Episode 314

How to Create Courses Live and Fast with Musician and Membership Site Owner Paul Tobey

Learn how to create courses live and fast with musician and membership site owner Paul Tobey. Paul is a serial entrepreneur, and he’s currently running 3 successful businesses:

  • Jazzmentl.com where he teaches people advanced jazz piano lessons. 
  • TrainingBusinessPros.com where he teaches people the best strategies for training employees and clients from topics ranging from digital marketing to corporate training.
  • ThatsAmbitious.com where he has business strategy courses about SEO, Facebook ads, and presentation skills.

In this episode, he shares stories and his experiences working as an Infusionsoft certified expert to create multiple course websites with LifterLMS.

How to create courses live and fast with musician and membership site owner Paul Tobey

When Paul got out of university where he learned how to play, improvise, and write music. He made a living as a performer on the Arcadia record label out of New York City. Through performing music for 23 years, he got to play in 17 different countries, and he released 8 albums.

In the aftermath of 9/11, he lost a recording contract, as the record label was three blocks away from Ground Zero. At age 42, Paul and his wife lost their house and moved in with Paul’s parents for a few months while deciding what to do next. They ended up buying a small house in Brantford, Ontario, and started rebuilding their lives. Around 2003, he was struggling to find a job, because most businesses don’t need a piano player. So he enrolled in a course called Train the Trainer from Peak Potentials and started doing sales training. And he did $168,000 in year one.

A key tip Paul points out in this episode is that information itself doesn’t solve problems. Step-by-step instruction, when followed correctly, solves a problem. This is why it can be easier to offer services or live interaction before creating a passive course or product offering.

You can learn more about the training Paul created at ThatsAmbitious.com where you can buy a membership at 50% off with coupon code LifterLMS. The top two courses in his membership program (all inclusive of courses on his site) are ‘Presenting’ and ‘The Essential Guide to Online Course Creation.’ Everything in Paul’s courses are based on personal experience, and those are the strategies he uses to get the results he’s getting.

At LifterLMS.com you can learn more about new developments and how you can use LifterLMS to build online courses and membership sites. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. If you like this episode of LMScast, you can browse more episodes here. Thank you for joining us!

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Chris Badgett:
You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking to create, launch, and scale a high-value online training program. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the co-founder of LifterLMS, the most powerful learning management system for WordPress. Stay to the end, I’ve got something special for you. Enjoy the show.

Chris Badgett:
Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. I’m joined by a special guest, Paul Tobey. He’s a jazz pianist, he teaches piano online, and he is also a business professional. You can find his piano training site at jazzmentl.com. That’s J-A-Z-Z-M-E-N-T-L.com, is that correct Paul?

Paul Tobey:
Yes, it is.

Chris Badgett:
And then we’ve got businesspros.com as his business training company, but go to thatsambitious.com, and he’s got a membership, two of them, that has a vault of training on there. Paul, before I get into it, welcome to the show.

Paul Tobey:
Yeah. Thanks for having me. Appreciate the invite. Thank you.

Chris Badgett:
Yeah. I’ve started seeing more and more of you just around the web. And when I see a prolific course creator and a business mind it can be really inspiring to this community. The first thing I wanted to ask you about was sometimes there’s this characterization that you have to choose a path. You can be a artist, or you can be a business person, but you can’t really be both, but you’re a musician and a leader in business. How have you been able to integrate those two types of avatars into your life?

Paul Tobey:
Let’s say former musician.

Chris Badgett:
I’m sorry.

Paul Tobey:
So when I got out of university and I had to go to university to learn how to play and improvise and write music, as soon as I finished and during while I was there, I became a professional and I never made my living as a teacher. I made my living as a performer. So I was on the Arcadia record label out of New York city. And I was actually the first Canadian signed to that label. And I made my living as a professional for 23 years. So when I got to play in 17 different countries, I released eight albums, a bunch of awards, that kind of stuff. So I apologize for the phone. I’m in an office right now.

Chris Badgett:
It’s all good. So when did you realize you were a business guy too or did you always know that?

Paul Tobey:
So I lost my recording contract in the aftermath of 9/11, partly because the record label was in that area. They were three blocks from Ground Zero. And things just went crazy at that time. Not that everybody was running out, buying jazz albums either they were more glued to the television saying, when’s the next Bob I’m going to hit?

Paul Tobey:
So my recording contract disintegrated and it’s very difficult to be a professional without a backing of a label, right? It’s a lot of money. And while you can make your own albums and release them under your own label and whatever, it’s far better to have the backing of a record label and I basically went broke. At 42, my wife and I lost our house and we moved out and I actually moved in with my parents for a couple of months while we decided what we’re going to do next. And I bought a small house in Brantford, Ontario, and just started rebuilding my life. And it was during that time that I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. So I started reading a bunch of books, many people call them self help books.

Chris Badgett:
[crosstalk 00:03:44], and the like?

Paul Tobey:
Most people use them as a shelter help books, right? They but them once and they collect dust on the shelf kind of thing. I took everything to heart, started taking some training, but I also walked across Spain on the community side, the [inaudible 00:03:57], just to figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.

Chris Badgett:
Where are we at here in the timeline?

Paul Tobey:
2003, 2004, approximately. And I wasn’t hireable, I couldn’t get a job because most businesses don’t need a piano player. So I had to go figure out what I’m going to do and because I’m not hireable, I had to start a business. And so I took some courses. One of the early courses that I took was something called Train the Trainer from Peak Potentials. It was the most valuable thing I ever did. It’s not what you teach. It’s how you teach it that matters. And I parlayed that into, I think I did $168,000 in training sales in year one.

Chris Badgett:
Is this in person training?

Paul Tobey:
Yeah. In person training.

Chris Badgett:
Like B2B?

Paul Tobey:
Business to small business. Yeah. So I’d be a smaller version of Tony Robbins, shorter, not by much by the way, I’m 6’2. So shorter, I had decent stage presence from the music business. I didn’t really know how to speak and that’s what I learned from Train the Trainer, but I learned how to sell on the backend. So people would come to a preview, I’d sell them a $3,000 training on the backend, take a thousand bucks off or whatever you buy today. And by year three, we’d done over a million dollars in sales. So it’s pretty remarkable because the most money I ever made in the music business was 150 grand a year, and most of that went out to expenses and taking care of that business and stuff. So anyway, does that answer your question?

Chris Badgett:
That does, so that first year you made 150K or so what, how did you get those first clients as a speaker?

Paul Tobey:
Digital marketing. I literally-

Chris Badgett:
[crosstalk 00:05:44] outbound or inbound?

Paul Tobey:
So basically, the money’s in the list. I created mailing lists and I would just continue to invite people. Some of the list were obtained a little bit suspectly. I would scrape the list from the chamber of commerce and that kind of stuff. Which you really had the right to do. It’s still spam, but at that time, you have to understand it’s an early days of digital marketing. I’m learning from Kevin Wilkie, Matt Gail, Willie Jarvis, [Jovi Talhi 00:06:13]. I can give you a number of mentors. Spam wasn’t really like it is today. Emails made it into the inbox if you just… they weren’t double locked in or anything like that and we didn’t have the filters that we do today. So I would basically just invite people and they’d show up.

Chris Badgett:
So were you saying it was a, the Live, the first engagement, was it free? And then there was a backend offer or the first engagement was paid?

Paul Tobey:
Usually the first engagement was free.

Chris Badgett:
And would you be speaking to a company, the small business and their employees or their customers or what?

Paul Tobey:
Sometimes the marketing managers would show up, but it was mostly business owners. So marketing managers, maybe sometimes middle management or they bring somebody from the office with them, but essentially decision makers. So people who could actually invest in a course. And if you’ve got a room of 50 people, it’s not a bad sized room and you’re regularly converting somewhere between 15 and 25% and the initial courses might be a thousand or up to $3,000. If you’re converting 20%, you can make a really good living doing that. And I did it, it was going very, very well for about 10 years until it just got too complicated for people because digital marketing was my thing and it just got way too difficult for them to implement. And I didn’t feel right about giving them partial information, was always step-by-step.

Chris Badgett:
[crosstalk 00:07:46] actionable.

Paul Tobey:
Yeah. Because information doesn’t really solve problems. Step by step instruction when followed correctly solves a problem. And I found people couldn’t really follow that. It’s not their main business.

Chris Badgett:
They’re pretty advanced.

Paul Tobey:
They’re not digital marketers. They have other things to do, right? They’re running a landscaping business, I mean, what the heck do they know about setting up a CRM or … Anyway.

Chris Badgett:
So what was the promise of the free talk? Was it a straight sales pitch or there was a-

Paul Tobey:
Very simple learning pages. They would go to the learning page and they’d see a couple of paragraphs intro, five or six bullet points. You’re going to learn this because you need it for this reason, right? So they give them the step that they’re going to learn and then why you need that. And that was basically it.

Chris Badgett:
Would you do multiple topics or did you have a signature talk that you started developing or whatever?

Paul Tobey:
I had different ones. I actually have trained over 500 speakers. So I had a speak for profit course. I had a digital marketing and sales strategy courses. I had marketing and mastery. I’m thinking back to all the courses that we had. It was just a whole litany of things. We would first put them into marketing and mastery and out of marketing and mastery. So marketing mastery was a two day course, thousand bucks. Out of that course, you’d grab 20% of those people and move them up.

Chris Badgett:
To a high end consulting or what?

Paul Tobey:
No. High end training course. And they could buy a group of courses. Then we eventually had what’s called Universal, which means you could take all the courses. And that was 25 grand.

Chris Badgett:
Very cool. And that’s definitely early days of information publishing and all that. I’m really fascinated by what you said. The industry got complicated. If you come in today in the digital marketing, there’s all these silos of this one trick that this person knows how to do and this person over here does funnels and this person over here does whatever and it’s all fragmented. But in the early days it was just… Tell us more about the collapse into complexity in digital marketing and how somebody today, if they want to do digital marketing, can even get started without getting overwhelmed.

Paul Tobey:
If you set aside the initial traffic problem that most people have, which can be solved by money. So that’s a problem. If you have a business, a legitimate business and you want to take on digital marketing and you already have cashflow, that’s a problem that can be solved. You don’t need a lot of insight and technology to solve that problem just by traffic. It’s basically it. If you know SEO, you can put that in. And actually I would teach entire SEO courses. I’m still very good at that actually, I consult with a lot of companies on that. And some of them just pay me just to do that one thing.

Paul Tobey:
But take the traffic problem aside, take the website design and creation and set that one aside. And let’s talk about where the money is and the money is in the list. You know that, I know that, all digital marketers know that. It’s in the data rich list, the more data you can mine from your list, the better it works. You can drop people and segment them into silos.

Paul Tobey:
So I was an Infusionsoft certified partner and trying to help companies understand that model and program something Infusionsoft or even a Groundhogg, they just really don’t want to know. And they would come to the courses because they did want to know, but then they’d go, “Well, that’s just way beyond me, I can’t handle that. That was step by step instruction. I mean, you would have to send them down. And a lot of my clients did take Infusionsoft certification, which they don’t do anymore. And I think that was the point where I stepped aside and said, I think there’s more money in actually just consulting on this than there is teaching the odd person who wants to figure this out. I still do train the trainer courses every year, thatsambitious.com is the online training platform, which that’s their first foray into my world. And then a lot of times out of that, I can get business clients as a consultant or I can move them up to private coaching or private training, that kind of stuff.

Chris Badgett:
That’s awesome. I just want to empathize with you. We were also an Infusionsoft certified partner. Might’ve seen you at Icon in 2013 or 14. I think that was the last time we went.

Paul Tobey:
Yeah. Interesting point, we used to hold the biggest party outside of Icon that was private. So this was a great marketing strategy. So one year they had me as a speaker, so I thought, “Okay, I’ll bring that whole team down or I’ll do whatever. I’ll get a booth.” Right? So I spent $28,000 to have a booth and do all of that. And I got nothing out of it. Why? Because I’m up against, I don’t want to go through the names, but a lot of bigger companies than me. Right? And we just got slaughtered. I made no money whatsoever. The next year I said, “Okay, I’m not spending any money to host a party. Right? So we took one of my employees and we dressed him up like a Mountie. The only Mountie at, you know what a Mountie is, right?

Chris Badgett:
Yeah. Yeah. The Canadian poise.

Paul Tobey:
It’s got red coat on, added whatever. He’s walking around and everybody wants a selfie, right? And they’d nestle up against him. He’d do the selfie because he took somebody with him and he would say, “Are you Canadian?” And they go, “No, we’re American.” Which is most people, right? And he’d go, “Oh, that’s too bad.” And they say, “Why?” “Well, because we’re hosting the only Canadian party here at Icon and you have to be Canadian to get in. And there weren’t that many Canadians. So what we would do is the word got around that there was this great party that you’d get into only if you were Canadian. And at that point, everybody wanted it. So we would only let in CEOs and the execs of Infusionsoft and stuff like that. And then we started hosting the first jam session because all of the Infusionsoft employees are musicians.

Paul Tobey:
So we had that one year, the last year we did it at Icon, we had a 26 musicians sit in at our jam session. So I just hired a local band to handle it and I would host it, play. But just as a marketing strategy, we were the outliers. And that was one massively successful party I had. I think I got five or six contracts out of that one party.

Chris Badgett:
Wow. That’s awesome. That’s a great piece of history. Well, tell us about Adrian, your son Groundhogg founder has been on this show. Can you tell us from your perspective, what the origin story of Groundhogg was?

Paul Tobey:
Adrian had always been hanging out in our business. He worked for our business. He was an Infusionsoft certified partner. In our company he would do marketing implementation for companies, very well respected at a very young age. He was doing it at 16, 17 years of age. And he understood marketing. He’d always been around and he learned, he’s learn it all, not at know it all. So after high school, he wanted to take programming. So we sent him to the University of Toronto and after a couple of years of that, which was really good for him, by the way, because he’s an only child and he moved out at 18 and he got his own place at the fraternity. And he basically transformed his room. He’s very good with his hands. So he tore all the walls out and put up dry wall and he just overdid this old place.

Paul Tobey:
And after a couple of years of that, he basically took us out to dinner one night and said, I think I’m going to drop out. My wife and I were like, “Why are you going to drop out?” And he goes, “Well, I had a teacher who said, if you’ve got a problem that you can solve now, go solve it because by the time you’re done university, somebody else will have solved it.” And I said, “Well, what problem are you going to solve?” He goes, “I’m going to create a Infusionsoft for WordPress.” We just laughed because we know how Infusionsoft had $80 million, no, $150 million of investment or something like that from Goldman Sachs and all this stuff, right? I’m like, “You’re just second year university, you don’t have any money, you’re going to go head to head with Infusionsoft.”

Paul Tobey:
Plus everybody said it couldn’t be done, right? WordPress wasn’t advanced enough to actually get it done. He says, “No, I think I can do it.” And I said, “Okay, well go find some seed money, go find your own hundred grand that you need to start up and hire an employee and get it programmed. And he had the money within a week and we said, “Okay, you can always go back to school, but if you can solve this problem, that would be a good problem to solve.” And I became his first client, all of our clients, we switched them from Infusionsoft to Groundhogg, many of them, without them even knowing it. I was like from the early days, it’s so amazing how far that software has come in the last year. It’s incredible what they’ve been able to do. And I use it exclusively for my clients.

Paul Tobey:
We still have some people on Infusionsoft, but that’s because they’re so intertwined and they don’t really feel like they can get out of it. Plus it’s going to cost them money to have me convert it or my team convert it. So I mean, Adrian, very obviously very proud. I think he saw that he saw the opportunity and he took the chance and it worked, it worked. That company has been profitable for a while now, which is incredible. He just won an award for the best tech startup, a Stevie Award, The American Business Awards. He was just nominated for award in Canada for best CRM or something like that or whatever. I look back at 23, I could barely… I was in music school. We had mainframes back, we didn’t even have personal computers. You know what I mean? It’s a different world, so, good for him.

Chris Badgett:
Well, he’s very talented just like you in the sense of being a developer and which is a artist and then being a marketer and a salesperson, and he’s got this hybrid model, which is so rare out there. And just inside Groundhogg, the pre-bill automations or whatever they’re already there, helps simplify, you’re talking about for business owners like, “Yes, I need to build my list.” Well then you can just turn on the automation that helps you create a lead capture form or whatever, and put it in a sequence. So he’s taking the best out of the marketing automation industry and distilling it down to as approachable as it can be in WordPress, which is really a great thing to see and much needed for course creators and membership site builders.

Paul Tobey:
Yeah. And the thing that he did with Lifter, right? It’s like, “That’s brilliant.” I run membership sites, okay? So it’s one thing to get people to buy a membership. It’s another thing to get them to consume it. If they don’t consume it, they will not pay eventually, they’ll wake up one day and go, “Why am I making my monthly donations to this learning program if I’m not actually doing it?” And that happens all the time.

Paul Tobey:
So I had a couple of cancellation notices in the last week. And the reason why I knew they were going to cancel is even though they’re getting the reminder emails from Groundhogg because they abandoned the login, they abandoned the specific course and that’s what Groundhogg does. It sends out an email saying, “Hey, today’s a good day to come back and finish this course.” They don’t do it. I know they’re going to cancel their membership, but at least Groundhogg will be in play to remind people that they have something that they’ve paid for, that they need to go and do, because you don’t have time for that. Course creators don’t have time for that. You don’t have time to follow up with a hundred people and see if they’re consuming course XYZ. You’ll have to have automation for that. And I love the way that Adrian did that with… he did it with LearnDash. He did it with Lifter. He did it with a couple of others as well. And I think that’s brilliant. Do you know what I mean? And the fact that they’re connected through WordPress and there’s all these trigger points, that’s great stuff.

Paul Tobey:
I’m using it, not even to its fullest extent yet because he keeps developing new things and every time he does, I have to go take another one of his courses. It’s like, “Oh, I got to do this now.” Right. So yeah.

Chris Badgett:
Well talk to us about, you have a membership site with lots of courses. Sometimes people are trying to decide between, should I make a course? Should I do a membership with lots of courses? What works for you and how did you ease into the model that you have? I know you have two different ones. You have music and then you have business.

Paul Tobey:
Well, the music one’s not actually launched yet. It’s on the precipice of launch. I just have to sit down and make some new videos because I repurposed some old training videos that I had and put them all up. And that’s all ready to go. I just need some better introduction videos. And once I get those done, I’m a week away. So we can talk about that because it’s all all done but-

Chris Badgett:
And by the way, it’ll be a little bit before this goes Live, but if you’re listening to this, it’s already up.

Paul Tobey:
Probably yeah. That’s Ambitious on the other hand was built for small, medium size enterprise people who want to continue learning. And it’s very diverse. There’s digital marketing, training, there’s stuff in there about Groundhogg, there’s stuff in there about course creation, there’s stuff in there about… And it’s a lot of personal development. So I go through the concepts of deep commitment and to me, there’s an equal amount of each because that’s the way my life is. I don’t think I would’ve ever gotten to the place that I am today, if it weren’t for that personal development and professional development. So there’s an equal amount of each.

Paul Tobey:
The way that I do it is they can buy one course and a lot of people do, they go and they buy a course. It’s 49 bucks to take a course, which typically two hours are chopped up into six lessons or whatever, and there’s a workbook. So they have to follow along the course. And what I do is I actually follow up by email saying, “Hey, convert that $49 into a membership and you can get access to all the courses.” And it’s only $99. So I actually give them credit for that first course, but most people go and just buy for… the initial month is $49 and they can get access to over a hundred hours of courses. Now they’ll never consume a hundred hours of courses in a month, but my goal with that is to get them to consume a couple so they can realize the value of the courses.

Paul Tobey:
Plus the other benefits of being a member, the community, the Monday Motivator, the Mastermind sessions. And then the goal with that is to convert them and move them up a little bit into private coaching and then potentially even become a consulting client, if it was a legitimate business. And I have a lot of doctors in this thing, people who run clinics, Botox, trainers, it’s crazy because that’s the world that I live in. I live in the more, not necessarily startup entrepreneurial world. I live in the world, is what I call established businesses. Right? Brick and mortar companies that want to do better online, or just want to do new things and learn about what’s happening in the world, basically, in business.

Chris Badgett:
Very cool. Yeah, not selling to yourself like your own avatar, I think that’s a good move to go to established businesses that are different, that aren’t necessarily up to their eyebrows in digital marketing already and stuff and personal development or whatever. Then I think I see that mistake. I would call it a mistake a lot where people… it’s like trying to sell marketing to other marketers. What if you sell marketing to this specific type of small business owner that doesn’t know the basics, it’s totally different game. What’s your instructional design process? So if you have this membership site and you’re super passionate about life, business, teaching, how do you pick a topic and then how do you create a course around it? Can you tell us your process and roughly how long it takes when you do one of these two hour courses?

Paul Tobey:
So my first rule is experience comes first. I don’t create a course out of anything that I don’t have experience with. My personal philosophy is, if I have to research something then I don’t really have the right to talk about it.

Chris Badgett:
I love that. I love that.

Paul Tobey:
That makes it easy because [crosstalk 00:25:32]-

Chris Badgett:
Where did that come from, that decision?

Paul Tobey:
That came from Harv Eker.

Chris Badgett:
Okay.

Paul Tobey:
Yeah. He had another thing too that said, “If you actually learn something and get a measurable result, you now have a duty and responsibility to teach it to somebody else.”

Chris Badgett:
So that’s the learn, do, get results, teach loop. That’s cool. That’s cool.

Paul Tobey:
And there’s an accountability that you have to the universe that says, “I have to give back what I’ve learned from other people.” So a lot of people look at it like, “I’m not going to learn because I want to figure it out on my own.” That’s just crazy. In real life, you don’t get in trouble for cheating. If you were taking an exam in university and you yelled across the room to your friend, “Hey Joe, what’s the answer to number three?” And he said, “It’s C.” You got in trouble for that. But if you ask Joe in his fifties, what the answer is, you’re not failing a test, you’re winning at life.

Chris Badgett:
That’s awesome.

Paul Tobey:
So essentially that’s number one. It’s, I have to have experienced it and it has to be directly applicable to somebody else’s business or life that can get them a measurable result. Number two is, all I have to do then is create a step by step plan, an actionable plan that gets converted into a course. And usually what that entails is, step one is part one. Now part one might have three steps in and of itself, but usually the big steps, right? “Do this first do this second, do this third.” That’s divided up into lessons. And that’s a fairly straightforward format. There’s really no magic trick in it other than you must have experience to talk about it, because otherwise it’s just conjecture. It’s like, “Well, I think this is the best way to approach it.” If you actually listen to people, give courses, they use the word, I think a lot. “Well, I think this, I think that.” I never do that. It’s like, “I did this, I did that. And this is the result that I got.”

Chris Badgett:
You mentioned worksheets and whatnot, where did those come in?

Paul Tobey:
Most of my worksheets for That’s Ambitious are fill in the blank. So what I’ll do is I’ll create the step by step instructions and then I’ll look at that and I’ll take out key words and phrases and put a blank in its place. So you actually have to listen to the course. You can’t just take the course material because that course material is useless because it’s missing all of the key points. It’s missing all of the key elements and that’s the concept of… So I wrote a book called Suggestology. It’s the art of activating somebody’s natural will to learn something or asking up questions and you can have anything you want. Basically engaging somebody in the natural learning process is the only way to help them learn. And that would have stapled the Train the Trainer concept where they’re constantly filling the blanks or answering questions in their mind. If you ask a question, what normally happens?

Chris Badgett:
The mind can’t not answer it.

Paul Tobey:
Yeah. It has to answer it. Right? So that whole concept of Suggestology, to me, that’s context versus content. I think everybody tries to put content in, but they don’t understand the context. It’s like, if you have a bowl, right? And you put a bunch of water in it, the water represents content. If the bowl springs a tiny little leak, doesn’t matter how big the leak is, all of your content is lost. So the [bowl 00:29:13] that holds a content together is more important than the content itself otherwise there is no content. So that’s what we call context. Context is more important than content. Another way to look at it, it’s like, “Well, they took what I said completely out of context.” It’s like, you meant it one way, but it was taken another.

Paul Tobey:
And I think that’s what people miss when they create courses. They all think about, “Well, I’m going to throw in as much content.” A lot of times the more content you throw in, the weaker the courses because they just can’t absorb it. They just can’t remember to recall it. People tend to forget what they hear, what you see, you tend to remember but what you do, you understand.

Chris Badgett:
If somebody were to break down the parts as you call them or sections, how many is too many for a single course? I mean, I know that’s a subjective question, but when do you get into the territory of what I call the dangerous giant course? This just massive thing.

Paul Tobey:
I think a good course, just if you were following my personal experience, because I see what people do and I see how they interact with the courses. Two hours is the max they can handle. And if you’ve got a specific subject like digital marketing, to me, that’s not one giant 18 hour course. That’s nine, two hour courses divided up into six or seven lessons each course.

Chris Badgett:
Is it better if the learner does the whole course in one session, one big session?

Paul Tobey:
I’ve seen that. Most cases, that’s not what happens because a lesson tends to be 10 to 20 minutes. If a course is two hours, I mean, somebody has to carve out two hours. Who’s got two hours?

Chris Badgett:
Yeah, it depends.

Paul Tobey:
Right?

Chris Badgett:
Yeah.

Paul Tobey:
I think if they’ve got nothing to do. And a lot of people consume courses during COVID, which is cool. I saw a lot of interaction through the system during COVID, but two hours, I think is a good amount of time.

Chris Badgett:
I love that. You mentioned community and mastermind, what is that and how do you add that in?

Paul Tobey:
So I learned this from Adrian. And Adrian got this from Groundhogg and I pay very close attention to what’s going on with Groundhogg. I actually give them my office space. They’re in my office. Actually, the studio behind is actually real. That’s my Live stream studio. So all of our courses are filmed there with high digital… it’s like a television set. It’s got a built in-

Chris Badgett:
But that’s not a green screen. That’s the-

Paul Tobey:
It is. It’s a picture of my actual studio.

Chris Badgett:
Oh, I see.

Paul Tobey:
That make sense. That’s like that wall there is 20 feet high.

Chris Badgett:
Oh, I got you.

Paul Tobey:
It’s got the built in video wall and all my courses are… most of them are done during Live stream. I do the odd Zoom and whatever, but most of them are Live and we display comments on the wall beside me so I can read what everybody’s doing.

Chris Badgett:
Oh, so you record your courses Live?

Paul Tobey:
Yeah.

Chris Badgett:
Wow. With-

Paul Tobey:
with an audience.

Chris Badgett:
Like in room audience or a virtual one?

Paul Tobey:
No, virtual. Sometimes they came into the room before COVID because that’s an actual training studio. So if you see, there’s a stage there. There’s room for 60 people in front of that stage.

Chris Badgett:
Wow. So it doesn’t take you a week or months to make your course, it takes you one Live recording session.

Paul Tobey:
It takes me two hours of preparation and two hours of training.

Chris Badgett:
Let me go back to my earlier question in return, which is how long from idea to you getting done with that recording and getting it published on your site is the typical length of that amount of time.

Paul Tobey:
Two days.

Chris Badgett:
Wow. Two days from idea to like, “All right, we’re doing this.”

Paul Tobey:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris Badgett:
And then you just use your existing members as the Live audience?

Paul Tobey:
Yes.

Chris Badgett:
Wow. That’s very cool.

Paul Tobey:
So what was the question you were asking me about Adrian?

Chris Badgett:
I was asking about community and mastermind.

Paul Tobey:
So I learned this from Adrian. Thank you. Adrian said to me about the three elements of a good membership site. Element number one is the step-by-step information, not information itself, because information doesn’t solve problems. Step by step information when followed directly can create immeasurable results. So that’s number one.

Paul Tobey:
Number two is, you have to have some type of support. So the support system in my case, and in Adrian’s case is the Facebook group. So we have an open Facebook group and we have a closed one for members. So that is a place where people can share ideas, put up wins, just get involved in some way, shape or form. Plus I do Facebook Live presentations that are 20 minutes, like Monday Motivator and things just to start the week off because there are people that just like being intrinsically motivated.

Paul Tobey:
And then the third element is, so world-class support and then this mentorship from a performance and mindset coaching aspect. Without that, information typically won’t stick. I mean, they’ll learn it, but they won’t really do anything. So the concept of performance and mindset coaching is really important to me. I want to keep on top of people and that’s Groundhogg intertwined with Lifter can do that. Right? It can follow up with people and get them to show up. For example, we do a Mastermind session, but we also do the Live training sessions. We also do Monday Motivator. I give a fair amount to my people for not… it’s a hundred dollars a month, is crazy. I don’t actually need the monies, but I need to have them have something invested.

Chris Badgett:
So your membership’s a hundred dollars a month?

Paul Tobey:
Yeah.

Chris Badgett:
Nice.

Paul Tobey:
I know. I used to charge a one, two hour course… If you put three of those together, I would usually charge 3000, $4,000 for that. And you get a $100 membership. You can consume every course in there in a month if you wanted to. But I think it’s so important to remind people what’s coming, just for a Monday Motivator, I’ll send out two emails, just for a training course, it’s coming up every other Thursday, which is in that Live stream studio that we just talked about. I’ll send out four emails. It’s one, a couple of days, “This is coming.” And then the night before I’ll sit down and write the course. And then the next morning they’ll get two emails, one at nine o’clock that says, “Course is at 10.”

Paul Tobey:
And then they’ll get one, two minutes before 10 because there’s always the people that are on the go. They might be sitting at a bus stop. They might be, I don’t know where they are, but tune in now. And if you don’t do that, they just won’t. It’s in their calendar, it’s in their schedule, they just won’t show up. You have to constantly be giving them a really, really good reason and a constant reminder to come and do what they’re supposed to be doing. Otherwise, they’ll just drop members. It’s one thing to create a membership, it’s another thing to keep them.

Chris Badgett:
So this is 2020 when we’re recording this. How many courses are inside this membership, roughly?

Paul Tobey:
In That’s Ambitious?

Chris Badgett:
Yeah.

Paul Tobey:
32 right now. 32 and then all of the recorded Masterminds are in there as well. So we put somebody in the hot seat for an hour and a half and we basically help them with their business. To me, that’s a course.

Chris Badgett:
Do you do that as a separate event or that happens right after [crosstalk 00:37:09].

Paul Tobey:
Every other Wednesday.

Chris Badgett:
So if you had to look at a month, can you lay out a month for us, for your membership? They’re likely going to get one new course maybe, and then one-

Paul Tobey:
They get two new courses a month.

Chris Badgett:
Two new courses a month, okay.

Paul Tobey:
Two Masterminds a month. And then all of the prerecorded courses, which they’ll never get through because there’s over a hundred hours of courses. There’s 32 courses. But every month, two more are added to that. Do you know what I mean? So there’s a lot of content to consume. Actually, I might remind them of a strategy, but I haven’t repeated a course yet. And I probably won’t for at least another year, I’ll just keep adding and adding and adding. And again, if I have to research it, I don’t have the right to talk about it. So I have one distinctive advantage, would you like to know what that is?

Chris Badgett:
Sure.

Paul Tobey:
When I work with businesses because I’m a paid consultant, so they pay me. I get typically six to 10 hours a month with a client to ongoing monthly. And I’ve had a good, solid core base of clients now for several years, some new, because of COVID some left, I got some new ones. Most of what I do with them and learn from them, not only help them do something, but I’m learning about their business and they’re all established businesses, right? Whether they’re event rental company or whether they’re a Botox trainer. I have a brain therapy clinic. I have people selling products. I have people doing supplements. All of that is my training ramp. So that’s my advantage. I’m doing what I tell other people to do. I’m getting measurable results.

Paul Tobey:
Chris, if I were to consult with your company? Right? It’s basically, we get one meeting a month and I can do maybe six to 10 hours of implementation time, maybe four or five myself and then you have some stop to do some other things. And it might go over that a little bit, but I’ll charge an extra $250 an hour or whatever, and I’ll let them know, but that’s four grand a month. So would you continue paying me $4,000 a month if you weren’t getting results?

Chris Badgett:
No.

Paul Tobey:
So everything I do is based on measurable, proven track record, and results.

Chris Badgett:
Which is awesome. You’re not retired from being a consultant, you’re just ever sharpening the saw or the Axe and then you’re giving people, teaching other people how to swing it. It’s awesome.

Paul Tobey:
And it’s amazing. You go to some of these Facebook groups and they talk about, “Well, where can I take a good life coach training?” I’m like, “There is no training for life coaching.” Be successful, now that’s your training ground. Right? Go ahead and create a measurable result and then just convert that into coaching. Now there’s a little bit of context in there, but nobody can teach you how to be a life coach. To me, that’s insane. I saw that question today and I’m like, “Be careful. Never take advice from somebody who doesn’t have what you want. That’s real. If there was another rule number one, that’s a rule. It’s like taking financial advice from Uncle Phil, who’s broke. He wants to give you the advice and you’re much you’ll listen to him because he’s Uncle Phil, but he’s broke. Why would you take his financial advice? That’s insane. I have a rule that says, never take financial advice from somebody in the same tax bracket. You’ll get different advice, but you’ll always move sideways.

Chris Badgett:
That’s awesome. 17 years in digital marketing and in information products and coaching and training, today, how do you get new members into your training base membership site?

Paul Tobey:
Free presentations.

Chris Badgett:
Virtual ones? Like webinars or …?

Paul Tobey:
Webinars, Zoom. I use the Live stream studio sometimes, but basically if I need new members, I’ll just program a one hour presentation. And on the back end of that presentation, I’ll make them an offer to come into the membership area for half off or whatever.

Chris Badgett:
How do you get the leads for that presentation?

Paul Tobey:
It’s a combination. Every client is an affiliate, so I write them-

Chris Badgett:
Automatically.

Paul Tobey:
Yeah. Automatically. They don’t always do it, but I write them an email and say, “Hey, send out this email to your friends. It has your code embedded in it. And sometimes some will do it, some won’t, most won’t actually, it’s only about five to 10% of them will actually do it, each time. It may be different people. I don’t have professional voice because this is not what they’re looking for. Pro affiliates are looking for… you’re doing a million dollars a month in supplement sales. They want a piece of that pie. They don’t want a piece of this pie.

Paul Tobey:
And then word of mouth. I have a bit of a name and a reputation, especially in Canada. Not so much in the United States. I did a lot of work down there, so I still have some networks. So I’ll reach out to those people. We call them moose. Brian Clemens used to call them moose. He was a very famous trainer, died at 61. He had a large network across the United States and I took a lot of mentoring from him. And he used to say, “Paul, find yourself a moose.” And I’m like, “What’s a moose?” And he goes, “Well, it’s somebody on the ground who has their own tribe. Build a relationship with them and every time you do something, just invite them. And a lot of times they’ll just send it out to their list or they’ll tell people, and then you can create an affiliate or whatever. And then I just advertise, I guess Facebook lead ads or whatever. Yeah.

Chris Badgett:
I love that. Jay Abraham, he’s actually a LifterLMS. One of his training sites uses LifterLMS. I remember he was teaching something about how people don’t have referral plans for their business. I think, yeah, I can’t remember what it was, but he went over 17 different ways to create referrals for your business. And a lot of businesses don’t have one or they have one and that’s it. But you’re talking about the moose. You’re turning your members into referrals if they want to be or-

Paul Tobey:
Could you send me a link by the way to that 17 because I don’t know all 17.

Chris Badgett:
It might be 10. I can’t remember.

Paul Tobey:
I have a lot of respect for Jay Abraham, but I’ve never heard that before. So that’s something I would be very interested in getting my hands on.

Chris Badgett:
I’ll try to dig that up. I’ll try to dig that up.

Paul Tobey:
Thank you.

Chris Badgett:
I’m a student like you. I do a lot of learning and definitely learned a lot just by following Jay’s content over the years. We’re getting close on time. I did want to ask you, this is just for the power user out there when I was doing the research for this interview, I saw you had a Wikipedia. How do you end up on Wikipedia? Did you make that or can someone …?

Paul Tobey:
No.

Chris Badgett:
Okay. So how does Wikipedia happen? Because Wikipedia ranks high in Google search results, at least as of the search recording?

Paul Tobey:
Well, I was a professional recording artist. I mean, most musicians, by the way, who are professional, that’s the goal. Make recordings, have people buy them and listen to them and do touring. And that’s what I did. I did that for a long time. And I got to see a large part of the world doing that. And I’m very grateful for that experience but when you have that level of knowledge about a specific topic, especially when it comes to, it’s something, the public enjoys like music, although this is jazz, so it’s a small fraction of the public, those things can happen, right? Wikipedia is just like, “This is my …” I haven’t actually looked at it. So I don’t really know. I think my discography is there. I haven’t seen in a long time, but people can go in and edit it. I think there might be stuff there about my business in my speaking career and whatever, but it’s been around for a long time.

Paul Tobey:
This brings up a good point. When I first started digital marketing and I started selling sheet music online, I still do, by the way. I take public domain sheet music and rearrange it for jazz because nobody wants to play a Christmas song the way they played it for the last 20 years, they want something new. Right? So I’ll sell that to them for six or seven bucks or I’ll sell my whole book for 20 bucks or whatever. And that’s how I started. But in the beginning, Google was so easy because nobody was doing it. So you could actually search the keyword phrase, piano music, and paultobey.com would be in the top three search results in the entire world.

Chris Badgett:
Wow.

Paul Tobey:
I was bringing over a million uniques a month at that website. And then I just got sidetracked into the training business and let that whole thing go a little bit. One of the most valuable things that I have for clients it’s SEO, but it’s not based on keywords anymore. It’s more based on interaction. And so I built pages that then interact. And so it’s a bit different strategy, but it still works. An endorsement by Google in an organic search results page, that’s huge. Many people want that, they just don’t know how to do it.

Chris Badgett:
That’s great. Well, as we wrap up here, you mentioned you have stuff in your membership about course creation. If somebody were to go check out one course at thatsambitious.com, which one would you send a course creator to?

Paul Tobey:
Let me look. So while I’m doing this, I went in and created a coupon code for you.

Chris Badgett:
Awesome.

Paul Tobey:
So the coupon code is LifterLMS.

Chris Badgett:
All right. So thatsambitious.com. That’s where you can find the website?

Paul Tobey:
Yeah. LifterLMS, and you can buy a membership at 50% off. And it’s refundable within 30 days.

Chris Badgett:
Awesome.

Paul Tobey:
If you take as many courses as you want, and if you ask for your money back within 30 days, within reason, I don’t think you can… and you can’t copy these things or download them, but go take something. So for 49 bucks, I would do two courses. The first one would be, it’s a course called presenting. And that goes hand in hand with the second course called, just want to get the name right here. Actually there’s another one, video content creation.

Chris Badgett:
Nice.

Paul Tobey:
And then the essential guide to course creation, sorry. The essential guide to online course creation. So those three, so literally for 50 bucks, I mean, come on, you’d honestly think you can go take six hours of training with me and not get a $50 idea? You’re going to get a $50,000 idea out of those courses because everything in those courses is based on personal experience, right? This is what I did. This is how I did it. This is the results that I’m getting.

Chris Badgett:
Well, I think those of you out there listening, you’ve got a $50,000 idea or two from this free podcast episode. So head on over to thatsambitious.com. Use the coupon code LifterLMS, check out the course called presenting, another one called video content creation and then the essential guide to online course creation.

Chris Badgett:
Paul, thank you so much for coming on the show and sharing your journey with us. You dropped a lot of knowledge bombs. I’m going to have to go back and re-listen to this, not as an interviewer, just to make sure I capture it all, but thanks so much for coming on and keep up the great work and doing what you do.

Paul Tobey:
Can I just say thank you for a great piece of software. I like Lifter. It’s good. I’ve been using LearnDash for a long time. But Lifter, I don’t judgmental on Lifter, and it was a lot of fun. It was learning a new platform and the waiting or hits with Groundhogg. So good job. It’s great stuff.

Chris Badgett:
Nice. I appreciate it. So that’s Paul Tobey. He’s at thatsambitious.com. Thank you so much.

Paul Tobey:
Thank you.

Chris Badgett:
And that’s a wrap for this episode of LMScast. Did you enjoy that episode? Tell your friends and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the next episode. And I’ve got a gift for you over at lifterlms.com/gift. Go to lifterlms.com/gift. Keep learning, keep taking action, and I’ll see you in the next episode.

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