How to fill your online courses

Do you think that acquiring new customers for online courses is harder than for courses in your studio? Definitely not! The perfect way to win new customers for online classes…

Tuesday,   |   Reading time: 9 min

Do you think that acquiring new customers for online courses is harder than for courses in your studio? Definitely not! The perfect way to win new customers for online classes is – of course – online! You speak to your target audience directly where they are – online. Just think about it. It is much easier to participate in an online course – it’s safe, comfortable and easy to access from anywhere in the world. It is a waste not to use this opportunity for your studio. Today we want to give you a hand with promoting your online courses and winning even more customers! Let’s look at various ways you can promote your classes.

1. Don’t be afraid of social media

Social Media is the key to promoting your online courses. Being active in social media is for free and if you do right, your courses could become the next viral trend. The choice of the right social network highly depends on your target group. The most important social networks are definitely Facebook and Instagram. While with Instagram you can reach a younger audience,  Facebook will work wonders with older audiences. But wait. What if you have never ever used any of these? Here is what you should know for starters:

Build a meaningful profile. The first thing your customers will see in social networks is your profile – you can compare it to your business card in real life. A customer should recognize within the first seconds what exactly you offer. You can achieve this by saying a few words in your profile description. Also, we recommend you keeping a consistent appearance within all social networks. Use the same picture, colors, logo, and name – that will make it easier for customers to recognize you. Make sure that your profile is publicly accessible for everybody.

Post regularly. Facebook and Instagram both have their own algorithms which change constantly. But one thing that stays the same is that this algorithm takes into consideration if your profile is active and if you are posting regularly. Otherwise, your posts won’t be displayed to all of your followers.

Use hashtags and locations. By using hashtags and locations in your posts you will automatically gain reach. Use hashtags that fit your studio philosophy and your courses. You may also think about developing a unique hashtag, exclusively for your studio! If other users are searching for those hashtags or locations your posts will be displayed. If you are using nothing your posts will be only visible for your followers and on your profile.

Link your profile. If you already have a loyal customer base, tell them about your social media channels! You can do this in different ways. For example, you can print your social media profile names onto your business card. You can also link your channels on your website or in the banner of your newsletter. This way, your customers can access your profile within one click.

Interact with your customers. One thing that differentiates social media from other communication channels is the fact that your customers actually can reply to you. This is a two-sided communication and it is a great opportunity to get to know your clients. Your customers can like and comment on your posts and send your messages. You should always react to those engagements! This way your customers will be more loyal and happy.

If you follow those five steps your posts will definitely be successful. Another major thing you shouldn’t neglect are Instagram Stories! Stories are a wonderful way of communication! They are basically posts (photos or videos), but only available for 24 hours. You can view the stories of your followed accounts by clicking on the profile picture and in the banner of your start page (see picture below). You can upload photos, videos, and tag other people in them. There are so many ways you can leverage them! You can, for example, post a picture of your course with all participants and tag them. Once you have tagged someone, this person will be notified and they can repost your story in her/his own. This way every follower of your participants can see your course and can have a look at your profile. This also works the other way around. You can ask your participants to post a story and tag you if they liked your course. This way you will gain a great reach because recommendations from friends or other known people are more valuable than from strangers. 

You can find your stories at the top of your starting page

2. Take care of your website 

Besides social media, the other important source of information about your studio is your own website. Once someone hears about you, they will probably search online and they should be able to find your page. Internet presence makes it much easier to gain new customers nowadays. That’s why it’s important to keep your website up-to-date. Some of the important elements that should be part of your website are: general information, impressions, prices, products and your course plan. Online, you will find many providers with whom you can create your own website easily. But if that’s a little overwhelming, we have a solution for you. 

If you use FitogramPro, we provide you with a free online course calendar. Your customers can book your courses directly online and all bookings will be displayed directly in your system. With a short code, you can integrate this booking tool directly into your website. Here is how to do it. Do you use our course calendar already? Great! In the booking tool itself, your customers can share events they like or have already booked with their friends via link, Facebook, Twitter or WhatsApp. You benefit from this without any additional work. 

If you don’t feel like updating your website, no problem! Apart from your schedule, the booking tool also has a new studio tab. You can use it as your website because it contains all the important information about your studio. You have the possibility to add pictures, a short text about your studio and the address. Your prices and events will be displayed automatically. You can edit your images and texts in the settings under text and image management. Here you can see an example of a studio page:

3. The newsletter is still in! 

The newsletter has been a proven marketing tool for years. As a traditional form of communication it seems to resonate more with older audiences, so it makes sense to combine it with meaningful social media communication. A Newsletter gives you the possibility not only to stay in touch with existing customers, but you can also reactivate old or inactive customers by sending them special offers and discounts. Promote your online courses in your weekly (or monthly) newsletter by giving a small preview, sharing customer reviews, or maybe a short video from an actual course. So many options! This will give your customers a good impression of your offer. You can send your newsletters via Mailchimp. 

4. Gain more visibility through Urban Sports Club 

In case you don’t know, Urban Sports Club is the largest, most flexible and diverse sports network in Germany. As a studio, you can become part of the Urban Sports Club network for free. By being part of the Urban Sports Club, you automatically gain visibility and hundreds of potential customers. You don’t have to distribute flyers anymore, because your members will learn about your studio through the app. 

Did you know that Urban Sports Club promotes their partners on Instagram? Again, that’s a great opportunity to gain more reach! Simply tag @urbansportsclub in your Instagram Stories and you may get reposted on Monday. 

You also have the opportunity to be featured in the weekly Urban Sports Club “Partner of the Week” series. All you have to do is submit the following via this link

  1. – A nice picture of your studio or yourself without text (minimum 1000×1000 pixel)
  2. – Your online course program for the next week (or link to course schedule)
  3. – Your Instagram name to tag you 

Please use the typeform of Urban Sports Club for the submission!

The additional promotion not only increases the percentage of Urban Sports Club visitors, but also the absolute number of your visitors. Furthermore, this partnership can be an enormous time-saver! Thanks to the instant booking function, new customers don’t have to contact you to attend your courses. They can book themselves in and you will get notified right in your FitogramPro dashboard. You gain control and a better overview of your visits. Thanks to the connection between FitogramPro and Urban Sports Club your clients are always up-to-date. Changes in your courses, cancellations or teacher changes are automatically updated in the Urban Sports Club app. That’s a win-win, right? FitogramPro is free and includes all the features you need to manage your gym. If you want to learn more about the connection between FitogramPro and Urban Sports Club, read this case study

5. Provide sufficient course information

Course title 

Your course description and course title are crucial when it comes to your booking rate. To increase your chances of getting a booking and at the same time increase the satisfaction of your visitors, there are a few things you should consider.

Choose a title that is simple and easy to understand. If your course is held in another language, you can also add this to your title (e.g. English). You do not have to include “Online” or “Live” in your title, as all online courses are automatically marked and can be filtered accordingly. A good title for a yoga course would be for example “Yoga Vinyasa – for advanced students” or “Functional Training Level 1 (English)“.

The course description

Your course description should be as clear as your title. A potential client should find all relevant information: training objective, course structure, course rules, equipment, required space, a link to a playlist if necessary, requirements and how to join the course. In addition, it is always helpful to mention the most important information right at the beginning. For Urban Sports Club this concerns for example the first 5 lines, because they are also shown in the preview. 

Summary

There are many ways to advertise your online courses! Whether through social media, your own platforms such as your website and newsletter, or with the help of external partners such as Urban Sports Club. You are free to choose which works best for you. We recommend a combination of all four different ways. This way you can guarantee that all your potential customers are addressed. If you only use one way, you might miss the chance to reach a large group of people that would be relevant for your studio. Good luck!

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