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:Marketing / Social media marketing

Expert guide: How to promote your online course on Black Friday

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Manu Muraro is a Teachable creator and the founder of Your Social Team, an Instagram training membership and content shop to help social media managers and Instagram savvy women entrepreneurs to beat the algorithm and grow their organic engagement (yes, even in 2021). This year she also launched Your Template Club, a Canva Template subscription. In honor of Teachable’s Creator Month, in which we celebrate and share the expertise of creators everywhere, Manu is sharing her best secrets for Black Friday online course promotion.

Many course creators skip Black Friday promotions for numerous reasons. They don’t know if it’s worth it, they don’t want to heavily discount their courses and possibly upset current students, or they don’t want to work during the Thanksgiving break. Many feel lost on how to promote an online course

But, there are ways we can manage all those hurdles and take advantage of the biggest sales event of the year.

Here are our tips on hot to promote an online course on Black Friday and add more revenue to your last quarter.

1. Create an irresistible offer

We’re talking Black Friday here—10% off won’t do. But, you also don’t need to sell your course for half its value, especially if you have been selling for a much higher price to many others. So, how do you harness the energy of Black Friday when thinking: How do I promote my online course?

Here are three ideas for you:

  • Raise your course price and give people a chance to join for the old price during your Black Friday campaign. Chances are you are undercharging anyway, so this is a great excuse to charge what it’s worth. You can also add another lesson or resource to your course to make it even more appealing. Plus, by giving this update to all students, you will make current students happy as well.
  • Add a shiny new bonus that compliments your course to the offer. Brownie points if your bonus helps your audience implement what they learned in your course. In my experience, students really appreciate any tools and resources that will help them get actual work done.
  • Team up with another course creator for a bundle offer that people will only find on Black Friday. This can be a great opportunity to find a course that complements the topic of yours and reach two audiences instead of one.
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Images courtesy Manu Muraro

2. Promote heavily, both via email and social media

If there’s one thing I learned it’s that when you’re salesy, you sell! Marketing researches have been telling us for decades that it takes several “touches” with your brand to generate a lead, and even more to generate a sale. This comes even before social media existed.

We also know very well that our social media posts only reach a fraction of our audiences and our emails are only opened and clicked by a small percentage of our list. That’s why we need to really pick the dates for our Black Friday campaign and focus solely on these promotions.

Make sure you add soft opt outs in all your emails, starting with email number two. This will allow your audience to opt out of this email sequence if they’re not interested—and will avoid many unsubscribes.

Now, if you think so much content about this in a row will bore your audience, this is where our tip number three comes in handy.

3. Make your promotional content exciting 

When we think of traditional ad campaigns, we think of having a consistent look with a few different versions in different formats. But when it comes to promoting our course in our own platforms, especially on social media, we need variety. 

We do not want to do the same post, with the same look, over and over because your audience will get bored. 

But, when you promote your course using the best performing types of content for your account to create value-driven posts, Reels, emails, or Lives, even those who will not buy from you right now will enjoy and engage with your content. And, possibly they’ll buy at a later date too, since you’d be starting their consumer journey with you!

This is important especially on social media, since unlike email, there’s no good way of segmenting, unless you implement our tip number four.

4. Segment your Instagram leads with the Close Friends feature

Prior to Black Friday, create a Close Friends list on Instagram to segment your followers.

You have to go to your Settings > Close Friends and will be able to add or remove people as you wish. When you add or remove someone, they will not be notified. But, when you start creating exclusive content for your close friends, they will see a Close Friends sticker and know they’re on your list. 

I don’t recommend this if a large percentage of your audience is the perfect target audience for your course, or if you have a smaller audience on Instagram (under 1,000 followers). However, if you do have a large following on Instagram and your course is only relevant to a group of them, you can segment your audience by creating a close friends group, where you share a lot of value about this specific content. 

You will have to start doing this weeks ahead, because you will need to give your audience a chance to see your messages and request to be added to the Close Friends group.

5. Don’t be your worst enemy

Sometimes when we’re sending out lots of sales emails and posting many promotional pieces of content in a row on social media, our imposter syndrome tends to creep in. 

If you’re hearing those little voices in your head that say “your audience will be tired of you” or “you’re too salesy”—shush it! 

Drink a strong cup of coffee, play your power song louder than those annoying thoughts, or reread this blog post (yes, make sure you bookmark it for next time you need it). You will not be able to make enough sales with a couple of emails and a few posts in the course of a week. So stay the course! I hope this helps you understand how to promote an online course for Black Friday. 

Author: Manu Muraro, Manu is the founder of Your Social Team, an Instagram training membership and content shop. This year she also launched Your Template Club, a Canva Template subscription. Born and raised in Brazil, Manu moved to the U.S. in 2000 right out of college to work for Cartoon Network, where she made an award winning career in creative and strategy. In 2017, Manu started Your Social Team with the mission of helping women entrepreneurs and social media managers grow engagement and sales through Instagram without the overwhelm.

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