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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Identify Facebook and LinkedIn groups related to your subject matter. Join them. Participate in discussion.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Develop a Facebook discussion page for your students and to publish articles (the same ones as on your blog page and LinkedIn page.
- Watch Scott Duffy’s course on Udemy SEO Marketing.
- It is a consensus of experienced instructors that paid Facebook ads do not work.
- 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.
- Do not even think about purchasing reviews!!! They are now spotted and removed by Udemy’s Trust and Safety group.
- 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,
@MassimilianoAlf: This is a great list with a lot of value... every new instructor should take the time to study it, thanks for posting it!