Congrats! You've got a course ready to go, and you're now thinking about how to market it. Read through this article for some helpful tips and tricks to get you started.
For most instructors, the majority of the work involved with online courses will be marketing them. There are countless online resources available to help you, but we've got a few articles to share that we think you'll get a lot of value from. Let's dive in.
Building Your List
Your email list is one of the most valuable things you can have as a course creator. This is your list of everyone who has requested to hear more from you - both past students and potential leads.
You collect leads within Thinkific as people sign up to your site, to free and paid courses. Outside of Thinkific, you should provide anyone viewing your content with an easy way to "opt in" to hear more from you.
Some popular ways to do this are:
- Put your blog or other online resources to work for you, even before you launch. Prompt visitors to sign up to hear all about your upcoming course - Capture Leads with a Coming Soon Page!
- If you are hosting videos on YouTube, add clickable calls to actions in your videos. This is a great way to prompt viewers to connect with you and sign up for your list!
- Add new or recurring visitors on your Thinkific site to your list of leads with the Lead Capture Site Builder Section!
Once you've started building out your email list on Thinkific, you'll need to know how to access your list. Learn how in our guide on Managing Leads!
Get The Word Out
Once you've got your course and your list, you'll want to find a way to send your message out!
There are a lot of different launch strategies, including both scheduled/cohort classes, and also self-paced 'purchase anytime' programs. When you're launching your course, there's a lot of value in pushing the COMING SOON! message with a fixed deadline for getting in on an initial launch deal before the course switches to regular pricing.
This can be done with reduced prices for early sign-ups, extra inclusions and bonuses (like, "Sign up before Sunday Night to get a free 1-hour coaching call with me"), or in some cases, a hard deadline where the course can no longer be purchased after the deadline.
When you're new to launching, we recommend starting with extra incentives for early purchase without the commitment to retire your course at the end of the launch (which can work great if that helps you get lots of sign-ups, but can be terrible if your launch delivers fewer students than you anticipated!)
- Start marketing before you even launch! Learn more in our blog post, 58 Ways To Market Your Online Course & Increase Sales in 2022
- Time for a promotion? Using coupons & promotions to drive sales
- Learn from this mistake with time-bound promotions. Plan out your launch process in advance, and stick to the schedule. Remember that a launch involves a series of emails, starting from pre-launch (telling your students what's coming, but before asking for anything) right through to the final email on the last day.
- If you already have a successful course and you're using Thinkific Payments to sell your courses, you can add your new course as an Order Bump to increase sales! Learn more in our guide on how to Sell more with Order Bumps.
Once your course is up and running, and you've moved past the initial launch, you'll want to continue bringing students to your site.
The great thing about the launch process (touched on with the resources above) is that you can continue to build great new resources for your audience and deliver new content over and over again using a similar process. Since you'll be constantly adding new people to your list, what might be your third launch for a long term student, could be the first for someone else.
There are lots of great ways to drive people to your site, but here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Start with our roundup of 5 Ways to Get your First Course Sale
- Connect with new communities and groups. One fun way to do this is by answering questions on Quora.
- Webinars can be extremely powerful, especially when you can deliver so much value that people want to sign up for more. Check out this case study where we show you step by step how one instructor did it.
- Take a look at the selection of apps we've curated to boost your course marketing, in the Email and Marketing section of the Thinkific App Store!
Deliver Amazing Student Experience
Remember: your students are your best brand advocates! Deliver a valuable experience for your audience, and not only will they tell others, but they'll come back again.
Think about how you can make your course better for your students when considering your online teaching business.
A few ways you can give your students the best experience:
- Create connection and build trust by maximizing student experience using notifications
- Foster amazing community in your classes with custom designed student group experiences
- If you are new to online course creation, add a live video element to turn your expertise into engaging courses!
- Take a look at our guide on Webinars and Live Video Streaming to learn more.
- Check out tools to help boost student engagement on your site in the Engagement and Assessment section of the Thinkific App Store!
Marketing is an ongoing process, but there's lots here to get you started. Refer back to the blog to keep tabs on what's new, and reach out as you go if there's anything our team can help with!
Need a little extra help marketing your course? We have a wonderful team of experienced freelancers available to give you a hand! Check out our Experts Marketplace.