How to Create and Sell Online Courses as an Influencer@2x-8

Step-by-Step Process of How to Create and Sell Online Courses as an Influencer in 2021

12 min read

Are you an influencer with expertise in a specific niche, wanting to share your knowledge with your audience by creating an online course?

Well, not only is this possible, but it’s actually a great way to expand your horizons.

As an influencer, you already have a significant following and people who look up to you for advice. So, creating and selling online courses is a logical next step for you, and can be a great way to build your brand and influence even more.

The question is:

How exactly should you proceed in creating and selling online courses as an influencer?

That’s what this post is all about. Here you’ll learn the step-by-step process of how to create online courses as an influencer, and the best ways to promote and sell them.

Ready to learn more?

Let’s get started.

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1. Choose the Right Topic

Choosing the right topic is probably the most important step in successfully creating and selling an online course as an influencer.

Most influencers already have a specific niche, which will make topic selection a little bit easier. Now it’s up to you to find a topic within your niche and assess which potential topic will have the most demand.

There are many ways to come up with your first online course topic. As an influencer, you have a loyal social media following. So, why not ask your audience directly what courses they are interested in?

You can shortlist a few topics you’ve been thinking about, and conduct a social media quiz or poll to ask for your audience’s opinions. If you have an email list, you can design a newsletter and send a survey seeking your subscribers’ opinions.

Also, do some competitive research and see if there are similar courses being offered online. Check out their course content and see what you can offer that others don’t. This will help you with the next step of the process as well.

Want to find out what the next step is?

Keep reading.

2. Create Comprehensive Course Content

Once you have shortlisted a topic for your online course, the real work starts: creating detailed course content. Your online course should offer more value than other similar courses in your niche do, and should be fun and engaging as well.

Don’t know where to start?

Here are some things you should do to create a high-quality online course for your audience.

Structure Your Course

The first step towards creating an online course is creating an outline and structure for your course. Make a list of all the topics that you want to cover in your online course.

Then, decide on the specific breakdown of that structure and flow of your course by dividing the course content into chapters, sections, and sub-sections. Do your research and make sure that you cover each aspect in detail and have examples to explain your points. Study search queries, to find out what people are searching for online. Explore existing courses on educational websites to read reviews and find what’s in demand or missing. Or ask your audience, friends and family what they would want to learn from you. They know you well and know your skills and expertise.

Here’s a free course outline template from Udemy to get you started.

online course outline template


Online course outline template. Source.

Once you have the structure ready, then you can start creating content for each section. This will mostly include creating a sequence of videos, but more on that later.

Use High-Quality Videos

Most online courses are predominantly a series of videos in which someone explains a topic, talks to students, and gives them tasks to complete. Given that videos are the most important part of any online course, you’ll want to ensure that yours are high quality.

But, how do you create high-quality videos yourself?

Well, you will need good-quality equipment to create and edit your videos. Preferably, use a good camera to make the videos, instead of your phone. If you have to use a phone, make sure that the camera quality is high, and use a tripod to ensure the videos are not shaky.

Also, make sure there’s enough lighting and no background noise when you are filming your online course videos.

Once you have a first draft ready, edit the video using good video editing software.

online course promo example


An example of a high-quality promo video for an online course by Darlene Abarquez. Source.

Add Interactive Elements

The problem with online courses is that the conversation is necessarily one-sided, as you’re relying on pre-recorded videos. So, it becomes really tough to make it interactive for your students and to ensure that they don’t lose interest.

So, how can you make your online courses interactive?

You can add elements like quizzes, tests, activity sheets, etc. to add another level of interactivity to your online courses. Think about what you want your students to learn from your course and then work your way backward to create your course materials accordingly.

Make it Fun and Engaging

This is an often overlooked part of the process on how to create an online course as an influencer, but a very important one!

Just because you are having a one-sided conversation with your students, does not mean that you can’t make it fun for them. Add interesting examples to explain concepts or use humor to keep them actively engaged.

Use hooks to grab their attention and then create some suspense before you finally reveal facts. Tell a story to keep them interested, and make it easier for them to remember what they learn.

Also, if you need any help with the content copywriting aspect of things, hire expert content writers to help you with it, or at least get someone to go over the concept and proofread them for you.

3. Pick a Platform

This step in the process can come before the previous step if you prefer to create your course directly on a platform. Many online course platforms make it easy to structure and create a course, so you can utilize that to your advantage.

No matter where in the process you decide to choose a platform, make sure that you give it enough thought and choose the right platform.

The most important criterion for platform selection is the features that you want. Some important, distinguishing features include:

  • Multimedia Support. You’ll need to upload different file formats, like videos, docs, images. Make sure the platform of your choice supports all of them.
  • Multi-Device Support. Your students will use various devices to learn. The platform must have friendly desktop and mobile interfaces.
  • White Labelling. If you want to sell your courses and run classes on your own website, the platform should be able to work with website builders without stealing your visitors.
  • User Interface. It just has to be convenient. No matter how brilliant your online course is, if people can’t work with it effortlessly, without distraction or irritation, it won’t earn you a fortune of money or respect.

Other important factors include price, customer support, size/popularity of the platform, etc.

4. Or Sell Courses on Your Own Website

You can also choose to sell online courses through your own website, instead of using online course platforms. All you need for that is an ecommerce functionality on your site where you can sell courses and accept online payments.

You can use a good ecommerce platform like Ecwid to do that. You can use it to build an ecommerce store and start selling your courses online on your own website. With Ecwid, you can create a free one-page website with built-in online store without any coding or tech experience. And it won’t take more than an hour!

This provides you with more control over your courses and you get 100% of the revenue generated from selling those.

Benefits of selling online courses on your own website:

  • Full control over your courses content, marketing, and communication with customers
  • You get 100% of the revenue (Ecwid doesn’t charge transaction fees!)
  • Your website contributes to building your personal brand which is vital for any influencer.

5. Set a Competitive Price

This is probably the trickiest part of this process of creating and selling an online course as an influencer. If you set the price too high, you risk losing students. But if you set it too low, people will think that it is not a good course. The key is striking the right balance.

But, how can you do that?

First, do some competitive research and find out the prices of similar courses and compare them in terms of the value they offer versus the prices they’re charging.

Next, make sure that you offer more value. Then set a price that is at the higher end of the spectrum, but not the most expensive. Or, if you feel that your course is great, but offers less detail and expertise than others, perhaps set the course on the low end (but not the cheapest) and pitch it as an affordable option.

If you want to opt for premium pricing, you should add some extra elements to communicate the value of your online course. You can, for example, provide one-on-one coaching to students, host a monthly live call to answer questions, offer downloadable resources, etc.

Also: Price Wars: What to Do If Your Competitors Reduce the Price 

6. Create a Landing Page

Once you have your online course ready and have chosen a platform to sell it, it’s time to start attracting students. For that, you will need to create a course landing page that is optimized for conversions.

Your course landing page should have all of the important information about your course, who it is meant for, and how much it costs. Basically, this is your chance to convince people how beneficial this course is, and why they should enroll in it.

Here are some other important elements that should be included on your landing page:

  • A compelling headline
  • A problem that your target audience can relate to, and that your course helps fix
  • How your course can solve that problem
  • Your unique value proposition
  • Clearly-visible and strategically-placed CTAs

Additionally, you should consider bringing lead generation chatbots into the mix. These chatbots will be able to answer your visitors’ queries instantly 24×7. This, in turn, would improve the chances of them converting or even become leads for your courses.

online course landing page example


An example of a landing page with all of that and more. Source.

If you want to take it a notch higher, you can add more design elements, colors, and visuals to your online course landing page. These can help you engage your prospective customers and encourage them to register for your course.

Here’s an example of a brilliantly designed course landing page for Mark Dawson’s online course.

Use these tips to create a landing page that converts. You can also invest in third-party CRO services to get your landing pages designed by experts.

Ecwid can also come handy here. While you can create your landing page with any builder, you will need a tool to allow people purchase the courses. Ecwid is a widget at its core which embeds to almost any platform. Think WordPress, Wix, Weebly, etc. It also can serve as a landing page solution itself. It’s easy to use and edit, and it comes with 70+ free professional design themes to match almost every possible niche.

7. Promote Your Online Course

No matter how much you optimize your landing page, there’s only so much organic traffic that it can generate. To make your online course successful, you need to promote it on all the platforms that you’re active on, and quickly start selling your course.

Here are some tips to promote your online courses:

  • Run a pre-launch campaign, just like you would for any other product.
  • Use social media marketing to create buzz about your upcoming course.
  • Promote your course organically on social media.
  • Hire influencers to spread the word and get more registrations.
  • Link to your course in blog posts and guest posts.
  • Use offers and discounts to get pre-enrollments and registrations.
  • Leverage student reviews and testimonials for social proof.
  • Invest in paid advertising.

Try these tactics to reach your target audience and promote and sell your online course.

Here’s an example of an influencer selling her online course on social media by attracting participants using a special discount code.

online course instagram promotion example


Promoting your online course on Instagram is the easiest way to find first students. Source.

8. Remarket New Courses to Old Students

Now you’ve created and sold an online course as an influencer. But you don’t want to stop there. After your initial success, think about creating more such courses for your audience.

When you decide to create more courses, you can follow the steps mentioned above and also remarket your courses to your existing students. If someone benefitted from your course once, chances are that they will be interested in more of your courses, granted you work hard to bring them high quality and imaginative content.

So, create an email list of all your existing students and send them updates and offers on your new courses.

What Next?

Follow this process to create your online course, and sell it by promoting it to your existing audience.

Pay special attention to what your audience wants, and choose topics that will generate enough demand for it to be worth your time investment. Be careful to choose evergreen topics that will stay relevant for years to come.

So, what are you waiting for?

Get started on your first online course right now, and become a successful trainer in addition to being an influencer.

We wish you all the best on your course creation and selling journey!

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About the author

Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in influencer marketing, content marketing, and SEO. He is the co-founder of Attrock, a digital marketing agency. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.

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