Let’s say you have a great idea for an online cooking class. As an Outschool educator, you could just create and submit a class listing and see if you get sign-ups. Or, you could do some work upfront to better determine the likelihood that families will enroll their children in your new class.
A bit of market research can give you a better idea of interest levels, your potential competition, and other information that you can use to improve your class plan and make it more successful.
Check out the competition
To expand on the cooking class idea, let’s imagine that you’re thinking about a series of classes on how to make breakfast food. You do have experience cooking with kids in an in-person environment.
Your first step might be to see if other educators are offering similar classes on Outschool and on the internet in general. As you research, you can find out:
- The number of classes on this topic
- Whether the classes are full
- Class prices
- Learner age ranges
- The length and format of the classes
A brief survey of Outschool classes uncovers:
- An ongoing weekly cooking and baking club that focuses on preparing breakfast foods for learners ages 9 to 13.
- An ongoing breakfast cooking class for learners ages 4 to 8.
- Several ongoing breakfast classes for learners ages 11 to 16.
- A one-time class on making a beginner breakfast dish for learners ages 8 to 12.
- A 6-week flex class on cooking and baking breakfast foods for learners ages 7 to 13.
Prices range from $10 to $15 a class.
Educators on Outschool also offer plenty of classes on other baking and cooking topics. Prices for these range from $8 to $20 a class and target learners from ages 3 to 17. In addition to ongoing classes, other formats include a multi-day camp and one-time classes.
Reading the parent reviews of Outschool classes on cooking breakfast foods can also provide some insights:
- A family commented on one review that they liked that their child could learn from a real chef. So one takeaway is to emphasize any professional cooking background you have.
- Other reviews indicated that parents appreciated relevant mini-history lessons and overhead cameras to show food preparation, in addition to educators’ enthusiasm and patience.
A quick web search finds a multitude of online cooking programs for kids that feature classes on how to prepare breakfast foods. One set of classes by an independent chef sets prices at about $17 per class and includes live and recorded video formats.
Analyze your results and ask questions
Based on the results of your information-gathering process, some follow-up questions might be:
- What age ranges have fewer classes on cooking breakfast? (In this case, it’s younger learners.)
- How full are the existing classes on Outschool? If they are full or nearly full, this could mean that the demand is high for this topic and the platform has ample space for more classes.
- Is there a kid-friendly niche area you could develop that isn’t currently being offered, such as cooking different kinds of pancakes?
- Could you bring in learners with a unique one-time or ongoing class?
- How about offering the class at a lower price point to start or using a discount to draw in new families?
Find out what families want
Another important angle is to investigate what families want to sign up their children for. Even if you have competition for your class, a popular topic can foster a community that supports multiple educators that teach it. The good news is that Outschool gives you several tools to help you find out what topics are in demand as well as for what ages and in what time periods.
Outschool provides regular data in the Educator Library on class topics that parents are searching for, parent topic requests, and classes that are popular with learners.
Classes that are popular with learners. A quick scan of a recent week shows that you hit the jackpot with the cooking class idea. Most of the current breakfast cooking classes on Outschool are listed under the Life Skills category, and Life Skills classes have been consistently popular for learners 12 and younger in the afternoons.
Classes that need educators. Here you find that 46% of families searching for cooking classes the week of March 18 also searched for classes for learners ages 8 to 10. This regular post also gives insights about days and times that parents are seeking.
Parent topic requests and searches. Every two weeks, Outschool publishes topic requests and popular search terms by parents. The most recent list includes a range of topics in the Life Skills category – typing, making fortune cookies, juggling, high school portfolio development, and more – but no cooking classes.
Class searches from around the world. Although current information doesn’t list cooking as a class that international learners are seeking, data from the previous week shows that families were then looking for cooking and baking for learners ages 4 to 10 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Finally, talking to learners and families is a key element in doing market research. If you already teach on Outschool, you can poll your existing learners about other class topics they may be interested in. You could ask questions like:
- What do you like to eat for breakfast?
- Do you cook any breakfast food? If so, what? If not, are you interested in learning to cook breakfast?
- Do you cook anything else?
- What would you be interested in learning to cook in a class on breakfast foods?
Make a decision
So what do you think? Go or no-go?
You know now that:
- You have the passion and experience to teach this topic. ✅
- Life skills (includes making breakfast foods) are popular with learners ages 10 and younger in the afternoon ✅
- International learners are looking for cooking classes for that same age group from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. ✅
- Outschool currently has fewer breakfast cooking classes for younger learners. ✅
Ready, set, go!
Looks like a go!
Let’s develop a three-class series on cooking pancakes – blueberry, chocolate chip, and birthday pancakes — for learners ages 6 to 9, and offer it in the afternoon. It’s a class no one is teaching, is short enough to dip your toe into the topic, and targets learners seeking cooking experiences. If you set your price on the low end, that may also encourage families to try your class.
If you don’t get the enrollment you are hoping for, you can modify your idea and try again. In the meantime, enjoy the pancakes!