Proven Ways to Scale Your Online Courses Business in 2021

Since coronavirus forces us to stay at home most of the time, we learned quickly that our jobs and studies can be done online with just the same level of efficiency as in traditional settings. So, as a result, the popularity of online learning marketplaces continuously grows. 

In actuality, according to the rough estimate predicted by Statista a couple of years ago, the global e-learning market was supposed to expand and exceed $240 billion by 2022. But if you’d take heed of the fact that this has been forecasted even before the COVID-19 happened, it becomes obvious that the actual numbers are way higher now compared to initial expectations.

Yes, the e-learning market is becoming more and more competitive. And if you’re not a big player yet, take a step further and find your own niche or unique segment in this market space. This strategy works well for lowering down the competition and for stepping aside from a razor-thin profit margin moving towards a reasonable profit. So, pick a niche that you are most experienced in and then narrow your e-learning courses down to specific topics that sell well. Then start focusing on the other aspects that can scale your e-learning business. Make it grow! 

Read this post, to learn about some useful ways that are proven effective for scaling the e-learning business and for making it more visible in 2021.

Tips for Starters in E-Learning Business

Have you been drafting ideas? Not sure where to start? Start off by drawing a clearer picture of who the ideal potential buyers are in your segment. For example, if you sell digital courses about healthy diets and provide weight loss life hacks, it wouldn’t make sense if you run a Facebook ad targeting those who actually want to get a weight increase. Right? Obviously, don’t send them any ads offering a diet guide to help decrease weight.    

Therefore, research your potential target audiences first before going for any promotional strategies. Then, if you are targeting properly, the right marketing strategies will help you sell courses much better and efficiently within your niche market.

Try these approaches for effective research:

  • Once you carved your niche, check out top-rated online courses that are relevant to your expertise and see which ones are most popular within your community;   
  • Find any blogs that post information regarding your niche and that are in the top-ten of popularity within your area. Use these blogs for checking up on the hottest and most discussed topics people like to talk about;
  • Join the social networking groups (Ning, Facebook groups, etc.) that revolve around your topic areas to learn how your competitors are running networks.
  • Start building a community around those folks who love your stuff. Ask them to do business promotions and offer incentives to them. Let them refer you to friends and coworkers. This strategy already worked well for many startups. But try to address the needs of particular groups, rather than pointlessly trying to please everyone.
  • Pick through reviews about some of the popular e-learning platforms. Contact those people who already took courses from these platforms and collect data from their responses. This information should help you improve your own e-learning business.

Want more tips for starters? Look at the quick list below and take notes!

Put your focus on a high-priority user group, which is teachers/instructors who specialize in your area of expertise or your niche market. Keep in mind a chicken and egg problem that you might face in the process. Actually, this is something that most e-learning marketplaces struggle with at some point or another. So, don’t omit your instructors/authors’ needs, because they’re the ones who will generate most of the content for your e-learning business.   

Try multiple ways for implementing the best monetization strategy. Online businesses use multiple ways to implement monetization: percentage fee per transaction, subscription plans for courses, or offering basic features for free, as well as charging money for additional features/services. 

Raise funds and attract those investors who show interest in your niche. Before turning to investors, make sure that you have a good quality MVP. It should clearly show that your ideas managed to meet your users’ needs. Use a business model canvas tool for delivering your unique ideas to investors and for effective communication with them.

In reality, most newbies have a vague idea of how to scale an online business. The reason is a big gap between a startup and an already established business that has been around for quite some time in the specific niche market. So, if you’re new to the e-learning business, you can learn more about effective strategies used to scale online business from this blog post. Just keep on reading!  

Scale Your E-Learning Platform by Analyzing Competitors

Define your own competitive edge by checking out your competitors’ sites/platforms that are already popular within your niche. The important question to ask yourself here: “What does their product lack?” In other words, you need to research your competitors to analyze their main weak points. Why? To use it for your future improvements!  

Emphasize these aspects while researching:

  • Service’s sustainability;
  • Service branding;
  • Outline a summary of your service;
  • Current market demands for your market segment.

Let your competitors guide you in the analysis of your target audience’s needs. Even by learning about users’ leisure habits, you can come up with some useful ideas for developing effective promotional strategies to boost engagement. Learn how your competitors run the following methods and try to integrate them into your business:

  • Building a user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) strategy. But remember – UX/UI is not so much about cool representation. It is more about accessibility, functionality, and convenience!
  • Having the right learning management systems (LMS). Pick one that seems the most contributive to your online business.
  • Having authentic tools for text, graphics, audio/video content, etc. Once you develop them for your own platform – keep them user-friendly!
  • Connecting any external tools that are necessary for keeping the whole system up and running.
  • Strategies used for boosting awareness about the e-learning platform. You can try email marketing, social media, discounts, demos. Also, some marketplaces offer users to download a mobile app as a faster and more mobile version of the platform.

These approaches should help you turn your own online business into a much more competitive venture. Strategically, the main goal here is to convince learners that your platform provides more benefits compared to competitors.

Scale Your E-Learning Business by Driving More Traffic to Your Website

Obviously, here you’ll need to start focusing on the technical side. This part involves such important stuff like UI/UX design and development, as well as testing, etc. Yes, web development is the most time and budget-consuming component of any online business. But this is also something that keeps the online business up and running. 

If you’ve just started building your e-learning business, a smart move would be to build a simple MVP first. Validate everything you created to make sure that it’s worth further effort. After it shows successful results, then you can start packing it with the most essential features. This approach will help you to stay away from flushing valuable resources down the drain.

Don’t be afraid that it costs an arm and a leg to scale an e-learning business with web development. You can find many organic methods out there either for a free or lower cost. And, of course, one of the most effective ways to scale online business is by driving more traffic streams to a website.

Yes, traffic is a cornerstone of success. And it’s especially crucial in the hectic world of e-commerce. Main benefits of high online traffic:

  • Speaking from the experience of many online businesses – the more traffic you get, the larger revenue streams you generate.
  • High traffic equals more recognition and higher visibility.
  • You get a bigger chance to convert more users (who are interested in your service) and get more referrals through them.
  • Higher website traffic streams is a must for boosting your conversions and sales because conversions and sales are linked together. Conversions would not matter if you couldn’t find the right means to get more traffic streams.  
  • In the long run, more website traffic makes any online business expand. Consequently, it helps to recruit staff, boost offerings, make your service available to new locations, and the other good stuff.

Okay, but how can you actually increase traffic? Here is a quick list of the most effective ways:

Get more traffic with SEO. Utilize this effective technique for maximizing organic (nonpaid) traffic. SEO works incredibly well but it might take time, so be patient.

Increase traffic with social media marketing (SMM). This means – engage with the target audience on popular social media sites (Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, Pinterest, etc.).

Increase traffic with paid ads. A web-based paid placement strategy is utilized to acquire net new traffic. This strategy is good for re-capturing users who previously bounced with remarketing and retargeting.

Increase traffic with content marketing. This strategic approach focuses on creating and providing appropriate/reliable content which users find useful.

Increase traffic with affiliate marketing. This is the process of earning a commission with referral links. It implies promotion and receiving a fixed commission or profit for each sale you make.

Once you’ve got everything up and running, keep in mind that higher traffic does not promise a 100% guarantee of bigger sales right away. It might take you some time to generate more revenue streams. So, be patient.

Another important point – traffic must be relevant to your content! Generic traffic is unable to boost earnings even marginally. So, make sure that you get only relevant traffic. This is one of the ways to boost your sales, especially if you are in a specific niche market.

Scale Your Online Courses Business by Offering Membership Plans Through Subscription

Setting up several membership levels for your e-learning platform is a smart way to scale your online business. You’ll see that every next step here gets more additional premium features. But, in general, there are about 3 options to choose from: basic, advanced, and premium (higher cost but offers more freebies). 

Hint: Before you say “done”, don’t forget to check whether your platform supports all types of documents that you’re going to upload it with (from PDFs to video/audio files). It’s important!

Make sure you have all the integrations needed for establishing a membership subscription service. Some of the examples of effective integrations:

  • Analytics: Google Analytics, Hotjar
  • Promotions: Facebook manager, Google Adwords, etc.
  • Payment gateway: Stripe, Qiwi, Paypal

Okay, now you need to toot your own horn and tell everybody about the subscription feature. How to go about it? Try planned emails to send out notifications on membership options. Utilizing the email automation tools can establish a strong connection with your subscribers.

Offer discounts and bonuses to subscribers as a “thank you” for becoming members of your platform. For example, provide them with a free trial period before they actually pay money for a subscription. Let them make a final decision on payment and give them a chance to get familiar with your product before they hit this “Buy now” button. Your users will definitely appreciate that!

Bottom line

Today, it seems like people crave learning new skills more than ever before. But since no one can learn everything in a lifetime, the learning experience narrows down to a specific topic or learning segment. And if it’s not about learning, people get hooked by watching life hacks videos online on particular subjects. So, this is a good reason why selecting a specific niche for better accessibility and higher conversions is a good idea.

If you want to dive deep into this, find lots of courses on the Grinfer platform that teach effective ways of turning your intellectual property and your expertise into a money-making machine, like “21 Day Online Business Launch”, “10 Ways to Promote your Business Online”, “How to Create Effective Online Courses”, and many more! Get a bunch of useful tips and hints on how to scale your e-learning business by subscribing to one of our membership plans and enjoy full access to anything you need or anything you want to learn in all categories!  

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