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Manny Arango, a traveling speaker and owner of Harp and Sword, came to me at the beginning of March 2020, IYKYK, and asked me to help him take his public speaking business and ministry and turn it into a profitable online business model.
We established that his ideal customer or target customer was acutely defined as developing youth pastors in churches and youth groups nationwide. This helped us design our first digital product to help youth pastors be better communicators, particularly in a world that may go fully digital, at least for a while.
This opened up another angle that Manny had been avidly studying and researching: theology. We began to expand our knowledge of the potential of a modern and consumer-friendly educational resource to help Christians and these developing youth pastors we acutely defined better understand the Bible's theology. This led to the creation of digital product number 2.
Before I enter the building phase, I want to note that Manny was a developing personal brand on social media with about 14k-15k Instagram followers, 50k Tiktok followers, and 5k YouTube Subscribers.
I began building the first product for youth pastors looking to take their speaking gifts to the next level while significantly impacting the youth at their home churches. This product was called Speakeasy. A 10-part online course and community that helps develop public speaking on stages through the camera. Speakeasy 1.0 was so successful that we embarked on Speakeasy 2.0 when Manny collaborated with public speaker Brian Bullock to create a course and community.
The following digital product we created was ARMA an online subscription to help Christians better understand the bible for themselves. ARMA was a great success resulting in growth to over 100 monthly subscribers at $13/mo. This helped Manny tremendously as the pandemic came to an end, Christians weren't going to church, but they had a tool that could keep them fed spiritually.
We learned about the profitability of these digital product models. As the global pandemic of 2020 began to subside and Manny’s speaking engagement opened up, we realized the more significant work that had been done in the time of going digital. Manny was getting calls from some of the biggest churches in the world. Not only to speak but to introduce this new product ARMA to their staff and leadership.