Have you tried ... your practice and products through Distance Learning courses? I'm a personal and ... ... coach and about half my income comes from the distance learning cours
Have you tried marketing your practice and products through Distance Learning courses? I'm a personal and professional development coach and about half my income comes from the distance learning courses I teach. In addition to giving people valuable tools for learning, they bring me droves of clients from all over the world, not just the US.
Distance learning courses are very popular and a natural way for you to market your other products and services. If you have expertise and like to teach, try this marketing tool. Don't try it if your intent is only to market; it won't work. Here are ten reasons why it works:
1. It gets your name out. Listing your courses on www.teleclass.com or www.blackboard.com will put your name in front of many new people.
2. It helps establish your expertise. If you're good at what you do, it's natural you would start teaching it.
3. Distance learning allows you to reach different demographics for potential clients/consumers. The people who take teleclasses are different from the people who take computer courses, yet both may be interested in your services. Some may also just be looking around, and may click through to your website and get interested in something else entirely! They may decide what they really need is coaching, or a home treadmill, or a vacation, or an astrological chart. What's not to like about that?
4. There will be natural ways to promote your other products and services within the course itself. How often has someone said to you, "Oh. I didn't know you do that too." In my Emotional Intelligence (EQ) course, it's quite natural for me to recommend assessments (I'm licensed to sell the EQ-Map assessment), and the opportunity for other courses I offer (on the different competencies, such as resilience, intuition and creativity), and tapes and products I sell related to EQ. Once you know EQ, why not buy one of my mugs that says "EQ is better than IQ!" to help spread the word?
5. Affiliate opportunities. My students are interested in learning all they can. I'm an affiliate for amazon.com. I recommend books and have the link within the course. When they buy through my link, I make money. EQ means developing the neglected right brain, so I can also recommend the "dummies" course in music appreciation, with links provided, and my own "Myths as Metaphor" course.
6. A Closed Loop. There are numerous research studies showing that EQ is best learned through interaction, such as coaching, so it's a natural for the serious student to then sign up for EQ coaching to complete and round out their learning experience.
7. Open the Loop. A good distance learning course provides resources for lots of other learning opportunties, some of which will be yours! I also pair with another coach who offers services I don't want to provide. I trust her products, she trusts mine. Once they go to her to get XYZ, her courses/services refer them back to me, for the special things I offer. We both build our practices that way, help our clients, and sell more useful products.
8. The interactive aspects of your distance learning course are also great new avenues for marketing. Interactive is the best way to learn and also works to your advantage. Design your courses so that the students email their responses to you. In each email interaction there's a chance for you to teach more, and also to promote your products that are relevant. Make sure your sig line works for you in that respect. [See my topten "Let the Signature Block of Your Email Work for You" (If link doesn't work, go to www.topten.org/public/AF/AF527.html.
9. Build relationship--the greatest marketing "tool" of all. Be giving and personal in your responses to students' assignments. The person will have a chance to get to know and trust you, and we do business with people whom we like and whom we trust. Make the connection in every way you can.
10. If you know and love your subject, and love people, this will show through. You'll naturally attract a following for your services and products.
When you're a teacher, you are in a position to take advantage of the teacher-archetype. Be faithful to it; use it wisely and well. A "teacher" holds a special place in our lives. We love those teachers who teach us well and with love. We naturally listen to them and look to them for guidance. Honor this archetype in all that you do, and your students will begin to look to you for other sources of learning and development. They'll also give you ideas for other products and services, and will refer you to friends. One of my students recommended my course to everyone else in his department.
There are many ways to use distance learning courses to market yourself and your products. Be a good teacher, and be creative, and the opportunities are endless. This is cross-marketing at its best.
Susan Dunn is a personal and professional development coach specializing in the marketing of professional services through the Internet. She's a mentor coach who teaches distance learning courses on a variety of current topics. Email her for her free ezine.