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An Overview of Marie Forleo’s B-School (& why I continue to take it, year after year)
There’s a common misconception that B-School is for beginners. I’ve heard it said before that after a certain number of years in business, you somehow become too qualified or perhaps too advanced for B-School.
I’m here to bust that myth with my B-School deep dive and also living proof that’s just not true.
As I enter the 5th year of my second business, I’ll be taking B-School yet again.
Why? Because every year I’ve gone through and deep-dived into B-School myself it brings me immense value and growth to my business.
It also helps me remain proactive in my business growth. Ensuring that the business I’m building fits around my ideal life… rather than the other way around.
I started my first business in 2011 but closed up shop in 2015 after the birth of my second child. The struggle of juggling a newborn, a toddler and an online coaching business was just too much for me to handle.
But in early 2016 I needed something for myself and I wanted to contribute financially at home. More on that in a minute…
I was well aware of Marie Forleo from my coaching days and an avid fan of MarieTV. And to be honest, I never signed up for B-School during those years because I thought it was for beginners with no marketing experience. It felt like such a lofty investment for material “I already knew…” (yep, I’m laughing at my old self, too, as I type this out…).
In fact, as an early coach, I invested nearly TWICE the cost of B-School on a very similar type of program for online entrepreneurs. I learned from some of the best in the industry and felt I was good.
However, during that time, the one thing I always longed for from afar when running my coaching business… was the B-School community.
I heard from B-School that the community was irreplaceable… almost, unexplainable. Invaluable. They explained it as an intimate family… but with tens of thousands. A community that gets you at every level yet is composed of individuals from so many different walks of life and corners of the earth.
I had a longing for that type of community…
But it wasn’t until the end of my first business and the beginning of my second did I convince myself that B-School was worth it.
I signed up for B-School in early 2016 and have NEVER regretted my decision.
In fact, signing up for B-School is likely the best investment I’ve ever made. And I continue to receive value year after year.
Today I wanted to give you a deep dive into the B-School program but also share a bit more on the value it’s provided me and my business.
Is B-School great for beginners? Absolutely. But is B-School also great for those with a business already? Absolutely.
Here’s my story (alongside a deep dive into Marie Forleo’s B-School) to prove both of those statements are true:
But before it even starts…
Upon signing up for the program and receiving access to the portal you receive some foundational training before the program even starts.
Start the Right Business is the first bonus training that’s available immediately upon entering the course portal. This bonus training grants you the clarity you need to move forward with the right (for you!) business.
In 2011, this was monumental for me. A few months into my second business I was thinking about making a pivot. I ran through this training and confirmed the pivot was a smart (and viable) choice for my business.
The Follow-Through Formula is the second bonus training that’s available before the program begins. I’m sure you can relate to the so-many-ideas syndrome many entrepreneurs experience. This training helps develop strategies to get through them all. No more half-done to-do lists or focusing on the unimportant.
I was tempted to skip this training as I was pumped for the real stuff… but I was dedicated to getting every ounce of value out of the program so I dove right in. I was so glad I did as it provided some simple and effective strategies to ensure I was productive through the entire B-School program.
I’m also one of the few that went through (and completed!) every section of B-School on schedule my first year. I credit a good part of that accomplishment to starting this bonus training.
Side note, I’ve since learned A LOT of B-Schoolers like to slow down and go at their own pace. After all, you do get lifetime access so this is totally possible. The important thing here is to follow-through on your own goals, schedules, and timelines.
It begins! Module 1.
Module 1 is all about laying a strong, strategic foundation… that’s profitable.
In fact, a lot of the content I learned in this module has proven so important I walk my web design clients through something very similar before designing their websites. Because if they’re not clear on their business vision, goals and strategy… a website won’t do them much good.
In year one of B-School, this module helped me lay a strong foundation while getting crystal clear on my ideal client.
In the years thereafter, it invites slight pivots in my strategy, my ideal client and overall vision to ensure I’m still going after the business of my dreams. My ideal client has definitely changed over the years as I’ve gained more experience and clarity on the type of business I want to run, the type of clients I want to work with and who I can best serve.
Clearly, Module 2 is my favorite!
Module 2 is all about websites.
But not just a pretty website, but a strategic, purposeful website that’s built to serve you 24/7. A website that effortlessly supports the foundation you created in Module 1.
In my first year, I had a website before joining B-School but it was basic. And screamed beginner. While I love technology and all things websites, I’ve found a lot of entrepreneurs get overwhelmed and frustrated with tech. Marie breaks this module down so simply. She covers how to choose the right platform for your business, how to work with professionals, how to get started if you’re DIYing, how to create a website that converts and more.
Now, as a web designer myself, I’ll admit, I breeze through this module every year BUT I don’t skip it. Ever. There is always new content being added and the material is always being reviewed and revised as needed to make it relevant year after year. This helps me stay at the top of my game and advise clients accordingly.
Module 3 is all about content marketing.
If you know Marie, you know she’s an absolute pro at content marketing. Just check out MarieTV. During this module, you’ll develop a customized content marketing plan for months to come. You’ll learn how to stay consistent with your communication and the strategy behind content marketing in general.
Marie simplifies this seemingly complicated topic that is an absolute must nowadays when running an online business to attract the right traffic at the right times to convert the right clients –– for you.
In my first year of Marie Forleo’s B-School, I already knew a lot about content marketing and was following some of the top in the industry at that time… but I had never heard content marketing explained so simply and broken down so easily as Marie does in this module.
This year, I plan on going through this module again to further enhance my content marketing strategy in my business to attract more of the right clients. I also plan on using this module to outline my content marketing plan for the coming year.
Next up is email marketing.
Module 4 focuses on nurturing and growing your email list. Not putting a focus on your list is actually the top mistake I see entrepreneurs making with their websites. Email marketing is still the most profitable marketing strategy, regardless of your business.
This module talks you through how to be smart and strategic with your list growth. How to attract the right audience. Marie not only explains why list building is vital to any business but walks you through tried and true methods to growing your list… and then clearly explains what to do with that list once you’ve got it.
In my first year of B-School, I had a couple hundred on my email list already and thought I was doing a pretty good job. But this module made me thing of email marketing in a whole new light.
This year, with now over 700 individuals on my list and a strong nurture sequence already in place, I’m going to go through this module focusing on how to continue to grow my list but also how to best leverage my existing audience.
Module 5 dives deep into your products and/or services offerings.
Module 5 is where I made the mindset shift that I’m not just building websites. This is where I began to deeply understand what my clients really want and need and then how to deliver that to them. Marie discusses strategies on proper positioning, sales, pricing, delivery of products and services and more during this module.
Regardless if you’re offering products (digital or physical) or services, this module will help you maximize your sales… without ever feeling like you’re actually selling.
In my first year through B-School’s program, this was GOLDEN. So many other service providers were building websites… but what made me different? What made any and all competition completely irrelevant? That was uncovered and discovered in this module.
This year, I plan to go through this module again to see how I can provide an even higher level of service to my existing clients and continue to build deep relationships with those I work with.
Last but not least, leave with timeless marketing strategies for modern entrepreneurs.
Module 6 explains the importance of sales and marketing but in a not sleazy way. You’ll learn timeless strategies on how to authentically and organically market your business in today’s world. Marie also covers the basics of copywriting as well as smart pricing strategies for your offerings.
In year one, this module reframed a lot of limiting beliefs I had about sales and reaffirmed some others. It also further helped me understand the psychology behind decision making and how that affects potential clients moving forward or not.
This year, I’m confident I could benefit from another go-around of this topic. I’ll also be going through alongside my inner circle of B-Schoolers helping them implement proven strategies and principles learned years prior.
But then there’s this, too.
B-School is just 8 weeks long. That’s a new module released each week + two implementation weeks for.. Well… implementation. But then there are the bonuses. Additional trainings and bonus materials are released throughout the B-School program and then thereafter it concludes.
Aside from the 6 core modules of B-School, they include the following as bonus trainings (this year):
- Timeless Social Media Strategies That Work
- How to Get Fantastic Testimonials
- SEO Basics: Optimize Your Site
- How to Grow from 6 to 7 Figures
- Systems, Teams & Massive Productivity
- PR Strategies to Skyrocket Your Visibility
- How to Grow Your List at Hyper Speed
- All About Opt-ins
- Smart Marketing for Product-Based Businesses
- Set Up Your Metrics + Analytics
- Get Started with WordPress, Squarespace, and Shopify
And then, if that’s not enough, they overdeliver with their support and community:
- You’ll get dedicated B-School mentor coaches guiding you through their area of expertise
- Live comments beneath each training video… that are actually monitored and responded to.
- Live office hours with Marie herself
- The supportive community mentioned earlier on that is JUST for B-School students (+alumni thereafter).
- The best support team I’ve ever seen that’s always there.
Since joining B-School back in 2016 I have YET to sign up for another online training program for my business. I just haven’t had any need to. Between the lifetime access and supportive community, B-School has been all I’ve ever needed to grow my business into what it is today.
So, as an experienced entrepreneur with a profitable, established business… will I be taking B-School again this year? You betcha!