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Your knowledge can very easily be turned into an actual online business: from selling e-books to building online courses and membership sites, there are numerous ways that you can use your knowledge about a specific niche to build your own business.
But this is for all of you who already are selling your knowledge online – and want to learn how to improve your results. In this blog post, I’m going to share five top tips to help you better sell your knowledge online.
Use content marketing to promote your products and demonstrate your knowledge
Why should people trust you?
How can they know that the product you’re selling is good enough, whether it’s an e-book or an online course?
There is a lot of content out there, all battling for the same audience’s attention. While you might have a great online course on Microsoft Excel, chances are, there are dozens of alternatives to your course, maybe even on the same platform you’re selling your course.
So if you want to stand out from the competition and reach your audience, then you need to not only promote your content, but also demonstrate your knowledge and build trust. You need to find your own audience and build up their trust in you by showing them that you have the knowledge and skills and you know how to get your point across.
Content marketing is likely the best way to both promote your products and build trust by showing off your knowledge; there are several ways that you can leverage content marketing:
- Start a blog and create a consistent posting schedule: it’s a great way to attract a new audience as well as show off your knowledge and skills. While you shouldn’t give too much away – after all, you want to sell your knowledge – there are plenty of ways to provide value to your audience and show them that you really know your stuff with short and long-form blog posts that showcase your knowledge
- Create a free e-book or webinar: it might sound like it defeats the purpose but sometimes, you need to give something in order to get something. If you don’t have an audience already built-up, a free piece of content that provides true value (like an e-book or a free webinar/online course) can help you promote yourself and build trust in your skills
Build a community of engaged fans
When you start selling your knowledge online – whether it’s through online courses, membership sites, or another form – it’s very important to keep your audience engaged and constantly participating. That’s because you want to keep your audience happy and interested for more – so that you can upsell.
And how do you do that? Beyond great content, you also need to engage them. And the best way to do that? It’s by building a community where your audience can discuss relevant topics, ask you (and other members of your audience) questions and generally, have that sense of community that you might get from an actual “school.”
Create a community and invite your audience to join it by promoting its value:
- A place where they can discuss what they’ve learned and exchange experiences with other members
- A place where they can ask any further questions they might have, that can be answered by you – the “teacher” – or even other members of your audience
- A place where they can report any bugs or problems they might have encountered
- A place where they can get access to exclusive content and tips
One way to cultivate a community is to leverage social networks like Facebook or LinkedIn, where you can create groups and invite your audience to join. Or, if you want it all to be integrated – and have your online courses and community together – you can use Kajabi, which is an all-in-one tool for building, managing and marketing courses. They recently introduced a new product called “Community,” which allows you to create a forum/group for all of your membership site patrons to join and engage in.
Make sure to promote your community to your members and show them the value of joining. Once you start your community, participate consistently and post new content, ask questions, share valuable articles and other pieces of content and try to engage your audience.
Perform extensive research before creating your content
You can only teach others what you already know, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t also do some research before creating any content.
- Use keyword research tools like the Moz Keyword Explorer to look up your keywords and see what long-tail keywords (keywords formed of 2 or more words) your audience are using the most. This will help you in a couple of different ways: first, it will tell you which specific topics are most searched for and secondly, it will help you come up with a better headline for your content, optimized for search engines
- Use content research tools like Buzzsumo to look up your keywords and discover the most popular content being shared online – usually blog posts, news articles and other similar forms of content. Like keyword research, this will show you which topics interest your target audience the most so that you can come up with better topics and headlines
- Research your competition: what other content is there competing with yours? What content formats are they using? Who are the most popular content creators in your niche? Take the time to study them to see what kind of content they create, but also so you can try to understand why they’re so popular in your niche (and what you can learn from them – without copying!)
Diversify: try different methods and tactics
There are so many different ways to monetize your knowledge: online courses, membership sites, webinars, e-books and whitepapers, consulting, speaking gigs, seminars and so on.
So if you want to make the most of your skills and knowledge – and turn them into a successful, profitable business – it’s worth looking into alternative ways to sell your knowledge.
This will allow you to reach a much wider audience as well as help you set up multiple revenue streams.
For example, if you’re selling an online course, you can also try creating and selling a book, even on the same topic; self-publishing is easier and more wide-spread than ever, especially because of Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.
Or, if you’re comfortable with one-on-one situations and love interacting with people, then consulting can be a great solution.
There are numerous possibilities of branching out; you just need to find the right tactics for you and get started.
Invest in your list and leverage email marketing
What are you doing with all the people who bought from you? The people who downloaded or bought your content or signed up for your courses or membership sites?
Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing tactics around and has been so for years. And if you’re selling your knowledge? Well, then your email list is one of your most valuable assets.
That’s because building an email list – and leveraging email marketing and marketing automation tools like Mailchimp – gives you a way to not only engage and keep your audience interested and participating, but it also provides you with the perfect avenue for upselling.
First, start building up your list:
- Ask existing customers/readers/attendees to join your list
- Use your blog to attract more people to your newsletter
- Offer incentives such as how to guides and free webinars to have more people join your list
The next step is to start segmenting that list – most email marketing tools will offer that feature. This will then allow you to create highly targeted and personalized email marketing and marketing automation campaigns designed to help you convert your list or, depending on the case, sell them new and exciting products.
Selling your knowledge online is now easier than ever – which is why the e-learning market is predicted to reach $325 billion by 2025 – but only those who offer real value and know how to promote themselves will be able to succeed.
March 7, 2019 at 02:56AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs