AllStreet Academy: How We Built It (YFCD #8)

We launched AllStreet Academy for one day only at $99. In 24 hours, 126 students purchased the class. This is a quick breakdown of how we made it happen:

Welcome back,

On September 1st, we launched AllStreet Academy for one day only at $99.

In 24 hours, 126 students purchased the class.

This edition of the newsletter is a quick breakdown of exactly what we did to make it come to life.

1) Established a goal

Just like working with clients, we first figured out where we wanted to go and what we wanted to accomplish.

For context, this wasn't put together in a week and hastily launched.

Ever since I started my firm in 2020, I've been thinking about why all of the existing education out there isn't "enough".

You can learn anything in the world on the internet, yet people still say "I wish they would've taught us XYZ in school".

Knowing that we didn't get proper financial education in school, everything I created for the brand speaks to that feeling - the tagline, the name (Academy), the language (class, enroll).

There are also a million different ways we could've framed the teachings and formatted the content but once we started talking about it, we found that our strength is teaching everything we know about how to create a personal financial plan, while sharing the education necessary to do so.

The videos aren't monotone readings of standard personal finance definitions - they're our perspectives on how to manage money as someone growing up in today's world:

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Takeaway: We saw a gap in the market that aligned with our audience and our expertise, so everything was created around one central idea: "the financial education we should've gotten in school"

2) Created an outline & determined content format, guidelines

Knowing what our goal was, everything else started to fall into place.

We thought about what we wish we would've learned in school, listened to what clients have mentioned as being helpful, and put together an 11-chapter outline of what we wanted to teach.

We used Notion to keep chapters and their lessons organized:

With each chapter, we determined what a student will get from each video. So alongside mentioning what they should gain from each chapter, we created action items and made templates for things that we ask them to do - like this:

3) Picked a platform

Since we plan to build the AllStreet Academy brand for as long as people are interested, we needed a course platform that showed the ability to scale.

We went with Podia - and Circle was another strong contender, but it's a little more community-focused than what we needed.

While we have the content downloaded offline in case anything happens, having an online platform was important for being able to make updates that instantly show to all students (like contribution limits or making additional lessons).

A few reasons other I chose Podia:

  • No % fees on sales, just a monthly platform fee
  • Built-in email marketing
  • Easy-to-create courses
  • Webinar hosting
  • Ability to upsell other products
  • Ability to create affiliates
  • Ability to make discount codes

Choosing a platform allowed us to get an understanding of what was possible and how the course was actually going to be structured & formatted once it was in someone's hands.

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Student experience was at the forefront of every decision made throughout the creation process

4) Committed to a launch date & started marketing

Knowing what we wanted to accomplish and how we were going to do it, we set a launch date so that we could build a waitlist to market to (and to help ourselves beat Parkinson's Law).

Early in the summer, we settled on a one-day launch on September 1st for three reasons:

  • It was the same day as the two-year anniversary of AllStreet Wealth
  • We wanted to create demand (limited time)
  • We wanted to reward those who follow our content and pay attention, and get feedback from them to improve the course for relaunch

At the end of June, I made a landing page for allstreetacademy.com and put a simple "join the waitlist" email form with a breakdown of the course outline.

In three months, we had 316 people join the waitlist—a warm audience to market our $99 class to.

5) Assigned content & recorded videos

Once we had a purpose, an outline, and a date set - we assigned content to each of us and recorded the videos in our own home offices.

To keep the video style similar, we all wore black & white and kept similar camera heights across the board.

Each of us is more comfortable recording in our own way, but this guide was the standard for how we approached the video process. For example, Thomas does better without a script and I like to have everything outlined and written out before I get started. Whatever works best for you to get them done.

We finished all recordings in the beginning of August and uploaded them into a shared Google Drive folder so that I could download them for editing & keep everything organized.

6) Edited videos

This was by far the most time-consuming part of the process.

I spent almost all of August editing the 46 videos, downloading them, uploading them into the course, writing descriptions, and getting everything within the course ready for launch.

To make editing as easy as possible, I stuck with a simple black & white, text-heavy editing style so that when we have to make updates in the future, it's easy to do and I don't have to replicate complex edits:

Everything was done in Canva & iMovie.

The graphics were created in Canva, downloaded as JPEGs or MP4s, uploaded to iMovie, and then edited to match the speaker's content.

7) Video hosting & course content

Once the videos were edited, they still had to be hosted somewhere to be put inside the course.

A lot of people use YouTube, but I didn't want external branding to be part of the student experience - this is an example of what pausing an embedded YT video would look like to a student, littered with other videos & unnecessary UI:

So I chose Vimeo - which lets you host videos, customize the video player, create subtitles, and generate a transcript. It's perfect for a course because there are no features other than the video, so someone can't get distracted if they pause to take notes:

8) Launch day

Once everything was put together, I ran through the course several times to make sure all of the links worked, the right videos were embedded, etc.

Then once we were ready to go live, I published the course and tested a purchase to make sure everything worked properly.

Within 3 minutes of that, we sold the first seat (with no marketing, idk how it happened).

Then, we sent a launch email out at 4:30am and started posting on Twitter and LinkedIn:

The launch email that generated $4,158:

Throughout the day, we sent 4 total emails - all with multiple call-to-actions to buy:

While we were strategic with almost every decision, sometimes just having fun works too:

What's next

Right now, we're taking student feedback and making updates, recording more videos, and preparing to relaunch the class at $149 on October 1st.

Rather than one day only, it'll be open in perpetuity.

Assuming people may want to buy the class for others, I made a gift certificate option where we'll send a unique 100% discount code to someone who can then share it with a student, coworker, friend, kid—anyone who'd benefit from approachable financial education:

We'll see how it goes.


Who is your enemy?

Source

The perfect way to think about branding yourself online as a financial advisor.

Positioning yourself against something gives you familiarity and an angle to use within your messaging & marketing.

For AllStreet, some of our enemies are:

  • "Traditional" financial advisors
  • Outdated, substance-lacking service models
  • Google / influencers

For Yeti Coolers, the enemies are non-sustainable cooling & storage methods:

Source
Source
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Who are you portraying as the enemies of your brand?


Improve Your Calendar Experience

We briefly touched on the calendar experience in the last edition of YFCD, but I wanted to share one more thing to help you get more scheduled meetings.

The easiest improvement to make is the copywriting that goes on your landing page.

Every scheduling tool has default names, default confirmation emails, etc. To stand out and get people to feel more comfortable scheduling a call with you, you need to customize the experience & give context - like this:

Source

In the two screenshots, you can visually see the difference but the key is in the writing and what's there—social proof, bullet point agenda, setting expectations.

A different example, here's the calendar landing page for my design discovery calls:

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When was the last time you reviewed (and updated) your calendar copywriting?

Converting Attention: In Action

Thomas was recently featured in a Fortune article about ChatGPT vs Advisors, which made its way to Apple News' homepage:

See the article

Here's what happened next:

  • Someone read the article
  • Went to our website (mentioned in the article)
  • Submitted the intake form
  • Our assistant reached out to schedule a call
  • Then, in the discovery meeting, they mentioned they weren't in the market for an advisor until they read the article and visited our website

Specifically, the language we use & the service we provide spoke to them. So they decided it was time to work with someone and signed with us shortly after the call.

$18,000 of annual revenue - all from getting attention in the press and having a proper structure on the backend to convert it.

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If someone saw your name mentioned somewhere, how easy is the process to find you, learn more, reach out, and become a client?

[Free PDF] Common money mistakes

To help you capture attention, I made the first ebook I used on my own website available for Club members to download, edit, & use:

Get the PDF

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