How Rosann Fleischauer Doubled Her Revenue by Teaching Remotely

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  • Who: Rosann Fleischauer
  • Website:
  • Course Topic: Crochet Training
  • Interesting Stats: Grew Instagram following from 300 to over 600 in two months

Who are you and what course have you created?

First Byte Designs has two lines of business, direct-to-consumer and business-to-business.  In the B2C (business to consumer) line, I offer educational programs, private lessons, and design services. The former two are exclusively offered online since 2020.  This allows me to work with a more geographically diversified population without the added expense of renting a space in which to teach and the complexity of scheduling in a hectic world.  I had been working remotely for my B2B (Business to Business) clients since I started First Byte Designs.

In 2020 there was a critical shift in the momentum of my industry.  More people were working from home and seeking a creative outlet for their newly imposed life-style. Knitting and crochet experienced a resurgence in popularity not unlike 2001 however this time was different, there was no place to go and learn in person how to do either.

To fill this developing niche I transitioned all my current students to on-line learning via FaceTime or Skype.

As the technology became more widely accessible, I moved to the Zoom platform to provide my students with an online forum wherein we could invite additional people to join us, record the sessions if they so desired, and in general were able to emulate the same environment I had been using with my B2B clients for years.

The courses I have created are tailored to suit my students’ educational objectives from simple “how to start” classes to more complicated multi-session courses all delivered in the way most conducive to their preferences.  The first four classes I offered were; How to Knit, How to Crochet, Crochet for Knitters, and Beginner Granny Squares.  These four were previously delivered in person through continuing education programs and local yarn stores so the pivot to online was quickly accomplished.  As student objectives got more complicated it became easier to offer individualized tutoring in addition to these four basic classes.

Here are two class descriptions:

Rosann Fleischauer's siteAs my student engagement increased it became apparent that this course concept could be useful to my business to business clients as well.

I now offer knit-along and crochet-along services via Zoom to my clients.  In case you are not familiar with the concept, a knit along or crochet along is an opportunity to meet up with a group of likeminded fiber artists interested in creating a particular finished object like a sweater or a Christmas stocking over a series of virtual meet-ups during which there is an opportunity to share progress and learn new techniques.

As you can imagine, it takes time and effort to set up these programs, which a shop owner or yarn company may not have the time to do. I work with my client to identify the make-along opportunity whether it’s based on the latest trend in sweaters or a business objective like selling off old inventory, developing the course, and they promote it as their program.

It is one of my “white label” services to my business clients.  Program participants have the opportunity to meet up virtually regularly, learn something and share their progress.  Program sponsors accomplish their business goals without having to apply their internal resources to hosting the events, addressing questions, and producing educational materials.

What market does your online course serve?

The market served is defined by the type of program.  A typical participant is a person in the 35 – 55 age group who has very little free time to devote to a new hobby but the desire to pursue one.  (S)he is not interested in combing through hours of YouTube videos nor reading voluminous amounts of web page content.  Their objective is a skill or the completion of a particular project within a timeframe they consider reasonable.

What’s the biggest benefit of taking your course?

Learning a new skill or discovering new aspects of an existing hobby in the company of others or through a tailored tutoring session.

How did you get into the market?

I had previously taught in-person B2C and worked remotely B2B.  When the technology became more widely available, and consumers began to accept remote learning as a way to engage with others online I decided to give it a try.  I figured if my mother and her friends were meeting up for coffee via Zoom, why couldn’t my knitting and crochet students do the same?

Why did you decide to create an online course in the first place?

In 2016 a family matter kept me at home because it was more cost-effective for me to care for a relative than for outside help to be brought in so I could work outside the home.  I began working remotely with clients via FaceTime and Skype.  By 2018 I was working both in person and online with my clients and in 2020 as the world turned inward and we were all looking for ways to connect safely I thought I’d test the general interest in online course work.

Did you have any moments of doubt before you created/launched it?

Absolutely.  The self-doubt was self-imposed, who would want to sit and listen to a 50-year-old woman show them something as tactile as knitting or crochet on a screen? I wasn’t a TikTok influencer or Instagram sensation, just a person who wanted to help others through a difficult time through the creative arts. At first, I spent hours on my hair, makeup, and nails, thinking that was important, but it was not.

What people really wanted was to engage with each other with or without their cameras on and just share a few laughs while they explored a new skill. - Rosann Fleischauer Click To Tweet

Rosann Fleischauer's site

If so what made you turn it around and do it anyway?

Market data supported the idea that people were lonely and bored, no one cared about follower counts and appearances, and there was a general desire to find activities to do which were low-stress and for which the materials could be delivered efficiently.

What’s your online course like?

It depends upon the program.  Typically students receive a short PDF document with instructions we review during the online session.  If there is a technique that needs to be viewed repeatedly I will walk through it once live and play a video on a loop while the students work through their versions that way I can “spotlight” the tutorial video for all while I help individuals with questions.

How long did it take you to create your course?

About a month. The courses were initially developed for a program I ran at a local library. In time they became more involved and were offered through yarn stores.   When I pivoted to remote instruction, the content was revised to suit the time allotted for each session.

Tell us a little about the process of launching your course and getting your first sale(s).

Since I had a network of shops and yarn companies with whom I had worked in a B2B capacity and was a member of a knitting guild I was fortunate to have a built-in network of parties willing to tell their customers about my services.  My first online class experiences were at no cost to participants.

Do you have a lead magnet?

I work with the three largest crochet and knitting magazines in North America. When one of my patterns appears on their pages, I post free tutorials on YouTube. - Rosann Fleischauer Click To Tweet

This model works well as my Business to Consumer clientele prefers video content to newsletters and free PDFs.

What’s the traffic strategy that works best for you?

Knowing my customers is critical to providing them with the skills they need to meet their objectives.  To be blunt, it’s not scientific, I simply ask people what they do and don’t like.  It’s the simple things that make a difference – not using red yarn, speaking clearly into the mic, and good lighting; if they are happy, they tell others about what we’re accomplishing.

What online course platform are you using?

Since my content is delivered live, I do not use these services.  I do post specific techniques on YouTube and monetize them with affiliate links however, I have not made the transition to an online course platform. I’ve looked into it; I need additional equipment to produce high videos.  I have applied for a grant to acquire it, so stay tuned.

Do you like it?

Not applicable at this time for the platforms mentioned in #14, however, YouTube suits me perfectly.  The videos are searchable, platform-independent, affiliate links are easily inserted into the comments. While the videos need to be well done, they need not be “studio perfect” because they are recorded live.

Are there any features you wish it had?

A better way to integrate affiliate links into the video content so people could buy without cutting and pasting URLs or clicking in the comments.

What made you decide to use your chosen platform over others?

As mentioned above, I need more video editing tools to make more refined video content for classes students could buy online.

What other tools do you use to run your online course business?

Zoom, FaceTime, and Microsoft Netmeetings are the three tools I use.  Zoom is the principal course delivery platform because it can also live stream to Facebook for those who prefer a uni-directional program delivery rather than the interactive opportunity available via Zoom.  FaceTime is preferred for individual tutoring, and Netmeetings is an occasionally utilized tool.

What books or training programs have you found useful on your journey to a successful business owner that others might find valuable too?

When I worked as a management change and risk management consultant I learned a lot about remote work, connectivity, and disaster mitigation. I used my background in these areas to find solutions that worked for individuals seeking a way to connect when the world situation forced us to silo and self-isolate.

In general – I would not be here today had it not been for the incredibly helpful resources at SCORE. They offered me the guidance I needed to build my business.    One of my SCORE mentors referred me to local resources –  the Center for Women and Enterprise and from whom I also received mentoring. Never be afraid to reach out and ask people for help.

Rosann Fleischauer's site

Do you have any big mistakes you’ve made along the way that you’d be willing to share?

Sure, don’t we all? My biggest mistake was not starting sooner. Video and remote learning opportunities were something I had no interest in pursuing B2C until the opportunity to work face-to-face was stolen from all of us in 2020.

Please share some idea of revenue.

Without getting into specifics, teaching remotely has nearly doubled my revenue. - Rosann Fleischauer Click To Tweet

That’s because I can reuse some content without travel time. In addition, the organic growth from classroom to private tutoring is natural in the pursuit of the fiber arts.

Please tell us a little about what the money you’ve earned from your course has done for you.

It has given me the freedom to build my business in a geographically independent way while fostering my creative process.

In addition to revenue are there any numbers you would like to share?

I doubled my Instagram followers from just over 300 to over 600 in two months by posting about my first online teaching program. The secret was in the tags I used. I never used the same list of tags, I change the tags each time I posted. During a six-week program, I typically grow my email newsletter by 9 times the number of people in the program. My most recent program was for nine students, so in 6 weeks, I gained 81 followers.

What has creating your course done for you personally?

It has reminded me that the skills I have developed do not define who I am. They should not limit my options in other areas of my life.  For instance, using my listening skills which I honed in consulting, are useful when teaching.  The technology background I acquired in developing virtual solutions to mitigate risk was critical to setting up my video equipment in my fiber business.  And most important, transitioning to online course development has erased geographic borders for me and my students.

Do you have a story of a transformation from any of your clients?

I got an inquiry from a man who wanted to knit something for his wife’s 50th birthday.  He bought one of my patterns and didn’t realize how difficult it was to start.  We set up a schedule that allowed him to learn remotely, working via Zoom twice a week while he was on the train on his way home.  It was challenging; the technology is unreliable via a mobile device. We used Zoom so he could record the sessions and watch them when he had questions. It meant a lot to me to help him learn remotely and accomplish his goal in time for his wife’s birthday.

What advice do you have for people just starting out?

I wish I had known how transformational it can be to have multiple cameras to use. It makes the time with students more engaging if they can see me and the work from various angles. - Rosann Fleischauer Click To Tweet

While the laptop cameras are decent, the best results come from a good DSLR or mobile phone using a third-party product like Camo.

When just starting, if your budget is small, start with good lights. Then move on to other pieces of equipment as you need them.  My first purchase was a clip light at Home Depot and a broad-spectrum LED bulb, which I pointed up at the white ceiling to diffuse the light. Next, I got two ring lights, one for each side of the desk. These three purchases were under $50 total and made a huge difference.

When I could afford it, I got Camo for my mobile phone camera to be my second camera. As I grew into my business, I upgraded to a DSLR. I still use the Camo app on the phone with it, so I have two cameras at all times. Buy stands for equipment second-hand or through a warehouse purchase program. I saved a lot of money on my stands waiting for the best prices through Amazon Warehouse.

Learn more about Rosann Fleischauer of

Lisa Parmley
Lisa Parmley

Lisa Parmley is the founder of After gaining a Master's degree, she worked in research for about seven years. She started a training company in 2001, offering a course helping people pass a professional exam. That course has earned multiple 7 figures. She created SEO and authority site building training around 2007 which went on to earn well into the 6-figure mark.

She has 22+ years of experience in the trenches creating and selling online courses. Get help starting and growing your online course business here.

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