Daragh is a Google Certified Marketer and Instructor. More than 40,000 students have taken his online courses leaving more than 4,000 top-rated reviews. Based in Ireland, he enjoys sharing what he’s learnt from growing his own websites and working with companies like Amazon, Hertz & Callaway Golf.
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- Complete Digital Marketing Course – Daragh’s website
- The Mastery Journal – Master productivity, discipline and focus in 100 days!
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- Translate what you learn into something you can teach others.
- Use what’s already working and improve that for better results.
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Time Stamped Show Notes
(click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
- [00:54] – Two years ago, Daragh had no background in marketing and had done nothing entrepreneurial in his life
- 01:02 – What got him started in marketing was freelancing on Fiverr
- 01:24 – He took his hands-on experience and translated that into courses on Udemy
- [01:36] – After a year, he quit his job and focused in on what he does with Udemy
- [01:59] – Invest in yourself
- [02:06] – ILT – Invest, Learn, Teach
- [02:28] – The great thing with Udemy is that it lets you message your students (both free and paying) and refer them back to your website
- [03:01] – Daragh’s revenue now is at $10,000/month
- [03:39] – One BIG and Unique Value Bomb: “My area of expertise is really teaching solopreneurs and small business owners how to market their business online from scratch… marketing is pretty simple. It really just boils down to answering two simple questions: who are your customers, and secondly, where are they?”
- 05:07 – You can apply SEO principles and tactics to other platforms like Udemy and Quora
- [06:08] – Daragh used keywords for his course titles and subtitles on Udemy
- [07:01] – What was your goal for The Freedom Journal and how did you crush it? “I was really looking for a way to take my Udemy revenue to the next level and create a really big course. So my goal with The Freedom Journal was to create a complete digital marketing course”
- [08:01] – Daragh did struggle as he had some blank pages in his journal
- [09:28] – How do you define Productivity? “I think it’s really that feeling at the end of the day that I’ve taken a step forward towards my goal”
- [09:58] – Daragh’s struggle is in tracking his time
- 10:53 – JLD has set up four sessions in The Mastery Journal
- [11:22] – How do you define Discipline? “Sticking to a schedule and remaining consistent”
- [11:36] – Daragh struggles with discipline when it comes to going to the gym
- [13:00] – How do you define Focus? “Finishing what you set out to do”
- [13:54] – Daragh thinks he’s a 5/10 at productivity, 6/10 at discipline, and 7/10 at focus
- 14:29 – The Mastery Journal – Master productivity, discipline and focus in 100 days!
- [15:12] – The Lightning Round
- What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur? – “I didn’t have a sense of urgency”
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – “Do more of what’s working”
- What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success? – “I give big importance to feedback and I actively seek it out”
- Share an internet resource, like Evernote, with Fire Nation – Quora
- If you could recommend one book to our listeners, what would it be and why? – The Power of Less – “I think it’s a great book that really fits into this theme of focus and productivity”
- [20:45] – Marketing is about knowing who your customers are
- 20:53 – For a step-by-step approach, Daragh created a file for Fire Nation, simply go to Complete Digital Marketing Course
John: Yes! Daragh is a Google certified marketer and instructor. More than 70,000 students have taken his online courses leaving more than 7,000 top-rated reviews. He’s based in Ireland. He enjoys sharing what he’s learned from growing his own websites and working with companies like Amazon, Hertz, and Calloway Golf. Daragh, take a minute, fill in the gaps from that intro and give us a little glimpse of your personal life.
Daragh: Well, I think something interesting for the Fire Nation to note about that intro is actually two years ago I hadn’t done any of that stuff. I’d really no background in marketing and I’d never done anything entrepreneurial in my life. And really how I got started was just freelancing on fiverr.com on the evenings and weekends, offering very basic marketing services. And although the money wasn’t huge, John, I think that experience working in an online marketplace, where I was competing directly with other sellers, really did sharpen up my sales skills and give me a focus on getting positive customer reviews.
So what I did next then was I took that hands-on experience with clients and the processes that were really working for them and I translated them into online courses on Udemy.com. And after a year of doing that, I’d really built up enough of a side income to quit my job and that’s really what I’ve been focusing on for the last year, just [inaudible] [00:01:21] on Udemy, growing out my courses, making more courses because that’s really where all the growth is happening for me. So I think I’m still fairly early on in my entrepreneurial journey, but it’s been a pretty good run so far.
John: ILT, Fire Nation, invest in yourself with time, with money, if that’s what it takes. Learn the content and then teach. ILT, invest, learn, teach. So many people stop at the learning part. They invest in themselves, they learn, but they never turn around and teach. So over 70,000 students, more than 7,000 top-rated reviews, how many of those students are paying students, Daragh?
Daragh: I would say about half of them. I do have a couple of big free online courses, but I think the great thing about Udemy and making free online courses is that you can still message those students and maybe refer them back to content on your site, so I do see a lot of value in having those free courses.
John: So even 35,000 students, I mean, even if they’re only paying $1.00 per course, I mean, that’s real revenue. I mean, what kind of revenue are we talking from all of your students within Udemy?
Daragh: Do I have to say? I don’t really like to share the numbers. I kind of like to stick to the marketing figures because that’s the kind of stuff that I’m really trying to teach.
John: Can you give us a range?
Daragh: Well, it would be – yeah, $10,000.00 and above.
John: So over $10,000.00. Would it be under $100,000.00?
Daragh: Oh, yeah, yeah.
Daragh: Let’s just – I’ll come clean. It’s about $10,000.00 a month.
John: Oh, there we go. I got it out of you. I wasn’t gonna force it, but you know, there you go. So about 10K a month and this is from a person, Fire Nation, that started off on Fiverr, which is $5.00 per job. So just think about that and think about where you can start and where you can grow and where you can learn. And now give us your area of expertise. What is that, Daragh? And give us something that we don’t know in that area of expertise that we should.
Daragh: Well, my area of expertise is really teaching solopreneurs and small business owners how to market their business online from scratch. And I think one thing that I can do really now is simplify that process for you. So marketing is pretty simple. It really just boils down to answering two simple questions. Firstly, who are your customers? And secondly, where are they? That’s really – that’s all you really need to know because if you know who your customers are, you’ll understand their pain points, what they’re trying to achieve, what they’re struggling with, and then you will be able to create content or products or services that really help them achieve all they want to achieve.
The second question you wanna ask yourself is where are they? Because you wanna be able to get that content or product in front of them. So ask yourself, what are the blogs that they’re reading, what are the podcasts that they’re listening to, are there online marketplaces like Udemy where they’re already hanging out. I think my advice would be look, if you want to guide yourself to make better marketing decisions, just ask yourself those two questions, who are your customers and where are they.
John: Okay, so those are really good, valid points. They’re also, you know, something that most people do now; they just gotta put in the work to do that. What’s something that’s a ninja tactic? What’s something that we don’t know that you’ve discovered through this hard work and all the success?
Daragh: Well, okay, I think something a bit more tactical, I’ve got a lot of value out of search engine optimization and I know a lot of people say it takes too long to really get value out of it, but I think you can still apply those same principles to other platforms.
So for example, I knew a lot about search engine optimization when I went into Udemy, they’re obviously a search engine because it’s a marketplace, and I was able to apply the same tactics there. And I think also you can apply those same tactics to Quora.com, it’s a questions and answers website. You can easily rank in the search engines if you answer questions and get to the top of questions that are already ranking in the search engines. You can apply those SEO tactics to YouTube as well, get very quickly on the first page of Google. So I think investing a little bit of time into search engine optimization can really – you get value out of it, not just on Google, but on so many other platforms as well.
John: Yeah, James Altucher’s big on doing that. He’s always going on answering questions on Quora and some other places, really cool. What’s one specific tactic, Daragh, that you actually did on Udemy that worked? That really kind of got your name, your course out there?
Daragh: In terms of getting rankings on Udemy, what’s key is that you have your key words that you’re trying to rank for in the title, subtitle, and description of your course.
John: So give us a specific example. Like what was something that you did to rank for?
Daragh: I named my course Google Analytics: Take a Data-Driven Approach to Growth, How to Set Up Google Analytics in Seven Steps, and I can’t think of the full subtitle now, but really including that key word Google Analytics in the title and three times in the subtitle.
John: And guess what, Fire Nation, someone’s searching for that on Udemy and guess what? They go to a course that says that, they’re probably gonna think that’s the course for them. So that’s why I – like I say, when you’re titling something, when you’re naming something, when you’re branding something, be both clear and clever. But if you have to be one of the two, always choose just clear. Now, talk to us about the Freedom Journal journey that you’ve been on, Daragh. Take us through how you heard about the Freedom Journal, the goal that you set, and how you crushed it.
Daragh: Well, I think I heard about the Freedom Journal through the podcast and I was really looking for a way to take my Udemy revenue to the next level and put out a really big course. So my goal with the Freedom Journal was to create a complete digital marketing course. I wanted to cover 12 topics in one, and I wanted it to be 20 hours in length. So that was a pretty big task for me because the previous courses I’ve done were like two hours, three hours.
And so what I did is I took the structure of the Freedom Journal to really help me break that big goal then into something more manageable to do on a daily basis. And so if you take 20 hours divided by 100 days, you’ve got 12 minutes per day. And that was my goal, really, to create a 12 minute video lecture per day and I knew if I did that, then at the end of 100 days I will have published my course. And I will admit that I did struggle a little bit in this process and if I was to open up my Freedom Journal to show you, around day 50 you’d see a couple of blank pages there, but I’m really happy that I finished it out.
And having even the Freedom Journal on my shelf was a great physical reminder of what I decided to do and I finished it out. I’m glad that I did because the course made over $6,000.00 in the first month when I launched it and it’s now one of the top ten bestselling marketing courses on Udemy.
John: I mean, Fire Nation, that’s what the Freedom Journal is, is that accountability partner that won’t let you fail. I mean, you try to hide it on your shelf, the sun will hit it and the gold will just start sparkling in your eyes. You’d be like oh my god, Freedom Journal, I know you’re speaking to me and it’ll keep you going.
Now Daragh, if you’d actually reached out to me and you said, “You know, John, there’s a couple blank pages, you know, I just haven’t been doing it for a couple of days,” I’d say fine. Like that’s actually one big misconception that I’ve actually corrected in the frequently asked questions of the next – the Freedom Journal 2.0, which is coming out very shortly. It’s not meant to be 100 consecutive days. So don’t feel like if you miss a day you could have skipped that whole page. That throws off the whole rhythm. I mean, you have the ten day sprints, the quarterly reviews, if you have to take a couple days off that’s fine. That’s just the process. Go back to the next day after the one you most recently completed and continue the process step by step by step.
Love hearing how just even having it on your shelf, Daragh was getting you there. So that’s cool, cool stuff. Now let’s kind of move forward into your definition of productivity. I mean, obviously with what you’ve done, the success that you’ve had, 10K a month, how are you productive? What does that word mean to you?
Daragh: I think it’s really that feeling that at the end of the day that I’ve taken a step forward towards my goal.
John: How do you struggle with that? Even with all the things that you’ve accomplished and continue to do so, how do you still kind of come up short within productivity from time to time?
Daragh: Well, I think I always feel like I could be doing more. But I think one thing particularly I’m not that great is tracking my time, setting time limits for tasks depending on their value and really building in those breaks as well. I have a tendency to kind of just go first and I forget to take those breaks and I run out of energy. I think overall, why I struggle with productivity maybe a bit is because I don’t have a formal process to really evaluate it and improve it and build on those things every single day.
John: Daragh, I think that you are absolutely nailing such a common struggle that I had, that you’re currently having. We only have so much willpower, Fire Nation. We only have so much energy and [inaudible] [00:09:54] within the tank and what happens when you just actually press the pedal to the metal in your car and you just rev your engine? Well, eventually you’re gonna wear that engine out. You’ve gotta give it a break. You’ve gotta literally take your foot off the gas from time to time to give yourself some refresh.
And that’s why within the Mastery Journal, which I think Daragh, you’re really gonna resonate with, I’ve set up four sessions where you focus for a certain amount of time and then you take a forced refresh time as well. Like I figured out that eight – that 42 minutes of focus time followed by 18 minutes of refresh time works perfectly for me. It’s an hour block, I just love it. Mentally that works and I do four of those a day. And that’s me taking my foot off the gas over and over again and it allows me to reset for that next focus session. Now discipline, Daragh, how do you define that word?
Daragh: I would really define discipline as sticking to the schedule and remaining consistent.
John: How do you struggle with that?
Daragh: I think the most obvious place for me where I struggle with discipline is the gym. So I’ve got it scheduled in for three times a week, but there are days where I’m really feeling unmotivated or discouraged. But I think what I don’t do in that situation is take the time to identify why I’m feeling like that and how I could really reduce those feelings for the next time that that happens.
John: I found the exact same thing was happening to me. You know, I’d schedule the time for the gym, but then it would come and I’d say, you know what, I could go right now or I could just do this other thing and then maybe go a little bit later. How I fixed that, Fire Nation, is I actually took money out of my pocket and I paid for a virtual trainer who every single Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 5:00 p.m. is waiting for me on a virtual call and he will kick my butt if I don’t show up there. Because guess what? I found out that I don’t win if I don’t have that in place.
I only win and I’m only gonna be consistently doing the right things when it comes to fitness and lifting heavy things and doing the squats and all that jazz that I hate doing, if I have a virtual trainer. That’s how I figured out that works for me and that’s why like, for many of you with goals and with discipline and productivity, like you just need that accountability partner. It just has to happen. So Daragh, how do you define focus? You know, for me it’s all about following one course until success, staying laser-focused, not letting the distractions come in, which is so much easier said than done. How do you define this word?
Daragh: I think I have a very similar definition. I’d really define focus as finishing what you set out to do.
John: Finishing what you set out to do. Fire Nation, that’s starting and then ending. And you need a time block for that, otherwise Parkinson’s Law moves in and then tasks just expand to the time that’s allotted. So, Daragh, let’s kind of maybe do a little wrap up session right now. You know, productivity, discipline, and focus, I mean, how do you rank yourself as far as having these three skills and becoming better at mastering them? Like where are you at right now on the scale?
Daragh: I think I give myself maybe a five on this. I think this is the area where I need the most work. Discipline I’d maybe give myself a six. I think I am pretty disciplined and I do even stick to the schedule, even though I do struggle with it a little bit. And then in terms of focus, I think I am pretty focused. I’m able to block out the distractions and so I give myself maybe a seven for focus. So five, six, seven.
John: Five, six, seven. Now I just put Daragh on the spot there a little bit and, you know, he self-evaluated himself. And that’s actually a big part of the Mastery Journal, Fire Nation. Every single day you are self-evaluating your productivity, you’re self-evaluating your discipline. Every ten days you’re doing a ten-day recap where you’re getting your average score of those and it’s so critical to see your progress and see the process that you’re going through and to see where you’re struggling and to see where you’re winning, to amplify those wins, to avoid those weaknesses and those failures and those struggles that we all have, and then to come out with your focus score. So key on all these levels. And of course, you can learn more right now at themasteryjournal.com.
And Daragh, don’t go anywhere because we’re about to crush the lightning round after we thank our sponsors. Daragh, are you prepared for the lightning round?
John: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Daragh: I didn’t have a sense of urgency and what really kicked me into action was my upcoming 30th birthday. And I knew that I didn’t wanna wake up at 30 years old in a job that I didn’t like and on a path in life that I wasn’t that excited about. So I knew I had two years to really avoid that scenario and that’s what really gave me the urgency to take action.
John: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Daragh: Do more of what’s working. Noah Kagan said this, he’s a well-known marketer, and I think this is really great advice for your marketing. You know, make more of the content that’s really resonating with your audience. Do more of the – you know, focus more on the marketing channels that are really working. You don’t necessarily need to be on every channel, be big on every one. Often just one channel, what you’re doing well on, will work.
And I think that same principle, do more of what’s working, can really apply to your broader life as well. So for example, with my courses, I focus a lot of my attention on the courses that are selling well, spend a lot of time updating the first initial lectures, the sales videos. And the ones that aren’t selling well I just kind of leave them over there. So I apply that across a lot of different ways in my life. I think it’s great advice.
John: I think it’s wonderful advice because Fire Nation, you gotta find what you’re great at. Find what’s connecting with people and then amplify that awesomeness, amplify that experience. Like Daragh goes back and he improves what connected. He doesn’t know when he puts it out there it’s gonna be a home run, but when he finds out it’s a home run, make it awesome. And then don’t spend time making something that doesn’t connect, or that’s just not a strong product, going from weak to okay because nobody wants okay anyway. So just let it be, focus on the strengths, focus on what’s working. What’s a personal habit, Daragh, that contributes to your success?
Daragh; I give a lot of importance to feedback and I actively seek it out. So, one of the great things about Udemy is that they have this in-built review system. And as John said in the intro, I’ve got over 6,000 reviews in my –
Daragh: 7,000 reviews, sorry. Thanks for correcting me. And I schedule time in every single day to really read those reviews and respond to them. And it is tough for me sometimes to read those reviews, especially when they’re more critical, but I often – or most often there is truth in what people are saying. And it’s often a pretty quick fix that I can make to my course. So although I do find it tough, I’m really grateful for that feedback because it helps to make my courses better.
John: Now are you allowed to respond to comments, like when people leave a review? Can you go in and say, oh, that’s a great comment actually, it made me realize that that’s missing, I went in and fixed it? Or does that not allow you to do that?
Daragh: No, the Udemy system allows you to do that and actually those responses are visible as well on your landing page. So you can kind of help direct them and sometimes even students upgrade their reviews based on your response. So it’s definitely worth doing.
John: Oh, so cool. Can you share an internet resource with our listeners?
Daragh: I think Quora.com is a fantastic resource. It’s a real gold-mine for marketers, really, because you can go in there and really find out what are the most important questions that people are asking about a certain topic. So for example, if I wanted to create a blog post on Google Analytics, I just go in there, type in Google Analytics to the search bar. I can see all of the questions that people are asking about Google Analytics. You can just take one of those questions and, you know, reformat it, put in your own answer and publish that as a blog post.
Or what I do is say, type in Google Analytics, I see all the questions, what are the most viewed questions, and what I want to do when I’m making a course then, is make sure that I’ve answered all of those questions. And that helps give me structure to the course and also make me more confident that I’m putting out something that’s gonna be valuable to people.
John: Recommend one book, Daragh, and share with us why.
Daragh: I would recommend Less is More by Leo Babauta. I think it really fits in with this whole theme of productivity and focus. And he has a great approach to getting more focused; it’s really just identifying the essentials and eliminating the rest. And he gives tons of examples about how you can do that and apply it to loads of different things in your life. So I’d really recommend Less is More by Leo Babauta.
John: Daragh, let’s end today on fire with a parting piece of guidance, the best way that we can connect with you, and then we’ll say goodbye.
Daragh: Well, I think, as I said at the start, marketing really just boils down to finding out who are your customers and where are they. And if you’d like a step-by-step approach to really answer those questions in detail and then to grow your business from scratch across six major marketing channels, you can head over to completedigitalmarketingcourse.com. You can get the first lecture free of the course that I made with the Freedom Journal and again, all those notes for the course as well. So all the tips about SEO, Facebook, Twitter, everything is there. So you can check that out and you can even just check it out if you’re curious to see what was the output of the Freedom Journal and what I accomplished in 100 days.
John: Amazing. And what was that parting piece of guidance?
Daragh: Just to focus on those two questions, who are your customers and where are they, and that will really guide you to make better marketing decisions.
John: Fire Nation, you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with and you’ve been hanging out with DWs and JLD today. So keep up the heat and head over to eofire.com. Just type Walsh in the side bar, that is W-A-L-S-H, and Daragh’s show notes page will pop right up. These are the best show notes in the biz. There are time stamps, there are links galore, and of course head directly to completedigitalmarketingcourse.com to check out what Daragh has hanging out over there for you. And Daragh, thank you for sharing your journey with Fire Nation today. For that we salute you and we’ll catch you on the flip side.
Daragh: Thanks, John.
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