Overview: Created an online course and Facebook ad campaign to connect with English learners based in Spain and teach them how to pass their B2 English exam.
Rhett had spent more than a decade working as an English teacher with some of the world's top academies when we first spoke about his idea for an online course.
On our first call, Rhett explained why so many non-native speakers need English certificates to further their careers, but why so many feel let down by the courses offered by their local English academies.
Rhett believed that an online course, done correctly, could offer a better experience to a potentially massive number of students, but wasn't sure where to start or how to go about it.
Problem 1: The Lessons
Teaching students and preparing them to pass an internationally recognised English language exam is not straightforward.
Learners need to be introduced to a broad range of topics and assessed on a number of complex skills, including; listening, speaking, reading, writing and grammar.
Quite simply, Rhett's lessons needed to be different from the free content available on YouTube and other language resource websites. Rhett needed to differentiate his course and provide the same excellent service and results he did in a real classroom - but in a way that he could deliver at scale.
Problem 1: The Marketing Plan
When we first spoke, Rhett was spending all his energy trying to build an audience on YouTube by creating and sharing free lesson videos.
My advice to Rhett was to forget about becoming a YouTube influencer and focus instead on creating a small number of engaging lessons that users could complete on-demand - and get feedback.
Rhett needed an automated way to connect with prospective students and demonstrate why his system was a smarter way of preparing for the B2 exam. This needed to run on autopilot because Rhett needed to focus on teaching and not marketing.
Problem 3: The Technology
Rhett had already wasted a lot of time researching and testing the wrong tools and was willing to invest in the right ones, but was overwhelmed with options and had no system for making decisions because he simply didn't have the experience.
Sales reps from the various software vendors had offered advice but each platform provided only a part of the solution. Compounding his problems, Rhett was unsure of what a complete solution looked like and how exactly his business would work.
Rhett needed planning assistance, development expertise and technical support across multiple technology platforms. He needed full control over a suite of tools ("technology stack") that served his unique requirements, which would grow with his business and keep costs to a minimum.
I chose Brian because he came from an e-learning start-up background and had the unique skill-set I needed; web development, design skills, teaching, marketing automation, video production and sales experience...
His offer was also unique: Brian understood all the technologies that were running my business and how they worked together. I was able to offload all the research and technical stuff so I could focus on teaching my students.
Our agreed objective was to create one week of lessons and then run an advertising campaign offering the lessons for free to test market demand and conduct usability tests.
Rhett would then run the course live via Zoom for the first time to monetise the ad campaign and to collect feedback which would feed back into the lesson production process.
Rhett and I co-designed an English course that offers the same level of engagement and interaction that Rhett did in a live classroom - at a price point of 750 euros.
In just 3 months working together, Rhett had launched his unique approach to delivering automated lessons and had collected more than 200 lesson reviews from real students.
Rhett was able to achieve this with just 4 to 5 hours of work each week - one of which being our weekly Zoom call - on which I provided him with guidance and accountability.
By the end of month four, Rhett had optimised a scalable marketing funnel that resulted in hundreds of leads every week on autopilot, with a budget of just $20 per day.
In other words, Rhett now had an ad campaign that he knew would result in sign-ups at a very low cost - which he could turn on or off, up or down with just a few clicks.
While the ad campaign was running, Rhett was able to focus fully on student support and sales. In just 3 weeks of running ads, Rhett had hit his first sales target, proving that his business model was viable and his marketing system was profitable.
Now Rhett has automated his entire course, he continues to use the original ad campaign; offering the free week trial and following up with prospects across a variety of channels (automated email, ad retargeting and phone) to win new students on his automated course.
"In Brian I found a partner who refused to let me fail."
Rhett Rinaldi, b2english.com
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