- Who: Gloria Pierre
- Website: clearlyspeaking.ca
- Course Topic: Accent Reduction Training
- Interesting Stats: 90% of the target audience she meets become clients
Who are you and what course have you created?
I am a communication presenter and specialize in all soft skills and accent reduction training.
Since 2000, I’ve created over 15 courses and wrote 6 books that complement the training I offer. For 2020, I’m focusing on accent reduction online training exclusively.
What market does your online course serve?
My market is immigrants who speak English as a second language and whose accents are preventing them from being taken seriously, being heard, and being understood.
What’s the biggest benefit of taking your course?
Participants experience tangible results after 3 hours.The quick early wins motivate them to complete the training. - Gloria Pierre Click To Tweet
The biggest benefit received is the skill to speak confidently, clearly and concisely to anyone at any time.
How did you get into the market?
Some of my first clients were newcomers. I didn’t have a program for them so I started exploring how I could help them.
The clients who came to my earlier workshops confided how communication was their biggest obstacle in being hired. Not having a job or one that is not paying enough when you have a family, are new to the country and not knowing anyone is enough to send you on a mental teeter-totter.
Their situation reminded me of the poem, For Want Of a Nail. The whole war was lost because there were not enough nails for the shoes for the horses. I saw the need for accent reduction training as the nail.
If newcomers couldn’t earn enough to support their families, statistics show some of the repercussions would eventually be mental and physical abuse, depression, lack of sufficient food and nutrition, unsafe housing, lack of sleep, and breakdown of the family.
As an immigrant myself, I know what it’s like to uproot your life and pack some of your belongings and leave with dreams for bigger and better things. People were not only immigrating, but they were also escaping.
I felt I was providing the nails to those who knew of my service. I’ve kept in touch with some of the families and know that their ability to earn more, have a job and career satisfaction have kept their families intact and supportive of each other.
As for how it all came together, fortunately, I had studied anatomy and physiology and when I took a broadcasting course later, I understood voice production better. I developed a methodology that is instantly effective and easy to use to help people from any nationality speak English more clearly.
I’ve also written several books and these include; “(K)New words”, “ABC For Speakers & Presenters”, “ABC’s of Networking”, “ABC For The Workplace” and 2 for accent reduction – “An English Guide To Pronunciation” and “Mispronounced & Misunderstood”.
Why did you decide to create an online course in the first place?
Presently, I’m using Skype to connect with my clients locally and internationally. However, not many people know that this service exists.
I’m in the midst of creating an online course to promote the service and empower those who speak English as a second language to become more articulate.
Did you have any moments of doubt before you created/launched it?
When I first started Clearly Speaking, I was competing with experienced, well-connected trainers. I ended up feeling like ‘who am I to compete with them?’. I doubted myself for about 18 months, but fortunately, I didn’t quit.
Along the way, I got better and more confident which was encouraging. My training in Toastmasters taught me how to structure a speech so I applied those skills to designing the courses and made adjustments every time I presented them.
What's your online course like?
I’m using Skype and Whiteboard for current clients. The online course will have audio, video, downloads, and activities.
How long did it take you to create your first workshop?
I developed a 4-week pilot to see if the content of my program would be applicable to 10 different nationalities. I was very apprehensive because if it wasn’t, I would have to develop 10 different programs. Fortunately, it worked for everyone and after the pilot ended, I incorporated feedback and observations to make the course more solid.
Tell us a little about the process of launching your workshop and getting your first sale(s).
The participants wholeheartedly gave testimonials which I used in a promotional flyer to my database. I had 12 participates join that first offering.
Do you have a lead magnet?
My lead magnet is to offer a free assessment.
Because this type of training is not widely known, the free assessment gives people a taste of what the course will be like. Almost everyone who has completed the assessment commits to the training.
What's the traffic strategy that works best for you?
I tried Facebook ads but didn’t find it beneficial.
Right now I have a steady stream of new business because my clients recommend me and I am able to strategically network my relationships. So most of my traffic is from referrals and networking.My clients refer me without me having to ask because they get immediate results they weren’t expecting. - Gloria Pierre Click To Tweet
I wrote the “ABC’s Of Networking” so I’ll share a few tips from there that I use:
1. Be strategic when deciding to go to a networking event. Is it aligned with what you do? Will your potential clients or mentors be there?
2. If you decide to go, go with a specific objective. An example would be to meet someone in the engineering industry because you are submitting a proposal to an engineering company for your service.
3. Know that you will be meeting people who may or may not be familiar with your industry so be prepared to introduce yourself 2-3 different ways.
4. Go with the intention to learn about people and their services. You may not achieve your objective for going but you can leave with names of contacts you truly connect with.
What online course platform are you using?
What made you decide to use your chosen platform over others?
I can do teleconferences, webinars, discussions, live streaming, quizzes, polls, etc on the Ruzuku platform. That’s everything I need so I’m happy with my decision.
Do you have any big mistakes you’ve made along the way that you’d be willing to share?
Here are a couple of my biggest mistakes:
- I didn’t set up the foundation of the business right as I was more focused on the service I was providing. I was doing what I loved and wanted to do it all day long each and every day so I didn’t think of it as a business. It caused me some grief but I learned valuable lessons and everything is in place now.
- I learned that to truly grow your business, you can’t be the chief cook and jack of all trades. You need more hands and more brainpower.
Please tell us a little about what the money you've earned from your business has done for you.
I was able to quit my job. I go on vacations more frequently, do more fun things with my family, and have taken some things off my bucket list.
Are there any numbers or statistics you would like to share?
About 90% of the people I meet through introductions or networking eventually become my clients or introduce others who became clients.
What has creating your course done for you personally?
This venture has opened up opportunities for me. I’ve been interviewed on TV, radio, in print. I get to travel for business, meet people from all over the world, and learn from them. I have collaborated with many businesses and presented to them in unusual locations.
Do you have a story of a transformation from any of your clients?
I had a group of newcomers who were shy. They very reluctantly mumbled their introductions when asked. At the time, they were not able to get jobs in their fields because of their communication challenges and accents.
Towards the end of the first day, I asked for 2 minutes of feedback about what I covered in the session. They each went to the front of the room and excitedly talked about the possibilities of what they learned and what it would mean for themselves and their families. We ended the class forty-five minutes later with tears and sniffling (mostly from me).
What advice do you have for people just starting out?
If you are going to parlay your passion into a business, set it up with the infrastructure of a business.
“A man should not sit down alone to plan for prosperity.” Nigerian Proverb.
Learn more about Gloria Pierre and ClearlySpeaking.ca:
Resources mentioned in this interview:
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- Ruzuku – Online course platform