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Your marketing messages are all about your students

Every email and every social media post is always about your students.  What do you have to offer them that will make their life better or solve their problem?

Many beginning teachers write messages encouraging students to buy their latest offering.  That is the wrong approach.  You need to build a relationship with your students.

Your offers and messages need to prove to your students that you care about them and are committed to helping them.

Once you have established this foundation, your students will be happy to purchase your next course or join a new program.

How do you build trust and still make money?

This is the question every instructor wants to know and it is the reason you want to create a thoughtful marketing plan.

When you look at the big picture, you can see how much value you are offering before you make your first sales pitch.  We will go step by step through the marketing plan for your first year and I will provide you with a template to use.

Before we do that, I want to remind you that you are in this for the long haul.  You want to build a lasting side income or even one that can grow into a full-time income.

My personal dream is to build my business to replace my day job and be able to teach full- time.  I want to work from anywhere, love what I do, and help fabulous people like you!

With that goal in mind, I am very comfortable with investing time in building a relationship before making sales.  

If you want to be successful, you need that same mindset.  Love what you do.  Have a dream for the future.  Work with amazing people.


The Big Picture

I definitely recommend that you craft a 12 month marketing plan each year.  You can always tweak it and make changes as the months go by, but you definitely want to have the big picture view of what you are offering so that you are confident you are providing great value to your students.

Your marketing plan messages will consist of:

  • Offers
  • Education
  • News


These messages are designed to get students to take an action to either purchase a course, join a program or sign up to your email list.

Offers can be free offers or paid but there is always a “price” of some sort.  The price might be to provide your email address.  For example, throughout my site, there are several free offers for helpful content but you need to “pay” with your email address.

Another kind of offer builds interaction with your students.  These offers can be contests or random drawings.  I love these kinds of offers because you can really get creative with them.

Create a contest where students share their results with something you have taught.  For example, you could have students share a before and after photo of their closet after taking your decluttering course.

These photos can be used (with permission) on your site to build excitement and credibility.

Prizes can be things like a free course, a one-on-one with you, or a review or critique of the winner’s results.  It’s completely up to you but you want the prize to be something that will light a fire in your students.  You want them to do the work necessary to win.  You would be surprised how hard it is to get students to submit a photo.  You need to make your prize very enticing.

You want your marketing plan to have a mix of offers that will grow your email list, build interaction, and increase your income.


You will want 80% of your messages to be educational.  That means you are sharing a “how to” tip or some other valuable knowledge.

These messages can range from a simple recipe to a 1,000-word article about a specific topic.

Your goal with your educational messages is to build trust and to encourage student engagement.  You want students to ask questions.

You will get content ideas from student questions.  Pay attention to what is being asked and see how you can provide answers.  Some answers can turn into new articles while others can turn into entire courses.


You want to use news messages to establish you as a go-to person in your industry.

Again, sharing news, will help you earn your students’ trust.  However, sometimes it’s hard to remember to post a newsworthy item.  You sometimes think, “Everyone knows this happened.” You would be surprised to know that a good number of your students won’t be aware of the news.

Even if what you share is widely known, you can still provide value by sharing what the news means to your topic.  How will students be impacted by the news?

There is great value in having news translated into personal impact.  What happened and why should you care?  Even better, what can you do about it?

Crafting your 12-month marketing plan

In order to get an optimal mix of offers, education, and news, you want to map out a 12-month plan.  Again, that big picture view will help you keep your mix balanced.

It will also help you be more efficient.  You will know when you want to pay attention to the news.  You will know how and where to plug in answers to student questions.

You will know when you are looking for contest ideas.  Your idea radar will be turned on.

Download the Marketing Plan Template & Guide to help you build your marketing mix.

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Next, create awesome content

Now that you have laid a great foundation, it’s time to focus on creating great content.  

Move to the next step here.