Marketing Strategy

Should Your Business Try to Sell a Course?

In part 1 of this article, we explored quickly evolving live learning platforms like Twitch. However, your marketing plans can evolve far beyond loss leader training courses designed to help you attract leads. In fact, many companies use courses to draw buyers into more profitable funnels, as the first step before higher end courses or consulting services. How can you determine if selling courses is right for your business?

Get to know the landscape. There are numerous course platforms on the market today. Just a few include Coursera, Udemy, and CreativeLive. Each takes a different approach—and different business model—to letting businesses monetize online courses. Another approach is to invest in a template like Course Cats and host your courses on your own WordPress site. Each method has its advantages. Consider your goals, how much visibility you can generate on your own, and where the courses fit into your overall product mix.

Think about your course arc. Often, if a company has success in selling courses, it will develop a strategy to release multiple options. For that to work over the long term, it is important to think of your course development in terms of a narrative arc. Don’t focus on including everything you know in a single course. Instead, think of specific topics that can individually create a tremendous amount of value and results for people who take a related course. From there, you will build loyalty and the capability to sell additional products over time.

Develop the infrastructure to support a course. Offering a course is different than selling a product. Even if a course is largely self-paced and driven by written materials, video, and automated quizzes, students often want access to some level of support or expert advice. There are different ways to handle this. The lowest level investments often focus on having a member of your customer support team answer routine questions and providing set hours when people can connect with a member of your team. Often, this is set up as a group conference call for occasional webinars. It is important to think about what level of support you will offer and how to make time for that in addition to your team’s existing duties.

Selling a course can be a great way to expand your reach, connect with new buyers, and help drive customers into your buying funnel. However, it is essential to think strategically about what that process will involve and make sure you’re ready to commit to long-term support before making your vision a reality.