7 Easy Ways to Teach to Grow Your Business

by Guest on March 26, 2013

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Teaching is not a word you’d associate with making buku bucks.

Helping make the world a better place, sure. But not building a red-hot business.

My how times have changed! Teaching what you are passionate about and what people are hungry for is how millions are being minted these days. That’s because in our crazy speeded-up world of constant change we need to keep learning simply to survive. And we need that learning delivered in fun, effective ways that keep our ADD attention. The world needs what you know.

You want to make a difference and a profit? Teaching is the fab way to do both – and feed your soul!

Of course, there are smart ways to make teaching part of your business. Here are seven best practices to get you started.

7 Easy Ways to Teach to Grow Your Business

1. Own Being a Teacher

You already teach.

Parenting is teaching – 24/7. Sharing what you learned about getting your toddler to sleep is teaching.

Here is the crucial mind-set switch to implement right now – OWN that you know something.

In fact, you know a whole lot of somethings. Root yourself in that knowing and don’t confuse it with needing to be an expert. To include teaching in your business does not (not!!) mean you need to know everything under the sun about say, parenting (That made you laugh; because you know it’s not possible. Same is true for every field.) Nor does it mean you need to say something original- only that you need to claim your own experience and knowing.

Take Action: Tell yourself out loud, “I am a teacher of _____.” Fill in the blank as many times as you can. Nothing is too small. Stand in all your brilliance.

2. Find Your Thing

Now that you’re thinking of yourself as a teacher, start looking at your life as if you were an alien from another planet.

What would this alien see you talking about? What makes you jump up and down? What do people come to you for –clients and neighbors and friends? What are the most requested services in your business? Have you had a client say, “Oh I would have paid you three times as much for that?” Or is there something people ask you for that you don’t feel “ready” to offer yet? What blog posts do you comment on? What are the books on your night table? Look for what you love to talk about and learn about – for what is natural, compelling and even easy for you.

Notice the word easy in that last sentence. “Easy” for you simply means you know it. Take a deep breath and really take this in – not everybody does know it. And every time you forget that you know something someone else doesn’t, you are overlooking an offer you could capitalize on.

Take Action: Write down 25 things you could teach right now – the only requirement is you actually want to teach them, not think you should. Passion comes first right now. Ask friends and customers to help you see the obvious and the easy. It’s so easy to overlook and downplay your knowledge and gifts!

3. Find Out Where Teaching Can Support Your Business

What are your business goals? To offer a year-long program that provides most of your income? To speak and sell your products in the back of the room? To produce YouTube videos that show your art changing kid’s lives?

Take Action: Brainstorm with friends or your coach where teaching fits your business goals. And listen in with a “what else?” ear to current customers and clients. What is missing for them that your knowledge – in the form of free or paid training – would fill?

4. See Like a Teacher

A lovely benefit of seeing yourself as a teacher is it can get you out of a marketing rut.

For example, let’s say you make hip modern wedding dresses. You’re stuck on how to build your business – it all feels so hard. Then you decide to teach a three-hour class on how to find the perfect wedding dress for your shape. Suddenly you have something valuable to offer wedding planners and wedding fairs; a subject to write about for wedding blogs; and a series of instructional videos for YouTube with links to your store.

You go from pulling out your hair to “Oh, I could bring 6 shapes of dresses for women to try on, and show them with different kinds of shoes, and….” Shazam!

Take Action: Design – and schedule! – a Beta test for your new teaching offer. Don’t dither. Get your teaching feet wet, whether you offer a gluten-free baking class at your local health food store or an e-course in meditation for new moms to your social media channels.

5. Chunk it Down … Way, Way down

When it comes time to design your curriculum – whether a one-hour talk or a seven-module training – you are going to be sorely tempted to include everything you know about the subject. Please restrain yourself! Or call me and I will tie you to mast of this vital teaching principle: an inch wide and a mile deep.

People are overwhelmed. They do not want to know everything you know. They want to know only what they need to know to make their problem better. If you overwhelm them, they will not become raving fans, they will not buy more from you, and they will not stay on your list.

Take Action: What is the one thing your students/customers will be able to do after your course or presentation? Design wax cast jewelry? Use QuickBooks for tracking inventory? Write this one thing on a sticky and tape it to your computer. That is your inch!

6. Market like a Teacher

When you market like a teacher you naturally tap into what you care about most and communicate that, versus trying to cajole people to buy what you’re selling.

B-School founder Marie Forleo markets like a teacher. She focuses on giving you something valuable and delivers it in a bite-sized bit that leaves you wanting more. I do this in my launch content for my program TeachNow by sending out email bits teachers of any subject can use right away.

Take Action: Look at your business and ask yourself, “If I was teaching a mini-course to my ideal customers, what would I want them to know so they could not wait to use my products and services?” What can you teach that would leave people needing to buy? Then decide the best channel – video? email? audio? in-person demos?

7. Leave People Wanting More

The biggest reason teaching doesn’t pay and doesn’t build your business? You over-deliver.

I know, conventional business wisdom says over-deliver so your customers are blown away. Totally true when it comes to promptly answering emails, processing orders, sending thank you notes, even wrapping your Etsy goodies in groovy paper. But not when it comes to teaching!

The key to building raving fans who buy more is to leave them slightly hungry. Teach them to write a book… and then offer a course on how to get published… and then one how to build a platform… and then one on how to write a follow-up or series.

Take Action: Name 10 follow-up offers you could make. Then when you design your initial class or course, don’t cover this material but do use this list to seed the interest for your next offer. “We talk about that in my next course, How To Get Your Product Picked Up By Wholesalers, but for now let’s dive deeper into how to navigate the retail jungle.”

Then, keep that list! Seeding is an ongoing process. Keep it handy when you’re thinking about your social media posts and emails as well.

Okay, Amazing You, these are your next steps:

1. Own what you know and use it to change the world, build your business and feed your soul.
2. Tap into your natural teaching abilities and you discover a whole new way of growing – and enjoying – your mogul mom business.

What can you teach to grow your business? Share with me in the comments.

About the author:

JenLouden_150x150Jen Louden is the best-selling author of 6 books, including the pioneering best-sellers The Woman’s Comfort Book and The Woman’s Retreat Book. Her retreats are world-famous. She’s the proud mom of a college freshman, (How did that happen??) and the creator of the beloved course TeachNow. You can sign up for the April 4th free sampler of the TeachNow course right here.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kim September 5, 2013 at 2:37 pm

Love the part about keeping it short and sweet in bite sized chunks. My attention span wanders after 30 minutes. I have to do quick things and move on. Such a great article!

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2 Deidre April 5, 2013 at 11:09 pm

I loved reading your post. It made me really think about how I’m writing for my own blog.

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3 Tabitha March 27, 2013 at 5:00 pm

P.S. I got so excited, I forgot to answer you question!
There are many things I love and am passionate about, including online marketing, blogging, personal development, mothering, fertility, etc. etc…
BUT, I have narrowed my focus to the “image consultant” part of my offering and want to become known for that, so…
I’m thinking of teaching classes on beauty routines, makeup and skin care 101, carrying yourself well, organizing your closet and accessories, accessorizing, bargain shopping, etc. ANYthing that has to do with beauty and image. BUT, I’m going to print and ponder your article to narrow it more as you suggested!

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4 Tabitha March 27, 2013 at 4:53 pm

Jen, I have been a fan for many, many years and I love this post!! I didn’t realize you were the author until the end–no surprise that everything you said resonated with me! :)
I have a bachelor’s degree in education and found that teaching children in a classroom setting wasn’t my “thing.” I do, however, love teaching adults!
I’ve been doing some soul searching and brand changes for my business, and “teaching” is a big component! I even have “teacher” in my LinkedIn description and elsewhere. I just started a weekly “class” in my home studio, too, because with all the web-based learning available, there’s still a need for face-to-face instruction!
Thanks for all the great ideas on expanding on this!!! You continue to amaze and inspure me!

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