Love that free course on Instagram, but aren’t sure where to sell it to make more? Look no further, because we’ve got a business model for you.
How To Sell Your Learning Product Online
We all have something to sell—whether it’s a photo of your baking cupcakes, or a do-it-yourself project like pickle-making—or even just the e-book you made about a political topic, like Chelsea Clinton’s, or John Oliver’s, and the Kindles and Audible accounts that they made you sign up for.
We’ve all thought about getting more exposure for our learning product but maybe it isn’t clear just how effective your selling skills are.
1. Find Your Audience
When you’re selling through an online retailer like Amazon or Apple, you’ll probably have to know the pricing structure before you hit the “sell” button.
That can be scary. There are thousands of books to choose from and most are priced at under $10. That’s a lot of choices to make. This will take a little time.
Always start out as a beginner, not an expert. Figure out which books, websites and books you already like. Be an author? Don’t feel like you have to stick to just that; many are actually available for free. A free t-shirt is worth much more than a discounted book.
But if you’re a new author, be prepared to spend a lot of time figuring out the price of your product in the first place. Obviously you won’t have access to a market the size of Amazon or Apple’s, but if you write a great review and post great questions for readers on social media, you might have a couple people who are interested in giving you a listen.
2. Try People-Based Marketing
Two tools I found that helped me with this are Zola and WordPress. Don’t confuse these with freelancer tools like Envizr or WriteWell. Zola takes a slew of book reviews from various sources and gives them to you, but does some customization and personalization to make each review tailor made for your particular book and author.
Now you can click through a book review and identify which one you like the most and choose the appropriate piece of information to add to your listing. The Zola ranking allows you to see the most popular recommendations (lesser ones just get a plain link to put in your listing) and create your own custom pages about the author.
WordPress’ audience manager is a much smaller but comparable tool. You can choose to show a ton of reviews at one time or just about one. Choose the one you feel is most reflective of the unique style and personality of your product and customize it as you see fit.
3. Build a List
Just like in the photo section, you need to make sure you’re on a website with a ton of traffic, similar to how you’d build a store on a website.
If you can’t find a retailer with a lot of reviews, or a niche for your product, start with comments. There are comments to add to your screenshots, as well as people to write reviews or comments. If you’re selling a print-on-demand book, you’ll likely have another portal to contact your distributor with your book.
Amazon, for example, has a promotion for Lea Berman’s cookbook Every Single Bite. When you go to the Gather page for the book, you’ll get an opportunity to sell Berman’s book with a 70% discount. Click the “Purchase” button and you’ll have an empty page filled with Amazon link for orders for $25 or more.
4. Remember the Promotional Gimmick
If you’re selling an e-book or digital audio version of your product, it’s important to include a promotional gimmick. Why? The Kindle’s original promotional gimmick was allowing people to give each other away free books. Then Amazon got publishers to up the bar and sell bundled e-books—sold individually, but made free if you ordered three or more— and the paid-for plan from the publishers became more enticing.
There are basically no better ways to bring in an audience than by putting it on a paid service. If you have an audience, it’s fine to make money selling them something—it’s better than not having an audience at all.