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‘Business’ and ‘inspiration’ are often not words that people would expect to see together. Oh, how wrong they are. It takes a lot to build something from scratch and develop it to the point where you’re not only living, but living comfortably while doing something you love. Below, you’ll find a list of resources which we think could help you to build your business into something truly special.

XOSarah

Sarah’s blog is specifically aimed at people who want to make money out of their blogs. It might seem like the lessons don’t apply to people with a very different business idea. However, blogs are a great thing to have for pretty much any business, so Sarah’s super-informative site is a great place to start. We especially love this post about how best to handle a really busy day.

Two Scots Abroad

While Two Scots abroad is a travel blog, we came across this post and we love it. It gives some great info that works for people who are just starting out, or for those who want to step up their game. Fine, you might not be promoting your own travel blog, but if you’re trying to sell anything online the tips they offer would be a great way to start.

Adore Creative Studio

Chloe is a freelance designer. She runs a beautiful website, as you would expect from a designer. However, we want to talk about her blog. It’s a fantastic example of how a business can use a blog to showcase their work, as well as creating a ton of business-related content which people will want to share. If people share your content, they spread the word about you. This post gives some great ideas for what to post on social media when you get stuck. And you will get stuck eventually. It happens to us all.

Living For Naptime

Living for Naptime is designed for mums who want to start a blog in their free time. But if you’re starting a business while dealing with something else that takes up a lot of time and attention (ie. that full time job you want to get rid of some day) we think there’s a lot to be learned from the brilliant time-saving tips on there. We particularly love this post about growing your Instagram. Give it a try!

Snap Creativity

Tauni Everett has an amazing ‘Blogging + Entrepreneur Tips’ section on her website, which is packed full of information which is really useful whatever your business. For those looking to increase their social media following, we particularly love this post about organically upping your Facebook likes. But, really, the whole blog is a treasure trove.

Nesha Woolery

Once you’ve got yourself set up and your website looking great, you’re on the right track. But it’s not enough to just sit there and wait for your clients to roll in. This post on Nesha’s blog is especially great. It provides a run-down of loads of ways you can go about attracting clients. It’s all about putting yourself out there, and that post will show you how.

Now. Real talk time. Did we miss any amazing sources of business inpiration that you think we should know about? Where do you turn when you need a kick up the backside? If you take away one tip from all of this, what will it be?

 

You may not have noticed, because it’s hardly been mentioned at all, but it is now a new year. As such, everybody’s making resolutions and planning on becoming better people. We’re not that into making tough resolutions that make January a more unpleasant month than it already is. However, we definitely agree with making little changes that make life way more awesome. So, whatever positive change you’re making this month, we’ve probably got a class that can help you.

Change No. 1: Have a go at Veganuary

Veganuary is a thing now. It’s pretty self-explanatory, and involves eating vegan in January. It’s healthy, and it’s also good for the environment. If you can stand to be away from the bacon for a full weeks, you might find you can do it forever. There are HowNow teachers who can guide you through the process of cooking a whole host of delicious, vegan recipes, so you’ll never run out of inspiration.

Change No. 2: Get Fit

It’s not the most original, but after several weeks eating nothing but sausages in bacon and quality street, and washing it all down with wine (just me?) lots of people use the momentum of a new year to improve their fitness. It can be really hard to drag yourself to the gym, so imagine if you could exercise with a trainer in the comfort of your own home. As it so happens, we can totally help you to do that.

Change No. 3: More ‘me’ time

Modern life, guys, am I right? We’re forever running around, commuting for hours, getting work emails at all times of the day and night… It’s a juggling act, and it shouldn’t be. One of the easiest ways to start the new year feeling less stressed is to set aside some time every day that’s just for you. For example, you could try meditation. Close the door for a while, switch off your phone, and focus on yourself. Bliss.

Change No. 4: Learn a new language

Maybe you can’t wait to do some travelling in 2017. You might want to try living in a new country. Maybe you just want a new challenge, or to earn some bragging rights. These are all perfectly valid reasons to start learning a new language. The easiest way to start is to talk to people in the language you’re learning, and we know a whole load of awesome folks who can help with that.

Change No. 5: Be my own boss

Picture the scene: You have to go to work. You get out of bed, get dressed, and walk ten paces to your sofa. Because that is your office. Because you work for yourself. It’s the dream but, when you’re running around at the beck and call of your boss, it can feel totally unattainable. Maybe 2017 will be the year that changes. Start learning how to put your plans into action today, and thank us later. Maybe you want to turn your passion into profit and teach your own classes – we could even help you with that.

Change No. 6: Take more pictures

Maybe you’re about to start a new phase in your life and you want to remember everything. Maybe you got a flashy new camera for Christmas and you need to know how to use it. The best way to make sure you’re creating memories in 2017 is to start now. And a great place to start is by making sure you know what you’re doing.

Change No. 7: Learn to cook

Are you sick of microwave meals and cereal dinners? Do you feel like you might be getting judged by the people who run your local takeaway? It’s time to learn how to cook. Whether you’ve got delicate baking or hearty meals in mind, there are professionals out there who can talk you through the whole process in your own kitchen. Just remember to send us some when you’re done.

Change No. 8: Manage my money better

Oh, money. Some people think it makes the world go round and, whether or not you agree with that sentiment, most people would probably agree that there’s never enough of it. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by bills, it might be time to get somebody else to help you. You could chat about budgets and how to manage your cash better. Just remember to send us some when you’re done. (LOL, JK. Unless you’re feeling generous.)

So, what changes, if any, are you planning on making in 2017? Whatever they are, remember to keep it positive rather than punishing. The new year is a great opportunity to do new things, but no man (or anyone else, for that matter) is an island – if you need help, let someone else step in and lend a hand. It just so happens we know a few.

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

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

Why should anybody learn new skills? After all, we’re all adults here, and there’s that whole adage about teaching old dogs new tricks. That didn’t just come from nowhere, so what’s the point? Right? Well, first off, that’s quite a negative outlook. Learning new skills can be hugely beneficial for a whole host of reasons. Here are just some of our favourites.

Increased self esteem

You’re awesome. We already know that. But sometimes it can be difficult to keep in mind. One way to remind yourself exactly how great you are is to learn new skills. After all, who would have though that you’d be speaking five languages in your thirties when you spoke none as a kid? Amazing. There’s nothing like taking on challenges and smashing them to make you feel like a badass.

The chance to get in the zone

Learning new skills gives you the opportunity to get in the zone. The zone is a great place to be. For the uninitiated, it’s that moment where you’re concentrating so hard on the task at hand that everything around you ceases to exist. That means all of your stress, distractions, other people, everything. It’s almost like magic, but a magic you can recreate any time.

Increased satisfaction

Can’t get no satisfaction? Maybe you need to make a positive change in your life. If you feel stuck in a rut it can be difficult to see a way to improve things, but learning a new skill is a small step in the right direction. Maybe you usually go home and log straight on to Netflix. It’s not so different to go home and then join an online class. The only difference is that you’ve suddenly become super-productive with no extra movement involved, and that’s an achievement.

Increased creativity

You might become an amazing creative genius as you continue to develop in one particular discipline. However, you might also find that adding to your roster of skills can give you a chance to work out problems in another area of your creative life. For example, suffering from writer’s block? Pick up a ukulele or learn to cross stitch, and stop worrying about it for a while. You might be surprised how much it helps.

Improve your memory

Learning something new is a great way to keep your mind active. This is especially important as we get older. Sure, you could just do a bunch of Sudoku puzzles, but wouldn’t it just be that little bit cooler to become a badass guitar-playing rockstar instead? Thought so.

You could literally change your life

Always fantasised about moving to Italy? You could start learning the language. If you do that, you’ve just taken your first step to actually living the actual dream. Similarly, if you’ve always wanted to be a chef, you could start with a few basic cookery classes. The world is so well-connected these days that you can find somebody who can teach you all of the new skills you’ve ever wanted to learn to change your life.

Higher income

Maybe you want to make more money. Firstly, we do not blame you. And secondly, it’s all about adding value, and new skills can do that. Learning a second language, picking up some writing skills, or improving your public speaking could all help you on the road to earning more. And if your current employer isn’t bothered that you’ve gone the extra mile, you might find somewhere else that appreciates your increasingly-abundant talents.

learning

So what new skills are you raring to learn? At HowNow we’re making it possible to learn awesome stuff from experts all over the world. We can’t wait to see what you choose.