How Sophia Casey Started Her Leadership Academy to Help Others Shatter Their Glass Ceilings

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Who are you and what digital training company have you created?

I am Sophia Casey. I am the Chief Learning Officer and one of the founders of the International Coaching & Leadership Institute (ICLI). Working with Jessica Lightborne (Founder and CEO) and Lorene Philips (Founder and Director of Business Development), together, we offer International Coaching Federation [ICF] continuing coach education [CCE] units and transformational leadership certification programs to new and experienced coaches around the world.

We offer the Associate Coach Immersion Program, Professional Coach Immersion Program, and Expert Coach Immersion Program. Our curriculum, designed by International Coaching Federation (ICF) credentialed coaches and award-winning educators, is grounded in world-class, hands-on coach training and transformational leadership experiences.

I also founded the Ease and Flow Leadership Academy where we provide high-quality personal and professional development courses, services, and training products to help the participants create the life they desire.

I am a Professional Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation (ICF). My love for mentoring and coaching soon blossomed into my signature leadership development model: Leadership, Ownership, and Accountability (LOA®️).

Sophia Casey Enterprises is my global speaking, consulting, and executive coaching firm with expertise in providing customized solutions for public, private-sector clients. I have over 30 years of expertise in several areas, including keynote speaking, training, facilitation, executive coaching, and leadership development. My recurring clients experience results tied to their mission and values and consistently remark that working with me has a profound impact on performance and productivity.

Sophia Casey site

What market does your digital training serve?

We can support public and private organizations.

What’s the biggest benefit of taking your online courses?

The biggest benefit of taking my course is we can provide a customized solution for the public and private sectors. Our students benefit from rigorous training and an abundance of mentor coaching feedback so they are best prepared to provide their coaching services to a global world challenged with living and leading with agility, resilience, and cultural competence.

How did you get into the market?

I started my journey as Director of an education center, I have been fortunate to serve as head of several training organizations in the federal government, including my tenure as Director of Enterprise-Wide Training for more than 10,000 engineers, attorneys, and analysts.

Why did you decide to create an online course in the first place?

To help leaders of all caliber get transformative results that literally catapult their businesses and organizations to the next level. Having served as Director of First Impressions for a task force for the former Vice President of the United States, my innate ability for excellence, execution, and acceleration allows me to meet individuals right where they are—then help them soar!

Why did you decide to create a digital training company?

To help leaders of all caliber get transformative results that literally catapult their businesses and organizations to the next level. Having served as Director of First Impressions for a task force for the former Vice President of the United States, my innate ability for excellence, execution, and acceleration allows me to meet individuals right where they are—then help them soar!

Did you have any moments of doubt before you launched your training company?

No, I did not. But having grown up and taught in some of the toughest neighborhoods in the nation, I am forever committed to empowering leaders to transform their professional and personal lives, despite external circumstances, and to do so with ease and flow. This commitment led me to create the Ease & Flow Leadership Academy, an online learning school for individuals and corporations.

Sophia Casey site

What are your online courses like?

Our curriculum in International Coaching and Leadership Institute (ICLI) is packed with a wealth of live virtual learning and independent study experiences.

For my Ease & Flow Leadership Academy, we create eLearning courses, webinars, and traditional classroom training that support participants with strengthening their leadership and meeting their educational and career goals.

How long does it take you or your team to create a new course?

I have created and developed different courses and programs. They are designed differently therefore, the time it took to create them was different as well.

The process I used was the same for all. I make sure that my courses were properly researched, certified, tested with students, and finalized.

Tell us a little about the process of launching your first course and getting your first enrollment(s).

We launched the International Coaching & Leadership Institute, or ICLI for short, in February, and from the date of launching, we are already fully booked.

Do you have a lead magnet?

We don’t have a free PDF or free trial of the course however, our downloadable program brochure on our website can tell the details of the program and why it is worth taking.

What’s the traffic strategy that works best for you?

Our website and since we are all certified coaches with connections on our own, we were able to disseminate the information of our new program to our own community hence, making our first program launch successful.

What online course platform are you using?

We are using Canvas LMS and Thinkific.

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Do you like it?

I’d say I’m neutral because it is kind of hard to navigate for some people. It doesn’t visually help users to navigate and has no introduction unless you create one.

However, it is easy and loads fast and very traditional university like LMS.

Are there any features you wish it had?

Better UI experience that would help visually navigate the user/s.

What made you decide to use your chosen platform over others?

Familiarity, accessibility, it gives all the basic structure needed.

What books or training programs have you found useful on your journey to a successful business owner that others might find valuable too?

Hone your skills by joining and reading self-development programs and books that you can. Try to find ways to make your course unique and different from all the rest.

What other tools do you use to run your digital training business?

I also use Thinkific for my digital courses in Ease & Flow Academy.

Do you have any big mistakes you’ve made along the way that you’d be willing to share?

None that I can think of. I’ve been doing this for over 30 years. With my experience, my main goal is to help leaders get transformative results that will bring their business and organization to the next level.

Sophia Casey site

Please tell us a little about what the money you’ve earned from your course has done for you.

The money I’ve earned from my courses helps me sustain my family’s finances. Being able to build my businesses and travel to anywhere I can that the pandemic permits. - Sophia Casey Click To Tweet

In addition to revenue are there any numbers you would like to share?

SUCCESS magazine, on CBS, NBC, Fox News, and SiriusXM radio have featured me. I authored both an eBook entitled, K.I.M. – Keep It Movin’: 10 Steps to Let Go and Fly, as well as Ease & Flow: A 31-Day Journal to Get Clear, Connected, and Courageous About Life.

In addition to the release of my first novel, Fierce Vulnerability: A Colored Girl’s Truths, Trials, and Triumphs, in August of 2020, I continue my commitment to supporting women’s global empowerment. I was a featured speaker for the Women’s Economic Forum, a conference where over 1,500 women from 110 countries attended.

What has creating your course done for you personally?

As a young professional, I was told I was too young, too gregarious, too Black, or not smart enough to take on big leadership roles. I continued to push through leaning on faith, being in action, and using my perfectly imperfect gifts to move forward and help others do the same.

Do you have a story of a transformation from any of your clients?

Here’s what they say about our course:

“I cannot thank you enough for what you and your team gave to us this week. We came to Coach Sophia a bit broken as a team and she healed us. She taught us what it means to be a life coach, and we are so grateful that we can share her knowledge, light, and warmth with our students. What we received was perfect for us, and we are forever grateful.“

TARYN, EDUCATION LEADER

It makes me feel that this is much more of a calling than simply a career. That’s why I stand firmly on my faith and my commitment to transform communities. - Sophia Casey Click To Tweet

What advice do you have for people just starting out?

As a young professional, who was once told that I was too young, too black, or not smart enough, I had not only shattered glass ceilings; those ceilings have now become my floor. Using my perfectly imperfect gifts to catapult me to great success—and help others do the same.

My advice is to follow their calling. They should have clear goals on what they want to do and how they want to help people.

Learn more about Sophia Casey of trainingbyicli.com:

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Lisa Parmley

Lisa Parmley is the founder of CourseMethod.com. After gaining a Master's degree in Biology, she worked in research for about 7 years.

Lisa decided to start her own training company in 2001, helping people pass a professional exam. In that time, she created online courses as well as books, DVD's, CD's, and testing software. That course has earned multiple 7-figures throughout the years.

She created SEO and authority site building training around 2007 which went on to earn well into the 6-figure mark.

She has 21+ years of experience in the trenches doing both creating and selling online courses. Download her 7-figure Online Course Success Blueprint here.

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