How To Build A Successful Online Course Business
Danny Iny is the CEO and founder of Mirasee, which empowers people to share their knowledge and expertise with the world and earn a profitable income at the same time.
Danny is also a best-selling author of 9 books and the creator of the acclaimed Course Builder’s Laboratory training program, which provides all the instruction, coaching, and support that entrepreneurs need to build and launch a profitable online course.
In this episode, you’re going to discover how to leverage your knowledge and expertise to build a successful online course business.
Praises for Danny:
“Danny and his team bring a high level of insight, knowledge, and integrity to the online business world.”
~ Guy Kawasaki
Chief evangelist of Canva and author of The Art of the Start 2.0
“Danny Iny is a superhero, plain and simple. It’s why I endorse his products to my people, without hesitation.”
~ Andre Chaperon
Entrepreneur and Co-author of Storytelling for Marketers
In this episode you’ll discover:
[01:27] What Danny’s newest Book Leveraged learning is about
[02:40] Why universities are not doing a good job equipping people with real world skills
[04:35] The 3 categories of adult education (after high school)
[08:05] The 1 misconception that online course creators have
[14:30] How to make sure your students apply what you teach
[17:50] How Danny got started in the education business
[20:58] When Danny started his first course
[22:26] How to build your traffic and audience when you’re just starting out
[25:37] 3 problems for online course creators
[26:25] How to overcome these problems
[30:05] Should you do a done for you service first before you actually create a course?
[32:55] Do you have to be an expert to create an online course?
[35:05] 1 advice to people who want to build a successful online course business
“Having 1 lead source and 1 conversion mechanism that works well for you — that you’ve dialed in — that’s all it takes to build a six-figure business, sometimes a seven-figure business.”
~ Danny Iny
Welly Mulia (Interviewer): Welcome to another episode of the Birdsend Academy podcast. This is the show for online course creators who want to build a profitable business by sharing your skills and knowledge. This is your host Welly Mulia. If you’re not listening this on our website, go to Academy.birdsend.co/8 to get your show notes. This show is brought to you by Birdsend email marketing tool. The only email marketing tool specifically created for online course creators. Get your free forever account at Birdsend.co. That’s bird as in the flying bird, and send as in sending emails, Birdsend.co
Today we have another special guest. His name is Danny Iny. Danny is a best-selling author, sought after business consultant and founder of Mirasee, which provides business education for online course creators to impact their community and change the world. Danny started out just like most online entrepreneurs with an idea and message to share but no idea how to do it. He made several wrong turns before really understanding the audience first paradigm and how to apply to online business. He has helped more than 5000 value-driven online entrepreneurs achieve their own version of success. Danny it’s great to have you on the show.
Danny (Interviewee): Welly it is a pleasure and a privilege to be here. Thank you for having me.
Welly Mulia: I know that you have your newest book called Leverage Learning just out a few months ago. Can you talk us through what that book is about?
Danny: Yeah, absolutely. So, as context, I’ve been in the world of you know online business and teaching experts and professionals how to take their knowledge and skills and turn it into a leveraged vehicle for income, you know online courses. I’ve been doing that for a number of years, and I’ve written about that quite extensively. With leverage learning it’s really a broadening of scope to looking at how the world of education referring specifically to post-secondary, so not for children. But post-secondary education is changing and you know experts delivering courses is a part of that but there’s a lot more to it than that. So we talk about in in the books of changing needs that education has to fulfill in the world of the present and future. We talk about how things like college and university are really not living up to that challenge and what opportunities and realities that creates.
Click to reveal the entire transcript
Welly Mulia: Cool, so you mentioned about not living up to the challenge. Do you mind like telling us why do you think that is so?
Danny: Yeah, absolutely. So I mean there’s a lot of factors that go into this, but fundamentally the world has been changing and the pace of that change is accelerating. Whereas it you know 30 years ago, 50 years ago, 100 years ago, you could go to school and learn the stuff you need to know for a job and that stuff will be relevant for most of your career. Today, it’s not just that you know the things that we need to know have changed but they continue to change. And there’s a great line that I read in a book recently and I can’t remember which book it was, I want to give credit. But it’s something to the effect of in a rapidly changing world, the learners are the ones who will thrive and the learned will be exquisitely qualified for a world that no longer exists. Our model of Education historically has been one that makes you learned, it means you know things. And what we need in order to thrive in the modern world is not to know things but to be able to figure things out, and college historically and the president has done a terrible job of that and yet the cost of that education continues to rise.
Welly Mulia: Cool. So are you suggesting that people can forget about college and then they just go straight into doing like taking online courses or maybe not really not those formal education? Are you suggesting people should go down that path?
Danny: So the answer is it depends. There are three buckets of education in a post-secondary context. So once you’ve graduated high school essentially as an adult, there are three categories of education. There is foundational adult education which is you know essentially the foundations that you need to thrive in in the world, and that’s what colleges often pretend they’re delivering with non-vocational degrees. They say you know we train you for nothing but we educate you for everything, we teach you how to think. That’s great in theory but the data shows that that’s not happening, it’s not actually being delivered. So there’s that need for foundational adult education. Then the second category or second bucket is last-mile education, the bridge between whatever your foundation is and a career. And that can be as simple as an internship or a coding boot camp, it can be as elaborate as medical school, or it can be very involved. Then the third bucket is continuing education over the course of a lifetime, over the course of a career and that tends to be just enough just in time as opposed to you know I’m going to take four years out of my life and hope that the stuff I’m learning ends up being relevant. So I’m not advocating for any kind of blanket path, you know everybody should not go to college, everybody should do fill in the blank something else instead. What I’m advocating for is that people have to be more self-directed and take more ownership about the trajectory that’s going to get them to where we want to go. I mean if you think about any big investment that we want in our lives, and college for many people especially in the U.S. is a big big investment.
They’re looking at tens, maybe hundreds, of thousands of dollars. They’re looking at you know sensibly two to four years but it takes the average American seven years to finish a four year program. So you know tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, four to seven or more years, there is no other area of life that we make that kind of investment and say well you know I just hope it works out. You know we don’t do that, we make those investments but we make those investments consciously because we expect them to get us to whatever it is we think it’ll get us to. So at whatever juncture you are in your life. Right, whether it’s that foundational piece or the last mile into a career or continuing over a lifetime, is college a way that you can get that education? Yes. Is it the best way? Maybe, maybe not. Often not, sometimes yes, but that’s something that you need to investigate as an individual and decide for yourself and there isn’t a blanket path. I think that the biggest shift is that you know historically it’s been a very assembly line model of education, right. Everyone goes to elementary school and everyone goes to high school and everyone goes to college and everyone gets their first job, everyone follows the same path, it’s very standardized. And the world that we’re growing into is a world of personalization, it’s a world of individual paths. So you know often people ask me, Danny what should it be instead? They’re expecting the same standardized assembly line paradigm just you know let’s swap out one of the stations with something else. But it’s really a whole shift in the way people need to take ownership of their education and development as a whole.
Welly Mulia: Okay, cool. So what you are in the, having been in the online course business for so long, in this industry for so long, what do you think is the one misconception that online course creators have?
Danny: Just one?
Welly Mulia: Yeah, you can give a few. The reason why I said one because I mean there are always a lot of reasons for when I ask these kind of questions. So I tend to focus on one but go ahead and you can give a few if you want.
Danny: Well here’s a very important one, I don’t know if it’s the one because there are multiple. But I mean a big important one that comes to mind is that there are a lot of fundamental misconceptions around, what creates a real transformation and what justifies the investment that you want to charge in exchange for that transformation? So something that I talk about a lot one of my earlier books, Teach and grow rich, addresses this in detail is the distinction between information and education. It’s not the one is better than the other they’re just different and they serve different purposes. So information, the real world analog, is a book in a bookstore. A book in a bookstore is great for certain things; it’s great for exposing you to ideas that you weren’t exposed to before, it’s great for broadening your horizons, it’s great for capturing your imagination, it’s great for integrating new knowledge into an existing body of expertise. But here’s the thing, information is not good for developing competence. Right, nobody expects to read a book and then be good at the thing they read about, that’s not how books work and that’s not a criticism of books, that’s just you know that’s not what it is. Because of that, books are not very valuable, right. You go to a bookstore, you pay however much you pay for the book and it’s usually not a lot; $20, $30, whatever and then you walk out of the bookstore and nobody owes you anything. Not the bookstore owner, not the publisher, not the author, you’ve got the book now it’s all on you. There’s no shared accountability for your success because you got some information and you do with it what you do with it and it wasn’t expensive for all those reasons. And that’s fine in for information, but then education is something that’s meant to be much more transformative and in order to do that it has to be a lot more immersive. So the real world analog to that would be a course in a university and there’s a lot of things that are not great about universities but there’s also things that they do right. It tends to be immersive, it’s involved, and you do expect that at the end of a course you have some degree of competence and fluency and capability and expertise in the area that you studied. And that takes much more of a commitment on the part of the student, and the responsibility for success is shared between the student and the teacher, it’s a partnership. Now that is great because a lot of the so-called online courses that you find out there, they’re not really educational experience, they’re information. They just happen to be in video format maybe, but it’s just a bunch of information and you’re watching and you consume and then you know you do with it what you do with it and there isn’t a lot of responsibility on the part of the teacher. That’s okay if you’re not lucky looking to charge a lot of money or deliver a real transformation. But if you want to charge a lot of money, then you have to deliver a transformation because you know that’s how the deal works. In that case you’ve got to think about the learning process differently.
There are three steps in a journey of learning. The first step is the consumption or exposure to the new ideas, and that’s what you know most courses do. You watch the videos, you listen to the audios, you read the articles, you hear the lectures, you are consuming the idea as you’re being exposed to them. And that’s a good start but that’s just the information. The second step is the application; taking what you learned and doing something with it. That can be theoretical, you know you’re doing exercises and worksheets in the course or it can be real, I’m doing things in my business or in my life and you know putting into practice. Then the third step is iteration and feedback. It’s when you get feedback from the world around you and that can be in the form of just you know consequences of your actions. Right, I tried to market something the customers weren’t interested in, so I have feedback that nobody bought. Or it can be a more directed nuance which is where you have an instructor or a coach advising you and guiding you, and the bulk of the learning happens in the later two stages, right. The bulk of the learning happens in the process of application and feedback that leads to iteration. So if you want to create something valuable and transformative then you can’t just share the ideas and expect the students to do the rest, you have to engineer an experience that allows for application and feedback and all of that together is what creates a really valuable and transformative learning experience.
Welly Mulia: The misconception being that people are seeing these two things as the same like education information and they don’t understand that there’s actually a huge difference, is that the misconception?
Danny: Yeah, that’s the key misconception and the idea that if I want to create an online course I just need to create some good videos explaining stuff and maybe have some handouts or worksheets and put them in a membership site and that’s a good course. Usually that is not a good course.
Welly Mulia: Okay, cool. So you mentioned about the three stages; the exposure, consumption and application, and of course the last that is the iteration and feedback. And what would you say is a good online course, of course will have to have this feedback mechanism to the students so that they have accountability that they are actually… They enroll in your course, they bought your course and then you as a teacher you want to make sure that they apply what you teach. How do you go about making sure that this happens?
Danny: So there’s a number of ways that you can structure it and I’ll share two examples. These are things that we do in different courses that we run internally. So one of our flagship programs is called the course builders laboratory. We teach experts and professionals how to build and sell their courses. So there are video trainings and audio materials and written materials and all that, but we know that that’s only going to take the students so far because sooner or later they’re going to have a question around how do I apply this to my business or this is what I did, did I do it right. So every student in our program gets a dedicated coach; someone on my team who knows the subject matter and has real expertise that I’ve trained personally. Someone who is going to get to know them and their business and follow their work and give them feedback and make sure they’re on track. That is something that works very effectively in the context of that course. There’s a coaching model where you can create that application and feedback loop. Now we have another program called the business ignition bootcamp. This is a free program that we run periodically. It’s application based so people have to apply in order to get in. So basically if people are not serious then we don’t let them in because it’s a lot of work. And they have to do a substantial amount of work over the course of the bootcamp which runs three to six weeks depending on how we’re running it and each module involves two phases. The first phase is where you get, you receive the lessons, you receive the materials and then you get some homework. So you have to do your homework, you have to do the exercises, and these are designed to help you expand your thinking around business and opportunity, and you submit your work. You have to submit your work, and if you don’t submit your work here removed from the boot camp, so that’s the first phase.
But the second phase is a peer feedback system. After having submitted your work you’re then shown the work of three of your peers and it’s your job to look it over and give them feedback. This can be a very effective structure if done appropriately. A) It creates scalability and it’s you know very valid feedback. There’s good research showing that if it’s organized correctly this sort of peer feedback results in the same type of feedback that a teacher would be giving. And very importantly, you get to look at more work but you’re not as close to it, right, when we do our own homework we’re very attached to it, we’re very close to it, especially with dealing with our own business. Whereas when we’re critiquing other people’s work, there’s more distance, we’re less emotionally invested and that allows us to see more clearly. We’ve actually found that some of the best learning and you know connecting of dots happens when people are critiquing and giving feedback to their peers. So these are two very different structures, and there are other things that you can do as well but essentially you need to think about well what kind of feedback is important and valuable for the students to receive in order for them to get the outcomes that you want and then what is a scalable and cost-effective way for you to deliver it.
Welly Mulia: Right. And Danny so how did you get started with this this industry? I mean how, what made you decide something happen or maybe you decide you follow the mentor that leads you to into this whole industry, how did you get started?
Danny: By accident. So I’ve been an entrepreneur I like to say for longer than my adult life. I quit school when I was 15 to start my first business. I’ve always had a kind of love-hate relationship with education. Love because I think education is the most important thing in the world, it is literally the greatest vehicle and tool for empowerment that the world has ever seen. It’s what makes it possible for us to achieve more than we can today. And hate because the formal processes of education that are out there are usually terrible. So most of my career, ironically as a you know high school dropout, most of my career has been in the business of education in some way, shape or form. So education technology companies and teaching companies and so forth. A little more than a decade ago, this is in the late 2000s, I was building an educational technology company. It was a software company, we developed technology to help children learn how to read. At the time you know we built a prototype and we raised some money and the experts loved it and the kids loved it. But I was a young and inexperienced CEO in what in hindsight is one of the most complicated industries on the face of the earth and by the time I figured out what I needed to do and how to make things work, we ran out of money. Just as we got ready to raise more from in dusters it was September 2008, the markets crashed and the bottom fell out from under everything. So I tried to make it work for a while but you know there was no money to be had, everything was a mess at that time and I walked away from that experience with about a quarter of a million dollars in personal debt because I took a lot of the losses on personally to protect my investors.
The thing about you know going through that kind of a business failure or setback is that I mean any entrepreneur who’s experienced that knows, we as entrepreneurs invest so much of ourselves and our identity into our startups that it’s not just that it’s financially devastating, it’s personally devastating, it’s a lot like going through a really bad breakup. When you go through a really bad breakup, you’re not ready to start dating right away, right, you need some time to just lick your wounds. So that’s the space I was in. You know I was like what am I gonna do next? Well I don’t want to put all my energy into a new business and I don’t want to raise money and I don’t want to hire employees. I wanted something that was low commitment that I could do on the side and I needed to pay bills. So I said maybe I’ll start a blog and teach some of the things I’ve learned about marketing, about a business and that’s what I did, and one thing led to another and it really struck a chord with the market and there was a lot of value found in what I was sharing. That business, my rebound business essentially, ballooned into what it is today. We serve you know close to a hundred thousand online entrepreneurs, we have thousands of students, I employ 25 people. And you know sometimes the rebounds are the one.
Welly Mulia: Yeah, so when did you start selling your first course after you rebound from your wounds?
Danny: The first course that I sold was in late 2011, early 2012, and that was a course about guest posting on major blogs. That did very well; we enrolled you know 1,000- 2,000 people into that course and they started to see a lot of success, and that’s because I have a background in education so I built the course as well. They started to come to me and ask a lot of questions around well how do I build my business, how do I build my audience? And so that led to a second course where I taught those things. Again a lot of students went through it and it did very well and they would come to me and say hey I noticed something, I went through your courses and they really helped me and I’ve gone through a lot of other courses and they didn’t really helped me. So what’s going on, what are you doing differently, can you teach me? And that led me to build the Course Builders Laboratory which teaches people how to build and sell courses successfully and making an impact for their students. I think we launched that in probably 2013, so quite a number of years ago and it’s been a great run. We’ve had many thousand students go through it. We’ve led that to a lot of impact and transformation for a lot of people and it’s been a privilege to be a part of that.
Welly Mulia: Awesome. Yeah, so can you tell us how you did the marketing aspect of selling? Of course I know you have building the audience but how did you get the audience in the first place because I know marketing the course and selling it is actually one of the hardest things that people face. So would you mind telling us how you get that initial traction? How did you first build your audience, maybe your subscribers? How did you get the traffic? How you convince them that you have something of value to offer them?
Danny: Sure, so I can share what I did and I can share what I recommend to students and it’s not exactly the same, and I’ll explain why. But what I did was, you know I started at the time doing a lot of guest posting on major blogs. So I would write articles from nature blogs and people would you know read the article and click back on the link at the bottom and visit my site and opt-in to my list and I would slowly slowly attract subscriber base. I worked really hard; I published 84 posts in that first year and I got you know 700-800 subscribers through that. So good initial results but really really hard work. That was a good base, a good core of an audience. But in doing all that work for all these blogs and creating that content and being on the ball and responsive, I was able to build relationships with the people who run those blogs. So as my profile started to grow and as I started having you know programs and products of value, I could say to them you know hey we know that your audience likes my stuff because they’ve read my stuff and my articles have gone well for you, how about if I do a webinar for your audience. So there was this concept ratcheting up of the process of engaging in sort of borrowed trust in other communities. Now that’s a great strategy for those for whom it’s a good fit but fundamentally you know different course creators are operating in different spheres. Not everyone is going either want to be you know writing posts for lots of blogs or maybe that’s not their strength. They’re great in another medium but writing is not their core competence. So it’s not about copying the specific mechanisms, it’s about finding the core engines that are going to work for you. So what I’ve seen because you know I’ve worked with thousands of course creators helping them to build great courses and market them and grow their businesses. What I see over and over is that when people struggle with marketing, they keep looking for different lead sources and they keep looking for different conversion mechanism. They try a lot of different things, they don’t perfect anything, and they never get to any substantial result.
In my experience, having one lead source that works well for you, that you’ve dialed it in, and one conversion mechanism that works well that you’ve dialed in, that’s all it takes to build a many six-figure business, sometimes a seven-figure business. Adding more lead sources, adding more conversion mechanisms is definitely something worth doing eventually but it’s more important to just find one of each and really dial them in based on what your strengths are and what will resonate with your audience.
Welly Mulia: What do you think is the number one problem that these people face, online course creators?
Danny: It depends which course creators. I mean there are a lot of people who set out to create courses from different backgrounds and for different reasons. So for some people it’s the technology. They get very flustered with what are all the things that I need to do. For some people it is the marketing, how am I going to get customers, people who will pay me money for my courses. For some people it’s the actual creation and production of the course, especially if they’re real experts who tend to be plagued with a sense of perfectionism. Like this has to be perfect, and it’s very hard to get something off the ground that is perfect because anything you do for the first time will not be perfect. So those are some of the common categories of major challenges that I see.
Welly Mulia: Okay. What would you suggest for these people to overcome these challenges? Do you talk about the marketing, you suggest that people stick to one lead source first and then after they have gone deep and get everything dialed in they can find out the second lead source. What about the other two problems you mentioned just not the technology part, as well as the perfectionist, like creating and producing, what would be your suggestion to these people?
Danny: Yeah, so those are actually related challenges, right. Wanting to make it perfect on the technology front is just one incarnation of wanting to make it perfect, and that’s a challenge especially if you’re not great with technology. But you know by definition making something perfect is not hard, if this is what you’re amazing at and you’ve done all your life. But making something perfect that you were doing new is hard. So the rule of thumb that I really try to encourage my students to stick to is to focus on minimum viable. There’s an interesting shift and it can be very counterintuitive because when people set out to build online courses, the end goal is something that they can enroll student after student after student and there’s leverage and there’s scale. But when you’re first doing a course, the goal is not leverage or scale, it’s validation of assumptions. So it’s helped people, don’t worry about the scalability, just worry about getting it done. Let’s just get your first five or ten or fifteen or twenty students into the program and go through it and have good results. It doesn’t have to be scalable at all, it doesn’t have to be efficient at all. But first let’s make it work and then we can make it better. So don’t worry about elaborate fancy technology, deliver it all manually if you have to. Right, don’t deal with things that you don’t know how to do. In the scope of the course, focus on what is the, not what is all the good stuff I can teach, but what is the least that I can teach and still create a good outcome for my students. Likewise with the delivery, don’t worry about a fancy polished delivery, just get on a live call kind of like we’re having this conversation right now, just deliver the content. It’ll be super inefficient but you’ll gather feedback, you’ll learn what is working and what isn’t and then you can codify it later.
Welly Mulia: Right, yeah I agree with that. Many years ago I have bought a course from a named expert and this person also did what you say just now Danny. So he didn’t really care about the technology part, he just delivered the content inside a portal, a membership portal, but the membership portal actually has the same password. So essentially he would just protect it with… What would you call it? A password that everyone has the same password. So he will email out the password inside his email auto-responder, hey thank you for purchasing, this is the password and then he just delivered the content. This guy is actually has been in industry for… I know I followed him and he still uses that so I guess that works well. Especially when you are starting out like you said Danny you people are usually afraid. I mean if they are not tech savvy then they will have major tech challenges and even like the course I bought just now. He’s really an expert in the topic, I follow him for a number of years and he still uses that method. So yeah, that is something that people should think about because sometimes a lot of people overcomplicate things, especially with tech stuff.
Danny: Mm-hmm absolutely.
Welly Mulia: Right, Danny so I heard that what do you think about… I heard this somewhere that before you sell your online course, you actually need to be, you actually need to be delivering like a done for you service first in that area. So that you get to know that the industry deep and the pains, the problems of what your target audience is facing. Only then after that, after you deliver the done for you service, then you’ll be able to understand their pain points so much, then you’ll be able to create a much better course. What is your thoughts on that?
Danny: I don’t know if I agree with the ladder 30:58 of that but I agree with the spirit. So whether it’s a done for you service or consulting or advisory or facilitation, it doesn’t really matter the format but here’s the thing, and this is where maybe I differ with some people in the industry. There are a lot of people who kind of like to pretend oh anyone can create an online course. Right, just turn on a camera and talk and if you don’t know a lot about the topic, just read a few books, and I don’t think that’s true. I think if you’re going to teach something, you need to know about it. So I tell people I can help you develop a great course and market it and turn it into a business around your expertise but you have to come with expertise. So it’s not that you have to have delivered a done for you service but you have to know the subject matter well enough and work with the students and work with the clients and work with the audience. You have to understand the real needs and the real solution, right. The first time you shouldn’t be like you know I’ve thought about this idea, I think I’m going to give a course about it. I’ve never done it myself, I’ve never helped anyone with it but I think I’ll teach it. Right, so there needs to be that validation step. So doesn’t need to be a done for you service, not necessarily, but you have to have the opportunity to give your knowledge and your skills and your ideas a field test in the real world to make sure that it actually works and you understand both how to make it work and what the boundary conditions are.
Right, because there’s no strategy that will work for everyone all the time and that’s fine but you have to know when it won’t. Right, so you know I’m just thinking off the top of my head, you can have a great idea for a nutrition system, right. You know it’s vegan or paleo or whatever, and that will work for most people, they won’t work for people who have certain allergies for example. Right, and you won’t know that, you won’t know what the edges are, who are the people this won’t work for until you do some testing in the world. So just getting that level of knowledge and immersion before you decide to codify it I think is very important.
Welly Mulia: Right, yeah I like that. So this is related to the previous question. What if you’re not like an expert… I know you said that you don’t really agree with the people hey anyone can become and like was creator and just teach people stuff. Because there are a lot of sources that says that like the idea is the same as just now like you said anyone can create a course and you don’t have to be an expert, and I’m sure you heard of this a lot of times Danny. You don’t have to be an expert to create an online course, what are your thoughts about that?
Danny: I think that’s nonsense. So here’s the thing, it depends how you define expertise, right. Because the funny thing about expertise is that often the more of an expert you are, the more insecure you feel about your expertise because you know it’s a Socrates saying, the more I know the more I know that I don’t know. Right, and the person who has a PhD knows that he doesn’t have the other four PhDs. So like there’s that gap. So you don’t have to be the world’s leading expert but you do have to know substantially more than your students. Right, if you want to build a course about a topic and you feel like your first step is going to be to read a couple of books about the topic, you don’t know enough about it. That doesn’t mean you can’t deliver any course, it means you can’t deliver a course on that topic. You want to just think about from the perspective of the student. If you tell them honestly this is how much I know about the topic and this is how much I’ve learned and this is how much I know more than you do or don’t know more than you. If you’re honest with them and they know that, would they still want to take your course? Right, and so if you’ve been doing this for 10 years and you feel like there’s still a lot that you don’t know. Well if you have 10 years of experience, that’s still compelling. But if you’re teaching a course about yoga because you started doing yoga three months ago, then I don’t think the students would appreciate that. So that should really be the litmus test; like do you legitimately know enough that you can that you’re the best person to be helping them?
Welly Mulia: Cool. So, Denny, if you can only give one advice to people who want to build a successful online course business, what would that be?
Danny: So there’s a thought exercise that I give people because often when people are thinking about I want to build an online course, they’re thinking about the subject matter and they go way too broad. Or they are thinking about themselves and what they want in their business, you know they’re nothing about the student at all. So what I encourage people to do is imagine this exercise, pretend you’re about to get on a plane, you’re in New York, you’re about to get on a plane and you’re flying to Chicago, so it’s a little more than a two-hour flight. Just as the plane is taxiing down the runway you strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to you, and you discover that they are your ideal student, this is exactly the kind of person that you want to help. They really need your help, they’re in trouble, they really need your help. And you’re getting along and you’re a nice person, you want to help them. Here’s the thing, you haven’t created your course yet so you can’t just say well go take my course and you’re very busy and they’re very busy so once the plane lands you’re going in your separate directions. So if you want to help them, you have about two hours of the flight to help them. So I would ask what can you share, what can you teach in those two hours that would change their life? And if you have a good answer to that, that is a template, a base of what you’re gonna build your course around. If you don’t have a good answer to that then keep working on a good answer before you start building your course.
Welly Mulia: Interesting, I like that. Alright, Denny, I think that’s all for today’s episode. It was a great… I had a great time and I’m sure that the listeners will find great value in this as well. So if people want to get to know about your work, like maybe your online course they can… Because this audience is for online course across creators which perfectly match your audience. So if they want to get to know about your work and your course, how can they get in touch with you?
Danny: Yeah, I would love that and thank you for allowing me to be here. I would encourage them to visit our website which is Mirasee.com, Mira see. And there’s places where they can opt in and get a whole bunch of free information and training. If they want to go a little more in-depth, they can find my books on Amazon. The two books they might want to look at our Leveraged Learning, which is more about the broader disruption in education, and Teach and Grow Rich, which is specifically about building and selling online courses.
Welly Mulia: Alright, cool Danny. One last question before I let you go, what is the meaning of Mira see?
Danny: Mira see is a coined name, which means we made it up, which means that nobody can sue me for using it. But it is based on Latinate roots, so in Latinate languages Mira means to see or to look or to wonder and in English of course see is to see. So without saying it explicitly Mira see connotes wondering at what could be, wondering of what you might see, what you might create.
Welly Mulia: Okay, makes sense.
Danny: Thank you for asking.
Welly Mulia: Yeah, thank you again Danny, it’s a great pleasure to have you.
Danny: Likewise, thank you for having me on the show.
Welly Mulia: If you are not listening to this on our website, go to academy.birdsend.co/8 to get your show notes. This show is brought to you by BirdSend Email and Marketing Tool; the only email and marketing tool specifically created for online course creators. Get your free forever account at birdsend.co.
David Iny On How To Attract Your Audience
We’ve prepared a gist/highlights of the main points in the form a quick-read doc.
Plus, you get the the printable, high resolution version of the infographic above.
If you’re interested, click the pic below:
Danny Iny is the founder and CEO of Mirasee and best-selling author of nine published books, including Leveraged Learning, Teach and Grow Rich, The Audience Revolution, and Engagement from Scratch!
He is the host of the Business Reimagined Podcast and is also the creator of the acclaimed Course Builder’s Laboratory training program, which provides all the instruction, coaching, and support that entrepreneurs need to build and launch a profitable online course.