Kajabi’s VP reflects on the growth of online courses in the age of the pandemic
(TNS) — Are you looking to promote your cooking classes? Or maybe a hands-on lesson in calligraphy, woodcarving or building a patio in the garden?
For businesses that want to serve a large audience, Kajabi in Irvine offers an e-commerce platform where entrepreneurs can create, market, and sell educational content.
The company was founded in 2010 by Kenny Rueter, who created a sprinkler toy made from PVC pipe for his sons. When other parents started asking how they could create similar creations, Rueter made an explainer video. But he didn’t want to give it away, so he created Kajabi.
Kajabi doesn’t take a percentage of creators’ profits, so whatever they earn on the platform, they keep. Instead, customers opt for a 14-day free trial to see if they like it, then they can subscribe to one of three pricing plans: Basic at $119 per month, Growth at $159 per month and pro for $319 per month.
A pivot to online tools during the pandemic helped drive Kajabi to “exponential growth”. The company said it doubled its workforce to 414 last year and generated annual revenue of more than $100 million, an increase of more than 250% over the past two years.
We asked Samantha Matthews, Kajabi’s VP of People Operations, to talk about the company’s growth over the past two years.
Q: Explain to me the working process of Kajabi.
A: When you create a Kajabi account, you can create online courses, coaching programs, membership sites, communities and more to sell what you know. Once clients create their digital product, Kajabi helps them get it out into the world with marketing funnels, email marketing, and through the website. Whether it’s a growing business or an individual entrepreneur, our tools help them build a sustainable knowledge business.
Q: How many people have used Kajabi to create, market and sell their educational content since the company was founded in 2010?
A: Over 56,000 customers have published 1.1 million products including courses, podcasts, coaching programs and communities since 2010.
Q: How has the company been able to generate so much growth during the pandemic?
A: COVID-19 has brought a new set of challenges to the way we work, and our online platform has met many people’s needs to have a place to explore a business online. The ability to appeal to such a wide variety of entrepreneurs and creators has made us a viable and reliable resource for people looking for resources to grow their business in this new virtual environment. The functionality and features of our products unlock value for a new business venturing into the market, as well as established businesses. This versatility has contributed to our exponential growth.
Q: What are some of the topics that entrepreneurs promote through your website, and what are the most unusual?
A: Standard course topics include Health and Wellness Instructors, Life Coaches, Business Coaching, Cooking Classes, Photography Classes, Hands-On Classes, and Podcasts. Some of the more unusual include searching for mushrooms, clown school, learning Celtic drums, ballet on horseback and making a balloon arch.
Q: What have been the company’s biggest challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic?
A: Adapting to a completely remote environment for an extended period has brought new challenges in how we communicate and how to maintain cross-functional collaboration.
We have attempted to address this issue by holding more frequent monthly management meetings and question-and-answer sessions with our President and CEO. We have since returned to a hybrid schedule. And with the hope that COVID-19 is a thing of the past, we are motivated to continue building on the culture we have created.
About Samantha Matthews
Title: Vice President of Human Operations at Kajabi
Hometown: Mission Viejo
Education: University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, BA in Journalism and Mass Communication
Previous jobs: Senior Recruiter, Weedmaps; Director of Lawyer Recruitment and Development, Nossaman LLP, West Coast Legal Recruitment Manager, McDermott Will and Emery LLP
Five things to know
- Mother of two children (10 year old boy, 7 year old girl)
- Native to the east coast
- animal advocate
- Married to an entrepreneur
- avid reader
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