Darrell Gurney is the Founder and Chief Empowerment Officer of CareerGuy, a website supporting career fulfillment, job transitions, and business branding and building. Darrell also makes extra money selling a self-paced course on Udemy.
To date, Darrell has over 1,000 people enrolled in his Udemy course. Today he is sharing his success story and tips with us.
Tell us a little about yourself. What was your motivation to list courses on Udemy?
I’m a 25-year executive and career coach, author, speaker, and spiritual counselor. I’ve supported people at all levels in finding their passions, changing careers and building businesses that support those passions. I wanted to reach a level of the market that would generally not be able to afford my standard coaching, as well as to create a self-study program that could support people at any time, day or night, to improve their lot in career life. A friend suggested I get something up online in a learning module form, and Udemy seemed like the place to try it out.
Tell about a little about how Udemy works? How much can instructors expect to earn?
Udemy is really a cool system in the sense that they offer LOTS of free training for would-be instructors on how to create and market your courses. They need would-be instructors to be educated because it can be a LONG process to create and put up a course and Udemy does have certain standards that must be met for a course to qualify, thus managing and protecting their own brand. As for how much one can earn…that’s the million-dollar question (pun intended). There are Google hangout videos out there of Udemy instructors who, to a person, acknowledge that they made virtually nothing for months. But, over time, learning what works, learning how to market better, learning how to make better and more in-demand courses, one can get to a point of making decent money. It seems to be a rite of passage, to be able to hang in through the frustration of learning with one’s first course, to becoming more savvy and effective as one pursues more content creation.
What was your first step in getting started? Are there any initial costs involved?
Personally, my first step was hiring a college intern to actually research the various platforms such as Udemy out there and see where we should get started. Then, she researched and directed me to what resources were available on and through Udemy to learn upfront what we needed to know to succeed. The costs involved depend on the way one chooses to create their product offering, and there are many routes to go, from high-end cameras to simply iPhone videos, from expensive lighting equipment to how to best use the daylight coming through the window. I did spend on getting some midrange equipment so that we could make our best first showing.
Again, the biggest surprise for generally all instructors is that, even after all the blood, sweat and tears of creating a product that meets Udemy standards, the world is not simply waiting to throw money at your what-feels-like one-of-a-kind content. There is a LOT of competition out there for almost any subject, and regardless of your credentials, it comes down to basic marketing as to who gets noticed and what courses get bought. There are simply information marketers out there who know very little about a subject but know how to market well so that they may make more sales than a real expert on a subject. So, it’s a humbling and equalizing experience, where no matter what you know, you need to learn how to market better so the world benefits from that knowledge.
Where do you recommend others getting started on Udemy turn for help?
Sign up on Udemy and get their free course on “How to Create a Udemy Course” and other free informational content on creating Udemy courses. After that, there are plenty paid courses one can get as well (which we did), but better to test the waters and see if you want to jump into these waters with the very robust free stuff first!
What are your plans for the future? Do you plan to move away from Udemy at some point?
We will be creating further content in my subject area of career and personal expansion such as Personal Branding, Resumes, and Encore Careers. We are also looking at other venues and perhaps hosting our videos on our own platforms. That’s important to know: you own the content you create, but simply partner with Udemy and their marketing machine to get it out there.
You can learn more about Darrell and his Udemy course here. Have you been an instructor on the site? Please share your experience in the comments.