Promoting Courses Online

Using WizIQ

Promoting Courses on WizIQ on CO13
I was able to promote myself and my work by presenting at the annual CO13 on WizIQ. Giving online classes and presenting at online conferences is a way to increase your online presence. Connecting online is important to an educator’s online teaching business.

The Experience
I was honoured when Dr. Nellie Deutsch invited me to take part in the Connecting Online free annual online conference (CO13) by educators for educators from around the globe. I am an English as a second language teacher (ESL). I am also a mother 4 young children with little time for face-to-face classes. Teaching online and making a living requires the best technology and know-how on promotional techniques. I decided to take the opportunity to present on one of the major challenges facing freelance educators today – promoting courses and products.

It was lovely experience to discuss a topic so close to my heart within such a challenging and supportive environment. I’d like to thank those who took time out from their busy schedules to attend. Big thanks to Dr. Deutsch for her excellent moderation and technical support, not to mention organizing the whole CO13 annual event.

Having spent the best part of the past three three years immersed in social media, community building, creating and sharing content, I have strong feelings on the subject of promotion and many unanswered questions. I have studied what some experts do and have experimented a lot. The presentation I gave at CO13 was both to share my experiences and to hear the issues affecting other online colleagues.

My CO13 presentation on WizIQ
My presentation for CO13 stirred up some deep-seated feelings on behalf of professionals who attended, which means I’ll be writing further articles about some of the issues that sparked off controversy.

How I Got Started
I started by asking….

“What is our biggest challenge when it comes to promoting our products or services online? The responses gave much food for thought and fuel for many more discussions and articles to come.

Here are the issues that were mentioned:Time zones, asking for money, finding students, internet connections,finding niches and who will pay.

We used a four–winged analogy called the Dragon Fly Effect to explore what promotion entails.

There was much to say about FOCUS and we all agreed on the importance of having a razor sharp product or service to sell. A significant concept here is that improved focus and a finely-tuned product comes from having total confidence in what you want to sell. Putting something together and ‘hoping’ it will take-off is the unfocused approach and, as they say, the real reason why most businesses fail within a year. 

How we engage people across social networks, get them to believe in our products , services and get them to believe in us as individuals and professionals was something we discussed  at length.

As Jason West from English Out There said “We must extend our natural personalities into the products we are promoting through whatever medium feels comfortable, be it video/podcasting or blogging.”

This was also an extension of the FOCUS concept as it became clear that products or classes which are tailored towards specific target audiences, and grab attention with powerful key words and imagery, attract the most attention.

Grabbing attention extended from the social media side of the business to having your own professional online home – THE WEBSITE. Website design, logo, description of service and, once again, clarity and purpose were covered here. 30 seconds to impress  is the marketing mantra, so your front page must be simple and  uncluttered, yet powerful in it’s message.But that’s not all. The website should boldly reflect who you are as a professional and as a person. Your brand is sometime more important than your product. If word of mouth holds sway in the marketing business, the website is your front door to the world, and it will influence what the neighbours are saying……or …worse….what they’re not saying….

As Oscar Wilde once said “The only thing worse than people talking about you is when they’re not talking about you”

If your website gives a clear message of what you represent, then you should be authentic in what you show to prospective clients. It’s good to let some soul shine through on the front page – your integrity and professional reputation can be enhanced by the personal touch.

The call to action. How do we get potential clients motivated enough to actually enroll in courses or purchase a product? This topic will be explored further in my next post.

Presentations on CO13
I also intend to watch one recording every two weeks and do a write-up on highlights ,’aha’ moments, and brain-storming potential from each session.

Sylvia Guinan

is an online English teacher, writer and blogger who facilitates professional development online. She uses brain-friendly techniques to help students and teachers around the world. She designs educational materials, develops courses, writes resource papers and publishes ebooks. Her work is the result of much research into the psychology of learning, as well as hands-on experience with multi-media technology.

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