Co-Instructor Relationships: Rules and Guidelines

A Hey! Lemonade course may have more than one instructor who plays a role in creating and managing the course. This article is intended to guide instructors considering this option toward positive use cases (e.g., co-developing a course can be a great way to add expertise and a fresh perspective) while avoiding problematic use cases (e.g., using the co-instructor feature purely as a way to use someone else’s audience).

There are three main reasons why instructors might work together on Hey! Lemonade:

  1. They want or need support with course creation, development, or production
  2. They want help teaching, administering, or managing the course (e.g., responding to discussions etc.)
  3. They want to exploit Hey! Lemonade marketing tools to share each other’s student base

It may seem like a good idea to use each other’s audience to increase your own sales, however, in the long run this hurts both co-instructors as well as the over all Hey! Lemonade platform.

Our policy is designed to help you understand best use cases, as well as why problematic use cases hurt you and your business.

Hey! Lemonade Policy on Co-Instructors

We believe strongly that autonomy is good, useful, and necessary for positive growth as well as positive outcomes. However, in a collective setting, personally focused autonomy can hurt others. For this reason we want to layout our expectations so that we can all work together to get the best collective, as well as personal, outcomes.

We know that the best way to leverage our instructors’ innovation is by providing instructors with a flow rich environment. We do this, partly, by encouraging creative freedom – whether you find new ways to create great content or tap into each other’s expertise to grow your businesses. As with all tools and features, the purpose is to use them to benefit both students and other fellow instructors.  

However, these same tools may be abused in order to to circumvent Hey! Lemonade policies on Course Announcements and other tools we provide.

If in doubt, reflect on our Community Standards Hey! Lemonade encourages and promotes. If your actions do not move you and also our community as a whole closer to that goal, then please rethink your actions. If in doubt, please feel free to send us an email or contact us via our support form.

Here Are A Few Quick Guidelines To Steer You In The Right Direction:

  • DO be co-instructors if each individual is bringing in unique expertise in the form of course creation, development, production, teaching or managing the course.
  • DO make co-instructors visible on the course if they’re the ones actually appearing in the course videos and/or engaging with students. At least one of the visible instructors on the course, should be the person students are learning from and interacting with.
  • DON’T be co-instructors with the primary goal of exploiting Hey! Lemonade’s marketing tools or sharing each other’s student base.
    • For example, if you’ve published your course and someone wants to pair up with you, there’s a good possibility they want to exploit your audience. This is against Hey! Lemonade policies. Remember, if you’re actually interested in marketing each other’s courses, there are many ways to do so while also connecting positively with users of our platform.
    • If on the other hand, you want to co-develop or co-manage a course together right from the beginning, that’s totally fine – and is why we offer this option in the first place.

Remember, if someone doesn’t have a choice on whether to receive your message, material, or content, then it creates a negative impression about you and your business. There are many other ways to build a business that doesn’t involve cold messaging, or using someone else’s permission to message in order to jump into DMs.

Abuse of co-instructor relationships impacts everyone. Students who unsubscribe to your emails likely unsubscribe to the platform emails as well. This This hurts all instructors in the marketplace, because these students unsubscribe not just from one instructor’s announcements, but from all Hey! Lemonade emails.

When we see cases where an instructor is clearly going against the spirit of Hey! Lemonade policies in an attempt to game the system or if we see a severe negative impact on the student experience (high unsubscribe rates or refund rates due to co-instructor behavior) it will be considered a violation of our policies.

Everyone makes mistakes, so most first violations will result in a dialogue to assess your needs, a warning may be issued when appropriate. Subsequent violations may result in loss of access to product features (e.g., Course Announcements), account suspension, or in rare cases, account termination.

Remember, if you are planning to add a co-instructor to your course, we recommend that it be someone whom you know and trust. Please take extra care and consideration if you are splitting revenue with or giving editing rights to a co-instructor. Keep in mind that Hey! Lemonade’s contractual relationship is strictly between Hey! Lemonade and each of the instructors.  Any co-instructor business agreements related to a course remains exclusively between the co-instructors.

How To Maintain A Positive Co-Instructor Relationship

The best relationships are created with a foundation of trust. We develop trust in several different ways, but the most important ways all create a feeling of psychological safety. In business partnerships and relationships psychological safety is important, but we also need trust that tells us we’re getting equal outcome compared to output, we need to know that we’re safe financially with the other person/people, and we need to know we’re not giving (or getting) a free ride.

In the beginning any relationship carries a certain level of blind faith, but there are things we can do that increase the likelihood of mutual trust.

What we communicate and how we communicate matters. If in doubt, listen. Ask questions, learn more about wha tete other person means or intends. Often our initial reaction comes from our emotions and inner stories. These prevent us from fully hearing what the other person has to say, and often leads to confusion and miscommunication.

It’s important to both give, and receive, feedback with grace. This means talk about specific actions and outcomes rather than the value or worth of the other person.

The following points are important communication points.

Clear Goals

What do you both want to accomplish? With the single course, in your partnership/professional relationship, as well as long term?

Clear goals that are understood by all partners increases the chance of success.

Equal Participation

Each person may have their own areas of strengths, you may each work on different aspects of course creation, what you do is less important than making sure each person is contributing an equal amount to the partnership.

If one person creates the course content, administers the course, and another creates a couple graphics, but expects equal compensation, then it’s more likely a disagreement will happen.

Instead, discover what you each offer. If you don’t both agree that you’re contributing equally, then discuss what needs to shift in order to find that level of balance. If necessary agree to adjust the level of compensation to match the amount each contributes to the project.

Risk Level

There are many aspects of risk that are important to consider when forming a partnership. When creating a course you face the risk that you might spend valuable resources creating a program that no one purchases. There is also a reputation risk. If you promise a program that you don’t adequately deliver on, then your reputation can be harmed. In a partnership, the actions of one person can impact the risk of the other.

Are you at similar levels to begin with; is your risk equal? If not, how might the person with more to lose mitigate that risk? How might the one with less to lose more adequately support the person with more to lose?

Is your risk tolerance similar? If not, in what ways do you differ? How might this impact your partnership?

It’s also important to note that without risk, there is less chance of success.

Challenge Skills Balance

We each have different skills we’re good at, we each have different levels of challenge that we like to take on. The important thing is making sure there is enough challenge that we stretch our skills, but not so much that we go beyond what we’re capable of.

Clearly communicating what you’re capable of doing, what you need help doing, as well as what you want to challenge yourself to do next is vital to a healthy partnership. If in doubt, ask each other so that you’re more aware of where each other is at with the specific challenge-skills necessary for the program you’re creating.


No one like the same ol’ thing over and over again. We all want to be surprised at least a little bit. This is true even in business.

How might you create something new in your business relationship? How might you think outside the box? Creating a novel experience for your students is wonderful, but how about creating a novel experience for yourself as well?


Novelty is the spice of life, but too much spice and we get burned. Just like we sometimes want a little comfort food when life gets hectic, it’s the same in business.

When there’s a lot of novelty, volatility, ambiguity, complexity, or uncertainty in areas of work (or even your personal life) then it’s important to balance out all that chaos with a little ‘comfort food’. This may mean you have a regular schedule or specific procedures you follow, maybe you create stability in other ways.

Familiarity in some areas of our partnership gives us greater emotional bandwidth to tackle new ideas and new projects.


Most important, what does the course you’re working on mean to you? What does it mean to your co-instructor?

When something matters to us, we’re more likely to work through roadblocks and find new solutions. If you find yourself running into conflict, it can be very helpful to regroup and double check you’re each working toward the same over all goal.

Shared Flow State

When you create a partnership that encompasses the above points, you’re more likely to step into a shared flow state. Shared flow allows you to work together more effectively, more joyfully, and also more successfully.

If problems arise, often the issue falls into one of those categories. The solution always involves clear communication and close listening.