Online Business – Six Steps to Starting Your First Online Business – Part 4

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Online Business Part 4 – Marketing

Whether or not you have an online presence, your ability to market your course or product is a vital part of your sales plan.

There are a number of considerations to consider first.

Will you be posting your course/product on third party market places? These include Udemy, Skillshare, Learning.ly, eBay, Amazon Video Direct etc.

If you do then meeting the requirements for each platform will need to be part of your plan and should be considered in detail in the production phase.  It is much easier to upload your course to several platforms at a time when you create it than it is to do this after the event.

However, do not assume that Udemy or Skillshare will do all the marketing for you.  You need to promote your courses to your audience and community yourself if you are going to be successful.

Ranking in Udemy

Udemy Key Tips

Ranking in Udemy is dependent on a number of key variables including Student engagement but when you are starting off, you need to build the numbers of students in your courses to demonstrate to Udemy that your courses are of high quality.

The best way to start doing this is by offering free coupons to your community, encouraging them to enroll, take the course and leave you an “appropriate” review.

You must ensure that your personal biography and photo help you to stand out from the crowd.

You should engage with your students when ever possible, respond to their questions within 3 days and comment on their reviews when they are posted. It is also a good idea to set up an automated message for students welcoming them to your course and when they complete the course.

Udemy Categories and Sub Categories

Choosing the right category for your course is important. Typically, you will find that your course fits more than one sub category. If this is the case, choose the sub-category with the fewest courses in it.

Udemy Promotional Messages

This is the best way to sell your courses on Udemy and you should be taking the opportunity to send out both of your promotional messages to your students every month.  Not doing this is leaving money on the table.

Skillshare

Skillshare is a subscription based market place and they reward instructors for each new sign up by a student who is subscribed to the platform.  When you publish a new course, every existing student receives an email to let them know the course is live.

Courses are typically shorter than on Udemy, 10 to 30 minutes and must include a “project” for the students to complete to practice their new “skill”.

The best strategy is to promote your courses to your community and to publish new courses regularly.

With the recent difficulties at Udemy over the price change in April 2016, Skillshare has really benefited and is increasing its students, instructors and courses at a fast rate.

Facebook Groups

There are literally hundreds of Facebook groups which offer the opportunity to promote your online courses. Don’t just look for the Udemy or Skillshare groups but also seek out and join groups which relate to your topic.  Spend some time getting to know people and then ask the admin if you can promote your course to the community in the group.  You may have to share some of your revenue with the owner of the group.

Google Plus Communities

Although Google Plus is a lot smaller than Facebook, its members are very active and promoting your courses to relevant communities on Google Plus can be beneficial to sales

Best Black Hat Forum

This is a somewhat controversial site but it has a section dedicated to Udemy and Skillshare courses where you can promote free coupons and discount coupons but only for Udemy.

Email Marketing

Every Online Entrepreneur should be building their email list using an email service provider.  These include:

  • Mail Chimp
  • Aweber
  • Active Campaign
  • Convertkit
  • Infusionsoft

You will need to master the skill of creating a matrix of marketing materials which include:

  • A lead magnet
  • A landing page
  • An optin box
  • An email list
  • Thank you pages
  • Email welcome sequences
  • Email sales sequences
  • Email nuturing sequence

These are all designed to build rapport with the people who sign up to your email list and whom you should spend time cultivating and providing value to.

The saying, “The money is in the list” is TRUE!

Search Engine Optimisation

The art of Search Engine Optimisation is focused on helping the search engines, particularly Google, to be able to find your content and your course or product.

Search Engine Algorithms

The algorithm is a mathematical formula

There are aspects you can influence directly e.g keywords

Other aspects you can influence indirectly e.g course quality.

Unlike Google, it is not thought that the Udemy search algorithm changes very frequently.

Keywords

When considering keywords, ask yourself what students are searching for.  A solution to a pain or problem will be high on the list.  Think about your student avatar and what their needs and wants are. Your title needs to speak to them in their terms.

Choose keywords that sell.

  1. Identify your primary and secondary keywords
    1. Primary keywords in title, if possible twice
    2. The biggest mistake you can make is not having keywords in your course titles and particularly having your primary keyword at the start of your course title.
    3. Secondary keywords in sub title. Include one in title if it makes sense
    4. Now create your title and sub title. Include a primary benefit in your title and at least three benefits, using secondary keywords in your subtitle.
    5. See if you can combine keywords to create word combinations which are keyword rich.
    6. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your course titles and change them from time to time.
    7. If you are following my strategy of hub and spoke, building clusters of courses around key topics can you start to dominate a keyword category? If you can when a prospective student searches for your course keyword, they will see that you are the go to expert in that topic through your domination of the search results.
    8. How can you expand your secondary keywords to reach more students? Do your broaden the reach horizontally or vertically.  Do your targeted keyword get more specific or more general?
    9. Don’t’ let any other characters or symbols touch your keywords. Make sure that there is a space between them.

How to Create the Perfect Course Title

  1. Total length is not important
  2. Primary keyword at the front
  3. One or two word keyword, (there is no long tail in Udemy)
  4. Try to create combinations of words which cover several secondary keywords
  5. Ensure you have a high ratio of keyword terms to other words
  6. Communicate the solution to a problem
  7. Include a benefit in the title if you can
  8. Check listings of other courses for different word combinations

How to Create the Perfect Sub Title

  1. Use all the characters
  2. Include primary keyword again
  3. Include secondary keywords
  4. Explain at least three benefits of the course
  5. As high a keyword to non keyword ratio pas possible. This can be lower than in your title.

Online Business Part 5 Lead Generation

In the next part of this post, we are going to consider Lead Generation.  Just Click here to go to Part 5

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