Learning Management System, E Learning, Online Course, Online courses, Online Learning, Online Qizzes, Teach online, Teaching Online, THRIVING BUSINESS

A hobby is something that brings a big smile to your face while you’re pursuing it, even though you may be in deep shit in other fronts of your life!”

Someone once asked a room full of individuals what a ‘hobby’ was, while varied amusing and mundane answers poured in, the above quote really stood out for capturing the true sentiment of what having a hobby does for you and the pleasure it can bring, even in the toughest of times!

Not much emphasis is given to the importance of having a hobby and its impact on an individual’s life. Having a hobby that keeps you engaged is important as it enriches your life, keeps you entertained, brings you joy, and gives you something to break the monotony of everyday life. It has proven to have a positive effect on both- an individual’s emotional and physical health and well-being.

For children, it’s easy to pick up a new hobby as their young minds remain curious about everything. So, they try every new sport they can, dabble in music, learn their favorite instrument, give writing a shot, and basically try everything they love. 

As we grow older, however, things begin to change. Real-life and responsibilities take over, individuals become pickier about what they truly like spending their time on and leisure time is often clouded with other activities that might have been committed to earlier. 

The importance of having a hobby cannot be undermined. In fact, today is a perfect time to try and figure out how you can spend a large chunk of your day on your hobby and do something you enjoy while you even earn a living through it! 

You know how the saying goes- do what you love, and you will never have to work a single day in your life. 

The way you make a living should truly reflect who you are as an individual. More often than not, human beings don’t take into account things like their interests, what makes them happy and what they’re really good at doing when they’re trying to figure out what they want their career to be. Maybe it’s because the dictionary defines a hobby as “an activity is done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure”, but this definition can’t possibly hold in today’s times. In fact, Jim Collins’ Hedgehog Concept is very much aligned with the idea of driving your economic engine by leveraging what you are passionate and best at.

So, readers, there has been no better time than this to turn your hobby or passion into a full-time career and your main source of income. We are literally living through the golden digital era where everything you need to turn your hobby into a fruitful business is available at your fingertips. 

The best part is it’s something you’re already good at and love doing! Technology development has played a big role in enabling people to start making a business out of their passion. Be it painting, cooking, pets–find all the support you need online to start your journey of making it your business.                                       

The Covid-19 pandemic has seen people pick up new hobbies while they remained in quarantine. One hobby that saw a boom through lockdown was gardening and farming. While for some the passion had always been there and they quite naturally had a green thumb for the skill, others picked up gardening and farming at home to make sure they were not in a position where they would have to deal with a shortage of food, while some others realized they finally had the time to work on that lush, beautiful balcony or garden they always wanted. 

If you are someone who is considering taking your hobby online and selling it as a learning course, this blog is for you. There are many ways in which you can successfully do this without spending a huge chunk of money. Here are some easy ways to get you started-


Figure You’re A-game 

If you are thinking of teaching online other people a skill that you have, make sure it is not something you will get tired or irritated with doing after the fun phase gets over. Think of activities that excite you, something that will keep you motivated and your passion alive, and won’t bore you at the drop of a hat.                                                                                          

You need to work with something that keeps you happy. Don’t rush, but slowly keep evaluating what activities bring you maximum joy. 


Start Courses Featuring Your Passion

Transform Your Hobby Into A Thriving Business 1

There is no better way to establish yourself as someone skilled at a particular craft than by teaching it! While this step can be nerve-wracking,  it is important to show and teach others the in-depth knowledge that you have gained about your topic of choice, let’s say gardening. You can always start with a basic course for beginners, like ‘Gardening 101’, and then branch out to more advanced and specialized courses like ‘Growing plants for indoor spaces’ or ‘Tips for getting started with terrace gardening’. Honestly, there is no limit for how far you can go with creating courses and to teach online a thriving community you build over time with your expertise. It is key to share your knowledge and work toward setting up systems that will help you do it with ease.                                                     

Fresh LMS, is an online platform where you can create your own digital front in no time!  In just a few clicks,  you can start setting up online courses that help you get started on your teaching journey. 

Many individuals with a vast range of hobbies have set up innumerable courses on topics ranging from baking desserts to teaching online yoga classes. Start small, and then increase the scale of courses being offered by you. Keep in mind that this is a continuous process and something you will have to work at consistently, to grow your community. 


Consistently Determine What is Working for You and What is Not

Once your course is up and running, it is vital to continuously check on the response you are getting on it. As the scope of your course expands and you have a whole list of courses, this step becomes even more critical. Maybe you find that while your course on ‘Farming at home’ is doing wonderful, but another course on ‘Tips for landscaping your garden’ is not gaining traction, then you can conclude that the community is finding home farming topics of higher interest and if you put out more courses surrounding this subject, your engagement rate will increase.

 Make sure to always note down advancements as they happen, as you keep developing and gaining experience. Also, remember to always learn from both- the good and the bad.


Use Social Media To Your Advantage

Thriving business

Since we live in this beautiful time of the internet at its peak, you already have all the support you need to get your course out to exactly the right people who are looking for it. Social Media is today a significant part of everyone’s lives and using it to your advantage is of utmost importance. Use platforms like Facebook and Instagram to grow your community and educate people about your course. Put snippets of your course videos on YouTube to tap into a new community. Write tons of blogs directly or indirectly related to your course, and spread your content on every platform that you have access to.                                                                 

Remember, it is also important to track what content and which platforms are working the best for you to drive more traffic to your course.


It has never been easier to make a career out of your hobby and teaching an audience a subject that you love and are great at. By using FreshLMS and in just a few clicks, you will be one step closer to making your dream of teaching a skill you love, a reality. Fresh LMS provides an easy interface to understand and use, and has features that will help you better understand the response to your courses. The platform is designed to help you turn your hobby into a course and leverage technology for a wider reach and impact.


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Online Teaching, Learning Management System, Online Course, Online courses, Online Learning, Online Qizzes, Teach online, Teaching Online, Training
 Ask any grown-up who their role model is, and they’d probably name a celebrity, a sportsperson, an author, or an artist. Pose the same question to a student, and she is most likely to be reminded of her teacher, standing in front of her classroom.

Teachers are, undisputedly, one of the most important members of our society. They provide the power of education, broaden the knowledge horizons of young minds, and set them up for success as citizens of the world. The children of today are the world leaders of tomorrow and teachers play a critical role in preparing them to take on their future roles with responsibility.

As the world grapples with issues like social churns, environmental flux, and an ongoing pandemic, the role of the teacher has become even more vital – as they are in a position to empower children to reverse negative trends and mindsets. 

However, what has changed drastically in recent years, are the mediums that teachers can adapt to reach out to students. So far, teachers were largely sharing knowledge through physical models – like a school or private classroom – where teaching happens face-to-face. This model limited the scope of teachers, as they were unable to reach out to students outside the confines of their locality or community. 

Digitization-driven teaching online has added a whole new dimension to teaching. It has provided the potential to tap into student communities in any part of the world. You could be located in Miami and give Mathematics lessons to high school students in Texas, Tokyo, or Thiruvananthapuram. 

 Online Teaching has given tutors a new – and largely untapped and unexplored – opportunity to use their classroom skills in path-breaking and profitable ways. Tutors can share their knowledge with students across the world and, in the process, earn money and gain financial freedom to be able to live a life of their choice. 

Is Teaching Online really booming, or is it merely a myth?

Teaching Online

 

After E-commerce, knowledge commerce is slated to be the next success story – and its journey to triumph will happen at a much more rapid pace. 

The online e-commerce industry took approximately 25 years to reach the dizzying heights of success where it stands today. Knowledge commerce is expected to touch the same pinnacles within five years. 

There’s never been a better time to be an online tutor. The pandemic has added speed to the adoption of knowledge commerce and boosted its success graph by at least 15 years. It’s not just teachers, but people from various walks of life, who have turned their skills into online courses, are using a slew of digital mediums and Learning Management Systems (LMS) to make their lessons and lectures available to learners across the world. 

The numbers confirm that the popularity of online education is soaring. Since the pandemic, the global online education market has witnessed an unprecedented boom. 

It is projected to clock in a CAGR of 9% and reach a total market size of USD 319 billion by 2025 – growing from USD 187 billion in 2019. 

Factors driving the growth of  teaching Online

Teaching online

 

The pandemic may have hastened the process of online learning gaining traction, but there are many other strong factors that have made its popularity possible

Increasing internet penetration. Today, the internet is globally omnipresent and as much a basic necessity as food, water, and shelter. 

Innovative technologies like learning management systems, live virtual classrooms, feedback sessions, online chat forums have been game-changers for online teaching. Virtual reality and artificial intelligence also have the scope to provide students with real-time and insightful education.

The success of e-commerce has made people comfortable and confident about buying products and services online. Knowledge commerce is reaping the benefits. 

Geographical boundaries have been neutralized. Learning and teaching can take place from any location, at any time. Students can learn from the best teachers, even though they may be continents apart.

Deep penetration of mobile devices and laptops has made it possible for a larger number of students to log into online learning platforms.

How can you start teaching online?

How-can you start teaching online

 

Once you decide to take your teaching from the classroom to the digital domain, you’ll need the right tools and processes to make the experience interactive and easy to grasp for your students. Here are some crucial steps to follow, when you transition to online tutoring 

  • Identify your target student group: Decide on the courses you want to teach online, and to whom. For example, if you want to teach Mathematics or Science to high school students, then use relevant virtual tools to create courses that will help students understand the subject better. 

  • Start with a pilot virtual classroom: To test the virtual waters, begin by teaching subjects you have expertise in. Keep the classes simple, so that you get comfortable with the learning management system you’re using. Choose a class that is easily adaptable to an online format.

  • Create short courses: Start recording your knowledge and create short courses that you can give out for free or for minimum charges. 

  • Use different formats to conduct classes: Get creative and explore different formats – do live classes, interactive one-on-one sessions, or webinars. Use collaborative tools – like online blackboards, message boards, and chat rooms – to make the learning process seamless.

  • Assess your students regularly and share their progress reports: Create regular assessments, gauge your students, and share their progress. This will help students understand how they are performing.

  • Build trust and build your brand: Write blogs, create Youtube videos. Use social media platforms like Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter to highlight your course.

  • Gather reviews: Proof of your work quality is very important in the online world. Get your students to write objective reviews about your courses.


Conclusion
Fresh LMS is one of the most user-friendly and powerful online course creation platforms available to tutors today. It is a complete No-Code platform where you can just register, create your course, and take your classroom into the virtual world. It seamlessly helps you transform your teaching skills into a thriving business, without compromising, in any way, on the quality of your teaching.

Teaching Online

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Learning Management System

There is more happiness in giving than receiving. Non-profit organizations embrace this thought and turn it into reality with the Learning Management System. 

Non-profits, the world over, are an important pillar of a democratic society. They underline the importance of building civil society and giving back to the community. Working with non-profit organizations is a rewarding experience for everyone involved, as they’re able to contribute meaningfully to society, uplift the underprivileged and invest in the future of the world. 

When non-profit organizations scale, they work like any big conglomerate. For instance, they comprise employees with diverse skill sets – be it volunteers, executives, or board members. 

To keep these employees up-skilled and professionally relevant, NGOs need to impart quality training programs as much as any profit-making enterprise does. A well-trained team ensures that the non-profit organization runs seamlessly and works without glitches. 

When each member of a team understands their job role and responsibilities, it becomes easier to make decisions and helps organizations achieve their targets on time. 

Since posting profits and spending excess money on organizational growth is a philosophy that non-profits strictly don’t subscribe to, online teaching platforms like learning management systems are proving to be an efficient and cost-effective medium to impart training and conduct learning modules for employees. These affordable platforms are emerging mediums that are easy to access, and make learning interesting, interactive, and real-time. ing as lear

Learning Management System (LMS): Train Anyone, Anywhere

learning management system


Non-profit organizations often hire new people and regularly work with volunteers, automating employee training is one of the best long-term investments they can make. Creating, storing, and distributing the right knowledge is key to an organization’s success. New-age technologies like Learning Management Systems (LMS) have turned this task seamless. 

Let’s look at how online learning platforms are emerging as a perfect tool for non-profit organizations –
 

a. LMS Allows you to Share Knowledge with Anyone, Anywhere


To be successful, a non-profit organization must create a culture of safe and convenient knowledge sharing. LMS fits perfectly, e-learning platforms are designed to foster training and collaboration. Online learning tools come with various features that promote knowledge sharing –

  • Social learning features – video conferencing and real-time chats promote peer-to-peer knowledge sharing.
  • Collaborative learning features – online communities and customized schedules create a collaborative and knowledge-wealthy company culture.
  • Mobile learning features – LMS can save and store course content and can be assessed by employees at any time.

b. You don’t need to know technology to use Learning Management System (LMS)


You can be a non-profit organization working in the healthcare, environment, or conflict resolution sector, and you can use online learning platforms without worrying about being a technology novice. 

Modern-day learning management systems are No Code platforms that don’t require tech know-how to operate. Most platforms are cloud-based and have the look and feel of a regular website, where employees simply log in to join a course. Users can easily create, administer, manage, and analyze courses themselves.

c. Create Customized Courses for Any Geography

Non-profit organizations have to create courses that are relevant to the geographies they work in. The educational requirements of nurses who work with malnourished children in Africa are different from those of medical caregivers working with cancer patients in Europe. LMS allows organizations to create courses for varied skillsets and user types.

d. Leverage Easy-to-Use Tools to Create Interactive Courses


Companies can leverage a range of tools – like high-resolution video and audio conferencing features, texts, quizzes, chat rooms, and live sessions to create interactive and interesting course content. 

e. Develop Talent in-House at Minimal Cost and Reduce Training Time


You can devise lessons that are targeted specifically at the skills and knowledge gaps in your employees and create courses so that people can upskill and cross-train. Also, an LMS reduces training time as employees can attend a course whenever it fits into their schedule.

Advantages of Learning Management System (LMS)

Learning Management System | Nonproft LMS


Global non-profit organizations today are fast-paced, inter-connected, and work across national borders. This makes LMS a perfect fit for them to train employees working in any remote corner of the world. Let’s look at the other advantages that LMS bring for non-profits –

  • Unifies Your Global Workforce: An LMS makes it easy to deploy localized training materials. You can also incorporate collaborative online training tools for team building, group collaboration projects that allow your worldwide workforce to solve organizational challenges.

  • Cost-Efficient and Hassle-Free Learning Solutions: Online learning platforms remove the requirement for printed materials. Also, companies don’t need to facilitate instructors to travel to remote locations to teach employees. It helps them provide training solutions at minimal costs. Also, courses can be accessed by team members at any time.

  • Helps You Customize Your Platform: You can customize your online learning platform to reflect the image of your organization. It has features such as providing certificates after completion of the course, email notifications, or helping a team member to re-certify.

  • Manage Content Better: You can simply drag and drop files into your platform. It supports all major file types. You can add an audio file, or video training materials, or offer webinars.

  • Track Your Learners: Track the progress of your learners. LMS provides information on whether an employee has undertaken, completed, or cleared a training course, the time taken to complete a course, or the areas your employees found challenging.

  • Increases Revenue: By investing in training, a nonprofit can increase its revenue.

  • Safe Centralized Storage: Gather all your online training material in one place, where it can be modified by admins and accessed by employees.

Conclusion

Many non-profit organizations that are transitioning from traditional to online training are opting for learning management systems, like FreshLMS

As most global non-profits work across national boundaries, e-learning platforms are proving to be the perfect training tool for them. Switching to an online learning platform may seem like an unnecessary expense initially, but in the long run, it ends up saving money and makes employee training uncomplicated and easy to customize for any resource in any part of the world. 


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Online Learning, Course Online, E Learning, Learning Management System, Learning Management System

Whether it was e-books, video calls, online dating, or online shopping, we have always been skeptical about digital innovations taking over traditional ways of life. But before we knew it, these things became inseparable parts of our lives and memories. Here’s why we reckon the same would happen with online learning as well.


Why do we look at online learning as a challenge?

Fcuk.. I never thought this about online learning 2

There are quite a few legitimate reasons as to why online learning can intimidate, challenge, and put people off in the beginning. The major reasons usually are:

  1. The ‘personal touch’, being able to see your teacher and your classmates is missing, something that feels out of place to a beginner.
  2. Technical glitches are common when it’s a new platform that takes up your internet bandwidth.
  3. Managing time, motivating yourself, scheduling study hours, and overcoming distractions at home, all on your own, take a lot of mental effort.
  4. Communication is vastly different when you only chat with your class and teachers or look at their faces across a screen.
  5. Adapting to all of these changes and the online learning experience in its entirety doesn’t come quickly to everyone and is a very subjective factor.

Take a step back, though. You are probably missing out on the numerous positives of online learning, unknowingly. Everything listed above can be psychologically explained as a negative bias. Once you look beyond it, you might realize a whole new world of possibilities.


Did you ever think about these online learning benefits?

Online Learning

It isn’t just the convenience of not traveling to a physical classroom or not needing to dress up for class. Online learning has a lot more to offer. Here’s how.


It’s easier to ask questions: All the introverts in the house would raise their hands at this one, especially since no one can watch them do so. In the intimidating classroom atmosphere, students who are reserved, apprehensive, or doubtful often skip their queries. In a virtual classroom, no one else has to know when you send your question to the teacher on a separate chat box.

You become an independent learner: You might not realize that the drill of planning, scheduling, or physically removing distractions from your study area, maintaining notes, etc. is actually making you a better learner. In a physical classroom, you work as per schedules, plans, and lectures that have all been organized for you. But when you study from your bedroom or a cafe, it is all up to you. The sense of discipline that these practices can inculcate would surely be helpful for not just becoming a better student, but a better professional as well.

Communication without boundaries: In a physical classroom, your social interactions are limited to teachers and students living within the vicinity of the school. In the case of online learning, you are free to learn from professors across the globe you won’t have access to otherwise. You also get a chance to interact with international students and learn their perspectives.

Technological learning: It’s a fact that you cannot avoid the intrusion of technology in most aspects of life. While you’re trying to learn how to set up your webcam, speakers, headsets, etc., and how to use various online learning and sharing software; you’re also picking up valuable technical skills for your professional and personal life.

Democratized education: Only a decade or two earlier, a student living across the globe would only dream of earning a scholarship and trying their luck at an Ivy League University. Today, this student can realize their dreams to some extent by taking online classes from top international universities at affordable rates, thanks to the savings on physical infrastructure.

In order to reap these and other nuanced benefits of online learning fully, you just need to keep a few starters in mind and be open to good and bad surprises.


How to make the most of online learning

Online Learning 321

New games have new rules. So hop on for an exciting new learning experience with these quick pointers.

  1. Always dedicate a specific time and space for your classes as well as your revisions, assignments, etc. Remove distractions such as the TV, snacks, video games, etc. out of your field of view. Make a strict timetable.
  2. Have a few tests run with the video communication software and other tools your class is planning to use for a smoother experience. This way, you won’t lose any part of the lecture due to technical glitches. 
  3. Have as many one-on-one interactions with your teachers as possible. Chat with them, ask them for personal video calls, and stay in touch with them for your coursework.
  4. Try to interact with your classmates too, and form a virtual study group that can help you stick to your schedule, understand concepts, and collaborates on assignments.
  5. Even if a course is from a reputed university or professor, carefully take note of the course structure to know if it’s really what you’re looking for.
  6. Always check the online learning platform’s policies and services before signing up for a course. These affect everything from course design to the way you interact with teachers.
  7. Make notes. There’s no reason not to, in any class format. Making notes increases retention and ensures that you don’t have to go through entire texts again for referring to a specific point.
  8. Remember that online learning does not make topics ‘easier’ or ‘harder’. The content remains the same while the manner of consumption changes. If you go in with the popular notion of an online course being ‘easy’, you might be disappointed. It would only take as much hard work as an offline course.

To conclude…

The perceived limitations of online learning are nothing but apprehensions for a new way of doing things. They’re natural, and they’re very common. But you would also notice that early adopters usually reap the best benefits out of new technology. If you aren’t an early adopter, that’s alright too. The bug will catch you sooner or later, and you’ll start enjoying it. All you need is an open mind and lots of imagination. 

Sounds similar to what they said when you first went to school? Bingo!


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Teach online, blog, Course Online, E Learning, Learning Management System, Uncategorized

As a teacher, you leave all your troubles behind when you enter a classroom. For those few hours, your only troubles are your students and their education. The classroom as a physical space has been held sacred by teachers for centuries. No wonder you won’t find ready takers for online teaching amongst traditional teachers.

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Course Online, E Learning, Learning Management System, Online Course, Online courses, Online Teaching, Uncategorized

What’s the difference between Master Shifu and Mark Manson? Master Shifu didn’t have to market his lessons. 


In the real world, Mark Manson had to build a following on his blog over several years before he could publish a global bestseller, charge for access to his website, and create successful paid online course.


But as an online teacher in 2020, your marketing path isn’t as difficult as his.


Since the pandemic, listings for teaching-related roles on Indian job portal naukri.com have increased four-fold. Every other connection on LinkedIn is either teaching or learning new things online.


The surge only means that the initial phase of convincing a new audience about the credibility of the offering is over, it is now just about convincing them that your personal offering is worth their money and trust.


Secondly, everyone is a social marketer today. Your social media profiles are essentially marketing for yourself, so you’re not exactly new to marketing. If you too have a great online course but not a great marketing plan, here’s where you can start.


Homework for marketing your online course


1.Establish your expert authority

How to Market Online Course and Boost Sales 3

You are the face of the online course. You need more than just a LinkedIn profile to convince students. It starts with simple things such as posting advice on social media and engaging in conversations on Quora and Reddit.


There is something for you to capture on each platform. Make a list of your achievements and promote them strategically on each of them. More importantly, keep reading and sharpening your skills to stay fresh and updated. 


2.Profile your target audience

Online Course

Every good marketer starts with profiling their target audience. Determine who your best prospective student is, and create a few sample profiles based on the following questions.

  1. What age group do they belong to?
  2. Where do they live?
  3. How much do they/their parents earn?
  4. What are their hobbies?
  5. What kind of content do they consume online?
  6. What attracts them to your subject matter?
  7. Who makes buying decisions for them and how?

Once you establish your online authority, it’ll be easier for you to 

interact with, study, and profile your target audience.


3.Identify problems and solutions

Online Course

Once you know your target audience, you will understand what exactly they need in your subject area that they aren’t getting from your competitors.


Let’s say, you’re a soft skills instructor. There is no dearth of your kind. But you find out that middle-aged professionals with a considerable amount of work experience, mothers returning after a break, or people making drastic career changes all have their specific needs. 


Is there anyone who is catering to the nervousness that comes with being out of touch for a year or two, or the uncertainty of changing industries at 35? Can you delve deeper and tackle these? 


Conduct thought experiments, talk to your audiences, and zero down on a core purpose for your course that you can spell out in one comprehensive sentence.


For example, “My course will help busy working mothers learn a set of 7-10 quick, healthy recipes that they can prepare for themselves and their children”.


10 Ways To Market Your Online Course

Online Course

Once your homework is done, you can start drawing your real marketing strategy. If you’re completely new to marketing, take it as you are learning something new yourself in the process of teaching something new to others! 


1.Optimize your website

If you create a course on any popular online course marketplace, you will have to play by their rules at every step of the way. With a customizable platform such as FreshLMS, your website will become your voice. Everything from the colors and fonts you to lesson plans will be an extension of your marketing plan.

Think about how each of these decisions reflects upon your brand, and make the most of the following features of FreshLMS

  1. Heavy on-course personalization
  2. Ideal user journeys 
  3. Prompt quizzes and assessments
  4. Custom domains for every course
  5. Effortless payment unification
  6. Smart third-party integrations
  7. Completely Whitelabel and re-brandable features
  8. Next-gen reporting and analytics 

2.Start your own blog/podcast

Think carefully about everything from the name of your blog to the content. Once you build a strong following for your blog or podcast, your expertise will be established. Prospective students get a glimpse of your teaching abilities from the way you explain concepts in your articles and podcasts.


3. Sales funnel 

A sales funnel, as technical as it sounds, is a very simple model depicting a consumer’s journey from knowing about your product to finally buying it. The generic sales funnel is divided into 5 steps. 

  1. Awareness
  2. Opinion
  3. Consideration
  4. Preference
  5. Purchase


Create a custom funnel for your target audience, and decide the

touchpoints you can explore at each step. For example, your blog 

might be the prime touchpoint for the awareness phase, while 

social media can help your target audience in shaping opinion.


4.Social media strategy

It’s time to use your personal accounts to market your online course, as you are the essence of your offering. These 5 platforms are a must in your marketing plan. You can add other niche platforms depending on your course content and audience.


  • Facebook: Audiences across age groups and professions are active on Facebook. You can explore features such as Facebook Live, Stories, and interest-based groups to drive your course.

A business page linked with your Instagram business page could also be a good idea for targeting the right people.


  • Instagram: An Instagram page is a must for creative course teachers. That doesn’t mean business and strategic online course cannot be marketed on this platform.

With features such as QnA, polls, and the immense creative potential of Instagram, it becomes a great place to interact with your audience and register yourself in their minds.


  • YouTube: You can treat YouTube videos as practice course videos. You could even upload these and send them only to a select few people for feedback. Or you could publicize them on all other social platforms and gauge reactions from your social circle as well as the audience on YouTube at large.

  • Twitter: Twitter can serve the same purpose as your blog or LinkedIn page, in a limited number of characters. Comment on new developments in your course area and use trending hashtags, mainly to add to your credibility and online exposure.

  • LinkedIn: If not to connect with your audience, LinkedIn is surely a great place to connect with fellow teachers and experts, to keep track of businesses in your field. Having an illustrious  LinkedIn profile in addition to creative Instagram pages and blogs can help in adding to your professional credibility.

5.Give and take: testimonials and guest blogs

You can give influencers in your field free access to your course and ask them to publish an honest review on their pages. Additionally, you can contact credible blogs and pages, and find out if you can publish a guest blog, a guest post, a handle takeover, or a video post based on your subject matter. They should generally allow you to promote your social handles, website, and other content.


6.Collaborations

Online teaching need not be a solo endeavor. Through social conversations, you can get in touch with fellow teachers, combine your strengths, and publish collaborative content. 


If you are putting together a comprehensive cooking course and know an expert baker, you could have them conduct one special lesson in your online course. Collaborations help both parties and give them access to each other’s audiences.


7.Live webinars and events 

Live webinars can give you a good classroom test. Reading your blogs and posts is one thing, but watching you speak and interact is what can truly convince people that you can be a good teacher.


Once you have a good following on your blog and social accounts, host a live webinar, and look for opportunities to take part in events as a speaker, panelist, etc.


8.Discounts: to offer or not to offer

Even after being one of the most successful teachers in the world, Mark Manson sells online course in a package along with exclusive blog articles and other content. Discounts and offers are not necessarily a bad idea, whether you’re starting out or are established.


They only increase the number of registrations, which means increased exposure that helps branding in the long run. Just make sure to not over-discount and maintain your standards.


9.Audience interactions

Audience interaction doesn’t just consist of personal responses to messages and comments. It also includes regular QnA sessions, actively seeking feedback, sharing positive feedback that you receive, and rewarding loyal audiences. 


Rewards can be something as small as sharing screenshots of their positive feedback, their well-made assignments, or sharing personalized advice. 


 10.Paid ads 

This step is not extremely necessary, but it can provide a great reach. Paid Google ads, social ads, YouTube ads, and website ads give you great access to your audience.


Spending money to make money might not be everyone’s idea of a great marketing plan, and you can take your time to evaluate this option. 


Final note

Your marketing plan is almost as important as your online course design. The good thing is that none of the above mentioned online platforms are alien to you. After a few more days of racking your brains and you will have made your perfect marketing plan.


So go on, become the world’s next favorite music teacher, business strategist, brewer, or any other kind of teacher, and enter the marketing hall of fame simultaneously!


16

Online Teaching, Course Online, Learning Experience, Learning Management System, LMS

Remember how vlogging took off in the 2010s with the advent of smartphones? Only a decade before, we couldn’t have predicted the phenomenon. Something similar is happening with online teaching in 2020. The unprecedented pandemic and lockdown have given a new life to online teaching and learning. Online courses were Googled 100% more than before between just March and April this year.


Does online teaching suddenly seem to be a very lucrative career? The truth is, it was so even before 2020. After all, it takes only a little more than time, knowledge, and an internet-connected device to pursue it. 


Online Teaching In 2020

Online Teaching 2020

While the upsurge in online learning was majorly attributed to the lockdown, we can safely assume that the boom is here to stay, since audiences are realizing the advantages of online mediums. There are multi-faceted innovations taking place in this field, which make this year a good time to start your online teaching career.

  • The AI&ML edge: There is an active discourse on the usage of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI&ML) to develop online teaching. Gamification is being touted as a giant leap in holding the interest of young adults and school students. 
  • Google Classroom is the new school: Since schools have indefinitely shut down, plenty of schools are moving lectures, assignments, and all other activities to Google Classroom, Zoom, and other popular platforms. There is a generation of online learning-ready adults being prepared, which bodes well for online teachers. 
  • Collaborative learning redefined: In the early days, there were doubts expressed about the isolation of an online student. With new-age tools such as Slack, Trello, etc. which help students interact and work with each other, collaborative learning doesn’t have physical boundaries anymore. Students from across the world can share thoughts and ideas with each other, providing them a new worldview.
  • Credibility: Online courses will no longer be looked at as a lesser alternative to your CV. With Ivy League universities opening up to digital learning, online courses now carry as much credibility as offline ones do, with lesser monetary investment. It’s a win-win for students across the world. 
  • Endless tools: If we make a list of every single online teaching tool available right now, it will be a never-ending list. Tech companies have risen to the occasion and made a plethora of tools with various use cases available to online teachers. These include everything from video editing software and video calling apps, to digital whiteboards and social apps. 

Apart from your knowledge, your time, and your basic internet device, you need some add-ons to be an online teacher. If you have tried a few webinars and classes, you’ll realize that you can do just fine with the basics, but perhaps not in the long run. Here’s some help with sifting through the heaps of hardware and software tools available for online teaching right now. 


Hardware tools for online teaching

You need a good laptop that doesn’t crash with an internet connection that doesn’t lag. After some research, you’ll find courses out there with YouTube influencer-grade quality videos. Remember that your audience now streams sports, movies, and everything else in HD. If you’re planning to seriously take up online teaching, a few hardware investments would help your course get a professional and credible makeover. 


1. HD webcam: Your laptop/computer’s webcam won’t provide the quality that an external HD webcam can. Since it’s not a physical class, video and sound quality is what decides the quality of interaction with students. Plus, external webcams can provide a greater field of view, which is necessary for classes such as dance which require a lot of room. Here are some of the most preferred models. 
  1. Logitech C922: This is the highest order of HD webcams. It costs a lot, and delivers a lot including the field of view, vibrant colors, crystal clear video at 30fps, background replacement technology, HD glass lens, built-in mic, et al. Buy it only if you’re an established online teacher. 
  2. Logitech C270: This is the perfect webcam for beginners. It provides good low-light performance, recording at 720p, a 60-degree field of view, a built-in noise-reducing mic, and a universal clip for convenient attachment. It’s a few notches higher than your integrated webcam. 

2. Professional video lighting: Since you’re competing with the Pewdiepies of the online world, professional lighting is a must. It’s not rocket science, a few online videos will teach you the trick. Remember that even if you’re using colorful lights for your background, stick to white for the foreground to maintain clarity, make your face look fresh and vibrant. Here are your best options:
  1. Small ring light: This little wonder can be used even for mobile video calls. It is compact, comes with a tripod for flexibility, and its brightness can be adjusted. There are other features such as 3-color lighting mode, USB-powered LED, low heat output, and an energy-saving mechanism. 

  2. Mount Dog Softbox light: Investing in a beginner-level softbox will add a nice natural touch of lighting to your face, which is what makes it perfect for portrait shots. It is a tool used by both photographers and online content creators. It is compact as well but will take a little more investment. 

3. Earphones/headphones with mic: Teachers spending hours being plugged in should prefer lightweight, compact headphones with a mic. In order to avoid saying, “Can you hear me now?” and fiddling with your basic earphones, laptop audio, and speakers, you need a good pair of earphones with a mic. Generally, Sennheiser, Sony, and JBL are the safest and most credible choices for any kind of audio equipment. Here are some options. 
  1. Sennheiser PC 3 Chat On-Ear Headphone: These compact earphones provide noise-canceling, a wide frequency response range, and stereo sound. They are reasonably priced as well. 
  2. Sennheiser CX 150BT: If you don’t want the weight of headphones and would prefer wireless earphones with a mic instead, these will do the job. They come with superior audio, Bluetooth connectivity, and a three-button remote. 

  • A good quality smartphone: Suppose your laptop breaks down, or your Wi-Fi isn’t working. You never know when you might have to take that impromptu mobile class. It would only be wise to invest in a top-notch smartphone with an excellent camera and audio quality. Our suggestion would be to go for the top-notch models instead of compromising. Second-hand and refurbished options can be great for cost-saving. These are our picks. 
    1. iPhone: You can easily get an iPhone 7 or lower for less than Rs.40,000 these days. If you can invest in a higher model on an EMI basis, there could be nothing like it. If magazine shoots can be done with an iPhone, online classes surely won’t be a lot of trouble. The video quality of an iPhone coupled with the audio quality of AirPods can give you a great makeshift mobile lecture in times of need.
    2. Google Pixel: Instagram bloggers have created entire careers out of professional-grade content shot with a Google Pixel. You can easily buy a refurbished model for half the price. Of course, the higher the model version, the better. But even earlier models of the Pixel have excellent cameras and speakers. 

  • Virtual whiteboard: This is especially necessary for teachers who are used to a physical classroom. Writing on a board can not only make concepts clearer but can also make it easier for you to structure your lessons. Here’s the trick: You don’t need a full-fledged whiteboard, you can use an iPad or a digital drawing pad that will help you scribble conveniently without moving. Here’s our recommendation.

Wacom One by CTL-472/K0-CX: A favorite amongst graphic designers, this drawing board is pressure-sensitive, cordless, battery-free, and measures only 6inchesX3.5inches.


Software tools for online teaching

software tools for online teaching

 

 1.FreshLMS: is your dream Whitelabel and re-brandable platform where all your other resources come together. With the amount of autonomy and flexibility we provide over your custom website and custom domains, you can create your dream, personalized course. We’re talking integration of custom course structures, payment methods, lesson designs, control over interactions, pricing, and much more! Pricing is another positive of FreshLMS over online teaching marketplaces that have templatized course structures, marketing plans, and pricing structures.

Online Teaching

2.Canva:  is Photoshop for non-designers. It can help you design everything from logos to presentations with ease. Canva has various templates that will mean much lesser aesthetic efforts from you. If you invest in a paid version, you will have access to more than double the number of amazing templates, fonts, 100GB storage, priority support, and much more.

Online Teaching

3.Prezi: Forget Microsoft PowerPoint, Keynote, and Slides, Prezi is where professional creators make presentations. It provides excellent video, design, and conversational presentation services. 

Online Teaching

4.Camtasia: This video recording and editing tool is excellent for teachers who want to provide tutorials and demonstrations. It has custom video templates, animations, effects, music, and audio features.

Online Teaching

5.Audacity: When you use Audacity, you can do an amazing range of things with audio such as live recording, cutting, copying, splicing, and mixing audio, changing pitch, and even adding effects. The best part? It’s free and legal! 

Online Teaching

6.Zoom: is a must for live lectures as very few other software provide the kind of flexibility and add-ons that Zoom does. You can scribble, annotate, divide students into groups, and even make do with a slower internet connection. 

Zoom Online Teaching

7. Slack: You must have seen Slack being used in offices. It is a very convenient way for your students to remain in touch with you and each other. You can collaborate, send files, post updates, and connect via call as well. If you don’t want your students flooding your WhatsApp with queries, give them a dedicated space such as Slack. 

Online Teaching

8.Hootsuite: is your go-to marketing dashboard, where you can create and manage social media content, engage with audiences, align your marketing plans, monitor, and analyze them as well.

Online Teaching

But, before you make an investment…

Ask yourself if you’re in it for the long haul. Don’t start making serious monetary investments before you’re sure about your emotional investment in the long run. Teaching is an art, and like all other artistic professions, takes equal parts heart and brain. How would you know that you’re ready for the long haul? Just dip your toes for a few weeks. We mean, try a free FreshLMS subscription and start doing your thing. If it goes well, you know exactly what to do next.


0

knowledge commerce, Build brand, Course Online, E Learning, Learning Experience, Learning Management System, Personal Branding, Training

You have worked really hard to reach the position you are in today. You are in a senior role with more than 10 or 15 years of experience. From here on, you don’t win jobs based on your interviews. It is purely based on how your potential employers find you. 

 

Building a Brand for yourself is vital to go to the next level in your career. 

 

Below are some practical, attainable, and very cost-effective ways to build your brand and move to achieve the next big thing in your career. 


3 Simple Ways to Build your Brand 


1. Start Expressing your Thoughts and Opinions:

As you have been in the domain for more than a decade, you for sure know many things which the world around you might even can’t think of. Start putting down your thoughts in the form of blogs. Today it is easy to create a blog. You can do it in Medium or LinkedIn Posts to start with. 


Express your thoughts

 

 

Key Points to Remember: 

 

  • Don’t worry about making it look perfect. Nothing is ideal in the world. The more you write, the better it will be. It will then become like a routine. 
  • Use the more accessible channels like Medium, LinkedIn Posts to pen down your thoughts and publish them. 
  • Use Grammarly to do the necessary grammatical checks. 
  • Don’t worry about the number of words, super high-quality images, etc. The thoughts can be small, big. What matters is penning it down. 
  • Just Write as if no one matters to you. 

Marketing Mavericks like Seth Godin, Neil Patel, Rand Fishkin do not write like a publisher. They write just like a normal human being. They are the best people to learn from for brand building. 


2. Go To Events:

Yes. Even today, the events matter. You might have a lot of meetups happening around you on the areas which are of your interest. Join them, attend the meetups. You will meet lovely people out there. You will have a lot of exciting things to share and learn. 


Meeting events

Key Points to Remember: 


  • Don’t aim to attend some big conferences way away from home from day 1. 
  • Start attending the meetups in and around your place. If you don’t find any meet up then its an excellent opportunity for you to create one and gather the like-minded people. 
  • Once in a while, try attending the online conferences and start e-meeting people. 
  • After some time of doing the above points and you start interacting with many people, you can surely go and attend the big ones. 

Companies in the field of accounting, marketing, service, etc. do conduct the big events once in a year wherein all the like-minded people of that industry or domain join in and share the knowledge. 


3. Build Course: 

what would be more rewarding than converting your knowledge into a structured course and selling it to the world. It is a beautiful way to help a lot of people who want to learn new things. Internet is the medium which connects everyone in the world.  


Courses give your brand a real booster. Everyone does not do it. Courses show your commitment to the domain you are in, the confidence you have in your domain, and your willingness to share it to a broader audience for good. These are the qualities is what every employer looks into their senior management hires too 🙂 

Build Course

Key Points to Remember: 


  • You don’t need to be an expert in technology to build and sell your courses. Just record using the platforms like Loom and upload on to FreshLMS and put the pricing. That’s it, you can then start selling your course. Everything related to Hosting, security, payment gateways, member management is taken care of by the FreshLMS platform itself. 
  • Don’t worry if you see a lot of courses or videos on Youtube on your domain. “Bits and Pieces” of information here and there will not give complete knowledge. Your structured course for sure can. 
  • Nothing is perfect. You just have to start it, and as you move on, it will become better day after day. 
  • A consistent parallel income will come your way. Nothing is more satisfying than converting your passion into a regular income. 

You don’t have to create a course on what is HOT, you create a course on what you are an expert at, and the world has millions of people who would love to learn from you. There is no Nobel profession other than SHARING YOUR KNOWLEDGE


So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and start building your brand. 

“But, where do I begin?”

When you begin something monumental, this is always the first question. That’s exactly what we plan to answer for online teachers who are new, as well as ones who are experienced and want to start a new course. So, hop on!

You might have heard varying opinions that have left you confused about which teaching platform to choose. The most popular choice seems to be a Udemy MarketPlace, a beneficial platform for students. Is it as beneficial for teachers, too? Figure this. There are individual courses on offer for as high as $1 billion and more on self-branded platforms such as Kajabi, Teachable, FreshLMS, Thinkific, etc. The opportunities beyond Udemy Marketplace are endless. Before picking your preferred platform, let’s start by breaking down what you need.


Questions you need to ask before selecting the platform

Introspection is the beginning of any good decision, so let’s try to dive deep into your personal requirements.

  • What is my objective for becoming an online teacher? 
  • Do I see myself pursuing online teaching in the long run? 
  • If yes, then how important is my personal brand to me?
  • Do I want my courses to sell purely on course content, or do I want my personal credibility to add to the course value?
  • Do I want a high level of customization or would I prefer things templatized? 
  • Do I want to make my own personalized website, or just follow a template for the time being?
  • How much time and dedication can I put into my new course? 
  • Do I want to create my own marketing strategy for the long term or leverage the hosting platform’s reach? 
  • Would I like my course design, structure, registration page, landing pages, payment mechanisms, etc. to all be customized? 


Based on your answers, consider the following two options. 

Online teaching marketplaces

TL;DR

 

Udemy is the Amazon of online courses. You are one of the thousands of sellers using Amazon’s brand and platform to sell your services. 

 

If your answers for most of the questions above lean towards templates, Udemy, or a similar marketplace might be a good choice. With such a platform, you get these features:

  • Your course content, pricing, and marketing are influenced by the marketplace’s policy. There is a structure in place which you ought to follow.
  • You can leverage the reach of the marketplace and not work too much on your personal reach. 
  • Udemy offers lucrative quizzing tools, mobile interface, worksheets, etc. 

Self-branded platforms

Platforms such as FreshLMS are customization services that work like Shopify. They put you on the front foot and offer a chance to create your own digital store, price your course freely, have a personal connection with students via email and other platforms, cross-sell your other courses, and grow your brand on exactly the path you choose for it.

 

Some features that FreshLMS offers are:

  • Heavy on-course personalization
  • Ideal user journeys (fully customized)
  • Prompt quizzes and assessments 
  • Custom domains for every course 
  • Effortless payment unification 
  • Smart third-party integrations (for marketing and reports)
  • Completely Whitelabel and re-brandable operations 
  • Next-gen reporting and analytics (with insights about performance, cash flow, engagement metrics, detailed sales reports, etc.)
  • Support for solopreneurs and organisations 

 

We will now pit Udemy Marketplace against the option of your own website on five crucial parameters, and then you can figure out the rest for yourself. After all, we aren’t here to decide for you, but just to empower you with information.

 

Course content: Udemy vs your own website

Udemy Marketplace

 

If you choose Udemy, you have to upload your course into a preset interface. You can use video, audio, text, and add subtitles. This should make the process faster. However, Udemy also has a tedious approval system where you might get stuck with tiny details.

 

With your own website, you decide every single step of the user journey. You can embed videos from YouTube or other streaming platforms, as opposed to Udemy where you cannot link any other website including YouTube. With FreshLMS, you can even have a custom domain for each course.

 

Course design: Udemy vs your own website 

Udemy Marketplace

 

On Udemy, there is just one design which all courses follow. Your course content is the only thing that will set it apart. This works for some students as taking one course familiarises them with the layout and makes taking subsequent courses easier.

 

However, as a creator— and we mean it in the most artistic sense, (teaching is, after all, an art and not just a service) — wouldn’t you love to give it a personal touch? You could turn the way your course looks, your logo, and your brand into additional selling factors. When FreshLMS says ‘Whitelabel and Rebrandable’, it means those words in every sense. 

 

Pricing: Udemy Marketplace vs your own website

To give a fair picture of how pricing on Udemy works, let’s look at a testimonial of a former Udemy instructor from 2019.

 

“Students that bought my course at the full price of $199 from my website felt cheated once they saw that they could get the same course on Udemy for under $10 – and understandably so. This misstep cost me thousands of dollars, not to mention countless hours that I had to spend responding to refund requests. Once I stopped selling my courses on Udemy, my refund rates dropped dramatically.”

 

Your course can end up being valued much lesser on Udemy, without you having any control over it. Even if you aren’t bearing the difference, such valuation could hurt your brand in the long run. It is always more satisfying to create your own niche, be honest about your value, and earn what you deserve. 

 

Sales and marketing: Udemy Marketplace vs your own website

On Udemy, you end up splitting half the fees you earn with the marketplace. Plus, you compete with a lot of other courses on the same subject, using the same interface. When Udemy marketplace your course with discounts, it is basically marketing itself more than you or your course.

 

Most of the platforms where you can make your own website have monthly and yearly subscription models, wherein you pay them once and then make unlimited courses for unlimited students within the timespan. You can use various options like PayPal, Stripe, etc. free of charge. You are also responsible for marketing your course and conducting the analysis. You have the freedom to link your website to tools such as MailChimp, Hubspot, Zapier, etc.

 

Customer support: Udemy vs your own website 

Udemy has a huge list of FAQs, a ticketing system, as well as a chat option. However, you cannot directly call an expert. As a teacher, you are also not allowed to respond to or moderate comments. You can’t ask for more information regarding a customer’s complaint.

 

If you have your own website, you also have your own communication system. You can moderate comments, decide how you respond to complaints, and use email, call, chat, or any other means to resolve them. In a world full of consumers obsessed with ‘personalization’, what could be better than putting them directly in touch with you? 

 

The verdict…

We’re not going to lie, Udemy is a good place to test your course material. But when it comes to sustaining in the online teaching world, you will have to put in a little more effort. +

 

The day Udemy changes a feature or policy, you will be powerless. You own neither the audience nor your own offering, effectively limiting growth. With your own website, you will have limitless power and control to design, change, and update constantly. 

 

Your website is basically your own boutique classroom minus the school’s rules. 

 

After all, it is always the teachers who shut textbooks and make their own rules who teach the best and remain in our minds forever.

“Knowledge is power. And you need power in this world. You need as many advantages as you can get”, – Ellen DeGeneres. 


This quote has never had a truer reflection upon society than now when every second person in your network is trying to add maximum courses and skills to their CVs. Writers are becoming coders, designers are moving into UI/UX, engineers are turning into digital marketers. The age of acquiring maximum knowledge and expertise in your specific field is behind us, it is now time to diversify your knowledge base. 


“Why to do it with courses?”, you’d ask. With endless information on the internet, you can figure your way out on your own. But there’s a difference between information and knowledge. Knowledge is information that comes with experience and perspective. Information is only consumed, knowledge is absorbed. The new industry that has emerged from this phenomenon in the 21st Century is now being referred to as the ‘knowledge commerce’.


What Is Knowledge Commerce?

Knowledge Commerce

One of the world leaders in the field of online education, Kajabi, came up with this comprehensive term in 2017. According to them, online learning and e-learning weren’t enough. Hence, they coined ‘
knowledge commerce’, which is defined as simply ‘charging customers for access to your knowledge.’ This process of sharing can be done through online courses, blogs, e-books, membership sites, or any other digital medium.


The online learning industry has given everyone an opportunity to acquire monetary value for their knowledge. An online course is no more just a substitute, a mere alternative, or a trend. It’s actually quite the rage now. To give you an idea of how much the knowledge commerce industry has developed, here are some statistical insights. 


Knowledge commerce: a $240 billion+ industry


The figure could very well be much higher than $240 billion in 2020, thanks to the spike in online course registrations due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the need for upskilling due to layoffs and threats to job security, and other related factors. The 2025 projection for this industry is no less than $325 billion


As per a Payoneer survey, 54% of millennials in developed countries plan to start their own business. 64% of people with a full-time job want to acquire more skills and earn from other sources. Even the older generation is seeking upskilling in order to stay relevant. The freelance and self-employment boom is directly proportional to the knowledge commerce boom. Every other youngster is either conducting a course or signing up for it.


More than 6 million students all over the world are pursuing higher education online, with the number only expected to increase. Searches for online courses on Google spiked by more than 100% in the months of March-April 2020 alone.  There might soon be a generation more used to digital learning than physical classrooms. 


The free market of knowledge


  • Become a Pro Gamer
  • Power and Responsibility: Doing Philosophy with Superheroes
  • Clown for Fun and Profit: Learning the Art of Clowning
  • Influencing People

These are not BuzzFeed articles. They are all online courses. You can now learn almost anything from experts online. So, whatever your skillset may be, there is a market for it. It doesn’t have to be academic, professional, popular, or trending. In fact, the rarer it is, the more niche an audience it will have. The democracy that knowledge has achieved through online marketplaces is astounding. So, if your answer to most of the below questions is a resounding yes, you’re ready to share your knowledge online. 


  1. Do you like teaching?
  2. Are you good at content creation?
  3. Are you full of new ideas?
  4. Would you like to be self-employed?
  5. Do you have an entrepreneurial streak but don’t want to invest money?

There’s only one way to find out if you’d be, which is actually trying it. Why are we keen that you try?  

 

2020: The best time to enter knowledge commerce


There are certain market trends that have made knowledge commerce a flourishing industry in the past few years. 


  • Digital dependence: The days when people would be hesitant to try the digital version of anything are gone. The trend of B2B and B2C commerce being replaced by D2C (Direct-to-consumer) e-commerce has stretched from products to services such as teaching as well. The absence of middlemen, saving of physical resources, and affordability of online products and services have all contributed to this shift. Consumers have started realizing how online learning can be better, especially with the pandemic forcing them all to turn towards it.

  • Skill gaps: Technology is developing faster than ever as we enter the AI & ML (Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning) era. There is a constant fear of being left behind because of not being able to keep up with evolving skill requirements. In a LinkedIn survey earlier this year, 63% of Indian working-class respondents said that they plan to increase the time they spend on online learning, with a major focus on industry knowledge, communication, and career advancement. You might very well be one of these students, and you can be a teacher in another as well. It is a democratic industry, after all. 

  • Knowledge shared is knowledge (and money) earned: When you teach someone, you learn twice. The comfort of digital exchange facilitates better ways to gain knowledge from your students. Feedback from them helps you develop your teaching skills, which can ultimately lead to your courses being valued higher. In the process of teaching, you end up getting four kinds of ROI.
  1. More knowledge about your subject matter
  2. Better teaching skills
  3. Money
  4. Creative satisfaction 

  • The rise of the personal brand: Gone are the days when only celebrities carried a personal brand. Today, each one of us is a brand. Employers check not just LinkedIn but also Facebook profiles before interviews. There’s a reason why LinkedIn is full of personal stories and blogs.

No one wants to be just another link in the wide corporate network. They would rather be exceptional motivational coaches, niche music instructors, or teachers of revolutionary marketing ideas they couldn’t pitch in an actual boardroom. To differentiate yourself, enhance your credibility, and move towards a possible self-dependent career, knowledge commerce is the perfect path. 


If you want to create your own mark in this industry, here are a few mediums to explore. 


Ways to sell your knowledge online

Knowledge Commerce

There are multiple ways to sell your knowledge online, and picking one might get confusing if you’re new. Here’s a little help. 


  • Online courses: An online course is where you can combine all kinds of media, i.e. articles, presentations, videos, books, etc. and have a  full-fledged teaching experience. Online courses are fast-growing from a close substitute of classroom lectures to being the better option. The market is more ready than it ever was. As per a Google-PMG India report, online education in India itself is set for an eight-fold growth by 2021. Needless to say, competition is growing by the day and it only makes sense to stop thinking and start designing your online course now.

  • Consulting: Paid consulting is a niche option that you can undertake if you have expertise and confidence in your particular field. You can advise companies by actually visiting them or exclusively online. This requires great networking skills, high credibility, and high personal brand value.

  • Blogging: You can start guest blogging on credible websites in your area of expertise, be it beauty, management, finance, or the arts. People always turn to blogs for in-depth research. A good number of guest blogs can help you divert traffic to your personal blog, landing page, or website, where you can promote more exclusive content, courses, products, etc. 

  • Webinars: Webinars can be a precursor to an online course. They are highly personalized and allow potential customers to interact directly with you. Building up hype for your upcoming webinars can also give you some practice in marketing your personal brand as an online teacher. Anyone engaged in knowledge commerce through any medium should host regular webinars simply to stay in touch with their audience. 

  • Ebooks and whitepapers: Ebooks and whitepapers are detailed studies of a specific topic for audiences who want a deeper understanding that they can read at their own convenience. These are what the knowledge commerce industry calls ‘lead magnets’. Once you mail your ebook or whitepaper to someone, you have a lead for your online courses, webinars, and blogs. 

  • Build your own website: It has become a common practice amongst creative professionals to send not just their CVs but also links to their personal websites that showcase their portfolios in the most attractive way. A website is where you can tie together all of the mediums mentioned above. You can also throw in merchandise, testimonial columns, your personal story, and much more. Nothing will shape your personal brand as an online teacher like a website will. If you notice, most well-known online teachers have their own personal websites. 

Time for some inspiration


Teaching is a creative pursuit and is fuelled by inspiration more than anything else. Plus, no case is convincing without case studies. Let’s have a look at some of the most successful names in the knowledge commerce industry today and what you can take away from them.


  • Neil Patel: Neil Patel’s brand is much more than his warm and welcoming face, which is his brand logo, and the first thing that you see on his website. A bestselling author, Forbes Top 10 marketer, a top web influencer as per the Wall Street Journal, and much more, Neil Patel helps brands with digital marketing. 

He shares a plethora of knowledge on digital marketing, SEO, and content marketing knowledge in the form of videos and blogs. Although his teaching initiatives are only supplementary to his consulting business, they are what drive everything. He’s known by more people as the go-to guy for digital marketing knowledge than as the consultant.


Takeaways:
  • Supplement your main business with teaching and it could work wonders for your personal brand.
  • Blogging is still relevant.
  • You can make a holistic personal brand of which teaching is an important part but not the main one. 


  • John and Hank Green (Crash Course): Best-selling romance novelist John Green, along with his brother Hank Green and a small team started a YouTube channel called Crash Course that translated the textbook subjects of science, history, humanities, and even astronomy, entrepreneurship into fascinating videos. Their videos have humor, animation, special effects, peppy music et al. They sell advanced resources and knick-knacks on Patreon. With 11.3 million subscribers and billions of views on their videos, these teachers surely know what they’re doing.

 

Takeaways
  • Make existing knowledge interesting by giving it a new twist.
  • Diversify your personal brand and don’t be afraid to cross the boundaries of professions.
  • Some animation and humor never hurt. 

  • Justin Sandercoe (Justin Guitar): Justin Sandercoe, the internet’s favorite guitar teacher, has 1.26 million YouTube subscribers. This UK-based guitarist has worked with prestigious brands such as the Brit Awards and World Music Awards in the past.

His YouTube videos are teasers to the actual courses on his website. He has also added a mobile app in the mix to increase convenience. His website also features testimonials from guitar gods such as Mark Knopfler and Steve Vai. There is a lot of free content on the website.  But for advanced-level benefits, there are paid courses too. He also sells books through his website. 


Takeaways:
  • Testimonials matter. Ask your ex-bosses or any other relevant people you’ve worked within the past to validate your expertise on your website. 
  • Use YouTube for practice in content creation and for marketing as well.
  • You should probably take that old guitar out of your closet. 


  • Alexa Polidoro (Learn French with Alexa): Alexa has made a lucrative business out of her passion for the French language, with scores of YouTube videos and a paid subscription on her personal website. She keeps innovating her content on a frequent basis with quizzes, live lessons, creative exercises, and interactive tests. Live videos are a key part of her marketing strategy. Her YouTube channel 951K subscribers, and her video views hover around 30-40 lakhs. Her method of breaking down every concept, repeating information, and presenting it in a light-hearted manner has earned her a lot of dedicated students. 

Takeaways:
  • Language learning is a profitable market.
  • Keep innovating with your content and courses. 
  • Have live sessions as often as possible and encourage one-on-one interaction. 

The key takeaway: Self-branding


One thing that’s common between each of these self-made and successful teachers is that they have their own websites where they sell their knowledge. They took the freedom to decide how their knowledge is sold, designed, curated, and controlled every part of it. That is the only way they could bring about their uniqueness as teachers, whether it’s Crash Courses’s quirky animations, Neil Patel’s curated data, Alexa’s childish yet fun games, or Justin’s multi-step learning techniques – it was a website where they could showcase their content in all its glory.


A readymade course on a marketplace might give you a little bit of convenience, but you won’t enjoy the creative freedom that comes with your own website where entire pages can mimic your ideas and personality.


FreshLMS: Your self-branded knowledge commerce destination

Knowledge Commerce


As mentioned earlier, online courses and personal websites are comprehensive platforms where you can combine all your teaching resources along with pitching your personal brand. This works much differently than online teaching marketplaces, where you get a readymade audience and course structure without the freedom to promote other material, add external links, or even decide the value of your own courses. 


With a self-branded platform such as FreshLMS, customization is key. You just have to pay for a monthly or yearly subscription to create unlimited courses and add unlimited members. Here is how FreshLMS ensures that you retain full control of your online teaching endeavor. 


  • Heavy on-course personalization: Tailor-made course sections, chapters, login and sign up screens, freedom to attach external links and media.

  • Ideal user journeys: Customized sales landing pages, CTA buttons, look and feel, and enrollment pages.
  • Prompt quizzes and assessments: Provisions to use quizzes for both engagement and marketing purposes, backend score calculations calibrated for different use cases.
  • Custom domains for every course: Create perfect conversion funnels with custom landing pages, domains, and marketing campaigns.
  • Effortless payment unification: Easy integration with all leading payment and gateway platforms.
  • Smart third-party integrations: Technology that works cohesively with third-party apps and platforms such as HubSpot, Mailchimp, and Zapier for your analysis and data needs.
  • Completely Whitelabel and re-brandable: 100% Whitelabel operations that put you on the forefront.
  • Next-gen reporting and analytics: Actionable insights into course performance, cash flow, engagement, sales reports, and much more
  • Support for both solopreneurs and organizations.

Final lesson

The world needs your knowledge, and it can give you money, creative avenues, personal satisfaction, and much more in return. So, why wait? Step into the new leg of the Digital Race, the knowledge commerce era, and explore a whole new world that awaits you. Who knows, you could also become the new favorite marketing expert, juggler, or classical dance teacher on the internet!



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Course Online, Build brand, Buildings, E Learning, Learning Experience, Learning Management System, Learning Management System, LMS, Online Course, Udemy Marketplace, Uncategorized

Back in the day, kids wanted to be doctors, pilots, firefighters, movie stars, and sportspersons. Ask the kids of the 21st Century, and they will have answers such as ‘Vlogger’, ‘Influencer’, or ‘YouTuber’. The rise of the YouTuber as a profession has been momentous. 

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Udemy Marketplace, blog, Build brand, E Learning, Fashion, Learning Experience, Learning Management System, Personal Branding, Training
“But, where do I begin?”

When you begin something monumental, this is always the first question. That’s exactly what we plan to answer for online teachers who are new, as well as ones who are experienced and want to start a new course. So, hop on!

You might have heard varying opinions that have left you confused about which teaching platform to choose. The most popular choice seems to be a Udemy MarketPlace, a beneficial platform for students. Is it as beneficial for teachers, too? Figure this. There are individual courses on offer for as high as $1 billion and more on self-branded platforms such as Kajabi, Teachable, FreshLMS, Thinkific, etc. The opportunities beyond Udemy Marketplace are endless. Before picking your preferred platform, let’s start by breaking down what you need.


Questions you need to ask before selecting the platform

Introspection is the beginning of any good decision, so let’s try to dive deep into your personal requirements.

  • What is my objective for becoming an online teacher? 
  • Do I see myself pursuing online teaching in the long run? 
  • If yes, then how important is my personal brand to me?
  • Do I want my courses to sell purely on course content, or do I want my personal credibility to add to the course value?
  • Do I want a high level of customization or would I prefer things templatized? 
  • Do I want to make my own personalized website, or just follow a template for the time being?
  • How much time and dedication can I put into my new course? 
  • Do I want to create my own marketing strategy for the long term or leverage the hosting platform’s reach? 
  • Would I like my course design, structure, registration page, landing pages, payment mechanisms, etc. to all be customized? 


Based on your answers, consider the following two options. 

Online teaching marketplaces

TL;DR

 

Udemy is the Amazon of online courses. You are one of the thousands of sellers using Amazon’s brand and platform to sell your services. 

 

If your answers for most of the questions above lean towards templates, Udemy, or a similar marketplace might be a good choice. With such a platform, you get these features:

  • Your course content, pricing, and marketing are influenced by the marketplace’s policy. There is a structure in place which you ought to follow.
  • You can leverage the reach of the marketplace and not work too much on your personal reach. 
  • Udemy offers lucrative quizzing tools, mobile interface, worksheets, etc. 

Self-branded platforms

Platforms such as FreshLMS are customization services that work like Shopify. They put you on the front foot and offer a chance to create your own digital store, price your course freely, have a personal connection with students via email and other platforms, cross-sell your other courses, and grow your brand on exactly the path you choose for it.

 

Some features that FreshLMS offers are:

  • Heavy on-course personalization
  • Ideal user journeys (fully customized)
  • Prompt quizzes and assessments 
  • Custom domains for every course 
  • Effortless payment unification 
  • Smart third-party integrations (for marketing and reports)
  • Completely Whitelabel and re-brandable operations 
  • Next-gen reporting and analytics (with insights about performance, cash flow, engagement metrics, detailed sales reports, etc.)
  • Support for solopreneurs and organisations 

 

We will now pit Udemy Marketplace against the option of your own website on five crucial parameters, and then you can figure out the rest for yourself. After all, we aren’t here to decide for you, but just to empower you with information.

 

Course content: Udemy vs your own website

Udemy Marketplace

 

If you choose Udemy, you have to upload your course into a preset interface. You can use video, audio, text, and add subtitles. This should make the process faster. However, Udemy also has a tedious approval system where you might get stuck with tiny details.

 

With your own website, you decide every single step of the user journey. You can embed videos from YouTube or other streaming platforms, as opposed to Udemy where you cannot link any other website including YouTube. With FreshLMS, you can even have a custom domain for each course.

 

Course design: Udemy vs your own website 

Udemy Marketplace

 

On Udemy, there is just one design which all courses follow. Your course content is the only thing that will set it apart. This works for some students as taking one course familiarises them with the layout and makes taking subsequent courses easier.

 

However, as a creator— and we mean it in the most artistic sense, (teaching is, after all, an art and not just a service) — wouldn’t you love to give it a personal touch? You could turn the way your course looks, your logo, and your brand into additional selling factors. When FreshLMS says ‘Whitelabel and Rebrandable’, it means those words in every sense. 

 

Pricing: Udemy Marketplace vs your own website

To give a fair picture of how pricing on Udemy works, let’s look at a testimonial of a former Udemy instructor from 2019.

 

“Students that bought my course at the full price of $199 from my website felt cheated once they saw that they could get the same course on Udemy for under $10 – and understandably so. This misstep cost me thousands of dollars, not to mention countless hours that I had to spend responding to refund requests. Once I stopped selling my courses on Udemy, my refund rates dropped dramatically.”

 

Your course can end up being valued much lesser on Udemy, without you having any control over it. Even if you aren’t bearing the difference, such valuation could hurt your brand in the long run. It is always more satisfying to create your own niche, be honest about your value, and earn what you deserve. 

 

Sales and marketing: Udemy Marketplace vs your own website

On Udemy, you end up splitting half the fees you earn with the marketplace. Plus, you compete with a lot of other courses on the same subject, using the same interface. When Udemy marketplace your course with discounts, it is basically marketing itself more than you or your course.

 

Most of the platforms where you can make your own website have monthly and yearly subscription models, wherein you pay them once and then make unlimited courses for unlimited students within the timespan. You can use various options like PayPal, Stripe, etc. free of charge. You are also responsible for marketing your course and conducting the analysis. You have the freedom to link your website to tools such as MailChimp, Hubspot, Zapier, etc.

 

Customer support: Udemy vs your own website 

Udemy has a huge list of FAQs, a ticketing system, as well as a chat option. However, you cannot directly call an expert. As a teacher, you are also not allowed to respond to or moderate comments. You can’t ask for more information regarding a customer’s complaint.

 

If you have your own website, you also have your own communication system. You can moderate comments, decide how you respond to complaints, and use email, call, chat, or any other means to resolve them. In a world full of consumers obsessed with ‘personalization’, what could be better than putting them directly in touch with you? 

 

The verdict…

We’re not going to lie, Udemy is a good place to test your course material. But when it comes to sustaining in the online teaching world, you will have to put in a little more effort. +

 

The day Udemy changes a feature or policy, you will be powerless. You own neither the audience nor your own offering, effectively limiting growth. With your own website, you will have limitless power and control to design, change, and update constantly. 

 

Your website is basically your own boutique classroom minus the school’s rules. 

 

After all, it is always the teachers who shut textbooks and make their own rules who teach the best and remain in our minds forever.


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