Scale Your Online Course Business with Our Proven Method
Scaling an eLearning business doesn’t just happen. The online course industry is getting more and more competitive. That’s why your marketing strategy needs to be optimized for you to get results and meet your learners’ expectations.
In this article, we will be sharing with you the gate process we follow to scale an online course business for our clients. The result is a business systematically growing to 6 figures/month within a year from starting to work with infopreneurs.
Passing from each gate requires a specific set of mindsets, actions, and technical knowledge. Thanks to this article, you will learn how to go through each one individually. You’ll know how to get your online education business to scale.
Here are the 5 stages/gates every elearning business needs to go through in order:
- Creating An Irresistible Offer
- Lead generation
- Long-term value
- Get others to sell your products (affiliates)
If you need any assistance and want to work with us to take your business to the next level, apply for our EduScale program here.
Create an irresistible offer to scale your eLearning business
This is the foremost important element of any marketing and business as every successful online entrepreneur (such as yourself) starts with an irresistible offer. Why?
By producing an offer that your customer cannot say no to, your future marketing campaigns are going to be much more profitable than your competitors. In a way, your offer can be thought of as a USP (Unique Selling Proposition) for your course.
Your offer might just be the deciding factor between a lost sale and a secured buyer. Your growth will depend on the value of your offer.
Your digital course by itself might not be enough, especially with competitors offering the same solution. Your business model must be different and provide the users with high quality solutions. An offer gives you that extra edge, allowing you to hoover up all the customers who are sitting on the fence about purchasing your goods.
To generate consistent revenue, we need to start offering something that motivates prospects to exchange money for your content. Successful entrepreneurs always give more, in exchange for what they are asking for, turning their proposition ‘irresistible’ by adding value through extra bonuses, discounts, and money-back guarantees.
But remember, when doing this, we must also create more value for ourselves than we consume.
Crafting an offer is a skill that can take quite some time to be learned. However, once you master it, it will give you a great advantage over the majority of your competition.
Give your offer value
If you want to scale your elearning business, your offer must be worthy enough to attract students and hence the development of your activity.
Value is an abstract term. Here are a few examples of how you can build value around your digital training.
- Adding a free affiliate marketing e-book with an online course.
- Offering a 50% discount if they purchase the product within the next hour (this is especially good as it creates a sense of urgency).
- Securing a money-back guarantee if they are not satisfied with the product.
- Giving away discounts on bonus content in your range.
- Offering a free product of their choice if they buy three different items.
- Unlocking a free trial if they buy one section of the course. E.g. Buying part one gives the learner a free trial of parts two and three.
To come up with your bespoke offer, you’ll need to find inspiration from within. The best way to do this is by asking your prospects to buy thanks to clear CTAs (Call To Actions).
For example, I am selling an online training that teaches people the ins and outs of day-to-day productivity. To come up with an irresistible offer, I ask customers if they would buy. If they are not interested, here’s a few examples of ways to add extra value:
- A free e-book with the purchase.
- Offering a mini-trial before the purchase.
- A heavy discount on a similar course I have made on money saving methods if they purchase the productivity course.
- Include a free consultation/coaching session.
- Include a guarantee.
Now I have an idea of the things I can incorporate into my offer. I don’t have to use all of them, but it’s best to use a lot rather than a little. The value of your online program will necessarily appear to be higher and complete.
After all, the more incentives we incorporate into our offer, the higher the chance we are going to appeal to a wide audience. For example, one learner might not be interested in a free ebook but might like the idea of a mini-trial.
Think of your offer as a net. The more you include in your offer, the bigger the net becomes and the more customers you are going to ‘catch’. This growth will result in your online course business scaling. There you’ll create a virtuous cycle. It’s very much a case of balancing quantity and quality.
Once your offer is powerful enough, and you have validated it with your target market, it’s time to start getting more prospects through the door using lead generation.
Lead-generation: a powerful strategy
Once your offer is validated and you’ve figured that the market is viable, the next step consists of reaching prospects. You have to bring them to your website, and make these people join your list.
Then, what you want to do is follow-up with these prospects through automation and broadcast emails using tools/platforms. Two of the best we recommend are Mailchimp & ActiveCampaign.
You’ll be able to analyze the data on how your students react to what you’re sharing with them. The right strategy then would be to build quality around what your audience is looking for.
When it comes to acquiring email contacts, expanding the scope of your returns/actions you want your clients to take becomes important.
We look at the data for the following timeframes:
- 7 days
- 30 days
- 90 days
- 180 days
- 365 days
The action you want your leads to take on your email list should bring them one step closer to the sale. It could be to apply, book a call, or directly purchase on your website.
This leads us to the next part of the process… Sales.
Focusing in on sales & Average Order Value (AOV)
Most course creators find themselves in either of these positions:
- they either sell a high ticket course for $999
- or sell a large volume of lower ticket items for $1 – $199.
The process of selling in these cases is very different.
For high ticket courses and programs pricing $999, what we recommend is using an application form that redirects to Calendly. It’s a free online appointment scheduling software you can integrate to your website. Your future learners will have a conversation with you about your program to be convinced your offer is the best for them.
Your goal here is to become good at selling on sales calls. Once you’ve managed that part, productivize your offer and implement our favorite process.
The 5 step sales funnel that will skyrocket your online course business
The idea behind the five-step funnel is that it allows us to stack offers for digital products/courses one on top of the other. This process is decisive in the online education industry. Sales funnel are what makes it different from a classic platform or an LMS.
You have your main product which is your online course presented in a sales page. Then the process is simple: add an order bump, an upsell and a down-sell to your funnel. If you need help designing your funnel, check out our article here.
This will allow you to increase the value of your digital program by increasing the amount your students can spend between clicking the CTA and landing on the thank you page (which represents the last step of your sales funnel).
It’s important to note that every offer you create between the sales page and the thank you page must in some way render the initial purchase more complete.
Here are the five steps:
- Sales page
- Order form (with order bump)
- Offer wall / Thank you page
This has been what has functioned for us the best to sell courses and programs and increase the average order value. That process in itself can help you scale your eLearning business like never before.
Increasing the Long-Term-Value & making bank from your email list
The value of a company or product runs over an extended period of time.
It is not enough to hope your online traffic displays enough interest in your course to buy it there and then. In most cases, you need to exercise a little persuasion for the users to part way with their cash.
This also applies to the audience who have already bought one of your courses. How do you make sure they buy from you again? This is where the email list comes in.
Your lists are yours, and you do not need to pay a dime to send emails to them and promote your product. On top of that, you have the info-product benefit of not having to hold inventory or pay shipping or manufacturing like many companies have to.
Once your eLearning program is of sufficient quality, you can just replicate it infinitely at zero cost. This means that you can offer this content at ridiculously low prices, just enough to pay for the time it takes to set up a promotional broadcast.
Put in place a promotional calendar and start sending emails to your list 2-3x a week continuously to increase the Long-Term-Value of your prospects.
Getting others to market & sell your products through affiliation
An affiliate will act as a commission-based salesperson and actively promote your product to their contact lists.
The use of affiliates as traffic sources for your product has massive advantages over paid traffic like Facebook or Google ads. Mainly, the advantage is that you don’t need to pay those affiliates until they produce conversions for you.
Paid ads as opposed to affiliates, require you to pay to simply post an ad. The business model is completely different.
Affiliates are often content creators with large followings: YouTube channels, Instagram pages, or websites (through blogs). Their goal is to affiliate their content with products and services that they can sell to their contact lists for a cut of the profit thereby allowing them to monetize their content.
In addition to driving traffic directly to your sales pages, having a link to your page on an affiliate’s platform will increase the number of backlinks to your website. Backlinking sends a positive signal to search engines that will organically increase the ranking of your website or LMS (Learning Management System).
This means that affiliates help drive traffic to your sites both directly and indirectly.
A strong enough team of affiliates will likely perform as well if not better than a Facebook ads account. Indeed, it can often be difficult to optimize and requires attention to grow and maintain either by you or someone you’ll have to pay.
Affiliates however are happy to be allowed to sell your high-quality product to their contact lists in exchange for commission.
Simply put, scaling an eLearning business requires course creators to have a solid understanding of the competition, of what the prospects need, and a high value offer. Keep in mind that growth depends on several factors. When put together, they make a huge difference. Our experience at SolutionLabs has allowed us to determine what proven methods and strategies resulted in course businesses scaling to 6 figures/month systematically. If you want to know more about our Eduscale program, book a call today.