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When you are a business owner, you have special knowledge that makes you an expert in your field. One way to add a new stream of revenue to your business is by sharing that expertise with others through in-person or online classes. According to Statista, the eLearning market is expected to exceed $243 billion by 2022.
Most businesses have opportunities for creating classes. For example, restaurateurs could offer cooking classes. Florists could teach customers how to create arrangements. And salon owners could hold lessons on hair care or makeup application. The ideas are virtually endless, and classes can help sell your products, too.
If you’re considering adding classes as part of your business, here are some tips for marketing your offerings to attract clients:
1. Define your unique selling proposition
Start by asking yourself a few questions. First, what is the purpose of holding a class? It could be to help customers make the most of the products and services you offer, or you may be looking for a way to stand out from your competition. Next, what problem does your course solve? You may find customers asking you the same question, and your course could be a way to provide them with solutions. Finally, what value does your course offer? It’s important to know why someone would sign up for your class. Knowing the answers to these questions will help you create a valuable course and position it in the marketplace so you can attract customers.
2. Leverage social media
A good place to begin creating buzz is by sharing the classes you offer on your social media platforms. This can help you get the word out to your existing followers and create a place to start a dialogue with them. In addition to organic posts, consider social media advertising that can target your demographic and help reach people who may not be familiar with your brand. Tools such as Square Appointments let you integrate your class bookings directly with your social media accounts.
Since classes are a hands-on experience, make the most of visual platforms. For example, post a video on YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram that announces your upcoming class. Video allows the viewer to get to know you and helps them visualize what to expect if they sign up for your class. If your course is prerecorded, you could post a short excerpt. Or if your classes are in person, you can post videos of your instructors working with students.
3. Create email campaigns
Alert subscribers to your classes by creating an email campaign. Start the process about a month before your class launches, giving potential students plenty of notice. If your course is prerecorded and on demand, timing won’t be as critical.
It’s easier to sell a product to someone who already loves your business. If you have previously offered classes, use email marketing to invite past students back, highlighting any new offerings you’ve added. Make sure your email has a clear call to action. For example, include a link to register and a way to share the email with friends.
4. Use pricing promotions
Limited-time offers and special discounts can provide just the right motivation to encourage people to sign up for your class. For example, you can give a discount to students who register early. You can offer special pricing for students who sign up for more than one class. You can provide a discount for a student who brings a friend. Or you can offer a discount on your products when someone signs up for your class. You may want to try a few different promotions to see which resonate best with customers.
5. Leverage your store and website
If you have a brick-and-mortar location, advertise your classes with banners inside your store. You could add a note on your receipts, print and include flyers or postcards in bags, or create small signs and place them near products that complement your courses.
Pay attention to keywords when writing class descriptions on your website. Think about what someone might search for online to find the information in your course. Search engine optimization can help people find you organically. One way to boost your SEO is by adding a blog to your website and posting relevant content.
6. Add reviews
Testimonials can be a great way to encourage sign-ups. Ninety-two percent of customers read online reviews before buying, and 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations when making purchases, according to Big Commerce. Encourage customers to leave reviews after they’ve taken your class. You can even send an email campaign to students after they complete your course requesting a testimonial.
7. List on a course marketplace
If your classes are pre-recorded and available on demand, you can leverage platforms like Udemy and Skillshare that let you upload and sell your classes. You can also list your classes on sites like findcourses.com that connect you to people who may be searching for what you offer. You will need to pay a commission or fee to be on these sites, but they can help you reach a broader audience.
Classes help you build relationships with new and existing customers, giving you a chance to come out from behind the counter or screen and connect with people. By sharing what you know, you also establish yourself as an expert, building credibility and brand awareness. Knowledge is power — and it can be a powerful thing to share.