Managing and promoting an online course is similar to running a small business. Here are 5 key tips on how to make and sell online courses on a platform that suits you better.
1. Quality of the Course Content
Before you dive deeper into how to make and sell online courses, the very first step is to decide what you want to teach in your course. The course could be on a technical subject, or it could be a self-improvement course in which you relay your own experiences. A simple way to identify whether your course content is effective is to make sure it fits each of the following “EXPERT” qualities.
E – Educate
X – eXperience
P – Problem-solving
E – Execution
R – Relevant to pain points
T – Take Action
Your content should provide knowledge and advice that gives insight to your learners. It should center on addressing a certain issue or the relevant pain points that led them to enroll in your course in the first place. Executing the lessons in a way that the learners respond to is crucial, along with giving them the means to take action to apply what they have learned.
Original course material always has more success than just copying off the curriculum from another person’s course. It is more profitable to tailor the course to your respective students, ensuring that what you teach comes from your career expertise or any obstacles you have overcome.
2. Pre-Selling Your Course for Enrollment
The best way to promote your material when deciding how to make and sell online courses is to pre-sell it. Your course should be investing in a solution to a problem and telling the learner how to get there. For example, instead of creating a course with theories and text-book education, you should focus on helping the learner reach an ideal achievement or outcome.
Your sales process will be more effective when you promise a particular outcome and provide a formula or means to get there. With a set achievement in your and your learner’s mind, you can take regular feedback on what they expect from the course itself. One way to go about this is to conduct a live webinar where you can sell your course, ask people what they expect from it and readjust it accordingly.
The starting stages of when you create and sell online courses is mostly trial and error. You should expect a lot of changes to be made to the curriculum, most of which will be identified during the enrollment process. The initial course will serve as a profitable offer prototype, which can be updated according to the feedback it receives.
Once you have a revised course that has gone through all the troubleshooting necessary, you can package it and create an online course platform to turn it into a profitable program.
3. Promoting Your Online Course
If you know how to make and sell online courses successfully, it can become a very scalable business which also requires the regular promotion of the content and creating traffic on your website or social media to keep the online community engaged and aware of your business.
Having a successful plan for pre-selling your course will automatically help with sales in the long run. This happens when the people who took the course benefit from it, use what they learned in their daily lives, and then act as ambassadors by recommending it to other people. Consequently, more people enroll, more people benefit, and more become ambassadors.
Maintaining and following up with an email list will help in bringing in more enrollments, especially if you have multiple online courses on your platform. Other online marketing methods include paid promotion, ads, hosting regular webinars, and getting testimonials from previous students. Self-promotion is key here, as a consistent social media presence will bring you more recognition and business activity.
4. Choosing the Right Platform
Multiple tools and platforms are available for you while you decide how to make and sell online courses. The online course platform should ideally be designed to help the creator earn money through their courses. Selecting a course marketplace can help you reach a larger audience through their already registered student database. You can publish your course on their platform for free, but you will have to give a share of your sales from the course.
For a customized approach, you can opt for an online course development company. It allows you to choose from many content formats, create your own branded landing pages, and provide you with the tools necessary for marketing your course. The platform you choose can depend on the nature of your course, and your individual goals and needs.
The common features that all platforms should have for you to create and sell online courses are:
They should support media files, i.e., video, audio, images, and PDFs.
They should provide you with the option to create a schedule for your course.
They should be equipped with tools that allow for convenient marketing and payment.
They should have a range of payment plans for advanced courses.
Their platform should offer a means to interact with students in real-time.
A self-paced course should be given the appropriate tools to run smoothly.
When you create an online course, the platform will vary according to your specific needs.
5. Determining the Value of Your Course
The fee of online courses can range from anywhere from five dollars to hundreds of dollars, depending on the course topic, the platform you use, your expertise, and your target audience.
It will take time to calculate how to make and sell online courses at the right price. You need to consider how much does it cost to develop an online course and to decide how to structure your payments, whether it’s a one-time fee, monthly fee, or a more extended payment plan.
Upselling your course can add value to it, allowing you to charge a higher fee. Here are some ways you can create and sell online courses with more value:
Enlisting help from other experts, i.e., incorporating their content or conducting a guest lecture.
Adding bonus materials and resources for greater depth into the topic.
Including supplemental materials such as case studies, reports, and extra lessons.
Offering a referral bonus to invite more people to take the course.
Offering one-on-one coaching sessions at a high price.
Arranging live group training sessions to engage in discussions and question and answer sessions.
Many people crave interaction in their educational programs. Providing your students with this option will appeal more to them than just reading through lecture notes.
How to Make and Sell Online Courses that are meaningful
If you want your content to have an impact on your learners, then you need to make sure that it is meeting their needs and expectations. Every topic has multiple resources online, and the availability of free information may lead to people preferring other materials over your course. So, when you are trying to figure out how to make and sell online courses that will engage and interest people, there are a few steps you can take.
1. Validation Calls
Feedback is the backbone of any business interaction. Online courses are no exception. Analysing whether your students are responding well to your content may help you to answer the question of how to make and sell online courses. Determine how practical your approach is and how you can adjust it or improve it.
You should center the concept of your course around a solution to a relevant pain point. You can call people and ask them what they hope to learn from the course and which lectures they feel were unnecessary.
2. Recording Your Lectures
Face-to-face learning has proved to be more engaging and successful when it comes to e-learning. As opposed to creating lecture slides, which would take extra time and effort, video lectures provide a sense of human interaction.
The connection students have with the educator gives them a sense of accountability and confidence in the course itself.
Voice-over lectures can be a hassle, with the work of having created slides as well as writing a script and recording the audio. Organizing all of these into video lectures can save you time and be more efficient in the long run.
3. Enlisting Help
Creating a course comes with a lot of different tasks, which can become overwhelming to carry out as a person. Having a team to assist you can divide the workload and help you focus more on optimizing the content. Other team members can look over the copywriting, launch strategies, editing, animating, and more technical aspects.
All of these factors contribute to the quality of your course and the effectiveness of the delivery of content.
4. Narrowing Down Your Niche
Surveying the audience you want to target can help you decide how to make and sell online courses. Once you have narrowed down who you want to market your course, you can carry out a validation call to get an idea of what they want from the course.
For example, professionals will be willing to pay a higher course fee, but will also expect a higher level of expertise. Their priority will be more on practically using the information they learn rather than increasing their theoretical knowledge.
Students, on the other hand, will be more restrained in the amount they can pay but will look for a holistic approach to the topic, which would include theoretical and practical knowledge.
How to Create an Online Course Platform
If you already have various online courses and you wish to sell them on your singular platform, the process requires a lot of research, planning, and resources. The right resources can help you on how to make and sell online courses.
For starters, you need to invest in a solid foundation for your platform to sustain your online courses, for example, TalentLMS, Blackboard, Edmodo, WordPress, etc. User-friendly, open-source platforms with a strong, established community base are the best options. They are convenient to use and have a step-by-step guide to help you through the customization process.
Selecting a Learning Management System such as OpenEdx makes course management easy and has features to allow you to gamify your content.
Lastly, picking a secure, reliable, and internationally available eCommerce plugin is important to ensure that the payment process is carried out with ease. Some examples of the most popular platforms are WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads.
With a background of how to make and sell online courses, you can get started on nurturing your eLearning business. Our step-by-step guide on how to create an online course can take you through the technical aspects of the process. Alternatively, you can contact us for assistance with custom eLearning solutions.