If I had a dollar for every time I heard this…“I wish I could just figure out how to build an audience who wants to buy my courses, Salome!”
I would be rolling in a lot of dough right now!!
We are so lucky to be alive today and have access to the internet to start businesses selling our ideas online.
But, finding the right people online and building communities who want to buy our courses, can sometimes feel like we’re walking through mud.
If you've had trouble finding people, growing your email list and getting them to buy your course or membership, you're in the right place!
Today, we’ll explore strategies to help you build a loyal and engaged audience from the ground up…
Without wasting money or selling your soul on social media.
1. Make Social Media Work For YOU!
Choose The Right Platforms: Feel like your social media efforts are taking over your life? Let’s put an end to that today! Choose just one platform where your ideal customer spends time and post on that platform consistently for 90 days. For online course creators, Instagram and Facebook work well due to the powerful ads we can use to reach more leads on these platforms. But do not forget about YouTube, LinkedIn or Pinterest if your ideal customer already spends time there.
Engage Actively: Beyond posting content, engage with your audience. Respond to comments, take part in group discussions, and share relevant content from other creators. Sharing your ‘competitors’ content will serve both of you in the long run.
Collaborate With Partners And ‘Competitors’: Join forces with Influencers in your niche to tap into their audience wherever possible. You can host interviews, do joint webinars, or create guest posts for each other and help them in the process too. Keep an eye out for when they are promoting something and offer to help them get in front of your audience at the time. When someone with a lot of influence sees you helping them, they will be more likely to help you in return.
Leverage Social Media For List Building: The most important audience you’ll ever own as an online course creator is your email list. Everything you do on social media is to eventually get your community to join your email list. Once they are on your email list, send them good quality content at least once per week.
Which leads us to…
2. Focus On Email List Building
Create A Lead Magnet: Offer something of value in exchange for their email. This can be a free mini-course, an e-Book, or a template related to your course topic.
Promote Your Lead Magnet: Use social media, your website, and other channels to promote this offer. Keep in mind that you don’t need to create lots of different lead magnets. You can offer a quick fix with your lead magnet, which builds trust and shows them you can help them solve bigger challenges in your paid course too.
Optimize Your Website: Ensure that your website has clear calls-to-action (CTAs) and easy-to-find signup forms. Kinda like this one…
3. Deliver Quality Content Consistently As You Build An Audience
Weekly Email Content: Your audience has a challenge so they are turning to you for help. So help them! Every week (or more often if you like), send out an email that helps them learn something, experience a small breakthrough, or see something about their current challenge in a different light.
Ask your audience to reply to your email. This way you can start a two-way conversion and learn to understand their needs better and engage in a more personal way. You’ll thank me for this tip when you launch your course and you know exactly what your audience really, really wants to buy!
Share Other Mediums Where They Can Connect With You In Your Content: You don’t have to start a Podcast just because it looks like everyone else is doing it. Sending out new blog content weekly is also not required. If you can only send your audience to one great post, choose the best piece of content you created that week and include that in your email. This can be a post on Instagram, or if you post a great article on LinkedIn, they will gladly follow you there too.
Be Authentic: Your audience wants to hear from YOU! They want your stories of all the ups and downs and they want your personality in every email they read. You’ll soon be seen as an expert in their eyes and as a relatable person they can trust to help them find the solution they want from your course.
4. Build An Audience And Nurture Relationships
Host Live Sessions: One of the fastest ways to build a lasting relationship with your email list is to host workshops, webinars or live Q&A sessions. They’ll love the opportunity to hang out with you and enjoy live interactions and it will build a bond you’ll be glad you built when you start selling your course.
Seek Feedback: Regularly ask your audience for feedback on your content and courses. It shows that you value their opinion and are committed to continuous improvement. We wrote a blog post outlining some ways you can survey your audience to get instant feedback. Surveying your audience will help you sell more online courses because you know how to speak to your audience’s deepest desires in your offers.
Celebrate Success Stories: Share testimonials or success stories of your students. This will serve as social proof and motivate and inspire your audience to take action and buy your course. This works so well because people see themselves reflected in the lives of other people whom they believe are like them.
Personal Touch: Every once in a while, send out personal emails or messages. Celebrate milestones with your audience, thank them for their loyalty, or send them a voice message or a personal video message to engage with them and strengthen your bond with them.
5. Practice Patience As You Build An Audience Who Loves Your Free Content AND Who Wants To Buy Your Course
Focus On Organic Strategies First: Using paid ads is one of our favorite ways to build a HOT audience. We also recommend you use organic (free) strategies when you’re starting to build an audience online. Doing this work at the start lets you hear instant feedback from your audience and will help you create offers that convert once you start selling your course or membership.
Use Low $ Ads To Help You Build Engagement: There is only one thing that Meta wants from us and that is engagement. When our audiences engage with us, it signals to our Facebook and Instagram accounts that we create quality content. This in turn signals to the algorithm to reward us by lowering our ad costs. Using as little as $5 per day on engagement ads will get your best social media posts in front of more people online and will help you build an audience faster!
Building an audience from scratch can be simple but it requires a lot of patience and consistently showing up even, and especially, when you don’t feel like it!
For any online course creator dreaming of a profitable business, there is no greater reward than having an engaged community eager to learn from you and excited about buying your courses when you launch.
Always remember that it's not about the numbers; the quality of your audience engagement is paramount.
When you build an engaged audience and you keep your focus on building genuine relationships and delivering value, you'll build a strong foundation for long-term success in your online courses business.
Knowing how to build an audience who loves hearing from you and wants to buy your courses can be a total business game changer!