How to Create Sales and Landing Pages For Online Courses
The High-Converting Elements of an Online Course Sales and Landing Page Let’s break down these pages into their various elements. This is meant to be a “buffet” of ideas and you don’t need to...

The High-Converting Elements of an Online Course Sales and Landing Page

Let’s break down these pages into their various elements. This is meant to be a “buffet” of ideas and you don’t need to use every element in this guide, as some might be irrelevant or not work with your style of marketing.

Being relevant to your audience and faithful to your message is the most important thing to remember.

So, if we were in an anatomy class, how would we break down the parts of a landing or sales page?

  • Value proposition or learning outcomes
  • Authority and trust
  • Security
  • Social proof
  • Call-to-Action (CTA)

All you need to do is choose and use the elements that work in your case, for your brand. Each element offers an added value, but avoid cramming everything together if it doesn’t make sense for you.

READ MORE: 30 Expert Tips on How to Get 10k More Followers on Instagram
Editor’s note: This article was originally written by Nick Malekos but has been updated and fact-checked by David Hobson, Foundr’s Head of Marketing, whilst retaining the original author’s writing style. David has worked with multiple large brands in the past and is hugely experienced in entrepreneurship and business development.

FREE TRAINING: How to Create a 7-Figure Course From Scratch Using Foundr’s Never-Revealed “Rapid Course Formula”

The Value Proposition: What It Is and Where to Use It

Before you create a landing page  or sales page or any marketing campaign for that matter, you need to get  this one question right:

What’s in it for your customers?

An online course, like any other product, is the solution to a problem. This time, you are solving the problem by teaching.

The value proposition is important because it defines your landing page’s titles, content, and message. To find the right value proposition, follow this thought process:

  1. Think about your ideal student. Making a buyer persona will help.
  2. Define the problem this group of people has as clearly as possible.
  3. Understand how this course is helping them solve the problem.
  4. Is there more than one value proposition? Find the strongest one you want to focus on.
  5. Write down all the value propositions. You should have a primary one and a few secondary propositions supporting the first one.

The sales page for your course should be focusing on one value proposition. Let’s take, for example, the fashion course on How to Draw Hair by IDrawFashion.

Making a descriptive buyer persona about who would be the ideal student and giving them some more information along the way to visualize your audience:

Name: Joanna

Gender: Female

Profession: College student / recent graduate

Age: 17-30 (young adult)

Short description: Joanna is an arts major who wants to work as a fashion designer or start designing her own clothes. Her college degree does not offer practical classes on digital design for fashion and she is looking to improve her skills with online education.

Then, you need to define her problem into a short sentence: “I need to improve my drawing skills, and hairstyles are a challenging part of a fashion drawing”.

screenshot academy idrawfashion.com

Using that, you will need to create a clear, strong value proposition that solves the problem: “Sketch realistic fashion hairstyles.”

The secondary value propositions can help support your main argument: “No more blocky highlights”, or “Say Goodbye to Dead Hairs”

These can be standalone value propositions for someone who has a specific problem in that area, or a supporting argument for what you are going to teach, relevant to the main value proposition.

Screenshot from How to Draw Hair course
Screenshot from How to Draw Hair course

Don’t skip this important step. Now you have a primary and a few secondary value propositions that will be helping you focus your message.

Sell Immediately: Above the Fold

The whole point of a primary value proposition is to be above the fold. Above the fold is the area every visitor sees immediately when visiting your site, and drives most impulse decisions.

Take advantage of this and show your strongest message above the fold, in big letters, along with a button to buy immediately. Sell By Owner does this perfectly with a strong message on top and a button to sign up.

Sell By Owner

Above the fold is the prime real estate of your website and should feature your strongest argument and the main action you want a visitor to take.

A Great Introduction Video

Are you comfortable speaking in front of the camera? Even if you are not, you should try it out. An instructor’s video introduction is much more effective than text when communicating your value proposition. A study from EyeViewDigital shows an increase of up to 80% in conversions when using video.

Take advantage of the power of video by adding one to your “above the fold” message.

This is how Wendy Thompson from Start Social sells her course on Social Media for B2B. Her video is a personal introduction to the course, positioned just after the title, along with a short description:

Start Social

Similarly, in Foundr’s own course, Gretta van Riel is teaching how to Start and Scale an ecommerce store, and the first thing below the value proposition is a video introduction on the course. It includes her personal story, experience, and again what’s in it for the student, all in a short clip:

Screenshot from Foundr’s Start and Scale course page

READ MORE: How Foundr Created it’s First Product Launch

Using Learning Outcomes in the Value Proposition

The learning outcomes of your course clearly state the skill or knowledge that will be acquired upon completion of the course and how it is going to be useful to them. Including these outcomes in the course’s landing page will help your students visualize their end goal and how your course will help them achieve that goal.

This is, in my opinion, one of the most important elements. Learning outcomes answer the question for the potential customer, “What’s in it for me?” in the most natural way possible.

So, what kind of learning outcomes can you use?

  • Life improvement – This course is going to impact your students’ lives in profound ways, like finding the perfect match, becoming healthier, earning soft skills they can use in their everyday lives, etc.
  • Work-related – This course is going to help them in their work by earning a promotion, landing a job, improving productivity, refreshing their knowledge, etc.
  • Learning/improving a new skill – This course will help them learn a new skill and how to use that skill. You could be teaching them to paint their first paintings, learn how to meditate, or how to dance.
  • Certifications – Additional benefits of a course can include certifications or continuous education (CE/CPE) credits. Certifications come with a sense of achievement and can be included in a CV, while CE credits might be needed to renew or maintain a professional license.

Since your product is education, deciding early on about the learning goals and objectives and presenting them on your online course’s landing page is essential. Tell your visitors how you have the power to positively change their lives and you will see them signing up in no time!

Here’s an example from someone who has mastered the art of showing learning objectives:

Teya Bozhilova teaches how to draw fashion. The first thing you see after her intro video is the learning outcomes of her course. She uses a combination of illustrations and texts to get her point across in a uniquely beautiful way.

READ MORE: How to Create an Online Course Like Foundr

pasted image 0 9

Adding a Course Outline to Support the Learning Outcomes

The course outline is a supporting element of the learning outcomes. While the learning outcome can be summarized in a sentence or two, the course outline is a detailed curriculum. Think of the learning outcomes as the address and the course outline as the directions to a destination.

The course outline, or curriculum, is usually a list or text explanation of the course’s contents. It shows the subjects discussed, any media, exams, assignments, or other important sections your course includes. You can include a description of each section or topic and how you are teaching it.screenshot academy.idrawfashion.com Course Outline

It’s a great opportunity to illustrate the value they will be getting (which is part of your value proposition). A well-planned, media-heavy course with hours of study material can really shine through its outline, demonstrating why it might be priced at a premium.

Use it to your advantage!

The Power of Authority and Trust

Why do people trust others to teach them?

Human civilization is built on systems of authority and trust. We trust teachers in schools and lecturers in university to teach us important lessons we carry with us through life. We listen to experts who command a certain authority in governments, armies, and even small social groups.

The real question is how can you position yourself as an expert, a person of authority, or someone your students can trust to teach a subject?

You can do that by using signals of authority on your course landing page. Each of the following elements should check a mental box for your visitor:

Instructor Bio

Personally, the first thing we look at in any online course is the instructor’s bio. At Foundr, we have incredibly strict criteria for our instructors, and it’s even part of our company values and core mission that we only work with the best. Before approaching a is this person an expert on the subject? Do they know more than me on the subject? What credentials do they hold?

A well-written bio that showcases your expertise is the first step toward winning the approval of your potential students.

So, your bio should answer these questions:

  • How much experience do you have with the subject?
  • Do you have any degrees, certifications, or recognitions?
  • Have you achieved something big?
  • Are you well recognized in your field?

Bonus: Your professional title also matters a lot here. Being a university professor, having work experience in the subject, or teaching something you do for a living can give you a huge amount of credibility.

Taking the example of RainCatcher’s Sell By Owner About Page, which is focused on entrepreneurs and SMBs, you can see the instructors have strong backgrounds and professional experience in different areas of expertise.

RainCatcher’s Sell By Owner About Page

They mention their individual specialties, and elsewhere on the about page they include their achievements in numbers, which speak stronger than degrees or certifications. For example, helping 9,200 businesses over 30+ years of experience speaks volumes for the team’s capabilities.

RainCatcher’s Sell By Owner include their achievements in numbers

Leveraging Social Proof

Another must-have element of a course’s landing page is social proof. People seek out the opinions of others before making buying decisions. These may take the form of student reviews, video testimonials, or influencer shout-outs.

This is especially true when buying for the first time from a vendor. It’s all about trust and how you can build up that trust.

The principles and mechanics of social proof explain how reviews can influence buying decisions, and what people look in them:

  • Uncertainty – When faced with an unfamiliar situation, an unsure individual would feel the need to refer to other people for guidance.
  • Similarity – Again, in an unfamiliar experience, people tend to follow what their peers do. Similarity can be found in age, gender, school, community, physical appearance, and common experiences.
  • Expertise – People also rely on experts to guide them and will turn to people with expertise on the subject. Experts with credentials or popular influencers go a long way when they promote your subject to their audience because of this.
  • Number – The more people, the stronger the effect. Think of Amazon’s use of reviews on their products. Wouldn’t you choose a product with 100 reviews over 5?

READ MORE: Are You Ready For A Digital Product Launch?

Media Mentions

Traditional media still matter. TV, newspapers, radio, and digital equivalents can offer a huge credibility boost. The same goes for influential podcasts, YouTube vlogs, or interviews for big online outlets. Such media mentions show that you are an authority on your topic and the media relies on you to get more information about it.Media Mentions

Customer Logos

Do you have customers who work at big, recognized companies? Being a trusted trainer or teacher to employees in a highly respected company will earn you some authority points. This is incredibly important if you are selling training courses to corporate customers (B2B), because your customer logos are a source of authority, much like customer reviews.

Many trainers are selling self-paced courses to corporate teams. Ask them if you can use their company’s logo on your landing page.

Payment Security

When paying online, you have to be careful of unsafe sites and scammers. Ensuring the security of your site and the process of payments is important for many customers, and any uncertainty can be a deal-breaker.

Internet browsers are adding notifications whenever you are visiting an unsecured site. Since last year, Chrome added a “not secure” message that turns red if someone adds information such as email or credit card to a non-secure website.

Treatment of HTTP Pages with Error

Make sure you have an updated SSL certificate to avoid this red flag, and ensure a safe and secure checkout for your customers. This is a minimum requirement for doing business.

FREE TRAINING: How to Create a 7-Figure Course From Scratch Using Foundr’s Never-Revealed “Rapid Course Formula”

Money-Back Guarantees

For more risk-averse visitors, a money-back guarantee offers a safe environment for taking the  “risk” of buying a course.

Money-back guarantees might look like a headache, but they offer the following advantages:

  • They radiate confidence in your product.
  • They increase conversions.
  • Very few people request a refund.

Refunds are even a right for consumers in many countries, so why not make the guarantee on your landing page and get a few more sales?Sporttape money back guarantee

Student Testimonials

The best way to earn the trust of a potential customer is getting reviews from your current students. You probably already have some reviews in the form of personal messages, emails, or even Facebook messages, which you can ask permission to use.

Foundr does this incredibly well! Half of Start and Scale’s course landing page is about customer reviews and testimonials.

Foundr Start and Scale’s course customer reviews and testimonials

Video reviews are even more impressive. Satisfied customers will be more than happy to send you video recordings of their experiences with the course, which is a warmer, more personal way to communicate social proof.

Foundr Start and Scale course Video reviews

While all reviews can have a big impact, you need to narrow it down to the ones you want to showcase. So you should be looking for reviews that:

    • Fit your ideal customer persona
    • Feel real and exciting
  • Present a problem solved or a milestone achieved

Finally, if you are launching a new course, don’t be discouraged by not having any students to offer testimonials. After your initial launch, ask your test-users (from a pre-launch test) or other people who have worked with you in the past, to offer testimonials you can add to your landing page.

The Importance of Focusing on One Call-To-Action

If you were to take one single piece of advice from this guide, I hope it’s this: Focus on your landing page’s main goal.

Every business wants to acquire more customers, but a landing page might also serve just one point in your sales funnel. This means you will need to decide between making a quick sale, getting a new subscriber, or having someone join your next webinar.

What is the ONE action you want your visitor to do?

This is the purpose of a call-to-action (CTA). It’s a not-so-subtle nudge toward the desired action. The CTA will be the focus of your landing page and all your text should be written around it.

Writing the CTA

Visitors of any course landing page will probably only scan the page and then read a few phrases before making a quick decision. So, your CTA should help them get the most information out of their visit and convince them to convert in the quickest way possible.

Here are a few tips on how to come up with a great CTA:

  • Short and catchy: The call-to-action is usually a short phrase or word focusing on nudging someone to do something. For example, “Sign Up Today!” You can add more explainer text, your arguments, or a video around the CTA to support it.
  • Highly visible: It should be easy to spot and preferably the first thing someone will see after the title of the page. Adding the text on a button with contrasting colors is a good tactic to follow.
  • Colors: Choose the colors that convey your message. Red might mean danger and urgency, while green might indicate something relaxing or healthy.
  • Multiple CTAs: Repeat the call-to-action as many times as it makes sense on your page. But, as a rule of thumb, try to only have one CTA per screen, so while your visitors are scrolling the page, they see only one of the CTAs.
  • Use powerful action verbs: Using powerful words that convey action and strong meaning can help with your conversions. Think about these while writing your message.

Secondary CTAs

In some cases, it makes sense to have a secondary CTA. Especially when selling an expensive course. Your visitors might not be ready to buy immediately, so giving them another option will keep them coming back for more, and they may buy later.

These secondary actions might be lead captures like:

  • Downloading an ebook or another free lead magnet
  • Subscribing to a newsletter
  • Watching a webinar or video
  • Joining a free mini-course
  • Scheduling a free call

However, not all secondary CTAs are lead captures. You might also offer an upsell or a cross-sell (another related product you offer in your sales funnel after they purchase).

Bundles, subscriptions, or premium courses can also be part of a secondary CTA. If a visitor is interested in one of your courses, they might also be interested in getting a bundle of related courses, or a premium alternative like the course with an added private coaching session.

Tip: Avoid ruining your primary CTA by losing focus and promoting a secondary action. Offer a secondary action in a less prominent way, fewer times in the text, and towards the end of your landing page. It should be an alternative action for those who won’t convert after reading most of your page.

In an example here from Sell By Owner, the primary CTA is prominently displayed in the hero image (top part) and the secondary CTA is below the video with a button to “Explore all Courses” rather than enroll to the complete bundled program.Sell By Owner 2

FREE TRAINING: How to Create a 7-Figure Course From Scratch Using Foundr’s Never-Revealed “Rapid Course Formula”

READ MORE: How to Build a Profitable Marketing Strategy

Online Course Landing Page Examples

One thing we haven’t talked about yet is the design of a landing page. But the truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all solution here. Each course is different, and every landing page is unique to the brand, message, content, and goal.

While figuring out what works best for you, here are some successful course landing pages to inspire you!

Note that examples in this section and throughout the article from IdrawFashion, Raincatcher, Sportstape, and StartSocial are our customers and they use LearnWorlds to create their academy, landing pages, and online courses.

Example 1: Masterclass.com

With a now-classic look and design, Masterclass.com has become synonymous with courses taught by some of the most famous people in the world.

The home page of the website is a landing page for a full-access subscription, a great example of how you can demonstrate authority with media mentions and well-known instructors. On top of that, it offers a modern, powerful design dominated by black:masterclass

Example 2: I Draw Fashion

I Draw Fashion communicates its brand with strong design, visual cues, and beautifully visualized learning outcomes.

It also implements almost every element that I mentioned in this guide:

  • An intro video
  • Clear CTA (multiple times)
  • Clear learning outcomes (what’s in it for me)
  • A course outline
  • Authority signals with a strong instructor bio

idraw

Example 3: Raincatcher’s Sell By Owner

Here is an example of a high-ticket course targeting CEOs and business owners. This course’s landing page focuses on the value of the course and its outcomes, supported by both data and testimonials from successful students.sell by owner 3

The main landing page for the program is the homepage, but as mentioned before, there is a secondary CTA to allow the “exploration” of individual courses for those who are not ready to buy the whole bundle, plus a call to join the newsletter at the bottom of the home page.

Raincatcher's Sell By Owner man landing page

Example 4: Udemy

As one of the best-known course marketplaces, Udemy offers the same successful structure for each landing page. You can see that the page checks every point:

  • Clear value to the student (what you will learn)
  • A primary CTA: “Buy now”
  • Course contents
  • Authority and security (from the Udemy brand)
  • Student reviews and ratings

It also goes a step further and upsells by offering similar courses (bundling them up) as frequently bought together.udemy online course rcf

When Multiple Landing and Sales Pages are Needed for an Online Course

Is there a need to create multiple landing pages to sell an online course?

Yes and no!

In most cases, you should focus all your energy and resources on a single landing page per course. For newer online schools that only sell one course, a single bundle, or all-inclusive memberships, this page should be your homepage. The fewer steps you have to check out, the easier the sell.

However, while growing a successful online academy, you may find yourself with many courses and serving multiple different markets. So, ultimately, you may need more landing pages.

Let’s explore those cases.

Segmentation

When you are communicating to different segments (groups) of your audience, you might want to create a separate campaign for each one.

Different demographics: For example, a yoga class might be suitable for both elderly and pregnant women. It might be difficult to address both of these groups’ challenges in a single page. Helping each group to better see themselves in your messaging will increase conversions.

Different ad groups: An ad you are running to bring visitors might raise some expectations you will need to address on your landing page. Even if this means just changing the headline or a few sentences on a landing page, it can help you sell more courses.

For example, a programming class to build a mobile game might offer a fun new skill for some buyers or a professional skill for others. So you might want to try different approaches and landing pages that can help you test those two approaches.

Different applications: This is when your course can be the solution for different needs. For example, a first aid course can be a requirement for getting a professional license renewal, an obligatory certification requirement for a company, or an important life skill for an individual.

Tip: Creating your buyer persona will also help you when segmenting audiences.

READ MORE: Psychographics 101: Everything You Need to Know; How It’s Used in Marketing

Translating a Course

You might have noticed that Foundr has started launching our courses in Spanish.

You might be launching your course in a different language, requiring you to translate the material or add subtitles. This is a very common and effective way of expanding your market into non-English-speaking countries, and you might even have a different pricing strategy for these countries.

start and scale spanish rcf landing page

Special Offers

Are you running a very specific promotion? You might want to test a different price, address a new segment, or offer different perks. A big promotion could require a new landing page for your online course, too.

Branded Corporate Landing Pages

When targeting a big corporate client, you can create a unique, branded landing page to send them. This can include additional information, different pricing, and reasons that are specific to the company. Investing time to pitch to a potential big customer is always worth it.

READ MORE: How To Develop An Online Course

Don’t Forget

You are almost ready to go live! But, wait.

There are a few more steps to remember before publishing your landing page. Here is what you need to take care of for a perfect launch:

Mind the Entrance: Desktop vs. Mobile

More than half the visitors to a website come from a mobile device. This means that you have to take care and test how your page looks on mobile devices, especially if you are targeting ads on mobile devices.

However, mobile visitors buy less often than desktop visitors. While revenue from mobile will be lower, optimizing the landing page of your online course for both desktop and mobile devices is important to get as much as possible from both.

People tend to browse and research on mobile and come back on the desktop to finally make the decision and the purchase.

Proofread the Page

Once is never enough. Proofreading is incredibly important. A typo can cost you, especially if it’s in your title or call-to-action.

Reading your page, again and again, will make you blind to small mistakes and typos. So ask your colleagues or friends to read the page carefully. A fresh pair of eyes is always better than the person who wrote the text.

READ MORE: Psychographics 101: Everything You Need to Know; How It’s Used in Marketing

Keep It Simple

When writing copy for your page, it’s easy to just throw everything in and end up cramming together every argument, button, and link you have. This is bad for sales. Simplicity here is king!

Take a look at your page:

  • Is there anything you don’t need?
  • Is there something that might confuse visitors?
  • Do you have too many buttons?
  • Do you have links to articles that might be a distraction?

Some marketers even remove the menu from certain pages to avoid distractions. Try to declutter the landing page and focus on offering a path that brings real results.

Testing

Similar to proofreading, you should ask another person to test your page before publishing it. Testing can uncover last-minute flaws or mistakes in design, text, or even technical issues.

And yes, you should also do a few payment tests. Most payment gateways and checkout systems allow testing the checkout process.

It is essential to know the whole process your visitors go through to pay you. Testing it yourself and asking a few trusted persons to do it too can l help you find hidden mistakes and avoid failed purchases.

Going Live

You are ready! After making sure that everything works, your course landing page is ready to go live and you can start signing up students for your academy.

But, your work doesn’t end there…

Always Keep Improving Your Online Course’s Pages

Launching your online course sales and landing page is just the beginning. When you first release a page into the wild world you will start getting data, information, and feedback. The next step is to improve your page based on these results.

The world is always moving, your competitors are always adjusting their strategies, and so should you.

How can you improve your results?

A/B Testing

Split testing is all about making small variations on pages. If you were to test a different word, like program instead of course, or different button colors and see which one works best, then you would be doing an a/b test. You send half the traffic to one page and the other half to the other page.

This is a great way to implement small but effective changes to your marketing strategy and improve results over time. Use analytics software to track performance and decide which landing page will become your new default!

Incremental Optimizations

Both you and your market are changing over time. You should be coming back and doing small improvements to your pages over time. Remember when we talked about reviews? If you didn’t have any when you first started, you might be adding a few from your first students.

Maybe there is a new trend in your industry and you want to incorporate this trend into your sales page. Could be new diets, jargon, memes, or even legal requirements for professional courses.Finally, always keep an eye on data from tracking and analytics software, so you can monitor how the page is doing compared to previous changes and whether new improvements work or not.

READ MORE:How to Create an Online Course Like Foundr

Updating the Content

Did you add new content?

  • Videos
  • Ebooks
  • Certifications
  • Tests
  • Exercises

Update your content outline every time you add new material. You might also create huge content updates where your course is updated for a new year with new material and industry standards.

FREE TRAINING: How to Create a 7-Figure Course From Scratch Using Foundr’s Never-Revealed “Rapid Course Formula”

Ready, Set, Go!

This is your time to shine and start selling your courses!

Remember, an online course’s land and sales page is how you communicate the value of the product you are offering to your end customers. In some cases, it is your one and only opportunity to get their attention and make a sale.

Even if you don’t get it perfectly right the first time, it’s vital to keep working and improving the pages. You are already spending your advertising dollars and investing your time, so you might as well stick with it for the long run.

Have any questions about how to create a great landing and sales page? Run into any problems? We’d love to help you out further in the comments.


The biggest problem founders and small business owners have is that they’re experts in their field and novices in what it really takes to effectively run a business. That’s what usually trips them up, sooner or later.

Don’t let that happen to you. Admit that you don’t know what you don’t know about , starting with these 15 tips guaranteed to help keep you and your company out of hot water. Some are straightforward, others are counterintuitive, but they’re all true. And some day they’ll save your butt.

Always make sure there is and will be enough cash in the bank. Period. The most common business-failure mode, hands down, is running out of cash. If you know you’ve got a cash flow or liquidity problem coming up, fix it now. You can’t fire bad employees fast enough. You just can’t. Just make sure you know they’re the problem, not you ( see next tip ).

The problem is probably you. When I was a young manager, my company sent us all to a week of quality training where the most important concept we learned was that percent of all problems are management problems. When things aren’t going well, the first place to look for answers is in the mirror.

Take care of your stars. This goes for every company, big and small. The cost of losing a star employee is enormous, yet précurseurs rarely take the time to ensure their top performers are properly motivated, challenged, and compensated. Your people are not your kids, your personal assistants, or your shrink. If you use and abuse them that way, you will come to regret it. Capiche ?

Learn to say ' yes ' and ' no ' a lot. The two most important words business owners and founders have at their disposal are “yes” and “no. ” Learn to say them a lot. And that means being decisive. The most important reason to focus – to be clear on what your company does – is to be clear on all the things it doesn’t do.

It boggles my mind how little most fondateurs value their customers when, not only are their feedback and input among the most critical information they will ever learn, but their repeat business is the easiest business to get. Learn two words : meritocracy and nepotism. The first is how you run an organization – by recognizing, rewarding, and compensating based solely on ability and achievement. The deuxième is how you don’t run an organization – by playing préférés and being biased.

Know when and when not to be transparent. Transparency is as detrimental at some times as it is beneficial at others. There are times to share openly and times to zip it. You need to know when and with whom to do one versus the other. It comes with experience.

Trust your gut. This phrase is often repeated but rarely understood. It means that your own instincts are an extremely valuable decision-making tool. Too often we end up saying in retrospect and with regret, “Damn, I knew that was a bad idea. ” But the key is to know how to access your instincts. Just sit, be quiet, and listen to yourself.

Protect and defend your intellectual property. Most of you don’t know the difference between a copyright, trademark, trade secret, and patent. That’s not acceptable. If you don’t protect and defend your IP, you will lose your only competitive advantage.

Learn to read and write effective agreements. You know the expression “good fences make good neighbors ? ” It’s the same in . The more effective your agreements are, the better your business relationships will be.

Far too many entrepreneurs run their business like an extension of their personal finances. Bad idea. Very bad idea. Construct the right entity and keep it separate from your personal life. Know your finances inside and out. If you don’t know your revenues, expenses, capital requirements, profits ( gross and net ), debt, cash flow, and effective tax rate – among other things – you’re asking for dysfonctionnement. Big dysfonctionnement.

You don’t know what you don’t know. Humility is a powerful trait for leaders, and that goes for new owners, veteran CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, and everyone in between. More times than not, you will come to regret thinking you knew all the answers. Behind every failed company are dysfunctional, delusional, or incompetent leaders. The irony is, none of them had the slightest idea that was true at the time. Even sadder, most of them still don’t. Don’t end up like one of them.

For every success you have in growing your market share, another or other businesses will inevitably lose ground. Here are 11 quick and easy business tips to gain a competitive advantage over your rivals and insulate yourself from the threat of new entrants in the market.

Of course, we all want to spark business growth and increase revenue. But the way you do this in a sustainable way is to focus instead on the building of a loyal database of avid fans. Content digital, paired with optimized website forms and éclairé mail automation follow-up is critical to business success. This approach builds trust by giving away free value before asking for someone’s hard-earned money. Not an professionnel in creating optimized lead generation pages on a website ? No worries, use a trusted tool like Leadpages to make it happen.

Like it or not, folks out there aren’t searching for your brand, they’re just looking to solve a problem or find a particular type of product ( unless you run Starbucks or Adidas ! ) Don’t list all the benefits your product brings. Focus on the solutions. Explain to the customer in simple, straightforward terms how or why your product can help them or assist in the attainment of their goals. Consider FedEx’s iconic slogan : When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight. This was a clear example of addressing widely-spread anxiety about the reliability of delivery services. Run through some market research to profile your target customer. How does your product or service – and your delivery and and price point – solve other people’s problems and make their lives easier or more pleasurable ?

Dropping prices doesn’t necessarily raise sales, for instance ( though it will definitely squeeze margins ). If you position yourself as a premium brand, then your customers aren’t necessarily value-driven in the first place, and cutting prices could even tarnish your brand. Consider this case study from Robert Cialdini’s seminal book ‘Influence : The Psychology of Persuasion’ : a jeweller sold out of turquoise jewelry after accidentally doubling, instead of halving, the price. The inflated price tag lent the product an unwarranted cachet ! If you are a premium brand, there are ways to optimize your pricing without lowering prices. For example, offer the quality-conscious customer an ‘exclusive’ benefit that your rivals do not or cannot provide. If you are at the value-driven end of the market, on the other hand, don’t assume slashing prices means incurring a loss. Low pricing can help you rapidly onboard a heap of new customers who may also buy other items in your site and return again. Context also counts for a lot with pricing. The best way to sell a $5, 000 watch, for instance, could be by putting it next to a $10, 000 watch. Think strategically when it comes to deciding any price point.

Yes, it sounds obvious, but it’s so very important ! Whether consciously or not, people are more likely to buy a product if they like the sales assistant who’s attending to them. While the employee’s personality obviously has no bearing on the price or your product’s ability to serve their needs is irrelevant. Friendly customer-facing équipe will always attract more sales. Be rigorous in hiring people who are genuinely cheerful, friendly and outgoing. Make sure your training program teaches them to adopt a consistently friendly approach that puts customers at ease and feel like a priority.

Say you’re a bricks-and-mortar store and you’re getting a rush of customers as closing time approaches… why not close up an hour later ? While this may cause disgruntlement among équipe, solve this venant by getting creative with rosters. Monitor customer footfall throughout the day and week to identify your busiest periods, and équipe people accordingly. You can also reduce headcount during quieter periods to offset the higher costs and longer sérieux hours created by your extended opening hours. It’s a win-win !

Even in the digital age, some customers will always prefer to contact you by phone rather than courier or Facebook. While many online companies with tight margins eschew manned phone lines altogether, it’s worth giving customers the option of having a voice-to-voice conversation with your brand. By all means, slash the time and cost spent responding to queries by funnelling customers to standardized, pre-existing responses on your webpage ( i. e., FAQs ). But if their query isn’t listed in the drop-down menu of FAQs, then don’t make them click more than once more to find your phone number. Put it front and center on your digitale page, particularly if you’re a retail offering. ‘Live chat’ bots are an inexpensive way of offering real-time communication, too.

Why not give your happy customers a voucher with their purchase to redeem on your products and services ? If they love what you do already, they’re only going to love you more for this. It’s good for you because : It guarantees they will return to your store again. People hate to waste freebies ! When they return to your store to redeem their voucher, they may buy other items, too. If your business operates online, then the freebie could be strategically timed to coincide with a special sale. Oh, and guess what ? Chances are customers who have received vouchers or freebies won’t stay quiet about it either, so you could enjoy some positive buzz on social media.

Local businesses can arguably connect with their unique communities with much greater authority than any global chain. A local retailer, hair mobilier or gardening company can sponsor a kid’s sports team and offer deep discounts for OAPs at the same time. Some cinemas feature special ‘sensory’ screenings where parents can bring kids with autism ( who would normally be overwhelmed by busy, noisy environments ) to enjoy a movie in a relaxed, stress-free atmosphere. This reflects well on them and also guarantees them a loyal customer niche. Whatever you choose to do to support your community, make sure it authentically fits with your brand offering and journey to date.

Social media is a great medium through which to build a solid relationship with customers – just don’t forget what ‘social’ actually means ! Soul-less corporate shop-talk won’t work on Twitter. Try to give your brand some ‘personality’ when you write updates or posts. This can bring its own risks, oui. But if you get it right, the benefits can be très grande. Develop a tone of voice that aligns well with your brand identity. Seek to inform, help, entertain or amuse. And most importantly – given the dire PR consequences – don’t patronize, try too to be funny, or tweet after a few alcoholic drinks !

Sometimes it’s better to be a master of one discipline than a jack of all trades. Admittedly, multiple revenue streams do spread your risk : if one falters, others can take up the slack. Nevertheless, consumers often associate ‘specialists’ with higher quality products or services than generalists. And with good reason, too : specialists typically invest all their resources into perfecting a solo product or service. So what should you specialize in ? tera state the obvious, it should be something in which you excel. You could also pick something with rising or recession-proof demand which is resilient to technological change in which you possess a competitive advantage over your rivals or where there’s an obvious gap in your local market. Own it, whatever you do.

Don’t ever get too satisfied with your . You can always improve – and improve you must ! Don’t get me wrong : without the odd moment of smug satisfaction, what’s the point ? Do relish in the successful launch of a game-changing product or take pleasure in positive customer feedback. But don’t let your customers hear you banging on about it time after time ! Be alert to the common element that has led to the downfall of countless hitherto thriving brands : complacency. Imaginative, nimble and innovative start-ups often do better than big market leaders that just got lazy. You may be the disruptive innovator today, but tomorrow you could be the complacent market leader with a tired model. So try to be humble and always strive to improve. Seek inspiration from other créateurs d'entreprise, from books and from seminars. The moment you think ‘mission accomplished’ is the same moment you become vulnerable to being usurped.

There are lots of ways in which you can improve your business, and not all of them are complicated ! Try out the above tips or integrate them with your existing strategies, and let me know how you go in the comments below. Guest Author : Faye Ferris is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Dynamis APAC Pty Ltd offices in Sydney. She develops the DYNAMIS durable of brands and their expansion into the Asia Pacific region as well as BusinessesForSale. com, FranchiseSales. com and PropertySales. com. If you have an interest in partnering up with Faye or advertising on any of these websites in the APAC territories, please do not hesitate to contact her on faye@businessesforsale. com.

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