Course Creators September 22, 2020

The Shift That Resulted In My First $10k Week

Daren Smith @daren

I launched my online courses website craftsmancreative.co in April of 2020...potentially the worst time possible to launch a new business.

My first course did a whopping 6 sales and barely eeked out $1,000 in revenue.

My second course...well, I was planning on making it a paid course, but the content was so important and essential for the moment we were in, and I wanted the artists & creatives I made it for to be able to get and use the content. So I made it free.

(I actually did a launch bundle with the first course and made $179 during the launch of a free course...ha!)

I needed to try something new, because creating more courses and spending weeks and weeks producing, editing, and launching them for $1,000 a pop wasn't going to be sustainable.

I didn't have a large enough audience to make the kind of money I wanted from the site, so I made a shift...

What if I partnered with another creator who has a larger platform?

I created the first course for another creator in May on Hand Lettering. At the time she had about 11k followers on Instagram and a super engaged audience.

We launched the course - and she crushed it. She sold 82 courses in a week and just barely cleared $10k.

We set it up as a 70/30 split, so I walked away from that week with about $3k, for about three days of work.

Not too shabby. From there I've been working on lining up other courses with other creators and it's going well.

Crazy how necessity often brings ideas that we wouldn't have thought of otherwise.

Feel free to ask any questions about the site or the process of partnering, happy to chat about anything that would be helpful to you!

  1. 2

    Great success, well done! How did you find partnering - figuring out your respective workloads, agreeing on the split, etc?

    1. 2

      It was all done pretty sporatically. I met Hayley through an online creative workshop we both presented at in April. It was the first virtual one the group ever did and we wer two of the three presenters.

      I was super impressed at her job presenting her ideas to the group, loved her energy, etc. So I reached out to say how great she did, and asked if she'd ever thought about doing a course.

      It was a perfect partnership, and I came up with the 70/30 split in the moment, as it seemed fair. She agreed, so it worked!

      I agreed to do all of the production, website, hosting, payments, etc. (all the technical stuff she didn't know how to do), and she'd provide the content and the audience. It was a perfect fit and worked better than I could have expected.

      Total time from that initial email to course launch was one month, which is also kind of cool.

      1. 1

        This is great. I previously assumed all creative courses would be hoovered up by the big players like Udemy, but it's nice to see a successful alternative platform and curation service getting traction. Wishing you further triumph ahead!

        1. 3

          Thanks a ton. Still early in the process, but will ultimately be a small player - curated and produced by us, means that there are less courses created/available, but that we can control the quality and the content. Pretty stoked on it.

  2. 1

    This is something that we did too at Medibuddy, except we did it the other way round and approached creators and offered them a split of the sales to produce a course for us.

    It ended up working out really well for us. We were able to launch a load of courses we would never have been able to create ourselves.

    For anyone thinking of going down this route, I would strongly advise you get a solid contract drawn up. Not only does it protect you, but it makes it very clear from the outset what the agreement is between the two parties. You may realise that the person you're partnering up with has a very different view on how the partnership should run than you do.

  3. 1

    Awesome job Daren! What was the actual work of creating the class? What was your value add compared to her? I'm curious what sort of work was required here

    1. 1

      LOVE these questions. So, my background (and current full-time work that pays the bills) is as a film & tv producer. I used to own a video production company, so I have a lot of experience with producing video.

      There was about 5-6 hours of work on the course content - outlining, restructuring, building out what would go in each lesson.

      There was an 8 hour day of filming, which I did completely by myself with a two camera setup. I edited live on the fly using ecamm live, so as to save time in post production.

      Post was another day. All I needed to do was adjust the color grade, do a quick sound mix to optimize for the web, and do a quick pass on each lesson (since I did a live edit as we were filming).

      Another 4-5 hours creating the website (https://www.craftsmancreative.co/courses/type-affiliated-hand-lettering-course) landing page and adding the course to the site. So all in about 4 days of work.

      She provided the content and the audience. During launch week she sold 82 courses, and that came from driving a few thousand people to the site over the course of that week.

  4. 1

    Awesome. Way to go Daren!

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