Most solopreneurs, including coaches, mentors, and educators, eventually come to a crossroads. Their hard work of creating an online course and paying for high-priced tools to deliver that course has not had good results. In other words, their course is not selling.
Creating an online course takes time and money. For many, it's several weeks or months of work, recording and editing course content. Many creators spend several thousand paid to course maker consultants, writers, designers, etc. before even making a single cent.
So it can be heartbreaking and demoralizing to realize your course isn't selling. It can make you feel hopeless and seriously consider giving up seriously.
If you're feeling any of that, don't give up!
Your course not selling most likely has nothing to do with quality or value. There are several reasons your online course is not selling. The key is identifying the ones affecting your conversions and addressing those problems.
Why your online course isn’t selling
For most creators, their courses flop because they are either not promoting enough or made a miss-step somewhere. We'll share all the possible reasons your course isn't performing and offer solutions.
Here are things to consider that could be hindering your success.
1. Your course is priced too high
Problem: Considering the economy, the price of your online course could be hindering conversions. If your course is a few hundred dollars, the likelihood of someone registering decreases. It's more likely people will search for an alternative online course that fits their budget.
- Subscription: Offer students an option to pay a monthly, quarterly, or yearly fee for access. This often results in you making more revenue over time.
- Ask your existing audience. Simply asking your audience what’s a fair price along with other pricing-related questions is a good move.
Subkit.com gives you the ability to poll your audience with a series of questions about pricing and subscribing to your online course.
2. Your content seems too time-consuming
Problem: Folks are busy and pulled in many different directions throughout the day. The content may seem intimidating to digest all at once. Prospects may be worried they won't have enough time to consume your course content.
Solution: Break your courses down into digestible pieces. That pairs nicely with a subscription offer. In other words, deliver your course content weekly in bite-sized chunks and divide the price across multiple months or years. This will make your course easier to fit into people's schedules and it can, again, bring in more revenue.
You could allow your students to remain subscribed even after the final bite-sized course content is delivered. This eases things out for people, allowing them to take as much time as needed, and you make more revenue in the process.
Subkit allows you to break your courses into digestible pieces via content posts.
3. You’re not getting enough eyeballs (traffic)
Problem: You can’t sell a course without getting enough traffic on the offer, so look at your analytics. Is traffic increasing? Is traffic decreasing or stagnant?
If traffic is increasing, then you probably have a traffic quality problem. In other words, your website isn’t attracting the right type of prospects – people who are a good fit for your product. However, you certainly have a traffic problem if traffic is decreasing or stagnant.
Solution: You’ll need a better strategy for getting quality traffic to your site. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the most effective way to grow organically. That’s because search engines control most of the web’s traffic and searchers have high intent to purchase a product. Note Google, holds more than 80 percent market share but you can always leverage less competitive search engines.
Leveraging Subkit’s domain ranking will allow you to drive high quality traffic to your online courses.
4. Your traffic does not convert to paying customers
Problem: Creators, coaches, or educators who’ve had a course offered up for months with low or no sales typically means conversion-specific issues are at play.
Things like a confusing checkout process, subpar copy, bad landing page design, etc., can cause visitors to leave without adequately considering your offer.
Solution: Take a look at optimizing your pages for conversion. With some research, you can identify the proper steps to take.
Consider hiring a conversion rate optimization (CRO) expert to review your landing pages and address conversion issues.
Or leverage Subkit's membership hubs that drive conversions, by strategically focusing on customers subscribing to a plan.
5. You have no word-of-mouth marketing
Problem: Because you are not converting views to customers or customers are not consuming your online course, you have a weak referral volume. A strong referral strategy (word-of-mouth marketing) is an excellent way of acquiring more customers or students. One Nielsen study revealed that 92 percent of consumers trust opinions and suggestions from family and friends over advertising content or the given business.
Solution: Build and leverage a referral program. Or use an out-of-the-box referral tool that allows you to easily incentive both the referrer and referee. This can potentially increase your monthly sales tenfold.
Subkit offers you an out-of-the-box referral program that allows you to incentivize both the referrer and the one referred.
6. You’re using less-than-ideal platforms or software
Problem: There are many online course platforms on the market, but few stack up well when it comes to having the tools necessary for marketing your online course. Many lack good SEO features; worse, these platforms are often expensive, costing $2,400 a year on average.
If you're paying that kind of money but not getting the desired results, it's time for a change. You need a platform that gives your students a custom, professional learning experience and facilitates conversions and organic growth.
Solution: Use a course platform that fits the consumption needs of your customers and has a pricing structure that’s based on performance. Instead of paying a monthly fee, pay a percentage of your sale. That ensures you are getting the best return.
With Subkit, there are $0 upfront costs or monthly fees. If the business is not making revenue, Subkit does not make revenue.
7. The core benefit or value of your course isn’t clear to prospects
Problem: Your marketing messaging does not clearly demonstrate value. You know the transformation your online course brings to people's lives but no one will purchase your product if that value isn't clearly defined.
Solution: Concisely and repeatedly communicate your course’s value. Email marketing is very effective in this regard because you are able to directly communicate with potential customers and consistently present yourself as a thought leader. Over time that nudges your audience to convert to paying customers.
Subkit gives you the option to create newsletters and post those newsletters to a page. This increases your ability to demonstrate value with consistent messaging.
8. There isn’t enough trust yet
Problem: Your audience doesn't know you or your brand.
- Show the audience you are a real person or brand that cares. For example, share some personal experiences or examples of how you’ve helped others.
- Delight with free content. Value-driven content via email and social media are great ways to delight potential buyers. For example, you can make some of your course content free, allowing interested people to preview course content.
- Share testimonials. Many rely on the opinions of other people to help guide their actions. Social proof is important to prospects when buying from an unknown provider.
- Interact with your audience more. Do things that bring your audience together for interactions. For example, run a weekly webinar or Q&A session. This goes a long way towards building trust.
- Offer a solid money-back guarantee or trial. This is another way to build trust and address doubts or concerns.
Subkit gives you the ability to offer low to high-cost subscriptions with subscription tiers.
9. You do not have an SEO strategy
Problem: You have no idea how to market or leverage an SEO strategy.
Solution: It is easier than you may think but you just need to know the critical pieces to focus on. A good SEO strategy will typically include the following.
- Keyword research: This is discovering suitable content topics for your business, including commercial terms. You can find keywords using research tools like Ahrefs or Moz.
- Content development: This is creating content that targets the right keywords uncovered during your research. Subkit will allow you to check your rankings for all published content.
- Internal linking: The more you link to other pages within your site, the better. Google and others use links to discover content.
- Link building: This is a strategy for acquiring backlinks or links that point to your site from other websites. The number of backlinks you have is a very important search engine ranking factor, but all links are not equal.
You can leverage Subkit to tackle all of these factors easily. We offer strategy sessions that gives you quick SEO tactics based on your online course and Subkit.com has a great linking strategy you can leverage.
10. You’re not partnering with others
Problem: You’re tackling this alone. The road to wealth is challenging.
Solution: Partnering (collabing) with others is critical for any online course sales to reach its revenue goals. In fact, many businesses are built on partnerships. Selling an online course is no different.
It’s much easier to sell when someone the audience trusts recommends it. You can search for other online instructors who have complementary courses. Offer them collaboration opportunities. Make sure their courses are complementary to yours for the best results.
For example, you could cross-promote each other's work or build a new course product together. Similarly, you could bundle your products to offer a special deal or package. Subkit makes it really easy to collab and rev share. You can bundle courses, create tiered pricing, and work with various product types for subscription plans. Get early access.
You can do this!
Creating a course is one thing; getting it to sell is another. If your online course isn't selling, the first step is identifying the problems. Then tackle each one until it's resolved entirely. SEO, referrals, and collaborations are all essential modern strategies for increasing online course sales – and Subkit has many features that facilitate each. We handle all the technical aspects so you can focus on running your business.
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