5 Days of Online Course Exposure: Host a Contest
You’ve created your online course, masterclass, and/or workshop. But, how do you get it out there without having to give up your first born child? Or spending so much money on Facebook Ads, Twitter Boosts, and LinkedIn Promotions?
The answer: Host a Contest.
No one can resist a contest, whether it’s a drawing for a free lunch at your favorite coffee place or a month’s membership to the local boxing place to get your work out on. While these are examples of offline contests, online contests are no different.
Online contests have two main advantages:
They draw new visitors to your site.
They are a great way to reward your existing readers and customers for their loyalty.
There are four main steps to running an online contest to boost your online course visibility:
The list is pretty simple and it’s like that for a reason – to prevent you from overthinking the entire process.
Magnification Time – Let’s look at each step closely:
There two ways you can approach prize selection: You can offer a prize that will appeal to everyone and anyone, or you can choose something that is more in alignment with your market. Whichever you decide to use to promote your online course, depends on your end game.
A prize that appeals to everyone can be a gift card to Panera’s, a new tablet, or actual cash. The wonderful thing about a prize that appeals to everyone is you will get – EVERYONE to come to your website, and this can help your website stats. The downside is that many of those visitors will not read your blog or even care about your amazing online course, masterclass, and/or workshop. These are the people who will pull a Houdini the moment the contest is over.
A prize that is appropriate for your market is more preferable if you want to generate TARGETED traffic. For example, if you run a vegan delivery service, you might offer a prize of access to your private membership section for a month on how to switch over the vegan lifestyle, a 2 time vegan meal planning service, or anything a person in your target market might feel appealing.
While the prize that appeals to everyone will increase your traffic for a short while, the targeted prize will draw more high quality visitors to your blog. At this point, it’s not about quantity, but quality.
How, what, when and where?
Now that you have the prize chosen, what will your visitors have to do in order to win it?
Obviously an important element of planning your contest to generate more exposure for your online courses, masterclasses, and/or workshops is creating a way to capture the traffic that visits your site. The most common way to do so is to ask people to join your email list to be entered to win. Another option is to ask people to leave their email address, with the knowledge that they may receive future communications from you.
When you announce your contest, make sure to include all the details:
- How to enter
- When the contest closes
- How the winner will be chosen
Tip: If you have people visit the site to see if they’ve won, you’ll make sure they visit at least one more time!
If you received the prize as a donation from a sponsor, you may need to disclose that fact in “the fine print” on your site.
If a person gives away an a free Xbox 360 on the web and no one enters, does it make any noise? No. To get attention, to get traffic, to get customers, you have to make some NOISE. This means talking up your contest and encouraging others to do the same.
At the bare minimum…
- As mentioned above, post about the contest, but don’t do it just once – write at least a few blog posts about the contest.
- Tweet about it several times.
- Add it to your Facebook page.
- Use any other of your social media tools to get the word out.
- Read Online Course Marketing: If you Create it, They Will Come for additional ideas.
- Mention the contest on any forums or message boards that you participate in.
- Ask friends in your industry to include a note about the contest in their e-zines.
- You can also give extra entries to entrants who also Tweet and/or post about the contest on their blogs.
- Think about creating a small blog button for people to add to their sites (make sure it’s clickable and hot-linked back to your site).
- If you’re giving away something huge, write up a press release and submit it to appropriate media, online and off.
- There are also industry-specific sites that list contests of interest to that niche, so submit your contest for added bang.
- Reach out to your Tribe. (If you need a tribe: How to Grow Your Tribe so Your Business Can Thrive.)
One caveat: The bigger the prize, the bigger the promotion. You may burn people out or disappoint them if you make a big deal about a contest to win a new foot massager!
Contests that draw attention towards your online course, masterclass, and/or workshop do not have to be complicated. A prize, a set of instructions, a little excited chatter, and you’ll be raking in the rewards in the form of higher traffic in a matter of days.
Best wishes in all that you do.
Melissa Annalise Halstead is a Knowledge Leverage Expert. She works with somewhat successful self-employed professionals and very small businesses who struggle to leverage their knowledge effectively and need to monetize their message consistently, without pushing so hard.
What separates her service from other business coaches is that SHE ONLY works with C-Level executives, coaches, speakers, self-employed businesses and SHE ONLY specializes in leveraging their knowledge and monetizing their knowledge, nothing else. Because of this, her clients receive proven, undiluted, and extremely specific step-by-step information on exactly what they need to do to leverage their knowledge. As a result, those who coach with her get their message in front of the right audience, and infuse more cash into their business than they would on their own.
Would you like to know more? If so, reach out to her on:
FB: Melissa Annalise Halstead | Twitter: @MeliHalstead | Snapchat: @melihalstead or fill out the contact form.