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Q & A with Danny and Abe

  • Episode #35

We are just about ready to kick off season two of Course Lab. Our next season promises great behind-the-scenes insights from course creators who are doing very interesting course designs and getting really powerful results. We’ll also talk with course builders about business models and structures that are making their businesses more scalable and lucrative. 
But before we do that, we thought it would be fun to compile some of the most frequently asked questions that come our way and answer them. If you have ever asked (or wanted to ask) Danny or Abe about course building, this might be your lucky day!  
In this episode we discuss:

  • What makes the difference between a successful course and one that is not?
  • How can you know if your course will sell?
  • How much time should you spend on making the course vs. marketing the course?
  • Do you really need to add coaching or support as part of your course?
  • How long does it take to go from zero to successful online course?
  • What’s the one thing Danny and Abe would add to a course to make it better?
“And many of the most effective courses that I’ve seen and participated in are very, very carefully focused and have a minimum amount of content to lead you forward into application and taking action.”

Abe Crystal

Danny Iny is the founder and CEO of Mirasee and best-selling author of nine published books, including Teach Your Gift,  Leveraged LearningTeach and Grow RichThe Audience Revolution, and Engagement from Scratch!. He is the co-host of the Course Lab podcast and executive producer of the Mirasee FM podcast network. Danny has developed innovative training programs that have raised the bar for online education. These include the Teach Your Gift Pro, ACES and Something From Scratch.

All of this grew out of humble beginnings. He started out just like most online entrepreneurs, with an idea and message to share, and no idea how to do it. He made several wrong turns, but he’s fond of saying that failure isn’t the end of the story—it’s a “plot twist”.Back in 2011, he started Firepole Marketing with less than nothing; he had no traffic, no subscribers, no relationships with any influencers in the industry, and over a quarter million dollars in personal debt, left over from his last failed startup.

In just a few short years, he transformed Firepole Marketing into Mirasee and grew the business to multiple-seven figures in revenue. Together with his business partner and talented wife, Bhoomi, he now leads a team of 80+ people spread all over the world, who are on a mission to support a very special global community of 100,000+ loyal and inspired entrepreneurs.

Danny has maintained a passionate commitment to learning and transparency, freely sharing lessons learned from great successes, major challenges, and even his personal life to support the online entrepreneurial community as a teacher, speaker, trainer, and advisor to many of the top leaders in our industry.

Abe Crystal is the CEO and co-founder of Ruzuku, an online course platform focused on student engagement. He’s also a strategic advisor to Mirasee.

Abe helps authors, coaches, speakers, and other independent experts create their own online courses and learning communities. He and his team at Ruzuku are on a mission to usher in a new wave of independent, authentic teachers around the world and invest them with the tools and support to succeed—everything the clients need to create, sell, and teach amazing courses.

Abe is also the author of The Business of Courses, about the process of adding online courses to your product and services offerings.

Abe is an adjunct professor in the School of Education at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He specializes in learning design and user experience research and earned his Ph.D. in human-computer interaction at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Guest: Danny Iny
Host: Abe Crystal
Producer: Cynthia Lamb
Executive producer: Danny Iny
Assembled by: Geoff Govertsen
Audio Post Supervisor: Evan Miles, Christopher Martin
Audio Post Production: Post Office Sound
Music soundscape: Chad Michael Snavely

If you don’t want to miss future episodes of Course Lab, please subscribe to Apple podcasts or Spotify or wherever you’re listening right now. And if you liked the show, please leave us a starred review. It’s the best way to help us get these ideas to more people.

Music and SFX credits: 
Track Title: Bossa BB
Artist Name(s): Marie
Writer Name: Chelsea McGough

Track Title: Grace
Artist Name(s): Shimmer
Writer Name: Matthew Wigton

Track Title: Carousel Lights
Artist Name(s): Chelsea McGough
Writer Name: Chelsea McGough
Writer Name: Matthew Wigton

Track Title: Coo Coos
Artist Name(s): Dresden, The Flamingo
Writer Name: Matthew Wigton


Course Lab

Ever wondered how online courses could be even better? What would that next level look like? Those are the questions driving online course experts Danny Iny (founder of Mirasee) and Abe Crystal (co-founder of Ruzuku) in Course Lab. In each episode, they bring on an innovative course creator and deconstruct what makes their course (and course business) work for them and their students.