John Bura discusses how he goes about selling licensed content as another way of generating more revenue from the courses he produces in his business.
What is licensing?
In this final part of the John Bura interview, that very question is answered as well as a look into the boot camps Mammoth Interactive is providing, and useful tips on the services you can use to set some up for your business as well.
Licensing, Boot Camps and Generating More Course Sales with John Bura.
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You may like to read the previous section of this interview with John Bura: John Bura | Why it’s Hard to Be Successful in E-Learning.
Here is the final section of the John Bura interview.
Jerry Banfield: Well, that brings me to a question I forgot to ask.
How do people contact you?
If there’s somebody watching, they’ve gone through the whole two hours like, “Yes, I want to invest with this guy,” what’s the best way to contact and get a hold of you.
John Bura: You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The best way to follow Mammoth Interactive is our Twitter account @MammothCompany and you can go to our website mammothinteractive.com. That’s the best way to find some of our new courses or whatever.
But really the best way is Twitter and then if you message me on email, I check it all the time. So, email@example.com.
Jerry Banfield: Nice. Tomas George snuck in here. Tomas George snuck in with a good question at the end. He says, what’s the main thing you’re doing now to generate more sales and save time versus when you started?
John Bura: So, we have been actually doing a lot of licensing lately and we are always improving our Udemy sales rates. Our Teachable site is getting more and more income and we are selling more subscriptions and the last thing I’m doing which I can’t believe it took me so long is, I’ve started a YouTube channel and it is slow. We only have like a hundred or two hundred subscribers probably and I can’t believe I didn’t start it sooner.
It’s called Bura Tech. Please check it out.
If you like my advice here you will definitely like my advice at Bura Tech. So, you can check it out there. We’re getting a lot of subscriptions from that actually. A surprising amount of subscriptions. Those are the things that I’ve been doing.
It’s pretty good but as you know I’d love to hire like five more people and take this really to the next level.
Jerry Banfield: That’s a great tip.
For total noobs what do you mean by licensing your courses?
John Bura: So, if someone, a company wants to use the content for their company or they want to start selling the course we have a licensing fee and we’re one of the only companies that license it that way with the content that we do. The content is pretty good, so we’ve been getting a lot of interest in this.
It’s so new though that a lot of people don’t like putting the upfront cost but I make it work their while.
If I was in their shoes, I would totally take my deal. It’s that good. So that’s essentially what we’ve been doing. The growth is there, it’s just that there are other companies that are getting multi-million dollars of funding and sometimes I don’t even know if they have a business plan.
I look at what they’re doing and I’m like, if I got that money I could do so much with it.
Jerry Banfield: What you’re saying with licensing is, you make your courses and then you put them up on Udemy and Mammoth Interactive and then you also give them to other companies. I guess, individuals depending on who wants to pay?
You give them the courses as if they’re their own. Like if Pluralsight, for example, wanted to license your courses you’d work out a fee. Your courses would be on their website and then they would pay you the fee but then they’d keep all the income from whatever they generated.
John Bura: Yes. Absolutely and it’s a lot easier to do it that way from the business perspective. Dealing with royalties is a pain. It’s like I said, a good business tip for whatever you want to do is you put yourself in the customer’s shoes. What do they want?
That’s the main question. If you can answer that then you will be insanely successful. So, if I was doing b2b sales, what do the businesses really want and can we supply them with it? The answer is yes.
I put together a deal that’s good for us, good for them, and good for everyone. It’s just business 101.
Jerry Banfield: So, how does someone get started licensing their courses?
I have a private label rights program so I do it directly. I charge 48 a month and you can essentially license all my courses that I’ve narrated myself and I paid to produce.
How do you get started with licensing? Do you go to certain companies and say, “Hey, I think you could use my courses,” or do you just sit back and wait and take individual offers?
John Bura: So, because my team is so awesome my assistant Alexandra does all the lead generation for me and that’s another thing. If I’m making courses by myself, I can’t do that. So that’s where the company comes in.
Slowly but surely, it’s starting to pay off. But sales is really hard. Like really hard getting to these bigger companies.
The thing this year is I’m trying to do a lot of big deals and unfortunately a lot of them fell through but I’m always looking for that big deal. As long as you can pay the bills and everything’s going, that’s what you want to do. But getting to this big company then you also have to strive for that too.
Jerry Banfield: Well, thank you for putting the licensing really well. It rounds everything we’ve talked about here as another income stream for course creators.
Thank you, John.
Tomas asked, any new strategies or growth ideas moving forward in 2020? Did we talk about that already?
John Bura: Yes. I always like to bring it back to movies. At the end of the Dark Knight the Joker says, “Do I look like a man with a plan?” Well I am a man with a plan. Should I get investment or anything like that, I have a plan to take the entire ecosystem off to new heights and it’s a very well-thought-out plan.
It’s over eight years of experience and I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was 17 so I have all this experience. But the big thing is, currently doing what we’re doing, hopefully Udemy becomes investable and we can make $40,000 to $100,000 a month on there every month. No fluctuations. That would be awesome too because that would be just great and then the boot camps as well.
So, there’s that and then there are other things that are super top secret that you’d have to sign an NDA for.
Jerry Banfield: So, you did mention the boot camp. If I want to offer a boot camp, how do I offer a boot camp? What software do I use or how do I sell that?
John Bura: There is this site called Big Marker and they basically make it easy to run these boot camps and they have a charging system everything. You can also use their internal structure to promote boot camps.
They also do a lot of like live evergreen webinars. Big Marker’s really good.
Jerry Banfield: I haven’t heard of that before.
John Bura: I used to work with them a couple years ago and it wasn’t generating the income that I wanted to but I am exploring it again with the All-Day Machine Learning Boot Camp. I think that’s going to be awesome.
That’s something that I’m interested in doing.
Jerry Banfield: A boot camp is like a five-hour live training.
John Bura: Exactly.
Jerry Banfield: What kind of pricing can you do for something like that versus an online course?
John Bura: So, it’s going to be on your pricier side and that’s the thing that’s kind of interesting about our business. We don’t have any thing that’s pricey because at the end of the day most people will buy a ten to thirty-hour course. They won’t shell out a ton of money.
But these boot camps are probably going to be $999 and then you would also get a free subscription to Mammoth for the whole year. So, you get all of our content on a subscription basis too.
That’s like a $300 value. For the whole day you get to ask questions. You get a certificate at the end. I think it’s worth it.
Jerry Banfield: How far in advance do you promote those to make sure you get some people actually buying them or can you do it in a way you just sell it all the time and if one person buys it or a couple of people, you can run it.
John Bura: So, we’re going to use our huge list and we already know there are a couple people that are interested and we’re also going to do Facebook ads because that’s a Facebook ad type of thing.
Jerry Banfield: Because you can afford to spend several hundred in ads to get one person to buy it? That seems to be what other people are doing as well.
John Bura: Exactly. The other thing is, a lot of these webinars, there’s just like pre-recorded things which is not a bad thing but last time we did these they were basically like, come for an hour and we’ll build like Flappy Bird or something.
That was how live training used to be. This is going to be like a whole day affair. It’s going to be two and a half hours in the morning, two and a half hours after lunch and then after that it’s basically me in front of a computer and you can ask me as many questions as you can.
We’ll go through everything on how machine learning works because machine learning is difficult even for programmers. So, a thousand dollars to update your skills plus there are going to be a bunch of extra goodies in there. Absolutely, that’s worth it.
Again, if I were to put myself in a 23-year-old, just graduated college person, I would absolutely do that.
Then we’re also going to do that with companies as well. It’s going to be a little bit more for companies, probably closer to ten thousand to do corporate training this way and on top of that there’s going to be the boot camp so I can train a bunch of employees and there’ll be a bunch of other things too.
The short answer is, I’m looking to do a lot more b2b things because we’re all mostly b2c now. But that’s what we’re doing. We’re trying to get more b2b stuff and so far, it’s working. It’s just that I’d like to scale this up more.
I guess that’s like my biggest thing. I’ve said it so many times. I wish this whole industry was more scalable in the same way the app store was. And if it was, I think everyone would be happier.
Everyone from the investors, to the people working at these companies, to the students, to the instructors.
Jerry Banfield: I’m certain it is very scalable. I think since you and I work in this so much it seems like it’s going really slow.
I think we give it another 10 years this will be massive but by then it’ll seem like a hundred to us.
John Bura: Yes. Like I said if we get that gray area to work, then yes, it will be huge. But if we don’t get that gray area to work then I don’t think they’ll be as much growth. That’s just my opinion on the state of the market.
Jerry Banfield: Well, that’s comprehensive. I think we’ve done a boot camp equivalent here with online teaching with John Bura. John’s YouTube channel is Bura Tech.
Bura Tech is up on YouTube and the Complete Machine Learning Course For Everybody is live on Kickstarter now.
So those are two of the best places you can find John.
If you want to email John, firstname.lastname@example.org
John Bura: There’s a contact form on the website if that doesn’t work but I don’t see why it wouldn’t.
Jerry Banfield: I’ll tab back over. So, you can see mammothinteractive.com. You just go up to the About, click on Contact and you can get a hold of John.
I’m glad we had time to do this whole interview John. I think we’ve talked about so much that is helpful to people.
John Bura: I’m excited about the future. I always am. I’m excited for next year. Let’s end on that.
Jerry Banfield: Me too. Let’s make 2020 our best year yet.
John Bura: Absolutely.
Jerry Banfield: Well, thank you for an amazing interview, John. Tomas George said he just subscribed.
We will end the interview now.
Dope Designer says, what’s with the CloudWays shirt?
They sponsored a video before with me so I wore this shirt today.
Thank you for watching. If you found this helpful go find Mammoth Interactive online, take some courses, and you can subscribe to my channel for some more YouTube videos with me. Listen to the podcast and we’ll see you on the next one.
John Bura: Awesome. Thanks for listening everybody.
Jerry Banfield: Alright. See you guys later.