Are you interested in selling training courses online? The demand for professional development and employee training has never been higher, and the convenience of online learning has made it a popular choice for individuals and businesses alike.
If you have expertise in a particular field and want to monetize your knowledge, selling training courses online can be a great way to do so.
In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide on how to sell training courses online, including tips on choosing a platform, creating course content, and promoting your offerings. Whether you’re an individual looking to share your expertise with the world or a business looking to expand your offerings, this guide will provide you with the tools you need to succeed.
Why Sell Training Courses Online?
Perhaps you’re a professional coach who has delivered plenty of face-to-face training, or perhaps this is a totally new avenue for you. Either way, you may wonder why creating and selling online training courses is the way to go. As you’ll see in our list below, there are numerous benefits to setting up your business online:
- Reach a wider audience: By offering your courses online, you’ll be able to reach a much larger audience than you would through in-person training or live presentations. This is especially important in the current climate, as remote work has become increasingly common. In the US, at least 58% of people work remotely some of the time, which means there’s a demand for outsourced training for remote employees.
- Tap into the corporate market: Corporate clients are often willing to pay premium prices for training services, making them a valuable target audience for your business. These clients may include HR managers, CEOs, and project managers, and they often purchase multiple seats per course and pay upfront.
- Upsell your services: If a company is satisfied with your training course, they may invite you to do additional training in person or provide consulting services. This can be a great way to grow your business and increase your revenue.
- Build credibility: By selling your courses to reputable companies, you’ll have the opportunity to garner authoritative testimonials and recommendations that can be valuable in attracting similarly valuable clients.
The 8-point Checklist to Sell Training Courses
It’s important to approach training course creation in a strategic and organized manner to ensure success. That’s where our 8-point checklist comes in. In this section, we’ll go through each step of the process to help you set up and launch your online training business with confidence. From identifying your target audience to building your website and creating marketing materials, we’ve got you covered. Follow these steps, and you’ll be well on your way to selling training courses online like a pro.
1. Choosing Your Niche
Before you start selling training courses online, it’s important to identify your area of expertise and choose a niche to focus on. If you try to offer too many streams of training, you may not be taken seriously as an expert. Instead, focus on one or two areas of expertise and build your reputation from there. This will help you establish yourself as an authority in your field and differentiate yourself from competitors.
Here are a few things to consider when choosing your niche:
- Specialized training: If you have a particular expertise or area of specialization, you may want to consider offering specialized training courses. For example, you could offer training for new product owners or presentation skills training for managers. Perhaps your niche is industry-specific or department-based, and an example of this could be telecommunication sales training. By focusing on a specific niche, you’ll be able to build a reputation as an expert and attract highly-targeted clients.
- General training: On the other hand, you may choose to offer general training on a wide range of topics. For example, you could offer an introduction to the Agile framework or emotional intelligence at the workplace. While offering general training can be a good way to reach a wider audience, it’s important to remember that you’ll still need to establish yourself as an authority in your field.
Science of People is an online training website that sells a variety of courses related to public speaking and human communication. Some of their popular titles include ‘Presentation Skills’, ‘Conversation Mastery’, and ‘Decode Microexpressions’. Their courses could interest various audiences but would be well suited to entrepreneurs and anyone in a leading role, such as a CEO, Managing Director, or even politician, who wants to make a more profound impact on the people they interact with on a daily basis. Therefore, their courses could be seen as specialized.
2. Choosing Your Business Model
When selling training courses online, it’s important to consider the business model you’ll use to sell your courses. There are two main options to choose from: selling to businesses (B2B) or selling to consumers (B2C).
If you choose to sell your courses to businesses, you’ll be selling directly to business owners or senior members of a company. These clients will often purchase multiple seats of your course for their employees. While selling B2B can be lucrative, it’s important to keep in mind that these clients may want you to offer specialized courses that are tailored to their company’s needs. Additionally, you may be asked to offer additional services such as progress reports and live training, which can be an additional opportunity for revenue but may also require more time and resources on your part.
On the other hand, if you choose to sell your courses directly to consumers, you’ll be targeting employees who have training allowances from their employers or people who may be interested in the subject and find your courses organically. This can be a good option if you’re offering general training courses that are applicable to a wide range of industries. However, it’s important to remember that you may need to compete with other course creators for these clients, and pricing can be a key factor in their decision-making process.
Choosing the right business model is an important consideration when selling training courses online. It will impact your pricing structure, the types of courses you offer, and the additional services you may need to provide.
3. Creating Your Website with WordPress
One of the best approaches is to create your own website using WordPress. There are several reasons why this is the best option:
- Professional appearance: Having your own website is always more professional, especially if you’re targeting high-level clients. This can help you establish credibility and build trust with your audience.
- No competition: By creating your own website, you won’t have to compete with other course creators whose content may be more visible on the same platform. This can help you stand out and attract more students to your courses.
- Own your content: By adding your training courses to your website, you’ll own all of your content and keep all of the revenue you make. This gives you more control over your business and allows you to grow at your own pace.
- Branding: With your own website, you’ll have the opportunity to fully match your branding and create a cohesive look and feel for your business.
Setting up a business with WordPress is also cost-effective. You’ll need to pay for a managed WordPress host, such as Pressable or WordPress.com, and you may also choose to purchase a premium WordPress theme and premium plugins to add functionality to your website. You’ll also need to use an eCommerce platform, which WordPress offers for free via WooCommerce. Keep in mind that you’ll owe transaction fees to the payment gateways you use when selling your courses. If you want more information about the subject, refer to our guide about how to set up your website to sell online courses.
4. Creating Courses with Sensei LMS
To create courses in WordPress, you’ll need to use a learning management system (LMS) plugin. There are several options available, but we recommend using Sensei LMS for corporate training courses.
This plugin has a few different plans available but if you want to unlock its full LMS capabilities and need the ability to sell your courses as products, then you’ll want Sensei Pro, which costs $149 annually. Here are some of the premium features you get with this plan:
- Comprehensive courses: Sensei allows you to create comprehensive courses featuring modules and lessons. This makes it easy to organize your content and provides a structured learning experience for your students.
- Groups and cohorts: Sensei’s group and cohort feature is perfect for businesses that are purchasing multiple seats for their employees. You can set access periods for the course and track student progress, which is useful for keeping clients informed about their employees’ progress.
- Learning mode layout: Sensei’s learning mode layout promotes distraction-free learning and makes your courses look more professional. This can be important when trying to attract corporate clients.
- Sensei Blocks: Sensei’s interactive blocks, such as interactive videos and flashcards, add fun and engagement to your lessons. This can help keep your students engaged and improve their learning experience.
- Question types: Sensei allows you to add seven different question types to your lessons. These questions can be set to automatic or manual grading, depending on your preference. Some businesses may prefer manual grading, as it provides a more thorough assessment of their employees’ progress.
5. Set your pricing structure
Once you’ve created your courses with Sensei, it’s time to consider your pricing structure.
Sensei Pro integrates with WooCommerce, which makes it easy to set up your courses as simple products. You can take payments through whichever methods you need, including credit cards through Stripe. This is your best option if you are targeting B2C users, meaning employees who choose their training programs.
It’s also a good option if you are targeting small-to-medium businesses that might not necessarily pay for specialized training. In such a case you could also look into offering discounts for customers who buy the same course for multiple employees.
Alternatively, you can enable customers to pay via bank transfer, which will put their order on hold until the transaction is complete. You may prefer this option for B2B transactions, especially if your courses are very expensive. Additionally, if you are targeting larger companies, you may want to take payments off your website so that you can negotiate with companies personally. This will make it easier for you to offer specialized services such as company-specific training.
6. Marketing and Outreach Plan
Now that you’ve set up your online training business and created your courses, it’s time to map out your marketing strategy so you can regularly attract new customers. If you have prior experience in corporate training, you may already have some past clients who can recommend your online courses to similar businesses. Even if you don’t, you’ll need to put in some hard work to build your online presence.
One way to do this is by using Google Ads to promote your website. You can also focus on creating high-quality, SEO-friendly content for your site to help it rank well in search results. Additionally, consider setting up pages on LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media platforms to reach more potential clients.
Another option is to start a YouTube channel where you can offer valuable, free content to attract viewers to your website. You can also reach out to businesses directly to chat about your services and see if they’re interested in purchasing training for their employees.
Career Foundry is an example of an online training platform that uses YouTube to spread brand awareness. Their videos feature experts who impart useful information about trends and learning approaches to fields such as data analysis and UX. This highly aligns with the career-focused training courses that you can find on their website.
7. Ensuring Client Satisfaction
Your work doesn’t end when a client purchases your training course. It’s important to ensure that you’re providing value throughout the duration of the course and even after it’s complete. Here are a few ways you can do this:
- Stay available for questions and messages. Sensei makes it easy for you to view and reply to messages from students, so you can be there to support them as they work through the course.
- Grade assignments if required. Depending on your course and your clients’ needs, you may be asked to grade assignments or provide feedback to students. Sensei can help with this by providing tools to help you manage and grade assignments.
- Award certifications to students who complete the course, as this can be a great way to show your clients the value of your training. With Sensei, it’s possible to offer customized certificates.
- Report on student progress to companies. It’s important to keep your clients informed about the progress of their employees, and Sensei can help with this by providing tools to track student progress and generate reports.
It’s important to be proactive in ensuring client satisfaction to help build trust and establish a positive reputation for your business!
8. Getting Feedback and Testimonials
Gathering feedback and testimonials from your clients is essential for improving your training courses and growing your business. Here are a few ways you can effectively gather feedback and use it to your advantage:
- Reach out to clients after they have completed the course. Send a survey or simply reach out via email or phone to ask for their thoughts on the course. Be sure to ask open-ended questions that allow them to provide detailed feedback.
- Use feedback to identify areas for improvement. Analyze the feedback you receive and look for common themes or areas that need improvement. Use this information to make changes to your courses and ensure that you are providing the best possible training experience.
- Use testimonials to build credibility. If you receive positive feedback from your clients, consider asking them if they would be willing to provide a testimonial. Testimonials can be a powerful tool for building credibility and attracting new clients. Be sure to ask permission before using any testimonials and always respect your clients’ privacy.
By taking the time to listen to your clients and use their feedback to improve your courses, you can ensure that you are providing the best possible training experience for your clients.
Sell Your Training Courses Online with WordPress and Sensei LMS
Selling training courses online can be a lucrative and rewarding business venture, especially when targeting corporate clients who are willing to pay premium prices for high-quality training services.
In this article, we’ve outlined eight essential steps to get your online training course business up and running, from how to choose your niche, to how to set up your website, and how to make sure your clients are happy with your services at every step of the process.
At the heart of our checklist is our most valuable advice, which is that the best way to sell training courses is to use WordPress as your content management system and Sensei LMS as your all-in-one tool for course creation. With Sensei’s premium plan, Sensei Pro, it’s easy to create comprehensive courses, track student progress, grade assignments, and award certification.
You can easily sell your courses as products via Sensei’s integration with WooCommerce, but you may alternatively want to hide your prices so that you can negotiate package deals with B2B clients who are buying training courses for multiple employees at once.
So why wait? Try out Sensei LMS and take the first steps toward setting up your online training business today!