How can I market my course?

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How can I market my course?

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Some version of this question is one of the most common by instructors so I thought I would write this, which is a summary of advice from many experienced instructors.

 

I have compiled a list of things you can or should do to market your course. None of these are short term or an instant path to riches. But, they are things that work if you are serious about building an online business on Udemy. Think strategically, not short term. It often takes a few years of effort to begin to make a significant return on your efforts. 

 

  1. First and most important BE an expert in your field of knowledge. Read, study, and demonstrate state of the art knowledge in your field. If you aren’t this… nothing else is likely to work.
  2. Be sure that your course landing page communicates your expertise… “Why should I listen to you?” And, be sure that your course landing page communicates the “benefits” of your course, not merely the “features” of your course. Benefits are how this course will personally benefit me. Customers buy benefits, not features! 
  3. Remember that most of your future students will be on Udemy searching for something. That “something” are key words that they will put into the search bar. Think carefully about the key words your future students may be searching for and be sure they are in your title and/or your subtitle. This is how students will find you.
  4. Your promo video is what catches students after they land on your page. Spend ten times the amount of time perfecting your promo video as you do on any other lecture. State the benefits of your course, your qualifications, and invite them to join you. These are more important than outlining all the topics (features) of your course. Also, remember that buying decisions are not simply “rational” decisions; they are emotional decisions, and that is about how you make them feel! Personality sells. Do I want to spend hours with this person? Do I like them? I know it isn't "rational" but we buy from people we like.
  5. Be your own “brand manager” and build your brand. Brands are built over time by building trust in your marketplace. Brand value is created by being trustworthy, creating consistent value for your customers, over time. The most successful instructors are focused on “marketing”, not just “selling.” Know the difference.
  6. Identify Facebook and LinkedIn groups related to your subject matter. Join them. Participate in discussion.
  7. Demonstrate expertise by publishing a blog/website with your biography, articles you have written, a page for your courses, and regular blog posts that are educational, value-adding posts. You can see mine at ManagementMeditations.com. It is only one possible model, but I am sure there are better ones. Google the names of some of the more successful instructors and you will find their personal websites.
  8. Then, share these blog posts or articles with all relevant groups on LinkedIn or FB. Your LinkedIn page should have articles by you, on your area of expertise. Prove that you are a “thought leader” in your field.
  9. Build your own email list be capturing visitors to your website. I use Sumo, but there are other WordPress plugins to do this… oh, use WordPress for your blog. You don’t have to be a web development expert to create a WordPress website.
  10. Your Udemy students are your own mail list in that you can send both educational and promo announcements. As you build the number of students there is a multiplying effect when you share what you write.
  11. Develop additional courses in your area of expertise. The more courses you have the easier it is to launch a new course by marketing to your current students.
  12. Obviously, do a great job of developing your on-camera presence and your courses. Engage in continuous improvement. Alexa Fischer’s Confidence on Camera course is excellent for improving your on-camera presentation skills.
  13. Develop a YouTube channel where you can upload the introductory lecture(s) to your courses and include a link, with a discount coupon, to your Udemy course.
  14. Develop a Facebook discussion page for your students and to publish articles (the same ones as on your blog page and LinkedIn page.
  15. Watch Scott Duffy’s course on Udemy SEO Marketing.
  16. It is a consensus of experienced instructors that paid Facebook ads do not work.
  17. Do not give away of free courses or thousands of free coupons. Those who take these coupons are not likely to go through the course and are likely to leave poor reviews. Give away a few free coupons to those on your personal FB page, those who know you, and may go through the course and may give a good review. This is something to do only at the first launch of a course.
  18. Do not even think about purchasing reviews!!! They are now spotted and removed by Udemy’s Trust and Safety group.
  19. Have patience… you are building a business and like starting any business, it is not a get rich quick thing. It takes patience and persistence. Udemy is not a path to quick riches and it is not “passive income.”

The above is only my advice, but informed by the experience of many other successful instructors,

Larry Miller

Lawrence M. Miller
Author/Instructor
185 Replies

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Soo nice.. thanks for your guidance! Smiley Happy

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Just had my first review on the course. I’m quite pleased with Udemy and will he creating a filmmaking course with a higher quality camera.

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Hi Lawrence,

 

Thanks for letting me know as how to market my course. I am planning to post a blog in linked in and Facebook. I also would like to say in the blog that I have posted my Swiftui course in Udemy and the course has been approved. 

I still have to understand how can l get students to subscribe to the course and learn the course.

 

your points were excellent. I will try to follow what you have said.

 

One more good news. I have started preparing for the next Course which is going to be Advanced Swiftui Programming. It should be ready in another fortnight.

 

If you do not mind, what is level 1 mean?

Thank you for reaching to me.

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Hir Sir. Couldnt find Scott Duffy's course on Udemy SEO Marketing. Please help.

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I don't know what happened to it. @ScottDuffy  You are the first one to point this out. Maybe just take another one that is highly rated. 

 

Lawrence M. Miller
Author/Instructor

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Thanks Sir. Can you suggest any?

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great thks for sharing Lawrence! it helps me a lot as a new instructor in Udemy. thank you!

 

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Thanks Lawrance !  Smiley Happy

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What fantastic advice Larry! Truly helpful in getting a plan together. Thankyou! 

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Thank you! I have launched two courses on different topics: Art for beginners and English Grammar, but have not had great success. I will definitely try your advice.

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What happened to Scott Duffy's Udemy SEO course? Was it taken down? Thanks!

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@ScottDuffy  (thats his post it name- not sure if that helps! 

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I’m going to add on about for people asking about Facebook Ads. It is a bad practice. Udemy does paid ads for us and they take the financial risk. Facebook ads work for self-hosted courses over $100 and you have to understand how to create and who to market to there. Even then, only 4% buy through Facebook and it takes 2-3 PPC per person. You are running far in the red. Time spent posting on platforms and free questions is how you market for Udemy on other sites. Paid ads are for outside Udemy courses, and taking a legit honest Facebook ads course is needed. I know many people that work in marketing and PPC selling Facebook knowing it doesn’t work for most businesses. If you have money to spare then first use FB Ads to send them to something free to gain trust... that was what I learned at SEO conference for PPC. 

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Debra, you hit the nail on the head! Rather than wasting money on FB ads, driving traffic to your Udemy courses through evergreen webinars, YouTube, and funnels is a better use of your funds. 
Also leveraging your current social media network by adding a link to your Udemy course in your email signature; or answering questions relevant to your topic on Quora, Reddit, LinkedIn, etc.,  and truly providing value will help build your reputation. 
Once your audience begins to “know”, “like”, and “trust” you, they will be more likely to check out your courses. 

Pro Tips:

1) Stop trying to convince potential customers that your course is better than other courses; even if it is, all you are doing is diverting the attention of someone who isn’t committed. If they can be lulled from another course, they can be lulled from yours as well. 
2) Don’t spend energy competing for customers in a saturated space. Find “New Blue Oceans” that means look for another customer segment. If your area is iPhone photography and there are dozens of courses on the topic, considering specializing into a niche area such as Nature iPhone Photography, or Time lapse iPhone photography, or portrait iPhone photography. Or perhaps extend into another area such as iPhone videography, or editing iPhone videos, etc. 

3) Spend time and resources on your personal and professional training and development. You are probably passionate about one or two areas (why else create a course?) Become the ‘goto’ person based on your demonstrated skills, articles, blog posts, podcasts or guest. Set yourself apart from the crowd in a humble-bragging way. 
4) Focus on providing transformation rather than only information. You do this by identifying what it is your ideal customer wants. I heard it explained like this, a person doesn’t buy a ladder to show off having a ladder. They but the ladder to use it to get a specific result; inspect their roof, trim a tree, hang or take down lights. Similarly, a person takes your Udemy course to obtain a specific result. Tell them what transformation your course brings. 

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Eugene

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Transformation rather than information! Yes - like that!

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Awesome!! Thank you, hopefully my couse will take off. I know how helpful my course is to job seekers.

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Very good tips thank you!

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Thank you Larry. This is very well explained.

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Thank you so much! This is a great piece of advice!

 

please share your thoughts on my course, I have just started. 

 

thank you!

 

awaiting your feedback ✌️✌️✌️✌️✌️

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Hi @DaryaBelkin252,  Can you edit your posts to remove the course link (click "options" then select "edit message")? We don't allow self-promotion (course links included), thank you!

 

Mery Mejia

Udemy Community

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Thanks for sharing .. you inspired me ! Grateful 

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Very practical and precise.

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Thank You Love and blessings 

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I also like these tips. in my experience marketing, the course is also a difficult thing like creating your course. I do not do much marketing but lately, I am trying to do a little bit more. Hopefully, it will help me.

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Thanks @LawrenceMMiller for your valuable advice! However, I cannot find Scott Duffy's course on Udemy Seo (point 15): do you know if it is still available? thanks! Alessandro

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@ScottDuffy Hey, Scott. What happened to your SEO course and do you recommend someone else's course?

 

@Alessandro Calonego I don't know what happened to Scott's course. And, I don't have a recommendation although there are a lot of courses on SEO marketing. 

 

Lawrence M. Miller
Author/Instructor

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For the $50 per month I was making from it, it was not worth the effort to maintain. I kept it updated for 5 years, and that seemed like enough.

 

I would occasionally be criticized for it. So it's much better all-around that I don't appear as someone who has "something to sell" to instructors. 

 

I think it's very hard right now to "beat" the Udemy search index. The index is smarter and the competition is tougher. In the old days, I could get courses from page 10 to page 1 with the right application of keywords. I think those days are gone.

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bu değerli bilgiler için teşekkürler.

ek olarak ben kursum ile ilgili olacak üniversite bölüm hocalarına mail attım. Öğrencilerinin faydalabileceğini söyledim. genel olarak güzel geri bildirim aldım.

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Thank you!

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Some great points here and good advice. I've got a question about #6 and #13

 

Why do #6? You'll be spending a lot of time in groups, but how do you know for sure it's generating business? You're part of a group, you join in the discussions, but how would that lead to people going to your Udemy classes? How would people get there anyway? Will they really go through all the effort to check you out and then buy your classes? I'm doubting that the time spent on this will actually reflect the sales generated. I could be wrong though.

 

#13 Youtube. I'm going to put it this way, won't you face the same problem as with Udemy courses? People aren't just magically finding your courses and neither will they magically find your YouTube content. I know it's the thing to do, to start a YouTube channel and I see many Udemy teachers do it, but let's be frank here, they all end up with a few followers and a lot of work. Developing a YouTube channel is a lot, and we all know really a lot of effort and most do not succeed. They spent countless hours trying to build it with little result.

 

The question rises, wouldn't it be way wiser to spent all this time on developing more and better classes? At least at Udemy you do have chance to grow organically and make sales from it directly. Growing on YouTune is a lot harder and may not even lead to sales at all.

 

 

Sure, if you have an audience somewhere already, by all means, drive them to YouTube, but if you don't have that, you might be wasting a lot of time. Speaking from observation and experience here.

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@Art_by_Benjamin I guess you are asking me, although others may be able to answer as well.

 

As to #6: I think this is very dependent on your subject matter. It is all about establishing your brand, becoming known in your field. You would have to know what discussion groups are relevant to the courses you teach. It may be that on LinkedIn there may be relevant discussions, or even on Twitter. To be honest, I don't do much of this, but I know that others have found it helpful and particularly if you do not yet have an established reputation in your field.

As to #12: This is about a broad media strategy. You never know exactly what will work. I have a YouTube channel and it is all of the intro/promo videos to each my courses, with links back to those courses. But, I also have my own website/blog and email list. I think you have to do everything you can to build a brand presence. This is one way. But, it is certainly not any magic solution. 

I hope that helps. 

 

Lawrence M. Miller
Author/Instructor

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Thanks Lawrence for answering and elaborating a bit more. Broad media strategy could indeed be helpful, though quite some places to establish your presence these day, to broad might also be ineffective.

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@LawrenceMMiller I really appreciate this post. It feels like it's full of sensible suggestions of things I either am doing, have done or know I should be doing for my online business (even beyond the scope of Udemy). But as a newbie to this platform, I'm really grateful to learn from instructors like yourself who have multiple courses and many (many) thousands of students. Thank you, Sir. I have bookmarked this post so I can revisit it again and again as I build out my offerings on here. 

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@CarolineSouthwell Thank you Caroline. I'm glad you found it helpful.

 

Lawrence M. Miller
Author/Instructor

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@LawrenceMMiller This article is much appreciated. I just launched my course, and I will use this advice wisely. Thank you!

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Excellent article and tips. It will help most of the new instructors here. 

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Thanks so much. This will be of a great help to me and my course. Happy to read this. 

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Thank you very much...Your suggestions are a great inspiration and light to my efforts.   

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MERCI POUR VOS CONSEILS, CA VAUT DE L'OR

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@LawrenceMMiller thanks a lot for your list of advice. I just got my first course approved and I'm learning what needs to be done to be successful here. Slow, steady, resilient, committed..... I'll learn and grow. Cheers.

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this!

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Great insights here. I am struggling to choose between a youtube channel or a free newsletter as a marketing tool for my course. 

Which one do you recommend starting with?

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I recommend BOTH! You can add a link to your newsletter in the description of your YouTube channel, and reference your YouTube channel in your newsletter. 
The reality is that everyone consumes content differently so by cross connecting these two platforms you increase the likelihood that your information will be seen. 
The question is, what to put into each? I would recommend your newsletters containing short tips, an occasional checklist, and link references to resources you know, like and trust, to engage your reader. Then point ever edition towards your course(s) for training. 
For your YouTube channel I suggest for a short piece, a 5 min “How to” segment, and for a long piece, an interview with a colleague, another expert, or even an occasional live Q&A broadcast - that you can record, edit, and repurpose for your course(s). 
Finally, as a bonus, you could create a short ebook on your training topic, and provide it free (for a limited time) to new clients. 
For example I use my book Introduction to Fine Art Drone Photography https://a.co/d/fMTWuiB as a lead magnet. It only took a few days to write and even less time to produce and publish on Amazon. 

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Thanks! Valuable advice!

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I greatly appreciate your response. 👍

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Thank you 

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Hey @LawrenceMMiller 

You are simply a blessing to this generation.

Thank you for not holding back on

sharing all theeese.👍

Thank you.

(MDN)
Oracle DBA, APEX Developer & Intructor/Freelancer.

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Helpful but older post. Technology is updating daily.

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If I compare Udemy with amazon w.r.t marketing. amazon provides buy box to sellers for specific time that a specific seller would sale its products. however this is educational platform, i understand the priceless knowledge would never has any price to buy. every instructor's content is unique and priceless. Many instructors would earn more and rest of all would get some pennies. this is the flaw in Udemy's marketing strategies. There are some possible solutions to handle these flaws
1: Udemy should announce a price for any student/free/paid separately. there's no policy if someone would be enrolled free of cost and you would get nothing even you worked hard to create content of this website and published after publishing of course : if you would give free coupons :you would get nothing even you are giving traffic to Udemy. This should be concerned
2: In course Page of instructor when an instructor would publish new courses and after publishing of courses; if your course would be related to tech/IT and professional, in course page, you would find the message / alert  like "Your course eligible for Udemy Business etc." it means your course can be selected for companies employees, the companies which are registered their employees for their career development. There's no policy of selection of your course even the content of course would be related to fully professional for employees. Udemy Business courses selection program has not any transparent policies. Udemy just select randomly when you would ask they would tell you; courses would be chosen randomly, rating etc. the question is that, if someone would publish course today then how an instructor can get the reviews and rating and even after reviews/rating what is the random policy of udemy for selection in udemy business. the help page related to Udemy Business doesn't provide any question/answer in this regards. According to Udemy Business; when subscribed company would refer a course for their employees for career development; your course would be promoted and you would get share in some percentage of subscription of companies. This should be transparent.

 3: There's no instructor oriented policies for marketing/promotion/sale of new courses.

4: Many instructors don't know how to promote their courses on social media because they only rely on Udemy's promotional team/Marketing team. if Udemy's team  think that they (instructors) should do it themselves  on social media to promote then why they use this platform. they should use social media or YouTube for teaching instead of Udemy or what is the benefit for instructors, they create contents, record and publish on Udemy and they need to promote also?. What is the role of Udemy Promotion? and why Udemy's team is not efficient to promote new courses and it has now become under discussion. does Udemy audit their promotional/marketing team. if yes then where is the report on monthly promotion on instructor's portal. Please provide transparency in this regards how Udemy is promoting; where; when; how many students etc.

Note: The above mentioned points are related to the experience and best of my knowledge. I hope Udemy would work on these points immediately and the discussion is not based on the negative perspective. it is only for the betterment of this platform/Udemy.  Thanks

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@armalik As the author of the original post in this thread, let me point out that this discussion is about what YOU can do to market YOUR courses. There are many dozens of posts by instructors suggesting things that Udemy could/should do better. So your comments,  independent of their merit, belong somewhere else. 

                                                                          

Lawrence M. Miller
Author/Instructor
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