How to Use your Marketing to Design Your Classes

Image courtesy of Je. T.

When I first started creating classes I made the mistake of creating all the lesson and material before I even started marketing the class. Admittedly I think I needed to create the material back then so I would know what I was marketing. Every time I got people signed up for the classes it was worth it, but there were many classes where I didn’t get sign ups, and all that time and effort was wasted.

Putting a class together and marketing and promoting is a lot of work and if you don’t have the right process in place, you can have the same experience I’ve had. However getting the right process in place is to some degree a game of trial and error. What works for one person may not work for you because while you can have employ a formulaic approach to marketing and promoting your classes, what people want, and what you want is ultimately going to be personal.

Image courtesy of Giphy.

In other words, how you market and promote your classes needs to be based on who you are as well as what you offer. If you don’t present yourself and your services and products in a way that is genuine to who you are, you may find that people aren’t really interested in what you have to offer. Your class flops and all that time you put into the class seems to go down the drain.

On the other hand, if you’re like me you don’t want to do work until the last minute. You want to get everything together and have it ready to go without putting extra pressure on yourself. But you also don’t want your work to go to waste. You want the work you put into your class prep to be work that has a return on investment.

So what do you do?

I decided, this year, to change my entire approach on how I work on and promote classes. I’m going to share part my process with you in this article. So what did I actually change? Well first I stopped working hard and started working smart. I realized that putting tons of time into creating class materials before I even had anyone signed was like putting all my eggs into one basket. It simply wasn’t a good idea. However, I also recognized that working on class materials at the last minute would stress me out and take the joy away from teaching the class.

So I decided that I would use the work I was doing on the marketing and promoting to help me outline my classes. After all, your marketing and promotion ideally does spell out what people will get if they take your class (If it doesn’t that’s a separate issue altogether). Outlining what the class would be about also helped me figure out what types of tools I needed to include. For example, one of the marketing aspects might be the promise of worksheets. If so, it becomes part of my outline and I know I need to develop those worksheets if I get signups for the class.

By using the marketing and promotion to outline what the class will contain, I provide myself a blue print for what I need to work on and start thinking about it. At the same time, I don’t do anything else I’ve actually started getting signups that indicate that people will actually take the class and invest in it. This allows me to save some time and focus on what is profitable, only changing priorities if profit has in fact been established. And the outline helps stay organized. I know what I need to put together so once I know I have sign-ups, I can start putting together the material for the class.

There is another way you can approach this…

Maybe you agree with me about the work involved in setting up classes, but the idea of waiting until someone signs up makes you squeamish, because you want to be on top of the work. At the same time you want to generate a profit. Is it possible to generate a profit and get the work done without having a sign up? It actually is.

The site Patreon offers you an opportunity to make a profit on a potential class by showing your patrons the work in the progress. If you set your Patreon tiers up to include one where you show your patrons the work you are doing on a class and even test drive the class material on your patrons, it gives you an excellent opportunity to get paid to work on the class materials and get feedback so you can refine the class before officially launching it the first time.

Working smarter instead of harder can make your class launches much more successful. In the end you want a class launch that actually takes off, and to do that it can be worth it to simply focus on marketing and promoting the class until you get the sign-ups that justify further work or create a process where doing the actual work on the class is paid for and supported by people who are genuinely invested in the class.

Taylor Ellwood is the mad scientist and magical experimenter of Magical Experiments, and the business wizard for eccentric entrepreneurs at Imagine Your Reality. When he’s not working on his latest writing or running his businesses, Taylor enjoys the Pacific Northwest with his family.

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