Here, we’ll give you a systematic set of questions you should ask yourself to choose between Zoom and launching your own app. Let’s go.
Paid or Free?
This is the easiest question to answer. If you are looking to have free sessions, you should definitely go with Zoom. You should quit reading forward. But, if you’re looking at this as a business, you might be looking at doing paid sessions. In which case, keep reading!
If you are running a serious business, you should probably go online. If you are serious about going online, you should now. You’re already late. If you’re using digital as a way to just buy time till the Corona effect ends, after which you’ll go back to your in person sessions, you should not bother making yourself your own app and owning precious real estate on users’ phones.
Zoom : For free session hosts
Your own app : For serious business looking to make money
If you are content with the customers you have, you have sorted out your business. And, if you are able to sustain that business using free to use tools, why even bother about making your own app?
If you are looking at growing your business and want to reach out to the vast global population, you must operate that way. You cannot have people from across the world join you on Zoom, and you coordinate with each of them for a payment. That’s when having your own app makes sense – make it seamless for someone you don’t even know to pay you and become your customer.
Zoom : If you’re looking to serve only your existing audience
Your own app : If you are looking to scale up to reach people around the world
What do you be want to be known for? Is it for the little offline class you run down the street, or a formidable freewill entrepreneur?
Your customers could be anywhere in the world. Many people make the mistake of catering only to customers on their street. The mistake here is not in choosing this path. You can live a great life just catering to people around you. However, the mistake people make is they never think about expanding online – even when they want to expand. If you want to build your life on your own terms and make money doing what you love doing – be a freewill entrepreneur. You should have your own app.
Zoom : Content with current audience
Your App : Expand formidably
We write a lot about how you can shape your digital media as a business and reach a global audience on your own terms. Join us for freewill entrepreneurship updates.
The most popular way to your offline classes online is to do it over a video call on Zoom. That completely misses the point.
Offline to online is not a button on Zoom. It’s a process in your mind. Most people we’ve been talking to say Zoom is a great temporary solution, once things are back to normal we’ll go back to our offline classes. Yoga teachers, dance instructors and tutors across the board seem to share this sentiment. But what they miss is, it is going to take a really long time for things to go back to normal – if it ever does.
You’re probably wrong about the post corona world
Once the lockdown is lifted, doesn’t mean things will magically come back to normal. People have lost their jobs and in some cases, their dear ones. People know the crisis isn’t going to get over in a day when the governments say so. We’re far away from having a solution to the situation. And by the time we’ve fixed it, our mindsets would have fundamentally changed. People aren’t going to go back to what they were doing in November, the day the governments decide to open up the economy.
This is an opportunity to take your offline classes online. It’s a shame our education and knowledge-sharing still happens offline. Everything else has moved online – entertainment, communications, retail. Somehow, education trails. We have had pioneers like Coursera, Udemy and more recently Unacademy who’re trying to help shift education online. All the schools are shut and universities are struggling to stay on schedule. Why is that? Why didn’t we all just move our offline classes online last decade?
Corona isn’t presenting an opportunity. It’s exposing our weakness and reluctance to adapt. But not all’s lost.
Don’t survive, thrive
We’ve noticed that most offline classes can go online. This is a moment in history where a virus separates out the winners from the losers. Those who adapt, win – those who don’t, succumb. It is time to change the way that we look at these businesses.
Zoom calls are great if you are only going to be teaching the same students whom you were teaching in November. You know exactly who they are and have a personal relationship with them. You probably collect payments informally. Or, worse, maybe you don’t charge them at all because you’re too shy to ask for money. If that’s how you are operating that’s a step down. You cannot take your offline classes online and continue to just do what you were doing. You have to change.
Offline classes online
You must be professional in collecting payments. If you’re giving your services, your knowledge – by no means should you hesitate to charge. Nothing kills a business like not charging customers money.Obvious – right?
You must take your offline classes to globally online. Don’t restrict your classes to just the people you were already serving. You probably were putting up pamphlets in your apartment, sending messages on society Whatsapp groups. That needs to change too. You must, and can, capture students from across the world. Your total addressable market grows from people in your zip code to the entire human population. But you must learn to reach them. Social media to your rescue. People are spending all their time on social media. Learn to be good at social media. Learn to run successful Pages and Profiles. Learn to run ads online. You can do all of this by yourself. All you need is the zest to make it happen. You must operate like an entrepreneur – running a startup. Your offline class online is a startup. Potentially a billion dollar startup.
You can do all of this yourself. You need to ramp up your skills. Learn to operate social media. Learn to get good video quality on your mobile device. Learn to do marketing. You’ll be unstoppable. You’re on your way to building a solo unicorn. A one member Billion Dollar company.
Once you have picked up all of these skills which shouldn’t take you more than a week, you should be off to the races. That is when you choose the tool you’d use to take your offline classes online.
You can still pick Zoom, as long as you’re thinking about this progressively. Choose Zoom because it suits what you’re trying to achieve. Not because everyone else is doing it.
There are platforms available like Udemy and Unacademy that you can use to plugin your courses along with thousands of others.
If you’re the kind that wants to have complete ownership what you do and launch your own app to take your offline classes online, and operate like a true professional entrepreneur, you must check out Socionity.com
Whatever tool you choose, taking your offline classes online should revolve around how can I make this larger than I could ever make my offline classes. If you do it well, you’ll regret you didn’t start this earlier. You’ll regret in a good way.
Of course, to make things work you need a secret ingredient – Luck. Whether you believe in destiny or not, you need to give luck enough chances to strike you. Try various things and see what sticks. See where you get lucky.
I wish you all the best luck in your endeavors! Cheers!
If you’d like to hear our thoughts about the future of the knowledge & passion economy you should subscribe. We’ll never spam you.
Facebook recently announced that it will allow users to have paid livestreams on their Facebook Pages. That is great news. Especially during these times when the world is locked up – and people are looking for a way to monetize their time and expertise.
For a long time now, we’ve been forced to believe content online should be free. There’s a very specific reason why. When the internet started in early 1990s, there was no good way to make payments online. Even when the internet was thriving, it was really hard to make any payments online. It was broken, insecure and buggy. The technology wasn’t there, and banks weren’t ready to invest on this new technology called the internet. So, people had to find other ways to commercialize the web. Companies like YouTube, Google and Facebook turned to ads. With this model, the content was free for the end consumers – because the brands were paying the platforms to get their ads out.
Things have now changed. Internet payments work. Credit cards, wallets, UPI in India and even crypto currencies now work flawlessly to make payments online. It just works, people are used to it. Yet, people creating content aren’t charging for it. Anyone who’s tried, including our co-founder, will tell you how hard it is to make any money by creating content online and relying on ads. The best way is to charge people for your content directly – especially now that you can.
We’re in a special time when not only does payment work, but so does video streaming. That coupled with the fact that people have a lot of time at home, makes us uniquely placed to do paid livestreams. It is no surprise that Facebook has spotted this. People are already doing this in the form of Zoom calls. Dance teachers who previously thought you can’t teach dance online are now taking all their classes online out of sheer compulsion. But how do you charge your users?
Facebook’s paid livestreaming may alleviate that problem for some users. But not the serious kind. The serious kind are the people who are looking to create paid livestreams and make it their business. What do you do if you want to make a billion dollar startup by creating media? How do you become a solo unicorn? Unfortunately, there is no real way to do it. Facebook doesn’t want you to do it. It wants you to do the paid livestreams inside Facebook so that it gets even more people hooked on to its platform. That’s when it gets more ad revenue!
There’s nothing wrong in that business model of Facebook. It makes sense for them and they are also right in spotting the user need for such a thing. Full credit where it’s due.
But will you be doing your paid livestreams on Facebook, where Facebook’s interests are only tangentially similar that of yours? We suggest otherwise, as you’d have guessed.
Because, that’s what we’ve built out. We have all the tooling you’ll need to setup a Billion dollar company by creating media. We help you launch your brand through your own app. Don’t rely on larger platforms like Facebook, where you would be a small cog in the wheel, where people are continuously distracted by the photos of their friend’s puppies’ lunch. Have your own app where people can give you full attention and money. Paid livestreaming is one of the easiest way to get started.
If you want to do a few lives sessions as a hobby, sure. Facebook’s paid livestreaming should suit you just fine. However, if you’re looking to build your content kingdom, your answer isn’t Facebook paid livestreaming. It might be Socionity. You should give it a spin. We want you to be a solo unicorn. A one member billion dollar company. The world is ready for that.
We write and think a lot about how paid content is going to evolve. Subscribe to our posts here. Never more than one email a week.
Hi. I’m a developer. And the first thing we developers do is always just to say Hello World. So here it is!
We’re starting our blog today. We’ve been silently working on our product all this while and never made any public facing announcements and never expressed how much we love the problem we’re solving. This blog will essentially be about that.
Socionity basically is looking to empower you to become the new gen digital entrepreneur. You create media, we help you make it a business. Creating apps and starting up seems to be such a daunting task. So many great creators opting to be bad engineers, bad doctors and bad lawyers rather than great media CEOs.
I’ve been building apps all of last decade. I think building the app is such a small part of any business, yet so many people end their dreams because they don’t know how to make an app. With Socionity, we make that process simpler for you. We’ll keep making it even simpler. All it takes is a few clicks and no credit card to get started.
We’ll be writing posts that will help you become an entrepreneur, how we think about entrepreneurship, skills you can pick up and interesting things happening that might shape your business. But it’s all going to be about setting up a great successful and long lasting media business.
I hope you find us useful in any little way. Always happy to help.
If you think you’d be interested, do subscribe and drop in your email address. We won’t spam you, I promise 🙂