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How to teach online without showing your face or being on camera (Youtube/online courses)

Because teaching online should be about what you know, not how you look.

· Knowledge Commerce,Online Course

Listen to our mini-podcast 👇

Do you ever feel like the camera doesn’t give how you look any justice?

Let me rephrase this: when you look at yourself in the mirror, are you really feeling yourself but then you turn on the selfie camera and you look like...a completely different person?

Not everyone is comfortable being on camera and personally, I’m scared to even hop on Tik Tok challenges because one, everyone is seemingly a model there and two, I just don’t want to be judged for it.

It’s a real fear, especially in the world that we live in today where everything is visual.

In fact, there are other ways to teach online without having to hit the record button on your Canon G7.

Some ways you can teach online without showing your facing or being on camera include:
  1. Explainer videos
  2. Podcasts
  3. Audio newsletters
  4. Audio courses
  5. Information products (E-books, ppts, etc.)
  6. Blogging

DISCLAIMER: We (Ira and myself, Monica) go in-depth and give you some concrete examples in our mini-podcast. This is just a much shorter, less entertaining version of it.

Explainer videos (also known as “just get creative on Youtube”)

I know what you’re thinking - isn’t Youtube visual? Yes, it is. But you can make tons of videos without having to be on camera.

You can try white boarding like with Draw My Life. This is the fancy kind but you can even explain things like basic algebra and get a fair number of hits without facing the camera.

Or do some animated shorts, if that’s your style. There’s no limit to what you can create without video. You can do movie reviews, unboxing, how to’s, etc.

I’ve just seen Tenet - and I came out of the cinema understanding less from when I came in.

I came across this video on Youtube of a guy explaining the ending and he didn’t even show his face but got about 500k views!

There’s a downside to this, and it’s that making video is f*cking time consuming. You have to plan, illustrate, film, edit, etc. which can take several years out of my life. Which leads me to...

Podcasts

This is a skyrocketing space right now, since it's one of the easiest, simplest and fastest ways to teach and share content, and just be totally genuine.

If you’re stuck on a topic, you can make a podcast about virtually anything. There’s a podcast on the wonderful world on insects.

Dr. Tim's Spineless Wonders podcast by Purdue University

There are some awesome tech podcasts too like Python (the programming language, not the snake). It’s called “Talk Python to Me” - which I think is hilarious.

When Ira just started in marketing, she listened to this growth marketing podcast here while showering (lol).

If you want to learn how to order the perfect pasta, you can even do a few minutes a day from Coffee Break Italian.

Here are some podcasts we talk about in the mini-podcast:

Lists of podcasts we mentioned in the audio recording about how to teach online without showing your face or being on camera (Youtube/online courses)

The only problem is that, you need on average around 50k episodic listeners to get sponsored or make revenue. You can get it too with much less subscribers but sponsors come and go so the income stream isn’t consistent.

Same if you host premium content on Patreon - you’re relying on donations. That’s not a sustainable way to make money online, is it?

This leaves us our next bit (which is more of a side note really)...

Audio newsletters

This could be a unique way to teach online without showing your face.

The Hustle, a popular newsletter about business and tech, released their first audio version newsletter a couple of days ago (from what I heard).

Not a lot of creators are doing it yet so it would be good to hop on it, right? Maybe, but there’s that thing again, it’s free.

How are you possibly going to make money online, build a side hustle or get passive income when there’s no paywall behind it?

You spent 10 years mastering your craft - don’t just freely give out your best ideas.

Well, here’s a solution if you want to hop on the audio train but want better monetization.

Audio courses

An audio course (or "series” since it’s less intimidating) is a great way to monetize your podcast, and breaks that wall between podcasting and monetizing.

Think of it like a premium podcast. No longer will you get stray $2 donations here and there on Patreon. If they like you, they gotta pay to hear from you.

If you took 10+ years to learn about your passion, shouldn’t you charge for it?

Teachable courses range above $100 each and your audio series, which has just as much valuable content, shouldn’t be any different. And also - who finishes video courses these days? I certainly don’t.

It’s perfect because with podcasts, you’ll have to not only constantly have to record a new episode or brainstorm new things to talk about.

With an audio series, you make a syllabus, record, upload, promote it (once) and leave it be.

You can even think of it as a fancier voice note or mentoring your younger self! If you’ve given advice to friends via voice notes, now the world can hear for your class advice (and pay for it!)

Here’s an example of an awesome audio series.

Course screen example audio course master sales as a tech startup founder by creator Aandeep Medisetti

It’s also super:

  1. Quick - much easier than editing an 8hr video (ok more like 8 videos, 1 hr each)

  2. Low cost - recording on the voice notes on your iPhone is good enough

Basically, it’s the easiest way to share your passion (and earn while doing it!)

Information products (We called it “Gumroad guides” if you’re lost)

If you’re good at writing, you can sell ebooks!

They don’t have to be long either: Ariel Adams is someone I’ve been following since March and has gone from 0 to 100k followers.

She released an ebook and made $14k at her peak within a week. From what I remember, it was only about 30 pages long with some neat illustrations.

How much Ariel Adams Gumroad creator earned on payday for her ebook on her best week (~$15k)

Daniel Vassallo, on the other hand, chose to narrate a ppt with a small floating head of himself at the side for his Twitter course.

But even without the video, it would be just as informative. The guy made over $100k from it in total the last few months which is sweet.

Gumroad creator Daniel Vassallo earned over $100k total for his Twitter course

However, writing is still the hardest way to share what you know which is why most people don’t just go ahead and publish a book.

Also, ppts sometimes reminds me of going back to high school. Anyway, to the last one.

Blogging

It’s a classic one - everyone (used) to have one. But blogging isn’t dead: when you search a question on Google, what comes up as an answer is a blog post.

Now people use it to boost SEO or drive traffic to their website, along with clever keywording.

Maybe it shouldn’t be your main way to teach online but a stepping stone to one of the five things above.

You can teach in-depth using blogging if that’s what your audience needs. Ira has used Digital Arts’ blog post to add fantasy light effects to her movie poster project (more on that later).

Digital arts photoshop tutorial webpage screenshot

There’s also this great blog post about manifesting good skin, which has step-by-step tutorials (like a text-based online course).

All these blog posts are great for building credibility online so people trust you more once you start teaching online. Like with podcasting - the nicher, the better.

In short

Think about how your content could shine out there, how your audience would interact with your content, how you want them to do it.

It’s all about choosing which medium is best fit for you and your audience.

If you like to ramble on, make audio content. But if you're that super fun, creative drawing person that loves art, maybe an illustrated video would be right for you or even write an ebook if that’s what you’re into

But we can’t deny that audio is booming as a knowledge sharing medium.

Video and textual based learning had it’s time but there’s no easy way to share audio content and monetize it just yet.

This is why an audio course (or series — it just sounds like a cool Netflix series) just makes sense.​

If you’re looking to launch audio content, we can help you with that at AVID. We’ll do the hard work, just focus on sharing what you know.

This is Monica and Ira signing out. Smell ya later! x

PS. Follow @brainfoodinator for more craziness in the audio sphere.

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