Last updated on October 27th, 2021
You aren’t imagining it.
The already crowded online course creation marketplace is getting tight. Uncomfortably tight.
The global e-learning market is expected to reach a global market value of $457 billion in 2026 (source: Global Newswire).
The 2020 pandemic prompted a mass migration of former offline entrepreneurs, career professionals and brick-and-mortar businesses onto the online course creation space.
So… in an already saturated space, how can course creators continue to successfully promote their offers?
How can course creators continue to make meaningful connections and distinguish themselves from an expanding sea of competition?
📊 Well, they use powerful data to guide their relaunches.
🥇 They share credible results strategically.
And they don’t sit on their laurels and chill while people hem and haw with indecision!
They get up close and personal with prospects who are on the fence.
But FIRST… they back away from claim-based marketing.
Conversion Strategy #1: Recognizing the fact that claims don’t equal results
Claim-based marketing has had its day in the sun.
Claims without hard data or specific, measurable results are one-sided.
They reflect what YOU, as a course creator, THINK may be possible without taking into account your audience’s vision, values, wants, and desires.
Sorry if that sounds harsh but it is true.
All of this to say, before you slap on “financial freedom” in that headline… think about what that financial freedom even looks like or means to your audience.
And as a prospective student… If anyone’s promising (or even, teasingly hinting!) 6-figures in 6 days or maybe, 7 in 7… you need to run like the wind, Bullseye!
The alternative to claim-based marketing?
Results are what give your claims the backbone and feet to stand on.
Results give reasonable evidence instead of pouring double shots of persuasion Kool-Aid.
Results help your audience find answers to questions like…
Is it worth my time and energy?
What will it do for me?
Will it work for me?
In other words, results-based marketing provides the foundations for believability and trust.
The results you highlight should be specific and align with what your prospect believes is actually possible.
This is why a deep understanding of your audience paired with data collected from your post-launch debrief, is key.
You need to understand what does and doesn’t resonate with your audience.
Your marketing needs to reflect what the “average” student in your course can typically expect.
Back ALL that up with proof. Not anecdotal evidence.
Conversion Strategy #2: Getting smart about using social proof… strategically.
With audiences growing more skeptical and discerning, your social proof needs to be strategic – not the same ol’, same ol’.
BONUS RESOURCE: Check out 6 ways to use Social Proof for six social proof methods that you can use for your launch.
The reign of nice-but-bland-and-beige testimonials, over-the-top rags-to-riches stories, and using everything-but-the-kitchen-sink in your social proof collection is OVER.
Your social proof needs to mirror where your prospect wants to be in a way that feels real.
They want achievable outcomes from your course. Not a long-shot lottery ticket.
This is why highly prized, Gold Star ⭐ testimonials sometimes backfire.
As tempting as it may seem to promote a testimonial that brags of AH-MAZING, larger-than-life results…
…if it doesn’t speak to your client’s reality OR match the average scenario your students will experience, you might want to pump the brakes.
If you’re thinking, “Pfftt! I’ve got a prize-fighter of a testimonial. Why not go big!?”
Well, it’s not about underselling the transformation you provide.
It’s not about “playing small” or discounting other’s achievements
…but it is about respecting the starting line as much as the finish line.
Your audience needs to see themselves in your social proof.
You want your audience to genuinely imagine themselves in a more believable AFTER picture.
This means your social proof strategy can’t simply focus on the accolades of Top 1% or the cannot-fail bravado of the “exceptional few”.
Your social proof needs to be both compelling and accurate.
(Even if that means spotlighting more modest outcomes and fewer shoot-for-the-stars type results).
Recognizing that social proof is not one-size-fits-all.
Remember, testimonials are just one way to share your incredible value.
Your sales page and funnel touchpoints should consider providing social proof in multiple formats based on your audience’s content preferences.
Newsflash: Not everyone likes to consume the content the same way.
So how can you use a social proof mechanism your audience will connect with?
Understand what YOUR audience needs from social proof and what is the best way for them to consume that.
There’s no right or wrong or must-haves here.
Whether you use video testimonials or screengrabs, what’s essential is how you position your social proof in a way that makes sense for your audience.
Conversion Strategy #3: Personalize the sales process
Personalized outreach is another way to address objections and close the gap between you and warm prospects.
Personalizing creates accessibility and adds that much-needed human touch to a largely automated process.
Personalization and outreach do take more time, but it’s worth its weight in gold once you build trust and establish a personal connection.
This is WHY your definition of personalization needs to go way beyond the *FName* merge field. #lazy
How to Personalize Your Outreach During Launches
I’m sharing this with the caveat that this is only ONE of the ways to approach personalization. There are SO many ways to approach this.
Group your audience into segments who have:
- Opened 70% or more of your sales emails
- Attended a webinar and stayed till the end.
- Checked out the sales page at least 3-5 times.
- Signed up to attend the webinar but haven’t gotten around to it.
Then, watch their engagement levels.
If someone has watched a webinar to completion and/or checked out our sales page 3-5 times, we’ll follow up with an email, video message, or a voice message on Instagram.
Something to the tune of:
Hey! I’ve noticed (by the power of ConvertKit!) that you’ve checked out our webinar and I’m wondering if you have any questions about [NAME OF PROGRAM] we can help you with? And if it was just curiosity that made you click… that’s totally cool too. Either way, we appreciate you and your interest in [NAME OF PROGRAM].
It’s a heady mix of automation and manual labor needed to scrub your list and determine who the best prospects are to reach out to.
Also, if they’ve opened my email (showing engagement and intent), I’ll follow up again.
So yeah. It’s a simple but effective way to gauge interest.
You can send a video message, offer to hop on a no-strings-attached call, answer their questions, or if they follow you on social media, you can shoot them a DM.
You can even go a step above by focusing on and following up with your more active prospects who have commented and liked your posts.
Remember, this outreach is not an impromptu high-pressure sales call.
You’re not being sneaky about the sale. You’re being straightforward.
You’re ready to give your prospect the clarity they need in a personable, friendly way.
You show up as a supportive ally in their decision-making process. Unafraid to say “No, this isn’t the right fit for you.”
When you shift your marketing approach to one that focuses on objection-busting hard data, tangible results and offers strategic and relevant social proof, prospects can quickly form an educated opinion to determine if your course is (or isn’t) for them.
It shortens the discovery and decision-making curve.
You provide solid insights on what makes your course different from the throng of other options in a credible way (and not just because “you say so!”)
Instead of fading to black among the competition, you provide the information your prospects need to make an empowered decision.
Even if it’s a hard pass.
That’s your key differentiator. Not your success or close rate.
By reaching out in an authentic and accessible way, you close the “us” vs. “them” gap.
You get on their radar, show up with genuine intent to help, and give your prospect exactly what they need to make a FOMO-free, pressure-free choice.
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