(Photos by Mike Belleme)
The JB Media Institute, a six-week Internet marketing class taught by JB Media Group owner Justin Belleme, and head trainer and Institute co-founder Sarah Benoit, has reached a milestone of graduating over 100 students from the in-person class.
Launched in 2013, the JB Media Institute offers training in social media, search engine optimization (SEO), online public relations, online advertising, strategy, and core skills training. At the end of the class, students complete an integrated Internet marketing plan tailored to their specific goals. The course is designed for marketing professionals, administrative staff, entrepreneurs, small business owners, and those in career transition.
"We have students who have effectively started new businesses and entirely new careers based on what they have learned in the Institute," says Belleme.
He gives the example of a former student working part time in the marketing industry before taking the summer Institute class in 2014. Today, that former Institute student leads a team at a local media company and teaches classes to rooms full of local business professionals.
"One of my goals has been to develop a curriculum that is actionable and really facilitates students taking the next step in their marketing to be more effective and successful," says Benoit. "It's gratifying to see our students put their knowledge to work."
Launching the Online Classroom
Last summer, in addition to the in-person class, the Institute launched an online classroom, reaching students as far away as the United Kingdom. Now in its fifth session, the online JB Media Institute continues to attract students from far and wide.
Like the in-person Institute, the online class covers the same material over a six-week period, but students can complete the coursework at their own pace and in their own time, making it possible for those with full time jobs and outside commitments to attend.
"Most people find it easier to fit the online course into their life, but some people learn best in the in-person setting," says Genna Harris, Community Manager for the JB Media Institute. "It really depends on what works best for the learner."
Worth Traveling For
For students like Nicole Pieternella, the distance wasn't a deterrant, but an opportunity for a working vacation. She travelled over 18,000 miles from her home in Curacao, in the Dutch Caribbean, to Asheville, in order to attend the in-person class of the JB Media Institute and learn how to market her app, Awake App.
"I preferred the in-person course because I wanted to get everything possible out of it, and have fun doing it. I'm not sure why, but I never finish online courses, so the in-person class made more sense for me," she said.
At the end of the session, Pieternella had a complete online plan to market Awake App online, which she successfully launched back home in Curacao.
Online Learning For Everyone
Of course, not all prospective students have the flexibility to attend the in-person Institute, in which case the online Institute is the answer.
With a mix of audio/visual presentation, teleconferences and Web forums, the online Institute is as close as you can get to a seat in the Asheville classroom from the comfort of your own computer. Coursework is released each week, with weekly group calls for questions, support, and coaching from Belleme and Benoit.
"We want students to engage and connect as much as possible during their subscription so we can help them find solutions to their problems and answers to their questions. The interactive forums, weekly live calls, weekly assignments (which include discussions), and weekly email correspondences provide students with multiple opportunities to connect directly with us and their fellow students," says Benoit.
Jayne Barbour took the online Institute last summer and was impressed with how much information was provided in the course material each week.
"This course is thorough, and I love how available the teachers are to answer questions," she said.
Another online Institute student, Stephen Harrington, joined the online course with a good understanding of Internet marketing, but hoped to get at least a few useful pieces of information.
"I got a lot more than I expected," he said, adding that the personal feedback on his assignments and marketing plan from Belleme and Benoit was invaluable.
Life Long Learning
After completing the online or in-person course, students are invited to become a part of the online continuous learning community which provides additional forums, live calls, and educational resources to keep up with the ever-evolving world of digital marketing.
"Keeping up with this industry is a life long process," says Belleme.
With the online continuous learning community, students can stay current by staying connected.
Underneath it all, it's about connections, stresses Benoit.
“Internet Marketing is about making real connections with people who will believe in what you do, love what you do, support what you do, and want to be a part of your success.”
"That's built into who we are and how we teach at the Institute," says Benoit. "It's more than a class; it's a passion.”
JB Media Institute Spring Bootcamp
For those wishing to sample the class and interact with the instructors, a special JB Media Institute Spring Half Day Bootcamp will be held on Tuesday, March 29th from 8:30-12:30 pm at the Goodwill Career Center in West Asheville, 1616 Patton Avenue, 28806.
Taught by Belleme, Benoit, and Leah Quintal, JB Media's Director of SEO and Content Strategy, topics will include Effective Marketing Partnerships, Beyond Keywords: New Tools to Innovate Content Development, and Google Reporting Made Easy.
Early Bird tickets are $89; regular admission is $99. For more information, visit the Eventbrite page.
About the JB Media Institute
Launched in 2013, the JB Media Institute is a comprehensive Internet marketing training program available online and in-person in Asheville, NC. Developed out of customized Internet marketing training programs created for JB Media Group clients, the Institute classes include up-to-date best practices for search engine optimization, social media, online advertising, online public relations, and strategy.
About JB Media Group
JB Media Group is a full-service Internet marketing agency in Asheville, North Carolina, made up of writers, researchers, strategists, and trainers. They specialize in integrating all aspects of Internet marketing including strategy, SEO, online advertising, online public relations, and content development.