Building a Big Brand for Butlers and the Hospitality Industry with Vincent Vermeulen

August 9, 2021
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In today’s episode, we have Vincent Vermeulen with us and he is going to talk about how he has carried the legacy of butlers and the hospitality industry from his great grandfather to this very day.

You will also get to hear how he was able to grow his in-person training with online courses, the way that you can leverage online course marketplaces to drive traffic to your own platform, and his strategies for growing his business and brand with social media.

Website: schoolforbutlers.com
YouTube: School for Butlers & Hospitality
Facebook: SchoolForButlersAndHospitality
Twitter: @Schoolforbutler
Instagram: vincent_schoolforbutlers
@school_for_butlers
LinkedIn: Vincent Vermeulen

Notes

In this episode, you will hear...

… Vincent’s story and journey before finding his niche and joining the online business world. 

… how Vincent has carried the legacy of butlers and the hospitality industry from his great grandfather to this very day.

… how Vincent was able to grow his in-person training with online courses.

… how to leverage online course marketplaces to drive traffic to your own platform.

… Vincent’s tips and strategies for growing a business and brand using social media. 

… how Vincent uses YouTube to grow his business and how to make YouTube content look professional.

… Vincent’s unique and helpful SEO strategies to reach potential students.

… tips and tricks on using Instagram pictures to gain students, traffic, and capture emotion.

… how book writing has helped Vincent’s business to succeed and engage potential students.

… Vincent’s number one piece of advice to any online course beginner out there.

Resources

Transcript

Jeremy Deighan
Hey, what's up, everyone? Thanks for checking out the show today. We have Vincent Vincent Vermeulen from hospitalitytutors.com. And this is really great. I think this is going to be a cool episode.

Vincent is in a niche and is really capitalizing on that niche and has an industry in that niche regarding butlers and hospitality. And I'm super excited to hear your story and how you got into this world.

How are you doing today, Vincent?

Vincent Vermeulen
I'm great, Jeremy, and thank you so much for having me on the show. I'm absolutely super excited.

Jeremy Deighan
Yeah, definitely. I always like the stories where we have these niche industries that you don't hear so often. You know, we get a lot of things regarding, you know, marketing and stuff like that. But this is a really cool topic. I think it'll be fun to dive into your story.

So why don't you just give us a little bit of history? What were you doing before you got into online courses and online business?

Vincent Vermeulen
Well, actually, it started in 1884. So that's 1884. And it actually started with my great grandfather, who was in hospitality already. And he became a butler, actually, around his 20s. My grandfather told me the story who was in hospitality as well.

In short, I'm actually a fourth-generation hospitality person. So I took over the business of my parents after going to the hotel school. I turned that business into, you know, like a sort of a catering group, together with my brother.

And, you know, it went really well. And we sold it because I didn't want to run a big company. And I still had that story in mind of my great grandfather. And I said, you know, "Now I want to become a butler."

And that's actually where it started. I went to England. I did my butler training. And then I became a butler for a number of years. When I stopped doing that, I went into hospitality consultancy, so I've known nothing else in my life and hospitality.

In 2013, I actually realized my big dream, which was starting a butler school. Then we actually arrived at the point where I thought, "Hey, what if we put this thing online? What if we turn this live training into an online training?" Which is actually kind of a contradiction. Because if there's one training in the world, which is almost impossible to do online, it's butler training.

But yet, here we are a couple of years later, and it's working really well.

Jeremy Deighan
Awesome. Yeah, I definitely want to dive into those aspects of that story because it will be interesting to hear how you were able to take this online—but going back to the school where you were teaching.

You were teaching this, I guess, in person? What did the actual physical school look like before the online school?

Vincent Vermeulen
Yeah, great question. So I started in 2013 with a four-week butler training. This is a live training. I started up in a five-star hotel in Brussels. I mean, everybody should know that I'm from Belgium. So I started up in Brussels with a four-week training.

And about two years into the school, I actually went to another location. So we left the hotel, and we've got our own estate, which is an 85,000 square feet domain, where we don't train at present for four weeks, but we train for eight weeks. So we have a very intensive eight-week butler training for a maximum of eight students. They all live, work, study at the domain.

And we've got students coming from all over the world. And we do this eight-week training like three times a year. And that's where it all started. So I was teaching it for the most part. And then when it really hit off, I had some extra instructors, and what have you.

So that's how the live school came about. And from that live school, from the butler training, we had a number of companies saying "Hey, I mean, this butler mindset in terms of customer service is so very interesting. So very high level. Would you work out a program to train companies?" And that's what we've been doing as well. And that is what we also have been putting onto the online system.

Jeremy Deighan
Very cool. And is that school still live today? Or is that still open?

Vincent Vermeulen
Oh, absolutely. Because you must know in the butler school landscape, there are not many schools in the world training for eight weeks. We're one of the longest life trainings in the world. For example, if you go to England, the most you will find is three to four weeks.

So we really niche within a niche with a live training. And actually, the outcome of the online trainings is not so much for people to buy into the online program. Well, it is, but the very big goal is to get them to Belgium and certify them after training them live, plus the online training.

So we've got a sort of a two-week boot camp, which they can do add it to the online training, and then they become a fully certified butler.

Jeremy Deighan
That's awesome. And then once someone goes through that school, and they get that certification, what is, this is just something interesting that I would like to know, what does the process look like after that? How do they, you know, find butler and hospitality jobs after that?

Vincent Vermeulen
Yeah, great question, of course, because that's the number one question that everybody asks, you know, "If I do a butler training, will I get a job?" Now, we never guarantee a job from the school, I mean, but we do have a well, a very nice network of customers and families around the world who are looking for butlers.

And of course, if they ask us, "Hey, do you have any students running around or any experienced students after a few years? We are looking for someone in the household." Of course, we're going to present our own students.

So our students not only come from all over the world, they also work all over the world. And, you know, they work for families. Well, you know, we always call them successful families. I don't want to call them rich or wealthy, because you know, you can be rich in your hearts. And, you know, that's something different.

But these are, of course, people who work very hard for their money. And they need people in their household, which are professionals. And I like to think that those are my butler's. And they've been working for, you know, completely unknown people. And for, I mean, amazing celebrities as well, anything in between. So yeah, you know, we're very proud of that.

Jeremy Deighan
Yeah, that is amazing. This is a cool industry that I honestly know nothing about. And it's really cool to talk to you about this and find out more information. So you've got this school going. Obviously, the school is doing very well. And then you get to a point where you're like, you know, "Hey, this online, things really taken off, and people are making courses. Why don't we put this online?"

So what did those early days look like? When did you actually start putting together your online course? And what did it look like in the beginning?

Vincent Vermeulen
Well, actually, the reason to do this wasn't as much the motivation of making money off it. The thing was, I had a number of you must know that the eight weeks training in Belgium, so it's a very hefty investment.

Because, you know, they have to travel to Belgium, they stay for eight weeks in the school, you know, it's like being in a hotel for eight weeks, that would cost you a lot of money. You've got all the trainings. We do a two-day trip to London, we could do it a day to champagne.

So it's an investment that comes down to about, if you would be talking dollars, about $15,000. So that's a pretty hefty investment. And in 2018, I had a lot of demand on people saying, you know, "I would love to become a butler. But you know, I don't have the money at the moment." So I said, we're gonna launch a marketing campaign called Everybody Butler.

And we were looking for ways how to give people the opportunity to become a butler whether if they had the money or not. And so what we did was we created smaller courses, which was like a four-week one, which is a bit less expensive. But then I thought, "What if I put this online, so that we don't have to be physically present, but people can still enjoy and learn and look towards a career as a butler?"

So at the end of 2018, we had an October, so we have three trainings a year. So that's February, May, and October. So in the October training of 2018, I just started, you know, videotaping the whole thing. And I invested in good audio because you know, as you know, that's very important in online courses. I put a camera there. I started editing. And I said, you know, "We'll see where this goes."

And I launched it in 2019. And it was kind of a runaway success. And of course, I don't need to tell you what happened in March 2020, when this whole thing hit. And then we even have more students.

And it gave them the opportunity to see what the training was like how the other students reacted because they're also in the videos. And they could kind of see like, "Is this something for me? Let me invest in this course online first, and then I can still go and do the live thing if I want."

And that has worked out really, really well. So if you look at it, like the online course is kind of an opt-in for the life course. And that's not what you see a lot in online training. I mean, I could be mistaken.

Jeremy Deighan
Yeah, not really. I mean, you know, some people do that. And it's really an intelligent way to go about it. And so, you know, a lot of people are just making the course to make the course, or they have their in-person events, and they work together. But this sounds like it's a great segue into your school.

And then, like you said, the certification. I follow Russell Brunson, who is the owner of a software called Click Funnels. And in Click Funnels, through his training, he talks about the importance of having a value ladder, where you are stepping people up this ladder of value throughout your process.

And so you start with lower ticket items, and then you move them up to a mid ticket item, and then you move them up to a high ticket item because different people are going to want different levels of, you know, expertise and things like that.

This sounds like it fits that mold perfectly because you have this lower ticket online course. And then it really drives that interest. And then the people who are truly interested in becoming a butler and learning these skills can now say, "This is for me, I love this. Let me go invest in this school and get certified."

Vincent Vermeulen
Absolutely. And that's why we started off with a rather high price point. Because if you look at the world of online courses, not a lot of them are like four figures, if you know what I mean. So and we started off rather high because I really wanted only interested people. And still, we had people who said, you know, "It's great, you're doing this, but you know, we're still kind of hefty to invest."

And then for some of them, we made some spread payment plans and what have you, but you could immediately see the seriousness of people because people are not going to invest an amount like that if they're not really interested. So it's not like a mass-producing course. But we're very happy that we started with something, you know, and took it very seriously, which the students did as well.

Jeremy Deighan
Yeah, if you saw the course for $10, it would be harder to sell a $15,000 training program.

Vincent Vermeulen
Exactly. And I mean, I think that the professional butler wouldn't be taken seriously anymore.

Jeremy Deighan
Correct, yes. And that is the, you know, that's the idea behind butlers is that is a very professional industry. So this is really cool.

So, when you were recording these videos, what did the process look like? Was it just you teaching into a camera? Or did you have like a classroom where you were teaching other people? And then just recording that? What did that look like?

Vincent Vermeulen
Yeah, great question. I mean, I had to figure out as I went along. So the first thing that I did was I just put up a camera. I had, like, a lavalier mic on my suit. And I just acted normal in front of a classroom, like I would teach any other classroom. And that kind of gave the feeling to the people doing this online training. They see me in my real habitat. I'm not talking into the camera.

For example, we have a lecture that has two cameras in them. So there's one shooting from the top of the table and one from the side simultaneously. Because we have these table dressing exercises, and people can see in detail from the top of the table from the side, how you place your plates, how you do this technique, etc. You have me as a sort of a voiceover, who's running around, but it's the audio coming from my lavalier mic. And that is something they really appreciate.

On top of that, later on. For example, the last online course I made was last year was full time personal assistant, then I really did like headshot videos, looking into the camera with professional lighting, editing, everything in Premiere Pro with sound with music, what have you. So a totally different concept. But it's appreciated as well, because the speed of the videos is much quicker. There's much more interaction.

But I think that we found a great way in, you know, the niche of the butler needed that classroom situation, and the one for personal assistance needed that speed needed that professionality in video making. So yeah, I think they're happy with most of it. Absolutely.

Jeremy Deighan
Yeah. Wonderful. That's really cool. So you've got these videos recorded, and then the next step would be getting them online. So what platform did you post these on when you first started?

Vincent Vermeulen
Yeah, well, even before I posted this in 2019, I was into online trainings through Udemy. So my first training ever on Udemy was about etiquette. I mean, that's like the core of being a butler. And I thought, you know, this might be like, I don't know, a side hustle or get the word out, maybe make a few bucks on the side. And I didn't take that seriously. And then I started working on it and Udemy went better and better.

But then, for the butler training, I couldn't use Udemy because the price point is just not feasible there, and also, the platform is not what I needed. So I went with Teachable. I went with a, I mean, I looked at different kinds of them, but I really like Teachable.

And we've been on there, you know, for many years now. And what we also do is that the live training people coming, so the ones who don't take the online training, they get access to the platform as well.

So what they have is they have the live training, and through a special drip course, every training they just had. For example, we train on Monday table dressing, on Tuesday, we would release that, and in their rooms, they can rewatch actually the training. And that has been a huge help in getting people from zero to hero in eight weeks.

Because even if we have the longest training almost on the planet for butler's, it's still a very short eight weeks, because we've got people coming from completely different backgrounds and industries, who have never done this. And we have to get them to a level who is acceptable to work for the most, you know, famous people in the world.

Jeremy Deighan
This is so cool. I've talked about this before, where you can use courses not to be your main source of revenue but could also supplement your business, your brick and mortar business. So you know, I've talked about it.

So if someone has a business out there and maybe they're they're teaching someone how to bake or cook, you know, why not create a course where when people are coming in to learn from you, you also have these video courses to supplement what you're teaching in person. And you've done an excellent way of handling that.

This is really cool. I think you're making some great steps here.

Vincent Vermeulen
Thanks.

Jeremy Deighan
Okay, cool. So you've got your course, a course on Udemy, and then you moved to Teachable. Do you still have your courses on Udemy now?

Vincent Vermeulen
Yeah, but you know, on Udemy, we have like, it's called The Butler Masterclass, which is like two hours just to give people like a taste of it. And that's been sort of a lead towards us as well. But we're not actually adding any more to Teachable now.

For example, one of my best courses on Teachable is about wedding planning, which is also integrated into the butler training. Because between my butler career and the school, and hospitality consultancy, I also did some wedding planning, etc. But I'm mainly focusing on hospitalitytutors.com now.

Because in most of the trainings, for example, the butler training, we have a private Facebook community. So if you enroll into the online training, you get access to the private Facebook group. And we post certain things there and people get connected with each other.

So it's small, but it's very professional. And that's what we need in this niche. I mean, I don't want a Facebook group that has like 2000 people in them because it wouldn't work in this kind of work.

Jeremy Deighan
Yeah, definitely. I guess I was wondering, are you getting any students from Udemy? Because I've heard of others talking about using Udemy kind of more like a lead generation tool, versus like their main source of income.

So are you able to track? Are you able to see if there are still people signing up from Udemy and then, say, moving over to your Teachable school?

Vincent Vermeulen
Absolutely. Because you know, since it's so niche, and I don't have that many students, they get in contact rather, personally with me and through my Instagram and what have you. So yeah, definitely, they come through Udemy.

And but you know, in the early years of Udemy, they were very protective of getting a student outside of the platform. But of course, in my niche, I mean, I say my name in Udemy courses, and I train butlers, I mean it only takes like one Google, and we're online one or two in Google if you type in my name, and there we're butler.

So yeah, they kind of get easy to the school. And then you know, the rest goes from there. But on the other hand, we only take eight students in the eight-week course three times a year, which is 24 students. We have to be a bit well. Picky isn't the word.

But we have an interview with each and every one of them. We look at their motivation. Is this really what you want? I mean, are you in it for the money because that's the wrong reason. We really need people with their heart in hospitality, and so we have the luxury of kind of choosing the students for the live training. So that helps as well. And they sometimes come through Udemy, where they got a first spark of interest.

Jeremy Deighan
Let's move over to the marketing side of things now. So you get these videos created, you get them up on your own platform. And then the next step is you know where to find these people who are interested in hospitality.

So what were you doing to start driving traffic to your online courses?

Vincent Vermeulen
Yeah. Well, that's the million-dollar question. Well, it's a million-dollar question, especially for us. If you look at my clients, which are my students, we have no profile. So you can go as you know, you can go to Facebook and like put like a persona and said, they have these interests and those interests and that age and that demographic.

That's absolutely so very difficult with the butler school. Why? Well, we have ladies, we have gentlemen, we have people from 18, our oldest students so far was somebody from Texas, he was 64. Amazing guy. So and we have people who are a nurse, we had people who are truck drivers, we had people who are maitre d' in a three star Michelin restaurant.

So the demographic is so diverse, that we cannot really create a persona. So what we've done was we bet on content, like the YouTube channel, and Instagram, etc. But we do work with Facebook ads, but we rarely put Facebook ads and Google AdWords on the online training. We kind of lead them to the website of the school, and then they go to the online from there.

Because if they're really interested in becoming a butler, and they see the price point of the live training and say, "Maybe there's another alternative," then they're going to see the online. So that's kind of how we do it. And if we got people, for example, sending emails and saying, "I'm dreaming of becoming a butler, but you know, maybe in a few months, I can't pay it, etc.," we send them the link to the online, and that works pretty well as well.

So we're not that aggressive. And it's a very small market. But we do use Google AdWords and Facebook ads to drive traffic. Absolutely.

Jeremy Deighan
Okay, cool. Let's talk about the ads first. And then I want to ask you about the other stuff, the YouTube and Instagram. So regarding the Facebook ads, whenever you set up an ad inside of Facebook, if no one out there listening has done this before, you can really target interests. You can target what people are interested in.

So for instance, because I'm in the digital marketing space, I might be able to target someone like Gary Vaynerchuk, or Pat Flynn, or you know, someone like that. And it gives me a big set of people to be able to target those interests.

So how are you doing that in your Facebook ads? Because as you said, there are probably not as many interests available inside of that platform. So how are you finding these people?

Vincent Vermeulen
Well, for example, what we do know, if you look at the demographic of the students we had over the years, one that stands out is people between, let's say, 18 and 23, who are in Hotel Management Studies. That's one.

One, of course, which is also very interesting for us, is etiquette. So people who are interested in etiquette. For some strange reason, people who read certain books, I mean, like, between lifestyle and romantic books, that's an interest as well.

And then, of course, anything which is kind of hospitality on the higher level, like the luxury champagnes, and the good sides of life, etc. And so we started up these Facebook ads, we looked at the results, and then we fine-tuned and fine-tuned and fine-tuned. And then over the years, you know, for example, if you look at the average cost of a Facebook ad, we're actually in the cents. I mean, it's, we're hitting around like seven cents or six cents, which is amazing.

So yeah, that's how we did it. Absolutely. And I must say the website has an amazing SEO as well. I mean, we outsource this. We kind of invested a lot into this website. But if you punch in butler training, or Butler Academy, or whatever, we ended up very high in Google. And that's due to the SEO investments. So those are the two main drivers.

Jeremy Deighan
Wow, this is wonderful. I've got so many questions for you. We're gonna run out of time, and I'm gonna have to have you come back on because you're making a lot of right choices. And I just love this. So okay, cool.

So in Facebook ads, you're targeting people who are maybe want or have interest in that higher quality of life, who have etiquette, and so forth. That makes a lot of sense. So let's shift real quick. Try to get through a couple of these because I want to hear some of these other strategies.

So, first of all, you mentioned SEO. SEO is, you know, being able to optimize for the search engines like Google as you said, when someone types in a specific keyword, it is able to pull up your information in your website—so having it outsourced. I don't know how much you know about it.

But how are you handling the SEO? Like, typically, when we think of SEO, we think of having a blog. And you have all these blog articles that are ranking. Do you have a blog or is the site just ranking naturally by itself?

Vincent Vermeulen
Well, I do have a blog, which I don't put any time in, not enough, not enough time. I have to do something about that. But we've seen that it doesn't really drive traffic. What I did was I wrote down the FAQ of the website and said, "What are the questions that people have the most?" And what I did was I created like four or five evergreen YouTube videos.

For example, I have this video called, "Can a butler have a private life?" Which is a question that's asked a lot. And that YouTube video, that's actually the title. And that's been a great hit because that's what people punch in into Google.

And for example, another question is, "Will I have a job after Butler training?" and that has worked really well for us. And I think that kind of is like interlinked with our Google AdWord, because I have somebody doing this for me who's a lot smarter than I am in terms of SEO. And there are other things that we do as well.

Of course, you know, you can put your competitors in SEO, which is absolutely interesting. But what happened in my niche was the following. So there's this guy called Ivor Spencer, who started the first Butler school ever in the 80s. Now, unfortunately, he came to pass away in 2009. And, you know, he started in a time where internet wasn't really a thing.

So what I did was I bought the website name. And Ivor Spencer is like an icon in the butler world. But of course, the school doesn't exist anymore. So what I did was I put up an honorary website on the domain name of ivorspencer.co.uk.

And of course, this page has been brought to you by School for Butlers and Hospitality. And that has worked amazing. Because he used to be the authority in butler training, and now it's leading to us. And they see that we kind of, you know, have the same philosophy. And that was even going a step further because we're quite innovative.

You know, for example, we don't iron newspapers anymore and don't worry, we don't iron iPads as well. But, you know, it's been a great lead from Ivor Spencer to us. And that's how we kind of handled the SEO because people are looking for Ivor Spencer, as well. And when they punch it in, they come on our website, or on the honorary website.

Jeremy Deighan
That is a brilliant strategy. I've actually never heard of that one before. But maybe that gives some other people some other ideas of how to go about that. So that's really cool. Let's jump over to YouTube real quick.

So you mentioned you have some YouTube videos. Have you had the YouTube channel for long? And you mentioned that you were kind of creating some YouTube videos that answer specific questions. So can you talk a little bit more about your YouTube channel? And what you see that's working really well on that platform?

Vincent Vermeulen
Absolutely. So I started off my social media actually, you know, when we started the school, so the website, the YouTube, everything. And I started posting videos, but my philosophy from the very start of the school and everything we do is, if the image isn't high quality, or, like, gives you a feeling and emotion, we don't post it.

For example, if you look at my YouTube or my Instagram, you're never gonna see like, a selfie or, like, a random picture of something I shot. No, it needs to have like a good, you know, the picture has to be framed, there needs to be like a blurry background, it has to give an emotion. And I think that has always worked.

So when we went to YouTube, I started making some movies myself. I knew I was fiddling around with some software, and that went really good. But then, all of a sudden, we combined the Google AdWords budget together with the YouTube one.

And we shot a testimonial video of a few of our students, and we edited, and that looked very good. And we put it on YouTube. And we had a sort of a budget. And in the early days, it was a couple of hundreds of dollars a month because we couldn't afford more.

And what happened was YouTube forgot to shut off the budget, and they let it run. But of course, they couldn't charge me because we put a limit. But they showed that video almost 250,000 times without paying a cent. So that was kind of amazing. It wasn't a strategy. It was sheer luck. But we built from there and we had our followers and, you know, yeah. That's what happens.

Jeremy Deighan
And the testimonial video, do you feel like you would do more of those, you think that those are really working well? Other than other than YouTube giving you free advertising?

Vincent Vermeulen
Fortunately. But, we did more. And we did really like short ones, thirty-second ones. And that helped as well. But to this very day, I'm amazed how people follow me from time to time. Because in 2016, I've written my first book, and you know, people read my book cover to cover they know everything I say in the videos.

Because if we have people from the online training coming to the live training, it's so incredible. They can almost repeat word for word what I'm about to say in the training. So you know, they're very into the mission. As well, and YouTube has helped with that as well. Because, you know, I get emails from time to time, "I've seen all your YouTube videos, and it's so interesting, etc."

Jeremy Deighan
Yeah, the book can be very powerful. I learned this from my coach too, who had written a book and then gets people into his program.

And he was explaining, you know, if someone takes the time to read your book, and they're, you know, engulfed in that information, and they get to learn you, your style, your personality, and your philosophies, then getting them into your program becomes almost easy, because they've already invested that time.

Vincent Vermeulen
Absolutely. What the book also does is it kind of positions you as an expert. I mean, if you've written a book, you must be an expert, right? Well, that's not always the case. But that's how people see you.

And actually, I'm in the process of writing my second book, and that one is going to be towards corporate trainings. Because you know, we're doing well in that area as well. And I hope it has the same effect as my butler book.

Jeremy Deighan
Yeah, definitely. And then the final one that you had mentioned was Instagram, and you said you want to post more emotional type images on the platform. But have you messed around a lot with Instagram? Is there any tips or tricks that you can give us about that?

Vincent Vermeulen
Well, let me first tell you what I would do better. I mean, if you look at your overview of your pictures on your Instagram, people are looking, you know, to have a certain structure in there. Like, you know, every other two pictures, they post a certain type of picture. So if you look at the overview, it looks good. That's something I didn't do at the beginning. And that's something I would do now. I'm actually working on that.

But the thing is, the school only has a few 100 followers, but me personally, I've got a lot more. And I've always had the same approach into take a picture, and it has to look good, even edit it, maybe a filter or whatever. But it has to give that emotion.

And what I also do a lot, because if you look at the profession of a butler, you know, we're discreet. So one of the number one traits of a butler is to be discreet, and that's what I try to respect in my pictures as well. I'm not just going to take a picture of my students without asking their permission. I'm not going to take a picture where they're not aware of that they're in the shot, etc.

So actually infuse my pictures also with the mindset that we have as a butler. For example, I would never post a picture of, let's say, a tray with a glass on it, and it's full of dirt or fingerprints or whatever because that's not what a butler would do. So I think that the pictures also reflects the product that you're selling.

Jeremy Deighan
Yeah, definitely. You gotta, you know, stick with your philosophies and your brand and if they are contradicting each other, then you're just doing yourself a disservice.

Vincent Vermeulen
Absolutely.

Jeremy Deighan
Yeah, so this is just this is really cool information. And something that you've mentioned a couple of times that I think is super important for other people listening is you don't have to be in a very big widespread niche to be successful.

I mean, you've shown in a very narrow niche, and like you've said yourself, not having a ton of followers still be able to create a very successful online business with your courses. And I appreciate that.

I think that other people need to hear that because they feel like they have to go chase the money or chase the crowd. And sometimes narrowing down and really focusing on one aspect of a persona can help out.

Vincent Vermeulen
I fully agree. I mean, if you have the passion for your product or your topic, I mean, the money will follow. Absolutely.

Jeremy Deighan
Cool. So just thinking about those people who are listening right now who are maybe just getting started into this world into online courses and putting their stuff up on a platform, what would be maybe your biggest piece of advice or tip that you could give the beginner out there?

Vincent Vermeulen
Well, it's actually the same tip I give to all my students. It's so very simple. It's so very cliche, but it's: Don't give up. I mean, it's hard. It's really hard, because, for example, the last training I put online, which was the full-time personal assistant training. I mean, the full thing is about two to two and a half hours, but it took me about six months to produce.

And I mean, it's the scriptwriting, it's the filming and then, you know, you've been filming for three hours and all of a sudden you see that you know the battery is dead and your sound system and what have you. So you got to start all over again, and you get demotivated so really fast. It's my number one piece of advice, don't give up. Don't give up. Absolutely not.

Jeremy Deighan
Awesome, perfect. And just continuing this generational field that you're in from the 1880s. Looking forward to your business and where you want to take it.

What do you see for yourself over the next, say, five or ten years? How would you like for this to grow? And what is your end goal?

Vincent Vermeulen
You know, there's a lot happening in the online training space, and there are some really nice platforms coming along. You know, like Teachable. But I think that whatever we do in our company, the number one value we have is to really help people, whether that be butlers or that be companies.

For example, if we train a company, and we can train one person to be a bit more friendly to customers, and at the same time, feel better at the end of the day, well, then we've done an amazing job. And if we could find the tool to make sure that that happens, I think we're on the right way. So that's what I see for the future.

Jeremy Deighan
That's awesome. And I hope you make it happen. Because I feel like in this day, and in this environment, people are moving away from that. I go to restaurants now, I go to, you know, different places. And the customer service really seems to be lacking.

It seems like people are just there to clock in and clock out. And they don't have that hospitality mindset of just generally wanting to help people. And it's sad, you know, it's upsetting to spend money at a nice restaurant and feel like you're just being neglected.

So I wish you the best on that goal. And I would definitely hope you'd be a part of it. Because you are an amazing human being, and I love what you're doing.

Vincent Vermeulen
Thanks.

Jeremy Deighan
And if people want to find out more about you online, where can you send them to do that?

Vincent Vermeulen
Hospitalitytutors.com. I think that's the best place to go. Of course, if they want to come to the school schoolforbutlers.com. That's our main website. But I'm sure they will find us through your podcast. Absolutely.

Jeremy Deighan
Okay, cool. And then I'll make sure that I put any links that you have in the show notes of this episode so that people can find out more about that.

And Vincent, you've been amazing. You're a gentleman and a scholar. And I just really appreciate you giving us your time today to talk about your business.

Vincent Vermeulen
Oh, it was my pleasure. And thank you so much for spreading the word. You're doing an amazing job. Absolutely.

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