The concept of selling courses has created a sort of “gold rush” mentality among marketers in recent years.

But hey, there’s a reason for that. If you have knowledge to sell and know how to package it in such a way that people eat it up, you can sow the seeds of serious passive income.

But this gold rush has created an environment of skepticism among buyers, too. They don’t want to get burned by another sub-par course or deal with a marketer that’s selling them snake oil.

Even if you know you’re selling a high-quality course, you need to understand how you’ll be put under the microscope by buyers and critics alike. The following marketing tactics will help you stay on track and handle any potential snags without losing your business in the process.

A Positive Social Presence

Reality check: you can’t guarantee a positive experience for everyone.

Although every course should have an airtight guarantee and crystal-clear expectations, popular courses will always have their slew of naysayers

However, bear in mind that how you respond to such criticism is make-or-break in terms of your marketing. For example, reacting defensively is one of the five silent killers of social media branding that can make you look both petty and out of touch with your audience.

If possible, try to stay positive in the public light and handle any complaints privately via DM, email or a phone call. While you shouldn’t ignore negative comments, you shouldn’t highlight them or go out of your way to call people out.

And while all of this might seem like a no-brainer to you, the fact remains that many marketers make this rookie mistake.

Plenty of Social Proof

For the sake of signaling your legitimacy and converting more customers, social proof is a must-have if you’re selling an online course in 2018 and beyond.

Positive reviews and testimonials should be plastered everywhere from your homepage and landing pages to social posts and emails. For this purpose, it helps to be involved in the success of your students and to stay in touch with them so they’ll share their experiences organically.

A Sense of Promptness

In an era of email and social media, people expect speedy responses from business owners. This is especially true if they’ve already handed over their cash to you, but also if you’re interested in making a purchase.

As such, you should not let inquiries go unanswered for more than 24 hours. Ideally, you could actually respond even quicker than that as the more time that passes, the more likely someone is to fall out of your funnel.

For this reason, it might even make sense to hire a virtual assistant to help assess such concerns if you don’t have the bandwidth to do it yourself. Likewise, hiring someone outside of your own time zone helps you become more available around the clock. Either way, not responding is not an option.

An Up-to-Date Product and Blog

Digital courses and course-related blogs quickly become dated depending on what you’re teaching, so don’t let your content gather cobwebs. Just because your passive income is rolling in now doesn’t mean the gravy train will keep rolling when you step away, so to speak.

For example, a course on how to build your business via Facebook made today would be almost unrecognizable from a course from three years ago. In fact, most of the content might be downright useless.

Consider this: not only can you increase traffic by updating old content, but also ensure that whatever your teaching still follows the best practices of your industry. Many courses highlight that they’re updated for the current year (think: “Updated for 2018” in the course title) which signals that they’re totally up-to-date.

Making money via online courses is certainly possible, granted you don’t make a few marketing missteps along the way. With the help of this list, you can cover your bases and put your best foot forward when selling your course in the future.