How to Supplement Your Income Selling Your Knowledge


We have discussed how to make money teaching others in the past. For some that means tutoring. For others that means selling online courses on sites like Udemy.

Jodie Marzett from has stopped by today to share how she advises her clients to supplement their income by selling their knowledge online. And you don’t need to be a teacher!

Need to supplement your income? Why not make money sharing what you know?

Tell us a little about yourself. What was your motivation to work from home?

I worked a lucrative Defense job for many years that included long commutes, long work hours, and less-than-ideal time with my family. My work/life balance teetered too far on the “work” side, and I was tired of compromising time from my family. Watching my kids grow and feeling like I was missing too much of it, I explored and, luckily, found that there were other options. Now, I have the flexibility I desperately desired so that I can be there for my family – the people that matter most to me!

You recommend your clients “sell their knowledge” as a means to make extra cash online. Can you tell us more about that?

A lot my clients already own  businesses – some full-time and others as a part-time supplement to their full-time income. Most come to me because they want to grow their business revenue and need a strategy and plan to do it. One of the fastest ways to obtain immediate revenue is to sell the information they already have.

There is a large amount of information we accumulate while going through life – stuff we don’t consider “worth much”, but others would absolutely pay us to help them gain the knowledge we already have! I have a friend from Peru who cooks some amazing Peruvian-inspired vegetarian meals, for example, who now sells her recipes and “how to” information so that others can learn how to cook her meals! This could be anything – finding a nanny, organizing your child’s homework, how to create your own chemical-free cleaning products – anything!

What sites do you recommend for making these transactions? Are there any costs involved?

There are a number of ways this could be done, from live, in-person events, live online events, to pre-recorded videos. The approach you wish to take will determine the sites and tools you use, and it can go from super simple to much more complex, so I’ll start with a simple example.

If you’d like to host a live event, you could use free sites like Eventbright , MeetUp, or even schedule an event through Facebook Events. You could collect money in-person if it is a live, in-person event or, for a small fee, you could use tools such as PayPal or Square. If you simply want to build a “how to” course and put it online and let it more passively, you could submit directly to some of the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) sites, such as Udemy, but you will need to abide by their guidelines.

Once you submit your course information, you set your course price, and they do the rest (but they also get some of your revenue).

How do you advise your clients to market their courses?

Nobody likes this kind of answer, but the truth is – it depends. I spend a lot of time with my clients working through the various options and trying to minimize overwhelm by simply picking one path, and trying it out. You don’t really know what works until you test it out, tweak it, and test it some more. In some cases, like Udemy, if your course has a popular topic, they advertise and promote it for you. You can use tools such as Google Adwords to learn what keywords are being searched for the most, and determine how to title what you’re trying to sell in a way that it can be found. (I have a less-than-3-minute YouTube video tutorial on how to do this posted here).

Other free options include blog posts, Facebook posts (only post on Facebook business Pages, though –it is against Facebook rules to sell anything using your Profile page), YouTube videos (using keywords), Pinterest, networking through MeetUps and Facebook Groups to increase awareness of what you offer, and more. Depending on the topic, it may be something of interest to your child’s local Parent Teacher Organization PTO). The best way to market what you have to offer really depends on who you’re trying to market to and the audience you are targeting.

Where do you recommend others getting started in your industry turn for help?

I actually have a free 4-part video series that provides the 7 Steps needed to develop an online business, so I would start there. I created that free video series out of my own frustration in trying to find this kind of information, packaged in one place. If you want a little more hand-holding to take you through each of the steps and the details, then I’d recommend signing up for one of my group coaching sessions, or finding a business coach that specializes in selling knowledge and online options. The best advice I can offer is to reach out to your network and ask your friends, peers neighbors, and family-members if they would find the information you’re thinking about selling, valuable. Ask them if they know anyone else that would, too, then ask them what price they might be willing to pay. It doesn’t mean you’ll sell to them, you’re just getting feedback to use to help guide you in what kind of information to sell, and in how much you’d sell it for.

What’s one online business tool you happily pay for month after month.

I couldn’t imagine going without my Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool so that I can continue to add value, receive feedback, and help regularly. Social media is great, but we don’t control it and the mediums we use could kick us off at any moment. Having my CRM puts me back in control. I currently use iContact, but there are several great tools on the market that you can assess to see which might be best suited for your needs.

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