On another thread, MikeB wrote:
Rather than take that thread, which is about long sales pages, off topic I thought it best to start a new discussion. Is it hard to sell training for its own sake?...it is hard to sell training for its own sake
I agree, lots of people will want to know what reward they'll reap as a result of their training, but is it really necessary to sell it to them on the basis of hyping it up about the rewards the training will bring them?
I don't really think it is necessary in many cases.
Often a person might want to do the training because they already know the value it will bring for them. For example, when I did my business master's degree, there was no hype at all in trying to sell me the course. It was the other way around - I had to show them that I had the prerequisites, and the ability and the motivation to do it. They wouldn't have accepted me as a student otherwise.
In the context of selling training online, there are at least two issues. The first is, are you trying to sell training to newbies and therefore need to persuade them that's it's going to provide rewards? Another is, will people value the training you're trying to sell them? When something is offered as a freebie, people often take it for granted as something without value. Since this thread was spawned by discussion of Internet Tycoon, I'll quote Kenny here on the subject of paid subscriptions rather than giving everything away for free. He's talking about premium membership on another forum, "...they've paid, so they're serious". I agree with his point. If people have to pay, even a nominal amount, you can weed out the time wasters. I definitely like the pay-for-membership model. (I use it on my own place too.)
Is it hard to sell training online?
Yes, it is, because so many newbies are being taught how to sell to other newbies. Many MMO products seem to be based on this concept. It's like pyramid selling. Learn how to do this and then sell to other newbies. This requires you to make a fancy squeeze page or sales page and use lots of yellow highlighting and red ticks and stuff. That's what's been taught - and some say it works. Well, I'd argue that it maybe works on a newbie or someone who is inexperienced in business. If you want to get into that game then you'd better do it to the max. You'll be competing with all the other newbie clones out there. (The blind leading the blind in other words.)
On the other hand, you could just be honest and say what's on offer. No "opportunities", no guarantees of riches, just a chance to get some really good info about some techniques and resources. That's how academic sites do it. I'm sure it works for them. Actually I signed up for a paid subscription to one of them recently because I thought the industry analysis provided in their premium area would be worth keeping an eye on.
This posting has gone on too long already so I'll wrap it up.
Selling training online is likely to be a very difficult thing to do because you're competing with so many blind-leading-the-blind types and so many get-rich-quick merchants. If you want to sell to newbies then you'd better beat all the others doing it, and get your stuff great ranking in the SERPs. OTOH, if you're not going after the gullible newbie, then maybe you could just say what you're offering and let the person make their own decision whether or not it could be of value to them. (Sales is not in my skill set.)
Is it hard to sell training for its own sake? It depends on what market you're in and what you're trying to sell.