Online courses are becoming increasingly popular. People are looking for alternative sources of information and are willing to sign up for courses that promise to enhance their understanding of a particular topic. In freelancing, whether it’s writing, social media marketing, or graphic design, to give just three examples, offering an online course is an excellent way of engaging with potential clients and proving your expertise. In this post, we talk you through eight ways in which you can use your skills and network as a freelancer to create, promote, and sell your online course.
1] Consider your course structure.
Online courses exist in many forms. The first thing you will need to decide is how to structure yours to make sure it’s appealing to your audience. Ask yourself the following questions:
- How will I present the information to the participants? Via video? Custom graphics? Text?
- How can participants network with one another before, during, and after the course?
- Will the course be compatible with various operating systems? [Mac, Windows, Linux, etc.]
- How long will the course be, and how will I split the modules?
Ultimately, structuring your course is one of the most important first steps. When you know what form the course should take, you can begin planning content and thinking about how to market your course to your desired audience.
2] Clearly articulate your offer.
If someone is to sign up for an online course, they need to understand exactly how it will benefit them. Instead of launching a ‘social media’ course, you need to be as specific as possible. For instance:
“Learn the ten guaranteed steps to organically grow your following on Instagram.”
Articulating the core offer of your course is vital, as it will enable you to position and market your course in the right way. While you can incorporate many other strategies and topics within the course, you should be very clear about the main benefit of signing up for your course from the outset.
3] Define your target audience and marketing strategy.
The next thing to think about is who will sign up for your course. Have you designed it for students? Is it best suited to entrepreneurs? Or is the content perfect for small business operators and their operational teams? Before you begin developing content, you need to know who your audience is. Try and be as specific as possible, as this will help you to integrate relevant examples into the material.
When you know who your audience is, you can then think about how you will market your course. Your marketing strategy will consider how to reach out to your desired audience and how best to engage with them. When you’re clear about who the course is for and how you will get it in front of them, it’s time to begin planning your content.
4] Produce compelling written, graphic & video content.
Your course needs to be of high quality. There’s no point in investing time and money into an online course if you’re not going to produce something that’s exceptional. Our advice is to put together a core team that you trust to complete the work to a high standard. You can find skilled and experienced writers, graphic designers, and video producers on RadialHub who are ready to bring your idea for an online course to life.
5] Decide where to host your course.
Next, you will need to decide where to host your course. If you attract high volumes of traffic to your website, you might decide to host your course on your site. However, that will require lots of technical knowledge and may slow your site down considerably. You could use a platform like Udemy to create and launch your course and make use of some of their templates to get you started. You can always link out to your course from your website and social media sites.
6] Confirm pricing, discounts, and offers.
At this stage, you’re ready to begin selling your course. But how to price it? You need to begin by conducting some market research into similar courses and look at how much others have charged. You don’t need to copy their exact price, but be sure to price yours in a similar bracket so you can be sure to attract clients.
When deciding on your price, consider the following to attract even more potential clients:
- Offer an ‘early bird’ discount to those that sign up before a certain date.
- Incentivize participants with a free gift for completing the course. This doesn’t have to be something tangible; it could be a service or consultation, for instance.
- Give discounts for teams that sign up for your course. So, if three people from the same office join you, provide a group discount.
- Link the course into your services as a freelancer. For example, you might say that once completing your course, clients have access to your services for 25% off for six months.
Working out your pricing is about much more than just deciding on a figure and sticking to it.
7] Understand how your course ties in with your other work.
Ultimately, the whole point of your online course is to attract new clients. You need to make sure you and your customers know how the course ties in with the service that you provide. If you’re a writer, for example, how will your creative writing course attract clients to the services you offer? There are so many ways that you can appeal to clients and tie your course in with your services; you just need to fully understand what they are, so you can maximize your new client base upon the completion of your course.
8] Include a call to action that encourages follow-up from course participants.
When the course is over, what happens next? Is there somewhere your clients can go to find out more information about you and your work? Is there another course or further follow-up activities that you can direct them to? Don’t forget to round things off nicely and think about the next steps for your course participants. It’s important they don’t just complete the course and forget about it the following day!
Many freelancers in the present day recognize the benefits of offering an online course to their potential clients. It indicates they’re an expert in their freelancing field and encourages clients to engage with them before signing up for their services. We hope you’ve found this post helpful and use it as a guide to help you launch your online course. Whatever industry you’re in, it’s a great way to attract new clients as a freelancer.