Educational inspiration and PE teacher, Dale Sidebottom, has ventured on an entrepreneurial journey leading to a number of successful businesses. From educational apps for teachers, to fitness workshops, Dale is taking shape as something of an authority onins physical education.
But he didn’t just launch the #1 rated educational app in Australia, ClassBreak, by being ‘normal’.
No, Dale has carefully managed his “dream job” of teaching while at the same time pursuing his entrepreneurial passion.
Intrigued? Who wouldn’t be.
Here’s how he did it.
PE and Beyond
Dale first had the idea of an educational app whilst teaching in London. He discovered that the best way to win the attention and respect of the often rowdy children was through ice-breakers.
As Dale created and jotted down more and more of these creative, fun filled games, he started to realise that his own practical experience could be valuable to other teachers facing similar challenges.
And he was right.
After two and a half years of hard work, the teaching app ClassBreak was launched, and soon became a top rated educational app in Australia. He has since managed to leverage his personal experience and insights to offer various other resources and services at reasonable prices.
A shocking rate of success? Agreed.
So how did he manage to drive interested teachers and trainers toward his products and services?
Driving Traffic to Your Brand
According to Dale, having a product or service that is practically useful will naturally attract a customer base. When asked specifically about the app hit, ClassBreak, Dale said,
“It’s been successful as it costs teachers only $4.99 and it is a huge time saver”
The obvious usefulness of his products and services, together with the affordable price tag, have made satisfied customers his greatest channel for directing traffic toward his brand – through good old fashioned word of mouth.
Dale also mentions a few other favourites that have helped him build his brand and customer base:
Twitter – In his experience Twitter is especially effective for reaching out and engaging with fellow teachers. This interaction has often led educational peers toward his product and service offering.
“If you’re not on twitter then I would get involved”
Complementary resources – From blog posts, to email updates and podcasts, Dale shares quality content through free resources to a large base of fellow teachers and trainers. This not only demonstrates his wealth of experience, but also provides another platform to interact and engage with his customers and peers.
“I started using mailchimp which is free up to 2000 email subscribers. Start building your email lists today”
Google Ads – This tool has been particularly effective for drawing in new clients for his Members Zone and Bottoms Up Fitness businesses. Knowing the most appropriate tool for your business is key.
Want to be successful online? Learn how PE teacher Dale Sidebottom did it. @ateacherpreneur
Just Do It
Now Dale’s achievements are big, but they weren’t easy. And he definitely didn’t know it all before embarking on his first entrepreneurial venture.
In fact, Dale had to work through a few doubts and challenges of his own along the way.
One of Dale’s first challenges was to actually turn his idea into a reality. Many people have many ideas, but few people take action.
“My biggest advice is to just start with one item or product. And just do it, don’t talk about doing something, take action and create something. It’s the best feeling ever”
By taking this approach, Dale has actually come to view an uncertain future as an exciting future.
Just do it, don’t talk about doing something, take action and create something! @ateacherpreneur
Related post: Launch A Profitable & Highly Rated Mobile App In 5 Days
To Charge, or NOT to Charge? That is the Question.
Once he was up and running, the next challenge was determining at what point he should start charging for his products and services.
Now this can be tricky. The point at which you can start attaching a fee to your products and services is never very clear.
But from Dale’s experience, when something’s free, it’s perceived as less valuable. And when it’s perceived as less valuable, it’s less likely to be used.
Well that’s just a waste, right!? Right.
You want people to read, watch, attend the resources that you have to offer. The more people you can reach, the greater the impact you’re making.
So when do you “just know”? You know when you are confident enough in the quality of your product to attach a value to it.
When something’s free, it’s perceived as less valuable. And when it’s perceived as less valuable, it’s less likely to be used. @ateacherpreneur
The Importance of Other People
Fellow teacherpreneurs, friends and family have all played a big role in Dale’s journey.
Open conversations and interactions have helped Dale to get a head start on building his business and increasing sales by learning from others who’ve gone down this road before.
“I have found that listening to business podcasts have helped a lot. But the main way I have built my businesses has been by talking to other people who doing great things in the industry”
Dale is a co-founder of two businesses (My Sport Buddy and The Trainers Tribe) with close friends that he trusts and respects. He also holds The PE Geek’ & TheTeacherpreneur.com’s Jarrod Robinson in high regard as a mentor.
“I would say that having a mentor or a close friend who you can work with is also a great thing.”
Passion Above All Else
Finally, Dale stresses passion as his number one driver.
“For me, my love of making games, and then fitness. I have mixed these together to come up with new ways to make fitness fun and engaging. This has worked so well as I love it and am so passionate about what I am doing”
The common thread through all of Dale’s businesses is his love for teaching, and his love for fitness. While teaching is definitely his thing, he also finds rewards in his other businesses. And he never deviates from this passion.
And that’s why he is able to work during recess, work during school breaks. Because he’s not only working, he’s working toward what means the most to him.
And when you want something hard enough, you’ll find the time to make it happen.
When you want something hard enough, you’ll find the time to make it happen. @ateacherpreneur
Dale offers the following four simple steps:
- Find something that you’re super passionate about
- Then create just one product within that (an eBook, online course, app, anything at all!)
- Test it in the market, see if people like it and find it useful
- Once you’ve found a winner, repeat the process by adding on new products and services within your passion
So What’s Next?
Dale’s next move is to grow in the live arena, and so you’ll probably see him appear in more presentations and talks in the near future. You can also catch him on his Energetic Education and Trainers Tribe podcasts.
But the real question is, what’s next for you?
In Dale’s opinion, anyone can be an entrepreneur. It’s about starting with an idea, taking that leap out of your comfort zone, and going for it!