This article was written by guest author Raeleen Kaesehagen, founder of mudputty.com
I started mudputty in 2018 after selling a software company that I had founded 17 years earlier. My journey has come full circle, from starting the software company back in 2001, growing to the point an investor tracked me down in 2007 and bought 50% of the company, the business almost going broke by 2010 (Note: when choosing an investor, understand their motives before partnering) and then building the business back up and selling in 2017.
Now I’m at the beginning again. Starting something I love, bootstrapping and feeling 22 again – excited, passionate, eager to make it grow, just without (as much) naivety and with two young kids in tow.
What is mudputty?
mudputty is an online community to help you find and book classes – like french lessons, yoga classes, social media masterclasses and kids art – in your local area.
The idea for mudputty came about after my frustration of spending my spare time (which as you know for mums, time is something we simply don’t have enough of) trying to find classes and activities. I felt if I could book a hotel instantly, anywhere in the world, why couldn’t I find and instantly book a dance fitness class on a weekday morning within 10km.
So I wondered if it was just me having this problem. I asked other mums, retirees, anyone who wouldn’t mind me asking and they were frustrated too. I then asked teachers of classes and they were struggling to fill their classes, struggling with marketing, the costs of doing business, the time it took for the admin and how much harder it was these days to be able to speak at a local level and find local customers.
With a passion for helping people and technology the idea ticked all the boxes for me and was something I knew I could truly make a difference. Being able to help people make a living or earn extra income teaching something they are passionate about whether they have taught before and helping people in the community to re-connect – to do things they enjoy, meet new friends, learn new skills – it’s perfect.
The start of a new platform
Today I can hardly believe since launching nationally in February 2019 we have helped thousands of people find classes on their doorstep, provide a business in a box for people running classes, workshops and activities all over Australia and now have a free print magazine in 7 cities all with local content, allowing mudputty hosts to showcase their workshops and classes in print for free. All this developing mudputty inhouse, with myself working at night, one programmer and no funding.
Tips on how to connect with the right audience
Working with people who run classes and workshops everyday has given me such an insight into what works and what doesn’t. Here are some tips which I’ve found if you are a teacher or presenter interested in running workshops and classes:
1) Timing: When running a class or workshop, really think about your target market and the timing that suits them. There’s no point running a 1-2 year olds music class at peak nap times or running a retirees class on Sunday mornings. Ask your audience what times work well for them.
2) Notice: Give people plenty of notice about the classes and workshops. I know it’s hard with so much to do, but so often we see school holiday classes listed just a few days before they start. It doesn’t give people time to find the class and book it.
3) Benefits: The class/workshop name and description serve two purposes, they help with finding the class and help in selling the class. When writing your workshop or class description don’t be too technical, use words that relate to what the person will experience as part of attending the class, the benefit they receive, and the end result. Many fitness sites do this well, telling the transformation stories. You can use your own transformation style stories with any type of class or workshop.
4) Keywords: When writing the title and description, it is also important to include keywords. Many times I’ve had hosts say they can’t find their class listed. I’d ask what did you search on and let’s say it was ‘art classes’. I look at their listing and there is no mention of art. They have used other words and not the one that people will search on. Just like blogs and websites, classes need to be found and this is done with keywords.
5) Use a marketplace: marketplaces expand your reach, puts you in front of new audiences, provide standards, credibility and trust. They are a great way to fill your classes and workshops without the marketing spend. I’ve asked hosts what they did before mudputty and they often say they added a Facebook event and boosted it. The cost of boosting to reach traction was upwards of 30% of their ticket sales. Marketing can be costly or it can be smart.
If you have any questions or wish to learn more about how mudputty can help you connect with a community for your workshop or class, please visit here.
About our Guest Author
Raeleen Kaesehagen is a mum, serial entrepreneur and CEO. Raeleen founded her first company, a retail management SaaS Software, at 22 years old, grew it to clients in 29 countries and exited in 2017. She now somehow balances being a full-time mum and being CEO and founder of exciting new startup mudputty.com which enables people to fuel their interests and find their tribe by making it easy to find and book classes, workshops and activities in their local area. mudputty is also on Facebook and Instagram.