In your misadventures of surfing the web, you’ve probably seen a few members areas of various online courses. You’ve also probably watched a TON of YouTube videos. Maybe you’ve even taken a Udemy course.

And in that time, you’ve likely noticed that before you ever even click on an online course, module, lesson, YouTube video, Udemy course, etc., you first see the thumbnail image that represents what you’re about to click through to.

Thumbnail Images For Your YouTube Videos

The thumbnail images that folks see in the search results on YouTube, for example, have a big-ass impact on whether or not they’ll actually click through to your video, or a competitor’s video.

[images style=”1″ image=”http%3A%2F%2Fwww.vicdorfman.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2015%2F07%2Fcraving-sweets.png” width=”720″ align=”center” top_margin=”0″ full_width=”Y”]

In the screenshot above, you can see that the first search result has the most eye-catching thumbnail image compared to the following three listings. While it definitely takes more to rank a YouTube video than just the thumbnail image, if your video is in the top 5 but not quite #1 yet, and *YOU* have the most dazzling thumbnail of those five, then you’ll probably attract more clicks to your vid than you otherwise would.

True, the first search result will always get the lion’s share of clicks (this applies to any kind of search, whether it’s YouTube or Google or Udemy, or whoever). But the more things you can get going in your favor, the better your chances are for reaching more of your potential customers.

Thumbnail Images For Your Udemy Courses

While YouTube videos are free, many online courses aren’t. Let’s take Udemy.com as an example.

I just went over to Udemy and randomly typed in “web design” into the search box. Here are the first five results:

[images style=”1″ image=”http%3A%2F%2Fwww.vicdorfman.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2015%2F07%2Fudemy-thumbnail-images.png” width=”757″ align=”center” top_margin=”0″ full_width=”Y”]

The first listing just so happens to be one of Rob Cubbon’s courses (Rob, in case you missed it, was a guest on my podcast not too long ago and shared the tactics he uses to make over $5k/month with Udemy courses alone!)

In my opinion, the two most professional, eye-catching thumbnail images are #1 and #5, shown respectively below:

[images style=”1″ image=”https%3A%2F%2Fdujk9xa5fr1wz.cloudfront.net%2Fcourse%2F750x422%2F65208_3c05_10.jpg” width=”750″ align=”center” top_margin=”0″ full_width=”Y”]

[images style=”1″ image=”https%3A%2F%2Fdujk9xa5fr1wz.cloudfront.net%2Fcourse%2F750x422%2F516790_8586_3.jpg” width=”750″ align=”center” top_margin=”0″ full_width=”Y”]

Rob’s course is not only less expensive than his two main competitors’ courses for this particular search term, he also has the classier looking image thumbnail, which increases the perceived value of his course.

But let’s be real, the fact that Rob’s course has more reviews than the other listings, and the fact that he has an average rating of 5 out of 5 stars, probably carries more weight than the thumbnail image he chose to use.

However, if Rob had used some kind of poorly cropped, badly resized, generic thumbnail stolen from Google image search, do you think you’d perceive his course as being as valuable? Not bloody likely!

The truth is, all of us are trying to make a buck online, right? So any time you can qualitatively differentiate your brand, your offer, your image and your presentation with high quality ‘packaging’, you can position yourself as a ‘premium’ provider of services, products, coaching, etc.

It doesn’t matter whether you sell your course on Fedora, Udemy, Skillfeed, Skillshare, or any number of other Udemy alternatives.

One thing’s certain: people will be much more reluctant to pay hundreds of dollars to go through your membership site if your thumbnail images look like crap. They’ll also have a hard time taking you seriously as a premium provider in your niche if your branding looks like it was designed in 1998.

Image isn't everything; solving your members' problems is, and will always be King. But make no mistake, image does count. Click To Tweet

Thumbnail Images For Your Self-Hosted Online Courses

Finally, let’s consider what most member’s areas look like. If you’ve ever taken an online course hosted on the vendor’s website, the member’s area probably looked something like this:

[images style=”1″ image=”http%3A%2F%2Fwww.vicdorfman.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2015%2F07%2Fmembers-area-thumbnail-images.png” width=”1400″ align=”center” top_margin=”0″ full_width=”Y”]

Most vendors who self-host their online courses use OptimizePress, which definitely has some beautiful members page templates. But the thumbnails…? Eh, not so beautiful.

This makes an otherwise great course appear somewhat amateurish in its presentation. Your members are bound to get an anti-climactic feeling after they’ve invested in your course, only to find that their experience inside the course is pedestrian.

For these reasons, I’ve created a service that provides you with sexy, classy thumbnail illustrations for your online courses, YouTube videos, Udemy Courses, modules, lessons, etc.

It’s called SexyThumbs. Click on the logo below to check out some samples of the kind of thumbnails we can do for you 🙂

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