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Selling e-learning: business models to sell your courses

What does the e-learning market ask for? And what can you offer him? Which business model is right for you?

 To begin with, you need to understand where you are in the digital training market: do you sell to private individuals? To companies?

End users are private, but do companies pay? Is the area in which you specialize regulated by regulations (formative credits) or do you have to be accredited to provide that type of course?

The answers to these questions will determine not only your positioning, but also your strategy. To give some examples, if you sell to private individuals, you definitely need some e-commerce functionality. If you only sell to companies, you can probably not worry about this piece of the process.

The sales ecosystem

Whatever the market you are targeting, it is useful to ask yourself what are the components of a sales ecosystem for e-learning, that require different skills and tools to organize and operate together:

  1. e-commerce: commercial skills, marketing
  2. LMS: management of online training tools and processes, technological infrastructure
  3. Course catalog: contents and technical skills for the realization
  4. Services: support staff for users and system administrators Each of these 4 components has different: Management costs Infrastructure costs Pricing models

Selling to Consumers

If you sell to individuals, you need an SEO strategy, you need content marketing, you need to be present on social networks ...
Then you probably need an e-commerce if the end consumers are paying.
In some markets (where there are training credits), it also depends on whether your interlocutor is the private individual (and then the above considerations apply) or if it is a company (and then the commercial strategies are different).

Selling to Companies

If you turn to the corporate market, you can choose between different pricing models:

  1. selling only the course => your content will typically have a price per user. Also remember the general costs (platform and more ...)
  2. also selling collateral services => have you ever thought of enhancing other services (assistance, tutoring ...) that you would probably do anyway?
  3. selling course and platform => you can offer your courses and your platform to other consultancy companies too: have you ever thought about it?
  4. selling a whole catalog => some players are going in that direction, and also abroad it is a widespread practice. It is worth it if it is a large and already amortized catalog.

Selling to Providers

You can also turn to the market of consulting and training companies: in addition to providing them with your content, developed by you, nothing prevents you from finding on the market content created by others to complete your offer.

What about the price level?

You can choose between some different modes:

  1. If your customer only buys "the course" he is probably used to paying a certain price for the content and for the fact that its users have completed it. In this case, many of your competitors sell the content at the pure price of the catalog course. For example, € 30 per user. In a case like this we assume that you will be selling your content on your platform (otherwise you would not have control over the number of users). Remember that in this case you also have general costs, those relating to the platform, in fac
  2. As we mentioned, each course carries with it the need to provide technical assistance, process assistance, tutoring… If you sell to companies, do not "sell" these services: take them into account in your "all inclusive" price or alternatively sell them separately. Someone will have to play them, and if that someone is you.
  3. If you are contacted by another consultancy company that wants to use your platform and your courses, take into account an increase that covers your "hospitality", that is the increase in the number of users on your infrastructure and the relative cost that you will have to to sustain.

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