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Need everyone's thoughts and opinions. No hurt feelings I need to know what everyone is thinking.

I have been doing computer application training for 14 years. This has been live on-site classes or in traditional classroom type formats. I have through learning discovered that I do not have a "business" I have a self-employment situation.

I have been trying to create "SWISS" (Sales While I Sleep Soundly as Dan would say) ideas. In your opinions is there a market for tutorials still in say Excel, Word, Web design, Photoshop, whatever the application I probably already have it in my library. I have all skill level modules ready to go. I am thinking of giving them in a phone call type setting with screen recordings for demo purposes and then transcribing and offering them as individual products.

Thoughts? I have lost the passion of putting in the hours on-site and it is a one time deal and very linear.

All is appreciated. I love this format, materials, and mentoring this site provides!

Tags: IT, training

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Thanks! I do find that my target audience is generally the over 40 crowd. Be looking for details as I get up and running. I will be starting to do a free tips newsletter again as well. So would love to get you and your wife in the loop! Thanks for the encouragement!

Doug Johnson said:
Hi Susan,

Yes, I think there is a market for it. While I find that many people on this site are very computer literate, I am not and many people are not. In fact, the biggest problem (and problem is really too strong a word, but I'll use it for lack of better at this time) with this site is that so many people assume that everyone knows all about computers and technology. They'll refer to things that many people, especially myself, don't understand. I find myself reading and thinking "What in the world are they talking about? I don't have any idea what an RSS feed is".

I realize you're not talking about doing things regarding what this site does, but my point is that many people are not computer literate, especially people who are in their mid-40's and older. My wife often talks about wishing she knew more than just the basics. In fact, she often says she wished knew the basics about many things that are common to other people.

With proper marketing and sales help I think you could do quite well with it. Your idea of working on the phone with people is great. It's not like buying a DVD or book. It gives interaction so there can be questions from people and they can focus on areas that are important or difficult for them.

That's my two cents. Hope that helps.
Doug
Hey Susan,
I know that there's likely an abundance of training available on the net re: the applications you mentioned. However, I still believe you can't beat good old-fashioned "1:1" training even if it's virtual and recorded. Have you considered recording for product purposes, but then also offering weekly live interactive calls where your customers can join you online for Q & A? The way they would qualify to participate is by purchasing your product.

I for one would like some handholding on basic Photoshop!
Thanks Chuck that is a fabulous idea as well. Do you think people would respond to a format where I would be audio only and they would have chat type privileges with demo on screen?

Also any ideas of how I can get the word out that I need ideas for topics? I think I know what people want but I also hang out with tech people and just get the interested parties.

Photoshop is on the list now though. Anything specific?

Chuck Bowen said:
Hey Susan,
I know that there's likely an abundance of training available on the net re: the applications you mentioned. However, I still believe you can't beat good old-fashioned "1:1" training even if it's virtual and recorded. Have you considered recording for product purposes, but then also offering weekly live interactive calls where your customers can join you online for Q & A? The way they would qualify to participate is by purchasing your product.

I for one would like some handholding on basic Photoshop!
Hi Susan,

I use "tutorials" all the time, usually on YouTube because it is so accessible and search-able. I think there is a lot of potential successful tutorial sites, if they are positioned right. Because there is so much "free" content available online, I think it would be important to have a variety of income generators. For example, a business client of mine knits. She talked about putting together a video based membership site that people would pay to watch how too videos to learn how to knit.

We did a lot of research and found a ton of free content that would be direct competition. We changed business models and decided to do the video for free online, but sell the DVD's with a pattern book & a set of needles included, to add affiliate links to yarn stores with knitting needles and books, create a membership package that provide them an e-newsletter, new videos that are not included in the main part of the site with patterns, as well as a forum to ask questions and network with other knitters that love to talk shop.

All this is still in development, but the "plans" have been developed. We knew she wouldn't make any money through just the videos, but by giving knitters an store to get their supplies, forum to share and learn, and an outlet to be creative, I think she can create a need that can be fulfilled.

With the forums, we hope to allow people to submit their patterns & videos for consideration in the e-newsletter ~ which will provide future content and allow the site to be "hands off and provide a residual income.

I think that you have a unique opportunity that could be turned into a great way to generate an income and a business.

Hope that helps!

Kirk Anderson
River Valley Coaching
I have been doing some thinking and researching and am formulating a plan. I am still having issues narrowing my focus. I am toying with the idea of:

Creating a 4 week class format. One topic might be "Creating and Maintaining your Web Page"
-Once a week have a "how to" session that is online. Mostly demo and teaching with action steps to take for the week.
-Sometime that week have a Follow-up session for those in the class that would be online for questions, clarification etc.

Would be 4 weeks in length. I would record the teaching time once and resell the series. Then the follow-up would be live.

I am thinking of at first focusing on Internet Business models, so setting up or at least maintaining simple web changes, autoresponders, shopping cart resources, etc.

Basically bootcamp for getting all that set up, either yourself or resources to do it, then how to maintain and tweak on your own.

I am having an issue with trying to get my mind around the hands-off and multiplying aspect. I think the class series is a good idea as that could become residual, but how do I do the personal touch if (hopefully) I end up with numbers of people that I can't support personally in the follow-up sessions. Do I even do that?

If you were a client would you be ok with follow-up in more of an electronic format, like FAQ's or hang-ups to look for a couple days after the how to class?

The problem I am trying to address with my products is the free tutorials, and other CBT products are impersonal and if I do have a question not addressed I still end up researching and struggling through.

Thoughts anyone?
If you're thinking of print medium as part of your venture, I've seen a number of ebook tutorials that are produced in the Adobe format. To supplement the text the author has embedded YouTube videos to provide demonstrations. After reading about a particular subject, just click on the picture and the video begins - right there on the page (of course you need an active internet connection to do this). It's really an all-in-one tutorial and can be accessed anytime at the reader's leisure. The tutorial itself has a password you receive after paying you $$. The password is unique to each customer. I purchased a tutorial a number of months ago and refer to it often. It's pretty cool!

Just a thought.......
Hi Susan
There is a need for this type of training, now more than ever. With the current economic climate many individuals will be looking to re-orient themselves which will require additional computer skills. As a matter of fact that might be an interesting niche for you to consider, people who have recently experienced a layoff who need to 'brush up' on their computer skills.
Wishing you much success,
Deb
Thanks for the great feed back everyone. I am getting some great ideas! I need to start narrowing my focus and finding my niche targets. I have been "doing it all" for so long I am having a hard time figuring out how to narrow and specialize. I need to figure out what to give up and what to expand.

Anyone else have this problem?
Just sent out a survey to my customers.

If anyone would be so kind as to take it as well, I would appreciate the feedback!

Thanks for your time and for your response I will give you the same deal I am giving my regulars, a free e-course when I launch this new service.

Just follow this link (copy and paste if needed)

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=Pw5pVLSOIBtyxvmxzD7mSA_3d_3d
Susan,

The big issue here is that you would have a lot of competition. Type in 'learn photoshop' in a search engine and you get a lot of stuff...even free videos in youtube. Web design is even bigger and broader.

I think you'd need to niche yourself. And example would be...'Excel for Bookkeepers.' Or 'Basic Photoshop for Kids'

Kevin
I feel like I am taking steps and making progress to finding that niche. It is a frustrating exercise though. The survey I put up has been interesting and I have been getting feedback on data management primarily.

Is Data Management too broad? What if I just target Home Based Businesses or CAHM (Career at Home Moms)?

From the feedback and the other exercises I have been working through my initial thoughts come back to moving businesses to more paperless solutions: relational databases (whether in Access or other software), reports (what to track for what areas of your business), how to use the data to grow your business (not just the addresses), different product resources, web-based solutions, the list goes on.... So a lot education and resource opportunities as well as a lot of How-To content.

But again too broad still?

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