The Internet is rife with questions such as “how to make money online?”
With digitalisation permeating all facets of life and business, it is not hard to see why. However, such questions often elicit a response: “What do you have to offer?” This is because the Internet is full of possibilities if you find the right avenue and put your skillset to good use. E-learning platforms, in particular, have become an avenue for those who have mastery over a particular subject and those who intend to learn it, regardless of where both parties are put up.
The Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent increase in digitalisation have provided further impetus to the growth of e-learning platforms, with 98 per cent of institutions resorting to online teaching and 43 per cent of them investing money to scale their digital capabilities following the outbreak. E-learning is now the go-to option for upskilling and a hallmark of the civilized world. As a testament to the same, the global e-learning market, which was previously expected to grow to $375bn by 2026, is now set to grow to a trillion-dollar by 2027.
The traction of e-learning platforms is par for the course in the Middle East as well, especially in innovation-driven economies like the UAE, where the government has launched a ‘Distance Learning’ initiative and public higher education and university programmes, allocating $2.8bn — a whopping 15 per cent of the federal budget. I’m encouraged by such developments because, after working with some of the best trainers in the Arab world to turn their knowledge and expertise into online ventures, I understand the impact they can have on others.
If you are reading this, then chances are that you are planning to create an online course or hoping to scale your existing venture. Whether you are a fitness coach, life coach, dietician, marketer, business coach, financial coach, photographer, video editor, graphic designer or an expert in any field, you can create online courses, run paid and sponsored ads, and create a sustainable income source. The following pointers will help you make an instant impact and touch the lives of many while earning $10,000 or more each month.
Know your ideal customer and refine your message accordingly
Around 90 per cent of online course and content creators face difficulty in understanding their customers and their needs. When they cannot attract enough customers, they often attribute it to algorithm issues or stiff competition. In reality, however, they need to be asking themselves: Who am I serving? What is my true expertise? Why should customers opt for my services and not my competitors’? What differentiates my services from the rest? If you are honest with yourself in answering these questions, you may begin to understand what needs to be done.
At times, this will involve seeing your services through the lens of the customer, to understand if you’re addressing their needs and pain points. Subsequently, using the newfound perspective, you can refine your marketing message while keeping it simple, specific, and concise.
Create powerful digital content
Do you think content is everything? You’re right. But so are context and consistency. Many content creators lack consistency and tend to constantly oscillate between different content types. This often translates to negative growth in the account. The key is to understand what your audience sees as soon as they visit your account. In order to make an instant impact, your portfolio must characterize high quality and continuity. But this cannot be done on the go; you must draw a clear content map, visualising what you intend to upload in the next 30 days.
Develop the right lead magnet to attract the target audience
A lead magnet is a free offering to the target customers in exchange for their email addresses. But what you need isn’t just a lead magnet but one that is irresistible to your target customers. It could be a free e-book, training material, or a free 30-minute consultation. Most importantly, it is something that your prospective customer cannot wait to receive in their mailbox. Once you have their addresses in your mailing list, you can segment the customers and make direct propositions. How you place the lead magnet on the landing page and how you leverage the email address will determine your success.
Monitor the turnout for your course
You have a sizable customer base and you have a training program ready for launch. What is your next course of action? It is time to check the audience’s appetite. Now that your audience is aware of the impending launch, you will need to monitor the response and sentiment. This step will enable you to predict how much you can sell, your earnings, and the achievable impact. The findings will motivate you more and help you streamline your programme further. For example, you can publish a video, talking about the course and offering only 10 people exclusive access to personalised training. You can reduce the price of exclusive courses by, say, half. Such campaigns can help you determine the pre-launch sentiment and spread the word.
The run-up to the launch
As soon as you’re ready to launch, you can consider hosting a “Free Webinar” to raise awareness and promote your offerings. It will allow you to share your experiences with the audience. Most importantly, the webinar is a good opportunity to funnel your prospective leads toward signing up. In fact, studies suggest that at least 10 per cent of webinar attendees become eventual customers. If the response is inadequate, fret not, because it is an opportunity to learn. Setback gives you perspective. So, you have one less setback to worry about the next time. And soon, you’ll be left with a fail-proof success strategy.
Sarah Refai is the CEO and founder of Canada-based Coconut-media and Dawrati Online