The Most Important Thing You Need to Know When Selling an Online Course - Build it Around a Result5 minute read
To succeed in the online course business it is crucial for you to be specific in your teaching. We strongly urge you to build and sell your online course around a specific result if you want it to be successful. Below we’ll share how you should teach and sell around the result your course provides, as well as how you can easily determine what the result you offer is.
Before we describe how you can clarify what the result you provide is, and how to sell your online course around it, we want to illustrate how import knowing the result your students are looking for is, because this concept applies to many businesses, not only those selling online courses. At Heights we face this same challenge in our own business. For example, if you don’t believe that Heights Platform will help you grow a successful online course business, then you aren’t going to use our product. That’s why instead of positioning ourselves simply as providing tools for online education (general description without result), we say, “we help entrepreneurs create and launch successful online course businesses” (description of the result we provide).
In this same sense, it is critical that you understand the result that your student is looking to achieve, and how to communicate that in marketing. If for instance, you are teaching a course about website design, it is necessary to realize that your students don’t want to learn about website design, or even about how to build a website. What they want is the result of what knowing how to build a website will give them. That result might be for them to be able to get a new job as a freelance web designer, and so that should be the way you describe your online course (Learn how to build a website to land your first freelance web design job).
Small, measurable goals motivate students and inspire action to enable them to continue in their path easier. People who need your course have something holding them back, and that lack of clarity is the reason that they not able to take action and achieve the result they are looking for on their own. If your teaching is vague and general it won’t give potential students confidence that your teaching can solve their problem, and it won’t inspire action from your students. This means potential customers would be less likely to purchase your course, and if they do, then they are less likely to be successful with it.
Once you understand the result that your students are actually looking for, you will be in a better position to not only teach them, but to sell your online course or program to them.
Sell the Result! Your Online Course Marketing Materials Need to Communicate the Result Potential Students can Achieve when they Purchase your Course
The reason so much of our marketing talks about how we optimize Heights Platform to produce results for your students is because when a new customer buys your online course, they are buying it for the result they believe it will give them. That means your students aren’t interested in buying your course because of you and your content, or because of Heights Platform’s fancy interface. The fundamental reason customers are buying your online course is because they believe it will help get them the result that they are after. Other aspects of your marketing can help build trust and desire in your program, but the result is the key component you need to be 100% clear with.
People only buy things when they understand them, and once they do, the underlying reason someone makes a purchase is to feel better. If potential students can’t understand what you are offering them, and don’t feel that their problems will be solved by the way your course is described, they won’t buy it (even if they might otherwise be the perfect and ideal customer for your course).
Another way to look at this is that you need to help your potential customers believe that the result you are talking about is possible. If you tell someone you will teach them how to do “X”, but they don’t see a path to believe that the result is possible for them, they will not buy from you. Once your audience believes that the result they are after is possible and believes that you will provide them with the path to get to it, buying your course becomes necessary in their mind. It should be your goal to make it to this point with your audience.
This is why it is crucial for you to communicate how your course creates this result in your marketing (both through use of your own stories and testimonials of your past students), and to ensure that the design of your course content guides students to that result (rather than a bunch of general knowledge that can’t be put into action). If you aren’t selling a result with your online course, it is going to be very difficult to succeed in the online course business. Before you plan out any kind of marketing strategy or start spending money on ads, make sure you have complete clarity in communicating what the result your course provides.
How to Determine What the Result you Offer through your Course is?
Think about when you started learning what you teach, or what the reason is for your potential and current clients to want learn what you have to teach. That reason, is the result you should be providing with your online course.
If you were to pitch what you teach to someone in a single sentence what would you say? Below we’ll give a few examples of online course subjects described poorly, as well as better ways to describe those same subjects by stating the result.
Here are some examples of course descriptions that don’t communicate their result specifically enough (and what you want to avoid in marketing and course structure):
- Learn App Development
- Learn Music Production
- Learn How to Build a Consistent Exercise Routine
- Learn How to Use Facebook Ads
Here are those same course subjects written instead with a specific and attractive result:
- Learn How to Build and Launch Your First Mobile App
- Learn How to Produce Your First EDM Track
- Get in Great Shape in 6 Weeks
- Learn How to Get your First Clients and Create a Successful Facebook Ads Agency
As you can see, selling and positioning the description of your online course from the result or transformation that it provides is much more attractive, impactful, and valuable to your potential customers.
If your course is built around a specific result and you are selling it as such, what does the optimal marketing flow and course program structure look like? We believe it is the following:
- Engage and attract your audience with free content centered around the skill/result you teach. This builds trust and desire.
- When it comes time, sell the result you will provide in your online course and get your new student enrolled in your program. You might do this online, through a webinar, over the phone or in person.
- Have your customers/students go through your online course, learning each step required to reach the specific result.
- Have students demonstrate application of their new knowledge though a project once they have finished all of the content in your course (Using Heights’ Project Posts feature)
- Provide followup & feedback and offer your student an environment where they can gain feedback and support both from you and from their peers.
If your course’s content and teaching is great, then these steps provide the opportunity for you to create a continuing cycle of happy students.
Remember — never assume that your potential customers understand what you are selling! If you have trouble creating clarity around the result that your course provides, we are happy to provide feedback, so please reach out to us!
Now that you know how to create your online course with the goal of a specific result or transformation in mind, learn more about how to price your online course around that result, how to capture great lighting and audio for your online course, and how to create leverage in your business with online courses.Create Your Online Course Today