From being laid off to earning over $1million from her course; Danielle Leslie’s inspiring success story

by Yvonne
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Being unexpectedly laid off from work, Danielle Leslie looked inwards and tapped into her potential, today she has successfully scaled heights by producing million-dollar course creators helping others to transform their passion and expertise into profitable online courses. She’s proudly called the millionaire maker. Leslie makes multiple-seven figures per year.

Things turned around for her in 2015, while working at a startup and looking towards applying for other marketing positions. She received requests to help those in her network launch courses. Just like that, just after the first 30 days of being laid off, she earned $10,000. Event invitations led to more opportunities, leading to the creation of “Course from Scratch”, earning over $1 million in less than two years. With that she embraced her dream job and has been doing extremely well in entreprenuership.

“Know the power of your unique story,” Leslie shared during a podcast interview. “I think that is the reason why I was able to grow this quickly. I tapped into who I am and who I appeal to. Embracing whatever your difference is will take you so far.”

Leslie was always interested in marketing and brand strategy. She spent time hosting events and doing webinars to teach people how to own their digital presence.

“I actually started planting seeds of success long before I got laid off. I had been sharing posts and videos about marketing, branding, and networking on social media for years. And when I talked to friends privately, I was the queen of unsolicited business advice that worked wonders for them. So I had a proven track record for consulting gigs they or their companies hired me for—and I got solid referrals. By the end of my first month, I got a big break working for a non-profit/venture capital firm a friend introduced me to. They were working on an online course for their founders and that was the biggest contract that I had ever landed. That gig helped me solidify my course creation methodology. I had already helped hundreds of course creators during my time at Udemy years before, but this contract gave me the confidence I needed to do it on my own.

Then a friend asked me to EmCee the EmpowerHer women’s conference. I presold Course From Scratch to the attendees and it pulled in $8,000 in 7 days. I’ve continued launching, leveling up, and have grown my business to $14M since then—$7M of that happening in just the past year. I committed to saying no to anything that didn’t feel expansive and didn’t line up with my passion and goals. All of the opportunities that I said yes to were like breadcrumbs leading me in the right direction.” She recalls.

At Udemy, Leslie helped online course creators acquire more customers and generate more income. She stumbled upon an important discovery, an audience isn’t necessary to be successful. You could create a course on any topic and be successful if you had the right strategy. She eventually transitioned to another startup and was laid off in 2015.

Leslie then decided to leverage on her background in startups to help others launch their first course. In July 2016, she did a webinar and presold the first version of her course. She made $8,000 in 7 days — without having a completed course! Her thought process was “if people would buy it, then she would build it.” For the next few weeks, she started creating her course in real-time and leveraged the power of social media ads to spread the word. By the end of her 8-week program, her first full course was created and available online.

Leslie started doing weekly webinars, more Facebook ads and working with coaches to expand her impact. In 2017, she earned $85,000. Leslie quickly went from five figures to seven figures from her course, earning $2.5 million in 2018 and over $4 million in 2019, black enterprise reports.

Leslie quickly learned that having a course would allow her to impact the masses instead of one person at a time. Leslie targeted first-time course creators who wanted to launch with little or no tech.

Since launching her first course, her revenue has grown exponentially. In 2020, Leslie announced that her course generated over $4 million.

“My first $1M was about Freedom—freeing myself,” says Leslie in an Instagram post. “Passing $10M is about Legacy—freeing others.”

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