How to Teach Online: The Toolkit You Need to Launch Your Offering
The decision to teach online is more than just creating your offering and uploading it to the Internet. Teaching online entails finding and nurturing your audience and then creating courses and programs that your audience wants and needs.
This week wraps up the end of our fall 40 Day Social Media Challenge. Having an engaged audience from your social media following is a great first step in building your online teaching business, but it is really just the beginning.
The next big step in how to teach online can be divided into two distinct stages: (1) nurturing your growing audience, and then, (2) creating a tailored online program or service package specifically for them.
We know from working with our community of yoga teachers, health coaches, and other wellness entrepreneurs that it is essential to listen to your community as you begin to design and build online offerings.
Here are the three tools that we recommend to help nurture your growing audience into enthusiastic customers:
Hootsuite - Automate your social media? Yes, it’s as wonderful as it sounds. You can create your social media posts in batches and use Hootsuite to schedule them to post in the future. By creating a content calendar and batching your work, you won’t feel so overwhelmed with the demand of consistent (and never ending) posting on social. Having a consistent social media strategy allows you to continually build a strong connection with your existing audience as well as growing it at the same time. Spending a Sunday evening or an afternoon automating all your social for the upcoming week will allow you more time to work on other activities that nurture your audience.
Now that your audience is engaged and they are visiting your website, how do you best manage their experience with you?
LeadPages - Inviting your audience to join your email list should be at the heart of your website. This is where LeadPages comes in. LeadPages is the tool we recommend for everyone who is just starting out with building their audience and email list. No techie skills needed, just drag n’ drop to create simple ‘leadpages’ or leadboxes’. These features allow your audience the option to exchange their email address for a freebie or newsletter subscription. Growing your email list is key for any online business and especially so when your's is teaching online.
Now as you start collecting email addresses...how do you manage them all?
Mailchimp – This straightforward email service provider allows you to store those emails in a list and send emails (like newsletters) to your subscribers. Mailchimp is our favorite for beginners because it’s incredibly easy to figure out, the help documents and video tutorials are excellent, and the newsletter templates are gorgeous. Plus, Mailchimp integrates with Namastream, so if someone signs up for a program on your Namastream site, their email is captured and added to your Mailchimp list. Hooray!
Want some more tips on nurturing your audience? Here are our most valuable blog posts to help you:
Through nurturing your audience, you will have opportunities to reach out and communicate directly with them and learn about the kind of content they want and need. With this insight, you can then move on to creating your offering.
Here are the three tools that we recommend to help you film and edit your programs and classes:
Cameras - Although you’re certainly able to film high quality video with your smartphone these days, you will likely be limited by the size of the files you can create (which impacts the length of your videos). If you have any plans to film full-length 45-90 minute videos, you’ll probably want to invest in a good camcorder. The Canon VIXIA HF R700 is inexpensive and super easy to use. It takes SD memory cards that you can pop out of the camera and plug into your laptop. No wires or connection cables needed!
If you envision that your offering will include live streaming with Namastream 2.0 then a webcam might be the camera you have in mind. Our favorite webcam is the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920. This webcam provides a crystal clear image at an excellent price (andit is currently on sale!). We have been recommending this webcam for over a year and anyone that owns it has been super happy with the image quality + ease of setup.
For the teachers that envision teaching directly from sharing their screen, Screenflow is hands down the best tool to capture your teaching. We have used screenflow to create 70+ videos in our own Soulful.MBA teaching community. We are Mac user so we love Screenflow but we know many PC users who use Camtasia Studios with great success too.
When it comes to filming, the camera is only half of it...
Microphones - Investing in an external microphone is key to creating clear quality content. You want your students to be able to hear your instruction clearly. Our top recommendation for video filming is to use an external wireless microphone that plugs into your camcorder. We like the Samson AirLine 77 Headset Mic, which is popular among fitness instructors. If you’re planning to do voiceovers, rather than talking while you demo we think the Blue Yeti is fantastic.
How do you turn your raw video into content?
iMovie– Most of our Namastream teachers use iMovie to do a little post-production tweaking and save themselves the expense of outsourcing the task or the headache of learning a more painfully-complicated software (Adobe Premiere, we’re talking to you). Kaitlin King of YogaSoule has courses specially designed to educate yoga teachers on how to use iMovie. Kaitlin is an iMovie expert and is also a mentor in our Soulful.MBA business training community where she shares some of her tips and tricks for using iMovie.
Want some more tips on creating your content? Here are our most valuable blog posts to help you: