36 Successful Course Creators Share How They Get New Leads

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Have you created an online course or digital training?

Are you now having trouble generating leads to your opt-in forms?

It’s difficult to get people to opt-in or request more information from you. I know there are a lot of businesses that make everything look easy, but there’s usually a struggle in the beginning, especially when it comes to lead generation.

To help shortcut lead generation for you, I asked 36 successful online course creators for their best tips on generating leads. Here are the answers I got back …

Heather Farris

1. Heather Farris

~Heather is the founder of Heather Farris & Co

“I have offer Pinterest marketing training where I teach a variety of students how to use Pinterest to grow a business. The course serves both people looking to DIY and people looking to provide Pinterest as a service.

I get leads from providing free blog posts teaching my readers specific tips when it comes to using Pinterest. From there I have an opt-in they can get that is a strategy guide. The strategy guide includes a full to-do list on what to do when they publish content as well as weekly and monthly action items for Pinterest. They also get trends to guide plus content ideas on what to create and promote their blogs.

For the lead magnet, I actually created it myself using Google Docs and Photoshop. I took existing resources and put it together to make it a full guide. From there I created an opt-in with a tripwire product where when someone opts in they get an offer to purchase a no-fluff training at a reduced price. Once they are in my funnel I nurture them for about a month and at the end of that month, I pitch them on buying a higher-priced course on the same topic.

I push people from my blog to my email list and from my email list to my social channels.

I’m big on repurposing content so if someone sees it on one channel the next week they are likely to see it again worded slightly differently on a different channel. My goal is to harp on the subject enough times that they finally hear the message and take action. So far it’s working out quite well.

This has been a game-changer to take people from cold readers to warm buyers without putting a lot of money into ads.”

Charles Mccabe

2. Charles E. McCabe

~Charles E. McCabe is the CEO of The Income Tax School.

“We develop all of our own curricula in-house. The vast majority of our leads come through our eCommerce website from organic search.  We work hard at generating 5-Star Google reviews, creating fresh relevant content, and designing our website for easy navigation with emphasis on creating a compelling home page and landing pages for our most popular courses.”

Rob Stand

3. Rob Stand

~Rob is the founder of SEObetter.com.

“The main way you can gather leads is to work on your content and create a lead magnet in the form of an eBook, we tend to write out the content first then reformat it as a PDF with Beacon.by

From here we will create a lead opt-in form. Since we already have quite a popular blog we will embed the sign-up download lead capture form in our blogs.

From here we have an automated email marketing sequence set up. This lures the customer to purchase our online courses.

Another thing you can do is share your website’s blog content on places like Reddit and Growthhackers.com.

Once you have your lead capture forms set up in your blog posts, all you need to do is promote your content with your own marketing techniques. This kills two birds with one stone.”

Steven Horne

4. Steven Horne

~Steven is an affiliate marketer who specializes in branding and growing businesses online.

“When I launched my first course I didn’t have enough money to run ads, so one of the things I did was a search for an Instagram influencer who would be willing to work with me. In order to build my course, I used a funnel building system called Builderall and I used YouTube for my videos. When I found one, we came to an agreement that they would get a 50/50 if we made $2,000 or lower and 60% for them and 40% if it was over.

I let the influencer have some influence on the design of my sales funnel and we agreed that the best lead generator would be an ebook. Once someone opted into the ebook, then the funnel took them to my course. It was a small course so I didn’t charge a lot, about $69.90. In total, we sold over 200 copies of my course and because I was so happy someone was willing to work with a nobody like me, I gave the influencer more than the 60% we agreed to.”

David Wills

5. David Wills

~David is the founder of Ted IELTS

“I train people to pass an important English exam called IELTS. I’ve had my website running for about 4 years and for 2.5 of those years I had no products or courses at all. I just churned out high-quality, free material.

I recognized that 90% of the people in my space were not really qualified to do their job and were making inferior products, so I simply worked to make a good reputation. When I launched my first book, course, and services, I hit the ground running due to that good reputation.

Anyway, now I get most of my traffic through Google. People go to informative pages on my website that give them good, free information. On those pages, they’ll see subtle ads for my products. Occasionally, I run Facebook ads, though the success rate is pretty low. It tends to bring in a lot of people who ask questions but have no real interest.”

Becky Beach

6. Becky Beach

~Becky is the founder of MomBeach.com, an eCommerce owner and blogger that’s been featured in Business Insider and Forbes.

“What I do to get leads for my course is run Facebook ads to my masterclass video opt-in. I created a Facebook live video about the benefits of starting an eCommerce store. After the video, I give a coupon code for students to enroll in my eCommerce course.

When I am crafting my Facebook ad, I test at least 3 different ad copies and videos. I run each combination at $5 a day. The combination that performs the best will then get scaled up to receive more leads.

The leads who are interested are then subscribed onto my email list where I can nurture them further. The service I use to collect leads is MailerLite and I use Elementor for my sales pages.”

Paul Zalewski

7. Paul Zalewski

~Paul is the founder of Fathercraft, where he creates online courses for new and expecting parents.

“We’ve done a lot of experimenting on how to generate leads for our online courses geared toward new and expecting parents. We’ve tried giveaways, newsletter sign-ups, quizzes, and more, but what we’ve found works best is lead magnets at the intersection of 1) the target audience we’re looking for and 2) what that audience would find immediately useful.

For us, that’s a downloadable checklist like, “How to prepare your baby’s nursery for safe and healthy sleep”. From there, we use a drip campaign that delivers the lead magnet, drips more helpful tips and resources, and introduces the course we’re selling. This methodology warms up leads, gives our brand authority, and drives sales.”

Jenny H

8. Jenny H.

~Jenny is the founder of JH Marketing Results.

“I sell multiple online courses focusing on visibility and marketing strategies for online, service-based businesses. To generate leads for the courses, I specialize in hosting online virtual events, like a Facebook Challenge.

Lead generation is easy using Facebook Challenges that grow both your private group on the platform and build your email subscriber list with targeted leads. To do this, I find people struggling with the problem by business solves and drive that traffic to my solution-specific challenge’s landing page – usually gaining organic leads through content posting, polls, and engaging on social media.

I’ve had my biggest sales months from building virtual event marketing, like Facebook Challenges, where I offer a few days of value-based training that are related to the end course I sell. I offer prizes to those who complete the challenge homework and leverage the new traffic and engagement to pitch the paid product at the end of the training.

I often use challenges as a start to a course launch marketing plan to generate targeted lead interest that gets nurtured during the course of the launch. Challenges have helped me convert cold leads within 48 hours into paying clients and are my favorite lead generation strategy for my course launches.”

Martyn Kinch

9. Martyn Kinch

~Martyn is the chairman of Trainingbytesize.com

“We collect leads by attending a lot of shows, and as much as we can we aim to collect as many names as possible.  So in a show, with freebies and prizes, we hope to get cards/names from a large percentage of buyers, and that forms our base of email addresses.  Secondly, we give away free resources on our website and offer for people to join our newsletter, exam tips, and updates.

We join Linked in groups that are relevant to our market and also look for people with relevant job titles. By using the LinkedIn InMail process to send personalized notes, we get a pretty good hit rate.

In addition, we post knowledge articles on social media (what makes a good Project Manager for instance) and that helps to support our position in the marketplace.

We have tried buying mailing lists and to be honest, they do not really work that well, and the GDPR rules recently introduced across Europe makes it much harder to buy ‘opted in’ lists that have any quality.

We target key corporates and job titles and telephone call the relevant people or send personalized letters.

Then when we have everything we use Mailchimp to send out a structured email with an offer – everything we send out has to have a call to action that pushes the contact to do something.

Finally, the website brings in online orders from all over the world, and that is the use of correct keywords targeted at your key market, combined with Pay Per Click advertising on Bing and Google.

For us building a business means being consistent, so all our activities target the same keywords and quality of information and support.  We are fairly unique in that we are a family business, and we push that that as a way of separating us from big corporates like Pearson, and again that works well.”

Brian Morton

10. Brian Morton

~Brian is the founder of  justdrmorton.com.

“As a course creator, I have 3 entry points to gain leads. 1) As a WordPress user, I use ARI Stream quiz to create an online quiz that can be found on my homepage. 2) I have created an ebook that I sell on Amazon and I offer new email subscribers a FREE chapter of my book by signing up to be on my email list. 3) Lastly, I created a tab that offers new leads a free email course if they sign-up on my webpage. All of the items mentioned above are created by me.

Similar to a movie premiere, I send my email subscribers a few emails with information about the course that I have to offer and then I provide them with a deadline to purchase.”

Caitlin Pyle11. Caitlin Pyle

~Caitlin is the Owner & Founder of ProofreadAnywhere.com.

“I help freelancers earn extra money from anywhere in the world through proofreading. My online, interactive courses cover everything my students need to know in order to have a successful work-at-home business IF they are willing to put in the time and the work that it takes.

One lead magnet I use to collect leads is by offering my audience free eBooks on subjects like proofreading, money mindset, and working from home. My team and I work together to create the content, and we use ClickFunnels to create our sales pages.”

Learn Grant Logo12. Meredith Noble

~Meredith is the team lead at SenecaWorks LLC and Learngrantwriting.org.

“We get lead sign-ups through two products: an online mini-course on grant writing and a free audiobook. The mini-course starts with an introduction video and a short survey.

We personally respond to every person that fills out the survey about their grant writing goals. This personal connection goes a long way. The process for opting in is smooth. A lead land on our website signs up by email and name, and that sends them to a page to create a password. They are then logged directly into their account to start the mini-course immediately. Removing the step of having to go to their email has been game-changing.

We published a book in Fall and are just now finishing the audiobook. Fairly hidden on the website we have an opt-in for a free audiobook. People sign up and we then apologize for not having it done yet, but that they will be the first to know. (Which in fact will be this week; the audiobook is finally done. We recorded it ourselves at the local radio station.)

We’re also beginning to experiment with affordable webinars as an entry point for new leads, such as this one on starting a grant writing consulting business. We have advertised on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Pop-ups are annoying so we don’t use them. We try to be mindful of a single call to action on the website so it is clear what action we want leads to take.

Source of leads: 

  • Published book – a huge source of leads!
  • Referrals from strategic partners.
  • YouTube
  • Blogs – performing well on SEO.
  • Guest on other podcasts.
  • LinkedIn & Facebook ads occasionally.
  • Free webinar
  • Hosting live events.

Being consistent has been our greatest challenge. We dedicated this last month to put together a repeatable process for producing excellent content for organic traffic.”

Matt Hugg13. Matt Hugg

~Matt is the founder of Nonprofit.Courses.

“I find that the best way to get leads is to stay visible and bring value to my market.

My target market is nonprofit staff, board members, and volunteers. Staying visible to my market means staying active in social media, and getting to key events that my clients also attend.

People are busy. Their memories are short. If you’re not “there,” whether in person (when that’s possible), online or even via phone or video call, they forget you. It’s not that they want to forget or don’t like you. They just have dozens of other “#1 priorities” in their life. But they’ll make time for you if you bring value to them by helping meet their objectives: in my case, giving them the skills they need to ask for donations, introducing them to someone who can train them on the latest HR issues, or listening to their problems so that maybe I can offer training solutions.”

Gems Collins14. Gems Collins

~Gems is an Online Course Project Manager and Business Coach, CEO, and Founder of Gems Collins LLC.

“My lead generation process looks like this: I have a free webinar that I give away in exchange for email addresses; at the end of the webinar I present my services and offer a free consultation (via Calendly) to discuss the online course project management services I offer. I also have a follow-up email sequence that I send to webinar attendees over a 10 day period, promoting my services and smaller online course offerings.

For those who select the free consultation after the webinar, the goal of this session is to sign them up for an Online Course project – if they are signing up after the webinar, conversion rates are high as they have already bought into the product.

I have a landing page to exchange email addresses for the webinar – I am currently switching over from Click Funnels to a different provider as I found CF too expensive (I currently am just running the one landing page.)”


15. Emma Knightly 

~Emma is a digital marketing specialist at Digital Marketing Institute.

“Digital Marketing Institute is an online course provider that provides courses in digital marketing across the world. We used several different ways to generate leads on the website.

One way is to offer a free assessment online. The 15-minute test allows potential consumers the opportunity to find out what they already know and don’t know. This allows the Digital Marketing Institute the opportunity to match the right course for consumers. The assessment we provide is engaging for our users and is great for lead generation.

We provide a blog that keeps our visitors up to date on the latest trends in digital marketing. It also offers insights to things they don’t already know. In the blog, we have a call to action button that allows our readers the opportunity to access the courses we offer to further their education in Digital Marketing.

Our top tips:

  • Provide free tools or information that brings a lot of value to your users.
  • Choose a lead magnet that best suits your business and will allow you to start building a relationship with potential clients.”

Pia 16. Pia Silvia

~Pia is the founder at piasilva.com and badassyourbusiness.com.

“I use many lead magnets that all put people in the same funnel. But my most prominent and most successful lead magnet is my “Price to Freedom” minicourse, which shows you how to work backward from the amount of money you need to live the life you want to the price you must charge for your services to achieve that life.

I made this course myself using videos and google docs and I host it on Thinkific, which is also where I host my paid courses. Once someone opts-in they receive their login details, as well as a series of emails that offer them the opportunity to watch my free masterclass. I offer the paid course at the end of the masterclass video.

My opt-in is on the homepage of my website, as well as in blog articles on my website and articles I write for my Forbes column. I also use the CTA on social media posts, primarily on Instagram, to send people to my opt-ins. On Instagram, I make the lead magnet the link in my bio, and I send people to the link in my bio in a copy of my Instagram posts and stories.”

Susie17. Susie Carder

~Susie is the founder of Susiecarder.com.

“We have several lead magnets, including:

Quiz- What business icon are you.  This is marketed through Facebook.

10 Points to profit – This is marketed on the Podcast and Interviews as a free gift.

A free chapter of my new Book Power Your Profits – This is marketed through interviews and podcasts.

The newest opt-in was all my marketing team. It is called Net Momentum. We are adding between 600-800 leads a month.

We use several lead generation strategies:

  • Facebooks ads
  • Live Events
  • 5-day challenges
  • Make it rain free summit
  • Podcast
  • Press
  • Joint Ventures
  • All of these are effective, but the Joint Ventures and Live events are the ones producing the most traction and results.”

Kaine18. Kaine Shutler

~Kaine is Managing Director at Plume™, a niche design agency specializing in custom e-learning platforms.

“An important part of having a course is generating a passive income. That means, where possible, you want your website and landing page to be doing as much of the work for you. To do this, you need to incorporate a combination of sales and marketing strategies like posting on social media by answering questions and positioning yourself as an expert in forums and related groups, plus using on-page and technical SEO to capture organic traffic from the SERPs.”

“You could set up funnels using social ads, popups, and value-added services, but for those looking for a less technical and more hands-off approach, just spending 10-15 mins a day responding to potential learners in subject-relevant Facebook groups presents a huge opportunity.”

Isaac Prentice19. Isaac Prentice

~Isaac is the Vice President of Strategic Development / Co-Founder of Grace Prentice Education.

“For our online company, lead generation is a multi-level and very detail-oriented process. Using a lean start-up method, we created new advertising methods for the industry to minimize the cost but maximize output.

We created a multi-step build that originated with a podcast that is held with industry professionals and our educators that promotes the business and themselves, as well as talks about pressing topics.

Additionally, aside from leveraging traditional social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, we engage with followers through newer tools such as TikTok. Daily interaction with all students and potential students allows us to grow our user base on a consistent basis.”

Daniel20. Daniel Feiman

~Daniel is the founder of Build It Backwards.

“I get the majority of my leads for the online training through training marketing firms I have cultivated relationships with over the years. The main lead magnet I use is a combination of expertise, attractive content & over 100 testimonials. The content has been developed by me over the years through research and practical application via my consulting practice where we put all the concepts to the test. After each program, we ask each participant to complete an evaluation form so we know if we met their expectations. This also gives them an opportunity to be added to our mailing list.”

Bev21. Bev Feldman

~Bev is the owner of Linkouture.

“I have a specific lead magnet, which is a mini virtual jewelry-making course that is a taste of the bigger paid course. Even though it’s much shorter, it gives students tangible skills that they can immediately put to action and learn how to start making jewelry.

The majority of my leads right now comes from Pinterest — I have pins that lead them to the sales page for the paid jewelry course, ones that lead to the opt-in form for the lead magnet, and pins that lead to blog posts with jewelry tutorials and opt-in forms embedded within the post for the mini-course.

Once someone opts into the free mini-course, they receive an e-mail with instructions on accessing the course. From there it starts dripping them e-mails with easy wins when it comes to learning to make jewelry, and after a few days, it starts to pitch them the paid course.”

Ellen Yin22. Ellen Yin

~Ellen is the founder of Ellen Yin Media LLC.

“I have tripled my membership (from 40 students to 120 students) in five months by using an affiliate partnership strategy.

I partner with other entrepreneurs who serve a similar audience to me (service-based business owners) but have complimentary, non-competing services or products. We schedule a live webinar together, and I will teach my free masterclass to their community: How To Make Your First $10K Month Without a Large Audience or Complicated Marketing Strategies.

This webinar teaches them the three marketing mistakes that are currently keeping their business stuck, outlines the Consistent Clients Cashflow System we teach in-depth on inside the membership, and then invites them to access the membership for step by step training and coaching at the end of class to implement what they learned.

My team creates all of the affiliate assets ahead of time, including a promotion calendar and pre-written emails and social media post templates so our affiliates can just plug + play.

I make it super clear that the affiliate’s only role is to share a free resource with their community and get as many leads as possible – they do not have to sell anything, and their audience will get value out of our class whether they choose to join the membership or not.

This strategy is super effective because it’s a win for all parties: a win for the affiliates (serving their community in a different way + adding a recurring, hands-off revenue stream to their business through commission payments), a win for the students (they get to learn in a live setting and get valuable info for free), and a win for my business (I get to grow my email list for free with these leads and bootstrap my advertising costs while still getting in front of new audiences monthly).”

Jim Costa23. James Costa

~James is a video producer and YouTuber running a video blog.

“I leverage YouTube to grow my videography business. Basically, I provide informational and training videos on topics related to my business and skills and monetize the viewership. The videos teach people how to make better videos, photos and to learn filmmaking. My blog is designed to establish me as an authority in the field.

These are videos on video production topics.

When people watch, they have the option to download my free PDF file.

I use Leadpages to gather leads in this way and I’m very happy with them. They have templates available so it’s just a few clicks and your lead magnet is online and ready to go.

After they sign up, I send them the freebie and once I have their email, I can market my video training programs and video production business services.

The freebie teaches people shortcuts for the video editing software, Adobe Premiere Pro CC, & if they are interested in it, I can then market my training course in the software. I have other freebies related to photography and video production and I can send them information on that training and/or my business services.

I do use Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and MeWe to cross-promote my video releases and my training program. Everyone should do this as it leverages your other fans/audience and turns them into YT viewers (and potential customers) also. I release new videos every week on Wednesdays. Once published live on YT, I link to the videos on my other social media sites to draw traffic to my channel and, ultimately to my business and services. Having a regular release schedule is critical. You must think of your channel content like your favorite TV show. It airs at the same time every week on the same network. Your channel releases should do the same. It gets people/subscribers on a regular schedule and looking for your new content regularly.

I also gather leads via Facebook. To do this, I started a private Facebook group for photographers, videographers & filmmakers where I share other pro tips & tricks on those topics. I request, but do not require your email address to sign up for the group. Maybe 1/3 to 1/2 of those who join it provide their email address. Once I have it, the process is the same for marketing to them.”

Omar24. Omar Zenhom

~Omar is the co-founder & CEO of WebinarNinja and host of The $100 MBA Show, a Best of iTunes podcast with over 140k daily listeners.

“When we want to sell a course, we use free webinars as a lead magnet. The strategy is to offer a valuable workshop on some basic elements of the audience’s pain point. Then we leverage that into an offer for a more in-depth course that’s a more complete solution. We can always bring a few hundred people to a free webinar. That’s via the usual channels (email, blogging, the podcast). Then we convert a solid 15% to the full course.”

Harrison25. Harrison Davis

~Harrison is founder of rharrisondavis.com.

“I am a bit old-school when it comes to getting leads for my course. Rather than spending time and money setting up sophisticated digital sales funnels, I find most of my students offline. For example, I recently created a course on how students could pay for college without going into debt. To acquire leads for this course and help market it, I called up High Schools in my area and offered to give free presentations to their students on how to pay for college. This may not be the best strategy for every course, but when possible I always try to engage segments of my target market in-person. I find that when people have a chance to interact with me and my content in person, they have a much higher likelihood of trusting my expertise and purchasing my products.”

Jenni Hunt26. Jenni Hunt

~Jenni is founder of Jennihunt.com where she helps entrepreneurs build multiple income streams through digital content and community building.

When generating leads for a course or digital content, I implement what I call the “Serve. Engage. Grow” method. Stepping into where your people or your audience hang out can be extremely valuable when looking for leads for your program. Here is how it breaks down:


When I am teaching people to grow their audience and find leads for their course or program, I have them find their audience in existing groups on Facebook. Inside the Facebook groups, they simply need to serve. Start responding to questions. Ask questions. Listen to the pain points of those in the group. Note what they are complaining about. Offer suggestions and advice. Serve well.


Inside the group, as you start to get involved and engage with people, they will naturally want to know more about you. If you are serving well and truly engaging with people, they will continue to ask questions and seek you out. I first recognized the power of this when I joined a group of 300k. The people in the group were my target audience.

I simply went in and started answering questions… giving away some secrets of what has worked for me and what I teach others. Within a few days of joining this particular group – and answering just ONE question, I received almost 50 private messages asking how they can learn more. I’ve been able to reproduce this over and over… and have taught this to my clients as well – who also have seen results like this. If you serve well, people will come. I promise.


The natural result of serving and engaging is growth. Business is a relationship – and when you are stepping in to serve and engage and build a relationship, your business will grow. As people engage with you and reach out to you, you can point them to the resources you have.

To make this process most effective, all that is really needed is a Facebook business page and offer in place ahead of time – so that when people start to ask questions and want more info, you have a place to point them. Many won’t reach out, they will just look you up on social media – so you want to have an online presence in place.

If you are not in a position to have an offer or lead magnet yet, this process still works. Get involved and start serving where your people hang out. You will start seeing the need and in response, you will recognize whether there is an opportunity to create a checklist, a short report, a free workshop/webinar, etc. to serve them well.”

Mashon Thomas27. Mashon Thomas

~Mashon is the founder of Live Work Travel, LLC.

“I have been a full-time freelancer for 2.5 years. I created a course to help lead others through the process of deciding on what type of freelance work they want to do. They also learn how to find high-quality long-term clients, and how to pitch them and then deliver great work.

In order to gain leads, I give away a free script. This is the exact one I used to gain over $200,000 worth of work. I wanted the process to be easy for my readers so the script is a copy and paste template they can modify to use with their own clients. The lead magnet is quite simple, just delivered via email once they opt-in to the sidebar form on my website.

At this point, I don’t use any pop-ups on the site, but the sidebar is prominent and visible on every page on my site. I stand by the value in the lead magnet and feel that it’s quite compelling to readers who are curious about one of the most mentally difficult parts of freelancing — figuring out what to say to clients in their pitch. At the moment, I use ConvertKit and Optin Monster though I have found that many similar services do a good job also.

I specifically kept things simple with my lead magnet because I feel that authenticity is more important. I focus on delivering real value so that my readers will want to know more and leave me comments, reach out with questions, or come back to the blog to continue learning more.”

Samantha28. Samantha Kozuch

~Samantha is a Social Media Expert & Online Business Coach at SamanthaKozuch.com.

“I’m an online business coach and social media expert so I use the power of Instagram and Facebook groups to help me get leads for my online courses. I help entrepreneurs create and launch online programs and courses using social media so I use a free lead magnet to get my leads, which is The IG Like A Boss Checklist.

It’s a 20-page document that teaches entrepreneurs how to use Instagram to post to get leads themselves. I create my freebie in Canva. I have yet to outsource it because I’m skilled at Canva and enjoy the process of creating.

My opt-in page for my lead magnet is simple. I use Kajabi to host it, the same place I host my online courses. I only ask for the leads name and email in exchange for the download. After that, they enter into an automated nurturing email sequence via Mailchimp. That’s where they get to know me and where I send them more value, tips, strategies, etc.

I use pop-ups on my website. I also use them as an exit pop-up on my sales pages. That’s because if they’re a first time visitor and don’t decide to purchase, then at least I can capture their email on their way out of my site. Then I have a chance to sell them down the road of emails.

I absolutely love using Canva for designing freebies. I use it for everything else for my business marketing from social media posts to email graphics. It’s super simple to use and they have plenty of templates to choose from!

For my email marketing, I use MailChimp. It’s been a platform I’ve used for almost 10 years. So I’ve never had a reason to change it – again, super user friendly too!”

Vicky29. Vicky Fraser

~Vicky is the founder of Moxie Books.

“I run online courses as part of my small business: I teach business owners how to write brilliant books.

My best lead generator by far is my book. It brings in highly qualified leads. It does all the heavy lifting for relationship-building and sales. Lastly, it establishes me as an expert with credibility.

I write my own books but you can outsource it. Although it MUST be someone who knows what they’re doing, or you run the risk of looking like an amateur.

I sell my books on Amazon and on my own website.

On Amazon, I have plenty of calls to action within the book. These are designed to drive people to my website. From there, they opt-in to my email list.

If people buy from my website, they’re automatically entered into an autoresponder using a combination of SendOwl and ActiveCampaign.

I don’t use pop-ups. Even though I know they get more conversions, I hate them and I want to stay true to who I am.”

Mike30. Mike Kawula

~Mike is the founder of Help A Teen.

The fastest (and least expensive) way to get leads is by first creating either a free downloadable or webinar that your audience will have a strong desire to download.

Once that resource and landing page are put together, go out and find those who already speak to that audience. You can either collaborate with them (partner) if you have an audience already. If not, create an affiliate offer for them and have them share your resource with their audience.

Here at Help A Teen, we do both. Partnering works only when you have something of similar or greater value to offer that individual, so if you don’t, lead with the affiliate. If that individual doesn’t want to be an affiliate but has an audience that you know would love your offer, see if you can pay them for ad space in a newsletter.

Lastly, make sure whatever that offer is, you have something on the thank you page that can create a viral loop. Meaning when someone gives you their email or phone number and hits a thank you page, how can you incentivize them to tell one of their friends. That is the fastest way to grow.”

31. Sam Beyda

~Sam is part of the marketing team at Revolutiontutors.me.

“I work on the SEO / Advertising side of our online SAT Tutoring company. We’ve grown leads by advertising funny or interesting posts from our Instagram page on Instagram. We’ve grown our community by 2,000 students in the last two months alone. Once the students are following us, we post daily trivia, giveaways, and advice to keep them engaged. From there, many students register for our SAT / ACT course.”

32. Meg Casebolt

~Meg is founder of loveatfirstsearch.com

I’ve had a lot of success creating week-long or month-long challenges to help small businesses learn SEO basics for free. My most popular & successful challenge was SEOctober.com, where students received a free 3-5 minute video training every day, and if they finished a % of the lessons, they unlocked bonuses along the way, including discounts on my signature Attract & Activate course.

Here’s a case study of my results, including 753 new subscribers and $1,512 in challenge upsells, not even including the subsequent course sales.”

33. Linda Murray Bullard

~Linda is the Chief Business Strategist at LSMB Business Solutions.

“I use paid Facebook ads to get leads. My lead generators are videos containing business information, and free downloads, such as a business checklist. Also, I have word of mouth which sends me referrals. This has worked well for me.

Next, I use a Clickfunnel sales funnel to do the sales portion of the engagement. The sales funnel consists of an Optin page, a Thank You page, a Booking Page, and a Shock & Awe page.

I use Active Campaign to store and interact with the leads I receive from Facebook and other social media platforms. I use Mail Munch to capture the data so I can do follow up emails.”

34. Tim Absalikov

~Tim is the co-founder and CEO of Lasting Trend – Digital Marketing Agency in New York.

“We did a video course on conversion sales technology. It didn’t need burnout manipulations, nor did it trigger negativity.

We created a live master class. Then we created an auto webinar that works for months and brings in sales. After the master class, we sent out sales letters. After selling the video course, we sold a book on webinars.

Here’s how we gathered people for the master class:

  • Letters
  • Group posts
  • Retargeting

Simplified landing page style:

  • First screen with a live countdown;
  • 3 benefits: a step-by-step algorithm for a selling webinar, a collection of high-conversion cases, tips from practice.

An example of the title of the first email with an invitation:

“Our new webinar sales master class!”

[see the technology for the first time]

Second email:

An overview of webinar services and actionable advice…

[spreadsheet view]

The letters were sent on Facebook via Manychat.

The master class was run for 5 days and was conducted via the “Strong content, smart sales” technology.

The next stage – letters to those who registered for the master class.

Followed by 2 letters announcing the upcoming deadline of the discount promo for the video course.

Then a series of emails and posts with subsequent sales.

The next stage is the down sale.

We wrote a book on webinars and sold it for $50, which set up follow-up sales.

The launch was converted to entirely automated webinars.”

35. Dan Edmonson

~Dan is the Founder & CEO of Dronegenuity.

“My company, Dronegenuity, provides online and in-person drone training. The first thing we recommend doing (as we are doing it ourselves), before looking at “fresh” leads is to cross-sell to an existing audience if you have one. For instance, if you’ve already developed one course that performed well, and you’re looking to create an entirely new course, there’s a pretty good chance that some of your former students would enjoy your new course as well. It’s cost-effective and continues to develop your personal brand with your followers.

However, if you have no existing audience and you are seeking a lead magnet for a brand new online course, then I personally recommend offering a demo of your course in exchange for your customer’s email address.

This strategy works well on two fronts – first off, you offer legitimate value in exchange for your customer’s information. You are giving them a “sneak peek” into your course content without paying a dime. Second, this strategy can serve as a strong litmus test for the quality of your course.

Looking for measurable feedback as to how enticing or valuable your courses are to your actual customers is important. For that, you can look into the conversion rates for leads generated from the previews of your course. If your course is great, it’ll show. If it isn’t, at least you have contact information that you can then potentially leverage to solicit feedback on how you can improve.”

Valeria Symond Photo36. Dr Valeria Lo Iacono

~Valeria is the cofounder of Symonds Research and Training.

“Our key lead magnet is a 54-page eBook that details 25 classroom activities for freelance trainers. This freebie has been central to us getting people onto our online courses and in particular, our train the trainer online course.

There are two of us. We have both completed PhDs and thus we write and design our own content. It’s all based on our experience in education and teaching. The process from lead magnet to sale is a process that can take anything from hours to weeks.

Once someone is on our email list they normally receive a weekly round-up of our new posts and from this, we get users signing up for the train the trainer course. We take a fairly low key approach i.e. we do not use pop-ups or anything aggressive. Our key tip is that the freebie needs to be of great quality! We have found that people buy into what we do because we focus on creating something that has genuine value. Plus they can it have for free.”


I’d like to thank all the course creators who participated in this article. I really appreciate all their time and the value they added. I know I gained several tips I’m looking forward to trying out!

Hopefully, you gained some great ideas for generating leads to your online training.

Getting a steady stream of leads will make a huge difference in the revenue you earn from your course.

Try out tips from this list and start getting leads to your site.

Lisa Parmley
Lisa Parmley

Lisa Parmley is the founder of coursemethod.com. After gaining a Master's degree, she worked in research for about seven years. She started a training company in 2001, offering a course helping people pass a professional exam. That course has earned multiple 7 figures. She created SEO and authority site building training around 2007 which went on to earn well into the 6-figure mark.

She has 22+ years of experience in the trenches creating and selling online courses. Get help starting and growing your online course business here.

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