Congrats! You've got a course ready to go, and you're now thinking about how to market it. We've got lots to chat about!
Ultimately, for most instructors, marketing is much of the work involved with your online courses. There are countless online resources available online to help you with marketing, but we've got a few articles to share that we think you'll get a lot of value from. Let's dive in.
Building Your List
Your email list is one of the most valuable things you can have as a course creator. This is your list of everyone who has opted to hear more from you - past students and potential leads alike.
You collect leads through Thinkific as people sign up to your site and to free and paid courses. Outside of Thinkific, anytime someone is viewing your content, there should be an easy way to "opt in" to hear more from you.
- Put your blog or other online resources to work for you, even before you launch. Are you prompting visitors to sign up to hear all about your upcoming course?
- If YouTube is your style, make sure you're adding clickable calls to actions in your videos. It's vital you prompt viewers to connect with you, ideally in a way that gets them to sign up for your list!
Get The Word Out!
You've got a course, you've got a list. Now you need to tell people! There are lots of different launch strategies, including both scheduled/cohort classes and also self-paced, purchase anytime programs. When you're launching your course, there's a lot of value in pushing the COMING SOON! message with a fixed deadline for getting in on an initial launch deal before the course switches to regular pricing.
This can be done with reduced prices for early birds, extra inclusions and bonuses (like, "Sign up before Sunday Night to get a free 1 hour coaching call with me included"), or in some cases a hard deadline where the course can no longer be purchased at all after the deadline.
We recommend that when you're new to launching, you start with extra stuff as an incentive for early purchase, but without the commitment to retire your course at the end of the launch (which can work great if that helps you get lots of sign-ups, but can be terrible if your launch delivers fewer students than you anticipated!)
- Marketing can start from long before you launch. Marketing before launch: Building hype for your online course
- Time for a promotion? Using coupons & promotions to drive sales
- Learn from this mistake! Plan out your launch process in advance, and stick to the schedule. Remember that a launch involves a series of emails starting from pre-launch (telling them what's coming, but before you're asking for anything) right through to a couple final emails on the last day.
Your course is up and running, you're past an initial launch, and now you need to drive ongoing students to your site. What do you do?
The great thing about the launch process (touched on with the resources above) is that you can continue to build great new resources for your audience and deliver new content over and over again using a similar process. This is also great as you're constantly adding new people to your list, so what might be your 3rd launch for a longer term student might be the first for someone else.
There are lots of great ways to drive people to your site, but here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Start with our roundup of 5 Ways to Get your First Course Sale
- Connect with new communities and groups. One fun way to do this is by answering questions on Quora.
- Webinars can be extremely powerful, especially when you can deliver so much value that people want to sign up for more. Check out this case study where we show you step by step how one instructor did it.
Deliver Amazing Student Experience
This often gets skipped in a marketing conversation, but remember, your students are your best brand advocates! Deliver a kickass, valuable experience for your audience and not only will they tell others, but they'll come back again.
Always think about how you can make your course better for your students when considering the life of your online teaching business.
- Creating connection and building trust is vital. Maximize student experience with notifications.
- Online learning doesn't have to be a solo activity! Foster amazing community in your classes with custom designed student group experiences.
Marketing is an ongoing process, but there's lots here to get you started. Refer back to the blog to keep tabs on what's new, and reach out as you go if there's anything our team can help with.