A business like this doesn’t happen overnight
People ask me all the time, how I figured out all this online teaching stuff. I started this version of ImageMaven.com in January 2010. In a previous version it was my photography portfolio. This isn’t the only pathway I’ve tried, but these are the tools and resources I currently use. You will need to find what works best for you.
Getting paid for what was in my head
In May of 2009, I took a course for SAIT instructors called Blended Learning by Design because I wanted to offer more to my classroom students. I learned about multimedia and online teaching tools and how to use them within the traditional classroom setting. But I needed more help with the implementation.
I had all this knowledge and I needed to figure out how to get paid for what was in my head.
In 2009 I heard about an online program called Teaching Sells and joined in September 2009. Teaching Sells was the pivotal course that got me started down this road to my own online teaching business. It was a very intense program with lots of work and a big financial investment.
I learned a ton about product and course content creation, finding your perfect customers, writing, marketing, and building online learning environments.
I met lots of really interesting and creative professionals in Teaching Sells. Pamela Wilson was one of them. You’re going to see her name a few times on this page.
Pamela Wilson of Big Brand System created the customized header for this site. Pamela is an expert in web marketing and design. She has a fantastic blog and her Design 101 e-course has free lessons to help with your marketing materials.
Attract your perfect customers with a good website
Big Brand System Mastery Program is the best course about design and marketing available online. My website is beautiful and my business is successful because of the things I learned in Pamela Wilson’s in depth course.
And if you want to run an online business like mine, you need a really good website to hold all your content. I used the Site Setup Kit and wordpress to build this website.
Creating the visuals
If you need visuals for your website you can either hire and illustrator or designer, or learn to do it yourself. Visual Buzz 101 has a dozen webinars covering a range of topics on creating marketing visuals.
Visual Buzz 101 was created by Pamela Wilson and Kelly Kingman – two experts in the field of marketing, branding, design and imaging.
If you sign up for the “All Access Pass” you’ll get eight bonus iPiccy tutorial videos that I created exclusively for Visual Buzz 101. Click this link to get all the details.
Develop your relationships
One of the key things I learned about marketing is that you need to develop real relationships. You need to get people to know, like and trust you, before they’ll hand over their email address or their money. One way to do this is by giving good stuff away for free, to let people see a sample of what you do.
Some ways to develop relationships with your online customers are:
- Write blog posts, and write for other people’s blogs
- Making YouTube video tutorials
- Creating webinars
- Give away e-books
- Offering a free e-course or white paper in exchange for an email address
Build your list
If someone does give you their email address, you need a way to manage and protect it. The best way is to use an auto-responder service like aWeber. An auto-responder helps you collect email addresses, and also sends emails to hundreds or thousands of your subscribers without getting caught in spam filters.
My free e-course and newsletters are managed via auto-responder. It’s a great way to set up something automatic. People can sign up for my free e-course day or night, 365 days of the year, and once it’s set up, it runs automatically.
Get paid to teach
I use ruzuku.com as the platform for my online photography courses. I’ve been with ruzuku since their alpha stage and highly recommend them, especially if you are not a techy person. Even though I am rather techy, I didn’t want the hassle of creating a membership site and all the back end work I’d have to do to manage all the courses.
I chose ruzuku because all you need to do is add content (text, photos, video, audio) and the rest is taken care of. Tech support included!
Social media is not the end, it’s the beginning, the connection point. I use facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and YouTube as a way to get people to my website and on my list.
Networking online and in person
I belong to Authority – by Copyblogger, a community of like-minded entrepreneurs who I hang out with online. Benefits of membership include seminars on how to make money online, building a business around a blog, e-mail marketing strategies, plus the networking and support I get from others in the forums. New seminars are added each month and sometimes more than once a month. These aren’t fluff. They are specific and detailed accounts of how people achieved their success (and some failures) with online businesses.
Other sources of online income
On this website you will occasionally be presented with affiliate products and services that I endorse. Just to be clear, I won’t recommend junk to you!
The things I recommend have been used or tested by me personally, or by a trusted source. Several of the links on this page are affiliate links. I also recommend amazon.com books and products for the whopping commission of 4%.
If you have created something that you want me to try out, review or help you sell, feel free to drop me an email using my contact form. If I think it’s good, and if I think my readers will be interested, I will be happy to review and possibly recommend your product or service.
If it’s not a good fit with me, my morals, my business or my readers, I will have to decline.
About the photos on this site
Photos on the site are copyrighted by me, Marlene Hielema, unless otherwise stated. Other images in the posts, for example photo equipment shots, are typically linked to the manufacturers site. There are lots of legal places to get images for free, but this is not one of them. Do not steal the images from this site. If you really want to use them, ask and we’ll work out a fee based on your publication needs.
The music I use in my videos is composed by Gabriel Zurek. If you’d like music for your brand, contact Gabriel and tell him Marlene sent you!