Powerful Insights 

Articles, interviews, inspiration, and tools to help you balance your power with purpose

Powerful Insights 

Articles, interviews, inspiration, and tools to help you balance your power with purpose

Free negotiation courses? Yes, seriously!

negotiation resources Nov 16, 2023
Joanne is smiling at the screen. Text: Now on YouTube - Free Negotiation Courses - Joanne Zuk - The Fearless Negotiation Project

That's right. I'm moving all of my negotiation courses onto YouTube. That means you get my negotiation courses for free. Yes, I'm serious. No, I haven't lost it. And no, there is no catch. But I'd love to tell you how I came to this decision and how you can help get negotiation tools and training into the hands of more women around the world. 

Sometimes the hardest decision to make is the easiest decision to live with

Three years ago, I started down this path of creating tools and resources to support women (and other folks from historically marginalized backgrounds) to negotiate for more. Like every small business owner I know, my path was a winding one.

I started by offering negotiation coaching for a fee (I had been doing it for free for years). Then I pulled my knowledge together and delivered it in the context of a live online course. Then I developed a live workshop for entrepreneurs. Then an online course with similar content. Then one for salary negotiation. Then a different iteration that had me partnering with lawyers and career coaches. And on and on and on. 

I bought into the online course frenzy. I built the pipelines. I ran the free masterclass sessions. I promoted. I pushed. I sold. 

I did what everyone told me to do. I turned my Instagram profile into a negotiation account. I showed up every day. I talked into my stories. I did live videos. I posted carousels. I danced on reels. I created a ridiculous number of reels where I had lip synced to a voiceover. I tried to be authentic. But I was always selling.  

It was obvious from looking at my data that it would take nothing short of a miracle to actually make a living by selling negotiation courses. But I also didn't want to go back to being on call all the time, offering negotiation coaching services on demand. I really liked going on vacation for a month and not checking my email. And my consulting work gave me the freedom to scope beautiful pauses (and great vacations with my family) into long projects. 

I was in a tough place. I knew I had created some incredible courses that quite literally changed people's lives. But I didn't have it in me to sell them. 



Negotiation education should be free

If you've heard me speak, you know that negotiation behaviour is shaped by the age of 9. So I believe we need to teach the skills in elementary school, not just in MBA programs. I have always felt uneasy selling my courses, even though I knew they were worth the price. Most women who took my salary negotiation course managed to negotiate for a minimum of $15k more in their salary after taking my $500 course. So the ROI was there. I knew it was worthwhile. I just didn't want women to have to pay for them. 

If you follow my on Instagram, you'll know that I am slowly, methodically, writing a book, currently named The Fearless Negotiation Project. It was on a call with my writing coach that a seed was planted in my mind. 

Zoe and I had just finished creating a new mini-course called Negotiating Life. We (she) had worked really hard to get it into an awesome little package. It was only a $27 course, but it had taken a lot of work to bring it together. We were excited about maybe generating some profits from it. 

And then my writing coach asked why I wasn't offering it for free. Her point was that everything I do should be in service of helping people who can champion negotiation with their friends, well in advance of my book launch. 

In the moment, I deflected hard. How ridiculous for her to suggest that we not even try to make money from something we worked so hard to create!

But that comment stuck with me. And this summer, while I was on a biking adventure with my husband in the Pacific Northwest, it kept popping into my consciousness. What if I made it free? In fact, what if it was all free? How would that change my business model? How would that change how I spent my time? Most importantly, how might that one decision change the impact I could have?

Meanwhile, my husband had been researching monetization strategies for YouTube. Even though he's a shy guy and I can't imagine him actually doing this, he got it into his head that he was going to start a YouTube channel for "chubby old guys who like to bike." It would be called Bike with Mike (though technically, that handle is already taken). Throughout our cycling vacation, he collected receipts and endless hours of GoPro footage and video clips of us talking about our highlights from riding each day. While we were driving, we were listening to podcasts about making YouTube work for your business. Clearly at least half of my brain was listening while I dozed comfortably in the passenger's seat as he drove the hairpin turns of the mountains.

Once I considered the impact, the decision was easy

One day in late August, somewhere in the middle of northern California, I made the decision to make all of my negotiation courses free. The skies didn't open in a torrent of rain. The angels didn't sing. No lightbulb went on above my head. In fact, I'm not sure I even said anything in that moment. One moment I was still considering it. The next moment, the decision was made. 

It all came down to the potential impact that lay in the decision. 

By making my courses available, I eliminate the barrier of cost.

By putting them on YouTube, I create the possibility that the right woman will stumble on one of my courses when she needs it most.

By sharing the content, I hope to get negotiation advice into the hands of more women, earlier in their career. I hope to reach entrepreneurs before they negotiate away their value. I hope to help more women make more money, which gives them more influence over their own lives, the lives of their families, their communities, and people around the world. 

I could use your help

I hope you'll tune into my courses on YouTube. I hope they'll help you advocate for yourself in your life, career, and business. I hope they'll inspire you to ask for more, more often.

Most of all, I really hope you'll share them with others. 

The only way we can get negotiation advice into the hands of more people is by feeding the beast (aka the algorithm). So I'll be releasing my course videos a couple of videos a week. I'll be posting about them on Instagram. I'll be sending you periodic emails to let you know that new videos are up. 

But if I could ask you for one thing, it would be to take a minute right now, visit my channel, watch a video, then like, subscribe, and share it with one other person in your life...you know - that person who has no idea just how amazing they are. 

Thank you!




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