Distance learning has its roots in the 19th century when educator Isaac Pitman exchanged information with his students through letters. As media evolved, the correspondence gradually progressed to radio, television, computer, and now mobile devices. Eventually, people started becoming more aware of the options available to them, and education began shifting from traditional methods towards online learning programmes. This is compounded by the fact that global education markets are estimated to grow to a total market size of US $286.62 billion by 2023. As the variety of online courses increases, so do the portals offering them. Selling an online course can be very profitable for anyone who wishes to promote interesting content through the internet. Once you’re done designing your course, these seven tips will help you sell it to students:
#1. Know your audience
Get a detailed vision of who your target audience is, what do they want to learn, and what kind of course content they are willing to pay for. For instance, if you are targeting engineering students, then courses which relate to skill-upgrade and competitive exam preparation (GATE, CAT, IES) would appeal to them the most. An engineer is more likely to pay for an online course about data science that adds value to his/her resume as opposed to some course about the subject that is already covered in the college curriculum.
#2. Talk about the format of your online course
Plan your course in a straightforward progression such that the outcomes which it will eventually deliver are clear. Going by the preferences of your target audience, arrange your course format in a way that will benefit them the most. For instance, if you target audience is working professionals, then they’re more likely to prefer self-paced courses that they can mould according to their schedules. Talking about the format your online course will follow is crucial to make students decide to enrol in your course.
#3. Create compelling content
Selling an online education course has as much to do with content as with its course structure. Now that you know your target audience and the kind of course format that appeals to them the most, creating compelling content that educates them on what the course has to offer is the obvious next step. Research keywords to develop course titles that drive students to explore your course. For instance, an IES aspirant is more likely to search for courses like ‘Preparation for Prelims’. As part of the content, you can list learning objectives and takeaways from the course, future prospects, student testimonials, and industrial value additions that it would provide.
#4. Differentiate your course from others
Keep asking yourself, “What makes my course different from the rest?” Unless you have the funds and plan to run an online university, you’ll need to have a speciality to your course that also becomes its unique selling point. Focussing on a niche helps to build a loyal following for your course, and thus word-of-mouth referrals can help you grow in the market.
#5. Host online course on an excellent platform
There are a plethora of learning platforms that you can use to offer your courses online. However, it is essential to keep in mind that you provide it on a platform that is readily accessible to your users and has an easy-to-use interface. An accessible interface is vital if your course format follows an interactive model of learning where users have to regularly provide feedback in the form of quizzes and mock tests. Students are more likely to enrol for courses that are on an easy-to-use and mobile-friendly interface as opposed to one that is difficult to navigate.
#6. Offer demo classes
Demo classes are an effective way of assuring students that your course has all the elements that it promises. As with traditional classes, students prefer to take demo classes to assess online course content before they decide to invest in it. Make sure that the demo class you offer is a concise representation of all the value adds that makes it different from rest of the courses.
#7. Promote your course on the internet
One of the most crucial aspects of selling your course is its promotion. Since you’re selling an online course, it is essential for you to have a separate website where you can regularly post blogs and recent news about the industry that your course is catering to. Similarly, building a social media presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram by posting content that interests your target learners can help in creating a brand presence that your audience can identify with.
Technological advances in the education sphere have enabled people to utilise learning content in a fast and straightforward way. All the information is just a click away to anyone with the resources to access it. Creating and selling online courses can prove to be quite lucrative if you’re targeting the right audience. While creating all the lessons and finding the correct platform is a time-consuming job, the results will far outweigh the initial efforts.