This is an interview with Ariel Schiffer of Dreampro.
Hey, Ariel. Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
Hey there! I was born and raised in NYC and now reside in Charlotte, North Carolina.
I have a background in Industrial Organizational Psychology and spent about a decade in the corporate world designing professional and leadership development training. I now own a course creation agency, Dreampro, for small businesses and entrepreneurs who are looking to have their course created for them.
What’s your background and what was your life like before starting a business?
Before I started Dreampro, I worked as an HR Consultant and Instructional Designer for Fortune 50 companies, non-profit organizations, and private companies across industries.
I enjoyed my work for the most part and lived a fairly “average” life, although I always knew there was something more for me out there. After a while it also felt very mundane.
What made you leave the corporate world?
I was constantly striving to move up the corporate ladder, which I did, but constantly found myself feeling restricted in my creativity and potential.
Eventually, the final straw was getting reprimanded at my last job for dying my hair pink because I didn’t ask for permission first. I quit on the spot and told myself I would never work for anyone else again.
How did you choose your niche and business model?
I started Dreampro as a career coach because working in HR, I was constantly helping people with their careers and resumes. I was doing some freelance work and realized how huge the coaching industry really was and decided to jump all in!
Eventually, I felt less passionate about helping people in their careers and more passionate about business. I ended up purchasing a course that I was SO excited about, only to feel incredibly let down. It became the lightbulb moment I needed to show me that people needed my instructional design expertise and this was something I can really turn into a business.
What did the transition from an employee to CEO look and feel like?
It looked like me dying my hair hot pink and standing up for my own values before anyone else’s!
Not the norm, probably, but I made a conscious decision to trust myself even if others didn’t to make it work. I already had a good work ethic so I continued to build my business because there was NO turning back.
Although I was used to working pretty autonomously, there were definitely some adjustments when it came to working from home with my husband who is also a coach!
Read also: How Liza Went from Being Stuck to Starting a Successful Coaching Business at 23
How long did it take you to go full-time with your business?
I quit my job 3 months after starting my business. At that point I was making what I made in my corporate job per month and it only went up from there once I dedicated even more of my time into building it.
What inspired you to start designing courses and create Dreampro?
So even though I have created and been a part of hundreds of courses and programs in my career, what really made me explore the done-for-you side of my business was while I was a career coach, I had a freelance job working for a keynote speaker where I helped him turn his book into a course.
My bookkeeper saw his name on my books and asked about what I was doing for him. When I told her, she asked if I could help her revamp her existing course to make it better, and so I did.
She was blown away by what I did for her, told people in her network, and my business grew like wildfire. I guess you can say, the rest is history.
Read also: 10 Signs You’re Ready to Create an Online Course
Who do you help and what’s Dreampro’s mission?
Dreampro’s mission is to improve the quality of learning in the online business industry. We serve small businesses and entrepreneurs with both done-for-you and do-it-yourself services.
What offers do you currently have and what do they include?
Currently, we offer done-for-you services and my course on creating courses, The Course Alchemist.
Our done-for-you services include everything from top to bottom when it comes to course creation. This includes market research, curriculum planning, as well as creating any or all slides in addition to providing resources needed for your program.
We do your course tech setup and truly help you turn content into a high-quality, educational program. We are also offering services to help you with your client experience and marketing your course.
The Course Alchemist is for the DIY course creator and is based on our signature method we use with our clients.
What steps did you take to scale your business to 6 figures?
I was consistent, persistent, and passionate as hell. I also pivoted when I needed to and always strived to only do things that felt good to me, which meant what I offered and how I helped people was always in alignment.
Don’t get it twisted though, there were definitely plenty of things I did (and had to do) that weren’t my favorite, but it was my responsibility as a business owner and especially when I was starting out, I didn’t always have the revenue to outsource everything.
Clear focus and consistency is key. Don’t give up.
At what point did you start outsourcing and who’s on your team now?
I started to outsource small tasks in my business just a few months in.
To be honest I made a lot of bad hires in the beginning of my business, but it taught me SO much. Like for instance, don’t do things how other people do them- do what you know and trust. I should have leaned into my HR expertise early!.
Now, I have about 18 people on my team, mostly on my agency side and each person is very specialized in what they do, which makes the output incredible. I have so much love for the people I get to work with.
What are some of the top mistakes you see course creators make?
The first thing that came to mind is pre-selling and rushing the process. Pre-selling your course 9/10 times is a recipe for disaster.
If you think about it, you’re selling something that doesn’t exist, something that likely you’ve never done before. Once you sell it, you now have the pressure to create it usually on a specific timeline.
The outcome is usually something that people want to redo anyways, which does a disservice to those who invested in you. If you do the course creation process the right way, there is no need to pre-sell to validate your idea. Your idea is already validated.
What’s your advice for course creators who already have a program but don’t make sales?’
My advice for online course creators is to figure out why it isn’t selling.
Ask an ideal client why they don’t want to buy. Gather data and get down to the truth. Don’t take business so personal! Successful businesses make decisions out of data.
Here’s another tip–don’t be afraid to connect with people and ask the tough questions. The truth will save you time and energy.
What’s your take on live launches vs evergreen funnels?
Live launches are needed to sell your programs evergreen.
Evergreen selling is appealing to people who want to do the least amount of work (trust me dude, I get it). But the truth is live launching will give you the data you need to successfully create an evergreen funnel that will convert.
Use live launches to perfect your messaging and see what works and what doesn’t so that your evergreen funnels can provide you a better outcome.
Read also: Behind The Scenes of a $23K Course Launch: Interview with Deasha Waddup
What’s next for you and Dreampro?
I have hairy, scary goals for Dreampro. I can’t reveal too much yet, but everything we do is in alignment with our mission, so we will be offering and creating some other products/ services that will really change the way we buy, sell, and create courses in the future. Keep an eye out!