You might be wondering how to weather the current economic storm. What are your next steps, and if now is a good time to take your teaching online? First off, I want to share with you my experience and the lessons that I have learned.
I know for a fact that now is the right time to take your business online. If not entirely at least partially. I will share with you how many times over the years the economy has confirmed this for me. Many times my “work” or “place of employment” has changed over the years due to some external factors that were entirely out of my control. Let’s start with when I was just out of University, working for an art gallery, after about 6 months of working for the gallery 5 or 6 days a week, commuting around the clock and hustling to organize art shows, the gallery owner decides to move the Long Beach location all the way down to Laguna Beach, a better market. Poof! like that my commute went from 24 miles (1 hour in traffic) to 50 miles (2 hours in traffic) and that was only one way! Later, I taught set design for a summer program and non-profit during the peak of The Great Recession, the funding completely dried up! Poof! the charitable arm of the company vanished in a matter of weeks. 2 years later in 2008, I found work at a private school starting up new programs…I worked for a whole year founding an art program, only to be notified in Spring that Poof! the school would not have the funds to continue for the next school year. Fast forward to now, the current pandemic, an art center where I have taught and led programs for 10 years, poof! closes it doors for Spring semester.
I have to admit, back in 2008, in my twenties, I remember feeling worried…like where was life headed? Would I find work and would my career as an artist or educator flourish? A piece of advice that my boss said to me, Hilary, you will always work, and I often think back to her statement in that moment. What I think that she meant was some thing along the lines of: you are flexible, you have a skill, and you have good attitude, so you will always find work.
So, I want to say the same thing to you, in case you are finding yourself in uncertainty. I even want take it a bit further. If you are flexible, have a skill and a good attitude, I believe that you will also find work. There are 3 more lessons that I would like to add to give you more control over your future direction.
3 lesson that I will get you through the difficult times like these:
1). Create your own opportunities
I know it might be easier said than done, and for some this comes naturally while for others this task might seem daunting. If you fall in the second category. I highly recommend working with a mentor or coach, who might be able to guide you towards these types of opportunities. Being an entrepreneur is certainly one way of doing this, and sharing your knowledge by putting yourself out there, clears the path for opportunities.
2). Never be afraid to PIVOT
When the pandemic struck, almost all of my upcoming workshops and classes scheduled were to take place in person. I only had my signature course online: the Creative Workshop Formula. I quickly had to pivot to bring a lot of my other offerings online and it PAID off in a big way. I was able to continue to work with many of my subscribers online. Now, even though things are starting to open up. I still plan to keep a portion of my business online and there are many reasons WHY this is a smart choice and I will share more about this in our upcoming Mastermind.
The lesson is to be flexible. If your in-person events are on pause, take them online. Not only that, but I learned quickly that I could offer virtual privates, a series of classes, and also an e-course, all while growing my offerings organically. Moreover, I could continue my collaborations and partnerships online. Which leads me to number 3.
3). Start building your mailing list…yesterday
It is never too early or too late to start growing your mailing list. I know this because I see the benefits of my mailing list very time I send out an email. Your mailing list allows you to directly and personally connect with your audience, gain feedback and grow. When, I think back to starting out in my gallery days, or days as a young teacher. I always wish that I had started way back then, yet I know that starting today is better than never at all and it is never too late to start building. Your mailing list, guarantees that if your job changes or your place of work closes, everyone that knows and loves you can still REACH you and hear from you. It puts you in a position of control.
I’m guessing that perhaps you have been in a similar situation. Maybe, you have felt the earth shift under your feet and some things seemed a bit out of your control.
In fact, it is always something that I had in the back of my mind as a next step. But now, I can see it is essential. There are so many benefits. You can reach a wider audience, help more people, build authority in your niche and even economy-proof your living to an extent. There is a good chance if at least part of your business is online, you will start your mailing list, which is something every artist, entrepreneur and teacher of any kind needs. Your mailing list, guarantees that if your job changes or your place of work closes, everyone that knows and loves you can still reach you and hear from you. It puts you in a position of control. You have control over your income and the direction of your company. All in all, this part of being an entrepreneur is largely beneficial and exciting.
So now that you know why it’s vital to get your business online right, you might have a few questions: like how to get started and where to host, along with which platform to choose.
You might even want to know what to do after your first LIVE class! In my next Creative Mastermind training, I will share just that. I will show you the exact steps that I took to get my workshops online and start earning. Not only will you benefit from the hive mind of the group, but you will also learn from a copy writing expert on how to word your online course offer and hone your voice as an expert!
I wanted to make this training beyond valuable to you, so I am also including 1 coaching call as a follow-up to the Mastermind.