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Instructor Felicia Ricci on Course Pre-Launch Strategies

Felicia Ricci


Felicia Ricci is a singer and author who has performed as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, as well as Elphaba in Wicked. She has taught thousands of students online, mentored singers, and conducted classes throughout the country.


Felicia Ricci loves sharing her talent for singing with others, but Udemy was her first opportunity to teach online. Since becoming an instructor, she’s been using her social media presence, as well as her email list, to promote her courses and increase her income.

Develop a Strong Social Media Strategy

Felicia did some research to figure out where her target audience spent most of its time online, and what she found was that YouTube should be her primary focus when it came to social media promotion.

“My promotion happens almost exclusively across social media platforms. I’m particularly focused on YouTube because it’s where singers and folks in my industry ‘hang out’ online, looking for singing tips videos. I try as best I can to provide valuable content upfront, and then usher those interested into an email funnel.”

Felicia promotes in an indirect way by using her YouTube videos to drive traffic to her freemium, where people can subscribe to her email list.

“I do this by always including the hyperlink to my freemium first in the YouTube video description, and by annotating all my YouTube videos with clickable links that say ‘Take my FREE belt singing course!’ With this model, I get maybe 100 signups a day.”

Felicia also recommends spending a good amount of time uploading fresh content on a regular basis, such as weekly, to keep your audience’s attention and continue providing value.

Have a Pre-Launch Strategy in Place

In addition to creating a strong social media presence, Felicia also developed a pre-launch strategy to get more people interested in her Udemy course. Here is her 3-step pre-launch strategy:

  1. Step 1 – Push High-Value Content: Push consistent, high-value content via YouTube, posting across Facebook and Twitter as well. In this case, Felicia’s content is singing tips videos.
  2. Step 2 – Direct Students to a Free Gift: Rather than try to arbitrarily gain views, likes, subscribers, etc., Felicia consistently direct students toward a freemium or free gift that she developed called Belting Crash Course (she hosts this course outside of Udemy). The mini course allows students get to know Felicia and her teaching style, and as a free gift, entices more people to sign up for her email list.
  3. Step 3 – Set Up Autoresponder Sequence: Once students sign up for Belting Crash Course, they receive an autoresponder sequence that, at first, does not mention her Udemy course at all, but merely sends them the free videos. At the end of approximately 6 days, they receive an email from Felicia saying ‘I’d love to keep working with you,’ and this is when she introduces the idea of taking her full course on Udemy. To further incentivize subscribers to become students, Felicia also includes a limited-time coupon.

“The point of the pre-launch sequence is for you to get people to like you and your product by giving them cool, free stuff that delivers value before they buy and gets them to stop fretting about purchasing the product.”

Keep Your Email List Engaged

After her email list subscribers have completed her free course and received their discount coupon for her Udemy course, Felicia continues to keep in touch with them: “They’ll get the occasional update from me when I release new YouTube videos (so it turns more into a conventional mailing list).”

Planning Future Courses

Once you have your email list in place, you can use it to find out how you can make a new Udemy course that even more people will be interested in. Let subscribers know you have something planned without overtly selling to them. Pose a question like, “What would you like me to include in my next course?” Once your new course is launched, then you can circle back to those who gave suggestions and give them a coupon!


We’ve asked a variety of bestselling and innovative Udemy instructors to host one hour Q&A sessions in the Udemy Studio or Faculty Lounge. These “Ask Me Anythings” are a chance for the instructor community to get their questions answered in real time by instructors we consider to be true mentors. To view the Ask Me Anything session hosted by Felicia Ricci, go here (Note that you will need to be a Studio member to access the link).