After 15 months of testing and trying, it seems like X-Culture Kids is gaining momentum.
We tested the program with a few dozen kids in 2018-1 and 2018-2, determined that it works, the kids are learning A LOT about other cultures, business, and even simple things like how to properly write an email or schedule a team meeting.
But from the very beginning, the biggest challenge was recruitment. X-Culture is a very unique product. It’s not an online course. It’s not a private school. It’s not a summer camp.
In the world where one looks at an online ad for an average of only 1.2 seconds, how do you advertise a program that you need 5 minutes to explain what it is?
Over the 15 months, we tried everything. We used personal contacts. We tried sending our representatives to local schools in 40 countries. We mailed out letters to school principles in 60 countries. We tested over 50 different ads served to hundreds of differently sliced audiences, on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and via Google AdWords.
Eventually, we found a formula that works. Lately, we’ve been receiving 100+ applications per day. PER DAY!
For this semester, as of this minute, we have accepted about 1,000 kids from 78 countries. And more have signed up for the Fall semester.
Confession: I was ready to drop the idea just a few months ago. The program worked, but the difficulties with recruitment made me weigh the huge time and energy it required vs. the small number of participants.
Now that we see an explosion in the number of applicants, I am happy, but also scared.
1. All of a sudden, we can’t afford to screw up. We have promised a great learning experience to a thousand kids around the world. We have a real chance of making a difference in this divided world at these dire times. No longer can I just get busy for a day with an R&R or go to a conference for a few days. And I don’t have the money to hire full-time staff to manage this gigantic international enterprise.
2. How many of these kids are actually ready? X-Culture is a team-based project. A kid who signs up but doesn’t deliver spoils the experience for the entire team. This is why, starting this Monday, the kids must first complete a four-week theory training, designed to both prepare them for work in a GVT, but also to weed out those who are incapable of sustained effort week after week. I’d like to be inclusive, but we must be strict, and I won’t be surprised if out of the 1,000 we’ll lose 900 who turn out to be not ready. So we may be back to a very small number where the effort:output ration is very large.
3. What do you do with the numbers? How big do we want to get? What do we do with our other huge numbers?
For example, as of today, we have 185,000 followers of the X-Culture Facebook page, adding about 1,000 every day. All natural growth. Some of our posts get over half a million views and thousands of likes and shares. In fact, there is one post from a few days ago that has now 5 million views and 35 thousand shares. Over 2,000 people visit the X-Culture Kids website per day.
Can we use these figures to finally generate much needed revenue to fund our efforts?
Over 5,000 students from 50 universities in 40 countries are enrolled to participate in the University track of X-Culture this semester. We have a record number of applicants to the X-Culture Coaching Program. The X-Culture Business Week in Calgary has already more applications than we can accommodate. Which of these programs should get the most attention?
Anyway… No time to worry. We have several orientation webinar to deliver in the coming days and still need to update the training materials for the new season.
If anyone feels like helping, we need help
Thank you, Yevheniy Frankiv for running the hundreds of online ad tests before we have finally found ways to make it work.
Thank you, Volodymyr Onofriychuk for keeping our IT systems from crashing.
Kimberly Nesper and Tim Meijde: ready for the largest class of Coaches ever?
Leilani O. Baumanis, Leighton Wilks: The Calgary Business Week is approaching fast. Ready?
Alexander Assouad, Justin Kraemer: How many Xackathons do we have this year? Maybe just one in Denmark will be enough?
Simone Dell’Oca: Get ready for some very serious email traffic.
Karen Lynden: Are you sure you want to get involved in all of this? It’s like being caught in an avalanche.
As always, checking spelling and grammar is not a priority. Sorry for misspellings, etc.
Yes, it is not too late to enroll your kid (25th is the deadline). Just google X-Culture’s website and click on “For Kids” on the main menu.