You’ve got the skills, the knack, and insider know-how. Whether it’s crafting immersive simulations, mastering LMS integrations, or designing interactive assessments, your prowess is a powerhouse ready to be unleashed.
Or perhaps your situation is a bit less ‘volcanic.’ Maybe you’re just starting in the field of eLearning and instructional design but are ready to craft engaging courses that will bolster your income.
Whatever the case, selling courses goes beyond design knowledge and skills. It’s a whole new ballgame.
And the competition is intense.
But rest assured that the world of successful eLearning course sales isn’t an enigmatic club accessible only to a select few. Nope, it’s a realm that you, too, can conquer if armed with insights, strategies, practice, and a hefty dose of passion for creating transformative learning experiences.
Consider this article your trusty map. From creating profitable courses and selecting a hosting platform to pricing and promoting your works – discover all the essentials you need to kick-start your eLearning business.
So, let’s dive right in!
1. Crafting Profitable Courses
Your expertise is not about knowing the subject. For this, you have subject matter experts. You are the architect of learning experiences. You transform overwhelming, hard-to-digest knowledge into compelling stories that help people grow.
But here’s the thing.
How do you balance the quality of your courses and the time you spend creating them?
Sure, some companies need complex training with VR activities, fully customized animations, etc. But they are in the minority. Most of your prospects are looking for standard yet engaging and interactive courses.
The best way to craft such content is by using an authoring tool that’s built specifically for this task, like iSpring Suite. It takes away all the coding and complex manipulations you have to go through when designing a course with other advanced alternatives.
As a result, you spend very little time on development, thanks to smart features, templates, and ready-made content, and produce a high-quality product that companies are willing to pay for.
Here are a few ideas on how to make a course with iSpring Suite that sells:
Make it interactive
A course is not a lecture; it’s a conversation. Incorporate elements like interactions, quizzes, drag-and-drop exercises, or clickable hotspots so learners are engaged in the learning process.
There are 14 templates for interactions and assessments in iSpring Suite. Just select the one that works best for your course, add multimedia and texts, and your interactive content is ready.
Learning through action
Create scenarios to let learners build skills as they do in real life – through trial and error. Scenarios aren’t limited to traditional customer service simulations. They can address any topic, from leadership to fire safety, and abstract topics, like a demand curve.
Thanks to iSpring’s intuitive design, creating such content is easy. You just need to create scenes one by one, select characters and backgrounds, add reply options, and set branching by simply dragging an arrow from one scene to another.
Moreover, since not many IDs create scenarios, these will be a deliverable that will make you stand out in the market. Learn how to create them from scratch in Clark Aldrich’s article on role-play training.
Adding a personal touch
Every company is unique. Starting from industry specifics and ending with brand identity, multiple factors help them stand out from competitors or all of the other organizations you sell your courses to.
And they want your course to reflect their uniqueness. Training should feel custom-made and personalized — even if you sell the same course to multiple clients.
iSpring Suite empowers you to provide each of your clients with this personal touch without spending hours redesigning your project:
- Create custom characters that resonate with a client’s team. With just a few clicks, you can completely change a character, their ethnicity, profession, the color and style of their clothing, and other parameters.
- Adapt visuals. Change background images and other visuals so they are industry-specific. Let’s say your original course included standard office backgrounds, but now you sell it to a pharma company. Change the setting in a few clicks by selecting ready-made content from an extensive built-in library.
- Customize the course player to reflect brand identity. This might seem like a minor issue, but can you imagine McDonald’s team taking a course in the blue-purple colors of Taco Bell? No. These things matter. All you need to do to personalize colors and fonts in the entire course is make a few clicks.
So, here’s what you bring to the market: a full-fledged course that engages learners and helps them grow, and is personalized to each of your clients. That’s a great start.
2. Pricing Your Course
After working sleepless nights, the course might seem invaluable. But as you know, you still need to put a price on it. And it has to be realistic.
At the same time, when deciding on the price, you should not only consider how much a company might be willing to pay for it but also how much money you need to work and live. Start with calculating your expenses, and then, once you know how much money you need to make ends meet, decide on how many courses you need to create and sell and how much to charge for each of them.
Here are some of the most popular pricing models for courses. Check them out to see which one is the best fit for your course:
You sell your course to a client just once. This approach works well for specialized, in-depth courses that offer timeless value, as corporations are often seeking long-term investments.
Companies pay for access to your course for a period of time, such as every month or every year. It’s as though they rent your course. This model is ideal for courses that require continuous skill development or regular updates to stay current in a fast-paced industry.
You sell not a single course but a package of courses. Bundling related courses at a discounted rate (if compared to buying every course from the package separately) can appeal to businesses looking to upskill their workforce across multiple areas.
You offer a portion of your course for free, but the full version or advanced features are available for payment. This approach is effective for courses with valuable certifications, advanced content, or premium features, like expert feedback to learners.
Select the right pricing model depending on the nature of your course and your goals. Flexibility and value are vital as you tailor your pricing to meet the needs of your clients.
3. Selecting Where to Host and Sell Your Training Courses
After creating your training course and pricing it, the next step is to choose the right place to sell it. The two most popular options are a course marketplace platform and your own website.
Let’s see the pros and cons of each.
A course marketplace, but not Udemy
Platforms like Udemy, Coursera, and Skillshare are well-known for hosting a wide variety of courses. These platforms provide access to a large user base, but they have some limitations, the most serious one being that you can’t upload your SCORM courses.
SCORM courses are the foundation of online corporate training. While training often includes training videos and even complete video courses, the basis is SCORM.
If you remove SCORM, you take away interactivity and assessments. In other words, you eliminate all the fun.
So, look for some other course marketplace platforms that empower you to sell SCORM courses. iSpring Market is one example. Here, you can create your marketplace and sell any content you wish, including SCORM courses.
The platform provides you with sales and traffic reports, flexible pricing and discount options, and everything else you need for your eLearning business success.
Another great option is to sell courses via your website. This gives you complete control over pricing, branding, and customer relationships. You can set up an e-commerce platform using tools like WooCommerce for WordPress.
However, you need to be tech-proficient or hire someone to build it from scratch.
You can also host your courses in an online storage and sell them by simply sending course files to your clients. But you’ll have to perform lots of tedious tasks, like managing payment, sending course previews to your clients, manually tracking your sales, etc. A marketplace or a website will automate these tasks and give you more time to work on new courses.
3. Promoting Your Course, or Becoming a Savvy Marketer
Now that you have a course and are ready to sell it, there’s one last thing to do: find clients. Just like designing courses, effective promotion requires strategy. So, summon up your inner marketer.
Here are a few practices that will help:
Practice #1: Build a robust online presence
Much like designing captivating courses, building an online presence is paramount. You can do this by creating and sharing useful content via:
- Blogs: From enlightening blog posts to engaging videos and captivating infographics, provide value that captivates your audience’s curiosity and positions you as a thought leader.
- Webinars: Unveil your expertise through engaging webinars and workshops. These free insights will help build your potential learners’ trust in you and might even result in you having your own fan club!
- Social media: Share tantalizing glimpses of your course, engage with your followers’ inquiries, and take part in pertinent discussions.
- Emails: Develop a magnetic email list by offering something irresistible — a free e-book or an enlightening webinar. Then, work your email marketing mojo by delivering valuable content and keeping subscribers in the loop.
This is ultimately the most essential practice that’ll bring you more and more prospects over time.
Practice #2: Establish partnerships and collaborations
Connections are the coin of the realm. Forge relationships with fellow professionals, engage in virtual conferences, participate in enlightening webinars, and dive into online forums. These connections will help grow both your partners and yourself.
Seek out experts or influencers and see how you can collaborate. A guest blog post, a social media shout-out, or a collaborative podcast — there are many ways to connect.
Also, consider partnering with other course creators. Together, you can cross-promote each other’s courses, tapping into new audiences and contributing to each other’s success.
Practice #3: Craft urgency and value
Urgency and value are two marketing tricks that motivate people to buy a product right now in the moment and not sometime later. Why not take advantage of this for your eLearning business?
Limited-time offers and exclusive discounts create a sense of urgency. Harness this strategy to encourage learners to seize the opportunity before it vanishes.
Practice #4: Amplify visibility with paid advertising
Online advertising platforms like Google Ads and social media ads are a great way to promote your course. You can spotlight your course to precisely the right audience. However, it might take you some time to get good at writing and setting ads. So, consider using this practice a bit later. When your business is already running, you need to scale it and can afford to spend on experiments.
Remember that marketing is not a one-off endeavor. You need to continuously refine your strategies based on insights gained — just like you do with developing eLearning courses.
Don’t be deterred by competition. It makes you evolve and create better and better courses every time. However, it might take a while for people to start buying your courses. If you understand what you do and why (and do tons of hard work), you’ll get there eventually.