Online learning is becoming more and more popular every year.
Forbes says the online learning niche will be a $325 billion dollar industry by 2025.
No matter what is happening around the world, as long as you have a computer and an internet connection, you can learn online.
Now that you’ve got your course created – or even if you’re just putting the finishing touches on it now – think ahead to how you’ll promote this course.
Yes, you can promote it outright and send people straight to the sales page, but these lessons will show you how to build promotions to run on autopilot so you can still sell your course, even if you’re focused on your 1:1 coaching clients or creating your next signature product.
Weave your course into the assets you already have
Your email list is one of the most powerful tools you have as a business asset. These are the people who already know, like, and trust you enough to give you their email address and permission to stay in touch. If you target your offers just right, these are the people who will make purchases because they trust you so much.
The beauty of emails and specifically autoresponders is that you can reach everyone on your list with the time it takes to craft a thoughtful email. Whether you have 25 or 2500 subscribers, one email is all it takes to keep building a relationship.
How Autoresponders Work
Autoresponders are a series of evergreen emails that are delivered in sequence beginning with each subscription date. So, if Mary subscribes today, she’ll receive email #1 and all the others in the series until it ends or until she unsubscribes. If john subscribes two weeks from today, he will also receive email #1 and all the others that Mary received, even though they subscribed on different days.
Evergreen content is best for these messages because the content will always be timely. Messages regarding special sales, holidays, or seasons are best left for broadcast emails which go out to every subscriber on the day you choose. Anyone who subscribes AFTER your broadcast is sent won’t see that email.
Update Current Autoresponders
Don’t reinvent the wheel. Start by updating your current autoresponder by adding a link to your course’s sales page. I hope you have at least a general welcome autoresponder series that all new subscribers receive. Use your course as a Call to Action (CTA) in that series. Or test out using the course link in your email signature. Adding your course link in your email signature makes it extremely easy to switch out that link when you have another new product to promote. In most email providers, there’s a separate Signature field that you can edit, and that same signature appears at the end of each email.
New subscribers may not be ready to pay for your course right away so remember that traditional marketing theory says you need at least 7 touch points before a prospect becomes a buyer. So, you don’t need a formal “Buy My Course” email in this welcome series but DO tell your new subscribers what your business is about and, of course, mention this latest course.
Create a New Autoresponder Series
Did you know that you can create multiple autoresponder series?
There’s no limit but you should have a clear plan of each one’s purpose so you’re not wasting time. Consider your autoresponder series part of your sales funnel. This is the big, wide opening at the top of your funnel where you attract people with your free content. Know exactly where your prospects will travel after this autoresponder series is finished and what offers to make them along the way.
Why not start an autoresponder series based on your course topic?
Don’t give away your secrets or course content but give just enough away to pique their curiosity about the course.
Think of it along the lines of a free opt-in gift: What are 3 actionable tips you can give your audience today that relates to your course? Are there myths about what you’re teaching that you can bust in your autoresponder series? Is there prep work your audience should do ahead of buying your course? Guide your audience through these steps and then finish with your offer.
Do you have an affiliate program? Create a general autoresponder series about how to use your affiliate management program, how to get the best affiliate results, or how to create an effective affiliate campaign and then link to your course in your signature. Affiliates also like to see proof of earnings or case studies of others who have had success promoting your products.
Update Your Opt-In Lead Magnets
How are you getting subscribers onto your list? If you’re giving away lead magnets, find a way to talk about your course or to add a link onto your lead magnet. If you create a specific autoresponder about your course, be sure the information in the lead magnet is different from the autoresponder or people will unsubscribe for getting duplicate info.
Update Your Opt-In Landing Pages
We love buttons and graphics in our sidebars but those often get lost in the confusion of a website page. Instead of depending on graphics, create landing pages for each specific autoresponder series you create.
While you don’t want to just throw random links to your course on these pages, it doesn’t hurt to make some changes in the copy, especially if the current information is outdated. Give the landing pages a new look, update your graphics, and try some split testing if you use LeadPages or similar platform. You’ll know quickly which headlines and copy work the best for attracting subscribers.
Lastly, look outside of your autoresponders for opportunities to link to your course. Add it to your personal email signature. Add the link to your social media profiles. Add it to your About page on your website. Think outside the box when it comes to adding your link; you might be surprised at how many sales you get from these subtle additions that don’t get all the salesy fanfare.
Update Your “About Me” Page on Your Website
Your About Me page is a fine balance of your experience and what you can offer your clients. Your background is nice to know but ultimately your clients will flock to you if they trust that you can help them with their problems. However, to add more credibility, list your most recent courses on this page with a link to the sales page.
While you’re at it, update the copy and your headshot on this page, too, especially if your headshot is more than two years old.
How is Your Shopping Cart Working for You?
Lastly, when was the last time you tested your shopping cart program? Is it still serving its purpose? Are there any issues with glitches or deliverability that you need to address? Do you know how to load up products in the backend, even if your VA does it for you? Can you still afford the program or is it troublesome to make that payment? Can you save money by paying annually?
There’s no harm in switching shopping carts if your needs aren’t met. Sometimes we jump into a program that’s too powerful and at some point you may experience that your business has grown so much that you’ve outgrown your first shopping cart. Do an annual check, have your VA test all your links, and make changes, if necessary. You can’t make sales at any time of day if your shopping cart isn’t working properly.
Use automation to promote your autoresponder series
We’ve established that to get people onto your autoresponder list you need a freebie offer (aka lead magnet) and a landing page. However, it’s not enough to create a landing page and hope for Google to send you organic traffic. While SEO should still be incorporated into the copy of your landing page, you’ll need to actively market your landing page to attract subscribers.
The good news is that doing active marketing tasks does not take a lot of time (if you have a plan of action) and much of it can be automated. Once you get into a rhythm and discover what works and what doesn’t for your audience, you can set aside time each day to market or delegate the tasks to your VA.
Promote on Social Media
Social media is a wonderful way to market your opt-in freebie and your autoresponder series. If you are not a graphics pro (or if this puts you into a rabbit hole of distraction) hire a graphic designer to create your images. Create multiple images that are linked to your mailing list landing page and consider using a third-party scheduling platform.
Creating multiple images for your lead magnet allows you to rotate them on each social platform as well as do some split testing to determine which headline, graphic, and text gets the most conversions. Also take this time to look at other social platforms that you don’t currently use. Maybe you’ll find an audience on Pinterest, where your images are in constant rotation because they are being pinned by other users. Maybe LinkedIn holds some hidden audience members who will click on your link in shared articles or in your profile. This is not an example of “don’t fix what isn’t broken.” Instead, it’s keeping what’s working in your marketing plan while exploring new options to find more audience members.
Since we’re on the topic of social media, don’t forget to put the course link in all of your profiles. If you do video marketing on YouTube, create a closing slide with the link to your course as a CTA.
Promote in Your “About the Author” Box
Have you noticed that at the end of some blog posts you’ll see a little box with the author’s headshot and a short bio? This is the perfect place to add a link to your course. Plugins for this option abound in the WordPress directory and the beauty is you’ll write your bio once, and then it automatically is positioned on every post. No need to change it until you have another course you want to promote.
Promote on Podcast Interviews
Although podcasts don’t really fall under “automation” in the traditional sense, you can still get sales when listeners hear your interview, no matter what time of day or even what YEAR they hear it. If you have your own podcast, promote your course in place of commercials. If you’re a guest on other podcasts, instead of giving your home page URL, send people to your course sales page instead. Or ask prior to the interview if you can mention both. Sometimes hosts will ask guests if they can provide a coupon code or other bonus just for their listeners, so consider that option as well to drive traffic and sales.
The beauty of podcasts and interviews is this content won’t go anywhere until the host takes it down. So, years down the road, someone could find that interview you did back in 2020 and it could still earn you a sale.
Create “quick win” content upgrades for existing blog posts
Typically, when we think of promoting a product, we think of adding graphics to the sidebar of our websites. This can still be an option since the sidebar generally shows up on every page of your site; but some people have become “blind” to the graphics in the sidebar and they just want to devour your content, nothing else.
What is a Content Upgrade?
An alternative solution is to use content upgrades spread throughout the content of your website. These upgrades are additional lead magnets related specifically to the topic of the post, which acts as a call to action (CTA) to your reader.
The key word here is “specific.” Your article should be full of high-quality content, maybe even some action steps that are new to your reader. Your content upgrade, placed within this specific article, should also relate to the topic, such as, “How to Implement One of These New Tips in Minutes.” When people click on that download link, they will see an opt-in box where they enter their email. Once they are signed up, deliver the promised download and then build that relationship, including talking about your newest course.
Promote on Relevant Blog Posts
Blog posts provide a lot of content for the search engines to sort through but you always need a call to action (CTA) for your readers to follow; otherwise, they will likely read your post and click away, never to come back again.
Adding an opt-in graphic at the bottom of relevant blog posts is one way to capture your readers’ attention AND get them onto your mailing list.
An opt-in should be simple, straightforward, branded with her colors, and large enough to capture the attention of the reader when they’re done reading the content.
Another option is to create a simple graphic to insert at the end of every blog post (very simple to do once the graphic is uploaded to your WordPress media library) that links to your opt-in landing page.
Remember the key word here: relevant. Your opt-in offer (and following autoresponder series) should relate somehow to the topic of your blog post. Otherwise your readers will simply click away.
Change the Positioning of Your Content Upgrades
Many people place the content upgrade at the bottom of a blog post because they don’t want to distract from the copy, understandably. But the bottom position is not the ONLY place to put content upgrades.
Instead of thinking of content upgrades as just more work, consider what would happen if one of your blog posts went viral? You get retweeted by a very big name in your industry and people are swarming to your blog post, eating up the goodness. Do you want them to forget you after they’re done reading? Certainly not! With a content upgrade within the post, you’ll pique more interest, people will sign up, and your list will grow exponentially, possibly leading to more sales of your course.
Different Types of Content Upgrades
Basically, any form of content is fair game to offer as an upgrade; the most important mission is to provide high-quality, actionable content. As we saw in Marie Forleo’s example, an audio class is great. Offer a video talk or interview. Convert that video into an audio file, if you like. Maybe it’s a short pdf file. Maybe it’s an unreleased interview that was part of an online summit. A multi-day ecourse is also a viable idea.
Have a long, epic-length blog post? Offer a checklist so your readers don’t forget the main points. Create a video tutorial or a Q&A video. These serve different purposes than interview-style videos and are beneficial to those readers who are visual learners.
Templates and swipe files are also valuable, especially if your market is other coaches or online business owners. We each have our different strengths but sometimes we need to draw inspiration from others, which is where the templates and swipes come in. While you can’t control if others use your ideas verbatim, you’ll grow your list and ultimately have more people to listen to your course sales pitch.
The format of your content upgrade is secondary to the relevance between the main blog post and the upgrade. If you can create it, you can use it as a content upgrade.
To review, always look at the tools you have in your arsenal before you invest in more. Start optimizing your website, autoresponders, and social media platforms with links to your course. Start with the free plugin automations to test them before purchasing the PRO versions. And create your content upgrades for the blog posts that are receiving the most traffic. Make these sources work for you in the background while you actively market your course. Together, you’ll earn money while you sleep.
Bundle Your Offers to Create Boatloads of Extra Cash Without the Extra Effort
Automating your ecourse sales can lead to years of passive income, letting you set up a reliable stream of revenue and maximizing your efforts. However, making the most of your courses entails selling your course the right way, typically using several marketing techniques.
One common misconception with creating passive income is that you can “set it and forget it” once the sales page is written. You may still get some organic traffic from the search engines if you plan strategic SEO but actively marketing your ecourse is necessary.
Bundling your course with others can be especially powerful. What better value than to receive multiple courses or items for one price, especially if those courses are related in topic.
Determine where your course fits in to your business model
If you’re already selling other types of courses or other digital content, you can often use this as a launching point for your ecourses. What is your overall business plan? What do customers see when they visit your website? Is your message clear from your website and your social media presence? Being as clear as possible with visitors helps you make your content easy to find and enticing, so try to make your website, email, and other resources as cohesive as possible.
Try to create a roadmap for potential visitors on your website. Consider a Start Here button.
Since many ecourses require prerequisite knowledge, you’ll want to make sure they know where to find this content on your website. Do you have a series of blog posts or a video/audio interview regarding your course topic? Or can they gain this knowledge from a webinar with your course being the paid offer at the end?
Visitors to your site should know, as best as possible, what sort of information they need to have to make the most of your course. If your online content can relay this information and provides venues for learning everything potential buyers need to know, you can sell the ecourse you’re focusing on and related content, increasing your passive income.
Create your ecourse and your online content with your customers in mind. Never assume they have the same knowledge base as you do because if you skip over the “easy” parts in your course, thinking they already know this, you’ll get quite a few angry complaints and refund requests for not delivering what was promised. We just spoke about content upgrades and calls to action (CTAs) in Lesson One. If you have a series of blog posts that gives this prerequisite information, then using your ecourse as a CTA makes complete sense.
Forging a Bundle
Once you’ve organized your content in a way that guides your reader, it’s likely that natural bundling opportunities will pop out. Some visitors might have an intermediate or advanced knowledge of the area your targeting, but others might be starting from the beginning. Creating a “Beginner to Pro” bundle can be enticing by offering a one-stop solution for potential customers. Similarly, visitors with an advanced understanding might be more interested in breadth over depth; for them, a bundle targeting multiple potential interests might be most compelling.
Take a temporal view of your ecourses: What would buyers want to learn before purchasing your ecourse? What might they want to learn after the course has ended? Again, try to create a roadmap for potential buyers by imagining yourself as someone who might be interested in your course.
Support Material and Offers
Your course will help prepare your customers with valuable knowledge, but what other information or knowledge will they need to make the most of your course? Consider offering other helpful elements in a bundle as well. If lead-generation is core to an ecourse you’re selling, for example, you might want to offer information to help them learn how to find and reach out to leads. Similarly, if you offer a subscription-based service with relevant updates, you might want to offer a discounted trial version to convert one-time customers into long-time clients. Remember that purchasers like value, so any discount you offer on potentially useful information increases the likelihood of landing sales.
Planners, workbooks, journals, and checklists are all extras that are easy to produce and provide value to a bundle. If you have a series of blog posts that can serve as a prerequisite, consider putting those into eBook format, make some updates or modifications, and add that to your bundle. Basically, you have the freedom to compose the bundles any way you want, provided they make sense together.
Even though pairing similar topics together makes logical sense, don’t be afraid to offer bundles with seemingly disparate components. If your ecourse focuses primarily on digital marketing, for example, courses covering more fundamental, traditional offline marketing strategies might be appealing as well—you might be surprised at what customers are willing to purchase if they receive a discount in the form of a bundle. Visitors might come to your site curious about digital marketing, but if your bundle offers insight on offline marketing, for example, they might realize they can find more of their target market by using these techniques. Having a limited number of ecourses can be a challenge but finding creative ways to bundle courses together can help you reach out to a broader audience.
Create sales funnels with upsells and downsells
As anyone with experience in sales learns, upsells are important, and downselling can be powerful as well in the right situations. Although they might require a bit of effort to set up, the potential benefits up upselling and downselling make them strategies that should be part of any online marketing effort, especially when you’re selling ecourses and other similar content. It’s often best to focus on bundles first, but ensure you add these techniques to your toolkit to ensure you’re capturing an even greater percentage of potential customers.
Upsell Using Your Existing Sales Funnels
We often view sales funnels as complete once we’ve finished them, but they can be endlessly tweaked as you offer more products for sale. Traditionally, upsells occur at the backend of a sale. The customer makes a purchase and then a new window opens with a Limited Time Offer. Usually this upsell offer has the pricing slashed and this price you can’t find anywhere on your site. In effect you’re saying “Thank You” to your customers for making a purchase. Some upsell pages have a large timer running at the top of the page, allowing you just 30 minutes or so to decide. This sense of urgency helps to spur decision while other upsell pages can’t be found again once the buyer closes it.
So, examine your current sales funnels. If you’re selling this ecourse by itself, what else can you offer as an upsell? Do you have a workbook or planner not available anywhere else that you can offer?
This idea also works if you’re bundling two courses together. A combined workbook or planner is still useful, especially if such a tool isn’t available inside either of the courses.
Another way to showcase an upsell is to have a comparison chart on the sales page and let the consumer choose which version they want. You see this option mainly with physical products, such as with floral shops that offer small, medium, and large options for each arrangement. You’ll also notice this strategy on many digital services, such as web hosting or protection software. They’ll break down what you’ll receive with each level of service, with the lowest price being the fewest features and building from there.
Why not demonstrate this same table on your ecourse sales page? Or at least split test the idea and see which option has higher conversions. Simply set a price for your ecourse and then add one or two more options to the bundle for a higher price. Even just two options can yield great sales without confusing the consumer.
Ecourses are often more expensive than earlier elements of your sales funnel, so find out which step is most appropriate for offering your ecourse for sale. This process doesn’t have to be especially complex: If a customer purchases a $27 eBook, for example, redirect them to a sales page about your $97 ecourse after checkout. Although landing a second sale immediately might not be common, some percentage of your purchasers are likely to jump at the opportunity, especially if there’s an ongoing sale. The biggest mistake many people make is simply not presenting an upsell opportunity, as research shows that buyers are more inclined to make a purchase if they’ve already spent money.
Make sure you’re also paying attention to your email marketing efforts. Many of your customers will be interested in what else you have to offer and would be interested in receiving related emails. Upsells don’t have to happen right away; offering a discount on other products through a promotional email to customers who bought an eBook, for example, can help you keep your passive income momentum rolling.
Although it’s not as well-known as upselling, downselling is another powerful technique that can lead to higher sales conversions. Offering high-cost products can help you land lucrative clients, but some people may simply be unwilling or unable to pay. By providing a cheaper alternative, you may be able to pick up sales instead of losing touch with someone interested in the products you’re selling. If you’re marketing the $97 ecourse discussed above, as an example, you’ll likely be able to convert some sales on your $27 eBook if you offer it as an alternative once your first offer was declined. These sales generate passive income, and they also let you get customers into your existing sales funnels. Once buyers find that you offer real value by reading your eBook, they’ll be more willing to purchase your ecourse.
Downselling can be especially powerful if you offer private coaching and other expensive VIP services. It’s important to avoid compromising on your hourly pricing, but it can be difficult to let a potential client go without having anything to offer. Before ending contact, make sure to point people to your digital products for sale, as it’s a great way to get people on your email list and into your sales funnel. You might even consider providing discount codes to those who reach out about one-on-one services but choose to not proceed, and it might even encourage them to reach out to you in the future for private coaching.
The Upsell and Downsell Product Lineup
When thinking through what other types of products you’d like to offer, make sure to keep in mind the various budgets and price ranges of your potential customers. One of the keys to upselling and downselling is having a diversified range of price points to offer. Bundling, again, is a powerful technique, as it allows you to offer high-value products at a high price point without having to create new products. The low end is important as well, as it lets you hook potential long-term customers with an enticing offer. All of the sales you generate provide valuable passive income, so make sure to think about cost diversity when planning new products and creating bundles.
The Free Hook
Freebies are a cornerstone of sales in general, and they’re especially useful when creating passive income online. However, you’ll want to make sure you’re using your freebies in a manner most likely to lead to sales. One technique to consider is offering the first lesson of your course at no charge and following it up with an offer to purchase your full course at a discounted rate for one hour. Doing so lets you show off how valuable your course will be while also placing a bit of time pressure to receive a worthwhile discount. Your first chapter or lesson is likely to cover, in depth, what your course has to offer, and it can entice people to make the leap.
Using freebies to build an email list is a popular technique, and it remains an effective one. By offering a free lesson of your course to those who sign up for your email list, you can create an effective email sequence targeted to people who you know are interested in what you have to offer. Landing sales right away is important, but the low cost and effectiveness of email sequences means they should be a part of your strategy.
Even if you’re using other lead-generating techniques, creating an email sequence specifically based on freebies can help you keep your automated passive income coming in at a steady pace.
Search out joint venture partnerships
Often, the best way to maximize your ecourses’ value is to bundle them with courses from other entrepreneurs. Look for people offering courses that complement what you have to offer. Bundles offer the promise of value over purchasing ecourses one at a time and finding the right courses to pair with yours can lead to better combined sales than you could achieve on your own. This can be especially useful as you’re building your business if you’re able to find solopreneurs at a similar stage to you: Your combined courses can offer both of you the best means of generating reliable sales and building a sustainable passive income foundation. Over time, you might even look toward other collaborative efforts.
Combining your courses also lets you both leverage your strengths. Marketing is key to driving sales and finding someone whose sales capabilities complement your own lets you both focus on what you do best. Joint ventures don’t have to be one-off opportunities; building relationships is key to success, and launching a successful joint venture gives you a potential partner you can rely on for years to come.
You may also want to reach out to entrepreneurs with a large reach. Although you might not be able to command as much per sale when targeting especially popular entrepreneurs, their total sales volume can more than make up the difference and let you reach out to a large base of purchasers.
But let’s be clear: This is NOT a free bundle giveaway! This bundle option is when the buyer pays the bundle host a flat fee for access to any of the products inside the bundle. Once you produce your ecourse, it’s time to step into the sales mindset. There’s a place for giving away free information but that’s on your blog, emails, and social media. Your ecourses deserve to be sold, even in bundles with other products, because of the time and effort you put into the production.
Finding the Right JV Partner
Research is the name of the game when it comes to finding an appropriate JV partner. Start with businesspeople in your own industry whom you admire. Through networking and by asking questions, you can determine who’s working on what kind of projects. However, just because you have this basic information doesn’t mean it will be a profitable partnership.
Do you have any kind of relationship with this person now? If not, it will be more difficult convincing them that you’re partner material, especially if they feel like you popped out of nowhere and they’ve never heard your name before. Your prospective partner may decide to hold off, become an affiliate instead, or blow you off entirely. Well-known people are inundated with JV proposals every day and usually have an assistant screen them, so building a relationship is a great starting point.
What kind of sales and marketing stats can you share with your prospective partner? They’ll want to know without a shadow of a doubt that you’re not just going to use their email subscribers or social followers once and then fade away. Remember in middle school, working on group projects where 3 out of 4 people did all the work while the 4th sat back and still received credit? Prospective partners want to be sure they won’t be taken advantage of in the work department, so be prepared to talk about financials and other stats.
Do your personalities and work ethics mesh well? Can you talk freely or is one voice overshadowing the other? One friendly conversation cannot be the sole measure of a solid working partnership so schedule multiple meetings and speak freely about your view of this partnership and what you hope to gain out of it.
Also, before approaching a JV partner, design your ultimate partnership ideas so you have a plan of action to negotiate with. How long a partnership do you envision? What type of partnership or bundle do you imagine? Even though you’ll have a negotiation process, having a preliminary plan shows that you’re serious about the partnership idea. Add a marketing strategy and you might just win your prospective JV partner over.
Setting the Right Prices
One challenging part of setting up joint ventures is finding out what price structure to use. If you’re both offering one ecourse or another product for sale of roughly equal value, splitting the profits 50-50 might be fair, but also consider who is generating the most sales or starting out with the bigger audience. Each party likely wants a bit of a “finder’s fee” at a minimum to encourage everyone to put forth some marketing effort, but don’t neglect the value of what you have to offer your partner.
When reaching out to larger entrepreneurs, you might be better served with a price-per-sale using your ecourse as a bonus. Again, you don’t want to sell your content short, but also consider the volume of sales you can expect and the added value of having your name in the minds of purchasers. Negotiating on price can be uncomfortable at first, but it’s a valuable skill to build, as your joint ventures may become a cornerstone of your marketing. Don’t sell your product short, and make sure you aren’t afraid to reach out if you sense a particularly beneficial joint venture.
Bundling to Build Your Reputation
The sales you make don’t just generate one-time sales; they also help you build your reputation. This is partially why joint ventures can be so appealing: Both parties can establish themselves as experts, and the bundles you sell increase the likelihood that potential customers will seek out your content instead of you having to reach out to them. Keep this in mind if you’re looking for more established entrepreneurs to craft bundles with. The fact that they’re offering your ecourse for sales as part of a bundle shows that they believe in your work, which can help boost your reputation and gain new customers.
Now that your ecourse is complete and you’ve put your marketing plan into action, start planning how you can bundle your ecourse with another of your products or services to sell for a higher price. At the very least, visualize your sales funnel and plan an upsell for those who are excited to purchase your course and a downsell for those who are less committed to spending the money right now. And create your wish list of JV partners along with reasons why you’d like to work with them.
Knowing how to leverage your one ecourse into other money-making offers is what will keep the passive income strong during the next year…or more.
Free Yourself from the Launch Model with a Killer (Evergreen) Facebook Ad Funnel that Gets You Leads & Sales on Autopilot
Live launches are powerful tools for selling your ecourses. However, too many solopreneurs mistakenly feel that a live launch is the only way to launch a course. And you’ve probably said to yourself more than once, “Who has time for a product launch when I’ve got a full schedule of coaching clients?”
Instead of hiring a full team of launch experts, one alternative to consider is creating an evergreen ad funnel to continue driving sales for years to come—all on autopilot. When combined with Facebook advertising, your ad funnel will let you focus on your coaching services, ecourses, and other means of generating money. Here’s how to set up your Facebook-powered ad funnel.
Step One: understanding the advertising funnel
A funnel is the way you’ll attract people to your business and introduce them to your product and program offers over time. Typically, a sales funnel is depicted with a photo like this:
The widest part of the funnel is how you attract people to your business. In a sales funnel, this would include your free content, such as blog posts, podcast episodes, or YouTube videos. The middle part of your sales funnel is very often your lead magnet which you give away in exchange for their email address. Once they subscribe, you can promote your ecourse via follow up emails which will bring them to the ecourse sales page.
Of course, depending on your business and the number of offers you have, your sales funnel may be larger than this, with multiple middle offers of varying price points. The idea, however, is the same: Attract people, obtain their email address, then make relevant offers that help them solve a problem.
When we’re talking about an advertising funnel, the drawing is similar, but the implementation of your ad dollars will be different at each level.
The top level is for those who have just discovered you. They are just learning about your business and what you have to offer. You haven’t built any trust or likeability with them yet.
Those people in the middle are the ones who have subscribed to your list, follow you on social media, and maybe have attended a webinar. They seem eager to learn from you but haven’t made a purchase yet.
Lastly, the people at the bottom are those who love your work and who have bought at least one of your products. They are your biggest fans who can’t wait for your next program to start.
So, when you’re talking about advertising campaigns, you always want to tailor your ads to suit the audience to receive the best Return on Investment (ROI). We’re talking about Facebook advertising in this lesson and the fact remains that you need to know your audience to craft the most compelling ads.
Thinking of your audience in terms of where they are in the funnel helps to dismiss the confusion of how to write your ads.
Step two: Create an effective facebook ad funnel
As you can probably guess, your ad funnel can take on many different looks and layers, especially when you add programs and products which have their own advertising campaigns. But the for purpose of this lesson, we’re keeping it very simple by creating an ad suitable for the general public who are just discovering you and leading them to your opt-in lead magnet.
Create the Right Freebie
Your freebie will serve as the hook to attract attention and prepare to land sales, regardless of whether you use an ad campaign or not. Even if you’re showcasing your freebie on your site, it needs to attract attention.
Think about problems potential clients might run into. Think deeply about the field you’re targeting and think through what the most pressing issues are. Address just a few issues, like the top 3 ways to do something, and make the information actionable. When people can find satisfaction at making progress from your freebie, they will be encouraged to want to buy your course to get the full answer.
Once you’ve uncovered the right hook, decide on which format you’d like to create. PDFs are always a great option, as they offer a professional look that captures attention better than a blog post or even a typical website. If you don’t have much experience creating PDFs, Canva offers page templates which is an easy solution to get you started. You might also consider creating an automated webinar, with EasyWebinar being an excellent option. Automated – or on demand – webinars allow the viewer to choose the day and time most convenient to their schedule to watch. Similar to a printed lead magnet, tackle 2-3 tips that include action steps and then pitch your ecourse at the end. You still win in both situations: You’ll either make a sale at the end of the webinar OR you’ll have a new subscriber who you can sway via your email series.
Audio classes or interviews are great options. Also consider a video tutorial or a series of pre-recorded videos. Most of all, consider a format that is easy for you to create and for which you have all the equipment. Don’t add extra struggle; go with what you already know. Feel free to be creative if you can think up other types of freebies, but make sure to offer value to your prospective clients.
When selling your ecourse, you’ll want to focus on your strengths and the niche your targeting. Focus on offering a freebie that provides real value—your readers should feel as if they’re better equipped at handling something in their lives or businesses after reading your free content. If possible, try to hint at what other value you can provide to those who might be interested in what your ecourse promises to deliver. Your freebie shouldn’t simply be a sales pitch, but it can be even more effective if it outlines a roadmap your readers can benefit from when enrolling in your course.
STEP Three: create a landing page for your freebie
Creating a landing page for your free lead magnet is vitally important, especially when you’re running Facebook ads. You want to eliminate as much confusion as possible for the reader, so sending them to a dedicated landing page is preferable to sending them to the home page of your website and hoping they see the opt-in box amid all your content. So, make this a practice going forward: Create a landing page for every product you offer, even your opt-in freebies.
Landing pages are a well-tested tool for converting interest into action, so focus on creating a compelling landing page for your freebie. You landing page should outline why your freebie is so valuable, and it should focus on the problem you’re seeking to provide a solution for. Focus on action words and go into detail about what your prospective client stands to gain by signing up. Also write in the voice of your customer instead of using industry jargon.
Be creative and add a video to your landing page, so you can introduce yourself in person and so your visitors can see you and hear your voice. Video is a powerful medium so why not use it on your landing page? One note: Keep your video short. You want to encourage them to subscribe, not teach them all your trade secrets. Remember, people’s attention spans are short so make it short, sweet, and to the point.
Also, put some real thought into your call to action wording. A simple “submit” button isn’t enough these days. Instead, make it more compelling and stronger, such as “YES! I need this in my life!” If calls to action stump you, think about addressing the problem you’re trying to solve directly, such as, “Let us take away your confusion and save you hours of time!” If confusion and time management are problems to your prospects, this CTA will grab their attention immediately.
Landing pages are ideal when you can link to them from several sources but begin thinking about what types of ads you’ll be running on Facebook. Having a coherent line of action for your clients to follow will lead to better signup rates, so think about what the experience will be like going from Facebook to your landing page and signing up for your mailing list.
Will you create multiple ads? Will you target multiple audiences or geographic locations? Start with one idea first and implement it before running another ad. But jot down your notes or write them on a large white board in your office so you keep track of your ideas.
Step four: Run Your Facebook Ads
One of the best parts of Facebook ads is how simple they are to implement. Even if you don’t have experience in marketing, setting up your first campaign will be easy. Furthermore, Facebook ads are fairly inexpensive, so even a modest budget can go a long way if you run effective ads.
Set your ads to run around the clock to capture interest at all times of the day and night and if your budget allows, plan in terms of weeks or months. However, even starting small with a daily ad for two weeks is better than not doing it at all. There’s value in the saying, “You won’t know until you try.”
In general, a Facebook ad includes a graphic and text. Facebook also prefers to have a graphic with very little text, so be prepared to keep the bulk of your text in the written section above the graphic.
When it comes to setting the demographics for your ad, you may be tempted to keep your numbers very broad. Who wouldn’t like the possibility of reaching 1 million prospects? But the key is you want targeted prospects, not just 1 million eyes glancing at your ad as they scroll down their feed. One million impressions (aka people actually seeing your ad) mean absolutely nothing if they don’t care about it and don’t click.
Quite the opposite is true when you run a targeted ad. The overall number of impressions may be smaller but more people in this group will be interested in what you’re offering, therefore more people will click the ad and (hopefully) make a purchase.
Do some trial and error with different graphics, headlines, and text. Jot some notes about the conversions and ROI, and once you find an ad that works especially well, feel free to scale up as your budget allows.
The Benefits of Facebook Ads
Facebook itself benefits when users are interested in your ads, and they have a number of tools for helping you create the best ads possible. Your success is their success in that the more success you have running ads – as in driving significant traffic to your landing page – the more ad campaigns you’ll want to run. It’s like a well-oiled machine: If you’re happy, you’ll spend more in ad revenue, which makes Facebook happy.
Take a look at their Audience Insights dashboard, which provides an overview of your ads and how they’re performing. This is also where you’ll go to create a new ad, as you can see from the green button in the upper right corner. Once your ads go live, these numbers will provide you with valuable guidance for trying out new ads and seeing which ones perform best.
As a form of paid advertisement, Facebook offers a valuable benefit uncommon in other forms of advertising: Predictability. Facebook’s ad algorithms are among the most advanced in the world, and their data lets them target your ads to maximize interest and, eventually, let you land the sales you need to maintain sustainable income. Even if you’re focusing on other outreach efforts, Facebook will provide a straightforward and sustainable means of finding interest in your ecourse. Combined with your creativity and maintenance, Facebook ads can become a beacon of stability in a field that can feel difficult to predict over time.
Converting Freebies into Instant Sales
Although your email sequence will likely be the primary driver of sales, it doesn’t hurt to offer a one-time sale immediately after users sign up for their freebie. If your course is relatively low in cost, consider sending a one-time offer for the total course; those who’ve signed up for your freebie are likely to be interested, and presenting a deal places a bit of time pressure for making a purchase while also increasing the likelihood of sales. When users have a bit of free time to sign up for a freebie, they’re likely in a position to spend the time to sign up for the full course.
You can handle this upsell in a couple of ways. Deliver the special, one-time deal immediately within the first email they receive; or create a pop-up that appears with the deal once the email is entered. While this may be a special, low price offer, you can certainly offer your ecourse later in the email sequence at its higher price. But make that point abundantly clear with the one-time offer.
One other way to upsell your course is to have a link to its sales page directly in your lead magnet. Don’t be shy about telling people what else you have to offer. Ideally, your freebie will serve as a logical lead in to your ecourse, so it makes good sense to your prospect to buy your course next.
Here’s another ad idea to try: Send ads directly to your ecourse sales page. As demonstrated in the ad funnel earlier, you’ll want to craft your ad copy to appeal to those who already love your products and who trust you. These people have already devoured your freebies and have made purchases, too. They are primed to become your repeat customers.
Step five: Sell Your Course
The main driver for selling your ecourse will be the emails you receive in exchange for your freebie. Make sure your email sequence is ready to go before launching your Facebook ads, as you’ll want to send your first email as soon as the addresses come in. Your freebies will give you the chance to try out multiple ways to convert sales, but the best evergreen method of converting sales in an automated manner is to focus on your email sequence, especially if the user doesn’t sign up for your course immediately after receiving their freebie.
However, make sure you’re capturing all email addresses so you can use them when launching new courses in the future. If you plan on offering your course on an ongoing basis, this email list will give you a ready-made target audience to build on. Luckily, all of the paid email service providers offer opt-in codes so you can place boxes on your landing page, so the addresses are added immediately to your list. The only time you need to do anything manually is if you’re importing names from a different email provider. Isn’t technology great?
Converting Email to Sales
It stands to reason that if you need a landing page to attract new email subscribers, then you’ll need a sales page to actually sell your ecourse. Consider your email list a way to warm up your audience to the idea of making a purchase. Your sales page is where you literally make money.
Sales pages help further explain how your course will help recipients meet their goals, and it gives you a chance to add visual elements, including attention-grabbing charts, that don’t work as well in emails.
Elements of Your Sales Page
Perhaps the easiest way to create a compelling sales page is to rely on a third-party provider. ClickFunnels, in particular, works well with your email sequences and other means of generating interest. Your sales page lets users sign up for your course at any time, letting you convert sales no matter what time of day. Furthermore, visitors will receive instant confirmation of their enrollment, so they won’t have to wait to hear back from you to know they’re set to go.
Just as you wrote compelling copy on your landing page to gather email addresses, your sales page copy should be equally compelling. Try selling the results that your customers will get as opposed to selling the benefits of the course. Convince your customers that THIS is the course they need in order to achieve the results they dream about.
Reusing Your Sales Page
When setting up your sales page, try to keep it as evergreen as possible by avoiding direct references to specific emails, seasons, or holidays. Once your page is set up, place a link to it on your website to capture even more sales. If you have a social media presence, use those platforms to provide links to your sales page. Remember that you can use your sales page for future email sequences and other resources. Your sales page provides a one-stop solution for people who are ready to take action, so make sure it’s as convincing as possible.
Step 6: Check Metrics Each Month
Perhaps the most powerful tool at your disposal is your ability to track your ad’s success rate. Based on previous experience and what we know about sales, you can make a reasonable guess as to what strategies are likely to be effective on landing sales. However, finding the best strategy for your ecourse will require tracking data, and part of making the most of your online courses is to try out new strategies and test them against each other.
Make sure to track as much information as you can. Track users from the moment they click on your Facebook ad, and see which ones are more likely to lead to freebie signups. If one ad campaign generated more clicks but fewer email signups, adjust your campaign accordingly.
You’ll also want to track which ads lead to sales of your course. Again, it’s difficult to project beforehand which strategy works best. If a Facebook ad generates plenty of interest but few sales, focus instead on those that generate the best sales volume. Facebook ads are fairly inexpensive for the potential revenue they can generate, but you’ll want to make sure you’re doing everything you can with your investment.
A Monthly Cycle
There are various methods for keeping on top of your metrics and ensuring you’re making the most of your ad budget, but it’s good to get in the habit of spending some time each month to go over your performance during the previous month. Note that statistics are complex; an ad that performed poorly for a few days or weeks, for example, might perform much better over the long term, so monthly cycles offer a better sample size.
Try varying the wording of some of your campaigns and see how they compare. Visual elements of your Facebook ads matter as well; so, using a more attention-grabbing image can turn an ad that performs poorly into one that shines. Even the most experienced ad professional will confess to being surprised by results on a regular basis, so feel free to try something a bit quirky on occasion. Note that simply refreshing an ad can help it perform better. Individuals might see your ad multiple times, so small tweaks can be a great way to capture their attention again.
Visualizing data is a great way to get a fresh perspective on your performance over an extended period of time. Even if you have little experience creating charts, there are plenty of fairly straightforward tools that let you enter your statistics and chart your success. Some trends that are difficult to see on a list of numbers jump out when viewed in chart form, letting you gain valuable insight. In addition, charts can serve as excellent motivation. Seeing the line on a chart trending in the right direction can help spur you to keep striving for even more success.
As a coach working online, it can sometimes feel a bit intimidating to know that you’re responsible for reaching out to potential clients and convincing them to pay for your ecourse or other services. Although a multi-pronged approach is essential, a Facebook ad funnel can be a valuable tool by providing a predictable and ongoing means of getting the signups you need to make your ecourse as successful as possible.
Take the time needed to ensure the core elements of your campaign are solid, and make sure to check in on your progress over time. The upfront effort will give you an evergreen means of landing sales for years to come, letting you focus on other elements of your campaign to keep your business growing.