Hayley Chiba

Location: Bristol, UK
Age: 50
Job title: Financial controller, owner of Better Numbers Ltd.
Instructor of: Learn Business Finance: Win More Work as a Business Coach

It’s fairly common for Udemy instructors to take courses on the platform. And sometimes our students wind up inspired to create their own courses too. Hayley Chiba is an example of the latter.

Already well-established in her field of accounting and finance, Hayley came to Udemy because she was interested in hosting a webinar. She runs her own business Better Numbers Limited,, offering financial controllership services to companies. Small businesses approach Hayley regularly looking for advice, but she simply doesn’t have the bandwidth to do one-on-one consultations with all of them. “So many small companies go out of business even though they have brilliant ideas, because they mismanage their finances” Hayley explains.

She thought a webinar would be the perfect vehicle for answering frequently asked questions for all of those businesses in one fell swoop.

In searching for guidance on how to create an effective webinar, she came across Udemy. She was impressed with how much information she could access at an affordable price. Ordinarily, to get this depth of training, she’d “go somewhere in town, spend the whole afternoon, take notes, try to remember everything, and then that’s the end of course.” She much preferred being able to go back, rewatch lectures, and ask questions on Udemy.

The convenience and flexibility of Udemy got her thinking. Her past experiences with webinars weren’t actually that great. She felt pressured to perform for an hour and make every second valuable. It was also hard to find the optimal schedule so participants located in many different time zones could attend. Like all of us, she’d registered for webinars herself only to be unavailable to join at the appointed hour.

Discovering the Udemy approach was an “aha” moment for Hayley, a novice to online learning. She was accustomed to accountancy training, which followed a set syllabus and used fairly dry content. “Being able to take the courses on your own schedule is a really powerful thing,” she says now. She also appreciates that Udemy’s courses are skills-based, not academic, and immediately relevant to her professional work. She liked being able to choose from various instructors, each with their personal view and experience on a topic.

Hayley was NOT a newbie to leading a training session, however. She spent 25 years as financial controller at a huge pharmaceutical company and gave a lot of presentations to her department. When she decided to switch from creating a webinar to creating a Udemy course, she felt pretty confident about developing the content but was less sure of the technical aspects. She was relieved to find lots of support in Udemy’s private Facebook group for instructors. “If I did this in isolation, I would have had no one to ask,” she says, “but on Facebook, I could ask about my audio and video quality before doing the whole course, and someone would always answer.”

There are big advantages to teaching online compared with Hayley’s previous corporate training and webinar experiences. First, instead of being in the hot seat for an hour in real time, she can pace herself and think through her content carefully. She can also go back and edit her videos to make sure she gets her points across effectively.

Hayley’s first course, “Learn Business Finance: Win More Work as a Business Coach,” launched January 2016. It’s worth noting that Hayley continues to support herself through her consultancy and didn’t become a Udemy instructor to make money. Her real motivation is to share important information with small businesses and help more of them learn how to manage their finances; that’s why she’s given away so many courses for free.

Hayley also wants to “get my expertise out there as much as I can,” and teaching on Udemy is a great way to raise her professional profile. The audience for her Udemy course isn’t the same as the one for her consulting business. Now she’s focused on the marketing side of being a Udemy instructor with activities like guest blogging; promoting her course in newsletters, her website, and social media; and building an email list.