We’re at the end of the ‘Create and Sell Your Own Ecourses’ series.
But we had a live Q & A call, and you can catch the recording here.
If you need to catch up before the live call, you can find the rest of the series here:
For the sixth (and last) part of this series we’re delving into selling and marketing your ecourse.
Marketing is a topic that needs it’s own series cause I could write an entire book on the subject. Oh wait, I already have.
Instead of going into the ins and outs of marketing, I decided to spend this part of the series giving you twenty-one marketing ideas for your ecourse. These are the main ways I market and promote my online courses.
1. Email your list.
Email is the BEST way to let your loyal followers know about any new product or service. (If you haven’t started an email list, make it the very next thing you do.)
2. Blog about it.
A really easy way to promote your ecourse is to blog about it. But, don’t just blog about the course—teach something related to your course. When you post free, high-quality information, you show your readers that you’re an expert in the topic which will make them more likely to trust you and give you their money.
3. Link to your sales page in your Instagram profile.
You know how you get one link to include in your Instagram profile? You probably use that for your website link. When you’re launching a new ecourse, you should switch out the link so that anyone who clicks on it goes to your ecourse sales page.
When you post anything about your online course on Instagram, you can include ‘link in profile’ in the picture’s caption.
Because of the algorithms Facebook uses, your posts might get in front of 10-30% of your Facebook followers. When you’re posting about your new ecourse, you want to get that specific post in front of as many of your followers as possible. This is one of those times it’s worth it to pay $5-10 to boost your Facebook post.
Every time I boost a Facebook post related to something I’m selling, I always get at least two sales from it. It pays for itself over and over.
5. Tweet about it.
Use Twitter to spread the word about your amazing new ecourse.
6. Pin a photo on your sales page.
Pin a photo on your sales page in order to let your Pinterest followers know about your ecourse. You can do this once each day until you’ve pinned all of the photos/visuals on your sales page.
7. Host a scholarship giveaway.
Wanna know the marketing strategy that works better than anything else for me when it comes to selling online courses? It’s hosting a scholarship giveaway.
The reason this works so well is that the women who enter are already imagining themselves in the course. And, I usually ask for them to leave a comment entailing how the course would help them. So, they’ve already thought through the benefits they’d get out of taking the course.
Once I announce the scholarship winners, I always get a flood of sales from other women who entered the giveaway. It’s a win-win-win.
8. Guest blog.
If you don’t have a large blog readership, write a few guest posts about the course topic for popular blogs. At the bottom of each guest post, write a short paragraph, letting readers know that if they enjoyed this post and want to learn more, you’re teaching an online course and link to your sales page.
9. Do interviews.
Another way to get your ecourse in front of other people’s audiences is to land some interviews. I say yes to more interviews when I’m launching something new. Their audiences get access to my expertise and I get to promote my course.
Marie Forleo does interviews with Danielle LaPorte, Kris Carr and others every time she launches B-School. It’s another win-win.
10. Launch a free intro video series.
I’m sure you’ve seen the launches that include a series of free videos (usually three videos) that teach you something that pertains to the course topic. Then, the person sells you on the course if you want to learn more.
These video series work really well when they’re done right, because they give potential customers insight to what they can expect from the course. Potential customers think, “If this is free, the course must be amazing.”
11. Offer a guarantee.
If this is your first ecourse and you haven’t built up a lot of trust with your audience, one of the best ways to deal with that is to offer a money-back guarantee. You don’t have to do this, but it will help those potential customers who are unsure push past their uncertainties.
I offered a money-back guarantee with my first three online courses, and that is one of the reasons some of the women felt comfortable enough to sign up.
12. Give away a sneak peek.
If you don’t have testimonials, it’s especially important to build trust. You can do this by giving your potential customers a sneak peek of the course. You could give them access to one of the videos or show them a few of your worksheets in action. This alone will increase your sales.
13. Ask your peers to help spread the word.
One of the lovely things about building relationships with other creative entrepreneurs is that you can help each other out. Put together a few easy to copy and paste tweets and Facebook posts and email your friends/peers, asking them to help you spread the word about your upcoming course.
When one of my friends reaches out like this (making it super easy for me to share), I always say yes.
14. Provide successful case studies.
Whenever I’m thinking about registering for an online course, it helps to see the success of other students who’ve already gone through the course. One of the reasons I signed up for B-School was because I saw interviews with a handful of successful students.
If you’re teaching an online drawing class, you could show the before and after drawings of some of your students. Potential customers will then think, “Well, they started out just as bad as I am. If they can learn, then so can I.”
15. Use testimonials.
I’ve talked about the importance of testimonials in the last part of this series, so I won’t go into detail here. But, if you’ve got a few really good testimonials, use them on more than your sales page. Post one on Instagram. Post another on Facebook. And, another on Twitter.
16. Host a live Q&A call.
If you open up registration to your course and you get a barrage of questions or your sales are much lower than you expected, host a live Q&A call.
Even if I don’t get a lot of questions and numbers are good, I almost always host a live Q&A call (on Spreecast). After that kind of call, I always get a rush of sales.
Remember that a confused customer never buys so if you can clear up any doubts on a live call, you’ll get more sales.
17. Set a registration deadline.
We all tend to procrastinate when we can. To end the procrastination, give your target market a registration deadline for your course.
18. Host a launch countdown on social media.
When Mayi and I launched an online course together, we created a countdown for Instagram. Starting at 10 days out, we posted a picture of the two of us each day with the number of days away until the launch day (10…9…8…7…). We kept it pretty cryptic because we wanted to build a lot of suspense.
Creative strategies like this really stand out.
19. Talk about the benefits—not just the features.
When you’re marketing your ecourse, focus on the benefits—not the features. For example, a feature of your ecourse might be that it contains 15 videos and a benefit might be that by the end of the course, your students will be drawing with confidence.
20. Utilize SEO.
SEO stands for search engine optimization which is fancy for being found when someone searches for your keywords on Google or other search engines.
I don’t place a lot of significance on SEO, but every bit helps. If you’re on WordPress there are lots of plug-ins that can help you with SEO.
21. Start an affiliate program.
Another way to get a lot more promotion for your ecourse, without you doing all the marketing, is to pay affiliates to promote it for you. If you start an affiliate program, each time one of your affiliates makes a sale for you, she gets a part of the profit. When you set this up within your shopping cart, each of your affiliates will get their own unique link (to your sales page) and that’s how your shopping cart knows who gets credit for the sale.
For instance, if your sell your course for $50 and give your affiliates a 50% commission, each time someone bought your course by clicking on your affiliate’s link, you’d each get $25.
It’s a win-win. You get your course in front of people you’d never reach otherwise and your affiliate gets paid for the work she puts into promoting your products.