Meet Frank Kane - Community Champion Spotlight

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  • JasmineBayer
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    Thanks an awesome and Inspiring story Frank, Congratulations on your achievement . Any advice on collaborations with fellow instructors. What would be the best way for a rather new instructor to go about it? Is the revenue sharing actually worth it when an instructor hardly makes an average of $3 per course?

  • AshishR
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    thanks frank for the impact you are making in to lives of students.

    can you tell me when an instructor should switch to full time online/udemy instructor by leaving job?

    and what resources he/she should have before this risky switch?

    thank you in advance!

  • FrankKane
    FrankKane Posts: 1,716 Community Champion rank
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    Thanks!

    Before "quitting your day job," it's responsible to:

    - Have at least 3 months worth of savings, or however long you think it would take to get a new full time job again should the need arise

    - Understand any extra expenses you will have being self-employed. In the US, you will have to pay for your own health insurance, retirement plan, "self employment taxes," and more - and health insurance itself can be very expensive when you are purchasing as an individual (I pay over $1800/month for a family of 3, with a $15,000 deductible). In most other countries it is much easier to strike out on your own. Then there are business-related expenses such as accountants, lawyers, web hosting, etc. you must account for.

    - Prove that the income you are receiving from Udemy is enough to pay the bills. There's no reason not to build up your Udemy income on the side (unless your employment agreement prohibits it) and only move to full time once you've seen it bringing in the income you need for at least a few months.

  • FrankKane
    FrankKane Posts: 1,716 Community Champion rank
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    Well, if you play your cards right that $3 per course adds up. It's probably not worth doing a co-instructor relationship on a topic that is only projected to earn $100/month or something (consult the Marketplace Insights tool in your instructor dashboard for that data.) But for larger opportunities, it can be an effective way to build a large, comprehensive course that would be too daunting to take on yourself.

    The most important advice is to only work with someone you know and trust. There are unscrupulous people out there who are out to scam you and will take all of your course earnings while doing nothing in return, and it's entirely your responsibility to prevent that. Even I have had problems with co-instructors who just fell off the face of the Earth and stopped supporting their part of the course. These days I only partner with other top instructors that I know or with corporate sponsors.

    I try to aim for arrangements where the work is split 50/50 and the revenue is also split 50/50. In any case, the revenue split should be commensurate with the work each instructor puts in. Watch out for people who want to take an outsized percentage just to expose you to their audience.

    Get an agreement in writing, and make sure that agreement spells out who will do what, by when, who will support Q&A, and who is liable if someone uses IP they don't own in the course materials (that's also an issue I've had to deal with.)

    But if you're working with someone you trust and have a solid agreement in place to produce a course with high earning potential, partnering with a co-instructor is a great way to accelerate the course creation process. For hot, emerging topics, it's an especially good way to be first to market.

  • JasmineBayer
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    Thank you so much Frank , That was quite insightful and very helpful. I'm sorry if i'm asking a stupid question but what does this mean, "if someone uses IP they don't own" I don't understand.

    From what I know an IP address belongs to a system/ computer. Does it matter which computer they use? Like for example , if i hire an editor and the files are edited on their system but I upload them from mine to udemy, would that be an issue?

  • AshishR
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    May be he meant IP as Intellectual property rather than Internet Protocol.

    I am from network background so definitely he didn’t mean Internet protocol because topic is different.

  • StanVangild204
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    I think he means "intellectual property". What if your partner uses someone else's material in your joint content?

  • FrankKane
    FrankKane Posts: 1,716 Community Champion rank
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    Right.

  • JasmineBayer
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    Thank you for clearning that .

    Cheers

  • JasmineBayer
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    Thank you so much.

  • PainDocPenny
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    I agree wholeheartedly, Stan. Thank you for helping us newbies here on Yudemy. Best of luck and success to you, Stan!

    ~ PainDocPenny

  • MemiLavi
    MemiLavi Posts: 110 Community Champion rank
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    Thanks for the great story and info, Frank! Really inspiring.

    I was wondering - I know you automate parts of your automation (especially Q&A). At what stage did you begin doing that? How many students / courses did you have when you began with this automation?

    Thanks!

  • FrankKane
    FrankKane Posts: 1,716 Community Champion rank
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    I think I only had a couple of courses when I started using a TA to help with Q&A, but one of them was a top-seller and was generating enough questions every day to eat up at least an hour of my time. I was probably at around 50K students at that point if I had to guess. An hour a day doesn't sound bad, but it's weekends, holidays, and vacations too - so at that level it starts to wear on you and you need to enlist some help. Plus my courses are technical, so answers usually aren't easy.

    I don't think it's really a function of how many courses and students you have; it's a function of how much time you are spending every day supporting those courses and whether it is starting to cut into your productivity in creating new content, or worse still if it is starting to become frustrating. Creating courses should be enjoyable, and if it's not - it's time to outsource what's preventing that.

  • MemiLavi
    MemiLavi Posts: 110 Community Champion rank
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    Thanks!

  • Gove
    Gove Posts: 15
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    Hi Frank Kane, I have a bad experience with Shutterstock today. I would like to ask what you think about Shutterstock. Do you buy Istockphotos instead of Shutterstock because of a bad experience on Shutterstock? Or you do have a Shutterstock account and a subscription? I do know you use Wikipedia and istockphoto, otherwise, you make it yourself. But I never heard about your experience on another stock photo platform. Also, I would like to listen to your experience on Alamy.com as well.

    You ask Why i have bad shutterstock experience? it is not just me(https://www.trustpilot.com/review/www.shutterstock.com)

  • FrankKane
    FrankKane Posts: 1,716 Community Champion rank
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    I have never used shutterstock, only istockphoto. But I can't say I've ever had occasion to contact istockphoto's customer support, so I don't know how their customer service might compare. istockphoto is what I've used from the start, although I'm trying to use it less just to avoid that "stock photo look" in my courses. In technical courses students would prefer to see your own diagrams illustrating the concepts.

  • EricYeboah294
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    Dear Frank, thank you so much for sharing this information, instructors like you tells me that its possible to reach any feet in this platform through hard work and consistency. God bless you and the family.