We Know Training - Insights: 7 ways to make online courses that sell

Insights eCommerce

7 ways to make online courses that sell

In a post-pandemic world, more and more people are turning to the internet for career-advancing training. For associations and non-profits in particular, selling online courses is a huge opportunity to generate non-dues revenue. But when you’re operating with a lean team and limited budgets, you may not have the resources in-house to build a high-performing, highly sellable course that maximizes your revenue potential.

It can be challenging to craft great course content *and* an effective sales model that helps bring in reliable revenue from your digital courses. (Especially if you’re operating and selling in a crowded market.) However, with the right strategies and approach, it’s entirely possible to turn an online course into a significant revenue generator. In this blog, we’ll provide actionable steps and tips on how associations and non-profits can make their courses stand out in order to improve marketability. Here are 7 ways to create online courses that fly off the (digital) shelf.

  1. Find out what your learners need, and add real value. In most cases, value speaks for itself. If you can do the legwork and have the conversations to find out what your members’ pain points are, what they’re interested in, and what would make their lives (and careers) better and easier, your courses will almost sell themselves.
  2. Keep your course content fresh and up-to-date. Make sure you update your courses/offerings regularly to stay current and relevant, and address new issues, changes, and challenges in your industry.
  3. Make sure the course is user-friendly and easy to navigate. Taking an online course means expending discretionary effort your members don’t *have* to do it, they choose to. Make sure it’s a good user experience for them, and they’re much more likely to finish the course and maybe come back for more.
  4. Create a visually appealing course layout. That means no big blocks of text or dense passages, lots of subheadings and bullet points to optimize readability, and relevant design and visual assets that enhance the learning experience.
  5. Use engaging multimedia content. Stay away from creating courses that are *only* text-based, and try for a variety of content. Mix in some images, animations, video, quiz questions, and good storytelling, and watch your course engagement soar.
  6. Incorporate video and interactive elements as much as possible. These days, video is king. But that doesn’t mean you should create an hour-long video of a talking head. Try to keep videos short, engaging, and interactive wherever you can.
  7. Create strong branding for your course that stands out from the competition. You know what they say: you’ve only got one chance to make a first impression. Invest in good branding for your course to enhance how it’s perceived by potential buyers. It should come across as highly credible, professional, and polished.

Keeping these tips in mind can translate to a huge return on investment. Creating a great course does take some time, effort and investment upfront, but once the initial work is done, online courses can become a near-passive revenue stream for you. As an association or non-profit, you already have the subject-matter expertise and the credibility, so why not use it? Generating non-dues revenue through online courses can be a game-changing way to boost your financial performance while also generating real value for your members. And who doesn’t love a win-win?

Want to create online courses, but not sure where to start? Get in touch with the We Know Training team for association-specific expertise. Our instructional design experts can turn your knowledge into award-winning, highly sellable courses ⁠— and our e-commerce engine can do the heavy lifting to generate sales for you. Read more here.