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- Who: Miriam Schulman
- Website: theinspirationplace.net
- Course Topic: Watercolor
- Interesting Stats: 18 online courses
Who are you and what course have you created?
Hi, I’m Miriam and I’m a full-time artist, art teacher, and art business coach.
I help artists (from amateurs to professionals) develop their skills, tap into their creativity, and grow thriving art businesses through my online classes, business coaching programs, and internationally top-ranked podcast, The Inspiration Place. My most popular class is Watercolor Portrait Academy.
What market does your online course serve?
Watercolor Portrait Academy is for artists of all abilities from absolute newbies to professionals looking to hone their skills.
What’s the biggest benefit of taking your course?
Over the years, I’ve created over 18 online courses but one of the most popular classes is Watercolor Portrait Academy. In this course students learn how to make faces that look realistic– like real people – without being photographic or stiff or cartoonish; develop an understanding of how to use vibrant colors to make your portraits come alive and glow with life; explore soft backgrounds that accentuate the beauty of people and learn how to loosen up and take risks with your watercolor paintings.
How did you get into the market?
So many people asked me to show them how to paint watercolor portraits and I wanted to pass on that legacy to them.
Why did you decide to create an online course in the first place?
I’m so immersed in the world of online courses it’s hard to imagine that I began from a request on Etsy. This was back in 2012, I got a message from another artist asking if I offered online courses. It was the first I had heard of online courses.
Did you have any moments of doubt before you created/launched it?
I was so naive that I had no hesitation in putting my first online course out into the world.However, at the time I had no list and no marketing plan so I launched to crickets. After that first disappointing experience, I learned the “proper” way to attract and build an audience and then make offers to them. - Miriam Schulman Click To Tweet
What's your online course like?
All my online art courses are pre-recorded video demonstrations and also include PDFs and text. My art business coaching courses are taught via live Zoom calls with google slide presentations and live interaction.
How long did it take you to create your course?
Whenever I developed a new course, I always surveyed my audience to make sure there was a demand and what they wanted from the class. I never waited until the class was complete before selling it and the content got created about 1-2 weeks before the lessons were delivered to students.
Do you have a lead magnet?
To promote my online classes I offer lead magnets in 3 stages. The first lead magnet is an art supply list, Then I offer a video series and finally a webinar to sell the course.
What's the traffic strategy that works best for you?
From the very start, I’ve leaned heavily on Facebook and Instagram advertising which has worked well for me so far. I’m hoping that the Apple IOS changes will not severely affect my advertising efforts.
What online course platform are you using?
Kajabi and I like it.
Are there any features you wish it had?
I wish it had more reporting features on student usage.
What made you decide to use your chosen platform over others?
After an unhappy beginning on the ‘ning” platform, I’ve been enjoying a happy marriage to Kajabi.
What other tools do you use to run your online course business?
What books or training programs have you found useful on your journey to a successful business owner that others might find valuable too?
I’ve been a student of marketing ever since I built my business and have especially enjoyed classes by Amy Porterfield.
Do you have any big mistakes you’ve made along the way that you’d be willing to share?
My biggest mistake has been creating too many courses and offerings. Now after about 8 years of building online classes, I've learned to narrow my focuses to only a few select offerings.
Please share some idea of revenue.
I earn over $100,000 per year just from the sales of my online courses. My launches typically range between $30 – $50K for each launch.
Please tell us a little about what the money you've earned from your course has done for you.
Building an online course has been a game-changer for me and my family. With the revenue from the course, we have nearly paid down our mortgage and my art career weathered the 2020 pandemic. Talk about business insurance!
In addition to revenue are there any numbers you would like to share?
Every time I launch one of my online art classes, the additional buzz generates new subscribers.
Do you have a story of a transformation from any of your clients?
“Before working with Miriam, I was feeling scattered and not sure where to start. Almost from the start, I felt like there was guidance I could trust and the structure helped me focus plus the group offered extra support. It’s a very structured and yet warm, supportive, and safe environment. I feel like I have a solid plan now. The Artist Incubator program gave me a template to reach my goals and dreams.
Miriam's coaching has made all the difference in launching my art career!” ~Tracy Allegro Quincy, MA
What advice do you have for people just starting out?If your dream doesn't require other people, then your dream is too small. The more help I get, the further I go. - Miriam Schulman Click To Tweet
When I first started it was all me all the time and that limited me. When I first started getting help, it was just a few hours a week. Now I have a whole team working for me doing anything from creating graphics for social media to editing my podcast.