How to sell online courses
Creating and selling online courses is a real springboard for many to start their own business and be independent.
However, many do not know, once created, which are the right tools to propose it to the market and sell it.
To avoid wasting money and precious time keep reading this article: you will find some tips on how to sell courses online and make a job out of them.
Why create your own online course
So why choose to invest in creating your own online course?
There are many reasons to choose from.
This is a rapidly expanding market.
Suffice it to say that, for example, in Udemy, one of the most popular platforms for online courses, there are more than 40 million students.
This suggests that there is a great demand for online courses, and that it is a good opportunity to exploit.
Who ever said that you need to be an IT expert or something else to create your own course?
The things that are really necessary are one’s skills in certain sectors and the willingness to want to share them with others.
What many do not know is that there are types of courses that can be carried out in a short time even if you do not have great technical skills.
It is cheap
If we want to compare the creation of an online course with the writing and publication of a book, great differences immediately catch the eye.
By creating your own course you can avoid all those steps that are inevitable when writing a book.
I’m talking about finding the right publishing house, about the problems regarding extreme specificity and crowded marketplaces.
Not to mention the distribution costs and everything that goes with it.
Due to reasons, by writing a book, the visibility and profits you can generate will be extremely limited
On the other hand, taking into consideration the creation of online courses, moreover, it is not absolutely necessary to spend thousands of euros to be provided with professional and expensive equipment.
This does not mean that some technical upgrades cannot be made in the future, but to get started, a mobile phone or a camera is more than enough to register.
You can also decide not to recover at all by providing courses from webinars you have given previously, for example.
It is an excellent source of passive income
This is because, once you have created your own online course, it will work on its own without needing you to work on it anymore (excluding a little maintenance from time to time or if you decide to add content).
And while customers continue to arrive, you will have the time to decide not to stop at that one course and to get to work creating others.
Do you want to know other sources of automatic revenue?
Read also How to make passive income
How to sell online courses?
After deciding that you want to create your own online course, how do you sell it?
Below you will find some tools to use if you want to know how to sell online courses.
Create a sales funnel
The first step is to start by creating a lead magnet.
I’m talking about a free content (which can be for example a downloadable guide) to which, to have access, you need to provide your email address, telephone contact or other.
This is precisely the result you want to achieve, that is to create an email list of customers potentially interested in your product.
This is how you start a sales funnel.
The next step is to take advantage of the previous list to create a sequence of emails through which to let users know and sponsor their online course.
Another tool to use if you are looking for ways to sell online courses is to create additional content that will help “direct” potential customers to deliver their email.
What types of content?
Through content marketing it is possible to attract people from multiple sources.
You can write articles that contain lead magnets, you can shoot videos to post on Youtube, or even create content for your social pages.
Promote the course
Promoting your work is essential if you are looking for ways to sell online courses.
Leveraging Facebook, and its 2 billion monthly active users, is a good idea for example.
In this case, I suggest you use Facebook Ads through which you can create sponsored posts, stories, and ads. Alternatively, Google ads can also work.
Use the right tools
Finally, a correct use of the tools at your disposal will also help you a lot in obtaining satisfactory results.
For example, if you intend to offer your course in a personalized way to your users (even to a group) you can use Zoom, through which you can organize meetings.
But it is not the only one of its kind that you can find online.
Do some research and some tests and find the tool with which you are best.
Sell courses online before creating them
Did you know that it is also possible to sell your own courses before having created them?
But why do it?
There is nothing worse than committing yourself, spending a lot of time and money on your course, only to discover that it has no market.
To prevent this from happening, a good solution you can take is to sell your course before you have even created it.
This is not an innovative method, in fact for those who want to sell courses online this procedure often takes the name of the presale.
But it does not exist only in this area.
There are tons of people and companies that put their products and services for sale using this technique.
Sites like Kickstarter, a platform where various creative projects can be funded, are a perfect example of this.
They can belong to different categories such as movies, games and music, design and technology.
Projects on Kickstarter are offered for sale and supported by users interested in ideas, even before the products are made.
A further positive side of using this strategy is the ability to improve your product based on feedback from potential customers.
Below you can read some of the most relevant.
Protect your time and resources
As I wrote before, the key thing to selling online courses is to avoid being in a situation where all the work done turns out to be a big waste of time.
In this way, it is possible to be able to devote all of your time in the realization of what really has market potential, and not waste it elsewhere.
Using this strategy you will have the opportunity to minimize the risk of making a hole in the water.
This is also a huge plus.
Your first customers will be the ones who have the opportunity to advise you on what needs improvement, what they liked and what didn’t.
This way you can create a product based on the actual requests of your target audience.
Build your customer list
Many know that, in this industry, having an email contact list is essential to get sponsored and stay in touch with your customers.
The presale allows you to create an initial contact list that will include all the people who have purchased the course.
When this is ready, send them your credentials to log in and get started.
This way you will soon have your first class of students ready.
Self-finance the creation of your course
Thanks to the resources you will get with the ability to sell your course before creating it, you will be able to finance your project without having to use your personal funds.
This is all the extra money you can invest in advertising and promoting the course or improving it.
How to find out if your course will have a market
There are several ways to tell if your course will be successful.
For many of these, often the best, it is not necessary to have them fully realized first.
Here are some of them.
Simply sell it
If you already have a title in mind for your course, what it’s going to be about, and the description of the content, a good move is to introduce your project to your target audience.
To do this, for those looking for how to sell online courses, the idea of organizing a webinar for example is excellent.
At this point it is also already important to have an idea of the price at which you want to launch it on the market.
For example, you can create a minimum limit of people who will have to buy before moving on to the actual creation of your product.
If during this it happens that you are unable to reach the minimum number, or you realize that it is not going as you would like, you will always be in time to reimburse those who paid you in advance.
This should not be seen as a failure but simply try to straighten the shot: maybe the target audience was not suitable for that particular content or you need to change your approach.
Be careful though.
If you sell your course online before creating it, you must be prepared to actually implement it within the time frame you promised your customers.
If you don’t give them what you promised them, it won’t be long before complaints and refund requests start coming in.
And this is not something to be underestimated.
Even a few negative reviews about you online can seriously damage your reputation and make people less likely to buy something from you in the future.
Start a pilot course
Another method you may want to try if you are looking for how to sell courses online, is to create a very short course that is still in development.
This is the initial version of the course you want to create, yet to be improved and charged more in the future.
Have you ever seen the first episode of a television series only to sadly discover that it has been canceled?
This is because television networks are also constantly using this pilot strategy.
That one test episode is used as a test to see if the series will like it, if it will be successful and how many people will follow it.
In the event of failure of this episode, the simplest choice that allows you to contain the economic losses as much as possible is to stop it immediately, in order to be able to dedicate yourself to better content.
It works in the exact same way with the creation of online courses.
If the customer response doesn’t satisfy you even after making some changes, refund the customers, close the project, and get to work on a next one right away.
Usually, those who decide to take advantage of a pilot course when looking for how to sell courses online, also decide to offer it at a lower price than what they had initially thought of.
Well, because at the moment we are offering a “draft” product, incomplete with the possibility that it contains errors and is still being modified.
This is also a good way to go about customer satisfaction.
With this system, if there are any malfunctions or errors, the customer will not be able to put the negative review in fourth place or to demand a refund.
In fact, it will be your task to inform him in advance that this is a service still under development.
It is therefore fair to offer your first group of students a lower price to enroll.
And often these classes have a maximum limit of students to which access can be proposed.
As you improve your course and/or add more content and by collecting positive testimonials from students who have completed your course, you may decide to increase the price.