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Adding Online Courses to your Micro niches Starts HERE with Chris Badgett (MNM Season 1 Episode 2)

July 1, 2021

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Adding Online Courses to your Micro niches Starts HERE

Episode 2, Season 1 – with Chris Badgett

Welcome to the second episode of The Micro Niche Mastery Podcast.  

Our guest is today is Chris Badgett, Founder and CEO at LifterLMS.

  • Chris’ very first micro niche was gardening
  • Chris’ take about the word “expert” vs “coach”
  • Chris optimizes communication with his customers
  • Chris has an open feedback loop to make sure he addresses the concerns of his potential clients
  • Chris hangout with different people in different industries every day / week
  • Chris even hang out with his competitors
  • Chris explained his take on which one to get first, “coaching or an online course”
  • Chris shared the number one thing that works for Lifterlms marketing
  • Chris explained why people should use LifterLMS plugin
  • Ziv explained why he chose LifterLMS for his businesses
  • This is one juicy episode, tons of value in it so make sure you listen

Important Links:

 lifterlms.com

dailycookie.co

Transcript:

Click Below to see the full transcript of this episode

Open Transcript

 

Ziv:

Hello. Welcome to the micro-niche mastery podcast. I’m so excited to have here with me, the CEO and founder of lifter LMS, they have such an amazing time using lifter LMS in multiple Michael niches businesses. It makes six figures that it was just obvious that they want to have Chris here on the show. He’s quite a smart cookie. Have a great fun. Enjoy the interview and hello to you. Please. High case is ever scared to be here. Well, I want to say thank you, Chris, for taking the time. I know you’re a busy man. You’ll help a lot of people with the online schools and businesses, but you actually started as an instructor and a teacher yourself. Can you tell me a little bit about your story? 

 

Chris:

Yeah, absolutely. So I guess my first micro niche as an online education guy was in a niche within organic gardening called permaculture.

Chris:

And I started partnering with experts to create the content. And basically that was my first course project. I started blogging about what I was doing and how I built the WordPress site to have an online business. And that was the beginning of what later became lifter LMS. So I’ve always just been around niche marketing and niche markets. And clearly you have to go micro to, like, I see the pattern micro niches when no niche definitely doesn’t win. And then like too broad is like really hard near impossible. Well, why is it so hard these days for those people that choose a niche that is just too big? Well, the first, I mean, this is a question that I literally obsess over. So, um, but one of the things that’s, I’ve been thinking a lot about lately is the word expert versus the word coach expert kind of implies like I’m an expert at something, but coach really is about the player and about helping this other person.

Chris:

And who, when you think about coaching, you literally have to choose who you’re going to help when you’re just an expert. It’s more inward focus. So I don’t know. It’s just something I’ve been playing with in my mind lately that I think coaches like yourself are more successful just because your coaches, as opposed to just trying to monetize your expertise, if you will. I love, and this is not the first time I hear you talk about how the focus of a business of a Costco is about the transformation. Can you talk about that please? Yeah. So the best courses, the most successful coaches, they help a client transform some aspect of themselves or their life or their situation. The course is really just a mechanism and the expertise or the content is really just part of that mechanism to deliver this result. Ideally, a transformational result that has a lot of value to the person, but yeah, that’s what it’s all about.

Chris:

We get really wrapped up in our own internal talk with ourselves or our expertise, but that transformation is really, if that doesn’t happen, we don’t really have a business because people are not going to buy or refer or stay on a subscription. If there’s not this ongoing transformational value coming out of the training program, you meet a lot, uh, your clients, you have, uh, like, uh, these meetings that you conduct. Can you tell me a little bit about what’s going on there and what’s your goal with that? So I offer something called office hours mastermind. I think that’s what you’re talking about and that’s, I have a belief that whoever’s closest to the customer wins. And all that is to say is that that’s why there’s a phone number on our website. That’s why I do all these live webinars for sales. So I can answer people’s questions.

Chris:

That’s why I support my customers in a group coaching mastermind call. If we don’t get close to them, how can we ever understand them? And how can we also, we need to constantly challenge our assumptions because as experts in, whatever it is, sometimes you’re wrong or you’re overvaluing a certain aspect or something. And I mean, I that’s, one of the things I admire about you is if I see you get close to your customers and you’re helping them navigate, and as the world changes you change with them together. I like to say that I optimize for conversations more than conversions. I think investing in communication with people, whether you’re in a pre-sales environment or you’re supporting them as a customer, this is where a lot of the value is created. And it’s not so hard to create great courses or other resources for your people when you have a direct line of communication with them.

Chris:

So you’re you have that feedback loop open, having feedback loop open is super important to creating a product that stands the test of time. Well, you actually stay close that way to your customers and you also help them on a very personal level within those calls, listening to the problems and trying to support them, but, and also create relationships with other players in the ecosystem. Why is that important for you iron sharpens iron? So like I, I’m in, I’m kind of a mastermind junkie. Like I have all these like groups of like WordPress product companies. I go hang out with, I have some other groups have like software, not necessarily WordPress specific entrepreneurs. I hang out with. I have other like information product people I hang out with or affiliate marketers that I hang out with. I mean, even in I’ve even taken my, my number one competition in WordPress, we’ve gone out to dinner together.

Chris:

So when you’re in an industry, there’s basically three relationships. There’s the relationship with your market. There’s a relationship with your industry. And then there’s a relationship you have with yourself around like your, your own limiting beliefs or ability to goal set and create a vision and things like that. So if you’re missing any one of those is not very healthy or you’re just under optimized in my experience. So I’m always trying to work on all three of those. And also of course, outside of that, like for your family relationships and friendships and stuff like that, but in the business context, your market, your industry peers, and then yourself as an entrepreneur, you have a very interesting take on how to use YouTube, like in a, like a minimal viable way of just going into YouTube and doing certain things that are needed for basically any online course creator or maybe even any, uh, Michael business.

Ziv:

Can you tell us a little bit about that? 

 

Chris:

YouTube is probably my favorite type of marketing or just video marketing in general, but I mean, I’m here because of YouTube. I started my first, like online course was about how to build a WordPress website and it was right around the, I was doing the gardening stuff and then I started blogging doing stuff around WordPress, and I just recorded myself over the course of a weekend, building a WordPress website from scratch, turned that into an online course on you, Demi, but also put all the training for free on YouTube. And then all of a sudden my phone started ringing and clients wanting to hire me to build the website. So it was there that I learned to be very generous with my knowledge, just teach what you know, and then that reaction that some of the market, a small percentage of the market will be like, Hey, can I just hire you to do that?

Chris:

Or can I buy your thing? That’s like more curated and better or whatever, but I’m a huge YouTube guy also because my products, it’s not cheap, but it’s not super expensive. So at the, like some softwares, sometimes I’m hanging out with these enterprise software people with these huge, like these customers paying tens of thousands of dollars a year and whatnot. But when you’re working with a market that doesn’t have huge budget or just needs to be efficient with their software budget, you got to automate stuff. So one of the things to do YouTube is the best way to automate yourself. So just to give you an example, like right now, I’m in the process of just recording a bunch of FAQ videos that are just the sales FAQ’s that people off the questions people often ask for, they buy just putting all those on YouTube just to kind of automate myself.

Chris:

But yeah, YouTube is huge. And the thing about YouTube is thinking full funnel so that you can create, I create stuff about WordPress, which is my industry. I create stuff around just course creators in general. And then as you get closer to the buying decision, there’s different types of content for different parts of the funnel. And then what I’m a big believer in is full stack. So that means as much effort as we put into sales, we’re going to put them to support. So that’s why I hired a customer success manager lately, and he’s been creating a lot of more success or getting started content on YouTube. So it’s huge, but it automates people. You talk about how does different levels of awareness of our clients and how at the very least like you, you can have a video for the different awareness levels. Do you mind, uh, expanding about that?

Chris:

Yeah. So the buyer’s journey like starts with unaware. So, and I’ll explain what these are, but just to lay out the map, it’s unaware, problem, aware, solution aware, and then product aware, and then they buy so unaware content people hire, let me back up and say, people hire businesses to solve problems in order to solve a problem. You have to be aware that you have a problem, but before you’re aware that you have a problem, you might be in an unaware stage. So just to use like a really general example, I’ll just make it up off the top of my head. If I’m trying to sell the software as an example of creating courses and membership sites, somebody who doesn’t even aware that they need it, want to figure out a way to teach online what might also be happening in their life. They could be in a job that they hate.

Chris:

They could feel like they’re not fulfilling their potential. They could feel like they’re not leaving a legacy that maybe they’re concerned about retirement. That’s like unaware content that I can make problem aware is like, okay, well, I need to figure out how to turn all this passion and energy for my solution for this micro niche into educational product. Okay. Now I’m kind of, I need to figure out how to do that. So I have a problem. So then I might go make some content about when you should use teachable or maybe use a WordPress based solution, or what should you consider? What are all these different words mean? Like membership site or drip content or courses and so on. And then when we get down to the solution where Y is lifted the best, that solution, where like I’m aware of the suite of, but let’s talk about lifters specifically.

Chris:

So that’s kind of like the full buyer’s journey. And at any one point in time, I’ve heard statistics like maybe 5% of the market, your micro-niche that you’re talking to is actually ready to buy right now. That’s why it’s really important to have that full funnel and a lot of the great stuff you do at daily cookie about keeping them a market, adding value through email and stuff like that, because everybody’s not ready to buy constantly all the time. And we forget that, especially as a business owner, because we’re like, I need sales, I gotta make money. And you know, people should just buy my stuff. Totally. A lot of, as a coach, I see this all the time where the marketing copy of so many businesses are only talking to the most aware level of awareness where, uh, like basically the business owner expects everyone to totally understand that they have a huge problem that the best solution in the world is theirs.

Chris:

And all they need to do is kinda like talk about making a decision now by expanding your horizons of your marketing and your content on YouTube, to a piece about the different solutions wise, to raise awareness to your specific solution, through talking about all the options and the piece about making sure that you actually have a problem you allow. And of course, a piece about why your solution is the best, like when they’re already warm and like showing them inside of your solution, how it looks like those pieces of content that like, uh, at the very least, either a compass of where to create at, or have at least one for each or even a lead magnet for each a PDF, an ebook or whatever. 

 

Ziv:

I want to ask you a question, what comes first? What should come first coaching or online courses? That’s a good one.

Chris:

I mean, if I could, people can do it different ways. I’ve seen both work, but if I was to advise somebody to get them to have the highest odds of success, I would do the coaching first. I would recommend that. So that it basically what it does based on what were talking about earlier is it gets that feedback loop open right away so that we’re working with somebody directly instead of through a product. And we quickly find out, maybe we have several clients, not all of them are the same. Maybe they’re all getting hung up on this one thing. Maybe we need to focus here. I would definitely recommend starting that way. If you can. The problem with online business is that people try to scale and automate too early. And I understand why, like you want to have an infinitely, scalable, passive income product or whatever, but the best products you can almost taste it like a direct feedback loop is just part of the product.

Chris:

And maybe you can aspire to one day to step out of your business and have built like an incredible library of amazing stuff that you’ve co-created with your people. But, uh, it’s a co-creative act. So coaching first, if I had to pick, if you must do an online course, first, I would do something called a mini course, which would be maybe around 10 lessons or something that may perhaps around the $200 price point. That’s not too ambitious. So the, I see a lot of people go in to make some, a course, and then they get stuck months if not years, sometimes. So yeah, I love it because once you make it short term, you will have a shorter loop where you will see whether the course walks or not in a speedy way. And I think that the main problem of locating this blueprint course where it’s like five models with 50 lessons each and like just hours of, of a course is that you don’t know if the cost walks and it takes sometimes a whole year for someone to go through it.

Chris:

And if they give you feedback and then you need to fix it, you’re just going to, you’re going into a timeframe of getting it right in three to four to five years, where if you are a bad coach, you will lose your business so fast. People will not recommend you, right? If you, if you’re a good coach and you give people results in a matter of of 12 weeks, then you learn so much from doing that and what to teach other people basically. Yeah. And one quick thing I’m seeing worldly working for people these days is if you think about a course, each course solves like one problem. When you try to pack all your expertise into one course, it just becomes a manageable. But if you have like a more of a collection of courses that are each one has a specific job to do, it becomes easier to create.

Chris:

And also easier on the learner to pick the one that they need to take right now, and also clearly understand what they get out of it and stay motivated because it’s has a specific goal. What’s the, the best, uh, strategy for lift LMS as a SAS software, as a service company to grow marketing wise, to grow like what’s our marketing strategy for growth. What’s the number one thing that works for you. For me, it’s content marketing, organic, not paid marketing. I would do I’ve experimented with paid, but, and I get ROI results. If you have a really good micro niche, I might do more paid because it’s easier to target. Like it’s, I’ll come back to that. But at the end of the day, I really see three growth strategies, organic or inbound marketing and creating content, whether that’s YouTube videos, podcasts, blog, posts, outbound, where you’re doing cold email, cold outreach.

Chris:

And then the third one is like relationships. So like strategic partnerships and all that stuff. So I actually do a combination of all that. However, the organic and what I find with most businesses is everybody has a superpower with us. The content is our main driver of growth. And for me, I’m a big video guy. So I like to do video sometimes it’s podcast content like an interview. Sometimes it’s, uh, something about the software. Sometimes I’m just making content around a specific problem. But yeah, so organic marketing is that for us. And I mean, I just try to make as much of it as possible. And I keep investing in ways to make it better, not so much from like a video quality standpoint. I do like that stuff and try to get it better over time, but more like, how can I make content?

Chris:

That’s the most useful at one tip for micro niche people out there is just because you don’t have a ton of views. If you’re well positioned in the right market, it doesn’t matter. Like I have plenty of videos that have like a hundred views or 150 or 60 views, but another people that are watching that are who I want to see it. So if you see a YouTuber with big view counts and you’re getting small views, it doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t matter. Yeah. Especially on the, in the micro niches, like I’ve been able to be successful in micro-niche is at a 3000 worldwide professional site or 6,000 in these type of situations. The view count doesn’t matter at all. Because as long as those, the people that are watching it are the right people. Then those are 100% people that will be interested in you.

Ziv:

And you will raise that awareness of what you do. I have a question about your competitors. Why, why should people prefer having the lifter LMS the learning management system, the solution for managing the online courses and the lessons and the students, and maybe the certificates, maybe the tests, the quizzes, maybe like just the entire thing. Why not choose a platform like a one platform to hold them all like Kajabi or, or a hybrid platform that has some of the solutions of what you need, like thinki phaco or whatever. I’ll go. High-level why, why should they go to a WordPress website and put the lifter LMS plug-in on it? 

 

Chris:

I think it’s important for one, just from an ownership standpoint, too, if you’re going to create a business asset to really have to own it and not have a, um, like you’re, you’re basically renting space on somebody else’s server when you go with a hosted platform.

Chris:

But when you install WordPress and put on your site is your website. Your, you have access to the files and everything it’s yours. So you can take a copy of it and all this stuff it’s its own. The other thing is the WordPress ecosystem is very powerful from a there’s a lot of off the shelf tools you can use. There’s a whole network of people that you can hire. If you want somebody to do it for you or build custom functionality for you. So that’s the power of having like 40% of the internet powered by WordPress and all the people that make products for the space, as opposed to one company with a team, making a software, it’s not to be underestimated the amount of options and share power and creativity that is in WordPress. And then the final one that I see a lot of people choose WordPress for is the design to have like a unique brand.

Chris:

Like if you want cookie cutter, like every, like I can tell when I’m on a teachable site, teachable is great, but I can tell, I can tell him I’m on. I think if excited, they all look the same. Maybe they swap out the colors and the logo, but that ability to kind of let you adapt the website to your needs instead of you to, it is like a big thing for people from a design perspective. And then from once you get inside and you choose WordPress, what makes us stand out is our level of support are all in oneness. Doesn’t mean we do everything under the sun, but most of what you need is in house with lifter. And we just have a great community. And because I spent a lot of time and the team as well, like interacting with people like we know what people want.

Ziv:

So like we’re not just inventing what we want to invent, we’re going with the market. So those are some, uh, things that make lifter great. I have been experimenting by myself, uh, with our brands in, in WordPress with different platforms. And we’ve decided eventually to go with lifter LMS as our leading platform and the one that we recommend to our coaching clients. But let me tell you why here on, on live on this show, first of all, I think the topic of the visibility of your costs is actually crucial in these days when mobile is not just first mobile is king and queen. And if you’re not really friendly and looking great on the end or like loads fast and everything, then you’re just losing a huge opportunity. And I’ve seen all these other builders that, that just are not as customizable for mobile is basically worthless.

ziv:

So being native on world-class for even just that, that, uh, reason is a huge bonus. Of course, it’s super flexible to be on WordPress. Anyway, I’ve seen two main reasons that made me just want to like each time, uh, did I need to make a pick, we’ll go back and pick lifterlms. The first one is like you said, the support, and this is something that is super critical. People don’t understand. It’s way better to pay for expensive hosting and for good solutions. If you know that when you need them, they will be there and they will support you and do above and beyond of what they need. And that’s how I perceive your team, Chris, because when I asked them a question, they will like find a CSS that walks, they will like really hold my hand until this is done and fixed and relatively very, very fast to the second reason why I choose lifter LMS is that there are bugs sometimes in any piece of software, I’ve been seeing that personally, but the embarrassing bags, the backstairs are really fascinating.

ziv:

Like you can’t make a lesson mark this complete, or you can’t move things around or something like that. I never experienced any of these bugs. I would live there. So quality plus support equals love. I love you. I love the fact that you can hear to the show and if someone wants to check out lifting a mess, Chris, what should they do? So they can just go to lifter, lms.com. The core lifter LMS plug-in is actually completely free. So you just throw that up on your website and try it out. We also have on our, on our website, if you want a temporary website with all our technology and demo content installed, and you just kind of want to play around with it before you make a decision, we’d call that a 30 day demo. So sweet guys. Thank you so much for listening, Chris. Thank you for being here and see you next week in niche mustard report. Thank you.

Ziv:

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