When we started talking about teaching textile art online, one of the things that kept coming up was difficulty with adopting new technology. Teachers were concerned with how easy or difficult it’d be to create and teach courses online.
So when I overheard art quilter and teacher, Roxane Lessa talk about using one of these online teaching platforms -Ruzuku, I knew I had to get her here to give us the inside scoop on Ruzuku. Since teaching online is not just another way to teach, but a great way to grow your textile art business, I know you’d want to know all there is to know about it.
Roxane Lessa is an art quilter, a coach, and a teacher, teaching at quilt guilds, Quilting Arts TV and at IQF Houston. Today, I have Roxane here with me to give us the inside scoop on RUZUKU – one of the top online teaching platforms out there. So let’s dive into it.
Inside Scoop on Ruzuku with Roxane Lessa
Roxane, I’m glad to have you here on the blog. To start, tell us a little bit about yourself.
I come from a performing arts background, first as a ballet dancer and now a ballet teacher. And I’ve always loved needle arts and textiles even as a child. You could say that dance and textile arts are my twin loves.
Do you teach physical, face-to-face classes as well as online classes?
Yes, I teach for local stores, guilds, Quilting Arts TV, and in Houston. I have also partnered with a friend to have a quilting retreat. She hosted the house and made fabulous food, and I did the rest.
So what made you decide to teach online?
I decided to teach online because I had taken a few classes online and liked the ease of it for the student. It’s a great way to reach and help people who can’t travel or don’t want to. Here we are in the 21st century- it seemed silly not to take advantage of the technology we now have to connect with other people who want what I can teach them.
Did you try any other online learning platforms before Ruzuku?
I did not try other platforms as a teacher, because I like the clean and easy look of Ruzuku. Plus the staff at Ruzuku are fantastic with support.
Now on to the inside scoop on Ruzuku. What’s Ruzuku all about?
So, on Ruzuku there is a built in outline for your lessons. All you need to do is plug in your content. You can have video, audio, written and lots of visual content. You can also do live webinars if you like.
Roxane, let’s talk about ease of use. A lot of textile art teachers are a bit shy of technology. So, tell us -is it easy or difficult to use Ruzuku?
It’s really easy to use and set up. I’m not a techy person, but I didn’t have any trouble with it.
How to Create an Interactive Course on Ruzuku
What does a teacher need to do in order to set up a course on Ruzuku? Should course content be in a particular format, etc.?
First take Ruzuku’s free introductory course to get a feel of how it works. Then if you have an idea for a course, I would organize it in an outline form in your head or on paper. I would begin with doing a pilot class with a low introductory price, inviting friends to try it out. This way you can test it and tweak it as you go. There is no need to have the whole course written before you start it.
There are different fee tiers that you can check out here. Then you choose a plan depending on your needs.
A lot of teachers enjoy teaching because of the interaction they get with students. How do teachers interact with and foster participation among their students when teaching on Ruzuku?
There are lots of ways to do this. You can send out custom and automatic pre-written email announcements to the group. It’s very easy to give feedback and review student work. You get notified every time someone comments or asks you a question so you can respond in the discussion area. Students must know how to upload a jpg of their WIP. Then the whole group can respond as well.
Marketing Your Online Course on Ruzuku
Roxane, let’s switch gears here and talk about marketing. What do you do to attract students to your online course?
I generally take about 6 weeks prior to the course to do this.
- After I write the copy for my sales page, set the dates and price, I send out a series of emails to my list. These emails give them all the info, benefits and testimonials from former students.
- I also offer a free lesson from the course as a way for them to get to know me a bit and see if the course is a good fit for them.
- I offer an early bird bonus too.
- Then I share repeatedly on social media.
Wow Roxane, that’s a lot of very useful information on how to market in general. That should help in other parts of our textile art businesses, not only in marketing online courses.
Benefits of Teaching Textile Art Online
Would you say textile art is well suited for online teaching? What would you say are the benefits of teaching textile art online?
Yes, absolutely! Many, many benefits. Here’s a short list:
- no travel, no schlepping supplies
- you can work from home anytime
- once your course is up, you can repeat it as many times as you like
- you can reach people you never would have had access to before
- you can make extra income
- it’s fun!
I’m sure there must be some downsides to teaching online.What do you see as the major downsides to teaching textile art online?
One downside I can see is when a student is not technically up to date and really struggles with basic technology. Obviously, depending on your broadband connection, getting online can be a challenge sometimes. Also, you must be fairly adept at marketing your course. This is not impossible to learn, but without it, no one will know about it!
How would you compare physical/ face-to-face workshops to online courses?
For me, students who show up to take a class in person are far more likely to finish the class. Somehow with online classes, some people feel less invested, and don’t finish.
Is teaching textile art online profitable?
I think it can be, but like anything else, takes time to grow.
Concluding Thoughts on The Inside Scoop on Ruzuku
Roxane, do you have any other thing you’d like to add?
If you think you have a great idea for a course, test it out first by asking your mailing list, and fellow textile artists. Ask them what they want to learn- not what you think they want to learn. Do some research, see what other classes are already out there. And see if you can bring a new way of approaching familiar topics to the table. Ruzuku is a great way to make your course idea a reality.
I’m sure you’ll agree with me that this has been a wonderful interview on the inside scoop on Ruzuku. Roxane has given us so much information for us to digest. Roxane has one of her online classes – DESIGN YOUR DREAM ART QUILT coming up this Fall. Click here, for info about the class, enrollment, and a link to a free lesson in the class. You can take her free lesson and experience for yourself how ruzuku works. If you decide you want to design your dream art quilt, then enroll in Roxane’s class to learn how to.
This has been an absolutely insightful interview on creating and selling online courses. The specific information and the inside scoop on Ruzuku, will be useful for creating and selling online courses on any learning management system. You must agree with me that Roxane has been terrific.
To learn more about two of the most popular online learning platforms out there, check out this article comparing Teachable and Thinkific.
Question: I want to hear from you. What do you think about using online courses to grow your textile art business? Let’s start a discussion to talk about this. See you in the comments section, soon.
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Also published on Medium.