Consulting—with students paying to learn something from you, some of these students would rather just hire you to do the work for them. In fact, in my first two years of teaching online, consulting made up the bulk of my earnings as a result of turning some students into clients. It allowed me to crack the $100K/yr mark in my second year while I ramped up my sales from courses
Live/private workshops—although many students prefer to learn asynchronously, some will be willing to pay extra to learn live, whether in person or over Zoom. And all the work you’ve already done, it’s quite easy to convert an online course into a weekend workshop where you teach the same materials but live. So if you enjoy doing in person trainings, offering it as an option to your students can be a great way to generate additional income. You can often charge $500+/day for in person workshops that have a limited number of seats. This is a popular strategy among independent course creators who want to have higher priced products and services to sell to their existing student base. For example, an instructor selling an online course for $500 may have a live weekend version of the training for $2500 that’s limited 10 seats. This is a great way to drive additional income without significant time commitment while also giving you the opportunity to build much deeper student connections, ones that often lead to great case studies and testimonials.
Repurposing content—the work that goes into researching and creating a good course on a topic often can be repurposed or reused in other ways. Lecture notes can be repurposed as blog posts to build organic traffic. The courses can be repackaged and published onto other platforms. Or even repackaged and used in other courses. They can be turned into audio books or podcasts. I turned some of my existing courses into books, audio courses, and email courses, all adding additional sources of income for the work I already did.
Affiliate marketing—by becoming an affiliate for products and services you believe in and that are useful to your students, you can earn extra income from making recommendations to your students. From books for further reading to equipment and software, anything that can be sold online typically has an affiliate program you can join. The most popular one is Amazon affiliates, which anyone can sign up for. For my Airbnb students who need to furnish their new Airbnb listings, providing them a list of recommended items to purchase makes it easy for my students but also allows me to earn some extra income on top of their course purchases.
Speaking engagements—As more students enroll in your courses, your reputation as a subject matter expert will also grow. You will get more visibility online and eventually will start getting invitations to speak at paid events. Evan and Symon both have been invited regularly to speak at events, both small and big. According to a recent publication in Harvard Business Review, newbie speakers can charge between $500 to $2500 per talk while those who are well-known in their field, such as best-selling authors, routine charge $20,000 to $35,000 per talk, with a handful of celebrities and outliers even charging six figures per talk. But the great thing here is that even if you do not charge a large speaking fee, speaking at a big event can help you generate new leads for your courses, consulting clients, or even potential business partners. It’s just a fun extra perk for online instructors as they become more established with their courses.
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