In what areas are you an expert or a knowledgeable amateur with an unquenchable thirst to learn more and share that information with others?
Turn that area into a steady stream of income by offering portions of it for free to build a social media following and email list. Then create an online course or membership site to turn those followers into customers.
Several digital marketing and social media experts use this as part of their revenue strategy. Below are a few tactics on how to begin to promote your new digital marketing course!
Leverage Social Media
One of the quickest ways to build a following of people who want to know more about exactly what you want to sell them is to be active on at least one social media channel. There are arguments as to which one is the best or if there is a need to be on more than one, but the really important thing to remember is that there needs to be active engagement on at least one.
Choose the one that fits best with the product or service being offered and then begin filling the feed with high quality, actionable, and useful information for those who are following.
As the number of followers grows, metric tracking will become increasingly useful as a tool in determining what information is most highly valued by your audience.
Included in the images, pins, posts, or tweets being distributed it is important to find ways to create long-term opportunities for reaching those individuals in order to offer exclusive content to them at a later date.
This is one of the driving goals of social media, to obtain contact information of a customer base that belongs exclusively to you. This guarantees offers won’t be lost in a steady stream of information generated on social media channels.
Social media is an important tool in helping people find your brand but it is not the best method of monetizing your fan base.
The benefits of email marketing are immense. There are many tools available to help individuals and small businesses build their email list.
- GetResponse – A well-known user-friendly email marketing platform that also offers automation features to make it easier to build your marketing strategy. It's affordably priced for startups and small businesses, too.
- MailChimp – Highly affordable and well known in the marketing industry. Hundreds of email templates, drag and drop design, autoresponders, and analytics integration are some of the reasons it has remained so popular.
- AWeber – A highly respected option that has a firm anti-spam policy and professional image. Autoresponder capabilities, social media integration, detailed tutorials for those who need extra help getting started.
- Constant Contact – Very popular with non-profit, small businesses, and associations due to the professional email templates and drag and drop features that don’t require any technical experience to utilize.
With both social media and email it is important to provide useful information to those who have welcomed you into their digital world. If they constantly receive invitations to make purchases most people will unfollow or unsubscribe.
Use these avenues to showcase expertise and build recognition and authority so that when sales pitches are delivered they are more impactful and conversion rates are higher.
Online Programs and Membership Sites
If you are an expert in any field it is possible to use that expertise to create an online course or membership site built specifically to share that information or skill set.
The growth of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) and the potential of online membership sites for ongoing revenue make them powerful tools for increasing one’s personal income by simply sharing information.
There is a slight difference between programs and membership sites. Online courses are designed primarily to distribute information in a somewhat standard class setting. Similar to online courses offered by universities, students will expect lectures or course notes, a syllabus, worksheets, and perhaps a test at the end to ensure mastery of the topic.
Membership sites are intended to foster a community environment. Communication and collaboration between members is encouraged and the person or company acts as a facilitator for this and offers ongoing education in the niche.
Deciding which is the best fit for your expertise is a personal decision that should be based on the level of continuing engagement one wishes to pursue with the audience.
Some prefer the ease of creating a course that can be purchased and followed by students independently with minimal interaction necessary.
Others enjoy building an active community that builds long-term relationships and offers substantial opportunities for the distribution of new products or offerings.
- Teachable – This is an online platform for creating and distributing online courses. It is easy to use even for people with limited technical experience and there is a free option for people who want to offer their knowledge to others at no charge.
- WishList Member – This is a plugin for WordPress sites that makes it very easy to use and manage for individuals or companies that already have a website. Features include unlimited types of memberships and membership levels, time released content, teaser content, and integration with other payment and affiliate networks.
- Kajabi – Another online education platform, the company offers cloud hosting which means fewer technical hassles and numerous customization options. There are some aspects of community building included that may make it more appealing to those who want to dip a toe into the water of actively interacting with students.
- Wild Apricot - A popular membership platform used extensively by businesses, trade associations, nonprofits, clubs, and organizations. This is a good choice for those who want to build a separate membership website. Numerous template and membership options.
Take the time in 2017 to turn your experience into a marketable asset that can produce continued revenue throughout the year. Stay active on social media while building an email list and use those contacts to promote classes or membership opportunities that will benefit your followers.
Let's discuss the questions below...
What type of online courses do you take now? Do you use a specific platform or site?
If you could only recommend one, what do you think is the best digital marketing course to take currently?
Have you created an online course before? Tell us about it!