Y’all, I’m so excited about this interview. When I first started my business, I was kind of fumbling around with this whole online thing, learning things from different people and places. Then I found Stu McLaren and started learning from him. Everything just kind of came together and really started making a huge difference in my business. Stu has made his livelihood for the last decade and a bit helping entrepreneurs in a wide variety of markets, take what they already know, love and do and turn it into recurring revenue with membership sites. I asked Stu why would a painter or creative take what they do and turn it in to an online teaching membership. He shared 3 reasons why you should take your business online and teach.
This year, more than any, we’ve realized the importance of being able to create multiple revenue streams. The real benefit of being able to share what we know and love by teaching online is that there’s so much leverage. You are able to serve and help people within your local area. When you teach online you are able to serve and help people all around the world. This is really where the joy comes in to play.
A mutual friend, Christie has made the transition from teaching art to people in person to teaching art online. She recently shared a story about one of her members that works in an old age home. That member sent her a picture of how they had taken the lesson that Christy was sharing within the membership and did it with the seniors. It was just so heartwarming to the see the massive transformation this had made in those seniors lives. This person wasn’t anywhere near Christy’s local area and yet she was helping them. In turn her member was helping all those senior citizens. It was having a huge ripple effect.
Teaching online creates this massive leverage to be able help so many other people.
You know, one of the gut-wrenching things about being an entrepreneur is that there are many highs and lows, right? For example, think of all the incredible artists who work so hard on creating art pieces. When someone is buying it there is this huge high and it’s amazing. Then you create something and it’s not selling, all of the sudden you hit a low point. After that low, you will start to doubt yourself. This is where bring your business online to teach others helps create that stability.
Another mutual friend, Sarah, she has a brick-and-mortar store and noticed that her repeat customers were typically buying the same sorts of things. This gave her an idea to sell those items in a subscription box. She initially started selling it just to her local customers, taking them from a one-time purchase customer to recurring customers who were paying her every month. What happened next is amazing. The subscription box blossomed and grew way beyond her local customers and now she has customers all across the country. She ships thousands of boxes per month.
Sarah now has people asking her how she does it, how did she create it. This lead her to create a second online membership where she teaches people how to launch their own subscription box. Her business gained more and more stability each step of the way.
3. No Limits
Okay, so the third, the third thing is that there are no limits. For example, if you are teaching a local class, there’s a limit in terms of capacity (i.e. how many people you can have in a class), or if you are creating pieces of art, there’s limits in terms of how many pieces of art you can create in any given day.
When you teach online, there are no limits like that, whether you are teaching five people, 500 people, or 5000 people, the way in which you teach enables you to be able to not have any limits whatsoever. And that right there in and of itself opens up so much opportunity for you.
I have a friend and colleague over in India who is an artist. About two years ago she was really struggling just to get by with her art. She started to have doubts, doubting if this was a career where she could truly be successful. Add to that the outside pressure of people who are questioning it or spouses or friends or parents who were wondering when she was going to get a “real job”. She was working her buns off and it still wasn’t making any progress. About a month ago she emailed me that she now has a six-figure business and not only that, she’s looking to potentially move to Canada to be with her sister.
Teaching online removes limits. There are no limits in terms of what you want to do for yourself or your family, for your business, in terms of who you want to be able to serve and help. The people that are thriving with teaching online, are the artists.
It’s really important that Stu talked about diversifying and multiple revenue streams. I’ve been on this path for 10 years and I always ask myself “How can I have multiple streams of income so that I never put my family in that situation we were in before losing everything.”. When everything happened back in March of last year, and we had to pivot, there I was with paint party headquarters thinking, oh my gosh, how am I’m going to be able to help these ladies?
I remember talking to Stu, and we had a conversation about how we could still help and how they could still make money for their family. What we have seen not only with my business from teaching three or four hundred live to now 4000 live at a time is that I’ve seen the ladies in Paint Party Headquarters actually take those lessons, and now they’re teaching hundreds of people live.
For those of you that are like, yeah, maybe you and Stu can teach online, but it’s not for me. I want you to ask yourself, why couldn’t it be for me? When Stu talks about no limits, it makes me excited! When I first started the whole online thing, it was just my mom watching me. I kept going online and painting and eventually it wasn’t just my mom watching me. Just my mom turned in to 10 people watching and 10 people watching turned in to 400 and so on. I put together an entire post about why right now is the PERFECT time to start a creative business online! Give it a read and see.