Episode 361

6 Figure Membership Site Creator Ziv Raviv Reveals Golden Keys to 377K in Revenue in 5 Years

We are back again with a brand new episode of LMSCast. In today’s episode, we are going to listen to Ziv Raviv and learn how he made a 6 figure membership site and the golden keys that helped him to make 377K in revenue last year!

Ziv is a serial entrepreneur. One of his awesome projects is Balloon Artist College. Here, he teaches to become a balloon artist. You can take it as a career, or start your own business as a balloon artist! This really is a micro-niche and it definitely works. At Lifter LMS, when someone asks, “Can I do this? Will anybody buy my course?” We use Ziv and his Balloon Artist College as a solid example of how many specific niches you can pick and what is the percentage of success.

In this podcast, we went deeper into what keeps Ziv going, how he conditions his mind to keep up the flame and not get totally burnt out, how to plan ahead and when to give yourself a break. One of the major takeaways from him was focusing on the customer-first approach that can work in all kinds of business and it will definitely pay off in the long term. We have discussed some of the common misconceptions and why an entrepreneur should invest more time in marketing and sales.

If we have to summarize the learnings from Ziv, then we could say that there is no better way of focusing than finding clarity and having a helping mindset. Be it coaching business owners, building a course business, or just organizing your day-to-day life and making the best use of 27 hours a day(listen to the podcast to know how)!

We really liked the Daily Cookie service which saves a lot of time and effort from being consistent in communication with your customers. Their writers are very professional and offer great quality work. You should definitely check out the Balloon Artist College website to know about so many cool ways you can use balloons in so many different social events.

If you are also looking to create your own course business, feel free to visit LifterLMS.com and subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated about the new features, discount offers, integrations, and partnerships with other great products and services.

Transcript of the podcast

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. Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. My name’s Chris Badgett and I’m joined by a repeat special guest. One of my favorite LifterLMS customers, his name is Ziv Raviv. He has many projects. You can find him at dailycookie.co. First, welcome the show, Ziv.

Ziv Raviv:
Hey, Chris. Hello, everyone, LMScast nation, and it’s just great to be here again.

Chris Badgett:
You’re one of my favorite people. Whenever I sense in somebody a sense of doubt, “Can I do this? Will anybody buy my course?” I like to bring up your story and keep in mind for the listener and the watcher out there, Ziv is a serial entrepreneur. He has lots of projects and he’s super passionate. And he gets a lot done. He has one project called Balloon Artist College which teaches kid entertainers basically the entrepreneur niche of becoming a balloon artist as a job, as a career, or start your own business as a balloon artist which is a micro-niche. By the way, Ziv’s podcast, Micro Niche Mastery, like I said, he is a serial entrepreneur. Go listen to that. There’s some great interviews on that. I listen to every one of your episodes. And, but anyways, whenever I sense that somebody is like, “I don’t know if this is going to work.” I mention you.

Chris Badgett:
And it’s not that… It’s a small niche. It’s a micro-niche. I think you said at one point on this podcast, it was 5,000 people, total addressable market, something like that. That’s not very big, yet two years ago you were making I think six figures in that, it’s probably bigger today. But just to kind of land the plane and bring people in, we’re going to talk about a lot of different things, but for making money, teaching people how to tie animal balloons and build a business around that, how does that work? What makes Balloon Artist College the success that it is?

Ziv Raviv:
So, first of all, these days Balloon Artist College have grown to be multiyear, multi like six-figure business. We actually have six different brands and this is the leading one. And we did $377,000 in 2021. And that is despite the fact that 2020, 2021 were really hard on our customers but we were constantly listening, constantly adapting to what they need. So these days, Balloon Artist College is not just about the twisting side of balloons, which is how to entertain kids mainly with balloons but it’s also about all these huge balloon installations where professionals decorate entire events with balloons like Amazon, for example, is a company that uses a lot of balloon decorators constantly to encourage and motivate their teams. And you can see all these really beautiful balloon installations. So I think that there’s a lot of money-making hobbies out there.

Ziv Raviv:
And now with the hat of Micro Niche Mastery Podcast, I really love researching what other niches are viable for business, for an online course business. And if you Google it, if you look for it a little bit, you’ll see that there are many hobbies out there. Of course, there’s hundreds of them, but there are hobbies that make money for the person that have it. And when you find something like that already, you can start to look at it and ask yourself, “Can I create a transformation in people’s lives?” And specifically with balloon art, I can’t make people super rich but I can help them make four figures or five figures or six figures a year, depending on the transformation. So we just focused on that. Just helping people become a hobbyist that makes money and then become a professional, and then become a professional that can actually make a living out of their art.

Chris Badgett:
I love that. I just want to add, I think one of the secrets, I’ve actually spent a lot of time on your website and I look around, I’m like because I’m always fascinated with the question, what makes this work? And you have a very clear customer. It’s an aspiring balloon artist with a very specific result that they want which is to be able to make money with their hobby. And if things go really well, potentially, like you said, five or six figures, that’s just so clear. A lot of experts get really fascinated on their expertise or their mechanism. And they are almost like it’s like a magic trick, they forget about who am I helping and what do they want, what result do they want? How does, I don’t know. I just think your story is just so fascinating, your full-stack. It’s not just about you. It’s really about them. Can you speak to that more?

Ziv Raviv:
Well, I guess it’s all about ego, and do you allow ego to be in the way of your journey? Ryan Holiday have a lot of writings on this. Even just the book Ego Is the Enemy which I think is brilliant. If you really are into transforming people’s lives, then you have to care about their lives and by doing so you will be able to also transform yours as well. And it gives you meaning, it gives you purpose when you focus on other people. And it’s the actual thing that people care about the most is themselves. So if you are able to talk about that, they will listen. They will be interested in what you’re doing. They will buy what you are producing.

Chris Badgett:
That’s awesome. I noticed on your podcast, Micro Niche Mastery, you interviewed some other LifterLMS customers like Angela Brown who teaches similar to you, a certain entrepreneur niche, in this case, it’s house cleaners, how to start and grow their companies. The total addressable market for house cleaners is actually quite massive. It’s a huge industry in the United States, but around the world, what did you learn or what inspires you about Angela and her story?

Ziv Raviv:
I think Angela is amazing first of all, and she’s such a productive beast of a person and a business. And I say that in humility, she can produce a video every day that is high-quality, high-value content. And she has a team. If I remember correctly in the interview she mentions their 28 people in her team. I have 11 people in my team and I strive to grow one day to that level. And I think that in general, it’s about really figuring out that it’s not just, there’s no silver bullet. It’s not an illusion. Business is not an illusion. Business is real. You either can improve people’s lives or you can’t. You can’t just say that you want to, you have to actually do it.

Ziv Raviv:
And she does. She actually certifies people. She actually gives them information that will make them better business people as cleaner businesses or better cleaner people as a solopreneur that makes money and does… She just chose to own her abilities to understand this niche well and to revolutionize it really. There’s no one that does it like her which is possible because she was so focused on that. And there are so many niches issues out there where you can do something that is so specifically valuable like Angela.

Chris Badgett:
One of the challenges that experts and course creators have is trying to wear all the hats. And you mentioned Angela had a team of 28, you have a team of 11, and keep in mind for you out there watching or listening, Ziv has many education platform projects and services he’s offered. So he is busier than just one LMS site. But can you give us a breakdown of somebody like you? What are these roles that these 11 people do? What types of jobs are they doing?

Ziv Raviv:
So the first helper that I got was actually a virtual assistant, like a personal assistant that will just be out there for me doing stuff that I am not good at, I don’t have the patience to do that. And a lot of those things are just to make sure, for example, that every single lesson in your course has a picture, has its featured image. It’s not hard to do. It’s super easy. You go into the builder, you go and set up the picture. But it was boring for me to make the decision. You need to pause it in the right in place in the video, and then take the picture and then put it in. So I started to use a virtual assistant what sometimes people call a general-purpose virtual assistant.

Ziv Raviv:
And as time grew, I started to notice what do my clients need? That was always my compass. I asked myself, “How can I serve my clients better by offering them stuff for free?” And the first thing that I needed was graphic design. So I started to use a company in the beginning, it was Design Pickle. At some point, we got to the point where we need way more designs. So we started to hire and train our own team. So these days under the umbrella of Daily Cookie and Kiwi Media, we have the different schools and we have basically seven copywriters in Daily Cookie and we have three designers, graphic designers, and we have a developer.

Ziv Raviv:
And so the whole team allows me to basically work with people and build their entire funnel or their entire spark of a business from end to end on any platform they want. So I don’t think that you need necessarily that many copywriters if you don’t offer copywriting services, right? You don’t also always have to have someone that is a full-timer. You can get help that is from part-time or freelancer. But I think that getting help for me, it was definitely one of the ways that I became more productive.

Chris Badgett:
That’s awesome. One of the things I noticed people who are successful making courses and coaching programs and service offerings is there’s just this well of energy and passion. It’s not for the faint of heart and I know you’re being humble and you mentioned Angela, beast mode. This is a quality that people have that really make it in this industry and it also kind of sets a healthy company culture in the team that surrounds these people. The only way I can describe it is it’s like energy. It’s like this momentum, this passion that just snowball gets bigger and bigger over time. What powers that battery for you? Where does this motivation come from?

Ziv Raviv:
I just want to emphasize, I think that this whole thing about motivation and being very productive and doing a lot is so important because without it like I see so many businesses, they don’t do enough. They don’t put in enough hours into just doing the marketing. They don’t put in enough hours into building stuff into actually providing value. They lock themselves into a cage of a one course or like a one-trick pony type of a deal. And you can’t really listen well enough, I call it listen harder to your clients if your interaction with them is so limited to your first course that you ever created. Sure, you have to start somewhere. Yes, I started with one course too but then, and I relaunched it twice and then I figured out, I have to be way more prolific.

Ziv Raviv:
These days we actually have over 300 online courses offered through our platforms, all on the top of LifterLMS that serves these very easily for us. So for me personally, it comes from clarity. I know my motivation is based on very, very deep roots of knowing what are my family needs, what are my own aspirations on helping making this world a prettier place one business at a time. And I believe in the power of business. And I believe that businesses can actually help make this world a better place. And it’s really a matter of clarity to be that motivated. But there’s one more thing about motivation that people a lot of time forget because they think it’s just like this inner thing. It’s not. It’s a constant daily struggle of keeping the fire, make sure the fire is burning with great energy.

Ziv Raviv:
And in that means that every time you get stuck in your life and in your business, that fire is going to start to diminish and it start to get smaller and smaller. At that point, you can actually burn out. That’s like you don’t have any more power but you need to constantly balance things out in your life so that your energy will grow back and will be strong. That’s why your family, the support you get from your wife, all of these things, the way you exercise, the way you eat, they all determine your ability to do this long-form and run this marathon called business. You said it’s not for the faint of heart. I concur. It’s really hard. It’s objectively hard. And just to give you a quick example about how hard it is these days, I do about 14 to 21 coaching sessions a day.

Ziv Raviv:
21 coaching sessions a day means that I start at 6:30 AM and I wrap up at about midnight. And in between, I have a few built-in breaks to meet with my family. And some of those coaching sessions are 30 minutes long. Some of them are two-hour long. So it can be a very long day. And the context switching and remembering every single business owner that you work with can be something that you need to be skillful at. And there are ways to do that. But the bottom line is that for six days a week, I do a lot. I help a lot of people and I constantly hear their struggles and I know how to help them because they told me what they need and I figured it out. I just wanted to be there for them with every single one of my clients. So it’s really is hard to do to get bigger results in business. Definitely, when it comes to six figures, you need to be willing to work hard.

Chris Badgett:
Let’s talk about the difference between courses and coaching just from a beginner’s mind standpoint. What goes in a course and how do you approach coaching and maybe tell a story of the types of how do you help people on a coaching call differently than in course content?

Ziv Raviv:
So, first of all, I want to say that if you are a coach and you don’t also offer online courses for your coaching clients, I think you are missing the mark because online courses are a great educational tool that you can use to support your client without being there. And so the main differentiator I think is what is the perfect tool to create the transformation for the client? Sometimes the most efficient tool is just done with your type of an experience. So meeting the client, listening to their goals, breaking it down for them, meeting them where they are, helping them realize how to overcome the hurdles. All of that is very, very efficient in getting results. And we all know that sometimes online courses are hard to finish by yourself if there’s no extra jab of accountability which can be created with a Facebook group or with other tools, but accountability is key.

Ziv Raviv:
And when you are going to meet your coach or a group coaching setting, those things really help you get a bigger transformation. So for my standpoint, it’s about whether the transformation is hard to do without the coaching. And if it is very hard, then I would prefer offering coaching as well. And also depends on the money that you can make out of the transformation. So if the course will basically not make you a lot of money, then you will not be able to really… It will not make sense to offer coaching on that transformation specifically because people will not pay four figures plus to get the same transformation they can get from a course. So I think that my guidelines are whether how hard is it to actually create a transformation. And if it’s too hard then provide coaching with it and how valuable it is, the transformation in people’s life. And again, if it’s very valuable, offer coaching because that will create the accountability sometimes many people need to get results.

Chris Badgett:
I love that. Let’s say we have a expert that’s somewhat new to the online business world. And maybe they’re a little bit new to instructional design and packaging ideas and expertise into usable courses or coaching programs, but looking at courses specifically, what would your advice be if somebody’s kind of weighing the decision of I’m going to create this signature program course that’s really big and has a lot of stuff in it, or I’m going to do a membership with a bunch of mini-courses, and I’m just going to start and trickle those out and kind of create more of a recurring revenue membership option that who knows how big it’s going to get. Is there a place for both or is one doing better than the other? What do you think?

Ziv Raviv:
It does definitely place for both. And I think it’s a little bit of like my tendency was toward mini-courses and many of them and membership sites because I believe in the relationship that it creates when you have a membership offering. But some of my higher-end coaching programs which comes with the course, they are like the same program and I just run it three times a year. So I understand both of these and I do both of them because I believe that the client, the avatar itself, like my audience, my client, some of them are not willing to go through the full transformation. And because they are so specific, they are my tribe though, like 3000 people, I know them by their names. I know the families. I remember names of kids, not of all of them, of course, but some of them, and I want to meet them where they are.

Ziv Raviv:
So if they’re willing to go through this one big course when they’re willing to go there like when they want to get to reach six figures, then I will give them this one very polished course. But if they want to just make four figures, make some more money with their hobbies or whatever it is the transformation that is a little bit smaller, you get all they want. You can’t force it on them. It’s like, imagine you would go to the cinema and people will tell you, “What do you want to see, a movie or sit down and binge-watch three series in a row? Don’t worry, we’ll serve you the popcorn.” So if they don’t want that much, all they wanted was a movie then they’re not going to buy the binge-watching option out of a sudden. So you need to really listen to what people want. And if what they want in the niche you chose is this one solution, and that’s it, then give them that solution. That’s fine.

Chris Badgett:
I love how customer-first you are. So it’s about what they want. It’s not about what you want. Maybe you prefer one or the other but it’s like, what do they want? Do they want the movie or do they want the show? It’s what the market wants not what you want. I love that. I know you’ve also one of the ways you’ve scaled and increased output is by working with other instructors you bring in to teach courses and stuff like that. Tell us how that works. And also specifically, I get some questions around how do you compensate people or is it like is it not about money, is it more about exposure? How does that whole getting outside instructors work? Because it sounds easy but then when people get into the weeds of it, I see a lot of people just get lost.

Ziv Raviv:
Honestly, I tried multiple approaches in three of our online schools and all three of the systems I used or the compensation models I used were working. But all of them were hard too. Not hard to understand, but hard to accomplish. So you need to talk a lot with people and explain them your vision. But I got away with so many crazy ideas businesswise that could not be possible if it wasn’t for the fact that I had the patience and the firm belief that what I’m doing is actually fair and it’s for the benefit of the customer. So please know whoever is listening right now, that if the customer is what you are actually after, you are after helping the client in their life, then any business model can work.

Ziv Raviv:
So I tried a few of them. One of them is the course creator can sell the course [inaudible 00:24:35] through me and they will keep 90% of the proceedings. I’ll only take 10% just for the sake of covering some expenses. Like I will support fees for LifterLMS. We want to go on the high-end one. We want to pay for that. We have hosting fees, whatever. So 10% will cover way more than that. And then since they are selling the course through us, that gives us permission all signed in like a contract to offer the course through the membership.

Ziv Raviv:
So that means that every time we create a new partnership with a content creator, our platform grows in the curriculum. So nowadays we have 100 courses about 60 of them are exclusive and original, but about 40 of them are through content creators that were just into having another point of sale for their course. And we’re willing to support our growth, knowing that what we do is actually helping the industry enlarge, knowing that we have a vision that they can share and that they want to join. So that’s one of the systems I chose. And then with lectures, one of lecture, we will just pay a ridiculous amount of $200. It’s not a lot, but for some people, that’s good enough to come to do a lecture.

Ziv Raviv:
And we also try the affiliate fees with someone that will do the lectures for free, but any person that they will bring into the membership, they will get affiliate fees for life. And that motivates them to be active and to provide value to the members after they join. We tried all of that and it worked. And then we tried on another school to actually just pay one-time fee for the course creator. So basically tell them, look, we’re buying a course from you for our platform. We might not even ever sell it, ever. And that’s it. That’s what you’re going to make from your knowledge that you’ve accumulated for years, you are just getting these $500 for one day of teaching or $3,000 cap overall. Not very expensive on the overall.

Ziv Raviv:
And some agreed to that and that worked well for us. With others we told them, “Okay, you’re going to create the course for us and as a result, we will allow you to be an affiliate for our program. So every time that someone joins through your sales page and joins the membership you’re going to get 50% of the affiliate fees.” So basically we were able to get ourselves a few affiliate for the school that are also course creators. And the last business model was the craziest. We asked people to pay us money for the opportunity to put the course on our platform so that we could sell the courses and then make extra money like 50/50 on the affiliate fees later.

Ziv Raviv:
So we really tried all sorts of crazy business models from business models that are mostly about us that are making more money and business models that are more focused on just growing your curriculum and creating partnerships for lives. And it all worked. They all work well. It’s just that you need to communicate about them. You need to be fair and transparent on your website. You need to be very careful with having written contracts with your content creators. And as long as they believe in what you’re doing, I think that you’ll be fine.

Chris Badgett:
I love that. Another thing I think that makes you successful is that you just challenge assumptions. You’ve literally laid out five different ways to work with outside content course creators and some work for different scenarios. And it doesn’t mean there’s only one way to do it. I love that. I love that approach. What other productivity advice do you have? I just see a lot of overwhelm in the space and or people feel like the course, the membership side, or the coaching business is just moving really slow, especially on the start or trying, or maybe they get a little bit of traction and now they want to scale. How do they ramp up productivity without burning out? What’s worked for you?

Ziv Raviv:
So I love the topic of productivity and it’s been something that I’ve been known for. Some people tell me, “Hey, it looks like you have 26 hours a day.” And I usually say, “I’m still working on the 27th hour. Once I get that extra hour, then I’ll be really happy about it.” So you need to know the productivity is not about doing something in a perfect way, it’s not. In fact, that’s one of the enemies of productivity. You need to be willing to do things and do them well. And actually, you need to be able to say no to a lot of things like a lot. And you need to be able to keep the thorn in, I call it. So being willing to stay in pain because there is something else way more important. So it’s about prioritization a lot of times.

Ziv Raviv:
And you have to understand the pillars of productivity first in order to become better in more productive because actually, yes, there are all these little tips like, oh, and I have a lot of these little tips. I use a tool called Lightshot to take pictures. And then the graphic designers understand exactly what I mean because I draw all these arrows and there are different tools for that. And I use awesome screenshots to give feedback to my developer on the entire page in one picture. And it saves me a lot of time. And I use Loom to record explanation videos for my team. And that helps me. And so I use a lot of other tools like Trello or Zoom, but all these tools are like blind typing.

Ziv Raviv:
So if you blind type, you can type really fast and without looking, it’s great. It’s really good. But if what you’re writing is not really taking you anywhere, then it doesn’t really matter. So it’s not the tools. It’s actually three things, three pillars that makes you a really productive person even if you didn’t learn blind typing, or you don’t have a team yet, or stuff like that. And those three things are clarity, planning, and optimizing. Clarity, planning, and optimizing. And each of them is huge in making sure that you will actually be able to be productive.

Ziv Raviv:
So I’ll start with clarity and giving you a few ideas because basically clarity is all about understanding what are your goals. What is your one-year goal? What is your quarterly goal? I personally work in quarters where I plan for two weeks and then I execute for 10. And then I repeat the process again and again. So for my standpoint, it’s the 10 weeks clarity because I know that I’m going to plan for planning and give myself permission plan for two weeks and rest. So your one-year goal, your 10 weeks goal, your long-term goals like three years from now, five years from now, if you really dream big, what would that look like? Some people use the vision board for that. And also a very important key in clarity is goals alignment. So look at the list of your goals and ask yourself, between these two, which one of them would you be willing to remove and will still be happy about your list of goals?

Ziv Raviv:
And keep on doing it until you really cannot remove anything. And then ask yourself is one goal is coming on the exchange of another, and what does that mean? Because when you don’t have goal alignment, then clarity will not help. You’re basically going into two different opposite directions potentially. So you need to know your business, you need to know what is your, why? Why are you doing what you’re doing? You need to know who is it for to really understand what are you trying to achieve for the people that you love and even your audience. If you don’t understand your audience, you don’t have clarity around who are you serving then you don’t have clarity then the productivity will sunk by definition because you just will not be able to do the planning and you will not be able to do the optimization. So that’s my point about clarity.

Chris Badgett:
I love that. I want to just ask about the serial entrepreneur point for somebody who’s highly entrepreneurial, highly creative, at what point do you feel comfortable opening a new business, or when does it make sense to expand and either run multiple ships or to automate one or maybe you’re all that you stay involved in all of them, but at what point, what gives you the go-ahead that like, “Okay, now’s an okay time to expand where my other thing isn’t going to be neglected or whatever?” How do you navigate that? I just know very highly creative and entrepreneurial people. The problem is too much opportunity, not too little. So how do you manage that?

Ziv Raviv:
Yeah, it all goes back to being able to say no to a lot of things and actually like keeping the thorn in. Sometimes I look into a project and say, “Okay, this one, I’m going to do that in 2024.” Or this one, I’m going to do that in April. I already know and I’m planning for when will I have time for the extra projects or extra new business opportunity and trying something new. And for me, it’s about every two years that I want to start a new business. And it also depends on do I feel like I have outgrown that business? So I can actually delegate most of the work. In some of my businesses I literally just need to show up to a weekly thing and all the rest is done by my team.

Ziv Raviv:
So it’s becomes super easy to focus on other projects. So it depends on all these things. But I personally think that the most important thing is, again, it’s the audience. Did you actually finish what we set up to do? Did you actually transform their lives on that? And if you did, and you are confident that they can keep on transforming their lives without you being there holding their hands then it can be time to try something new. And you can actually start to validate an idea with four hours a week. You can but you need to have be proficient with business enough to get to that point. But like one of our businesses, it started with like a two-year project of putting in four hours a week into this thing.

Ziv Raviv:
And it generated close to $100,000 by now. So it’s really is different for people. For me, like for 2022, I chose to really focus on the existing ones. I really feel like they are calling to me. They want my attention. They want me to bring think bigger with what we’re doing in each one of them. And so I don’t feel bad about saying no to people. Just today, someone contacted me about producing a physical product for one of our schools. And they were very motivated, “We’ll pay you royalties. And we just want access to your content and using your name.” And all sorts of things. And they talked about how well it will sell. And were like, “No, no, we’re not interested. This is not our trajectory to make money through this. We have other transformations of lives that we are focusing on.” And saying no to opportunities is a skill. You learn how to do it, you practice it. And I think it’s very important.

Chris Badgett:
Love that. Part of entrepreneurship is sales and marketing. And let’s talk to a earlier version of yourself. Let’s say we have an expert who’s super passionate. And just to use an example, somebody is really into designing beautiful wedding cakes and built a career as a cake designer. And they have their micro-niche or whatever, and they’re super passionate. They heard about making money online and they’ve figured out that education, information products, coaching is the way to go and they’ve committed and they’ve started and they’ve kind of figured out, “Okay, I think I have some courses or I’m going to do a bunch of mini-courses to help cake decorators start and grow their companies.” How does this cake entrepreneur help other cake entrepreneurs? The person in that position, how do they get leads in sales? If you could give somebody the minimum effective dose of sales and marketing, what would it be?

Ziv Raviv:
It would be to create content for sure. It would be go create a podcast and a TV show like a YouTube show because it’s such a visual thing.

Chris Badgett:
It’s an art.

Ziv Raviv:
It’s definitely an art. It’s very, very similar to [inaudible 00:39:03] other activities that we do. And when do you really need a cake? You need the cake in the event industry when you have an event that you’re celebrating. So it really is like the event industry in large. So I would say basically it’s about influencer marketing. So influencer marketing is the easiest to do when you have a way to provide value to the people that you connect with. And a podcast or a YouTube show that includes interviews, those to tools are just the most modern, efficient way to get someone’s attention.

Ziv Raviv:
Specifically for me, I would’ve chosen a podcast rather than a YouTube show because it’s easier to produce. It’s cheaper to produce, and it’s different because people usually need to see the cake. But in this case, we’re going to talk about the cake and the steps to produce it and the business side of things. So I think that if you don’t want to invest a lot in marketing and in paid advertising and all that stuff, you just need a podcast which is super cheap to produce if you learn it. Once you know how to do it’s super cheap. And then you need a Facebook group probably to create a community. And then you need an email responder type of a tool like MailerLite or Mailchimp. Those together are enough to basically warm up the sales towards sending them to your LMS website and serving them some online courses or some opportunities to create certain pieces, certain designs of cakes.

Chris Badgett:
That’s awesome. You mentioned the email like MailerLite or Mailchimp. Tell us about Daily Cookie. What is it and why did you focus in on nurture emails and what’s the secret sauce of effective nurturing communication? I think there’s a lot of fear in the market. People are like, “I don’t want to end up in somebody’s spam box. I don’t want to see as somebody who’s just trying to grab my attention with stuff that doesn’t matter or whatever.” So frame us in on this niche of nurture emails?

Ziv Raviv:
Cool. So, first of all, I love a lot of other CRMs as well like email services like Drip and ActiveCampaign, and Infusion Software. I use a lot of them. I just mentioned a few that were cheap so that the cake person could start in an affordable way. We live in a world when you’re listening to this right now, there’s a lot of people in every platform, right? There’s a lot of YouTube channels, millions of them, there’s like two million podcasts, blogs. It’s just ridiculous amount of you can’t count them and it’s like a trillion or something. So you are competing against all of that. And if you want to be noticed, you have to do a lot and you have to be specific and you have to be good at what you do. Well, it’s the same thing actually applies to email marketing.

Ziv Raviv:
There are a lot of people sending way more emails than you. And that means that if you are sending one email a month, right? A lot of newsletters are being served by businesses only once a month, then you are going to be ignored because you are one out of 200 emails a day, times 30 or times 20. So you really want to put yourself out there a little bit more often. Most of the businesses I work with actually just need a weekly email or twice a week. And that’s fine. Some of them actually benefit from sending three times a week. If you are an online course creator, I think you should send about three to five emails a week and we send about 7 to 10 because if you get to a week where you also have a webinar, a mastermind group, and a few nurturing emails, then there’s just a lot to send.

Ziv Raviv:
And when you are sending that many, people actually, you are part of the day-to-day life. You are integrated into their life. And that’s a very powerful thing to be in. If you actually care about the journeys and helping them, then there’s a lot of healthy nourishing stuff in those daily emails. So nurturing emails for my standpoint is the one missing piece in marketing which is an opportunity for daily generosity. It’s the cheapest way to be generous with your tribe on a day-to-day manner. Like Angela, she’s generous with the video but she actually has to come up with the idea by planning and then putting herself in front of a camera, and then having someone to record, to take the video and edit that and then put all the thumbnails by graphic designer and then do all the captions.

Ziv Raviv:
All of this process is expensive and has a lot of footprint in this world. A lot of people need to eat in order for this to happen. And sending an email can be very, very cost-effective. It’s practically free. It’s so cheap to produce. And so, and yet it’s like the one thing that we check, the first thing when we wake up. We check our phones and we look at it and people make decisions according to emails. They make buying decisions. Businesses and buyers both have been surveyed by HubSpot and other great platforms. And they show that around 80% of the buying decisions start from an email. 80% of the people are willing to say that an email made them by. So I want to be generous because I’m going to sell a lot and I’m going to offer all sorts of options to transform your lives in exchange for money.

Ziv Raviv:
And if I do that, then I need to make sure that we are in a good relationship where it’s not just me, me, me. So you ask what are the keys of a nurture sequence that actually makes sense? I talked about the pace, but the key is to actually make it work in the actual level of the content of what you plan to talk about and what you actually write. I don’t improvise. I actually plan this. I put it into a spreadsheet and I choose the order. And I make sure that it makes sense that they don’t talk too much about me. So the key is, there’s actually four keys. You need to talk about yourself. So look at us. And when you say, look at us, you want to diversify.

Ziv Raviv:
Sometimes it’s, “Look at us. We got a testimonial. Look at us, We have a new product. Look at us. I will [inaudible 00:46:11] this when they were three.” So you want to diversify but the energy is, look at me. The second thing you want to do is you’re going to say look at them. Now you are walking inside an ecosystem. No matter what industry you are in, there are other people that are doing great job. So acknowledge that. Appreciate them. It doesn’t have to be a competitor. It can be but doesn’t have to be. There’s enough people out there who are doing something a little bit different that they can be worthy of your attention as the Google, or as the thought leader, or as the eternal student, or as the business owner, no matter how you define yourself. Show people other people. And by the way, that’s what we do in a party.

Ziv Raviv:
I call it the reunion party method, the reunion party method. If you go to a reunion party, you don’t only talk about yourself. You will suddenly say something like, “Hey, remember that guy? Remember that band when they come to town, it was so cool?” So that’s the second key. And the third key is that content rules. Content rules. So you better talk about your content and we better be prolific with content as much as you can and that will allow you to be diversified with that bit or in your content plan. And the last type of email that we plan in Daily Cookie and we send to all of our lists is going deep. And going deep is about the hero’s journey of the client. And it’s about understanding that the client starts with a problem and wants to reach some sort of a desired state.

Ziv Raviv:
And they go through these steps in every story, this is true. And in every business decision, it is true. They don’t want to solve the problem and then decide to try and solve the problem. And then they try a few options before they actually decide to make a decision to buy your stuff. And then they need to gain new skills so that they will be able to use what you gave them. And then they’re going to transform their lives and come back to the original state only better. So the hero’s journey has a lot of steps in it. And those going deep emails, all they do is help you wherever you are in your own journey. And if you go to dailycookie.co/hero you literally, you don’t need to opt-in or anything, just dailycookie.co/hero. We have all of the steps of the hero’s journey mapped into email marketing terms so that what type of an email you would need to send. Is it a welcome sequence? Is it a webinar? Is it like a case study email. Whatever, all of it is outlined within the hero’s journey infographic there.

Chris Badgett:
That’s awesome. So that’s at dailycookie.co/hero. Ziv also has a service there Daily Cookie. If you want help with those emails, that’s what they offer over at Daily Cookie. As we land the plane here, Ziv, I love talking to you. I could go much longer, but you wrote an incredible post that I really appreciated on Facebook a while ago. You were just celebrating your wins which is awesome to inspire the course creators out there. I believe this is a five-year journey.

Chris Badgett:
So first year, 110K, then 165K, then 277K which we interviewed Ziv at that point a couple years ago. So go find that on YouTube or LMScast. Full of all kinds of good information different from what we had on today, then 305K, and then 377K. I know and congratulations. I love seeing that we’re in a customer success business. So as a learning platform creator, I’m just so grateful to see you succeeding. The software like LifterLMS is a small part. Most of what is all powered by you and your passion, your motivation, your content, your partnerships, your team, other tools in tech you use, and whatnot, but how has lifter helped you on that journey?

Ziv Raviv:
It is actually a great question because there’s one thing that the tool or any tool that you use needs to do and that is to be invisible. To actually not be in the fault to allow you to shine as the course creator that you could create a transformation. And so I love working with LifterLMS and all of my clients that I help them build courses or launch businesses have usually been introduced to this ecosystem of a platform that just walks and have all the features and gizmos that you might need, but is also within your full control. It’s your own WordPress website, and it’s supported by a team that will always be there for you no matter what you need. You have some CSS problem, you’re not sure how to make something pretty and all the way up to I don’t know how to connect and integrate things or whatever, everything just works.

Ziv Raviv:
And so it’s such an easy decision for me to be an advocate of LifterLMS when I know that I’ve been able to grow for five years straight without really needing to think about it. You know what? We talked about productivity today. So I want to emphasize the productivity part of working with LifterLMS. It’s so easy to train someone to use LifterLMS to do the things for you that you could actually hire someone for as low as 3 or $4 an hour on certain countries. That is a fair hourly rate. For example, in the Philippines. And they will be able to build an entire online course for you with your videos in a matter of a day, even way, way faster.

Ziv Raviv:
So it’s really easy tool that is easy to use, everything is drag and drop. Everything is intuitive. You actually have to be willing to not use the entire thing, right? When you go into a car, you don’t feel bad about not using the cigarette lighter if you don’t smoke. The same goes with LifterLMS. It has everything you might need, right? If you want to create a quiz, you can create a quiz. If you want to create all these notifications and all these certificates, you can do that. But a lot of people think that is the most important bit of the course to have very an amazing playable experience. But I think that it’s all about the transformation. So if the course can create a transformation, I don’t mind if I use those gizmos or not. And sometimes I do, but I use it only if it is a key element to helping the client trust their new skills and actually see the transformation with their own eyes.

Ziv Raviv:
So just to say, thank you, Chris, for being just so passionate about listening to feedback and making sure that your team knows how important it’s to provide amazing support, always smiling, always going the extra step and I’ve tested other tools and I’ve tried other platforms, including my clients. Some of them they insist on, “Okay, but I want to stay in Kajabi. I want to stay in Thinkific.” There’s nothing wrong with that. I will serve anyone because it’s not about the tool. It’s about the transformation. So you can reach transformations and business growth with a lot of tools. For me personally, I think that it’s the most useful, practical way to control your courses, to own them, to have that inside your platform, it’s better for your mobile responsive experience.

Ziv Raviv:
It’s better for integrating it to whatever stock you are using. It’s easy, it’s really real caring support not of this big team that doesn’t actually look at you, but of people that care, and yeah, these are just some of the reasons. I also like the fact that it’s fairly priced and includes all these really sexy features like video control, automatic video control, and stuff like that that can actually create a Netflix experience. And this is one of our technological aspirations for 2022 to create a more of a Netflix experience in some of our platforms. So knowing that this partner out there that will support you, that’s really important.

Chris Badgett:
All right. I appreciate that by the way. Thanks for that. One more question. I know we’re going a little over here is just on WordPress as a platform, so LifterLMS exists in the WordPress ecosystem, which means you have to have a WordPress website which currently powers 43% of the internet is powered by WordPress. Why WordPress for you? I’ve been in this industry for so long. I’ve been in WordPress for over 14 years, I believe. So. I’m like really, I forgot what it’s like to be at the beginning of being like, “Okay, where should I build my website?” But why do think, why do you love WordPress and choose it for your learning platform as a foundation layer?

Ziv Raviv:
So actually to be fair, my background was in software development. And so when I chose back in the days to work with WordPress, I thought, “Hey, this is an open-source solution. Meaning a lot of developers are into it and the code is open. So if I have a problem, I can actually fix the code by myself.” That was my train of thought. So-

Chris Badgett:
So you were already kind of a techy. You were already kind of-

Ziv Raviv:
Yeah, yeah.

Chris Badgett:
You knew your way around technology.

Ziv Raviv:
Yes. And then I found out that you need to do some search engine optimization work in order to get some better results and improve your website and stuff like that to generate traffic. And then I found that being too techy can be a disadvantage. So actually I needed WordPress to kind of step up to a level like other platforms like Wix or Squarespace where it’s easy to move things around and easy to change a piece of text and easy to generate a lot of content fast. But what saw did, what have stepped up big time with themes like Divi which is my personal favorite and Elementor and even Beaver Builder and stuff like that, other builders, WPBakery, all these other visual builders that are actually as good as the Wix and Squarespaces of the world or sometimes even better.

Ziv Raviv:
And once the visual builders have matured to the level where you can generate a stunning website for both mobile and desktop and anything in between that changed all of the score from my standpoint and made the WordPress the best. So WordPress website often because of that and because they’re so flexible, so mobile-friendly and so easy to control, they often score better in search engine optimization type of campaigns like you see them first, not always. Yeah, you can win with any website, but often WordPress is easier for SEO. Often, if you need to get someone to go into your website and fix something, you could find a million WordPress developers out there. I’m probably downplaying it. There’s probably just a lot of them even more. And you could find them easily and affordably to go in and help you fix something if you need help.

Ziv Raviv:
And a lot of the other platforms, you are dependent on the provider of the technology to support you. If the support is not that good, then you are going to have a problem. And I love how flexibility. I love how it’s easy to add component. I love how its integrates to everything. Anything that you can imagine, someone already created a plugin and put it into WordPress. We generated as QV Media, we generate four different plugins. Some of them actually sit on top of LifterLMS and helps you do this very, very specific scenario that we needed. So to me, if you are not a tech-savvy person, I would still recommend WordPress because of all the advantage of easy support, better user experience with the visual builders of today, and just the fact that you will probably use it more efficiently and grow your footprint that way.

Ziv Raviv:
Because the bottom line is all about friction. If you have friction in creating content, you will create less content and that will stop your ability to grow, to exponentially grow eventually. So I think that if you are really good in your Wix website, then stay on Wix. There’s nothing wrong with that. But a lot of our clients, when I coach people, they will have a Squarespace site and the WordPress LifterLMS course, right? So it’s not like you have to have only one. We have over 80 online websites like WordPress websites in our platforms. We don’t have any Wix or Squarespace or any other type of website ourselves because we just love WordPress and managed to go with it. So it’s really is okay to use any tool but WordPress has been amazing for us.

Chris Badgett:
That is awesome. Well, that’s Ziv Raviv. If you want to go see a great example of a learning site like we’re talking about you can go to balloonartistcollege.com that’s built with WordPress, with Divi, with LifterLMS, and Ziv’s other favorite tools that he uses which is what makes WordPress so flexible. If you’re interested in leveling up your email copywriting and nurturing and getting leads and sales, go to dailycookie.co/hero. If you’d like Ziv and his team’s help getting those emails written and having that system have somebody to do that for you, check out what they have over there at dailycookie.co. Ziv, thanks for being a shining example of what I call an education entrepreneur.

Chris Badgett:
That’s who I serve. And you just shine your light so bright, and you help so many people. And as a result, things work out well for you in your life. You’re make a good living. You’re passionate about what you do. You’ve developed various kinds of freedom in your life which is awesome, but you still love what you do. You hustle, you work hard, you’re passionate. Thank you for coming on, being so generous with your time and your hard-won wisdom and lessons for the other education entrepreneurs out there. Any final words for the people and any way else they can connect with you?

Ziv Raviv:
Well, I just want to say that freedom comes in all sorts of ways. And this year we just chose, “Hey, we’re going to live for one year in the city of Tel Aviv, we just moved. It was so easy where I can keep on doing my job from everywhere in the world. And it’s so meaningful to have that in your life to know what you want to change in your life and change that. And I want to say to anyone that is listening to this, go to dailycookie.co. Even if you are not ready yet, just go there, listen to the podcast. It’s free. Download a lot, I want to say shitload of free resources that we have in there. There’s all sorts of guides and actual tools that we use as copywriters that are available for free at dailycookie.co. And yes, once you become that busy, and then we can actually write your copy for you, all those emails and even sales pages and copy for or anything, really. So I want to say just thank you, Chris, for having me here and thank you, everyone, for listening.

Chris Badgett:
We’ll have to do it again in another couple of years to see where your hero’s journey evolves to.

Ziv Raviv:
I would love that.

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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