How to sell courses as a service-based business

How to sell courses as a service-based business

Posted: Tue 26th Apr 2022

The beauty of selling courses as a service-based business is that you can literally make money in your sleep.

It takes expertise, graft and hard work to create courses that people want to consume, and you have to be smart in order to leverage this content effectively, but it’s a mightily popular business model.

The pandemic has opened everything up – you can sell courses for anything online, with no limit to what people thirst for.

But after turning your brain into a digital product, how do you go about selling it?

Strike a balance between free and paid advice

It’s important to ensure you provide a good mix of free and paid content.

YouTube videos, for instance, can answer many user queries, but they're rarely provided with the best nuggets of information, or indeed trade secrets.

Having a thriving YouTube channel containing some free content is a good way to entice people towards your personal brand, but holding the juicy insider knowledge back for your members or paid customers can mean a good number of viewers will progress further down your sales funnel to learn more.

Pricing and membership

When it comes to price points, it’s all about progression.

Offering some low-ticket items with cheaper price points allows you to connect with a large audience and is a great way to get started, but it’s important to include an ‘order bump’ for the bigger-ticket items.

If your cheaper content is valuable to users and meets their needs, then providing this bump, where you display an option to buy a more expensive course next, will lead many to continue down the journey of your sales funnel.

A smaller percentage of people will buy your courses the more expensive they get, but the margins will massively improve.

If customers work their way through some of your paid courses, why not offer a membership?

Opening up your full bank of courses, coupled with ongoing support, for a certain fee will no doubt be an attractive proposition for many, particularly if you’ve already wowed them!

Don’t be afraid to put on membership launches – perhaps an Easter deal or a Bank Holiday discount? Draw people’s attention to what you want them to buy.

The key takeaway is to give consumers an entry point—whether it’s a free YouTube video or a nice, low-ticket item—and upsell membership or more expensive courses throughout their journeys.

Do you need to be confident on camera?

While it’s good to put a face to a voice in many cases, you certainly don’t have to present a whole course on camera.

Many content creators record an introductory video on camera to talk a little about the course while presenting the rest simply via a slideshow.

This way, you include a personal touch without having to present on camera for the whole session.

Furthermore, if you are selling a course focused on baking, for instance, the main point of interest will be the bowl in which you’re mixing your ingredients, so your face may not even be necessary!

What are the best platforms to deliver courses?

The first decision to make is how much you’re prepared to spend on your platform as a business expense.

When starting out, going for a slighter cheaper option such as Teachable is advised. Even though it’s a little less user-friendly than the very best platforms, it does a very solid job and won’t break the bank.

If you find your service-based business is thriving, then a more up-market product such as Kajabi will do the trick, but be prepared to pay for those extra features!

Increasing awareness

Flash sales are always a brilliant way to promote courses or memberships; Black Friday, Christmas, you name it, pouncing on an opportunity to host a flash sale is a nice way to bring people on board.

Shout about these through your mailing lists, as well as via social media, but this type of marketing does only get you so far.

This is where providing free content comes back into play.

If you have YouTube videos that appear in Google results for certain queries, you could see a stream of organic views flood towards your channel, and unlike social media posts, which are essentially defunct after a short while, YouTube videos can continue being traffic and conversion-drivers for years.

It’s worth offering freebies within the description of the videos which do well organically. Perhaps a free checklist, video or some other type of training. Give people an extra way into your funnel, before repeating your tried-and-trusted sales process.

Do you own a service-based business with value to provide? Become an Enterprise Nation adviser and support our growing community of small business owners.

Enterprise Nation has helped thousands of people start and grow their businesses. Led by founder, Emma Jones CBE, Enterprise Nation connects you to the resources and expertise to help you succeed.

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