What is a Crash Course Video?
You create three brief video lessons, where you teach some introductory concepts related to your full course. These videos give you the chance to show potential students the value of your course and get them hooked!
Creating your crash course videos is the first key component of your Crash Course. The other two are:
What’s Covered in This Article
How a Crash Course Helps You Automate More Course Sales
- Automated way to raise your course sales: Set it up once, and let it run on its own
- Helps grow your mailing list
- Builds your credibility as an expert on a topic
- Lowers barrier to entry for hesitant students
This article shows you how to design your 3 Crash Course videos so that they help you sell your full Udemy course.
How A Crash Course Works
You just put a whole lot of energy into creating a stellar Udemy course.
Now you need a low-maintenance way to funnel students toward buying it.
How To Create A Crash Course Video
Step 1: Choose a topic that’s central to your full course
The subject of your Crash Course should be some foundational aspect of your full course.
That will make it basic enough for any beginner to benefit from and simple enough to fit in a short period of time. Each of your 3 videos should be at most 15-20 minutes long; about 10 minutes is ideal.
What Does A Good Crash Course Topic Look Like?
Udemy instructor Felicia Ricci has a course on Belt Singing, which involves extensive vocal exercises and mental training.
Her Crash Course zooms in on three components that are central to belting: vocal mix, relaxation, and breath. In her video, she introduces these as “the DNA of belting.”
These are all vast themes that will come up again and again throughout her full course, but they’re also very basic, simple concepts that don’t require prior knowledge to understand. That makes them a great place to anchor the Crash Course.
Each lesson should build on the others and altogether provide a cohesive lesson that’s useful to the audience even if they don’t buy the full course.
Need Some Crash Course Topic Inspiration?
If you need help settling on a subject for your Crash Course, try these approaches:
- Review your course and note which concepts or terms you use repeatedly
- Survey other courses in your field of study—which topics do you tend to find in the introductory lessons?
- Had past success with a particular lesson or topic? That may be a good candidate for your Crash Course. Teaching something that beginners tend to grasp easily increases the number of people who find your course valuable and are eager to pay for more.
Step 2: Film the videos
At the end of the day, your Crash Course videos should be relatively similar to your standard Udemy course videos.
Be yourself and adhere to the same best practices you would for any lesson, while keeping in mind these additional considerations:
- Introduce yourself and your overall Crash Course in each video. People may stumble upon one of these videos without any context. Make sure they know who you are, what the Crash Course is about, and what the right sequence is to get the most out of it.
a. Use text overlays or an opening slide with your personal branding. Check out the example below.
b. Refer to your previous videos to give context of the big picture and encourage people to do it in the right order.
c. Include explicit text instructions to make sure anyone can jump in and follow along (more on this in the landing page article<link>)
2. Add interactive elements like homework assignments, practice work, a game or quiz, and a comments section. Help students participate rather than be passive viewers.
The more engaged by your Crash Course, the more likely they are to stay committed to it.
3. Inform the audience about your Udemy course
Throughout your Crash Course, you’ll mention your Udemy course to make sure students know they have the option to continue studying.
Keep these messages subtle and focused on the students’ learning. You don’t want to sound like you’re pitching your Udemy course, but rather giving students a test drive of what it’s like.
Felicia does a great job of mentioning her full course in the intro Crash Course video and explaining why she made it: “I wanted to boil down belting to the 3 most important concepts.”
Should You Mention Your Udemy Course? Yes! At Natural Moments In Your Crash Course
- Include it in your initial introduction in the first video
- At this point, not promoting the Udemy course, just naming it
- Ex: “My name is [name], and I teach an extensive course on [Udemy course topic]. I wanted to offer you a simplified Crash Course to give you a taste of…”
- Remind the audience about it at the beginning of the last video
- Ex: “If you’ve enjoyed this class and want to take your skills to the next class, I encourage you to take my full course on Udemy where you can…”
- Ex: “Now that you have a solid understanding of [x, y, and z], you have a great foundation for my full Udemy course…”
- Felicia does this well: She mentions how learning to belt involves a series of small progressions and that her full course covers all of the progressions
- Give full details at the end of the last video
- What differentiates it from the Crash Course
- Exactly how to sign up for it
- Mention the limited-time discount and how to access it
- Throughout, you can throw in a handful of “teasers” when you’re talking about something that’s covered more thoroughly in your full course (without going overboard)
- See how Felicia calls out her course 5:10-5:25
How Do You Strike The Right Tone?
- Stay in the realm of teaching and learning, not buying and selling.
Rather than saying “BUY THE COURSE NOW,” Felicia’s call-to-action button at the end of her last video frames the purchase within the audience’s learning: “KEEP STUDYING WITH FEL.”
- Focus on the benefit to the student
When calling out your Udemy course, put it in the context of something the student may want to know more about or need more time to master.
For example, Felicia’s Crash Course only includes a couple of vocal exercises per video, but she notes that there are dozens more in the full course, which is tangible and valuable to the audience.
Step 3: Get your videos on YouTube
To easily integrate your videos into a landing page later on, upload them to YouTube as unlisted videos. Being unlisted means that people can only access them by having the link. They won’t appear in public search results or on your YouTube channel if you have one.
How Do You Upload An Unlisted YouTube Video?
1. Go to YouTube.com and click the “Upload” button in the top-right corner
2. Sign into your Google Account if not already signed in (create a Google Account if you don’t have one)
3. Change the privacy setting to “Unlisted”
4. Drag your video file onto the viewing space, or select it in your computer’s file finder.
5. Wait for the video to finish uploading, then confirm that it’s marked as “Unlisted” and select “Done”
You’ll use the link to your unlisted video when you set up your landing page.
Takeaways: 3 Keys To An Effective Crash Course Video — And More Students!
1. Focus on the fundamentals
Limit the topic of your Crash Course to something that is foundational to your course. Building blocks are broad, but often simple, concepts that you’ll return to over and over throughout your full course.
The student should come away from the videos (each lasting anywhere from 5-30 minutes) having learned a cohesive lesson, whether or not they buy your course.
2. Guide students through each step of the Crash Course
Be sure to use titles, labels, text overlays, and any other tools you have to help the student make their way through the course. Explain how the Crash Course process works and what they need to do to get your content.
For example, do they need to click a confirmation link for the email subscription? Make sure they are aware of this and how to find it in their inbox. Do they need to visit your website? Clearly include that information in multiple ways: written, verbal, etc.
3. Strike a balance in selling your Udemy course without being sales-y
While the Crash Course is indeed a marketing tool for you to get more people to buy your Udemy course, you don’t want to seem like you’re pitching something. Stay focused on giving a great lesson, while being sure to mention your Udemy course and its advantages at natural moments.
You’re well on your way to launching your Crash Course. Creating the videos themselves is by far the biggest part, but there are two other components you need to build in order to get this off the ground:
- Email messages to accompany the videos when the student gets the link in their inbox
- Landing pages to be the “face” of the course to your potential students
You’ll focus next on the email messages, which are an opportunity for you show a bit of your personality and get the students excited to watch your video.