Online course creators, like many other entrepreneurs, have to constantly think of creative ways to market their online courses. One key aspect that is sometimes overlooked is personal marketing.
As an entrepreneur, you are the core and image of your business, and that’s why it’s essential to take some time and think about your personal branding and how you want to be perceived by the world in relation to your business.
This is even more essential for online course creators because, more often than not, your name appears right next to your course and people are curious to know who’s the person behind the online course.
3 Key personal branding tips for online course creators
Personal branding done right might also help you get more awareness and increase course sales.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a marketing expert to achieve this, and you don’t need to hire someone to help you either. You just need to learn a few key practices that will help you build your personal brand quickly and efficiently. Let’s have a look at them:
Define what you want to be known for
This is the single most important tip when it comes to personal branding. You need to define clearly who you are and how you want to be perceived by the world. Take some time to think about the things that make you, well... you!
Here are some questions that might help with this:
- What are your core values?
- What are your likes and dislikes?
- What makes you unique?
- What is your professional background?
- What makes you an expert on the topic of your online course?
These are examples of questions you should be asking yourself that will help shape your personal branding efforts. You don’t have to get into very personal details, but you can reveal some of the most important things that you want people to know about you.
With this information, you can put together a short bio and add this bio to your website. You can add an About Me page to your website, together with a nice picture of yourself. You can also link to this bio on the landing pages of each of your online courses. Create an author section for each course landing page with your name, short description, and a picture, then add a Learn more button so people can easily access your full bio if they want to see more details.
This may help you increase your course sales, especially when you’re at the beginning and people are not that familiar with your courses. You need to provide some sort of credibility, and this is an easy way to do it. People are more likely to buy a course when they can get a glimpse into the person that is behind the online course.
This bio will also serve as a core guideline in many of your personal branding efforts. The person that you describe there should be the one you present everywhere. How you design your website will be influenced by this, what type of messaging you use, what kind of things you share on various channels, etc., should all be in alignment with your brand image.
Create a brand identity
One of the keys to building a successful personal brand is to present a cohesive image of yourself throughout all the channels that you’re using to communicate with your audience. Creating a brand identity is about paying attention to the small elements that could make a big difference in how people perceive you.
Start with making sure that the name and picture that you’re using on your website and social channels are the same everywhere. This will make it easier for people to find you. You might want to also consider getting some professional pictures of yourself that you can use for various purposes. If your budget is tight, you can take the pictures yourself. All you need is a good phone, a simple background, and some free time to do this.
Check the description of yourself on all your channels and keep it consistent. Use the description to tell people about yourself and guide them towards your online course. This would also be an excellent time to clean up your social profiles and delete any unwanted pictures or details. When you’re building a personal brand, your social media profiles are no longer personal, and many people will have a look at them before buying one of your courses, so keep this in mind when posting on social media.
It’s also essential to align all your visual elements to work well together, such as your website’s design, the colors and images used, the fonts, the style of the design, and anything else that will represent your brand online. You don’t need to hire a designer for this, nor do you need any special skills; there are plenty of free resources online that will teach you how to do this with minimal effort and budget.
Find and connect with your audience
An important aspect of personal branding is engaging with your target audience. Your audience is made of the group of people that are most likely to buy your courses. Start by identifying the type of people that usually buy your courses.
For example, if your online course is about gardening, the people interested in this would be men and women who enjoy gardening, buy gardening tools, follow gardening social media accounts, etc. This is a good start for finding where these people hang out online and start interacting with them.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg. The key to finding your true target audience is to get very specific. Your online course is not addressed to just anyone who enjoys gardening. After you sell a few courses and look at your sales data, you might notice, for example, that your courses are mostly bought by stay-at-home moms, who live in the suburbs, and are between 30 and 45 years old. Now that’s the target audience that you need to connect with.
How do you find where your audience hangs out online? Without any readily available data, you will have to do some digging. Start by searching online courses similar to yours and identify the experts in your field. Follow their social media accounts and start engaging with those experts and their audience.
Put yourself in the shoes of a potential course buyer and think about where they would spend their time online. Going back to the gardening example, a stay-at-home mom would probably spend her time online following several Instagram accounts dedicated to gardening, she might be in a few Facebook groups for moms, she might search for how-to gardening videos on YouTube, and so on.
You may think this is too much work, but trust me, it is well worth knowing exactly where your audience spends their time online. Once you know this, you can make it a point of engaging with them regularly.
You can help them with tips, advice, share interesting facts around a topic, or connect with them on a general level. When you post, make sure that is something catered to your audience. For example, a stay at home mom that wants to do gardening is probably looking for quick and easy gardening tips that can be done during nap time. She might also be interested in simple gardening DIY projects with tools she already has in her household. The key here is to think as your audience does and identify their pain points. Then use those pain points to engage with them.
So there you have it, the three most essential aspects that will help you build a personal brand: finding out who you are, creating a brand identity, and engaging your audience. Remember that consistency is critical, and once the initial work is done, you have to allocate the time to maintain your personal brand. You may also need to make various improvements from time to time to keep your image fresh and in line with how you evolve as an entrepreneur.