- Who: Crystal Bonnet
- Website: crystaldawnculinary.com and courses.crystaldawnculinary.com
- Course Topic: Raw Dessert Chef Certification
- Revenue Stats: $20,000 initial launch
Who are you and what course have you created?
My name is Crystal Bonnet and I run crystaldawnculinary.com and courses.crystaldawnculinary.com. I offer my course from courses.crystaldawnculinary.com. It's called the Raw Desserts Chef Certification Course. I created the course for anyone interested in making healthy, nutritious, no-bake, plant-based desserts for their family or business.
My course is one of a kind as it’s not just a recipe video course; it's a full certification program taking you from the start. The course covers where to source your ingredients and equipment, why we use these ingredients, everything there is to know about raw desserts, how to create and write a recipe, all the way to the finish line of starting a raw desserts business or even writing your own recipe eBook!
What’s the biggest benefit of taking your course?
My program teaches you to become a master raw baker/pastry chef, create a raw desserts business, or master desserts at home.
You will no longer feel guilty about indulging your sweet tooth and will know exactly how to turn a traditional dessert full of gluten, dairy and sugar into a healthy, plant-based, gluten-free version that tastes even better!
How did you get into the market?
I got into the raw food world in 2013 when I was sick and needed a change in my diet. Cooking was never my thing, but when I started making raw, plant-based food I fell in love! I was introduced to flavor, texture, color, nutrition, vibrant foods and I felt the best I ever had. My skin cleared up, my digestion got better and my eyesight has improved so much I stopped wearing glasses.
Naturally I gravitated toward chocolate and desserts because I always had a sweet tooth. When I learned to make healthy versions I was hooked!
I started a farmer’s market business and sold raw, plant-based stone ground tempered chocolate for a while and then fell in love with teaching.
I wanted to share my knowledge with the world so I continued to develop my skills learning from industry leading professionals and spent a year developing this online course.
Why did you decide to create an online course in the first place?
I want to reach as many people as possible and show them they don’t have to settle for unhealthy sweets since it’s easy to make a healthy version.
Also, because there was nothing like it online. I wanted to create something that I was looking for that was clearly lacking in the industry.
Did you have any moments of doubt before you launched it?
Oh my goodness, tons! I think we all have “imposter” syndrome during the first course launch; which is that feeling of “am I good enough to do this?” or “will people think I’m a fraud?”But you need to remember that everyone has their own style and unique gifts and we all need to be sharing them with the world. -Crystal Bonnet Click To Tweet
I had never sold a digital product before. I thought filming the course was going to be the hardest part, but really for me, it was everything after the course creation including the technical side and digital marketing. It was really overwhelming at first and still is but I’m starting to get a handle on it.
If so what made you turn it around and do it anyway?
I love listening to podcasts, Rachel Hollis and Amy Porterfield helped me gain the confidence I needed.
What's your online course like?
It is a full video and theory course complete with quizzes, assignments, a final project, and a bonus module.
I pre-record the video with a live component once a month.
I also offer text in the form of text lessons or downloadable PDF's.
It was filmed professionally with 3 cameras and 2 videographers. We filmed it over 8 full days; filming about 10 hours a day and with my extra prep work I was spending about 14 to 16 hours a day.
I rented an airbnb as my home kitchen was not suited for filming. And even if it was, I really recommend renting a space because the filming equipment alone takes up a lot of space.
I had no script written, but because I had so much experience teaching, the script came naturally to me as I was doing the recipe demos.For anyone thinking of filming a recipe course, I suggest having a minimum of 2 assistants full-time; one washing dishes and one setting up your ingredients for each shot. -Crystal Bonnet Click To Tweet
Thankfully I had friends and family come help me last minute and even then it was a struggle.
We filmed 13 to 15 segments a day so you could imagine how many dishes we dirtied and how many ingredients needed prepping.
The videos are anywhere from 3 to 20 minutes long. I filmed each recipe component separately, so that time is for each component and not even one full recipe.
I wanted the students to feel as though they were right there with me teaching them; and also seeing how all the steps are done ensures more success for the student. And you can really see that in my students' work.
One huge piece of advice I could give is to give yourself extra time! Book the videographers and space for 2 extra days because you will need to re-shoot segments. I wish I had done that as I am not super happy with some of the videos but I am a perfectionist so there is always room for improvement.
How long did it take you to create your course?
It took me 1 year to complete the course, from idea to launch.
First I developed the recipes, hired a videographer, filmed, developed the outline, wrote theory, and then dealt with all the technical stuff like creating the website and digital marketing.
Tell us about the process of launching your course and getting your first sales.
I launched my course on my own since the video investment was so large that I could not hire a digital marketer.
The launch was a three week launch at a $200 discount with a couple of bonuses.
I ran ads on Instagram and Facebook and sent lots of marketing emails, did a Facebook live recipe demo, and there's lots of video with me talking about the course.
I had help with a conversion class membership I entered through Litchfiled Media. It was very helpful as I had no idea how to run ads before; and wow it is a process, there is so much to know! If you can afford to hire a digital marketer I highly recommend it because it just takes too much time to learn it on your own.
The ads were all very different; most of them were just a picture of my desserts with a link to my course. I had a few that converted really well but it’s a good idea to test different ones to see which ones people respond to.
It was so exciting when I got my first sale. At first you think “oh my goodness no one is going to buy my course, what was I thinking?!”
I knew exactly where I was when I got my first sale, I was with my husband and we were on the way to the mall to get my new phone. It was a good validation since I never corresponded with the person who made the first sale so I knew I was doing something right.
Do you have a lead magnet?
Yes, I have a free 10 recipe plant-based eBook. It has been working really well; my email list has tripled in 3 months and continues to grow.
I am currently getting help from a copywriter to write my email sequence so when subscribers download my eBook they will be automatically entered in the sales email sequence.
What's the traffic strategy that works best for you?
I don’t think I can answer this yet as I am not properly tracking where my sales come from. Right now it’s all a mix of social media traffic and email.
What online course platform are you using?
I’m using Thinkific. I love it because it supports my large comprehensive course and organizes it in a way so the student can navigate the platform easily. Everything makes sense.
And the support is amazing!
Are there any features you wish it had?
I wish it had features similar to Kajabi where it has an all-in-one system to house email marketing, website etc… Instead of having so many different accounts and platforms to work from which can be daunting to manage.
What other tools do you use to run your online course business?
I use the following tools in my business:
- Email marketing – ConvertKit
- Website – WordPress & Bluehost
- Payment systems – Stripe & PayPal
- Design – Canva
- Photo editing – Photoshop/Lightroom
- Create text on promotional videos – Typito
- Video editing – Movavi
- Bookkeeping – Wave
Please share some idea of revenue.
My launch sales were approximately $20,000 USD.
I have not sold any since the launch but I am working on getting my sales funnel set up.
Please tell us a little about what the money you've earned from your course has done for you.
My course was a large investment (I had 86 videos filmed professionally). This exceeds my launch sales so nothing has been profit yet. I hope to change that soon!
What has creating your course done for you personally?
It was a huge accomplishment and it still hasn’t sunk in that I have an online business. It has definitely given me more confidence and I have learned A LOT! I never knew anything about the digital world until I launched my course and there is still a lot to learn.
What advice do you have for people just starting out?
My one big piece of advice is to GET HELP! It’s a very large project to do all on your own and I wish I would have reached out for help to eliminate the days I was overwhelmed.
Also, when you’re deciding which online course platform to use, sign up for the free trials to set up the outline of your course and see which one will support your students the best. Look at everything from your student’s perspective.
Learn more about Crystal Bonnet and her Crystal Dawn Culinary courses:
Resources mentioned in this interview:
Some of the resources listed below may include affiliate links which means we will get a small commission (at no additional cost to you) if you purchase after clicking on a link.
- Thinkific – Online course platform Crystal uses to run her online course business.