Transcript of Get Rich Today by Teaching

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John Jantsch: You want to know how to get rich today? Teach. That’s right, teach and grow rich. In this episode with Danny Iny, we’re going to talk about Teach and Grow Rich, and how to build courses to grow your business. Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch, and my guest today is Danny Iny. He is the founder of Mirasee, the host of the Business Reimagined Podcast, and the best selling author of multiple books including one we’re going to talk about today, Teach and Grow Rich. So Danny, welcome back.

Danny Iny: John, thank you for having me.

John Jantsch: So Teach and Grow Rich, for those that are not familiar with it, really was the kind of the idea of introducing courses, and teaching, and educating, and info products, I guess, which have been with us for years really. I mean, I remember buying some of my first info products before we were online, in fact, through the mail and things of that nature. But what’s changed in where we are with … And I know you’re going to swat this out of the park because I’ve been calling them info products, and I’m doing that intentionally to set you up.

Danny Iny: I was thinking you said it too many times [crosstalk 00:01:26].

John Jantsch: So what’s changed, Danny?

Danny Iny: So a big focus of the book, a big focus of my message is drawing a distinction between information and education. And both are good, both are important, both have their place, but they’re very different things. And when you start confusing them, that’s where we have a big problem. So let’s start with information. A real world analog of what is information is a book in a bookstore. So you walk into a book store, you find the book you want that has the information that you hope it will contain, you pay for it, and this is illustrative, books are not expensive. Right? Books don’t cost very much money. Information is typically free or cheap.

John Jantsch: Yeah.

Danny Iny: Once someone has bought that book, they leave the bookstore, nobody owes them anything. Right? When somebody buys a copy of Duct Tape Marketing, you don’t owe them anything. I mean, obviously you’ve worked as hard as you can to make it the best book that you can, but beyond that, what they do with it is on them. You’re not responsible for their success or lack thereof in any way, shape, or form. Now let’s compare that with education in the real world, and that’s typically a university course, which I have my issues with formal education, the way it’s structured, but they do some things well.

You can’t just go and buy a diploma the way you would buy a book. What you can buy, and typically at a much higher price, education is more expensive for both because of what goes into it, and both because of what comes out of it. What you’re buying is an opportunity to earn that diploma, to learn a skill, and the responsibility for your success isn’t solely on your shoulders. It’s also yours, but it’s also the teachers. Right? There’s a partnership between student and teacher. We’re working together towards the learning goals of the student.

John Jantsch: Yeah, some schools don’t get funded unless they graduated people on time. So yeah. I mean, there’s a lot of responsibility. Yeah. Yeah, exactly.

Danny Iny: So in the online world, there’s been this interesting development where … And this kind of tracked with just the evolving richness of content. 20 years ago, the only content you could get online was text content just because of bandwidth limitations. And at some point, people figured out that, “Hey, I can take written content that I publish in the real world, and put it online, and it eliminates all my cost and fulfillment. It eliminates my cost of distribution. This is a great business model. I can put in stuff that’s more current, that’s more relevant. I can hyperlink it. All really good.” And that was the eBook boom. People started selling eBooks, and then sometimes at slightly outlandish prices.

John Jantsch: Yeah. Yeah, the perceived value in some ways was higher even if it was the same content, wasn’t it?

Danny Iny: Exactly.

John Jantsch: Yeah.

Danny Iny: And at some point, as the media kind of got richer, as bandwidth caught up, people started thinking, “Well, what if I do the same thing with education? What if I take those lectures and turn them into videos, cut out all the fulfillment costs? Can I deliver an educational experience that leads to real transformation, real outcomes in an online course format?” And that turned into, at its culmination, the $2000 course kind of paradigm. The problem is that the difference between information and education, it’s not about the richness of the media. It’s about where the responsibility for outcomes lies. So you can have information that is very rich, right? When you’re watching TV, that’s information. That’s not education. A lot of money goes into producing television. It’s very high, depending on the show, it’s very high production, value, but it’s still just information.

John Jantsch: Yeah. Maybe entertainment more than that even.

Danny Iny: Exactly. And education is an interactive experience. Now, information is good for some things. Information is great for expanding your horizons, for showing you what is possible, where you might want to invest your energies for education. It’s also great for integrating new knowledge into existing expertise. So if you’re already an expert in something, you can use information to kind of integrate into that. Information is not good at taking someone from a certain level of competence of capability to a higher level. For that you need education. And the real problems start coming in when what you’re offering, what you’re selling is information, even if it’s very rich media, videos, and a membership site, etc., and you’re charging prices that really only make sense for education.

John Jantsch: Yeah.

Danny Iny: And it’s interesting, I had a conversation with my wife about a week ago. Her background is finance. She’s our CFO. And something that came up is there’s an interesting way of telling whether what you’re doing is information or education, whether your prices are reasonable, because selling information is fine as long as the price is reasonable. And it comes down to your margins. And she said something really interesting. And people might disagree about the number specifically, but the broad ideas holds. She said, “If your margin is much more than 15%, you’re probably screwing somebody.” And that was really insightful to me because it’s either you’re overcharging the customer because someone else can provide what you’re providing at a substantially cheaper rate, or you’re screwing yourself because you’re not investing in growth and reaching more people etc. But the idea is that over a certain margin, if you’re just pocketing too much money, you’re begging for something in that situation to come in and disrupt you.

John Jantsch: Yeah. I want to go deeper in that because that last point that you made, I think, brought that home. But because there certainly are people that build a reputation, that are seen as authority, that have best selling books and they charge a lot more money, and people feel that an experience with them is worth more, even if they haven’t spent any more money to produce that content. So what you’re suggesting is yes, that may be true, but it’s a short lived timeframe. Is that what you’re saying?

Danny Iny: Well, it can be relatively short lived until other people catch up, but you’ve invested … I think a lot of businesses, and especially entrepreneurs aren’t good at, and this is where we’re going to a much broader topic, but a lot of entrepreneurs aren’t very good at assessing the real value of what they’ve invested in their business. So if they’ve invested hundreds or thousands of hours of your time into developing a level of expertise-

John Jantsch:  Then that was a cost.

Danny Iny: That was a cost that most people pretend didn’t happen.

John Jantsch: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. No, that makes total sense. So and I’m not sure if you were finished with that, or I cut you off, but the one other thing I want to go back to though, is you started introducing this idea of the difference being that the educator has some accountability for the student, or whatever we want to call them, to get the result they were hoping for, that they were promised. Particularly in the online world where maybe the interaction is through a course, through a video, how much of accountability can we as a course producer, as we as an educator actually take on because ultimately, the person has to do something with what we give them.

Danny Iny: It’s a great question. There’s kind of a spectrum of perspectives from on one end, it’s like, “Look, I made my course. You can lead a horse to water, you can’t make him drink.”

John Jantsch: Right.

Danny Iny: And once I’ve built it, it’s like the responsibility is done. And on the other end, it’s like, “Look, if you are creating something, putting it into the world, and a lot of people are buying it, but very few of them are getting the outcome you’re promising, something doesn’t add up.” And there is a subset of your students that are going to be successful no matter what.

John Jantsch: Yeah.

Danny Iny: Right? You can have the worst possible course, but they have everything in their favor. They have the resources, they have the time, they have the background, they have the drive, they’re going to make it work. You’ve also got a subset of your students that you could go to their house and hold their hand, and it’s still never going to happen.

John Jantsch: Yeah. With a box of money.

Danny Iny: They’re going to fail no matter what.

John Jantsch: Right.

Danny Iny: It’s just they’re not there. But what about the middle 80%? And that’s where people need to be honest with themselves, and I feel like there’s a lot of internal, intellectual dishonesty in this industry where people try to make excuses for themselves. I won’t share the name, but a famous internet marketer I was talking to at one point, he mentioned that he just did a launch, and made four million dollars, and he knows that 95% of people aren’t going to get past lesson one. And in my head, I’m like, “Dude, you just stole 3.8 million dollars from people. How is that okay? It’s just it’s not.” And it’s not good for him in the long run, it’s not good for the industry because the whole market becomes skeptical. It’s not a good thing for anyone.

John Jantsch: Yeah.

Danny Iny: Yeah, if most people aren’t getting past lesson one, then it’s incumbent on us as educators, as leaders, which is what we are if people are paying money to hear what we have to say, it’s incumbent on us to give some real, serious thought as a real problem we solve. What would it take for them to get past lesson one? What would it take for them to actually get the outcomes they want? And a lot of that … There’s a lot that can go into how do you take your course and make it, instead of information, make it into education?

Part of that is a process of reengineering the course to help people get better results. Sometimes that’s layering in support where people are going to need it. But my perspective is that you cannot get away with, you cannot justify charging a premium for something that doesn’t give people results, and the direction that course buying behavior on the market is going would seem to bear that out. And on the other hand, if you can get people the outcome, there’s a huge, booming market for premium courses. And that’s something that should be really interesting to a lot on entrepreneurs.

John Jantsch: So you’re saying … You said a couple things I want to follow up on there. So you’re saying that you see, even though there are more and more people selling course on how to build courses, of course buying in itself is going down? Is that what you were suggesting?

Danny Iny: I’m saying it depends on what kind of courses. It’s not that course buying is going down, it’s about how much people are spending on courses.

John Jantsch: Okay.

Danny Iny: So Udemy is a great example of this. Typically, if you want to see where the market assigns the value of a certain kind of product, look at the biggest marketplace in the world, right? If you want to know what an eBook is worth to most people in the world, look at Kindle because it’s the biggest marketplace. So on Udemy, most courses are … It used to be that it was by recommendation. Now it’s actually constrained, can’t cost more than a couple hundred dollars. And most of them are like 50 bucks or less. That’s what people see and information based course is being worth. There’s a company called MasterClass. Are you familiar with them?

John Jantsch: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Danny Iny: So for listeners who may not know them, they’re working with celebrities and creating courses quote on quote, and they’re very much information courses. They’re not education. But you can, for example, take an acting class from Dustin Hoffman, or a screenwriting class from Aaron Sorkin.

John Jantsch: Yeah, I’ve seen that.

Danny Iny: Which I took because it’s great. Now, it’s not education. I, as the person who took the course, have no contact with Aaron Sorkin. Aaron Sorkin has not responsibility for my learning, or growth, or development as a screenwriter, and that’s perfectly fine. It’s $100. But it’s got to raise the question if I can get $100 course quote on quote from Aaron Sorkin, why would I pay even $100 for an information based course, not education, on the same topic from anyone else? But the flip side is that if I take Aaron Sorkin’s course, and I’m like, “This is awesome. I really want to go deeper,” there’s no way Aaron Sorkin is investing the time to work with me on improving my screenwriting. Where can I go to get that level of support? Aaron Sorkin’s has just created a need in the market, and this is happening in more and more spaces and industries. So people who have something to teach and are willing to create the infrastructure that will support the student to get the result, are about to see an enormous amount of growth.

John Jantsch: So what are the keys then, to bridging over to, in your mind, education opposed to … I mean, are there several elements that are have to be kind of thing?

Danny Iny: Yeah. So the first key is just to build a course the right way. And really, it’s about recognizing that you’re not going to build a course the right way your first go around because it’s hard. There’s a lot of complexity, you don’t know how students are going to integrate various pieces of information you’re sharing.

John Jantsch: Right.

Danny Iny: And so recognize you’re not going to get it 100% the first time. And that’s fine if you’re aware of it, it means that you’re going to start with the smaller group. Because if you have 1000 students, I mean, you’re screwed. What are you going to do? You’re just going to collapse under their weight. If you have a few dozen, or depending on your infrastructure 100, then you can manage that. You can invest the resources, your time, your team, whatever, to answer everybody’s questions. To help them get the outcome they want. And that’s important because you need that case study, you need that testimonial for down the line. But it’s also important because answering those questions allows you to gather the questions. And you’re going to have two categories of questions.

One category is the questions that everyone’s asking their own unique question. And that’s a layer of support that you’re always going to need to provide. But that’s usually the minority of the questions. The majority of the questions are questions where everybody’s asking the same question. And that’s a cue to you that you just need to fix the course so that question doesn’t come up to begin with. And once you’ve done a few rounds of that, and basically ironed out all the bumps that are making it challenging for people, you can put a level of support on the table that will get people the result they want in a way that’s cost effective.

John Jantsch: So in a lot of ways, what you’re saying is you should go into this realizing that you can only get it so good, but there has to be a commitment to get feedback, to do focus groups, or do whatever it takes to fix what you know is going to be challenging. Or not what you know is, but what you determine ends up being challenging.

Danny Iny: Exactly. And that’s not to say it has to be arduous, and that’s not to say it has to be … You can make money while you’re doing all this because they’re going to be paying students, and you can have a lot of fun. It can be very lucrative to do this, but you have to be open to … Just like in the software development world, the mantra is first make it work, then make it better.

John Jantsch: Yeah.

Danny Iny: So the same kind of thing. First make it work, then make it better, then explode it to hundreds of thousands of people.

John Jantsch: So do you advocate, especially somebody like you that has … Let’s say you were creating a new program, and you have a following, you have some customers. Do you advocate kind of building it with them as opposed to for them?

Danny Iny: Absolutely.

John Jantsch: I mean, in the early stages maybe saying, “Here’s kind of what I’m thinking about. Here’s the outline. What do you think?” I mean, almost that level?

Danny Iny: I don’t know if I would … So this is really interesting. You want people to be involved and complicit. You want to get their feedback, that’s not the same thing as designing by committee. And the challenge there is that often, people will know what they think they want, but they don’t have the expertise.

John Jantsch: Yeah.

Danny Iny: Right? So in general, this is a feedback collection topic, but I think a lot of entrepreneurs are very lazy about feedback collection. It’s your customer, your audience, it’s their job to tell you what they’re thinking. Right? It’s your job to parse that into something useful.

John Jantsch: Right.

Danny Iny: When you try to phrase the question into something like, “What do you think I should teach you next?” It’s like, “Well, if I knew that then I would be the teacher and not the student.”

John Jantsch: My favorite is, “What’s the one thing we can do to make this better?” Boy, you get 347 one things.

Danny Iny: Yup. So it’s very important to be careful. Just recognizing people don’t have the expertise, they’re not good judges usually of their buying behavior. And so you want to ask questions and people can answer in a meaningful way, and then you’ve got to tease out the value. So I wouldn’t ask necessarily, “Give me your input on the outline,” and that kind of stuff, but I would bring in, especially if you have a large audience, if you have a following, that makes it easier, but you can do it even if you don’t. Your first group of students, it should be higher touch. You should be delivering it live. It should be ideally in a context, maybe it’s a video chat or something where you can see their faces. So if you explain something and they don’t get it, you know that right away. And use that input to allow you to pivot and redirect. And the advantage of this is that you can also charge more money.

John Jantsch: Yeah. Yeah. And I think there’s a real hunger for that too, because like you said, there’s a whole generation almost of online folks that have had nothing but the 79 to $1000 course thrown at them, and felt like they hadn’t gotten anywhere. And I think that there’s a real hunger for almost more of a consultative approach to education.

Danny Iny: I think that $2000 price point, which is a little bit iconic in some markets, I think it’s going to start falling away because $2000 is just too much to charge for information. There’s no way to justify it. But if you slice the math, if you kind of do the real cost analysis, it’s really hard to provide a meaningful level of support at $2000.

John Jantsch: Yeah. So how does a … And I know that people are at all different places and so you would say, “Well, it depends for the most part,” but can a course be part of just about anybody’s business model? So my last guest actually created a very innovative approach to a bar. It’s a bottle shop and a bar at the same time, so they sell package goods as well as craft beer. And it was a very innovative approach, and he … The business is going great, but now about three times a week, he fields calls from wannabe and existing business wanting to know how he did it. I mean, is that the kind of business that should have a course as well? I mean, I guess I’m just trying to throw it out there to say is a course a business, or should a course be a piece of a business?

Danny Iny: It can be both of those things. I think there’s a difference between the question should that be a course, or could that be a course? I think it definitely could be a course. If this is something that he knows that other people would benefit from learning, and have a desire to learn, yes it could be a course. Whether it should be a course depends on this persons business goals.

John Jantsch: Yeah.

Danny Iny: Right? It might be a giant distraction.

John Jantsch: Right. Right.

Danny Iny: I try to be careful about prescribing the same thing to every person. Just because they can do it, doesn’t mean they should.

John Jantsch: Yeah. So what about collaboration? Do you see anybody, any three of four people coming together and collectively having something totally amazing?

Danny Iny: It’s very rare.

John Jantsch: Yeah.

Danny Iny: It’s an interesting question. I’ve been talking about this with a lot of people for a long time, and it hasn’t come up very much. My feeling is that the reason why it doesn’t happen often is that either you know something well enough that it creates a discrete package that would be valuable to people, or you don’t.

John Jantsch: Yeah.

Danny Iny: If you don’t, it takes a very particular level of insight to say, “If I added this so this other person would know, we could create something valuable,” without actually kind of knowing that stuff.

John Jantsch: Yeah.

Danny Iny: So I’m sure it happens, never say never, but it’s pretty rare.

John Jantsch: Yeah. Yeah, and the way you explained it makes sense. There may actually be some great collaborations out there, but it’s very difficult for people to actually realize it.

Danny Iny: The collaborations are more often one person would be the subject matter expert, and another would be the course creator or marketer. That makes more sense than two curriculum people kind of coming together to create a super curriculum.

John Jantsch: So you’ve mentioned a couple times this $2000 price falling away. Where is pricing in your opinion? And obviously, there’s not going to be one price threshold, but how do you see people needing to price their courses in education?

Danny Iny: It depends a lot on what your market is, and what the outcomes are you’re promising. Typically, when I’m working with people, the first course is a pilot, right? So it’s less finished, but sometimes higher touch. So the pricing can be all over the map. But if you’re just getting started, if you don’t have much of a name, or following, etc., your first pilot will very likely be in the range of $100 to $500, specifics of a market notwithstanding.

John Jantsch: Yeah.

Danny Iny: But that’s it. I’ve seen pilots of $10,000 or more.

John Jantsch: Right.

Danny Iny:  She’s a mutual friend of ours. Her first pilot, she did very, very well with it. And she has a very particular audience, and a very particular background of positioning to make all that possible. So really, it’s kind of-

John Jantsch: She also had a lot of really … A lot of people who really liked her who she never tried to sell anything to for a while.

Danny Iny: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

John Jantsch: I always laugh with her about that. She’s so nice, and she’s never asked anybody for any money. So that’s probably why she was so successful.

Danny Iny: I’ll tell you what, it’s interesting because that creates a lot of social proof, it creates a lot of social capital, and it can create a lot of challenging expectations.

John Jantsch: Yeah, that’s true too.

Danny Iny: So I mean, it can certainly help, and it did. You work with what you’ve got. But I wouldn’t say to someone who’s like, “How can I get started in courses?” “Start by giving away information for free for seven years.” You could, but it’s not the shortest path from A to B.

John Jantsch: Yeah. Well, in fact in some ways you train a bunch of people that they will never ever have to pay for anything.

Danny Iny: Exactly.

John Jantsch: So what are some … Let’s talk a little bit about tools, and then I do want to finish up with you talking about, as we were recording this, depending on when people listen to his, you have a new course yourself that really does take this idea of course building to a higher level, but talk a little bit about some of your favorite tools.

Danny Iny: Actually, I’m very biased towards keeping things low tech as possible.

John Jantsch: Yeah.

Danny Iny: Because the first time you run a course, you want to be able to see people, you want to eliminate anything that would add complexity, or keep you from getting to market, and after you’ve run a course, after you’ve started making money, after you know better what your customers, and your audience, and your students actually need, you can justify looking deeper into different technologies. So I would tell people … Most people know Skype or Zoom, which is kind of like Skype if Skype were better, but Zoom is like 10 buck a month or something, and you can probably run your first course off of Zoom basic video conferencing technology.

John Jantsch: Yeah, there’s recording, and yeah. Right. Yeah, so Zoom and email.

Danny Iny: Mm-hmm (affirmative). There’s a lot that you can do with technology once you get to a certain scale, and it’s really exciting. It’s really interesting. But for most people, you just want to keep the technology out of the picture as much as possible so you can get to market and help some students.

John Jantsch: And I think that’s great advice too, because I think a lot of people get tripped up trying to, and I’m not picking on Kajabi or something, but trying to use a platform like that that’s built with all these high tech things, and upsells, and downsells, and I think sometimes they get so tripped up in that that they don’t produce the content. So great, great advice. So talk a little bit about your course if you would. And again, it’s a course on building courses, but I think on building them in the way that we’re talking about today.

Danny Iny: Yeah. It’s very much focused … So the program is called the Course Builders Laboratory, and we came to create this after having build a number of courses on other topics, and been approached by students saying, “Hey, I’ve taken a lot of courses online that were not very helpful to me and yours were. How can I do that?” And so the program teaches how to build a course that is effective, and creates outcomes for students, and how to sell it. And it’s not two different skill sets. You can’t build a good course in a way that is divorced from actually getting it to market. So it’s really about getting to market to the right people as quickly as possible, getting their dollars so they’re invested not just financially, but they’re invested in the process, getting their input, making it better, and scaling that up as much as you want to scale it up to.

And we have students … I mean, I just had a note in our Facebook group the other day who’s like just chimed in with a question. He’s like, “Hey, you haven’t heard from me in a while because we’ve been busy implementing the course. We’ve launched two of our programs, we’ve made $25,000. Now I have this question.” And I’m like, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you in our forums before.” It’s like, “That’s great. That’s awesome.” So we’ve seen really impressive … And that’s just one. We have hundreds of case studies, we’ve seen a lot of very successful students in a lot of different industries, we’ve graduated many thousand students at this point. And yeah. I’m just I’m really excited about it. It’s kind of the core of what we do. And I’d love to tell people, “Go. Check out my course. Buy it.”

But honestly, for anyone who’s listening to this, if you are interested in exploring this, my book Teach and Grow Rich is coming out in second edition at the end of the month, and anyone who wants a copy of that, if you go to you can both get on the notification list to get a digital copy for free, which will give you a deep dive into a lot of these ideas. And if you want to pay $19, you can also pre-order a hard copy of the book and get a whole bunch of bonuses, but as a gift to listeners of this podcast, if you use the coupon code duct tape, that’s D-U-C, two T’s, A-P-E, the first 50 people to do that can get a hard copy of the book with all the bonuses for free. So that’s a thousand dollars that I’d like to offer as a gift to listeners of this podcast.

John Jantsch: And we’ll have the links in the show notes, and we’re recording this … I’m recording this with Danny in mid-January of 2017, depending upon when you end up hearing this. Maybe those books will be gone, or those bonuses will be gone, but maybe not. Check it out. Danny, thanks so much for joining us. I love just discussing these topics with you because you’re just so thoughtful about them, and I think you’re one of the people doing it right. We kind of joked offline about the various internet marketers that have been with us for years, and you’re certainly selling educational products and courses that teach people how to make money doing what they love, but you’re doing it the right way and I appreciate you.

Danny Iny: John, thank you very much. It’s an honor and a privilege to call you a friend. I hope this has been valuable to everyone who’s listening.


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