Teachings of the Success Masters

Author: Cathy Stucker

Want to make money while you're building your credibility and being exposed to hundreds of thousands of potential clients? Teach continuing education classes and seminars. You don't need a degree or teacher certification, just helpful knowledge to share with others.

There are thousands of continuing education and lifetime learning programs out there, and they are looking for you. You have expertise that you can share for pay. And, because the person at the front of the room is viewed as an expert, you will also boost your expert reputation.

Look around for course catalogs from local universities and community colleges. Also watch for announcements of classes offered by other organizations. In Houston, I teach at Leisure Learning Unlimited , a private company that presents hundreds of interesting classes in cooking, business, computers, travel, relationships, crafts, and just about anything else you could name. Similar companies around the country include Fun Ed, Learning Annex, Open University, et al.

Review their course listings. Think of something that they are not currently offering that seems to be a good fit with their other classes. Sketch out an outline, then call and ask how you can propose a course. Usually, they will want a course description for the catalog, an outline, and some information about your qualifications.

Now, for the bad news: You won't get rich teaching these classes. You may get paid a set hourly rate (typical at colleges) as low as $15 - $20 per class hour, or you may receive a percentage of the class fees. These rates may be negotiable, so go in prepared to ask for what you want. By the way, all of my classes are just one session each, usually three hours long.

There are a few very good reasons to teach, even if you don't get paid a lot for it. One, you get exposure in the catalog which can be valuable. Leisure Learning sends out hundreds of thousands of catalogs a year, and my classes and bio information are in every one of them. I meet people who already know who I am, because they've read about me in the LLU catalog.

Two, many of my clients come from the classes I teach, or from seeing me in the catalog. If someone likes your class, but they need more help, they will turn to you.

Three, I sell manuals and other materials through my courses, either as required texts or as optional back-of-the-room sales. In a typical class, I make more on these sales than on teaching fees. My after-expenses profit for a class has ranged from a low of $75 (for three hours) to a high of more than $1,500 (also for three hours).

Many people turn away from these opportunities because it seems like you make more money when you self-sponsor your classes and seminars. However, if you put the class on by yourself, you have to absorb the cost (in time, money or both) of marketing and registration, as well as the cost of booking a room. And, if the class doesn't make (which happens), you are out that money with no offsetting income. When I teach for someone else, they take all the risk, and I just show up to teach.

In addition to teaching classes through colleges and such, look for someone to sponsor your class as a seminar. I do a marketing class which has been sponsored by chambers of commerce as a benefit for their members. A professional association may be willing to sponsor your seminar as a fundraiser, where you share revenues.

Teaching gives you an expert reputation, increases your income, and it's fun. I love to teach because I love to learn--and I always learn new things from my students!

Copyright Cathy Stucker. As the Idea Lady, Cathy Stucker can help you attract customers and make yourself famous with ideas to market yourself as an expert. Get free tips, articles and more at http://www.IdeaLady.com/.


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