The eLearning market is booming with some experts projecting the industry will exceed $1 trillion in 2028. If you’re thinking about creating and selling an online course, there’s never been a better time to do so. But here’s the thing — even if you create the best course in the world, you won’t make a cent off of it if you don’t know how to market it properly.
It can be daunting to try and figure out how to market your online course. You might feel like you don’t know where to start, or like you don’t have the time or resources to do it effectively. The good news is you don’t have to be a marketing guru to promote your online course.
By following the proven blueprint below, you can get more interest in your course and drive enrollment through the roof.
Before You’ve Created Your Course
While the bulk of the tips in this guide will be about marketing your online course once it’s live, there are a few things you can do before even creating your course to set yourself up for success.
1. Survey your audience to see what they’re interested in
When you’re creating an online course, one of the most important things you can do is survey your audience to see what they’re interested in.
This will help you create a course that people are actually interested in, and it will help you gauge the level of interest your course has. It will also help you find the ideal length of your online course.
Not only that, but you also start building anticipation for the course you’re going to launch, getting your audience primed for buying your course once it’s live.
Once you’ve created your survey, it’s important to make sure you send it to the right people. You can send it to your email list, or you can post it on social media.
2. Give advance students special access to early bird pricing
It’s important to give your audience access to early bird pricing for your online course. This will incentivize them to buy the course early, and it will help you sell more courses.
Additionally, early bird pricing can help you generate buzz for your course. When people see that they can get a discount for buying your course early, they’ll be more likely to buy it.
You can offer early bird pricing in a few different ways:
- You can offer a discount for people who buy the course early
- You can offer bonus content or materials to people who buy the course early
- You can give people access to a restricted forum or community only for people who buy the course early
By offering early bird pricing, you lock in sales before your course even goes live, helping you build important marketing momentum.
3. Offer additional bonuses for signing up early or referrals
When you offer bonus course materials to early sign-ups, you’re giving people an incentive to buy your course early. This can help you generate buzz for your course and increase sales.
Additionally, when people get bonuses for referring their friends, they’re more likely to refer their friends. This can help you spread the word about your course and increase enrollment.
There are a few different ways you can offer bonuses for referrals:
- You can give people a discount for referring their friends
- You can give people access to exclusive content or materials for referring their friends
- You can give people credit towards future courses for referring their friends
By offering bonuses for referrals, you’re not only increasing sales, but you’re also creating a viral effect that can get people talking about your course.
4. Do keyword research before naming your course
Naming your online course is one of the most important things you can do to market it. Choosing the right name can help you generate more interest in your course and increase enrollment.
One of the best ways to choose a name for your course is to do keyword research. This will help you find keywords that people are searching for related to your topic.
When you use keywords in your course title, you make it easier for potential students to find your course. This can help you generate more leads and increase enrollment.
There are plenty of great free and paid SEO keyword research tools out there, like Ahrefs, SEMRush, and UberSuggest, to name a few.
After Your Course is Published
Once you’ve launched your course, the real work begins. Marketing an online course is a long journey that never really ends, but when you follow the tips below, you’ll give yourself a great chance at success.
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5. Create a blog post on your website
When you create a blog post to promote your online course, you’re giving potential students a glimpse into what they can expect from your course. This can help you generate leads and increase enrollment.
There are a few things you should include in your blog post:
- The topic of your course
- The benefits of taking your course
- The structure of your course
- How the course is delivered (e.g. online, offline, etc.)
- Who the course is for
- A brief overview of the content included in the course
- How to sign up for the course
When you include all of this information in your blog post, you give potential students a comprehensive overview of your course. This can help them decide if your course is something they’re interested in taking.
6. Share it on social media
When you promote your online course on social media, you’re giving potential students a way to learn more about the course. This can help you generate leads and increase enrollment.
There are a few things you should do when promoting your course on social media:
- Share a video of yourself talking about the course
- Share screenshots of the course content
- Share quotes from people who have taken the course
- Share testimonials from people who have taken the course
- Share photos of people taking the course
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok are all great places to promote your course, and you don’t have to spend a dime to do so (although you can do paid advertising campaigns…more on that later).
7. Use relevant hashtags when sharing posts so they are easier to find by potential customers
When you use hashtags to promote your online course on social media, you make it easier for potential students to find your course. This can help you generate more leads and increase enrollment.
There are a few things you should keep in mind when using hashtags to promote your course:
- Use relevant hashtags so potential students can easily find your course.
- Use a variety of hashtags so your posts are more likely to be seen by potential students.
- Use the hashtag symbol (#) before each hashtag
- Keep your hashtags short and easy to remember
Here are a few examples of hashtags you can use to promote your online course: #onlinecourses #education #training. You’ll also want to use hashtags specific to your industry and niche.
8. Reach out to influencers who have similar content or audience for cross-promotion opportunities
Working with influencers who have similar content or audience to cross-promote your course gives you a chance to reach a new audience.
Make a list of the various influencers in your niche, follow them, and reach out to them to tell them about your course.
Remember, you have to think about what’s in it for them too. They’re not going to promote your course out of the goodness of their heart.
They have an audience, and you have to give them a good reason why they should promote your course. That might mean paying them for placement or offering a swap where you promote something of theirs in turn.
You might also want to consider offering commission-based sales for any sales they generate from their promotion of the course.
If this is something that interests you, then consider working with an affiliate manager or platform (more on this later).
9. Post links back to your course from every piece of content you create, including social media posts, guest articles, interviews, etc.
When you create content, whether it’s a social media post, a guest article, or an interview, you should always include a link back to your online course’s sales page.
This gives potential students a way to learn more about the course and hopefully enroll.
There are a few reasons why you should always include a link to your course in your content:
- It helps potential students learn more about the course.
- It increases traffic to your course website.
- It helps potential students find your course on social media.
- It can improve the search engine rankings of your course page.
10. Start your own podcast
If you’re looking for another way to promote your online course, then you might want to consider starting your own podcast.
There are a few reasons why starting a podcast can be a great way to promote your online course:
- Podcasts are a great way to reach a new audience.
- Podcasts are a great way to promote your course content.
- Podcasts are a great way to establish yourself as an expert on a subject.
- Podcasts are a great way to sell your course.
11. Go on other podcasts to promote your course
If you want to reach a new audience and promote your online course, then you need to go on other podcasts.
Podcasts are a great way to reach a new audience because the host ideally already has listeners who will be interested in your course.
When you go on other podcasts to promote your course, you have the opportunity to share your course with a new group of people.
You can also use this opportunity to establish yourself as an expert on the subject of your online course.
12. Make a video to promote your course on YouTube
If you want to promote your online course in a more visual way, you might want to consider making a video to promote it on YouTube.
When creating a video to promote your online course, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind:
- Make sure the video is high quality.
- Make sure the video is interesting and engaging.
- Make sure the video contains links back to your course.
- It’s also a good idea to include social share buttons for people who want to share or repost your video on their own page.
13. Post your course to Reddit where your desired audience hangs out
Reddit can be a great place to promote your online course, but you have to be careful how you do it.
Before you go in there promoting your own course, you need to spend time in relevant communities participating in conversations and gaining the trust of other users.
Always give more than you take.
When promoting your course on Reddit, make sure you:
- Post in the right subreddit.
- Include a link to your course’s website.
- Follow the subreddit’s rules.
When posting in a subreddit, be sure to find the right one that aligns with the topic of your online course.
For example, if you’re promoting an online course on cooking, then you might want to post in the /r/cooking subreddit.
14. Get active in relevant forums
Reddit isn’t the only online forum where you can promote your course. In fact, there are a ton of forums where you could promote your course, including Facebook Groups.
When participating in discussions on other forums and communities, make sure you’re always adding value to the conversation.
Don’t spam or try to sell your course directly right off the bat.
Remember that it’s better to give more than take in terms of how much value you bring to the community.
15. Do a guest article with another influencer who has an audience similar to yours
Guest posting can be a great way to promote your online course because it allows you to reach a new audience.
When you guest post on another blog, you have the opportunity to share your course with a new group of people.
You can also use this opportunity to establish yourself as an expert on the subject of your online course.
To find blogs that are a good fit for guest posting, do a Google search for “blogger outreach” or “write for us”. This will give you a list of websites that accept guest posts.
Then, reach out to the bloggers on this list and propose a guest post.
In your pitch, be sure to include:
- The topic of your proposed post.
- Why their audience will benefit from your post.
- The benefits of publishing your post on their website.
- Links to other guest posts you’ve done and how those posts have benefited you and your audience.
16. Get student testimonials on your landing page and marketing materials
One of the best ways to market your online course is to get testimonials from satisfied students.
When potential students see that other people have had a positive experience with your course, they’re more likely to sign up.
The best way to get feedback from your students is to make it easy for them to provide it.
You can do this by including a survey or by asking them to provide feedback upon finishing the course.
You should also look for ways to include student testimonials on all of your promotional materials, such as:
- Your course sales page.
- Your email marketing
- Other places where your students might visit, such as forums and social media
- Your social media channels
17. Create an affiliate program for others to promote your course for you
Affiliate programs can be a great way to increase sales for your online course.
When you create an affiliate program, you give other people the opportunity to promote your course for you. In exchange, you offer them a commission on any sales they generate.
There are a few things to keep in mind when creating an affiliate program:
- The commission percentage you offer.
- How the affiliate program will be managed (i.e. how affiliates will be tracked and paid).
- How soon after a sale does your affiliate receive their commissions?
- What happens if the customer returns their purchase?
18. Offer a discount on your course to a list of email subscribers
When you offer a discount to your email subscribers, you’re giving them an incentive to sign up for your course.
This is because they know that they’ll save money on the price of your online course. And they’ll like the feeling of getting an exclusive offer that’s not available anywhere else.
When you create a discount, make sure it’s something that’s attractive to your target audience…something that makes them feel like they’re getting a better deal for being an email subscriber than anyone else gets.
19. Link your course in your email signature
Including a link to your course sales page in your email signature gives everyone you send an email to a way to learn more about your course.
This is a great way to increase the number of people who visit your sales page.
In order to make it easy for people to find your course sales page, you should include a shortened URL that goes directly to the page.
20. Host a free live webinar
Live webinars can be a great avenue for educating your audience, establishing yourself as an expert, and engaging with your audience to promote your online course.
Make sure your webinar adds value to your audience, teaching them something useful.
During the webinar, you can also discuss the benefits of your course and answer any questions that potential students might have.
You can also use the webinar to drive traffic to your course sales page.
To get the most out of your live webinar, make sure you:
- Promote it ahead of time.
- Send out a reminder email before the webinar starts.
- Record the webinar so people who can’t attend can still watch it.
21. Create a free mini-course
A free mini-course can be a great way to give your audience a taste of the knowledge you have to offer.
Once they’ve finished your mini-course, they’ll be looking for what else you have to offer because they already know how valuable your knowledge is.
When creating your free mini-course, make sure you:
- Choose a topic that builds on the foundation of knowledge you offer with your online course.
- Ensure it provides value to your target audience.
- Offer an upsell for those who want more information or products they can purchase.
22. Speak at events and groups where your audience will be
By speaking at local events, conferences, and meetup groups, you have the opportunity to reach people who might be interested in your online course.
These events are a great way to connect with potential students and get them interested in what you have to offer.
When you’re preparing to speak at an event, make sure you:
- Do your research and know your audience.
- Choose a topic that’s relevant to the audience you’re speaking to.
- Prepare a presentation that’s engaging and informative.
- Practice your presentation so you feel confident when you deliver it.
23. Offer a money-back guarantee
You want students to feel comfortable spending their money when signing up for your course.
By offering a money-back guarantee, they’ll be more motivated to make the purchase as they know there’s a safety net if things don’t work out how they expect.
Offering a money-back guarantee can increase your sales by showing you stand behind your course.
There are lots of junk courses out there, so a money-back guarantee creates the perception that yours is truly something worth trying.
24. Create a payment plan
One of the most important things to consider is how you’re going to get paid.
One option that’s often overlooked is offering a payment plan to your students.
Since many people are uncomfortable with the idea of spending a lot of money upfront, offering a payment plan can be an incentive for them to buy your course.
It also helps you reach students who simply might not have the funds to afford your course with a single big purchase.
25. Do paid ads on social media and search engines
A paid advertising campaign on Facebook, Instagram, Google, or other social and search engine platforms can help you get your online course in front of more people.
Advertising works by presenting your paid ad to specific groups of people who meet the criteria you’re targeting.
This can be an excellent way for making sure that the right people see your course and how valuable it is to them.
When putting together your advertising campaign, make sure you know who your target audience is, what makes your course unique, and how you’re going to promote it.
26. Run a contest for free course tuition
When you’re looking for ways to get more leads for your online course, hosting a contest or giveaway can be a great way to do it.
Contests and giveaways are a great way to get people’s attention and get them interested in what you have to offer.
You can offer free course tuition as the prize for the contest, which will entice more people to enter.
To host a contest that will help you get more leads for your online course, make sure you:
- Promote the contest on social media and other channels where your audience is active.
- Require entrants to provide their contact information so you can market your course to those who don’t win.
- Follow all rules and laws for hosting an online contest.
27. Translate your course to another language to reach a new audience
Translating your online course to another language can be a great way to reach new students who otherwise wouldn’t take your course.
The possibilities are practically limitless here.
Translating your course also helps show that you’re an authority in your field and that you’re global-minded.
If you’re not comfortable translating your own course, there are plenty of translation services available that can help you out.
With these ideas for marketing your online courses, you can reach more students and increase sales and enrollment in your class.
Remember to have fun with it and enjoy the process!
Have any questions about how to market online courses? Make sure to leave a comment below so we can help!