What It's About
An inspector zeroes in on a niche field helping others and builds himself a lucrative side hustle.
Words of Wisdom
When Gabe looks back on his side hustle journey, he says that the main reason for their success seems to be having multiple points of difference. When we asked him what kind of advice he had to offer fellow side hustlers, he recommended adding value wherever your competitors are lacking. He said that if you do this in different ways, you will have a great chance of success.
One of the main skills of inspectors is reading building plans, and it's no easy feat (see screenshot for example)!To help his students learn, Gabe shipped physical plans to them that complemented the online teaching. He even added his best teaching notes right on the plans.
Notes from Chris
Gabriel Kramer’s side hustle story began in 2011. A former high school teacher who had burned out due to the lack of support from administrators—an all too common story—Gabe had begun a new career as a construction inspector. He’d heard about this career from a cousin, who helped him get a job as an entry-level inspector. To advance in the industry, you have to earn certifications by passing exams. The more certifications you have, the more money you can make. Over the next few years, he continued to gain experience, take more exams, and increase his earning potential further. So then came the next step, and the side hustle we’re focusing on today. One of the main skills of inspectors is reading building plans. To help his students learn, Gabe shipped physical plans to them that complemented the online teaching. He even added his best teaching notes right on the plans. This teaching aid was unique to the industry. There were some other people teaching cert study courses, but no one was doing that. Video marketing was another marketing strategy that was rarely used by anyone else. Therefore, after he created the first course, Gabe shot videos that covered material from the first exam entry-level employees are required to take. He uploaded the videos to YouTube, and SI Certs and their channel have given them a steady stream of traffic over the years. They recently reached 300,000 total views! Today, Gabe still works 9-to-5 in the construction industry. We’re calling this episode “Former Construction Inspector” because he moved into business development, and then marketing director position, where he’s currently employed. He enjoys the job and isn’t thinking about working on SI Certs full-time, but he still invest times weekly to continue growing it. They’re on track to pass $200,000 in revenue for 2017 and the growth doesn’t seem to be slowing.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- SI Certs: Interested in fine-tuning your inspection skills? Head on over to Gabe's website—no construction hat required
- Woman on Food Stamps Earns $86,000 Teaching People to Bake Bread: In the face of adversity, a woman creates a series of online courses teaching the art of baking sourdough bread. Stop loafing around! If she can do it, you can too
- Stay-At-Home Mom Helps Immigrants Gain Citizenship with YouTube Tutorials: In Washington, DC, a stay-at-home mom and former teacher helps immigrants gain citizenship with YouTube tutorials
- Published Author Adds Income Source; Makes Additional $21,000 Her First Year: A successful novelist teaches an online course about productivity for writers, reaching 3,700 students in year one
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