The market for online courses has witnessed an incredible growth over the past few years, and this is mostly due to all the technological advances in e-learning. With just an internet connection and a webcam — which can both be easily found in the same smart device in your pocket — you can create and sell online courses in no time.
Well, sort of... Any great product needs some time to for development, marketing and eventually a big number of sales.
You get the point. It's easier now than ever before to sell courses online. But this doesn't mean that you can make money with just a few clicks and a play button. Before seeing any dollar from selling online courses, you need two important things: a great product (read course) and a significant amount of online followers.
Creating a great online course
If you already have this, skip to the next header. If you don't, or you're not sure, read on.
People buy courses mainly because they need to solve a problem. This is the single most important aspect of a great online course: it needs to solve a real problem. Don't fall into the trap of trying to solve all problems of the world with one course, as you'll just go down the failure staircase. You need to be as specific as possible when it comes to the pain your course will solve. Short courses that cover specific problems and solutions are always better than super long courses because they don't let the learner get lost in information. Cut to the chase, deliver what you promise, and you'll gain loyal customers.
Don't worry about design, especially if you're just testing the selling online waters. If you're at the beginning, try to keep things simple. A whiteboard and a marker can cover the basis. In case you trust your voice but you're camera shy, try making a screencast — a video of your computer screen. Screen recording and video editing software (like Camtasia) can have your back at this point, although they require their fare share of your time.
Learn as you go and improve upon your older self. Your first course may not be the best one, but once you'll collect some under your belt, your confidence will increase and so will your expertise.
Nurturing your online follower base
Selling things to strangers will always be harder than selling things to people you know, even if you don't know them personally. Growing your online follower base takes a lot of time and commitment, but you'll benefit from every minute invested in this activity in the long run.
Tweet your heart out about what you do and how you solve problems with your courses.
Find relevant Google+ communities and engage with other like-minded people.
Go to Quora and give thorough and thoughtful answers to as many relevant questions you can.
Comment on relevant blogs and websites to create real connections with the people behind them.
Find niche forums (this can be a tough job) and engage there too.
All these small actions will contribute to people perceiving you as a subject matter expert. From here to them buying your courses is just another step.
Selling online courses: What are your options?
Once you have a great product and an engaging follower base, all you have to do is to consider your options for the selling platform: your own website, a free marketplace platform, or a top-notch LMS.
No matter what you choose, you'll need a shopping cart or e-commerce platform to actually take payments. The platform will connect your courses with payment gateways so that people can purchase them with a credit or debit card, PayPal, or other methods.
If you choose to invest in your own website, keep in mind that you'll probably need a lot more time to get your courses to stand out from the crowd than in any of the other two options. Although it's not impossible to get reasonable results from your new website, you'll need to deal with all sorts of technical issues besides focusing on what you do best: creating useful courses.
An already established selling platform where you can distribute and sell your online courses and instructional videos online will offer greater exposure, since you can tap into an audience greater than yours. If they feature your e-learning content on their homepage your chances of reaching more people hungry for your solutions are even higher. And so your bank account figures will be. Success stories are all over the internet.
A great LMS can give you not only the possibility to create marvelous online courses with beautiful design and excellent user experience, but also to access a very targeted resellers network. MATRIX LMS has a growing resellers network that already spreads all over the world. MATRIX offers a free demo site to use when reselling, marketing materials and sales expertise and, most importantly, an attractive percentage of sales.