We at LearnDesk have worked with tens of thousands of online teachers over the last few years. In our interactions with teachers, we have observed patterns that clearly separate successful online teachers from others.
Amongst the various reasons that distinguish teachers who succeed, there is one reason that clearly stands out. The reason is not expertise, technical skills, high-quality videos, or effective pricing. We find that none of those reasons matter as much as one factor. In fact, what matters is much more fundamental. It is:
Putting more content for sale
Time and again, we talk to teachers who say, "I will put one of my short classes out and see what happens." This is a recipe that does not bring in results. It is hard to see traction when teaching online by putting out one or two of your online classes on a platform. Below are the top reasons as to why:
- Hit or miss: The right mindset to succeed in teaching online is that of a movie studio, or a fashion studio, or a publishing house. Movie studies do not just make one, or two or three movies. They put out many every year, every season. This is because they know that some of their creations will be a hit, but many won't. Similarly, you have to be actively putting out content. You can start by putting out the content you currently have, measure the viewership and sales data, understand what works and then work towards creating new content.
- New opportunity: Every platform presents a new opportunity. There is a new audience to tap with every new platform. However, you still need to figure out which of your classes will resonate with this new audience. The key to this analysis is to get started cheaply and quickly. Since you already have existing content, you should deploy that first. From there, measure the viewership to figure out the interests of the new audience and then work on creating new content.
- Distribution: Some instructors fear that putting their classes out on a new platform will cannibalize existing sales. In fact, the more platforms you are on, the more content you put out, the more people will see your work and remember you. Take the example of books. From a book publisher distribution standpoint, it is imperative that the same book is sold on Amazon, in bookstores, is available through libraries, schools, and universities. Such a strong distribution mechanism ensures successful titles emerge. Similarly, you need to build a wide distribution network for your classes. This includes being on a larger number of online learning platforms.
- Establishing your expertise: The number of classes you teach directly demonstrates your expertise to students. People correlate subject matter expertise with a large number of classes. It is like having a very long and substantive resume. Given a choice, students pick classes from instructors who have a variety of classes done around closely connected aspects of the student's area of interest.
- Let LearnDesk invest back in you: As a platform, we make choices on whom to feature, where to spend our ad budgets, etc. A deeper commitment from an instructor with a large quantity of high-quality content is a natural reason for us to invest back in you.
- Timeliness: The value of digital content does not increase with time. Learning needs are evolving over time. Also, new instructors join the marketplace every day, bringing in new content. Besides that, new teaching techniques emerge regularly. Hence it is important to sell after having made upfront investments in content creation, which will provide you the cash flow to upgrade your content for the next season.
To conclude, when it comes to teaching online, there is everything to gain by putting your classes out for sale.