In this blog, we will discuss in detail why online communities are truly valuable and the type of online community memberships that would suit you the best.
Ever thought about building an online community to grow your business? Confused about whether to charge your audience for your membership?
Creating and maintaining an online community surely can be tiresome. A creator when focusing to build their online community has to focus on a lot of data to set metrics and measure conversions.
Nonetheless, the rewards associated with building a strong relationship with your audience are also exceptional.
Online communities have now become a standard in the e-Learning world, where companies are focusing on building a strong relationship with their audience to boost student retention, emotional connection, and trust.
However, it is also true that most businesses are unaware of the true meaning of an online community. They usually confuse online communities with social networks, but that isn’t true.
A social network by meaning is a place where you aim to network with other people.
On the other hand, an online community means to have a group of people held together by a common purpose or passion, with whom you interact regularly, encouraging engagement through discussions and Q&A sessions.
If you’re reading this post, there are good chances that you’ve already made up your mind to have your online community. You can build an online community that is either private or public, opened or closed, as well as free or paid.
However, we want to stress the time you take to build it – The sooner, the better.
If you want for too long, you may miss out on this opportunity to cater wider audience and sell courses online effortlessly.
So, keep reading as we walk together to learn more about online communities and how you can build the right one up for your online business.
Free vs. paid online communities: Which one to choose?
Both free and paid types of online communities can be very resourceful to sell courses online.
However, the kind of online community you build depends majorly on the vision, objectives, content bandwidth, and target audience you have for your virtual course business.
Free online communities
- A study has shown that free online communities increase a brand’s identity, awareness, and recognition by capturing leads.
- In a situation where you have limited traffic and content bandwidth, you can choose to build a free membership site to focus better on your value proposition and the volume of your content online.
- Another reason for you to create a free membership site to sell courses online can be that you have a lot of competition in the market.
This means that there are alternative options available for people to choose from. Thus, they may end up being unsure about paying a subscription for your site.
Paid online communities
- Paid communities are considered to be one of the most promising ways of earning steady income by creating high-value content for your community members.
- The reason for prospective enrollees signing up for your course is the benefits they get.
- Thus, the prime reason to create a paid membership site is that you have a lot of valuable content to advertise and charge your audience for.
Commonly with course sites, you provide a subscription with a free trial. Where you start with a small amount of content and increase it over time by teaching different topics to your students.
- Your years of experience distinguish you from others. Thus, another reason for developing a paid membership site is that you create worthwhile content that offers a great degree of value.
- Finally, you can charge your audience for membership if you have a solid niche. Having a niche will make you an expert in your field, which in turn will make you stand out against your competition.
If you know your niche and the kind of value you are offering your members through your online courses, then you can decide on how to attract more members and sell courses online profitably.
Popular creators like CA Rachana Ranade, Himeesh Madaan (Founder, Seekhega India), Kundan Kishore (Founder, Weathian), John Paul (Founder, Teach Mindset) have successfully created their membership site using Graphy’s seamless in-built functionalities that is accessible through their branded website and mobile application.
How can an online community be valuable to your business?
Free or paid, your online community can be a valuable tool for your business in numerous ways.
Along with increased engagement amongst community members, it also increases the business’s capacity of driving leads. It helps in:
- Focusing on considerate growth of the community over time
- Measuring people’s actual interaction with community members
- Measuring the number of new members who joined
- Track if the number of members joined over a while is deprecating, vice versa, and many more.
Valuable for keyword research
Understand your audience better by looking at what the members of your online community are searching for.
Find keywords that are helping you to show up on their search results organically, check the insights of these keywords, and use them to find out what people are discussing.
Valuable for email marketing
When a person decides to join your online community, it is obvious that they’ve made a call to become a more active part of your online business.
In other words, they want to get to know you better, your products/services, membership benefits, and many more.
You can use this opportunity to share information about your business with your community members.
Send them welcome emails, newsletter emails, lead nurturing emails, promotional emails, milestone emails, and many more.
Make the members of your community feel that they are being valued and welcomed.
Valuable for link building
The members of your community will be the main source of people who would be linking your website.
Thus, focus on creating content based on relevant topics around your niche and make it in such a way that it can be easily shared by the members of your online community.
Valuable for content creation
An online community for your virtual course business can help you to develop innovative topic ideas to craft better content for course material such as Ebooks, whitepapers, blogs, and many more.
Valuable for social media
Your online community will help you top up your social media game as well.
When the members of your online community will share your content on social media, it’ll help you to create your brand identity and make the viewers of your profile more aware of the exclusivity that you have got to offer them.
Build a powerful online community
Online communities can be a very powerful asset for creators who are looking for ways to build trust, loyalty, and engagement with their audience. But you also need to know that these rewards come at a cost of a daunting process.
Thus, to make the work of creating an online membership site effortless, Graphy has come up with its full-featured LMS platform that allows professional creators like you to build businesses from home.
Explore hundreds of impressive features, create and manage courses, drive sales, generate leads, build email lists, run LIVE sessions, engage with your students/members, and many more.
Sign up for Graphy today!