Idahosa grew up in the US only speaking English. When he was eighteen he made his first solo trip to Mexico and that’s where he learned to speak Spanish. Later, he also learned Mandarin and Portuguese, and developed his own learning methodology. He launched his online business ‘Mimic Method’, and since then he has helped thousands of people to improve their accent in a foreign language.
That Idahosa is a genius when it comes to music and accent training might not be new to you, but did you also know that he is a real master when it comes to online marketing?
Surrounding himself with successful people who he admires has been one of the main strategies he has utilized to gain all the business wisdom that he has acquired over the last decade. In this interview he’s going to share some of his best insights with us, so make sure to pay attention!
What inspired Idahosa to build a ‘lifestyle’ business?
After he quit his studies in 2008, Idahosa lived in China for a year, and that’s where he read the book ‘The 4-Hour Work Week’ by Tim Ferris. That was the first time that he became aware that it was possible to live a lifestyle he had always desired. He wasn’t necessarily looking for a way to work as little as the title of the Ferris’ book implies, but he really liked the idea of having the freedom to travel and to design the life he wanted. He realized that in order to pursue his ambitions, he didn’t have to go back to school. Instead, Idahosa went to Brazil to study music and learn Jiu-jitsu and Brazilian Portuguese.
Helping learners with their ‘flow’
It was one day on a bus in Rio de Janeiro when Idahosa came up with the idea to offer a solution to language learners who struggle with pronunciation in a foreign language. As a musician, he knew that it was possible to teach people how to play the instrument of their mouth, using the same techniques we use to teach people to play other instruments. That’s when he came up with the idea to start an online business to help language learners with their ‘flow’ in a foreign language.
Validating the core idea
Before the launch of the business, Idahosa first needed to validate his idea. He transcribed a selection of English and Brazilian songs and approached random people on the streets in Rio to test his method on them. After 15 minutes of teaching some of the locals, they were singing the songs with a perfect English accent. That’s when Idahosa got confirmation that his method was working. For some reason, it took a while before he launched the business though…
Getting across the ‘impact barrier’
Only when you start making an impact in the world do you have the potential to build a business. Too many people stay behind what Idahosa calls ‘the impact barrier’. Making an impact is scary because some people might not like what you do. That’s why so many people wait to launch a business, and Idahosa was one of them. Eventually, he ran out of savings and had to go back to the US, where he worked as a cashier at Zara in order to save for his next adventure. By the time he returned to the US, most of his friends were graduating from university and had started to work in regular jobs. However, there was one friend named Fabien that Idahosa had got to know when living in China. He seemed to have an interesting life. He was always travelling and posting photos with pretty girls in the frame with him, so he must be doing something right, Idahosa thought.
Idahosa contacted Fabien and asked what he was up to. Fabien replied that he was going to spend some time in Cali, Colombia- and Idohosa asked if he could join him. Fabien agreed, so after Idahosa had saved up enough money, he set off to Cali.
From a product idea to the first sale
One day, Idahosa and Fabien were having a conversation over lunch and Idahosa told Fabien about the new business idea that he had thought up. He said ‘I have this product idea, but how do I get it out there?’
Fabien suggested him to search for language blogs, and that was how he found the blog ‘Fluent in 3 Months’, by Benny Lewis. Idahosa sent Benny an email and asked if he was interested in publishing a guest post on how to freestyle rap in a foreign language. Benny agreed, Idahosa wrote the post, added a call to action to the end of it, and that’s how he gathered his first couple of hundred email subscribers. He gave all his subscribers access to a free mini course and he received very positive feedback.
One day, there was one guy who asked Idahosa if he could teach him Chinese. As nervous as Idahosa was, he offered this gentleman Chinese lessons for $100, and within less than a minute he had received $100 in his Paypal account. That’s when the business really started.
Idahosa rapping in 8 languages, back in 2012
Outreach as a strategy to get more traffic
Idahosa came up with the idea of creating a video in which he raps in different languages. It was a unique video, and provided him with a strong piece of content; a hook that he could use to reach out to more people who had popular blogs and ask to be featured.
That’s how Idahosa’s content was also featured on Mark Manson’s blog, for example, which was the number one personal development blog at the time. That brought him a lot of traffic as well as website authority on Google. Outreach and being featured on other people’s platforms has been the main marketing strategy for Mimic Method.
‘’If you want to build relationships with influential people, you need to offer them something that’s unique and valuable for their audience.’’
Product launches as growth strategy
Also, doing product launches helped the business to grow. Idahosa studied and mastered Jeff Walker’s product launch strategy. If you offer courses on your website like most people do, some visitors might find them, they might be interested and think, ‘cool but I will buy it later’.
With a product launch you announce the release of a new product a few weeks in advance and you explain that customers will only have one shot to get it, in the form of a special offer. It helps people to focus their attention and you end up selling much more than if you were to just promote your new course in a traditional way.
Sales conversions for these launches are usually high, which makes it attractive for affiliate partners to send you traffic. With this strategy, Idahosa generated lots of new traffic and sales simultaneously.
Niche product = More affiliate opportunities
Idahosa only focuses on teaching pronunciation, which is very niche. Not many other courses specialize in teaching something similar and certainly not in the same way. The benefit of that is that he’s not directly competing with the big influencers he was writing guest posts for.
In fact, his courses worked out to be a good supplement to the courses the influencers were offering, so they also started to sell Idahosa’s courses in exchange for an affiliate commission.
Want better ideas? Talk to your customers!
Talking to your customers is the best way to get good ideas and inspiration, according to Idahosa.
‘’I find that the people who have the most success are the people who listen very carefully to what people need and give them what they want’’
This way you:
– Will never run out of good ideas
– You build a very strong reputation
If you listen to what people want and you give it to them for free, more people will start to notice you. The more people that follow you, the easier it becomes to connect to bigger influencers, as you have a bigger audience to share their message with.
Once that relationship has been built, you can use their network to connect to even more influencers in the industry. That’s how you build a following, but you can only do that if you keep giving people what they want; not just your own audience but also the people you reach out to.
Ways to listen to your audience
Idahosa finds that face-to-face conversations are the most powerful.
He would, for example, send out an email to his list saying something like:
‘Hey, I would like to get some feedback on my latest course. Here’s my Calendly link, and the first person who schedules a call with me gets a 30 min one-on-one power session with me’.
Other ways to survey your audience:
– Create a survey in Google Forms and send it to your mailing list
– Create polls on social media
– Organize live events and meetups
‘’It never occured to me in my entire career that I’ve spoken to somebody within our audience and not walked away way wiser than when I started the call.’’
Top-down approach for course creation
Most Langpreneurs who are just getting started come up with an idea for a course, develop it, put it out there, and hope that it sells.
The chance that this strategy is going to work is small, as it’s crucial to first deeply understand who potential buyers are, what they want, and what their pain points are.
That’s why Idahosa uses a top-down approach when it comes to course creation. It works as follows:
1. He offers a high-ticket program where his clients get to work on their pronunciation with him one-on-one
2. During the sessions he really gets to understand the desires and challenges of his best clients. As the program goes on, he optimizes everything to fit his customers’ needs.
3. He re-invests the revenue that he generated in step 1 in paid media so that more people become aware of his business and what he has to offer.
Idahosa speaking at the Langpreneur Summit about 6-figure product launches.
The basics of good copywriting
Copywriting is writing with the intention to influence or persuade someone toward a purchase. Good copywriting skills are crucial for everyone who runs an online business. Think about writing high converting sales emails, sales pages, landing pages, etc.
Before Idahosa writes copy, he asks himself the following questions:
– Who is my customer avatar? (You have to be very specific!)
– What are his ambitions?
– What problem does he suffer from?
– How does it make him feel?
You see, the main idea is to get a really good understanding of the avatar that you’re targeting. Instead of writing about yourself and your great product, you first need to address the desires, challenges and feelings of your ideal customer.
If you can write a sales page in a way that it looks that you understand your customers’ problems better than themselves, and that they believe in your solution, they almost automatically buy your product.
Empathy is the key word here.
A few more tips…
– Focus on the benefits of your products, NOT the features!
– Focus on your customer, not on yourself
– Tell a story and evoke emotion. Most people are not rational and buy based on their emotions
The secret of how Idahosa keeps developing himself
He pays for coaching and is part of various high level Mastermind groups. The key really is to heavily invest in people who are above him, he says.
Idahosa also dedicates time to reflect and think about what kind of people he actually admires. He writes down some of the actions that these individuals are taking and tries to figure out why he admires these people so much.
Once he’s figured what kind of skills or actions he admires these people for, he would reach out to people in his network and ask them how he could obtain those skills.
Eventually, you only really learn business by doing business, so putting everything you’ve learned into action is crucial.
‘’Sacrifice money, time and energy, to place yourself besides people you want to be like, and keep adding value to them. If you keep repeating that, everything will work out nicely.’’
Final tips from Idahosa
You want to stay in the flow, and the way to do that is by pushing through the impact barrier. Imagine your life as if it were a movie. What were the previous scenes in your life and what are the next scene is going to be? Think about the next big thing in your life that you want to achieve. Figure out how to get there and take massive action.
If you don’t know what your next action is, it’s probably the thing you’re most afraid of doing. If you keep doing the thing most scary to you every day, things will work out nicely.
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