@LindsayMarsh has had over 14+ years of freelance graphic design experience. She wanted to share that knowledge with the world and started to create online courses in 2016. Now with over 14 classes on Udemy and counting she continues to create engaging online video driven curriculum to those interested in all things design including Graphic Design, UX/UI design, Logo Design, Branding, and more.
Why did you become a Udemy instructor?
I loved the idea of being able to reach the world with my classes, not just a small town or local classroom. The idea of having a diverse student based excited me. I get to interact with students who I would not have the chance too if I stayed locally to teach.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced on your Udemy journey?
I think the biggest challenge is trying to learn so many new disciplines. You have to be a jack of all trades or at least be willing to bring someone on your team who knows how to do a particular skill. I had never edited a video before starting on Udemy, and I was producing a class that had hours of video. I was not sure of the right format, file size or length to create the video in. I did not know how to add the fancy title screens or where to find the right music. It was a huge learning curve. Not only that, I had to learn how to promote my course, create graphics and advertising for it and learn how to manage and foster a student community! No pressure right!
What has been the most rewarding aspect of being a Udemy instructor?
I think the biggest thing that stands out to be on a daily basis is how global Udemy is with their student base. Most of my students are not from my own country and there is something really refreshing and exciting about that, that I get to reach people from different cultures and walks of life and help them in meaningful ways.
What’s one thing you’ve learned from another instructor in the community?
That persistence pays off. I am not going to name them by name, but they are a fairly successful instructor on Udemy and if it was one thing they taught me is that you continue to plug away releasing new content and making older content better, and that snowball of revenue will continue to grow. At first I saw their revenue was impossible to acheive myself, and it must be because they are in a successful category, but I am starting to see how their advice is coming to fruition for my own attempts at growing on Udemy. I never gave up, no matter what the response was to a new course, I just keep working on the next best thing, improve and try again. You rarely “nail it” on your first course, or your fourth.
What did your first filming set-up look like? What’s it like now?
It actually has not changed very much from when I first started. I do not film talked head shots, so the only set up I need is my screen for screen recording and a microphone. When I first started I used my iphone headphones to record. And to be honest, it did sound a little muffled but the quality was not too bad!
8 months after starting, and I knew this was going to be more than just a side gig, I invested into the ATR 2100 with a mic stand and it improved the quality of my audio so much! I wish I did it sooner as it was less than a $100 investment. Other than that, my laptop is still the same and my screen recording software as changed from the free imovie to the flexible screenflow (both for mac). I did upgrade my desk too, it is a nice workman style bench that reminds me of a drafting table, it has a nice heavy pro feeling to it, but I am the only one who gets to see it.
What’s your favorite / most memorable student interaction (online or offline)?
I had a student private message me about a job interview possibility. We did several video chats and I helped her craft her portfolio and prep her for possible interview questions. She ended up getting the job, which of course, makes me feel like a million bucks, being able to have the opportunity to help someone this way and impact their lives in meaningful ways.
If you could give a first-time instructor some advice, what would you say?
Do not expect success right away, it takes time, especially if you are starting your teaching journey without a prior mailing list or following. I started from scratch, it took several months just to gain traction. I could have easily given up, and I almost did! I kept creating new courses based on what I saw students connecting with and I slowly started to gain a following. I spent a ton of time with any student who asked questions, going well beyond what most instructors do, and I think that was a big help in building that early following. Keep creating content while also improving your content and courses with each new course. There will be a time when all of that content will start to pay off and that might not be right away.
What inspires you to continue teaching online?
I would say helping others, and that is 100 percent true but there is an aspect of “How far can I go” a sense of competition against myself of how much I can achieve online in terms of revenue. I want to get there the best way possible, by doing it the right way and taking that extra time to respond to messages and student requests. Each month surprises me, each year I am blown away by exceeding what I thought were impossible goals for myself in terms of student count, reviews and revenue. I want to see where this journey goes, and hope it continues for years to come on the Udemy platform.
What have you been able to achieve with Udemy that you wouldn’t have otherwise?
In two ways. Being able to connect with students with different backgrounds, cultures and languages and also being able to connect with so many students, over 47,000 and counting just on Udemy alone!
Also, I have been able to achieve a monthly income that has surpassed any prior income from my freelance graphic design business. It has been huge for my family, being able to focus on teaching and less on client work has given me a chance to work more on personal projects to show students and less on tedious client projects! Graphic design for me has become “Fun” again and interacting with students had been more fun than I anticipated.