Online courses have become an increasingly popular way to share expertise with an audience, and to get paid for what you have to say and teach. But the amount you can make selling online courses differs widely, depending on your price point and your audience.
The exciting part is the sheer potential of how much you can make — and we’re talking in terms of both impact and profit. Tony Delgado, founder of Disrupt and Disrupt Week Puerto Rico, shares that making your first million dollars gets a whole lot easier once you bring your product or service online. “Just do the math,” he says. “If 1,000 people buy your $1,000 course, you just made a million dollars overnight. All you really need to succeed is Wi-Fi and a dream.”
Here are seven tips for increasing your profit margin so your course can rake in seven figures.
1. Always offer more value than expected.
Nowadays, it’s quite easy to slap a high price tag on a course that shares mediocre value. Maybe the content is rushed, or maybe it doesn’t share the secrets your audience is really looking for and willing to invest in. Avoid this at all costs.
Stephen Campolo, creator of the 12-week Body Transformation Challenge, advises taking a customer-centric approach. “I started sharing my fitness knowledge on social media in an effort to help as many people as possible,” he explains. “That is when my life truly changed. All I wanted to do was help one person, which turned into thousands all over the world. This was only possible because I started to lead with value.”
2. Source testimonials for credibility by first offering the course for free.
Potential customers are far more likely to invest in a high-ticket course if they’re able to see tangible results from past customers. Particularly, numerical results work best. For example, if a prior customer is able to say that your Instagram marketing course doubled their following, that suggests significant credibility to someone who’s considering making the investment. Offer the course for free to a handful of early customers and ask for a testimonial in return.
3. Include upsell options.
Get customers into your sales funnel by selling them the lite version of your course, then offering them upsell options for more information. There are a few tricks for doing this tactfully, as shared by Thinkific. They include adding the upsell addition on the purchase-confirmation page or creating urgency by offering a limited-time, 20 percent-off discount.
4. Or, offer a payment plan for high-ticket courses.
You’re likely to sell far more high-ticket courses by offering a payment plan. A $5,000 investment is easier to digest if the student can pay $1,000 over the course of five weeks. Online-course expert Megan K. Harrison advises that you can increase the course price for payment plan options, too.
5. Make a Facebook community for the students.
More and more courses are offering a community for the students, which is another added bonus. Facebook communities are a great place for your students to crowdsource information if they have a question regarding course material, and many see it as an added bonus to connect with others committed to learn what they’re learning. Or, you could take this tip in a different direction; Facebook groups can also be a great host for your online course, so you can save money on the course platforms. Tanya Smith of Mindfully Marketing swears by this method thanks to Facebook’s new “social learning” capability, but advises to keep an email list of all members.
6. Invest in Facebook ads and Google Ads.
No matter how big your mailing list or group of followers, there’s no such thing as too many customers, especially since online courses are so easy to scale. So, reinvest capital in targeted Facebook ads and Google Ads that eye your key demographics. For example, if your course is on landing a dream job, target college seniors in metropolitan areas.
7. Share tidbits of advice for free on social media and in your emails.
Finally, potential customers are more likely to invest in your content the more it resonates with them. Offer smaller tidbits of advice and value for free on your social media, then include hashtags to increase visibility so people who are new to your content can see what you’re about. This strategy will also increase your social, which helps with both credibility and filling your sales funnel.
These seven tips will have you increasing your profit margins in no time, and you deserve to get paid for all the value you’re giving the world.