Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Helen Panos. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Hi Helen, thanks for joining us today. Talk to us about building your team? What was it like? What were some of the key challenges and what was your process like?
Yes, team building is important to me as that is how I leverage the company. I had one employee at the beginning in 2016. She was a tutor and I also tutored, thus there were two of us only. That slowly grew in the first 3 years to 5 tutors. I then hired a part-time assistant I knew had left the school system and wanted some work to do as she raised her children. I taught her all about posting on social media. At the 4th year mark, I added 5 more tutors and now we had a total of 10. More recently, I was able to hire another 5 in the last year bringing my total to 15! I have added other services over the last 3 years such as SAT/ACT, so a couple of my teachers tutor in that field. I also have about 3 tutors out of town and they tutor virtually. Finally, I hired a part time assistant/tutor in April of this year. All, if not most of these team members, were referred to me by people I network with or via colleagues I have known and worked with for many years in a school system.
Helen, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
I began my teaching career in 1995 in a large metro Atlanta school system. By my 4th year, I began the process of getting a gifted certification which allowed me to teach 6th-8th grade gifted students. I wanted to help children apply their creative and critical thinking skills in an efficient and productive manner. This position allowed me to grow into a lead gifted position at my school, so I could review and assess children for the gifted program.
As I taught regular and gifted education within my school for many years, I continued to notice a weakness in basic skills such as reading, writing/grammar and math. My most recent lead position as a Section 504 chair brought that more to light. We all know that class sizes are large, and thus every concept a child hears cannot be learned the first or second time. Teachers are just not able to provide individualized attention due to these class sizes. This, coupled with my passion to help children, birthed Dynamis Learning Academy, a K-12 tutoring/parent advocacy company who also offers SAT/ACT/SSAT Prep. At Dynamis Learning Academy, our goal is to help children reach their full potential and that is what we strive for every day!
To my surprise, 2021 & 2022 have been great years! It has allowed me to hire 12-15 qualified tutors who work for my company assisting kids with academics and test-taking skills. I have also launched a podcast for parents called “Smart Parents Successful Students” which can be found on Anchor and Spotify. I can be found on summits, podcasts or on Facebook Lives as well. I have been blessed with the opportunity to speak to different groups on a smaller scale, so that parents can get to know me, my knowledge, experience, and the value I can bring to their family. Today, I am happy to say, we are helping many children and their siblings virtually or in-person.
How about pivoting – can you share the story of a time you’ve had to pivot?
Due to Covid, we all had to pivot in some shape or form. As a business that was fully in-person, we had to learn to navigate the virtual world and teach lessons using the Zoom platform. Most students caught onto it quickly, and thus it flourished. I also felt I needed to start doing some Facebook Lives which turned into a Lunch and Learn Summer Series filled with valuable information for parents every week from May – August. These have been so well received that we continued them into September this year.
We’d love to hear the story of how you built up your social media audience?
My audience on social media has been built from people I have met, especially women. I network about 1-2x/week, and I find this approach to be very helpful in making good connections. When I return from my meetings, I then send the individuals I meet an email, so as to ask permission to place them on my newsletter list or connect over coffee virtually or in person. It does take time as they need to know, trust and eventually feel confortable enough to purchase from you. Many of these individuals are my referral base. Growing a following on Facebook can be a bit challenging. I would say doing Facebook Lives, Reels, etc can be important as it allows people to see you and this way you stay on top of mind.
- Website: www.dynamislearningacademy.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dynamislearningacademy/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dynamislearningacademy
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dynamislearningacademy/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/DynamisLearning
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-DBFY2KmyXii8Zp41R0RbQ/videos
- Other: Podcast: https://anchor.fm/helen-panos