How can I market my course?

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LawrenceMMiller
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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
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MassimilianoAlf
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This is a great list with a lot of value... every new instructor should take the time to study it, thanks for posting it!

The season of failure is the best time for sowing the seeds of success (Paramhansa Yogananda)

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Nice post. Thanks for sharing. Heart

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Hi Lawrence,

Nice and to the point post.

Regards,

Haytham | realarabic.com

 

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Thanks Larry, I have had a very bad experience with free coupons. Never again.

 

Blessings for the advice.

 

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Super Awesome.

Adding few more points.

1) Answer the questions in quora related to your course and provide course link.

2) Apply same strategy in reddit.

 

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Great advice, thanks for sharing. 

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Good post Larry!

 

Agree with pretty much all your points; my takeaway: don't waste money on FB ads directly; also I appreciate the hindsight to only offer FREE coupons to those who have visited/liked our course-related Facebook page - great idea.

 

Thanks!

 

Susan

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nice; and, also, if I could add:  don't let One course determine the feasiblity of your teaching efforts.  Have a couple of courses on--before, you panic!

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wonderful suggestions Dear Larry

i have just started 2 days back and was trying to send a message through announcements but could not find thw way.

Can you help me fix the issue. I am not sure its activated to me or not?

with best & Kind Regards

 

Oh one more question I could find price of Camptasia $100 at some page of Udemy How can I buy this software through Udemy 

God bless you Sir

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Hi Lawrence,

 

Very well written and to-the-point post. Thanx a lot for sharing.

I got my first course published a day ago. Though I have offered a few discounted coupons to people I know might show interest of learning, however, I feel I need access to students from all over. Creating a separate FB/LinkedIn Page part is also done where I am now sharing links to my course. But till now course got 0 reviews and in the search list too it's not easily found. I a, very much worried and I fear that if my course won't be seen to students coming on Udemy, how are they going to enroll for it?

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ScottDuffy
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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.

LawrenceMMiller
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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. 

LawrenceMMiller
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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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