To Teach or Not to Teach?

Teaching. Ugh! Let’s just say it wasn’t for me. If you didn’t know, I was once a first-grade teacher. I washed four, or in reality, closer to six years of college down the drain! The thought of the wasted time and student loan debt were cringe worthy. But wait a minute...

Fast forward a few years and now I’m going into my third year of teaching cookie decorating classes. Not only has teaching my craft produced more income than churning out orders, but it’s unexpectedly helped me discover my deepest passion (hint, it wasn’t teaching 7 yr olds phonics.) Leading creatives down the stream of royal icing happiness energized me in a way that no other part of my business could. I apologize in advance for any overly exuberant enthusiasm, but I want to share why you should consider teaching classes as part of your creative business as well.

In short, this is a no brainer! Want a mega business builder? Teaching your craft in person can be a fabulous addition to your business.

1. Classes are lucrative. Ever calculated how much you're paying yourself per hour filling orders? If not, you should. Just grab a glass of wine and tissue first. Teaching classes, though, can add a whole new stream of revenue to your existing business. I’m here to vouch, classes are lucrative. My earnings per hour spike significantly when I teaching classes versus filling orders.

2. Classes broaden your reach. DIY classes bring in a different type of customer, one that ordinarily wouldn’t give your business a second thought. These people don’t want to buy cookies, they want to create cookies! By offering instructional classes, you’ll capitalize on the portion of your social media following that appreciates your craft but has no real intention of purchasing from you. There are people in their kitchen right now trying to replicate a technique they saw in one of your posts. They’re frustrated! They’ve scrapped a half dozen cookies already! They’re ready to throw a bag of icing at the wall! Save them from the extra cleanup and from having to consume all those scrapped cookies.

3. Classes give you an opportunity to connect with your local audience in a way that filling orders just can’t. The deepest connections are made live and in the flesh. Give value to your customers and they will repay you with loyalty. Support them creatively and they'll support you by becoming your biggest fan. They'll be walking, talking billboards for your business. Remember, you are building a brand.

4. Classes encourage personal and professional growth by allowing you to develop new skills. You know what I think: If it stretches you emotionally, if it takes you out of your comfort zone, you should be doing it!

5. Classes draw attention to the creative process that results in a finished work. In my case its decorated cookies, but for you that may be candles, cakes, wreaths, hand lettered prints or beautiful photography. Once they’ve seen HOW something happens, your newfound fans will have an even greater appreciation for your completed product.

6. Classes provide new opportunities to network and build your reputation as an expert in your craft. You want to be seen as an expert in your industry. Teaching classes will allow you to be seen as just that, an expert! Everyone all at once: I’m an expert! Tell yourself that again and believe it this time. If people will sign up and show up to hear what you have to say, then you’re an expert! Enough said.

Now, you all know I’m not only interested in what YOU get out of something. Also consider the value YOU will be giving as well.


7. Your community benefits from your classes too. You are enhancing their lives by pouring in your expertise and providing a creative space for them to enjoy. You are cultivating an atmosphere of creativity and fostering life-giving relationships within your community.

P.S. I’m creating an online course for any creative who wants to teach their craft. It’s an A-Z guid marketing, to class set up and structure, pricing and community partnerships. Stay tuned for a September launch!

xoxo, Jill

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