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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!

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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.

There’s loads of brand new ways of marketing your business using the internet. Email marketing is a classic, though. While some companies have moved away from it in favour of advertising through social networks, we think it’s definitely still worth doing. But why should you care what we think? We put together a list of reasons you should probably consider email marketing if you don’t already do it.

Pretty much everyone has an email

When considering online marketing, Facebook is always a sound choice. They have 1.7 billion monthly active users worldwide. However, email greatly surpasses that with 2.5 billion users around the world. There’s a chance that some people in your demographic might not be on Facebook, but they’re very likely to have an email.

You can engage customers

Sending emails can open up a dialogue with your customer base. If you send messages from an email address they can reply to they’re likely to do so. It probably won’t happen so much that you feel inundated, but it’ll happen on occasion. Whether your email list have questions, comments, or complaints, it’s a great way to get feedback. You’re also contacting people who have at one point or other willingly (we hope) given you their email. That implies that they’re probably already interested in what you’re doing, which is a great place to start.

People expect promotions

Email has been commonplace for a lot longer than social networking. As such, the idea of receiving promotional messages is something we all expect and largely accept. At this point it basically feels the same as getting pizza leaflets through the door. Paid marketing through social networks like Facebook and Twitter has been around for a lot less time and is still seen by some as an annoyance, which means email can be the better option if you want to find a receptive audience.

You can personalise it

If you create a Facebook ad, for example, there are very prescriptive rules about what you have to have to include. The same can also be said of Twitter and Instagram. When you’re sending promotions directly to inboxes you have the freedom to present your company however you would like – the only restriction is the limit of your imagination. Although do avoid sending unsolicited giant files to people. Nobody likes that company.

There’s more chance of being seen

According to ReturnPath, 18% of emails were either blocked or undelivered last year. Similarly, 4% went straight to junk folders. That means 22% of emails don’t reach their destination. On the flip side, organic reach for a post on a Facebook page is likely to be less than 7%. That means that without spending money to promote your posts you run the risk of 93% of your fans missing your content. Basically, email can prove to be a much more cost-effective way of reaching more interested people.

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If you’re still on the lookout for a way to make great email newsletters, we recommend Mailchimp, which is versatile enough to do pretty much anything and also has a free subscription below a certain number of subscribers. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

So you’ve decided to become an Expert and start teaching classes through HowNow. We can’t say we blame you. It’s a great idea to earn some extra income and to build a brand for yourself. But how do you get started? The great news is that we’ve kept it simple. You just fill in a form and you’re good to go. However, there are a few super-easy tips you should know about to make sure you maximise your success on HowNow.

Success Tip 1:

Make sure the contact details on your profile are complete and keep them up-to-date. Hosts with a fully-completed profile (photo, contact number, email address) look much more organised and reliable than those with empty spaces.

Success Tip 2:

Be punctual! If you know that you are hosting a class, make sure that you are online at least 10 minutes before to ensure that you have the correct equipment, that you’re happy with your set up, and that your camera and mic are working.

Success Tip 3:

Practice makes perfect. If this is the first time that you are running an online class it’s worth practising the structure of your class with friends and family to find what best works for your activity. Run a practise session, gather their feedback and act on it.

Success Tip 4:

Pick an appropriate profile image. If you are an individual without a brand (yet) and are just hosting under your name, it’s best to use a clear, professional-looking photo of you so that our members can get an idea of who they’ll be seeing on their screen on the day of their class.

Success Tip 5:

Having positive reviews is a great way to increase your bookings. When you get started, it could be a good idea to get in touch with your existing followers and announce that this is a new service that you are offering. Give them a discount and then you can get their reviews. If you don’t have existing followers, don’t be put off. You might just have to do a bit more marketing to bring people in in the first instance.

Success Tip 6:

Make sure to fill in your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter handles on your profile so that we and our members can follow you on social media. We will also be able to tag you in any marketing features that you are in.

Success Tip 7:

Make sure that you feel comfortable using the How Now platform. It’s important to know how to manage your bookings to avoid any issues on the day of your session. We will offer demos for using the platform but it’s always good to practice before your first session.

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We can’t wait to see all of the awesome stuff you have to share on HowNow!

The internet is great. It’s opened up marketing like nothing else and means that small companies actually have a chance of competing with the big guys. After all, you can create Google Adwords campaigns, and so can they. You can make sure your content is seen in the right facebook newsfeeds, and so can they. You can make viral video content just as well as much larger companies.

The increase in internet use for pretty much everything these days does mean, however, that certain marketing ideas that were commonplace are starting to fall by the wayside. But just because they’re seen as outdated, it definitely doesn’t mean that it’s useless to give them a try. After all, your target demographic might not even be big internet users, and what will you do then?

PR Stunts

They say all publicity is good publicity, but free publicity is even better. To bring your brand to everybody’s attention it’s worth thinking about what you can do in the real world to make them take notice. This could be by holding a big event. It could involve going to a public place and doing something stupid (but something legal, please). You could also try anything else which is a bit out of the ordinary. Not only will you hopefully be able to get people talking in person and online, but if you’re doing something weird enough, you might just be able to catch the attention of the press as well.

Giving out freebies

If you have a physical product, take it to the streets and hand it out. You’ll get feedback, and you might also get a little bit of online love from your happy recipients. This isn’t necessarily something we’d recommend if you’re selling, high-end watches, but could work a treat for something small. If giving your stuff out to all and sundry in a public place isn’t a possibility, you could also try sending products to a few well-chosen bloggers or other influencers. However, it’s worth remembering that if they haven’t asked for it, they don’t owe you any coverage. But your product’s so good it’ll totally win them over, right?

Sell in person

We’re not talking hard-selling here, but if you’ve got an online craft store, get yourself down to a few actual craft fairs. If you sell fitness wear, see about setting up a stall at a local gym or a trade show. If you’re running your own online marketing company, get out and network. Potential customers like to know about the person behind the brand, so never underestimate the human touch.

Create something viral

That’s not to say that you should go completely off-topic from the kind of content that you usually share. Your regular followers know you, and if you completely change your style overnight it’s going to be obvious, and might be unwelcome. However, if there’s a news story relevant to your industry that you can create content (or even design a product) around, then grab the opportunity and do it. If you manage to get something shared a lot people will be interested in seeing what else you have to offer, which might just pay off.

Physical posters

Physical marketing materials can be an almost-subliminal way of marketing your brand. The average person needs to see an image almost 100 times before they decide that it’s something they can trust. Posters, flyers, or even billboards can help to get your message out to more people and to slyly signal to them that what you’ve got to offer is worth exploring.

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These are just a few ideas for ways to up the ante with your marketing as opposed to relying purely on your online presence. Some ideas will work for some brands, and others won’t. For more guidance on how to use marketing to enhance your brand, check out the Expert advice available on HowNow.