Our Story

Our Story

A brief introduction to Carioca Connection

We started Carioca Connection in 2017 as a passion project to share our love of Brazilian Portuguese. πŸ‡§πŸ‡·

From 2017 to 2021, we have recorded 200+ episodes about all things Brazilian. The episodes have evolved over time as our connection with Brazil continues to evolve. After all these years, the essence of the episodes remains the same. We are exploring Brazil with the hope that sharing our story will help others along the way.

To our surprise, hundreds of thousands of listeners from all around the world have joined us on this journey. 😯

It has been a crazy and beautiful trip. We are continually humbled by the work our supporters allow us to create and constantly impressed by the quality of the individuals that come join us. πŸ™

Most recently, created the Carioca Connection Club, an online community for Brazilian enthusiasts to learn, share, and cultivate their connection with Brazil.

If you’re still reading and want to learn the more about our story (as well as an Annual Review of our first year running the Carioca Connection Club, keep reading! πŸ‘‡

Welcome to the Carioca Connection Club

After several years of Alexia (and Felipe πŸ‘‹) trying to convince me (Foster) to add a membership to Carioca Connection, 2021 was the year I finally gave in. November 2021 to be precise.

I was afraid and resistant to the idea. We recorded podcasts and provided high-quality language learning resources. Carioca Connection was (and is) a labor of love β€” do we really need to turn it into a business with members and all of those scary things?

I thought, β€œWhy change what’s working?”

Not surprisingly, they were right, I was wrong.

Creating the Carioca Connection Club was one of the best decisions we’ve made in a long time.

After a year of running the Carioca Connection Club, here are a few things we learned along the way. πŸ‘‡

What we learned after one year of running the Carioca Connection Club

Ask for help

We first launched a beta program in August 2021 with some long-time fans & supporters of the show. We were nervous and the product was messy, but their feedback was invaluable. We cannot fully express our gratitude to these initial supporters. You know who you are, we love you ❀️

Give people what they want

At first, we had no idea what to include in a membership.

Do we just throw all of the work we’ve ever created into one place and call it a membership?

Our early members gave us critical feedback that allowed us to structure the Carioca Connection Club to be flexible enough to work for a variety of students and organized sufficiently to cater to our audience.

Commitment

If the CC Club has taught me one thing, it is the importance of commitment.

I’m naturally indecisive, jumping from one shiny object to the next. When our members asked for weekly live classes, (with Alexia’s encouragement) we said yes. So Alexia and I showed up every single week (with a few exceptions). This was crucial for so many reasons, just to name a few:

  • The first time I’ve really improved my Portuguese in years βœ…
  • A huge confidence boost in my teaching abilities βœ…
  • An amazing opportunity to meet fascinating people each week βœ…
  • A reminder that most good things in life a created in community βœ…

Make a lot of mistakes

Oddly enough, publicly making mistakes turns out to be extremely valuable.

We started out with a weekly newsletter. No one really read it, so we scrapped it.

We decided to record all of our live classes so students could watch and learn from the recordings. I said so, so many ridiculous things, at times we could not answer the simplest of grammar questions, and there was at least one technical difficulty/an appearance by our dog each week.

Despite that, we had a great time and learned so much. To our delight, our students did as well.

The members are (almost) always right πŸ™‚

At the end of the day, an online community is made by and for its members. Our role as hosts is simply to cultivate a sense of belonging. and to try our best to educate and entertain. With that said, we can't please everyone as much as we would love to.

When bringing nearly a hundred Brazilian enthusiasts together into one place, a lot of people are going to want different things. Fortunately, our members are some of the coolest, friendliest people in the world, and they can be roughly divided into two or three categories:

πŸ’ͺ

1: The VIPs

(the OG’s 😎)

Brazilian Portuguese learners who are all in.

These are our VIP members who show up every week, dive deep into all of our material, and are and more often than not, in relationships with Brazilians ❀️)

πŸ’ͺ

2: The Self-Starters

(the geniuses πŸ™‡β€β™‚οΈ)

Autodidacts who enjoy our work & see the value in it.

A lot of learners prefer not to interact with others students weekly. Many of them have learned several languages and know how to interact with engaging material.

πŸ’ͺ

3: Superfans

(the angels πŸ™)

People who love us.

There are a small number of people who simply appreciate our work and want to support us however they can.

We really don’t know how to thank this small group of people.

Moving forward

We started the CC Club with a very simple pricing model.

As you can probably tell, keeping it simple is a recurring theme for Carioca Connection.

πŸ’ͺ

Our old pricing model

We only offered two options, a monthly plan or an annual plan.

29/month

290/year (2 months free)

All memberships included everything we have to offer:

  • Every episode we have ever created (200+ and counting)
  • Dynamic worksheets for each episode β€” our version of textbooks
  • Exclusive access to members-only courses
  • The Fundamentals of Brazilian Portuguese Course β€” an introductory course great for all levels
  • Adventures with Alexia β€” a special series for more advanced students
  • Weekly live classes with Foster & Alexia
  • Behind the scenes access to what we are creating
  • Ask us anything β€” your questions, answered

Updated Pricing

Now that we have a better understanding of who is in the Club and how they use our materials, our simple pricing model is not ideal for many of our biggest fans.

So, we decided to change things. Our updated model gives you have more options and we are confident it will provide amazing value to more of our students at an affordable price.

πŸ’ͺ

CC Club β€” $20/month

  • Access to all seasons of Carioca Connection
  • Every episode we have ever created (200+ and counting)
  • Dynamic worksheets for each episode β€” our version of textbooks
  • All future published episodes

πŸ’ͺ

CC Club VIP β€” 40/month

Everything included in the basic plan and:

  • Fundamentals Course
  • Adventures with Alexia
  • Weekly Live Classes
  • Behind the scenes access to what we are creating
  • Ask us anything β€” your questions, answered

πŸ’ͺ

Individual Seasons & Courses a la carte β€” $40/per product

Courses

  • Fundamentals of Brazilian Portuguese
  • Adventures with Alexia

Future Plans

Now that we have pricing out of the way β€” here a few of the projects we already have in the works for 2023 and beyond.

NameStatusTags
Improve CC Club navigation
In progress
membership
Create Knowledge Base for CC Club
In progress
membership
Spanish to Portuguese Course
In progress
course
Brazilian Pronunciation Bootcamp
In progress
course
Office hours with Alexia & Foster
In progress
membership
Add time-stamps to all recordings
In progress
membership
Record next season of Podcast
In progress
podcast
Invite CC Club Members on Podcast
Not started
podcastmembership
Not started

Conclusion

If you’re still reading this, you are the best. We can’t wait to continue this adventure with you.