You’ve probably heard how people like Pat Flynn (who earns in excess of $167 000 per month) are killing it with knowledge commerce businesses…
While you too can make money from your knowledge, don’t go into building online courses for profit blindly, because you’re likely to be disappointed when you don’t make a profit from your commerce.
Harsh. But true.
As with any business, there are certain things needed to make it successful, and that’s what’s covered in this article: a 5-step strategy to making a profit by building a knowledge commerce business.
#1: Know your target audience
There’s a reason knowing your target audience is right at the top of this list – because marketing efforts can’t succeed if you don’t know who you’re trying to sell to.
For example, you would market skinny jeans differently than you would knitting needles, because the audience is different: skinny jeans are likely to be worn by younger, hip people while older women are the generalised audience for knitting needles.
#2: Know what makes your course unique
It’s ok if your niche doesn’t have much opposition, but the minute your online course faces competition, you need to have something that separates you from the rest…
Enter the UVP; the unique value proposition…
What makes your course different to others?
Why should people register for your course when they could register for the one at XYZ?
You’ve got to offer your target audience a benefit they can’t get anywhere else.
#3: Compile your online course
The next step is the compilation of the content of your online course. The content has to be centered around the needs of your target audience, and to have maximum impact, here are a few guidelines:
- Have a firm objective: your course must achieve one firm objective; it must deliver what it promises.
- Modules: it would be better to sell a few courses instead of one massive one. Done that way, completing it does not seem like trying to tackle Mount Everest, and you can start selling a lot sooner too. Make the amount of modules digestible, remembering that the longer the course, the more chance the learner will fail to complete it.
- Length of modules: its recommended the length of each module be more than 15 minutes, but less than 30 minutes.
- Small wins: although online courses are popular, very few people actually complete them, and this impacts your reputation. To get more people to finish, include small wins in your content.
#4: Promote your course
All the steps in this article about selling online courses are vital, but no matter how brilliant or life-changing your content is, without marketing, you will not build a successful knowledge commerce business.
Because if not for marketing, how will people know about what you’re offering?
Here are some basic tips to start marketing your course:
- Create an effective landing page. A landing page is where you send all your online traffic to. It acts as the sales rep for your course. On the landing page will be the reasons why people should sign up for your course. This can be complex to set up, but with complete online course hosting platforms like Kajabi, which includes landing pages, this is made simple.
- Blog to attract traffic. Content via a blog is what attracts search engines to your website. On each blog post should be a call to action, sending people to your course’s landing page. Add content regularly and make sure it appeals to your target audience and that it is related to the content of your course.
- Nurture a social media presence. If you have a business, you have to have a social media presence, because people often look for solutions on these channels, and if they can find your competitors instead of your business, they’re going to go with your competitors.
#5: Upsell for more business
Upselling is essential for repeat business, and also the easiest method to make more money, if it’s done right…
But before you can upsell anything, your first online course has to be good enough to compel people to buy into something else of yours.
It is not likely that students will sign up for more of your courses if they don’t complete the first one. Therefore, you need to ensure that your course includes elements that make it engaging, motivating and above all, which adds value. Learn about the psychology of effective online courses.
It’s a good idea to break up your knowledge about one topic and instead of making one big course, create a few courses out of it. That way, you can charge less for each course to make it more affordable, and naturally upsell learners to the others over a period of time.
- Cross reference courses in training content.
- Add a “what’s next” to the end of the course, leading them to the next one.
- Provide discounts to learners who register for the next course.
With proper planning, starting your own knowledge commerce business can be profitable.
Follow this 5-step plan to make sure you start making money as fast as possible:
- Know the people you’re trying to sell to.
- Offer something unique that no one else offers.
- Carefully create the content of your course.
- Promote your course to your target audience.
- Upsell for repeat business.