3 Marketing Mistakes People Make When Promoting an Online Class Or Tele-Course


livefulloutLet’s say you’re offering a paid online class three months out.

You have an early bird special rate available until two weeks before the class starts. You want to fill this class with as many people as you can.

Now what?

The average person might make a video for their sales page.

Maybe they’ll make another promotional video, create some emails and social media posts.

They may even get their affiliates involved and send them these marketing materials.

That’s a good start, but it’s not enough. There are 3 main marketing mistakes I see people make with marketing an online class or teleclass:

First, the average person does not create enough educational content to support their message

You need a whole lot more content than a few videos, some emails and some social media posts. You need lots of consistent, educational content that leads directly to your training program.

If you’re promoting a class, you should be creating content daily! This means getting creative and being consistent. If you really want to fill your online class or telecourse, here are a few content ideas to get started…

  • Educational videos that teach concepts relating to your class.
  • Images with powerful quotes that educate around the subject matter of your course. These should convey your message in a punchy, shareable way.
  • Educational tips or quotes that you post on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.
  • Ask engaging and relevant questions on social media.
  • Try a humorous approach. I did this with my Crazy Christmas Challenge and saw good results at a traditionally slow business-to-business sales season. Now, create blogs posts around each of your educational videos, images and tips.

Take 1-2 of your best creations of the week and send those out to your mailing list each week. Keep your emails short, lead them over to your blog for the full message and use your signature on the email and at the end of the blog to promote your course.

Second, most people display lack of follow through to the very end

In our example, you have an early bird special rate available until two weeks before the class starts. It’s human nature to give up on promoting the class after the early bird date ends.

You’d think no one would want to pay full price when they could have gotten a better deal – right? Wrong! Many (if not most) people wait until the last minute, and they will pay full price.

Keep promoting all the way until the end. In fact, I’ve had many people sign up after classes have already started. Never stop promoting!

Note: You should know that there are three main periods where you’ll see signups for classes.

The first group will sign up when you announce the class. The second group will sign up in the 48-hour period before your early bird special ends. The last group will sign up just before the class starts or official enrollment ends.

People are procrastinators. This means you need to be mailing to your list all the way until the end. Send them reminders, and the more informative those reminders are the better.

Third, many people avoid energetically committing to their class

A lot of people offer classes that they expect few or no one to enroll in. Oh, they may not consciously think this. Consciously, they want success, but deep down they do not believe it’s possible.

This “one foot in, one foot out” energy sabotages their results. There’s no fooling anyone in entrepreneurial endeavors. We attract what we are. If we’re wishy-washy, we get wishy-washy results. If we’re half-hearted, we get half-hearted results. If we’re doubtful, our results are doubtful.

Many people hold back from full commitment because they don’t want to be disappointed. “What if no one signs up? What if I only get one or two people and I look foolish?” This kind of thinking translates into our marketing, and we get weak or abysmal results.

When we wholeheartedly commit to giving a class – even if only one person signs up – something shifts. We let go of the needy energy about having to enroll a specific number of people.

Our whole-hearted commitment resonates through our materials and people pick up on that. More people enroll.

90% of success is in the mind. [pullquote position=”right”]If you align your thinking and beliefs with success, your enrollment will follow suit.[/pullquote] Here are a few affirmations I use when I’m offering a class:

I’m 100% connected to this training.

People need what I’m offering.

People recognize the value in what I’m offering and are happy to invest in my training.

I fully commit 100% to offering the best value in this class and trust that those who need it will be drawn to it.

Whatever happens, don’t give up!

Tweak your marketing, adjust your headlines, play with prices. If you’ve sold even 2-3 people on your class, commit to offering it again in the next 3-6 months – especially if it’s a class that resonates squarely with your core message.

What most people do is offer a class with half-hearted energy and get pitiful results. Then they give up and move in a different direction and offer something unrelated. They move from venture to venture until everyone (including them) is confused about who they are and what they offer.

You want to convey a constant, unwavering signal about your message and get it out there consistently. That takes time, and it takes creating consistent content around your core message.

Play full out, never give up, and follow through to the very end. Here’s to your success!

Marnie Pehrson
Marnie Pehrson, the creator of IgnitePoint.com, is a best-selling author, speaker, and online publicist who helps Light Bearers build influential online platforms. Marnie is also a wife and mother of 6 and the author of 23 fiction and nonfiction titles.
Marnie Pehrson
Marnie Pehrson


  1. Marnie,
    This is helpful and revealing too. Thanks.

  2. I love it! I’ve participated in and am planning for my own future online classes. I totally agree with you – I’ve paid full price without hesitation after an early bird special after procrastinating. If I see the value in it, I’m happy to pay full price.

  3. Hi Marnie, great article. Really resonates. with me on a number of points, especially. to promote more and never give up even if the initial response isn’t overwhelming. Thanks

  4. Great advice here. I do well with follow through, but could definitely improve the energetic and educating parts.

  5. I’m curious if you think these limitations ONLY apply to online/virtual events?
    I have a few friends who makes me crazy with their early bird offers. One person offers an Early Bird, if that expires without success, he creates a late Bird, etc. up until the day of the event. It has not been a successful marketing strategy.

    Another friend, keeps extending the deadline on paying last year’s price.

    Which brings me back to your statement

    “The first group will sign up when you announce the class. The second group will sign up in the 48-hour period before your early bird special ends. The last group will sign up just before the class starts or official enrollment ends.”

    Do you know what percents sign up for each time period?

  6. Great article! Those of us who are stepping out this year with webinars need to hear the truth about marketing the events. You need to get the word out, so be sure to ask your friends to publicize the event to their online friends. Be sure to set up a referral program to increase attendance.

  7. What an informative post! In looking at this, I see many gaps in my own promotions. Thanks a bunch for a good roadmap!

  8. Thank you, Marnie, for the motivation! I’ve been dragging my feet lately… Mainly because I didn’t feel my efforts were paying off. That was most likely because I wasn’t offering enough explanation in marketing.

    • Thanks Loretta, yep, it really does require a lot of education to cut through the noise these days. People get so much information. I’ve been surprised when I’ll ask friends who I know follow me closely if they’ve seen this or that promotion I’ve done and even they haven’t noticed them. It takes a LOT of repetition to be seen.