One of the more underappreciated business ideas out there is making money through starting and marketing online courses. One of the great things about this idea is there are so many subjects out there to teach, and they don’t all have to be things that you’ll need certification to teach. You will need to demonstrate knowledge and expertise in what you teach, and you’ll want to give your course as much of a professional appearance as possible to make sure your audience knows you’re serious about it, and that it’s worth their money. Here are some tips on how to do that.
Make Sure Your Course Has A High Demand
Before anything else is completed on your course, you should make sure the subject has high market demand. You need to research and test the water to see what kind of courses currently offered online are attracting the most consumers, and which types of courses are underserved and would attract more consumer interest. You can do this by searching for interests across social media, setting up online surveys, or even through old-fashioned cold calling. And you don’t have to look at just academic subjects. There are all kinds of niches such as popular mechanics, handyman tasks, network marketing, life coaching, investing and personal finance, and alternative lifestyle issues.
Use Video And Entertaining Visuals To Make It Engaging And Exciting
You need to make sure your course is not only informational, but also exciting and engaging. It shouldn’t just look like an online textbook or be too academic. You should create videos, and not just of you speaking but with all kinds of fun animation, visuals, a bit of humor, and high quality production. Believe it or not, there is free or cheap software you can use that will give your videos a professional production look. And if you still aren’t satisfied with the look, you should consider hiring a film production team to help you produce your online course.
Make Sure You Have Your Own Professional Website To Host It
Your online course should also have a professional website for hosting it. According to Kajabi, “Your online course should have its own sales page to inform customers about the course and persuade them to join.” You’ll want your own domain name that’s both easy to know, fits in with your course brand, and has the appropriate platform built in to sell online courses from your own website. You can choose a shared hosting space or a dedicated server host, but you should make sure your online course website has enough space for your content and sufficient speed and bandwidth for your expected amount of traffic. The great news is there are many website services out there that offer easy design, easy layout, and easy content management features that don’t cost a lot.
Use Multiple Marketing Channels
The most important thing you need to do when selling online courses is market them to your audience. The first thing that may come to mind when we speak of that is through the usual pay-per-click ad campaigns, video marketing, email marketing and other digital formats. All of those are necessary and should be used, but there are other channels you can use as well. For example, you should be active on social media and in online communities discussing your course and other online courses and making sure your audience knows what it’s about. It’s also helpful to have review type articles posted about it where someone who has taken your course or tested it can explain what’s in it and how it helped them. These kinds of reviews help make it relatable and personal for your target audience.
Use An Effective Pricing Strategy
Finally, you need to use a good pricing strategy that can attract customers to your online course, and also maximize your ROI in it. The best strategy isn’t always to underbid competing courses because some customers will see low prices as meaning low quality and getting them a bare minimum in product. But you shouldn’t overprice it either because your customers will write unhappy reviews if they feel they overpaid. You also need to carefully plan your pricing around a monthly subscription if you are offering a longer course, or paying the full price upfront but with a free trial or refund mechanism built in. There is no one-size-fits-all method for this.
At the end of the day, there’s so much you can offer with an online course that you should look into planning one out, and even looking at other high-performing online courses to see how they’re attracting customers. But always remember unique course material and your own professional website will make your course stand out from the others.