Are you trying to sell more online courses but don’t have an audience or platform? In order to sell more courses, which means you need an audience to serve. In this podcast episode we talk about 5 Strategies to Grow Your Audience for Your Online Course.
The online course market is on a tremendous upswing. For example, in 2015 it increased to more than $100 billion, according to Forbes. In the fall of 2014, according to the Babson Survey Research Group’s annual report “Online Report Card: Tracking Online Education in the United States”, nearly six million students were enrolled in at least one online course. This figure increased by more than 3.5 percent the following year. On Udemy, one of the most well-known online course platforms, there are currently more than nine million students from 190 countries.
No matter your niche or field, you are sure to benefit by engaging the large and growing potential customer base through your very own online course. To improve your chance at success, you need to focus on building your audience as much as you need to make your episodes or lessons as well as possible. You may have the best ones that the world is yet to have, but your prospective students cannot benefit from your course if you do not figure out the most effective ways to give them access.
To help you make a great start, here are 5 tried-and-tested strategies.
How to Grow Your Online Course Audience – Strategy #1: Start a Podcast Around the Topic of Your Online Course
Starting a podcast is among the increasingly potent strategies to engage your target audience.
Between 2008 and 2015, according to copyblogger, the number of podcast listeners increased from nine percent to 17 percent. In 2011, Adam Carolla, an American comedian, television host, actor, radio personality, director, and podcaster, broke the record for the most downloaded podcast with almost 60 million downloads. In 2013, Apple announced that it had one billion podcast subscribers.
Why are podcasts so engaging? They are rich. In digital advertising, this refers to the use of advanced features, like audio, video, or other elements that let viewers interact with the content, ensuring engagement.
For instance, starting a podcast builds your credibility. Say you have a decade of experience in marketing. You can share your expertise through your podcast. You can offer tutorials, how-to’s, and tips. The more people you help, the more you will be seen as an expert in your niche or field. The more credibility you gain, the more people will be encouraged to take your online course.
Starting a podcast also lets you connect with your fellow experts. You can interview them and post the interviews as episodes. Doing so will be mutually beneficial. Each episode promotes you and the expert you interviewed. If he or she is well-known, your online traffic is sure to increase. The more visitors you have, the more customers you could gain. Aside from that, each episode is a learning opportunity for you that lets your expertise grow.
How to Grow Your Online Course Audience – Strategy #2: Be Guest on Other Podcasts Where Your Online Course Audience is
But if you do not want to start your own podcast, you can guest on a podcast instead. Manage to get on one with a lot followers and you are sure to gain your own following, each of whom could be a potential student.
To get the desired result, start with the popular podcasts in your niche or field; do not just pitch, sell, or promote; and try to guest on podcasts unrelated to your expertise.
Guesting on podcasts related to your expertise that have a large following improves your chances of reaching out to your target audience significantly.
As the rise of ad blockers show, people are becoming more and more averse to being sold to. To get your prospective customers’ attention in a positive way, be of service to them instead. Offer them something valuable while guesting on a podcast, like a free course or tutorial. Once you gained their trust, they are more likely to take your course.
To find out which podcasts outside of your niche or field you ought to guest on, ask for referrals. The followers of each are potential customers whom you might never thought of engaging.
How to Grow Your Online Course Audience – Strategy #3: Write Guest Blogs For People in the Same Industry As Your Online Course
While podcasts are on the rise, many still read blogs. As of March 2015, companies that blog get 97 percent more links to their website, according to HubSpot.
Engage the readers by writing guest blogs. To reach as many potential students and customers as possible, try to get published on blogs related to your niche or field with high traffic. To ensure you engage them, make your guest blogs unique, well written and researched, and personalized, or tailored just for your intended readers.
How to Grow Your Online Course Audience – Strategy #4: Answer Your Target Audience’s Questions Online
Having painstakingly crafted your podcast episodes and guest blogs, the viewers and readers will want to learn more from you and possibly even get to know you by asking questions online. You can find people gathering in places like forums, open or private Facebook groups as well as in paid membership groups. Serve them even better by giving answers. Not only can you deepen and solidify your connections, you will be able to showcase your expertise even more, which will gain yourself even more credibility.
How to Grow Your Online Course Audience – Strategy #5: Attend Industry Conferences Where Your Online Course Students Will Be
While more and more people can be found online, you ought to still network at events like industry conferences. Many still like to meet face to face as part of forming a connection or relationship. By putting yourself out there, you will be able to do interviews for your podcast or guest blogs as well as promote your online course.
But do not just hype yourself up. Get involved. Tweet, retweet, post, and reshare about the conferences. Give away freebies. Get acquainted with other podcasters, bloggers, and online course creators. The more connections you make, the more exposure you gain.
It is a great time to start teaching an online course. But your chances at success are slim if you do not build your audience. To gain a loyal following and customer base, launch your very own podcast or guest on popular ones; write terrific guest blogs; answer all of your audience’s questions online; and be present and involved at industry conferences. Your online course is sure to take off in no time.