Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.
— Anthony J. D’Angelo —
I absolutely love taking new courses – I think it a great way to keep yourself up to date and progress your knowledge and skills in your area of expertise. In particular, I love taking courses related to my niche, Marketing Automation and CRM. This prompted me to create and launch a course myself. I’ve launched my Udemy course ‘Marketing Automation: Strategy & Implementation‘ end of February 2018 and it got 1000+ students enroled in the first 10 days since it went live.
In this blog post, I describe the process of creating and launching a course on Udemy platform. If you are not familiar with Udemy, you should know that it’s a huge online learning platform with millions of students and thousands of instructors.
Getting Started: Your to-do list
Understand your motivation for creating the course
Having clarity on WHY you think it’s a good idea to create this course will help a lot down the line, especially when you are thinking of the targeted audience, course title, promotional channels, costs, etc. Think of this production process as art, and the course as a change and a gift you are trying to share with the world.
Identify the constraints
Now that you know the ‘why’ and your motivation for creating this course, I’d recommend writing down all your constraints. Think of constraints as things/ people/ resources that could potentially stop or delay making this course a reality. Be honest with yourself and see how many of these constraints are real and how many are stories that you tell yourself. Maybe this could be a good opportunity to re-write your own narrative.
Beware of the resistance – this is a big one, and you might find yourself fighting with your resistance, especially as you get closer to wrapping up your course. But please always remember, it’s your first course, and you’ve done everything to make it as best as you could, don’t delay shipping it just because you think it’s not perfect yet. Practice will make perfect, delaying the shipping date will not.
Understand your target audience
You don’t need to know if all as you get started, but you need to have a pretty good understanding of who you’d like to enrol in this course. This will help you to decide on content, course format, etc. Decide if this course is targeted at Beginners, Intermediates or Advanced users.
Planning your course
Here are a couple of key aspects that you’ll need to define when planning your Udemy course.
- Deadline – have a go-live date and stick to it. You may want to take in consideration that once your course is ready to go, it will still need to be approved by Udemy team and this process may take up to 3 working days.
- Structure and format – decide who you’ll structure the course, depending on your topic and audience you may want to create a short and snappy course, practical and interactive or something more comprehensive that covers concepts. Think how many lectures and sections your course would have, the presentation format (video, slides, talking to the camera, etc), additional resources you may want to add, student engagement elements such as quizzes and assessments.
- Targets – define your targets, be clear and ambitious. My target was to enrol 1000 students and get 100 reviews. I’m still working on getting students to leave a comment/review – this turned out to be more difficult than I’ve anticipated, which confirms that is all about the engagement and feedback.
- Pricing – decide if your course will be paid or free, you can change the model anytime. If your course is paid then you can experiment with different cost tiers or create special coupons at different discount levels, for example, if you want to give away your course for free only to friends or your social media network.
Choosing the right enablers
Here are a couple of key aspects that could facilitate the process of production and promotion.
Do your own research to understand which tools would help you to work in an efficient way while delivering a good quality course. Tools I’ve used:
I’ve used the Keynote app on my Mac to create the slides for the course. Once I had the sides completed, I’ve written all the scripts in a Google doc. Screencast-o-Matic is a great video recording tool, I’ve used it to record my screen as I went through each lecture.
- Promotional plan
Identify the quick wins and start from there, you can always expand and test new channels and promotional tactics. Channels I’ve used:
- Personal network, friends and colleagues
- Social media: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter
Here I’m sharing a couple of results and learnings that I’ve got so far:
Focus on engagement
Make sure that reach out to those students who completed your course asking them for feedback.
Start with a couple of hypotheses and test them as much as you can. It’s worth investing time to understand what’s working for your target audience, especially if you are planning on creating more courses.
Feedback & Reviews
Aks for feedback and reviews early on. I didn’t put much importance on this right from the very beginning, but once I started to invest time in replying to each review and comment and asking students for feedback, I could see how the audience grew organically, without much promotion. Remember, social proof is powerful.
We all have something great to teach and share with the world. I hope this blog will help you reflect on your strengths and the gift you could be sharing with others.
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