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Google Helpouts now live: get video consulting on the cheap

The long awaited Google Helpouts have gone live, so when you only want to spend $30 on a consultant to answer a simple question instead of paying a hefty retainer, you can. And it’s super easy.

google helpout

google helpout

Google Helpouts video consulting program

Launched in August by invitation only, Google Helpouts has now rolled out, using the existing Google Hangouts to provide a “video marketplace” for users to receive consultations from experts on almost any subject. Currently, categories include Home and Garden, Computers and Electronics, Health and Counseling, Nutrition and Fitness, Fashion and Beauty, Art and Music, Cooking, Education, and of course “Other.”

Since its launch, Google has been vetting experts and filling their library with available topics. We have heard many professionals say their Helpout was not approved by Google, which is bad news for them and surely disappointing, but users should know that there is quality control in the form of an application as well as a video interview between the potential Helpout host and Google staff.

Google Helpouts are a pay-only service with all payments going through Google Wallet, allowing experts to charge for video consultations, but we’ve already found various free Helpouts like Banfield Pet Hospital’s pet care helpouts.

Case study: lessons on Helpouts

One company that caught our attention is TakeLessons.com, one of the currently approved and featured Helpouts, offering video tutoring for grade school students and even music tutoring.

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Steven Cox, CEO of TakeLessons tells AGBeat, “Google looked to TakeLessons to invite the best instructors found on TakeLessons.com to join Helpouts and offer instruction in areas covering music, acting and tutoring. For TakeLessons it’s an exciting opportunity to allow students to learn in a new format and to enable teachers to make more money with unscheduled time on their calendar.”

Their setup is consumer-driven, and a student visiting Google Helpouts can search for an instructor in a specific category. Cox explains, “For example, an aspiring actor may look for 30 minutes of coaching prior to an audition. Or a student may need help the night before a big exam. Or someone may just want to spend an hour learning the latest Taylor Swift song they just heard on the radio. Through Google Helpouts, you’ll be able to search for a category of instruction, find the best instructor and take a private lesson with them instantly via Google’s video platform.”

While Google is vetting Helpouts hosts, TakeLessons already qualified and vetted all of the instructors they invite to participate. “It’s critical to deliver the best experience possible so instructors need to be accustomed to giving online lessons and must be outfitted with the right technology,” said Cox. “In addition, we provided training to instructors and coached them on the best lighting arrangements, webcam setups and overall techniques to ensure a great lesson for every student.”

Next steps

Google Helpouts are now live, so for the help you need in your business, be it marketing, analytics, accounting, human resources, fundraising, public relations, or other common topics, go search their already large, and growing library of vetted talent and consult with them without having to drive across town for coffee.

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