How Kelli Alaina Went From Elementary School Teacher to Earning a Living Online

Kelli Alaina believes teachers possess all of the key ingredients to be successful entrepreneurs.

Now why wouldn’t she?

After all, Kelli is a teacherpreneur herself – she’s the founder of a 3,000+ strong Facebook community and the popular kellyalaina.com blog.

Kelli has harnessed her passion for teaching, content creation, and creativity to help others build the confidence and know-how to get their own businesses off the ground. With a range of resources and services, including eCourses, guidebooks and coaching services, she’s secured her place as one of the go-to mentors of the “teacherpreneur” space.

What’s more is that Kelli is making an impressive recurring income while doing all of this!

By listening out for the needs and wants of her audience, Kelli has launched three successful digital products since December 2015. And every one of them has made her over $2,000 within the first few days of launching!

Itching for the secret to her success? Of course you are.

Kelli Alaina tells us how she did it.

Income is a By-Product

Imagine queues of people lining up for your product before it even hits the digital shop floor. Well, this is Kelli’s style.

In just one year, and aside from her coaching services, Kelli kicked off three digital products that made her audience cry “Woohoo!”. Everytime, the product was inspired by her audience, and designed for her audience.

Recurring income became a by-product of helping other teacherpreneurs reach their goals.

Here’s the why, what and how of each product.

Instagram Mini Course

Kelli’s first product was an online mini course to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses using Instagram. This product was inspired by a resounding request for more information on Instagram for business from her Facebook Group, TeacherpreneurTribe.

“When I polled my community on which social media platform they were most interested in learning more about, the overwhelming majority chose Instagram. Knowing this, I made it my mission to take courses, apply what I learned, and teach them everything I could to help them be successful in growing their businesses on Instagram.”

Kelli first created hype about the mini course with a 25-day free challenge. This hook developed the energy and excitement that led to the fast success of the mini course once launched.

“The challenge was a great way for my tribe to rally around each other as a community and enjoy the experience together. It also created a lot of buzz and generated tons of great testimonials very quickly. When I launched the course directly after the conclusion of the challenge, lots of people were eager to join the program right away.”

The course was pitched only to Kelli’s email list, which included followers who were already familiar with the free challenge. At a crazy affordable price of just $19, she managed to make a turnover of $2,000 in just a couple of days.

Goal Setting Guidebook

A short while after the mini course, Kelli found herself in a sticky situation understood by many… a New Year. In January she decided to help out her fellow teacherpreneurs striving to meet their business resolutions in 2016.

She had originally planned on hosting a free goal-setting workshop via Google Hangouts. But just a couple of days before the workshop, Kelli realised that an hour might not be enough time to cover all the helpful content she planned to share.

Her solution was a detailed guidebook for sale after the workshop that would provide the A-Z strategy used for goal setting in her own business. This guidebook was a hit, and at just $27 each, Kelli made an astounding $2,000 in a number of days. The workshops also led to more coaching sessions for inspired teacherpreneurs.

 

Stand Out Brand Camp

And if you think products 1) and 2) sounded good, product 3) turned out to be the most profitable of them all.

This was Kelli’s signature teacherpreneur programme, Stand Out Brand Camp. A 10-week live programme based on the struggles of her audience: how to build a solid business foundation, create clear messaging, develop a strategic marketing plan, and design a head turning visual vibe.

Using email marketing, Kelli was able to fill up her programme to full capacity, generating over $15,000 in revenue before even finishing the full, planned email sequence.

“I’ve since gone on to refine Stand Out Brand Camp based on my members’ feedback and I’ve launched it twice more since the first beta run. Within eight months, this program has generated over $55k in sales since its beta inception. My mind was blown!”

Kelli’s Top Tips for Unleashing Your Teacherpreneur

Now, as amazing as Kelli’s story is, she believes that teachers around the world could share similar success stories if they made the right choices.

“It definitely wasn’t rocket science. If you’re a teacher, you can do this, too! You already know how to plan units and lessons. With a little training in marketing and beta product creation, I truly believe you can take your skills online to help others while creating more income for yourself!”

Follow Kelli’s top four tips carving out your own entrepreneurial path.

Tip #1 – Admit your passion and value

Kelli’s first piece of advice is to reflect on the things you’re passionate about. Whether teaching-related or not, what drives you personally will drive your business.

“As a teacher, you already possess all the skills and traits that the best entrepreneurs need to have – creativity, brilliant ideas, clear communication skills​, the ability to organise and create meaningful content, and a heart for what you do.”

By leveraging these talents along with your area of passion, you too could become a successful teacherpreneur.

Related reading: How can a teacher make more money as an entrepreneur?

Tip #2 – Seek inspiration and aspiration

No great accomplishment was ever achieved alone. So make it your mission to find other teacherpreneurs that you admire, that you aspire to be, and learn everything you can from them.

“You certainly don’t want to ever be a copycat – your audience will be able to smell that a mile away – but you can learn so much by just paying close attention to whoever it is you want to be like when your business “grows up”

Free content and guidance is readily available on blogs, podcasts, and other free resources of the people and businesses that inspire you. Find out why they’re so successful, why they’re so loved, what makes them different.

Tip #3 – Invest in your growth

Finally, think carefully about what you need to invest.

If you’ve got time, then it may be worth learning to do things yourself. But if you don’t have time, be smart about investing financially in the things you can’t do to speed up growth.

“Every entrepreneur must make two kinds of investments in his or her business – investments of time and investments of money. You simply can’t run a business without those two things.”

By investing smartly, you’ll be able to hit your income goals faster than if you try to figure everything out on your own using free tools and resources.

Tip #4 – Engage your audience

One of Kelli’s most effective strategies for attracting and directing traffic to her brand has been her online community, starting with Facebook.

“By creating a fun and collaborative environment, I’ve been able to create a space where my audience likes to hang out, connect with like-minded peers, and learn from each other to improve their businesses.”

Her email list has largely consists of the most engaged members of her online community. These are the loyal customers who can’t wait to jump on new courses, programmes and other resources from Kelli.

“I believe it’s never too soon to start building your email list. When you treat your subscribers like gold, they’ll be your most loving and loyal lifetime customers.”

Kelli’s Treasure Box of Tools

Tools for business success comes in all shapes and sizes, and you can’t possibly work through them all. That’s why a reference from someone like Kelli saves you time, pointing you toward resources she has found to be most valuable.

Kelli’s a big fan of Pat Flynn’s book Will It Fly? and Smart Passive Income. This, together with Ryan Levesque’s book Ask, were important tools in the ideation and development of her Stand Out Brand Camp programme.

For learning on-the-go, Kelli recommends Amy Porterfield’s Marketing Made Easy podcast and James Wedmore’s Mind Your Business podcast. Lastly, Marie Forleo’s B-School, an online training course released once per year, is high on her list of recommendations.

“The knowledge I’ve gained and the relationships I’ve formed as a result of my B-School experience have played a huge part in my success.”

When Will Your Story Begin?

If you’re interested in more stories like Kelli’s, check out our blog. Or maybe you’re ready to start your own story?

Go ahead and write down some ideas now on how you might be able to make money. Let us know in the comments below, and share with your teacher-friends!

Want to learn how to automate, delegate,  be more productive, enjoy life and boost your profit? Check out our high level mastermind for educators.