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- Who: Michela Allocca
- Website: breakyourbudget.com
- Course Topic: Personal Finance
- Interesting Stats: $10-30k monthly on course sales
Who are you and what course have you created?
I am the creator behind Break Your Budget. This is an online personal finance platform targeted at young professionals who are seeking help managing their money. I share practical tips and strategies to learn how to budget better, earn more, and reach your 6-figure savings goals in your 20’s and 30’s.
I’ve created a variety of online courses, but my two most popular are called The Personal Finance Dashboard and the 4-Week Financial Plan.
The Personal Finance Dashboard is a comprehensive budgeting template that allows users to create a fully customized annual budget. They can track their various numbers from income, expenses, savings, investments, debt payoff, and net worth, and then gleam insights on their spending and financial goals. The template comes with various tutorials and FAQ videos so users can optimally set up their dashboard and troubleshoot on their own.
The 4 Week Financial Plan is a comprehensive course that teaches users how to create their annual budget plan. Inside the course, you can learn how to take full inventory of your finances, set financial goals, create a zero-based 3- bucket budget, and then implement financial routines to stick to the plan.
I also offer a variety of other templates at wwww.breakyourbudget.com/shop, including a career-tracking template and a side hustle/small business finance template.
What market does your online course serve?
I serve the young professional market, which includes young adults who are either in college or recently graduated college, as well as anyone in their 20s or early 30s. This period of life is challenging to navigate – most young adults aren’t taught much about personal finance and have no idea how to spend, use, or approach their money once they are making a full-time salary. My products help alleviate that process and equip them with the tools they need to make more empowered financial decisions at an affordable price.
What’s the biggest benefit of taking your course?
Learning how to make empowered, data-driven financial decisions. When you know your numbers, you can make smarter choices. Oftentimes, young adults struggle with money because they have no idea where they stand or where they want to go. With my products & courses, you have a full line of sight not only into your current financial situation, but you know what you’re working towards and can use that information to make decisions that will benefit you long term.
How did you get into the market?
I was (and still am) a young professional myself, and when I was fresh out of college I realized that there was so much to learn about money that no one ever taught me. I was a finance major in college, but the idea of figuring out 401ks and budgets and also enjoying my life and paying to live in a city was super overwhelming.
Luckily I worked in the finance industry, so I had access to tools, knowledge, and people who I could learn from. I found that a lot of my peers would approach me for help with their finances, so why not bring that information to the masses with social media? That is how Break Your Budget originally came to be, and as I’ve grown my platform I’ve expanded to share tips about navigating your career as well.
Why did you decide to create an online course in the first place?
Originally I decided to create a budget template for myself because I found that budgeting apps and other spreadsheets just never worked for me. I wanted a tool that had everything, and at the time, it didn’t exist, so I made one myself. As I shared that on my social media, I got a lot of interest in making it available for purchase, and that is how the Personal Finance Dashboard was created. Since then (this was mid-2020), it has evolved to be more comprehensive both in what it is, as well as in the material you get at purchase.
The 4 Week Financial Plan resulted from receiving many questions about how to create a budget optimally. It’s a beginner-focused course that teaches fundamentals about budgeting, goal-setting, and planning and addresses a lot of commonly asked questions I got from people who were using the Personal Finance Dashboard, as well as questions I just received online.
Did you have any moments of doubt before you created/launched it?
Of course – I think any course/content creator has periods where they have no idea what they’re doing or if it’s worth the time. I didn’t see immediate success when I launched my courses, but over time after showing I use it in my own life and how I apply the principles I teach in my courses to my own finances, I built enough trust with my audience, and now they trust me enough to purchase from me.
What is your online course like?
It’s a combination of video and downloadable templates and worksheets. I use live-action video as well as screen-sharing to demo products and illustrate how to use the various tools/spreadsheets.
How long did it take you to create your course?
For the Personal Finance Dashboard, it took me about three weeks to build the original spreadsheet and then about two days to create the sales page and set up videos. Since then, it’s been an iterative process where I gather feedback and will create additional videos to answer FAQs or incorporate changes/upgrades into the spreadsheet each year.
The 4WFP course took about three weeks to script, film, and edit the videos. I filmed everything at home following a scripted cadence and then edited the videos sequentially for the course. Nothing is super high production, but they are very good-quality videos.
Tell us a little about the process of launching your course and getting your first sales.
I do all of my course promotion through social media and have not run a paid ad, although I will introduce paid ads this year. Once I had validated the idea that the courses were needed, I shared the process of creating them on my social media to create buzz and excitement.Closer to the launch date, I created waitlists with incentives (early access, $$ off) to encourage people to join and purchase the course early at a discounted price. This also creates a sense of exclusivity. - Michela Allocca Click To Tweet
Leading up to the actual launch date, I shared details about the course with my email list and created videos talking about it and showing lessons/tips that you could learn in the course and how they applied to my finances and helped me.
Now, I advertise all of my products weekly in my regular social media content.
Do you have a lead magnet?
I have a lead magnet to get people onto my email list. Then they are funneled through a short email sequence about my products. Emailing is not the main avenue I use for selling.
What’s the traffic strategy that works best for you?
I use my social media channels to drive traffic to my different products. I’ve spent years building an audience. That has helped me get more eyeballs onto my products and create a very consistent stream of income.
What online course platform are you using?
I use Teachable.
Do you like it?
I do like it! It’s easy to use and create new products. Plus, the user experience is nice for people who buy the courses.
Are there any features you wish it had?
Yes – the reporting features are pretty bad and don’t give much usable insight. I cannot collect data on where my traffic is coming from, which is challenging. I also think the sales pages/websites for products could be a lot better.
What made you decide to use your chosen platform over others?
When I first started, Teachable had a great product for a very reasonable price compared to other course creation platforms. Now, I’ve used it for so long that even though switching to a new platform may make more sense feature-wise, it’s just too complicated to get everything and everyone over to it, and it’s not worth it.
What other tools do you use to run your online business?
I use google drive, notion for business planning, canvas for graphics, and flodesk for emails. Otherwise, I use all the social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and Facebook.
What books or training programs have you found useful on your journey?
I am entirely self-taught. I do a lot of googling and watch many YouTube videos about course and content creation. The most helpful course I have taken was Justin Welsh Content Operating System.
Do you have any big mistakes you’ve made that you’re willing to share?
Honestly, I haven’t made any big mistakes. I mean, there are things I would do differently but nothing that was ever really a mistake.
Please share your revenue
I average anywhere between $10-30k monthly on my course sales.
Please tell us about what the money you’ve earned from your course has done for you.It’s allowed me to live a stress-free life. I could quit my corporate job and focus on building my business full-time. - Michela Allocca Click To Tweet
Recently, I was able to move into my own apartment.
Any other numbers to share?
It has been a slow roll for me.There are no hacks or tricks to growing an audience on social media. I grew based on posting quality, educational content that helps people and isn’t clickbaity. - Michela Allocca Click To Tweet
What has creating your course done for you personally?
It’s made me feel like I can control my life. I don’t feel tied to a job or forced to do things I hate for money. I feel more confident that I can take control of my future and not rely on anyone or anything else to do so.
What advice do you have for people just starting?
Focus on ONE product at a time. People get overwhelmed if there is too much to choose from. I suggest doing one thing really well, and sell a lot of it.
Then once that idea is validated and you have testimonials, move on to the next one that answers a question you get often.
Learn more about Michela Allocca of breakyourbudget.com:
- Website: breakyourbudget.com