7 Ways to Get Press for Your Course Even if You’re a Total Newb
You’ve done the legwork, studied your audience, and created an online course that’s going to appeal to your fan base and be profitable for you - well done! But, how do you get your course in front of consumers outside your circle of influence? Whether you have a heavily-padded marketing budget, or none at all, getting press coverage for your online course can be a challenge. Here are a few ways to get people talking about you:
Who Do You Know?
Sometimes the answer is right in front of your nose. Building relationships is already a part of your PR strategy, and now it’s time to put those relationships to good use. Take a look at your existing network; even if you have a small or limited network, you likely have someone who can help you, or at least put you in contact with someone with the connections you seek. Put a call out to your contacts and see what they may have to offer.
Don’t forget to reach out on social media; Twitter is a great way to connect with industry natives. A few keyword searches can help you create a targeted list, if you don’t already have one, of people talking about your topic area.
Sometimes it’s not all about who you know, but who knows about you. As an influencer, you already have a dedicated following, so use it to your advantage. You’re excited about your course, so get your followers excited and talking! A great way to do this is through video, which I’ll talk more about in a moment.
Write a Killer Press Release
I’m not talking about your run-of-the-mill, boring, fact-heavy press release, I want to you tell a story, your story. You obviously bring a unique perspective to your online course’s subject area, or else you wouldn’t have taken the time to create it in the first place!
How is your course different from others on the market? What about your expertise and/ or angle makes you different from other experts in your field? Highlight what’s unique about your online course instead of simply stating what’s included within. Tell a compelling story and let your press release do the legwork for you; just be sure you’ve crafted a powerful pitch when sending your release to journalists.
Offer Your Expertise
You’re an expert in your field and you’re here to help! Get creative with the ways you can use your influence to benefit others (and get press coverage for your course).
Take a look at the top blogs in your niche; do any of them accept guest posts? Perhaps a collaboration is more appropriate; either way, reach out to others in your field and see how you can work with them (then ask for a backlink in exchange). Fellow influencers are great for course reviews as well, so don’t be afraid to offer them complimentary access in exchange for a review; creating an affiliate program can greatly aid in word-of-mouth advertising, so consider establishing a monetary referral system.
Don’t forget about LinkedIn! You’re an expert, so share some of your insight through a well-written blog or article, just don’t forget to mention your online course at some point. Share the article with your contacts and in your industry groups -- get people engaging and sharing your work.
Video is king these days, and is a powerful way to make an impression across social media platforms. If you don’t already have a YouTube channel, create one, and then devise a series of videos related to your online course. Do not simply sell your course here, you want to create value. Pull powerful topics from your course and touch upon them, but don’t give it all away (that’s what your course is for!). Utilize keywords in your video titles and descriptions so that your videos don’t get lost on the platform.
Remember how I mentioned getting your followers excited? Facebook Live is a great way to generate a buzz, as well as to answer audience questions in real time. Remember that compelling story you drafted for your press release? Share your passion with your followers, and create connection through storytelling.
You may not have an industry podcast of your own, but that shouldn’t deter you from using the medium to promote yourself. Take a look at the podcasts related to your niche and reach out to see if the hosts are willing to interview you. Much like video, you don’t want to go on a podcast with a hard sell for your online course, talk about an area of your expertise then mention your course site at an appropriate time; provide value before you plug.
I’ve talked about getting journalist’s attention, but you can easily appear on a journalist’s radar without sending them an email pitch -- be a featured expert for them! Joining Help A Reporter Out (HARO) as an expert source in your field is an easy way to get your name (and your course) out there. Sign up to receive media requests and scan the queries sent to your inbox daily.
When you see a question pertaining to your field of expertise or industry, respond quickly, as many of the journalists are on quick turnaround times. If a journalist decides to use you, don’t forget that this is an excellent networking opportunity (and a great relationship to build, especially if s/he writes about your field frequently).
The key to getting press coverage is to stand out in the crowd. Not only do you need to think about what you bring to the table, and how you’re doing it differently than others in your field, but you need to think outside the box when it comes to media opportunities. Using the PR plan you’ve created can greatly aid you in getting evergreen press coverage for your course.