Within just 2 days of publishing his Udemy course, Justin Mitchel is already interacting with over 1,400 students—all presumably enthusiastic about learning to code. (Update: Justin is now a top monthly earner on Udemy, thanks to his early efforts to get students into his course by any means).
I interviewed him to find out exactly what he did to achieve these results, why he’s focused on reach over revenue, and the one thing every instructor can do to attract more students into their courses.
How did you get over 1,400 students into your course in 2 days?
- I receive and read all of the emails from [Udemy] for instructors on course promotion. I read the tip about Reddit and tried it out.
- I posted in the following subreddits: Python and Startups. As a result, I got over 700 students into my course.
- Then, I sent a Course Announcement asking those who enrolled to share a free coupon with friends. The copy was as follows: “Hello everyone! Thank you so much for the support so far. I am super excited that we’ve been able to reach nearly 700 students with less than 18 hours. It’s incredible. I have a favor… can you help me reach 1,000 students before 24 hours of launching? There’s only about 300 spots to go so I think it’s doable with your help. Please share the link with friends on facebook/twitter/email: I’ve enrolled in ‘Coding for Entrepreneurs’ and you should too so we can do it together. Get it for free with coupon ‘friendscodingwithfriends.’ Here’s the link: https://www.udemy.com/coding-for-entrepreneurs.”
What happened next?
- Justin’s students shared his course all over the internet—see the posts on popular free forums Slickdeals and Fatwallet.
- About 48 hours later, he doubled his enrollment to over 1,400 students.
- When the dust settled, Justin also had 21 course reviews with an average of 5 stars. See a snippet of the Course Announcement where he asked students to rate his course.
REACH vs. REVENUE
My big question for Justin: All of these 1,400 students in your Coding for Entrepreneurs course got free enrollment. Why were you so focused on reach rather than revenue?
I don’t have a strong following online. [As of today, Justin doesn't currently have his own content website, email list, or YouTube channel.] My priority right now is proving myself to the core audience I have. Once I gain their trust by adding more content to my current course and helping them learn what they’re looking to learn, then I will focus on revenue.
[Note: Justin does plan to explore additional channels where he will try to reach out to paying students. Some possibilities include affiliate partners, such as bloggers, niche groups and organizations, and people/groups with email lists containing his target audience.]
THE BIG TAKEAWAY:
In Justin’s words: “As soon as you get that first set of people, ask them to post something on Faceook and Twitter to recruit their friends.”
Have you asked your students to share your course with their friends so they can learn together? If not, think of how you can work this messaging into your next promotion or Course Announcement.
One thing to note: Justin leveraged momentum to help him reach over 1,400 students in 2 days. As soon as his course was approved in the Udemy marketplace, he hit the internet streets and started sharing his course. His newly recruited students seemed equally enthusiastic as he was about the course.
He made his students a part of his journey and part of his success (e.g. reaching 1,000 students in 24 hours). How are you including your students in your journey and in your success?
DO YOU WANT TO TRY THIS TECHNIQUE?
If you have a course (whether free or premium) with only free or unpaid students in it so far, then this technique applies to you. However, if you have any paid students in your course, they may become upset that you’re offering a free coupon when they already paid. So, if you have any students who paid to get into your course, you should modify this technique so you don’t upset any paying students.
- Create a coupon code titled BUDDYPASS.
- Send a Course Announcement to your students saying something like the following: Hey there, I have a special announcement: I’m giving away buddy passes for my Advanced Knitting for Comedians course. Right now, we have around 150 students in this course. Are your friends enrolled yet? If you’ve enjoyed the course so far and can think of 1-3 friends who would benefit from it, I have a FREE coupon you can share with them. It’s easier to be engaged in a course when you have friends taking it, so don’t be shy—share the wealth! Just share the course link: https://www.udemy.com/advanced-knitting and tell them to enter BUDDYPASS into the discount code area. And voila! Free for your friends! Of course, you can also share this in any online groups or forums you belong to for others who would benefit. I only have 50 Buddy Passes, so let your people know before they are gone! Thanks so much for helping our class reach more students! Hope you’re enjoying the course. Regards, Danielle
- Check your Payment Report for incoming BUDDYPASSes.
- When you’re ready, you can invite any new students who came in through their friends to purchase one of your other courses at a discount. You can encourage them to preview the course by using the “Free Preview” feature or by watching the lectures you made free.