Listen to this episode of The Food Blogger Pro Podcast using the player above or check it out on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Spotify.
Welcome to episode 308 of The Food Blogger Pro Podcast! This week on the podcast, Bjork interviews Tomas Hoyos about hosting paid classes online with Airsubs.
Last week on the podcast, Bjork chatted with Dianne Jacob about food writing as a profession and the re-release of her book, “Will Write for Food.” To go back and listen to that episode, click here.
Selling Cooking Classes to Your Audience
You know how a lot of classes are held online these days? Have you ever thought about teaching one yourself?
Tomas is here on the podcast today to chat about how you can use his product, Airsubs, to develop a direct relationship with your audience by hosting live cooking events. Not only will he talk about how one creator made $50,000 in just one week by hosting classes on Airsubs, he unpacks why online events like this can be so lucrative for creators, especially in 2021.
It’s a great interview that will give you a ton of insights into promoting, hosting, and selling online classes of your own!
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- How he changed his business model because of the pandemic
- How a creator made $50,000 in one week on Airsubs
- How Airsubs makes it easy to host virtual events
- Common themes Tomas is seeing in virtual cooking classes
- How virtual cooking classes can be lucrative for creators
- How to craft your set-up
- How to get people to sign up for your classes
- How Airsubs helps you build your email list
- What a successful live event looks like
- How introverts can host live events
- Email Tomas at [email protected]
- Follow Airsubs on Instagram
If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions for interviews, be sure to email them to [email protected].Learn more about joining the Food Blogger Pro community!
Transcript (click to expand):
Bjork Ostrom: Hello, hello, hello. You are listening to the Food Blogger Pro Podcast. This is your Bjork Ostrom. Today we are interviewing Tomas Hoyos and he’s going to be talking about Airsubs, a business that he pivoted into when we went through this little thing called a global pandemic. And he’s going to be talking about what that was like to kind of shift gears, to focus on a new thing, to build a business from the ground up in a new area that wasn’t anticipated and some of the success that they’ve had as a business because of the success that the customers, the people who use Airsubs have experienced and kind of when they started to realize that this is an idea that has a lot of traction.
Bjork Ostrom: The thing that’s most exciting to me about this interview is the fact that Airsubs, kind of the idea behind the business and what people do when they use Airsubs is they create content. They are creating content that people pay for. And I think there’s a lot of opportunity for creators, for food creators, people who have recipe blogs, to create a product around their content, as opposed to just creating content “for free” that you monetize via sponsored content or advertising.
Bjork Ostrom: So it’s a really good category to be thinking about when it comes to building out the different revenue streams that you have within your business. And Tomas is going to be talking about the different ways that people are doing that and the success that they’re having. And I think it will be a really exciting episode for those of you who have been thinking about different ways that you can create income from your site. So without further ado, let’s go ahead and jump in. Tomas, welcome to the podcast.
Tomas Hoyos: Thanks so much for having me Bjork.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. This is one of those podcasts where I feel like it could be, we shoot for an hour usually, but it could be like a five-hour conversation. So I’ll try and get through the top 20% of what I want to talk to you, but we won’t be able to hit everything because your story is one that’s really interesting for me personally, it kind of overlaps with a lot of areas of interest. So I know that I’m going to learn a lot as well. And just as a little tease before we press record, you had shared a couple stories of users of Airsubs who were making multiple thousands of dollars a month with the product, but we’re going to use that.
Bjork Ostrom: We’re going to bury the lead, and we’re going to talk about first, the story of Airsubs because I think your story of pivoting during global pandemic, which a lot of people have had to do, is an interesting one to talk about, because I think a lot of people have this question of like, when do I continue to grind on the idea that I think might be successful versus shifting depending on what I see happening within the world. So rewind me back to, let’s say January, 2020, when life was a little bit more normal than what it is now. At that point, what were you working on and what was the focus from a business perspective for you?
Tomas Hoyos: Yeah, definitely. So first, thanks so much for having me. What did life look like before the pandemic? So yeah.
Bjork Ostrom: Hard to remember.
Tomas Hoyos: Yeah, exactly. The Airsubs story starts like about a year ago, right now in the beginning of the pandemic. And so at the time I was working on a startup and like many other businesses in the pandemic, we were deeply affected. So almost overnight we went from having tens of thousands of users who really needed our product to a lot less. And then I remember it was during that one week in March when the pandemic really took hold in New York city.
Bjork Ostrom: And you were in New York at the time.
Tomas Hoyos: Yeah. I was in New York city and the news was coming in waves and it kind of felt like a big line of dominoes. So first was there’s news coming from all over the world. There’s this coronavirus that not many people know about. And then I felt like the first shoe dropped when Tom Hanks tested positive for COVID.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, totally.
Tomas Hoyos: Australia because it was just like this big figure that everyone knows. And they’re like, oh man, if Tom Hanks can get it…
Bjork Ostrom: If Tom Hanks can get it, I’m in trouble.
Tomas Hoyos: Exactly. And so then the NBA canceled their season, then the number of cases in New York-
Bjork Ostrom: Travel from China was closed off.
Tomas Hoyos: Exactly.
Bjork Ostrom: It was all on the same night, wasn’t it?
Tomas Hoyos: Yeah, it was crazy. It was just sort of this one night when everyone was kind of glued to the TV or glued to their phones checking Twitter. And so at the same time, in the next couple of days, I remember looking at a chart and I saw a 70% decline in our business in the main metric that we tracked. And so we were not alone, businesses across the economy were affected and there were obvious ones that lost out like restaurants. And then there were obvious winners like grocery stores and e-commerce.
Tomas Hoyos: And like many other people who were in our shoes, we pivoted because we had to and we launched a side project that’s taken off and become Airsubs. And Airsubs helps people host live virtual events and earn money. And so really the first thing that we noticed that led us to the idea was that everything was shifting to be virtual. And so anything that you were doing in person was now virtual. So if you were going to the office and not an essential worker, you’re now working from home. You were going to the gym, you’re now working out at home on Zoom. You’re going to a restaurant, you’re now buying groceries and you’re cooking.
Tomas Hoyos: And so we started to see this make its way into the world of creators just generally, and then specifically food bloggers. And so people were going live on Instagram and they were teaching things and getting people together in a way that was pretty cool, but it was also still really hard. And so we saw a food blogger teaching cooking classes on Instagram, and she was asking people to Venmo her with a donation for a ticket.
Bjork Ostrom: Sure.
Tomas Hoyos: And so we figured that there had to be a better way to get your community together virtually, and then also create a way for people to make money at a time when a lot of people were having a really tough go of it. And so we had together a product that made it really simple to host virtual events and earn money and we launched it. And so we didn’t know how it was going to go. And we found someone who, she was already teaching some virtual classes and kind of hacking it together, manually doing a lot of Instagram live and stuff. And she would get 20, 30 people together on a Zoom.
Tomas Hoyos: And we told her, “Hey, we think we can help you scale this thing. We think we can help you grow it up.” And so we built this tool, we gave ourselves 72 hours to pull it together and we launched it really quickly. And then in the first week she hosted a class with 1,000 people together on Zoom, which totally blew our mind. We were looking at it and just constantly streaming through the pages of the Zoom. And in her first week she made over $50,000 doing virtual events, which was many times more than any that she ever made in week, never before.
Bjork Ostrom: And at that point for you guys as a business you’re like, there’s definitely something here. If this one person can do it, then there’s probably 100,000 people who can do it. We just need to get this in front of them.
Tomas Hoyos: Yeah, exactly. And so your question before was about when do you know when to grind and when to pivot. And so one of our investors was, he’s seen a bunch of pivots. He was one of the first investors in Twitter, which was a pivot. He was one of the first investors in Lyft, which was also a pivot. And also one of the first investors in Twitch, which was a pivot.
Bjork Ostrom: Sure. And can you talk about each one of those? Because I think those, even Instagram is a story where it was, I forget what, it was like Bourbon, I think originally. But the idea being these companies started something, Slack being another example, started something and then you realize they’re not going to actually be the thing that you thought they were going to be when you first start and you go in a different direction. For each one of those, I think people would be curious to know. You had said Twitter, Lyft and what was the last one?
Tomas Hoyos: Yeah. Last one was Twitch.
Bjork Ostrom: Twitch, yeah.
Tomas Hoyos: So I’ll share each one of them what I know about it and I’m sure other people have better versions of, more accurate versions of the story. But as I understand it Twitch, which is now a platform that helps people stream themselves as they’re doing something. And a lot of video gamers use it, they’ll stream their screen as they’re playing a game with other people on Twitch so that everyone can watch it. So that originally started as Justin TV and Socialcam. So the original concept was a live TV show that never ended. So one was walking around and they had a camera on their head.
Bjork Ostrom: Justin. And his name was Justin. It was was Justin TV.
Tomas Hoyos: And he would walk around and it was like a live show all the time. And I think they realized at some point that there’s a reason that shows are however long they are-
Bjork Ostrom: It was 30 minutes as opposed to 24 hours.
Tomas Hoyos: Yeah, exactly because all the in between moments are a little boring.
Bjork Ostrom: Super boring. You realize how boring your life is when you live stream it 24/7.
Tomas Hoyos: Yeah, exactly. So I think they shifted from Justin TV to something called Socialcam. I don’t actually know exactly what Socialcam was, but I think both of those weren’t working great. And then some of them are…
Bjork Ostrom: I think it was a social network, a video social network, almost like a vine almost, if I remember right. So kind of in a similar space. But then eventually shifted. I didn’t realize Socialcam then eventually shifted into Twitch.
Tomas Hoyos: Yeah. Or I think they carved out. They started working on Twitch on the side and at some point they carved it out and they sold Socialcam. But long story short, they saw the things that they were working on weren’t going to be very successful in the long run and they found something that was really working and they were constantly experimenting on the side and they found one thing and ran with it. And then as far as Lyft goes, I think… They started as essentially like a ride sharing company. So it would be, I think it started at a college in upstate New York like Cornell and the founders conceive of the idea of people getting together to hop in a car and drive down to…
Bjork Ostrom: We were all going to Boston or something. Let’s all take a trip together if we’re all going to the same place.
Tomas Hoyos: Yeah, exactly. And then I think they shifted it to be more of a concept of ride hailing, which everyone’s familiar with. It’s what Uber and Lyft do today. So it was sort of a derivative of what they were already doing that they shifted to. And then Twitter I think audio was the original concept and I think-
Bjork Ostrom: Oh yeah, that’s right.
Tomas Hoyos: … it had something to do with audio. But they also had this concept of micro-blogging, and then they shifted into Twitter. So to the question of whether you should keep grinding or whether you should launch something and work on something new, it’s a really hard question. And it’s a really personal question because you hear both stories, you hear people really persevere and they were just on the other side, right on the cusp of something amazing. And it was like that last little bit of effort that got them there.
Tomas Hoyos: And then there’s also folks who, they let themselves follow path which is really pulling them in that direction. And so I think the way that I think about it is, if you really are getting pulled in a certain direction where it’s like the only thing you can think about or it’s just so obviously more interesting or better or more helpful than what you’re already doing. I definitely, I’d probably lean into it. That’s how I think about it.
Bjork Ostrom: That’s great. Yeah. There’s not a science to it, right? There’s not an equation that you can apply to it that spits out the answer of if you should keep going or not. But I think some of the things that I’m guessing you’ll talk about here can be indicators as to whether you should continue moving forward or not. Like is the thing you’re doing resonating with people? In its simplest form, whether it’s content or a product, are you creating something that people are responding to positively or actually have positive outcomes from it? So I think helpful to kind of frame up the conversation moving into talking about Airsubs, but also I think a lot of people are thinking about that if they’d been working on something for a really long time, do I continue to do this and hope that eventually I get that breakthrough moment or do I shift and pivot?
Bjork Ostrom: And what I hear you saying is there isn’t really a good answer and it partly depends on the product and the thing you’re working on. And it partly depends on who you are and what you want to be working on. Is it a good fit for you? Are you able to continue to do that for a long period of time? And are you getting kind of response from people that indicates, hey, this is something that I’m kind of interested in?
Bjork Ostrom: So eventually you pivot, your healthcare kind of focus before, healthcare world really changes. And now you say, wait, there might be an opportunity here for us to work with creators, everybody that listens to this podcast is in some way a creator. Tell me about that first initial success. For somebody to create $50,000, you said in the first week, is that right? What did that look like kind of start to finish? Is it somebody who’s really good at marketing, who had a huge audience and then what was it that they’re selling and how much did they sell it for?
Tomas Hoyos: Yeah. So first it was a natural extension of what she was already doing. So she was actually, our first user was actually a fitness instructor and we’ve now seen the product evolve in such a way that it’s really taken hold in the community of food and tons of food bloggers, recipe developers, food photographers are using the product. And that’s sort of a use case that’s going incredibly well for us. But the first user ever was a fitness instructor.
Bjork Ostrom: Sure.
Tomas Hoyos: And so she had a big but not massive following and she had 25,000 Instagram followers. And she was already teaching fitness classes as part of a larger studio, Equinox. And so she had been teaching at Equinox for a little while, but had also been doing these classes on the side and had a little bit of a following on Instagram. And so I think what really drove her to be successful, at least in the beginning, is that she was early and have she was offering a product that people really loved because people love-
Bjork Ostrom: Really in the pandemic, meaning, hey, this was a unique offering related to the timing of when people needed to work out and they didn’t have a solution.
Tomas Hoyos: Exactly. So she was early in the sense that she saw, hey, gyms are shutting down, I’m about to get furloughed or laid off.
Bjork Ostrom: People have been sitting on their couch for a couple of weeks and they’re starting to think, I need to exercise.
Tomas Hoyos: Yeah, exactly. And this is probably going to shift to Zoom and that’s going to be the default, at least for a while, so I’m going to lean into it. And so it was also a product that people loved. It’s a really good workout. And then also the way that she made people feel in class, feeling super motivated, really focused on community. It was just sort of a really great product. I think one of the magic moments for her was realizing that virtual can actually be a much better business for a bunch of people.
Bjork Ostrom: Sure. Than in-person.
Tomas Hoyos: Than in-person. So a core component of that is that you don’t have to be limited by physical space. So if you were teaching a cooking class or if you’re teaching a fitness class, if you’re doing it in person, you’re limited by the physical space that you have. So you’re limited to 20, 30, 40 people max. And what she realized is that not only shifting to digital lets you serve a larger audience, but it really doesn’t matter where they are. So they can be anywhere in the country or around the world. And the quality of the experience does not degrade that much with each person that you add. And so it actually ends up just being more fun if you’re in a class with 60 people versus 50 or 100.
Bjork Ostrom: It’s like Peloton, when you go on a run and there’s 300 people and you’re getting random high fives, it’s like, oh, this is really cool. And then I’ve had it before where the internet cuts out and really quickly, it becomes not fun. When it’s just me on a treadmill running and oh yeah, this isn’t very fun, is it? Or when you have other people there’s an energy even if it’s digital.
Tomas Hoyos: Yeah. And there was something to being in that Zoom where there was 1,000 other people and you’re all seeing each other and you’re in your home working out and you see the sea of faces and everyone’s doing the same thing, it’s kind of this really crazy social experience where you feel like you’re in this picture and you’re in the movie that you’re working out too many people virtually.
Tomas Hoyos: And so that was really interesting. And I think the other thing that really clicked for her, and just been thinking about this and what we’ve seen, is that the business is just much more profitable in the sense that you don’t have to pay rent, you don’t have to…
Bjork Ostrom: Overhead. Yeah.
Tomas Hoyos: … you don’t have overhead. You’d essentially be a person who is also a company with a limited set of tools. The problem that she was running into is that she was hacking together all these tools and it was making her life hell to pull this thing off.
Bjork Ostrom: So she becomes essentially the tech department for a virtual class that she’s running, which is where Airsubs kind of fits in.
Tomas Hoyos: Exactly. So she has to build a website where people can go to the event. She has to integrate sign-ups. She has to integrate-
Bjork Ostrom: Payment processing.
Tomas Hoyos: … payment process. She has to create Zoom links and meeting links and she has to distribute them via email.
Bjork Ostrom: Then 10% of the people are like, my connection is fuzzy, what do I do? And it’s like, she’s working out and she’s like, sorry, I can’t help you.
Tomas Hoyos: Yeah, exactly. And so what we saw is that there’s a way to build a product that solves those problems and makes it much easier to host a virtual event and earn money, but where it’s fun. You can focus on the things that matter, which are running a fun class or doing a fun event and earning money and not worry about the technology or the payments or some of the business stuff. I’m trying to make it incredibly simple to do this.
Tomas Hoyos: So what is Airsubs? It basically helps creators, but a lot of food creators host virtual events and earn money. And the most common thing we’re seeing is food creators hosting Zoom cooking classes and baking classes. And we’ve seen people get creative with virtual cookbook tours and other events. And we just kind of make it easy to get started so you can’t miss on that fun stuff. And again, it lets you set up a page, sell spots, handle ticketing, confirmation emails, reminder emails, automatically create Zoom links, sell in different ways. You can sell a membership, you can sell a package of classes, you can sell gift cards. It helps you build up an email list and then market the classes. It’s essentially like a virtual event business inbox.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. So is it built on top of Zoom in a way? Where you sign up for your own Zoom account, you enter in your credentials for Zoom and then through API access, Airsubs kind of does what it needs to do. So then you essentially are going in and pressing start on a Zoom event and then people show up or how much do you have to be involved in kind of the setup process with it?
Tomas Hoyos: Yeah, it’s super simple. So our goal is to make it incredibly easy and how you can set this up in less than five minutes. So with Zoom specifically, you click one button and it hooks up your Zoom account and you never have to worry about anything else again. You will add a class that you want to teach and it’ll automatically create the Zoom link. And when people sign up, you’ll automatically get the confirmation email, the confirmation email has the right Zoom link. And so it just kind of takes all that stuff off your plate.
Tomas Hoyos: But with cooking classes specifically, there’s a few big picture themes that we’re seeing. So the first is that this is the perfect moment to run virtual cooking classes because they’re super fun. And if you imagine what the pandemic’s been like, it’s just been a really isolating for a lot of people.
Tomas Hoyos: No matter where you are in the country or where you are in the world, at one point you were in some version of isolation, distancing, lock down. And so there’s just so much human connection missing. And so it’s a great way to get together and learn something and make something delicious and people are cooking so much more than they ever have. And in talking to so many folks in and around food, it’s just interesting to see there’s just this huge surge in interest and demand. I get a lot of folks who are really having some very successful bread making classes and really crushing it with sourdough and sourdough…
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, totally.
Tomas Hoyos: It had its moment in the last year. And so it’s just brought people so much joy where if you’re stuck in your and you haven’t seen someone in so long, it’s really refreshing to get together and be able to cook something with a room full of people and also with someone who you admire and you look up to and whose recipes you’ve been making for a long time.
Tomas Hoyos: And then for the people who are teaching the classes, it’s also really fun. Alexander Stafford, Allie Stafford was one of the first people to start teaching on Airsubs. And what she told me was that she feels like it’s like a party that she’s into, that’s-
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Digital party. Yeah.
Tomas Hoyos: But it’s kind of nice in that she doesn’t have to get all the stuff there and cook for a million people. And so it’s just kind of brought people a lot of joy. And then the other thing that we’re seeing is that it’s also just been scale really well and it’s pretty lucrative. So we talked about it a little bit with why a virtual class is better than an in-person class. We’re seeing people consistently host these Zoom cooking classes with the 100, 200 people in them. And they’re charging usually somewhere between $25 and $50 a head.
Tomas Hoyos: And so it just ends up kind of being this really lucrative thing where the price point is still really accessible for people who want to take the classes. And the experience, the quality is really high. But when you get that many people together and it’s at that accessible price point and you aren’t limited by scale, it can just be really lucrative.
Tomas Hoyos: And then I think the other thing that we’re seeing is that people are charging for these events in a different way. So in the old world, if you were going to do a coding class, a lot of it would just be individual tickets. So you pay 25 or 50 bucks and you’d show up for class. And not that many people would do cooking classes that often. So many people have done in-person cooking classes. I’ve done Sur la Table in New York, feels like more of a special occasion. But when it’s virtual, it’s just so much easier that the frequency with which people want to take the classes and the fun, casual atmosphere of doing the classes makes it so that people want to do it more and more consistently. And so we have folks who are teaching two to four classes a month. And when you are doing it at that level of frequency, that is amenable to building it into a community…
Bjork Ostrom: Recurring.
Tomas Hoyos: Yeah. With a membership.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. So people pay $25 a month and you just get access to the premium cooking class that is going to happen once a week at Wednesday, Wednesdays at noon or whatever.
Tomas Hoyos: Yeah, exactly. And so you save yourself a spot in every cooking class and then the other really creative thing that folks have done that a bunch of creators we’re working with have done is, they’re essentially recording all of these live classes. And so they’re building up this big video library of all these classes they’ve taught previously. And so when someone signs up for a membership, they do save themselves a spot in all the live classes, but then also get to go back and watch all the classes that have been taught previously. And every time that you teach a class, you’re essentially adding to this big library of classes you’ve taught previously. And so it’s sort of this concept of make money while you sleep or spend time-
Bjork Ostrom: They could sign-up and they could join and be a part of that and immediately have access on demand.
Tomas Hoyos: Exactly. Right. So you teach it once and then you continue to sell it over a really long period of time. And the memberships that people have launched have been really interesting just because it’s created this recurring revenue for people. And then there’s a bunch of reasons. I mean Food Blogger Pro, you understand the power of subscriptions and memberships. It’s just like a really interesting business model where you’re deeply aligned with your customer, where they have an incentive to use the product more and more over time. And then it’s really great to have that steady recurring revenue where you can predict how much revenue is going to come in per month and you can count on it and you can start to understand it and it grows over time, and you have this really big sort of asset that’s growing over time. And it gives you just enormous freedom and peace of mind to know that you have this consistent revenue.
Bjork Ostrom: That’s really interesting. So a couple of nitty-gritty questions for you that I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on, may or may not be relevant, but I’m just curious. You have 1,000 people, they’re all showing up and they have their own little Zoom square. What happens if one of them starts to get weird? Like what happens with the weird students, whatever that might be? Somebody who’s in a workout thing and they’re like, well, I always work out with my shirt off. And you’re like, that’s not how we work out in this class. If it’s just you, do you need to have somebody who’s facilitator or behind the scenes blocking people or kicking people out? What does that look like?
Tomas Hoyos: Yeah. So thankfully we have not run into issues here. To the extent that there was an issue, it’s really simple to kick someone out of a meeting or mute them. And so we didn’t have a very quick training program. Also for folks who are just getting started, we do offer moderation services. So if you want some help for your first few classes, getting set up. What we found is that when most people start teaching consistently, they become like experts of your own style and they really make it their own.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. And you get tools in your tool belt to remind people how to be successful on the event and to… Well, do people have the ability to mute and unmute themselves?
Tomas Hoyos: Yes. Yeah. So it’s a class where people can unmute themselves and ask questions. You can set it up so that they can’t do that. What we’ve found is that the energy in the classes is very casual, it’s very fun and it does not become kind of a free for all. What most people will do is they’ll say, “Hey would love to see, no pressure, but would love to see all your faces. If you want to turn your camera on, feel free to unmute yourself and ask a question, just make sure to re-mute yourself after and drop any questions in the chat, we’ll get to them.”
Tomas Hoyos: When you do have big classes, whether it’s 100, 200, a few hundred people, what you’ll find is that you don’t actually get pummeled with questions. Usually there’s like a few questions that a lot of people have and one person will ask it and then everyone else will kind of just piggyback on it. And then also when there’s that many people, it’s actually like how many people get up and ask a question in an auditorium when everyone’s watching? It’s like a handful of people. So thankfully the energy in the class has been awesome. We haven’t had any issues, now we’re seeing many thousands of classes. So to the extent that there was an issue, it’s pretty simple though.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, sure. And I would imagine that’s a problem that would come up. The more successful you are in having more people come, the more that that actually becomes an issue. When we do live events, I’m thinking if we have 500 to 1,000 people in the chat area, at least that’s very different. It’s like, you can’t even keep up with it. So I’d imagine it would be depending on the topic and people’s comfort level with it, that occasionally, if it’s open kind of free for all, for anybody to ask might come up. There’s also, I feel like the issue of, that came up when we were doing Christmas carols with, Zoom Christmas carols, this holiday season. And there is the classic uncle who didn’t mute himself on Zoom.
Bjork Ostrom: And nobody can, you can’t sing Christmas carols on Zoom because it all comes in at different times. It was actually really awesome and really funny, but for me, it was like, oh yeah, there’s something here about managing this. So it seems like, especially if you’d have 1,000 people that there’d be at least 0.1%, whatever it might be, kind of one to 10 people at any given time who are unmuted and working out at home. So in those cases it feels like you’d have to have somebody who’s on mute duty to manage that, especially once you get into the higher numbers. But it feels like Zoom etiquette is understood enough. If you have less than 100 then chances of that happening aren’t as high.
Tomas Hoyos: Yeah. And for those really large classes too, there’s things like there’s a mute all button and there’s a participants panel, which anyone who’s talking and making noise automatically gets stuck to the top and then-
Bjork Ostrom: Got it.
Tomas Hoyos: … and just click their name, it’ll mute them right away.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. That makes sense. And that’s kind of the tools in the tool belt where you start to learn eventually those settings and the ability to do that. We’ve gone through that. We’ve used different services for Food Blogger Pro to do events and very quickly you learn how to handle those. So how are people actually going about the… They’re probably not just setting up their computer and pulling up Zoom and using the computer camera, or are they? Do you have to have a professional kind of studio set up or kind of a pro-Zoomer version of a studio? How do people set up an area to actually shoot and broadcast a video?
Tomas Hoyos: Yeah. So first we have a bunch of resources on how to run an amazing Zoom cooking class on our website. And we also did a really cool event recently where we had some of our most successful folks talk about what their setup is. The good news is that you most likely have everything that you need to do the class. And so the setup that most people are doing is they’re using two devices. So they have their smartphone, usually an iPhone and we like it, where that is the main camera that they’re teaching to. And then they will also join the Zoom with their laptop, which will be right on side. And then they can look at their laptop to check the chat box for any questions, see everyone’s faces, and you can join with both devices.
Tomas Hoyos: And then as far as if you want to get super fancy with microphones and camera quality, you totally can. And we have people who have the best, most crisp cameras and microphones. But I’d say the vast majority of people, they use their iPhone that they already have and love, use a laptop and then maybe they’ll use some AirPods or a microphone that they have. But you’re pretty much all set with just your phone and your computer.
Bjork Ostrom: Cool. Yeah. The way computers are now, mics and cameras, if it’s a new one, it’s going to be pretty high quality. If you want to level up, have even higher quality camera, you could even do, technically you could even do probably multiple angles. If you had somebody who was acting as producer and making cuts and things like that. I’m thinking you could do a top-down shot. Maybe you have one in the corner. And as I’ve seen people who do this, once it becomes more normal and we’re getting there to being in-person again, you could probably do one where you have a small live studio audience for the energy to capture there, as well as it’s almost like creative live. And it seems like a lot of what you guys are doing is democratizing creative live.
Bjork Ostrom: So anybody can do a creative live event and they make the money as opposed to, I don’t know how creative live works, but I think it’s probably like a Rev share or kind of an upfront fee that they give folks. What about on the marketing end? How do you get people to sign up? What does that look like in terms of how often you have to talk about it and is there this huge spike where a bunch of people are interested, oh, online class? And then do you see it kind of tail off a little bit as it becomes more familiar? But I’d be interested in the marketing side of things, what you see.
Tomas Hoyos: Yeah, definitely. So what we found the most effective tactics for marketing are the ones that you suspect. So email. If you have an existing email list of people or a newsletter, that’s a great group of people to let know that you’re teaching virtual classes, you’re doing something where you’re getting the community together. Marketing is huge. And then Instagram is a great place. So the most effective form of Instagram marketing that we have seen is just going live in a story and talking to camera and telling someone about why they should come to class, basically giving them reasons to show up, hey, everyone, I’m so pumped or making my mom’s famous chicken parm recipe. I learned this recipe when I was little, I’ve always loved it. We’ve been making it for years. It’s one of the most popular things on the blog and it’s going to be delicious.
Tomas Hoyos: You should come make this, we’re going to have a really fun group of people, it’s going to be several dozen people, we’re going to make it together, it’s on Zoom. You’ll have it, we’ll make some extras. So you’ve got leftovers and swipe up the book if you have 10,000 followers or hey, the link to book is in my bio. And as far as you asked for frequency marketing, really, it depends on your goal for the event. How many people do you want to show up and what are you charging?
Tomas Hoyos: So one way to think about it is, is there an hourly rate that you want to enforce for yourself? So if you’re thinking I want to make $100 an hour or $1,000 an hour, you kind of back into how many people you want to come and the price you want to come.
Tomas Hoyos: And so you can sort of solve for how much you want to promote it. We have folks who don’t do that much marketing, but will still be able to fill up classes. So they’ll do it starting about two weeks out, maybe 10 days out for a class. They’ll do anywhere from one to four classes per month. And we’ll talk about each class a few times. So in aggregate, it’s really not that much effort from a marketing perspective.
Tomas Hoyos: A couple of things that are really interesting that people are doing that have been effective. So one is Airsubs helps you build up your email list. So you now have this community people who are coming and taking your classes and they’re signing up with their emails. And that’s an amazing pool of people who would want to come and take your classes in the future. And so-
Bjork Ostrom: And Kevin Kelly talks about 1,000 true fans. I don’t know. Do you know that Kevin Kelly post?
Tomas Hoyos: Yes.
Bjork Ostrom: Classic startup. But it’s a good way to figure out who your 1,000 true fans are, because these are people who are signing up and paying. So you know that these are people who love what you’re doing and following along. So do those emails live within Airsubs or can you connect that to MailChimp, ConvertKit? What does that look like?
Tomas Hoyos: Yeah. So anyone who signs up for one of your cooking classes, you have their email, you can download it and you can take it with you. So if you want it to reach people through email on another platform, you could do that. I mean, you can also import email contacts from another email list that you have. But what’s really interesting about that concept of 1,000 true fans is that many times you have these fans, these people really love you, but you don’t necessarily know who they are. You might be able or be able to reach them. So they may live for your Instagram stories or your Instagram posts…
Bjork Ostrom: Or just check your blog and not sign up for anything. Yeah.
Tomas Hoyos: Exactly. And so what’s really interesting is, we have folks who don’t necessarily have massive followings with millions of people or whatever it is. It’s much smaller but they’re able to build these really robust, durable, lucrative businesses with smaller communities of people where they’re consistently doing classes with 25 people or 50 people or 100 people. And that we see really good retention on that community of people. If you’re offering the classes consistently, you’re creating a fun environment and people like the classes, they will come back more and more as well. For someone that I have in mind too, has 1,000 true fans that she found through Airsubs, which she told me was she has tens of thousands of followers on Instagram, but the people who love her most on Instagram, she doesn’t have their email.
Tomas Hoyos: And so now it’s sort of her Airsubs community has become the subset of her Instagram community who’s most engaged and wants to engage with her. And it’s just the best thing in the world for her to be able to communicate with them directly. And then now she has all their emails. And so one person, Caroline Chambers, talked about this on a podcast recently, and she has this really interesting story where in her previous life, she was a recipe developer. And so she was 100% behind the camera. So she was not at all focused on building up her own personal brand and before the pandemic she had 1500 followers or something like that. And then the pandemic hit a ton of her clients who were paying her for her recipe development services, like their budgets dried up overnight.
Tomas Hoyos: And so she’s sitting there thinking like, all right, how am I going to go build this business and earn some income? She started doing these classes. And now she has classes routinely with a few hundred people in them. She has several hundred subscribers on her kitchen table cooking school membership that she uses Airsubs to manage. And she was really able to kind of build this community of people through cooking classes.
Tomas Hoyos: She built up this big email list. And then now with this email list, those were the first people that she told when she launched a paid newsletter. So she now has this really successful sub stack. She’s a top five food and drink category creator on Substack, she’s has a paid newsletter. And one of the reasons she launched a paid newsletter was that you couldn’t get a cookbook deal.
Bjork Ostrom: Sure.
Tomas Hoyos: So she went and pitched her cookbook to a million people, and she said, you know what, I’m just going to do this myself. And I’m going to do a reverse cookbook. It’s not going to be, I’m never going to do a weekly newsletter and it’s going to be the same amount of recipes as if I put them all on a cookbook. And so we are seeing kind of this pollination of interesting business opportunities, but really when you’re talking about marketing, what it comes back to is just the basics. It’s telling people about it on a consistent basis.
Tomas Hoyos: Once they start to know that it’s something that you offer and that you’re doing it consistently, if you give it time for word of mouth to take hold, it can really grow over time. So sometimes there is a tiny bit of a spike in the beginning, but then it is sort of it kind of trickles up, at least from what we’ve seen.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. That makes sense. And one of the things that I love about what you’re talking about is a lot of people in our space think about how do I get more traffic? How do I monetize that via ads and potentially sponsored content? And one of the hard things with a food site or a recipe site is there isn’t always a clear picture of what the product can be. And I think it’s universally understood that the best way to build a business is by selling a product, but for food creators, there’s oftentimes a question of what is my product?
Bjork Ostrom: A lot of times it’s cookbook, but those numbers don’t often work out. You maybe work as a publisher, the advance isn’t what you want it to be. And so what we’re talking about allows people to kind of think strategically, not about just how do I get more page views? How do I get more pages to my blog to make a little bit more from ads? But to think about who do I currently have who’s following me, who’s interested in what I’m doing? And what does it look like to take a small sliver of those people and to serve them really well with a product?
Bjork Ostrom: And you kind of hinted at this before when you were talking about the first person who used it and their experience as a fitness instructor and what they did, but the product has to be good too. And I think a lot of people get stuck in this idea of ooh, a new system, I’m going to do this. And then don’t really think about the actual product itself. And that’s so important to it. So you have the followers, you have the product, and then you have the system which acts as a multiplier. But what does a good product look like? What does a really successful live event look like for somebody who has the following and has an idea of what it is, but maybe doesn’t know? How do you pick it and know what will be awesome?
Tomas Hoyos: Yeah. It’s just fun. And there’s something magical about getting a big group of people together making something delicious and fun with someone that they look up to. And food is so many different things. Like friendship, it’s family, it’s culture, it’s memories, it’s like everything. And so bringing people together to make something together is just really fun at its core. And so as long as you don’t deviate too far from that or you have something really great to work with, as far as a common really successful class looks like, it’ll be, what’s a fun recipe, one main recipe and then a lot of times people will do a fun cocktail for happy hour.
Tomas Hoyos: So they’ll make one recipe. They’ll usually start with the things that are really simple and straightforward. Maybe there’s a recipe that their community loves or a post that gets a ton of traffic on their blog. They’ll pick something that’s really low hanging fruit and easy and they’ll make that. A lot of times people say, hey, do I need to create new recipes for these classes? Absolutely not. Just making it easy on yourself and are you sure? Someone wants another sourdough basics class. It’s like, well, it’s not that they want another sourdough basics classes, is that they want your sourdough recipe because they’ve been following you for a really long time and they really love all of the effort that you put into your craft and how do you make it accessible to them. And the tone that you use when you communicate what you’re teaching someone.
Tomas Hoyos: And so they really just want to make it together with you. And then there’s all kind of the, you have something to show for it. At the end of a class, if someone’s participating and following along, they have something delicious that they can share with other people. But a really simple class is usually one or two recipes. It’s a fun group of people, you’ll make it together. It’s something that is not going to be super hard for you unless you want to make it challenging. And that’s kind of what a really fun successful class looks like.
Bjork Ostrom: And is it half hour, hour? Have you found there’s a sweet spot on the recipe side? I’m guessing fitness workout would be 30 minutes to an hour, but what does it look like when you’re making a recipe?
Tomas Hoyos: Yeah. So I’d say it really depends on what your sweet spot is. The most common we’ve seen are 45 minutes to an hour and a half.
Bjork Ostrom: Sure.
Tomas Hoyos: We have seen people do really long things on weekends. Someone did this heroic meal prep class. There was several hours. It was just this huge number of people cooking together, getting ready for a week and it was so fun and we had so much to show for it because they made a bunch of different recipes. We’ve seen a lot of the bread making stuff happen on weekends and that’s a bit longer. But yeah, the sweet spot is usually somewhere around an hour, plus or minus 30 minutes. That’s kind of been the most common class.
Bjork Ostrom: And how much of it is informational versus entertainment? Are people actually making these alongside the creators in real time?
Tomas Hoyos: Yeah. So two third… Usually it’s around two thirds to 75% of the class is cooking along with you. So the majority of people cook along, not a demo that people watch. And there are a subset of people who really love to watch. And so they’re essentially treating it like a live interactive TV show. And the TV show is an institution. The cooking show is an institution and everyone loves them and they’re super fun and awesome. They’re not live, they’re not interactive and you can’t ask questions. And so the few time that I watched a really huge cooking class, the amount of people I saw taking notes during the class, just blew my mind, it was amazing. They weren’t there to cook and they were just taking notes to make sure that they could really crush it when they did it later.
Tomas Hoyos: And it’s just a really… It’s a really fun, live interactive thing, but you can also make it your own. So if there’s civic culture that you want to create, whether it’s around when and how people ask questions or how many recipes you cook, there’s little funny rituals that people will create. And there’s little moments in there that just don’t happen unless you’re there with people live. So the other night someone was teaching a class and one of the questions was, hey, I see that cookbook on your shelf. What is that cookbook? What are the cookbooks you have in your house?
Tomas Hoyos: And the person who is teaching took a moment and she said, “Hey, this is super fun. Let me go grab my stack of cookbooks.” And then she went through and did a show and tell and talked about who were the creators, the food bloggers that had inspired her. And what were her favorite recipes and what are her cookbooks? And someone was like, when are you writing your next cookbook? It was just this really fun moment that took less than five minutes. But that just didn’t happen if you don’t have the serendipity of a really live, engaging, interactive experience with people who do really want to support you.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. That’s cool. How much do you have to be an entertainer to be successful with it? If somebody is like, because a lot of people who I would guess who blog, maybe Instagram, they’re like, “Hey, this is super comfortable for me.” I can write, I can photograph, I can tweak this recipe a little bit, but then it’s like, it’s different. Right now, you and I are talking and I looked down and I see record and I know every single word that I’m saying is being recorded and it’ll eventually be broadcasted. But even this, we can go back and edit it. When you’re live, you’re live and that’s kind of scary for some people. Some people thrive on it. So how do you know if it’s something that you can do and be comfortable with and can introverts do live events? And if so, how do they be successful with it?
Tomas Hoyos: Yeah. So first, we see tons of folks and that’s one of their first questions that they ask us is do I have to entertain people and do I have to be super high energy? And the answer is no. You just have to be yourself. And if you want to do it, awesome, go for it. You don’t have to, if you don’t want to. But what I’ll tell you is, every person who does it says, this is super fun. It’s a group of people together. You’re sharing an experience that you really love. There’s some elbow grease that goes into it. It’s not no work. And maybe you get some butterflies before your first one.
Tomas Hoyos: One person in particular, Serena Wolf, was another person, one of the first people to start teaching on Airsubs. And then now I think she just did a class last night with a few hundred people on it. And she’s awesome. And she’s really funny and really high energy and great, but also is just so willing to laugh at herself and be down to earth. And she’s constantly cracking jokes at her own expense and she’s just not taking herself seriously. And she told me this story the other day, and she’s told her people publicly that she was shaking a cocktail and then she kind of put the top on and the thing went everywhere.
Bjork Ostrom: Everywhere. Yeah. In some sense, people can kind of like that.
Tomas Hoyos: Yeah. The other thing too is just with live as a medium, the bar is lower when it’s live. If it’s recorded, the bar actually counter-intuitively gets a little bit higher because people maybe expecting a little more production value. In the next live if the pot clangs in one direction, no one really cares because they’re actually focused on their own kitchen and cooking the thing themselves. So it’s actually, it’s sort of counterintuitive there where the energy is really casual. And so you don’t really have to make it more serious than it is. You can kind of just show up and be yourself. And we see people who are super talkative and then we see people who are much more introverted and serious more or less. And it’s really just about getting people together who are passionate about something.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. And part of it is what are you selling it as? If you’re selling it as entertainment, you should probably be entertaining, if you’re selling it as get the information you need to have meal prep accomplished for the week on a Sunday. If you can deliver on that really well, but you’re not super entertaining, great. You’ve still delivered on the thing that you said that you’re going to deliver on. Probably better if you’re also entertaining and engaging and interesting, which isn’t always an easy thing to do, especially if you’re by yourself to, I’ve done this with solo podcast episodes where it’s just you press record and then it’s just me talking into the mic for half an hour to 60 minutes.
Bjork Ostrom: Easier now to your point, the first few times you might have butterflies when you do it, but when you’re first getting started, it’s a new skill, it’s a new thing. And I think in so far as people can view that as it’s not the same as writing a blog post, it’s not the same as doing Instagram, it’s not even the same as doing Instagram live. It’s a new thing that you’re going to, unless you have previous experience with it in some form, you’re an actor or you’ve done improv or you’ve done cooking classes or has taught before, you’ll probably have to have some learning that goes along with it, which is expected.
Tomas Hoyos: Yeah. And I would think on that spectrum of entertainment and education, edutainment, no matter where you are, you’ll be somewhere on that spectrum and that’s… It’s just sort of being authentic to you and not trying to be-
Bjork Ostrom: Somebody else.
Tomas Hoyos: Yes. Something that you’re not. And you definitely don’t need acting experience or tons of public speaking experience. Again, it’s sort of like, I encourage people to just try one and see how you like it, because chances are you’re going to get a ton of energy from the other people who are there. And it’s going to be this really cool, fun thing.
Bjork Ostrom: Totally.
Tomas Hoyos: Someone described it as, I feel like I’m hosting a dinner party. I have a party to go to, but I don’t cook for everyone. And it’s also like, I’m sharing something that I know because I’m already comfortable, I already know how to make this, I’ve talked about it, I’m an expert here. And so it can be really, kind of this thing you share that you know.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. And I think my point in it is if people show up and they’re super nervous to do it, or even if it doesn’t go well, maybe they do show up and it goes through and it’s like, that was kind of fun, but it was also super nerve wracking, that doesn’t mean that you should weed yourself out as somebody who can’t do that. And some people might not be interested in it and it’s just, you don’t have to be somebody who does all the things.
Bjork Ostrom: But I think, again, what’s really exciting for me about something like this, is it introduces an opportunity for those who do want to pursue it, or would it be a good fit to create a product. This is the thing that I’m offering to people who, if I have 100,000 people in whatever form, Twitter, Instagram, my website, who are showing up and I’ve never asked them to purchase anything, and now it’s like, hey, here’s something that’s going to be a little bit better, it’s going to be more personal, it’s going to be tailored in a different way, it’s going to be different experience.
Bjork Ostrom: Everybody listening to this will have, I could go so far as to promise, at least one, maybe 10, maybe 100 people who would fall into that bucket and be willing to pay to have some form of education, entertainment, edutainment, whatever you want to call it. Something fun, experiential that will help them become better as well. They’ll learn. You learn in a different way than you would watching YouTube video or reading a blog post or consuming a content on Instagram.
Tomas Hoyos: Yeah. And they also have something to teach. They have the market for that. There’s people who are really eager to do with them, but then they also have something to say, they have an expertise to share. And then on your concept of selling a product and having something to offer people, I think it’s worth revisiting just this concept of different paths to monetize. So I totally agree with you. People are realizing that having people pay you directly for something is really powerful when we’re buying a product from you and where you own the customer relationship, because you’re telling them something, they know what they’re getting, they know the value that’s ascribed to it and they’re paying for it and they get it in return. And there’s just something about that relationship, which is really amazing as a creator and also as a entrepreneur, as a business owner, where someone is paying you for something that they really want and you own that customer relationship, it is not the case that you’re monetizing through a third party.
Tomas Hoyos: And so one of the limitations of existing platforms is that you really are monetizing through a third party. And so whether it’s on your blog, when you’re trying to increase eyeballs to sell more ads, someone is the product. Someone shows up to your blog and they’re essentially the product and that’s okay, that’s totally fine. But it is really powerful when you have a direct relationship with them. And when you have these platforms that you’re using and they are really catalyzing a lot of your revenue. So with your blog, if you’re super reliant on eyeballs, a ton of those people are finding you through search, through Google and you’re really focused on SEO. And that can change really quickly, and you have to stay on top of it.
Tomas Hoyos: Same thing with Instagram. Everyone knows that their algorithm changes a ton. It definitely prioritizes certain types of content at different moments in time. I was talking to someone yesterday and he has gone from zero followers to 240,000 followers in the last four months because he is absolutely crushing food reels. And so they’re really pushing reel super hard.
Bjork Ostrom: And it was video three years ago.
Tomas Hoyos: Exactly. And you can be on the other side of one of these algorithm shifts, and when you don’t own the customer relationship or when you’re counting on eyeballs or reach through a platform, it’s just really tough if something changes really quickly and you’re not in a position where you have diversified revenue streams. So I think people are realizing, be a little less reliant on a platform. And with something like Airsubs too, because someone is signing up for a class and they’re paying you directly and they’re signing up with their email, it’s actually a really interesting way. It’s sort of a judo move with the platform, where it’d be really useful to you if you had the email addresses of all your Instagram followers, if they were like, I’ve bought from you previously, but you don’t. And the only place that you can reach them is through stories and through posts.
Tomas Hoyos: And so this is an interesting thing where when you’re doing these classes, thousands of people are taking them. Another way to reach that community people who really knows you on Instagram, and I think the value of diversifying your revenue streams. So you can do a little bit of everything. It doesn’t preclude doing ads on your blog or sponsored posts or cookbooks. There’s a lot of reasons that people write cookbooks, but there’s just another feather in your cap.
Tomas Hoyos: And then there’s also paid newsletters, is another interesting thing that the people are doing and this concept of trying to generate some recurring revenue so you can kind of predict how much money you’re going to earn in a given month is really powerful.
Bjork Ostrom: Totally. Yeah. The takeaway that I have from what you’re talking about is being intentional to think about not just growing an Instagram, not just growing your blog, but also to think about, is there another place where you’re capturing that relationship with people, email being a great example. It doesn’t always have to be… I would almost be interested in kind of flipping that a little bit to say, maybe the funnel is top of funnel, right? It’s Instagram followers, it’s a blog followers. Then it’s some free offering via email. So you capture a bit broader and the ask isn’t monetary. And then using that email list to say, hey, we have this class coming up. And it probably can be a both end, but helpful to have just general email subscribers not associated with the purchase.
Bjork Ostrom: But also if there are people who are purchasing on Airsubs or whatever it might be, then you have both of those places where you can say, “Hey, I have people who have repeat customers.” Those are the easiest customers to have be customers again. And people have said, I want a more closer relationship with you than just following on Instagram, I’m going to sign up for your email list. You can market through that as well.
Bjork Ostrom: I think it’s an unlock for a lot of creators and we can kind of wrap on this, where a lot of people said, what do I do with my email list? Pentagram has whatever it is, 150,000, 100,000 email subscribers, what do we do with them? And it’s like, well, we’re just trying to figure out how to send a more helpful information, but we’re not really selling anything.
Bjork Ostrom: It’s easier with Food Blogger Pro, we have a membership, which is essentially a version of what Airsubs is doing. It’s content that you are selling and then you’re creating content around that for free, this podcast, and then talking about the membership. So you can see the model makes sense to me. There just hasn’t really been a good way to piece that together, which I think that you guys are doing. Obviously a lot of people are going to be interested Tomas in following up and learning a little bit more. Maybe even demoing a class. I know that you have some folks who, some great testimonials on your site, some super fit guys on there. The fitspo for me as I scroll through there. But if people want to check out Airsubs, learn a little bit more about it and maybe even take a class that somebody offering to see what that looks like, what’s the best way to do that?
Tomas Hoyos: Yeah, definitely. So you can always find us on at airsubs.com, and you can sign up right there to create your virtual studio, create your virtual cooking school. You can email me tomas2airsubs.com. You can follow us at Airsubs on Instagram. Those are great places to hear from us. If you go to airsubs.com/summit, we actually just recently did a conference for food creators where we had some really amazing people come speak about how they built engaged communities, how they’re using virtual classes and how they built big six-figure businesses doing virtual events over the course of the last year.
Tomas Hoyos: The recordings of those sessions are on that page. So feel free to reach out to us or to me. It’s been amazing to see the community in and around food uses to bring people together and deliver a ton of joy over the last year. It’s been a really hard year for a lot of people. And I think one thing that’s interesting too is that from what we’re seeing, this is here to stay. Folks from all over the world who want to cook with you, they want to get together with the community, they want to make something delicious. And so it’s kind of been amazing to see it take shape and continue to grow.
Bjork Ostrom: Cool. That’s great. And I did what most people do to me. I would say two to three times a week, people will say Bjorn, good to see you or I’ll introduce myself and they’ll be like, oh yeah, Bjorn, Tomas. I said, Thomas. Does that happen to you more or less than people call me Bjorn?
Tomas Hoyos: I get everything. But I actually didn’t even notice.
Bjork Ostrom: Okay. That’s what I sometimes say, even when I notice. So I might call you out on that.
Tomas Hoyos: Yeah. You’re all good.
Bjork Ostrom: Okay. Well, appreciate it. Thanks so much for coming on. I know that there… This is my prediction. There’s going to be a handful of people who will be inspired by this, will move forward with it, it’ll make a huge impact on them. And that’s what we’re all about. Tiny bit exists, our parent company over Food Blogger Pro to help people get a tiny bit better every day forever. And I think this would be a piece of the puzzle for some people, eye-opening and potentially life-changing. So Tomas, thanks for coming on the podcast. We appreciate it.
Tomas Hoyos: Thanks so much for having me. I really appreciate it.
Bjork Ostrom: Another thank you to Tomas for coming on and talking through Airsubs, not only his story in building the business, which is always interesting, but also the stories of creators who have had success with creating courses or creating experiences where they are able to bring a group of people together to teach something, but also to gather people together digitally to kind of hang out, something that we’ve realized is an important thing to do in a time where you’re not spending a lot of time with people. Hopefully that changes little by little.
Bjork Ostrom: But my hope in having this conversation is to kind of broaden the focus of what we are doing as creators and to let you know there’s other ways that we can be thinking strategically about business building. And as much as you can diversify the types of revenue as possible, you’ll build in stability to your business. Because as things change, we think back to March and April of last year, a huge change in how our business has worked. Advertising spend went way down, at least in the food and recipe area. But if you had other areas that you’re creating an income, maybe you had, you were using Airsubs or a comparable type of kind of product offering, you would be able to kind of diversify a little bit and you’d have a safety net when one area shifts and changes and pivots.
Bjork Ostrom: So a great conversation, a great business, one that we’d encourage you to check out if that’s something you’re interested in and appreciate you listening to this podcast. If it wasn’t for you, we wouldn’t be able to do this. So each and every week, it’s a joy to be able to share these interviews that we have. I know that I learned a lot from them. And my hope is that you do as well. The reason we exist is because we want you to help get a tiny bit better everyday forever. I hope this podcast episode did that for you. And we will be back here, same time, same place next week. Thanks.
This was great! Just what I needed. Got to do this, been waiting to do this but had questions. I still have a question about Zoom but will ask in the forum and on Airsubs.
We’re so glad you enjoyed the episode, Sally! We’ll keep an eye out for your question in the forum.
I can’t find a forum for air subs specifically so posting my question here. I am about to use air subs for virtual cooking classes and am trying to understand if an LLC and/or DBA is needed or what other legal requirements are needed for charging for classes and what others are doing who are on air subs or charging for cooking classes virtually. Thank you!
This is a great question, Kate! To be honest, I’m not 100% sure what the requirements would be for that.
Could you try reaching out to the Airsubs customer support team and see if they have any thoughts? I’d be curious to hear what they have to say!