There is a reason your wonderful creations sell well, they are the result of years of practice, lots of failed attempts, pick yourself ups and try agains, determination, love and, of course, talent.
You are an expert at it AND you are also an expert and knowing all the little shortcuts, tricks, obstacles and solutions that turn an iffy first attempt into an inspirational success. Your super power is knowing your craft inside out and upside down – the sort of expertise you don’t find in books.
That is just the sort of wonderful expertise that people will pay to learn. Your support and knowledge is worth just as much as your beautiful creations, or even more as you can teach lots of people at once.
So where to start with your online craft courses? What would people LOVE to learn?
Do you have the curse of knowledge?
It can be really hard to remember what it’s like for people starting out. It’s hard to peel away the layers and layers of knowledge built up over the years and go back to the very start of things when you gained that first ah-ha moment. What was it that sparked off your creative journey, what was it that sucked you into learning more and getting better and better at it and loving every moment of the adventure?
As a designer and techie geek I found it very hard to go back to the beginning and just remember what I struggled with to start with. I do remember as a lowly marketing assistant, back when I first started work, being tasked with creating an ad from scratch, myself and with no training. Eek! I think I spent a whole half day just finding out how to place one image on top of another. I googled it, but I didn’t know what terminology to use – what is a layer, a transparency, a jpg, a eps path or a tiff file anyway? I asked around the office and eventually got help from somebody in the Engineering room who happened to like photography who started me off on the right track with an, ‘oh, you mean you want to give it a transparent background’. Apparently I did.
I still find it hard to distil all the easy-to-me design expertise down to the very beginning of it, but when I do, this is the most simple and the most helpful, the most ground-breaking stuff for my crowd. And just like me, some of them are now hooked.
So what was the first thing that sparked off your love for your craft? What was the first project that got you hooked (no pun intended for the crocheters out there)? What are the basics that you had to learn to get your first WOW result?
When I put together a new freebie, class or a course I focus on getting my crowd a very definite result. So my Build a WordPress Website in 1 Hour tells them how to build a wordpress website, my irresistible freebie template demonstrates how to make their freebie irresistible and gives them the tools to do it, my free Christmasify your FB header took them through lots of Christmassy ideas and showed them how to create their own artwork.
Most of my classes and courses are a mixture of the practical and creative and it is a wonderful feeling to hear that my crowd have designed something they love for the first time or produced a website that is now selling. It’s a journey for me as well as them and makes me smile.
What could you teach your crowd to make? What would really impress them, teach them the basics of your craft and get them to produce something stunning first time? Once you’ve got them hooked, you can start to offer them more!
One of the best ways to find out what rocks your crowd’s boat is to ask.
Create a survey, pose simple questions on social media and ask some of your customers – what would they LOVE to know, what would they love to be able to create?
I release a survey every year for both existing and new peeps to make sure that the online classes and courses I offer are just the right level for my audience. I am always surprised by the answers – their problems are ALWAYS a lot simpler than I think they are going to be.
To find out what your crowd need to know and where they are starting from you could choose a few easy peasy beginner’s projects and see which ones capture their imagination. Ask if they would love to know how to make it themselves? Find out how they feel about giving it a go themselves and ask what would stop them attempting the project on their own.
Here are a few questions you can ask to find out what will rock and roll their boat:
- Have you ever tried [your craft] and have you carried it on? – give an option of a number of years
- If yes, what did you find tricky? – give a few options and a comment box
- Show a few pictures of possible finished projects – ask them to tick which ones they’d love to make
- What would put you off trying it yourself – give a few options and a comment box
- Which other online craft courses have you tried?
You can give them options to choose from or let them give their own answer, but make sure you leave at least one question open as that is often the most revealing. You’ll end up with a really helpful list of ideas for classes, audios, blogs, freebies and even courses that will form the basis for your online product plan.
Take each idea and brainstorm everything around it, simplifying as you go. Each product, each class and course should get a great result for your crowd and teach them the basics without them even knowing they are learning. Focus on that one result and cross out everything that isn’t absolutely necessary.
Once you’ve done this you will have a fantastic list of possibilities that your growing audience would LOVE you to share – perfect for building your list of potential customers, your social media likes and follows, creating popular online craft courses and becoming known as the place to go if you want to make beautiful things.