If you’re looking for the absolute best tools to use in order to create and market your online course business, then this article is for you. It’s not just about what tools are out there, though – it’s also about why these specific ones are so dang good at their jobs. Ready? Let’s do this!
In this article you’ll learn:
- Why you should not start an online course business
- What tools do you need to run an online course business regardless of budget
- Ready-made marketing strategy to get you started
What is an online course business and why should you start one?
An online course business is a business that sells courses that are delivered through the internet. There are many benefits to starting an online course business. For one, you can reach a global audience with your courses.
Secondly, you can sell your courses 24/7, which means you can make money while you sleep! And thirdly, starting an online course business is a great way to share your knowledge and expertise with the world.
Statistics show the E-Learning Industry is Expected to Reach $457.8 Billion by 2026. That’s a lot of zeroes! And it’s easy to see why starting an online course business is enticing to many.
If you’re an expert in a particular subject matter, then starting an online course business is a great way to monetize your skills. Plus, it’s a lot of fun! So what are you waiting for? Start your own online course business today!
Why you should not start an online course business
Before you jump in headfirst I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Starting an online course business is a terrible idea. Now, I know what you’re thinking – “But wait! I’ve seen people make a lot of money from selling online courses!” And you’re right, there are people out there who are raking in the cash by teaching others what they know.
Online courses are all the rage these days, but that doesn’t mean you should start your own online course business. Here are five reasons why:
- You’ll never make any money. Seriously, most people who take online courses are either looking for a freebie or they’re already wealthy enough to afford it. Unless you’re teaching a highly specialized skill that is in high demand, chances are you won’t make much money from your courses.
- You’ll never get any students. Even if you do manage to find a few students willing to pay for your courses, chances are they won’t stick around for long. With so many free and easily accessible online courses available, why would anyone choose to pay for yours?
- You’ll never be able to keep up with the competition. There are already thousands of online courses available on every topic imaginable. And new courses are being created every day. Unless you’re constantly creating new and innovative content, your courses will quickly become outdated and forgotten.
- You’ll never be able to reach a wide audience. Let’s face it, most people will never even hear about your courses unless you’re already a well-known expert in your field. And even then, there’s no guarantee they’ll be interested in what you have to say.
- With the wrong tools, you are doomed to fail. You can easily find yourself spending more money if you start off with the wrong tools. Many people go for the most popular options and end up having to buy more tools and connect everything together with digital ducktape.
Okay, now that I’ve convinced you not to start an online course business, let me show you the right tools to use if you’re determined to go ahead with it anyway.
What are the best tools for creating and marketing online courses
If you’re thinking about creating and marketing an online course, you’re going to need some tools to get the job done. First, you’ll need a course platform to host your course content. So that students can log in and begin to learn from the master.
You will need a website landing page to send people to so that you can collect leads. The landing page also serves as your opportunity to convince people on why they should registerer for your course.
Once you’ve got your course and landing page set up, you’ll need to start promoting it. The best way to do this is by using social media and email marketing. You can also use paid advertising through Google or Facebook, but be sure to track your results carefully so you don’t waste your money.
Depending on your budget I broke down the absolute best tools into 3 categories:
- Shoe String Budget
- Moderate Budget
- Big Baller Budget
The plans I create are all about being easy to use and having the ability for you to grow with your business.
For the sake of simplicity, the plans are created for contact lists under 2,5000 people. Prices may vary if you have more or less.
Shoe String Budget
For this budget, we are going to assume you have little to no money to spend on your business. So the tool below has a generous free option and integrated all you need to build your online coaching business.
Systeme.io is an all-in-one business solution that starts at $27 a month. It includes everything you need to build your online coaching business, from hosting your courses to building landing pages and sending emails.
The best part about Systeme.io is that it’s designed for people who are just getting started. So it’s easy to use and you don’t need any technical knowledge to get started.
If you have already started your business and find yourself having to use multiple different tools to get things done, Systeme.io can save you a lot of time and money by consolidating everything into one place.
- Systeme.io (Startup Plan): $27/month
- Cost after 1 year: $324
- Cost after 5 years: $1,620
*Systeme.io has a generous free tier that gives you 98% of the features. The free tier is limited, but if you only have one course it will be more than enough.
For this budget, we are going to assume you have a little bit of money to spend on your business but you don’t want to break the bank. The tools below are still affordable and will give you everything you need to build a successful online coaching business.
MailerLite is an email marketing service that starts at $10 a month (you will need the $30 a month plan). It’s an easy-to-use option that just works! It includes everything you need to send unlimited emails to your list.
MailerLite is a tool that will automate your email marketing so you can focus on other parts of the business. One of its hidden secrets, though not many people know about it or use it for this purpose (I did), there’s an easy-to-create landing page builder in which you can find great success sending traffic to it!
ThriveCart is one of my favourite tools for creating sales pages and funnels. The best part is you can grab a one-time fee as a lifetime deal for $495!
ThriveCart is an easy-to-use tool that allows you to create beautiful sales pages, checkout forms, upsells, and bump offers without any technical knowledge. It also integrates with all the major email marketing services so you can easily add people to your list after they purchase your course.
In the past year, they added a new learning management system called Learn. I know right, name clarity is on point! The reason I like ThriveCart as an all-in-one service where you can easily create courses, and share access instantly or drip-feeding.
- MailerLite (Advanced): $30/month
- ThriveCart: $495/lifetime
- Cost after 1 year: $855
- Cost after 5 years: $2,655
Big Baller Budget
For this budget, we are going to assume you have a little bit of money to spend on your business but you want the best of the best. The tools below will give you everything you need to build a successful online coaching business.
ActiveCampaign is an email marketing service that starts at $79 a month. The marketing automation features of this company are one of the most exciting aspects about them. You can automate your email lists, deals, and contact management all with just a few clicks!
What’s great about ActiveCampaign is that it can easily grow with your business. As your business begins to take off, you’ll need a way to keep track of your sales and customers. ActiveCampaign allows you to do just that with their amazing CRM system. This will help you scale your business without having to worry about losing any important data!
Leadpages is a popular landing page builder that costs $49 a month. With Leadpages, you can create beautiful landing pages that are optimized for conversion. This means that more people will sign up for your course or buy your product!
The best part about Leadpages is that it integrates with almost all email marketing platforms, making it super easy to add your leads to your email list. This is important because it allows you to capture leads and turn them into customers!
This makes it super easy to set up your landing pages and start driving traffic to them.
Teachable is a popular learning management system (LMS) that will cost $119 a month. With Teachable, you can easily create and sell online courses. The platform handles all of the technical aspects of running an online course business so that you can focus on creating great content!
In addition to all of this, Teachable has a built-in payment system that allows you to start selling your courses as soon as they go live. This is important because it allows you to make money while you sleep!
Teachable also has a great affiliate program that allows you to promote your courses and earn a commission on every sale. This is a great way to get people to promote your courses for you!
- ActiveCampaign (Lite): $79/month
- Leadpages (Standard): $49/month
- Teachable (Pro): $119/month
- Cost After 1 year: $2,964
- Cost after 5 years: $14,280
How to market your online course business
You’ve selected all the right tools and put hours of work into developing your online course, and now you’re ready to start marketing it to the world. But where do you start?
One effective strategy is to use a sales funnel. A sales funnel is a process that helps you to lead potential customers through your marketing and into your sales process. By having a sales funnel in place, you can more effectively market your courses and increase your chances of making sales.
To make your marketing efforts as successful and profitable for you, it’s important that we know who our target audience is. Once they’re identified at the beginning of this process then every step following will be tailored towards reaching those specific customers!
To help explain I’ve built out a Customer Journey Roadmap for you. Feel free to download it and use it for your online coaching business.
Online Course Business Sales Funnel aka Customer Journey Roadmap (this sounds sexier). I am also going to assume you already have your course outline done.
To be honest I would not worry too much about creating the course content until you have people sign up. Then follow the rule of staying one lesson ahead.
Simply put, build out each lesson in your outline as it comes along. This is not because we want to procrastinate this is more so that you have room to modify any of the lessons to help your students.
Build Your Landing Page
You will want to start by building the landing page. This will be the page where you drive all of your traffic. The goal of this page is to get people to sign up for your email list. So that you later have them register for your course. You’ll want to use a tool like Systeme.io, MailerLite or Leadpages to easily create your landing pages.
To do this, you’ll need to create an opt-in freebie. This is something that you give away for free in exchange for someone’s email address. It can be access to a webinar, a free 15 minutes call, or a week free of your course. It’s important that this freebie is directly related to your course topic so that those who sign up are interested in what you have to offer!
Once you have finished building your landing page with targeted copy, images, and your opt-in offer it is now time to build out your automated email sequence.
Write & Automate Your Email Sequence
The next step is to create an email sequence that will nurture your leads and build trust with them. This is important because you want to make sure that your leads understand the value your course has and how it will help improve whatever roadblock they are facing.
Remember, people buy from those they know, like, and trust. A great way to do this is by using an email sequence. An email sequence is a series of emails that are sent out over a period of time (usually 3-7 days). These emails build on each other and provide value to the reader with the end goal of having them signup for your course.
This is where tools like Systeme.io, MailerLite, and ActiveCampaign come into play. Each tool will allow you to write out and automate a 3-5 day email sequence.
With your email sequence created with the right copy, you will want to create your sales page and connect it to your payment processor. Now I didn’t bring up which payment processor to use here as most people use either Paypal or Stripe.
Build Your Sales Page
Your sales page is where you will make your actual course sales. This page needs to be well written with persuasive copy that speaks to the pain points of your target audience. You’ll also want to include social proof such as logos, testimonials and reviews from past students you’ve worked with.
It’s important that your sales page is congruent with the message you’ve been sending out in your email sequence. You don’t want to have a disconnect as this will only hurt your conversions
To help increase the conversion rate on your sales page, I recommend using a tool like Systeme.io, ThriveCart, or Teachable. You want to make sure to connect your payment processor of choice so you can collect and deposit the funds!
Putting It All Together
Once you have your landing page, email sequence in place, and sales page built, the next step is to start driving traffic to your landing page. You can do this through paid advertising, organic traffic, social media, email marketing, referral, or a combination of all five!
Start Driving Traffic
Now that you have your sales funnel set up it’s time to start driving traffic to your landing page. The best way to do this is by using a combination of paid traffic (Facebook Ads, Google Ads), organic traffic (SEO, social media, email marketing), and referrals aka affiliate traffic.
You can also use other marketing strategies such as content marketing, influencer outreach, or even PR to get people to your site
The key is to start driving traffic and seeing what works best for your business. From there you can scale up your efforts and start making sales!
Once you have people in your email nurture sequence you will want to start uploading your course content to your learning management system
You’ll want to use a tool like Systeme.io, ThriveCart, or Teachable. This will make managing your students and course content a breeze!
Total Cost Breakdown
|Shoe String Budget||Moderate Budget||Big Baller Budget|
|Cost After 1 Year:||$324||$855||$2,964|
|Cost After 5 Years:||$1,620||$2,655||$14,280|
Now It’s Your Turn!
In this article, you’ve seen the absolute best tools for creating and marketing your online course business. Whether it be choosing a platform to host courses or deciding on what kind of content to create, we hope that these tips will help get you started in the right direction! With all of these options at your fingertips, there is no excuse not to get your business up and running as soon as possible!
Now it’s time for you to take action and start building your online course business. Remember to start with a great landing page, write & automate your email sequence, build out your sales page, and then start driving traffic!
If you’re ready to get started with your online course business, the first step is to book a consult and integration session with me! I’ll assist you in selecting the correct tools and integrating everything for your business.
So what are you waiting for? Get started today and begin building your online course empire!
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