Are you a studio owner or instructor who wants to start delivering classes online?
Awesome! In this post I will outline why adding online classes or other digital services could be a great choice for your studio, as well as the practical ‘HOW’ of making this happen. I’ll be listing some of my favourite tools and answering a couple of frequently asked questions on this topic too.
Who am I?
My name is Georgia and I help studio owners and creative entrepreneurs market and grow their business online. I used to run a chain of pole studios in Australia and first founded this site (www.heartofpole.com) in 2010 to help serve wonderful people like you in my favourite niche – pole dance and aerial fitness! In my day job I was a software developer and automation specialist and I also have a background in writing and communications – so nowadays I love to bring my technical expertise together with my creative skills and put myself to work solving problems and making magic online.
Today that will the magic of distance education for pole dancers!
Let’s dive right in…
- Why Move Online?
- What To Put Online
- How To Actually Deliver Everything Online
- How Do I Make Sure The Right People Can Access It?
- Ask Me Anything!
Why Move Online?
Supporting your students with their at-home training and/or having digital counterparts to your face-to-face lessons is a wonderful way to improve the service you provide for your customers while opening up the option for additional revenue streams at the same time. You might even find a global audience for some of your remote options!
At the time of publishing this article, a lot of studios around the world are also faced with a sudden necessity to get online – thanks to the forced closure of their physical locations in response to the COVID-19 virus. Now more than ever, diversification is critical! And as much as this sudden upheaval does present a challenge to many businesses, it’s also true that the measure you put in place now could not only see you through these uncertain times, but could set you up even stronger when we return to normality!
Ultimately, online delivery is a great way to encourage your students to keep (or upgrade!) their memberships – or even simply to attract a little extra income with a few one-off classes, for example.
What To Put Online
Personally, I love the combination of:
on-demand tutorial content (pre-recorded videos they can watch any time)
follow-along sequences and/or live classes (to keep people accountable, social and to support Q&A)
some community-based activities (like challenges and events to keep people motivated and engaged)
The above is what I would consider the ‘core stack’ if you were aiming to replicate your services online – as it most closely reflects what you probably do in your studios already.
Of course – there’s more than one way to bake this cake!
Maybe you’d prefer to move more into coaching on a 1:1 or small-group basis (think goal setting, habit formation, nutrition, sleep health, how to choreograph a comp routine, how to improve as a performer, etc) – or maybe now is the time for you to work on developing some re-usable resources like printable training schedules or daily downloadable workouts, things that can enhance the experience you offer your customers, or even work on things like your marketing strategy to help you reach a new, wider audience! There’s plenty you can do if you’re willing to try some out-of-the box ideas and get creative with how you deliver value to your clients!
How Do I Actually Deliver It Online?
When it comes to the logistics – there’s a lot of options that will work well! I’m afraid I can’t give you a “one size fits all” answer for this as the best solution will depend largely on three things:
* what you already have set up ( or already know and like)
* what experience you want or features you need
* what time, budget and resources you have available
In a nutshell, you will need some combination of:
- a scheduling/booking tool + payment processing
- an online meeting tool or way to deliver live videos
- a hub for video content to be accessed
- a place for info & communication
Check out the post ‘Recommended Tools & Platforms for Online Lessons‘ for some specific ideas!
NOTE: If you have limited time, money or support you will need a willingness to take ‘shortcuts’ and do things manually where needed. If you already have some of the above in place, you can get a little more fancy with how you move into the online realm and will be able to give your students and team a more advanced user experience. There’s no wrong answer here, and you can find solutions starting at $0 right through to the hundreds and thousands – and you can also find tools that are quick to set up and will have you ready to roll immediately, as well as some more involved solutions that have greater potential and cooler features but will come with setup time and/or logistical hoops to jump first.
Each tool has its own pros and cons, but the BEST solution is going to be the one(s) you already have access to and know how to use, or the ones your students/staff are already comfortable with. The most important thing is that it’s easy for you show up, create content and engage with your students. This is why a lot of people are doing their sessions on FB and IG to start with and then working on a longer-term solution behind the scenes.
It’s absolutely fine to start with something ad-hoc and introduce a more feature-rich experience when you start building up a bigger library of content and resources over time, for example!
How Do I Make Sure The Right People Can Access It?
Got A Question?
Please get in touch! The best place to reach me at the moment is over Facebook Messenger, but you can also email me or submit a contact form.
If you’d like to set a time to join me on a 1:1 video call (my 15-20 min consultations are free if you looking for help with a project) then you can book directly into my calendar at www.gemo.as.me/heartofpole and I’ll see you soon!