Felicia Ricci has always had a passion for singing and performing. Despite landing the roles of Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady and Elphaba in Wicked, though, she had to keep working a regular desk job to make ends meet.
Unable to let go of her love of music and of teaching others how to sing, Felicia decided to connect with students online by creating singing courses and tutorials that are easy to follow, fun to watch, and truly transformative. But, again, this was all done alongside her full-time job as a copywriter.
Little did Felicia know that, in a mere year’s time, her Belt Your Face Off course and her Singing Transformation course (available 2-3 times per year) would earn roughly $45,000—enough of a salary to give her the freedom to leave her desk job, become self-employed, and start singing her way to success with thousands of students.
A Year on Udemy Changed Felicia’s Life for the Better
A lot has changed since Felicia started promoting her Udemy courses. Because she was able to consistently create a revenue stream, her life is quite different now than it was before she started off as a Udemy instructor.
“My Udemy earnings have allowed me to be a full-time online voice teacher and content creator. I was previously working a day job as a copywriter, but in the past several months, I’ve become fully self-employed by my online business. And I just opened my first official office! That’s where I’ll film and produce all my online content.”
An Unexpected but Welcomed Success
When Felicia posted her courses and started promoting them, she wasn’t sure how lucrative they were going to be. Thankfully, her success on Udemy grew to the point that she was able to transition from her full-time writing job to one that now allows her to focus solely on her musical career.
“When I first published on Udemy, I didn’t expect it to be the thrust of my business. At the time, I was at a full-time job and remained there for part of 2013, then transitioned to freelance writing for clients, then went completely independent in the summer of 2014. The growth of my Udemy income helped give me the confidence to focus exclusively on my business.”
Felicia can now proudly say that she’s self-employed and doing what she loves. Her career revolves around her passion for music and singing, as well as growing a community of students who appreciate her unique style of teaching.
But just because she’s making money with her Udemy courses doesn’t mean she’s going to stop offering free online content. In fact, she’s going to continue posting free video lessons to expand her current level of success.
“I love the freedom and possibility that’s afforded to me as an entrepreneur, and in the future will continue to publish lots more free content alongside my more premium courses. Free content is a win-win. You can give back, serve others who can’t afford premium content, and find your lifelong customers.”
Giving Back Through Her Udemy Earnings
In addition to helping people find their voice—literally—through her free content, Felicia also gives back in other ways:
“I currently donate a percentage of my revenue from the Belt Your Face Off course to Make a Wish Foundation and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, and a percentage of the Singing Transformation course revenue goes to the Wildlife Conservation Society. These are all causes I care about deeply.”
Felicia’s Advice for Other Instructors
For those who are considering posting a course on Udemy but are afraid of putting themselves out there and failing, Felicia offers the following advice:
“It’s inevitable that putting yourself out there is going to be scary and make you feel vulnerable, but even the most successful people who seem like they’ve ‘made it’ have felt (or continue to feel) pangs of uncertainty. Learn to frame it not as something negative but as something that can stoke your creativity and sense of excitement.
“Growing your business is all about getting comfortable with being uncomfortable—knowing that your first few stabs at something won’t be perfect, but that the very act of doing it will help you grow as a person and, eventually, as a business. Anybody who’s successful and purports never to have struggled or have been scared is not being honest with you.”
Felicia’s Step-by-Step Guide to More Course Sales:
- Read the book Launch by Jeff Walker and then Conduct a Pre-Launch of your course to your existing email and YouTube subscribers to earn 2x more on your next course launch.
- Optimize your YouTube channel (or wherever you’re driving traffic from) so you’re driving as many viewers as possible to your email list.
- Set up a Freemium offer to convert your email subscribers into course sales.