It’s done. It’s over.
The hardest part is done.
Your shiny new course is ready to be served hot on a platter.
Onto the next phase now – selling it to customers.
But, where the heck are they? You don’t have a pool of customers awaiting your fresh-out-of-the-oven course. God, you don’t even have an email list.
Usually, while coaches are building a new course, they’re also building their email list that they can use to market their course when the time comes. After all:
- These are the people who were looking for the kind of information you share
- They are the people who know you and your work
- The conversion rate is higher for such opt-in database
Suffices to say, having an email list would’ve been the quickest and easiest way to introduce your course to prospective customers. All it would’ve taken is an intimation email, and bam – sales incoming!
But… you don’t have it. You don’t even know where to begin to plan a launch of your course.
The good news, however, is that you don’t need an email list. Now, now, this is not to say that you shouldn’t work towards building one. You should definitely get started right away, but the truth is, it’s not going to be an overnight success.
So, in the meantime, you shift your focus to some activities that will help you launch your course in the market. For instance:
- Attend events in your niche – Network with people and understand their requirements. Talk to them and tell them about your course and how you think it will be helpful for them.
- Guest post – Create guest posts on other sites and direct the readers back to your blog or course. Let your potential audience get a feel of your teaching style and the knowledge that you possess.
- Connect with influencers – There could be influencers in your niche or allied field who will have a better reach than you. Connect with them and ask them to mention your course in their post or resource. You could even create a post for them, if they accept authoritative guest posts.
- Leverage your social media reach – You can use your social media channels and even advertise and market on these sites to reach a larger audience. Leverage them to grow your followers and give better exposure to your content.
While these are four very basic (and mostly free) ways of marketing your course and boosting sales, there’s a lot that goes into making them a success for you.
Before you pick one that suits your requirements, you need to take care of an integral element that will act as the front of your product – your course.
You need a sales page.
A sales page lets you showcase every product you are offering, and is designed specifically to convert prospects into paying customers. Not only this – it is on a sales page that you can collect your prospects’ email addresses and other relevant details (and start building your email list).
Now, you may go to an online marketplace like Udemy.com or Lynda.com where you can create your course, and sell it along with many others. They provide an option to upload your course and create a course detail page that can act as your sales page.
However, those course detail pages don’t allow you to design your sales page in accordance with your brand. There are hardly any customizations available, and least of all, an email subscription field where users can put in their email for you to capture and add to your list.
So, what are you left with?
Two options – either go to WordPress and design a standalone sales page for your course, or, take to an online course building platform like Ventture that offers you endless possibilities for customizations.
Not only can you list all your courses under one roof, but you can also create their dedicated sales pages and personalize them according to the courses you’re selling, courtesy our awesome drag-and-drop page builder.
To collect emails, on the other hand, these platforms allow you to integrate your course site with auotresponders like MailChilmp, GetResponse, Aweber, and more. So, simply direct people to a course sales page, and have them register.
To conclude, a good sales page will help you to:
- Sell your courses on a professional and branded platform
- Collect email addresses to build a bank
- Drive sales
Now, assuming your sales page is in place, how do you bring customers to it? In other words, how do you drive traffic to it?
Two ways: a) Send traffic to your sales page using your social media channels, or, b) Tap into someone else’s audience and redirect them to your sales page.
#1: Leveraging Facebook to promote your course
Apart from your personal profile, it is highly recommended to create a page or a group related to your coaching business. Facebook is known for its group feature. Search for your niche and join groups that are related to your segment.
Before zeroing on a group, check their activity and engagement level. Also see if such groups have specific rules about sharing. Send a request to join the group and start engaging. Groups are a good way to find relevant audiences and drive them to your page or website.
How to sell
When creating a page for your coaching business, remember to fill it up with details like your bio, cover page, profile picture, and other relevant content. To reach more audience and being popular on Facebook:
- Share a mix of content that is relevant to your niche and is partly sourced from authorities and partly your popular content.
- Use paid marketing to push your audience to your website.
- Join relevant groups and follow the rules of sharing your content
- Engage with group members to establish yourself as an authority in your field
- If you have created a group, keep the group engaged and lively by asking relevant questions, commenting on interesting posts and discussing future posts.
Pro tip: When you’re deciding between a group and a page, consider whether you’re looking to build an engaged audience or promote your content to an already existing audience. If you have a business to promote that works well with a community built around it, it is better to have both a Facebook page and a group.
#2: Leveraging Twitter to promote your course
Twitter is where you share nuggets of information in limited space. It is important that you share content that makes an impact and is share-worthy.
Like you did with Facebook, start with following important personalities in your niche, key players and possible leads. Focus on the bio to understand if they are relevant to you and will they follow you back.
See what your audience is tweeting about and either like the post or retweet it if it is relevant to your audience. You can also use “Quote Tweet” and add your thoughts to the tweet. Try asking questions and tag the handle from where the tweet originated.
How to sell
Selling on Twitter is not as simple as creating a post. You need to constantly engage with relevant audiences to build a tribe first. A tweet is in focus for around 20 minutes (and even that’s a stretch now!), before it gets lost to a majority of your audience.
Twitter is just 280 characters, so make the most of it by tweeting relevant content all through the day. You can get your audience interested by:
- Pinning your course post
- Tagging people you think might like and share your post
- Promote yourself and your content day in and day out
- Share more to gain more
#3: Leveraging Instagram to promote your course
Images, videos, stories, and reels – Instagram can do it all! If you have course content that has high levels of visual component, you ought to be on Instagram. To get started, focus on following businesses and people relevant to your niche.
Just like any other social media platform, Instagram is all about engagement, so double-tap an image to like it or comment on it. Spend time to scroll through your home feed and engage with the photos and posts. Do it daily to improve visibility and followers
Post images that will ‘wow’ your audience or teach them something new. Adding 4-5 generic images daily, with no theme or focus will not get you audience.
Pro tip: Instagram works on hashtags. Find hashtags in your niche and create some unique hashtags and use them regularly with your posts.
How to sell
Selling your course on Instagram can be a little tricky as the platform does not allow hyperlinks in the caption or comments. So, your best bet is to add a direct link to your sales page in the bio. In parallel, you can get your audience interested by:
- Creating posts around your courses and mention in the caption ‘Link in bio’
- You can also create short videos and add them to the feed
- Use the “stories” feature, where your images and videos disappear in 24 hours. You can use it to announce your new course, offer a sneek-peek and announce what to expect.
Start with these three prime social media platforms to slowly build your audience, but don’t just stop there. Depending upon your niche, you can take to Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, and many more portals.
A good rule of thumb is to not overwhelm yourself by juggling through fifteen different platforms in tandem. Start with two or three, and slowly work your way up.
While that covers how to leverage the wonders of social media to promote and sell your courses, I did talk about tapping into someone else’s audience for some killer promotion of your stuff.
Here’s a detailed account of how you can go about that:
a) Guest posting
Write on your own blog, and it’s called a “post”. Write on someone else’s blog, and it’s called a “guest post”. As an expert in your niche who has recently cooked up a brand new course, you have some valuable insights to share. Why not share those insights with an audience that may not have had a clue about you and your expertise until now?
A great way to drive traffic to your sales page is to guest post on someone else’s site. Write a post or be a contributor to a blog or website that could benefit from your insights.
These sites will have their set of unique audiences and you will get access to them by guest posting. Pitch to the owner of the blog you’re interested in, and ask if you could guest post for them.
A good starting point is to look at blogs/websites on the web that focus on topics related to what your courses are about. This way you can be sure of finding an audience that is relevant to your offerings.
Good blogs regularly get requests for guest posting. But, there’s an art to making that happen for yourself. After all, if you send out a generic mail, chances are that the blogger won’t give a second look to the mail.
So, personalize the mail, and showcase how you are qualified to write for the blog. Give them a brief idea of what they can expect, and how your guest post ties up with the blog’s niche.
Here’s a cool email template that you can tweak to make your own and start sending to prospective bloggers/websites:
“Hey there! I’ve been reading ________ for some time now. I found your post on ___________ very helpful and am a regular reader of your posts.
I am really into _______ myself which works well with your blog niche. I would love to share my expertise with your audience. I’ve been working in this field for over 5 years and have recently come up with an online course about ________ .
I’ve got a few ideas for a guest post I’d like to pitch to you.
Post idea 1
Post idea 2
Post idea 3
Let me know if you think these would be interesting to your audience. Looking forward to hearing from you!
Now, an important thing to note here is the fact that most established bloggers are particular about their brand, and can be extremely stingy when it comes to accepting guest posts. Some won’t even allow guest posting on their sites. But, a “no” should not be the reason for you to stop asking for guest posting.
Continue pitching to your niche, and you will be surprised with the kind of traffic they bring to your page. It will also help build a brand for you within your own audience base.
And, when you do find a blogger/website that entertains your guest post, make sure to include a link to your sales page so that the readers of that guest post are able to find your course right from the link.
Provide a lot of value to your readers, but don’t go all promotional on them. Include a bio with a link to your site and if the website owner allows it, use the link to your course in the post. Even if the owner does not allow a direct link to your sales page, ensure there is a link to your website.
As this post will establish you as an authority in your niche in front of a unique audience, try to provide as much value as possible. Make the content compelling enough for them to Google you.
b) Feature as a guest on podcasts
Similar to guest posting on a blog, you can be a guest on an audio or video podcast. It is similar to giving an interview on radio but with a dedicated audience.
You can pitch to a podcaster just like you would pitch to a blogger. Connect with podcasters in your niche and check with them if they are interested in an interview.
c) Host local events
Wish to have more control over how you and your coaching business are being presented and managed? Consider organizing a local meetup or event. Find places where people in your niche hang out, and connect with the owners to know if you could host an event there. You can even check out co-working spaces, cafés, and studios.
You could host an event that acts like a beginner’s guide to your course, or maybe convert the first chapter of your course into an event. Let the audience experience your way of teaching and your level of expertise.
Direct your audience to your sales page during the event and get them to fill in the email details. You could even place a registration book and urge people to add their emails for your reference.
d) Be a speaker at events
If hosting an entire event sounds a bit overwhelming, start with speaking at events that are relevant to your niche. If you come across an event that is relevant, connect with the coordinators and enquire about the possibility of you participating as a speaker or a panelist.
It could be a case, where the speakers and panelists are already finalized. In such cases too, if they have an option to network, make sure to attend such events. Network with the audience there, and showcase your expertise.
People connect better when they meet someone in person and interact with them. See every interaction as a possible conversion, and communicate your expertise and what you have to offer. Leave your business card and talk about your course or website.
You could create a bit.ly link that is easy to remember and share the same with your audience. This will help you keep a track of the conversions too.
e) Market your course through influencers
Influencers are all the rage right now, especially on social media. If you wish to create a buzz around your course, connect with influencers from your niche and offer them your course for free in exchange for them to talk about your course. You need to come to terms about your expectations from this exercise before giving access to the course.
You can make it even more interesting by having a longer term offer for the influencers where they offer your course for a special, limited-period discount, and earn a margin. This way, they become your affiliate, and for every conversion, they will get a certain percentage of the income they drive.
f) Use micro-influencers for promotion
If you do not have the budget for targeting really big bloggers or influencers, micro-influencers are another great option. Identify people from various niches that are relevant to yours, and check out their social media presence.
If they are active and have an engaging audience, connect with them to see if they would be interested in sharing content about your course. Make it easy for them to promote you by giving them a brief, informing what you expect them to share. Share good resolution images with them to make the posts attractive.
So, there you have it! A bunch of different ways to lay out your course’s promotion plan without relying on an email list. Now, this isn’t to say that you should ditch building a list because you discovered newer ways for marketing and promotion.
Having a list handy is only going to help you connect with your audience for future offers and products you launch. After all, this isn’t your first and last course now, is it?