Friday, April 10, 2015

Finding Places to Teach Your Craft

If you're just getting ready to start teaching your art, craft or talent, one of the first things to do is find a location from which to impart your wisdom.

Where do you begin? 

The easiest place to start is to sign on as a teacher with an established business that already offers classes. The advantage being they already have access to potential students so you will not have to do ALL of the marketing and recruiting yourself. 

Of course, no matter where you teach, you always promote your classes and let your people know when and where you are teaching. When you're just dipping your toe into the teaching whirlpool, you might not have much of a following yet, and could likely use the extra help from established businesses.

You could start with places like:
Adult Education Programs-I teach through my school district's Adult Education Program. They send out brochures of all of their courses to everyone in our HUGE school district.  They register people for the class, collect payment and they pay me an hourly rate and allow me to build my prep time in.  I also charge a minimal supply fee for the beads and wire the students use to create their projects in the class.

Continuing Education Centers-We have a center called BOCES that offers Adult Education Programs. They have a range of classes from cooking to website design. If you have a similar setup in your area, you could review what they already offer and see how you might create an offering that fits in well.

Community Centers-Your local parks and recreation department may have a smattering of youth and adult education classes they offer. Search for them online by googling your town+parks and recreation

Art Co-op- I co-teach a painting class with another co-op right in the boutique where we sell our work.  We clear out a space, set up tables and the Co-op helps promote it, registers people and collects the money.  As an added bonus, people also usually buy from the store while they are there (it's hard to resist when you're sitting amongst so much amazing art!) If you have a place where you sell your work, you could approach them to teach a class, maybe renting the space after store hours if they don't have a designated classroom.  We hold classes in the evenings and Sundays when the store is typically closed.

Big Box Craft Stores-places like Michael's and AC Moore are often recruiting instructors to teach in local stores. I've taken cake decorating at Michael's with my daughter in the past and it was fun and informative.

Museums-Here is a link to our local museum and the classes it offers. Keep in mind that you can "pitch" a new class that you'd like to teach. Class coordinators are always on the lookout for fresh ideas to draw people in.  I'll talk more about approaching venues in an upcoming post.

You also have Online teaching options like Creative Live and Craftsy where you provide the content, or go to their offices to be filmed. They do the promotion and marketing of the class. You will likely need to have demonstratable expertise in your area and a solid audience for your work to land a teaching opportunity with one of them. Another option is Udemy where you create content and they host and promote it. They also have a tendency to put classes on clearance, which means you make far less money.
Creative Live (link is to how to submit to teach)
Udemy (No teaching Experience required!)

Here are a few of the online platforms where you create the content, upload it and market it yourself:
Teachable (is a popular learning platform where you can host your own online classes)

These sites provide the platform and handle payment collection, you provide the content. They each offer different features from pricing to student experience, so you will want to compare them. I have heard very positive things about Teachable and have set myself up with a free page for hosting classes with them.

Do you have places you teach or would recommend, either online or through an established business? Feel free to share in the comments.


Unknown said...

Fabulous article as always Kelly! Not sure when or where yet, but I will definitely be teaching a class before the end of the year. There ya go....I've typed it for the world to see!
Thanks for being a great coach, inspiration and friend!

Unknown said...

Thanks for another fabulous post Kelly! You continue to be a great coach, inspiration and friend!I am blessed to know you.
I don't know where or when yet, but I intend to teach a class before the year is out. There..... I've committed to this endeavor publicly!
I encourage everyone to take advantage of Kelly's generous offer for 30 minutes of free coaching time. She has the ability to open your world to new possibilities - if you'll let her in!
xoxo and back to creating I go!