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- Who: Sandy Park
- Website: tidywithspark.com
- Course Topic: Home Organization & Pinterest Traffic
- Interesting Stats: +200K Followers in 11 Months on Pinterest
Who are you and what course have you created?
I am a Certified Public Accountant, Professional Organizer, and Pinterest educator who has recently started on a journey of online course creation.
What market does your online course serve?
I currently serve two unique and different audiences with my two digital courses. The first audience I serve are those who are interested in tidying up their homes and lives through organization. This specific group also wants to learn about the connection between money and clutter and how both affect their lives.
My second audience is online business owners interested in learning how to use the Pinterest platform to market their businesses. These individuals know that Pinterest is different. They want to market their business in a means that is different than traditional social media platforms. But they’re not sure how to approach Pinterest from a business standpoint. I help students optimize their presence on the platform while giving them the strategies to grow and gain visibility. I’ve gone from 31 to over 230K followers in less than 11 months on the platform.
What’s the biggest benefit of taking your course?
Money Clutter Connection – Students walk away understanding the clear connection between their relationship to money and clutter and how both play a significant role in how they tidy up their homes. Awareness is the first step. When students gain this awareness of their past and current behaviors they are able to make the necessary changes to start getting organized.
Pin with SPARK: Beginner Pinterest for Course Creators – Students no longer wonder about how to use the Pinterest platform for business. Instead, they build the foundation necessary to attract their ideal customer by treating Pinterest like the visual search engine that it is, using a proven strategy that works.
How did you get into the market?
Money Clutter Connection – My own personal journey and challenges with my finances and clutter shaped this course. Once I had figured out what worked for me to get out of 400,000 in debt in four years, I wanted to help others to do the same. I teach them the mindset shifts that are needed to accomplish a big goal. My debt-free journey and my professional organizer background were brought together in this course.
Pin with SPARK: Beginner Pinterest for Course Creators – I personally was resistant to getting on Pinterest for my own business because I didn’t understand it. After taking the leap and learning about the platform through trial and error, I started to see a significant jump in my traffic to my website as well as conversions for my business.
Pinterest was like a little secret that not many online businesses knew about for marketing their business. I shared my own successes with my networks and I was surprised to see the response that so many other course creators wanted to learn as well. I took that as my sign to teach what I learned. Even though I was only on the platform for a short while (6 months at that point) and decided to create and sell an online course around it.
Why did you decide to create an online course in the first place?
After being on social media for the past three years I know, with certainty, that I reach far more people. I can help so many more through an online space than in my one-on-one business. The reach is what drew me to online course creation. I’m an educator at heart. Sharing my content that reaches a global audience is a dream come true.
Did you have any moments of doubt before you created/launched it?I absolutely struggled with the creation of my first online course. It was hard at every turn and it was an internal battle that I struggled especially with impostor syndrome. - Sandy Park Click To Tweet
The thoughts that poked at me were “what do you even have to say that someone wants to hear” or “this is all basic information that no one will pay for”. So many different thoughts crept up, but I had to quickly squash them if I ever wanted to get my course off the ground.
Creating a course and launching a course are altogether two different journeys. I had doubts and bouts of impostor syndrome for both processes. For creating the course, I had a lot of self-doubts that said, “Is this good enough to put out into the world.” During my launch, I had to shake the thoughts that “no one is going to show up or no one is going to buy.”
If so what made you turn it around and do it anyway?
I wanted to be on the course creation journey so badly because I know I had a valuable lesson to share. As I progressed on my journey what kept me going is that I focused on one task each day that would move me closer to my goal. There are so many moving pieces to the creation of a course so I focused on one task to reduce the overwhelm while still gaining traction. When I focused on the one task at hand, there was little time to wallow in my self-limiting thoughts.
What’s your online course like?
Both of my courses are videos using slides to guide students along in the material and learning. For my Money Clutter Connection course, all my materials were prerecorded to perfection and I spent a long time going through the process. For my second course Pin with SPARK, I took an entirely different approach and taught the modules live with slides. The first method of prerecording slowed the process down considerably. Choosing a live delivery format for Pin with SPARK sped up the process quite a bit and I was able to deliver my course a lot faster, within weeks rather than months.
How long did it take you to create your course?
It took 3 months to create my Money Clutter Course and it took a couple of weeks to create my Pin with SPARK course.
The course creation process was fun because it was a chance to get all my ideas out on paper and build something from the ground up. For my Money Clutter Course, I chose to script out the entire course and then recorded the videos. For Pin with SPARK I chose to deliver the course live based on a detailed outline. Both methods produced wonderful courses, but it took a lot longer to execute in the scripted format.
Tell us a little about the process of launching your course and getting your first sale(s).
For both of my courses, I used a founding members launch strategy before creating my course. The approach worked really well to validate the ideas for my course and to see that there was a market for the specific subject matter. Getting the sales for the founding members felt so good because I got confirmation that the course was something that my audience wanted and was willing to pay for.
Creating a course and launching a course are two entirely different things. Launching took a different set of skills such as marketing and sales and that required a different level of skills than when I was in the course creation mode. I launched these courses differently. Money Clutter Connection was launched with a webinar and Pin with SPARK was launched through an email sequence.
Do you have a lead magnet?
I have several lead magnets, all in the form of digital downloadable PDFs that work really well at attracting my ideal customer. To date, I haven’t really used any paid ads and all my marketing efforts have been through the use of free social media platforms and organic methods. Across my 12 lead magnets, I have learned what works and what doesn’t. The trial-and-error process has taught me a lot when it comes to creating a lead magnet that converts.
What’s the traffic strategy that works best for you?
My marketing efforts are all rooted in creating content that will help my audience get closer to seeing me as the expert and the teacher to help them achieve the promise of my courses. I focus my marketing efforts on my blogs and social media and short-form video.
Leaning heavily into video has been rewarding because I can convey who I am and what I offer in a very quick and digestible manner and it appears to be the preferred method my audiences like to consume content. My efforts on social media do very well at bringing awareness to my brand and converting leads to my email subscriber list.
What online course platform are you using?
Currently, I use a combination of Sam Cart and Vimeo.
Do you like it?
It took a little bit to get used to the platform and set it up in a way that worked seamlessly for my students, but I have figured it out and it works for me.
Are there any features you wish it had?
It would be nice to have an all-in-one teaching platform that was well priced as the Sam Cart and Vimeo combo is. I have not found an alternative that performs this well and at this low of a price.
What made you decide to use your chosen platform over others?
At the time that I created my course, Sam Cart had just released their courses application and as a new customer, I was able to use the functionality right away. It was easy to use once I understood the platform and I’m glad that I chose this option rather than going with another course platform that was more costly and more robust. I learned early on in my entrepreneur journey to keep expenses low and to work within my means. This approach and strategy make me look critically at my expenses in favor of increasing profit.
What other tools do you use to run your online course business?
I create a lot of content for social media so I use tools such as video editing software, image creation software, and image editing software. Additionally, I have an email service provider as well as a WordPress website.
What books or training programs have you found useful on your journey to a successful business owner that others might find valuable too?
As an online course creator, I have also purchased and taken several other courses. I personally learn by seeing different perspectives. Then I apply what I learn so I appreciate that there are really amazing courses out there. In particular, I’ve used the Digital Course Academy framework taught by Amy Porterfield to jumpstart my journey and follow a proven roadmap that works.
Do you have any big mistakes you’ve made along the way that you’d be willing to share?
Yes! In the beginning, I bit off more than I could chew. In retrospect, I would have chosen a narrower topic that was digestible for my first course.
Please share some idea of revenue.
I have welcomed nearly 70 students into my courses and have had a 5 figure launch.
Please tell us a little about what the money you’ve earned from your course has done for you.
The income I’ve received from selling digital courses has given me so much time freedom. I’m one year into this journey. The profit is affording my family supplemental income to make our lives more comfortable.
In addition to revenue are there any numbers you would like to share?
My Pin with SPARK course was born from the success I received in using my strategies on Pinterest. I grew from 31 to 235,000 followers on the platform in less than one year.
Gaining 235K followers on Pinterest in today’s environment in social media is largely unheard of. However, I was able to accomplish this huge accomplishment in a short time. I was able to build a large audience on the platform because I know and understand who my ideal customer is. Additionally, I share my content in creative, inventive, and shareable ways which help to boost my reach and audience.
What has creating your course done for you personally?
Creating my courses has stretched me as an entrepreneur. It has also given me multiple and additional streams of income.To think of an idea and then bring it to life is very satisfying. Even though it’s a digital course, it feels like a tangible product. - Sandy Park Click To Tweet
Do you have a story of a transformation from any of your clients?
One student in my Money Clutter Connection course said that after taking my course, she pauses before every single purchase and thinks through the decision using a mindfulness filter I teach on in the course. I teach my students that awareness is the first step to getting a handle on your finances and your clutter. This feedback was so rewarding to hear. To know that my course has helped this student change her mindset makes all the hard work that it took to bring this course out into the world well worth it.
What advice do you have for people just starting out?
Keep it simple. In the beginning, it’s easy to get swept up in grand ideas about your A to Z course, but I recommend taking on a difficult task in the simplest way possible by narrowing down the focus and the scope of your first course. Once you have the first course under your belt, you can expand and add on in the future.