By Erika Flint
Starting a career as a hypnosis professional last year I knew teaching classes would play an important role in my work because I enjoy sharing expertise with other people. But getting started teaching a new subject can take time and energy because it’s not easy to fill a classroom overnight.
One way is to start small and start local by teaching community based education classes and workshops. These classes are typically offered through a community center, senior center, or a nonprofit or cooperative organization. Once you establish yourself in your local community as a respected instructor, you can then begin teaching at a local community college or by organizing and hosting your own classes.
I didn’t consider all of the potential benefits of teaching community education programs when I started because it was something I wanted to do, but if you’re not sure what value they could provide to you then consider these 10 ways that teaching community education classes and workshops can help grow your hypnosis practice.
1. Free advertising for you and your business
Most established community education programs provide channels to advertise classes and
workshops. Typically you can consider the education facility as your “host” they will provide the venue to host the physical event, plus do the work to advertise it for you to bring in students. This helps grow your business by getting your name out in the public without you spending any
money and minimal time.
Make the most of it by advertising your event using social media once the education facility has
posted your event, and adding it to your website. This establishes you as an authority in your area on the topic and can bring more students to your class.
2. Attract new clients
Any opportunity to meet people is an opportunity to grow your business, but the potential for attracting new clients increases when teaching classes because of your role as an instructor, or authority on the topic. You are providing your students with valuable information they are there to hear what you have to say and if you do a good job they may be inspired and impressed with your abilities and want to work with you one on one or take additional classes from you.
Make the most of it by providing a feedback form at the close of the workshop or class including a space for people to leave their email address and other contact information.
Bring brochures and business cards to make it easier for clients to contact you. Get to the class early, and plan on staying after the class to answer questions from students.
3. Improve your public speaking skills
The best way to improve public speaking skills is to practice as much as possible. Practice at home with family and friends, or join Toastmasters. Give as many talks as you can. It’s advisable to begin growing your speaking skills now so when a great opportunity arises like an important presentation at a convention or in front of a large audience, you’ll be ready.
Make the most of it by recording your talk whenever you can to learn and grow. You can also consider posting the recordings online to extend your audience globally.
4. Improve class and workshop content
Smaller community based programs and classes are a great opportunity to deliver new material. You should always test out your new content as much as possible before delivering it to students, but it’s not feasible to do that in every case or to do it to the extend you would like. Every class is an opportunity to obtain feedback and improve the course content and delivery.
Make the most of it by providing feedback forms to help the class or workshop improve over time. Then incorporate the feedback into your class, constantly improving the content and your delivery.
5. Establish yourself as an authority in your area
Anytime you teach a class, you are establishing yourself as an authority on a topic. Of course that is subject to the quality and delivery of your content, but typically as long as you are putting sufficient time and energy into developing good class content, this will only work to further your reputation as a goto authority on your subject matter.
Make the most of it by adding your classes and workshops to your website which helps online visitors know more about your role as a local community teacher and instructor.
6. Give back to the community
By offering low or no cost classes on selfhelp programs like healthy sleep, reducing stress, and
selfhypnosis you are providing a valuable asset to your community.
There is a phrase that you get what you pay for and there is a concern that by giving something away for free, your class will be devalued. This is more likely to be true for longer classes or workshops, however in my experience teaching community based education workshops that are 90 minutes in length or less, it is not the case. Instead, I’ve found that students leave with a sense of goodwill for providing valuable material at little to no cost.
Make the most of it by offering time sensitive class offerings that provide great value to your community, like stress reduction workshops over the holiday season, or selfhypnosis classes at the beginning of the new year when people are hoping their New Years Resolutions will actually work this time.
Make the most of it by keeping the class 90 minutes or less if it’s free to ensure you’re establishing a realistic value for a free class.
7. Earn income
Many of the community based education facilities allow you to charge a fee for classes which provides you with another revenue stream. As your skill and reputation as a speaker or instructor grows, your potential income grows as well.
Make the most of it by finding the optimal fee to charge for classes and workshops. Little or nocharge events will attract students that may not come otherwise because of affordability, and charging will attract students with expectations. Either way you can grow as a speaker, possibly earn money, and get something out of each class or workshop you teach.
8. Lead to other opportunities
By establishing yourself as an authority figure and getting your name out in your town, you’ll be opening yourself up to larger and more lucrative speaking engagements and opportunities.
Make the most of it by taking pictures at your events and asking for feedback from your students. You can also obtain a letter of reference or feedback from the education center. Use that material on your website to promote yourself as a wellestablished speaker and instructor in your area.
9. Advertise and sell products and classes
Bring your brochures, business cards, and any products you sell to class. Be careful not to actually “sell” your products during the education program or you run the risk of coming off disingenuous, or untrustworthy. Rather, provide your contact information, and have products with you to sell if people ask. A small offering of products is fine, especially if it’s directly related to the class content and you don’t do any hardselling during the talk.
Make the most of it by providing handouts or worksheets to your students related to the class material with all of your contact information on it, including your website. On your feedback form, ask students to sign up on your email list so you can stay in contact with them.
10. Balancing your time with teaching
It’s advisable to balance your work as a hypnotist carefully. You may prefer to spend most of your time performing income generating tasks like seeing clients, or creating products, but teaching is another avenue to help you balance your week.
Make the most of it by figuring out the right number of classes to offer in any given time frame.
For me it’s one community based class per quarter.
In the next article I’ll outline a blueprint for creating a 90 minute community based education
class that gets results.