How Course Creators Can Gain the Trust and Loyalty of Their Audience6 minute read
Selling online courses is all about trust.
If you want to be successful, grow a loyal audience and increase your online course sales, you need to build an audience and gain their trust.
Once you have gathered a decent-size audience, it is time to show them what you can do for them, why your course is so powerful and how you can help them gain a result or transformation in their lives.
The process of building your audience's trust will take time and constant effort. However, if you are serious about selling your online course, you know that this is a necessary step to grow your business.
So you know about the importance of gaining the trust of your audience, but how exactly can you do it?
If you have been asking yourself this question, then you are in the right place.
In today's article, we will share our favorite tips on how online course creators can grow a loyal audience that trusts them and will buy from them.
Before we get into the details of building trust, it is important to learn how you can grow an audience first. So if you haven't done that yet, check out these articles from our blog to get up to speed and start growing an audience online:
Get to Know Your Audience
In order to gain your audience's trust, you need to know who they are.
Try to find out everything you can about your ideal customer and come up with your "customer persona": a description of your ideal customer and their traits and behaviors.
From this, you will know who to target and how to craft your messaging to gain the trust of your audience.
To get to know your audience, ask yourself questions such as the following:
- What are their demographics?
- Where does my audience hang out online?
- What are their biggest pain points?
- What are their dreams and goals?
- What do they search for online?
- What is their income and purchase capacity?
And more... Check out this article from our blog to learn how to conduct market research and find out who your audience is: Why You Should Do Market Research Before Starting an Online Course Business + How to Do it
Once you understand who is your target audience, you start connecting with your ideal customers and creating valuable content tailored to their needs: with time, you will see your audience growing and becoming more and more loyal.
Share Free & Valuable Content
What happens before a new student purchases your online course?
Before hitting the "Buy" button, a new potential student will go through the buyer journey. This is a process of decision-making that consumers go through before purchasing a product or service.
For example, before buying your online course, potential customers will get to know you and your brand, start to trust you, consume your content, do some research about your product, read your reviews, check out the competition and eventually buy.
This process can take any amount of time: some customers need longer than others, and the time to purchase depends on so many factors. So how do you bring a customer from initial awareness about your online course to the point that they purchase? In other words, how do you convince them to trust you as an expert?
Building your audience's trust is a way to do so, especially by offering free and valuable content.
Since the success of an online course depend on the creator's ability to teach and help students learn, offering content that helps potential customers gain value for free is a great way to increase your chances of generating new sales.
Start writing informative blog posts, recording podcast episodes or YouTube videos where you help your audience solve a specific problem, and provide great value. Write guest blog posts or contribute to online communities by helping others with your expertise.
Many creators are scared of offering free content. They believe that it will decrease the value of their paid course if people can find similar information online.
If you share the same feeling, make sure to read this article from our blog to understand the importance of offering free content, even when you sell online courses: Why Creating Free Content Won't Hurt Your Online Course Sales [Plus How to Do it]
Position Yourself as an Expert
Another great way to gain your audience's trust is to make sure that they see you as an expert in your field.
Here are some tips to position yourself as an expert in the eyes of your ideal customers:
- Create lots of informative content about your topic of expertise
- Show off your achievements (both official, like certifications, or personal)
- Showcase your positive reviews on your online course landing page
- Write a Book or eBook
- Show up in other people's podcasts or publications
When your ideal customer starts seeing you as an expert in what you are teaching, they will immediately trust you as their teacher and eventually purchase your online course when they are ready!
Speak to Your Audience 1 on 1
If you have the time to do so, why not offer your audience the option to chat with you or jump on a call?
This can make a huge difference in the way a potential customer sees you and your business.
Imagine you are looking to purchase something online, and the business owner offers to talk to you for free and answer all of your questions about the product.
You would feel valued and start trusting that business right away, even if you don't end up buying!
Especially if you are selling high-ticket coaching programs or expensive online courses, this can be a way to get to know your customers, collect feedback about your business and gain their trust (+ get an advantage against your competitors!).
Invite Leads Into Your Online Community
If you have an online community, it can be a great place to nurture your potential customers and introduce them to your brand.
An online community is a great asset for both your business and your target audience. It is a place where people can connect, share ideas, get to know each other and learn from one another. But it is also a fantastic way to grow your business, get in the eyes of potential customers and gain the trust of your audience.
If a potential customer, someone who just learned about you and your business, enters your online community and finds a thriving environment where other members praise your online course and learn from one another, they will immediately trust you and maybe become your paying customers!
Check out these articles from our blog to learn how you can build an online community for your online course business:
- Why You Should Build an Online Community of Engaged Customers and How to Do it
- What Are The Different Types of Online Communities?
- 7 Steps to Revive Your Online Community and Increase Engagement
- Creating a Free vs Paid Online Community: Should You Charge for Community Access?
Offer a Lenient Online Course Refund Policy
A refund policy can impact the level of trust in your online course.
Has it ever happened to you that you were on the fence about buying a new product online, and then you saw that the brand had a great refund policy, something like - a 100% money-back guarantee - and you felt more confident to purchase?
This is the power of a lenient refund policy.
A classic example of an online course refund policy is the “money-back guarantee,” which sends a message that the seller is fully confident about his/her product. If the buyer is not satisfied for some reason, they’ll receive a full refund, generally within a set period of time (ex: 30 days).
This strategy works well since it reassures even the most cautious buyers - who otherwise would not have the confidence to make a purchase - by giving them a feeling of security, and it increases the level of trust in the brand!
Stay True to Your Brand Values
People tend to trust brands with consistent messaging. In order for people to trust you, they have to feel like they know you!
But how can you promote this feeling and consolidate a relationship with complete strangers on the internet?
Your messaging and what you share online can play an important role in how your audience sees you and trusts you. If your messaging is consistent and you always share the same values, your audience will get to know you and what you stand for.
If you haven't done it already, our suggestion is to lay out your brand values. This way, it will be easier to stay consistent and always share information that is in line with your core values.
Help Others for Free
Last but not least, helping others without expecting anything in return can go a long way (both in your personal life as well as in business)!
When you help someone for free, they will feel extremely grateful to you and remember you very positively. Whether they will become your customers in the future or not, they can become your loyal advocates and spread the word about your business!
It doesn't take much to help others with your expertise. You could join public discussions and offer your expert suggestion, answer questions in forums, offer a one-on-one call for free, and so on...
To Sum Up
Building trust among a loyal audience should be a priority for online course creators. To do so, course creators can start by growing their audiences online.
Once you have gathered a big enough audience, build trust by sharing insightful content for free, position yourself as an expert, help out potential customers in need, build an online community and even consider offering a very generous refund policy for your online course.
Whenever you are ready to create and sell your first online course, it's time to choose your favorite online course platform. Start your Heights Platform free account to access everything you need to build and grow a powerful online knowledge business.Create Your Online Course Today