The Art of Selling Online Courses

Building A $5,000,000+ Music Education Business - with Scott Devine

January 04, 2024 John Ainsworth Season 1 Episode 117
Building A $5,000,000+ Music Education Business - with Scott Devine
The Art of Selling Online Courses
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The Art of Selling Online Courses
Building A $5,000,000+ Music Education Business - with Scott Devine
Jan 04, 2024 Season 1 Episode 117
John Ainsworth

Welcome to "The Art of Selling Online Courses" podcast! Today's guest is Scott Devine, creator of Scott's Bass Lessons an online music education business.

After over a decode of travelling the world as a bass guitarist for tours and studio projects, along with occasional detours to lecture at music schools, Scott Devine felt compelled to provide online lessons.

These were not just any lessons; they were genuine and applicable to a diverse range of existing skills. Crafted to support a student-driven approach, these lessons seamlessly blended the best attributes of one-on-one instruction and university education. Above all, they aimed to transform the musical journeys of the students.

Scott's prowess as a bass player, his empathetic teaching style, and his charismatic on-camera presence quickly drew players and students from around the world and developed into a 7 figure music education business.

Scott's Website: https://scottsbasslessons.com/

If you're interested in growing your online course sales and funnel optimisation contact us at https://datadrivenmarketing.co/

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Welcome to "The Art of Selling Online Courses" podcast! Today's guest is Scott Devine, creator of Scott's Bass Lessons an online music education business.

After over a decode of travelling the world as a bass guitarist for tours and studio projects, along with occasional detours to lecture at music schools, Scott Devine felt compelled to provide online lessons.

These were not just any lessons; they were genuine and applicable to a diverse range of existing skills. Crafted to support a student-driven approach, these lessons seamlessly blended the best attributes of one-on-one instruction and university education. Above all, they aimed to transform the musical journeys of the students.

Scott's prowess as a bass player, his empathetic teaching style, and his charismatic on-camera presence quickly drew players and students from around the world and developed into a 7 figure music education business.

Scott's Website: https://scottsbasslessons.com/

If you're interested in growing your online course sales and funnel optimisation contact us at https://datadrivenmarketing.co/

Speaker 1:

I was told by the doctor that was it. You can't play anymore. I didn't own a computer at the time so I went to the local internet cafe, had no idea how to even bring up a browser, didn't know what a browser was and I watched the video and in the video he broke down you can create digital products and programs to sell to that audience that you're building. To that point I'd made around $500. I just made no money in terms of revenue, which was like north of mid seven figures.

Speaker 2:

Hello and welcome to the art of selling online courses. We're here to share winning strategies and secret hacks from top performers in the online course industry. My name's John Ainsworth and today's guest is Scott Devine. Scott is the CEO and founder of one of the fastest growing music focused e-learning platforms. He's got more than 2 million followers across all platforms, more than 200 million views and more than 150,000 paying customers served. He's a pro basis, a business and marketing nerd, music junkie and a dad. So today we're gonna be talking about his side. Scott Space Lessons, which I'm a customer of, is absolutely fantastic. We're gonna talk about how we built his audience, his membership, how his funnels work.

Speaker 2:

Before we dive into that interview, I wanna tell you about our own GPT that we've built. I don't know if you've heard recently, but chat GPT has allowed you to build out your own GPT and we've actually been working on ours for a little while behind the scenes. Yosip, our funnel strategy lead, has made our clients more than $10 million and what we did is we took all of the transcripts of YoSIP's recordings when he was doing coaching for clients and we uploaded that and we used that to train this YoSIP AI and we've made it available for free. You can ask any questions about your course or membership business. Get it's help with writing copy of your emails. Whatever you need, go to datadrivenmarketingai and sign up for free. Scott, welcome to the show man. Thanks for joining us.

Speaker 1:

Thanks for having me, ben. It's so interesting to listen to the AI thing. I'm just I'm a little out of the loop with it. I'm a late you know. Have you heard of early adopters? I'm a late adopter.

Speaker 2:

I watch whatever. Yeah, A Laggard? Yes, absolutely. I kind of just sit on the sidelines waiting to see what happens.

Speaker 1:

And it's not that I don't believe in AI at all, it's just I like to. I don't know. I'm actually I'm a great thief in terms of what I do. I'm not. You know, I don't want to reinvent the wheel. I want to see somebody that's invented something fantastic a process, an approach to using something and then I'll be like, okay, that looks like we can use this, let's go do it. But I'm certainly not the. I'm not the type of guy to sit there scratching my head trying to figure out how we can use AI in the business Currently. Currently.

Speaker 2:

Can you give us a bit of a quick overview? Can you share your journey from being a pro basis to founding one of the fastest growing e-learning platforms in music? How did that happen?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, well, headline, completely by accident. I've no business experience. I've got no online online experience. I didn't own a computer. I fell into it by. You know, it was complete accident.

Speaker 1:

So I was a pro bass player for maybe 15 years, almost 15 years, and like a lot of pro musicians, actually, there's various movement disorders that you can pick up along the way from playing a lot. You know whether it's tendonitis or something else, and I actually got something called focal dystonia, which is a neurological movement disorder which happens because of overplaying. Now, you know it's when I got it, I was mid to late twenties and I was like, well, what do I need to do? Now I was told by the doctor that you know, that was it. You can't play anymore, you don't have any. The thing that you've been working on for the last 15, 20 years, which for me was music, isn't a valid option and you should retrain. I'm a really stubborn individual and I was like I'm not sure that's what's gonna happen. So, but I will say that he was kind of right. I never figured out how to fix the condition that I had, but in the downtime that I had, which was I took six months off. You know, I was, like you know, seeing specialists. I was flying over to Spain, you know, because there's some specialists for focal dystonia over in Seville and Barcelona. I was flying over there and I didn't have any work and I really needed to. I had rent to pay, I had a wife to be and I was like, shit, I need to make some money. So I had various ideas, but while I was conjuring those up I thought, well, maybe I can teach online, maybe I can get some, you know, do some Skype lessons or something like that. And the reason that this kind of this idea came to me is that a friend of mine in my downtime. He was like hey, while you're doing nothing, why don't you go and check out YouTube? And I was like what is this? This is about 13 or 14 years ago.

Speaker 1:

I didn't own a computer at the time. I've always been horrendously terrified of anything sort of like technologically related. I had a bad. I was in a. You know I didn't do great at school, let's put it that way, without going down that rabbit hole, anyway. So he said hey, go check out this thing called YouTube. You can watch old concerts on there. I was like, huh, sounds cool.

Speaker 1:

So I went to the local internet cafe, had no idea how to even bring up a browser, didn't know what a browser was, didn't you know? I was like think of just like knowing zero, and then go a little bit further. And that's where I was, anyway. So the guy working at the internet cafe, he you know from Google, and I said I can remember saying to him, like how do I get on this thing called? Have you heard of YouTube? Like my friend said, YouTube, I didn't know where to type it in. So the guy said, oh, here's YouTube. He typed it in.

Speaker 1:

I was like, okay, so I'm watching some old concerts that were on there at the time and you know, after 30 minutes or whatever, I was like, oh, I wonder if anybody's playing bass on here, I wonder if anybody's doing bass lessons. And did a quick search and there was two people, three people in the world, which sounds ridiculous. Now obviously I thought, huh, well, maybe I can. You know, I can play, even though I couldn't do any gigs to make a live and I could play for maybe 10 or 20 minutes, and you don't actually do that much playing in a lesson. So I thought, well, maybe to get some income in, maybe I can put some videos on YouTube and at the end of the you know, at the end of the video, I'll say, hey, go over to my website, scotsbasslessonscom. And then I'll advertise Skype lessons on the website. And that was it.

Speaker 1:

So I went and bought a computer and I went and bought a camera. And then I was like, oh shit, I need to work. How do I? Like? I didn't know how to even switch on or off a computer. I can remember switching the computer off at the wall and my girlfriend at the time freaking out. She was like you need to close, you need to shut it down. I'm like I'm shooting it down here right on the wall. And she was like, no, no, anyway, so you know, so figured out, you know, went online, actually, went on YouTube and there was tutorials on how to build WordPress websites. So I built my first website. It was like really rudimentary, as you can imagine, because I didn't know what the heck I was doing. I can remember it.

Speaker 1:

It took me about a week to figure out how to embed a YouTube video in a website. I kid you not, it was like trying to find a needle in a haystack, trying to figure that stuff out. I didn't even know what an embed code was, I knew zero, so figured that all out and started posting online. I was posting on YouTube about once every month maybe, and I thought I was on fire. I was like, look at me really sitting one video a month. Oh aren't I great.

Speaker 1:

Anyway, some lessons started coming off the back of it, some Skype lessons, and then I was going on to local forums and like this stuff like talk, base base chat, you know. Going on to those local forums where base players were congregating, I was going to the lessons section and saying, hey, you know, I've just put these lessons up online. Do you want to check them out? And nobody was really doing this at the time. So people were like, oh yeah, we can, we'll check it out. And then I was kind of like trying to be active on those platforms as well, and it wasn't that I had any kind of like. You know, I hadn't listened, heard this strategy from somebody online, because there was nobody teaching this stuff online, frankly, at the time, or barely anybody. I was just kind of sort of like making it up as I went, so started interacting within these communities and that helped the YouTube channel start to grow a little bit and started doing some Skype, teaching off it, anyway.

Speaker 1:

So six months a year goes by and making no money, like zero, I don't know. Like maybe I made $500 in a year or something like that. And then really and it's taken me a long time to do this stuff, because I know zero, because I'm like from you know, absolute ground zero, trying to figure out everything on my own my wife, my girlfriend at the time that nothing, this. Now my wife, she was saying hey, how much longer you're gonna do this. Like you know, you've earned five hundred dollars in the last year. You're, you're spending hours and hours on this every single day. It seems like it's maybe a waste of time.

Speaker 1:

And there was definitely a point where Several forks in the road where I could have gone in a different direction. I had some bizarre business ideas. I remember I created a dog walking website once. I was gonna be a dog walker. I, in the end, I didn't walk one dog, but I like creating the website anyway. I was gonna be a guitar maker. So I was thinking about going back and studying to be a guitar player. Because a guitar maker? Because that's actually how I began Playing an instrument in the first place is that I had an apprentice Apprenticeship as a bass maker, bass guitar maker, when I was 16, and that's how I actually began playing bass.

Speaker 1:

So I was thinking about going and doing that, because this YouTube thing just I just didn't know how to figure it out, I didn't know how to make it work. And then I Was looking as you do, you know, through the videos on YouTube and I fell upon upon a video by a guy called Brendan Beshard, which I'm sure that a lot of your audience will know. So a video from Brendan Beshard when he was a young nipper He'll have been in his 20s, I was in my 20s and and and. The video's title something like how to create an online business or how to make money online, something like that. Right, I was like, okay, I'll watch this. And it was an hour long. I was like, wow, an hour long YouTube video. This guy's a shit. He means business anyway. So I clicked on this, clicked on the video and I watched the video and in the video he broke down, simply, that you can well two things that I wasn't doing. Two things is number one create an email list. The reason why you want to create an email list is because that's, that's your distribution, that's how you can contact your audience and build a relationship with them. Okay, and then the second one was you can create digital products and programs to sell to that audience that you're building. I was like, okay, this, this sounds maybe the direction I should be going.

Speaker 1:

So and he Advertises book at the end of the video. It was called the millionaire messenger and I can remember reading that book. I can remember standing in an airport reading that book and it blow in my mind said never All of this sort of like the stuff that we take for granted now I, oh, building audience, become a creator, have a funnel like. All of that just didn't exist, at least Not in the the way that it does now, where it's, you know, slapping you in the face every time you go anywhere online Is is that kind of message it right? So? So I read that book and then started to implement what he taught.

Speaker 1:

So first of all, I created an email list. It was on MailChimp. It's like, okay, so I'm gonna. I don't even think I'd a lead magnet. I think it was just like a form on the website that said sign up for free, free Base lessons here, and all I did is, every single week, I would email them the YouTube video that I released that week. So that was the lead magnet, and then and then, you know, I was building that, building the email list, and then, after a while maybe two, three months of doing that, I thought, okay, I'm gonna work on some sort of my digital program. So I created some sort of like digital program. It was way too complex, as it always is.

Speaker 1:

When you're starting out, you know, you always overthink it and you're trying to. You know, I don't know I'm sure that you've been in the same Same position, john, when you you know your friends talking about, hey, I'm gonna get online for the first time, I've got this product idea and it's really sophisticated, and and I'm always like my friends do it to me I'm like, hey, just forget about that for a minute. You know, let's just focus on creating an audience first anyway. So I overthought the product. All that to say, though, that I released the product to my audience now, and and I did follow the systematic approach that everybody, you know, everybody recommends.

Speaker 1:

So it was for a limited time, it was a limited amount of discount, all of that kind of stuff you know was baked into this product launch and at the same time, I had been watching videos from Jeff Walker as well, back in the day, because he was associated with Brenda Mishard and I Sold two thousand dollars of products in a day and it blew my tiny mind because to that point, I'd made around five hundred dollars. I just made no money and my wife to be was saying, hey, how long are you gonna be doing this? It's like you're killing yourself over this, you're. You know, you just, it's a waste of time. And that that's when my world changed, when I sold two thousand dollars in a day and that was there. That was the green light of oh, this is a Direction I can really lean into and this is possibly gonna change our lives. And from that I just started building and building and building.

Speaker 1:

And once I'd learned that seed as well, like you know from Brenda Mishard that you know About the email list, about creating products and programs, I just started looking around for other people that I couldn't model, so I was looking for. There wasn't anybody in my space at the time, or there was only a couple, but there was other people doing some great stuff on other channels. So, as I, you know, I said right at the top of this call, I'm not the guy that's gonna reinvent the wheel. Like hats off to all of these individuals that can have all of these amazing business ideas that just oh, it's so impressive. But that isn't me. I am like super average. My intelligence is super average. I'm kind of proud of it, right, that I can still be super average and and and build what I've done so. So I'm really into finding people that have done something spectacular, something that's really worked in their niche, and they're modeling that out in my niche. So I was looking for people that had done the same, and so I was selling digital products and programs, courses, all of that kind of thing, you know, building the email list that started uploading weekly onto YouTube.

Speaker 1:

And then I joined a Membership site called fizzle, and I'd never seen a membership site before. I didn't even. I know that Ryan dice Back in the day tried to. Well, he did. It did actually convert it to digital marketer. But I did see him Launch some kind of membership site, but it wasn't that. It was like a like MVP to the max, right.

Speaker 1:

But I found this membership site called fizzleco, which unfortunately doesn't exist anymore and it was run by A few guys. Chase Reeves, who some people might have heard of, is on YouTube and he's a bag reviewer. So chase Reeves, corbett Bar and Caleb logic so there was this trio who created this membership site and you know they were marketed it they weren't on YouTube, that their deal was SEO, writing articles and stuff like that. But I can remember logging into that website and thinking, oh shit, maybe this is the play, maybe it's creating a membership platform for bass players.

Speaker 1:

And so I did it and and mine, when I released it, was it's like so bad, so bad. It was like as MVP as they can come, but it was just that initial seed that we needed to start growing it and pushing it in that direction. So that was really sort of like how I went from, you know, unemployed musician because of a medical condition that I, that I developed through to A sustainable business with a membership site. And at that point, when I launched the membership site, I probably had, I'm guessing, in terms of email subs, maybe 20 to 30,000 email subs and two people on the team which was customer service and a community manager, and that was, yeah, that's how it all started one of the things I really love about that the way that you kind of broken that down is it's A lot of the same things as we recommend in the same order To people who are kind of getting going.

Speaker 2:

A lot of people were like, okay, I want to create the courses and start sending it. Well, you haven't. If you haven't built the audience yet, it doesn't tend to have much of a result. If you haven't got an audience and then you haven't got an email list, well, it's very it's not worth probably making the courses yet. But once you've got the audience, then you start to build the email list and you start to see what is it people are interested in, and then you could build the course and, like you say, build the simpler version of what you think, what you think you should be creating, because the thing you've got in your head is probably 10 times more than is needed in the first, first iteration.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, absolutely, people make it far too complex. Um it and it's. It's easy because you're looking at what everybody else is doing. Right, you're looking at what everybody else is doing, but the fact of the matter is that they are not at the same point as you. They're a different place in their journey.

Speaker 1:

So I think somebody that's done a great job of this is Justin Welsh, who is a. He was a consultant. Well, he's done a bunch of things. I think he was head of growth at a when the I think it was a SaaS company had a growth at a SaaS company, you know from a corporate background but left that for for different reasons and ended up Kind of being a bit of a superstar on Twitter in terms of growth, figuring that out, as well as LinkedIn I think LinkedIn's actually primary platform. But all I to say is that he built an audience for six months without even looking at a product. So he built that audience and he became a master of building the audience, which we all need to do. We all need to be a master of building audience, not creating content. I think that creating content is a means to an end, and that might change in the future. Who cares? Right, but People say content creators and like that's great, but what we're really doing here is building an audience. We're building a, you know, we're building a group of people, an audience that give a shit about what we do, and we're creating a relationship with them. So, and the most effective way of doing that right now is, for most people, these two organic content.

Speaker 1:

So Justin became extremely good at that on LinkedIn and then also parlayed that into Twitter, and then he released a course and the course was, I think, something like I might be. I might be incorrect here, but I think it was like two and rub bucks and the entire thing was recorded on a loom. And when I saw that, I was like that's how you do it. You put all your focus into building the audience, you know, and become a master at building the audience and then, yeah, create a product, but it can be an MVP, it can be something super simple and then at later date, you can create the you know, the $2,000 course, whatever you want to do, right, the membership platform.

Speaker 1:

But I would really recommend becoming a master at building audience first, because it takes so much Mental energy to do that. It's not easy, you know. Yeah, like you could. You could just start creating content online and Create a course off the back of it. Oh yeah, all of that. But those guys that like blowing up right now have put serious, serious focus into becoming master, master, audience builders Through the, through content that they're using right now, and then they parlay that into a, you know, into an online course. That scales obviously. So, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2:

What have you seen in terms of differences with the types of content that resonated the most in the early days and then how's your content strategy Kind of evolved over time since then?

Speaker 1:

Oh man, it's, it's ever evolving and it's a bit of a beast. So I'm really great on YouTube. That's the platform that I I really lean into and I'm really good at. But I'm pretty sure that what I'm about to say will also, you know, dovetail with all of the other platforms as well, and it's that the strategy always changes, and and not only does it always change the the platforms themselves, also their algorithms change as well.

Speaker 1:

So there's a few different things To take into consideration when you're really leaning into organic content and trying to become good at it. Like number one would be, you know, making the correct Content for your audience, and I see a lot of people getting that wrong. I was talking to a mixing engineer the other day. I can't remember what he was. He was like oh, I'm gonna, you know, go online and I'm gonna create this content. I was like, well, that's really good, but like, what audience are you trying to build? Like what, that collection of people that you're trying to sort of like pull together and build that relationship with what? I? You don't need a product right now, but what kind of thing are you going to try and sell them? You know, because you don't want to build the wrong type of audience in terms of the direction that you're going to go in. Okay, so having an idea of the audience that you want to build for is really important, and then, once you've got that locked down, I would again go back to who's doing it. Who's doing a great job of it in that space, and you don't need to and I don't mean in your niche, I mean within that platform who's doing a great job of it, and then you can do start doing experiments to try and replicate their type of content.

Speaker 1:

What I will say is that on any platform, the one thing so it's not really about what time you post, but it's not really about the title of the like. It is about these things they definitely help, but the thing above all else that will win over everything is format. It's the format of the content. So if you look at all of the sort of like legendary content creators that have come up over the last five or ten years, what they're really good at is actually masters of format and for the and for the most part, they only do one format. They find something that's working and they just lean into it like crazy and just get absolutely world class, that, that one specific format, and then they'll start, you know, seeing that growth.

Speaker 1:

So whether, yeah, there's a bunch of different examples, but that's what's really. That's what I really see, um, in content creators that make it work these days is that they're, they understand what, what audience they're building for. They then really start to experiment with different formats, trying to find what format will work for number one, the platform and number two, their audience. So different formats will work for different audiences, um, and then once you found that format, that people, and and Just I'll give you an example of different formats, okay, because somebody might be like what the heck's he talking about?

Speaker 1:

Okay, so for instance, um, okay, so I'll give you some format examples that we've experimented with. So straight up lessons, Just me speaking to camera, highly educationally focused. It's just on the education. Okay, that was one kind of format that we've done. Um, number two would be something that's Co-present, a video that's co-presented. So there's, there's myself and my co-presenter. It's it's more jovial, there is education in there, but also there's a lot of, you know, like a lot of laughs. You know we're making it really fun. It's not as super educationally focused.

Speaker 1:

Another format that I've focused on and experimented with is the video essay. So like video essay, where I'm just sort of like reading A script and then it's highly edited. I mean, so that could be for us that was like historic, historic video essays within the niche Telling the story of, maybe like the fender base, or like James Jameson, who was a really fantastic Motown bass player, who was on most of the Motown bass hits within the, you know, within the 60s. So all of these different formats and the what and what I'm looking for is not. And if you look at our YouTube channel and you're like, oh, they're doing a lot of different stuff, it's I'm looking for the format that's gonna win. And once I find the format, then I'm gonna get rid of the rest and just lean into the format. So when we've done this in the past, is that we we found that and I accidentally, accidentally found this that vlogging had not been done on the YouTube by a bass player back when vlogs were really popular the, you know, this is popularized by a content creator called Casey Neistat. Nobody had done it in the bass niche or, frankly, the guitar niche, and I did one and and it exploded. I was like, oh so normally our videos Maybe we're getting like 30 40,000 views at the time. Suddenly this is a hundred thousand views. So I thought I was. Then I was like, okay, let me lean in. Boom, another vlog, another vlog, lean into that format. And Suddenly and that was maybe the biggest growth of the channel that we've ever had, or at least one of them where we found a specific format of content and really leaned in and, yes, we did the thumbnail thing, we made sure the thumbnail was really fantastic and, yes, we made sure the title was really fantastic, but really the sort of like the heavy lifting was actually finding that format and then leaning into it. Now the vlog thing went away, it died, and this is an interesting thing, with all platforms linked in Twitter, youtube, these platforms are constantly evolving, so arbitrage situations like the vlogging thing will happen and they will go away. Arbitrage situations like shorts on YouTube was a huge thing. I saw channels explode just off the back of shorts and and now it's. It's okay, you know, but it's certainly not the arbitrage situation that it was. Reels on Instagram was an arbitrage situation and it's gone, you know. So you've kind of got to be very I Kind of like what Gary Vaynerchuk's been speaking, speaking about the minute.

Speaker 1:

He's been using the phrase day trading. Attention, and and that's exactly what you saw the difference between day trade, day trading and passive, passive investing Is, you know, when you passively invest, you get a chunk cash, you put it in an index fund and then you check it in six months, whatever right. But when you're day trading, you are checking in every single day and you're making micro adjustments, and the masters of content are absolutely doing that. They're finding that format and they're adjusting and they're also looking for arbitrage opportunities where a platform might be launching a specific, a specific feature, whether it was reels or whether it was shorts on YouTube. I'll tell you what like YouTube.

Speaker 1:

For us right now, the arbitrage situation is long form.

Speaker 1:

It's long form.

Speaker 1:

So right now we've tested the theory out where we've, you know, ran maybe five to ten tests and we're like okay, we feel like that. You know, we're looking at the data. We're definitely seeing that there's a bump in those long form videos. That's working for us. Let's lean into it. So we've booked out now six months of interviews Racked up and we're figure, trying to figure out how to do them remotely, like we're doing today, john. But because we're doing music and there's bases involved in audio involved, we're having to organize videographers to be on their end and audio engineers on their end and stuff like that, and it's a beast to to wrangle.

Speaker 1:

But that's how much I believe in the format, finding the format and then leaning into it, and I think that that's what I guess it has a big impact on. I guess it hasn't changed over time. I think that it was always like, like back in the day, I could release a straight up education video just teaching how to learn this Books, you know, insert boring thing here, right, and it would do great. It would do really fantastic on YouTube. People would love it. Now that has. That has gone. That has changed, but also, so is it, you know, 10 other things have changed and gone away. It's just that the platforms are constantly evolving and, as Content creators or a k a audience builders, we need to be constantly changing as well. But I also will say that, if this sounds like a nightmare, if anybody's listening to this and they're like, oh, please give me a Freaking- break this sounds like hard work.

Speaker 1:

You know, those arbitrarious situations can actually last for a long time. Like long form on YouTube may last for two or three years. The shorts thing that happened on YouTube, I think it lasted for maybe 18 months 12 to 18 months. The real thing on Instagram lasted for 18 months, two years. You know you get a bunch of time so you're not, you know, jumping into the fire and it's once you found that format, it's going to really it's just going to give you a huge boost and you're going to have the bandwidth and the time to really lead into it before you need to specifically change. So did I ask you a question? Was that I think at it?

Speaker 2:

absolutely, because I asked originally about the types of content and resonated and how that's changed and that's like the Most thorough answer I could possibly have hoped for. I love it. So what I'm hearing is look at, what is it the test about? Test out a bunch of different formats, see what it is that works for your audience right now, and then run with that and just double down on that. Double down on that until it stops Absolutely and then look again and find something else.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely, and what I'm trying to challenge our team with at the minute is to run a, is to schedule a, an experiment. So for us it could be like every month we want to run an experiment, a content experiment. We've seen something Working that somebody else has done. Hey, we need to experiment with that. So right now we're not very good at that as a team. I've got a great team, but it's something that we haven't done systematically in the past. We've we've kind of like had a bit of a brain fart of an idea hey, how about we do this? But I'd really like to systematize the approach to experimentation so we can build that into the team and you know, because that that way we know what, that we're running tests rather than you know.

Speaker 2:

Just, I guess sort of like resting on our One thing I want to jump to after the audience building is what's your kind of process for going from having the audience on YouTube and to getting people into email list? You promoting a lead magnet in every video. Are you promoting them every so often? Is there a structure to the way that you promote them? What's kind of the system you got there?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, exactly that. So we try and look for opportunities to drop a call to action in every single video to offer a lead magnet, whether we've got various courses that are available. We've got something called the base players toolkit, which is like a collection of courses We've got. We've got a bunch of stuff that we can, we can do. What works best in terms of just driving overall leads is when we do a video that we can create a custom content upgrade for. So, if it, if it's an educationally focused video, when we do a downloadable PDF which is connected to that video and it's going to make that video, you know, better for the, for the user, for the watcher. For us we put the notation. We're like hey, you know, if you, if you've loved the lesson, make sure that you download the, the free tablet, your notation that goes along with it, because then you can follow along what we're playing. Like that, that's the thing that works best for us.

Speaker 2:

You originally had course right and you sold that $2000 worth you know like, oh my god, this is so exciting. And then you switched over to membership. How long was it between those two points? How long were you sending courses for before you switched to membership?

Speaker 1:

to two years.

Speaker 2:

Two years, maybe was it just, was it just like a right? I'm just doing membership now, I'm not doing courses. Or did you have a period where you do both that you? You just saw the membership, now right, there's no courses anymore.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, oh no, there is courses, yeah there you can like yeah, I'll take you through the timeline there.

Speaker 1:

So I started off with single. I started off with five single courses for $20. You could get $20 each right. And then I met a market, a great marketer called John Benson, who's a great bass player. He's also a fantastic copywriter. Many of you your old schoolers might might have heard of John Benson. He was affiliated with. You know guys like Joe Polish back in the day and who else Dean Jackson and there's some guy I can't remember his name anyway did like double your dating. Can't remember that guy? Evan, evan, evan pagan ever.

Speaker 2:

So he was affiliated with yeah yeah, so anyway.

Speaker 1:

So he's John Benson's a great bass player and I sent him an offer and through email, you know like he was on the auto responder sequence and he messaged me back and he was like I am not buying this course Because of a bunch of different reasons. How about we jump on a call? I'll give you a marketing lesson. You can give me a bass lesson. I was like, yeah, yeah, jumped on this call with John and John was like no, you saw all this stuff like $20. He was like just bundle them up together and set like, if it's 20, let's say you got five right and they're $20 piece. Bundle them all together and say, hey, you know, you can get them all for 20%. Offer for $80. I was like what? He was like just do that. He said you'll sell less units but you'll make more money. I was like okay, so did, did it, and it worked immediately. I was like and then, you know, jumped on another call with him for another bass lesson. I taught him some stuff and then he was like hey, do you know you're selling in pounds. I was like this was the best one. He was like Do you understand that the entire world doesn't know what their currency is in. And he was like, hey, the dollar is the world currency, you should sell in dollars. Oh, no shit. So, you know, started selling them in dollars. Boom, immediately sales went up. So he's really fantastic, anyway.

Speaker 1:

So started with those and then I released a couple of other programs around that sort of like hundred dollar mark. Then did the membership and at the time when I launched the membership I kept the courses open. Then at some point I folded them into the membership, ran the membership for maybe three years, just the membership. Then had another you know conversation with somebody and said hey, you know, maybe there's the opportunity to have the membership to also create sort of like deeper six month long experiences around specific topics. So if you want to study, go deep in one specific topic for just six months, we've got a course for that. So that's what I started doing. So I had the membership and then also started building out these other sort of like six month long accelerator programs we call them. I built out maybe four or five of those which have been doing great alongside the membership, and and then just recently we started doing what.

Speaker 1:

What we started to see is that we're really focused within this kind of like $200 price bracket. You know you can sign up to the membership for around $200 a year. You can buy one of the accelerators, which one? The six month program, so about $200 a year. And and I think that it was it was actually Christopher. Actually, you know our mutual friend who he was selling a. He created like an online coaching program and I was like, oh, maybe we could do that. So we created an online coaching program which is much higher, much higher priced and then right now we're now looking at that. You know the coaching programs $10,000 a year. We've got the membership and the single course of $200 a year. Now we're looking at putting together a like a product ladder that people can kind of send through, based on higher touch and higher value that we can give to a, to a student as they work through them and products with us.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so we're going to start out at $200 with the membership. Then we're going to we're about to launch in January a second tier of the membership where we're going to be running 18 live classes every single week. So more like a, like an online school where you actually go and join the live classes and you know we're going to have tutors working with the students, like it's going to be group coaching, but it's, you know, that kind of thing. That's going to price, I think, around $1,000 a year, and then we're going to have a mid tier around two to $3,000. We're going to have these 12 week coaching intensives that we're going to experiment with, and then we've got like a $10,000 coaching program on top of that as well, where you get a tutor every single week of the year, focused within. You know, we've built out a specific framework that we use for our students. That works really well for that as well. So that's sort of like in terms of the product catalog that that we've created through time. That's what it's looking like right now.

Speaker 2:

One of the things that I talked to lots of course creators about is they only sell cheap products. They only do the like $100, $200 stuff, and I think it's a great place to start, because if you're building out a big audience to start with and then a big email list, and you go for the low ticket products, it's like it it actually fits really well in terms of you build up a big enough audience before you start to move to the higher price products that you can then just relatively easily sell enough of them, whereas if you start with higher price products, you kind of feel the need to be like oh, I've got to go out individually and network and try and sell these and get more sales calls and whatever, which then doesn't need to spending enough time building the audience.

Speaker 1:

Exactly Just guessing the way.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, right, but once you've built the big audience and you've got a load of customers, a percentage of them will like 10% of them will normally pay you 10 times as much money and if you don't have that product for them to buy, they can't give you that money and you don't have that in your business. And then it's just as massive opportunity. I banged on to Christopher Christopher Sutton for Musical you for everybody listening, and I banged on to him about this for forever and then, like last year, he set up something similar to what you've got, like the $10,000 program I think it was last year and just like, sold a whole load of them straight away and it's just like, yes, have a more expensive product. I don't know what it should be, I don't know your audience, but I know you should have it. There's something there, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, for sure, and I think it depends on, to your point, where you are in your life cycle as a business or a creator. I think that if you start out with higher price products, it is going to be more complex on the delivery side. Therefore, you if, especially if you've not got a team, you're going to get dragged into that delivery side and that is going to take your attention away from building that audience, which is the audience, is the engine for your business, right? So take your, take your attention off the engine and it's going to focus it on something that might be a short term cash grab but probably won't prove out in the long term, right? So, exactly what you're saying, you know focus on scalable, low price products to begin with. Scalable, meaning you know you can do it one time and then, in terms of delivery, you're just not. You know like it's. It's delivered by an email or by kajabi or by teachable or whatever. You know it's all automated so you can fully focus on building the audience and as that audience builds, that means the revenue is going to build because you've got that you know initial product or a couple of couple of products on the front end and then, once that engine's going, that's going to give you the ability to maybe hire a few people and then you can start to ratchet up.

Speaker 1:

Okay, do we want to, you know, do something at $1,000. Do we want to do something at, you know, $2,000 or $10,000 or whatever it is? But I think that it's yeah for me. You know, there's always, it always depends, right? I think that in many ways, it's very easy to to just cite this is the way of doing it, and I think that there is somebody listen to this, maybe with experience that has done it the opposite way, and that's always the case. It always depends, you know, it depends on the niche stuff. But I think that you know what we're saying right here will really help. You know, 95% of people, that is the pathway that they should go, especially if organic content is going to be the engine that drives their business, because that's going to need the focus that you really need to. You know you really need to lean into.

Speaker 2:

So the thing I want to get into next, then, is we've talked about how you got started, and we talked about how you built up the courses in the membership and the value ladder and how you built your audience. What's the process that you're using for converting the people from your email list into sales? Are you running a promotion every month that you did like because you got membership right? So the slightly different when you promote your membership to promote Course yeah, so what's the? Structure. How do you do it?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, in terms of the promotions and this is another big thing, you know, in terms of, like, growing up a little bit as a business business. I say growing up a little bit as a business because I think that you know I need to, we SPL, my business, needs to grow up a little bit as a big that we all need to grow up a little bit right. But one thing that really helped us was nailing down the promotional schedule. I can remember going to work with a great consultants. I sat down with him I admire that, the guy Nate, that was head, not marked at the time. We sat down with him and he said, okay, show me your promotional calendar.

Speaker 1:

And we like look to each other, we're like I think that even said show me show me what the promotional calendar is looking for, like for the next 12 months, and I was like, oh shit, so yeah, so and he was like I need to have a promotional calendar because that way everything's going to be.

Speaker 1:

You can predict or we should be trying to predict what these promotions are trying to do, trying to, you know, trying to bring into the business. So Right now we do, let's say, around, so fight 10 to 12 promotions a year. This is around 10 promotions. It kind of like an. Each promotion last just over a month, but we do promotions all year round. They are scheduled out for the entire year. We already got Q1 of 2024 map down completely. We know what the promotions are, we know what products and you know in those promotional slots. So it's a business. It's really going to help you if you figure out and make it simple. Right, okay, you're going to do one promotion Every month, whatever, right, let's say one, one sort. And then you got to figure out what is the promotion that is going to slot into each of those slots.

Speaker 1:

We're selling by email for the most part. We usually, you know we'll put something up on YouTube or something on the podcast, you know, but we don't. We don't go hard on those channels because I see those as audience building channels and then we move people from there onto the email list and that's where we can do more selling On the email list. So for the majority of it, the selling is actually done on the email list. So build the audience, get on the email list and then they've got. They're going to go through 12 promotions or for us it's like 10 promotions throughout that year, and when you do that, you'll also see that some promotions just like when we're talking about formats on YouTube or formats on all of them you know the platforms You'll see the format of certain launches do great and certain launches don't do great.

Speaker 1:

So it gives you the ability to look at the bigger pitch and say, okay, well, in 2023, these five launches here, they crushed it, but these three, they didn't do very well. You can do a retro on that. You know. Look well what didn't work.

Speaker 1:

Maybe it was the product, maybe it was the offer, but let's not do them again. Let's get rid of these. Let's keep the five that we did do and let's create another X amount of how many need and slot that in and just, yeah, it's a systematic way of doing it, but for us it's very much. You know 10 10 promotions every single year. Six of them will be focused on membership, and four will be focused on single promote single products like the accelerator six, with programs that I spoke about and in the background of those, to certain cohorts of individuals will be selling the coach in the high, high ticket coaching program or will be selling other high ticket things, products that we're going to be experimenting with next year. And we do that by identifying sort of like who the power users you know, identifying who the power users are and that's the promotions that they'll see. So yeah, that's how we do it.

Speaker 2:

And when you're running one of those six promotions for the membership, what's the kind of structure of that? How is that look? Are you giving a discount? Is their bonuses? What kind of content you're sending? How's that work?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so different in terms of. We found that the Jeff Walker style launch doesn't work great for us, where we're sending like loads of pre warm up content and then there's the whole. It doesn't work for us, I believe, because we're running 10 promotions every single year. You know, a one promotion rolls into the next, so it kind of just over overcooks your audience, right? If you're doing it like us, then you need to give the audience a little bit of time to breathe. And then so when we're selling something, we generally will send a few emails to warm them up and say, yeah, we're doing this thing in a few, you know, in a few days time. Just to give you a heads up, here's what it is. You know, you might be able to get a discount forever, I mean, for instance, not forever. You'll be able to get a discount, for instance. It's a limited time. So we'll do sort of like two or three warm ups via email, not linking out to any content or anything like that, and then we'll go straight into the promotion and for the most part, we will email like we've got one coming up every other day, for I think it's every other day for three weeks. We're doing and we'll be doing it in different ways. We'll be linking out to content and we'll be, you know, focused on different features and different benefits within the membership. And for that one I think it's a discount, but I think we do two discounts a year and then we do two giveaways a year. So we've in the past we've had giveaways work really well, so we'll do a gear giveaway.

Speaker 1:

People sign up for the giveaway and then on the thank you page We'll say, hey, if you want to get extra entries in this giveaway, all you need to do is sign up for a 14 day free trial and then you're going to get 20 extra entries. And we found that that worked really well for membership promotions. So we'll definitely be doing a couple of them next year. And then we've got two empty slots next year actually, where we're like you know, what should we? What should we do in those slots? So to your earlier point, it's probably going to be bonuses, and we've got somebody on the team who's an absolute rock star at building out bonuses as well. So we're probably going to get Simon to really focus on building out a beautiful product, a bonus stack for the membership, and then we'll run that as a limited, limited time offer twice next year as well. So probably is looking like two discounts next year to giveaways and two bonus stacks.

Speaker 2:

And for anyone listening who's thinking about their own kind of promotions if you're selling courses, it's relatively simple because if you've, let's say, you've got six courses and you're doing a promotion each month and after six months you go back, you cycle back through, what you can do with each of them is just give a discount when you've got a membership. You've not got that. If you do a discount every month, everyone's going to catch on pretty quickly and it's like, well, you can't just promote the same thing in the same way every month. It's just doesn't work. So having bonuses is another way of giving people some urgency or some scarcity about why to take action now. And when you're looking at the course membership kind of space, having that scarcity and urgency is really really important. That isn't the same necessarily in every field, but in courses and memberships that's one of the things you do that gets people to take action on something. So that's why that's why Scott's got the bonuses is like a way of getting something to take action. If you get the sign up now, you get the bonus. If you sign up next month, you won't get that anymore. So you better, you better crack on and get it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, give people a few numbers, because we do a lot of stuff around numbers on this, on this podcast. What size is your? We talked a little bit about your, your podcast sorry, the YouTube channel. You got like two million followers on YouTube.

Speaker 1:

Youtube is like 1.2 or 1.3 million, I think. We got a lot of a lot of views. So, yeah, 1.2 1.3 million on on YouTube. We've got at 370,000, I think, on Instagram. We've got around 500,000 on Facebook and then I think that we've got maybe 100,000 on TikTok, but I don't know. I've never logged into TikTok in my entire life.

Speaker 2:

We have not seen TikTok convert for any of our clients into actual paying customers. It's been fascinating to even people like a million followers on TikTok. It's just it's not doing anything. It's really interesting to see. And then, what size is your email list at the moment?

Speaker 1:

about 250,000, and then members. I think the membership is like 20,000. I'm trying to think in terms of revenue is like north of mid seven figures. I think that's about it in terms of numbers that might be crushing it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, hopefully, yeah, I think so. Sometimes I mean it's so much, sometimes I don't. I don't sort of like stick my head up to smell the roses or whatever the saying is. Maybe I just made that sign up, but yeah, it's going really well. I would love to, I would love to figure out how to get through that eight figure bracket. That's something that is. It can be challenging, and I think it's worth saying that. You know, as we were saying, it depends. It depends what your niche is as well. You know how many people have you got to market to? So so for us, it's definitely something that we'd love to do is break through the eight figure mark in the next two to three years, and right now I'm just trying to figure out what is the unlock there. Yeah, what, what to do to do that.

Speaker 2:

Nice. If someone wants to go check out Scott's base lessons, where can they go? What's the website? What's the YouTube channel?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, just scotsbases lessonscom is the website. The YouTube channel is right, Scott's base lessons, and your find is there Same thing on all the other platforms tick tock and Facebook and link, not LinkedIn. Actually, maybe I am on LinkedIn. I think I do look on LinkedIn. I'll tell you what sucks about LinkedIn. I hate that stuff, Like because I follow you know all of these business builders and everybody's loving LinkedIn at the minute and I'm just like, yeah, there's not that many base players on LinkedIn.

Speaker 1:

So you know, I really wish I could jump in and start causing a ruckus on LinkedIn, but it's unfortunately, it's just not not the platform for our audience, right now at least anyway.

Speaker 2:

Scott, thanks so much for coming on today. Man, I really appreciate your time. This has been absolutely fantastic. Yeah, just been. It's been an awesome interview. I really appreciate it. Awesome, John. Thanks for having us. Mate Cheers, If you found this interview useful and you want to get future episodes, subscribe wherever you listened. And thanks for listening in and we'll see you guys next time.

Pro Bass Player to E-Learning Founder
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Content Formats and Audience Building Importance
Product Catalog and Pricing Strategy
Promotional Strategy and Audience Building