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Marketing your Cohort Based Courses

In a previous article we argued that if an instructor builds a course, expecting audiences to come to them might not work. Hence, it is more rewarding to understand your potential learners' needs and desires instead.

This post helps you go one step further and share how best to market and sell your course to your learners.

Marketing and Sales for your course can be boiled down to three things: Effective Copywriting, Distribution and an impeccable user experience (onboarding and off-boarding)

Let’s dive in.

Effective Copywriting

Be it ads you are running online, your sales page, social media posts or emails, effective copy sells.

Here are five things to keep in mind:

  1. Sell Painkillers not vitamins: While the latter is nice to have, the former is a NEED to have. Make sure to position your course as if you are selling a painkiller. Here is an example. Vitamin: Learn to ask for a raise from your boss. Painkiller: Learn the method that helps you build courage to look your boss dead in the face and ask him to increase your salary immediately.

  2. Appeal to what makes most tick: Appealing to fundamental human desires helps connect with your learners. This could include: wealth (making or saving money), great health, reduced hassle or better relationships.

  3. Highlight, vividly, the new life: Clearly, showcase what the new life is going to look like for your potential student. Perhaps even tie this back to the fundamental human desires.

  4. Social Proof: Make sure to include what others are saying about you. Any awards you have won, people or companies you have worked with- ask more their testimonials and share it on your sales page and across social media.

Above all KISS- Keep It Simple Silly! Good copy does not make you think too much. It will tell you all you need to know, inspire you and convince you to make a purchase. Cut out all the jargon, stress the benefits and your students new life post taking your course.


Finding the right channels to distribute your course are important. Here are a few ways:

  1. The elephant in the room: The seemingly obvious, but most underrated distribution channel is your phone book. Reach out to your past colleagues, friends, family and share what you are building . Ask them if they are interested in learning from you or can recommend people to you.

  2. Your community: Today, most are building their brand on their social media such as LinkedIn, Twitter, or newsletters. Some also have gated communities on Discord, Slack or equivalents. Share your course with your community members. You could also offer them a discount.

  3. Podcasts and Newsletters: If you have one, share your course there. If you do not have one, get on some that are in your niche. List the top 10–20 podcasts/newsletters in your niche and then start reaching out to them via social media, email or through warm referrals (e.g. friends/family/colleagues) if you have them.

  4. Affiliates: Websites such as Clickbank can allow you to get people to sell your course on your behalf for a commission on the sales. You could also approach people in your network who might be willing to sell your course on your behalf for a commission.

Designing the Ideal User Experience

The onboarding should make the learner feel welcome and affirm them that it was a great choice. While, the off-boarding should make them feel inspired and wanting to talk about you to their friends, family, and colleagues. This also serves as word-of-mouth marketing.

Here is an onboarding and off-boarding checklist.


  • Email confirmation once they have signed up

  • Thank you video after they have signed up

  • A call/form to understand their expectations

  • Encouraging them to introduce themselves to their community

  • Detailing Key logistics: where to meet, dates, time, assignments, how to use the learning platform (if you are using one) and any other expectations you might have from them.

  • Merchandise and/or Swag sent to them to say thank you


  • Have a graduation ceremony where people can share their experiences

  • Ask for feedback and incentivise it

  • Clear next steps on what to do if an action is required (e.g. join the alumni community)

  • Request a testimonial for future marketing purposes

It’s not easy to market your course. But having good copy, a well-defined distribution strategy and a great user learner experience can make the process much smoother!

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