- Creators are often looking for new ways to monetize their content, services and audience.
- This is why many creators have turned to teaching online courses and offering coaching sessions.
- Insider highlights 9 platforms creators are using to create and sell courses in 2022.
After Catarina Mello quit her full-time job at Google in 2019 to pursue a career as a travel content creator, she noticed an influx of DMs from followers who wanted to follow a similar path.
“My followers were constantly asking me how they could grow and monetize their Instagram accounts, how could they quit 9-to-5 jobs, how could they even make money as an influencer,” Mello told Insider.
So creating and teaching an online course was a “natural next step” for her business, she said.
“I wanted to control the growth of my business and not just rely on brands reaching out to me to partner up to make money,” she said. “Since [the] DM, I knew there was a lot of interest. From a business perspective, I knew I had to launch some kind of product.”
Mello launched his course in 2020 using Kajabi, a platform whose sole purpose is to help experts create and sell online courses. Today, earnings from his “Influencer Mastercourse” account for more than 80% of Mello’s earnings. She earned a total of $1 million from her course. (The insider verified these earnings with documentation provided by Mello).
She’s not the only creator to use online, on-demand or live classes to make money.
Emma Cortes, a lifestyle influencer with 47,000 Instagram followers, is selling three courses on running an influencer business that cost between $200 and $250 each. In 2021, Cortes earned approximately $27,000 from pre-recorded classes, which are hosted on Teachable, another course platform. (The insider verified these earnings with documentation provided by Cortes).
Creators are even launching their own course startups. Nuseir Yassin, the creator of Nas Daily accounts with over 30 million followers on Facebook, YouTube and TikTok, founded his own creator-focused course platform in 2020: Nas Academy.
“The reason we started in the first place is that our founder [Yassin] had 30 million subscribers, but struggled to monetize consistently,” Nas Academy business manager Alex Dwek told Insider. “When you start growing [as a] creator and you start hiring staff and building, you need to have more regular sources of income.”
“A lot of creators create educational content a bit by accident”
Whether a creator is creating content about houseplant care or fitness, classes or coaching offer a reliable way to monetize their content and connect with an audience.
“Not all creators want to teach,” Dwek said. “But one thing we’ve noticed is that a lot of creators create educational content a bit by accident.”
Yet while the content side may be a natural fit for creators, taking that content and turning it into a monetizable service often requires help.
“A lot of creators go straight into creating courses”, Wes Kao, co-founder of the platform Maven, said Insider. “They’re excited about their subject, about building a community, and so they immediately start building a curriculum without thinking, ‘Is this something my students would want to pay for?’
This is where course platforms come in. Maven, for example, helps its creators think through everything from course design to developing a marketing plan, Kao said.
But choosing which course platform to use can be daunting.
The space has generated a lot of buzz as catch-all phrases like “the creator economy” or “the creator middle class” dominate industry discourse and blue-chip venture capitalists are pouring in million dollars in these companies.
Last year, Nas Academy raised an $11 million Series A led by Lightspeed, and Maven raised a $20 million Series A led by Andreessen Horowitz, for example. Kajabi, who poached former TikTok chief product officer Sean Kim earlier this year, was valued at $2 billion in 2021.
“There are so many out there,” Mello said.
To help creators narrow down this search, Insider has compiled a list of 9 outstanding platforms creators are using to teach courses in 2022. Insider has narrowed down the list based on each company’s presence in the creator economy. , fundraising and reputation among creators and influencer industry experts. .
Here are 9 platforms that help creators make money with online courses and coaching services: