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You may have been flicking through your own library of images thinking nope not that one or that one, as you try to find beautiful photos for your business’ website, social media or blog. Fear not, the days of searching Shutterstock and Getty and discovering just how much you need to spend are over. There are a fantastic wealth of royalty free stock images you can access out there. You would be surprised by the quality – it’s outstanding. Explore the sites we have below; to give your business the professional look you need without emptying your pockets.

1.Unsplash

This is the first place I was made aware of when I was stuck in the same spot as you. It’s shocking how good these photos are and how generous people are with sharing their love of photography through royalty free stock images. I know a couple of contributors who love the idea their images could help a young business.

Example image- Photographer: Samuel Scrimshaw

Person standing on top of a mound near a cliff

 

 

2. Pexels

This is another fantastic site that has extremely high-quality content for you to use completely for free; regardless if it’s personal or commercial. Feels a bit like daylight robbery right? They have a great feature on this site where you can see the top photographers that are trending right now, allowing you to select images more easily. What’s nice about this feature is that these top photographers who are donating so much free imagery to this space can receive donations. So, if you feel guilty for using 15 of their images- although you shouldn’t, as they’re putting images out there to share; you can make a donation to this photographer to support them in their work. Think of it as a token gesture.

Example image – Photographer: Bruce Mars

Man sitting on floor using his laptop and phone

 

 

 

3.Pixabay

This site is great as it has over 1.3 million photos up for use. This is fantastic as it has videos- a great resource for you to have. They also have vector graphs and illustrations! This site just keeps on giving! Definitely, pay them a visit.

Example Vector Graph- Creator: Gordon Johnson

Vector Graph of House

 

 

4. Kaboom Pics

This site has a range of photos which you can search by category. Most photos also come in different sizes and come with a downloadable colour palette.  More beautiful free images; not much more to say.

Example Image- Photographer: Kaboom Pics

Coffee Cup

 

 

5.Picjumbo

This site was created by Designer and Photographer Viktor Hanacek in 2013. This site has a lot of photos with really useful category breakdowns to help you find that perfect image quicker. If you like a particular photo it allows you to see more similar photos that may have been taken at the same photoshoot. So, this allows you to handpick the images that do it for you. Who knew there would be such a selection of royalty free stock images.

Example Image- Photographer: VIKTOR HANACEK

A man waits for a subway train in Prauge

 

 

We live in a visual world, judging something by its cover ( even though you’re constantly told not too) we instinctively do it. Research has indicated you only have 7 seconds to make a strong first impression. Check out these sites and find the image that best suits your needs.

P.s our title image is from by Nursultan Rakysh on Unsplash

So, you have your class up and running, and it’s looking great. But how can you get the word out and start to increase your booking numbers?

Add a Call to Action button on Facebook

If you have a Facebook page, you have everything you need to add a Call to Action button. This is a way to send people directly to your classes. You have the option of seven different CTAs (that’s right, we’re abbreviating) and one of them is, conveniently, ‘Book Now’. All you have to do is enter the link for your class and you’re away! Additionally, since you have your Facebook page set up and looking awesome, you could also consider paid ads or promoted posts on Facebook too. They’re a great way to increase the numbers of people seeing your content.

Get Tweeting

If you have Twitter, start tweeting about your classes. The key to remember with Twitter is that you can’t just do it once. There’s an average of just under 10,000 tweets published every second, so you’ve got a lot of competition. Once your tweet has been out there for 18 minutes, the likelihood is that its been buried on everybody’s newsfeed. What that means is you really need to be tweeting about your classes at least once a day. Now, that sounds like a lot, but don’t panic – there are awesome sites like Buffer, Tweetdeck, and Sprout that allow you to schedule your tweets. Just line ’em up, and these services will send ’em out. There’s also the option of promoted tweets, but if you’re a paid advertising virgin you might prefer to do that on Facebook – it’s much easier to pick the right audience.

Add a link to your site

If you have your own website, add a linked image to your sidebar to say ‘hey, I teach online classes’. That way, whatever page a potential student is on, they’ll always see the option to book. If your site gets a lot of traffic from people who aren’t local to your in-person classes, this is a great way to increase bookings from that audience. In fact, feel free to use the embed codes below for a stylish way of linking your website visitors to your classes.

For a navy blue background:

<a href=http://learnhownow.com><img src=http://imgur.com/ttg7zrWtitle=”Learn With Me on HowNow” width=”270″ height=”290″ /></a>

For a white background:

<a href=http://learnhownow.com><img src=http://imgur.com/4dNCkzRtitle=”Learn With Me on HowNow” width=”270″ height=”290″ /></a>
These can be pasted anywhere on your site. Don’t forget to change the URL in the code to the URL of your class, and get in touch if you have any issues!

Tell your mailing list

Do you have a list of customer emails? Let them know about your classes! If you want to increase the quality of the emails you send you could try using a service like Mailchimp to make them look super-slick. You can even add a button to your email which takes a user straight to your class booking page. After all, you want to make the process as quick and easy as possible. You could also try sending out promotional codes to get the ball rolling with your bookings. We send them out in the newsletter all the time, or we could always help you by

Use word of mouth

Got a student who’s mentioned going away or moving? Remind them that they can keep up their classes with you!

Mention your classes in other professional profiles

Do you write a column in a newspaper? Speak at events? Make TV appearances? If you have to provide a profile about yourself, mention that you teach on HowNow. If your work is being seen you might well be attracting people who are interested in learning from you. Letting them know that they can find you on HowNow is a great way to capitalise on interest, especially if the geography won’t work.

Extra special bonus suggestion!

If you’re looking to increase your mailing list or your social media following, a giveaway is a great way to do it. There are great applications like Gleam or Rafflecopter which make it super-easy to set up a prize draw where a user gives their email address or follows you on social media in order to be entered into a draw. An online class is a great option for a prize because it doesn’t depend on location and there’s no financial outlay for you. You’d just need to contact the winner afterwards to give them a prize code (contact us if you ever need this) and voila! You’ve run a competition!

Please note that we do not advise waving your profits around willy-nilly, no matter how much this stylish photo may suggest otherwise.

Don’t forget, if you do need any more advice, it’s always worth getting in touch to ask – we might just be able to help.

HowNow lets you teach what you love from anywhere in the world. Our video platform allows you to interact and communicate with your students face to face and engage with people from anywhere, at any time. We’ve put together a list so that you can pick the right webcam for you:

Best webcam: Logitech C920

logitech c920 webcam

Logitech have been making webcams for a long time and have the most options of any manufacturer. The Logitech C920 captures pictures and video at 1080p which means video calls and HowNow classes are at the highest quality from your end. With its sharp image and wide FOV (field of view), the C920 is the best quality webcam compared to other offerings.

Even in low light, the C920 has great visibility and, instead of a pink blob of pixels you’ll find in cheaper webcams, details are still clearly visible.

The C920 gets the HowNow seal of approval for being the best webcam, working well in not just optimal conditions but in all situations.

Best budget webcam: Microsoft Lifecam HD-3000

hd-3000 webcam

The quality of the C920 does come at a premium. High fidelity cameras are expensive to make and generic off-brand webcams are available for £5 on Amazon and eBay. So while Microsoft’s Lifecam HD-3000 may not be a fiver, at £20, it’s the best quality at that price.

The HD-3000 is a ‘plug and play’ device, in its truest form. You can put the device right on top of your monitor, plug straight into your USB port and you’re good to go.

If you’re looking for a webcam with great quality that doesn’t break the bank, the Microsoft Lifecam HD-3000 is the best choice for anyone using HowNow.

Most versatile webcam: Logitech C525

c525 webcam

Though the Logitech C525 doesn’t have the same quality that the C920 offers, it has a lot of features not found in other webcams. The c525 has a huge range of motion, a much more adaptable base, and can fold flat to protect the lens during transport.

If you’re looking for a webcam that offers a wide range of motion, where you can point the camera to a different location on the fly, the Logitech C525 is the best camera of choice in this regard,

Honorable Mention: Your laptop webcam

macbook webcam

Every new laptop in the last 5-8 years has come with a webcam by default. Though not all are created equal, the beauty of HowNow is that you’re able to get started teaching straight away. Simply logging into HowNow on your laptop and joining your class is all you need to do.

Not all classes need a fancy setup with adjustable, high fidelity cameras. In conclusion, your students being able to share in your expertise and seeing you face to face is the most important part of delivering an engaging and successful class.

Once you’ve decided to teach classes on HowNow, and you’ve planned what your lessons will be like, it’s time to post your class listing. This is what students will see when they make their bookings, so a great listing is crucial. Luckily, we put together a guide for how to complete each section.

Title and description

class listing

The first thing you’ll need to come up with for your class listing is a title and a one-line description. These appear on the browse pages so they need to be compelling to attract users to click. Try to avoid having a one-word class title, or using the words ‘one-to-one’, ‘group’, or anything like ‘class’ or ‘lesson’. Students will already know that it’s a class by the fact that it’s on HowNow, and you’ll use your tags to let them know if it’s one-to-one or for groups. Try to make your one-line description long enough to fill the space available – so about 100 characters.

Header image or video

screenshot-107screenshot-108

You have the choice between adding a video introduction to your class or adding a header image. These appear within the class listing itself. If you add a video, make sure you introduce yourself and what students will learn in the class. However, avoid going into so much detail that people no longer feel the need to make a booking. If you decide to add an image instead, make sure it’s a high quality one. Avoid images with a white background, and images which are actually a lot of text. If you want to use a logo, the place to do that is as your profile picture rather than as a header image.

Overview

screenshot-116

 

This is the section where you can give users an idea of what your class offers without going into specifics. This overview needs to apply to people who are visiting your class listing to book their tenth session just as much as it applies to total beginners, so keep it general and use lots of keywords because those will help your SEO. You might choose to give a bit of information about your teaching technique, or what a student will gain from a series of sessions with you.

What you need

screenshot-111screenshot-112

The next section you’ll come to when writing your class listing is ‘what you need’. This lets the student know what they’ll need to have access to before they take your session. You need to give them the best possible opportunity to get prepared before the day, so list everything. You might have a long list or a very short one. It may be that you don’t require your students to have anything. All of these are fine, just make sure you’re transparent in your listing.

Pricing, keywords, etc.

screenshot-115

This part of your class listing will actually appear at the top of the page next to your header. This is where you can let people know what levels you can teach, what languages you teach in, and how much you charge. You should also add keywords, but definitely avoid using words like ‘lessons’, ‘classes’ and ‘online’. Everything on the site is an online class so these won’t help you to stand out. Make sure your keywords refer to the content of the class.

What to expect

screenshot-110

Make sure that your class listing lets people know what to expect in your sessions. If you are teaching both one-to-one and group classes, try to let people know what the differences between the formats will be. Once you’ve done that people will be able to decide which type of class they’ll be happier taking part in and a comfortable student is a goof student.

Availability

screenshot-113

It’s vital that you connect your Google calendar to HowNow. This is the easiest way for you to let us know when you’re available. A great class listing will give potential students a lot of time options. By having as much free time in your calendar as possible you maximise your chances of getting bookings.

Ultimately, your HowNow class listing is the place to sell yourself. Don’t be afraid to brag, but don’t forget that you also need to appeal to total beginners who might not know what you’re talking about. That’ll soon change after your first session, though.

Some people might look at an online class and wonder what’s so appealing about talking to people over a computer screen. We don’t mind that, but we do think it’s a bit sad that those people haven’t yet come to realise exactly how awesome online classes can be. We put together a preliminary list to help them out.

You can learn in your PJs

The last thing you want to do after a long day is go out and do something else. Or, at least, not if you have to stay in your work clothes. Honestly, would it kill them to put a bit of elastic in there somewhere? Online classes mean that you have a legitimate excuse to run straight home and PJ up. Everybody knows you learn best when your comfortable, but that doesn’t mean you wouldn’t get told off for turning up at night school in your nightie.

You can learn from people all over the place

If you go somewhere local to learn, there’s a limited sample of people available to teach you. That gets reduced further depending on the availability and level of both sides of the equation. By taking to the internet for online classes, you widen your pool significantly. If the best violin teacher in the world is in Chicago, then you can learn from Chicago. Sure, it might take more research then just going to the closest person, but you virtuoso career will thank you.

You always get the best seat

You remember when you were at school and there were a couple of seats that people always fought over? You’re not at school any more! Plus you don’t even have to that thing people do when they’re adults where they all pretend not to care about where they sit, but they all end up hating each other anyway. You can have the best seat in your house. Cover it with cushions and blankets. Delight in your own comfort. Put your feet up, look back on your school days, and laugh.

Online classes can be booked when it suits you

There are lots of classes to take just after work, and that’s fine for a lot of people. But how about if you work best between the hours of 10pm and 1am? Online classes are your friends. There’s also no need to give up other plans. Because you can work with people all over the world, it doesn’t matter if you only have time in the early afternoon, or if you only like to learn after dark. Whatever your quirk, there’s someone out there who’ll be able to work with it.

You only have to tidy up part of your room

If you found a tutor who would visit your home, you’d have to make a bit of an effort for them. It wouldn’t even be for them as much as it would be to help you save face. But guess what? Sometimes busy people don’t have time to pick up their floordrobe every time their maths teacher comes over. With online classes all you have to do is kick everything to the side so it’s just out of view of the camera and voila! You’ll look like a domestic god and/or goddess and nobody will be any the wiser.

online-classses

Have you found any benefits to taking online classes that we’ve missed out on here? Don’t forget to let us know. And don’t forget to check out HowNow so that you, too, can start living the dream.

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably discovered HowNow. We’re giving everyone the chance to learn from experts in all kinds of subjects from all over the globe. We’re also giving everyone the chance to teach others what they know in online classes. But why should you start teaching classes with us? Well, let’s start with these reasons.

1. A worldwide audience

The fact that HowNow classes take place online means that your potential students could be anywhere in the world. If you want to teach around a full time job there’ll be people up for taking classes at pretty much any time that is convenient to you. There’s no need to spend loads of money on travel for either you or your students, which means it’s super-easy to keep them coming back.

2. There’s no need to hire a venue

When you’re teaching from the comfort of your own home there’s no need to worry about finding the perfect venue for your HowNow classes. As a result, there’s no stress about how students will find you, and you’ll also never have to worry about the risk of spending loads of money on a venue only to have nobody turn up. With the financial risk removed, you’re free to make your classes as regular as you like. In fact, the more the merrier.

3. You can be your own boss

There’s nothing quite like being your own boss. You don’t have to answer to anyone, there’s no need to explain yourself, and there’s no pressure to work set hours as requested by somebody else. You might choose to start teaching part time for some extra pocket money. However, you’ll have the potential to grow your business and take it full time, so being your own boss is genuinely within reach.

4. Share your knowledge

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a whole new influx of people who were just as interested in Polymer Clay modelling as you? Well, when you start sharing your knowledge you might find you start inspiring people. You’re the best advocate for the thing you love to do. If you want to get more people involved, teaching them how is a fantastic start.

5. Turn your passion into profit

Pretty much everyone has a passion. Relatively few people get to actually profit from theirs. For most people, their passion is a thing to be indulged in after work, or at the weekend. We want to see more people taking the leap and starting to make money doing something they really love. We think that teaching classes is a great way to start doing that. Who knows where it could lead?

6. We’ll take care of everything

All you need to do is let us know what times you’re available to teach classes by adding your availability to a dedicated Google Calendar. After that, users can book hour-long slots without you needing to worry about any complicated scheduling. We’ll also email your students to confirm their bookings, and we’ll give you a dedicated dashboard so that you can keep track of what’s working and what could be improved.

Once you start teaching classes on HowNow we’re willing to bet you’ll get the bug and want to teach more. And who could blame you when there are a whole host of great reasons to get started. First of all, think about what first inspired you to do what you love. Now, how can you pass that on to other people? You practically have a lesson plan already.

It’s brilliant that you’ve decided you want to turn your passion into profit. You’ve even gone ahead and listed your class. But how do you go about it if you’ve never taught an official class before? Writing a lesson plan is a really good place to begin. You might be totally new to the whole process, or just in need of a refresher now that you’ve decided to teach on the regular. Either way, we’ve got your back.

1. Know what people will need in good time

If you’re planning to teach a class, start your lesson plan with a list of everything a student might need. That could just be a pen and paper. If you’re leading a cookery session you’ll need to know the ingredients. If you’re teaching an instrument and your student needs to provide their own, make that clear too. There’s a section in your HowNow class listing to let students know what they’ll need, so make sure you use it.

2. Have an overall objective

Before you go into too much detail in your lesson plan, decide what a student should come away having learned. This will give you a goal to keep in mind while you’re planning. Once you know what you’re aiming for you can break it down into steps. For one-to-one sessions, this might be dictated by the needs to your student. For group sessions where ability levels may be mixed, you’ll need to decide in advance what you want students to learn.

3. Set realistic durations for activities

Your class might be an hour long, but how you use that hour is completely up to you. If you have multiple activities for students to complete during a class, you need to make sure you allocate time to each so that you don’t overrun. These need to be realistic, as well. If you’re teaching craft and people have to glue something together, how long does that take? Don’t be tempted to underestimate, because that’ll mean you feel rushed. Make sure everybody has enough time to complete what they need to. If you complete a plan and realise you need more than an hour, feel free to create a lesson plan that spans multiple classes.

4. Don’t be thrown off if people don’t act how you expect them to

For all that we talk about having a lesson plan, don’t be surprised if things don’t go quite as expected. You might encounter a group of quiet students. Don’t be thrown by that. Maybe you’ll have one super-keen student who shouts down everybody else. Make sure you know what you’ll do in situations where people are unpredictable. It might never happen, but at least this way you can feel confident in the knowledge that you’re prepared.

5. Plan a curriculum while you’re at it

If you really want to maximise the profits you make through HowNow, consider expanding that lesson plan. Set an overall goal for what people should learn across a series of lessons with you. There’s nowhere on the site to publish that, so it doesn’t have to be amazing, but it’s good to have it for yourself. Then, break that “super goal” down into a series of classes. We say ‘curriculum’, but we’re just trying to be fancy. All we really mean is ‘series of more than one class’.

study

We hope this proves that anybody can write a lesson plan. All you really need to do is be a bit organised, and break everything down as much as possible. We can wait to see what your awesomely-planned classes look like!

You will need:

  • Your own website
  • Active social media channels
  • Existing network of followers/other professionals

Steps:

Connect everything

Make sure your social networks and website have been added to your HowNow profile. Add a link to your HowNow profile to your website and social media profiles. Let your existing network know what you’re up to as well, in case they’re up for it.

Make it pretty

People are shallow. Whenever you have to use an image, make sure it’s high quality and a good illustration of what people will actually be doing when they take one of your classes. Your website and social media platforms should also be well-designed and any pictures you use there should be of equally high quality.

Start sharing everywhere

Once you’ve got your class listed on HowNow, share it on your website and also on all of your social media profiles. Don’t forget to include a link so people know how to find you. Your network will be able to take your classes, but it will also enhance their perception of you as an expert in your field, so even if they’re not your future students it can make a good impression.

Keep sharing everywhere

once you’ve built up a bit of momentum by sharing your classes online, keep doing it. The easiest way to let people forget about you is to stop sharing your projects, so it’s definitely something to avoid. You might feel like you’re repeating yourself, but there’s so much content being shared online these days, that some people won’t have seen your first, second, or even third posts.

Promote your other projects

One of the bonuses of teaching a class through HowNow is that, for that hour, you have a captive audience. If you have other projects or products to promote, by all means feel free to do so. It’s another situation where having your website connected to your profile can work wonders. Once a student has been inspired by you, they know exactly how to find out more. They might even buy your products.

Congratulations! You’ve listed your first class on HowNow and you’ve been having a great time turning your passion into profit and inspiring people all over the world. You’ve done something awesome. But once you’ve launched a successful class, how can you take your business further and keep your followers engaged? It might be time to start teaching more classes. But how can you decide what else to list?

Level up 

If you were teaching an art class for beginners, try adding an intermediate or advanced level for those students who really want to progress. If you were teaching a very general class about a big topic you could go into specifics. Looking at the same ‘art class’ example you could also focus specifically on shading techniques or watercolours. Students will still be able to take your general class as a starter, but if you pique their interest they can concentrate on the specific aspect that interests them.

Be trendy

Maybe you’re the kind of person who has their finger on the pulse. In fact, if you spend basically any time of social media, you probably are. If so, keep an eye on what’s trending and plan classes around that. For example, if you teach cookery you might want to show off all of the ways you can cook a pumpkin, or if politics is your subject, now’s a great time to teach a class about how the US Government works.

Break down what you do

Take a really close look at exactly what it is you do and see if you can extract some more class ideas. If you teach people how to sew a cushion cover, then you could probably teach them how to do some basic clothing repairs. Teaching might also mean that you’re great at time management, so there could be another class opportunity in that. Maybe people love the brilliantly-designed studio you teach in, and you could branch out into classes about interior design. There are no rules about what you can start teaching, as long as you feel confident.

Ask your following

If you’ve cultivated a really keen following who’ve enjoyed their experiences with your other class then you should take advantage of them. In a nice way. Ask your followers what kind of classes they’d like to see you teach next and see what they come back with. The answer might be something you would never have thought about without their input.

A photo by Lacie Slezak. unsplash.com/photos/yHG6llFLjS0

Above everything else, you need to make sure the subject matter for your next class excites you. After all, you’re the person who has to sit there and talk about it again and again, so a passion for your subject matter is key. As you keep adding new classes keep sharing your content and using your social media channels, and you can keep growing your classes. We can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: It’s awesome that you want to join HowNow as an Expert. We can’t get enough of the variety of awesome things to learn on the platform and we’re thrilled you want to add your expertise to the platform. Once you’ve signed up you’ll be ready to list your first class and, since we want you to be as successful as possible, we’ve put together a list of things to remember as you do that:

Basic Information

The title, tagline, categories, and image are the first things that users see when they browse – make sure that they are appealing and informative.

Title

Avoid using the words ‘class’ or ‘lesson’ in your title as all the activities available on HowNow are classes. It’s better to give a specific indication of the class, for example ‘Guitar for Beginners’.

Tagline

You don’t need to use hashtags or keywords here. This is just a short line to further explain your class, like the strapline on a film poster. Try and write something that’s different to the title and indicate what they would be aiming in the lesson. For example: Learn to strum your favourite tune.

Overview

Don’t just copy and paste! It’s fine to use material from your own website. Just make sure that it’s relevant. Bear in mind that new people will be seeing your listing, not just your followers and fans who know what you offer already. Write an overview as if you’re describing your class to someone who’s never tried your activity before. Will they understand or have you used lingo which will need explaining? Don’t try to be salesy, be specific. Members are more impressed finding out exactly what they will learn rather than vague ‘this is the best guitar class’ comments.

What do you need?

This is the section to list what your students will need to have in time for your class (for example, if you’re teaching cookery, what ingredients will they have to have?). Make sure you list this clearly so that you don’t end up with a group of confused and un-prepared students.

What to expect

You’ve given a general overview about yourself and your subject, but this is where you can get into the nitty-gritty of exactly what a student can expect to learn. It’s good to be detailed here so that your students will know that this is the class they want to take.

Categories

Only select categories that are relevant. It may be tempting to select all the categories in the hopes that this will increase your chances of people finding your class, But for people who are interested in your activity, the irrelevant categories will look weird on your listing page. It’s also very unlikely to convert members who were looking for something totally different but just happen to stumble upon your class in the wrong place.

Keywords

This is where you should list relevant words. The more specific you can be, the better. It will help people who are searching for your activity to find your class.

Pricing

As there are no costs for running your classes (venue, materials for users), users will expect sessions to be cheaper than if you were running the class in a physical location. As you start out, we recommend that you make your classes affordable to help get reviews and build your reputation within the HowNow community.

Images

The first thing that our members see when they browse for activities are the photos. If they see good quality photos of people doing the activity and having fun, they’ll be more likely to book. It’s better to not include your logo, text or a marketing material, as your business name will already show in the thumbnail. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of opportunity for users to find out about you on your listing page.

Reviews

As you’re getting started, it’s really important to startgetting reviews. The best way to do this is to share the news that you’re offering online classes to your mailing list and friends. Nicely ask them to try it out and leave reviews for you!

class

A lot of your class’ success will depend on it being listed well on the site. After all, that’s where you’ll be able to give enough information to convince somebody to try it out. By following these steps you’ll be giving yourself the best possible chance of succeeding on HowNow. And if you need more tips all you have to do is ask.