Jim talks about the launch of his online salary negotiation course, and how you can build one too.
At first I thought that one day I would finally do a “How to negotiate your salary” post for The Hopkinson Report readers. My book is available from Amazon, I do 1:1 salary consulting sessions if you prefer to work with a real person, you can hire me to speak to your group, you can read dozens of career articles for free, and now culminating everything I’ve learned in this area, my salary negotiation courses are now online. My friends over at the Internet Business Mastery podcast have made a slight change lately, and I like it. Here are three questions to ask to help you, which come from the book The Big Leap, which I talk about here. More specifically for this project, I want to teach the world how to negotiate their salary. To do this, I want to be able to reach the most people possible with my message, earn a good income, and still be able to keep an entrepreneur’s lifestyle.
Eric Ries has built a career talking about the Lean Startup, and in fact has his own courses over on Udemy.
And his advanced course, The Lean Startup (affiliate link), has been taken by more than 1,400 students. I spent a full day creating the first module in PowerPoint and developing 10 negotiation myths.
From there, I put my nose to the grindstone and worked from 9pm till 3am on a Friday night, with about 2-3 hours to record everything on video, then 2 hours to edit everything, and to 30 minutes to export all the files. The result was that I got 125 students in a very short amount of time, as well as some great feedback. In a competitive way, I wanted other teachers to look at my course and say, wow, that one is really, really well done.
From a value standpoint, I wanted students to watch just 10 seconds of my video and get an immediate feel that this was a high-quality production, and therefore that it was worth the $199 price point that I would be charging for the advanced course. Those courses that didn’t meet the qualifications in the next 2 months weren’t deleted from the site, however, they would not be surfaced within their search and not featured on their frontpage.
This was huge for me, since I was already in the process of creating a course that met all the requirements. I have a theory here that when Udemy was in their launch phases, they allowed anyone and everyone to submit a course… the key was getting as many classes as possible up and running to gain traction. Once they had momentum, I picture one of their investors telling their management team, “OK, you’ve passed the first hurdle. I figured I had 5 years of podcast speaking experience, dozens of public speeches and teaching sessions under my belt, and I was pretty fearless. For those that haven’t done video projects before, editing is one of the most crucial roles in the project.
I tried a few crowdsourced websites to create the course images, but ended up not getting something I liked. We used stock music that Justin picked out from AudioJungle, and because this part of the trailer is always free, the licensing fee was very low — just $14. I think one of the most valuable items in the premium course are the customizable, downloadable templates that are included.

So much of the job search is being memorable and having the documentation to prove your point. I hit my 500th student exactly 3 weeks to the day from launch, and am on target to hit 1,000 students around April 15. As an entrepreneur or someone working on a side hustle, there are lots of ways to monetize your work and spread the word.
This podcast was to introduce another method that might be just taking off, and that’s creating an online course for the world to see. One of the things that will surely help your business is learning some key negotiation skills.
In this course, you will learn how to recognize a person's negotiating style and respond appropriately based on that knowledge. Get the salary and benefits you want in less than 48 hours, without having to do the research. Learn how to negotiate your salary during each stage of the hiring process, from applying to accepting an offer.
Master the salary negotiation process by completing each level of this interactive video game. And while that is certainly a great topic for this career and lifestyle blog – or for any working professional – that’s not specifically what this blog is about.
I don’t TELL you how you should work remotely or try and get to the frontpage of Google or how to build a course, I DO IT and then pass on my learnings.
Previously focusing on making money from an internet based business so that you could have more freedom… to travel, to spend time with family, to do what you love, recently they’ve been talking more about having a purpose-driven business. Around December, Udemy announced that they were greatly increasing the requirements for their courses. That meant by the time my course launched, hundreds or maybe thousands of lesser-quality courses would be hidden from students (for example, my original course with simple webcam video), or instructors that wanted to keep their course live would need to re-film their courses to meet the new requirements. But in order to justify the millions in capital we’ve given you, now you have to clean up your act.
Should I try to teach everything I know about negotiation in one huge course, or split it up?
This means that I would offer one course for free to allow students to see what I was all about, and then use that to upsell a percentage to a paid course.
This is because the first step for inexperienced negotiators is to be in the right frame of mind. The plan was to create the free course and the raise course at the same time, see how they did, and then come out with the other 2 paid courses later in the year.
As a writer, teacher, and wanna-be comedian, it was awesome scripting out the course from scratch. Maybe I was cocky and maybe I was lucky, but I just assumed I could do it and didn’t do any special training or practice whatsoever.
I had worked with Emily when she played the part of the job-seeker in the trailer for my book. She was amazing to work with, hysterical to hang out with, never missed a line, never complained, and was perfect for the part.

I didn’t sweat the details on this one… Eric recommended Justin Farrar, and I knew that he did the editing for some of the most popular entrepreneurs on the internet and thus knew the style I was going for, so I just signed off on it. But what I got as a bonus was someone that immediately understood the look and feel for my course, that helped me make key decisions on things like photos and graphics (and actually did the animations himself), someone that stepped it up to meet my deadline, was always instantly available via email and chat, and despite probably 100 bullets of minor changes and 100s of words of text, didn’t make a single typo in the entire course and never missed a change. So I went back to the well and tapped Brandon Werner, my former intern at Wired that has done work for me before. I forgot to script out and film a separate trailer, which is crucial to drawing in customers and can also be used on YouTube. This was also a case where Justin made a recommendation, I told him to do something else, and when I saw MY choice, I immediately knew that it was wrong and I should have just listened to him in the first place.
I jumped on a plane right after launch and went into the chaos of SXSW, and what was awesome was checking my iPhone from the hotel or from the conference and seeing new emails stating “John Smith is now a subscriber to your course” flooding my inbox every time I checked it.
Every fast-paced, energetic episode takes a fresh and funny look at the marketing trends that matter. Have your salary negotiation research done for you by an experienced labor economist, and receive coaching tailored to your unique situation, all within 48 hours. The Academy is a safe environment for professionals to learn, practice, and master their negotiation skills.
I explained how I did this in my case study, filming a quick negotiation course using just Powerpoint and a web cam. There was an extensive 40-point UDemy High Quality Course Checklist of requirements that each course would have to adhere to, including the need for high definition video, and quality lighting and sound. Since this is something that is so new to some people, this is the logical place that almost everyone should start. In this scenario, the worker is generally negotiating with human resources, the salaries of both the employer and employee may be unknown, and the hiring manager is taking a gamble on how the person will work out. I treated it like a movie script, even using a script template within Microsoft Word, and adding on camera directions. She is a 25-year-old from Brooklyn via Minnesota, and has done a lot of Improv acting, and is now training to be a life coach.
From internet and new media to business and pop culture, Jim and his guests provide their unique perspective on marketing in the digital age. I wanted something that I built from the ground up, that contained everything that I had learned over the past few years studying negotiation. In this scenario, the worker is generally negotiating with their supervisor, their current salary is known to both parties, and it’s more about proving your worth based on an existing body of work.
For video, lighting, sound, production, planning, set design, and keeping me on track and putting up with both my ego and micromanaging tendencies. Oh, and he builds stuff and is a musician and a photographer and it doesn’t hurt that he’s a Boston guy like me.

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