Now that we are asked to do our duty, stay at home and socially distance ourselves, some businesses that conduct in-person classes like yoga, cooking, art and fitness classes have been experiencing a tough time. Many have already taken the necessary steps to conduct their business online by live-streaming their classes on social media networks such as Facebook and Instagram. If you are thinking about the ways in which you could conduct your classes online, whether you are a well-established studio or would like to test the waters and see if you could turn your hobby into a business, look no further.
Steps on conducting your online classes differ depending on whether you are a freelancer or a studio. To accommodate faster research, here’s what we’ll discuss in this post.
- Studios and Schools: Conduct Your Classes Online
- Freelancers and Hobbyist: Start Your Career with Online Classes
For Studios and Schools
Regardless of whether you are a yoga or fitness studio, an art or cooking school, you are most likely looking for ways to engage your clientele during the social distancing and self-quarantine time. While you work on your website to create a platform that will support and create space for online engagement of your clientele through carefully curated classes, there are 4 steps you can take to make sure your clients don’t go running to your competition.
1. Engage through Social Media Channels
This might seem like an obvious step, but we urge you not to skip this thinking you’ve already had it covered. While your social media strategy might be engaging and pulling enough views, don’t let stop there. Create a special hashtag and a challenge. Ask your followers to participate by using the created hashtag, and engage with them through it. Comment. Repost. And comment again. Be your followers’ go-to motivator.
Don’t stop there. Do live sessions where, if you are a cooking school, you’ll share a special recipe, or a special home routine if you are a fitness studio. Remember, people are creatures of habit, and not more than ever we need our regular after-work activities to keep us in line and take our minds off the news even if for a short while.
2. Create a Free Class to Test the Waters
Here’s a challenge you need to tackle right now. Unlike the situation in your studio/space where you control the settings, your clients are at home – a territory you are not familiar with and cannot control. Do a poll on social media and inquire about their situation.
- You have a fitness or yoga studio – check if they have enough equipment and space.
- Are you running a cooking class – do your students have all the appliances they might need?
- If you have an art school – do your students have art supplies they need for class?
This poll will allow you to create a class that is adjusted to the situation your clients are in. Not all will have the state of the art equipment they might have available at your studio or school. So make sure when creating the free class you adjust it to suit everyone’s needs. Then share it with your followers and encourage them to participate.
Note: Don’t forget that you are no longer in your studio, therefore you’ll need to think about things like equipment. This includes anything from a camera, good mic, lighting, and more.
3. Arrange Online Paid Classes
The test class will tell you everything you need to know about the types of classes your clients are interested in. Have someone follow their comments and feedback. Remember, now is the dish out the best motivational moves you’ve got, since it is harder to encourage people to take action from home.
Once you have the necessary feedback and the concept of your classes is ready, it is time for paid sessions. Depending on the type of your business, these can be one on one or group sessions.
So how do you organise paid online classes? Simple, with a little help of communication tools such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, AnyMeeting, GoToMeeting, and so on. Check which tools suit your needs the best and start inviting your clients to join in on the sessions!
4. Give Additional Value to Your Clients
Now is the time to put a little more effort and share personalised content with your clients. Maybe you could do a free personalised training session if you are a fitness studio, or sending a special recipe to each of your clients. It’s important for your clients to feel appreciated, so dial-up your empathy and create a strive to create a feeling of community during these online classes.
For Freelancers and Hobbyist
If the current situation in the world has prompted you to think about what you’d want to do next, or at least what you’d want to do with all the free time you’ve got at home, maybe it’s time to take your hobby to the next level. We say it’s about time you show the world what you can do and how you can contribute!
Whether you want to explore your hobby further with a like-minded community or turn your hobby into a freelance career, there are steps you can take to make this transition a successful one.
1. Create a Community on Social Media Platforms
Before you start creating your online classes, build a community on social media platforms around your own work. In order to be successful in creating a community, remember the golden rule – be empathetic, give additional value through tips, extra materials and motivate people through your original spin on the subject of your work. Think in terms ‘quality over quantity’ and the number of followers will grow.
Once you create a community, however big or small it is, ask them what type of content they would like to see and what interests them the best. Be playful, create challenges and interact with your audience. The feeling of togetherness is what motivates many to continue their pursuit, so be kind and offer support.
Consider doing collaborative work with other prominent figures on social media in your field.
2. Test the Waters
Through trial and error, we learn and improve your skills, product or service. Instead of worrying if you’ll fail, focus on creating testing outlets through social media live streaming. This will give you an insight into how your community reacts to your content, and whether they’d like to pay for what you have to offer.
It’s important to know that depending on your type of content, you’ll need to invest into some equipment such as camera, lighting, camera stand and so on. But you can always improvise in the beginning and come up with homemade instrument solutions, like camera stand, until you have a chance to invest in better equipment.
3. Create a Paying Sessions
Much like businesses and studios, you can conduct your online lessons through communication tools such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, AnyMeeting, GoToMeeting, and so on. All these tools are very similar, so check all of them to see what might suit your particular style the best. Your clients can pay for the sessions through digital wallets or services such as Google Pay or Apple Pay, or Stripe.
4. Think about Creating Your Brand
For a successful freelance career, it is important to invest in your own brand. There is no way around it, really. In order to take control of your digital footprint is to get a personalized domain name and build a personal website. Having a personalised website is no longer a luxury, but rather an integral part of your career. It alludes to professionalism and capacity to handle and execute important tasks.
Not knowing how to code or having a developer’s background is no longer an excuse, since there are multiple website builder options available where you can create your own website without knowing a single line of code!
Carefully choose the elements of your website. Think about what message you’ll want the About page to convey about you. Include your short bio, references and testimonials, and most important examples of your work. Be consistent in curating content, and don’t forget to connect your social media channels with your website.
One More Thing
Taking your classes online at first seems like a dire job, especially if you don’t have a strong digital background. But with advanced tools available on the market, making it easy for anyone to create an online class and share it with their audience, it would be a mistake not to take advantage of this opportunity and connect with your clients in the online realm, while we are doing our best to keep the social distance and stay at home.