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How Krista Neher and Allison Chaney Grew BootcampDigital.com
- Who: Krista Neher (CEO) and Allison Chaney (Chief Digital Training Officer)
- Website: bootcampdigital.com
- Course Topic: Digital Marketing
- Interesting Stats: $15K to $20K/per month
Who are you and what course have you created?
Krista and Allison have both created a library of digital marketing courses. We also offer 5 digital marketing certification programs.
What market does your online course serve?
We serve all digital marketers who are looking to get foundational skills or upskill. Our online courses are a great fit for freelancers and people just starting out in digital marketing. It helps them get the foundational elements and learn how to think strategically and execute a successful plan. It’s also great for people looking to improve their skills or upskill or get current with digital marketing tools.
Our online courses are designed to meet different skill levels and roles within an organization. Each course has a level that supports marketing managers in understanding the concepts and why digital tools are important. This helps them lead their team. The next levels of our courses support strategists and those who are executing the plan. We dive deeper into the tools and how to use them and how to tactically execute a plan. The advanced level of each course is for those who are taking their skill set to the next level.
Our online courses are a great fit for people who are self-driven and like to learn at their own pace. They are also a great fit right now when so many people are using their time to advance their skill sets.
What’s the biggest benefit of taking your course?
Our online courses are actionable. The biggest benefit is that users can walk away with an action plan and a clear idea of how to turn a plan into results for their business or organization.
How did you get into the market?
Krista began her career in Finance at Procter & Gamble and moved on to become the VP of Marketing for an internet start-up in 2006. She was one of the first marketers to get results from social media and online marketing. When the start-up sold, Krista started Boot Camp Digital to help businesses get results from social media and online marketing. She knew how to get results and loved helping businesses, so she decided to teach others the methodologies and tactics that had worked for her.
Why did you decide to create an online course in the first place?
There are a ton of online courses on literally everything, but most of them focus more on theory and less on learning by doing. Krista created these courses to address that need, and bring actionable training on tactics that actually work for businesses. It’s also an affordable option for businesses that aren’t able to invest in customized corporate training programs but could still benefit from training.
Did you have any moments of doubt before you created/launched it?
Of course. I think everyone has those moments of doubt when you’re creating and launching something new. These questions are normal… “will anyone actually buy this?” “do people get value out of this?” “does this look professional enough?” There are so many courses out there and many of them are professionally produced so there definitely was a question if our courses would be seen as valuable as the highly produced ones or is it going to look too amateur? Do people actually care about that stuff?
If so what made you turn it around and do it anyway?
Determination. You never really know until you try and Krista is not one to shy away from a challenge. It was exciting to create something with the intention of serving 100’s or maybe even 1000’s of businesses by sharing expertise that we knew will help them if they apply what they learn. So, the determination and motivation to help businesses was the driving force.
What’s your online course like?
Video with PowerPoint and Live demo of websites, tools, and platforms, with a video of the instructor, superimposed over the background of the slides or demo. There are quizzes for each section of each course, and each course has 4-5 sections. Each section is broken into several bite-sized videos of just a few minutes each so it makes it easy for users to watch short clips and try what they learned vs. having to sit through hours of boring instruction.
How long did it take you to create your course?
We’ve been building on the online courses for several years. We create new courses every couple of months and we refresh old courses with new content. The process is pretty efficient as it takes our trainers about 1-2 weeks to create a course.
We follow a basic process: create an outline, build out the slides, organize the flow and break training into small segments (each segment is connected to 1 key learning point), add details to each segment (images for the slides, notes on what you will demo, key talking points and takeaways), then record the session, edit and upload to Vimeo, then embed the video into our online training portal.
Tell us a little about the process of launching your course and getting your first sale(s).
It was a lot of trial and error, and learning what worked and didn’t work to create the course. We created a process from it to make it more efficient going forward. Our first sale of the online course was to a local market. There was an immediate need as there were a lot of layoffs happening at 2 large local corporate companies, and many people were looking to transition into a new career or new position so they needed to sharpen their skills. We were able to tap into our local market by networking and sponsoring local events to raise awareness.
Do you have a lead magnet?
Yes, we currently do a free digital strategy webinar once a month and in the webinar we let our audience know that we have a 5 day free trial of our online courses. They see how great the webinar is, and they want to take the online courses as well.
There’s a 5 day free trial on our website which drives consistent signups. We run various campaigns to drive awareness of our free trial.
We also offer free resources on our site. When someone signs up for a free resource, we send them marketing emails to drive them further down the funnel to purchase the online courses.
What’s the traffic strategy that works best for you?
Driving awareness and driving interest by sharing free resources. This gets them into a campaign and then the email campaign nurtures them to the sale. We are always working to optimize this and we continue to improve results over time.
From time to time, we run a sale on our online courses and run a Facebook ads campaign. We’ve seen success from this and a positive ROI as well, although not as consistent as sharing the free resources on our site.
What online course platform are you using?
LearnDash and we like it.
Are there any features you wish it had?
There are some minor things like the videos that are embedded from Vimeo and therefore play on mute unless the user turns up the volume each time. It’s a little annoying. For the most part, the system does what it needs to do.
There are bugs from time to time, and some of the information within is hard to find. IE it’s not clear where to find the student profile information.
I wish there was a way to set up an easy reminder system so that when someone signs up for a course, they get email reminders on their course progress and encouraging them to continue the course, and provide tips on how to manage their time and make sure they take the course. So many people buy a course and then never take it because they don’t know where to get started or they just never find the time. We’d have better retention rates from people who are actually taking the course and getting value from it.
What made you decide to use your chosen platform over others?
Mainly the features, and the pricing.
What other tools do you use to run your online course business?
- Vimeo to host our videos.
- Woocommerce for payment processing.
- InfusionSoft for email marketing management and CRM.
- ThriveLeads to run popups on the website for lead generation.
What books or training programs have you found useful on your journey to a successful business owner that others might find valuable too?
- Social PR Secrets by Lisa Buyer – Combine social and PR
- Influence by Robert Cialdini – Learn what motivates people
- Groundswell – How social media is changing the world
- Trust Agents by Chris Brogan – How to build trust with your audience as an expert
- Primal Branding – Key elements to build brand advocates
- The Compound Effect – General business success tips
Do you have any big mistakes you’ve made along the way that you’d be willing to share?
Not focusing on impact – getting caught up in the details and not stepping back to think bigger picture.There are a million things you can do in a business, so focus on the ones that are most likely to get the results you want, and focus on the things that are scalable and replicable. - Allison Chaney Click To Tweet
Lack of thinking strategically. Similar to focusing on impact, you must always know what your goal is before you create a plan. Otherwise, you won’t have a clear and focused plan, your content won’t perform well, and you won’t get the results you want, because you don’t’ even know what results you want in the first place.
Please share some idea of revenue.
Online sales are around $15-$20K/month.
We saw a drop after COVID hit, but are starting to recover back to our normal average, and it’s steadily improving now.
Please tell us a little about what the money you’ve earned from your course has done for you.
Created an opportunity to move my family to Europe (Krista). Created an opportunity for our team to work remotely and create a more efficient system overall. We save money on overhead and are able to compensate our team more.
In addition to revenue are there any numbers you would like to share?
We were at SXSW in Austin a couple of years ago and talking to LinkedIn and they learned that to be a “Top Voice” which is an influencer on LinkedIn, one of the criteria was to have over 10K connections. We both had a few 1000 connections, but much less than 10K, and hadn’t grown much in the last couple of years, which is interesting because we actually teach how to grow your LinkedIn connections. It wasn’t that we didn’t know how it was that we didn’t have a plan or a goal. So, we set a goal to get to 10K and once we had a specific goal, the steps to get there became clear. We implemented our daily plan to strategically create more connections, and in less than a year we both got to our goal.
What has creating your course done for you personally?
Tons of confidence and satisfaction of being able to help businesses.
Do you have a story of a transformation from any of your clients?
We actually hear this all the time – people get raises, they get promotions, and they find new/better jobs. Some of them even build their own digital agencies from what we teach.
What advice do you have for people just starting out?
Surround yourself with a team of people who are supportive and also challenge you and will give you honest and direct feedback. Be open-minded and take the feedback and learn from it.Be flexible and willing to try new things and don’t be afraid to fail. Failure is just a lesson and an opportunity to get better. - Allison Chaney Click To Tweet