In this blog, we will discuss the areas that no one tells you about selling an online course.
An online course is a one-time effort, but is it your way to making endless money? Both yes and no.
For instance, you want to earn $1000/month, create an online course worth $100, sell it to 10 people, and achieve your goal. Seems pretty easy, right? You just have to find 10 people on the internet who want to buy this course, and you are sorted for the month.
However, the catch is that the dream of making money while you sleep is not that simple. You have to put in a lot of effort, do all sorts of trial and error, work nights, and invest money to build and market your course.
In the process, you make errors that could have been avoided and realize that an online course is not a cash cow that will make you a millionaire in a night. In this blog, we will talk about strategies that no one talks about selling an online course.
Things no one tells you about selling an online course
Not validating your idea can backfire on your big launch
The top reason why a startup fails is that its product doesn’t have a market need. Your situation as an online creator is similar to it too. You had an idea, created an online course around it, and now you are struggling to sell it. This is because you failed in validating your idea.
Choosing the right subject for your course creation is extremely important. Your topic should have a demand in the market, you must have expert knowledge in it, and lastly, you should know who this course will help.
Now that you have filtered a topic that you think is the right one, your next task is to encourage at least a few people to buy it. Validating your idea is not taking approvals but getting paid for what you are creating. You need to know if your target audience is interested in getting a solution in the first place.
You can achieve this in two ways: first, create a course and launch it to a limited number of people or pre-sell your offer even before creating one. Doing this will save you time and money on something that might not be that great. Here are step-wise ways to market your pre-sell offer-
Step # 1 Build a digital presence online through social media and blogging
Step # 2 Create an email list through your audience by offering them mini-training, free resources, or doing giveaways (make at least 50-100 people join so you get a fair opportunity when selling an online course)
Step # 3 Market your offer to your list. Give time-limited discounts to encourage more people to buy your course.
Step # 4 Take feedback from them on why they joined or why did they not
Step # 5 Collect testimonials to use when doing a complete launch.
Of course, you may not sell a lot in the soft launch. But that’s okay. Your main aim is to validate your offer and test if the idea is viable.
Choose the right platform to sell your online course
Another crucial step in selling an online course is choosing the right hosting platform. It plays a major role in determining how smooth it will be for both the buyer and creator to navigate the course.
If not done right can hamper your customer’s experience with your online course and their willingness to give positive feedback. When choosing a selling platform, you have to understand the functionalities you need, your budget, content media, and your goals when looking for an online selling platform.
Here are three types of online course platforms available
- Standalone platform
The standalone platform offers a custom domain to host your courses, unlike marketplace sites (ex-Udemy), where you don’t even have access to your student’s email address, where you get extreme flexibility to communicate with your customers and market your online course.
Standalone platforms work excellent for brand-new course creators who are still figuring out ways to create an awesome course. To make things simpler, you’ll get access to beginner-friendly tools that are quite easy to use and not overwhelming. Here, you also get complete control over students’ data, pricing, and payment structure.
- Marketplace online course platform
The marketplace platform is quite popular for selling online courses since it already has a base of users interested in online learning and would not mind paying for your online course. It offers standardized templates and marketing tools to help users easily build their courses.
Marketplaces offer limited control; they will surely fetch you more customers but give limited control on how you want to manage your online course. Leaving these platforms is quite difficult; you can never contact your students, for future course launch.
- WordPress plugin online course hosting
If you already have a website and want to integrate your online course, then WordPress plugins can be of great help. However, it is quite tricky and has a steep learning curve. It offers maximum flexibility, but you mostly have to figure out everything on your own. So, if you have experience in the tech field, then opting for these plugins would make an excellent choice.
- All-in-one online course platform
The all-in-one option provides everything needed to build and market your online course. You get complete customer relationship management tools (CRM), content management system (CMS), email marketing, landing pages, and automation. It’s a perfect balance of the options we mentioned above. Here, you can earn endlessly without paying a big amount to your course platform.
And, if you are looking for an amazing all-in-one course creation platform, then Graphy should be your ultimate choice. Graphy is the best online course creation platform with jam-packed tools helpful in creating, marketing, and securing your online course. Teachers can host live classes or pre-upload classes. And, you can do all this without any coding knowledge required.
Why choose Graphy for creating your online course?
- Multi-layer security to prevent your content from unauthorized accessibility and piracy.
- Integrate multiple-payment gateways
- No transaction fees
- Market your course by creating promos or discounts
- Create an extraordinary website and mobile app without any coding required
- SEO optimized landing pages to rank better on search engine
- Excellent customer support through dedicated account managers
Over 30,000+ creators have launched their online teaching businesses using Graphy. Join now.
Deciding how to charge for your online course
This is one of the most common questions creators struggle with while creating their online courses. Pricing is always a hit-and-trial game, which will take some time to perfect. Your online course can range anywhere from $5 to $2000, depending on the topic, audience, and course duration.
But, the catch is that this is not your total gain. For instance, if you are launching a course for $100, you pay a commission to the hosted platform, government tax, and accusation cost; the final gain would be somewhere around $50-$60. So, when pricing your online course, make sure to count all these charges and then calculate your total profit.
Also, do ample research on the income level of your target audience and analyze your competitor’s pricing to determine a balance of money and value. If your charges are steep, having multiple payment methods will be fruitful.
Selling your course is not the end.
A good mentor not just provides resources, but also helps them step by step till they succeed. So, the time you spend marketing your course should be equivalent, if not less, to what you invest into helping your students with their queries.
Word-of-mouth is by far the most successful marketing tactic, and you can easily make a good impression by following these tips-
- Focus on the customer’s experience by making the entire process from enrolling to completing modules easy.
- As you create and market your course, you will understand your student’s journey. You can map out the route on how they got to know about your course, what issues they were trying to solve and why they chose it. This information would help you crave better content at every stage of the buyer’s journey, from awareness and consideration to decision.
- Most successful online courses have a community where students can interact and ask questions. Here, they get to engage with like-minded people and reduce your workload of handling every question on your own.
- Take timely feedback from your students and apply the ones that make sense. This way, you keep updating your course according to the needs of your target audience.
- Keep track of your student’s progress and interact with them if you think they face any problems. This might feel challenging when your numbers grow, but it’s very important to ensure your students get the maximum value from your online course.
Increase the value of your course
There are many ways to increase the value of your course and make people believe that it’s worth every penny. One sure shot way to keep updating your course to maintain credibility and value. Here are some other unique ways you can try-
- Offer one-to-one coaching to provide personalized guidance and solutions. You can justify the value of your time with the additional charges you are adding to your online course.
- Provide a completion certificate to encourage students’ participation and educate them on how they can use it for professional benefits.
- Create various pricing tires to give potential students options to decide what fits their needs. Each pricing tire will have unique features and different levels of support to justify its pricing.
- Don’t just stick to the schedule; give your students more value than expected. Do webinars, live Q&As, and personal coaching calls. Your students will value your efforts and bring in more students.
You can also include more resources, unlimited access to content, a strong community of like-mind people, student support groups, etc. The more care you take for your students, the higher your chances of selling a premium offer.
These were some ways that most course creators and educators miss out on while selling an online course. Now that you know them, you can leverage these strategies to build a happy customer base and sell more.