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Hello, hello and welcome everyone to this mini masterclass. My name is Kenz Soliman, I help online entrepreneurs build epic online businesses by creating empowering, profitable, inspiring and captivating online courses.
Today we’re going to be talking all about course marketplaces, and how you can leverage those marketplaces into building an audience, building authority, and making a little (or a lot) of passive income on the side.
My name is Kenz, I’m 35, I’ve been happily married for 10 years, I have a nine year old, gorgeous boy, and I’m a housewife from Alexandria, Egypt. I’ve never left my country and I’ve been working online since 2011. September 2021, is actually my 10th year in the online space.
But my first four years were a total, total struggle. I was struggling to build a service-based business, I was trying to do some affiliate marketing here and there, nobody knew who I was, I had no following, and I had a very, very tiny email list. I started using marketplaces in my business in 2015, and since then, things have changed big time. I’m talking life changing here, but not the guru version of life changing but I’m living my best life here where I am – spending more time with my son, more time with my family, taking care of my house, I have more than enough time to do all of my hobbies (I’m a crafter, and I’m a planner addict). I get to enjoy everything that I love in my life while making an impact in the world, leaving my mark in the world and making money doing something that I enjoy, which is creating online courses and teaching people things.
My very first course on a course marketplace started with zero students. And right now, as of the time of recording this training, I have over 50,000 students from 195 countries around the world taking my courses. Every time I say that I have to pinch myself. And it’s not only the number of students and the number of countries, it’s everything that I’ve been able to do as a result. I was able to do my TEDx talk, I was featured in so many great publications that I used to dream about, only because of course marketplaces.
Today I want to share this resource with you, and give you like a little roadmap on how you can leverage this resource to get the most out of it because it was very, very helpful to me and I know it’s going to be very helpful for so many other people.
So let me ask you this question: Why do you think most online entrepreneurs struggle with growing an audience online fast?
It’s one of two things. To me, it’s either:
- People keep telling you that you have to use paid ads in the beginning, and you have to start building your email list first. They tell you to spend so much money on ads and do all of these things and it’s frustrating. It costs money and not everyone has enough capital to start with something like that – I had nothing when I was starting.
- And the other reason is, there are some people that overcomplicate things and tell you, you have to go and “socialise” with people and I say socialise in quote, because they don’t teach you how to actually do it. They only show you what to say in Facebook groups to get noticed and get known. And that way of building your audience takes forever! I know that because I have tried that.
I know that the results from these things are great but there are other, smarter ways and I’m all about saving time, adding more fun to thing and adding more of myself to it. And this is where course marketplaces come in place.
You see, one online course can actually help you become an authority instantly on a course marketplace. I see so many online entrepreneurs offer to talk or speak live for 30 minutes or an hour in other people’s groups just to be seen as an authority in that group, and then maybe that group has like 300 people, and then you’re going to give another live training for another hour in another group that has 500 people. And then maybe you have a friend who has a podcast and that podcast has 1000 downloads, and you speak on that podcast for 45 minutes. And you’re trying here and there to build your authority while there is another place that has people who are ready to learn, ready to meet you, and they are in a better mindset than being in Facebook groups or listening to podcasts.
People are not always in Facebook groups to buy something, or to read another post, or watch another free training. People on social media are not always in the right mindset to see your efforts and to see your expertise. And it takes longer to build an authority and to build an audience, through Facebook groups and through social media.
A course marketplace is a better place to grow your audience quickly and easily because guess what? Course marketplaces usually ask you for a minimum of 30 minutes in video format. And you don’t have to be on camera. And if you can teach people something in 30 minutes on a course marketplace, 1000s of people are going to see it. And not just any people, people who are actually on that marketplace, because they want to learn. They’re there with the right mindset. They are your target audience.
And those course marketplaces want to keep students engaged and want to keep students buying more and more courses so when they see that your course is good enough, they push it to more students – they do all the marketing for you.
It’s a great chance for you to utilise your time – instead of offering a one hour webinar in some group that has 200 or 300 people that ends up having like 30, or 50 views and then not everyone is going to watch through until the end, not everyone is going to sign up to your email list or follow you on social media afterwards. On the other hand, that same video, if it gets cut down into smaller lectures and be added as a course on a course marketplace and a student finds it, the student is in there with the intention to learn so they will pay attention. The student is there with the mindset that they want to finish this course so that they feel accomplished, and that they get the most out of your knowledge. So, they would stay there until the end, they would engage and ask questions. And they will tell more and more people about it!
I can keep raving about course marketplaces, until forever, trust me. But right now, I want you to just keep in mind that if you can talk about something that you love for 30 to 45 minutes, you already have that first course that would get you into a course marketplace.
Another great thing about course marketplaces is people. When you teach on a marketplace, people instantly put you on a pedestal. To them, you are instantly an authority, because that marketplace won’t approve your course to be on their platform if you didn’t have enough knowledge.
They do have rules, but they’re very simple. You can create a marketplace course in as little as three days, I have a system that teaches people how to finish an entire course for a marketplace in three days. And I do create courses in three days and sometimes in less than that because it’s easy. It’s simple.
Another great thing about marketplaces is that you, as an instructor, have a public profile. On that profile it shows how many courses you currently teach on that marketplace, how many students you have and how many reviews you have. This gives you instant social proof. So people see that you are an authority teaching hundreds or thousands or 10s of thousands of people. There are instructors on the marketplace that I teach on, which is udemy.com that have over a million students.
So that one course, could be the key to unlocking your authority. You will no longer have to prove to people that you know your stuff. And instead of introducing yourself as an expert with a title that everyone has heard 1000 times everywhere, you would proudly say that I teach X amount of people, through X amount of courses with from X amount of countries the same way I introduced myself to you – I said I teach 50,000 people from 195 countries around the world, I have created and published over 100 courses so far.
Another great thing about course marketplaces is that course marketplaces allow you to engage with those students who joined your course. And four times a month, you are allowed to send them pieces of your content that you created on your website. So if you started a podcast and you’re struggling to get people to listen to it, or find it, you can simply go and send the newest episode of you podcast to all of your students (which would be 50,000 people for me) with a click of a mouse on the course marketplace. There is a Q&A section for them so they can ask questions, and you can answer these questions for them.
And you can communicate with them a little more, understand more about them as your target audience, learn their needs and both of you will be in the right environment. They won’t be distracted by all the other notifications, they won’t be distracted by that other video or someone sharing something, etc.
Every engagement you’re going to get from them is going to be super, super helpful for you and for them.
It’s a true community, away from all the social media noise. And yes, you can take people over to social media, you can socialise with them even more but the base of everything is not relying on social media, and not relying on you spending money on ads. It’s about smart moves. And let me tell you, in six years, so far on course marketplaces, I have not spent a single dime on any paid ads ever. And I’ve got 50,000 students in my courses, and I make sales every single day. Since I started in 2015, I had no zero days period, there was not a month that I was not making sales. Because, again, the marketplace when they find your course is marketplace worthy, they keep pushing your course to more people, they add you to their advertising programme and they only charge you when you make a sale. They keep sending emails to other potential students about your courses and suggest your courses for them.
You can keep creating more courses to make more money and to have more fun with your students and to keep giving and adding more and more value to your students’ lives. It gets really addictive, trust me!
Okay, how do these marketplaces work and how do I get started with them?
Marketplaces are very straightforward, there is no fee for you to get started. There are so many marketplaces out there, there’s Udemy, there’s Skillshare and there are other marketplaces as well. But I use Udemy. You can use any marketplace that you like, but the rules are the same. There are no fees for you to get started, you can create a profile for free. And each platform has its own rules and do’s and don’ts so as long as you follow the rules, everything will be just fine. You can make your very first course free, if you want to just to get to see how things are going to go and how many students you are going to get, etc. And then you can create more courses to make it more profitable. Or you can just create one free course and keep growing it and continue doing whatever you’re doing, and have that course to be a resource for people and a way to connect with another audience away from social media and away from everything else.
How to get started is the easiest part because I have created a checklist for you with the do’s and don’ts of course marketplaces, and what exactly are the steps that you need to take to get started with marketplaces right now.
But I also know that right now you might be thinking, will it work for me? Let me tell you something, the course marketplace that I teach on has courses on everything you could think of. There are courses about entrepreneurship, there are courses about marketing, there are courses about design, there are courses about programming, and there are courses about gardening, and cooking, and makeup, and fashion, and style, and languages, and parenting. There are so, so many fields that could work for this.
To me, I believe that two things, it’s worth your time to try it. Just give it a try and give yourself two weeks to a month to give this entire marketplace thing a try and see where it takes you. And second, I believe that there is a place for everyone on a marketplace. Because if you are trying to build any sort of online business, if you are a service provider, if you are a product-based business, if you are a coach or a consultant, there is a place for you in a marketplace, and you can leverage that marketplace into building the authority and audience your business truly deserves.
If it’s that easy, why isn’t everybody using it again?
Here’s the thing. People’s mindsets and people’s perspectives are different about everything in life, right? So there are people out there who think of course marketplaces as cheap, or not profitable enough, or not worth their time or it’s not my property, I’m not getting the people’s emails – so why should I bother creating a course for a marketplace?
You own your content, you can repost that content anywhere, even that course you create for the marketplace, you can sell it on your website, there’s no problem with that. So it’s simply perspective.
And I don’t suggest you make a decision based on someone else’s perspective. Even mine, like right now I’m raving about course marketplaces. But for some reason, you may not like that, that’s totally fine. But just don’t take my word for it. Don’t take anyone’s word for it. Give it a try yourself. I promise you, it is so well worth your time.
I am so, so excited to see where you are going next with course marketplaces. Thank you so much for watching this. If you have any questions, you can email me and send me your questions. I’ll be happy to answer them. Thank you so much. I’ll see you in upcoming videos. Bye.
Kenz Soliman (she/her), Digital Business Growth Specialist
A housewife from Egypt taking her dreams and ideas worldwide and helping entrepreneurs build and grow Empowering, Profitable, Inspiring, and Captivating businesses so they can leave their mark in the world while enjoying life on their own terms. Founder of Her Digital Business and creator of the EPIC Business movement. Blessed to be serving over 50,000 entrepreneurs in 196 countries worldwide with my 30+courses on Udemy.com. Website | Instagram