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It’s always difficult to decide whether we should take the leap and turn our passion into profit. Work takes up a lot of our time, but more often than not it’s the things we do in the spare hours before, after, and at weekends that really make us happy. You might be an accountant with a penchant for painting, a barista who hula hoops on the side, or maybe you work in sales and have colleagues queuing up for your cupcakes. But what if you don’t want to do it on the side any more?

The option that a lot of people choose when they decide to start turning their passion into profit is to teach. Teaching your hobby can be really rewarding. It’s a great way to meet new people who might be into the same kind of thing that you are, or to pass on what you know to total beginners who end up loving the thing you love too. It can be a daunting prospect, but we’ve put together a few tips to help you get started.

Think about how it could fit in

I’m not suggesting that you jack in your high-flying career in neurosurgery straight away. In fact, as a high-flying neurosurgeon, you’re probably smart enough to realise that. I’m sorry for insulting your intelligence. It might be that you don’t want to teach full time. You might just want a little Saturday gig to make a bit of pocket money. Or you might have a total career overhaul and world domination in your sights. Anything goes. Plus, if you decide to teach online you’ll have way less to organise before you can begin.

Do your research

Maybe you have a friend or acquaintance who’s already teaching something. Awesome. Take them for a coffee and have a chat. It’s amazing how good meeting an actual person who’s done the actual thing you actually want to do can make you feel. You might just realise that it’s a totally do-able thing for a person to manage. If you don’t have a useful friend, reach out to other people who run classes. It’s amazing how many people are willing to meet up if there’s a free coffee in it for them. If you can’t meet up with someone in person, we have this super-cool thing called ‘the internet’ now, and you’re bound to find people who are willing to share tips if you look hard enough.

Try holding a test workshop

Before you take to the internet, gather a group of your nicest, least sarcastic friends, and try out your ideas on them. If you want to teach a specific craft, for example, you can make sure you’re able to explain the stages as easily as possible. You can also use your willing volunteers to try out yoga routines, dance steps, or anything else. You’ll get feedback on what you could do better, as well as a chance to practice being in front of real people who view you as an authority figure.

Don’t be freaked out by practical considerations

Yes. You will need a plan. You’ll need a webcam. You’ll need to be able to stand in front of a camera and tell up to ten people what to do. The likelihood is that the people who already do this are no cleverer than you, and they all managed, so you know it’s possible. Make a list of everything you’ve found out in your research that you need to organise, and then work through it point by point. Try not to skip ahead or let yourself get overwhelmed. Point by point. That’s all you need to remember.

Take the plunge

Sometimes this is the hardest part. You’ve done all the legwork and you’re totally ready. You’ve got everything you need. You’re awesome, basically. You’re an organisational wizard. It would be so easy to stop at this point. If you stop now you’ll have a 100% success rate and never have to face failure. But this is the time to take a deep breath and dive in to actually teaching strangers how to do the thing that you love to do. After all, you’ve come this far. Every class you teach might not be perfect. You might have no-shows or uncooperative students. Those things happen, and they happen to everyone. We guarantee the good will outweigh the bad, though. You’ll feel the joy that only comes from sharing something you love with other people, and watching them fall in love with it too. You’ll meet new people. And most of all, you’ll be able to go to sleep at night knowing that, for once in your life, you put yourself out there and made it work.

passion

So. Real talk. Do you fancy sharing your passion whilst making money? check out HowNow and starting earning from the thing you love doing. All you need to do is bring your passion. Team HowNow can bring the organisation, and we’ll meet you on the internet.

We’ve already talked about how to create listing on HowNow so that it grabs as much attention as possible. But what about your profile? That can be just as important when it comes to selling your classes, but sometimes it’s the thing that gets overlooked. We write so many profiles these days that it’s easy to get blase about them. But resist the temptation to just write any old thing – it’s worth taking time over.

Do some bragging

Have you ever won an award? Do you have ten degrees? Have you been featured in the press? Details like this are great as they help to cement the impression that you’re an expert in your field, so mention them in your profile. That’s not to say that if you don’t have paper qualifications your classes will be worth less. Whatever makes you confident that you’re a great teacher, that’s the thing you should be bragging about.

Sell yourself, not your class

There’s a very good chance that you’re not the only person in the world teaching your subject. You might not even be the only person on HowNow teaching your subject. So why should a student choose you to be their teacher? Remember that your profile will appear on each of your class listings so don’t go too in-depth about any subject. Just give a general overview of why you’re great.  If you have any feedback from former students, that’s a brilliant thing to include too.

Give a sense of your personality

Your profile on the website will give students a chance to get to know you better. They’ll be much more comfortable taking classes with someone they feel familiar with, rather than a total stranger. Are you a fan of anything? Do you do anything interesting in your spare time? Were you Coney Island Hotdog Eating Champion in 1998? It might not seem relevant to making people sign up to your class, but people are much more likely to want to work with someone they’re able to warm to.

Have a great profile picture

You’ve used your profile to give potential students an idea of why you’re qualified and what you’re like as a person. You’ve given them a really positive impression. Now you need to cement that positive impression by adding a great profile picture. This should be a picture of yourself, and preferably just your head and shoulders. The profile picture field is a bit tight for full-body shots. You can take a photo using a selfie stick and a phone – it doesn’t have to a work of art. Users are much more likely to sign up to classes where they can see the teacher because it creates a subconscious trust. After all, if there’s just a logo, or a picture of a plant pot, how do they know their teacher won’t be a robot.

study

Once you’ve got your profile set up and you’ve listed your first classes, don’t forget to spread the word among your following and encourage them to get booking. We can’t wait to watch your classes develop.

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!

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.

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.

social media

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

So. You’ve decided you want to make a bit of extra money, and you’ve realised that HowNow is the way to do that. You love the idea of e-meeting people from all over the world online. You want to teach, and you can’t wait to start inspiring people. However, you’re not quite sure where to start.

So what should you teach?

For some people, the answer to that question will come straight away. We’re all very happy for you and your confidence in your skills and expertise. But if you’re not sure what you should be calling yourself an ‘expert’ in, that doesn’t mean you can’t get involved.

The first thing to mention is the fact that, as long as you’re open in your class description, you don’t have to have an actual qualification in the subject you want to teach. If we’re honest, we’re way more interested in real-life experience than certificates. So what are skills or specialist subjects? Maybe you can make a cake worthy of any Bake Off. Perhaps you live in a tourist hotspots, and can teach people from other countries what life is like in your city. You might be brilliant at Photoshop. All of those are valid. Try making a list of everything you know a lot about, and everything you like to do in your spare time. You’ll probably find there’s something there.

Some skills are less tangible. Maybe you work in an office all day and are fantastic at dealing with people from all walks of life. Guess what? That’s something lots of people would like to learn. Maybe you have a lot of self-confidence. Therefore, you might be confident enough to believe you could teach other people to feel the same way. Go for it. You could be a productivity ninja with wisdom to impart. We’ll be first in line. Ultimately, as long as you can plan a lesson around your skill, we’d love to have you on board.

In conclusion…

What we’re trying to say is that, with HowNow, the world is kind of your oyster. You don’t need a fancy teaching qualification to call yourself an Expert, and you don’t even have to be practicing what you preach full time. All you need is a plan, a spare hour of an evening or weekend, and something to share.

We’ll do the rest.