Selling Courses is Competitive, so be Competitive!

Many people are afraid of coming across as “too sales-y” when they are starting an online business selling courses. I am here to tell you that being sales focused is okay. In fact, it’s necessary.

No matter what business you start, from online courses to physical products, you will face competition.

If there is any value in your market then don’t expect to be the only player in the game. Sure, this is intimidating but you should also feel good about it – this means you have a viable market!

So let’s say you spend months creating your online course content and you have been blogging about it during this time to build up an email list and establish some visibility.

Then suddenly you catch word that someone else is offering a similar course looking to solve the exact same problem. Here is where people commonly have one of three reactions:

  1. Frustration causes them to lash out, talking bad about the other product
  2. They do nothing because they feel that their course will “speak for itself”
  3. They assess the competition and ramp up their sales efforts accordingly

The first two reactions are not good for your business.

The first one is pretty obvious. If you lash out on the internet then it is going to live forever and be a black-eye on you and your business. Don’t do that.

The second one is where most people fall into, and I think I know why.

It’s Easier to do Nothing

Competition can be scary and whether we like to admit it or not it is sometimes easier to do nothing than it is to adapt to the new entrant. In theory we like to believe our customers will tell the world how great we are – and perhaps some will – but you don’t build a business on hope. You build it on action.

Your course may actually be way better than your competition but others won’t know that. If they buy  a competing course then that means they likely aren’t going to purchase yours. You have to secure the sale when you have their attention.

So how do you do this? By understanding the approach your competitors are taking and modifying your messaging accordingly. There is nothing wrong with telling people why your course is the best for them. That’s what they are looking for anyhow.

Sure, you don’t want it to be obnoxious but remember that when someone is interested in their product they want to know what is in it for them (i.e. why your course is the best for their needs). So tell them. Use examples, case studies, video, introductory lessons, so on and so forth. Give them free reports or trials.

Far too few people focus on writing compelling sales copy. It is sort of an art. If you aren’t good at it then hire someone. If they are any good at what they do then it will pay for itself over and over again.

The point is that you can’t be afraid of competition, and doing “nothing” is not a strategy. You know your industry. Use your knowledge to intelligently position your course for those who are looking for it.

Author

Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Twitter | LinkedIn

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