Food is, without a doubt the universal language of love! Meeting someone for the first time or after a long time, a casual get together or a wedding; food is the heart of any kind of celebration. We have all been brought up in an environment where from an early age, we are exposed to different aspects of cooking; though not directly involved in cooking. From our first bite of cereal to the exquisite desserts of fancy restaurants, food will never seize to amaze people.
The current situation has thrown all of us into a soup bowl. With being locked in our own homes with no access to the outside world, people were really put to test to be able to provide meals for themselves. The online cooking tutorials are the ones that came to our entire rescue. After a while, people even started enjoying cooking and social media went on a rampage with food posts. We saw a rise in the number of cooking videos, videos giving out cooking tips, information regarding mindful and healthy culinary practices, and much more. The subscription numbers of cooking channels skyrocketed.
A culinary tutorial is the only tutorial that can be conducted without a professional degree certificate. Passion and zest for cooking are all one needs to start their own cooking class. And of course – a camera!
In this article, we will brief you about how to start your own cooking class. These are the topics that will be covered here.
A) Drafting a business and revenue model
B) Syllabus and execution of your culinary course
C) Building an online tutorial platform
D) Registering and getting license
E) Planning marketing strategies
Let’s get started!
A) First and the foremost step in beginning your culinary tutorial is to plan your business and revenue model. For this you will have to take two decisions:
- Choose your target audience
Anybody can cook. People think that cooking is only for people with a certain skill set. They cannot be more wrong. Even children can cook (adult supervision recommended). There is nothing wrong in having a mixed audience as well. So based on who you are targeting as your audience, you will have to devise a business plan suitable to that.
- Which type of online cooking class would you want to take?
Based on the type of audience you choose, you will have to choose what you want to present to your audience. It may differ from being a vegetarian dish, or vegan, or you can even choose to showcase diet specific cuisines. However, there are three basic categories of cooking tutorials:
- Cooking prep class: Classes aimed at how to get ready for a forthcoming meal preparation. These classes cover topics such as-
- Preparing the ingredients: for example – how to prepare your meat, whether soaking of any ingredients is required, or does any ingredient needs to be maintained in a particular temperature etc.
- Time management
- Basic cooking skills: For example – how to fillet a fish, how to de-shell a crab, how to chop onions and many more
- General cooking class: These classes are focused on everyday cooking. They consist of cuisines that are like a 5 minutes snack recipe, recipes for children’s lunch boxes, any basic recipe which can be cooked using your in-house pantry. These are usually quite basic in nature and you do not need any expert level training or knowledge to learn them.
- Technical cooking class: These are designed for students with a good amount of culinary skill set and have a bit of experience in the field. Here one can learn advanced cooking techniques and recipes that are prepared in restaurants.
Based on the above you can choose a suitable revenue model. Here are three best tested options by which you can generate an income-
- Charging subscription fee: Charging a recurring fee(monthly, yearly etc per prior legal agreement) for the services provided is called a subscription fee. One of the widely used models, it totally depends on the relationship you build with your customers. They will continue to pay subscription fees till they see value in your tutorials or any product for that matter.
- Charging membership fee: This model involves charging a nominal fee to your customers to access the cooking classes you are conducting. Though very similar to subscription fees, there is a very thin line of difference between the two. If a customer is a member that means he has special privileges and discounts etc offered by the provider. The subscriber would not be able to get all the privileges like the member does.
- Option to pay-per-class: This is one of the most preferred options by most of the customers. Be extremely mindful of how and what you are charging as you have a whole bunch of competition out there. You could also plan your course material and charge according to the recipes or technical classes you are putting up.
B) Once you are confident on what kind of cooking tutorial it is going to be, you need to plan your course outline.
To make this decision easier, here is a small questionnaire-
- What do I want to teach my audience?
- Which recipe am I most comfortable with?
- Am I good at preparing savoury or desserts?
- Do I have the technical ability to host the online cooking classes?
You need to first plan an outline for your course.
And it should be based on:
- The result you need your students to achieve
- The recipes needs to be planned based on the duration of each class
- Planning of the execution of each recipe, technically and physically all needs to be prepped and trained
Post this you need to draft the course materials. And for this you will have to consider all the below factors-
- Recipes to prepare
- Equipments to use
- Books to refer
- Ingredients that are required
- The technical gears required
Once all the background work is done, it is time to get your hands dirty. Once you are all sorted you can start off your recording or live telecast by including the following-
- Introduction to your cuisine
- Listing the required ingredients
- Listing the equipment’s and techniques used
- Duration of the cook and
- Last but not least don’t forget to give out some useful tips in order to keep your viewers engaged
But before the above list, there is the main aspect of your online cooking class that needs to be paid attention to.
C) Besides all the background work the next important step is to develop a digital platform for you. There are two options through which you can choose to virtually connect to your students.
- Through an existing tutoring network
- Building your own online platform
The first option is viable when there is a constraint of money, time and technical experience. We would suggest you start your digital career by launching your tutorials on other websites and slowly work your way up the ladder. Working on another digital platform will give you an insight on how to operate, manage and execute your own tutorial.
In order to build your own tutoring website, choosing the right technology and software plays a crucial role. Here is a list of functionalities and features that a basic virtual tutorial should have.
- Video and audio streaming facility
- Notification Alerts
- Class scheduler
- Payment gateways
- Dashboards dedicated to the admin, culinary tutors and students
- Review and Rating Option
Based on the above features, you need to make an informed decision on which software to use. It is not necessary for you to have all the technical knowledge to start your own online class. Here are options available for you to develop your website-
- On your own or by hiring a tech team
- Using Turnkey solution
Our recommendation to you would be to choose a turnkey solution as they are economically feasible and also allows you to launch your online tutorials in no time. And also, you will get the full source code of your website which will be useful for you in the future if you want to customize your online platform to suit the ever evolving market needs.
A word of caution: Be careful while looking for software providers. Make sure you get all the basic features and the code. You can also ask them for customization to suit your liking. Here are a few well known and reliable software providers – Pinlearn, Agriya, etc.
D) Now that your online platform is set, the next step is to register yourself as a business and get all your legal formalities on point. Though this might not need a degree certificate you will require some basic permit certification to begin a legit online cooking course. Obtaining a legal document for your business will definitely take a considerable amount of time. Before starting off with your online classes do find out about the required license and certificate required.
Check with your health department and local authorities to see what you need to start your own cooking business if need be. You need to abide by all the rules and regulations and check if you need any special permits, a particular type of facility, equipment, and safety standards to run your online cooking class, etc. Though you may not be in a food selling business, you still have to abide by a number of rules if you want to start a cooking tutorial business as well.
Do not leave it till the final moment.
E) The last step is promoting and marketing. This is the final and the most challenging part of starting a new online business. However robust your website might be, without the help of good marketing plans and strategies, no web traffic will be directed towards your channel making it almost like a non-existent one. The main aim of marketing is to get the required traffic into your website and hence good ranking for your website to appear in the most favorable position in the search engine result page.
With growing technology multiple ways of marketing a product have emerged making lives of the business owners much easier. Below are a few types of marketing strategies that will help you market your website in the most effective way.
- Content Marketing: With effective usage of SEO tools you can gain visibility and ranking on the SERP. The information you share through this mode should be informative and captivating so that the readers visit your website for more suce articles, thus directing more traffic. Content marketing can be made via personalized or broadcast emailing, blogging, newsletter distribution etc
- Digital marketing: Colorful visual image is always more impactful and effective than black and white textual content. Hence try and make your website as colorful yet eye pleasing as possible. Also while advertising make sure the grid that is developed to appear on the search engine is tasteful and portrays what your website is all about. There are many types of online digital marketing-
- Paid search ads
- Display ads
- Product listing ads
- Trough testimonies, reviews and ratings: A very risky yet effective marketing strategy. Consumers always research before they invest in anything and a user’s review or testimony plays a great role in promoting your website. However you need to make sure that you deliver what you promise else even a single negative review will create a drastic negative impact.
- Social Media marketing: There is no need for an introduction regarding this mode of marketing. The whole world is connected through social media. A person is active on at least one social media platform. And here is a small graphical representation of the growing population that is active on social media. Hence it would be of great benefit to market you on social platforms like – Instagram, Facebook, twitter etc. You can also try out influencer marketing that is becoming trending at the current times.
And many more.
Hope you have all the information that you need to start your own Virtual Culinary Class. Agreed that this is not as simple as it sounds, but there are platforms which will provide you with the required guidance for you to successfully run your online tutorials successfully. All you require is a will to start and help will find its way.
Don’t hesitate to contact us for any help or clarifications you need regarding setting up your business. We are here with you in every step of the way!