Promoting an ONLINE Class tutorial by Rabbi Johnny Ouzzan:
I just want to share my experience so far and the tactics I used, with the help of my colleague Naftali Hanfling of JAM, to recruit and deliver a great online class to many students b’h. I am no expert, very far from it. I’m only sharing it because what worked for me might work for you… it’s certainly worth the time invested in this email… especially now that I’m kinda stuck at home lol.
So I’m just going to share with you the start-to-finish step by step process that went into making the class happen. At the height of the class, we had close to 30 YP’s online, and almost everyone contributed to the discussion. The class was also streamed live to Facebook, and many people were able to tune in. So here are the steps:
1. Open a Zoom account with the PRO subscription
– that way you won’t have the 40 minute limit, and you’ll be able to share and stream to Facebook. Try to use the same link for all your videos. Rabbi Naftali Hanfling has done us a huge favor by creating an online platform that enables us to have our own personalized link and brand in these videos! There are two advantages to that! Firstly – the link carries your organization’s name – www.welearntogether.org/jhype
, much more attractive than www.zoom.us…….1234556 yadayadayada… And secondly, you can change zoom links if you have to, and hide it under the welearntogether name…
2. Schedule a Zoom class on Zoom itself – Zoom can integrate with your Google calendar. Once you’ve scheduled the Zoom, and integrated the upcoming class into your calendar, you can now easily send Google invites to your student’s emails, and it’ll immediately show up in their Calendar – with the Zoom link and all the info!
3. Create a juicy graphic. I used Canva, I saved a pic from Google of COVID-19 and simply added my logo, and the words: “The Torah’s Response”. I’m attaching the graphic to this email. Important: If you’ll be using the graphic for Facebook, make sure to design the graphic in the optimal dimensions, which for a FB Event is 1920 x 1080 pixels.
4. Create a public Facebook Event
– Do it through a Page. Makes it more official and it can be shared and promoted through ads if you so desire. Include the graphic and the Zoom link into the Facebook event and description. My facebook event link was https://www.facebook.com/events/1037330049974871/
5. Invite as many people as you possibly can to the Facebook Event – Facebook has a “select all” option when you’re sending Facebook invites that enables you to literally invite hundreds of people in one shot. The more invites you send, the more people attend the event/class. If you don’t already have a Facebook list or group with all your students – make one!
6. Create a juicy email promoting the Zoom – You want to create a “hype” (pun intended). I use Constant Contact… find a suitable template that enables you to send a mass email to your students letting them know about the upcoming class – make sure to include the graphic, your website, a donate button, and of course, the Zoom link. In my experience, the closer to the event you send the email, the better. But give them at least a day’s heads up.
7. Share the Zoom link to social media (whatsapp & Facebook) leading up the event – I shared it the day before, and then shared it an hour before. I shared it to my Facebook group, my whatsapp groups, and my broadcast list.
8. Invite colleagues in advance to your class to contribute to the content – people like new faces and new perspectives. I’ve started featuring colleagues and local rabbis on my classes for a 5-10 min thought and people love it.
9. Once you start the class – give yourself 5 minutes to set everything up
– Once you’ve hit the start button, let your students know – “we’ll be starting momentarily”. It is then that you immediately initiate the live stream to Facebook, and once on Facebook, you share it to your Pages, your Groups etc. You then one last time go to your whatsapp groups (make a list of the relevant ones if you need to) and text a quick, “We are live! Join us at www.welearntogether.org/jhype
10. Once you’re all set and class is live and things are rolling – smile and have fun! Your students are there because they want to see and hear you. Sure they want your content, but they want to chill with you! Give them a few minutes to share their experiences with this virus… How are you doing? How has this affected you? They will be so excited to talk! They’ve been craving connection these last few days!!!
Don’t forget (as I did) to record your class on Zoom. You may as well, it can’t hurt, and it’s worth having for so many reasons. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the software so that you can share your screen during your class (I shared my screen to read some Tehilim using Sefaria together with my students). Make sure you leverage the “chat” button to share resources with the students! Don’t leave them without a book recommendation!