7 things to do before you try to sell your online course with ads.

The foundations your course business needs to make the leap from organic content to fast-scaling paid ad campaigns.

Credit: James Ting

1. Build a foundation of proof

There’s no getting around it, if someone is going to buy any offer, they want a degree of certainty around the outcome. There’s no better way of building that than some proof that your methods work.

2. Get our first offer right for impulse first buys

The economics of running ads to sell low priced products can be tough.

3. Build the back-end

Businesses built on ads are like icebergs. What you see is only a fraction of what’s there.

4. Stay in your lane

Some of the biggest companies on earth sell a single product, and yet you think that you can cope with half-a-dozen services on your own!

  • Your status as an expert goes down, the more things you claim to be expert in
  • The energy you can put into each topic is less
  • You get harder to refer as people find it hard to describe you in a word or two. “The X guy” is cringe when you say it yourself, but incredibly powerful when someone else says it.

5. Don’t “compete”, collaborate

2 Things I discovered from years of “solo” entrepreneurship:

  1. The joy of solopreneurship is picking your own colleagues, not doing it on your own.
  2. Your closest competitors can be your closest friends

6. Create a high impact sales device

Social posts will warm up your audience and you can tip them into a first sale with the right tweet, email or LinkedIn post. But when you’re paying for every impression, you need to move people to the sale a llot quicker, and that means delivering value in a shorter space of time. It means getting your prospect excited about the solution you’ve found to their problem, in just a handful of touches.

  • Sales letters — yep, long ones, that set up the premise for the sale and pour on proof like grandma pours on custard. Perfect for your prospect’s first purchase.
  • Video sales letters — great at building familiarity and rapport in a world of anonymous social accounts. These are a really strong tactic to use for additional sales after the 1st checkout is done.
  • Webinars — my absolute favourite, even though they’re the hardest to recruit for — show real value, and then invite them into your program for the hand-holding version
  • Sales calls — a necessity the higher up the price range you go, and with the difficulty of gatting people to show up for calls like this, it’s worth looking for a specialist to handle these if sales isn’t your strongest suit.

7. Keep scouting for new distribution

A digital product business will give you more flexibility on how you run your days & weeks than any service business ever will, but they’re not entirely set-and-forget.

  • If Youtube worked, take your videos to Facebook, and Instagram.
  • If LinkedIn worked, look at other business platforms that are heavily text based like Quora and Medium.
  • If podcasts worked, maybe short audiobooks on Amazon/Audible could be your thing

The TL;DR Summary

Ads need to make a faster impact to make the sale than social content does, so before you open your wallet, make so you know you have a strong offer, proof that it works, a clear idea of your ideal customer, and multiple places where you can find them.

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Stephen Pratley

Writing about creating and selling digital products for training & consulting businesses. Get started at: https://copyandconversions.net