Ep 180 - From Teacher To 6-Figure Course CreatorAug 10, 2022
I love Kelly Bell's story.
Starting a career in teaching has its perks in course creation, because we're educators already. But what I love most about teachers transitioning into the online space is the story of reinvention.
So many members that we have in Her Empire Builder started out their journey of course creation with so much skill and expertise in one particular area. In those early days, they're thinking:
“I wonder if cost creation is for me?”
“How big can I actually go?”
“Will this replace or exceed my wage that I am used to?”
This is exactly how Kelly's story started. She has taken a really fine niche in her area of teaching, and turned that into a six figure online business, and in this beautiful interview she shares how she has made it happen.
Tell us a bit about where your journey began, Kelly.
I left the classroom in July 2020, just after COVID hit and truthfully, I had no idea what I was going to do. I was listening to every podcast under the sun, doing lots of little courses on social media and marketing.
And because I had been working in the teaching space for a really long time, I had quite a few tools in my toolkit that I hadn’t thought about leveraging. I was a president of a non-profit organization working with teachers on professional learning. I had run workshops and presented to other teachers. I'm the author of two textbooks. I had some credibility already, so when I decided to launch this business, my audience already knew me and had heard what I had to say for the best part of 12 years.
From there, I dove right into webinars, and it took up until my third webinar series to really have a launch pad to the course. I had 85 Teachers turn up on Zoom, and that’s when I knew “Okay, so this might work.”
What were your goals when you first got started? And how has that changed over the last couple of years?
My goals when I first started, was simply to do something that would bring me passion, and allow me to have the balance in my life that teaching didn’t allow.
I really wanted to use all of my expertise and make a bigger difference with my teachers, because I know what it is like to be fighting for my time and burning out. Instead, I wanted to teach people who actually care and who actually want to make a difference with their kids.
I wanted to design a life of my dreams, and I did.
You work with a small niche in the Community and Family Studies teaching field - can you share a bit with us about how you have built your list and your audience?
I haven't strayed away from Community and Family Studies at all yet for my niche, so for me, having lots of different things available to cater for new teachers to experienced teachers all under the one umbrella has worked really nicely. Low-cost offers, like conference resource books, have really been a bit of a winner for me.
I do keep an eye on my numbers (like my email list, instagram followers etc), but don't get too hung up on it. It’s more important to me that I am delivering and offering value while building slowly.
What's been the hardest part about building your online business to where you are today?
For me, the biggest frustration is that I know that I have something that a lot of people don't have in our niche, in my expertise. The unfortunate thing is that there's lots of red tape when working with schools. So my teachers want to be part of everything that I've created, but they have so much resistance from schools to let teachers learn in this way.
Even though my course could make a complete difference to a teacher and their teaching skills forever, some schools won't release them for the time required, or schools will say no to the expense. I know the value is phenomenal and so do my teachers, but it’s challenging when there is a resistance from that higher power.
But as long as I'm having fun, and making a bigger difference, then I don't get too stressed out about it.
What is your favourite thing about being part of Her Empire Builder?
It’s hard to put my finger on one thing, but I think just the people. Being with people in person and in a supportive online community that you have built within Her Empire Builder is second to none.
I love the conversations we have in our private Facebook group where people say, give me some feedback on this, or I'm struggling with that. You always have people to cheer you on, and that doesn't happen in many other places. For a lot of ambitious women, they can be the only one in their friendship group or in their local area with this kind of drive. A lot of us are used to being different, and it is really nice and comforting to have a group where you're going through the same issues and problems - whether it’s being highly driven, or a working mom - we have all of these similarities and support from one another.
Kelly Bell is a passionate educator with 18 years experience as a PD/H/PE and Community and Family Studies teacher. She has presented workshops all across her home state of New South Wales and across Australia and teaching pedagogy. She has taught calf's Community and Family Studies since 2004. Growing the course from about 15 students to over 60 students in a small all girls high school and then spent two and a half years teaching at a senior high school.
She started supporting the professional learning of teachers in 2010, where she held voluntary roles as a professional learning organization and served on the board.
Her commitment to supporting teachers to be the best educators they can be was further developed when Kelly completed a master's in educational leadership from the Australian Catholic University in 2015, and then became a Google level one educator in 2020.
Since starting the Learning Network, in 2020, she has supported over 1000 Community and Family Studies teachers across New South Wales in online courses, resources coaching and mentoring and 1000s of cast students in her year 12 Cavs master classes, Kelly is surrounded by the beach Bay and Bush on the sunny central coast of New South Wales, where she delivers massive support to enable teachers to connect, learn and grow together. She's also a very valued member of Her Empire Builder and is so wonderful to have as part of our community.
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