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How to Create and Sell an Email Course for Artists – Part 4

So you’ve published a brand new email art class. The hard work is done! Now you can sit back and watch the bucks roll in as new students sign up. Right?

Wrong. For most of us creative types, the hard work (marketing!) is still ahead.

But before you throw your hands up in despair, let me assure you marketing isn’t as difficult as you think. Here are five ways to promote your art class—or anything else—that you may already be doing without realizing it.

(And by the way, if you aren’t already doing any of them, now’s the time to start!)

1. Offer a pilot course with extra perks

When I got serious about launching my own email drawing course, I sent a special email to my subscribers, telling them a little bit about the class, how I planned for it to work, and asking for help. They understood they’d still be paying to take the course, but they’d also have full access to me, and would be contributing to the improvement of the course.

Not everyone responded to my email, and not everyone who answered took the class, but some did.

Sure, I never heard from some of those students, but those who gave me feedback helped make the class better by asking about some things I hadn’t thought to include.
It didn’t cost me anything (the students paid for the privilege) and everyone on my emailing list knew I’d be launching an email class.

2. Pre-sell the class with discounts to your email list

The best way to promote a new class is through your email list.

Alert all the people interested in the pilot class who replied to you but didn’t end up taking it (if you use MailChimp, you can even see who clicked to learn more about the class, and include them in this email too).

Remind them what the class is, and when it will launch. Then offer them a discount if they enroll in the class early. 15% to 20% off is significant enough to be meaningful and also lets them know you appreciated their interest. Do this approximately three to four weeks before your launch date.

Next, send a notice to everyone on your list a week or two before the launch and offer a “pre-order discount.” Make it a little smaller than the discount you offered in the first phase, but still make it significant enough to be attractive. If you offered 15% in the first phase, offer, 10% now.

One week ahead of launch, send a brief, reminder that the class is about to go live, and letting your readers know all discounts end the moment the class is live.
Finally, send the launch notice. This time, you won’t be offering any discounts (unless you want to. If you find the discounts working well, you may wish to continue them for a week or two.)

After that, set up a few small ads to put into your regular newsletters. Just a blurb or two about the class and a link. It won’t be news to anyone at this point, but it keeps the class fresh in their minds so they don’t forget.

3. Create a sales page on your website or blog

Don’t forget to promote your class on your own website or blog. Even if you don’t blog, you still need a sales page that tells potential students everything they might need to know before enrolling.

Don’t get too “sales-y” on this page. It’s far better to tell readers who the class can help, what’s included, and then give prices, than to blast them with big red sign-up buttons and strike-through “price discount!” numbers every two paragraphs.

Try to write in the same voice and style you write everything else. Write in third person, though, instead of first person, even if you usually write in first person. You want this sales page to be about the class and about the students, not yourself.

If you don’t write very well, or aren’t comfortable writing sales pitches, find someone to help you. It’s not that difficult and it doesn’t have to be expensive either. But even if it seems like a big up-front expense, it’s worth it when you consider all the sales you could miss out on due to a poorly written sales page!

4. Collect (and publish) some good reviews

Once you’ve had a few students finish the class, you’re likely to get emails from some thanking you for the class. Make sure to respond to them, and don’t be afraid to ask for a review.

At the time of writing, I’ve had three students write to tell me how much they learned from the new class. I asked each one of them to leave a review in the comment section on the class’s sales page. Guess what? Two of them did!

Not only do reviews give your class credibility; reviews can be the tipping point for anyone who is still undecided about taking your class at the end of the sales page.

5. Post about your class on social media

Of course you can’t market these days without using social media. Whether you use Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram or something else, the key to remember is don’t over do it. Repeated sales pitches on any of those platforms costs you readers.

The trick is to post something about other people three or four times for every post you publish about yourself.

Also try to publish “for sale” posts about once out of every five or six of your posts. The numbers vary based on the platform, so be aware of what your favorite platform recommends and follow that pattern.

Bonus tip! Get to work on your next class!

There’s an adage among writers that the best way to market a book is to write another. The same holds true for email art classes.

The best way to market your first class is by introducing new classes. Every new class brings a slightly different target audience to your website.

You can’t predict when someone looking for a landscape class might not also buy a horse drawing class if one’s available. Not to mention, the more classes you have, the more you’ll be perceived as an expert teacher. You can also finish out each class with a short note (or discount!) for one of your other classes.

Good luck!

*Note: this post may contain affiliate links*

Most of us WANT to have online sales of our art, even if we don't particularly like managing a website or spending time away from our easels.

After all, an online presence gives us access to a global market. We can reach potential collectors even while doing other things, and that means a chance to generate extra income beyond brick-and-mortar galleries and local art. . . read more

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