Building an Audience For Your Courses

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Many people have great ideas for online courses that they could sell, but when they start digging a bit further, they all encounter a similar situation: how do you build an audience?

A simple internet search will bring you to a large variety of opinions with complex strategies and multiple considerations. The truth is, this process is the fun part, and shouldn’t seem like a burden or overwhelming.

Building an audience for your courses is pretty straight forward. If you boil it down to the most fundamental of principle, you need eyeballs. To be more specific, you need eyeballs viewing what it is you have to offer. The more eyeballs you get, the more likely it is you get a sale.

When I talk to people about starting a site dedicated to selling their online courses, most envision it being completely online. There is nothing wrong with this, but don’t neglect the power of offline marketing if it is applicable to your situation. If you happen to have a network or connections related to the industry of your course, then you would do well to pursue opportunities in that area as well as online. Offline networking can be the easiest way to your first sales.

The online portion can be a bit more challenging. If you sift through all of the advice that is out there though, it really comes down to one thing: visibility. And how do you become visible on the internet? By creating content through articles and blogging.

If you were hoping for a bigger “secret”, then I’m sorry, but you’ll never find one. The biggest secret is that there is no “magic bullet”.

Maybe creating a blog isn’t what you’re interested in. Well, that’s fine, there are actually many blogs out there that allow for guest writers and bloggers. You can create content on these sites and still drive traffic to your offering. This is a bit of a shortcut, and in the long run you end up building the brand of someone else, but short term it can be a great way to get quick results.

Here’s a little tip: when you create your courses, make the first course (or one of the courses) absolutely free. People will sign-up for the course, I guarantee it. If you put time and effort into creating a great free course, these individuals will trust you and be more willing to purchase your paid courses once you release them. It’s an easy way to create warm leads.

Generating an audience for your courses is not easy, be wary of anyone who suggests otherwise. If you put in the time to generate relevant content around your courses, then more people will find what it is you are offering. From there, it’s all about conversion, which perhaps we can cover in another post!

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About the Author:

Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by the world's leading organizations, such as the University of Michigan, Digital Marketer, WPEngine, and Infusionsoft. Justin has made a career as an elearning consultant where he has implemented large-scale training programs for Fortune 500 companies. Twitter | LinkedIn

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