Freelance Writing Gigs

How to Use Facebook to Start Getting More Freelance Writing Gigs

According to Facebook, they have about 1,650,000,000 monthly active users as of March 31, 2016. That’s way too many zeros to ignore, don’t you think?

The fact is, if you know how to market your writing services on Facebook, you’ll never starve as a writer – ever!

I know. You’ve probably tried selling your services on Facebook, haven’t you? And I’d bet that you haven’t gotten a single lead (let alone client) out of your marketing efforts.

Trust me; you are not alone.

I know several other freelancers that are struggling with the same thing as well.

If you are in fact getting little to no results out of your marketing efforts on Facebook, then allow me to share with you the exact strategies that I am using when looking for more freelance writing gigs on Facebook.

Let’s hop right in.

Google’s Web Store + Facebook fan page

I’d like to start with this tip right off the bat since I’ve gotten several clients from Facebook by using this strategy alone.

The game plan is quite simple. I just go to Google’s Web Store to uncover apps that the people in my niche would use. From there, I put together a list of these apps so I can look for their pages on Facebook. Once I find their page, I then take the time to comment, share, or engage with their audience so I can learn more about their business and their community.

After about a week or so of nurturing my visibility in their page through commenting, sharing, and liking, I’ll then send the business a private message asking if they’re looking for someone who can help them with their content.

* Important note – I do not just ask the prospect the question, “Do you need someone who can help you with your content?” I feel that the question sounds generic to the point where it looks spammy.

I tend to be very specific. I tell them things like, “I noticed that you haven’t updated your website’s blog posts since (the date since they last published). Are you currently in need of…” This kind of question clearly shows the prospect that you’ve done your homework, and that you aren’t just sending canned messages to everyone.

Be active on communities.

By “communities”, I’m talking about groups or fan pages.

There are several routes that you can take when using this strategy; you can straight up interact with groups that talk about how/where to get freelance writing jobs online, or, you can connect with groups that are all about the niche that you specialize in.

I’m a huge fan of the latter, however.

I’d like to be in niche specific groups since the kind of leads/clients that I get from these groups are of better quality. The topics that they want me to write about are things that I am familiar with, so it becomes easier for me to write their articles.

Invest in networking.

Not many freelancers understand the concept of networking. For them, it is just an idle “hi” or “hello” to other users. They have no clear idea of what it is, or how to even start.

The good news is, while there are in fact several important points that you need to consider to make sure that you’re networking the “right way,” we can pretty much sum the whole thing up in one line. And that line is, “How can you help them?”

Think about this statement when networking with other Facebook users, and I guarantee you that you’ll get better results out of your efforts.

Other freelancers tend to think about, “How do I approach this person so I can benefit from him?” when “networking” with others. It’s because of this that a good number of freelancers end up pitching their services even on their first contact with the other users when they should be focusing on learning more about the needs of the other person.

Look, you’ll need to be a bit more strategic when connecting with the other users, otherwise, you’ll just be spamming them with you first email pitch.

Why don’t you do this instead? Why don’t you ask the other user about what he does in the current company that he is connected with (or the business that he is managing), then ask him how you can help make things better for him?

That’s a pretty good strategy to get the other person to open up to you. Once they’ve opened up to you a bit, you can then strategically pitch your services to them.

Interview

Interviewing other users is also an effective means to turn them into paying clients.

Here’s the gist of the strategy.

All you need to do is reach out to the other Facebook users in your niche, and tell them that you’d like to interview them. Doing so will make them feel that they are important to you and that you value them.

For the most part, I have found that majority of the people that I pitch interview requests are almost always happy to oblige — unless they’re busy or something.

While you can certainly offer to interview someone for free, you might want to be a bit more selective about going about this.

After all, depending on how you want to run the interview, it can be quite time-consuming.

Instead of pitching an interview request to some random person within your industry, you ought to check the individual’s number of followers or his/her position in the company that he is connected with (among other things).

You need to be a bit more selective about who you choose to interview since your goal for connecting with them isn’t merely for the sake of interviewing them, one of your main reasons for doing so it to establish relationships, and win more customers.

As you can probably imagine, there is a world of a difference between the kind of chances that you can get when it comes to closing new clients, if you’re interviewing someone at the executive level, or someone in the frontlines.

When you’ve built a relationship with executives, they can quickly bring you more projects themselves, or they can refer you to their contacts.

What’s next?

Have you been using Facebook to get more freelance writing gigs? What are some of the best strategies that you can share with the community?

Please share your ideas in the comments section below. Cheers!

Effective Cover Letter

How to Write an Effective Cover Letter that Will Get Your Hired. – Part 3

Note – We’re in our 3rd and final installation of our “How to Write an Effective Cover Letter” series. If you missed reading the previous posts, you can read the first post here, and the second one here.


If you’re reading this, then you must’ve enjoyed reading the first 2 posts that I shared about writing an effective cover letter.

Great! I’m glad that you enjoyed reading them.

However, I hope you weren’t JUST reading. I hope you took the time to implement the ideas, otherwise, you’d have missed out on a lot of opportunities — job opportunities at that.

Remember that our goal here is not just to give you techniques on how to write an effective cover letter — this isn’t just a mental exercise. More than equipping you with the knowledge, my goal is to REALLY help you get more jobs.

Of course, I won’t be able to do that if you won’t act on the things that you’ve learned. That being said, don’t just be a learner, but be a “doer” as well OK?

Let’s proceed to our last 3 tips.

1. Keep ’em short and crisp.

Ideally, I would keep my cover letter’s length at 3 – 4 paragraphs. I feel that anything more than that might be a bit too lengthy.

However, this also depends on the kind of information that your prospect employers are asking on the job listing that they posted.

If I see something generic, where they aren’t asking for any information in particular, I just make sure that my cover letter contains these 6 things:

  1. My rates.
  2. My portfolio
  3. The best method that they can contact me in.
  4. How they can benefit from me.
  5. My scarcity element.
  6. My special hook (like freebies).

Imagine. If you’re looking to hire someone; won’t you feel that all the information that you need about the applicant is within these 6 points?

That’s what we’re trying to accomplish (see article number 2).

I know that the points may seem a lot. However, if you’ll be very careful with your choice of words, I promise you that you’ll be able to add all of these in a 3 – 4 paragraph cover letter.

2. Mention someone famous in their industry.

When you mention familiar names on your cover letters, the person screening it will tend to think that you’re quite knowledgeable about the industry. They’ll think that you are “one of them”. Look up the term Homophily, and you’ll understand why this technique will increase your chances of getting hired.

When I tried applying for a content marketing project, I mentioned that I’m an avid follower of Neil Patel of Quicksprout.com, or Brian Dean of Backlinko.com.

My having mentioned the names of these influencers will almost often strike a cord to the one reading my cover letters. I know this to be true since more often than not, my prospective employers would reply telling me that they’re a huge fan of both influencers too.

Of course, at this point, they’ve already considered me as a strong candidate for the job, otherwise, they won’t even bother replying.

If you’d like to take things further, instead of simply saying that you’re an avid follower of the influencers, you can tell your prospects that you tailor your output based on the kind output that these influencers are publishing. You can then add more weight to your words by adding your portfolio.

Here’s a thought. Why don’t you try putting yourself on the client’s shoes this time.

Let’s say that your business is all about internet marketing, and you’re looking for a writer to publish blog posts consistently on your website.

You then read a cover letter where the applicant said something along the lines of…

“If you like reading the articles over at Backlinko or QuickSprout, then you’ll love my articles too! I tailor my write-up’s quality based on their writing sstyle. These are some of my previous works…

– Article 1

– Article 2

– Article 3”

If your samples are in fact what you say they are (their qualities are tailored based on the quality guidelines of the influencers), then I promise you that you’ll be way ahead of other applicants!

* Note – use this strategy if you’re walking the talk. If you feel that your output isn’t on the same level as the quality of work the that influencer you quoted is publishing, don’t even bother using this.

3. Insert a testimonial from your previous clients.

Have you ever read Robert Cialdini’s, Six Key Principles of Influence? I have. And it was such a game changer for me.

One of the things that really caught my attention was his point about social proof.

The idea is, people will tend to do things that they see others are doing. For example, when you’re in a crowded place, and you saw the people around you looking at the sky, you will tend to look at the sky yourself.

Such is the power of social proof.

Social proof is the reason why most ecommerce sites take the time to show the number of sold inventory of their products. Because their web visitors can see that others are buying the product, it makes it easier for them to make the decision to buy the product themselves.

In your case, adding a short testimonial from your previous clients will tell your prospect client that other businesses are using your service — and they’re happy with it.

The testimonial will act as your social proof.

Do you have any tips on how to write an effective cover letter?

We’re at the end of our How to Write an Effective Cover Letter series. At this point, there’s nothing left for you to do but to implement the tips that we’ve talked about across all 3 posts.

If you’ve applied some of the tips and are reaping results from it, please take the time to share your experience in the comments section below.

Also, if you found this post valuable, please take 3 seconds of your time to click the “Share” buttons. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Cheers!

3 Ways Your Experience Can Help You Sell Your Services – Marketing Online Courses

Here are 3 ways you can help people gain from your experience, monetize your knowledge and skills.

1. Create an Expert Guide

Set up a website or a blog, pour all your years of experience into a nice content guide, and start promoting it on social media and other marketing channels. The first baby step (read: giant leap) you have to take is to create an awesome guide. Make it as simple and appealing as you can.

GuruFace Comment: Starting a blog where you talk about your experience is a great way build an audience and market your courses hosted at GuruFace.   You will need to update the blog approximately 3-5 times a week to keep people coming back to you. After setting up a blog the next step is to set up a social network centered on your blog (and courses at GuruFace). This means going on a creating accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Linkedin, etc. Tools like Social Pilot, Buffer, and Hootsuite will enable you to efficiently distribute your blog content to social media, and soon you’ll be reaching many different audiences and promoting your courses.

2. Make Ebooks and Courses

 

It is very simple these days to make an ebook or design your own online training course for free. No matter what field you are in, you can address several audience pain points using ebooks and online courses. (highlight to tweet)

GuruFace Comment:  PDF ebooks are easily created on any computer you own.  Your ebook can be a syllabus outline with brief description of your courses at GuruFace.  Once created, you can share an ebook on your blog, in emails, and in social media. PDFs are readable on computers, tablet devices, and even smart phones.   Using an ebook as a very easy and inexpensive way to build your audience and database of people interested in your experience and courses hosted at GuruFace. Consider writing one to give to people for free and get your message out to people and introducing them to your courses at GuruFace.

3. Create Videos and Webinars

YouTube isn’t the only place where you can monetize your videos—you have Facebook, Vimeo, DailyMotion, at your disposal, too. Make a cool video once a week, and earn passive income for the rest of your life! How’s that for a working retirement plan?

GuruFace Comment: We have a GuruFace channel on Youtube and will absolutely promote your video wherein you’re describing your courses hosted at GurFace.  YouTube is the second largest search engine next to Google. This gives you a great opportunity to reach people interested in your experience and courses hosted at GuruFace. So if your training videos are on YouTube, people searching on YouTube, or regular Google search can find them.

 

How Can You Boost Sales Of Your Online Courses Using Content Marketing?

MoodleNews.com writes: How do you spread the word about your online courses and grow sales?   There are plenty of modern digital options out there: affiliate marketing, digital advertising, SEO and so on. All of these options help to generate exposure for your brand and awareness about your offerings –  and you should be using them – but eyeballs on your ads do not automatically lead to sales.

Content marketing, in the most simple terms, is generating something of tangible value (in this case content – like an eBook, infographic, etc.) for your target audience that they can use to improve their lives, businesses or practice.    Content marketing is booming in the information age because ads don’t work as well as they used to.

Content marketing is an important way of generating trust in your brand; it makes people more likely to commit to buying from you than if they simply see advertisements or come across your website. While it is definitely more slow-burning than other advertising methods, it can create an aura of trustworthiness around your brand that makes people feel they are buying from a genuinely helpful, interesting and knowledgeable source. It’s an integral part of today’s marketing landscape and is used by companies small and large to build their image as a source of good things.  The article continues @ MoodleNews.com, click here to continue reading

GuruFace Comment: Content marketing is the production and dissemination of interesting content centered around your courses for the purpose of generating inbound leads to your course.   This content could be in the form of videos, e-books, blogs, newsletters, social media posts, case studies, podcasts, webinars, infographics, Q&As, reviews—whatever makes the most sense to bring attention to your course.

Getting started in content marketing is easy, and you do it right away on Twitter for example.   Let’s say, for example, you are trying to promote new course on Twitter.  You can tweet each day about a certain topic covered in the course along with a link to your Guruface Course Page. In one quick step you’ve made it that much easier for users to access your content and enter your conversion funnel.

One of the most useful features of Twitter is the hashtag. It can be especially helpful when looking for the best audience to share your content with online. Each hashtag acts as a unique sort of hub, where people gather to talk about specific topics or events. By simply inserting a particular hashtag into a post, a user can tie their activity to every other Twitter user who is talking or posting about the same topic. Identifying and tracking the hashtags most relevant to your Course will give you access to entire pools of new prospective consumers you might not have otherwise found.

Investigating hashtags such as #[Course Subject] would be a great first step toward connecting with those users who are most interested in your course offerings.   Twitter has a great page on how to get started in content marketing on their platform. Content Marketing on Twitter (click).

3 Reasons Teaching Online Courses is the Best Way to Make Passive Income

Phil Ebiner for “How to Win at Teaching Online”  writes: Teaching online courses has changed my life, along with thousands of other normal people like you who started teaching online courses. Starting out from scratch, I’ve been able to build a successful brand – including a website, YouTube channel, and student base over 125,000.  Teaching online has been so amazing for me that I was able to leave my full-time job to focus on teaching online. Not only do I get to spend my days doing what I love, but I make more money than ever before doing so.

GuruFace comment: We’ve excerpted 3 of Phil Ebiner’s key reasons why teaching online courses is the best way to make passive income.

#1: The highest hourly rate you’ll ever be paid

Most people spend their days trading hours for dollars. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average U.S. worker makes $25 per hour. Is that somewhere around where you land? Now, imagine making $1,000+ per hour of work?  That’s what’s possible with teaching online courses. Because most of the work is up front, and you can continue to sell courses for many years, the hours you spend making a course can be worth hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. For me, even simple courses that take 20-40 hours of work to create have gone on to make tens of thousands of dollars in income, which translates to an hourly rate in the $1,000 range.

#2: Ultimate scalability

Online courses are digital products. Most are video-based courses that students pay to access and view. It hardly costs you anything to allow another student to access this same material. So whether you sell a course to 10 students or 1,000 students, it doesn’t cost you more (aside from the time spent promoting your course). This is so different from other product or service-based companies. Imagine if you were a live yoga instructor. Maybe you can fit 20-30 students in your yoga studio. But after that, you’ll need to pay for a bigger room. Or you’ll need to teach more classes. If you taught a yoga class online, you can open it up to any number of students at practically no extra cost or effort.   This is why teaching online courses is so great for making passive income. Once you create the course, you can continue to sell it without much work.

#3: $100 Billion industry in 2015, expected to grow in 2016

According to Forbes, the 2015 online course market was going to be over $100 billion. The growth of this industry continues to trend upwards, and it is still the perfect time to get started with teaching online courses. With new learners from around the world starting to purchase online courses, the market will continue to rapidly grow in 2016. Currently, Udemy, one of the most popular online course marketplaces, has over 9 million students from 190 countries. The top 5 instructors have earned a combined $13,410,792 a of July, 2015.

GuruFace Comment:  If you’ve ever wanted to sell educational courses online — but simply couldn’t master the technology, marketing, or delivery – GuruFace is here for you. We help teachers, instructors, & trainers build a business online selling prerecorded courses and conducting live streaming courses.  We help you create your course materials, develop a course plan, and a marketing plan. That’s what really set me off on this. Our strength is the marketing component we bring to you in creating your own landing page, SEO & emailing strategy.

There are other platforms out there that will allow you to set-up courses and to sell them. No matter what option you choose, there are always trade-offs. In some cases you can get started rather quickly, but you don’t get to keep much of the revenue from your sales.  You should also consider your long-term goals when it comes to selling courses and with whom to partner. For example, if you built-up a substantial customer base but are selling on standard popular third party platform like Udemy, your customers aren’t really your customers, but rather the parent company’s customers. You will not have this problem with GuruFace, your customers are yours and we’re here to focus on helping you grow your business.

Get the Most Out of Your Content Marketing Campaigns Using These Strategies & Tips

Content Marketing Campaigns

Value. I want it. You want it. Your neighbors want it. And even your grandma’s cat Lucy wants it too.

We all want to squeeze as much value as we can out of something, don’t we?

I’m pretty sure that as a business owner, you also want the same thing out of your content. After all, creating quality content can be quite time-consuming, let alone expensive if you’ll pay someone else to do it.

So that’s what we’re going to talk about right now. We’re going to talk about the 6 effective content marketing strategies that you can use to get more value out of your content.

If all that you’ve been doing up until now is the “publish and pray” strategy (if you can even call it a strategy), then we’re about to change all that. With the tips that I’ll share with you, you’ll be able to get more shares, comments, views, and engagement (among others) from your content.

Let’s hop right in…

1. Send it to your email list

According to EmailExpert.org, for every $1 that you spend on email marketing, the average return you’ll get is about $44.25.

Sounds like magic, doesn’t it?

That is all the more reason why you should share your content to your email list.

Instead of simply publishing your content on your blog, you can break them into bite-sized-pieces and slowly trickle them down as newsletters to your email list. Doing so alleviates you of the effort and resources that your team would have otherwise spent, if you created content from scratch for your newsletters.

2. Re-write your post then syndicate them on other sites.

Some of the sites that I syndicate my posts on are Business2Community.com, SocialMediaToday.com and Medium.com.

What I like the most about this strategy is that you can leverage on the existing audience that the other sites have already established. In B2C and SMTs case, they already have millions of monthly visitors. That being said, you’ll have more eyeballs on your content since it is also published on other sites with millions of monthly traffic.

These are some of the points that I consider when qualifying whether or not a prospect website is ideal for syndication:

  • Is the website’s niche relevant to my industry?
  • Does the website have bad neighbors?
  • Does it have a decent number of monthly visitors?
  • Does the site have a decent Domain Authority and Trust Flow? I know that there are other metrics you can look into, however, I tend to just check the site’s DA and TF.
  • Does the website have a reasonably “strict” editorial guidelines? Don’t just go for sites that accepts the next Tom, Dick, and Harry who wants to syndicate to them without the site’s editors doing careful screening. The harder it is to get into the site, the better.
  • Does the site use a rel=canonical tag to show the search engines that your site is the original poster of the content?

* Warning – This content marketing strategy has its downsides. For one thing, the sites you’ll syndicate your posts on might outrank your site for the same exact article that was syndicated (among others).

Others are also worried about being penalized by Google because of duplicate content. However, this issue can easily be remedied by making sure that the sites you’re syndicating or reposting your content on uses a rel=canonical tag.

3. Guest post on relevant and authoritative sites

When you have a fairly new website, and your image has not yet been established as an authority in your industry, other sites won’t bother syndicating your content. Simply because they do not want to risk syndicating content that is spammy or poorly crafted.

After all, since no one really knows who you are and whether or not you are a credible person, they wouldn’t be able to tell if the content that they’ll be syndicating from your website are of good quality. So why risk it by accepting your request for syndication, right?

Because content syndication isn’t always a viable option, what you can do instead is to pitch a guest post on authoritative sites. That way, your content gets published on sites with millions of monthly traffic, instead of your own that barely gets any traffic because your site is fairly new.

There are tons of benefits that you can get from guest posting, these are some of my favorites:

  • It can help you generate leads.
  • It can help you get more traffic.
  • It helps you with your SEO.
  • It helps you build relationships with other webmasters in your industry.
  • Etc…

If you aren’t familiar with how guest posting works, allow me to share with you a comprehensive resource that I wrote about it. This guide walks you through the process from scratch, all while using free tools.

4. Create slides out of your posts then publish them on slide hosting platforms like Slideshare

70 million users… that’s the kind of figure Slideshare has going for them. If you aren’t keen on getting your slice of the that 70 million pie, then you must be going bananas.

So here’s the strategy. All you need to do is repurpose your content by turning them into slides.

If you’re about to give me the, “I don’t have the time for that…” excuse, then don’t worry – I got you covered.

Instead of doing the slides yourself, you can hire someone from Fiverr to do it for you for only five dollars.

Pretty amazing, huh?

5. Create a video

Now that you have a slideshow of your original content, you can now create a video version of your slides.

Of course, you can also have someone from Fiverr create the video for you.

Once your presentational video is created, you can now publish it on various video publishing sites like Youtube.

These are some of the most crucial points that you need to remember when using this strategy:

  • Make sure that your video has a clear call-to-action at the end.
  • Try to add as many texts as you can on your video’s description section.
  • Be sure to add a link to your website from within the video’s description.
  • Be sure to add the necessary tags for your videos.
  • Add a “suggested video to watch” within your video’s description, then link it to one of your other videos.

These are some of the best sites that you can publish your videos on:

  • Youtube.com
  • Vimeo.com

6. Include quotes from influencers

One of the best ways to get influencers to share your content is to add their quote to your posts.

Of course, when influencers take the time to share or link to your posts, you’ll get more traffic, leads, and some SEO push to your site. In short, you’ll get more value from your content.

The thing is, even if you published something amazing, that isn’t incentive enough for most influencers to take the time to share your posts, much less to link to it. Simply because if your post gets the traction that it needs, they won’t be able to directly benefit from it.

However, if you add their quote and a link to their site on your posts, that’s a different story.

Not only will they be able to get free PR if your post gets the traction that it needs, but they can also benefit from the link juice, the possibility of getting leads, and the possibility of getting more traffic to their site (among others).

I once published an expert round-up that featured experts in the customer service industry. While the post didn’t get as much shares as I thought it would, we’ve been getting a constant flow of leads through the post.

What’s next?

This isn’t the end-all and be-all guide for getting more mileage out of your content. There are certainly other methods that you can use to get more out of whatever you publish on your website. If there are strategies that you’d like to share with us about how you can get more value out of your content, then please do so in the comments section below.

Photo courtesy of  © bakhtiarzein / Dollar Photo Club

How To Sell Online Courses – Create Courses with PowerPoint

Excerpts from David Hill for elearningindustry.com, he writes:  This article is for those who are planning to sell online courses as a business. If you fall into that category, you’re tapping into an outstanding business opportunity. But rather than add to the justified hype in that direction, let’s get to the actual nuts and bolts of how to create, format, market, and sell online courses. This article is about doing rather than dreaming. So, how exactly do you sell online courses?

Create valuable course content 

  • Identify your audience.
    Get as detailed a vision as you can of who your target customers are. What do they want to learn? Why do they need to learn it? Is it to gain a certification to advance their careers, learn an essential skill that will improve their prospects or achieve compliance in their industry?
  • Hang out on forums where your target learners are.
    Get to know their likes, desires and gripes.

Formatting Courses

When starting out it might be more prudent and affordable to make the courses yourself.  If you are making them yourself, begin by thinking of some of the great and memorable textbooks, classes, presentations, or eLearning courses you’ve come across in the past. Why do you remember them? They were presented in an accessible, attractive format that drew you in and carried you from one point to the next. You can do the same with your online courses by designing them with quality images and graphics, and using an appropriate format to convey the information.  An easy way to achieve good formatting is by using PDF or PowerPoint. It’s possible to create quality courses using just these everyday tools.  SNIP, click here to continue reading the article.

GuruFace Comment on Creating Courses with PowerPoint.

The first thing to do is create an outline to help you develop your PowerPoint presentation. The outline gives your PowerPoint the structure it requires, allows you to develop a balanced array of visuals, and gives you an initial look at the time required for students to view your PowerPoint slides.

Develop a “look” for the course. It helps to have a graphic designer on hand, but that’s not always an option. Thankfully, you can use tools within PowerPoint to create shapes, gradients, and more.  Begin by brainstorming the “look” of your course on paper.

Consider providing navigation. By default, PowerPoint allows learners to advance whenever they click the screen. This is a tell-tale sign of a standard PowerPoint presentation. Disabling this feature gives you more options for interactivity and providing your own navigation gives you more control over what the learner has to do to advance in the course.

Limit each slide within PowerPoint to a few bulleted points. Your audience needs to quickly understand what you are presenting.   Keep each slide to no more than 4 bulleted items, with each item a maximum of one line in length. If you need to add more information, you have two options: (1) have some notes (use your outline for this) and simply add the material—by voice—when appropriate; and (2) at the bottom of each blank slide there is a section called “Speaker’s Notes”—you can add in here what you want to say to your audience beyond what they see on a slide (only you can see the Speaker’s Notes).

Your voice can bring “power” to PowerPoint. In an online PowerPoint presentation, the audience hears more of your voice than if you were in a room with them.   Speak slowly; be sure to vary your tone (no one enjoys a monotone!); stay enthusiastic and excited about the topic; and use your voice to bring audience attention to important points, closing of a subject, introduction of the next slide, etc.

Include interactivity. Use animations to create interactivity in PowerPoint. These could be quiz questions, clicking to enlarge an image, having new text appear on click, etc. PowerPoint is far from a static presentation tool. You can use it to create interactive slides that allow people to click on objects and get feedback. By adding actions to objects on a slide, they stop being static and become interactive. If you have several interactive slide modules, you can easily link them together using hyperlinks so that you build an entire PowerPoint presentation that has interactive modules. One example would be an interactive, computer-based quiz.

Guruface is here to host, market, and sell the course you create with PowerPoint.   Contact if you need any help on how to create your own courses with PowerPoint.

 

How to Use Influencer Marketing to Sell Online Courses – Guruface

online coursesI talked to my friend last night (he also sells online courses), here’s how our conversation went:

My friend: Been marketing the heck out of my online courses, but I’m not getting any visitors on my website unless I use paid ads. It’s expensive. It sucks.

Me: I used to struggle with the same thing. What kind of marketing methods have you been using? Ever tried influencer marketing?

My friend: Yep. Didn’t work for me. Because I’m a nobody online, they’re just ignoring me like I’m a zombie.

Me: Hmm… That’s interesting. The first time I tried it I managed to get decent results. How have you been running your outreach?

My friend: I use an amazing software that blasts hundreds of emails in a matter of…

My friend lost me at the word “blasts.”

Look. If you’re using an “amazing software” (hint of sarcasm, of course) that does the same thing that my friend’s software does, don’t expect to get any kind of decent results from your influencer marketing campaign.

Influencer marketing require finesse, careful planning, and a genuine urge to establish a relationship with others. That is… if you truly want to succeed.

So here’s what we’ll do. Since you’re reading this blog post, I take that you’re looking to unlock the secrets on how to succeed at using influencer marketing to sell your online courses, right?

If you answered that question with a “yes”, then I need you to sit tight. I’ll help you with just that.

1. Interview the influencers about THEIR up and coming products.

As you can probably imagine, this strategy is pretty cut and dry:

Step 1 – Look for influencers in your niche. You can do a quick search at Google, or follow the same tips that I detailed on this guide to help you find guest posting opportunities.

Step 2 – Go through each of these influencers and check out which of them are about to release a new product.

Step 3 – Send the influencer an outreach message telling them that you’d like to do an exclusive interview with them about their expertise, and the new product that they are about to release.

Step 4 – Before the interview, tell them that you’ll do a quick intro about YOUR online course. Less than a minute will do.

Step 5 – Once the interview starts and you’re done with your quick intro about your online course, focus on the influencer. This time, forget about your course, this should be all about them.

Step 6 – As your interview ends, mention your up and coming online course again. Of course, you also need to talk about and promote the influencer’s course.

Step 7 – Ask the influencer to share the podcast or the interview to his/her audience.

This strategy is a win-win situation for everyone since everyone can benefit from the interview. Your audience can benefit from the expert advice that the influencer can share (and so does  his/her audience). You can promote your up and coming online course, and the influencer’s too.

2. Publish an expert roundup.

One of the things that will cause the influencers to share something to their audience, is if they are included in that “something”.

Of course the “something” that I’m talking about is a blog post where you feature 10 or more experts/influencers that are connected to your industry.

In short, a roundup.

Because their names are included in the roundup, they can benefit from the free PR, and also in solidifying their personal brand as an authority in the industry.

At this point, all you need to do is mention your online course on the roundup, so when all the other influencers share the post to their community, all of the readers will know about your online course.

3. Write blog posts to pre-market your online course, then include quotes from influencers.

According to Socialmarketingwriting.com’s data, “70% of people learn about a company from articles instead of ads. Invest more into quality evergreen blog posts instead of temporary ads.”

I hope that by now, you can pretty much picture out the value of pre-marketing your online courses using blog posts.

However, I’m not just here to talk to you about publishing regular posts. Because the truth is, even if you publish articles daily, it might still take some time before you get real results out of your blog posts in terms of traffic and leads: especially if your website is new.

Unless, of course… your blog posts are shared by several influencers.

Here’s how we can increase the chances of that happening.

Instead of just writing high quality blog posts with stories and numbers (data), you need to include quotes from influencers. Of course, the influencers that you need to quote are those whose audience are your target customers.

That way, once your post goes live, you can then reach out to them via email or social media to tell them that you included their quote in your post. At this point, the chances of them sharing your post drastically increases, because their names are on your article.

4. Ask them straight up if they’d like to know more about your product.

The success of this strategy boils down to the power of your outreach message.

To increase the chances of them accepting your request, you need to craft your outreach message in such a way that it focuses on the benefits that the influencers can get from learning about your product.

The question that you need to address is, “What’s in it for me?”

Answer that question, and you’ll have a winner pitch.

A couple of things that you need to consider when creating the pitch:

  • Use a killer headline.
  • Keep it to 3 – 4 paragraphs max. Try to limit the paragraphs to less than 3 lines.
  • Focus on the benefits and not the features of your product. Remember, they don’t care about you or your product. All they’re thinking about is how they (specifically) can benefit from it.
  • Leave a clear call-to-action on your email message.

If they’ll give you the go signal, be sure not to send them something that’s overwhelming. The last thing you want to do is to send them an ebook-like guide on how to use your product.

There’s no way they’ll read through the entire thing.

You’ll be better of if you create a short video (3 – 5 mins long) or if you’ll schedule a short video call with them so you can walk them through the process.

What’s next?

What are the challenges that you’ve been facing in terms of promoting your online courses? No subscribers? You feel that the quality isn’t good enough? Or no one’s sharing it?

Whatever your challenges are, please take the time to share them in the comments section below.

© cacaroot / Dollar Photo Club

Marketing strategies for online training providers – Guruface makes it easy

Ross Beard for Elucidat writes:  Today’s training industry is ultra-competitive. The Learn 2020 project found competition to be one of the three biggest challenges online training providers will face over the next five years. With more and more solutions entering the field, it’s more important than ever to differentiate through marketing.  Here are three simple marketing strategies for online training providers, you can use to differentiate your offerings and sell more training courses.

1. Understand your ideal customer

Before racing into actionable strategies, take a step back. Think about your ideal customers. Who are they? What companies do they work for? Where do they hang out online? Once you know who your ideal consumer is, clearly define why customers buy from you over competitors. In others words, identify your value proposition.   Communicate this value proposition in all your marketing communications. This is what differentiates your training product from others. It’s no longer good enough to compete solely on price—you need to focus on why customers buy from you.

 

GuruFace Comment:  At GuruFace we work with you in marketing your course to your target.  We work with you in defining keywords for your curriculum and target, then program in strategic SEO optimization to make sure you are found  on Google, Youtube, Bing, and Yahoo.

 

2. Invest in your top marketing asset

When it comes to marketing, your website is your biggest asset. It’s often the first thing potential customers see when they come across your training organization. With that in mind, there are a number of things you must do to ensure your website markets courses effectively.

Communicate what you do and why you’re better

This ties in with the above section (your value proposition). Use your website to communicate what training courses you provide—and most importantly, why they’re better than others.

Build trust and credibility through your about us and contact pages

Customers need to trust you before buying from you. Use your about us page to tell a story about your organization. Where did you start, and how did you get where you are today? Use your contact page to share contact information: address, phone number, email address, and a contact form.

 

Use a blog to give customers a taste of what they can expect in the course

Content marketing is an effective way to build trust with customers before they’re ready to buy. Try publishing a blog article once every two weeks that focuses on a challenge your ideal shoppers might face and how taking your training course can help them overcome it.

For example, say you operate a leadership training business. A blog post might focus on why generation Y struggles with taking up leadership positions. You could explore this topic and highlight sections inside your leadership training course that teach members of generation Y to become better leaders.

Optimize for search engines

Google and other search engines are the gateway to your website. Optimize your pages to ensure they know who you are and what you do. Search engine optimization (SEO) can get complicated, but there are three core principles you can personally tackle: Technical SEO, linking, and content.

Technical SEO: This encompasses the SEO basics: make sure your pages have meta titles and descriptions that accurately represent the page’s content. Read more about on-page SEO.

Linking: Ensure you’re always looking to build relationships with other related companies. At every sensible opportunity, ask these enterprises to link back to your site. This is where incredible content can really help; if you publish a stellar article on leadership training, other organizations will use it as a resource and link to it from their websites. Read more about link building.

Content: Google looks at your website as a whole to see what you write about. Keep a consistent theme that is relevant to the training courses you sell. For example, if you offer leadership training, product pages must talk about leadership training. Also, make sure you’re blogging about leadership training. By focusing on a theme (or niche), you can tell Google that you specialize in this area. In turn, search engines will trust your site and reward you with higher rankings.

Final thoughts

I hope the ideas in this article inspire you to use marketing to differentiate your online training. The industry is changing. You’ll face new hurdles over the next five years, including competition. If you ignore this marketing advice, you risk losing customers. By clearly communicating a value proposition, your training organization will continue to sell more courses well into the future.

GuruFace Comment:  As we’ve said we’ll SEO optimize your platform (courses/youtube promotion) and you’ll also have full access to promote your courses on our GuruFace Blog. In sum the marketing infrastructure here is already built and ready for you to use. Don’t let anyone fool you: selling online courses takes a considerable amount of effort. Still, there is a misconception that you can simply put together a few videos, set-up a payment system, and you will soon be counting your money.  I think we all wish it were that simple.

Creating elearning in itself is hard work – at least if you want the course to be good. When you sell courses, not only do you have to put in the effort to make sure the course is top-notch, but you also need to understand your market.   This why GuruFace is a partner for you to build your business with.  You will find a lot of information out there on how to create effective elearning. It is broken down into many different instructional design components and a lot of work.

The GuruFace training platform  (marketing and merchandising) makes the marketing of your online courses easy so you can focus on your curriculum.

 

How to Add the Human Element to Online Learning

Rob Kelly for Faculty Focus writes: The online classroom can sometimes feel like a lonely place due to a lack of presence of the instructor and other students. This lack of presence can negatively affect learning and lead to student attrition. Fortunately, some relatively simple measures can significantly add the essential human element to online courses. In an interview with Online Classroom, Jennifer Merrill, instructional designer at Salisbury University, offered some design and facilitation recommendations for ensuring a sense of presence in online courses.

Design considerations
When working with instructors to design an online course, Merrill often begins by asking, “How would you design this course for face-to-face delivery” and “What kinds of things might be missing if the course is to be taught online?”   Asking questions like these can help keep presence in mind during design. For example, if group work is an essential part of a face-to-face course, it should also be part of the design of the online course. And perhaps this could be supported by the use of synchronous tools or audio tools to provide opportunities for interaction that offers the nuances and presence of the face-to-face classroom.

GuruFace Comment:  The Guruface platform allows for an interactive experience in online learning for both the instructor and the student.  Students can “raise their hands” (so to speak) to ask questions during live online course delivery, instructors can answer, all students benefit and learn.

Merrill worked with a nursing instructor to create an activity that used VoiceThread (voicethread.com), a cloud-based application that enables users to record and embed audio comments to facilitate a conversation similar to one that would take place face-to-face. In this instance, a student began by posting a VoiceThread message that offered a diagnosis and treatment plan, and other students added to it and commented on it.

When designing an online course, it’s also important to be aware of students’ expectations based on their other media experiences. “Think about what television, media, and the Internet are doing right now to capture the attention of people. I think we have to tap into that kind of thing by adding things such as short videos and small chunks of information. … It’s not entertainment, but I think the audience now feels like they have to have a certain amount of visual stuff going on. They’re geared toward finding whatever information they need right now. It has to be searchable. You have to think about what’s going to be eye-catching and not by just adding a little clip art.

Videos can create the presence. These can range from a simple five-minute welcome video to lecture capture. (If an instructor is camera-shy, Merrill recommends using an avatar along with an audio recording of the instructor’s voice.)   Other videos can create a sense of presence as well, Merrill says. A message with a link to an appropriate YouTube or Khan Academy video can add presence without any need for you to create the videos yourself. Using narrated PowerPoint presentations is another relatively simple way to convey presence.

 

GuruFace Comment: You can find most GuruFace instructors online at the GuruFace YouTube site giving and introduction and outline of their courses.

Feedback
Feedback is an essential way to convey presence. You can offer feedback in many different ways. Here are some that Merrill recommends:

  • Discussion board messages—Participate in the discussion board once a week to let students know that you are there, being careful not to drive the conversation but rather to provide feedback and perhaps ask questions.
  • Email—Send individual students emails to compliment them and comment on their work.
  • VoiceThread—One of the options when using VoiceThread is to create a second icon for the instructor called “feedback,” which indicates the type of message contained in the recording. This can be an effective way to indicate to students at a glance the number of times the instructor has provided feedback.
  • Announcements—When you find relevant resources, provide a link in the announcements section of the course, saying something like, “Here’s something I found recently. This is what we talked about in the discussion.” This is a clear indication that the instructor is active in the course.
  • Polls and surveys—Feedback does not have to be one way. Adding polls and surveys (about the learning experience and/or the content) can add a human element to the course. “I recommend checking in with students [with a poll or survey] once or twice a semester, asking them where they want to take the course. That makes it more personal,” Merrill says.
  • Take note of students’ interests and experiences—Use an icebreaker activity to gather student information that will be useful later in the course. What are your students’ work experiences? What knowledge do they have in their portfolios that you can tap into? One way to use this knowledge is to have students lead discussions on topics within their areas of expertise. “It makes it more personal and values their experience,” Merrill says.

All these tools and features are available on the GuruFace platform for both instructors and students!  The “Human Element” is very important in online learning and this brings forward the advantage GuruFace offers over Udemy and other platforms.  At GuruFace both instructors and students can take advantage of  prerecorded courses and live online learning, we offer the best of both worlds, learn more at GuruFace!