Welcome to the Coach Guidebook
Once you become a coach in WhoCan network, we think of you as one of our Owls! Whether you have experience teaching or it is your first time, we are here to help you make your sessions as smooth and engaging as possible. That way, students want to be on your team and keep coming back for more!
Our coaches are everyday people from all sorts of backgrounds! Creatives, performers and professionals - just like you! You don’t need to have experience teaching or have a huge social media following to start getting students. We are here to help with that.
What is it?
WhoCan network is here to change the way people think about remote learning.
We believe that just about anything can be taught over the web, with quality private coaching. From Photoshop to dance, film making to entrepreneurship, cooking, French, yoga and more. If you have the knowledge and think you would be a great coach. We want to help you find your team.
How WhoCan works
Our community element means that students can easily find coaches they can trust. With WhoCan’s Timetable feature, coaches can set their own availability to suit their schedule. Great for freelancers and for those with fixed hours.
Students can always see your availability two weeks in advance and can book a time slot instantly. They are automatically sent a confirmation message with any support information or attachments you want to include, as well as a unique URL link for the video call. You both receive reminder messages before each session.
When it’s time to start a session, the ‘join session’ button appears and you both get a pop-up for the last 5 minutes of each session, so you and your student know that it is time to wrap it up.
The last 5min of each session is called the ‘grace period’ and coaches can finish the session at any point during that time.
eg a 30min session = a 25min lesson with a 5min grace period.
60 minutes = 55min lesson with 5 minute grace period.
This grace period is there to help busy coaches leave the call in time for their next session.
Our Timetable feature is what helps make WhoCan so unique. Simply fill in the hours you are available for coaching as far in advance as you like. Students can only see your availability two weeks in advance, giving you plenty of flexibility and freedom if your schedule changes.
To save you time, you always have the option to have the same availability repeat each week. For those that have flexible hours, don’t forget to come back and update your availability regularly, as students can only book you for the options you give them.
Students choose the session length they want to book (30min or 60min if you have added both options), then they are presented with a list of available time slots on each day.
If you say you are available from 4pm-8pm on a certain day, a student will never be able to choose a session length that would go past 8pm, so you always know you will be finished when you need to be. At the moment, all start times fall on a half hour basis.
Eg. Coach availability: 4:00PM - 8:00PM
30min session time slots available: 4:00pm, 4:30pm, 5:00pm,5:30pm, 6:00pm
6:30pm, 7:00pm, 7:30pm
30min session time slots available: 4:00pm, 5:00pm, 6:00pm, 7:00pm
3. Payment & Cancellation
When a student books a session, the payment is taken immediately and held in escrow by Stripe. Once the video lesson is complete the payment is automatically released to the coach within 4 business days.
If a student cancels within 24 hours of a session, they get a 50% refund and the coach gets the remaining 50% minus our 15% commission (note: we take 15% of what you end up with, not 50% of the full fee).
If a student cancels less than 12 hours before a session, no refund is given and the coach is paid in full.
If a coach cancels at any stage, the student gets a full refund. If you have to cancel short notice, please try to give the student a good reason and suggest a new time if possible.
What skills to coach in
At WhoCan we recognize that Coaches are people of many talents and some of you might want to display multiple skills, across a variety of categories. This is great! You are only limited by your imagination and the screen in front of you. Your skills are your livelihood, make sure to give them care and attention.
If you want to coach in guitar-lessons and Thai cooking classes, be sure to give plenty of material to let people know why you are great at coaching both things.
In your ‘About Me’ section you might let people know that you are a professional musician, who grew up in Thailand who loves to cook.
Go into more detail about your experience and expertise when adding each individual skill to your page. Be authentic to who you are and what you love to do
Making sessions count
WhoCan coaching is designed to be actionable, personal and give students the ability to use what they learn in the real world. Unlike a lot of traditional learning, WhoCan gives students the opportunity to learn from experts who have experience doing the things that they want to learn how to do. As a coach, you get to facilitate this unique learning experience, and that all starts with understanding the 3 pillars of WhoCan’s pedagogy.
1. Specific and Digestible
WhoCan’s sessions include 25min or 55minutes of learning time, so it is best to plan your lesson structure accordingly. Be sure to monitor the time and keep on track so your students get the most out of each session. Instead of trying to cover everything there is to know about your skill, try and hone in on specific elements. This allows for focused and engaged learning and keeps the students coming back for more.
2. Make it Measurable
It is best for students to leave each session with a clear understanding of what they should work on and in what timeframe. Try giving them a mini-project or support material that they can work on during the week. Be sure to let them know what you want to see from them next time. Where possible, work towards a specific goal over a number of sessions. Students will appreciate that you have a longer-term plan for them and it will encourage repeat attendance.
3. Fun and Personal, Honest
WhoCan is different from other online learning sites. We encourage unique and custom learning, tailored to a coach’s strengths or a student’s needs. So be sure to include anything that makes your approach to your skill ‘unique’. With that in mind, try not to over promise and under deliver. You don’t need to say you teach all levels, if you are better suited to teaching beginners. Just be honest and be yourself.
When beginning with a new student, try and figure out what their expectations and needs are and tailor your sessions to them. Most importantly try to smile and have fun. Fun is infectious! A little laughter can make the difference between a good lesson and a great one.
Session quality guidelines
It’s important to everyone on WhoCan that our sessions are consistent and enjoyable. This means our students get the most out of learning and want to come back for more!
Why lesson quality matters
We want WhoCan to be the go-to resource for online private learning and we need to make sure the coaching we offer reflects that.
At the end of each session, students are given a chance to leave a review for your page. Good reviews and star-ratings mean you appear higher in search results and have more credibility with new students. In this way quality sessions = more visibility = more students = more money! If you receive too many negative reviews, we will contact you and may bar you from being able to coach on WhoCan.
The following is a list of tips to make sure your lesson meets our quality standards.
Good A/V Quality
Good audio and video is key to making the lesson easy to digest. Make sure you choose a quiet room in your house that is free of visual distractions. The microphone and webcam in your computer may be sufficient in some cases, but if you want to become a top-coach we recommend investing in something higher quality. Don’t forget that the further away you are from your computer’s microphone, the harder it will be to hear you. So if your coaching requires you to be standing further back, we recommend getting a wireless mic. See our Equipment section for a list of recommended equipment.
A Good Connection
Don’t let a bad connection get in the way of a great session. Ensure you choose a room in your house that has a strong connection to your router. If you don’t have fantastic connections at your house, consider investing in a higher level router / modem and changing to an internet provider with fast connection speeds. It’s an easy way to make your sessions high quality.
Be sure to include a generic overview of what your students should expect in the auto-message they are sent once they book. Then at the start of each session briefly go over what the session will include and be sure to keep things on track. Rather than making huge promises, set small achievable goals for your students and don’t let them get too stressed if they miss them. Foster learning for the sake of learning.
Be Well Organized
Make sure you are fully set-up and ready to begin the session a few minutes before the start time. For our busy coaches, use the 5min grace-period to wrap things up and finish a session with time for you to get ready for your next one.
Try to stay on topic and keep the full session within the time limit. Furthermore, if you only have 40min of content for a session, it is better to only advertise a 30min slot. Students can spot when you are trying to fill in time to make the session last longer.
Adhere to Community Guidelines
We take the safety of our community seriously, which means all sessions must meet our Community Guidelines. All sessions you advertise must be taught by you. Coaches must not discriminate against our students on the basis of race, religion, sex or gender identity. If you believe a student’s behaviour breaches our guidelines, please notify us as soon as possible.
Make it digestible
You should impart expertise through tips, best practices, frameworks, concepts, theory, and/or examples. Your unique experience and insight is the most valuable thing you have to share!
Asking For Reviews
Reviews are an important feature of the WhoCan platform. It helps build trust with students and makes your profile more visible. But coaches must not aggressively solicit positive reviews from students. Harassing students for positive reviews is unprofessional. We encourage you to politely mention the review function at the end of a session, but otherwise keep the focus on good teaching practices and the good reviews will come.
Your teaching should be clear, professional, authentic, and engaging.
Teaching with Confidence
If you follow our Quality Guidelines you are already on your way to ensuring you have top notch teaching standards. Our most successful coaches are clear, confident, and relaxed in front of the camera. Don't be afraid to smile, speak casually, and show your personality! Students love seeing a teacher have fun — there's no need for your sessions to feel formal. Appearing comfortable may not come easily and that’s okay. Here are some tried and true tips and tricks for bringing a comfortable vibe to your class.
Use your hands
as you would when talking to a friend. Think of it as a conversation rather than a lecture.
Look directly into the camera
as you would if you were speaking to a friend. Better yet, imagine you are speaking to someone specific that you know would enjoy learning what you have to teach.
Speak clearly and naturally
Keep your pace moderate and allow your tone to go up and down. Don’t be afraid to show enthusiasm and excitement!
Don’t forget to smile!
Smiling is one of the easiest and fastest ways to set a friendly, relaxed, and comfortable tone for your class.
In your Welcome Message:
include a few questions to gauge a student’s skill level or expectations. This way you will have a better understanding of their needs and how to approach the session.
Give positive feedback
as much as possible and constructive feedback when needed. For tips on how to approach feedback see our Giving Feedback section.
A lot of computer’s inbuilt cameras and microphones are not the best. We want our students to be able to see and hear all of our coaches as clearly as possible. Below are some equipment suggestions that will make your sessions top-notch, without breaking the bank!
Without high quality audio, your video quality won’t matter. The good news: getting high quality audio is cheap and easy! There are a few different styles of microphone that can be used with a computer and not all of them are right for every type of teacher. Be sure to get the one that suits your needs. We recommend mic and headset options from the following brands: Logitech, Sennheiser, Jabra, RODE, Audio-Technica or YAMAY.
Headsets can be great for hearing your student clearly and allowing them to hear you. Below is a list of a few headsets that are great quality, but not too expensive. Our top pick is the YAMAY Bluetooth headset. Wireless means you have the freedom to move as far away from your computer as you need, without having to deal with cables getting in the way. If these headsets are not available in your region search for anything from the brands above. Decent mid range mics cost $40-$80. Higher end between $100-$200. Search on Amazon or Ebay and look for lots of positive customer reviews before purchasing.
-Logitech USB Headset H340 with Noise Cancelling Mic
-Logitech USB Headset H390 with Noise Cancelling Mic
Some coaches will need a mic that picks up more than just their speaking voice.
Eg. singing or musical instruments.
In the situations where a headset might not be the best choice, try and find a good condenser microphone that sits easily on your desk. Prices are similar to headsets for mid range and top end mics.
-ZaxSound Professional Cardioid Condenser Microphone - usually comes with desktop tripod
-FIFINE Studio Condenser USB Microphone T669 - kit usually comes with an adjustable arm that clips onto desk
-FIFINE Studio Condenser USB Microphone K730 - comes with desktop tripod
A lavalier microphone or lavalier (also known as a lav, lapel mic, clip mic, body mic) is a small and powerful microphone that is perfect for picking up clear audio. They clip right onto your clothes and might suit someone who needs to stand further away from the camera, but who doesn’t want the bulk of a headset.
Again, look for similar brands to the ones recommended above. If none are available in your area, any lav mic around the $40-$80 mark will be more than sufficient. Be sure to make sure the chord length suits your needs. If it is not long enough, look up ‘headphone cable extension cord’ online and this will do the trick.
An external webcam is always going to be a good investment, regardless of what you teach. Make sure you get one that films in 1080p HD. If you can only invest in one piece of equipment, we would recommend going for a microphone for good audio, over video. However, some sessions might require greater video detail than others - like Fine Arts, performers and sessions involving hand making things. Good midrange webcams start at between $60-$140. Like most tech; you get what you pay for.
If you want a fantastic camera that will last, then we recommend:
- Logitech HD Pro Webcam C270
- Logitech HD Pro Webcam C525
- Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 - This is our No.1 pic. Depending on where you are in the world we have seen it for as low as $100 USD. So shop around.
For those who might need to move the camera throughout the session, consider getting an adjustable webcam arm. Sometimes called a gooseneck arm or a flexible jaw arm. These are very cheap and easy to set up and use.
NOTE:If you also purchase an external webcam, some come with an inbuilt microphone. This means if you plug in an external microphone, the computer may still end up using the one in the webcam. It’s very easy to fix if you go to your computer’s settings > select sound or audio > select input / microphone and choose the one you want.
Pimp your profile
Merchandising is session packaging. This includes your session title, cover image, project description, categories, and tags — information publicly visible to students and used by search engines to help them find a coach. Your WhoCan profile is part of your merchandising too, since it contains information about you and your experience, and establishes your credibility as a coach.
This is the first thing people will read about the skill you are going to coach in. So why not make it exciting? Instead of writing ‘Guitar Lessons’ think about any aspects of your skill that you specialize in or enjoy. ‘Play Guitar like Slash’ or ‘Beginners Guitar Made EASY’ gives students a much better idea of what you are offering. Be sure to use the subtitle to add extra info.
Here are a few examples:
Play Guitar Like Slash! - Rock guitar lessons for advanced players.
Thai That’s Better Than Takeout - Thai cooking you can use at home.
Voiceover Like A Pro - Learn to cut a voiceover reel to send to agents.
French Conversations - Learn French that you will actually use.
Images + Cover photos
The internet is a visual place and good image selection is essential for helping students to understand what you teach and who you are. This is why all coaches are required to have a cover photo on their profile.
When adding a skill, choose a cover image that looks professional and is eye catching. This is what will entice people to click on your skill.
For the additional images, select further examples of your work or you in action.
When taking photos yourself, make sure the image is in focus, has good lighting and consider the position of the camera and the angels of the photo before taking the picture. Most smartphones have a feature called Portrait Mode that will auto edit photos for best effect.
As a general rule, the more images a skill has attached to it, the more likely a student will want to book you. Always make sure you include images that are of your own work.
It is ok to include generic pictures or images as long as they of things you know how to coach in. You can find large collections of royalty free images from the sites below, that usually don’t cost anything. NOTE: If you include these, make sure you let students know that they were not taken by you by including “stock image” in the photo description.
The more students can learn about who you are, the more likely they are to want to book you. Having an intro video on your Profile and Skills is a great way for students to hear how you sound, see examples of you in action and get a better understanding of you as a coach. We recommend the videos going for between 30-90seconds in length.
They can be as simple as you sitting in front of the camera talking about yourself and what you coach in. Or they can be made up of examples or videos of your skills. Spending a little bit of time to make a good intro video will go a long way. You only need to make it once, but it will help your profile for as long as it is up there.
If you only teach one type of skill you can put the same intro video on your Coach Profile and on your Skill pages.
For those that teach a variety of skills, create a “This is me” video for your Profile - talking generally about your background, hobbies, experience and skills. Then do an individual intro video for each skill on your page. Be sure to include anything that makes you unique as a coach.
You can record yourself talking to camera using your smartphone and a tripod. For best results, purchase a Lav mic like the ones recommended in our Equipment section that works with a smartphone, so the audio is clear. Make sure you choose a good background without distractions and good lighting.
Plan what you are going to say in your video and make sure you have it memorized before hitting record. Try to avoid using words like “um” or “ah” too often. If in doubt you can always do a retake.
You can include things like slides, images or a screen recording of your computer in your video, where appropriate. It’s usually best to record a voiceover with these types of videos.
Easy-To-Use Video Editing Software
DaVinci Resolve (Free)
Final Cut Pro ($299)
Adobe Premiere Pro ($21/month)
DaVinci Resolve (Free)
Filmora (Free + Paid Version)
Lightworks (Free + Paid Version)
Adobe Premiere Pro ($21/month)
Check out this video for some quick editing tips: Editing 101 with Vimeo. https://vimeo.com/17853140 You can also find free instruction videos for most software on YouTube.
Screencasting is a great way to demonstrate your workflow or share slides. If your entire class is a screencast, you’ll need to pay close attention to pacing, the quality of your voiceover, and the quality of the visual experience to keep your class engaging and interesting throughout.
Preparing to Record a Screencast
Set your resolution: Skillshare’s video player uses a 16:9 aspect ratio, so you’ll want to make sure everything you record (your screen and your slides) match the same ratio. Head to System Preferences > Display on a Mac or Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization on a PC to change your screen resolution to 1280 x 720 or above.
Make your slides (if you are using slides): Some great tools are Canva (free), Powerpoint ($6.99/month), Keynote ($19.99), and Prezi ($10/month). Be sure to add lots of high-resolution images to keep students engaged.
Set up your audio: We recommend using a USB microphone like those in our Equipment section to record the audio for your screencasts. Don’t forget to keep the mic as close to your mouth as possible and record in a quiet space!
Vary your visuals: To keep students engaged, don’t linger on one slide or visual for too long.
Screencasting on a Mac
Option 1: Quicktime (Free): If you are just running through slides or a software demo with minimal editing, Quicktime is the simplest way to record and edit your class, for free! Google “How to screen record with Quicktime” to find great pages and instruction videos to help you get started.
Option 2: Quicktime + IMovie (Free): If you need to do a little more editing, like adding pictures or slides to the middle of your screencapture, we recommend capturing your footage in Quicktime and importing into iMovie to edit.
Option 3: Camtasia for Mac (30 day free trial + $99): Camtasia is a really great tool for recording a screencast and editing, all in one. Plus, Camtasia offers loads of helpful resources and tutorials on their site. https://www.techsmith.com/tutorial-camtasia-8.html
Screencasting on a PC
Option 1: Shotcut (Free): A good, free solution for capturing and editing your screen and webcam footage.
Option 2: Camtasia for PC (30 day free trial +$299): Although a little pricier, if you have a PC we recommend Camtasia as the best all-in-one solution. Here’s a tutorial for getting started with Camtasia on a PC.
We understand that some skills might fit in multiple sub categories. In these cases, pick the one you like best and be sure to include lots of tags so that you still appear in search results for both categories. If you want to teach a skill and there is no subcategory for it, we suggest choosing Lifestyle > SubCulture. If we get enough suggestions for a new sub-category we may add it in.
Tags are descriptive words that ensure students can find your sessions more easily. Add as many tags as you want that relate to the skill you coach. Select your tags by thinking about what search words your target students are likely to use when they search for content. Use this tag generator and type in what your session is about to get ideas for tags. Eg guitar lesson. Thai cooking.
Some good tag examples are:
Play Guitar Like Slash! - Rock guitar lessons for advanced players. xGuitar xElectric Guitar xGuitar Lessons xRock Guitar Lessons xRock xHeavy Metal xLearn Rock Guitar xAdvanced Guitar Lessons xGuitar Solo xSlash xGuns N Roses xPlay Guitar xMusic Lessons xGuitar Playing
Thai That’s Better Than Takeout - Thai cooking you can use at home. xThai Food xThai Cooking xPad Thai xThai Recipes xTraditional Thai Cooking xKitchen xThai Chef xAsian Cooking xAsain Recipes xCook Thai At Home xHome Cooked Thai xCooking Class xThai Cooking Class xThai Cooking and Eating xThai Street Food
Label your class as Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, or All Level. By selecting the most accurate level, you’ll help students find content that is best suited for their existing knowledge and skills. This increases your likelihood of reaching the right audience and receiving positive reviews. Keep these definitions in mind when selecting your level:
No prerequisite knowledge or techniques are required.
Some prerequisite knowledge is required or would be helpful for students to get the most out of the sessions.
Significant prerequisite knowledge is required for students to follow and learn from the coach. An advanced session is meant for a professional-level student.
Sessions with this distinction may defy categorization as beginner, intermediate, or advanced for either of the following reasons.
• The coach is able to teach students at any stage of learning with regards to this skill.
• The topic does not have a beginner, intermediate, or advanced level. This could include class topics such as productivity, journaling, travel, and wellness.