Let’s face it – Students want a demonstration of your teaching. It’s comforting. It’s like trying on a new pair of shoes. Even if the size is right, there is the possiblity that this brand of shoe might not make a size 10 the same as other brands. But when you consider the very time-consuming project of offering demos, there are two important questions you need to ask yourself:
1) “How much do you value your time?”
2) “How serious are the students who are requesting demos?”
1) When teachers start offering online lessons they often overlook the value of their time. They might even be hoping to clock some more experience-hours by doing free, 1on1 demos. That might be helpful for newbies but it’s not a good long-term strategy. In fact, it’s better to invite current off-line students to join you for a demo than bring in a random online student. Off-line students are more likely to tell their classmates about your online lessons. By inviting off-line students you’ll bring a human touch to your lessons, which will make online training a more acceptable learning environment. Unfortunately, purely online students are more likely to fit into the “leech” category… which brings us to question two.
2) The internet is pure market capitalism and the best price is usually “free”. So there is a natural expectation that you must give stuff away. As the years pass, “free” has become so common that there is enough free stuff to last a lifetime! If a student wanted, she could schedule a free demo once a week with different teachers each time. Once the assumption that your time is worth ZERO dollars, students will value it that way and start getting leechy. With the waters full of leeches you must now protect your valuable time and your reputation.
And that is why you’ll create a $1 barrier. (Or the “leech filter” as I call it.) The usefulness of a demo charge is two-fold: you can rid yourself of those who don’t intend to value your time; and two, you’ll know whether a student has an online wallet to make future payments. It’s not worth investing your time and energy to someone who isn’t serious enough to deserve it. Don’t let anybody test drive a car if they haven’t taken the time to get a driver’s license first.
Another solution is to simply record a few lessons and not offer demos at all! Video demos are extremely useful and I’ll show you how to do that here.