Wednesday, May 09, 2007

5 Reasons To Offer Online Classes

If you have a online business there may be plenty of opportunities for you to teach others what you know. Online classes can create a huge wave of free marketing for you as well. Take a good look at your business and the niche your in to see if you could benefit from offering classes to others. If your business deals strictly with retail items that you purchase wholesale there likely isn't much need to teach a specific type of class unless it's teaching others how to break into the wholesale business. Explore the idea of offering online classes. You may be suprised to find an abundance of things you can teach others, others that are hungry to learn!

Let me share several reasons why you should consider offering classes.

1. The Demand and Need.
There are many reasons why you should offer classes. The main one would be because there need which you can fill and profit from at the same time. As the Internet continues to grow and more people seek resources, online classes become a natural learning option. Many individuals may find it more difficult to attend a live, in person type of class locally, so taking a class online in the comfort of their own home is a very appealing option.

2. Benefits the Visual Learner.
There are many people in the world that are better visual learners. This means they learn easier by “seeing” than reading instructions alone. Those that struggle with written instructions such as tutorials or eBooks, will benefit greatly from being able to see the steps and read the instructions. This doesn’t mean you have to do away with creating tutorials or eBooks, it just means you could reach a even wider audience by also offering online classes.

3. The Ease of Creating a Class.
Let's say for example your a crafter. You are already creating your finished pieces so creating a class would be one additional step. Creating a class is very easy and simply involves using your digital camera to take step by step photos as you create the item. Since you will be creating a finished item anyway, it makes sense to take the small extra step to take photos as you go along. The other thing you will need to do is type out corresponding instructions that go with each step photograph. Finally, if you plan on offering a pattern template to go with the class, you’ll want to create the PDF for that. Or you can offer the full version of the pattern along with the class. Once your class is ready you would simply upload it to a craft class site. Regardless if you are a crafter or your business niche is something completely different, you likely can create a class for what you specialize in.

4. An Ongoing Revenue Source. The work involved in creating an online class involves setting it up. Once you take step by step photos, typing out the step by step instructions and make a PDF template (optional), and upload it, your work is done. The class can now produce ongoing revenue for you from new customers purchasing it. If your classes cost $10 for example and over the course of 3 months you sell 60 classes. That is an extra $200 per month in revenue with no additional work involved on your part. Of course this example can vary tremendously based on the number of classes you have available and the actual number of classes you sell each month. It’s very possible to do much better than the example!

5. Additional Business Marketing.
Offering classes can create a great stream of hidden marketing for your business. When people take your class and enjoy it, they are likely to tell other people about it, either directly or indirectly. Directly would be that they seek to tell others. Perhaps they may post about your class on their blog or rave about it on their newsletter. Telling people about it indirectly would be if someone on a forum inquired about learning something and they tell them about your class. Offering free classes from time to time is also a great way to gain some additional marketing for your business. Customers will enjoy the class and be more likely to share the free resource of your class with others. The additional traffic of customers taking your free class can result in those customers also purchasing one of your other classes.

© 2007 Kelle Arvay. Kelle Arvay is the owner of Pattern Mart with offers customers access to thousands of craft patterns that they can purchase and download instantly. In addition, she is also the owner of eCraft Classes which is a site dedicated to all types of online craft classes. In addition she is the co-founder and co-publisher of Creative Times, a downloadable bi-monthly craft magazine.

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