*Phew* You’ve just created, filmed, and edited the course material for your very first online course. Give yourself a pat on the back because that was not a small feat! But now you’re left wondering… “How on earth do I market my online course and increase my revenue?”
That’s the million-dollar question (literally) that could make or break all your efforts thus far.
Whether you’re sitting on your online course material wondering, “now what?”
Or if you haven’t taken that first step towards creating your online course because marketing is a big mystery to you…
Here are 10 tried-and-true ways to market your online course and increase your revenue.
10 Ways to Market Your Online Course and Increase Your Revenue
The success of your online course doesn’t rely on the size of your audience. Instead, how much revenue you stand to make from your online course depends on your marketing strategy.
Now, marketing isn’t one-size-fits-all. But it helps to know what your options are, especially if the strategies you’re considering have been proven to work.
So feel free to scan through this blog post if you’re in a pinch. Or bookmark it for later since it’s filled to the brim with only the best marketing strategies and practices that I’ve learned firsthand from creating and launching 3 industry-leading online courses.
Ready? Let’s dive in!
1) Know Who Your Target Students Are
I can’t emphasize enough how important this step is. You might be reading this thinking, “tell me something I don’t know.”
But here’s the thing – if you do not have absolute certainty about who your target students are, you’re not going to find them. Which ultimately means your revenue will not reflect your expectations.
I’d even go so far as to say you should not begin creating your online course until you know exactly who you’re creating for.
Ultimately, your online course needs to solve a problem and provide a transformation. And if you don’t know who your audience is, you won’t know what problem to solve, or what transformation they’re after.
So if you don’t have this step down, I highly encourage you to check out this blog post, where I go over the 7 things you need before you create your online course.
2) Validate Your Online Course Topic
Notice I said “online course topic,” not “online course.” Again, if your online course topic isn’t validated, your marketing will not be able to get you the results you hope to get. No matter how good it is.
You can validate your online course topic in a number of ways, including polling your audience on social media. Turning to your audience is vital at this stage, since the problem they’re looking to solve needs to be at the heart of your online course topic. (Pertaining to your niche, of course.)
The Most Effective Marketing Strategies to Sell Your Online Course
Before I continue, I wanted to be absolutely clear about the difference between the strategies above and the ones you’re about to dive into.
Strategies #1 and #2 should take place before you start creating your online course.
If you have already started with the creation process (or maybe you’re done with it), it’s worth going back and implementing the strategies above before you try any of the ones below.
Now that that’s out of the way let’s dive into your marketing options.
3) Build Your Email List
I am a firm believer in email marketing. Not only has email marketing been responsible for the majority of my online course sales…
It’s also a consistent marketing channel that gives you reliable data. This means you can always go back, tweak your email marketing funnels, and improve them to increase your revenue.
Not to mention, if you ever plan on taking your online course evergreen, email marketing is going to be a non-negotiable asset.
There are million and one reasons why you should have an email list. For starters, it’s the only platform where you actually own the audience you’ve built on it. Let’s take social media, for instance – you do not control when you reach your entire audience.
Whether you’re using Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube… you’ll always be at the mercy of the algorithm.
Your email list, however, is yours to own. And if the health of your email list is in good standing, you can guarantee that you’ll get in front of your audience whenever you want to.
Pssst… new to building your email list? Check out this post where I break down the email list strategy I used to grow my audience from 0 to 100k.
4) Promote Your Online Course on Your Blog
Promoting your online course on your blog is a great way to market your online course. However, you want to keep in mind how long it takes for your blog post to rank on Google.
Of course, in order for your blog post to rank, you need to know the best SEO practices and techniques. It’s why we cover SEO strategy in detail in The Blogger Bootcamp.
But if you aren’t already a student of The Blogger Bootcamp, I have plenty of free resources to help you build your blog, and optimize your blog post for SEO, such as…
- The “blogging” category on my blog
- This podcast episode with Jordan Becerra, all about skyrocketing your blog traffic with SEO.
- My FREE class, 4 Must-Know Steps for Turning Your Hobby Blog Into a Profitable Business.
5) Start a YouTube Channel
Did you know that YouTube is the second most used search engine after Google? If blogging and writing aren’t your jam, starting a YouTube channel might be a great option for you.
Again, the best SEO practices apply to your YouTube video. Think about what your potential online course students will be typing into the search bar of YouTube.
This will help you narrow down your content ideas so that you can get in front of your target students.
6) Start a Podcast
Love talking but hate appearing on camera? Or maybe you want to leverage both video and audio mediums. No matter, starting a podcast centered around your online course topic is a great way to market your online course.
It’ll set you up as an authority in your niche. And if done correctly, it’ll help you get in front of your target audience.
If this is the route you want to take, here are 20 steps to starting a successful podcast from scratch.
7) Get On Other Podcasts
You don’t need to start a podcast of your own to start leveraging the power of podcasting. Instead, pitch yourself as a guest expert on other podcasts!
This is a great way to get in front of a wider audience. Just be sure to have a place to send listeners – such as a lead magnet or webinar. That way can capture their attention, and hold it on a platform that’s yours.
P.S. Sending new listeners to your social media platform (like TikTok or Instagram) is great, but the best way to build rapport with a cold audience is to get them on your email list. Hence, why I recommend having a lead magnet or webinar before making your podcast rounds.
Scout Sobel is an expert in pitching yourself to your favorite podcasts. Check on her tips for landing podcast appearances here.
8) Get Intentional About Your Social Media Strategy
Social media is a great way to get in front of your audience, even though you’re working against an algorithm. The key here is to be consistent and intentional with your social media strategy.
Consistency can’t be overlooked when it comes to social media. This is why I’m a huge advocate for building a strategic content calendar, so you’re not flying by the seat of your pants.
Another thing you want to be aware of is what is currently trending, both on Instagram Reels and TikTok. This is a great way to please the algorithm and increase your visibility.
Since Instagram and TikTok are fast-paced platforms, it is crucial that you keep a finger on the pulse of what people are gravitating towards.
9) Create a High-Converting Webinar
In case you missed my last blog post, I am a firm believer in hosting a live launch event when it comes to marketing your online course. My preferred method? Hosting a high-converting webinar.
A webinar doesn’t just give your audience a teaser into your course material and the transformation you will provide them…
It also builds authority, allows you to answer your audience’s questions in real time, and gives you the opportunity to showcase your teaching style.
This post covers how you can use a webinar to market your online course and increase your revenue in detail.
10) Collect Social Proof and Testimonials
Another reason why I love webinars is that you get to collect testimonials from your attendees, especially if you don’t already have social proof from your online course.
But even without hosting a webinar, you can collect social proof and testimonials from past clients. This is why strategies #1 and #2 of this post are so important.
Knowing who your target students are and the transformation you provide them goes hand in hand with collecting testimonials.
But once you have social proof under your belt, marketing your online course becomes much easier since you’ll have advocates who can speak to the validity and legitimacy of your online course.
Bonus: Offer a Guarantee
Last but not least, offer a guarantee with your online course. This will help your audience feel more comfortable and confident about investing in your online course.
There are different types of guarantees you can offer. This is why I cover refund policies extensively in The Online Course Bootcamp – so you can pick the right option for both you and your students.
Increasing Your Revenue With Your Online Course Through Effective Marketing Strategies
These 10 strategies are proven methods to market your online course effectively. It doesn’t mean that you should use all 10 of them.
Instead, find the ones that work best for you and your students and run with them. However, I believe that some steps are non-negotiables.
Knowing who your target students are and validating your online course idea before working on my other non-negotiable steps (e.g. email marketing, creating a high-converting webinar) are a must.
So save this post and figure out the best plan of action for you and your online course.