Greg Langston from CollegeFlightPlan.com is today's guest. His business helps teens (and their parents) understand their values, purpose, and superpowers so they can make good decisions about their education and career.
This is stuff I wish existed when I was in high school, and I'm sure many other parents have understood just how powerful this kind of support can be, especially if it can save them tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.
So what does Greg need help with? Well, he has two target audiences—students and parents—and he needs to know if he's on the right track with how he's marketing to both of them.
He's also a member of SPI Pro, and he shares a bit about the incredible support he's gotten for his business by being part of the community.
As you can tell, I'm really excited about what Greg is up to, and you may even hear him on the regular show in a little while so he and I can go deeper!
AP 1221: How Do I Tailor My Marketing to Different Audiences?
Pat Flynn: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to episode 1,221 of AskPat 2.0. You're about to listen to a coaching call between myself and an entrepreneur just like you. My goal here is to serve, and today we're serving and helping out Greg Langston from collegeflightplan.com. He helps parents and students both understand the importance and the how to of selecting the right college, or selecting the right vocation, or job, and helping the students, in particular, understand what's important to them, who are they, what are their talents, superpowers, et cetera.
Pat Flynn: This is stuff that I wish existed when I was in high school trying to figure out what to do. And I'm sure many parents have understood just how powerful and how incredibly valuable this education is because you save literally tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars by knowing upfront what you want to do in college versus changing majors and all that stuff.
Pat Flynn: We'll hear a little bit about the origin story, but what's most impressive is Greg started this very recently. He's over 60 years old, is a member of SPI Pro, and is able to do some really amazing things. And he's using very specific strategies that we have taught him through our education that is working for him. Not only that, there's a little bit of a challenge because he's targeting both students, and he wants to reach the students and wants them to get excited about it, but that's very different than speaking to the parents, who are, ultimately, or in many cases, paying for this.
Pat Flynn: There's a little dichotomy there. How do we position the messaging, and how do we best serve both audiences, even though they're one in the same in the end. They're family. So let's talk about it. Here he is, Greg Langston, from collegeflightplan.com.
Pat Flynn: Greg, welcome to AskPat. Thanks so much for coming in and hanging out with me today.
Greg Langston: Hey, Pat. It's a real pleasure.
Pat Flynn: It's great to see you. I'm looking forward to seeing what I can do to serve you and help you, but why don't you tell us a little bit about you, and what you do?
Greg Langston: Well, I'm the co-founder of College Flight Plan. In a nutshell, what we do is we help students figure out what their core values are, their strengths and weaknesses are, what they're passionate about and naturally gifted to do, so they can choose a college major or a profession. It might be a vocation that allows them, if they do go to college, to graduate in four years and have a fulfilling career.
Greg Langston: Now, why do we do that? The real facts are that only 40% of college students actually graduate in four years. A full 60% take six years to graduate, and that's because they're changing majors at least three times. By going through our process, we invest in the kids and in their families and can save them between $50,000 and $160,000.
Pat Flynn: I was going to say, that's a lot of money wasted, some additional time, just trying to figure out what to do. Where were you when I was in high school is my question.
Greg Langston: Well, that's what most parents say as we go through this process. Typically, when a parent sends a kid to a school and/or a program, they say, "What was the course like?" And they go, "Fine." "What did you learn?" "Nothing." In order to address that, what a student has to do when they go through a process is they have to report out to their accountability partner or their parents.
Greg Langston: In essence, say, "Mom and Dad, these are my values. This is why they're important. This is how I'll use them. These are my strengths as verified by trusted advisors. These are my goals for my life in the areas of health, wealth, wisdom, and relationship. This is how I solve problems. This is my purpose. These are the three core majors I choose to study in. And would you like to listen to my elevator speech that I will share with you?" Typically, that's a drop the mic moment for the parents. They say, "Holy cow, how did you do that?"
Pat Flynn: At what age do you start working with these kids?
Greg Langston: We typically start ... the sweet spot is sophomore, junior and senior year.
Pat Flynn: I'll have to reach out to you in a few years once Keoni hits that age, because he's 12 right now. This sounds right up, especially, my alley as an entrepreneur and knowing that I went through a process of choosing a school just because I thought gave me the best chance to get into a good college, and then getting into a job, which I did enjoy, but then getting laid off and that really starting my understanding of personally what was important to me, and what were my values. That only came about as a result of essentially getting unplugged from the matrix.
Pat Flynn: I love that you're here and you're helping. One more time for all the parents listening right now, where is this that they can go and find more information before we go on?
Greg Langston: They can go to collegeflightplan.com. At the end, I have a guide that I can share with your audience. For those people that have students that might be considering going to college, or a vocation might be better, because if you spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and you figure out that the student doesn't want to be in college, then you've wasted that money, and they have to pay back the debt.
Greg Langston: So we're all focused on trying to help the student get clarity. And right now, with all that's going on, they have tested the students that are in high school, and student engagement is at 33% when they're in their high school years. So this reverses that trend because it basically gives them a plan, and gives them a transformation to say, "Hey, I know what I'm good at. I know what I want to do, so I have clarity. I have confidence, and I have a sense of control because I have a plan going forward."
Greg Langston: The reason for me asking to be on your podcast is so that you can help me bifurcate between the students and the parents as to providing them the value that they see, and so that's where I need your help.
Pat Flynn: I was going to ask you who is ultimately purchasing or going to you? Is it the students that are coming to you because they're seeing other people, and they're like, "I'm feeling like I'm behind," or is it mostly parents that you're speaking to? Tell me a little bit about how you're getting this message out there currently.
Greg Langston: Both, actually. After 30 years of brick and mortar business in running companies over a billion dollars in 65 countries, I knew nothing about marketing as you have taught me. What's been a wonderful transformation is that I've learned that I can take that knowledge that we were doing workshops one-on-one 20 years ago, and with the advent of COVID and my learning through SPI Pro, I've been able to take all of this, digitize it, put it onto a website, be able to address both my avatar, which are typically parents from 35 up through grandparents, and then the students.
Greg Langston: And what I've done is, one of the ways of doing it is through podcasts. I've been, in the last six months, after going from no podcasts, not knowing what I was going to do, I've been on 60 podcasts in the last six months as a guest.
Pat Flynn: So good.
Greg Langston: And I learned that from you and the rest of the SPI Pro team to have the confidence and be able to do that. I'm getting both parents and students coming from those different podcasts, word of mouth. I've taken your email course. I've taken your webinar course.
Greg Langston: I'm going to be creating webinars for both the parents and the students, so that they can get to us. And on the resource side, we've created a separate bifurcation between parent content and student content because what we found is that when a student says, "Oh, if you're a parent," their eyes roll into the back of their head when you're writing in the content. But if you write to them saying, "Listen, we know you're stressed. We know you don't know what to do. We know you haven't figured this out yet. Do A, B and C." Then, at the end of the blog post we'll say, "Hey, if you think this is interesting, send this link to your parents. It's a complementary document, a complementary blog post that speaks to the parents." I speak to through the language of both the student and through the parent, and I don't know if that's a good idea or not.
Pat Flynn: That's an absolutely amazing idea. I think that maybe we're just thinking too hard about this because it does make sense. If you speak to a student, and you're speaking this different language and talking like you would talk to a parent, like you said, the eyes are going to roll over, for sure. I'm imagining leaning into that even more. How do we even more speak the language of the kids that are out there today?
Pat Flynn: What if, whether it's you, or maybe somebody you hire, or one of your success stories that you've already created that actually comes in, and I don't know if you pay them, or they just want to do it, or what, but imagine on that page that is teaching these students, you see a vertical video, TikTok-style, from a person who's of the same age, telling you, "Here is what I used to think, and here is where I am now. And I got into this college, and it was because of Greg, here, and because I understood all these things, so below follow the steps. You're going to love it."
Pat Flynn: That's what's going to connect. People of that age are on TikTok all day long now. I don't know if you are there too, but you could be, and perhaps should be with the business type that you have, so that you can get even these kids to go, "Hey, mom and dad. I just found this guy named Greg who says he can help me, and he's helped all these other people, too. Can you go to collegeflightplan.com and check it out? There's a parent section that's boring, that I don't want to read, but you can read it."
Greg Langston: Also I think that, if the student's paying for it, and they can avoid two years of college debt, is one thing. If the parents are paying for it, obviously, it's something that they want to save. The other element that I think is good, and I like would your insight on this, is the average salary of somebody leaving college today is $55,000. So they can make $110,000, which equates to so many pizzas, equates to so many whatever you want to call it, that will get the kid to say, "I can have the tricked out truck I've always wanted a year earlier than I otherwise would." What kind of thoughts do you have in that regard?
Pat Flynn: Again, when you can land the personalization of what this actually means to a person. It's one thing to just say, "You need to know what you want to do. You need to do this." But when you bring it down to the things that actually matter in the end, which is a lot of these students are thinking of money and career. They're not thinking quite yet about legacy and who they want to leave things to behind. That's more of the parent, and that's the language that you use with them.
Pat Flynn: Absolutely. You're hitting everything on the head right now, on this nail. I think it is at a point now where the more that you can hone in on the kids, and what it is that they would respond to, and how they respond to. I think getting on podcasts is great. That's going to be a way for you to reach the parents. Most of the people listening to podcasts, I assume, are not the kids who have shorter attention spans, who are watching TikTok, but the parents who are commuting to work, who are trying to save money, who are struggling because gas is so expensive today. "Hey, gas is expensive, but it doesn't have to be a waste of money on college. If you actually know that your kids are focusing on something that matches with who they are and their personality, you are going to save money, and so will they, and they're going to have a better time, and everybody will be happier."
Pat Flynn: I love the podcast thing. I would continue to do that. I can tell already, even from your pitch early on, you've said this many times before, and you've nailed it. You're continuing to fine tune as you go, and that's one of the things that I love about being a podcaster, and also being on other shows, is you just continue to nail that messaging. When you are on a podcast, you're also hearing immediate feedback and reaction to what it is you're saying, so you can pay attention to, "Whoa, okay. That story really stuck with this person. Why?" Maybe follow up, like, "Hey, when I said this, it really hit home for you. Can you tell me more about that privately?" That's how you can, again, get even deeper with the psychology of both sides and have them both come together to come into College Flight Plan. Does that, does that help at all or provide any more...?
Greg Langston: That does help. Again, it's speaking the message directly to the audience that I have. A tool that I've developed, and I'm in the process of implementing it, are a series of 20 different assessments or quizzes that basically address, what is your stress in going to college? How good a leader are you in class? Are you an entrepreneur, or should you go to college? Basically, quizzes that direct this to the student. How well do you communicate with others? How empathetic are you with other people? Basically, if they come up with answers that say, "You know what? I know a lot about myself, but this is intriguing," and they get a full report, which then leads them to take the self-discovery course. Does that make sense?
Pat Flynn: Yeah, that makes sense. Quizzes are a great way to start engaging with a person and providing value at the same time, especially if you have it set up in a way where you provide a report. I remember, back in the day, HubSpot created something called the Website Grader, where you can go in and put your website in, and then it literally in a few seconds tells you, "Your website's a C+ because it's slow. Here's where you can go to speed it up, and your code is wrong here, and you could fix that." And it was like, "Wow, so much value. Let me go more into this brand and see what they can do for me, because they obviously know what's going on, if they're telling me what I don't have, or what I need, for the future that I want."
Pat Flynn: I love the idea of the quiz. That's something that's very much able to show up in advertising. If you ever wanted to advertise, advertising to the quiz first, so that results come and then they know what to do, that's always a great one or two step removed from where the sale happens. That's that's a great way to go about it. It also becomes something that's very shareable.
Pat Flynn: I'm visualizing a Facebook group in a neighborhood where their kids go to school, and they're chatting with each other, like a mom group on Facebook, just a hypothetical one. One of them finds this quiz and goes, "Oh my gosh. This has provided so much value for my family. You all have to check this out." That should already be happening, I would imagine, but can happen even more when there's something like a quiz that people can go, "Hey, this takes five minutes. Go get your results."
Pat Flynn: So smart. Where I'm curious about is that, not only does this provide value to parents and provide value to the students, but this would likely provide a ton of value to educators and people at school and guidance counselors. Have you thought about taking this one level up into more of a B2B approach versus a B2C?
Greg Langston: I have, and I've thought of two areas. One is, I've approached a local school district, and we both live in San Diego, and one of the leaders of that organization said, "In my 38 years of teaching, I've never seen a program that ties the social-emotional learning together between the student, the parent and the teachers as effectively as this program's done." So he's been a real advocate for us in that regard.
Greg Langston: The thing though is it takes a long time to get through the public school system. So I've been focusing on the private side, and I've also been thinking of companies that are very values-oriented. For example, we're in touch with the largest YMCA in the world, wants to use this as a recruiting tool for their people that work, because YMCAs are led by young people, to prepare them to go on for the rest of their lives, to differentiate themselves from another first job.
Greg Langston: And number two is, I'm thinking about going to like a Chick-Fil-A, from a B2B perspective, that are very values-oriented, and saying, "Would you like to introduce this into your curriculum?" What are your thoughts on that?
Pat Flynn: The potential outcomes of that are almost limitless, with the value that you could provide, and then, of course, what comes back your way. I'm thinking of licensing deals and other things like that to use the program. Chick-Fil-A has an annual event every year where they bring leaders on stage. You should be on that stage teaching this stuff. Wow. Yeah. This is great.
Pat Flynn: The only thing is, there are so many great opportunities out there that if we were to do all of them at the same time, you would likely either burn out or not provide enough energy into one of them to make it as great as it can be. I would take the, now that you know what's possible, maybe there's some small experimentation in that private realm of schools. I do think the private school route is probably the better way to go to start, at least, because you're going to get a lot more, of course, income coming in from those places because they have a lot more money to spend. They are likely more flexible, less red tape if you will, as far as getting a move on these things. Like you said, public schools are very slow, and it might require infiltration of the private sector first for public schools and the decision-makers there to really realize the value, if not even government, if you wanted to get up even to that level to require something like this.
Pat Flynn: There should be no reason why this shouldn't be mandatory for every student in the world or at least the United States to take. That's how big of a thing this is. It could be something that you could even partner with another education company. I can imagine Khan Academy plus College Flight Plan doing some fun stuff together or what have you. I don't know. They're endless, but we need to also make sure we stay focused and on track, especially when it comes to where it is you want to go now.
Pat Flynn: What are your more immediate goals? One year out, what are you hoping to achieve from here?
Greg Langston: Increase my sales 50% in both those avatars.
Pat Flynn: And by both those avatars, you mean ...
Greg Langston: Through the leads, through students and through the parents, and being able to track because I'm using ConvertKit. Guess who told me about convert kit? Oh, that was you. And being able to monetize the leads and take them through a funnel that I'm doing for both the kids. I think the TikTok solution is a good one, and I think that in some cases I can be involved because also I think TikTok just went up to 10 minutes, the length that they can have.
Pat Flynn: Yeah, it's gotten a little bit crazy.
Greg Langston: I do believe that the target market, I should have somebody who is from that demographic speaking and saying, "Look, this is transforming." I have people that we trained 20 years ago that were just named top 10 professionals in Miami Beach under 40 years old, and they went through my program 20 years ago in a workshop. Now we've just converted that into the online space, which you and your team taught me how to do.
Pat Flynn: Keep focusing on these stories that are being created, because that is what's going to help other people relate; more than the obvious needs that they have, it's the stories that you tell of other people like them. That's why, for both parents and students, having different stories for each that they each can resonate with is going to be great. By doing that, and then going, "Okay, where can I share these stories?" On podcasts, like you said, on TikTok in a short form manner, on stages. You should be on a TED stage. You should. There's a lot of ways to amplify those stories and use that as your basis for selling, and then selling will happen automatically from there.
Greg Langston: It's interesting. The way it started was, by the time our kids were 13, they'd been to 12 schools in five different countries, so they'd learned all these languages and all this stuff. We came back to the United States and said, "Okay, we've got to get them ready to go to college," and there was nothing there. No schools are teaching this stuff. So at the same time, I was getting this training because I was running ever larger businesses, and I'd come home from this training, they'd spent over $600,000 in training me, saying, "This is how you use your values. This is how you influence and inspire other people. This is how you share and serve and grow and set goals."
Greg Langston: I said to my wife, "Why aren't we teaching this to high school kids?" So that's how we started by putting them into tools that a young person will understand. Now the course, for example, they're in two and a half minute increments. On average, each of the videos is two and a half minutes. It's not a one hour dissertation with PowerPoint, et cetera. It's a two and a half minute integrated B roll video, and any kid can do that.
Greg Langston: That's what I'm passionate about. I want to help as many kids as possible. Because I'll give you one last piece of data: 87% of young people between the ages of 16 and 29 say they have no purpose or meaning, 87%.
Pat Flynn: Greg, we've got to get you on the SPI podcast. We've got to amplify this message. Would you be down for that?
Greg Langston: I would be happy to do that.
Pat Flynn: Okay. Well, that's 61 podcasts now that you'll have been on. So let's make it happen. I'll have Jess reach out to you, and we'll talk. I want to amplify that. I love the story, love the passion. I could feel it, and I think many people can get inspired by that and also need to know about this program. I'll do my best to make it happen.
Pat Flynn: Greg, I just want to thank you again for coming on and for sharing what you know, and hopefully, I've been able to help you out and guide you even more, but you've got most of it there. We're in the fine tuning process now, which is really exciting. Then this is where those inflection points start to happen. It's at this moment. You've dedicated a lot of time and effort into this, obviously. You're continuing to push forward and grind into it, and it just can take one potential influential person or moment or world event to completely change the course and trajectory of all this. And it's for the good, so I want to help out.
Greg Langston: Well, thanks, Pat. I really appreciate it. You didn't ask me to do this, but what I want do is I want to share with all of you that are listening right now, I'm over 60 years old. I had a wonderful, fulfilling career where I've developed a very strong legacy, and I'm passionate about taking the wisdom and, quite frankly, the scar tissue that I have in helping young people and helping families. I did not know how to do that, but once I listened to your podcast, and your information, Pat, in the beginning of 2020, it caused me to say, "Okay, how can I repurpose myself and scale and add value?"
Greg Langston: I learned how to do email marketing. I learned how to do webinars. I learned how to do SEO and keyword research. I learned how to do masterminds. I'm on three of your masterminds in SPI Pro, and I lead one now. Who would've thought that I'd be doing that? And that's all because of the empowerment that you and your team provide.
Greg Langston: Again, you didn't ask me to do that, but all of you that are out there that think this is only for 30 year olds, this is only for 20 year olds, heck no. You can do this regardless of what your age is. You just need to have the idea and be able to serve. And it's okay to earn while you serve. You've taught me that, and I'm very thankful for that.
Pat Flynn: Greg, thank you so much for that. I appreciate you so much, and we'll connect soon. I'm looking forward to chatting with you and going even deeper with you on the other show.
Greg Langston: Sounds great, Pat. Thanks so much.
Pat Flynn: One more time.
Greg Langston: Collegeflightplan.com.
Pat Flynn: Collegeflightplan.com. And then, are you on social media as well, in case people want to connect and maybe reach out?
Greg Langston: I'm on LinkedIn. Yeah, go to Greg Langston.
Pat Flynn: You got it, Greg. Thank you so much.
Greg Langston: Thanks, Pat. Appreciate it.
Pat Flynn: All right. I hope you enjoyed that interview and conversation and coaching call with Greg Langston. As you can tell, I got really excited about the prospect of what it is that he's doing, and I definitely want to have him on the regular show to go deeper into this and go deeper into how he's been able to grow into what he's been able to build. I love the fact that he just shared what he shared at the end there. That just makes me so, so happy.
Pat Flynn: So if you are interested in joining Greg and several other members of SPI Pro, head on over to spipro.com, because that's where you can get access to these entrepreneurs. There's an application process, yes, but we want to make sure it's the right fit for you. And if it's not, we have something else perhaps for you, so head on over to spipro.com and apply because this is one of the best things you can do for your business, and the connection with other people in the space is just unmatched. So check it out. Spipro.com, and again, check out Greg's collegeflightplan.com. Again, that's collegeflightplan.com.
Pat Flynn: Thank you, again, for listening in. I appreciate you. Make sure you hit that subscribe button if you haven't already, and look out for more episodes coming your way because these coaching calls are here, not just to help the people who are on the show, but to help you, too. Thank you so much. I appreciate you. Take care, and Team Flynn for the win.
Pat Flynn: Thanks for listening to AskPat at askpat.com. I'm your host, Pat Flynn. Our senior producer is Sara Jane Hess. Our series producer is David Grabowski, and our executive producer is Matt Gartland. Sound editing by Duncan Brown. AskPat is a production of SPI Media. We'll catch you in the next session.