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Creating an Online Course
92% of individuals trust recommendations coming from individuals rather than corporate brands.
This just goes to show the influence your personal brand can have in terms of reaching audiences and selling your online course.
In this post, we’ll detail what a personal brand is, what benefits it can have and how you can effectively develop one for yourself.
Similar to a corporate brand, your personal brand’s purpose is to showcase what you have to offer to your target audience.
It will detail your values, your “mission”, your story as well as what makes you unique from your competitors.
There are many different approaches to developing a personal brand but some things that always apply are:
Personal branding is something that many online course creators skip when creating their first course. This can be a huge mistake because while you don’t need to build a personal brand, it can make the promotion and marketing of your courses much easier and more streamlined.
While it’s not something that’s absolutely essential for you to sell your online course, it’s definitely something that will make your journey much easier.
In today’s digital age, you’ll have to employ many different marketing strategies such as through emails as well as social media.
When it comes to social media, you’ll most likely have profiles and pages dedicated to promoting your online courses. Thus, it will be much easier to promote these pages if you have a homogenous brand image.
This personal brand image will glue all of your products (online courses) and promotional material together.
What’s the benefit of this?
Well, having products and posts promoted under a single brand image will be much more memorable to your target audience.
You will stick in their memories and thus, your prominence within the online community for your niche will increase.
Furthermore, when you’ve developed a personal brand, your target audience will have a clear idea of what value you’re offering. This will play a huge role in converting them to buy your online course.
As mentioned earlier, there are several different approaches to building your personal brand but we’re going to be going over the most simple and straightforward one.
We’ll also give you some tips and tricks to create the most effective personal brand possible.
The first step to building your personal brand online is to look towards yourself.
What is your story? How did you get here and what is the knowledge you’ve attained that you want to share with others?
Answering these questions will help you develop a simple and relatable story that your audience will feel compelled by.
Not only that but it will also give them an idea of what type of value you have to offer.
For example, when detailing your story, it’s a good idea to mention the hardships you faced and how you were able to overcome those hardships. Double down on this further by mentioning how you detailed solutions to these hardships within your course(s).
Telling your story in this fashion will establish your expertise on the subject and also, make it clear what type of problems you’re hoping to solve within your specific niche.
Your personal brand is not all about you but also the audience you’re going to be catering to.
It’s a good idea to define an audience persona when building your personal brand.
An audience persona can be defined as a description of a person that will gain significant value by associating with your brand and buying your products (online courses).
By creating an audience persona, you will have a much clearer idea of how to build your personal brand in order to appeal to them in the most effective way possible.
For example, if your target audience consists of mostly young people, then, your personal brand will be focused more on the problems that younger people face within your specific niche. You will also make a point to use powerful buzzwords to evoke emotion among the youth.
On the other hand, if your target audience consists of older folk, then your personal brand will be more stats-based and it’ll be a good idea to provide quantified evidence for the value you offer.
You can think of your personal brand statement as your “mission”. It’s a slogan that succinctly describes what you hope to achieve with your products and your brand.
There are many different approaches to writing a personal brand statement and in many ways, it’s the same as any corporate brand statement would be.
Some features that you should hope to have within your brand statement as a course creator online are:
As mentioned earlier, there are many ways to write a personal brand statement and we’ve rounded up many of the best examples available in a post that you can check out.
In that post, we have clearly defined the approaches followed to writing each personal brand statement example.
You can check it out for inspiration as well as to get an idea of how to write an effective statement for content marketing online.
When you move on to marketing your business and your products (online courses), you will most likely do a lot of promotion through online social platforms.
While it’s important to specifically promote your products through social media, it can definitely be a good idea to increase the influence of your personal brand as well.
If you start early by promoting your personal brand on social platforms before your online courses are ready to be published, you’ll have a much better chance of gathering buying customers.
This is because many of your followers will already be acquainted with the type of value you’re going to be providing with your online courses.
If you do a good job of providing value to them for free through your personal brand, they’ll be much more likely to invest in your online courses as well.
While the most obvious ones are Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, there are many others you can use to build your network as well.
For example, LinkedIn is a very powerful and useful platform that you can utilize to get in touch with professionals within your niche.
By networking with established experts of your niche on LinkedIn, you can increase your influence and prominence within your specific online community.
If you do a good job of building enough prominence through social media before you create your product (online courses), you’ll have a much easier time selling those products as you’ll have your established reputation to back you up.
We’ve made a post on the pros and cons of LinkedIn that you can check out to determine if it’s something you want to invest time, effort and money on as a course creator online.
This may be fairly obvious but it has to be explicitly stated:
If you want your personal brand (as well as the products you’re selling) to reach a certain level of prominence, you’re going to have to engage with members of your niche as much as possible.
We’ve already established how you may do this online (by engaging with members of the community on social platforms) but you can also do this in real life.
Promoting your business offline can be done by attending formal and informal networking events and actively engaging in discussions related to your niche.
Ask the people there what they do, what problems they’re facing and how they’re trying to solve them. In turn, also tell them about yourself, your brand and what you’re hoping to achieve with your course(s).
Once done conversing with people at networking events, don’t be afraid to ask them to stay in touch. You could invite them over for informational interviews, collaborations or just stay in touch via social platforms such as LinkedIn.
All of these actions will do wonders for promoting the reach of your business.
One trap that many new course creators tend to fall into is to create a course and then try to market it all by themselves.
While this definitely can work, they’re just making it harder than it has to be.
When you’re creating content for a specific niche, there are bound to be prominent members of the community that would already be doing the same thing as you.
They’ll be much more established and experienced than you and chances are, they’ll already have a steady following that you can take advantage of.
Reach out to such individuals and ask them for a collaboration. This could be in the form of a webinar, a podcast or a short interview.
So, what will a collaboration like this do for you?
Well, a couple of things:
Firstly, when you collaborate with an already established individual, you will open yourself and your business up to their followers.
They will most likely promote the collaboration on their social pages and your personal brand will gain exposure to their already established audience.
Since you’ll be collaborating with members within your niche, these followers will most likely be interested in the content you have to provide to them as well.
Secondly, when you collaborate with a person with expertise on your subject, you will be perceived to be on the same level as them.
This can do wonders for increasing your influence and prominence within your niche’s online community.
Collaborations such as these can later be used as digital marketing incentives within email and social campaigns. You can use access to these collaborations as incentives for potential customers to come to visit your page and check out your products.
We detailed above how you can create influence and prominence out of thin air by collaborating with already established experts within your niche.
While that’s definitely one of the goals of collaboration, it’s not the only one.
The second thing you should be looking for from these experts is information.
Information that can help you propel your online business to a place of prominence.
Ask them for informational interviews to determine how they started their career within the business and what steps they’re taking to maintain or further it.
Some great questions to ask them are:
All of these questions will help you ease the process of creating and marketing content to your students and potential customers.
We’ve already established the power and influence that social platforms can have in terms of digital marketing and widening your reach to potential students.
Other than social platforms, there are many other places where you can engage with the community online as well.
These could be through online forums and tight-knit communities where devout members of your niche engage in discussion to work together and solve common problems.
This is something that many course creators fail to take advantage of and places such as these are where you’ll find the most devoted members of the community.
Forums such as these are where you’ll definitely find people who are interested in what you have to offer.
In the end, we must emphasize again the importance of personal branding and how big of a role it can play in boosting your authority and influence within your specific niche.
Remember that no one is going to buy your courses if they don’t know who you are and they don’t trust whether or not you’ll be able to provide them with the value they’re seeking.
Personal branding can help squash this apprehension by clearly showing them what expertise you have, how you attained that expertise and how you’ll be sharing it with them.
What do you think of personal branding for course creators online? Is it necessary? Let us know in the comments below.