How to market your online course

You’ve finished creating your online course! It took some effort to create it, but that’s okay. The important thing is that it is done, and after many stressful days and nights of creating, recording, and editing your course content, you finally have time to enjoy your free time again. There’s just one thing left. Your course is completed, but nobody has a clue that it exists. You have to do the work to sell a course just like any other hustle or service you’re selling. You just need to have a marketing plan.

Definitely because of the popular belief that selling online courses are the easiest way to make money passively, the online learning marketplace has gotten saturated. As a result, your course marketing strategy has to be solid if you want your course to become a reliable revenue generator.

Of course, the most amazing marketing in the world cannot protect a bad product. Your course has to deliver on what you have promised and an enjoyable learning experience as well. In this article, you will be learning the best marketing strategies for selling your online course to increase sales and enrollments.

So assuming you’ve got a solid online course ready to go, let’s dive in…

In this article:

  • Preselling your online course 
  • Identify your unique value proposition
  • Create an Attractive Course Title that is Based on Keyword Research
  • Include Your Course’s Link in your Email or WhatsApp Signature
  • Build an Email List
  • Optimize your Social Media Profiles
  • Host a Live Webinar
  • Use Google and Facebook Ads
  • Create an Affiliate Program


How do you market your online course?


  1. Pre-Selling your Online Course 

What does it mean to presell?

Preselling your course is a way to let people know about your course before the official start date. It’s a good way to make money to create your course content!

6 out of 10 creators think they have to create all their course content before getting paying students. Absolutely not! It may seem counterintuitive to try to sell something before you’re done creating it, but trust me on this. It is much better to pitch your idea for your online course to your target audience to find out whether they are interested in it than to spend time creating an online course that no one buys. Also, preselling your course helps you create a waitlist until your course becomes available. In your online academy created using Pledre, you can presell your course to drive demand, generate leads and get paid as long as you have created your course and added your course outline or curriculum.

Why you should presell your online course:

  • Save time and resources
  • Validate your course idea
  • Get ideas for improving your course
  • Get paying students or learners

How to presell your online course:

Create a course title and outline: You create a title for your course as well as a course outline of the content. The course title and outline tells your audience the value they get by taking your course. By doing this, you do not necessarily need to include all the learning materials in your course before getting learners that will pay for your offer. When you create your online academy on Pledre, you can easily presell your course without any videos, notes, quizzes etc.

This is because what your students see when they visit your course’s page is the course outline and other course information except you give them access to your course. I’ve included an image below showing you what visitors see when you share your course’s link.

Fix a price for your course and and a date: To presell your course, include a price and a date for the official launch. This prepares students for the value you would be offering them in the course you would soon release.

Create your waitlist page and form: You can use Pledre to create this. When you create your online school using Pledre, you have a landing page and a course details page. Each page has a register button that students click to submit their information. Also, you can add information about your school, the tutor, the course, price, requirements for the course to the landing page and course’s pages. Furthermore, the signup fields in your school help you collect any information from visitors including name, email, phone number, location etc. Don’t forget to customize the appearance of your landing and waitlist/course’s page by adding themes, images, your logo and other elements that make your brand identity strong.

waitlist page

Add your contact information: Include your contact information so that people can reach out to you when they have questions.

Give something free: Free is one of the magical words in marketing. A free course helps to grow interest in your course (although it is not compulsory). Just see it as a mini trial. Many of your students will feel more confident about enrolling in your full program after getting a taste of your course. Pledre allows you to make parts of your course free and paid at the same time for marketing purposes.

You can decide to make the introductory video in your module available before your other video content are available. In other words, you can begin to sell even before your course is fully completed. This form of pre selling also gives you the opportunity to earn even before your course is completely recorded. The feature to lock your content just makes your marketing strategy very flexible. 

Make course free and paid

Selling something before you have totally created it is not a new concept. Individuals and brands from all walks of life have pre-sold various products and services before they committed to actually creating them. This is because by doing this, they’re validating the urgency or need for their ideas upfront, before investing the necessary time and resources to creating them.

The sooner you can bridge the gap between you and your target audience in the validation and creation process of your online course, the sooner you can create a course based on their actual desires and requests.

NB: Be prepared to make the content of the course available within the time you promise students.


2. Identify your Unique Value Proposition

Research some of the existing online courses related to your course so that you have a clear idea of what is made available in those courses and how they are presented. The purpose for this is to determine how you will differentiate your course from your competition by making your unique selling point or value your focal point during marketing. In other words, what areas of your topic will you cover that your competition missed? What value can you add to your course that is not included in the others’? 

Identify your unique value proposition. That is what sets your course apart from your competitors. Include it on your course sales page and in your marketing messages. Plus, when people ask “how is your course different from others?”, it helps to have a good answer.


3. Create an Attractive Course Title that is Based on Keyword Research

No matter how good a person is, if they are not properly packaged or dressed, there is a great chance you will not be attracted to them the first time you meet them. It’s that simple as well for your online course. Imagine for a moment that you are searching for some information about your topic.

What keywords are you going to use to find the information you’re looking for? If you wanted to learn how to develop codes for gaming, for example, you would likely enter the keywords “how to code for gaming”, or some similar variation of that phrase. You title has to be attractive.


4. Include Your Course’s Link in your Email or WhatsApp Signature

If you probably send and respond to numerous messages on a daily basis, and some of those people you are communicating with could be interested in your course if they knew about it. Add a short sentence to your message signature that includes a link to your course. Even if someone who sees this signature isn’t interested in your course, they may know someone who is and tell them about it.


5. Build an Email List

Many a time, people need to hear from you several times before they decide to buy from you. This is why having an email list is so efficient. When someone is subscribed to your email newsletter, you get to earn their trust by sending them helpful tips and advice related to your topic over time. When you eventually promote your course to them, they are more likely to purchase it because you provided value to them upfront before asking for the sale.


6. Optimize your Social Media Profiles

We live in a world where everything is on social media. As a matter of fact, your target audience can easily be drawn from social media consumers so upgrading your presence on social media can drastically improve your chances or reaching more customers for your course  Your social media profiles are a great way to build your personal brand and position yourself as an expert on your course topic.

Update your bio on all of the social networks that you have a profile to reflect your area of expertise. Include a link to your school (or even directly to your course) in your profiles so people who are interested in your course topic know where to go to learn more.


7. Host a Live Webinar

There is always a community of like-minded people. People who are driven by similar interests and objectives. One of the best ways to market online courses is to host a live webinar for people who are interested in your topic. In the webinar, share some of your best content for free. This helps to position you as an expert and it also helps to build trust before you introduce your course and ask for the sale.

Host a Webinar


8. Package your course and offer discounts 

Once you’ve created multiple courses that are closely related by topic, you can bundle those courses together and sell them at a discounted.  For example, if you have 3 courses that sell for N50000 individually, you could sell all 3 courses together for N120000 (resulting in a N30000 discount for your customer). Pledre allows you to easily give coupons to learners too. This provides an incentive for people to purchase multiple courses from you at once. 


9. Use Google and Facebook Ads

You can use Google and Facebook Ads to create ads that appear in search results for specific keywords related to your topic. If you know what keywords your target audience is using to search for your topic on these platforms, this is a great way to get your course in front of them conveniently just as they are searching for your topic. 


10. Create an Affiliate Program

Affiliate marketing is fast becoming a thing in the market space. People are beginning to understand that they can earn quality returns by selling other people’s products and earning commission. So Let other people promote your course for you in exchange for a percentage of each sale by creating an affiliate program for your course. But don’t just sit back and hope that affiliates will find you. Be proactive.

Reach out to people who have audiences that would likely purchase your course and ask them if they would be interested in promoting your course as an affiliate.

Now that you are armed with many ideas for marketing your online course, it’s time to implement what you’ve learned. But remember, great marketing could take sometime to yield meaningful results. Just test each of the marketing tactics listed above to know which works best for you! 


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