In 2014 - my first Black Friday - I had never heard of it before - caught me by a pleasant surprise. For some bizarre reason, my courses just started selling. Then I didn't know NOW I do.
It isn't just Black Friday - it is much bigger than that.
This is big so take advantage of these sales, you’ll be creating and distributing promotional material for more than Thanksgiving.
Your campaign work spans approximately three months.
Pre-Holiday Campaign: Starting in September get your new course tuned up and ready to release. I like to release in October BEFORE the Black Friday madness of nearly every instructor waiting for their courses to be approved to go in November.
October, you’ll start running campaigns to push your new course hard - lots of written reviews. Posting to all your usual social media outlets to get the course moving.
Leading up to Black Friday. Start playing around with promotional styles. Refine the look and messages you want to push.
Pre- Black Friday – During this period in November, you might like to send out your own promo - well clear of BF. Think about your course images/ landing pages and how you can maximise sales to everyone who will drop by and spend a few seconds looking at what you have to offer.
Black Friday – Udemy basically to all the promotional work revealing your courses to the world. What can you do to maximise this? Maybe add some extra downloads. Students love free material. Think about using scarcity, use your Course Landing Page to suggest the free material is ONLY available during the BF & CM Sale.
From my website and social media I direct people to my Udemy profile page and or individual courses - I use a mix to distribute all over social media. There is no point competing with Udemy during these big sales - work with them!
Cyber Monday – On Cyber Monday, use different images to push your courses. Focus - even though it was originally a tech kinda day I have always done well on CM.
Post-Black Friday Campaign – Now that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over, you’ll want to make sure you are on top of your educational announcements - make the most of the new influx of students to let them know who you are and how best to begin their courses with you - any tips, info that is relevant.
I am no marketing expert. I follow the threads of all the great marketers here on Udemy. Thus I need to prepare in advance so I am not caught dithering!
ps, I am dithering now avoiding creating my new course... bye for now... hope this helps all the new instructors...
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just around the corner. Next month, hundreds of thousands of students will be shopping for courses. To set you up for success, we have some tips to make your content even more compelling.
Refresh your course
Students can see the last time a course was updated or even filter search results by newest to oldest. Adding fresh, relevant information can put your content at an advantage. It also helps reassure students that what they’ll be learning is as up-to-date as possible.
Add helpful extras
Everyone loves a good deal — especially for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Adding practice activities is a great way to increase the value of your course. If you haven’t already, try including one or more of the following:
Hi folks! In response to a recent discussion that was posted by @Bella about Udemy instructors who host a support group for the students (on Facebook or some other platform) here’s a few tips on how to build a reasonably sustainable online community.
In case you’re interested, my qualifications are a 65,000+ member FB group, a 1500+ member subscription community, and a Discord channel with 12,000+ members … oh, and 550,000 students just on Udemy alone.
Please let me declare here that I'm definitely no expert, but here are a few of the most important lessons I've learned along the way so far:
Tip 1. Posting Consistency.
Keep on investing and contributing value even if no one responds (especially in the early days).
Tip 2. Experimentation.
Try new things, don't fret about making errors and never stagnate. Different people will engage with different types of content.
Tip 3. Humility.
Healthy communities are built on a foundation of shared purpose and unity. False expertise, fake positivity, enthusiasm and ‘guru’ culture will never sustain.
Tip 4. Transparency.
Just be honest, be who you are, and don't try to be a guru. Remain entirely genuine and take ownership of the times you screw up and make mistakes. (I once messed up BIGSTYLE on a FB live and lost 5000+ members overnight!)
Tip 5. Health.
Within your group, remain focused on what's good, accurate, healthy, and what will empower other people the most. NEVER allows your group members to determine the purpose or tone of the group - you’ll see quality and standards take a nosedive VERY quickly, which will undermine your reputation and credibility.
As with all people group, learning communities need influential leaders who are motivated more by purpose than by profits.
And lastly, if the leadership isn’t strong, the community won't be either. I hope this post lands someplace useful for you!
We are starting the week with a community poll about student groups & communities.
Do you run a group or community for your students outside of Udemy?
If so, we’d love to know more about your group in the comments below!
My company (Dion Training) runs two student support groups. Our primary one is on Facebook and our secondary is on Discord.
Our students love the support groups, especially if you make them useful. We have ours filled with daily posts from us (practice questions, quotes, tips and tricks), and also have built a 25k plus member group, so there is always someone posting about something!
Plus, since it is on Facebook, it is a great way to engage with students outside of the Udemy platform and course, and it drives students back to Udemy for new courses all the time, too!
Thanks! Jason Dion
Dion Training Solutions
Yes- I run 2 groups associated with 2 different courses- a Tarot one and a angels and guides one- I love being able to have that connection with my students outside of the Q and a Board and its a great way for them to practice what they learn in the course with each other in a safe and supportive environment.
I also love doing monthly facebook lives for them where I answer 5 questions that were asked on the Q and A board that month- its a great way to bring them together and give them the opportunity to ask me anything they like about the course live.
I too run a Facebook group student community for several of my Udemy courses and my own online school, as well as anybody on Facebook who is interested in joining, currently with 3k members.
Like Jason said, Facebook is a great way engage with prospective students outside of Udemy, as well as to build your brand.
Discord is certainly very interesting.
I have about 4K members in the Facebook group... The most interesting conversations are when students present their actual work related issues and discuss or ask how these should be resolved using Lean Six Sigma and Project Management tools (my niche). I proactively share my inputs. The engagement is awesome. The most engaging conversations are on the following topics:
Actual work-related issues that they want to resolve using process improvement tools
Seeking answers to tough questions asked by their interviewers
Asking course related Qs and seeking answers from old group members/me
Asking statistical software related Qs (which is taught in the course work)
I make a point to introduce new members to the group each Monday. I regularly:
Add polls that refresh their knowledge on various topics (I have seen polls have the highest engagement).
Add FREE content that I share on my YouTube Channel
Share articles that I find on Quora/Medium or other sites for my niche
High level of engagement builds trust with group members and a sense of association. Students also get back with their needs and requirements of courses on new topics. It is definitely worth the 10 minutes I spend daily in the group.
I am also highly active on LinkedIn, but don't have another group on that platform. Some students prefer to use LinkedIn as against Facebook. So, I use the platform to let students connect with me and ask questions.
Our Discord is new and still small, not even to 2k yet. But people see pretty engaged so far!
Yes, I run a Facebook group for my students. I have 8 moderators who have taken the majority of my courses to help run the group.
It is not exclusive to my students - answer the questions and you can enter - this is a great tool to sell to 'outsiders' who may have an interest in Shamanism but who do not know about Udemy.
I run Facebook live sessions on an irregular basis - they are all well attended. Students feel very grateful to have an 'extra bit of me'
I run an academy at academy.numericalinsights.com with courses, a community and downloadable templates.
Hi @Bella, I have two groups a free udemy Facebook group which is for Udemy students only and that community is now over 6,000 and I have my own personal community. Facebook really helps to launch courses. I do two lives a week in my own community and again that helps drive Udemy sales, whilst providing an environment conducive to my teachings and learning.
I don't have any group, but I am considering to create one.
- Is it really beneficial to put in that time?
- Would one group be enough for all of my courses, or would you need a group for each course?
Facebook & Discord as many instructors doing here. I generally use them as complimentary support groups. I actually do Q&A inside of Udemy in order to keep things strict. However sometimes they want to help each other and get instantaneous answers to their questions by visiting Discord and Facebook, that is helpful.
Also what i observed that it is not easy to let students know about job opportunities or internship opportunities. Since i have a huge student base many people ask me for that and i try to relay this message to the students. I do not receive any kind of money or compensation for this but it helps companies and it helps students. It also helps me because students feel more committed since i provide some additional value to them rather than only the content of the course. So i generally try to let them know about job opportunities etc via my Discord or Facebook groups.
View the full discussion here
YouTube is best way to get the word out.
It free and everyone use it!
1. Start a channel featuring your own brand (if you haven't done it already)
2. Create and post new videos once or twice a week. (make sure you are sharing values - not promotions)
3. Place link(s) on the video description to direct interested viewers to your Udemy course. Make sure to add one of your discount coupon to the link.
4. Organize your channels in categories
5. Invite your Udemy students (and YouTube viewers) so subscribe to your channel.
6. Share your videos on Reddit, Facebook, Twitter...
7. Have fun with it!
Agree with all of this and use most of this myself. I also use videos that are good quality but for some reason, I choose not to put in my course (I re-shoot videos 6 times.) Maybe it's a bit longer and re-do it for Udemy. Those videos, as well as some polished ones, go on my YouTube. I also make sure the videos are something people will search for. I teach mental health topics, so I will make a video and be sure to title it as a specific skill and also check to see what videos are out there on a specific topic first. If I see 3 videos that are 5 years old and have 20k views each I will make a video on that topic! If I see 1000 videos on a topic, all new and with 10 views each, I will not.
I have not done this in a while, but I use to sell webinars on topics (or do free ones, some of which were easy weekly Q&A) and record them to post later on. Those were very successful in the initial sale, also selling the recording and gaining students.
Thanks for this, Luca. I'm new to Udemy and scrolling through the suggested articles regarding marketing and your post gave me an idea that I could immediately implement on my YouTube channel. So thank you for that! 😃
Many people, especially young instructors, ask how much can they earn on the course, why the courses do not explode and that sort of questions.
During my first mentoring session with Scott Harris (as an award for Journey to Black Friday Challenge), he mentioned a lot of building the audience.
Since February is not a perfect month of organic sales, also for the launch of a new course,
I decided to put the extra effort and develop my audience more.
This is a long term strategy, but let me share the action samples that gave me the growth in February. Actually, you can observe, how my activities influence the sales:
I want to share with you Guys, what way i have chosen, what was going on and how did I found the response:
1. I spent a week trying to figure out improving the quality of my youtube live sessions using DSLR. Invested in HDMI grabber (BTW. thanks Jason Dion for the model recommendation). A week later, after around 100 attempts, finally, the quality of the live stream was as I wanted,
2. Decided to focus on my youtube audience more (my channel is a small expert corner, I upload new episodes 2-3 times per week), encouraged to join my new facebook group by contests, tools, and challenges. Then I introduced live stream weekly program and also topic months (Feb was only for aerial photography, March is for begginers with a few experts tips, etc). That is a long term strategy to establish a membership site eventually...
3. So what are the first impressions:
- longer youtube sessions, especially live weekly programs give me great effects, this is an easy way to interact, classify the audience and build a more involved community and that is what we need for our courses. Even if a number of views is not massive, the watch time grows. I put a lot of effort to encourage, interact with the audience, notify them and also organize challenges, inform of specific facts,
- there is also a magical, thin line to not overwhelm the audience, but to create the interest,
- I found also that topic months are great for both sides. During February I created the course of aerial photography, but in the meantime, based on the same recording sessions & footage, I created several Youtube episodes. Each of youtube episodes refers to the course but gives the value as well. Each of them involves the audience and calls to act (eg. challenges with small awards),
- my total youtube visits nr was 25,5 K with 100 K minutes watched, each of the episodes includes a small reference to the online courses, but what is more important, the sales ratio develops slowly.
As an effect the new course launch goes nice, it is NEW and HOT, my promotions gave me decent effects, also decided to increase the price of my coupons from 9,99 to 11,99 USD.
Hope you will find inspiration and answer how to sell more.
Thanks for Scott Harris, Caroline Walthall, and Jason Dion for an advice.
Guys i have a question about FB, i'm not much of a FB user, i only started using it to have some sort of online presence for Udemy. Right now i don't have a large follower base that's interested in my courses, so the only FB marketing i can do is to post in groups. I try to follow all the rules, be as active as i can, not only be there to promote the course and try to not spam.
So the question is: How often do you post with coupons (free or discounted) in FB groups? Once a day per group? Once a week? Right now i'm posting discounted coupons for all my course about once every two days mostly in coupons groups, and that helps with the sales, but sometimes i see that my post starts to show too much in the group page and i fear that people think i'm spamming and kick me out.
To share my too cents...
I created my own Facebook group around 6 months ago and post regularly with education content, the group is now 3.5k members, hot a tipping point and growing by 100+ members a week. I was doing this for a while before even thinking of Udemy, but now that I have my first Udemy course, I have gotten quite a bit of support from it. It is a careful balance between posting and talking about the course and spamming.
My feeling as a promoter on Facebook is passive selling works best, discuss the course and have a discussion as opposed to telling people tk buy this course... as people are very adapt to spotting and ignoring a sales post.
I have a facebook group, think 1 1/2 years old, closing in on 10k members now.
95-98% is helpful content, 2-5% is me selling stuff.
My students are my best marketing tool, they pass certifications, like my teaching style and recommend me to friends and others in groups and forums.
I post content to my group 1-2 times daily (95% auto posted from my blog), students post 1-5 posts daily.
I welcome all my group members, I share my knowledge freely, and recommend study resources that are good, not just my own.
I do the same on other groups, but the first 2-4 months I am in groups I post 0% promotional stuff, I help, I answer questions, I support. After a few months I approach the admins and ask if they are OK with me every so often post my courses/coupons, so far everyone has said yes because I proved myself first.
Here the split is also 95/5.
If you join a Facebook group that has a focus on Udemy coupons then just ask the owner/admin how often you can post coupons. For a group like that they usually don't mind very frequent posting of coupons. For a group that doesn't focus on coupons only, make sure you have the permission of the group owner before posting any coupons, even free ones.
A sudden post directing traffic away from the group can be considered spam.
Thor gave good advice above when he stated that you should do a lot of helpful commenting and being a part of a group (when it's not your own group) before even asking to post coupons. It's just polite and shows you have an interest in the group and not just their pocketbooks (which feels like spam again).
I have several groups on FB, my largest one is almost 90K. I don't allow spam in my group (most groups don't) and if someone's first post is directing traffic somewhere else, they get blocked from the group. I do allow some advertising posts but they have to ask permission first.
I do post my own promotions in the group about 2 - 3 times a month. Sometimes less. I balance that with posts that are educational and informative, besides answering endless questions.
So balance what you're doing by being polite, engaging in the groups and be careful not to spam.
I don't post coupons very often, maybe every couple of months or so.
I noticed that most group members are only looking for free stuff.
I neither have time to do this more often nor do I see the benefit of it (same for contributing to groups).
I have received good advice on this forum before regarding starting a Facebook Group or website to support students. I would prefer a small / serious group versus lots of uninterested / uncommitted people. My thought is not only to have a "closed" group, but to limit it to people who COMPLETED the course. (For example, The automatic message sent at course completion would have a password to get into the website.) Any thoughts on this?
I have an FB Group that any of my students can request entry to whether they have completed the course or not. I think the stats say that only around 10% of people actually complete courses so you are limiting your reach if you go that way, in my humble opinion.
What you have to remember about a website is that you are not allowed to send students to a link / page that requires email address, password etc. From that perspective a Facebook group works better.
I hope that helps
Hi @RichardDeut752 I think you need to have a clear view of what you are trying to achieve with your small serious closed group. Is it just for chatting or will you want to use the group to promote. What's the long term plan for the group? I have a small, non serious, non promotional facebook group and also a website. Generally with most groups the problem is "how to get people to interact?". 10% of my students have joined the Facebook group I have and it was open to any student joining the course. The people in the group won't have your sense of purpose for the group so you will either need a superfan or 2 to create interaction.
I would not limit it to just students who complete the course as many end up not completing the course. I use my exclusive student Facebook group for students only, but their only requirement is to purchase a course and answer three questions. This gives them a safe and open community to post student projects, but also personal ones. We also discuss things like freelancing. I kept it small, but it is now over 2,500 but still manageable, and they are paying students, or have bought a course in the past. I also post when new resources or lessons are added to the class and also run a monthly live stream where I review student work and give design challenges to them (graphic design is what I teach mostly) I have seen in several of my reviews where my student Facebook group comes up as a big benefit to the class. I see it as an extension of my class. I would make it a closed group and have 3 questions they have to answer to get in. There are people who lie and say they are a student, and you do not want to have to double check enrollment of reach student either. So, I ask them which class they are a part of (I have 14) and what are they most interested in getting out of the group, and a third one that is more detailed of a question. These questions naturally turn away anyone who is not serious about being active in the group or someone who is lying about being a student. It takes extra effort to run the group, and some moderation time required (I also required approval from for for each post) but it is well worth the effort.
I did open group with I assume some uncommited students, that being said it still drive a good deal of paying students who are interested in my topics, but has no clue about Udemy.
I use the group to support current students, get new students, and give free content to anyone who is interested in the topic.
Not all members has to be students, they may do it on their own, but down the line recommend me to others who will be come students.
I also have a website with a lot of resources, my own udemy course links, and my own course hosting.
My latest course got Udemy's badge "Hot & New" Here's what I did to get it!
Recently, I've been participating regularly with my drawing posts on one of Facebook drawing groups. As my posts there were so engaging, I decided to post about my new course after publishing it on Udemy!
So I posted a catchy image of my drawing and I posted that I have this new course where I teach realistic food drawing with ink markers and that I need their help to review the course!
Here's exactly what I posted in the group:
It's win-win! 20 people will take the course and give me reviews! And at the same time I've marketed to the course in an indirect way. That's because when the free coupons were sold out, those who were interested in the course have ordered using the discount link.
By the way, I was so happy to receive comments from people who said that they don't want to disappoint me by enrolling in the course and not able to watch it and review it! This was really honest!
This reminded me of my first courses when I used to share free coupons on Facebook groups that are created for sharing free Udemy courses; something that I realized is terribly bad. That's because you get students enrolled in your course only because it's free although they wouldn't be at all interested in it. Consequently, you get a large number of students with ZERO review and minimum or no student progression.
On the other hand, when I started to share free and discount coupons on Facebook groups that are specialized in the fields of my courses (polymer clay and drawing), I got students who are interested in my courses and who wrote me reviews. They got benefited from the course and I got reviews which are so important for further marketing and sales. Besides, people who missed the free course have bought it because they grew interested in it.
On sharing your course's link on Facebook groups, take into consideration that:
Some groups' rules don't accept sharing links or selling, you've to respect that!
It's better to be an active member on the group from the begining. It'd not be decent to post on the group for the first time just to sell your course there. Be kind first!
I've been on Udemy for only one year and I'm still learning more and more every day! As I'm a relatively new teacher here, I wanted to share this marketing tip with those who might be new or still haven't enough audience to market to! Hope you find it useful!
Social media sites such as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn can be wonderful ways to expand your digital footprint and hopefully grow your online business. However, the trap is that if we’re not prudent they can also take a tremendous amount of time. Instead of trying to use them all, choose one or two that seem popular with your student base, for example send out a google form and ask them, they may check Instagram 15 times per day, but only look at Facebook a few times per week - ask how MUCH TIME they spend on them - they may only spend a total of seven minutes on Insta and two hours on FB. This helps makes an informed decision where your time goes to establish your brand. When you do post, remember that you’re representing your fledgling business. You could add some personal pics to be more relatable, but generally, it’s better to share your expertise than your holiday snaps.
Creating blog posts that get traction is also a wonderful way to show people you really are an expert in the field you instruct in. Plus don’t forget other creative ideas of what else you can offer. Are you an expert at creating infographics? Perhaps e-books are a passion of yours? How many podcast interviews have you or could you give - who can you approach to interview you? What about dynamic YouTube or Instagram TV videos? more online resources that are a mix of free and paid content.
How have you expanded? Do you have any tips to share?
I mainly use LinkedIn and Twitter for promoting my blog posts, courses, etc.
I have a blog that gets a few thousand page views every month but what I observed, is that people who visit my blog, rarely click on links for my paid products such as courses and software.
It is like, they all come for the free stuff and never interested in any of my paid products. This is somewhat discouraging...
The way I see it, it is really difficult to sell online. The competition is huge and for people that are just starting out, it is even more difficult. Even in marketplaces like Udemy where someone might say it should be a little bit easier to sell courses, because students come with the intention to buy, again it is way too difficult.
I assume what is needed is hard work and a lot of patience!
Thanks, @SharonRamel, for me I am creating a Udemy funnel to move people beyond awareness into a purchase, then advocates and finally what I call tribal leaders.
I have now created my path and using predominantly YouTube and Facebook to build a social presence of snackable content with a call to destination which is my site.
I offer a free course if they sign up to by email and then they go on a four email nurturing campaign over 10 days with help and guidance along the way and with the final push being back to my site and my £9.99 coupons.
This is starting to provide me with valuable data and sales, plus I can engage and find out what other courses people want.
I recently undertook a survey monkey with my social media supporter base and the findings have really helped me design and formulate my new studio, content and ultimately my next course based on the problems and issue they face.
It is a lot of work to get the digital ecosystem in place but I am sure that with the ease and quality of the Udemy platform I can solve problems, provide value and scale, three key components to being successful online.
Maybe there is a course on this subject xxxx
Just a bit of an update, the udemy free course Call To Action on the site has now had over 120 people sign up with 61 people joining the udemy course.
It will be interesting over the next 14 days to see if they convert to my udmey group and to the final email of the 5 which is to purchase other courses with a discount code.
Really pleased so far and I hope my other social media is providing a valuable funnel to Udemy.
Keep beleiving. x
Is it more effective to create a promo video on youtube and create an AdWords campaign, or are facebook boosts a better bang for the buck?
I personally get a few sales from putting a link to a coupon in my description on YouTube and it keeps a slow stream coming in each month. If you have a free course, nothing faster than facebook although it's not the most effective student list. Either way, I think facebook works out more expensive than YouTube if you're paying for advertisement, as they also own Instagram and on adwords you could just have ads running on youtube rather than the entire network. Which makes the target audience more relevant. Every category is different though and if would largly depend on promo videos etc so for each case I'd suggest, running a small ad campaign and keeping an eye on the results.
Youtube works as it is based on videos... Facebook doesn't work at all... don't waste your money there... better to spend money to push a video on Youtube... once it has some views it keeps getting new views... so your money for the initial push keep giving you results in time...
Hi Luke. In my experience, and from reading about the experiences of other instructors over the years, is that paid ads that sell Udemy courses are a waste of money. The cost of making a sale through paid ads will be more than the $10-$15 that you make on a Udemy sale.
Instead, use coupon codes in the description of a YouTube video, or use paid ads to drive traffic to your own site, so you can collect emails in return for some kind of freebie, then market your Udemy courses to people on your email list.
As a marketer, here’s the best answer: Test both. The ultimate marketing is when you bring the right message to the right people at the right time. You can’t know that for your specific topic until you test. Everyone else will have wildly differing opinions and experiences because their topic, right people, right message, right time may be different from yours. So test both and see what happens for your own situation. Having said that, it’s also important to know that running paid ads to a Udemy course is often not profitable because of how little you receive per enrollee. The basic math of it is that you should be receiving more than your ads cost. Well, it can be really difficult (if not impossible) to run ads at effectively less than $2.50 - $5.00 per enrollment. It is actually more likely that it will cost you $10 - $20 in ads / clicks to get one enrollment and that’s if you’re good. The reason is that you’re dealing with “cold traffic” or people who don’t yet know you, don’t know if they trust you and don’t know if they like you yet. (“Know, like and trust” must be there before people do business with you) So, if you’re going to be doing any kind of paid advertising, I’d recommend a strategy that doesn’t immediately go for the enrollment but instead puts them into a follow up sequence (email or chat bot) to build up the trust first.
Based on my own experience on udemy, I would suggest upload 20% of your course on your own YouTube channel and optimize it for organic reach to your potential students.
This will be much better strategy to drive paid enrolments to your udemy courses.
I second Youtube promo vids. Personally I've not seen much action from FB ads, although GoogleAds can be excellent if you're diligent with very specific keyword targeting for your niche.
But overall, we've had great success with sales from weekly youtube videos which for our company are half educational and half marketing as a means of bringing even more value to my users.
I am embarassed to say that I have spent thousands of dollars buying ads on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google AdWords over the past 3 years and it has been an awful investment. I realized that the power of selling courses on Udemy is that they are our sales distribution channel...they are a marketing machine and I am grateful to be a part of this community. Please don't spend money buying ads as I promise that you will lose a lot of money doing so, like I have. If you figure it out, please let me know as I would love to learn from your all.
My long term customer acquisition strategy is YouTube; I create a video every day on YouTube and I am starting to slowly see students buying courses on YouTube. The great thing about YouTube is that it's the only gold rush in history that costs you next to nothing to create the product and you have access to bilions of consumers.
Thanks : )
I’ve had mixed experiences on FB. Loss, break even, and double my money. Fine tuning demographics, easy to access purchase/landing page, and cool vid or image helps tons. Sadly, if I put boobs in the image, it’s guaranteed to double the views/reach.
Making the promo video in a way that you cover what is this video about & Instresting things about your course in first 5 seconds and then start explaining so that your ad is not skipped and interested people may click on the ad video and Join I prefer YouTube ads as well as will also do Facebook ads, both have it's own benefits
I have tested Google AdWords, Facebook Ads and LinkedIn Ads. I will get into details below but in conclusion, if you are capable of creating some free content in Youtube, go down that route rather than paid advertisement. Produce free content in Youtube and direct your viewers to your course. Details below;
First of all, online education platforms will be able to beat your bidding in all platforms in terms of cost. So, you will have to pay almost the twice as these big platforms do. Just to explain what I mean online education platforms, Udemy is also one of them but of course we love Udemy 🙂 The main reason is because they have re-marketing capability (with the help of scale) and they buy traffic in bulk which reduces the price.
Even if I will not use paid adverts at all, Google AdWords was the best among these. Facebook Ads didn't create much traffic, almost none. My personal Facebook post created more traffic 🙂
LinkedIn Ads are way too expensive for a course that you will earn £10 from. If you can sell your course for £100, then Linked Ads will work the best among these, but if not, you can forget it. The click cost of LinkedIn was 4 times more than Google AdWords.
I haven't tried Youtube Video Ads which might perform better.
There have been many discussions in the community about using social media to promote courses and it seems like everyone has their own strategy.
So we’d love to know: Which social media site do you find the most effective in promoting your courses?
GREAT QUESTION!! My course is less than 2 months old, so I'm FAR from an expert in this area, and really looking forward to hearing from others, but here's what I've found so far: Facebook and Reddit have been great. BUT, you have to do your homework. The two main challenges are 1) Will the group accept some type of self-promotion? and 2) Is this group really my target audience? My course is a beginner course on the Go programming language. One mistake I made is accidentally posting to a Facebook group for advanced developers. Some of those sales were refunded and a few others resulted in not so great reviews. My course clearly says it's for beginners, but the Facebook group members assumed I had done my homework, and rated me accordingly. So, those (Facebook and Reddit) are my 2 favs so far. I would say participate for several weeks before promoting yourself, do your homework, follow their rules, and sales can be significant.
While I want to answer your question, I really can't.
Udemy only allows us 3 coupons per month, where prior I could target specific social media channels or campaigns, now it is just everything in one bucket, we have no clue.
I use FB group (1 w/18k members) and pages (2 w/2-4k likes), LinkedIn (7k connections), Discord (4k members), email list (12k), YouTube, Twitter.
As mentioned as instructors we have no idea where is most effective, we might guess but the coupon system makes it impossible to actually track.
I use Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, Pinterest, Linkedin & Quora. I create videos and publish them on Youtube. I am a writer, so I post all types of content and the description of my courses. I have not seen many responses from most of them apart from Linkedin, Quora & Facebook. So I wondered whether Udemy has any unique methods to promote the courses of their instructors. Further, I have a website I post to social media daily that includes the Udemy course intro as well.
It is very difficult for me to answer. I actually generate the three days unlimited redemption coupon and share in different Facebook groups, WhatsApp groups, and my broadcast list. Unfortunately, there is no feature to track which source gives the most students.
@Bella - thank so much for this great question Bella- so for me I use YouTube Facebook and Insta- but I agree with Thor above with only 3 coupons to share a month there is no way to track this- or even know if your Facebook page is driving sales or your Facebook group- so really its not ever going to be accurate - whereas under the old system I was easily able to understand the effectiveness of a youtube video driving traffic compared to a facebook live or even answering a question on facebook with a link to the course for those who are interested in the topic- or on our bio in instagram- so if they could give more coupon options so we know where our efforts are making the most impact that would be super helpful when driving traffic on social media! thanks! Love Sal
I use these social media platforms to promote our course among our students and target new students to research out my course
and some others but mostly that above social media sites
I use Twitter, instagram and youtube but the most powerful is my own website
I thought Quora was a joke..... I could tell from miles away that the questions were weird and artificial, the whole thing felt like Robot Land. As for Reddit.....never bothered with, never will, I think I only had a look once and got out of there as fast as I could. Personally I think it's a bit like the sewers of social media. At least on FB one gets to see real names.....for the most part. I am not going to be anywhere at any costs, just to sell my courses, and I will not deal with anyone just to sell more. To me the internet is not much different than the physical world....I would not go anywhere I don't like.....I have been doing my stuff for almost 30 years and I know I am real good at it, and I will not cheapen myself being where I don't belong, and with people I have nothing in common with. I apply online the same things I apply in the real world, it makes no difference to me. But that's just me, again I am certainly not in a position to make recommendations about how to sell more. Recommendations which to me seem, for the most part, to be almost always easier to suggest than to follow. It seems to me that it is very hard to be successful, online or offline. Chance and luck have a lot do with it, which is why we get to see people who have better skills and talents, doing worse than others who aren't anywhere as good. Another big part is played depending if you do things on your own, or if you team up with others. For a team is obviously more influential than a single person, for the reason that a team has perforce more skills and talents (more people). A single person, even very talented, can only go so far on his own.
Udemy Promotional Announcements are by far the most effective tool I use to promote my own courses. A promo announcement for a new course is many, many orders of magnitude more effective in driving sales than posting about it on social media, YouTube, blogging, etc. At least for me. Of course you need an existing audience to send them to first, which is why it’s so important to have more than one course.
Coupon links in bonus lectures would probably come in second place, followed by YouTube (sample videos posted to our channel with a link to the Udemy course in the description). Other social media and mailing lists are barely a drop in the bucket, despite steady efforts put into them.
Now, I know some other instructors have been much more successful in using social & mailing lists than I have - I’d love to hear tips from them. What's been most effective for you?
I'd have to agree with you @FrankKane that the promotional announcements are the most productive in terms of sales.
My next closest is sales from my FB student group and to be honest, after that, I have very little sales from other avenues.
General social media posts and Youtube videos may get a couple of takers but the number is small.
I'm looking forward to hearing tips from others as well.
Hi @FrankKane !
In my case, for now, I make more sales for my promotions. I call this a factor of simultaneity, I mean that I could not unify in a single channel the effectiveness of my marketing. But if I should mention which channel is the one that receives the most sales, it is for my web page (also because I centralize a lot of traffic by that means). In the marketing courses that I dictate, I just mentioned that it is important to exploit all the free media that exist today, to automate all the tasks that are most possible since we will not always have the time to attend them and that is fundamental, to respond to all the that they write to us consulting about our courses (asi also I generate the means of communication so that they can arrive at me of direct form). The means by which I make more sales are as I said my website and youtube (I do not have many subscribers).
In fact I must mention that 10 months ago that I started in udemy, without having a community, or YouTube channel or social networks with my personal brand, and now I am lucky to have almost 13 thousand students. I do not say egocentric, but as an example that you can start from 0 and reach good goals (I'm proud of my achievements and so is the effort I do, you have to work every day (Saturdays and Sundays inclusive) .
In summary, for me, all channels are important (but if they are free as social networks are used today, this is called digital presence). If you leave your fingerprint on the internet everywhere, sooner or later whoever looks for a subject that you dictate in your courses, will find you, and if you have a well-made homepage and an incredible promotional video, you will surely buy your course with your coupon
"In summary, for me, all channels are important (but if they are free as social networks are used today, this is called digital presence). If you leave your fingerprint on the internet everywhere, sooner or later whoever looks for a subject that you dictate in your courses, will find you, and if you have a well-made homepage and an incredible promotional video, you will surely buy your course with your coupon"
Thanks. Very good.
I also believe that leaving a digital presence is incredibly valuable. Connecting with the groups of people who could most benefit from my courses is what I'm finding to be most useful - I work with grief in clients so connecting to different grieving groups (that represent my own journey) is most useful. Thanks for sharing your experiences and tips here too. Although I've made courses for a while, I'm only now looking at digital marketing! Be well everyone!
Great achievement, but how did you manage to enrol 13000 students in less than a year? Did you give away a lot of free coupons? I would love to know.
Some good advice here. Congratulations. One question. You have your website. I also have a website. How do you get traffic, the right kind of traffic to your website? I am just getting a trickle in spite of promoting it on my mailing list and social media. Any advice and suggestions will be gratefully received.
What are the best days to do promotional emails?
Honestly, I haven't found a best day!
For me, it is more about having an engaging title so that people want to open that email, not about what day you send it.
Tuesday morning works best for me outside of Udemy promotions.
In my experience, I noticed that they work better if you send them at the beginning of the week, like Monday or Tuesday, better if in the morning... weekend is to avoid...
Has anyone experimented with using article-based bonus lectures vs. video-based?
If you're trying to drive students to your website or other courses, I wonder if an article format would be more effective. In a video lecture, students would have to find your links in the attachments to the lecture, or type them in by hand after seeing them on-screen. But in an article, you can put the links you want them to click on right in front of them.
But, an article misses the personal connection a video can bring.
If you've tried both, how did they compare in terms of results?
I’ve not tried both but it is a very interesting idea from the point of view of engagement.
All of my bonus lectures are in article format at the moment as I think that clicks would come easier than typing it in...... but would be an interesting experiment!
I can confirm that yes you can create an article bonus video. I use article lectures for my bonus videos where I link out to my other courses and it works moderately well.
Hi @FrankKane I have tried both - the video was a spectacular failure, I love the personal connection however I rarely had people purchasing my other courses from it. Once I switched to using the article version it changed immediately - this brings in a healthy swag of sales week in and week out.
I use a video lecture, and point out how they can get the coupons from the downloadable PDFs in that lecture (They are attached as resources).
I get about 30% of my own coupons from my bonus lecture, and my own coupons are about 15% of my sales (so bonus lecture is ~5% of total sales).
I saw a significant increase in sales from my bonus lecture when I added video.
I am also sending students to my website for additional resources, but not sure how many from the bonus lecture.
Hi guys, I just wanted to share with all of you my thought about bonus lecture... I took the time to make a bonus lecture for all my courses and put there all my coupons code and it is really paying off... Every day I'm having some student using a coupon to enroll in one or more of my courses...
I'm writing this post as I also notices that many of the courses I'm enrolled in as a student don't have a bonus lecture or if they have there are not all the coupons for their courses... That's really a big waste!
I have not used that heaviliy in all my course, I have tried in a couple only - I was not impressed by the outcome. My courses are long and students need weeks, months to finish it... so getting to a bonus lecture takes a very long time and we cannot advertise it.
However, do it fully or do not do that at all 🙂 So... hard to judge.
It is on my list to do next month - add a bonus lecture with a coupon.
Will share my views when I finish it 🙂
I think Bonus Lectures and Course Promo are the most under-utilized features on Udemy courses. They are a great way to get more students for sure!
For those wondering what can and can't go into the Bonus Lecture, be sure to check these Udemy guidelines.
We have one bonus lecture and accompanying files that link to all our other courses with coupon codes. We use the same one on every course so it doesn't take much time to add. We have a separate summary/congratulations message for students as they complete a course, that is unique to that course. We find a pretty decent amount of sales from the bonus lecture. It is one of our many sales tactics that only takes an extra 30 seconds or so to add to a new course. This month, for example, the code we use in the bonus lecture is our second highest promotional code-the top one being our new launch code for the course that was released this week.
I have a short "Now what" video where I suggest next steps for the student, then I talk about my other courses, the books and tests they should use. Less than 2 minutes.
Then I have a text lecture where I have links to my own classes, books and all the other resources I mentioned.
My highest coupon this month, it is normally in the top 2, that and my promotional announcements. (unless I launch a new course then that would be #1).
To help promote my courses I create instructor coupons. I have a coupon code which is the same for all of my courses. This is more to make it easy for me to remember than anything else, and it makes it much easier if I encounter someone and we get talking and they say they may consider checking out my courses, I can just say ‘if you use this coupon you can get any of my courses for this price’. Whenever I create a new course I always create that coupon code first. I set the number of coupons to 1,000,000 because I know I am very unlikely to ever reach that limit, and if I ever do then that is a good problem to have. If I am doing a specific promotion then I want to track whether it has led to any students, so for example, if I decide I want to do a promotion on Facebook then I will create a code for that promotion. I don’t normally put a time limit on my coupon codes unless that was part of the promotion I was doing, in which case I normally put a time limit one day more than the promotion to account for time zones or I don’t put a time limit, I just turn the code off a day after the end of the promotion. This allows me to use that same code for future promotions. I also create specific coupon codes if I am doing a promotion with an organisation, for example, if a company is going to share my course(s) for continued professional development, then I will have a price and coupon just for that company so that I can see how many people signup from them. I almost never create free promotional coupons, if I do it is because someone is going to take a course and talk about it on their blog, website, podcast, etc, and so I make them a coupon to give them free access. Occasionally I may create more free coupons, for example, if I teach a live course and as part of that course I will be giving the students free access to the online course or if I would like to offer a friend free access to a course. I send promotional coupons out to current students, cross-promoting my courses (I make sure all of my courses are related). I also share coupons on my blog in blog posts and on a dedicated course page, and on my Facebook page and when relevant, in the description of YouTube videos and sometimes in Twitter posts - especially if I am sharing about a new course. How do you use instructor coupons?
I do pretty much the same as you do, Dan. The only difference is that I create a different coupon for each YouTube video I create (it has a version of the video name in the code). That way I can see which video are more popular and bring the students over. I have one specific code I share on Facebook groups when I see people asking about which course to use for such and such.
If I hand out free coupons, they are always personalized with the person's name.
Last thing, for all the promo codes, I usually don't set expiration dates, just in case someone find it late. I wonder if you still get credit for people who get to Udemy on an expired instructor coupon?
I use one coupon code per course in all areas of advertising, whether it be as an promo announcement or social media, blogs etc. I create one coupon code when it's launched, don't put an end date on it and add 1000000 coupons so that it will never run out!
I've never got into creating new ones for particular avenues for tracking etc, I simply get the link and but it through bit.ly to shorten it and then use that.
Sorry for my month-long hiatus! After vacation and the release of my latest masterclass I am able to finally focus on the community and on my students. I just released a new course and with each course release comes a new promo video you have to produce. I wanted to walk through tips and tricks on how to build a strong, compelling promo video as it can be the deciding factor for your course to be chosen over others.
First of all, a promo video should never be too short or too long. How do we determine this? My rule of thumb is the longer the course, the longer you can push your total promo video length. 2 minutes is a sweet spot but for a class that exceeds 5 hours, it is very challenging to truly condense all aspects of your course in that short amount of time, so expanding it by an additional minute to 3 minutes is usually a good length. There are times where I need to reach closer to 4 min (like my latest course, still in review) simply because I had a lot of extra downloadable resources, I really wanted to explain in more detail than my usual courses and those are a BIG selling point. Shorter 2-hour courses should have a shorter promo, perhaps that one and half min mark or less.
Should I start with introducing myself?
Not always. For some, talking about yourself toward the end may work better and putting your course topic and content first tends to grab people’s attention. Of course, if you’re a therapist or in coaching, things may have to shift more toward your introduction. I usually like to keep this super brief and toward the middle/end.
How do you handle music? Music is so important in peaking one’s interest in promo videos as music can give viewers an emotional response can be utilized to sell your course. I find keeping the background music lower during moments when you are talking is best, making sure the music never overwhelms your spoken words. A trick I use in my promo videos is to pick multiple songs, perhaps two. I like to start out with a high energy song, and then move into a softer background track for the middle portion and exit with a quick 10 second music clip to end it on a high note. When picking your music think about the emotional response it gives, how can you best use this to sell your course? Is the music too overwhelming? Post it on community forums to get that sort of feedback.
What do I talk about and in what order? The overall structure I use for my promo videos are as follows: Course Topic and Overview: Two sentences that sum up the entire course, your thesis statement basically. The software used or the topics should be mentioned.
Who this class is for? Mention briefly who this class is best suited for. Best to do this early to go ahead and weed out students that the course would not be a good match for. Why I should take this class? Mention the benefits of learning this software or industry. Can it move you higher in your career, satisfy life goals?
What am I going to be doing? When it comes to this section, I am always showing final finished course work (and also showing me in the process of creating it in short high-speed clips). In my field of graphic design, this is a bit easier to do. I show them the final created pieces early, so they know right away what they are going to be able to produce by the end of the course.
What comes with the course? Is there anything that comes with the course outside of just video content? Talk about your downloadable resources, extra community groups, quizzes, worksheets etc. It is best to bring all of these “extras” up right before you bring up your final pitch!
The final pitch and call to action: HUGE one here. Always end your promo with a question or call to action statement. “see you in lesson one”, “Let’s start your new career now” etc. Make this very short and sweet and add that pop of music to add an additional emotional overtone. Try not to end your promo video with a soft statement.
Quick tips: Make sure to keep each section brief. If you have 8 sections to your course, only spend 15 seconds or so on each section. You can go into more detail about your course in a course guide our course introduction later on. This is video is meant to sell your courses, not be your course outline. Make sure you craft this video for marketing not for small details. Your most important course aspects should be highlighted here.
Be very visual. Trying to make your promo more polished than any other video in your course. You should spend at least 4x the amount of total editing time for your promo over other lectures.
Make your intro impactful. Studying your competitors’ intro can help you find a way to make yours more memorable and enjoyable.
Just a few tips from someone who has created over 74 promo videos in the last 2 and half years. I do believe my intro videos have helped my course sales dramatically.
Example of my latest intro, a little longer than I usually shoot for, but wanted to accent all the extra freebies the students get and the student Facebook group.
I see a lot of people asking, "Why didn’t my course succeed on Udemy?"
Honestly, though, this question often comes too late for us to help them because they have already filmed and published a course. They have spent countless hours and effort to build this course, and they are discouraged because it didn't get a bunch of students buying it up in the first week.
So, with that in mind, here are my four tips for increasing your chances of success onUdemy based on my experience. It is a long read, but worth your time and consideration before you start filming.
(Following all of these tips will NOT guarantee success, but they will certainly put you in a much higher chance of finding success here on Udemy. Remember, Udemy is a crowded place these days with 100k courses from 50k instructors...how will you stand out and succeed?)
Please please please, follow these tips in order. After all, if you don’t get Tip 1 right, the rest of this post doesn’t even matter...
(1) Proper category selection.
This is probably the number one mistake of new instructors on Udemy. People think, “Hey, I know Java and the top Java course makes like $90k a month. I want some of that sweet sweet Java $$, so let me throw together a 3 hour course on it, publish it, and I am going to be instantly rich!”
What they don’t realize is topics like Java, Web Development, iOS Developer and Python are highly competitive topics with 500-1000 courses already released and in the marketplace on each of them. This means you are likely to get buried in the noise (sheer volume of available courses) and no one will be able to find your course. This equates to low or no sales.
Instead, you really need to find a topic that isn’t overcrowded and make a name for yourself there. The topics I have had the most success with (translation: the one with courses making large amounts of money if we measure success by revenue) is categories with less than 10-20 courses in them. Once you find a category like this that you are knowledgeable and can teach, we can then move on to step 2...
(2) Make a better course than what is out there.
Once I find a category, I actually watch the top 1-5 courses for that category (at least their free preview videos). I analyze their course and ask myself, “Self, if I were to make a course on this particular topic, could I do it better than this instructor?”
My first breakout hit for a course was in a topic with only 10-15 courses in it. The #1 course made around $3000/month, and when I watched the previews for that course I was bored. The videography was ok, the audio was ok, but the presentation was outright BORING. I knew I could create a better course than that instructor, so I built one. Within 3 months, my course became #1 for that category and has been my top selling course ever since. (Oddly enough, the top course revenue went up significantly as a result to, moving to 2x the previous top revenue because now there was a better option for students to buy, which in turned increased conversations for this topic area across the Udemy platform.
Now, the hard part here is that there are some categories I found that “looked” like a good opportunity (high demand from students and low number of courses), but the leading course was already very good. For some of these topics, I opted to ignore these categories because I didn’t think I could take the top spots from the existing courses. Could I make a great course? Sure. Could I make one significantly better than the existing leader? Probably not.
When you look at these existing courses, you have to be truly realistic in your approach. I have considered making a Python course before. Python is one of the most searched terms on Udemy and may be the single best selling topic on the platform, BUT the top courses are already REALLY REALLY good. I mean, Jose's Python course is top notch. Could I make a really good course, too? Sure, but there are already so many good courses (and literally hundreds of Python courses on Udemy already), I would likely get buried in the noise, so I don't make Python courses.
Let's take for example, a topic like ITIL 4 Foundation (my #1 course). If you look at the Insights tool for you would think this is clearly a topic you should make a course for. Low number of courses and high demand. But, you would be wrong...
Why? Because the top course is my course. It has great visuals, an energetic and well liked instructor, and exceptional video quality. The course is a complete study solution, where I give the student all the videos needed to pass the exam, quizzes, 2 practice exams, and a downloadable study guide. I give students so much value for their money, it would be hard to displace me from this top spot, because there isn't much you can do to give more value than I already have.
Now, if you are a brand new course creator, it is going to be hard for you to steal students from me. In fact, 9 out of 10 people who search the word ITIL on Udemy end up buying one of my courses. When I have spoken with Udemy has told me, “You clearly dominate this topic.”
But even beyond me thinking my course is the best, (and students agreeing), you have another challenge in entering this particular topic. This topic is regulated by Axelos, owners of the ITIL brand. If you publish a course there without their authorization and approval, they will have Udemy remove your course under copyright infringement. So again, not a topic you want to join unless you jump through the very time consuming and expensive process of becoming “authorized” by Axelos to teach ITIL. (The same holds true for the CEH certificatoin for those in the IT space who want to teach hacking.)
(3) Make courses people actually want/need.
This may sound stupid, but do people want/need your course? If you are making a course on Underwater Basket Weaving, will anyone want or need it? Is there a big enough audience to support it?
I personally make most of my courses on IT certifications because it gives me a natural audience who is searching for courses to pass these exams. People go to Udemy everyday to search for “CompTIA Project+” or “AWS Associate”.
When you are starting out, people will find your course because of your topic. This is why finding a topic with less than 20 courses is so crucial, because it virtually guarantees you will be one page 1 of the search for that term. Over time, as you become more known and liked by student, then they start searching for you and you can break my 10-20 courses in a topic recommendation.
For example, many of my student search “jason dion python” or “Jason dion Java” because they want to learn those topics AND they want to learn them from me. (They won't find one, because I don't have those courses, but they keep searching.)
Going back to our Java discussion at the beginning of this thread, I now have a big enough following that I could launch a Java course and do pretty well. I won’t knock out the top guy, but I could probably make a few thousand $ a month with one because enough students know me and would buy a course in that topic from me at this point. But if I was where I was 2-3 years ago, forget it. That same course (regardless of how good I made it) would earn me maybe $100/month if I was lucky, and I would be on page 5, 10, or 15 of the search results. It would be very hard for students to find it and discover me.
(4) Happy students.
The last strategy I use is that I put my students first. I give them a complete course, a full study solution, in their Udemy course. I answer their questions. I support them in our FB group, etc.
These students are my biggest marketing effort. Just go into any CompTIA Facebook group and ask what you should study if you are going to take the CompTIA Security+ exam. I bet within the first 5 comments you get at least 3 of them saying “Jason Dion’s course on Udemy”.
This is marketing for me. Now, I don't get 97% because they didn’t use one of my coupon links (I am not the one marketing in these groups), but these recommendations are all over Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, and LinkedIn, an they are all driving warm traffic back to my website and Udemy’s looking for my courses.
You have to be patience with this strategy though. It doesn’t happen overnight. These students took my course, passed their exam, and now they share the good news of "Jason's courses" with others because my courses worked for them. For that to happen, it takes 3-6 months from their first purchase, so you have to be patience. But, once the flow of recommendations starts to flow (you’ve primed the pump), it becomes a snowball effect.
I am not saying to go create courses in areas you are not an expert in. Please don't read it that way. I am not trying to make you a mercenary for hire. But, I do want you to consider all the things you COULD teach before deciding on a particular category. Your BEST thing, the thing you are the biggest expert in, may not be your best choice on Udemy because the market is too crowded in that topic.
This particular person is skilled in many things. He has been an online instructor probably longer than anyone else I know. He knows how to do some amazing things in Adobe Photoshop, Premiere, and Audition. He knows how to program computers. He knows how to run a profitable business. He knows management and human resources from running his companies. He knows educational design and learning management systems. You get the idea...this guy knows a lot of things. I just listed 6-10 different topics he could teach, teach well, and with expertise.
Most of us are like this. I look at my own background, and I have 20+ IT Certifications across cyber security, IT service management, and project management. I also can play guitar, run a business, manage people, do videography, and numerous other things that I could teach.
So, when I started making courses on Udemy, I looked at various topics. My third course (which became my best seller) was on ITIL. It is something I had done at my job for over 10 years. It wasn't the thing I was most passionate or excited about, but it was a high demand area with a low number of courses. Yes, I have expertise in it, and I am certified in it, so I decided to make a course on it....and it paid off (big time).
That is my point here, because I could have created another Web Development course, or Java course, or Python courses, but I didn't. Even though I am knowledgeable about those things, I knew I would be fighting an uphill battle teaching them. For example, I used to own my own web development company. I have been a web programmer since the late 90s. I definitely could create a "Complete Guide to Web Development" course if I wanted to. The same with Java or Python, I program in both of those languages, but it doesn't mean they will provide me the best return on my time investment by creating courses on them. Some things may be good topics, but they may not be good FOR YOU.
Now, when I say things like this, I often get the objection, "But Jason, the only thing I know is Python", or Java, or Web Development. To that I say, "Well, nothing says you have to be on Udemy." Yes, I know this is a Udemy platform I am writing this on, but remember, no one is forcing you to use Udemy. Udemy is awesome, but if you are going to spend 50-200 hours building a course and get ZERO traction because you are hidden in a sea of other courses, then maybe you need to find your own path...or be prepared to market the heck out of the course yourself on Udemy.
Either is fine, but remember, if you are making the next Web Dev, Java, or Python course, you better have a plan for how you are going to be found and how you will stick out among 500+ other courses on that topic. If you think you will just click "Publish" and students will flock to your courses in these highly competitive topics, you are going to be sadly disappointed, I promise you.
I hope this helps some of you out there as you embark on your Udemy journey,
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!