How Antwawne Kelly Went From Running a Roller Skating Rink to Creating an Online Course

Antwawne-Kelly-1

Our content is reader supported, which means when you buy from links you click on, we may earn a commission.


  • Who: Antwawne Kelly AKA Coach AK of Skates’ Out Virtual “The Ambassador Of Roller Skating”
  • Website: skatesoutvirtual.com
  • Course Topic: Roller Skating
  • Interesting Stats: 8-12 virtual course sign-ups a month @ $77 per student

Who are you and what course have you created?

I became fascinated with roller skating and the rhythmic patterns of music while growing up in the infamous Hill Top Homes projects of Dayton Ohio, simply for the joy of the sport. Little did the boy who’d hustle his way by bus each Sunday to glide across the rink, engaged in the challenge of adapting wheels to sound, know that his passion and ability to master the techniques of skating would lead to his success as a Certified Roller-Skating Instructor and CEO & Founder of his own business, Skates’ Out Virtual Beginner and Backward Roller Skating Courses.

Skates’Out has launched “Skates’ Out Virtual Beginner and Backward Roller Skating Courses.” As roller skating is having a resurgence in popularity across all ages, these online instructional courses will show people how to safely and effectively join in on the fun.  By doing a virtual training course, Skates’Out virtual will also be able to expand its clientele and reach more people.

What market does your online course serve?

Through Roller Skating, Skates’Out aims to improve people’s balance, safety, control, and coordination while skating. For both children and adults.  Skates’Out will provide instruction on the 3 basics of roller skating. For balance, students will learn how to lower their center of gravity to maintain stability while skating.  Control will be taught by doing drills aimed at strengthening specific muscle groups that will allow people to change their forms and control their stops. Safety will come through listening to trained coaches wearing proper equipment, and practice.

What’s the biggest benefit of taking your course?

Fitness is always good for physical and mental health and roller skating is a great workout, especially after months of lockdown. A nostalgic past-time and excellent form of exercise, roller skating can lead to a boost in endorphins. “Endorphins are only one of many neurotransmitters released when you exercise. Physical activity also stimulates the release of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. These brain chemicals play an important part in regulating your mood.

How did you get into the market?

Skates’Out is my brainchild, so during the COVID-19 lockdown, found myself unable to continue my passion through conventional means of in-person roller skate lessons.  Instead, I turned to the internet and developed a course to teach people how to roller skate safely through videos.

Why did you decide to create an online course in the first place?

When you've been doing something so long, there's nothing else really to change when everything is moving well.  The machine was well oiled, but this pandemic snuck up on us so fast, I had to make a choice between going back to work, which I was a general manager at the roller skate rink for 10 years.

My last roller skate class session was March 2020, and in the middle of March I shut down the rink. We were about to start a brand new roller skate lesson classes which were supposed to begin in April 2020. We had four classes waiting for the April class session to start. So walking away from a well-oiled machine and having no say so on how to save that machine was hard as a result of the pandemic and as the owner of Skates’ Out I had to pivot my business in a new direction.

Did you have any moments of doubt before you created/launched it?

So I wrestled with it my decision for probably three months before a little pause of calmness came over me.  After I made that decision to create the course, the only thing I'm thinking as a man is what am I going to do, I have bills to pay, I have to take care of my family.  All of that was running through my head because I was trying to figure out how to create my course.

If so what made you turn it around and do it anyway?

When I looked at the TV and spent time seeing how Good Morning America started doing things, how ESPN, how different corporate shows on TV were going virtual. That is all you heard, even schooling had started talking about going virtual. That's all I kept hearing, and then my lightbulb popped on. I said we're going to do virtual roller skating courses, where I'm going to teach people virtually how to roller skate.

What's your online course like?

Skates’Out Virtual Beginner and Backward Beginner Roller Skating courses have multiple videos with 2 of my coaches which are my sons.

The beauty of virtual courses is that anywhere can be a classroom. Antwawne Kelly Click To Tweet

Classes can be done in a room on a wooden floor, on a basketball or tennis court, anywhere one can safely watch the videos and perform the forms and actions taught in the video.  So “Lace-up those roller skates, strap on those wheels, and boogie-to-the beat. It’s a salve for quarantine isolation to take time to learn to put self-first and concentrate on your own wellness.”

How long did it take you to create your course?

It took about 3 ½ months to create these online courses, due to the circumstances of COVID-19 and the adjustments of a new way of life while thinking of a direction for the courses and moving forward with life in an un-normal way. This was hard but mentally I separated each situation and started working to create my online course and balancing my life through COVID 19.

Tell us a little about the process of launching your course and getting your first sale(s).

In our process of launching the courses, our team came up with marketing strategies, such as purchasing a google marketing package that consists of analytics, sales funnels website SEO setup. We also got social media marketing campaigns set up on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We launched our virtual roller skate courses on Nov 11, 2020, and that Wednesday morning, my PayPal starts dinging again after a long pause since March of 2020 when the pandemic shut my rink down.

Just picture the gap from you not hearing that money sound coming through for your in-person skating lesson program. So when I heard that PayPal, ding, me and my wife high fived each other hard, meaning it was successful. The same day we launched, we had customers buying the program.  I think we're aiming in the right direction. We were on point with the new timing of the direction.

What's the traffic strategy that works best for you?

Google marketing, Instagram and Facebook promotion marketing, newsletter marketing, and an email campaign list. These methods of marketing have been working great. These marketing outlets let me connect with potential new roller skaters.

What online course platform are you using?

I use Thinkific and I love it because of the amenities that it offers to build your course.

Are there any features you wish it had?

Yes! I wish it had its own Sales Shop feature that is internal with the course program, but overall, it’s a great program.

What made you decide to use your chosen platform over others?

This program was referred to us by Xayli Barclay a Thinkific creator.

What other tools do you use to run your online course business?

Shopify and PayPal.

What books or training programs have you found useful on your journey to a successful business owner that others might find valuable too?

7 Keys to making a great decision and my new book (Rollin from the Inside Out) available on Amazon books now.

Do you have any big mistakes you’ve made along the way that you’d be willing to share?

I wish someone would have told me how to structure my businesses because I had to go back to restructure certain things. It's a simple structure but I started my skating lessons before I started the skating lessons parent company, which is “Inside Out Consulting Systems LLC.” If I have multiple businesses, then I learned I didn't have to have separate businesses, I could put them under one umbrella. I understand it now, but I had to go back and restructure the business and create them in the order.

Please share some idea of revenue.

As far as revenue goes, we have been averaging 8-12 virtual course sign-ups a month @ $77 per student since Nov. 2020. But this is just the beginning.

Please tell us a little about what the money you've earned from your course has done for you.

It has enabled us to continue with the marketing and added income with our online roller skate shop, to maintain a livable budget during this circumstance of the Pandemic.

In addition to revenue are there any numbers you would like to share?

Yes, Instagram promotional marketing has helped me add over 300 new followers in just 2 months alone. I also gained new followers on Facebook. That's because Facebook bought Instagram so you are getting two for one by cross-marketing for the price of one.

What has creating your course done for you personally?

Creating this course was challenging. But it brought out new ideas and directions that I never knew I could do with roller skating. Turning physical in-person roller skating into virtual roller skating courses gave me full confidence to believe and trust myself more often.

Do you have a story of a transformation from any of your clients?

“Skating has become my new favorite hobby … Skates Out feels like family, I love y’all.” -Demetri Fenn – Private Skate Lesson Student

Getting this testimonial made me feel like I changed a life. I got someone doing something physical through roller skating that they thought they would never do. It makes me feel like we're leaving a legacy for the next generation of Roller Skaters.

What advice do you have for people just starting out?

Managing your capital, I learned that, but no one told me how to do it. We had to understand how to manage our capital from a business aspect, how to keep our business finances separated from our personal finances. Also, make sure your brand matches your business.

Plan what you’re going to create, then execute your plan until you’re done. Get a trusted partner to look over everything and give a third-party critique of your creation. - Antwawne Kelly Click To Tweet

Learn more about Antwawne Kelly of skatesoutvirtual.com:

Get the growth strategy built for online course founders.

Access the free Blueprint Tracker + gain inspiration from successful online course creators in weekly interviews.

Absolutely free. No credit card required. Unsubscribe at any time.