Social proof is one of the most powerful factors in your success as a Udemy instructor. When students are deciding between multiple courses, enrollments, ratings, and written reviews play a huge role in giving students the confidence to buy. “Social proof” is a fancy way of saying “other people have proven this content is valuable.” It means that a prospective student doesn’t have to take as big a risk. They can feel secure knowing others have vetted it and weighed in on the quality first.
When your course starts out, it’s always a blank slate. That’s why the number one most important thing to do in the first weeks is to establish a good baseline of social proof. The exact baseline will depend on your competition, the language, and the topic you’re teaching. However, a good rule of thumb is to work toward 100 enrollments, 10 ratings, and 4-5 written reviews. If you can get more than that, fantastic.
The point is, once you start passing that threshold your course landing page is likely to be much more successful at converting prospective students into buyers. Let’s break it down by each component.
Asking for Ratings + Reviews
Making the Most of Your Reviews
Great tips here. Sometimes it is tough for instructors to be bold and ask for reveiws. I know it was tough for me. Fours years on and lots of tough learning later I don't have a problem with it.
Another tip is to add a brief message in a very early video letting students know that Udemy will ask them for an early reveiw. I mention that first impressions count and that the 'gut impression' you have now in most cases will follow through the course - so if the student feels ready it would be a wonderful gift to potential students and to me if they left an honest early reveiw.
Always be humble and gracious when you reply to all reveiws - especially if you get a low rated written reveiw - you can shine through if you handle it well. Plus take it on the chin and know that none of us is universally popular. I recently received a one star reveiw and was called "a frivious new ager" - my reaction - I nearly fell of my chair with laughter - then responded gently with my tongue firmly in cheek - adding the words "sowing the seeds of peace" to sign off!
I read your suggestions on social proof and I got a friend who is totally knowledgable in my subject area to go through my course and write a review. She did the whole thing -- 100% -- and then posted a review. After several days when it didn't show up, I complained to Udemy and I got a form letter saying that her review had been caught by the spam filter and the email lectured me that I needed to have people who did reviews interact with the course. They said they're going to post the review and I hope so because it still isn't there. You can't imagine how frustrating this is to a new instructor with a small social circle to draw from! I have no idea how many others of my circle were kind enough to leave reviews and I'll never know if they don't happen to tell me. Maybe you should just turn off your spam filter for the first couple months so new instructors have a chance to build that social proof that's so important.