With websites like Teachable and Kajabi, along with online marketers advertising their online courses, it’s no secret that creating an online course is all the rage among entrepreneurs today.
It makes sense. It gets your brand awareness on a larger scale, passive revenue, a way to build your email list. I could go on and on.
And it all seems so easy, right? You have an idea, then you can turn it into an online course. But there are a few critical mistakes many entrepreneurs don’t take into consideration as they step into the creation process. Those mistakes can cost entrepreneurs thousands of dollars.
So, how do you avoid these mistakes? Focus on your audience. Here are three ways to do that.
Humans are goal-oriented creatures. We want the end result – whether it’s to lose 10 pounds, to have a great relationship, or to land the dream job.
Ask yourself this question: “What problem am I solving?”
When it comes to creating an online course, it’s so important to base the content around the problem your students are experiencing. After all, you’re leading them toward their goal!
This is especially important when you’re marketing your online course. When your prospects see you as the gateway to what they want, they won’t hesitate to work with you!
When entrepreneurs create a course, it’s tempting to want to throw in as much information as possible. It’s understandable! You’re excited to teach, and you come from a place of wanting to help.
Here’s the thing: it’s so easy to access information today—with Google and Wikipedia, the world is at our fingertips!
What makes an online course a profit making machine is when you push students to take action. How are you encouraging students to apply and implement what they’re learning?
When your students take action, they’ll be closer to reaching their goal and they’ll see you as the key to reaching their goals and want to keep working with you!
There’s something called “the expert curse.” Since you’re an expert, you’re so proficient that it’s easy to forget what it’s like to be a newbie or someone that really isn’t that familiar with your industry. This can make it challenging when you’re figuring out the content.
First, ask yourself: “Are my students at the beginner, intermediate, or expert level?” This is a simple question, but it’s oh so important. It determines what type of terminology you use, how in-depth you need to go on a topic, what application activities they need to do, etc.
You see, when your content directly aligns with your students and their needs, they are less likely to experience buyer’s remorse and ask for a refund.
So, how do you create an online course that delivers you revenue year after year? Focus on your audience as you design the content.
This is a guest post from Jessica Terzakis. Jessica is a curriculum and instructional design consultant with more than 7 years of experience. She joined Terzakis & Associates, a small business advising firm in Bedford, New Hampshire and acts as a consultant to private clients.
Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, she worked as a teacher in public education and worked with the New England Association for Schools and Colleges in evaluating participating school’s curriculum and assessments. Jessica graduated from The University of New Hampshire with both a Bachelor’s Degree in English Teaching and a Master’s degree in Secondary Education.
LinkedIn is the place to be if you want to connect with people on a professional level. This social media platform offers a wide array of services you can use to help you build connections.
One of its great features is LinkedIn Premium. LinkedIn Premium gives you access to Premium features like InMail, premium insights on job postings, and the full list of “Who’s Viewed My Profile”.
However, if you decide to cancel your Premium subscription and return to a free Basic account, you can still keep your profile, connections, and other data without the extra services.
You can cancel your subscription using your iPhone through the LinkedIn app.
When this blog was posted, there was no option to cancel a Premium subscription directly through an Android device. You’ll have to access your account using your laptop or computer to cancel your subscription.
Updating your LinkedIn profile when you’re unemployed is crucial. After all, the whole purpose of updating your profile is to attract prospective employers. Choosing the wrong content could drive hiring managers away instead.
So, what should you list as your professional headline or current position when you’re between jobs?
Your ranking will drop slightly in LinkedIn search results if you choose to disregard a current position. In other words, your profile could be shown several pages lower than what it would have been had you chosen better words.
Remember to be honest. It’s easy for potential employers to check your background when they are considering you for employment.
If you’re doing freelance or consulting work, list your company or mark yourself as self-employed.
One thing to keep in mind when saying you’re unemployed is that there can, unfortunately, be bias in the workplace against unemployed job seekers. Many hiring managers persist in giving preference to candidates who are currently employed.
If this is a concern for you, consider listing your current position as “self-employed.” You can also list yourself as looking for work immediately after losing your job, and then switch to “self-employed” if your initial announcement doesn’t draw the kinds of offers you’re looking for.
Deactivating your LinkedIn account means deleting your profile permanently. This means access to all of your information from the site will be removed. Having a Premium account can be canceled, but your free, or basic, account can be kept to retain your profile, connections, and other information.
When you deactivate your account, the website will make you choose a reason that includes “I am getting too many emails” or “I am not getting any value from my membership” for example. You will also have the option to write your own reason for canceling the membership in the option labeled “other.”
Before you do, please note:
With all of this said, I do not recommend deactivating your LinkedIn account if you are a professional. Most of us are professionals and need to work. This platform is made for us.
Most business owners or entrepreneurs have limited video advertising budgets. Some want to ensure they are using their money judiciously, and because of this, they minimize their budgets. But, effective video marketing can be extremely inexpensive to produce.
Videos can successfully be used in emails, on websites, and various social media platforms. They could even go viral if the video contents are engaging, credible, unique, and interesting.
Your videos need to be truly engaging. If you can, try and personalize it by including yourself, workforce, clients or customers… as well as their testimonials.
Viewers and potential clients or customers would like to see someone using your product, services, or a step by step process before they buy what you are selling. Keep in mind, that if your video is not interesting, nobody will watch it. (At least, not for long.)
If you want to get an optimal result, then ensure your video doesn’t last more than 90 seconds. Don’t turn your video advertising into a documentary. If you do, people are going to skip it.
However, your video can be up to three minutes long if you are using it to position your brand or business. Either way, try to eliminate all forms of unnecessary content. Let your message be direct, simple, and unique so viewers can relate to it.
The timing of your video is very important. If the video message is spiced with humorous lyrics, quotes, anecdotes, and stories – it could go viral because viewers will be tempted to share it on various social channels.
Your logo is one of the image makers of your brand. It needs to be clear, and if possible, carry a central message about your brand. Your logo should be a brief summary of what your organization does. The more engaging your logo is, the more people would be motivated to watch your brand video.
Tell viewers what makes your brand to stand out and showcase your track record of achievements. Share success stories, positive feedback, customer testimonials, and more.
The sole objective of your video is to encourage viewers to take some sort of action. So, ensure you incorporate a call to action as part of your video marketing strategy. This can be added through text, graphics, voice, or can be filmed.
To achieve an awesome result, you need to include it at the end of the video. For instance, you can show viewers how they can reach you by visiting your website, purchasing your products or services, signing up for discounts, calling you, etc.
This is a guest post written by Curtis Schlaufman.
Bloggers have continued to grow in importance and their influential power has reached new heights. Business owners are realizing the need to post regular blog content. Finally! It’s not surprising considering that featuring a blog as a key part of your website will give you a 434% better chance of being ranked highly in search engines.
Blogs adapt and change as the digital world evolves, which means every year there are new trends to contend with. 2017 has been no exception with plenty of exciting new trends on the horizon.
Apparently posting ‘instant’ pictures on Instagram isn’t enough. Bloggers and brands are expected to go one step further and offer live streaming to their audience. We’re sharing more of our lives and this trend is expected to continue and reach new heights.
Instagram stories launched back in November and the blogging world is most definitely on board with this type of short form ‘snack’ content popularized by Snapchat.
Facebook Videos have increased 360% across everyone’s news feeds. It’s no secret that online video is growing, but now it’s so popular that bloggers, and those running blogs, need to factor video into their content calendars.
Some ‘vloggers’ exist purely on YouTube and attract millions of views. More bloggers who solely used to write posts have started a channel this year as audiences increasingly expect a seamless multimedia experience from top blogs and bloggers.
Gone are the days when blogs were just one page with a bland, dull design. Bloggers are now investing a great deal of hard earned money into their blog website design because users are expecting more. Blogs are becoming more glossy and clean, created 100% with the user in mind, and boasting stunning visuals like video and photo galleries.
Try not to make the mistake of going along with a blog design fad without considering how it will impact your users. Choosing the right platform for your website and blog is crucial for delivering a first-class experience for your users. You may want to build an online store and blog on Shopify, or go down the WordPress plugin route — just make sure that you invest enough time and money into creating a website experience people won’t forget!
We now know that Google uses the mobile version of a site to determine quality and rankings, which means mobile isn’t just important, it’s everything. Part of the reason why blogs have become tidier and simpler in design is that they need to work on mobiles. Expect more changes to blogs to adapt to the fast world of mobile web browsing.
Say goodbye to pointless click bait that adds no value, and say hello to long, hearty blog posts that are worth reading. That’s what blog owners should do if they want to rank better anyway. The average word count of top-ranking content in Google is between 1,140 and 1,285 words. That content budget is going to have to stretch a little further, and bloggers need to look at posting regular posts that are over the 1000 word mark.
It’s often hard for marketing managers to convince their boss that creating and maintaining a blog is worth the investment. Often, budget ends up getting allocated elsewhere, and brands miss out on the opportunity to capitalize from blogging.
According to The State of Inbound Report by HubSpot, marketers who prioritize blogging are 13 times more likely to achieve a positive ROI on their efforts. This year brands have finally recognized the impact blogging can have on their business, and top bloggers have had a lot of financial success working with brands.
Blogs are now becoming trusted sources of information, and consumers are reading posts before making purchases. In fact, according to Hubspot, 47% consumed 3-5 pieces of content before taking the first step towards making a purchase.
It’s not just about the blogger and the audience. Bloggers are teaming up and creating tight-knit communities in certain niches. Brands shouldn’t just look at trying to connect with individual bloggers, but they need to try and penetrate the blogger ‘in crowd’.
This is what will truly bring success when it comes to collaborative campaigns. Many bloggers not only want to continue their rise to internet fame, but also bring others along with them. Successful influencer marketing will involve finding ways to build strong ties with these blogger tribes.
Many sources are claiming comments on blogs are becoming less important, and some even suggest they may disappear altogether. It’s not that people don’t want to continue the conversation, they just want to continue it elsewhere. It’s much more beneficial to start a discussion via social media, where you can get all sorts of people interacting.
Blog comments can also attract a lot of spam, which is frustrating to manage, and some bloggers are simply tired of getting mean comments. So, expect to see more blogs taking away the option for readers to comment, and more conversation happening via social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram instead.
According to ComScore, ‘50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020.’ Plus, Locationworld claims that 40% of adults now use voice search once per day. This year people have been using voice search more, and experts predict this is going to rise. So how does this relate to blogging? Well, blog owners need to start thinking about optimizing and adapting their blog content for voice search.
Voice queries are quite different from typed searches — they are more conversational and longer. In order to serve up content that answers these queries, bloggers need to have a wider discussion and consider relevant questions their audience might be asking. This also ties into the theory mentioned above that longer content performs better.
In January, Google announced it would be penalizing sites with intrusive popups, especially on home pages. Many blogs used to contain all sorts of banners and popups for monetization purposes, but flashing banners and pesky popups should be avoided where possible these days. This is yet another reason to keep blog designs clean and straightforward.
If you’ve heard rumors that the blogging world is dead, that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s just that good bloggers have simply got a new, more accurate name. They are now known as ‘influencers’ because they do more than just write and publish ‘weblogs’, they have the power to communicate with audiences and shape opinions.
Posting one or two blogs a month just won’t cut it. You won’t build an audience and you certainly won’t get people coming back for more.
Google rewards publishers who post regularly, and according to Hubspot, companies that publish 16 or more blog posts a month got 4.5x the leads than companies that published four or less monthly. However, it’s important to note that an increase in blog posts should not have an impact on quality. There’s no point posting more if the content quality suffers. Get your strategy right first, then ramp things up a notch.
This is a guest post written by brand marketer and blogger Victoria Greene. She’s an e-commerce marketer by trade and runs a blog in her spare time. Growing a brand’s reach by cooking up a long-term growth strategy is her forté.
For most people, when they speak, they are selling. (Or, they’re trying to sell.)
The key to successful speeches and sales is being persuasive. Not in a shady kind-of way, but in a convincing way.
You must persuade the customer that your product or service will be valuable to them and worth purchasing. Even if you’re able to attract qualified leads, they still need nurturing and won’t buy without being persuaded. But, you can’t be persuasive by simply reading a product description or listing off features. (Why do so many people think that works?!)
You need to connect with customers and there are scientifically-backed ways to do this.
GetCRM put together an infographic which offers persuasive techniques you can use to improve sales conversions.
Highlights from the data include:
Along with the techniques and strategies you leverage, the language you use will also contribute to how persuasive you are.
You want to avoid using self-centric pronouns (Me, mine, I) when talking to potential customers because it takes the focus off them and their needs. Instead, you want to use second person pronouns (You, yours, their name) and align the value of your product or service with their specific needs.
Other persuasive language includes:
Using these types of words in your communication to prospective customers will help you be more persuasive and effective.
Of course, the greatest speech or sales asset is an outstanding product or service. Still, persuading others to buy isn’t easy, and even the smallest tweaks to your approach or language can make a huge difference.
Follow the tips outlined in the infographic below and convert more customers for your business!This is a guest post written by Andrew Dennis at Siege Media.
Aside from being a great platform to find and connect with different people who share the same professional interests as you, LinkedIn also saves you the chance to search for jobs that have been posted by others on the site. It’s so easy to find a job that suits your set of skills and experience perfectly.
You can also increase the credibility of your LinkedIn profile with your academic and professional qualifications, skills, certification, achievements, and etc. So, if you’re someone who wants to start your career in a bigger and more professional scope, LinkedIn is definitely the way to go.One of LinkedIn’s great features is that it allows you to upload your resume for other professionals to see and it’s only a few clicks away.
Personally, I haven’t done this before. Instead, I use LinkedIn’s template to input the information. I think this looks cleaner, but sometimes people want to save a PDF or just want it in a different format.
If you’re interested in uploading a resume to LinkedIn, this should help.
Using mobile while trying to upload a resume can be a little tricky. For bigger jobs like this one, I suggest sitting in front of your laptop or desktop.
Note: The resume you should upload must be in Microsoft Word, PDF, Text, or HTML format only and up to 500 KB in size. (Mac users – no pages!)
The popular professional social media site LinkedIn has a feature that lets you endorse a skill that can come in handy in meeting new professionals that have in an interest in you and what you do.
Skill endorsements are a brilliant way to recognize and exhibit your skills without too much effort. This wonderful feature also lets your connections validate the strengths found on your page. This way, people can see your strengths and validation from other professionals.
This is a very simple and effective way of engaging your network, building and creating your professional brand, and increasing your credibility at the same time.
If you already have a LinkedIn account and want to see if you have received any Skill Endorsements, all you need to do is scroll down to the Skills and Endorsement section that can be found on your own LinkedIn profile.
You can also add any skill to this section and when you accumulate a high number of endorsements for a skill you have in your profile, it will automatically increase your credibility.
Remember, you don’t need to ask someone to endorse you in order for you to receive an endorsement because you will be immediately notified via email when you receive an endorsement.
Giving endorsements to your colleagues is a great way to give recognition to the skills you’ve seen them demonstrate. Endorsing your co-professionals can also help you keep strong connections and rapport with the people in your network. This can also result in having an easier reach to the people you endorsed because of the appreciation you’ve shown to them.
Because so many people use LinkedIn to start and execute business to business dealings, having endorsements that act as referrals for your entire network to see is a great thing.
Are we connected on LinkedIn yet? If not, click here!