Peer recommendation is one of the top reasons people decide to make a purchase. In a world where pretty much everything has moved (or at least has some kind of presence) online, products and services are no longer sought after by the consumer — they have to find them. And once they do, the race to convince they are worth buying more than the competitors’ versions is on. Everything from restaurants and hotels to appliances and childcare services are subject to online public opinion and it weighs a lot for the success of any business.
When you are an entrepreneur seeking to sell your online course, getting (good) reviews is crucial in attracting potential customers. Here are six ideas about how to get them.
Social media posts
With social media now more popular than ever, it’s the easiest and most convenient way of getting customer testimonials. These can be either on your course’s page, on your personal page or as screenshots on the online page you have for the course.
If the positive opinion is formulated in a longer post you can ask its author to make it public so you can later insert that link in your promotional materials.
It’s true that not all that gets posted on social media is necessarily real but we are all so used to this type of online venue for manifesting opinions that they give a very familiar sense of authenticity.
We usually surround ourselves with people who have the same values, come from similar backgrounds or are in some way similar to us. Once we choose a profession, we tend to socialize a lot with those working next to us.
So you probably have at least some friends or acquaintances who activate in fields adjacent to either learning design or the subject of your material. Asking them to give you reviews will certainly increase both your visibility and you credibility.
Quite possibly, being associated with you and your course will work just as well for your peers to – we are all connected after all.
Blog posts about your course
While most reviews are rather short and to the point, some potential customers may feel the need for a more elaborate description. Blogs are very popular nowadays (you are actually reading this on one) and it is the general opinion that if somebody took the time to write extensively about something then it must be worth the while.
You can either target the blogs you think would work best for you and offer a discount or altogether free enrollment in the course in return for a public feed-back. Or you could give them an affiliate link they can use to earn a percentage of the sales they generate.
You are probably not going to get a pop star to take your course and talk about it (though, fingers crossed if that’s actually a possibility) but you may be able to reach figures of authority in the field. A well-known authority on your subject, if featured on the landing page giving a flattering review to your course can go a long way in attracting the right crowds.
If you think it is difficult to reach those individuals, remember that there is a thing called “six degrees of separation” – you can basically get to anyone by using the ‘friend of a friend of a friend’ technique .
If you think about it, that’s where reviews started – in the newspapers. Initially they were about newly printed books or theater opening nights and they set the tone for how they were received. Critics could make or break success.
Having qualified journalists write about your course will prove very persuasive since there still is the common belief that nothing makes the news unless it is important. Just like in the case of blog posts, the generous space will provide a good opportunity to describe and discuss your course at length.
You can provide valuable insights and insert some attention-grabbing teasers as well.
Last but by no means least, the dark horse of all product reviews – video footage of real customers expressing their opinions. Videos have a tremendous impact and truly stand out – they are inspirational, authentic and manage to make an impression.
Sales messages are a lot more convincing when they come from somebody other than a sales representative looking to make a commission. People want to feel safe when they make a purchase, be certain that they are not being ripped off so seeing somebody who already paid for the product and is happy about it helps a great deal.
And if you are unsure about how to make these customer testimonials, here’s a video from Brandon Lucero:
Customer reviews are absolutely crucial in marketing your online course. It’s important to choose the versions that work best for you (but the more, the better) and incorporate them in your sales pitch as soon as possible. Socialnomics teaches us that word of mouth has become world of mouth.
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Raluca Cristescu has over ten years of experience in corporate training, focused mainly on soft skills for customer service and direct sales.