Since 2020, the US – and much of the world – has been trying to find a “new normal.” Stay-at-home orders changed the way we do business and many brick and mortar stores have closed their doors for good. Other businesses have adopted hybrid models. Still others have opted to run completely in a virtual space.
If you’ve been sitting on the fence, wondering what to do next, now might be the perfect time to expand into the virtual space.
The work-from-home (WFH) model looks a lot different than it did pre-pandemic, where most WFH employees sat behind a desk. Now meditation teachers, yoga instructors, personal trainers, and anyone else with a computer or smartphone and access to WiFi can go virtual. The North American e-learning market is expected to grow over 34% between 2021 and 2025.
Coaches and therapists are tapping into this market as well, as virtual sessions and classrooms allow solo practitioners to scale their businesses in new and exciting ways.
Here are three ways to scale your wellness business in the virtual world:
1. Individual and group sessions. Going virtual opens solo practitioners to global markets. Once wellness professionals relied only on customers from their geographical area, but that’s not the case anymore. Using social sites like Instagram or Facebook, coaches and therapists can reach potential clients using hashtags, following, and engaging. With a well-defined marketing plan, practitioners can access a global client base. Virtual coaching can include one-on-one and/or group sessions.
2. Workshops and webinars. The first webinars were conducted in the late 1980s when the internet was in its infancy. In 1996, Microsoft launched NetMeeting bringing webinars to the public. Fast forward to the 21st century and practitioners have a lot of choices including GoToWebinar, Zoom, Google Meet, and more. During the pandemic, e-learning took center stage as individuals upskilled and made themselves more marketable. A growing trend is learning soft skills like mindful listening, communicating, collaborating, and leadership. This is an area where coaches and therapists have the most opportunity.
Webinars can be pre-recorded or live. Recorded webinars can be used as evergreen content, meaning you can reuse the recording to create a recurring income stream.
Workshops are in person, virtual, or both. Workshops are generally live but often recorded with the recording distributed to the participants. Using today's virtual meeting software, online workshops can be highly interactive.
3. Online courses. Courses are different from webinars and workshops. Generally, courses are divided into modules and walk students through a curated beginning, middle, and end. Courses are generally less interactive but often have Facebook Live sessions or Facebook Groups where participants can ask questions or interact with fellow students. Course development takes a little bit of planning but keep in mind – it doesn't have to be perfect out of the gate! Progress, not perfection. Learn from your students. Your students will be your very best teachers and will help shape future iterations of your course. Courses are being designed in every way imaginable and on every topic imaginable. As with webinars, there are teaching platforms available to publish your course. For example, Udemy will host your course for a fee. Teachable, on the other hand, allows you to create a personalized experience for your students where your students login on a personalized website.
How do you decide what to do first? Do what's in your wheelhouse. If the thought of designing a course keeps you awake at night, start with a webinar. Choose topics where you're well-versed and that your ideal client wants to take. This is the importance of developing a marketing plan before investing in monthly charges for video conferencing platforms.
Your marketing plan needs to include who your target audience is, their pain points, and your solution to those pain points. Don't skimp on this step. Use Facebook groups to find out what's trending in your field, conduct surveys, ask existing clients what they're interested in learning or how they're interested in learning.
Using virtual platforms to offer your services can add a whole new world to your business and greatly expand your income. Being prepared will go a long way towards making your launch into virtual sessions rewarding and fruitful, and can help you bring real value straight to your ideal clients around the globe.
Jessica Crow helps people harness the power of meditation and mindfulness to change their lives and the lives of others for the better through practical courses and personalized mentorship.
Find out more about the new 100- Hour CNTRD Meditation Teacher Training and its new 12 week to 12 month, study-at-your-own-pace format, and check out her book 'The Power of Guided Meditation', published by Fairwinds Press.