One of the things I’ve loved most since setting up the Club has been getting the chance to meet people who have taken an inspiring step in their lives and hearing their stories of business and why business today, is fast becoming more about the business of balance, than the business of ‘busy.’
This has been a common thread in so many conversations I’ve been having recently and has come up in a number of the workshops in recent months.
I was thrilled to get the chance to meet Amalie Hughes of Toddler Fun Learning last week. A former Marketing Manager at a digital agency, Amalie now runs a channel on YouTube with her husband which has since launch, clocked up more than 170million views.
I caught up with Amalie to understand more about the ‘why’ behind the business and how it is working for her and her family.
What was your background before Toddler Fun Learning?
I left my role as Marketing Manager for a digital agency in December 2014 so that I could focus on growing Toddler Fun Learning at the same time as being a mum that was able to do the drop off and pick-ups at school. Toddler Fun Learning had been producing content since March 2013 but we felt in order to grow the business it was going to require more of our time.
Where did you get the idea to start?
Toddler Fun Learning never started out as a business, it was something we started for our own children. We often sat with them to find YouTube videos for them to watch but we quickly realised that the quality of the videos that was available was poor and a lot of it was very American. Initially we started producing content ourselves, as and when we could. We would come up with an idea and script based on the stage our kids were learning and Christian, (my husband) would produce the animations, and I would be the voiceover and it grew from there. Fast forward four years and we’ve had over 170 million views, 210,000 subscribers and we have a team of script writers, animators, song writers, singers and voice over artists that we work with to create our weekly content.
How have you found the journey so far?
So far it’s been an amazing journey. From starting something that was supposed to help our own children grow and develop, we now have a healthy business that is growing and provides us with an income. I still can’t quite believe that we have created a business that is entertaining and educating children all around the world whilst supporting our family and allowing me to be the mum that I wanted to be.
Has anything helped or hindered you along the way?
Our biggest hindrance has been time, there just aren’t enough hours in the day/week to do everything we want to do with Toddler Fun Learning. There are many opportunities opening up for Toddler Fun Learning and we just can’t do them all!
What bits would you say you have ‘winged it’ on the most?
To be honest we have winged it from the beginning. When we started out we had little idea of where we would be now. The world of children’s content was such a new world to us but luckily, Christian already had experience developing a YouTube audience for our family vlogging channel How2beadad . The great thing about YouTube is it’s all about winging it! Experimenting, seeing what works and doing more of it, but most of all not patronising our audience and always retaining our values of quality, entertaining with a learning element.
In life and in business, you have to wing it to push yourself and your business. We have zero experience of developing apps but threw ourselves fully into a steep learning curve and have ended up with a Toddler Fun Learning App that we’re immensely proud of.
Have you ever experienced self-doubt and fear?
Toddler Fun Learning never started as business and I still find it hard to believe we are where we are with it. Leaving my job in December 2014 was a big step but Christian’s constant belief and vision has encouraged me all the way. For us, it’s been all about taking little steps and growing our audience organically. We are constantly learning on the job about what works and what doesn’t, so it’s always a massive learning curve but we believe in following our instinct as parents and only creating content that we think our children and their peers would enjoy whilst creating a product that parents trust. We fully believe in our content and as long as we do and we’re still having fun, I’m sure we will get through the fear.
Amalie Hughes is co-founder and Marketing Director of Toddler Fun Learning.