15 Ways to Grow Your Course Business Today
Want to take your learning business to new levels? Here are 15 ideas you can take action on today.
1. Improve your landing pages
Make sure your landing pages – aka your sales pages – are pulling their weight. A few small changes could convert many more site visitors to customers. For more on this, see How to Create Landing Pages That Convert. It’s well worth scheduling some time to review your most important landing pages and experiment with adjustments to help them convert better.
2. Create a new (or first) lead magnet
Make sure you have high-value downloads, videos, checklists, etc. targeted to the major groups of prospective learners you are targeting. Lead magnets help you grow your e-mail list while also clearly demonstrating your authority and the value you can provide to learners. Here’s some help on lead magnet ideas.
3. Improve your SEO
Getting people to your landing pages, lead magnets, and ultimately, your courses requires helping them find you in the first place. Make sure you have the basics covered when it comes to search engine optimization. For more on this, see Using SEO to Sell Online Courses. Also, check out the The Course Creator’s Guide to Content Marketing – effective content marketing is absolutely essential for attracting more search traffic to your site.
4. Raise – maybe even triple – your price
Pricing is a powerful tool, one that is often overlooked or used poorly. Learn to use it effectively to communicate the real value of your courses and create a business that is sustainable and profitable. As a starting point, check out How To Price Online Courses – 10 Tips from 20 Years of Experience and The “Triple Your Price” Exercise. And keep in mind that you can almost certainly raise your current prices by 10 to 20 percent starting today without damaging your sales volume – which would mean immediate growth in net revenue.
5. Improve your home base
Your “home base” is the Web site you actually own and manage – not Facebook, not Udemy – and you really have to take it seriously if you want to succeed at selling online. Check out Getting Serious About Your Home Base.
6. Write a new (or first) pillar post
I’m going to make the assumption you have a blog. (You do, right?) The benefits of having a blog are enormous. Your blog should feature multiple “long form” posts (more than 1000 words) that really go deep on providing useful, actionable information on topics your readers really care about. These are often referred to as pillar posts because they are like pillars that hold up your Web site and your business. 15 Platforms to Publish and Sell Online Courses would be a key example on this blog. To go deeper, see Use Blogging to Market Your Course Business.
7. Guest post on other blogs
If you want to build an audience, you need to be seen in places that audience hangs out. Hopefully that includes your own site, but to get to people who don’t already know about you, posting on other, relevant blogs is a great idea. I’ve done that here and here, for example.
8. Get interviewed
Getting interviewed by bloggers or podcasters in your niche or related, relevant niches can be a great way to jump start your marketing efforts and reach target prospects who may not know about you yet. For additional thoughts on this, see What’s the best way to market online courses?
9. Gather and publish testimonials
Testimonials are a powerful form of “social proof.” If you don’t have any or many high quality testimonials from your customers, make it a point to start getting them today and putting them on your sales pages and other relevant parts of your site. Always get a photo (or video) and name to go with the testimonial. Here’s Michael Stelzner of Social Media Examiner talking about How to Use Testimonials in Your Marketing. And see what Smart Blogger has to say about How to Write a Testimonial in 2020: 7 Tips (+ 9 Examples).
10. Speak at Events
Okay, this one can be quite a bit tougher these days, but face-to-face events are still happening in the COVID-19 era – I keynoted one just recently – and many event organizers are scrambling to find speakers willing to show up on site. (I’d look for events within driving distance from wherever you live. I’m not going to encourage air travel for anyone these days.)
And, of course, virtual conferences are now booming, so options to speak online, without leaving home, are on the rise. To find speaking opportunities, consider using sites like My Speaker Leads or Speaker Hub and reach out directly to any trade or professional associations that serve your audience.
11. Host a virtual event
As mentioned above, virtual conferences are booming as are virtual events of all types. So, don’t just rely on appearing at other people’s events. You might host a Webinar or Webinar series. Or, a free virtual summit in which you recruit a variety of guest experts to participate. Or, it might be a virtual conference for which you charge a fee. The first two are great for building your audience and e-mail list, the third a potential source of new revenue.
12. Recruit high quality affiliates
Affiliates market your courses in exchange for a commission when a sale is made based on their referral. Most decent online course platforms include the ability to sign up and manage affiliates for your course, but finding good affiliates requires work. If you can get the right ones, though, it can be a real boost to your business. For additional thoughts, see Qualities of Good Affiliates for Selling Your Courses.
13. Outsource non-strategic activities
As much as possible, get other people to do the things that do not really contribute to the distinctive value of your course offerings. Like, for example, keeping the books, maintaining your Web site, or even doing the nitty gritty parts of developing your courses (See Where to Find Help Creating Online Courses). Figure out one thing you could outsources today and go find help on a site like Upwork.
14. Diversify your income streams
If you are creating online courses, you undoubtedly have expertise that can be leveraged in other ways. Check out these 3 Additional Income Streams for Course Entrepreneurs.
15. Improve your course quality
Last, but far from least, keep in mind that the easiest customer to get is one that you already have. Spend a little time reviewing your courses and make sure you are confident that you are really delivering the goods – i.e., creating the highest value outcomes you possibly can. See Adult Learning 101 – Delivering the Goods and The Secret to Killer Education Products? for additional thoughts.
Stay tuned for more, and share any experience you have with the above or additional ones you have to offer in the comments.