Will The Digital Picnic become an RTO? … our Studio Manager would argue this would have to be one of our most asked questions, and as tempting as it is for us to earn $5,000-$10,000 for the exact same courses we’re currently offering at $700-$2,000? The answer is “no”.

And it’ll always be “no” [for a number of reasons], but I thought I’d list out the top x4 reasons today as to why we’ll never [ever, ever] become an RTO.


Goodbye altruistic pricing, hello RTO-induced course inflation.


To become an RTO? You’re looking at between $50,000-$100,000AUD [and that’s being conservative], and tbh? That’s not [at all] the deterrent for us.

No, sir: we’re well-versed in knowing that you need’a spend some, in order to make some.

That said, it’s that same amount of money you spend on achieving RTO status … as well as factoring in the cost of time spent [x9 months, minimum] in becoming an RTO, as well as maintaining your RTO status [ongoing] that ultimately hikes up the price of your learning offerings.

Like, by a lazy 400% actually [and this has been statistically proven].

So we’d be saying fare thee well to what we’ve become renowned for, which is incredible learning opportunities deliberately priced with altruism in mind … and hello to an undoubtedly huge increase in profit margins for our company, but the kinda profit that we know has come off the back of our students having had to take out student loans in order to participate in an educational experience with us.

One of my favourite TDP feelings is the hundreds [and hundreds, and hundreds] of marketing professionals we’ve attracted to some of our $700 strategy programs who’ve gone on to say, “I learnt more in x2 days here than I did in my marketing degree”.

… and they didn’t even have to take out a $5-10k loan to experience that kind of [significant] knowledge hike.

This here little passionate digital marketing teacher sleeps really well at night knowing that my company contributes to seriously more knowledgeable marketing candidates hitting this industry, or re-entering this industry [and they just had to drop a daily cup o’ coffee for 2-3 months].

Good feeling.

Great feeling.


Goodbye to our paperless company commitment, and hello to the lengthiest of paper trails.


One of the big reasons our company was able to open its offices to those experiencing homelessness throughout 2020? Well, it was because our company is entirely paperless [which meant that accommodating those who were experiencing homelessness due to COVID in our offices came with zilch risk, i.e there were no private or sensitive documents available for anyone to read throughout their comfortable stay at TDP offices … just a bright, happy, colourful and completely paperless company].

We’re a digital marketing agency.  So, digital.  Everything [literally everything] is digital.  So our commitment to being an entirely paperless company is an easy one.  In fact, it would be more difficult for us to be with paper than without.

The sh*tty thing about RTO status? The paper trail required to reach RTO status [and maintain it] is huge.  And yep, there are paperless options [but that’s an extra big expense on top of the aforementioned $50,000-$100,000 … which – again – contributes to the RTO-induced inflation fees].

But the most ironic thing? … we’d be pivoting to spending the large majority of our time on paper trails, which would equal significantly less time spent on course curriculum.  And our passionately-passionate-about-digital-marketing-and-teaching-digital-marketing-effectively hearts pound over the thought of having to prioritise administration over quality of curriculum presented.

No, thanks.


Goodbye to our 7-year-long 87% completion rate [and climbing], and hello to RTO-induced low completion rates.


Something else we’re really proud of? … it’s our 87% completion rate.

[a little birdie tells us that we should be exceptionally proud of this completion rate, which is well above industry standard].

RTOs are renowned for notoriously low student engagement rates, and with completion rates as low as 7% [this is thanks to seriously slick sales that focus on getting any student in, and in via various student loads … without a big focus on whether or not the program is a good fit for said student].

Did you know TDP says “no” to a lot of people enquiring about different courses with us, because after a little back-and-forth’ing? We’ve decided they weren’t ready for a more advanced course, or were too advanced for another course etc.  Other times, we’ve received novel-length emails from desperate business owners claiming to have zilch time in their business weeks … but wanting to sign up to a particular course with us [we’ve emailed back and said, “let’s be honest, we could easily take your money … but do you think you’re a big risk for this course staying in your student dashboard unopened for the entirety of its time within your student dashboard?].

We hold onto that 87% completion rate with everything we have, and we also operate with bucket loads of integrity to ensure that the people who are signing up to our offerings are people who will genuinely benefit from that learning experience.


Most importantly, though? It’d be goodbye to the very reason we began this business: up-to-date curriculum that celebrates this industry, and advances the businesses [and careers] of those who invest in our training.


I think I’ve touched on this sentiment via a few key points above, but I really need to bring this one home [and passionately so].

I began The Digital Picnic off the back of being a student within a relevant tertiary qualification [that I’d spent thousands on, and spent years – and years – in my early years career repaying those student loans], and it was incredible.  Don’t get me wrong, it was incredible.  It laid down all o’ the foundations, but what it didn’t do? … it didn’t arm me with any practical or technical know-how.

Like, I didn’t even know what to make of Google Analytics, and I absolutely did not know how to put a paid ads campaign together, ha!

I remember knowing [even way back then] that I’d have something like TDP one day, and it’d be something in place to round out the foundational knowledge … and really bring it home with practical and technical advice that has business owning folk and marketing professional folk rolling up their sleeves and literally doing the marketing “do”.

What I know to be true of RTOs is that you either end up charging thousands more for the exact same offering you had [pre-RTO status], or – worse – you have less value in your offering, but you’re charging more for it.

And the reason why many land on number two? It’s easier to maintain RTO status if you keep the curriculum as being really topline [with things that don’t change], to avoid the paper-induced administrative headache that comes with constantly updating your curriculum.

Cool.  Honestly.  I have no issues with this, except that it’s disastrous in our industry because digital marketing changes week-to-week [and we subsequently update our curriculum as regularly as weekly/fortnightly/monthly/quarterly etc.].

And so that was our “no brainer” reason behind the decision to ultimately keep The Digital Picnic RTO status free, i.e we want our curriculum to be able to remain one week/one fortnight/one month old … because that’s what’s required of digital marketing curriculum and the subsequent teaching of excellent strategy/ies.


Want to experience our latest strategy program?

We’ve just opened up spots to our 12 month Social Media Marketing Accelerator program at $2,000AUD for the full year [with payment plans available].  It’s an incredible program, and not a tiny snippet of RTO pricing in sight, ha!