So you’ve decided to build an online course. You’ve focused on your expertise, you’ve researched your audience to understand what problem you’re addressing, and you’ve built a course website. Great job! Now it’s time to market your course. We’ve compiled some suggestions on ways to reach your target buyers, grab their attention, and convert them into paying customers.

Create website content. This is so important and it’s something that course creators often don’t pay enough attention to. Social media is important (we’ll get to that soon!), but content that lives on a site you own is key. As we’ve seen recently, relying solely on social means you’re at the whim of what happens on the platforms, whether that’s changing trends or sites being down. Investing in content for your own site means you’re always in control.

Content is a broad umbrella these days and can look like starting a blog, creating short videos, resource guides, and more. You can make it all free or consider gating the more high-value pieces, where a website visitor has to enter their details to access the content. Once you have their email address, you have another avenue of reaching them.

Another tick for writing content is that you can take SEO into account and create articles to answer the topics or questions that people are already searching for within your space, increasing chances that potential customers will stumble onto your .courses website.

Build your social media presence. While relying solely on social media is risky, it should definitely make up part of your marketing strategy. Your audience research should help determine where your target customers hang out online and where you should establish a presence. The great part about social is that you can showcase your personality, whether it’s by doing Facebook Live sessions where you answer questions or fun video stories where people can get to “know” you. All of that helps build credibility.

Additionally, platforms like Instagram and Facebook provide a wealth of free insights to business accounts around followers, from when engagement is highest to what types of content perform best, helping you tweak and perfect your strategy. If you decide to invest in online advertising, all this information is also super helpful in creating ads that resonate with your target audience.

Consider offering freebies. One way of getting people interested in your online course is to offer a free webinar. These are successful for a few reasons. People will have to provide their email address to sign up; ideally, the course offers enough value that they’re interested in learning more, whether it’s then or at a later stage; and it gives you a chance to receive questions and feedback, which in turn can help you as you continue marketing.

Use reviews and testimonials. Once you’ve had a few people take your course, ask for reviews and testimonials from people who have enjoyed your course. Put these on your website and use them on social.

It’s super powerful for potential customers to hear from others who’ve taken the plunge, bought, and learned from your course. You may even consider reaching out to a few people before launching and offering the course at a discounted price (or free) in exchange for their honest review and the ability to publicize the positive ones.