Online courses are becoming increasingly popular every single day. More and more students prefer online learning over traditional one due to its flexibility, availability, and self-paced learning.
However, the question of the day is “How to get the first students?” in this already highly competitive market. Well, if you want to know that, then keep reading!
The following article covers:
Why is it hard to get first students?
You may have been asking yourself this question for a while, but the answer actually is very simple. It is hard to get your first students as you are a beginner in the market and do not have many examples of social proof, any sort of public image, or awareness.
People simply do not trust those who are new unless they prove themselves. However, everyone, even the most successful course creator nowadays, was a beginner at some point. Therefore, by researching their experience and testing various methods, we figure out the Top 7 Best Ways to Get Your First 70 Students.
#1 Offer special discounts
Offer special discounts and create a feeling of missing out to push the customers to make a purchase. Even when you are new on the market, offering special and time-limited discounts alongside good visuals and a trustworthy course description will increase the chances of making sales and getting the first students.
Also, you can share the discount and other offers via email campaigns and landing pages that will also help you to generate leads to add to your email list.
Most likely, if you are offering a discount for a course, it will be visible on the separate page of your website where you publish courses, and that is completely okay. However, one tip that I recommend you to use is to announce the discount on the home page as well. E.g., you can place a website pop-up that notifies customers about available discounts to make sure that they are aware of the special offers no matter what page they are on.
#2 Use your social accounts, network, and friends
Do not be afraid to Share and use call-to-actions that motivate visitors to share as well. Social media and your social network are more powerful than you realize. When the course, landing page, and website are ready, make sure everyone within your network is aware of that.
Publis on various social media accounts, do promotional campaigns and paid to advertise. Do not forget to use your friends and family for a little support with simple sharing, and use efficient call-to-actions in ad campaigns.
Benefits of Social Media Marketing
- Increases brand awareness
- Contributes to brand authority image and creates social proof of a brand being reliable
- Cost-effective marketing, especially with the right targeting
- Gathers real-time data about your real-time customer’s
- Accessibility - you can post about anything related to your business on social media at any given time from everywhere; all you need is a smartphone and access to the internet
Tips for Efficient Social Media Marketing
- Know your audience. Let’s make it clear. Do you want to succeed? Well, then you need to provide supply on demand to meet the equilibrium point. And the only way to do so is to know to who you are trying to sell the product. The overall success of any type of marketing depends on how well you are aware of the current needs and wants of your target customers.
- Create a strategy. Every platform is different. Therefore you need a specific strategy adjusted to each of them. The first step would be to choose the right platforms for your product. Then, create a content plan.
- Be consistent. If you already know your audience and have a content plan that is great. However, to continue growing and gain organic traffic, you need to be consistent. One thing that social media platforms have in common is that all of their algorithms love consistency.
- Consider how do you want to position the brand, stick to a certain color palette and style, and create a recognizable brand image.
- Create engaging and interesting content. Okay, you are an online course creator who tries to promote their services; good. However, your customers do not want to see just the promotional content. Make sure to share lots of interesting & educational content with them, thus increasing engagement rates and trust factor.
- Track and analyze in order to grab an overall idea about the engagement rates, impressions and base your further growth strategy on the current data.
#3 Publish and share the introduction lesson or webinar free
You probably have no idea how helpful this would be, especially if you are a beginner. Why? Because a free lesson will:
- Better and more efficiently introduce a new student to the course
- Contribute to the increasing trust towards you
- Introduce students with your teaching style (if you use the right body language, voice intonation, etc., this will increase the chances of converting a potential customer to a real-time customer)
Therefore,e take advantage of this opportunity and make the first lesson or a whole webinar for free. It won’t take too much time or effort; however, it will increase your chances of selling your product. Plus, an introductory lesson can create an interest in the whole course.
#4 Start a blog on your website and guest posting
Suppose you want to increase the trust factor of your audience and gain organic traffic through search engines, then start your blog and guest posting. Let’s take a look at the benefits of both.
Benefits of Guest Posting
- Gives you an incredible opportunity to build a quality and natural backlink profile.
- Allows you to boost referral traffic.
- Increases brand awareness and exposure to the new audience
Benefits of Blog
- Organic traffic. With a blog, you can increase brand awareness and generate organic traffic, especially if you do the right SEO optimization.
- With the right posts, you will have an opportunity to convert website visitors into leads.
- Build up good customer relationship
- Excellent for long-term results, audience engagement and exposure
#5 Answer relevant questions in forums & groups
Visit various forums and groups, skim through them and find questions that will potentially help you to promote your course and get students. For example, someone may be asking where they can learn to do X thing. So, if you offer the X thing in the course, simply give them a recommendation and course link.
To ease up the search process, type the questions you would like to answer to the search engine, and it will bring up relevant results on the SERPs.
#6 Partner with influencers
Another method to promote the online courses that will help you immediately et new students is influencer marketing. People trust influencers as they seem more real and down to earth. So, if a favorite influencer recommends a product, then most likely most of the people following them will check it out, and some portion of the audience will definitely make a purchase.
Therefore, use this to team up with social media influencers and promote your online course increasing the trust factor towards your new business and gaining public recognition faster than ever.
Ways to Partner up with Influencers
- Barter. Barter is a type of collaboration where you provide certain items in your case, access to courses to the influencer for free, and they, in return, share about the course on their social media accounts.
- Affiliate. With this type of collaboration, you won’t pay the influencer beforehand; however, you will need to provide an affiliate link, which they will place on their social media, introducing your product to the audience. And the influencer will get a certain percentage, e.g., 20-30%, from each purchase made through the link.
- Paid. The last option is to simply pay for the post or a few stories where they tell about your course and impressions and leave the link to your website, encouraging the audience to make a purchase.
Tips for Influencer Marketing
- Choose quality over quantity. When choosing an influencer for advertising, prefer those who have a high-quality audience. Maybe you will be able to purchase an ad from just 2 or 3 influencers instead of 10 but believe me; the high-quality ones will bring better results.
- Choose influencers that have the right audience. When choosing an influencer, make sure that their audience’s interest matches your audience’s interest. E.g., a beauty influencer’s audience is less likely to purchase a business-specific course rather than a course related to beauty or lifestyle. So, if you offer a business-related course, choose influencers that talk about business, investments, etc.
- Ask audience analytics and reach results for the last week or two to understand how many people it will reach.
- Build long-term influencer relationships in order for the strategy to work. If they do an advertising one time, it won’t be as good as if they recommend the same product or various products from the same brand multiple times.
#7 Give them value and great support
Giving your audience value is what will turn a prospect into a real-time client. First, ensure that you have a responsive and polite support team that will assist the site visitors 24/7, quickly, and efficiently. When you have support available on your website both as a real-time support team, chatbot, and FAQ section, that eases and enhances the customer experience.
Also, make sure that you offer not just learning but a good learning experience. Your courses should be built around providing value to the customer. E.g., you can make an interactive, engaging course or live training sessions where you will also encourage teamwork and develop various other skills of students besides those that the course content aims to develop.
Work hard, wait and get the results
The last thing to remember is that results won’t come immediately. No one talks about how successful people got to this point; they tend to ignore these people’s struggles. What made them successful? Their strong will, consistency, and diligence.
Therefore, never give up and keep going. You will definitely achieve success. To ease up your journey, I will recommend choosing the right platform on which you can host your business. The right platform will save your time, energy, and effort and give you an incredible opportunity to manage every aspect of your business from one place.
Does such a platform even exist? Yes, it does. That is - Uteach. With Uteach, you can create a website in less than 2 minutes, turn it into a full features e-learning platform, and make money right away.
Stop wasting your time, and start right away!