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Creator Stories | 8 min read

From School To Ivy League University Prep to a Successful Online Course

An online course business allows you to sell your online courses from your own website using your existing skills and knowledge. It allows you to become your own boss. This is probably one business where you don’t need much investment. It sets you free from the 9-to-5 grind. It lets you work from home with zero employees and save on rentals.

At the same time, people create online courses either because they are passionate about a specific topic and want to share their knowledge with others and in the process make money online. Many also do it to teach and inspire thousands of people across the world and actually make a huge difference in the lives of the learners.

This is exactly what people prefer today. Work that gives a meaning to their life, a purpose, freedom to pursue what they wish to and the financial stability to achieve greater things in life. On Knorish alone, thousands of such entrepreneurial individuals have found their financial freedom doing what they do best - sharing their knowledge of what they do best and making money while doing it. And this is another testimony to the online success.

Meet Shaurya Sinha, founder of sleepdeprivedreamers

Much known for his oratory skills and philanthropic initiatives, Shaurya is a young entrepreneur, an online course creator, YouTuber, filmmaker, writer and an Indian admit to Stanford's class of 2025. He is also the proud winner of Pradhan Mantri Bal Shakti Puraskar: President's Award 2020. Psychology is his favourite subject. For the past few years, he has been working with children and adults with disabilities as an advocate, volunteer, filmmaker, and as a social entrepreneur as well. 

All in all, his story would inspire generations and present you too with every good reason to not wait to act until an opportunity presents itself. And this is why we are sharing his story with you so that you can learn more about his journey as an entrepreneur, online course creator and an instructor. After all, anyone who builds a six-digit online business from scratch by just using a phone and a laptop is bound to have learned some valuable lessons along the way.

Discover his journey to online course business success, watch the webinar replay

The inspiration behind the name

“I really liked the phrase sleep deprived dreamer because for me it was trying to realize your dreams not when you're sleeping but when you're actually wide awake”, says Shaurya. 

And it has turned out to be true in his case. Getting accepted into Stanford where chances of acceptance stand at just 4% on average, he had absolutely nailed it. Since then, he has ensured that his knowledge and expertise were now available for all students like him who aspire to excel in their field.  Here’s exactly what he did and it’s really interesting.

His Go To Marketing Strategy for Course Sales Success: YouTube Videos and Community

YouTube Channel Shaurya Sinha

He used the power of the Internet and with some time on his hand during the lockdown, he started creating videos for his YouTube channel. On that YouTube channel, he consistently offered valuable content free for all hoping other IVY League aspirants would benefit from his learning & experience that he had gained over a period of four years while he was working on his own US College Admission processes.  And this was the same information for which the private counsellors generally charge a couple of lakhs. Within a few months, he has gone on to build a strong YouTube community of 23,000 subscribers - people across 25 countries who saw in-depth value in his knowledge. And that’s really impressive!

However, YouTube is not really designed for true learning. Once he realised that, to ensure maximum impact and enable deep learning for other students, Shaurya started working on launching his own online course. 


Being super fanatic about his academic goals, social responsibilities, he kept building his following and understood the potential for his knowledge and expertise.  

YouTube won’t let you monetize your online course, you really need a platform. And that’s where Knorish enabled the ecosystem. 

Launch of the first Online Course Website

Based on his learning from YouTube, within two weeks' of course launch, his course was very well received and registered sales worth 1.5 lakhs. It's no wonder at the age of 17, he added another accomplishment to his credit. For an intelligent and bright boy whose videos on the college application process have been viewed by over 930,000 people globally, it didn’t come across as a surprise. The twist in the story is that in such a highly adult professionals-dominated arena, how did he garner a name for his brand and Academy on Knorish he created by the name Sleep Deprived Dreamers?

An online journey getting stronger day-by-day

“The biggest insecurity people have is you know I don’t know coding, I don't know HTML. What will I do? How can I possibly create an entire thing out of nothing”? is how he puts it. 

Knorish helped him bay off any hesitation initially to jump into creating his course and launch it. As an 18-year-old young entrepreneur, the platform has not only enabled him to launch his entire online course business but also helped him win his fanfare in return. Today he thinks that all it takes is knowledge, a laptop and a Knorish platform to get empowered.  

Here’s Shaurya’s advice to fellow entrepreneurs who are trying to sell their niche Online Course - (excerpts from the webinar)

“It took me 4 days to create my Knorish site, upload my content and publish it. Kudos to the Super helpful Support Team of Knorish!”

  • Structure your course around your Target Audience

    Just like how I did. I have my course spread into four big chunks viz. Reflecting/Thinking, Storytelling followed by Writing & Editing. Further, before you create your first (or your next) online course, make sure you address the needs of your target audience. In my case, since the course is for the US College Admission process Essay writing, I created my YouTube presence. 

  • Make Content Creation really your forte

    Today when I’m happily riding on the success of my online course business, certain basics are what I always keep in mind. I’m clear that : 
    • My course provides highly valuable content
    • My course keeps the learning interest of my students close to my heart. 
  • Build a Substantial Following on Social Channels

    Building an email list of people who are in your target market is not just enough. By the time I launched my course I had my ready to sell market waiting for me because I had created a whopping 26,000 strong subscribers community. Not just that, I experimented with my audience by rolling out Pilot Course Series on my YouTube channel before I finally decided to launch it. 


  • Email Marketing, Discussion Forums Help

    When it comes to creating your email list, the key is to consistently provide value to your subscribers for free. So, I did make perfect use of the integration features on Knorish. I haven’t run any Paid Ads till now. But I researched well the marketing aspects of my potential course. I nurtured my YouTube channel, used the Email marketing feature on the platform. Contributed on forums like Reddit-where I could reach a cosmopolitan audience. 


  • Give enough value to the audience
    Leave your camera phobia behind and make some really high-quality content. Start getting used to the attention you get on screen. You can make your video content simply using your regular smartphone too. At the beginning itself, I had decided that I will make my course an interactive course where I would be able to have 25 full-length interviews with students who've actually gotten into Ivy League colleges. To date,  I personally review my students’ college application essays and give them one time really detailed feedback. I try to level up my content compared to what other people are offering to stay ahead of the game.
  • Price your course according to input and your labor
    “As an 18-year old, I’m often very sceptical of asking for money. Having a course at the price tag of 195 US$ was something I was initially a little hesitant with. But then, I had passed the test of creating credibility for my course”, says Shaurya. 

His strong following on YouTube, his success in getting through the application process stage in several US colleges including Stanford simply was self-explanatory for the price tag his courses came with. So here we think that when you communicate your message credibility and are committed to adding a constant value to your courses your half the job is done that requires you to convince your audience.

He went one step ahead and introduced a scholarship program, discount vouchers for early 50- That was indeed helpful to establish his credentials still better.

Last but not least, choose the knowledge platform to launch your course that is user friendly. I can virtually guarantee that the quality of your online course would be extremely good with Knorish, says Shaurya.

So, what next? Are you the one keen to replicate young Shaurya’s success?  

The potential of the eLearning industry is very promising. By 2025, this industry will be worth $325 billion. And this is the best time to jump right in and start your online academy. No office space needed, no employees, just you, your knowledge, and Knorish!  The time to launch an online course could never be better!

Go ahead and Sign up for your free trial to get started here by clicking on this link, if not already.


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