The Astrology Academy so far
Exactly 1 year ago I launched the Embodied Soul Astrology Academy. From the very beginning, the courses have been focused on applying your natal chart to your business.
I was quite clear that I wanted to create a range of bite-sized Astrology Courses rather than going straight into a 1 year program and I’m really glad I went this way to give myself time to let the courses develop.
I first launched Foundations of Astrology to give people new to Astrology the core foundations they would need. This was soon followed by Your Astrological Signature covering your Sun, Moon and Rising Sign, Astrology Abundance all about Money Astrology, and Your Astrological Style covering Mercury, Venus and Mars.
I also developed a free Astrology Course – Astrology Basics which is my one and only opt-in for the Academy.
A few stats on the Academy
Over 840 people have been through my Astrology Basics Course with a course rating of 5 stars.
We have 40 paying students many of whom have enrolled in multiple courses – some who have been through all of them.
The Astrology basics course currently converts to a paid student at 5% conversion.
The Astrology Basics course completion rates is 16% which is 6% above industry averages.
We have a 33% completion rate for our paid courses which is 23% above industry averages!
What’s next for the Academy?
The courses planned for the next 6 months include Your Astrological Substance covering Jupiter and Saturn (Launching August 2020), Your Astrological Soul covering Neptune, Pluto, Chiron and Uranus (Launching October 2020) and Your Astrological Purpose covering the Lunar Nodes and your 10th House and MC line launching early 2021.
The initial 8 courses form the basis of the Level 1 Business Astrology Training that will become a 1-year certification next year.
In 2021 I also hope to develop an AstroBranding Course along with a number of Business Astrology courses that will form the Level 2 Business Astrology Training.
My learnings from creating an Academy
Let the vision develop over time
I didn’t let not having a full vision stop me from getting started, I let the vision filter in overtime and I’m really glad I didn’t let this stop me. I have so many ideas for the academy, more than I can implement immediately but that is part of the excitement of what I am building.
Have a strategic plan for courses and launches
My year 1 goals have been quite ambitious and so far we have launched: Foundations of Astrology twice, Your Astrological Signature twice, Astrology Abundance once and Your Astrological Style once and well as launching the 1 year bundle. So that’s 7 launches in a year for the academy.
So a key factor to staying on track has been planning out all the launches and live course dates for the year and project managing the development of the courses to stay on track. I use Asana to help me do this and yes I use Astrology to pick my launch dates!
Expect the unexpected
I didn’t know that I would create a unique Astrobranding framework that is now a signature service for 1:1 clients or that I would go into bespoke Astrobranding Brand Identity services for clients. It has been really important to stay open to what has downloaded and where my heart and soul is taking me.
Know that your branding will evolve
When I first created the academy I had a seed of an idea but I didn’t have the full vision downloaded.
I engaged a designer to create branding for the first major course and the academy but honestly as I rapidly created courses the branding became messy as I hadn’t created enough versatility in the brand for all the different course topics.
I think this is really common and not something to feel bad about, our brands will grow with us and need reimagining over time.
So I recently rebranded the academy to allow for greater flexibility and growth and it feels more grown up, professional and flexible.
Be clear on how you positioning and market offerings
At the start of this year I created a bundle with a monthly payment plan for all the Level 1 courses but my positioning and marketing of this offer wasn’t great.
I was unclear whether what I was selling was a bundle or a specific level of training.
When I relaunch this in late 2020- early 2021 I’ll be clear that this provides a full level 1 Business Astrology Training and option to certify as a Business Astrology using my framework.
That being said we did have some lovely ladies sign up for the full year and it has been great to see them progress through the courses AND a great source of regular income.
A Free Course takes time to convert
After creating a few paid courses I created a free course. Yes kind of back to front I know!
Initially it didn’t convert to sales and I was concerned. Did I give too much away? Do people want to pay for premium astrology training?
I should have known better with all my years of online course creation and launching that typically there is a 3-12 month warming up process before people purchase because low and behold it did start converting and we now have a 5% conversion rate without a whole lot of effort.
We have a nurture sequence after the free course and we offer a discount on the initial paid courses to encourage students to become paying students.
We don’t do remarketing advertising at this stage but I write a weekly blog and newsletter to build trust and authority.
You don’t have to have a Facebook Group
I was really intentional about not creating a Facebook group for the Academy. I’ve run Facebook groups for years with my other courses and whilst great they take a lot of effort to manage and run and build interaction.
I really didn’t want to tie myself into a “lifetime access” group again as I have noticed that I feel quite drained by keeping a “container” such as this permanently open.
I may create one for the next round of Level 1 students but it will be time bound to the 12 months and be part of a premium service offering.
The course platform I use (Thinkific) does have community functionality but it still has a way to go in my opinion to be fully integrated with the course so as to be effective.
I’ve found that by turning on discussions for each lesson that people are able to get personalised feedback on their charts but it has kept them focused on “doing the work” and I’m sure this is part of why our completion rates are so high. We also have weekly live calls when the courses are having live rounds.
The key lesson here – you don’t have to have a Facebook group and in many cases your students get better results by not having them!
I’m really proud of what I have created in just 12 months and looking forward I’d love to see a 2-year certification program and Astrology Retreats offered through the Academy (once Covid has settled).