How To Take Your Meditation Teaching Business Online
3 min read. Last week we wrote about how Meditation Teachers are facing a new challenge in this extraordinary environment. Venues shutting their doors and diminishing attendance at groups is placing financial strain on many. What better time to consider expanding your meditation business online?
People are at home…on their computers…looking for stress relief…
What are you waiting for?
We have some fantastic, inexpensive and user friendly technology that makes working from home and online a breeze. Let’s take a journey through a variety of options.
How do I start running my meditation business online?
You would be surprised just how much you can conduct online. Chances are you already have a database of students, so it may be a matter of creating the product or opportunity for them to shift to interacting with you online.
For participants, the technology is even easier to use than for the host/ess.
- If running a Zoom group, they just need to click on a link provided by you to join the group at the allotted time.
- When conducting a Skype call, they open up Skype and wait for your call.
- If they are joining a Facebook live broadcast all they need to do is be on the Facebook page at the right time.
Sound easier than getting in the car and driving to a group? Arguably yes!
So let’s look at the kind of events you can run online:
- A meditation group
- A set of meditation classes
- A meditation day retreat (this takes a little more skill but isn’t difficult on a technical level)
- One to one meditation sessions
Some can be conducted live and some do not need to be conducted live. For example, if you are giving a course you may use pre-recorded videos or pdf documents and audio recordings.
What kind of software will I need?
The beauty of what is available today is that it is relatively inexpensive and very accessible.
Some of it is even free (Facebook and Skype are free and Zoom has a free version with certain limitations).
Even the paid version of Zoom is only $14.99US a month. The main advantage of a paid account is that you will be able to have meetings longer than 40 minutes and can record your meetings.
So some possibilities for forums in which to run your groups or events are:
- Create a Facebook group for the event and use the Facebook Live Function. Check out his helpful guide
- Use the Zoom platform https://zoom.us/
- You may be comfortable with Skype (Personally, I have found this to be less reliable than Zoom)
- Create pre-recorded videos that you can place on youtube or vimeo and send people links to your videos which can be created on your laptop, smartphone or ipad. (You may need to download a video recording app for your laptop).
- For those who are totally bamboozled with all this – you can also use your phone to conduct meditations.
What kind of hardware will I need to run my meditation business online?
- A reliable laptop is a must, you don’t want to be messing around with sticky keys or a crashing computer while you have 10 people watching.
- You may like to use a mic or lapel mic. If you have a fairly new laptop this may not be necessary. Do some testing and recording to determine what you will need.
- Make sure your webcam provides a clear picture. If not, you may like to invest in an additional webcam. Again, this should not be necessary if you have a good quality (and not too old) laptop.
- Earbuds or headphones are a good idea to prevent feedback and echo through your speakers.
- Make sure that your home internet is clear and reliable (is there such a thing?) LOL You know what I mean.
- If you are using your phone (this may be a cheaper and very reliable alternative) then have it plugged in to power for the duration of the broadcast. Live broadcasts drain batteries fast. You may consider purchasing a stand/tripod for your phone. I place mine to sit just above my laptop screen so that I can refer to my talk outline without dipping my eyes too far down.
- Test sound and video before beginning. Make sure your shoulders and head are visible (like a passport photo). Thanks for this hint Janet Etty-Leal!
How to organise payment for online events and groups?
Without opting into booking software, the most cost-effective options are:
- Paypal – send your group a paypal button by email each time you are offering a session or host a button on your website (You will need to set up a paypal account)
- Direct transfer – preferably before the event
- Paypal subscription – Have an ongoing subscription button to make life easier for everyone. You might offer a small discount to entice students to subscribe and make the recording of the session available to subscribers.
- Stripe – which is an online payment platform, with pay as you go pricing. You can create and send invoices, take credit card payments over the phone or embed the function into your website.
Things to keep in mind when facilitating meditations online…
Working online requires some clear boundaries for you and your participants. People will be tuning in from their homes or workplaces so it is imperative that best practice be followed by everyone to create a successful session.
For participants provide clear guidelines for participation (perhaps in the form of a document prior to the session) such as:
- Ensuring that they are in a private space. If at home a study or bedroom is best and if in an office environment in a private office.
- Ask them to ensure (as best they can) that they will not be interrupted. This may mean talking to other family members or putting a sign up on the door.
- Ensure that they are not in a public place.
- It is important that participants keep their camera on at all times (unless they are experiencing technical issues and have no choice) so that you can see any adverse reactions or problems.
- Ask them to keep their phone in another room or turned off.
- Ask them to mute their microphone during the meditation itself and turn it back on for sharing.
For you the facilitator:
- You may like to have phone numbers for participants whom you have any concerns about so that you can follow up in case they drop out or disappear.
- Do a sound and video test before you start.
- Check that you have enough recording capacity on your account well before you begin the session.
- Check that your internet data is sufficient to complete the session.
- Keep all hardware plugged in for the duration of the session.
- Carefully prepare the space by checking what people can see behind you – a plant and a candle work better than clutter.
- Ensure that you will be comfortable and won’t be interrupted by the phone, noise, family members etc.
- I like to check in with each participant during the session at some point.
- It may also be a good idea to attend other people’s online events to build your confidence and experience and run some smaller practice sessions before moving forward.
Wow, there is a lot here and still so much more to say!
I’m sure you will have questions too. Please feel free to post your questions below.
Enjoy having a play with this.
Love Lisa x