LifterLMS: A Learning Management System for the rest of us

If I tell you today’s guest boostrapped a learning management system that works with WordPress, I feel like I’m not communicating why it matters or what it’s features are great for.

If you’re creating a course, or have a membership site, or develop training programs for enterprise companies, you’re going to care about what today’s guest has built.

Chris Badgett is the founder of LifterLMS, a WordPress LMS plugin for online learning websites. We’ll find out how he did it in this interview.

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Chris Badgett

Chris Badgett

LifterLMS

Chris Badgett is the founder of LifterLMS, a WordPress LMS plugin for online learning websites.

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Full Interview Transcript

Andrew: hey there, freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of Mixergy, where I interview entrepreneurs about how they built their businesses.

An audience of entrepreneurs joining me is someone who listened to Mixergy and boy, the place where you were listening is unusual. We’ll get into that within this interview. And, uh, then he went off and created a freelance agency. And from there he bootstrapped his software company. The software is lifter LMS, and.

Alright, I should introduce him. His name is Chris Badgett. Chris. If I tell people lifter, LMS is a, is a learning management system that works with in WordPress. I feel like people are not going to understand why, what an LMS is and why it even matters. What’s the, what are the features? What does it do?

Chris: So let’s draw on that. This helps course creators create launch and scale high value programs online from a platform that they own and control. Now that could be a single course. The training based membership site, an online school or training for a company, it can be used a lot of different, but that’s, that’s the essential nature of it.

Andrew: Because, and I should say this interview where we find out about how he did it is sponsored by a company that he hired because he heard him on mixer G top talent. If you’re hiring developers, you should go there. And if you’re interested in creating a site where you’re going to be teaching, then you should know that you can host it on my second sponsors platform, which is HostGator.

And I’ll tell you later why you should go to hostgator.com/mixergy. Of course I did. Um, I created. Content on Mixergy that we sold, we did it on other platforms. Interview your heroes, where I taught people how to do interviews. The pain of it is yes, you can host video on your site, but then you have to have a way for people who sign up to get the videos and people who don’t sign up not to get the videos.

And when people sign up, they need to automatically get access, which means you need to find a way to create a connection to ’em, to Stripe and so on and so forth. Right. And then that’s just the basics. If you decide that you want to do things like adding quizzes, then you have to go out and get another plugin or create something for yourself.

It’s a pain. And I understand why a lot of people go towards these platforms that are out there, right. Teachable Kajabi. Um, I’m sure I’m forgetting a bun. Think if it, exactly that, that was the other one I was trying to think of. And the problem there is that you’re on their platform. You don’t get as you don’t get.

Yeah. Any customization really because you’re with their feature set. And if you see that they’ve decided to neglect it or go in a direction that’s different from yours because they discovered that enterprise is better than consumer. Then you’re stuck with whatever direction they’re going in and you’ve lost a, you’ve lost your connection with your customers.

And so I get why people do this. Give me a couple of features that lift our LMS has that. The people may not know exist, and then we’ll get into how you built this business.

Chris: Well, the first one is just kind of the Metta feature of being an all in one solution. I’ve been around this space for like a decade. So having to create what I call the software Frankenstein to make a membership site work with your quiz system, your payment, it says your affiliate system, your engagement system, your logging system.

We used to build those for scratch from scratch for clients inside WordPress. And, uh, so the number one unifying principle, when we decided to create the product is we want to build the all in one solution for WordPress, which did not exist at the time. And, uh, have it also be open in the WordPress way.

So you could use it with the other tools you’re already using and, you know, integrate it and that kind of thing. you know, maybe you’re using MailChimp for your email list and you’re happy with that or convert kit. So we have like an integration plugin for that, but, um, and we also have spent a lot of time.

We’re really leaders in the WordPress space in terms of developing a robust API. So the developers can come in and build mobile apps. And really like you talked about the, um, hosted platforms are cool. They will get you there, but actually you’re probably, you may end up or you may not, uh, being like percent happy and feeling a little trapped.

so that’s what it’s all about, but in terms of features, the big thing that we do, and this is really the WordPress way, which drives me crazy. And there’s a lot of fun at the same time, which is we help the small VSB, very small business solo operator with a dream launch, their first course. But if some big player comes in, like, uh, I just found out the other day, Jay, Abraham’s using our course.

If you know who he is, he’s like a marketing educator he’s using lifter LMS and he needs like a very complex platform. This extendible without any the traditional, um, uh, you know, a hosted simple SAS solution. So we, we, we take care of both ends of the spectrum.

Andrew: I like that. I’ve never heard the phrase. These are the acronym VSB, very small business. Okay. You were listening. What actually, you said that you were willing to reveal your revenue for the first time ever. It is drum roll.

Chris: Yep. So this year and 2020, we’re going to do three quarters of a million.

Andrew: What have you done so far?

Chris: So total we’ve done a, I was just looking at it earlier, cause you’re a data guy and I’m more of a creative guy, so I’m like, okay, I got to get my numbers straight for Andrew. So I went in, I went into the analytics, we’ve done, uh, somewhere around $2.4 million through our WooCommerce store.

We’ve commerce powers, our software sales system. And uh, yeah. So that’s, that’s what we’ve done.

Andrew: you’re going to do three quarters of a million dollars, but you’ve already done how much.

Chris: 2.4 over six years.

Andrew: Oh, got it. Got it. And then how much of a, well, how much do you think you’ve done so far in revenue this year? And what do you think the profits been so far in 2020.

Chris: So we’ve done a little over a half a mil so far, and then, profit margin. Uh, this isn’t my expertise, but, uh, you know, we’re running. Somewhere around, I would say like 60% profitability.

Andrew: Wow. Net to the bottom line, 60% comes in. That’s phenomenal. And I didn’t realize this, but when you were listening to Mixergy, you were in Alaska doing what.

Chris: So I used to manage a helicopter supported sled dog tour business on a glacier. You could only get up to there by helicopter. And, uh, that’s when, so that’s what I did for like a decade in my twenties, basically. And that’s where I really learned leadership and how to manage a team and how to really be in high risk environments and, and also create systems.

So that’s the Genesis of me as a manager. And then, then I took the leap to being an entrepreneur,

Andrew: So this was Alaska hella mush, right? Like helicopter and mush. Mush is what you say to the dogs? Uh, heli is from helicopter. What was that like? What,

Chris: I mean, it’s

Andrew: an experience would be like if I signed up.

Chris: It’s incredible. So, first of all, I should say the owner of that business is a, I did a ride sled dog race racer, which is the big sled dog race in Alaska. So I would help him train in the off season of the tour season for that, um, and help train the dogs and all that stuff. So. I mean, I’m a huge adventure guy.

I mean, I know you are too. I’ve seen your running escapades in the continents and everything. So that feeling you get when you’re out there on the edge and you’re doing your thing and the world opens up before you and your mind finally empties out, that’s what it’s all about for me. And I’m sure you can relate, you know, maybe in while you were running an Antarctica and you have those, uh, those really big majestic moments of clarity.

Andrew: No. And I didn’t think that I ever cared about beauty and the environment, cause I just want to do my thing, but it’s true. I was in. In a space where there’s nothing but snow and it just felt beautiful. And then the way that the light hit the snow and the sky and all that. And then of course I do love, I do love the idea that with running, all I have to do is think about running.

There’s no running. And what happens if somebody else comes to attack you from the side, or if the world changes it is running. And it’s just great to have one place to channel all my energy. So if I were to go with you for Alaska, hella mush, I would get in a helicopter. You would take me to where.

Chris: So the Juneau Icefield, which is a, uh, a glacier complex of about 80 glaciers up behind you known and keep in mind, this is where cruise ships come in. So there’s like all these people once in a lifetime trip, looking for something cool to do. There’s so many business lessons in all this, but, uh, you know, you would fly up.

And then we had a couple of hundred sled dogs out there and about 20 or 10 guides. And, you know, the people would take people out on sled, dog rides and they would meet the dogs and you know, all that kind of stuff. And then we lived out

Andrew: you and you would be pushing. I mean, you’d be getting the dogs to move while I hold on. And then you teach me how to get the dogs to move.

Chris: Yeah. I mean, you gotta adapt to the person, like, what do they want to do? They want to drive? Do they want to talk? Do they just want to chill? Like, so, I mean, that’s what it’s all

Andrew: And what are you living in tents there?

Chris: Yeah. So like wall tents, which are more substantial thing, like civil war style tents, you know?

Andrew: Got it. I’m pretty big. Yeah. When I was in Alaska, it was just like a regular tent. I couldn’t believe it. The only thing that was different from a tent that I would have myself was the sun was beating down on these tents. So hard. That they were just wearing away the color of the tent. And so you’d see a new tent sitting right next to one.

That’s been out there for a few months and the one that’s been out there for a few months has lost almost all its color. It’s on its way to being just nothing but white. So then you were listening to Mixergy thinking what I didn’t know about this entrepreneurship thing, and it’s

Chris: the

Andrew: maybe I want to do it.

Chris: the quick version is, is, uh, I, I kinda woke up into entrepreneurship later in life. I will always was one. I just didn’t realize it. And, um, so I started, I got really into leadership and management and learning how to, you know, run a business and operate a business and lead people and develop other leaders.

It’s something I’m super passionate about. And I wanted to blog about that and that’s how I got into WordPress. And I learned how to use WordPress, watching YouTube videos. I can’t write a line of code. I’m an, I’m a non technical cofounder,

Andrew: Even to this day.

Chris: I still have to go look up how to do like a link in HTML.

Like I can’t write code. That’s not my role. I’m more of the product visionary guy and the team builder and that kind of thing. And the marketer and the sales guy. But I’m. Yeah, I just, I started, I kind of came into management and leadership and then started learning about entrepreneurship and tech. And then I just went down the rabbit hole.

And once I found your show, And I could hear all these conversations with people who are way ahead. And I’m like, this is fascinating. That whole concept of condensing decades into days like you, you interview somebody that writes a book or maybe they don’t, but then you can, you try to get the best stuff out of them in like an hour.

It’s awesome. And I just fell in love with podcasting. I learned so much. You mentioned Dane Maxwell earlier. I remember listening to his interview a long time ago and being like. Oh, wow. That’s how you do marketing and sales. You don’t have to be a business guy. You just got to get a clear customer and like do this whole idea, extraction thing and get into do it.

And like, I can, I can get into that. Cause I actually, I have a background anthropology and social stuff. I spent some time in Nepal and some other stuff back in the day, I’m really into culture and how people interact and how they think and how they build all these systems and all that. So.

Andrew: once you pick up on a pattern, you say, I think I could see this pattern. I can use the pattern myself. And now I understand also why one of the first businesses you created was a project management company. You were thinking what.

Chris: Um, well, this was my bridge into tech is I’m a manager, right? I can manage people. I, I can, I don’t know if trust me, I’ve saw a lot of big egos come up on a helicopter and all this stuff. I can’t hang with people of all types from all places. And I love it. It’s, it’s part of what makes me me, but, um, I was like, I got to figure out this online business thing.

I, I want to be location independent. I need to, I want to make money through the internet. I have this thing for the tech. I get it. I started to realize I can be a good marketer and sales professional. I was like, but I need to learn inside out of another tech company. So I I’m a project manager inside of an agency and started dealing with these, the expert industry as we know it today.

And that was.

Andrew: who did online courses.

Chris: Yeah, like in, in yoga or business training and things like that. And, and as I’m doing that, I start my own freelancing business on the side where like, all right, I’m going to get my own clients. And then, and then AF when I started over selling what I could deliver, I needed to start hiring real developers, real designers, and that kind of thing.

Andrew: what, um, when you were doing project management, what type of work were you doing?

Chris: A website. So tr training based membership sites. And sometimes it

Andrew: them built. You’re actually getting them built.

Chris: Yeah. See, this is the beauty of WordPress is somebody like me can come in and be like, all right, I’ll get a membership plugin, e-commerce plugin. And I can start putting this stuff together. And once I got myself in trouble, then I call go to oDesk or Upwork or wherever and find.

A developer to help me get on stuck or actually deliver what the client wanted. And that was like the early days of me figuring out like my place in WordPress. I’m not a designer, I’m not a developer. I’m the business guy. It took me a while to figure that

Andrew: Got it. And so once you understand how to get a customer and you know what the customer wants, it’s fairly easy to either do it yourself, using the plugins that you’re familiar with or find somebody else who could make it happen. Am I right?

Chris: Totally.

Andrew: Okay. What’s a typical type of project that you had.

Chris: So I did a lot of stuff in like yoga, alternative health. Mmm. What else did we do? I got it. I mean, I’ve been all over the map, a lot of stuff in real estate. I almost started a real estate sass a long time ago. Sometimes I wish I would have, because I would have made more money, but I’m so much happier being in education.

It’s really where my heart is and my legacy stuff. Although I really love real estate myself. Um, but anyways, I did a lot in the real estate niche and, uh, yeah, it was all over the

Andrew: these customers?

Chris: What.

Andrew: How are you getting all these customers?

Chris: So, this is a crazy thing. I mean, uh, part of it is, um, in the early days of internet marketing. So for example, let me give you a short story.

Uh, some of them might, you can’t spend money on a glacier. I had a management management position on the glacier. I was making money. So I started investing some real estate and the early days of Google, eventually I decided to sell it in 2009 during the recession. But I actually sold the land. I bought in a super rural area for double what I paid for it all I was in the early days of video marketing, um, paid PPC.

And I was getting like $2 clicks I could put in everybody, like, uh, I could, I could just do the keywords just for pennies. And, and so I just developed

Andrew: so what you did was you went online, you bought ads, Google ads that would then send people who were interested in buying property in Alaska. Right. And then they would come to your site and you’d sell the property. What type of property do you have?

Chris: Uh, I did a book. I did a couple of different things. I did raw land. I did a, some spec homes, like log cabins and stuff. And that wasn’t just in North Carolina or Alaska. I also did some stuff in North Carolina where I’m from. But, um, the thing, the really my jam was video marketing. I would leverage YouTube.

I haven’t got a real estate license for a short amount of time while I was trying to figure it out. And I was outselling the agent just cause I understood marketing and Craigslist and YouTube way early. I’m talking about like way early. So that’s just, I just threw it at it. I just so like listening to your show and all the reading and everything is just like, learn, apply, learn, fly, and yeah.

Andrew: All right. And so then tell me about how you ended up well, how’d you get customers then for yourself? Were you buying where you’re buying cheap Google ads for people who are looking for, for WordPress developers?

Chris: Not at that point. I was really the YouTube video marketing is where I developed my jam.

Andrew: Were you saying you created YouTube videos and that’s how you ended up getting customers to pay you, to build their sites.

Chris: Yes. So it starts with, it’s just the whole teach, what you know thing. So, I mean, I remember after I left Alaska, I moved to Montana for a bit and I, um, I started creating these videos about how to build WordPress site from scratch. We’re getting lots of views. And then some of those people would be like, Hey dude, they just, can you just build that for me?

Can I hire you? And that’s, that’s how it happened. And then it developed this like referral. Uh, engine, uh, as part of it too, and for clients, I never really got the paid ads, figure it out. It was more of the video marketing and writing about what I was doing. So you mentioned like if you’re my first teaching site, where I would partner with big experts in organic gardening and permaculture drive, they’re their rural events.

I went as far as to Costa Rica to film some of this stuff. And then. Uh, create the site, put it in a course. And then I would blog about how I did that. And then all of a sudden people actually started commenting on my blog posts. And then if we fast forward, I was getting, I got called from a company in New York city who wanted to put me on a plane.

Cause I wrote a article about how to do affiliate marketing for online courses. It just came from and I went there and I helped them. It just came from, uh, just doing the videos and doing the blogging in the early days.

Andrew: Okay. I see where your head is. You’re then starting to get more customers you’re you created. It was code box your name, or was that the name of the merged company.

Chris: That was the name of the merge

Andrew: Okay. So your company was called wide Badget project management.

Chris: Badgett media was my, uh, yeah.

Andrew: I see a lot of badges that was badgered webdesign Badger, project management, Badgett media.

And then why did you merge it with someone else and create code box?

Chris: Uh, it’s a great story. Um, so I’ve, I was looking for a developer on a Upwork oDesk. It was called at the time and I found who’s now my cofounder on there. And I hired him to do some work for me. Cause I needed a real developer and he hired me to do some work for him cause he needed a real project manager because their clients were going insane and they were having some issues.

Uh, so we basically were working for each other and finally we were like, let’s just smash them together. And a lot of that, they, they, by the way, had a leg into the infusion soft community. So we, I was doing more. These VSPs not as expensive sites. And then they kind of brought me in with my project management skills and then we could do better work and bigger projects and, and run the projects better with these bigger infusion soft clients.

And that’s where we started to move up the, the, you know, the price

Andrew: Uh, yeah, infusion soft. People are paying about a thousand bucks a month and the software I think is too confusing to use on, on your own. And so if you’re paying that much anyway, you might as well bring somebody in to help you do it. Well, right.

Chris: Actually it’s good positioning. It’s a good technographic profile. If you’re looking for

Andrew: All right. I’m with you on this. I see how you’re getting going. I’m curious about what your project management superpower is

like. What is, is it just listening? I, it’s not about the software that you use to manage. It’s not about checklists that you learned when you were working in Alaska. No, just listening to what we

Chris: business problems. It’s his communication. It’s making it about the client. It’s about, um, really listening to their pain, listening for what they’re not saying, you know, digging in for like their motivation and just even helping them with stuff that’s outside of the scope stuff and also building a team.

There has to be a bit, a really high quality bridge between the product, whether that’s a product or a service and the client or the customers where everybody walks away, feeling like they’re winning. And it’s so rare. Whenever we went on to a project, it always starts in this defensive posture. Like they’re like a, client’s like, Hey, I feel burned.

My last developer went dark. Blah, blah, blah. This is why companies like top teller. Great. Cause you, you know, you’re getting high quality folks, but, um, just having that, putting that human touch back in online business, it’s surprising to me how lacking it was and we just humanized it and yeah, we were good at what we did and we’re special.

Yeah. We’re focused. We didn’t do anything under the sun. We did membership sites and you know, more hard. Uh, e-commerce and training and subscription model businesses.

Andrew: E-commerce you mean physical products?

Chris: I mean, we did a little bit of that, but ultimately we focused on the LMS and membership site

Andrew: educators, the people who are info, marketers, the people who are got it, who needed membership sites who needed to sell education. Okay. You mentioned top towel. It’s a good time for me to talk about my first sponsor. It’s top talent. If you’re hiring a developer, you should go there. Chris. You’ve heard me say this so many times.

I’m sure I’ve said this hundreds of times on Mixergy. What, why did you go to top tile? What was your experience like?

Chris: I wanted to save time. I had, I have hired so many developers at all. Different price points, high, low. Uh, but I heard the pitch of what top tail was and the problem is solved. I gave it a shot with one guy. Uh, it worked great. So I hired another one. I went through it twice. And, and the both of those people,

Andrew: What was the role

Chris: a developer

Andrew: for what type WordPress developer?

Chris: yeah.

WordPress development for our agency clients.

Andrew: And then yeah, a lot of agencies do that. They don’t have the expertise in house, but the client needs it. Instead of trying to figure it out for themselves, they go to top talent. And then the top tile developer becomes like a member of the agency with an email address, Slack account, the whole thing, representing the company really well.

That’s what you were doing. Is that right?

Chris: Yes, but my business, my business partner was, is a, a very incredible skilled, uh, developer WordPress developer. So we had the talent, we just needed more capacity because we were getting booked out and the top tail developer, both of them, not only they do a great job, they folded into our team and worked so well with us.

It was just a great experience all around.

Andrew: That’s what it’s like when you’re working with top talent. If you go to top talent.com/mixergy, you’ll get 80 hours of developer credit. When you pay for your first 80 hours, in addition to a no risk trial period, I’ve got to say that I run a site on WordPress. I talked about top tile for a long time. Got a lot of customers for top tile.

And for some reason, I didn’t think the top tail would help me with my WordPress site. And at some point I brought up an issue and they said, you know, we’ve got someone for that. I said, really, you can do WordPress work. They said, yeah, absolutely. And I realized all these really crappy, low level inexpensive commoditized developers that I was working with were just sucking up a lot of my time and not solving the fricking problem.

So I went to top towel and I thought I would end up with this project that lasted forever. The person I hired from top talent, first of all, was able to start within days and second solved the fricking problems so quickly that we did. We have months and months of work together. We just worked with the person and truthfully, when the project was done, we moved on.

That’s the beauty of top Cal hire quickly solve the problems that you have and know that you’re getting the best of the best developers go to. And you know, you’re doing it because they’re giving you two weeks. Trial period. So here it is again, your call to action. Go to top as top of your head, talent and talent.

That’s T O P T a l.com/m I N E R G Y. To get that really unbelievable offer that they’re not making to anyone else. Top tile.com/mixergy. All right. At some point you said, you know what? I think I could become a guru. Right? What was it that you were going to teach or create a guru site?

Chris: So for me at first, it was the publisher model with part partnering with these organic gardening. And this is actually a project I did with my wife who is, has degrees in sustainable agriculture. I actually live on a little organic farm here in Maine, but, um, It was really funny. I, we found like the biggest names most sold on book on Amazon was on.

And I probably heard something. Yeah, Mixergy. That inspired me to say this. I told her, Hey, when you talk to them, you just want to present the offer. So all they have to do is say yes and ask them where we should send the check. And I didn’t mean her to say it like just that shortly, but she did. And, uh, we started getting these clients.

So we, we built out a portfolio of like 10 experts. It wasn’t really us as a guru. Um, but more working with this niche that was under the radar that had was tech challenge. That there’s a lot of demand for. was kind of

Andrew: you wrote a book that’s doing really well. It it’s about organic farming. We’re creating a site where we can publish a course for you. Did you tell them to create the course or were you going to do it for them?

Chris: No. All they had to do is say yes, we would drive or get on a plane with a video camera and film it because these people are doing workshops in person all the time. Sometimes charging a lot of money for it. And when we were, um, I was like, we can, we can build digital products here, which is what I want to do.

Like let’s build some digital products. I don’t have to be the expert. So that’s how that started.

Andrew: Okay. I see one here. For example, there’s a food forest design and care for cities and suburbs. That’s with Toby Hemingway.

Chris: Yeah. He’s the number one permaculture expert in the world. Sadly, he’s passed on, but, um, Toby’s work. He was the top selling permaculture author on Amazon and we, uh, did two, two projects with him.

Andrew: And so he got to sell his course on your platform for $60 and you split the revenue with him.

Chris: That’s what we did. And, uh, the cool thing about this is you get traffic. So they put these experts who are well known online. They have their, their home websites. They, they put up links to their online products. And so there’s sort of some traffic built into the relationship too.

Andrew: Got it. Okay. So you’re building this for others. You’re building it for yourself with others, and you’re starting to pick up on what that leads you to create lifter LMS.

Chris: It’s really that. Uh, there’s gotta be a solution in WordPress. And I heard a talk with Matt Mullenweg at, uh, the, you know, when the founders of WordPress who was talking about how WordPress was becoming a platform for development, not just publishing. And when I heard that and I really got into it and I looked at it with my business partner, I’m like, let’s help people build their own web apps.

And so instead of, I mean, it goes against the traditional walled garden, SAS, but I it’s, let’s let people build these islands and, you know, own their own, uh, sites, the WordPress open source thing. And let’s just, let’s just do it. Well, we’re already WordPress agency. People let’s go all in we’re we’re burning out as agency owners.

Like we’re going crazy. Uh let’s let’s do it. Let’s let’s productize.

Andrew: I imagined it was exactly let’s productize. Let’s take all the work that we’ve been doing and turn it into a single product that other people can use instead of hiring them. And if they hire us it’s to just improve the work that we’re doing, improve the app, the plugin, or they might hire us to implement the plug.

And am I right?

Chris: Totally. And I did presales. I’m a sales guy, so I’m like, we’re selling this thing before we’re building it. I said, if we get a hundred customers, a we’ll we’ll do it. If not, we’ll shut it down. We’ve got 42 customers that says, screw it. We’re doing it anyways. And, uh, and then we had our early adopters. And to me it’s a little like wild to think back that some of our beta users where some of our high end agency clients, but we, uh, that’s that transition was really hard to, to bootstrap a product out of an agency.

The agency always cannibalizes the product is a very hard move, but we pulled it off.

Andrew: The agency gets cannibalized by the product, right?

Chris: Other way that the other way, the ne the needy clients, they need the developers they’re there they’re giant business. They have a lot of

Andrew: and so they suck the developers’ attention away from the product and they’re the ones who are paying. So you have to pay attention to them. That’s, you know, that’s what I thought. Um, that’s a big challenge that every time I talk to an agency that wants to create a product, they, they bump their head into this.

What did you do to deal with that? To get yourself enough time to actually create this thing that won’t pay off for a long time?

Chris: Uh, in a lot of ramen noodles, I moved my family into a, uh, RV and we, uh, so we took our, and, and it’s all about mindset and how you see the situation where we homeless. Maybe where we visiting national parks, camping out all the time, doing what we love. Yes.

Andrew: When you say your family, you had kids.

Chris: Yeah. Two daughters.

Andrew: So you took the two daughters. How are they, how are they studying? How are they going to school when you’re taking them into an RV?

Chris: Ah, so this is, I made it a little different choice in life. So technically we are, um, unschooling our kids, which means no formal school, no training. They’re eight and 10 now. And, uh, whatever they’re interested in, we just put it in front of them and they, they do it. So we’ve. Uh, I got one of my daughter’s really into playing piano.

So she’s doing piano stuff. Uh, one does dance they’re into primitive skills like this whole concept right now. That’s, that’s big during COVID. Um, the micro school that you hear talking about, this kind of thing we’ve been doing, we’ve been doing forever with, um, you know, little homeschooling communities here and there.

We call them co-ops. We call them different things we bring in outside experts.

Andrew: So wait, if your daughter’s interested in piano, how do you find a piano and an expert and take her to do that?

Chris: Well, I got attached to the trailer. I went down to Portland, Maine, and I bought a $450 upright piano, but, and now it’s in my house, but, uh, we there’s piano teachers everywhere.

Andrew: you brought a piano teacher into the house and the piano teacher taught your daughter.

Chris: Yeah, she would actually go visit the piano teacher. And now, since COVID, I actually helped that piano teacher figure out zoom and camera angles and all this stuff. So, uh, yeah, there’s a, there’s

Andrew: been loving this, this, this whole micro schooling thing. I love it

Chris: It’s cool.

Andrew: I, I feel like the kid gets, my son gets a lot more attention from the teacher. We’ve got five kids in a group. The teacher is slacking me, what my son is doing in the class. I understand. Okay. I think we need to do this to follow up at home.

I understand what he’s working on. She has enough time for us. He also does zoom classes, two half hour zoom classes with his, with his teacher. And. It’s been wonderful. I feel like the next level is what you’re talking about. I want to know, just do the two zoom classes and stick with the curriculum, but to say, what are you interested in and who is uniquely qualified in the world to do this?

Obviously they’re not going to be just one person, but who is the person who’s going to do your, your approach. So if he’s into classical music, Why should we find you find a pianist who’s into, I don’t know what chopsticks or whatever it is that they’re supposed to do clearly. I’m, I’m what I should say instead is if he’s into heavy metal guitar, shouldn’t we find the heavy metal guitar, Susie in LA who doesn’t have any work during the day who would like to do that, who always wanted as a kid to learn heavy metal guitar, but it was forced to learn classical guitar.

That’s what we’re talking about. I want that.

Chris: Totally you the education system. Um, there’s just a lot of opportunities to do things in different ways. And, uh, this, this moment in time right now is, uh, is really shining the light on all the different paths available here.

Andrew: I want to find out how teachers are using lifter LMS, but we’ll come back to that. What I’ll tell you is that I’m now on a internet archive looking at one of the first versions of lifter LMS, and

Chris: It’s on Lee pages, by the way, we built a lead pages landing page. I don’t know if that’s what you’re looking at,

Andrew: I think it is. That makes sense. It looks so familiar, but I thought it was everybody had this site at the time. No, that makes sense. Okay. I assumed it was on Lyft or actually, or that it eventually became on lifter, but no, you’re, um, you’re saying it was just on this landing page software. Okay. So I see, I see it’s just got a list of features that are coming up and a list of features that you already have basic features that you have is e-commerce the ability to sell membership, the ability to, um, to, you know, lock out people who are not poor, not paying and allow people in who are paying engagement.

Um, There’s something that you didn’t really say much about, but it was just, we have ideas around engagement for followup. And then if I scroll below, there’s a bunch of coming soon, uh, advanced, uh, assignment functionality coming soon, live events management coming soon, easily add protected audio content from SoundCloud coming soon.

Um, protected videos from Vimeo, YouTube Wistia, cell phone videos coming soon. It was. Oh, boy, this list is way long, but it was just you and Joshua, your co founder, who I’ve known for what? Wait, Joshua, your co founder.

Chris: Joshua millage was the partner of Thomas Levy at code box. So when I joined, when we, Joshua is no longer, uh, Active partner with us now, but when we merged together, it was the three of us, Joshua Thomas and me. So, you know, Joshua that’s

Andrew: I do. I know him. Um, okay, so you’ve sold it. How much were people paying for it at the time?

Chris: So, first of all, I should say, um, WordPress, we were like, we’ll commerce. We have a freemium end right now. Uh, but when I started, we wanted to validate, so we charged $150 or $149 for when we first launched about a year and a half in, we turned it to the freemium plus. It’s out on model like WooCommerce.

Andrew: Okay. All right. You’ve had your sale. You had your base features. It was membership. It was what was it? What else? The ability to sell,

Chris: Yeah, the course structure, like the course building, uh, the engagement, which is, um, achievement, badges certificates. We took what we learned from infusion soft and built like a behavior trigger email system into the software.

Andrew: yeah, Infusionsoft is good about that. Meaning if somebody finishes module three, you can send them an email saying you didn’t do module four yet. Here’s a link.

Chris: yeah, we just built that into the software.

Andrew: That makes sense. Okay. I could see that. That’s what people are looking for. What about for, um, for getting leads, you know, that landing page, the freebie. Did you do any of that?

Chris: Um, we didn’t really do like a front end builder. We do have, um, Uh, we’re just launching right now, actually some landing page templates that people can just suck in. But, uh, in the early days, people kind of had to figure it out themselves and, you know, use WordPress. A lot of people would use a page builder, a tool like Beaver builder Elementor or some people, if they’re more advanced marketer, they might already have a lead pages or okay.

Bounce or something like that. And just their landing pages and then link into the WordPress site for the checkout flow.

Andrew: Okay. You made time to do this. Cut back your own expenses by, by going homeless, essentially, or living in an RV right now, actually the new Yorker in one of its latest issues called it, um, road schooling, not

Chris: Yeah, we did

Andrew: roads. That’s the

Chris: I mean, our kids have, you know, the national park badges again, they got like, they’re just loaded up with lots of badges.

Andrew: Did you sweat at all that they did. You sweat the things like social studies and where they were with that? Did you sweat reading that they have to be at a certain level? No.

Chris: They’re fine then they’re actually at this point, they’re there just as far, if not more far there, but else. And, uh, I mean, kids are curious, curious learning machines, and if you put them in the right environment, you can uh

Andrew: the right environment is hard.

Chris: Yeah, it is.

Andrew: would, I, even if it’s reading that so many learned to read apps, a lot of them are junk food that pretend to teach people to read. Somehow they have high ratings in the app store, but they’re junk finding the right app was a headache for me. And I don’t think I still found the right app finding the right teachers even harder.

How how’d you do it? I don’t want me to get too far off of lifter, but

Chris: No, it’s cool. This is my, this is the core of what we do. Learning, lifting up others through education is like my life mission and my company mission. And I’m super excited about this. Um, so for one, um, my wife is more work from home. Like she does the farm and, but she’s very involved in just making sure they got everything.

So she’s around to help guide the process more than me cause I’m out scrappy entrepreneur guy in the backyard, but not as available. Um, But where we kind of limit the screen time. So a lot of it is down to books, uh, you know, print books, uh, writing. And we, we do, it’s all about applied learning. So we help them start businesses.

So like one of my daughters has a chicken business where she sells eggs. Another one has a flower business. And when you get into these businesses, you need to learn how to read some packages of things you need to. Do some money things which is going to require math. We build a farm stand with like wood tools and wheels that they need to like move down to the road and stuff like that.

So it’s just applied learning, or what’s also known as project based learning. So not learning for its own sake, but it’s related to some kind of project or activity that they’re drawn to. That’s the important part.

Andrew: All right. I get that. I feel like basically you end up with a whole other job of teaching without any, any guidelines. Didn’t you have to figure it out and make it up. You go along

Chris: It’s one of the reasons why we move, where we move, because, um, this particular part of the coast of Maine, there’s a lot of people who, who are kind of into this thing, so you don’t have to do it alone. Um, there’s these communities of people there’s like-minded parents. So it gets

Andrew: do you

Chris: bit back to how do you

Andrew: a website where you go and find them?

Chris: I mean, we were in the RV, literally driving around the country, trying to find this place. And, uh, we found it, I mean, we were staying in Airbnbs like that. We would do this wolfing thing where you stay on people’s farms and, uh, you know, what.

Andrew: help out in exchange for living on the farm.

Chris: Yeah. And, and, uh, actually we did a farm stay in the town I live in now, which is called Belfast, Maine.

And we really, uh, fell in love with the area. Once we started getting into that community and we’re, we decided to stay, but it’s really hard. I call it the war on parenting. You have, especially as an entrepreneur, Um, you, you have like all this pressure, you’ve got young kids, so this is this it’s super, um, and society’s not necessarily set up to really always support you in the, depending upon your configuration.

Like, we didn’t have extra family around to help in the day to day. Um, you know, and we did, and I didn’t have a dependable job, so there’s a, you know, the roller coaster, all that. And then, so it’s hard. It’s super hard.

Andrew: I was saying that with running, I don’t have to make it up as I go along. I just know what I need to do. Put one foot in front of the other and have the stamina to continue going. Even when your body feels like a Cantor, your mind feels like you need to stop with running a business with founding your own company.

You’re constantly having to make up the road as you’re running down the road and you could end up going in the wrong direction. Right? I don’t want to beat this analogy to death, but you get what I’m talking about to have the same thing happen in the rest of your life. Meaning your kids have to have it all made up is really painful.

I do wish that there were better resources for this, that there was better that there were more places to say. We want to teach our own kids. What are some of the frameworks project based learning is one to another framework. And then where all the resources and people that we need to have around us, if it’s micro schools, how do we find the local micro school wherever we land so that, you know, if you’re a digital nomad up until the last year, You know that there are sites that you could go where you can find places to live.

You know, that their offices, everything from the coffee shop becomes your office too. And you’ve got special apps where you can figure out where the right coffee shops are with the right internet, all the way over to the reaches of the world. And the, and the, we were there. Isn’t the same thing for families that want to be more mobile that want to be more creative and all right.

I guess that’s the thing that it needs to be creative. Maybe I should step up and do it. Why don’t I take a moment? Speaking of creation. Sorry about my second sponsor HostGator. Before we got started, I said to you HostGator’s great platform, great platform for hosting WordPress, which means that lifter LMS will work with HostGator, right?

There’s a free version of the plugin. And then there’s a paid upgrade, which is pretty. Pretty inexpensive. I feel if anything, people are building a whole business on your, on your site and you’re charging at the low end $99 a year. All right. Anyway, that’s a whole other conversation. I feel like you guys are really inexpensive.

Give me an example of somebody who just said, I’m going to go onto WordPress and create a course who did well using lifter.

Chris: Yeah, I’ll give you an example. If you want to read his whole story, he’s on our site. So lifter has customers in. 146 countries. I looked that up today and Vive lives in Israel and he bought lifter. And I like telling this story because it goes against some of the conventional wisdom building an info product.

Um, He’s a balloon artist. He’s a kid entertainer. He ties the animal balloons and like makes clothes out of balloons. He in 2019 did a 277 K with his lifter LMS powered site. It for balloon artists can entertainers with a total address market, worldwide 5,000 of them. And only a thousand of them are yeah.

Really professional. So he has a Tam of 1000 people. All he needed was a WordPress site and a, he created more of this coaching program for these business professionals in this micro niche of the balloon artist. And he, um, he made a pivot during the COVID times and helped his people. Um, be able to figure out how to do entertaining through zoom magic shows and all this stuff, but through zoom and had even he made even more money.

So I, all it took was a passion of focus, WordPress site and lifter, and he pulled that off.

Andrew: It’s balloon artists college. I think the launch that he did and I’m looking it up as you’re telling me about it, $11,000 from the first course launch. I see it, it makes total sense. He knew how to do this. He might as well teach it. If you’re out there and you know how to do anything, you might as well start teaching it.

And I’m going, gonna, I’m going to suggest something to start selling it because when you selling it, you’re going to see the people really value it. I was just talking to a set to a, an entrepreneur who said the first customer, he got. That was the excitement. I said, why don’t you amaze when your inbox was just so full of orders that you couldn’t look at your own, you couldn’t find the email from your friend.

He said, yeah, but really was that first one from somebody who I never heard that gave me hope and made me decide that I could do something. Alright. If you’re out there listening to me and you want to start this, you should just play with it. You know what, forget it. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself.

Don’t say, I’m going to start this thing and I’m going to be the next balloon guy. Just say, you know, I’m going to experiment. I’m going to give myself a project based learning assignment for this weekend. And here it is, go to hostgator.com/mixergy. Challenge me on this. If it takes you more than three minutes.

So I want you to email me and yell at me, Andrew mixergy.com. If it takes you more than three minutes to be up and running with WordPress on hostgator.com/mixer to yell at me and then. Spend another two minutes, add lifter LMS. The plugin is directly in the directory, right? Which means it comes with WordPress and just play with it.

Just experiment, just look at it and see, do I like this? See what ideas come to you when you play with it. And the reason I’m suggesting you go to hostgator.com/mixergy, let’s be honest. It’s so I get credit. They’re paying me. I want to make sure that they know that they’re getting results for them. The ads that they’re paying me.

But for you, the upside is they’re going to give you the lowest price possible on that URL. So that’s the reason why you should do it. hostgator.com/mixergy. And one day you’ll be on here and you know what you’ll be. You’ll be able to say, I heard you talk about this, Andrew and it worked, or frankly, if it didn’t, I still want you to say it.

Alright, let’s move on now. Yeah. You went back to your customers and you got, you got them to sign up for lifter. What’d you get the next batch of customers.

Chris: Geez. It’s a lot of tooth and claw. Um, A lot of it just comes down to more and more. Yeah, I did everything. I mean, I’m, I’m not one of these guys who has like, Oh, I have this super tight thin funnel. That’s optimized. I put it the full arsenal of everything at it, which is affiliates, YouTube, social media marketing relationships started to go into conferences, um, asking for referrals, outbound sales.

Paid ads, all of it. And, uh, that’s once we got to a, about 400 customers, then the momentum really started building. And, um, you know, a lot of other sites started writing about it, more inbound links and all this stuff. So it was, uh, it was just a lot of everything. Uh, Not dying.

Andrew: Did you come close to death?

Chris: Uh, no, it was just hard. I mean, it’s, it’s hard to go from, uh, you know, just to be in the red for many months. If you just look at the product, uh, before we, you know, we’re actually like profitable, you know, that whole saying that it takes, um, Oh, if you become an entrepreneur, I think Dan from the tropical MBA said this that three years you can replace your salary.

I’m like, I’m going to, I must not be that sharp. Cause it took me like four or five and just to really get through all that. But I loved every minute of it. I, I, I, uh, I love the mission. I love the challenge, all the learning, just learning how this whole world of online business and entrepreneurship was a reward in and of itself, but it was hard.

Andrew: Was there a period where you almost didn’t make it. Was there a period where you thought I know for me, I feel like it happens all the time where I’m thinking maybe it makes her Jesus now done. God knows that. Even when I look back. I think when I first launched the paid membership site, I think we did 40,000 a month within a month, recurring revenue within months.

I said, ah, we totally failed. Only 40 is so bad. What’s wrong with this? Why is it working so well for everyone else? I swear to you. It was just like just constant beating myself up. It’s constant too. Do you feel that, was there a period for you where it was like that.

Chris: Yeah. I mean, the period we mentioned, we were three, three founders. Then we became to that period where that started to, um, where, where one of them wanted to leave or Josh wanted to leave. Uh, was challenging and Thomas and I had the decision of, should we carry on? Should we keep going? And, uh, you know, I took a long, hard thought about that and I’m really glad I said yes, but it was a, that was really challenging.

And I would just say the whole journey because I don’t, I don’t come from an entrepreneurial family or a tech background or whatever. So. As I’m making this transition in my life from guy who runs sled dogs and runs teams and remote places to digital entrepreneur. A lot of people around me didn’t really get what I was doing and that’s hard.

Uh, as one of the reasons why I started going to some conferences and events, just to be like, Oh yeah, here. I found my tribe multiple times. So if you’re feeling, if you’re listening to this and you’re feeling alone, isolated, and you get some value out of these episodes and stuff, I would encourage you to, um, you know, go experiment with some various masterminds or small or big conferences.

Cause there’s other people like you out

Andrew: What’d you find that was helpful.

Chris: There was a lot. Um, so in the WordPress community, there was a, a mastermind was, uh, Chris, lemme who, uh, he ran an event in Cabo that we went to and I was like, Oh, sweet. This is awesome. That was like my I’m in the WordPress community. I get it now. Cause I was just a guy who was using WordPress, but then I really joined the community.

I started helping organize work cans and whatnot. A big one for me right now is. Dan Martell I’m in this program called sassy Academy.

Andrew: Yeah, I’ve heard so many good things about him. I have to admit when I first heard he was doing this, I thought, does he trying to be famous? What’s going on here?

Chris: Hey, I thought the same thing. And when I got over the paywall and like this guy is really good at sales, he’s really good at marketing. He’s really good at content. But when I got over that wall, um, I was, I was blown away. I actually just renewed for another year. Um, it’s been an incredible value

Andrew: for that?

Chris: I don’t, he might change it.

So I’m hesitant to go on the record about that. I’ll just say it’s not cheap.

Andrew: Roughly? What are we talking about over 10,000, over 20, over 20 even got it. And it’s all how it all happens remotely.

Chris: It didn’t. At first, there was a, there is a lot of remote components and trainings and whatnot, but there were, uh, three, three live events a year. Um, so I was good flying to those and, and all that. But now those are running virtually for now. But, uh, that’s a great community right there. And I’ve also built out some other just masterminds in small groups

Andrew: And you create it yourself.

Chris: Yeah. Or people invite me to, is this just a, just a part of learning and growing as an entrepreneur and me being in the WordPress ecosystem, I like to get out and learn from the more the traditional SAS Silicon Valley style and see what’s going on over here because we can learn a lot. From all different places.

And I like to diversify my, my learnings.

Andrew: I do feel like there’s a difference in worlds and they don’t connect. And it’s a shame because well, more and more I’m seeing that Silicon Valley people are learning about marketing, but it took them a while to learn. And they’re still not as. In love with the type of marketing that I see in the, let’s say the bootstrapping info-marketing world.

And there’s some techniques that just work really well. And, um, for you as a person who is in the software space, you’ve seen I’m sure how many people have created WordPress plugins, bootstrap software. And it, it didn’t ended up going as big as it could. Meanwhile, you see something jerk with a crappy.

Thing that ends up selling for a lot of money. Right? I’ll give you a great example. The founder of posture is today. I think he, uh, Gary tan said that he basically basically failed with postures and that acquisition was a Aqua hire where Twitter just wanted hire the team. It was a 20 million acqui-hire right.

That his bad exit is that.

Chris: I have my family photos when my daughter was born on postures, which is now post Haven. I still use it. It’s like a private, private blog, but yeah. Yeah, it’s wild. It’s a different world that bootstrappers and the, um, you know, the VC backed world, I went to another great entrepreneur who you’ve had on your show is David cancel from drift. And I went to the drift event and I’m sitting in this crowd. And he’s, he’s on the stage. And I see like 70 purple shirts, like the team. And I’m like, and he’s talking numbers. I’m like, this dude has his same number of customers than me. I got his little team and like, this is a completely different world.

And it’s so fun though. I learned so much from David. Just, he doesn’t know me from Adam he’s, uh, I love hearing him get into story and leadership and stuff like

Andrew: How much would you think, would you say you spend a year on this type of community and an education?

Chris: Um, I listened to probably two hours a day of either podcast or audio book and you know, probably four hours a week is invested in training and learning either through mastermind relationships or content like courses and stuff like that.

Andrew: how much money would you say you spend on all of it.

Chris: Probably like 30 K something like that.

Andrew: All right. And I’m sure Dan Martell takes to heart of that, but.

Chris: I know. Well, there was, if we include that more.

Andrew: Oh really?

Chris: Yeah.

Andrew: Wow. What

Chris: And I’m, I mean,

Andrew: of money on

Chris: I’m talking about getting on planes and like,

Andrew: going out there

Chris: word, camp events and all this, it just, it adds up, but it comes around. I love. I would love to track marketing down to the dollar, but these, this whole relationship marketing thing is it works.

It works. It’s just hard to track and it takes awhile.

Andrew: Yeah, I agree. You have to have some money that you’re just willing to let go. I mean, I was even one time spending before I did scotch night at the office. I would take people out for scotch a lot and you know, scotch gets expensive when you’re out with people really expensive. I was in D C so of course there’s some nice spots there, so that could, I remember even come back from that goal.

Is it even, what am I doing? Inevitably, somebody would end up buying like a lifetime membership to Mixergy premium or doing something that helped grow the business. And I realized to sit and be anal about that. Just doesn’t pay. You have to, you have to just be willing to be generous. It’s certain things.

And then other things track the hell out of, do you track the hell out of certain things?

Chris: I’m more of an artist than an engineer. So I try really hard to track, but I’m getting better at it. Uh, you know, I track a lot of rounds, sales and leads and conversions and. Um, traffic and things like that, but, um, I’m not, we, we could use better instrumentation and all that, but it’s a little challenging and WordPress cause it’s so wild West.

It’s not like the wall garden SAS. So it’s a little, it’s a little more challenging to track things, but that’s part of the challenge.

Andrew: Where are you going with this? What’s the, what’s the end goal here now.

Chris: You know, we talk about this a lot. I was actually, uh, He wanted me to tell you, hello? I was talking to a ADI this morning.

Andrew: Oh yeah, you were

Chris: Yes. And, uh, yeah, 80, 80. Um, uh, we were, we were talking about that. He was like, I was asking for some advice on something and he was like, where are you? You guys going? So this is the second time I’ve had this question today.

And. There’s the, uh, 80 laid out, like there’s the profitability, there’s the legacy stuff. And there was some, and then there was, uh, the financial freedom I’m at this, this like, um, friction between financial freedom. Sounds great. But I’m a, I’m a minimalist. I mean, I’m doing just fine. We got all, you know, we, we grow tons of food.

We’re good. And we’re making good money, but like, yeah, I don’t need a giant exit right now. And I really love what I do. And what 80, uh, really helped me see this morning was the best investment you can make is in your SAS. Like why sell your SAS? And then go start. Becoming an investor. Uh, and I’m just so into what we do and the legacy of, uh, just helping disrupt, um, education and the digital classroom is something I’m really excited about and, uh, to democratize education that the digital classroom is something I feel passionate about.

So I just want to keep doing what I do. I want to get more leaders inside the company to help me pull the business forward faster. More of the same, just a doubling down.

Andrew: No. I met 80 when I was in, um, South America until I met him in person. I’d known him online for a long time. He always came across as a smiling, happy go lucky, hard worker. But as soon as I got into his house, I realized there’s a whole other thing. That, that I could learn from. It was the beautiful wine cellar that as soon as you come in is right there, unbelievable bottles of wine.

My wife loves wine. She wasn’t having that. He picked out the right one for her taste. And then of course he said, well, actually, this is just the beginning of it. There’s a whole wine store somewhere else. And that’s when it hit me. There’s a, there’s a sense of seriousness that doesn’t play well online that he, that he’s tapped into.

And it’s about money management. It’s about thinking through the future. It’s about taking care of your kids in a way that we don’t think anyone cares about until they’re in their fifties, or if they’re in a corporate job that he’s managed to think through. And I thought that was really helpful. I think he, you probably know him well, because he’s also in Dan Martell’s group, right?

Chris: I do, I did meet him through there, but I’ve been aware of him in the word we’ll commerce

Andrew: Because he created WooThemes and WooCommerce and has done really well in that space. Um, I do feel like those types of conversations are really helpful. Alright. I think we’ve covered a lot here. I feel like I’ve missed some things. I’m not sure what, there’s only one thing that stands out. So I might as well bring it up.

I feel like with, with Kajabi and the others, when people are using them, they’re promoting them to, and with lifter. Nobody’s promoting it. Right. Do you get a link from I’m the free person from the free users?

Chris: Uh, I mean, we don’t, we don’t have that. There’s some issues with that in WordPress, but we, we do have, uh, I mean we have like 600 affiliates or whatever. Um, but it’s not as like, if you look at Kajabi or ClickFunnels, um, there’s just more per user and promoter is just not as popular in this space, but there’s a lot of, uh, you know, just word of mouth referral and all that kind of

Andrew: Yeah, but you don’t get that in natural built in stuff. Do you also have, um, a hosted package? So if someone’s listening to us and says, you know what, I like that I can go to HostGator, but I’d rather just not give it to me all at once.

Chris: there’s this concept we don’t, but some of our customers do. So there’s this concept called a last website as a service where like Sally crew does lift sites for alternative healthcare practitioners.

Andrew: Uh, yeah.

Chris: so she’s built that or whatever I’ve thought about getting into it. Um, we do by the way, have a, um, partnership with WP engine.

So they have lifter inside all WP engine accounts, if you want to just activate it in there. And they’ve got a bunch of their themes that have direct integrations, so you can spin out the starter site really quick,

Andrew: Oh, yeah, I see. They created a whole landing page for that. Create a new website with lifter LMS. Got it.

Chris: so we, uh, we don’t have it, but others are doing it. Uh, thought about it.

Andrew: idea. Imagine somebody listening to us who says, you know, what. Nobody has the patience to install even a single plug and it’s easy enough, but they don’t have the patience to do it, but they do want to own their own site. They do want to be able to fire me. If they’re not happy with me, I’m going to create the lifter LMS site.

I’m not going to call it lifter LMS. I’ll call it my own thing. And then I’m going to create a hosted package. You pay one time, no pay monthly, right? They should get paid monthly. And along with that, They get a, they get to give the lifter, LMS plugin fully works. Use the paid version of that. And the let’s say HostGator or WordPress hosting and some tech support.

Boom, that’s a package. Anyone who wants to teach anything, you got it. You guys doing better now because of COVID

Chris: We are doing better. We are doing better.

Andrew: is a parents teachers who’s coming on, the platform is a creators.

Chris: It’s all over. Like, let me just give you some quick examples. Um, tiny chefs is a summer camp and school for teaching, cooking that they, they pivoted to online. And, um, you know, they’re helping parents and kids who are trapped at home, learn and cook together, make different things. You gotta understand, like part of our target market is not just the expert itself.

It’s the, the WordPress pro the implementer, the builder. So

Andrew: Who’d has to pick what tools to use to build right.

Chris: so Tara clays from design TLC and DC is the one who built that project for tiny chefs. Um, we’ve, we’ve got a, what I’m seeing more and more of is, um, curriculum providers who aren’t teachers, but who are selling into schools. Like we have these groups add ons and things to do more volume sales at scale, like a multitenant LMS.

I’m getting a little nerdy here. But, um, so they’re creating, there’s this one group that’s creating a science training that they’re selling in the universities. So it’s like, uh, each or not universities, uh, K through 12, where the kids learn science through these particular, um, garden projects and ecology projects.

Um, but they do it. It’s sort of like a virtual textbook. We’re seeing more and more of that. I just saw another guy who leads up the. Um, of some talented and gifted programs and, uh, space science, who’s doing stuff, selling into schools. And then, um, who else? There was a, there was another one recently. Yeah, there, uh, I’m blanking on who it was, but they’re, they’re coming in. And really the, the other thing I just want to add too, though, is there’s the other side, which is so like the whole, I definitely, yeah, you’ve been in this industry a long time. So like there’s this whole make money online crowd. Right, right. Which is, it is what it is, but I’m not against making money online.

So the, the people whose careers are disrupted, I’m seeing more and more like people who have been laid off, which are parents at home and need to feed them.

Andrew: Who now have time to create something.

Chris: Yes. So there’s more, there’s more, there’s a resurgence of that whole, um, expert industry and it’s just growing more and more, and they’ve got lots of options.

There’s lots of ads on social media and lots of stuff going on, but some of those people come to WordPress and with our pricing and with our free version where. Very much designed for you to scale up through. So like, you can start, you can validate for free even, and then you can start getting into our add ons and upgrade and all that stuff.

So there’s more of that going on as well.

Andrew: Alright. If you’re listening to me and you want to go check it out, the free version it’s linked, it’s got a small link, but it’s linked on the pricing page. Am I right? You go to. Lifter lms.com. You’ll see, on the pricing page, there’s a link that says download free core lifter, LMS plugin, and you can get started with it right there.

Of course you can find it within WordPress and you can find it if you just want to go for the whole package. That lifter, I’m repeating it. Lift their lms.com. I want to thank you too. Sponsors who made this interview happen? If you’re hiring a developer, maybe you got something that’s working really well for it.

And you say, you know what? We need to blow this up, but we need a developer fast. You go to  dot com slash Mixergy. If you’ve got clients and you can’t say can’t serve them because you don’t have enough capacity, go to top tower.com/mixergy. And finally, if you have an interesting side project, you can go to top.

Toptal.com/mixergy and hire somebody to build it out for you. And I want to thank them and host Gator, hostgator.com/mixergy too much slash mix slash Mixergy at the end and said, I’ll close this out by saying thank you, Chris regulations. Thanks for being on here, everyone.

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