In the market, you will hear often that you got to be an expert before you can put something together.
But there is another way.
You don’t have to have all the knowledge and expertise from the start. You can be a facilitator by being resourceful and gathering experts that can guide an audience to a solution for their problem.
In this episode, we are talking with Adrienne Babbit about how she turned a local need and grew it into a global membership without being an expert herself and how she constantly enhances her membership by listening to her audience’s feedback.
Adrienne is the Founder of Learn with Me Languages, and she’s fondly known as the Chief Optimist. She leads a team of talented teachers who help families learn languages through CONNECTING with native speakers of the language they’re learning.
Families form friendships that motivate them to USE the language. The program was birthed at the beginning of COVID, and since then they have connected hundreds of families from around the world learning Spanish and English together through the Family Language Exchange Membership.
Adrienne is also the host of the Building Bilingual Families Podcast, and her passion is to help families become bridge builders in their communities.
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3 Big Take Aways
- Why you don’t need to be an expert to start your membership
- How your membership can help yourself while helping others at the same time
- How to enhance your membership based on feedback without taking it personally
- Learn With Me Languages – Get the free SPEAK SPANISH EVERYDAY GUIDE. This guide includes the 4 secrets we’ve tested with hundreds of families to get them speaking in a second language at home, and conversing with new friends. Go to learnwithmelanguages.com, and click on “Get the Guide!”
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- Adaptive Inner Circle – The Inner Circle with Paul & Melissa Pruitt is an epic 12-month experience for online business owners, coaches, course creators, and membership site owners who aspire to create financial freedom and a lifestyle they want for themselves and their family and also create a positive impact in their community and the world.
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Connect with Adrienne
YouTube: Learn With Me Languages YouTube
Podcast: Building Bilingual Families Podcast
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Melissa: Welcome to our special membership site interview series, where Paul and I interview online entrepreneurs about marketing and selling their memberships. Today, we're speaking with Adrienne Babbit. Adrienne's membership focuses on building bilingual families. She's a mom, she's an entrepreneur and she is passionate about helping families learn a different language.
And what we love talking with Adrienne about is that. She just went for it. She had an idea. She had a passion. And even though she wasn't an expert per se, she went for it and she's built a team and she's making a huge impact in her community as well as in, in the world. So let's go ahead and dive in.
You're gonna love Adrienne's energy. really brings it and the interview and shares a lot of her story and how she to build her membership. Let's go ahead and get started.
Paul: So we're super excited today. We have a good friend, Adrienne who's in a mastermind with us. And what we're really excited today about is this is something that.
I really wanna explore and learn more about it in general, even from a personal level standpoint, because what you do and who you serve. I think all of us need a little bit of this in our lives. And it brings me back to my childhood of, learning, trying attempt to learn a second language in, in school and being frustrated.
And you only got that 20 minute minutes of learning and really just frustrated all the kids that weren't taking it serious. Because that's as about, as far as I got was the, the, the lowest common denominator in, in my class because we got derailed a lot of times.
So we are gonna dive in and Adrienne, if you could just take a minute for our audience and just give a little background as far as like what you do, who you serve, what, you're about. I know Melissa talked a little bit about in the intro, but love to hear directly from you.
Adrienne: Absolutely. Well, I'm super passionate about helping families in particular, learn a second language. And the reason why is because we interact with people who don't speak our language natively all the time, and it means much to them.
If they can hear a few words or phrases, a hello, spoken in their language. And so this all got started when I wanted to try to learn Spanish and I became super frustrated because like you, you know, if you take a traditional class, it doesn't always give you what you need to speak. And oftentimes you don't even have the opportunity.
To like use the language to actually speak to someone else. And so I, as a mom with I had two twins who were about three years old at the time, I'm gonna learn Spanish and teach them at the same time as I am learning. And the way that I found worked best to do that was actually by connecting with a native speaking friend she needed to learn English. I wanted to learn Spanish and we helped each other. And so that grew into a group of actually about 35 local, Spanish and English speakers we helped each other. We got together once a week. We mostly moms with kids and it was just beautiful.
And then COVID kind to put an end to that. so that's when I did a pivot and I brought our. Program online and it's called the family language exchange and we've been running it now for about 18 months. And it's just amazing. We've seen bridges built across the country, across the world, even as we've helped families help each other, learn their second languages.
Paul: I, I love this because it's, it's so true. Like the, the organic nature of how this came about it, wasn't like you were on the internet saying, how do I make money on the internet? And let me just find something to dive into is like, this is a personal interest. It's not like you were an advanced Spanish speaking individual.
And like you were in a, you are the expert. Like you see it, you hear a lot in, in the market. Like you gotta be an expert and then you can put something together. It's like, You're you're really like a facilitator. You had something that you had as a need, a problem that you wanted to solve and I had to say like, for you to organize and put something together where just was like you and a, and a friend that then grew to like 35 people, like, you know that, how did, how did even, just before you win the, the online part, you know, post pandemic, like, how did that grow? Like how did you get the third person involved?
How did that just naturally kind of evolve?
Adrienne: Yeah, that's a really great question. It, it really just came about, because there's such a need, particularly in the United States for people to learn English and they feel, even though they live here and there's English speakers all around them.
You feel self conscious, you feel scared. All those feelings that you felt in your junior high Spanish class are amplified when you were in the real world situation of having to use that language, to try to ask a teacher what they, you need to do for your child, or to ask someone something at the grocery store.
And so it came about because other moms wanted to learn English. And I happened to know some other friends who wanted to learn Spanish and we could help each other. And so I think the key thing, particularly with something that's localized you're online is that people have this need for community. When they learn something, we are so much better, stronger.
And so all we really needed to do was take that need that we saw here locally and then grow it globally.
Melissa: Wow, that's just so inspiring. I would love for you to walk us back. So you've been doing this in person and then, like you said, COVID hit and kind of had to shift and pivot. So when you shifted to online, take us back to that initial launch of when you decided, okay, I'm going to shift directions.
We're gonna bring this online. What was that like? What did it look like? How did you get at it up and off the ground?
Adrienne: Scary scary was what it looked like. , exciting and scary and not knowing the next step through the whole entire process, but just thinking everything's figure outable. What do we do next?
I didn't think people, I didn't know if people would really be interested in this, like everything had just shut down, but when I look back on it, the time was actually perfect. It was a time in which so many families were at home and they were thirsting for connection. And the idea of learning something new, doing something with the time that they had, it was like a perfect situation.
And I'm so glad I had a good friend. Who's a coach who just said, you know, what's the worst thing that could happen if you try. And I was like, I don't know, it just may not work. Right. Because I was afraid people would think something bad about me which is just silly thinking. Right. But we went for it and it was just our family and another family.
We weren't even doing Spanish and English. They were teaching us Japanese because my daughter wanted to learn, but we just tested it out literally with a couple of weeks of doing that. And then it's amazing how the internet and Facebook groups can grow something super fast. We had 220 families apply for our first pilot that we did of the program.
And then we could only take about 35 realistically with how our systems were set up. The next pilot, we had a hundred families and then over the course of the last 18 to 20 months or so we've served over a 250 families through our program. So it's really exciting.
Paul: That is so exciting. And this I'll start off with you just having a need and reaching out, you know, to a friend.
And here you are globally, impacting families. From around the world. Before we jumped on the podcast, we were talking about technology and things like that. And here we are on this right now, which is zoom, which has allowed us to, to connect. Or have you been leveraging technology like this in your membership?
Are you, are you utilizing zoom?
Adrienne: Yeah, absolutely. There's a lot of different tools that use everything from Calendly for scheduling. What we do now, we had to make another pivot. Back in June, as we found that families were getting a lot busier and them always meeting consistently with another family online, didn't always work well with how life is now.
And so we actually have online language exchange classes in which we have a teacher who is bilingual. , Typically two teachers in the class actually. And they help the students interact with each other. And so I think the important thing to know is you don't know what the end product is going to look like.
All you can do is take that first step, have people go through it, give them your feedback, give their feedback to you. And then just reiterate and reiterate, you know, for the first time, this month we're working with a Spanish immersion school and partnering with them. That was something I would've never dreamed would be a tool that we would use to market the program.
But families are really excited in this immersion school and it's a great partnership for them to give it to their families that way. So. I would just say for people who are maybe considering starting an online program or a membership, you don't have to start with the concept in complete perfection.
You can even start in another language like Japanese , but just start. And then get feedback surveys have always been a part of our process. And then just make changes and be open to failing. If, if I could tell my former self who started this who was somewhat sensitive when someone maybe had a critique or an idea?
It would, my little pride, I would say, get over that. Get over that because in everything that someone shares with you if a person doesn't stay with your membership, then you ask them, you know, so tell me how I could have served you better. And you never know too, when you might be able to offer that person something again.
be open to listening to your community they will tell you exactly what they need.
Melissa: It's such good advice, because again, a lot of times we do take things personal and if we can kind of just turn that off and really focus on the impact that we're making and especially with you, with all the families and the impact and the lives that you're changing then it's less about you.
It's more about them. And I think it's something that we all need to to keep in mind. And I'm, I'm also curious too, I'm sure you've seen lots of impact with the families. Is there any stories or anything that you could think off the top of your head of just some of the ways this has helped some of these families in real life?
Adrienne: Absolutely. Well, I think anyone who learns a language wants to do something with it. They want to travel. They want to reach out to other people. And it's amazing. We have a family from Massachusetts with three young kids who connected with a family from Bolivia. And the mother in that family, she was pregnant COVID was really bad there.
She was a teacher and she was laid off from her job. So during this time they were meeting every week and language exchanging together. We give them a lot of material. So they're not just on their own doing this. They, they have a guide to it.
And after three months, she actually tested at a higher level of English than what she had before and she got another job.
And so, you know, that family in Massachusetts sees that their efforts, they were serving themselves. They were learning Spanish, but they changed that woman's life and her children. So there's so much that can be, I guess, accomplished when you strike out on learning something and sharing it. But then you also help connect people.
So they're doing it as well. And so those, that's just one of the several beautiful stories. My family we're personally going down this summer to see an exchange family that we've met with a lot during the pandemic. In Mexico, we can't wait. My kids are actually gonna go to school with them for a week down there.
That's cool. So just opened so many relationships and opportunities for other families and our family personally, as well.
Paul: I love this. Amazing. There's so many things that you said in the last, like 10 minutes or so that, that I, I wish I could go back into an episode on each each element, but it's like, cuz one of the, the questions that we normally ask is like, what would you tell your former self?
And you were just right there and it was like, How many of us get caught up in perfectionism. We want things to be perfect before we're willing to put something out and just for you to have that perspective now and reflecting back to be like, it's okay. You know, I think that's something I think will resonate with a lot of people cuz a lot of people get, they have, we all have these great ideas, but we're afraid to be judged.
We're afraid that something's gonna fail. We're afraid. Like we all these what ifs. And then you also talked about And it's something that I say to Melissa that, you know, when we, whenever we do a new project or a new thing, I just always say, what's the worst case scenario. Like what's stopping us. Like, what's the worst, let's go ahead and play it out.
Like, what's the worst case scenario and and jokingly Melissa's like, okay, well, everything goes to squad. We can be living with my parents. , you know, blah, blah, blah. You know, it's like, well, they live on the river. That's it's okay. That's a pretty nice, like it's worth doing, you know? Um, And I, and I think a lot of us have to have that that permission to fail. Like it doesn't have to be perfect because you'll get that perspective.
And the other thing that you, again, all this is very quick in what you said, and I just wanna kind of reiterate just a couple of highlights is that always be willing to listen as well, is that you came into the pandemic with an incredible opportunity.
And we, we see a lot of major corpororations out there that just like ballooned, like crazy. But what they didn't do is listen to where to pivot when things were adjusting in a different way. Mm-hmm so like they grabbed the opportunity, the wave of, you know, what happened with the pandemic, but you are smart enough to be like, Ooh, they're not meeting in person as frequently.
They are getting back to going to jobs in school and getting back to life. They're not like glued to a zoom call all day long. Like they were initially like, that's different. So you are very self-aware to say, oh, we need to make this different. Like what we did up till now, isn't necessarily gonna keep working, you know, and you, and you did listen to that feedback.
So I just wanna, you know, a lot of us, we think we're one and done. Like you create the thing and it's out there, it's in the marketplace, but really that's our version one or version two, and really, we need to be listening. You know, get that feedback and you, so you're very purposeful when you do you, you actually do survey your, your members.
Adrienne: Absolutely. And that's where you get that perspective. Yeah. Like throughout the process, particularly when we try anything new like that, and it's amazing when we made that pivot, it solved another problem, you know, going to a membership model versus selling like more of a course type model, how that, you know, consistent cash income that was reoccurring every month was very helpful.
We needed it, honestly, in order to be able to make sure that we could pay our teachers who were helping in these classes. And so I think don't be afraid of change. Is an important thing. You know, you can get really comfortable in that space, but ultimately I think your people will get bored with it.
People get bored with language learning, honestly, like that's what usually happens that causes people to give up is they're leveling up on dual lingo and. dual lingo, amigo doesn't have eyes, mouth and a nose, you know, versus the experience of meeting a new language exchange partner that adds motivation.
Anytime we make these little modifications and trying to enhance our membership, it just attracts people more. And then we try it out and say, Hey, how did you like that? And they either don't and trust me, there's been times where we've tried it and I'm like, Hmm, good idea. Maybe we save it for another time in a different format or something like that.
And I've loved being able to actually work with people are more bilingual than I am. Many of our teachers has been so helpful because they've added these strengths to the program that we're offering to the family language exchange. So.
Melissa: And what's really great is that you've been evolving and it seems like you're continuing to evolve working with the school.
And some courses, I think you had mentioned as well too. Can you talk into a little bit about some of the things that in addition to the membership, how everything is feeding each other as well?
Adrienne: Yeah, absolutely. Well what might surprise a lot of people is here I go, as someone who is not formally trained in Spanish, I actually started my journey just three and a half years ago.
Knowing Hola and a private school has actually contracted me now to come and teach a couple days a week. So I have no degree, but I go and teach those kids and they love of it. And several local people have become interested in a program that is in person with song and music and Spanish.
And so we're looking at, okay, could we, now that COVID is kind of lifting, could we open it back up and what was once an unpaid volunteer thing that I did make it something that people are more committed to because they have a little bit of, you know, money skin in the game, I guess you would say, and to create a localized program that we can then Franchise or somehow bring it about to more people now that we've planted seeds of people who are all doing this throughout the country and the world.
And so I'm very hopeful that we can, after COVID recreate some of this authentic experiences of in person connecting in the language through what we've done online the last two years and, and continue both because they both serve different purposes in our mission to create ripples of change of people becoming bridge builders by using a second language.
Paul: Yeah. And, and I, I love because it's not just a second language, you're also bridging cultures. You're bridging families. There's probably gonna be understanding and, and further impact that comes from this ripple effect of how you created this. I just love it, cuz it just reinforces again, coming back to a lot of people think they can't put anything market because they're not the expert.
They don't have all the knowledge and expertise. And here you came on your own journey and you're like, Hey, you wanna join the journey with me? And then you were resourceful. You found the experts, you found the people that could guide, you know, and, and the irony is even how you created this beautiful community is the members are the experts of the thing that they take for granted, which is their own native language.
Adrienne: Yes, isn't it amazing. We empower them and parents often in education feel very unempowered. But COVID turned that thinking on its head. So many parents then had to become the teachers. And what I wanna tell parents is even if you're not an expert at a second language, you are actually one of the best sources for input.
If you're willing to learn alongside them. And so often as parents, we come in as this person who knows more, and I've been there and done that. And you put yourself on the same level as learning alongside your child and making mistakes. And that sends a really strong message to your kids of lifelong learning of being there for them being on their level.
And so it's amazing to see how parents have just owned this part of education more and how they're seeing they can open doors with it too.
Paul: Wow that, and, and I'm sorry to interrupt again, cuz I know Melissa was ready to jumped in, is that as parents, like this is, this is really interesting cuz we're like parents of, of a teenager and he's glued to his, you know, devices and yes he's gaming and he wants me to game with him and I'm just, I'm not gonna do that.
it's just something it's. Like, it's really interesting because through this entire conversation. I was thinking about like how the individual on this side is influencing and helping another family externally. But also there's the impact that now you're sharing an experience inside of your own household with your own child.
So where we're in a world where there's almost this disconnect between parent and child, because of devices and everything that this also has a whole other layer to it that I wasn't even naturally thinking about. And . That's actually the parent joining the, like the student in your case is really not just a child or a parent.
It potentially, if there is both of these elements in the same household, it's them doing something together? Mm. Yeah.
Adrienne: It's bridging things within families. And that's one thing that we do. We give our families each month, a family connection kit, which has activities and ways that they can learn all the Spanish that they learn it's based upon what you'd say in your home. It's how you would say let's sit down to eat, or how about we go for an outing?
It's all based on things so they can learn together. And we say, what happens in the home is a runway for the conversations that you do outside of the home. So you get comfortable making mistakes with your family members, and then you become in a safe environment, talking with other family who are also making mistakes in your language.
Which helps you feel more comfortable. And so you take something that feels very big, hairy, scary, audacious goal of learning to speak and communicate in a second language. And you make light of it. You make fun, you add humor to it, you add connection. And it's amazing how that can totally change the motivation for both you and the child to speak that second language.
Melissa: Oh my gosh. Wow. This has just been awesome. Hearing how this membership has evolved and you've shared so much of your life path and how you. Again, the, the changes that you made and the evolution of the membership itself. And one of the things that we always like to ask our guests is a little bit about their marketing strategies.
And so if you had $500 and you were just getting started over again, you know, kind of knowing what you know now, how would you use that $500 to market your business and market your membership?
Adrienne: Oh, that's a very good question. I think that I would first divide that $500 up very small and see what you could do to test with those different things, because I've certainly tested everything from Facebook ads to you know, obviously doing partnerships, but I would suggest Finding where your people are really at.
For me, when I first started marketing this there's many Facebook groups in which Spanish speakers are trying to learn English and English speakers are trying to learn Spanish. And that was one of my best initial marketing tools. Once you've kind of established yourself in the market Put people through your program, then you can look at you, you're better in tune with your avatar.
So you can look at okay, what would be a good Facebook ad strategy and how can I tweak and reiterate that and test that. And you can look at affiliate marketing. And so I think initially a lot of your $500 may just be towards your own operating costs. So think creatively about that part that you would designate for marketing and get the most bang for your buck by just being really tuned in to where your avatar is at and what they're searching for.
Paul: And I think that comes back to your theme of listening and getting feedback. Cuz it, it sounds like you did that right from the start. You didn't wait. Like you really listened. You saw what the needs were. You observed the news, Facebook groups, you knew what solution that people were searching for before you even came into the market.
And that, that just calls you some sweat equity, like a little bit of time and, and listening skill. And you just came out the, the gate with it. So I just wanna congratulate you on, because I know that this is probably like still stage one or stage two for you. And just seeing these new opportunities where you're having like organizations approach you mm-hmm cuz they love the methodology.
And the immersion that this does and the community that it's building and the, the relationships externally and internally in the families, it just has so many different beautiful layers to it that I'm sure you could never imagine when you sat down with your friend to, you know, initially with the kids, you know to cross street, I
Adrienne: just knew the magic that happened between her and I helping each other was something that I did not want to keep within myself. I saw the impact that it had in her life because she was home bound, feeling like really depressed because here she was in the United States, hoping to learn English and she didn't know where to start.
And I thought if there's some way that I can help other people to be able to reach out to others this way, to feel comfortable, to get over themselves, take themselves out of the picture and try to help someone.
I would like to give people those tools. And so I never dreamed how I would, but I knew that magic was something I wanted to share. And that's what we're doing.
Melissa: My gosh, it's so . Beautiful, Adrienne. I . Know there's gonna be tons of people that are, wanna reach out to you to learn a little bit more about your membership and, and all the things that you do.
So can you just share how people could get in touch with you? So that we can continue have them continue the journey with you too, with learning and expanding their mind.
Adrienne: Yeah, absolutely. So you can find us at learnwithmelanguages.com and our membership is called the family language exchange.
And if you want to get to know me a little bit better, we do host a podcast called the building bilingual families podcast. And on all social platforms, you can find us at learn with me languages.
Paul: So we just wanna take the time and thank you for taking the time and sharing your energy and expertise. I think this truly shows our listeners Watchers, how they find us, you know, what is truly possible that you can take a, something that's a simple core idea and how you've been able to ripple the entire world and, and make impact in family's lives.
And again, we just wanna thank you for coming on the, the show today.
Adrienne: Absolutely. It's my pleasure.