At my recent connecting online 2013 webinar on the WizIQ platform, I presented a topic called “How do you promote your courses online”? A burning issue was the question of finding paying students. Much of the webinar talk revolved around building up an online presence and reputation. We didn’t get to cover specific techniques for monetizing one’s business, however, so I hope that this article will shed some light on the practical realities of building up a student base.
In order to write this I have thought a lot about my experiences, what my colleagues do, and where my own paying students come from. My conclusion is that no matter what advertising techniques you may employ, it all boils down to three things.
Reputation, sharing and caring.
I know that this seems like foggy spiel. You want hard facts and know-how. Let me share the hard facts and know-how that I have picked up along the way on my own edupreneuring path.
1) It’s obvious that you need a reputation.
The first thing you need is a website. Then you build it up with good content and a description of your services. However, no one will see your website if you don’t share your content around social networks. Nobody on social networks will want to read your content if you are seen as a spammer – so it goes back to reputation again.
2) Build up your reputation by having a business page or group on facebook .
Share your ideas, thoughts, and lesson ideas. Teachers and students will flock around to learn from you. Be sincere, generous, confident and creative. Soon your reputation will be solid. Networking on linkedin and Twitter is extremely useful for making your name and meeting other experts in the business.
3) Now, you’ve got to remember that on social networks the hard sell doesn’t work.
Not everyone will be interested in your Edupreneuring prowess or ambitions. But you can target those who need your lessons either on social networks or on your website by being specific about who you are, what your niche is and what you offer.
4) Discover what your special interest in teaching is.
This can become your niche and brand. It should be your passion and area of expertise. Get a logo and show off in fun, educational and creative ways online.
If you can’t wait for your reputation to monetize your business, try sites that will advertise your services. WizIQ helps with marketing and here are two more.
There is also facebook advertising which I’ve never used. Pay per click advertising is the common way to advertise online also.
This is a very important step to take if you are in a position to expand your business beyond working per hour.
a) Monetising you tube and writing ebooks
These are two excellent options for earnings, and they add to your reputation, attracting more students in the process.
b) When you have a website and blog, your next step should be building a list via newsletter.
If you think of a newsletter as a collection of your latest articles and news, then it seems actually easy to put one together.
c)Clickbank is where you can sell ebooks and courses. It’s based on copywriting and sales pages that describe your products. It’s a promising avenue to take if you have good writing, video or sales marketing skills.
d) Of course, there is always amazon.com and other ebook selling outlets for self-publishing also.
7) Don’t forget your offline contacts.
Many teachers convert people they already know into online students. This is a good way for word of mouth marketing to work its magic too. Personally speaking, my next steps will be in publishing. My main selling point is that I specialize in creative exams training. In my experience students will pay online if they have a concrete goal or qualification to earn. You must take this into serious consideration, as many online courses are expected to be free. I do free classes only for promotion or experimental reasons. You must be a true professional and specialist in your field to be taken seriously, and to get paid what you deserve.
As always, it’s an adventure, an experiment and a challenge.