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EXECUTION Building a Digital Education Business

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Robert Hall

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I'm Rob currently based in the UK - if you want a full backstory please go here - Introduction

Current Status - I currently work late shifts as a shift manager in a supermarket and also have a small scale private tuition business. Between these two I am able to support myself on a month to month basis but now much more.

Goal - I want to build a business that can have a significant financial impact on my life and enable me to support my 1 son that I have now at a greater level and also enable me to support more children in the future as this is a personal goal of mine. When I say support I don't just mean financially but I also mean in terms of time. I want to be able to build a business that can become divorced from my time to a greater extent in the future so that I can spend that time with my family.

Journey - I thought it would be a good idea to document my journey here so that it can provide potential value to you guys in terms of the process I am going through and also I will be able to learn from the community myself.

New Business - In August 2020 I began working on my new business which is a digital course business to help people gain A Level (university entrance level) qualifications in the UK. This is where I hope to be able to build a business that makes a lasting financial change in my life.

The links to my business are here - Course Site - Blog Site

New Business Current Status - I began this business in August 2020 and was looking to test the market place this year in the 6 months leading up-to UK examination time which is traditionally in June. However, the UK government had other ideas and decided to cancel all formal examinations for a second successive year because of Covid and the amount of missed schooling. This set me back and I decided to park the business for a while. Now I am looking to gear up again and start to build this thing in anticipation of the next academic year which begins this September and a full scale exam program next year.

Strategy - The product needs to be improved across certain areas. This will be completed before September. At the same time I need to be able to drive traffic to my website. Being new to the digital game I had begun to implement a strategy of SEO content marketing through blog posts and was also thinking of launching a YouTube Channel to complement this. What are your thoughts on the best way to go about getting some exposure for this business?

Going Forward - Please feel free to ask me any questions about anything related to my business and give me your thoughts on anything. I am here both to learn myself and hopefully be of value to you guys as well so that you can see my journey.

Thanks Guys

Rob
 

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Stargazer

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Hi rob

I'm just writing random things here.

Unlike a subject such as Math's where a parent is aware their child is struggling, or they know they can't help their child or their child even asks for help, who is actually searching for the tutor in A Level History?

I am thinking that most parents would not be looking as they would not be aware their child required help unless it was brought up by the child. After all they probably all got A or B in GCSE History.

So is it the child who has specifically said something to Mum and Dad that then prompted them to look for help? And what was the actual help they were looking for? How did you come by your customers and what were they looking for?

Your course seems to be providing the tools to tackle the exam rather than specific topics such as Elizabethan Age so I am guessing that it is the step up from GCSE to A Level techniques they are finding difficult. Is that broadly in the right area?

When I land on your website this is what I would want to see being addressed. The step up from GCSE which would make perfect sense to the kid who ends up on your site plus the parent they should then be showing it to as the parent will be paying the £69 more often than not.

So I would have a for the student tab, for the parent tab and also for schools tab as schools may be interested in the resource eg £150 a year for 30 licences

The students you have taught so far are at school so is it possible you could get an introduction to their A Level teacher and run it by them? Schools are in clusters so if you can get in with one then you should be able to get in the other schools in their cluster.

Dan
 

Robert Hall

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Hi rob

I'm just writing random things here.

Unlike a subject such as Math's where a parent is aware their child is struggling, or they know they can't help their child or their child even asks for help, who is actually searching for the tutor in A Level History?

I am thinking that most parents would not be looking as they would not be aware their child required help unless it was brought up by the child. After all they probably all got A or B in GCSE History.

So is it the child who has specifically said something to Mum and Dad that then prompted them to look for help? And what was the actual help they were looking for? How did you come by your customers and what were they looking for?

Your course seems to be providing the tools to tackle the exam rather than specific topics such as Elizabethan Age so I am guessing that it is the step up from GCSE to A Level techniques they are finding difficult. Is that broadly in the right area?

When I land on your website this is what I would want to see being addressed. The step up from GCSE which would make perfect sense to the kid who ends up on your site plus the parent they should then be showing it to as the parent will be paying the £69 more often than not.

So I would have a for the student tab, for the parent tab and also for schools tab as schools may be interested in the resource eg £150 a year for 30 licences

The students you have taught so far are at school so is it possible you could get an introduction to their A Level teacher and run it by them? Schools are in clusters so if you can get in with one then you should be able to get in the other schools in their cluster.

Dan
Hi Dan,

Thanks for your feedback.

I think the child will be searching more often and then asking the parent to pay like you said.

Sometimes a search is begun as a result of a bad exam result or class report etc. That is when the parent would be searching.

I think the 3 tabs that you mentioned would be a great idea and the step-up needs to be addressed.

When I have personally tutored students I have found that most lack an understanding of the techniques required to answer questions and revise properly for A Level History regardless of the actual history subject content. I thought that I could address this through the course.

The idea to try and sell to schools is something I have thought about but not explored properly at this stage.

I was thinking of offering free trials of the product this year with exams being cancelled and getting feedback this way. Do you think this would be effective or will I need feedback from more paying customers?


Rob
 
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Stargazer

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Feedback from a paying customer is more useful to you however you could have 10 free student accounts and 1 free school account to give a way as there is minimal cost to you.

A school would have no incentive to lie so their feedback should be encouraged.

I thought you were doing technique and I like that idea as schools more than likely have content providers already.

A good chat with a History A Level teacher would probably clarify how to proceed from a school point of view. I would think almost every school in England and Wales offers A Level History if they have a 6th Form. Its a popular subject.

Dan
 

Robert Hall

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Dan,

Do you think that going down the school route in a direct way is the preferred way to go with this rather than looking to build up online content in the form of blog or You Tube channel to potentially drive individual traffic?

I am new to digital marketing and have been following Miles Beckler who advises building an audience through content so I initially thought to take this route.

Thanks for your comments. They are making me look at things differently.

Rob
 

Stargazer

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Well I'm old fashioned.

I know if I ring a school the phone will be answered by the Receptionist/Secretary 100% of the time.

And every one of them will tell you the Head of VI Form or School Business Manager ( ie the ones who would make any decision) and the Head of History that you may want to try first as you need to match your product to what they would find useful if you wanted schools to buy licences.

I bet none of them are exactly looking for any blog.

You need to have a sales presentation though, even if it is a 5 minute one so initially you need to try and sit down with an A Level History teacher to get some input as to how they get resources and whether your service is a nice add on. Which is why I asked if the kids you tutor can speak to their teacher so you have a name to call. Presumably your pupils have improved and the History Teacher will be interested as to what they did.

If it is online they will be open to hearing you out. If it was actual 1-2-1 they would not be so you have e a good chance as yours is an online programme.

You can still do the other things you suggested to try and gain an audience of 6th Formers as you want them to purchase too.

You won't make a ton from this - Maths and now you are talking, but if you could get up to 500 schools to pay £150pa eventually you have a steady income to develop other things down the line. With kids you constantly need to bring in more and more each year to replace the ones that finish A Level

Dan
 

Robert Hall

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Thank you for your ideas and feedback Dan.

Opened my eyes to potential different ways of going about things. And some of these thoughts I will definitely be looking to implement.

Out of interest could I ask what is your background and what are you currently involved with?

Cheers

Rob
 

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