Vonza is an online course platform like teachable and kajabi. We make it easy for users to create and sell their online courses and products on our platform. We are in beta and launching www.Vonza.com in the next 2 months. What will be your best advice/strategy to scale and gain traction and customers with limited financial resources?
First of all: good luck.
Seeing how you have a limited budget, I would select the following 3 strategies:
1. Affiliate marketing: offer affiliates a fee for every referral that converts into an actual ‘sale’. This way, you aren’t really paying anything out of pocket, but rather the payment is coming from the sales.
2. Offer a discount/gift/prize to new users if they ‘share’ the fact that they signed up to Vonza, or better yet: for each referral that they do which converts to a sale (so the new users sort of become part of your affiliate program).
3. Utilize the relevant Facebook groups/pages - don’t spam them, offer them something of value and work with the page managers.
You don’t have to have a platform for affiliates. You can use one of the many that already exist, or do things manually at first until you see that it works.
I’ve successfully helped over 300 entrepreneurs, and I’d be happy to try help you further if you. Let me know if you would like to schedule a call. The first few minutes (during which we share information) would be free.
1) Hire someone to help speed up your Website.
You're running WordPress, so your site should be much faster.
Site I turn out, run at local speeds of 1M+ requests/minute, so any nonsense you hear about WordPress running slow... is a myth...
2) Primary speed problem seems related to your hosting environment. Likely this means you'll change to using a bare metal host, from a provisioner like OVH.
Tip: If you're planning on running a lot of traffic, you must use bare metal machines + your most crucial resource will be the person who knows enough to keep your machines running fast.
3) Aside: Use self serving hosting for all your courseware (videos, audios, content).
Note: There have been many postings about how to accomplish #3 on Experts Exchange recently.
Self hosted video is far cheaper than any other option + provides a level of metrics unavailable if you use a video hosting service.
4) Best marketing advice is super simple.
After you've finished #1-#3, then just start speaking at every WordCamp (since your site uses WordPress) talking about your business model + the tech (WordPress tricks) used to implement your site.
Tip: I run hosting for many large Summit + Docuseries projects. I'm about to start on the WordCamp circuit talking about my system too, which is very similar to the LMS system you're talking about. In fact, identical technology.
Other speaking venues for you to target will be...
- Affiliate Summit
- 1000s of https://Meetup.com groups
Ideally the person running your machines is articulate enough to do some of this speaking.
Because... Speaking to groups is hands down the most effective way to land good clients.
Note: clients != good clients.
"Good Clients" - Have the longterm direct experience to user your tech without hassling your support every minute of every day for every little thing.
Tip: I fire all clients, only keeping "Good Clients".
It's tough to break into the the course marketplace and LMS space as it is already pretty crowded with established players at all levels. It has been my experience that simultaneously offering education/training on how to use your platform while showcasing existing clients works well. It acts as social proof by you are building a product/platform that is valuable to others. A startup platform targeted at real estate professionals I have seen that does this really well is easyagentpro.com.
I like Assaf's answers and I would add to it saying do snippet YouTube videos, IG and FB stories. Social media will be a huge asset. Run a couple of Google and YouTube ads. YouTube's top searches all relate to "how to" so this is the perfect platform to get exposure for classes. Good luck!
Aside from the great advice you've received already... consider Influencer marketing.
There are aspiring course creators that are in FB Groups, Instagram and also scope out "business coaches" with "fans" in a sweet spot between 2k - 25k.
These influencers are big enough that they do have some reach and small enough that they are willing to potentially entertain an affiliate arrangement with you and help promote your product in exchange for free access (and the super affiliate commission structure) - especially because a recurring commission is very desirable for business coaches.
Same goes for business podcasts - there are so many small podcasts that would be willing to promote your product in exchange for an affiliate commission.
My expertise is in helping increase sales through customer success.
The best advise is to tell your prospects of the unique value of your service or its unique positioning. You need to create compelling propositions that are irresistible and sustainable. It should be better than your competition and communicated strongly.
I have seen your web site and it lacks a compelling story to convince someone to sign up, as of date. Before your launch it would be wise to get a few success stories and videos up on the home page.
Before your marketing strategy you need a compelling story. You also need to articulate a business strategy to the marketer, so he can help you with one. Prima facie I will 'not invest in your business, as it is!'
I would also like to offer to analyse your competition web sites like teachable, kajabi and others. This will help clarify why customers should prefer your service. Then we can get into understanding or articulating business strategy, and then finally the marketing strategy. You may find my article in LinkedIn of use here https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-do-i-market-my-product-asked-start-up-somesh-bhagat/
You may find faster success gong this route.
Hope this helps and let me know if I can be of further assistance. Best wishes.