You’ve got your book – but now what?
You’ve already spent countless hours sitting in front of your laptop grinding out paragraph by paragraph, and you’ve finally put it altogether into a nice book.
You’re proud, and you should be… but now what?
With so many other books on the marketplace, how do you make sure you stay visible?
To help you with this, we invited Alexa Bigwarfe to join us at Thinkific and share with you the insights she’s gathered over the last 6 years as an author coach and publisher, on the best practices to get your book and online course out there.
To get all the details, watch this video to learn Alexa’s tips on how to use marketing tactics to expand your reach and grow your business using online courses:
Why Create And Sell An Online Course As An Author?
When was the last time you bought a book based purely off an ad you saw?
But let’s say one of your best friends says “I just read this book and it’s amazing!” and you know they like the same stuff as you.
How likely are you going to buy that book now?
It’s probably in your Amazon shopping cart before they’re even done talking about it.
When it comes to marketing your book, it’s all about building that relationship with your audience.
In other words, getting people to know, like and trust you.
And as luck would have it, the process of marketing to sell books and marketing to sell courses online overlap.
Which means as an author, you’ll have wider reach, more visibility, increased revenue and influence.
How Can Authors Start Creating And Selling Courses Online?
When it comes to creating and selling online courses, Alexa recommends a simple process:
1) Define your target market
The most common pitfall that authors make when it comes to marketing books or online courses is marketing too broadly.
They aim to sell to everyone.
Casting a wide net, so to speak.
But what happens the wider you cast your net, is the holes in the net stretch out to become larger, and the fish you were trying to catch can now swim through.
Don’t do that.
Instead, bring it back down to a specific audience.
Because once you find those people and they like what you’re offering, they’ll start recommending you and promoting you via word of mouth marketing, which as Alexa argues, “is truly better than any paid marketing out there, especially when it comes to books and courses.”
Now you might be wondering what steps you can take to define your target market, so here are a few questions to get you started:
- What are the pain points that your book audience is facing?
- What are your book readers trying to accomplish?
- What questions does your book answer for your audience?
- If you had to choose a person you had to spend all your time working with as your one-on-one client, what would that person be like?
2) Create your online course based off of your book
If you’ve already put in the hard work and effort into writing and publishing your book, there’s good news for you – creating an online course is basically an extension of your book content.
As Alexa Bigwarfe mentions in her conversation with us:
“Your book is often the big picture ‘WHAT’. Your online course is the ‘HOW’”
– Alexa Bigwarfe
In other words, your book talks about what your audience needs to do, and your online course gives them a detailed implementation plan for them to take action on.
For example, in Alexa Bigwarfe’s book, she might tell you that in order to build your author platform, you need to be active on Facebook with a business page.
And in her online course, she’ll walk you through the exact steps on how to set up your Facebook business page, and break down exactly what each of the little components mean.
To get started on this process, you can break down your book into its relevant chapters, then re-purpose each chapter into a module of your online course that you’ll expand on.
Pro tip: If you’re new to online course creation, you can consider utilizing a platform like Thinkific to create your own online course for free.
Related Article: Want a more in-depth guide on how to create and sell online courses? Check out this step-by-step guide we created.
3) Create a solid lead magnet
When it comes to selling books and programs, email is the winner.
In fact, according to Adobe in 2017, more than 60% of customers (those 25 or older in particular) would prefer to be contacted by brands via email.
And one of the easiest ways to grow your email list is to have a solid lead magnet. In other words, something that’s going to be super valuable to your audience.
If you’re just starting in the world of marketing, the lowest hanging fruit is to create a free online course in the form of a short email challenge (anywhere from 3 days to 30 days) – something that takes your audience through a journey where they’re actually producing a result.
As for what to include in email challenges, Alexa Bigwarfe recommends 3 types of email content:
- Educational emails that teach your audience something useful
- Action emails that prompt your audience to take specific action related to their pain points
- Breather emails that allow your audience to celebrate their progress
At the end of the email nurture sequence, you can include a call-to-action that leads to a purchase of your book or paid online course.
4) Build relationships and drive traffic to your lead magnet
Once people get to know you, they are more likely to purchase from you – whether it’s your book or online course.
To further engage her audience beyond email challenges, Alexa mainly uses Facebook groups to:
- Drop in her free courses from time to time
- Conduct Facebook lives to add value to her audience in a personal way
- Share any updates made to her free or paid courses
- Hold fire sales where she drops the price of her paid courses to pull new people in
Most importantly, Alexa makes sure that people are aware of her courses.
You might assume that because you’re running a Facebook group or because you’re posting in a group somewhat frequently, that everybody in our group knows what we have to offer.
But they don’t.
They have to be reminded.
Related Article: If you’re new to Facebook groups and would like to learn more, here’s How To Use A Facebook Group To Build A Thriving Community
How You Can Sell More Books And Courses Online
The first 4 steps listed above are enough for you to get started as an author looking to grow visibility.
Once you’re at a comfortable stage with your newly established processes and systems, and you’re ready to scale your visibility, here are some tips on how to do so:
1) Drive traffic to your Facebook group
In order to continue growing your influence as a thought leader and author, you’ll need to grow your Facebook group.
To do that, mention the opportunity for people to join your Facebook group wherever you can, including:
- Every page of your website
- Every time you appear on a podcast interview
- Every time you visit a conference – either as a participant or guest speaker
Essentially, you’re constantly marketing to people to join your group.
And as your group grows and you continue to add value to your audience, it’ll get recommended.
2) Tweak your product and marketing
With everything you have in place for growing your visibility and selling online courses and books, it’s time to start fine-tuning the system.
In other words, how can you measure the impact of your marketing and online course to ensure your customers are satisfied with their purchases?
Here are a few tips from Alexa:
- Ask people before they either start your free or paid online courses:
- What they expect out of it
- What problem they’re trying to solve
- Where they think they’re going to be at the end of the course
- Ask the same people after they finish your courses
- Whether they accomplished what they thought they were going to
- How the product fit or misaligned with their expectations
Using the results gathered from the above questions, assess whether your online course answered what people thought they were going to get out of it.
If they did, then you know your marketing has worked.
If they didn’t, then you either need to tweak your marketing, or tweak your product.
Pro tip: The best opportunities for you to better serve your customers is by seeking feedback. Every time you receive feedback, view it as an opportunity to dig deeper into what your audience is looking for and improve how you’re approaching people with your copy.
“The most important part about marketing is to know the pain point of your audience, and know how to solve it.’”
– Alexa Bigwarfe
Creating your own online course is a great way to complement your book. We hope you’ve found these tips helpful to get started with growing your influence and revenue as an author. Much like writing the first draft of your book, remember to just get started with these tips and make adjustments as you grow your business and personal brand.
Ready to create your online course? Download our free step-by-step guide and get started today!