Using Testimonials as Social Proof

MirandaOnline Course FeaturesLeave a Comment

Social Proof Online Courses

Students evaluating your course have lots of questions – is this course right for them, will they learn what they want to learn, and whether it’s a good investment among them. One of the fastest and easiest ways to ease their concerns is using social proof – confirmation that other people (just like them!) have made – and stood behind – the same decision.


 

socialproof

Reading student testimonials is comforting for potential purchasers, and provides valuable insight into the answers to some pressing questions.

We asked our product team if they could help us out with an easy way to add great looking testimonials to course descriptions, and they’ve delivered! With a few lines of code, you now have the ability to turn your favourite student feedback into reassuring social proof for your course landing pages.

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3 Ways to Encourage & Get Testimonials

  1. Ask! Adding a quick survey to the end of your courses can help you gather important insight from students that will help guide your course updates going forward. Was it too hot, too cold, or just right?
    At the same time, if you’re doing the right stuff, you’ll be hearing this through your feedback surveys. Don’t let that data go to waste – turn those comments into shared testimonials!
  2. Scour Twitter. Students who complete your course are prompted to tweet about it, and you might find you’ve already got some course love out there. It’s as close as a quick search.
  3. If you’re just starting out or your course is new, that’s OK! There are still great ways to add testimonials – think about feedback from in person sessions you’ve done, consulting work, or even glance at your LinkedIn reviews. A solid review about how you’re a great person to work with (even if the review was written about another experience with you) is a good place to start, until you have some course-specific comments to work with.

 

Ready to get styling? Visit our Knowledge base article with the step-by-step for achieving custom testimonial styles for your own landing page.

Webinar Design 101

Si JiaMarketing, Online Course Success SeriesLeave a Comment

Mock up laptop on wooden table, isolated

Known for kickstarting brand recognition, website traffic, and credibility, webinars are fantastic resources for you to build relationships with your audience.

Mock up laptop on wooden table, isolated

But, one of the greatest challenges can be conversion: the number of people who actually go from viewing to buying. The chief purpose of a webinar is to generate sales, so it’s no question that producing a high converting webinar is your top priority.

Here are five tips to help you be successful:

1. Find a Balance Between Content and Selling

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There is no bigger faux pas than constant, in-your-face self-promotion. If you want your viewers to leave, then self-promotion is your go-to. Otherwise, you want to find a respectable level of content and selling.

Taki Moore, a webinar marketing wizard, aims to inspire people to go from “curious to conversion.” This means spending the majority of your webinar teaching your audience something worthwhile rather then merely pushing sales. Build the conversation, build the value, and only at the end do you introduce your product as the solution. As a result, viewers will be more inclined to trust what you have to say and take your word for it.

2. Make Your Viewers a Part of the Experience

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The worst thing about any webinar is having disengaged viewers. Every lost viewer is every lost customer.

A simple way of preventing this is creating a sense of community. Interact with your viewers by asking questions (“What part of the world are you all from?”), encouraging them to give live input (“What are you thoughts on this?”), inviting them to share what they’ve learned using a designated hashtag, and even calling them out by name. Your goal is to keep them engaged until the end of the webinar and beyond.

3. Urgency

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Urgency is your friend.

Webinar-specific discounts that will be available if viewers buy within the next 24 hours, or that are only live until the end of the week. You need to make the offer so irresistible that they have to do it right that second. Sellers love impulsiveness, and buyers hate the fear of missing out.

4. Give Immediate Rewards

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Show, don’t tell.

Show that your product is amazing, instead of saying that it is. Give your viewers a taste of what your product is like, and present them physical, viable results that they can experience on their own.

You want to convince them that your product is right for them, and they want to ensure that it is as good as they think it is. There is no better way to secure sales than selling to someone who is committed from the start.

5. Follow-Up

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Stay in touch with the viewers who buy your product. Show them all the perks they’re going to receive and the untold secrets behind your product. They’re the ones who have the power to share your success story, so you want to continue having ongoing engagement.

Remember, no matter how good your webinar is, there will always be people who choose not to buy it. Instead of letting that get to you, follow up with them and ask for feedback. Why did they not buy your product? What can you do differently next time? Tell them that your offer will still on the table for when they need it. You want to treat your non-buyers as prospective customers, or else all your hard work would have been meaningless.

Want more webinar tips by an instructor killing it with webinars to sell his online courses? Check out the case study here.

 

5 Must-Do Twitter Habits

Si JiaMarketingLeave a Comment

online course twitter habits

Are you a course owner looking to grow your customer base? There is never a single way to do that, but one method is certain: social media.

5 twitter must-do habits

One of the most successful and cost-effective ways to promote an online course is just by being social, and a great place to do that is Twitter! We’ve pulled together 5 must-do habits, along with actionable tactics you can employ today.

1. Post Valuable Content

There is no better way to disconnect with your followers than constant, relentless self-promotion. Give your readers a break! Think of Twitter like a party – if you walk in the door and start shouting about your course, you’ll be led to the door.

Instead, show your readers that you are an authority in your area, and that you are capable of teaching them. A great rule of thumb is to post 30% of your own content, and the rest shares and re-tweets from your community that will be valuable and of interest to your reader. If you focus on teaching rather than selling, you’ll build followers and come out on top.

COURSE OF ACTION:

Do a twitter-audit. If you’re shouting more than sharing, draft out your next tweets with shared content that you didn’t produce (retweets and web-finds included!)

2. Engage with Your Followers

Your audience wants to know that you care – we all want the reassurance of knowing that we matter to you, and engagement builds trust.

Engagement can come from simply commenting on or re-tweeting content by your followers, or engaging folks in back and forth conversation. As you build your reputation, your future customers may even tweet you with questions or want advice on what to do next. One pitfall of many businesses here is that they ignore questions or comments with silence. Learn from this mistake and engage with your followers: answer their questions, tell them what you know, and thank them when they are appreciative of your work.

COURSE OF ACTION:

Go into your Twitter mentions and send a reply or retweet every user who has interacted with you in the past two weeks. Still growing your following? Search for tweets related to your niche and dive in as though they were already your follower. By reaching out, they soon will be!

3. Join Conversations

One of my favourite features on Twitter is the hashtag, denoted by the # symbol, where people from all over the world can start a conversation and weigh-in to the topic at hand. Popular hashtags in the past include #JeSuisCharlie, #ALSIceBucketChallenge, and #TheDress.

By joining business-specific conversations, you can increase exposure for your online courses. Hashtags are an excellent social media strategy, categorizing your tweets and making them easily accessible through Twitter searches. If that isn’t enough, you can also opt to start your brand’s own hashtag.

COURSE OF ACTION:

Join the #FF (Follow Friday) movement by tweeting a list of users you enjoy following every Friday. To see it in action, just search #FF on Twitter!

4. Start a Twitter Chat

Twitter Chats are very similar to conversations, except that users will meet at a predetermined time and a host will ask questions to encourage responses and interaction. They usually last an hour and are very fast-paced – so be prepared!

Like conversations in person, Twitter Chats are handy for expanding your network through similar interests. Some helpful resources to get you started are http://chatsalad.com and http://tweetreports.com/twitter-chat-schedule.

COURSE OF ACTION:

Find an upcoming chat in your niche, and join in a Twitter Chat today!

5. Promote Your Courses

Do you want people to know about your courses? Then tell them!

Once you’ve got an audience you’re engaging with, you’re sharing more of other people’s content than your own, and you have a growing follower base, you’re in a great position for a launch. Now that you have a loyal audience on Twitter, there’s no better way to share your courses than to get the message across directly. You’ve built a relationship with your followers, and they now trust that what you give to them is worthwhile of their time. Pro-tip: Keep an eye on your unfollow rate, especially as you introduce more self promotion content. That will let you know if you’re off-base.

COURSE OF ACTION:

Plan out a simple posting calendar to balance self promotion, sharing your own teaching and knowledge, sharing valuable content created by others, and engaging with your audience. Once you’ve got a plan to keep a great balance, go ahead, now is the time for you to self-promote!

Blended Learning & Scheduled Class Activities

MirandaOnline Course Features, Online Course Success SeriesLeave a Comment

community-online-classes

Online learning doesn’t have to be a solo activity! Online education can deliver highly social and collaborative student experiences. With some attention towards shared activities, you can set the stage for a strong community for your students.

community-online-classesStronger student communities result in improved learning outcomes as students are more engaged and more likely to complete each lesson, and engaged students are happier students!

Long term friendships often form as a result of taking classes together, and the same can absolutely be accomplished in online groups when instructors build in the opportunity for students to interact.

Blended Learning Platform

Ideas for scheduled group activities for your class:

  • Set up a private live chat with up to 150 people or a video call for up to 10 people using Google Hangouts
  • Host a Twitter live chat with your audience. Pick a hashtag, ask starter questions, and chat away! This one gets bonus points for making it easy for students to connect 1v1.
  • Schedule a live teleseminar. Calls are a great way to meet your students, and to literally give students a voice with some open discussion time. Tara’s got a great primer on setting up your calls here.
  • Plan a webinar. Webinars are a way to combine live chat with visual slides or a screenshare. We are fans of GoToMeeting and Easy Webinar, and we’ve heard good things about AnyMeeting to get you started. Make it social with community chat during the call.
  • Meet face to face. When setting up a blended classroom, you can combine face to face classes and meetings with online content for an integrated student experience. Schedule formal classes or even social activities.
  • Take a virtual field trip. There are so many valuable learning resources online, you can get REALLY creative with online learning activities. Combine a google hangouts live chat with another online activity, like a virtual walk through an art gallery. In this example, you could post a link to an image of a painting and prompt the group to discuss for 5 minutes before moving on to the next painting. The sky is the limit!

Setting Up Your Thinkific Scheduled Class

Scheduled classes allow a cohort of students to all start and go through the course at the same time. These classes are well suited to coordinated marketing launches to maximize the number of students in the group.

From a technical perspective, scheduled classes are best setup with the use of Drip Content. Drip Content lets you set your course lessons to be released on a certain day. You can choose to either release all of the content on day one, or to release individual lessons on specific days. This encourages your students to work through the course material together, which improves discussion and keeps everyone on the same page.

Have you used online group activities with your courses?

How did it go? I’d love to hear what you did, and if you have any great ideas to share with other instructors for real-time ways to interact with your students online. Leave a comment!

7 Tricks You’re Probably Not Using to Maximize Engagement

MirandaMarketing, Online Course Success Series1 Comment

maximize-student-engagement

You’ve got your course up, and you’re starting to get people signing up. Wahoo! Now – how do you maximize student engagement?

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Students who are engaged:

– Are more likely to make a purchase (or an additional purchase)
– Are more likely to complete your course
– Are more likely to tell their friends

There are lots of ways to fully engage with your students, but there are a few fun ways that you can maximize your relationship with the default email options right within your Thinkific site. Here are my favourites.

Engaging-&-Personal-Welcome-Emails

Every student that creates an account for your Thinkific site gets an automatic welcome email. This is your first opportunity to wow them! Remember: this welcome email isn’t tied to a specific class, so this includes folks that have just signed up and bought their first course, and others who have signed up for a free trial or even those who are just checking you out. Don’t miss this chance to engage with each of them.

My top tips for your welcome email:

  1. Draft a compelling, personal hello. Tell them a little about you, and share a favourite recent testimonial or two that might help solidify their purchase decision (or tip the tables if they’re considering a purchase).
  2. Invite your student to visit your social media channels, like twitter or Facebook. This is also a way for them to get to know you a little more.
  3. Offer a sweet sign-up bonus. Sending them free access to a small bonus course, a free guide, or an exclusive download are great ways to confirm they’ve made the right choice by checking you out.

Completion Emails That Signal the Beginning, Not the End

You can create a unique email that will go out to your students when they complete each of your courses. When students complete a course, they are at a crucial time in your relationship with them: their satisfaction is at a peak as they’ve just finished learning, but they’re also about to stop logging in for new course content.

This is an ideal time to:

  1. Thank them and congratulate them! Nothing is better than a well-timed congrats note on a job well done.
  2. Get feedback. You can always build a feedback form for student feedback right into your course itself, but asking via email for student experience and testimonials is another great way to learn how you can improve your program, and also to earn valuable student comments that you can share.
  3. Upsell them on your next course. You can include a coupon code to give them a deal on their next course, as a thank-you for completing your program. As you know which course they just completed, you can choose to suggest a good course to follow the one they’ve completed, or you can give a coupon that can be applied to any course in your catalogue.
  4. Offer a bring-a-friend deal. I’m a big fan of giving a gift for you and a gift to give away! Rather than giving one coupon towards a next course, why not offer two?

Learn more about creating notification emails for your Thinkific courses.


I’d love to hear what’s working for you, and if anyone has something that has worked especially well with your automated student emails!

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Earning $20,000/month with Webinars

MirandaMarketing4 Comments

sell-course

One really effective way to accelerate course sales is using webinars. This week, rather than just telling you how this can work, I wanted to share the detailed case study of one of our instructors who has used webinars almost exclusively to drive sales. Even better, we’re going to dive right into his story with all the details of exactly how he did it.

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New Feature: Voice Over PowerPoint

MirandaMarketing1 Comment

Startup Stock Photos

Are you looking to add audio, narration or voice-overs to your Powerpoint or Keynote slide presentations? This can now be done directly within Thinkific, and you can deliver it as part of your online course!

voice-over-powerpointOften, simple is key. We’ve heard from many of you that you’d love to create your course by simply adding audio to your Powerpoint and Keynote slide presentations, without having to fight with technology in the process. So, we built it for you.

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5 Ways to Make Your First Course Sale

MirandaMarketing, Online Course Success Series1 Comment

first course sales

Having your course ready to go is step one… but then what? Building is only half the battle; getting your course in front of people so they’ll purchase is the other half, and deserves a lot of time and attention.

first salesThere are many ways to get your first course sale, but there are a few common tips and tricks that we’ve seen work well time and time again. Let’s dive in!

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Introducing: Certificates

MirandaOnline Course Features1 Comment

certificates-online-courses

Receiving a certificate upon completion of a course is an important part of learning culture. Whether it’s the certificate earned to mark a childhood milestone or the one you are handed when you walk across a university stage, certificates in education are universal.

And now, we’ve brought certificates to the online world for Thinkific courses!

Certificates allow course creators to automatically deliver an official, secure, and verifiable certificate of completion to students who have completed their course.

online-course-certificates

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