Many businesses who offer individual training or classes such as corporate trainers, fitness trainers, art instructors, music instructors, or any other type of training are missing out on an opportunity to reach a much larger audience. There are only so many hours available in a day and you can only be in one place at one time. This severely limits the amount of income you can earn as a trainer and also the number of people you can work with.
While it may be difficult to truly replicate the effectiveness of in-person training, online training can still be very effective if done correctly and also has the major advantage of being able to reach more people more frequently than in-person training does. Online training can also be a much more affordable option since there are not the typical costs of travel or office rental. However, since you can offer it at a much greater volume, you will make up for the revenue per participant due to increased volume and frequency that you can now deliver your training.
There are a number of other reasons to consider adding online training as an offering. Online courses do not necessarily have to replace your in-person training, but can instead supplement it as forms of pre or post learning exercises. Online training can be positioned as an introductory level course that can give your clients a taste of what you are able to offer. Or online training can be a great source of lead magnets – offering them for free is a sure way to get potential clients to sign up for your mailing list in exchange for a free introductory online only offering. There is always the chance however, that online training becomes a successful source of income for you and may completely replace your need to offer in-person training.
Delivering instruction live online
For training that is best offered in person, the next best alternative is teaching live online via video. This gives trainers the option of interacting directly with their classes, whether it be answering questions or getting direct feedback regarding their lessons as they teach. Even if your attendees can’t make it to your live online training, you can record it in order to allow them to watch later.
Webinar software such as Zoom, Skype, Adobe Connect, GoToWebinar or free options such as Facebook Live, Instagram Live or Google hangouts all provide excellent features for delivering training and allowing participants to interact with the instructor.
What you will need to create and deliver your online training
For a modest investment, you can easily create content for online training. All that is needed is a web cam, digital video camera (iPhone works well). There are several programs for editing video or taking screen recordings such as Camtasia.
A Learning Management System (LMS) is software that can help you structure online courses, enroll students, and assess their learning along the way. There are a variety of LMS software options on the market, some specifically designed for different industries or types of learning. I suggest utilizing one of the WordPress LMS plugins to develop and test your online training offerings. WordPress, plus one of the many LMS plugins available such as LearnDash is an affordable and practical way to start your online training business. It also offers numerous integrations to add features to your LMS such as gamification and discussion forums. LearnDash also easily integrates with WooCommerce for online sales.
An LMS will also allow you to organize contact information that you can use to interact with enrolled students by email. This allows you to answer questions, send assignments and information and generally connect with your students. Facebook groups and forums can also be an effective method for this as well. Facebook groups and forums also provide a platform for students to interact with eachother, discuss the curriculum and ask or answer questions.
Marketing your online training
Inbound content marketing strategy is perfect for promoting online training. Publishing content related to the course you teach will allow people to discover it through searching related topics. Social media or paid advertising, linked to dedicated landing pages promoting your online course is also an effective marketing funnel strategy that has proven to be very effective at promoting online courses. By offering a free sample lesson for your course, you can gather email addresses in order to continue to market your online training catalog.
Transitioning to online training doesn’t need to be something you do all at once, but can rather be something you roll out one client at a time as you refine your processes. Once your online training has been developed and refined, you can determine how it fits into your business model – whether it be as a low-cost introductory option, supplement to your in-person training, source for lead generation, or as a complete replacement for your current in-person training.