(When completed, this article is worth +0.10 points on Degreed.)
If a musician is successful in selling their music online, why do they go on tour and play in front of live crowds?
Musicians go on tour to grow their audience and connect with their fans. They do it because music sounds better live. They do it to share their passion with others and inspire.
What if you as an indie instructor saw yourself as a musician? Where do you go to perform and meet your fans? Where do you go to share your passion and inspire?
If you’d like teaching courses to be your main gig, then you’ll want to create opportunities in your business to engage your audience in person, not solely online.
Now, for those who teach exclusively online, I realize that may be a scary proposition, but I believe it’s a step worth taking.
Let’s dig into this just a bit more and define what exactly is a local class provider. If it sounds like a formal way to state something that is obvious, well, you’re partly right. Let’s do it anyway though.
Local class providers are any organization, school, or business who offers enrichment courses to learners in a given community.
They may be comprised of university extension programs, lifelong learning divisions at community colleges, parks and recreation programs, private learning centers, and small or large businesses. Pretty much any entity offering some type of learning can be a local class provider, but not all providers are created equal. And that’s a critical point to remember.
If there is only one of you and your goal is to connect with a new audience, share what you know, and build your business, you’ll need to be strategic about where you decide to offer your course(s).
My advice to you is to focus on the large local class providers in your area first, such as community colleges, recreation programs, and adult schools. They possess deep roots in the community and likely have lifelong learning programs that accept new courses from those seeking to teach who are not affiliated with the school - subject matter experts, industry professionals, artists, authors etc.
Here’s an example of a community college program soliciting for course proposals in my hometown of Sacramento, CA. These are the kinds of programs you’ll want to explore connecting with in your area. Nearly every community in the United States has them.
For now, all I want you to do is think about where you live and list every learning provider - big or small - in close proximity to you, or in an area where you think you’d like to offer your course. Just imagine yourself teaching there.
To use the music analogy once more, these local class venues will be your concert halls for when you go on tour to meet your fans. If successful, these fans will follow you everywhere - even back online to buy the music, products, and courses you create.