In these challenging times, many businesses are having to pivot, and quickly, in order to keep going. Businesses with offline offerings in particular are needing to pivot more so than ever, and find new ways of monetizing their products, services and content in the digital space.
For some, this might come naturally. For others, it might feel pretty alien. Not every business can pivot to digital, but you’d be surprised at how many are able to.
Cancelled events are running online summits.
Personal trainers are delivering video sessions.
Museums are even conducting tours online!
These are trying times, but they are inevitably bringing out creative solutions.
If you want some inspiration for how you can repurpose your in-person offerings to online, I’ve got six suggestions you can try.
Many of these repurposing methods were covered comprehensively in my book, so I’ve even included the relevant chapter of the book to refer to for more detail.
Here's a short video about this week's episode:
1. Repurpose your workshops and presentations into a webinar
A webinar is a bit like a virtual classroom – a seminar on the web, hence the portmanteau!
You can deliver webinars live or pre-record them and stream them at a certain time.
You can present to one or many people, either where everyone can see each other (smaller groups), or attendees can only see you and your screen (usually when there’s a larger number of people, e.g. 50+).
You can share your screen, if it’s live then involve people or mute people, everyone can text chat with each other (a great place for you to share things like links), and you can record the whole thing. Obviously, the features depend on what software you use.
Isn’t this just perfect for anyone who cannot deliver their upcoming lessons, workshops, speeches, etc.?
If you have slides that you would have used for your in-person delivery of this content, you can still use the slides during your webinar.
This isn’t an instant process if you’ve never hosted a webinar before, but you’ll be pleased to hear there isn’t a huge amount of legwork that goes into it.
Depending on how formal it is and who your audience are, as well as sorting out the software to host it you may need to include a registration page and confirmation page, and set up email confirmations and reminders leading up to the webinar.
If you want to host your webinar live, you can use webinar platforms like ClickMeeting, Zoom, EverWebinar, Easy Webinar or GoToWebinar, which allow you to host and charge for your webinar on their platforms. Personally, I’ve only ever used Zoom.
If you want to pre-record your webinar and deliver the recording to people, you don’t need to necessarily use webinar software. You can record using Screencast (for Mac), or Camtasia (Windows). In order to deliver the webinar to people you can upload it to YouTube and mark as Private or Unlisted, or you can host on other video hosting sites like Vimeo or Wistia.
Book Chapter: Chapter 11 of my book
Perfect for: Workshop facilitators, speakers, tutors, musicians, etc.
Further reading: Repurposing Webinars With Louise Brogan, plus check out this guide created by our client Jay Baer and his team at Convince & Convert 11 Ways to Win With Webinars and Virtual Events
2. Repurpose your content into an online course
There are easy to use platforms online that will help you build and sell an online course.
You can turn your word docs, pdfs, videos, worksheets and entire presentations into an online course using these sites.
The simplest way to set-up an online course is to host it on a site like Udemy, Teachery, Teachable, Skillshare, and Thinkific. These are very easy to use, quick to set up, and have some really neat features. They are great because you don’t need to set up a new website for your course – a website that has the ability to host and deliver a course, that handles everything from payments, course materials, personal logins, student progress, etc. is possible but requires a lot of different plugins!
We highly recommend Thinkific, as it is so easy to use. The Content 10x Toolkit is being hosted on Thinkific which is packed full of checklists, how to guides, video tutorials and more to help you become a repurposing expert!
A more expensive, all in one solution is Kajabi. Kajabi allows you to build and host courses and memberships. It can also replace your website, hosting, email service provider, payment platform, CRM… it’s positioned as a single platform to run an online business. I’ve never used Kajabi personally, but I’ve worked with clients who have had good and not so good experiences. The ‘not so good’ experience was not because Kajabi failed to deliver, but rather because something so ‘all-in-one’ can actually be quite restrictive.
If you repurpose your workshop, lesson, speech, etc. into a webinar as discussed above, you may be able to repurpose the webinar recording as content for your online course. A course could include multiple webinar recordings on different topics complimented with worksheets, quizzes, slides, and other content.
Perfect for: Teachers, coaches, chefs and bartenders (recipes!), craftspeople… anyone who can teach people. Check out Udemy to see the sheer range of courses!
Further reading: Creating Online Courses By Repurposing Content With Teresa Heath-Wareing
3. Create a membership site
This is probably the most time-intensive option on my list, and it definitely isn’t easy, but it could prove to be a game-changing adjustment to your business model if you choose to do it. After all, the best things in life aren’t easy, are they?
There are plenty of plugins and templates you can use to get a site up and running, but there’s more to a membership than just the website. Online memberships are a great way of trading your expertise and skills digitally, but running one requires a good amount of content creation and time spent building your community.
Your content could be repurposed from your webinar or online courses if you go that route, plus content you previously used in an offline capacity to serve your clients.
There are so many different types of membership models too. Some are more resource based, some are more community based (where often people join for the content but stay for the awesome community). To give you an example, clients of ours range from a dental business membership to a dog training academy.
If you are curious about running an online membership site, I’d recommend you take a look at The Membership Guys and their excellent Membership Academy. Mike and Callie (who make up The Membership Guys) are good friends, clients of ours, and there is no one else in the world I’d recommend you go to in order to learn how to set-up and run a membership site before these two. Especially if you want to make money from your membership site!
Book Chapter: Chapter 9 of my book
Perfect for: Subject experts, course teachers, niche businesses
Further reading: How To Repurpose Membership Site Content With Mike Morrison
4. Create a subscription group on Facebook
Maybe you don’t have the appetite, or the time, to set-up a membership site, but did you know that you can earn money from people joining a specialized group you run on Facebook? It’s called a Subscription Facebook Group
Doing this gives you the chance to showcase your expertise, answer questions, get feedback and engage with your audience. Members can also share posts into the group – which you can review or set up to pre-approve from trusted members.
Facebook also offers watch parties – where you can all watch and react to a video at the same time with other members of the group.
With a simple monthly fee for users to join your group and access content, training, and videos, a subscription group on Facebook sits nicely between starting a full membership and webinars.
Make sure you post regular content, though! People need and deserve value for money. This goes for a Facebook Subscription Group or a membership site. If people pay monthly, you need to deliver monthly.
I think this could be a great, almost “pop-up” solution for people who serve a community in-person who have come to depend on them, but can’t do so for the time being.
A great example is a personal trainer or fitness class instructor. I go to a Group Personal Training session 3 times per week and during the COVID-19 pandemic it will need to pause – if my PT set something like this up I feel it’s a win:win situation. He gets some money coming in and helps us in a different way, we get to keep fit and also support him.
You could say the same thing for a wine education business that usually puts on wine tastings or courses, or a chef that runs a cookery school.
Perfect for: People who want something simpler than membership site
Further reading: Everything You Need to Know About Facebook Groups
5. Repurpose in-person coaching to online coaching
If you are a coach or a consultant, and you provide your customers with in-person meetings, there’s no reason you can’t move that online.
This can be as simple as running your sessions using video conferencing software like Zoom (already discussed in the webinar section), Google Hangouts, or Skype to name just a few of the options.
Choose a method that you think will be nice and easy for your client – that doesn’t require too much explaining or a tech set-up at their end.
Perhaps you run an in-person mastermind that needs to pivot online. Do not be deterred, this is possible.
Perfect for: mentors, business consultants and coaches, therapists and counsellors, personal trainers. Many things that can be coached in-person can be done online too.
6. Monetize content via Patreon
Have you heard of Patreon? It’s a platform that makes it really easy for creators to get paid.
There are many ways that you can use Patreon, but by far the most common that I see is when a creator will ask their supporters to become a ‘patreon’ whereby they will pay a monthly fee and in exchange they will get something extra.
For example, you may be a podcaster, YouTuber, musician, or artist and you ask your loyal fans to become a patron. In return, they will get exclusive access to an additional episode(s) per week, access to a private online group, maybe a shout-out and recognition in the content, or even a physical gift like a gift box or stickers!
You decide what is right for you and your audience, and you don’t need to get carried away. Some people are such hardcore fans they are happy to “buy you a coffee” via Patreon each month in support of what you do.
Admittedly, this is less of a repurposing tip and more of a monetization tip, but if you are wondering what kind of content you can create that would suit your patrons – that’s where repurposing may come in handy.
If you are trying to bridge an offline/online gap, ask yourself how you could create online content based on what you already know and deliver.
Here’s a great example, during the current COVID-19 pandemic, comedy clubs and comedy nights are not running. Comedians are therefore quite badly hit. Many comedians have fans who love to see them live and can’t wait for their next gig. Most likely, their fans follow them online too.
Now could be just the right time to start a podcast or video show. Share your comedy and make people laugh in a different way. Shout out about it and find something extra you can offer patrons of the show. Who knows, it could become a trusty new income stream for the long-term.
Perfect for: Podcasters, YouTubers, creatives, musicians, artists, comedians.
Let's all support each other
This is nowhere near an exhaustive list, but it is hopefully a starting point for you.
And if you don’t have an in-person business, please share this with someone you know who does.
As I mentioned in the introduction – this is not going to be perfect for everyone, but there are more ways businesses can pivot to online content than you might first think. I hope that I’ve at least opened your eyes up to the possibilities.