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How to Teach a Craft Class

Lesson 11 of 29

How to Approach a Venue to Teach a Class


How to Teach a Craft Class

Lesson 11 of 29

How to Approach a Venue to Teach a Class


Lesson Info

How to Approach a Venue to Teach a Class

Now we're going to talk about how to approach said then you because I think this is a part that I know it it used to make me feel a little bit nervous as well and so I'm thinking that I'm not allowed in this so let's talk about what to do how to approach these venues so I think that this step is really about building relationships ok? And this is something that it's not going to be like an overnight relationship it might be a relationship that you build over time just like with all good relationships so I would start by going in and talking okay there's nothing there's nothing more powerful than having an in person conversation with either a shop owner or even the person that runs the front desk at the you know rex and park you know, community center in your neighborhood they go in and start talking send an email this is a little bit less personal but it could be a good way to initiate contact, right? Like, hey, I'm a teacher in in your area and I just wanted to let you know that I off...

er classes on dh then just see what see what comes of it okay? So that's an idea social media okay following things into following places and people on twitter kind of well, I'm not telling you to like do any talking or anything but you can go onto people social media start commenting if you know of ah studio or shop in your town or in your neighborhood go on their social media and start following them today okay, do it and and start a relationship that way take a class there be a student maybe they have, like a like an event, a book opening or something go to those events okay, you don't necessarily need to, you know, if it doesn't feel natural, do you don't have to market yourself right away is the teacher who wants a job, you can just go and get a feel for if it's a place and if it's a group of people that you want to work with, always be yourself and I put be nice hoping that that was implied, but you you want to obviously always be be natural, but be nice guy if you're if you're natural is not necessarily nice than, you know, be nice um and then follow up, right? You know, don't go to an event at the at the space. Gosh, I really wanted to be a teacher at that place and then not follow up, right? You're not going to get to teach there unless you actually initiate this relationship, okay? You might get lucky, they might say, oh my gosh out of the blue you get an email three weeks later like I remember you from that event would you like to teach here but that's going to be less likely so build those relationships and then I want you guys to send your class proposals okay even I mean obviously if they tell you to send them then definitely send them but even if they don't ask you to send them you can still send your your class proposals ok I want to get you guys in the used to the idea of doing the work for them ok do the work for them right? They might actually put a lot of time and effort into going out and finding teachers or they might not they might just be like oh, I got this great email yeah this is the person I wantto have teach okay, so send them that send him your proposals okay and you want to include I'm gonna show an example that's in the workbook but I'm going to read it I'm going to read in a minute um include the title of your class and obviously you can adjust this or you can send more than one class proposal I've sent as many is like seven class proposals in one email okay include a short description which we're going to talk about and where where do you think that short description might come from? Summary yeah you're your summary or your your lesson plan that remember at the top of our lesson plan we wrote a with the called objective an objective ok, so you're sort your short description is going to come from there okay? So show you an example in a minute and this is where you want it to be kind of fun you wanted to be persuasive and a little bit creative so a lot of times um depending on the venue they have people that have an excellent or they have like a designated copywriter, right who's goingto take your class idea and crafted into some you know, really cool sounding blurb for their for their you know, if they released like a newsletter with class offerings okay, but they might not right and so you want to kind of do that work for them. You want to give them a short kind of catchy description for your class that they can copy and paste into their newsletter okay, so you don't necessarily want to you can't expect that your class is going to get you know the description is going to get to sound catchier after it leaves your hands you kind of you want to make sure you do that first, make sure because nine times outta ten it will get copied and pasted okay, so you want to make sure you've done that work already it looks better for you and it helps get students to come to your class okay, we'll show you an example in a minute also include obviously this is a venue specific and they might come back to you and say, hey, do you think you could teach this in two and a half hours instead of three or etcetera but like within reason, you want to give them how long this classes is supposed to be and a level also up for negotiation unless it's something like a very advanced class where you say like, I really can't take students who have no experience in blank, ok, but otherwise that can also be up for discussion and then also include a photo especially if it's a if it's a project include a photo of the final product that's always going to be it's going to leave a visual impact on the person making the decision and also like I said to do the work for them so they can just copy that and paste it put it into the class description your students going to be like, yeah, I want to make that and the photo is going to be a big part of that and then okay, so that's it so I'm going to show you an example now I kind of seems still cracking myself up about this, but I put together a class pitch for a class that I have never taught but now I kind of want tio even though knitting is not really my my you know wheelhouse but so I put together a sample class pitch and hear it isthe we're going to go over this together called wooed by the willies so we came up with a kind of a catchy title I love a liberation so in this class students will learn how to design cast on and construct a pair of deliciously cozy chunky woolly socks perfect for those cold winter evenings by the fireplace ah perfect gift for any occasion although we will likely be tempted to keep them for ourselves get wooed by the woolley's in just two hours and then I said it's two hours and the skill level is beginner intermediate knowledge of circular needles and casting on required kind so what do you notice about my class pitch here? Anything that stands out maybe um in the awarding tio have I included a lesson my lesson objective in there? Yeah kind of right what what part box yeah, this part here designed cast on and construct a pair of wool socks right? And how if I kind of changed it or what and why do you think I've changed it a little? I've added some adjectives and why didn't why have I done that make it appealing to make it a little bit more appealing right? It is like visualized too yeah it helps people visualize and what about the the idea that the perfect gift? Why why do you think I threw that in there down around the holidays? Because it's going to be for around the holidays? So I want to make sure I'm appealing to the student who is looking for a gift. Tio they want to make a gift, they want to go and take a class and then give these gifts. Okay, um, so this is obviously a sample class pitch, okay? And then in the workbook, I included a, um a sample email that I would write to, you know, to a, uh, to, like, a venue. Ok, so I've have included things like dear sandra, this is totally not from real life like this never happened, but I I did my best to make it sound as realistic as possible. It was such so nice to me the other day at the patchwork show in oakland it's so comforting to know that I'm not the only one who struggles to find cute winter woolen socks crisis starting off with a little bit of like, hey, remember this conversation we had in person when we talked just to kind of remind them I want to reiterate my interest in teaching at your studio, I feel like I could make a fabulous addition to your class repertoire after perusing your current offerings I noticed that there might be a need for a woolly stock class I have found in my own personal experience that this is very a very popular class project. You'll all you'll find a list of class proposal below, including two knitting classes, one crash a class I believe all three are ideal for this coming fall holiday season, as all three of the projects would make fabulous gifts muscle, including a link to my web site where you see a portfolio of my work as well as some other current projects I'm working on, I'm open to teach other projects if something else catches your attention. So what are some things that I did in that email? And why do you think I mentioned some of those things like what's? One thing you notice is only referred back to meeting her so that she can say, oh yeah, I remember meeting ashleigh at that exactly. So you want to make sure that you immediately remind this person that you have met them before that you're not just some random person emailing, okay, so immediately you're making that personal connection what else? Uh, it shows that you did your research, you have taken enough of an interest to really get in there and try to offer something you need for them exactly you definitely want to make sure you do that because you don't want to email somebody out of the blue in a place that's not there they're not gonna want not because your class isn't wonderful but because their students are there for whatever their student body is they're not going to necessarily want to take it so you want to show that you've done your research that you know that this is going to be a good fit you're doing the work for them ok it's really great um anything else? What else did I do it and I said I've included a link to my web site why do you think I did that? They can get to know you I mean you're showing that your foot you're flexible like you've given a list of ideas but maybe they'll see something that exactly think of they're not mentioned in the email exactly and you want to be transparent so you know, you want to make sure that you have a website that represents who you are and maybe if they're on their way there on your website they'll notice some other things that you've done or maybe you have on there that you you know I have written an article for a blogger that they're interested in I don't know it's just a really good way of um getting like showing your authority on the subject right it's a good way of establishing that you are the you are the one to teach this class um are there any questions from online or you guys have any questions yeah can you describe the woman where does she work? What is the venue that you imagine this being like when I was thinking of a venue I was thinking well gosh there's a local hotel that has conference rooms I would have to send a proposal to anybody just rent the room yeah but this sounds like more like she's hosting a larger event or she has the craft space like I don't know yeah I would only write one of these if it was somebody who's already established in classroom work meaning the person writing this of the person the recipient of the recipient is this for like a I get from this letter that she has a space so I'm imagining this either be a studio that holds classes like as their kind of thing or it's a shop that also holds classes so anywhere that has a current offering of classes already you know? So there's you know there's some places in the bay area that if you go on their website you'll see their current offerings of classes so for me for example like I look on like a verb for keeping warm website it's a it's a studio and in the east bannon off you guys are familiar that's awesome but I look on there and I'll see ok what what current quilting classes are they offering and then I'll notice that well, maybe they don't have a free motion quilting class so I'm going to send that proposal but ifit's studio that I see they don't have or they already have a free motion quilting class or it doesn't seem to be that seems to maybe be a little bit more of a high level technique I think maybe people are just more interested in simple piecing techniques then I'll propose something different does that make sense? But is the idea to then pull off of there um audience or whatever to get the attendees rather than going and just finding a room to teach in and just utilizing your own? Well? So that's that's going to be the decision that you want to make? Because if you want if you have your own venue or if you want tio it's kind of like two levels of how do you want to start out? Do you want to start out by teaching in an already established space with maybe already established student base or do you wantto do you wantto rent your own space and do all of the promoting and the marketing yourself and aside notices that even if you do teach it a studio a shop you still have to do a lot of your own self promotion for the class okay, so it's just kind of deciding what what is going to feel the best for you right, there's a lot of value and renting your own space, you have total freedom, you don't have to fit into what you think this studio this shop is going to want to offer to their, you know, client base, you can kind of craft your own your own thing, I'm not questioning. So say you go that route and grant your own space and trait, that whole program. Wouldn't this be valuable for a press release, of course, would be a little bit different, but, oh, you value and, yeah, you're going to have to do this anyways, because your class pitch is kind of like your marketing. So even if you do, even if you write your own space, you're you're still gonna want you're still going to draw students. The letter. Yeah, exactly. So this is a valuable for regardless of what what venue? Yeah, those are great. Those are great questions.

Class Description

Teaching opens you up to a whole new revenue stream and lets you connect with people who are passionate about what you do. Learn how you can use your existing skills at the front of a creative classroom in How to Teach a Craft Class with Ashley Nickels.

Ashley is a life-long quilter and multi-discipline creative educator. In this class, she’ll show you how to prepare to teach a craft class and offer plenty of insights on making it fun for everyone involved. You’ll learn:

  • A variety of teaching styles for the full range of teacher personality types
  • How to plan lessons, set objectives, and manage student expectations 
  • Classroom prep tips that help you feel fully prepared 
  • Techniques for dealing with tricky situations 

Ashley will share insights from her years as an educator and help you feel confident before your first (or next) class. She’ll reveal her favorite classroom management techniques and teach you how to deal with difficult personalities. You’ll learn ways to engage and inspire everyone – from advanced learners to beginning students.

Teaching is not easy, but it can be incredibly rewarding both personally and financially. How to Teach a Craft Class will demystify the magic behind a good craft class and help you make your dreams of educating and inspiring others a reality.


Claude Aimée Villeneuve

This was a very good class, well prepared and packed with such useful information! I've been teaching various arts and craft classes for over 10 years now and did it sort of instinctively. Ashley gave me the tools I needed to refine my classes and prepare really good classes outlines and how to find venues to teach and pitch my classes. That was awesome and I plan to watch it again and again because there is so much in it! This was a first class presentation! Thank you Ashley! Claude Aimée Villeneuve, Visual artist and teacher

a Creativelive Student

I'm not even half way thru the online videos and want to recommend this class to anyone who just needs that extra boost to start their own classes! I like the fact that Ashley suggests that we think from a student perspective to help us to better plan. This class covers many things I have heard before BUT in greater detail. When I hear the 'WHY' of doing things, I'm more likely to follow thru. These videos explain many 'WHYs' (There are many informative sites/classes for this topic but not many people give you 'this is WHY' it should be done this way) Ashley gives the "WHY' and the 'HOW to'. If you want to teach and are mostly ready to teach, take this class and all the gaps will be filled in and you will be ready to go forth and teach your craft!

Barbara Schiffman

Great class -- watched live (most of it) and purchased for ongoing review. I've taught many things, including some crafts (decorating gourds, collage, making your own tarot-collages) but I gained new insights, ideas and confidence from Ashley's advice, the students questions and input, and the panel! I recommend this for anyone who wants to teach a class -- craft oriented, personal development, or anything else!