead, just sell online courses from your own website.
Three Main Ways To Host And Sell Your Online Courses
Number one question that every course creator has is, “Where do I host my online courses?”
Honestly, there are at least a hundred ways to sell your online courses.
However, these hundreds of ways generally fit into one of the 3 main categories.
- Online course Marketplaces
- Learning Management System (LMS)
- Website plugins/software
Just like other things, all of them have their unique benefits and limitations.
You can build your own course platform with WordPress
You can create your own course selling platform by using any WordPress site. WordPress plugins often have a one-time fee for lifetime use. Being able to host a website like this requires technical skills. To avail all the features necessary you will have to integrate multiple plugins. With constant updates, the whole process becomes humongous. To decide if this would be the best platform to sell online courses, go through its Pros and Cons.
Pros & Cons of Using WordPress
If you have a high level of technical skill and already possess experience with creating & selling online courses then this might seem like an ideal option.
If you don’t possess any or all of the mentioned qualities, then you will need to have in-house developers to get your platform up & running. The whole process is a time-consuming & costly affair. Until you can afford an experienced team of professionals, don’t bother here.
Choosing a Course Aggregator or Marketplace
Aggregators or Marketplaces offer a pre-built platform where you can sign up and sell courses with thousands of others like you. They have all the tools you need to create an online course.
Since it’s a marketplace platform, you are provided with a marketplace and audience to sell it in. You can’t own a website here, rather you own a place for yourself among thousands of others course sellers.
These platforms do not take a fixed charge, rather charge a transaction fee, which usually is more than 50% of your entire course sale.
Pros & Cons of Course Marketplaces
Udemy has a huge audience who are looking to buy courses and it’s pretty easy to upload your course videos and materials to the platform and generate a sales page. If your primary aim is to make short-term money, then this is the way to do it.
But if you are looking for a long-term business value then it’s better to put your best content under your own branded platform. It’s not your platform, you do not have access to customers’ data. Marketplaces are very competitive. A take a huge cut on each sale and leave you with almost nothing.
The best platform to sell online courses: Choosing a saas based LMS platform
A Learning Management System or LMS, helps you to create, deliver and report on training courses and programs. Simply put, it is an all-in-one online course platform. It provides you with everything that is needed to create a complete virtual classroom environment. All the tools you need to create a host a course selling website is taken care of.
Pros & Cons of Saas-based Course Platform?
Let’s own it. Developing an online platform to sell courses is a massive load of work.
If you are a non-techie and what has been holding you back all this time is the fear of dealing with the technical complexity, then it has got your back.
With minimal technical knowledge and zero codings, you will be having a course selling website up and running in a matter of a few minutes. That too under your own brand name. Post that, creating the course content within the platform requires just basic computer skills.
With platforms like Graphy, you can own your course platform to sell your secured video, eBooks, and other multimedia content. The platform allows building your own marketing plan. As a bonus, you will have a support team available to host you 24*7, just a call away.
So, if you have a few bucks to spend monthly, this one is THE PLATFORM for you. However, if you haven’t, Graphy offers you a basic plan with as low as zero a month. The basic plan has a cap on the bandwidth used. If you are within limits, you can sell for zero cost as long as you want. This plan would be perfectly suitable for you, if, you have never sold courses online and want to experience if it’s going to work for you or not.
However, if you want to generate the highest ROI from your online courses & build an online education empire, you must sell online courses from your own website.
Let’s dig into it in detail.
Sell Online Courses from Your Own Website using an LMS
LMS stands for Learning Management System. It’s quite a different concept from a marketplace because you are the owner of your branded platform. It’s like having your own little boutique shop, and you are free to use it as it pleases.
Therefore, there is an infinite scope of being creative at using marketing communication. Your LMS is a reflection of your brand, hence it’s fully customizable as per your preferences.
Graphy, being one of the most sought-after LMS for Indian course creators offers you a platform that is affordable & scalable. You can sell a combination of courses & packages with multiple validity & pricing variant.
The most fun part is, you have your own online study app using which learners can access your course from their smartphone.
YOU are pretty much in control of your own online course website.
You can build your online course website in as little as 10 minutes!
At Graphy, we are empowering teachers with the highest quality, affordable and scalable education technologies.
GRAPHY COURSE PLATFORM
Step 1: Sign up on Graphy
GRAPHY is an LMS that can help you sell online courses from your own website. The setup would barely take minutes.
Go to Graphy & click on “Get Started Free” to sign up.
Related: Launch your online course app NOW!
Step 2: Fill in your details.
Create your institute by filling in the details of your Online Institute. Click on “Get Started” & your FREE online course website is ready.
Step 3: Customise your online course platform & launch your first course. To set up your unique URL, upgrade to a paid plan. It’s a DIY easy to use platform. For any doubts, head over here.
Your online course website is LIVE.
SELLING ONLINE COURSES PASSIVELY
Launching an online course-selling business can be so rewarding. However, the results don’t just show up! You need to be putting the right systems into place. But, if you’re trying to balance selling online courses with a full-time job, or any other full-time commitment, you need to learn how to passively sell your online course.
Amidst doing the market research, creating a killer course content, and setting up your online brand identity, it can be downright exhausting.
With all the nuances that go into launching a profitable online course business, it’s essential to choose the best course selling platform first. That’s the foundation of your whole online image, so make sure you spend some time in finalizing one.
In order to generate a passive income stream by selling online courses, you first need to set up the whole foundation that will work for you even when you won’t.
Building a passive income stream with courses
The best thing that makes online courses the number one passive income stream is that you can build it once and sell it over and over again. Other online business ventures, like blogging or podcasting, require you to consistently pour in fresh content. On the other hand, online courses allow you to put in the one-time effort and reap its benefits for years to come.
Is your online course a good fit to be evergreen?
In order to earn passive income from your online courses, you need them to be topical in the upcoming years.
If your courses are about acquired skills like painting or baking, you’re in luck. But, if you are teaching academic subjects like Law, you will need to make necessary amends on it regularly. Not just that, you will have to keep yourself updated with the current affairs related to your subject.
Creating an evergreen course allows you to put in no-extra work on the content once it’s created. It saves you lots of time and effort. Not just that, with new amends and updated technologies the strategies and best practices constantly change as well. That being said, you can passively sell your online course, just want to check in on the content a little more frequently to make sure it stays relevant.
Get your affiliates to sell your course for you
Affiliate marketing is an inbound marketing method where you spend money only when a sale is made. Affiliates are those people who promote other people’s content and get a percentage of each sale. The best affiliates for your course would be your own set of students.
Enlist your chosen affiliates to promote your online courses to ensure you would be getting new eyes on your content.
How much do you pay affiliates?
It depends. Enough to tempt affiliates to put in more effort to make more conversions. It can be anything from 2% to 20.
Setting up affiliates on Graphy
You can set up the whole affiliate marketing panel when you host your courses through Graphy.
Allow learners to be affiliates. Once they complete your course, they will have an option to be a partner. They can share their unique link with their friends to avail themselves a percentage of the course purchased.
To know more about the feature sign up here or contact us.
Create evergreen E-mail funnels
You must be having a pre-built set of audience who trust you with your content. It can be your offline students or just an online community. If you don’t, you can build it from ground zero. Strive to actively build your email list or the contact information of your targeted audience who might be interested in your course. Include those subscribers in an evergreen email funnel.
Keep sending them regular introductory e-mails, sales e-mails & regular follow-ups.
Graphy has an E-mail marketing integration of MailChimp, which you can use to automate E-mail marketing.
Get an in-depth guide on How To Promote Your Online Courses.
In a Nutshell
Make sure that you do take that leap of faith and launch your first online course. I have tried my best to address all the concerns that you might be having.