Friday, August 12, 2022

Irvine educational startup sees big growth during pandemic’s online pivot

Want to promote your cooking classes? Or maybe a how-to course on calligraphy, wood carving – or backyard patio building?

For companies that want to serve a wider audience, Kajabi in Irvine has an e-commerce platform where entrepreneurs can create, market, and sell educational content.

The company was founded in 2010 by Kenny Reuter, who made a sprinkler toy made of PVC pipe for his sons. When other parents started asking how they could create similar creations, Rutgers made a how-to video. But he didn’t want to give it up, so he made Kajabi.

Kajabi doesn’t take a cent of the creators’ profits, so they get to keep whatever they create on the platform. Customers get a free 14-day trial to see if they like it and can then subscribe to one of three pricing plans: basically $119 per month, $159 per month Increase and Pro for $319 per month.

Each plan has different levels of pipelines, products, and contacts. Pipeline is a marketing automation tool that allows creators to build marketing funnels to streamline the way they run their online business.

Products refer to the products they can create through Kajabi, including an online course, a coaching program, a membership site, or an online community. And contacts are people on the email list, many of whom may not be active members.

We asked Samantha Mathews, Kajabi’s Vice President of People Operations, to talk about the company and its growth over the past two years.

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Why: Tell me about the process of how Kajabi works.

a: When you create a Kajabi account, you can create online courses, coaching programs, membership sites, communities, and more to sell what you know. After customers create their digital product, Kajabi helps them bring it to the world through marketing funnels, email marketing, and websites. Whether it is company expansion or a solo entrepreneur, our tools help them build a sustainable knowledge business.

Why: How many people have used Kajabi to create, market and sell their educational materials since the company was founded in 2010?

a: Since 2010, more than 56,000 clients have published 1.1 million products, including courses, podcasts, coaching programs and communities.

Why: You state that your company doubled its headcount during the COVID-19 pandemic last year to 414 and generated annual revenue of over $100 million, an increase of more than 250% over the past two years. How were you able to generate that kind of growth?

a: COVID-19 has brought a whole new set of challenges to the way we work, and our online-based platform has addressed a lot of needs to make it a place for people to find businesses online. The ability to appeal to such a large variety of entrepreneurs and creators solidifies us as a viable and trusted resource for people looking for resources to build their business in this new virtual environment. The functionality and features of our product unlock value for a newbie in the market as well as well established businesses. That versatility has contributed to our exponential growth.

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Why: What topics do entrepreneurs promote through your website, and what are some of the more unusual ones?

a: Standard course topics include health and wellness instructors, life coaches, business coaching, cooking courses, photography courses, “how-to” courses and podcasts. Some of the more unusual ones include foraging for mushrooms, clown school, learning Celtic drumming, horse ballet, and how to make a balloon arch.

Why: What have been the company’s biggest challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic?

a: Adopting a fully remote environment for an extended period of time brought new challenges to the way we communicate and maintain cross-functional collaboration. We tried to solve this with more frequent, monthly leadership meetings and Ask Me Anything sessions with our President and CEO. We have since moved back to a hybrid schedule. And with COVID-19 expected to be in the past, we are proactive to continue building on the culture we have created.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.
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