June 18th, 2014 Business

consulting-ratesIf you are creating online courses to sell, then you know that it can be difficult to get your offering in front of the right audience. This can become even more challenging if you rely on sites like Udemy to drive your traffic.

In a perfect world, you would have your courses available for purchase, which in turn would bolster your brand and industry reputation.

But what if you are not a known expert?

Simple… find one!

If you are trying to break into online course sales industry, it can be intimidating, especially if you are not very well known (yet) in your field of practice. This is where partnering with others makes sense.

You have to understand that as an instructional designer, you have the skills to create winning content in an attractive fashion. Not everyone has this ability, in fact, very few do.

For Example…

Let’s say that you have a passion for animals, dogs in particular. You know a lot about dogs, how to train them, and how to deal with general behavioral issues. Using your first-hand knowledge, you develop a course on becoming a certified dog trainer.

Taking it a step further, you approach a national dog training certification association and get your course sanctioned for continuing education units for the field. You now have a “carrot” (incentive) for people to take your course.

Sure, you can put up a website and begin marketing, but sometimes it pays off to have a little patience.

With your very valuable asset, you now can begin reaching out to industry experts, particularly those with a decent amount of reach. The absolute best place to find these individuals is through your current network, either directly or through an introduction. Arranging a meeting is much easier, and often far more productive, in these circumstances.

Sending email blasts to big industry players isn’t going to go over well, so you need to be careful. That said, if you are searching for potential partners, then there is no better place than on LinkedIn.

The Offer

No matter how you find your prospective partners, the offer is the same: you will allow them to co-brand (possibly completely white-label) your course in exchange for a profit sharing arrangement.

Your course is professionally developed and it is already sanctioned by the continuing education association in the dog training field – it is a pretty easy decision for your prospective partner to make.

With this approach, make sure you give the partner the lion’s share of the profit. Besides, you wouldn’t be making any sales if it weren’t for their connections and industry presence.

Don’t be afraid to give now because in the end you will benefit greatly. If your name is associated with the course, then you immediately earn credibility through association of the expert. This in itself is worth foregoing the upfront profits.

If the promotion of the course goes over well, you now have a warm audience to any future courses that you decide to release. You also have helped to establish your credibility in the dog training field, and you are making some money to help fund your next venture (where you will likely take a larger sale of course sales).

A Word to the Wise

Finding partners is tricky business if you have never met the person before. Approach these experts respectfully and resist the temptation of over-promising. These individuals receive hundreds of emails per week, so they will be quick to trash your message if it comes across spammy.

Also, don’t talk about what YOU need, but talk about what is in it for them – besides, that’s all they will care about. And the larger, more connected the prospective partner, the more benefit it better be for them in the deal.

The method is a solid one and has been used across many industries for hundreds of years. Help someone make money and you have a partner for life. All it takes is a little initiative.

Justin Ferriman photo

About Justin Ferriman

Justin Ferriman started LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Justin's Homepage | Twitter

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