Last editedMar 20222 min read
To have knowledge is a wonderful and important thing. But to share that knowledge with others is greater still. If you have the right combination of knowledge and skills, sharing them with others can make for an extremely rewarding and lucrative business model. But if creating and selling an online course were easy, everyone would do it.
So, how to make money selling online courses? It’s not enough to simply create compelling course content. You also have to use the right platforms to distribute your course materials and receive payments from your customers. Otherwise, you risk creating friction in disseminating your course, or experiencing cash flow crises because your choice of payment methods is eating into your margin.
Creating your course content
You already know where your strengths lie and what you’re most passionate about. But how do you translate this into effective course content and generating online course revenue?
When creating a course, start by addressing the user’s needs. What are their goals? What skills and knowledge are they going to want from your course? What pain points, frustrations or bottlenecks will your course help them to overcome in their business endeavours?
The more specificity you can offer, the better.
When you know your niche and the problems that you want to help them overcome, it’s easier to create a course that’s likely to pique their interest.
Marketing your course
It’s never too early to think about how you’ll market your course to prospective learners. Because you’re targeting a specific niche, a “spray and pray” approach will be costly and inefficient.
Target prospective users on the platforms that they use most (LinkedIn is always a good start for B2B prospects) and post regular thought-leadership content to establish yourself as credible and knowledgeable. Paid ads on social platforms can be a good way to deliver targeted messaging and bring your course to the attention of new prospects. Just make sure you follow up on this by engaging these motivated prospects with your content. Otherwise, advertising revenue can quickly become a black hole.
Choosing the right hosting platform
You have an idea and an audience. But which is the best platform to create online courses?
You may host your course on your own website or social pages using a widget. Alternatively, there is a growing range of highly customisable e-learning platforms that come with their own CRMs built-in.
When choosing a hosting platform, ask yourself:
does it offer 24/7 booking 365 days a year?
can I customise registration forms to get the information I need from prospects?
can I make block bookings and schedule regular and one-off sessions?
does it use automation to make it easier to communicate with learners?
are there tools to track learner progress and ensure satisfaction?
are there facilities for collecting user feedback and converting it into actionable insights?
Choosing your payment methods and platform
Like any business, you need to think twice about the payment methods you accept from your customers. Your prospects will likely have an array of preferred payment methods for recurring or one-off payments. These may include bank transfers, credit or debit cards and electronic wallets.
Many online course providers offer access pricing, where users pay a regular subscription to access course content. And while it’s important to cater to customers’ preferred payment methods, the fees can quickly add up when taking recurring credit- or debit-card payments.
Instead, it’s advisable to use a payment processor like GoCardless to handle your recurring subscription payments. Alternatively, using our Instant Bank Pay service can be a much cheaper alternative to using debit or credit cards to take one-off payments. This can help you to protect your margins and keep your costs competitive.
We can help
If you’re interested in finding out more about using booking and payment platforms to sell your online course, then get in touch with our financial experts. Discover how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.