Lean Marketing Fundamentals For Your Online Course on Turion (or any other platform) - A Marketing Guide for Beginners

Resources Marketing and Advertising Guide
You’re probably reading this because you want to improve your marketing and advertising for your online course on Turion, or any other online course platform. It can be really difficult, even if you’re a seasoned veteran in the space.
You’ll see some people with great success with their online courses or products, and you often think, how do they do that? Well, we can’t guarantee you can become extremely successful with our guide, but we can give you a few tips and basic principles to help you head towards a good direction. We will soon have another guide about specific marketing strategies that you can deploy for your online courses, so keep an eye out for it!
Ok, let’s get into it. The secret of marketing and advertising lies in a "lean" marketing approach: starting small, targeting effectively, and constantly optimizing based on data. This works for almost every level, from small individual creators to large corporations. Sometimes, you can even see big corporations do this before they throw in millions or billions of dollars to advertise for certain things.
It can be as effective for someone or a small team with very little budget. The essence of LEAN is within finding out the best strategy for you, not the dollars that you can inject.
Here are the key ingredients to a lean marketing recipe:

1. Understand your market and audience:

Before diving into the nitty gritty, take a step back and understand who you're trying to reach or sell to. Imagine your ideal customer: What are their demographics? What are their pain points and aspirations? What kind of content do they consume? Where do they usually gather (online forums, social media groups, specific comment sections of a social media page, etc.)? By creating a detailed buyer persona, you can tailor your message to resonate deeply, maximizing the impact of your marketing efforts.
The better you can pinpoint and narrow down your target, the better it is. Your goal is to find a small group of people who will LOVE and benefit from your offerings, and then expand from there. Don’t try to find a million people who will only “somewhat” like your offerings and benefit little to none. Capture a small market as much as you can before moving on to millions and millions of people.
Brian Chesky, the founder and current CEO of Airbnb famously said that he learned this from Paul Graham, one of the founders of Y Combinator:
“It is better to have a hundred customers that love you, than to have a million customers who sort of like you.”

2. Be lean: start small, but be strategic:

Once you have identified your target and their persona, it’s time to plan and execute. There's no need to jump in with a massive marketing budget right away. Instead, begin with a smaller, targeted allocation. This allows you to experiment with different channels and tactics without risking overspending. Focus on a single platform or channel where your ideal audience is most active and responds the best.
There are organic (unpaid) and paid marketing channels. The typical advertising you see on social media or Google, where it says “sponsored” is paid marketing; or maybe an influencer posting or talking about a specific sponsored product. On the other hand, organic channels are things that you either don’t need to pay directly for someone to talk about your courses, products, services, or business. A very common example is word of mouth, where people who love your offerings will tell others about you. Therefore, it is important to find people who will LOVE your stuff, and then they will tell people about it, without you spending a dime on advertising.
Whether you have a large or limited budget, we suggest that you start from organic since it is the best way to find out what works before wasting time and money.

3. Embrace Experimentation:

Don't be afraid to try different things. For example, craft compelling ad copy variations; test various videos or graphics; explore different content formats; try different types of channels; posting on social media on different days and at different times.
No matter what you do, the key is to track the performance of each experiment closely. Having a plan is also equally important, since you need to clearly know what you are trying to find out in an experiment. Focus on finding out one thing at a time will be the best thing to do.
For example, I am trying to find out whether my ad spend has better return on Instagram or LinkedIn. The best thing for me to do is find out the best times to post for my audience on both platforms, then post the same content, run the ads within the same time frame, and give the same budget. This will make the experiment results more accurate because it is a fair comparison of my advertising return between Instagram and LinkedIn.
Try it with your own set of goals and find out! You can do the same for organic marketing campaigns as well.

4. Measure and Analyze:

As mentioned, measuring the results and analyzing them are essential. How else can you know what’s working and what’s not? Most marketing platforms offer detailed analytics that tell you exactly how your campaigns are performing. Track metrics like click-through rates, conversion rates, and engagement levels. This data will reveal what's working and what's not, allowing you to optimize your approach for better results.
If you're using Turion for your online course, you can find some key metrics on your dashboard in Teacher's mode.

5. The Power of "Lean" is in the Continuous Improvement:

Most of the time, you won’t be able to create a ridiculous 10x improvement. If you can do it, then that’s a great sign. However, most people will have gradual or incremental improvements. The compounding effect from the continuous, incremental improvements is often overlooked and underestimated.
As you gain traction and your conversion rate improves, you can try to gradually increase your budget. Our suggestion is to make your conversion rate better every time, until you reach a satisfactory level, whether it’s 2%, 5% or 10%. After that, it’s a sign to double down that same strategy and allocate more budget and effort, until it doesn’t work any more (deteriorating results without any external, uncontrollable circumstance). If that time comes, you can always try a new strategy and use this same framework.
Please remember, it's not just about spending more. It's about spending smarter. Use your data insights to refine your targeting, optimize your strategy, and identify the channels that deliver the best return on investment (ROI).
If you want specific strategies that you can implement for your online course, products, or services, we have a series of marketing guides just for you. You can find them on our resources page.
We also have plenty of other resources to help you succeed in your journey!