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Hannah Warren

Apr 20, 2021

How to Grow Your Business Using Online Courses: Marketing and Selling


So you’ve designed and created a fantastic online coaching course (or courses!) that will help you grow your business without spending more time with clients. To maximise the impact of using your online courses to scale growth, there are a few more steps to take.

What to Charge for an Online Course?

One of the hardest decisions you’ll make is how to price your online course. Don’t just pluck a number out of the air, as it will have a long term impact on your business, from the kind of customers you attract, to the amount of support you can offer and, of course, the revenue you’ll generate.

If you charge too little, you reduce the perceived value of your course and attract lower value clients, but if you charge too much, you’ll price yourself out of the market and have to drop your price, which looks bad.

Look at what similar courses are charging and decide whether you’re worth more (maybe you’re a more qualified expert, or you’ll offer extra one-on-one time) or less than them (if your course will be entirely self-guided, for example).

If you're selling your course to a business, you might want to look at pricing your course based on a subscription model (potentially as an additional service offering) or on a per user basis. You'll need to accurately track all the people that are enrolled in your course and how they are benefiting from it. Most businesses will want to see results for the coaching you provide to them, and giving them a report at the end of the course is a great way to demonstrate this. Intuto has extensive reporting features that allow you sort by course, collection and report on an individual user. 

When in doubt, start with a lower price or "launch special". You can always increase your price over time, but starting high and having to discount it shortly afterwards will only create ill feeling towards you from anyone who purchased at the higher price.

Marketing Your Online Course

So you’ve done your research, planned your curriculum, created your course and stuck a price on it. What next?

The first step is to create an online presence. You can approach existing or past clients and let them know about your new online coaching course. Market it as a “refresher” or “advanced” course and offer them a discount on the ticket price.

Then build on your client base. The smartest way to do that is by leveraging an existing complementary community.

For example, if you’re a business coach, look at small-business Facebook groups or LinkedIn groups and market to the members. Or approach a small-business focused podcast or blog and offer a guest episode. Right there, you’ve got a group of people who are interested in improving their businesses and are already using tech platforms to do it – they’re your exact audience for online coaching.

Then, use your existing and new clients to create a community (again, Facebook or LinkedIn is a good option for this) and work on organic growth.

To do this, you’ll need to:

  • Be consistent with your content – both in scheduling and by keeping it on brand.
  • Be personable and approachable (try leveraging Facebook Livestream and LinkedIn posts).
  • Keep the interactions engaging and interesting.
  • Add value to the group with free tips and advice, flash sales on courses, and informative interactions.

Email direct marketing is a great way to advertise new or updated courses to a group of people who you already know are interested in what you’re selling. Creating a database of email addresses of people who have done or expressed interest in your courses and sending a regular newsletter with relevant and interesting content, special deals and new courses will keep existing clients engaged and entice new ones.

You could also give your clients access to few snippets of your online course, so that you already get some feedback and build excitement for the day your course is fully released.

 Selling your online course

Selling Your Online Course

Once you've got an established brand and assets like a great website and a solid client base, you’re in a great position to begin selling your course. Some of the things we would recommend if you're in this position are as follows:

  • Pilot test. It's important that you test out the full course with one or two customers and obtain extensive feedback from them. You'll want to test the course on a range of different buyer personas. This could include a customer that is a big promoter of your services and another customer that is a bit more reluctant to try new ideas. Once you've got sufficient feedback, you can roll out the course to the rest of your customer base.

  • Think about branding. Some of your customers will want you to run your training with specific branding. For example, the customer might want their own teaching examples to be included in the course and for certificates to be branded with their logo.  If that's the case, we recommend that you talk to Intuto's Content Loading Team as they can give you personalised recommendations and adapt the course to suit your specific customers. Depending on your customer's needs, it may be best to start with a plain and simple course and then brand it accordingly. 

  • Ensure your customers are successful. If your customers are reluctant to look at online learning, look for an e-learning platform that is easy to follow and simple. While a more complex system may have more features, the user experience could be negatively impacted as too many features can easily overwhelm a user, especially a user that is new to online learning. To assist with enrolment, give your customers a few template emails such as one that notifies staff members about new training and how to login to the platform. Expect a few technical issues in the beginning while users get used to the process. If you find that you are having issues with enrolling user's efficiently, make sure you talk to your e-learning provider around best practices for selling courses. Intuto has a great support team that is ready to give you a helping hand and develop a process that suits your needs.

Maximising the Efficiency of Online Courses

When your online coaching course starts selling like hotcakes, you’ll want to streamline your onboarding process for maximum efficiency.

Make sure your website is as clear as possible so information is easy to find and understand, including:

  • Information about your business, who you are, what you do, how you like to work. This adds personality to the course up front.
  • Information on the course structure, pricing and expectations of them as a client and as a users.
  • Answers to frequently asked questions. (You may also want to write up some email templates to use when people ask the same questions again later.)

Then, when a client registers, send them an (automated) detailed email welcoming them to the course. You can include:

  • A questionnaire for them to fill out and return so you’re clued in before you get into a training session with them (if that’s something you’ll offer).
  • An agreement they can sign and send back.
  • Answers to questions that you find come up again at this stage.

You may also want to invest in a few project management tools to help you work smarter not harder.

Automation is one of the single easiest ways to scale up your business. As we said earlier, if you’re sending responses to the same emails over and over again, create a template and use a CRM system to create workflows. If you’re spending a lot of time managing your accounts, get a software that takes over the process. If your to-do list is largely done on the back of receipts that you often lose, get a project management tool. If you’re getting bogged down in the minutiae of your business when you could be working on high-value activities, consider hiring an assistant (or virtual assistant).

If you feel like you’re ready to scale up your coaching business with online training courses, get in touch with us today to find out more about how Intuto can help you grow.

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