Dribbble is the world’s leading platform for designers to share their work, to find inspiration, and to get hired. In a pre-pandemic world, Dribbble spent over a decade activating and growing a thriving design community by hosting large conferences and smaller, locally organized design meetups across the US.
In 2020, shortly after the global pandemic hit, Dribbble quickly pivoted to gathering their community online by offering one-day virtual workshops with world-renowned designers covering a range of topics. The workshops were well-attended and well-received, but after surveying their community, Dribbble learned that while participants found the workshops to be interactive, engaging, and highly valuable, what they were seeking, beyond the education, was the opportunity to meet, connect, and be a part of something together. They also wanted structured assignments, something they could practice based on what they were learning.
One year later, Dribbble’s Product Design Course was born.
“Our students are going to be leaders in design and also advocates for our community and our course.”
Focus on your learners goals
The Product Design Course goes beyond education by pairing learners with mentors across the world representing every time zone, supporting learners in completing 3 projects for their portfolio, creating plenty of opportunities for connection and community building, including a career prep week at the end of the course, and connecting learners to hiring managers so that they can land their first job in product design.
End to end, the course is designed with learners’ needs and challenges in mind, and with the intention to help learners achieve their short and long-term goals.
What Academies and Bootcamps can learn from Dribbble’s marketing, sales, and community building strategy
Offer 'Try before your buy' opportunities
Learners want to know whether a premium learning experience will be valuable for them before committing. As part of their marketing and community building strategy, Dribbble created opportunities for engagement and activation by providing potential learners with practical tips and valuable learning experiences, with industry experts teaching skills and mentors sharing their career journey, before selling their premium offering.
Create with, not for your community
To ensure potential learners were receiving the utmost value from the course, Dribbble’s Program Manager, Madeleine Sava engaged in hundreds of one-on-one zoom calls with potentials learners to understand their needs, challenges, and goals (which helped tremendously with designing the course itself), and to share more about the upcoming Product Design Course and address questions or concerns potentials learners might have.
Experiment with pricing and discount models
Dibbble’s pricing strategy was to 1) be competitive, and 2) test their market. Most product design courses on the market are around $10K, Dribbble priced theirs at $2999. While the regular course price is highly competitive, Dribbble remained open and experimented with pricing by offering 20-50% discounts to their community. In addition they offered numerous steep scholarships to meet their diversity, inclusion, and accessibility goals.
Offer valuable incentives for referrals
Dribbble plans to build out more live learning experiences in the future in addition to the Product Design Course that will be offered on a quarterly basis. When it comes to referrals, Dribbble is considering a three-pronged approach: 1) incentivise alumni by going beyond monetary rewards and offering discounts on upcoming courses and one-on-one sessions with mentors, 2) convert mentors into course advocates by offering monetary incentives for referrals, and 3) provide scholarships to folks who opt into becoming brand ambassadors.
"What we really liked when we first saw Disco’s platform was the fact that it felt so user centric. Disco feels like it's a fun experience, it’s not intimidating and offers accessible learning.”
Create intimacy at scale on Disco with course subgroups
“Even though students are in a platform on Disco with 240 other students, it feels like they're in a platform where there are only 10 other students. The high-touch learning experience facilitated by Disco allows us to create an intimate setting.”
Product Feature highlight
Disco’s ‘Groups’ feature enables you to create custom learning groups and to manage groups collectively or separately to deliver a highly personalized, connective, and transformative learning experience. This product feature, along with expert and on-demand customer support are why Dribbble chose to build their live learning empire on Disco.