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- Who: Chris L. Colby
- Website: antidoteone.com
- Course Topic: A.E.C. industry
- Interesting Stats: Add 100 people to our email list monthly
Who are you and what course have you created?
I am a licensed architect and the founder of Antidote One. Antidote One is a digital employee training and business expansion course platform for architects, engineers, and contractors. The Antidote One platform aims to train employees on the soft and hard skills they need to accelerate their careers and be effective at what they do. Also, we train and coach firm owners on business expansion methods and increasing employee engagement.
What market does your online course serve?
Our course training and coaching serve the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction industries, including material suppliers. This industry is effectively known as the A.E.C. industry. This market comprises small home designers and builders to more extensive commercial designers and builders who build schools, hospitals, and high-rise buildings.
What’s the biggest benefit of taking your course?
Our course offers a multitude of benefits to both employees and employers.
First, the employees:
- 24/7 Online training that can be done anywhere in the world
- Mentorship with an outside perspective
- Training that is not traditionally offered in school or by companies includes:
- Communication with team members
- How to communicate with demanding clients
- How to show up (at work)
- The effort required to accelerate your career.
- Dealing with negativity in your workspace or with clients
- How to schedule your day to win
- Where to find mentors
- How to ask for a raise
- Negotiating client contracts
- How to set goals and targets for yourself
On the employer side:
- Creating career paths for your employees
- Setting the vision for your company and how to communicate it to your team
- Creating an effective and efficient organizational structure
- How to keep your team engaged and energized
- How to work less, be less stressed and make more profit
- Marketing and promotion
- Getting paid for your value
How did you get into the market?
I have practiced architecture for 22 years in big and small firms. As a firm owner, I was aware of the “problems” architecture firms faced. Not just mine, but my peers were having the same troubles. The expectations of the firm owners and the firm employees were not the same; there was/is a huge gap.
This gap was widened during Covid where communication and project workflows were stressed beyond their limits. New staff needed training that they did not get in college, and existing staff needed new skills. All of these were expected by the employer but not offered. On the flip side, employees wanted these skills and were willing to learn but could not cost-effectively get the skills or the time to do so.
I discovered if you could give the employees what they wanted and needed, training to make their jobs more manageable and less stressful, then firm owners also got what they wanted, happy and influential team members. This allowed the firm owners to spend time on building their businesses to make them better, thus, in turn, providing more growth opportunities for their teams… everybody wins.
Why did you decide to create an online course in the first place?
I created this course out of frustration and love for the people and businesses in our industry. I heard my peers complain about team challenges and saw the same problems in some of my companies. Our industry was really good about pointing out the problem but didn’t want to tackle it… so I decided I would. We watched great people and businesses struggle; watching so much potential go to waste was painful.
Did you have any moments of doubt before you created/launched it?
At the beginning of any new endeavor, I think everyone questions if it will work or not. I knew I had the right idea, but I wondered if it would be worth the effort. It turns out that it’s all worked out for the better and has grown to add more than I initially thought I could offer.
If so what made you turn it around and do it anyway?
I never stopped; I just knew that watching a great industry and people struggle to reach their potential was too painful, so I pushed on.
What’s your online course like?
Our course utilizes recorded videos and quizzes at the end of course modules (multiple videos).Recently, we have started integrating interactive videos that allow the user to “select” their path more tailored to their specific situation. - Chris L. Colby Click To Tweet
We also use live calls for more extensive group situations that allow users to answer questions and dive deeper.
How long did it take you to create your course?
The initial course setup took around four months. Our first-course training was to service the employee side of the market; we felt they needed the information the most. The process started with interviewing “newer” and “seasoned” employees to see what they felt they needed the most. Upon completing the interviews, we wrote a curriculum and then moved directly into recording content for upload to the platform. Once complete, we returned to the people we surveyed so they could take it for a test run and give us feedback.
Since then, we have added hundreds of hours of video and created additional courses.
Tell us a little about the process of launching your course and getting your first sale(s).
Initially, I thought we would make our sales online via landing pages and social media. While we did go this route and made some sales, and continue to do so, we made a larger volume of sales by going directly to industry professionals and connecting with them about the program.
Do you have a lead magnet?
We do not use a lead magnet in the traditional sense. Instead, we offer free webinars that are meant to help either employees or employers. Typically we take a topic area of our content, for example, “How to advance your career” or “Why you need a training program,” and provide a free hour of content and Q&A on the subject.
What’s the traffic strategy that works best for you?
We do a lot of advertisements on social media. This is the largest producer of traffic for us but is not the most significant sales strategy. For us, good old fashion communication has been the best after someone sees us on social media and signs up for a webinar.
What online course platform are you using?
We use LightSpeed VT as our platform base.
Do you like it?
Yes, it’s a beast of a platform… has more features than we can use right now.
Are there any features you wish it had?
None that I can think of…
What made you decide to use your chosen platform over others?
I have friends and other business partners that have used this platform and liked it. I took it for a “test drive” and appreciated how detailed you could get with the platform. It was probably too much in the beginning, however, we knew we wanted to grow and have the ability to add new features like interactive videos and user engagement tracking.
What other tools do you use to run your online course business?
We use Zoom for meetings and webinars, but that’s it.
What books or training programs have you found useful on your journey to a successful business owner that others might find valuable too?
The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone is a book that changed my view of business and life. Anytime I feel that my business is not heading where I am going, I reference this book.
Do you have any big mistakes you’ve made along the way that you’d be willing to share?
Yes, two come to mind. Prior to launching I overanalyzed if this was a good service. I probably wasted 2-3 months just thinking about the concept rather than taking action. The second mistake was thinking that you could just put something like this up on social media without any brand building and think you would get sales immediately.
Please share some idea of revenue.
We hit five figures in sales in our first year, which was not our target. Lessons learned we didn’t take enough action. We have already signed up 63 new users for January 2023 in addition to our current subscribers and are on track for a solid 6 figure year.
Please tell us a little about what the money you’ve earned from your course has done for you.
Currently, it hasn’t changed my life, but I did not start the company to expect to hit it big in the first few years. I have always had a long-term 20-year + vision for the company, so I reinvest our profits in building content, marketing, promotion, and team building.
In addition to revenue are there any numbers you would like to share?
We add about 100 people to our email list monthly. We do this via the free content we offer on social media, like our webinars for example.
What has creating your course done for you personally?
The biggest thing creating this course has done for me is seeing the results from the people that have used it. We have seen our house users expand their business by $100k in 6 months and others get that raise or promotion they wanted. It has been extremely rewarding to see our clients win with our content.
Do you have a story of a transformation from any of your clients?
My favorite story of a transformation is of our client Scott W. He came to us looking to grow his architectural practice, which was more of a side job at the time. Through the use of our course and coaching program, he was able to 5X the revenue of his architectural practice and hire the staff he needed to expand.
What advice do you have for people just starting out?
The best advice I can give to anyone just starting is to know that you have the practical knowledge that others need.Your knowledge and skill are more valuable than you know and if you focus on how to help others you will win. - Chris L. Colby Click To Tweet
Before I started, I wish I knew how many people would benefit from our coursework and knowledge. I would have expanded faster and helped more people sooner.