In today’s world – it has never been easier to create an online course! The platforms/software have never been more affordable and easier to use!
There is, however, one down to this… Even though it’s easy to “create” the online course… It’s a lot harder to sell it. It’s not as easy as creating a course, putting it on your website and then sitting back and watching the sales come in. That strategy will not work in 2021.
The only real strategy that works at the moment is to build your OWN audience and then sell your online course to that audience! This is A LOT easier because this audience already knows you, likes you, trusts you and ALREADY FOLLOWS you. You don’t need to rely on ‘hoping’ that people stumble across your website. If you have a special – just send an email out to your database or make a post on your Social Media.
Now the question from here becomes… “How to build an audience?”
Well, you’re in luck because that is my speciality 🙂
Step 1: Pick a Platform
Like everything else in 2021, we are spoilt with choices. Do we blog, podcast, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tik Tok…
The best suggestion I can give is to start with ONE. Ideally, a platform that you already use and are already comfortable with. Less is more when it comes to Social Media. You will build your audience quicker if you spent all your time on Instagram – than if you spent half your time on Instagram and half your time on LinkedIn.
Once you’ve mastered that one platform THEN you can move onto the next one.
Step 2: Decide whether you want to grow FAST or SLOW (both are ok)
When picking your social media platform of choice – you’ve basically got two options (both of which are ok).
- Growing Fast (things like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn)
- Growing Slow (things like YouTube, Podcasts, Blogging, Udemy)
Keep in mind, faster isn’t necessarily better – it’s just faster.
Growing Fast (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn)
The reason you can grow so fast on these platforms is because you can go out there and connect with people.
Let’s use LinkedIn as our first example – because it’s the easiest way to grow your audience (in theory anyway). LinkedIn works best if you target a specific profession. For example in one of my businesses Fitness Education Online – I help Personal Fitness Trainers grow their Fitness Business. LinkedIn allows you to connect with 100 new people every week. So if I wanted to use LinkedIn to grow my audience, I could literally just open up LinkedIn – type in the word “Personal Trainer”, see the millions of results that come up and connect with 100 of them every week. Now obviously not all of them are going to connect back with me but either way, I’m going to be significantly growing my audience every week!
You can use similar strategies with Facebook and Instagram. They are not AS effective as connecting on LinkedIn but they can still work – especially if you don’t help a defined profession.
On Facebook, if you want to use the connection/networking strategy you will need to use your Personal Profile, not a Business Page (because a Business Page doesn’t let you network with people. That’s already going to be a problem for some reading this blog because you want to keep your personal profile ‘personal’. If you are open to using your Personal Profile to network – you still want to be mindful that not everyone else wants to use their Personal Profile to network, so you only want to be networking with people on Facebook who look like they’re open to networking (their profile isn’t super private, you have mutual friends, they are business people etc etc).
Instagram is a happy medium between LinkedIn and Facebook. Instagram isn’t a specific business platform like LinkedIn but it’s not as personal as Facebook. On Facebook, you can find out someone’s maiden name, what middle school they went too and how complicated their relationship is. On Instagram, the user only has 2-3 lines to explain what they do. Also on Instagram, a user can choose whether they want their profile public or private. If the user’s profile is on Private – they are not open for networking. If their profile is on Public – they are potentially open for networking.
With the three platforms above – it’s really up to you how fast you want to grow! The more people you connect with – the faster you will grow!
A couple of suggestions…
- If you’re picking one of these platforms – do a course in it first! Even if it’s something basic like a Udemy course – just so you understand the basics of the platform
- Master the art of networking online – it’s not about sending someone a friend request and then trying to sell to them straight away
Also if you decide to go down the route of using Facebook – I recently wrote a blog on The 3 Best Strategies to Grow a Facebook in 2021!
Growing Slow (YouTube, Blogging, Podcasting etc)
The reason these platforms work slower is because we are relying on other people to come to us. If you’re a YouTuber – you can’t really go out and ‘connect’ with other YouTube users – it just doesn’t work like that. You could ‘collaborate’ with other YouTube channels that have big followings – but connecting with the individual user just isn’t done.
Your only real option on these platforms is to have people come to you. And this takes time. On LinkedIn, I could connect with 100 people today and have a whole new audience tomorrow. On YouTube, if I post a video today and I have no following – I could literally get 0 views on that video and not have a new audience tomorrow.
You may be thinking – this sounds crap? Why would I choose this option? Well here’s the thing – even though this option is slow – the long term game is better because you have people finding you. You don’t need to spend an hour a day networking on LinkedIn because you’re going to have hundreds of people finding your videos every day without you having to ‘hunt’ for them.
I mentioned earlier that if you’re looking to grow on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn – you’re best off doing a course. If you pick any of the slow options it is ESSENTIAL you do a course. To be successful on a platform like blogging, YouTube or Podcasting is WAY harder than something like Facebook / Instagram / LinkedIn – don’t even try to do it on your own.
You’ll also have to get just as good with keyword research as you do with your art. For example, let’s say you choose to be a YouTuber. It’s not just about making a video that looks good with good content. You want to make sure your video is based around a keyword that people are actually searching for and that isn’t already oversaturated with over videos. Once you know what that keyword is – you want to make sure you know how to optimise your video for it. A blog is the exact same thing.
Step 3: Growing Your Email List
Once you’ve mastered a social media platform – the next thing you want to do is transition your ‘followers’ into your email database. The importance of using your Email List is a whole nother blog. But for now – just know that the easiest way to sell something online is to your Email list and the easiest way to grow your Email List is via your Social Media.
If you can master these 3 things – it’s then literally rinse and repeat… and then just get better at making sales via Email :p!
Anyways that’s it for me for today!
Feel free to connect on Social Media, I’ll put my personal links below but you’re also welcome to join my community Facebook Group “The Course Creator Community – Click here to join”