Many interior designers offer interior decorating courses to gain additional income, prove their expertise to their clients or to switch their career. In any case, nurturing the skills of aspiring interior designers can be a fulfilling prospect worth investing in. It can be especially profitable if you have skills that very few in the industry can even boast of.
While you can offer classes in a physical institute, providing online classes is simpler for you due to fewer resources for the task. You don’t have to rent/buy buildings or maintain them. It’s also more convenient for students to choose a place and time for their class.
You can set up virtual interior decorating courses with the following steps:
Choose Course Topics
Interior design is a vast subject with many subtopics to choose from. Research what students want to learn about interior design and see how their desires match your specialization to find a solution. You can also look at your competitors for tips but try to stand out from them as much as possible.
Create Course Outlines
A course outline will help you draft the content for your interior design certificate programs and help students get the gist of what to expect from your courses and keep track of their progress. Define the course’s goals and learning objectives. Break your subjects into subtopics to create your syllabus.
Develop Course Content
You need to develop course content based on your outline. You can offer your courses through videos, text, infographics, etc. It’s advisable to use multiple media to cater to students with different learning styles. Get the best equipment to create engaging course content. You can take references from your webinars and blogs but expand on them to give your students something of value.
Find The Right Platforms
In most cases, students learn interior design either from a learning management system (LMS) or a virtual course platform.
When going for virtual course platforms, you usually have to choose between standalone platforms and marketplaces. Standalone platforms are white-label websites that direct students to the providers’ online schools. They offer the course provider all the necessary tools for the job. A marketplace platform is more limited in terms of selling courses.
Virtual schools like use an LMS to run their virtual school. It’s great for keeping track of your students, distributing course content on different devices and more. You need to compare different systems to find the one that matches your needs.
Price Your Courses
You have three pricing options: free courses, one-time payments or subscriptions. Free courses don’t bring money but can give students an idea of what you can offer them and encourage them to go for paid plans.
Many interior design certificate programs either charge one-time fees or subscription fees every month or so. Most course providers believe that no course should be below $100 because developing and providing them requires time and effort. Anything below this would undermine your course’s value. You can check your competitor’s prices to get an idea of what you should charge.
Online learning can feel disconnected because mentors and students can go on without ever meeting each other. You need to build a community for your online course to connect with your students on a personal level.
Virtual schools do this by creating social media groups where their students can interact, share ideas and socialize. You can also create forums on your website. Your learning system must have feedback or email systems to help students clear doubts or suggest better ways of teaching.
Market Your Courses
You probably had to promote yourself one way or the other to gain new clients for your interior design firm. You need to promote yourself to gain new students. You need to use multiple channels to promote your courses like digital marketing, word of mouth, print marketing, etc. Research your target audience to draft your promotion strategy. Highlight your credentials and what students can gain from your courses to grab their interest.
Whether students learn interior design from a website or college, they want the time they spend learning to mean something. That’s why it’s always a good idea to get accreditation for your course. To do that, you need to partner with an accrediting association. The association can be regional or national. It must be recognized by Council on Higher Education Accreditation or the US Department of Education.