Over the last few years, we have been organizing multiple mastermind events for Langpreneurs. At these events we take a close look at our participants’ businesses and see how we can help them become more profitable and make a bigger impact in the world.
These events usually take place in exotic places in Europe, but recently I’ve also been consulting dozens of Langpreneurs over Skype.
In this episode, I’m going to share with you eight case studies of people we have worked with. If you are an (aspiring) Langpreneur, you will most likely relate to at least one of the following case studies so that you can implement similar strategies to the ones we’re going to share with you, and take your own language business to the next level as well.
Let’s start with a few case studies of Langpreneurs who are just getting started or who are running a language business on the side. Later, we will also share case studies of people who were already very successful but were still leaving money on the table without even knowing it.
Everything that we discuss during our events and on our consultation calls is confidential, so the names you see below are fictional.
Photo from the Langpreneur Mastermind 2019 in Split, Croatia
1. Mary the beginner
Mary is a big fan of what we do at Langpreneur. She has listened to all our podcast interviews and she’s also completed our LBB course. After months of research, she has a very good idea of what it takes to build a successful online language business. She understands the importance of choosing a niche, thinking about your customer avatar, the basics of email marketing, and much more. Problem:
She wants to build a blog, a YouTube channel, and sell online courses. The thing is that she’s not really sure about what she’s going to write about in her email sequence. She’s also a bit worried that she doesn’t know how to create digital courses and how to write a sales page. For these reasons, she hasn’t started yet. Solution: Unfortunately, most people never get started with their language business and Mary’s is a typical example of why. Martin Luther King once said ‘’You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” The next step for Mary is to actually start! Think about what you want to teach, how you’re going to do it better than the competition, and then just start! So get your website live, create a YouTube channel and start publishing content on a regular basis. Only once you see that you’re getting a bit of website traffic is it time to think about how exactly you’re going to do your email marketing. One step at the time…
2. Maria the Serbian teacher
Maria is a passionate teacher who teaches Serbian to foreigners. She has a small YouTube channel and two websites. She has multiple lead magnets for students with different interests and she offers four Serbian courses aimed at learners at various levels. On top of that, she also runs various Facebook groups for Serbian learners and she has experimented with Google Ads and Facebook Ads but she isn’t sure if either s were profitable. Problem: Hardly anyone is buying her products. Solution: After a long discussion about the content of the courses, we started looking at the numbers. It turned out that Maria’s website had very, very little traffic. With so little traffic and a small email list, it’s hard to tell whether a course is converting well or not. We also discovered that she had been sending out articles to her email list once per week for over a year. She wanted to keep these articles exclusively for her email subscribers, so they weren’t published anywhere online. We recommend that she immediately started publishing all the posts she had already written on her blog, so that Google could pick up her articles and start sending her more traffic.
We also recommended to stop doing hundreds of things at the same time and only focus on growing one platform at a time. The easiest way for your business to get traction in the beginning is by aiming to solve a very specific problem.
Once traffic has increased, it will be much easier to conclude if her courses aren’t selling well, and if that is the case, it will also be easier to figure out why.
3. John the polyglot
John is passionate about learning languages and he talks and writes about learning all kinds of languages. He has been running a blog and a small YouTube channel for over five years now, and he has a Spanish course. Although John tried really hard, he’s only managed to sell a few Spanish courses so far. Problem: John was originally planning to quit his stressful job a few years ago, but he still hasn’t been able to do so because his business won’t take off. People enjoy John’s work but for some reason, they don’t buy. Solution:
People want to buy a Spanish course from a clear expert, but John’s message is unfocused. For example, one week he might talk about learning Japanese, and the week after he’ll post travel vlogs from Greece – people simply don’t see him as an expert when it comes to learning Spanish. We took a look at his numbers and noticed that most of his website visitors landed on blog posts about learning Spanish. That is why we recommended John to double down on creating content for Spanish learners, especially taken into account that he already had a Spanish course.
Besides focusing on one language, for now, we also recommended John to think about creating a teaching approach or method to make him more unique and to stand out from the crowd. When checking more numbers, we also found out that the opt-in rate on his websites was about ten times lower than on our own websites. We suggested changing the call to actions and making them more appealing so that more people would sign up for his mailing list. Because, the bigger the mailing list, the bigger your business.
The Langpreneur Mastermind 2018 in Tenerife
4. Olga the English teacher from Russia
Olga lives in Moscow and she teaches English. Most of her lessons take place at her clients’ offices and homes, and business is going well. Problem: Her business is going so well that she doesn’t have any free time anymore. She doesn’t see how she can grow the business without having to hire teachers to do some of her work instead.
Solution: The first thing we recommended her to do is to increase her rates by 50%. This was a scary thing for her to do, but given that she had a waiting list of people who wanted to take lessons with her, she did it. Instead of giving 90 min lessons, we told her to reduce her lessons to 60 minutes and to only teach one lesson in person per week, per client. That way she saved many hours commuting during rush hour in Moscow. Also, instead of charging by the hour, we recommend she sell packages instead and have her clients pay up front. If they pay up front, they’re more likely to show up. You don’t want to be selling language lessons, you want to sell results, and you can do that by selling packages. The packages that we brainstormed also included more self-study exercises and less one-on-one lessons, so that in the end the client got even better value. Olga ended up having much more free time and almost doubling her revenue.
5. Yuri the Japanese Teacher on iTalki
Yuri teaches Japanese on iTalki and she has dozens of students. She teaches for eight hours per day, but because of the huge competition on platforms like iTalki, she didn’t dare to charge more than $7 per hour. Problem: Yuri earned less than minimum wage and hardly had any free time. Solution: We recommend Yuri start building her own platform and not depend on iTalki anymore. We looked at her personal skills and interests, and she really liked the idea of starting a podcast in order to build a following of potential students.
People from your own audience will be happy to pay a premium to have one-on-one lessons with you, so that way she could charge more. Eventually, you also have to sell online courses and liberate yourself from your teaching job.
6. Jane the English Teacher on YouTube
Janehas a YouTube channel with hundreds of thousands of subscribers. And she is making pretty good money with AdSense and sponsorships.
Problem: Jane is so comfortable with what she does and she has no idea that she’s leaving tons of money on the table. Solution: We showed her some numbers of other YouTubers in our niche that we know. She finally realized that she could monetize her audience in a much more effective way.
We added an opt-in form to her website and started collecting email addresses. We then launched a training program, which we sold to hundreds of people at a high price point. After the first launch, which took about six weeks, she immediately tripled her annual profits.
7. Heinrich the German Blogger
Heinrich from Germany had a popular blog for German learners and business was going well. However, he had the feeling that he was not taking full advantage of the potential of the business. Problem: He wanted to grow his business but he didn’t know how. Solution: We doubled the prices of his courses from $97 to $197. In order for the numbers of sales not to drop, we created a more appealing offer and improved the sales copy in the email sequences and on the sales page. Heinrich had another course that he stopped selling because he thought it was no longer relevant to his audience. We made a few adjustments to that course, rebranded it, and are now offering this course as an upsell after people buy his main course. After people finish Heinrich’s main course, we offer a membership program for $37 per month. The combination of these three changes has increased his average customer value drastically and his business has become much more profitable.
8. Dave the Blogger
Dave has a huge language learning blog and offers a bunch of courses for multiple languages. He’s making hundreds of thousands of dollars per year and is, overall, very satisfied with his business.
Some of his website visitors are ready to buy, but they can’t easily find his courses because Dave only offers his courses to his email subscribers who make it to the end of his email series. Solution: We added a ‘quiz’ in the sidebar of his blog, with the title ‘discover your perfect language course’. After answering a few questions, we sent the lead directly to the sales page of the course that fits him/her best. Implementing this feature increased Dave’s turnover by 20% overnight.
Ways to make more money with your business:
Get more clients
Be more expensive
Sell more to existing clients
And of course, don’t forget to choose a model that makes you happy 🙂
Do you want us to help you to take your language business to the next level?
Want us to help you to…
Discover the ‘holes’ in your business, fix them, and help you instantly generate more monthly revenue?
Get clarity on your current situation and create a killer business strategy based on your personal ambitions?
We have decided to launch a six-month one-on-one coaching program.
In this program, Jan (me), will be helping you one-on-one, taking your language business to the next level.
We will have two 45 min coaching calls per month and on top of that, you will also have access to me over What’s App 24/7, for all your questions, so that you never get stuck.
Olly, who built a million-dollar business himself, will give his input for every strategic decision we make, to make sure that we do the best thing possible for you and your business.
This coaching program is not cheap. However, if you already have a decent following or a lot of traffic on your website, this offer should be a no-brainer for you as you will earn your investment back really quickly. Interested? Email us at info[@]langpreneur.com to see if you qualify.
Get a FREE copy of our quick guide:
’7 Mistakes that will Kill your Language Business and How to Avoid Them’