In October 2019, I posted my first video on YouTube. The aim was to create content for the design aspirants in the country. Created a telegram group for my audience to interact with. Frankly, I had no idea how to start, so just kept on experimenting. At that time, I was working as a film editor (which was going well ☺️). So, content creation was a side hustle project.
On July 1st, 2020 with the help of my two friends (Shashank: manages day-to-day operations at Kaphal and Arun: for creating curriculum), I launched my first online course Connect to Design.
Now, as of Jan 2022 (16 months later), we are able to generate revenue of over 60 lakhs ($66K). And, we did this working part-time on it. Arun still works as a game designer in a firm. While I have decided to give full-time to my new career (editing is my side hustle now).
I firmly believe that achieving this (i.e. making money online while working/learning full-time as a designer) is not rocket science. The process is out there in the open!
Your career is your business
It took me some time to realize that there is a difference between a designer and a creator. A designer has a limited role in the larger context of a product. But, the creator is involved in more than the design process. People with a creator mindset, understand that they are themselves responsible for every success, as well as every failure.
Thus, you become a creator in a true sense when you take responsibility for your career. I learned that my career is not attached to the degrees or certificates I hold. But, it is definitely attached to the brand I create for myself.
And, I can think of creating a brand for myself only when I treat my career as a business or a venture to run.
Now, creating a brand does not mean just deciding the font and color for your website. It is about building your niche audience and a community.
So, here is the process of building your career brand and using it eventually to convert your side hustle into an income-generating business:
Build your niche community in the digital space (i.e. Post content on YouTube, Instagram, Substack, Medium, Telegram, or Twitter)
Create value for your community (Invest time to interact with your audience)
Launch your product (online course, any other service, or even apply for a job)
Keep repeating steps 1 & 2.
But sadly, as with all things, getting started and maintaining quality + consistency is easier said than done.
Challenges in the journey
You don't know where to start
It feels daunting to create quality content regularly. You won’t see much growth, or money, in the early stages.
You don't know what problem you are trying to solve for your audience
You get distracted by all the different formats, tools, and platforms out there
You won't be able to manage time with a full-time job or college
This is hard. It takes a lot of work.
But, it can be rewarding and life-changing if you can make it work.
Think of building community as designing a product. I am sure you have done this many times while writing your UX or UI case studies.
I have been able to design a community for Kaphal Studio and generated substantial revenue working part-time on it. And, I can help you design yours.
Designer to Creator Program
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Kaphal Studio is a modern, internet university for creators that brings community and learning together. We aim to prepare designers for the startup economy. We offer a new approach to online education through synchronous cohorts with an emphasis on peer-to-peer learning.