Want to make money while you’re building your credibility and being exposed to hundreds of thousands of potential clients? Teach a class.
Here in Houston, Leisure Learning Unlimited http://www.llu.com presents hundreds of interesting classes in cooking, business, computers, travel, relationships, crafts, and just about everything else. Classes are also offered by many colleges and other organizations.
If you have an idea for a class, come up with a snappy title and list the topics to be covered and the benefits students receive. Then call a class provider and ask how you can propose a course.
Now the bad news: You won’t get rich. You may get paid a set hourly rate as low as $15 – $20 per class hour, or you may receive a percentage of the class fees. These rates may be negotiable, but there is usually not a lot of money available. You may be able to increase your profits by offering required or optional texts.
There are very good reasons to teach, though, even if you don’t get paid much. One, you get exposure in the catalog. Leisure Learning sends out more than 600,000 catalogs a year, and my information is in every one of them. I meet people who already know who I am, because they’ve seen me in the LLU catalog.
Two, many of my clients come from the classes I teach, or from seeing me in the catalog. If someone likes your class, but needs more help, they will turn to you.
Three, you can learn what is important to customers. The feedback you get from students will help you to develop new products and services, and refine your marketing message.
Of course, you can put on a seminar yourself. However, you will have to absorb the cost (in time, money or both) of marketing and registration, as well as the cost of booking a room. And, if the class doesn’t make (which happens), you are out that money with no offsetting income. If you are hired to teach, you don’t have to deal with that. And, the credibility of the sponsoring organization transfers to you, too. My bio includes the names of many of the colleges where I’ve taught continuing education courses.
Look for other opportunities to teach. A professional association may be willing to host your seminar as a fund raiser, and you share revenues. You might even consider doing a free workshop for a community college, library, hospital or other organization, if the exposure you receive is worthwhile. For example, a realtor might offer a session on what a first-time home buyer needs to know. Although the point is to give valuable information, not self-promotion, to whom will students turn when they need a realtor? Probably that knowledgeable person who taught the seminar. How much is that worth to you?
Teaching gives you an expert reputation, increases your income, and it’s fun! I love to teach because I love to learn–and I always learn new things from my students.