5 Ways to Start Bringing Your Services and Classes Online

Nov 25, 2019

✍️ Author: Sinead O'Connor


Do you offer your services online, or do you want to? The COVID-19 pandemic had a huge impact on how we communicate with each other, and with the businesses we use. Part of that shift was that clients might want, or expect some element of online services in your business, and they will definitely expect an online presence. 

However, moving any of your services takes planning, investment and a solid base of tech to support you. Understanding how to offer your services online, which services can be offered online and where you can offer your service online are the most important first considerations. 

Here are some steps that will get you from in-person to online seamlessly:

Step 1 – Create Your Online Presence

This is possibly an obvious step, but start with having an online presence. Did you know that 46% of Google searches have a local intent? This means that when someone is looking for services like yours locally, Google is often where they start. And if you don’t have online presence, you won’t appear in that search. 

So begin by setting yourself up with your preferred social accounts and a website. You will already have your business name, and maybe you want to spend some time thinking of logos, fine-tuning your social media bio, choosing images that represent your business and pulling together website. 

Also consider YouTube – this is a fantastic resource for any online content and setting up an account is absolutely  free. If this step feels daunting, that is ok. There are some really successful businesses on YouTube but the truth is that they got there with a huge amount of effort, time, investment and luck. The other reason to start a YouTube presence is that it increases your SEO in Google searches (which is essentially how your website gets found when someone looks for something like that in your area). So even if you aren’t planning to build a huge YouTube following, it is worth being on there.

Step 2 – Build Your Website 

There are lots of web builders on the market and a quick search online will bring up many options to choose from. Of course we have to mention that here at OfferingTree, creating awesome  websites for wellness professionals is our speciality and we would love to have you join our 14 day free trial.

If you are in the business of wellness, some standard features you might want to ensure are in your website are: 

  • A scheduling tool for appointments and classes
  • Email marketing built-in
  • Blogging
  • On-demand library 
  • Zoom integration
  • Online store
  • Payments

Having all these features in one place helps to make your business run smoothly and means clients can sign up, pay, see what you offer, read all about you or contact you easily.

Step 3 – Choose What To Offer Online, And How 

What part of your business offering will work online? This is a huge question and the answer might also change over time. Some services are easier to move online than others – offering an online fitness class for example, is more straightforward than offering massage services, however this doesn’t mean that as a massage therapist there are no services that you can offer online. Whether it is just booking an appointment, or booking an online consultation, is there a part of your business that suits an online format? 

For yoga teachers, it could be classes, maybe it is private sessions. Perhaps you offer a hybrid of online and in-person sessions (this takes a little extra tech set up and we wrote an article here on how to set yourself up for a teaching online). 

Once you decide what to offer, you will need to think about how – which online platform will you use to connect with your clients? There are many video conferencing options such as Zoom, there is also social media (Facebook or Instagram live), Facetime (less popular but an option all the same) and there are new platforms popping up all the time to keep up with this need for online connection. 

Our advice when you are looking at platforms is to keep costs low until you know your clients are on board with it, to ensure that the profit will cover the expense. YouTube is a great free option for online connection, pre-recorded or live, and video conferencing platforms have competitive pricing too.  Often your technology is part of your current set up (phone or laptop, wireless earbuds) and setting up for online connection is suddenly not as daunting as it might first sound.

Step 4 – Bring Your Clients in to Your Online Space  

If you haven’t already harvested email contact information from your clients this is the time to do it. We wrote this article on email marketing for yoga teachers and studios and it has some great tips on how to begin, and continue, that communication with your clients via email. If you want to expand your email reach, consider using a lead magnet (also known as a sales page). You can take a deep dive into the benefits and how-tos on that in this earlier blog post. In short, it’s a fantastic way to harvest the contact information of clients that show interest in your offerings. 

If you feel like a shift online might be a big step for your client base, or if you just want to make it a simple decision for them, offering an incentive (free class, discount passes, or a challenge of some sort) can be an successful way to encourage them to try out your online offerings and hopefully, grow your attendance. 

Step 5 – Launch Some Online Offerings 

You have considered what to offer, how to offer it, and who to offer it to – now its time to get your offerings into your online space. This can feel like a vulnerable step and it can take time to build up a client base. Think of it as an exercise of trial and error, like any change in your business, patience and persistence is key.

And if online isn’t a huge success with your existing clients don’t panic just yet – the wonderful part of offering online services is that you can work with clients anywhere; next door, the next country or a whole other continent. And this is where that lead magnet comes in handy! 

If the idea of jumping into live online classes is overwhelming, that’s OK. Another idea is to record a few exclusive videos that you can share on your website, or your YouTube channel, and choose your specific audience whether that is special clients, newsletter subscribers, or blog readers.

We hope these ideas have given you some food for thought and are helpful in bringing your services online. OfferingTree is here to support your efforts with simplified website management, scheduling, and payment processing, as well as options for blogs and newsletters. Visit offeringtree.com to see a sample site or send us a note at [email protected].

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