BEFORE YOU START COACHING
Choose your topic
Whether it’s cooking your favorite dishes, writing non-fiction stories, teaching how to do taxes or interior design, there is an audience for that. The list of possible topics is endless and your success is directly related to how passionate you are about your “skill”and how much you enjoy sharing it with others.
As you decide what you are planning to teach, select your course from the available list during the coach registration process. If you cannot find what you are looking for please send us an email and we will add your course to the list and notify you once it’s available.
Remember that people are searching for a course they are interested in among hundreds of potential options. Make sure your “Introduction” section provides specific enough information about you and your courses to land you the right audience.
Create a hard-to-miss profile
When creating your profile, be sure all the available fields are filled in to provide enough information about you. Make it friendly and fun. Add a photo of yourself that represents you well
Be specific in your subject description, i.e. instead of “coding” say what programming language you plan to teach, or instead of “Math” say “Math for 3-7 grades (Canadian school system), etc. Avoid using an acronym, or clarify what it means as many people may not be familiar with it.
Remember! Honesty is your best companion for long-term success. Don’t exaggerate your experience or education, as the learner will find out what you are made of after one lesson.
Start building your syllabus
Think about your one-hour sessions and what the most interesting and relevant things are from which your learner will benefit. Keep in mind that when time comes, you will need to make slight adjustments to your course plan to tailor your content to each learner’s level of experience, pace and individual request.
Divide your course into 45-55-minute sessions, allow some time for Q&A. You can also ask for direct feedback from the learner as you prep for the next lesson.
During your prep, think and make sure that you have a balance of visual and practical material so that your learner is fully engaged and he/she is provided with the optimum learning experience.
Set your price
Having the right price is key to generating interest for your course, but don’t worry, time will tell if you are doing well on that front. Do a bit of market research in advance to get an idea how much these sort of online courses cost. With time, you will learn how to adapt your prices based on demand. If you get too many requests in the beginning, it’s an indication that you have room to increase your price and vice versa. But a good rule of thumb is to start somewhere reasonable and adjust as you go.
Consider the time that you invest in your class. It is not just the one-hour session that you spend with your learner. Most courses require a prep time, doing research to readjust the course based on the needs of your learner, checking tests, etc. Be sure you are getting paid for what you offer.
Also, take your expenses into consideration. When teaching online, you may have some spending of your own. For some subjects, you may need consumables such as yarn, canvas, and so on.
Sometimes a little bit of push goes a long way. Do you have a Social Media following? Can your LRNKEY© profile benefit from your personal audience? Post a couple of lines about your new gig online and land some views right away. Or, you can send an email to your friends announcing that you are starting teaching online.
Pay attention to your ranking. Start working on your popularity on LRNKEY© early on. Ask your learners to leave reviews on your profile. The more reviews you get, the higher are your chances of attracting new “customers”.
Be proactive and talk to learners to see if there are any issues you need to address. Keep your customers happy to avoid negative reviews.
Welcome constructive criticism from your learners, and think of it as a valuable opportunity to improve your offering going forward. Negative reviews don’t mean that you have failed, it means there is room for growth. Remember, you either win, or you learn!
Check your technology
Currently our platform supports Skype for video conferencing. As we move forward, we will incorporate other platforms as well.
For now, we suggest you test your Skype with a friend to be sure it is working well with your connection before your first class. Practice screen sharing in advance so that you don’t waste time looking for the right buttons during the course. Here’s an example of how screen sharing works on Skype.
Before your first class, also think about investing in a microphone, and make sure in advance that your sound quality does not affect the quality of your course.
And finally, work on your introductory speech in front of a mirror or your family members. Get their feedback and try to improve your posture, speed, or anything you might think needs improvement.
ONCE YOU START COACHING
Clarify your learners’ goals and expectations
When you first meet your “student” in your introductory lesson, try to understand what your student wants to get out of the course. Tell her/him a little about yourself and your experience.
Learn what they are “here” for, how much experience they have, what their expectations from the course are, how many lessons they are interested in and why they want to learn what you offer. Once you know a bit about them and their goals, you can guide them in the right direction.
However, If you think you cannot meet their needs, let them know in advance that you are not the right “coach” for them. It’s better to be honest from the beginning than disappoint them in the end. Also let them know if you think they need more or less number of sessions to accomplish their goals; it’s important for them to be realistic on what they can accomplish within a set period of time.
To help your learners succeed, tell them what your expectations are from them and share the requirements well in advance, so they come prepared (homework, tests, timing and scheduling).
Become a 5-star coach
Here are a few final thoughts on how to get that 5-star review everyone is after:
- Always be on time. If you are running late for some reason, let your students know early.
- Focus on the class. Don’t let anything distract you from the process, such as phone calls or notifications from others apps, or your children crying in the next room.
- Need help remembering the material? We get it, teaching is no easy task. Make a cheat sheet and have it with you during the lessons to help you with your material.
- Be straightforward with your class. When the learners are asking a question and you don’t know the answer, tell them openly that you don’t know, but you will find out and get back to them. And remember to always follow up on those questions, be it after class or during the next lesson.
- Stick to the curriculum. Follow your curriculum plan as you have agreed during the first lesson and make sure you don’t deviate from it. After all, this is what your learners came to you for.
- After every session, confirm with your learner, if the sessions are going in the right direction. Is there a need to slow down or speed up the learning process?
- Make practical assignments as part of the learning process, and make sure to follow up with students who failed to turn in their assignments on time and encourage them to submit them. Give them more time if you need to.