The following is a version of a message I posted on FB several years ago and I have republished it several times because the question about how can I market my course is one that appears with great regularity. When the new Udemy platform went live I published it in the instructors forum. But, I think many of the suggestions below are ones soon-to-be instructors should be thinking about. Marketing is not an event, it is a process that extends over a long period of time. Get started now!
None of these are an instant path to instructor success. But, they are things that work if you are serious about building an online business on Udemy.
The above is only my advice, but they are informed by the experience of many other successful instructors,
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Great advice @LawrenceMMiller, one thing I was talking to someone the other day about where they said they have spent months creating a course, have now published their course but no-one has taken it was that I hear this a lot from authors I meet where they spend ages writing a book , press publish, get no sales and then ask how they should get sales. I point out that people do things the wrong way round, they publish the course or book and then only if they get no sales do they start focusing on marketing, whereas they should be focusing on marketing before they have started their book or course and building an audience and excitement for the course etc from before the course is made so that to an audience the course getting a release date becomes an event to focus on and people look forward to when the course will be released.
A common response I get is "but I'm not into marketing or using Facebook/Twitter etc, I just want to be a writer/trainer not spending all my time marketing"
I explain if you do nothing it is unlikely people will find or buy your product, if you leave it all until after you have created the product then you will have a lot of work to do, but if you are always marketing yourself and products from early development then you can just do a little bit most days and it doesn't feel like much work, in fact it can be the thing that gives you short breaks from your work.
All the best
Great tips, extremely inspiring. I'm creating my first course and I'm taking my time before publishing it on Udemy.
I think the information you give is brilliantly detailed and it has really encouraged me to finish creating my first course and becoming an instructor on Udemy.
Do you think paid marketing like facebook ads are necessary to bring people on the course? And how does $199.99 , 95% site-wide discount offer works for courses does it really bring sales?
@enjamulahsan, No, I don't think FB ads are necessary to bring people to your course and many instructors have found FB ads useless. There are many other ways to promote your courses and your own personal brand and network.
Do the discounts bring sales? Yes. This is very obvious. When Udemy has their big sales (November and January) the volume of sales almost doubles.
Something all instructors should understand about Udemy marketing: I have spoken with some of the key marketing people who had previous jobs at Google and other leading Internet commerce sites. They are extremely analytic, data focused, and constantly experimenting. They know internet marketing very well. It is a science and they are constantly engaged in that science. They could tell you exactly how much a change in price, up or down, increases sales in different markets and in different categories. They are not just guessing.
If an instructor follows most of what you've mentioned, what is the benefit of sending the traffic to Udemy versus selling his/her courses on their own site?
I mean, if I'm an instructor and I'm putting in all this marketing effort that you recommend, why would I send the traffic to Udemy? If a person reads my blog and subscribes to my YouTube channel and signs up for my email list (all things you suggest), it means the person trusts my brand already. If the person trusts my brand already, why wouldn't I sell to the person right from my own site - at my own price - without sending them to someone else's site?
I don't understand what the benefit is to sending people who trust me away from my site to another site, where my competition lives and where I have very little control over price?
I mean, your marketing ideas are all very sound - I just don't get why you would do all that and then send people to Udemy, instead of keeping the person on your site, where you have additional upsell opportunities.
@Anonymous, There are a number of possible answers to your question. The most obvious one in my mind is that by marketing your course and bringing students to Udemy you increase the standing/ranking of your course on Udemy, thereby increasing Udemy organic sales.
Yesterday, while searching courses, I found a course that has been on Udemy for three years and has a total of seventeen students and a rating of 4.7. I watched the preview lectures and it seemed to be reasoably good. So, why, after three years does this course only have 17 students? There was a recent discussion here by someone who announced that they were leaving Udemy because Udemy had failed to market their courses. When I looked at their students and ratings, it was obvious that the instructor had done nothing to market his own courses. Udemy hadn't failed, he had failed!
The more you market your own course and create a base of satisfied students, the more Udemy will market your course. I view my own marketing efforts, which honestly are not very extensive, as "priming the pump", getting the flow of students going so Udemy organic (and UFB) will then take over the marketing.
I have my own website/blog, but I have not opened my own "store" to sell my courses. There are a couple reasons I haven't done this, while I recognize that this may be working for some people, in some categories. First, I think it is a lot of work to both develop your own site, then maintain it, process payments, and most import, do the marketing to draw people to your site. When your course is on Udemy you have "shelf space" in a huge supermarket where millions of people are already shopping. If you open your own store, you are out in a desert where no one is shopping and you have to make a huge amount of noise to attract any attention. I am too lazy for that.
Anyway, those are my views.