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
183 Replies

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@LawrenceMMiller thanks for your appreciation. i just explained the facts that every instructor is facing very hardly to promote courses even there's question mark on the marketing team of Udemy.

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Thank for your great advices!

 

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I think instructors community first resolve the matter of instructors benefit. they prepare ,record and publish unique contents. Moreover, they generate traffic for Udemy at 0 price. it seems to be a joke for instructors. i am just watching the traffic on my courses it's really low traffic because of the anti-instructor algorithm of promotion/marketing team of Udemy and Udemy's team should consider the above mentioned points for instructors. Furthermore, by participating in this community for new comers the experience instructors should be rewarded too.

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Can you give me an advice ?

Should I use English or my native language in social media and blog post?

Most of my students on Udemy are English speaking. But most of followers in my social media are my native language speaking. 

In term of course marketing, I don't know what language should I use. 

Best regards,

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@Veasna, M. it is better to use both languages separately to promote but focus on English only. well, what is your native language? 

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Do I need to create separate FB/YouTube?

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Hi

 

I read your post. It is very helpful. Could you provide me some pointers on how to market the course so we get fee paying students. Since this was my first course I created 1 free coupon but am hesitant to do any more. Work and time are of value and I would not like to take anything for free in this world.

 

https://www.udemy.com/course/how-to-ace-a-performance-appraisal/learn/lecture/36232416#overview

 

Thanks in advance

Sarmi

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@SarmishthaP901  The original post in this thread is an answer to your question. In the forum search "marketing" and you will find helpful posts from other experienced instructors as well. 

 

The short answer is that there are no easy answers. 

 

Lawrence M. Miller
Author/Instructor

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thanks

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I didn't realize we could promote courses in the Instructor Club. New policy?

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Thanks Larry, It's a well organized and to the point list of things for every instructor. 👍

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super helpful even in 2023

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Great info

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Thank you so much. This will be helpful to me.

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Thank you. That's great advice.

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This is excellent. Thank you for taking the time to share.

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Thanks Larry. It is very useful for someone like me who launched the first course and learning the ropes to market it.

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Thank you @LawrenceMMiller for such a great post!

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Thank you for this sharing.

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Good points. Points 6-8 in particular is something we have never really looked into and maybe should explore more extensively. For sure there's a lot of potential in that.  If they do not come to your blog, then take your blog to them on LinkedIn.

 

Maz

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Truly an awesome post, I learned so much. I wish I had seen this before. 🙂 

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This is some great advice! 👍 

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Thank you for enlightening me ... quite inspiring to learn new workable strategies from you.  

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Wow!

What a gold mine!

Thank you for your reply and time !

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 hello,

Thank you very much for that piece of advice.

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Thank you, @LawrenceMMiller for sharing your advice and for summarizing the collective wisdom of the experienced Udemy instructors, and for caring enough to take your time to do this. It's been useful and got some insights.

 

The very bottom point triggered some thinking when you say "Udemy is not a "passive income".

 

What is it for you? 

 

I have seen various responses on this topic in the community. And by the way, I am really "green" on Udemy :). Just published my very first course. Feel good about this important milestone. 

 

So, would appreciate knowing your view.  

Best,

Dillyara 

 

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@DILLYARA I guess the question is, how do you define passive income.

 

If you put money in a Treasury bond you receive passive income from the interest on that bond. You don't have to do any work. 

 

When you post a course on Udemy, you can just leave it alone and forget it. However, that is not a way to succeed. It is likely to just sit there with tens of thousands of other courses. Most successful instructors have a portfolio of related courses. They build a brand around their area of expertise. That requires a lot of work. Then courses need to be updated periodically. Then you need to do your own marketing, writing posts on LinkedIn, etc. In other words, you have to keep working at it. That is not passive. 

 

I hope that makes sense. 

Lawrence M. Miller
Author/Instructor

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Hi, @LawrenceMMiller! Apologies for a delayed reply. Have been busy celebrating my birthday with a family:)!

 

I am absolutely 💯 % with you! 

 

I also view Udemy as one of our visible and creative aids and tools in our personal branding tool-kit. 

 

Best, Dillyara 

 

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Hello Dillyara,

Where is the personal branding tool-kit? 

Can you advise?

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Hi @AkınDemir,  

 

When I referred to a personal branding tool-kit, i basically meant the same thing what Lawrence shared in reply to my message. 

 

Let me, perhaps, add a bit more clarity what I meant.

Our overall personal branding tool-kit may include all our social and business media platforms and resources, which would help us develop, boost and sustain our personal brand in public. So that whenever people hear your name, they can already associate it with something. 

Some of us may have a broader tool-kit, some less. But overall, it may include your: LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram activities and engagements with public, books publishing, podcasts, your online or off-line seminars, workshops, corporate trainings, speeches at forums, TEDx, other UDEMY courses...etc.

 

Hope, this helped clarify what was meant under the personal branding tool-kit. 

Cheers,

Dillyara Dosmakova

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Thank you for your reply Dillyara.

It is a very good clarification.

Best wishes

 

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Thank you for such a great feedback Lawrence.

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Hi @LawrenceMMiller!

Thank you for compiling this comprehensive list of marketing strategies for online courses.

Your emphasis on strategic thinking over short-term gains is particularly noteworthy.

We will make sure we follow your suggested checklist!

Best wishes to everyone developing courses!

@upkaizen 

 

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It was an enlightening discussion; the post and comments provided valuable insights.

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