How To Sell An Online Course With Facebook Ads


Congratulations! You’ve created an online course that you’re certain your audience really needs and is going to love.

You’ve poured your heart and soul into it, giving so much value, you can hardly believe you’re selling it to the masses!

You start to run ads to it, thinking “This is it!!” This is going to change lives!

Only, your ads aren’t generating the results you’ve been hoping for. No one seems to be interested in your offering, and your online course is going unnoticed.

So what happened?

Well, let’s back up a bit. 

When it comes to running ads for products and services, there’s a few things you need to consider about the kinds of ads you put out and the audiences you’re trying to attract.

Ultimately, the goal is to sell your course, but it’s likely your target audience doesn’t know who you are. 

In order to sell something to a cold audience, you either need to warm them up a bit before they hand over the digits of their credit card, or you have to spend a ton o’ cash to direct ads to them. And let’s be honest, it’s really hard to spend that kind of money on ads when you are just starting out with paid advertising.

So how do you build up the right audience who’ll be more likely to purchase your course?

It’s likely you’ve heard of the value ladder, which takes people from the unaware stage (cold) of your business, all the way to your highest level of products and services (hot). Each step of the ladder gives the audience something more of value from you, where they become more and more likely to keep climbing the rungs upward.

So if your course is at the middle or end of your value ladder, you need to consider how you get people ONTO the ladder first.

So let’s discuss how you can use Facebook Ads to help increase your reach and grow your audience so you have a better chance of converting them on your new online course.

Brand Awareness Ads

It takes more than 8 touch points for someone to consider purchasing from you, so if you’re going right for the sale, you’ll likely miss the opportunity to convert them. 

Brand awareness ads are designed to get people to engage with your content. Things like reading your blogs or watching your videos, or even opting into your email list can go a long way in creating the right kinds of audiences to target with your course later.  Engagement posts on your Facebook page are also a great way to find new followers and create a bigger audience for your business. These types of ads tend to be the cheapest to run, and are a great way to help build a cold audience that you can begin to turn warm. 

There are a ton of big name advertisers who poo-poo the idea of running ads for brand awareness, but think about your own buying history. How likely are you to buy something from a Facebook ad from a company you know nothing about?

It’s not that you can’t sell completely cold, it’s just a lot harder for those small businesses with small ad budgets.

Small Ticket Purchases

The next thing you need to consider is if you have any offers in between free content and your high end products. Sometimes people need to make that little bit of a micro offer and see if you’re the right person for them before they’re willing to spend hundreds of dollars, even thousands of dollars on your courses. 

Think about your value ladder and the next logical steps someone would take to ascend to the top rung. When people start to make those little micro commitments, even as little as $7-9, they’re more apt to spend more money with you as they progress through your value ladder. But be cautious!  You have to be able to continuously nurture them through email sequences in order to keep them interested and engaged with your brand. 

Not sure what you have to offer for small products or offerings? Think about the assets you have and whether any of those things can be turned into a paid product.

Do you have spreadsheets that can help your audience?

Maybe there’s some trainings or interviews you’ve done before.

(Not sure what could be turned into small products? I’d love to chat and see if I can help you figure that out!)

Course Offerings

Now that you’ve built up warm audiences, encouraged them through your value ladder by using email opt ins, video views and engagement, it’s time to run ads for your course. 

Because your audience has now been nurtured, they are more likely to purchase from you with a higher price point. (And can sell to through email!)

But not only that, creating these custom warm audiences allows you to create a more targeted COLD audience, which can mean a better conversion rate for all your ads. (These are called Lookalike Audiences)

Once you’ve successfully created an Ad value ladder, you’ll have a better idea if your course is actually converting to sale. Just keep in mind that ads are all about collecting data, helping to determine if your audience wants what you’re selling them.

Once the offer starts selling to your warmer audiences, then you have an opportunity to sell it to a colder audience with a better chance of hitting their pain points with your solutions.

There is nothing wrong with selling directly to cold audiences with your courses, but it usually requires a lot of ad spend to test for sales and scaling abilities. By building out a value ladder and using it the right way in advertising, you increase the overall chances of success selling your courses. 

Need the right software to get you started?

Here’s a few of my favourite platforms that can help you in your journey. (These are affiliate links and I do receive a small compensation if you purchase from it. It does not affect your pricing at all.)

Email marketing platform to build your email lists on: Active Campaign

Funnel Building Software: Onvert

Repurposing content across social media channels:

Ready made templates for creating social media content: Viral Content Templates


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