A huge benefit to being an instructor on Udemy is that whenever you promote your course using your instructor coupon code, you receive 97% for all sales coming through your coupon. Amazing, right? This means if you’re getting 30 people each month to join your course at $39 through your coupon code, then you’re pocketing $1,134.90. Not bad at all.
So, how can you increase your sales potential, so you’re getting 30+ people to enroll into your courses each month without you bending over backwards?
The good news is, there are a myriad of ways to grow your traffic. We created this guide to give you several tactics to choose from, depending on your interests and strengths. Keep reading to find out how to grow your traffic by leveraging YouTube, webinars, ebooks, speaking opportunities, and more!
Increase Your YouTube Subscribers
Two years of consistent, smart work towards one marketing channel can pay off in heaps. This is what we call a Slow Build (versus “Quick Win”) technique. If you’re just starting to build your audience, then based on top Udemy sellers’ feedback, it will take 1-2 years to grow your audience to around 10,000 subscribers where you’re earning $2,000+/month from YouTube Udemy course sales. Instructors who published 1-2 new videos per week were able to achieve this.
Bottom line: If you enjoy creating straightforward tutorials and/or creative videos teaching people concepts, then you may decide to focus on YouTube as your primary, ongoing marketing channel.
Before we dive into the ways to increase your YouTube subscribers, be sure you’ve properly optimized your YouTube channel for conversions. You’re leaving a ton of money on the table if you’re getting thousands of new subscribers and video views but none of them purchase your course. Read this article on how to turn your YouTube channel into a sales engine.
How to Increase Your YouTube Subscribers
Create in-demand and relevant content. Your goal is to get discovered by people desperate to learn from you. If someone conducts a search for “How to become a comedian,” if you’re one of the few people with a YouTube video titled, “How to Become a Comedian,” then you may show up as one of the first search results on Google. Here’s how to determine what your target student is searching for:
- Do some light keyword research. A quick and easy way to get a rough idea of the most popular terms is to type a phrase into the Google search bar, and see what suggestions appear.
- Start building a list of popular keywords and phrases. Next, go to Google’s Keyword Planner Tool and input your list of keywords to see what the search volumes are for each keyword.
- Search for some of the keywords and phrases in Google and YouTube to see what types of results appear. If a keyword already has tons and tons of videos on it with millions of views each, then you probably want to focus on a less popular keyword where you have a chance at appearing in the top ten results.
Make sure your potential student finds your video title and cover image irresistible to click.
- Learn from the top-ranking videos. Search on YouTube for the top keywords you’re targeting. Take note of which videos you clicked on first, and ask yourself: What about the title and video cover image made me want to click it?
- Make sure your video titles are optimized for search and are irresistible to your potential students. Do the same for your video cover image.
Team up with other YouTubers in your field.
- A surefire way to grow your YouTube subscribers is by guest starring a popular YouTuber’s channel. The key is: 1) Find a YouTuber with a large audience (if not large, then at least make sure it’s equal to or larger than yours) and 2) Find a YouTuber in your field—make sure they have a similar audience. Your goal is to add people to your channel who will be interested in learning from you and enrolling in your courses.
- Another way to approach this is to “collaborate” with another YouTuber. What does this involve? You both publish videos on your own channels on similar topics, and you link to each other’s videos at the beginning and end of your own videos. For instance, “Before I get into my tutorial on “how to plant your own vegetable garden,” I want to recommend fellow Gardener Pro Alan Smith. Check out his video on “how to grow big, healthy tomatoes” here and subscribe to his channel. And now back to my video…”
The last and most important way to increase your YouTube subscribers: Publish content weekly!
- Stay on top of what’s relevant to your potential students, and continue publishing videos that they’re searching for and that will lead to course sales.
Remember: All of the above tactics are useless if you haven’t turned your YouTube channel into a sales engine. If you have no way of collecting or converting your new subscribers into students, then you’re leaving a lot of money on the table…and you’re depriving people from learning from you. :) Make sure to optimize it for sales before you start sending traffic to it.
Leverage Conferences, Speaking Opportunities & Webinars
Live speaking events, online and offline, are a great time for you to shine as a domain expert and connect more personally with your audience. Below, we discuss how to leverage conferences, speaking opportunities, and webinars.
- Print out postcards containing information about your Udemy courses and your instructor coupon code.
- While at the conference, when someone asks you for a business card, give them your postcard. It will double as a business card and flyer.
Top Udemy seller Vanessa Van Edwards earned $2,000 one weekend by using this very tactic at a conference.
One Udemy instructor landed himself as a guest lecturer at local universities and was able to enroll hundreds of students (some free, some at a discount, and some full price). Here is how you can do it, too:
- Contact instructors or administration at local colleges/universities to guest lecture or lead students in a workshop. Find a topic that college students and their professors find beneficial and includes your real world experience as a selling point: “I’ve solved many cyber crimes for police and Army Intel, and I want share my experience with your students. I also want to make sure they’re aware so they don’t accidentally commit any crimes themselves.” Ask yourself: What topic can I lead a workshop or guest lecture on that will be highly relevant and in demand for university students?
- During the workshop or guest lecture, get students excited enough to join your courses on the spot. Here’s how a fellow instructor did it: During the workshop of let’s say 200 students, he makes 10 coupons available for free (given to students who were the first to participate), 10 coupons for 80% off and opens the coupon live for his paid course. This creates excitement and immediate registration into his paid course. Then, he created a limited number of 50% off coupons, and so on…
Do you speak regularly at relevant meetups, conferences, workshops? Remember to give them a glimpse at what your course entails and invite them on the spot to join your courses at a discount.
Have you heard of certain top-performing marketers who can make six figures in one webinar? Webinars are a great way to flex your muscles as an expert. They’re also a great way to introduce people to a topic and invite them to learn more from you (because there’s only so much you can cover in 60 minutes).
I recommend you read the Ultimate Webinar Marketing Guide by Lewis Howes. It’s a quick read, and he walks through how to position yourself to effectively make sales of your course during the webinar.
Ebooks, Amazon & Fiverr
When you find yourself wondering: What can I do next to market my Udemy courses…? How can I tap into more of my potential audience…?
Remember this: Every part of your Udemy course is marketing collateral. You can publish your promo video to YouTube to lure people to take your full course. You can post your slides on Slideshare to attract people to your full paid course. You can upload your audio lecture to Soundcloud to invite listeners to join your full paid course. …You get the picture.
So, one huge and immediate opportunity is to turn a portion of your course into an ebook and direct readers to join your courses on Udemy, if they want to learn even more. I know, I know—you’re thinking that turning your 6-hour video course into an ebook will be a pain in the backside! Allow me to show you something. A fellow Udemy instructor turned a set of emails into a bestselling Kindle on Amazon that directed to his Udemy courses, and you can apply his exact methods to creating your very own ebook.
Note that we have proven case studies from instructors earning $2,000+ from YouTube, conferences, and speaking opportunities, but the ebook method still hasn’t been conquered. The key is to try your very best to set your ebook up as a salesperson for your course. I believe if you can do that, then you’ll see success with this method. Let us know how it pans out in the comments. Now, let’s get into the suggested steps…
In Scott Britton’s article, he describes that he turned a set of emails into his ebook, which is a collection of Life Hacks. I’ll summarize the steps he took below and apply them to you turning a portion of your course into an ebook.
- Decide what portion of your course you will turn into an ebook. Remember that your ebook is essentially a piece of marketing—consider it a brochure for your Udemy course. So, the point here is to select a portion of your course so that whoever reads it also wants to enroll into your courses.
- Hire someone to transcribe the portion of your course you want to turn into an ebook. You can search on Fiverr, Elance, or Odesk for someone to “transcribe videos.” It typically costs around $1 per minute of video, and Scott reports that he was able to get 60 minutes for $40.
- Hire an Editor to edit the transcription and turn it into an ebook. Again, you can find the Editor on Fiverr, Elance, or Odesk. First, give the Editor free access to your course so that he/she can see how you speak about your topic. That way, they can get a sense for your voice and write the ebook in your voice.
- When you review your ebook, make sure you add plenty of invitations for readers to join your email list and enroll in your Udemy course for a deep dive on the topic. Remember that the purpose of the ebook is to drive new students to enroll in your Udemy course, so include a blurb at the beginning of the book inviting people to join your course for a discount, if they want to get advanced training in video form. Throughout the book, you can mention that there is “bonus content” in your course which can be found here <link to course>. Alternatively, you can send them to your website (e.g. technologycourse.com) and have them opt-into your email list and then convert them into your Udemy course after they join your email list. Read how to set up autoresponders on your email list to convert subscribers into your Udemy courses. And here is an ebook by Lewis Howes where he does a great job referring readers to his squeeze page, where he collects readers’ email addresses and converts them into his online courses.
- Design 2-3 versions of your ebook cover, and A/B test it to determine which will convert better. Before you publish your book, use PickFu to see which one gets the most conversions. Then, use that one in your final ebook design.
- Once your ebook is complete and ready for publishing, read Scott Britton’s article on the best way to market it and make it an Amazon bestseller. Essentially, you can plan to make your ebook free for a limited time, and before you launch it on Amazon, you should have a list of people who are ready to jump on as soon as it’s released and download it and leave a review. This immediate momentum of downloads and reviews (along with keyword optimization for your ebook category) will help your book shoot to the top of the search results for your category.
- Publish your ebook on Amazon. Continue to encourage people to download it for free so that it gets as high up on the charts as possible. Remember: The more people who read your book, the more people will see your course and enroll.
- Create a listing on Fiverr, advertising your ebook for $5. Again, do what you can to get on the front pages of Fiverr search so that your listing is more easily discoverable and you get people purchasing your ebook and converting into your course.
As I mentioned, every part of your Udemy course is a piece of marketing collateral—your promo video, your individual lectures, your slides, lectures, and handouts.You are also a huge piece of marketing collateral. What do I mean by that? You can try Google Helpouts, Spreecast, SoHelpful, or another broadcasting tool intended for you to provide a form of individual or group teaching or coaching. If relevant, in every session, recommend or invite people to join your Udemy course for $19 (or whatever discount you want to offer).