Promoting an online digital course can be a major obstacle or your golden ticket.
You’ve put all the work into creating a great training event or series of trainings that you KNOW specific people will benefit from. Now, how do you find them?
This is how most people market courses — they decide to build a course, spend the time on the training and packaging and then (only then) think about how to market it. WRONG!! Don’t get caught in this early trap.
Marketing for your course should begin as soon as you think you have a good idea for a course. I’ve outlined a few ways to begin the marketing process before content creation (but if you have a course already you can basically follow the same steps):
Build a small Facebook group about your subject. You can connect with people in other Facebook Groups, Linkedin groups, Reddit or forums online. Each platform is different in what they allow in terms of self-promotion. If you are offering help to other members along the way, you will start to see people responding to you as an experienced expert.
Talk to the group.
Starting your own group is super useful because you can ask questions. You are in the fact finding phase of content creation. Start and lead discussions around the problem you want to solve. Listen to your audience. They might just give you the exact direction you need to go in your course. These are your future customers!
Offer a webinar or one time training event.
Present the proposed webinar to your group. You might also concurrently run ads on any number of platforms from Facebook, Google and Quora. Each platform has different places where that is useful. Think about whether people are actively searching for a solution (Google/Quora) or they don’t realize there is a solution (Facebook).
If you don’t mind spending some hard earned cash, this is a great way to rapidly get a training event validated. Run ads to your ideal audience.
Do you get a response? Is the webinar topic attracting sign-ups? If so, create the webinar. If not, pick a new topic.
Do the training live so all you need is the ads and a webinar platform. (You could even do this with a Facebook live in your group[Free].)
Start building an email list of people who have the problem you will be teaching about. Your email list will be your primary driver of sales and visitors to your offer, so whatever you can do to get people to your list, do it.
Once you find an offer people want, you can begin promoting to a larger audience. I lean heavily on Facebook™ Ads to create awareness of an offer or to get people onto a list related to the offer.
The front end I regularly suggest to most clients focuses on one or two entry points to your sales funnel.
- Lead magnet or small offer that solves a very specific part of the overall problem the course solves. Something you could give away for free in exchange for an email address, but valuable enough for people to give you their email address.
- Webinar or more in-depth training event. This is a higher level of commitment than the free download and is typically more costly to generate leads. However, as you might expect, the leads are generally of a higher quality than those coming from a free download. From a delivery perspective you can deliver the training live via Facebook Live, Youtube Live or a webinar platform. This training should be related to your product, but again only a small part. You can look up webinar or online training (or find some you like) to see how a presentation is supposed to go. Keep in mind that “training” is only a small part of this event, your real goal is to get people to jump in for the larger product.
With all that in mind, when you are ready to launch your product (Launch Systems Co’s specialty) it’s important to remember that even when you are getting your message out, many people will miss your offer. Building the right retargeting tools for your advertising campaign will make a major difference in your sales numbers. I walk through the high level strategy of how we launch our high end clients’ courses in the training at the link in my profile. I won’t repeat it all here.
The key takeaway is that building and activating your email list is most important. The second most important takeaway is getting people excited about the idea of solving their problem and then finally is selling the course and moving people efficiently though your sales process.
When you are launching your course, focus on getting your systems and sales process down before scaling and trying to overspend on lead generation. If you have the right people on your email list and you have tight targeting, you will be able to make sales even when you have only a few hundred people getting your email or in your group.