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How Andy LaPointe Creates Courses Around His Life Experiences
- Who: Andy LaPointe
- Website: cryptowisdom.com
- Course Topic: Cryptocurrency
- Interesting Stats: 100,000 YouTube views
Who are you and what course have you created?
My experience in fintech, blockchain, and entrepreneurial success combined with a solid foundation of 15 years of corporate investment advisory and mutual fund/separate account wholesaling experience allows me to deliver results. I have created and conducted in-person education and virtual training sessions for Registered Investment Advisors, CPAs, family offices, money managers, and more.
My experience provides my team and me the ability to comprehend, create and implement long-term, fully integrated campaigns, and learning systems, designed to increase cross-sell ratios, and cash flow and build long-term strategic relations with customers and clients. Experienced in crypto product launches as a product manager.
My team owns and operates several businesses including a fintech company, digital asset portfolio management, and crypto education company … Crypto Wisdom, and a consulting and publishing business. I am also an advisor and equity investor in a Canadian-based digital asset startup that recently received $29,000,000 USD in series A funding.
I spent 15 years in the corporate world as a Series 7 stockbroker, mutual fund/separate account wholesaler, and RIA (registered investment advisor). My experience is a rare blend of sales and marketing, creating education systems, entrepreneurship, financial and analytical analysis, E-commerce, and public speaking.
My skills have been honed at some of the top mutual fund and money management firms in America and the University of Hard Knocks. I am able to see through the clutter and constant distractions of starting up and operating a business.
I have been interviewed for some of America’s largest publications on the subjects of cryptocurrency, small business startups, factoring, acquisitions, and exit strategies.
A list of a few of the publications I have been interviewed in include: Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, American Express, Kiplinger, Nasdaq.com, National Enquirer, Briefings, Entrepreneur, and more.
I have spoken to groups ranging in size from 5 to 500 participants on the subjects of asset allocation, fintech, and blockchain-related subjects. My speaking experience includes breakout sessions and keynote presentations. I was the keynote speaker at the Midwest Treasury Management Association on the subject of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.
I’m also the author of 24+ books and education courses on the subjects of fintech, personal finance, digital assets, entrepreneurship, advisor practice building, management, and marketing strategies. I have over 3,550 students worldwide that have taken my cryptocurrency, blockchain, and metaverse courses on Udemy.
What market does your online course serve?
I write my courses for the personal finance, money management, and cryptocurrency market.
The main goal of any course I create is to always “add genuine value” to my students. This means my goal is to provide the following in each course …
A complete roadmap for the student to follow from the very first word to the last. Simply, a step-by-step so my students can gauge their understanding of the material, but more importantly how to implement the knowledge they have learned immediately in their personal lives.
What’s the biggest benefit of taking your course?
Real-world examples from my own experience. It seems everywhere you look there are a lot of “experts” selling courses. Unfortunately, many of these “experts” really don’t have real-world experience in what they have included in their courses.
Maybe they read a book or took a course on the material they are now teaching in their course. And that is perfectly fine, the knowledge of tomorrow is built on what was built in the past. But today, students want more than simply rewording the material from yesterday.
They want an instructor’s insight and real-world experience. The goal of every course I create is to “add genuine value”. I firmly believe those who have spent their hard-earned money and invested time taking a course should get more than regurgitated information for another course, book, or audio program.Your students deserve to hear your insight and experience on a particular topic in your course material. - Andy LaPointe Click To Tweet
They want to know if have 15 years of experience in a certain area or “one year of experience repeated 15 times”… lol… There is a difference when you talk with or take a course from an instructor with 15 years of experience or one year repeated 15 times. It becomes evident if the instructor has a deep understanding of the material or simply reads the teleprompter.
An instructor with experience can provide insight and a perspective that is unknown to someone with less experience. Students are able to pick up on this very early in a course.
Your students want to hear your insight on how you achieved your success. They want your guidance, so they don’t make the same mistake you did. Your students want to have “Ah ha” moments while taking your course.
An “Ah ha” moment is when an individual learns something and they say to themselves, “That is exactly what I needed to solve a problem I currently have.” Or, wow, I never thought of it that way. That is a very unique perspective to a common problem.” “Ah ha moments bend the mind to a new perspective.
One of the main goals of any course I create is to deliver a number of “Ah ha” moments.
How did you get into the market?
As mentioned, all my courses are created from my own personal experience. You see, I draw upon my lifetime of experience in different industries. I earned my residential real estate license a few months after I graduated high school. I sold real estate to partially fund my education at Eastern Michigan University. Then I earned a degree in finance. I sold real estate for a told of 6 years and then switched careers to financial services. Over the next 15 years, I worked in the corporate world as a Series 7 stockbroker, mutual fund/separate account wholesaler, and RIA (registered investment advisor).My courses are a blend of all the experiences I learned. No matter what an individual's experience is in life, the best point to remember is nobody in the entire history of the world has the exact same experience as you do. - Andy… Click To Tweet
Each of us has individual experiences that affect our understanding of a specific topic.
Why did you decide to create an online course in the first place?
Truthfully, it was a combination of leveraging my experience and the income it could produce. When you take a step back and really look at the benefit of creating an online course, it is leverage. You create the course once and it is purchased numerous times. The return of the time committed to creating the course can be exponential.
However, I would be remised if I didn’t also say that all of the knowledge and information in your course wasn’t created in the time it took to create the course. It is a culmination of your life experience. So in reality, the information in your course really took you 15 years to create, you simply condensed your lifetime of knowledge into a 2-hour course which is simply a snapshot of your overall experience.
Did you have any moments of doubt before you created/launched it?
When I was younger, I earned a purple belt in karate. While this was many years ago, many of the physical and mental techniques I learned when I was younger have stayed with me today. Like many budding karate students, I watched every Bruce Lee movie and read every quote. Mr. Lee has many insightful quotes to live by. I would like to share a quote from Bruce Lee to start my answer to this question:
“Action is a high road to self-confidence and esteem.”
When it comes to achieving your goals, knowing what you should do is usually the easiest step; the remaining steps are the hard ones. However, once you know what you need to do, the next step is to get out into the world and do it.
Every course you create isn’t going to be a best seller or even make you any money for the time it took to create it. However, it is all about the “action” of creating the course that will make your next course the best it can be.
So yes, I believe this is always a certain amount of doubt, but the doubt isn’t about if others will buy my course, but am I including all of the most relevant information in an understanding way in my course to provide the best information I am capable.
Also, as mentioned early, every single course you create contains your own personal experience and insight, so how can it be a bad course if it is from your own in-depth knowledge and insight of the material you’re delivering to your students?
What’s your online course like?
I like to give the full experience to my students. This is a combination of downloadable PDF audio and video. The video is a combination of live-action and PowerPoint.
How long did it take you to create your course?
My courses usually take about 2 – 3 months from initial idea to first draft. Then another few weeks to create the final. My process is a little different because I don’t start with anything other than an idea for my course. At first, I simply start writing about the overall idea or concept of the course. I then use mind maps to help me bounce from one idea to another that I want to include in my book. The reason I like mind mapping is it helps me to be as unstructured as possible during the creative stage. I simply write generic topics in my mind map and then I start writing out the copy.
Many times I write the mid-section and end of the course before I start the first chapter. One of the reasons is I write the more complex and in-depth section first and then work backward to the beginning and introduction. I believe if you can explain a complex topic in a simple way, that means you fully understand the topic. So by working backward, it gives me perspective to work from the complex to the basic and then I pull everything together.
Tell us a little about the process of launching your course and getting your first sale(s).
I launch my courses on the Udemy platform due to the revenue share model. Once the course is live I reach out to my media, blog, and my network for inclusion in any upcoming articles on the topic of my course. Next, I create a press release campaign to get the word out. In addition, I reach out to Amazon authors and inquiry if they are writing any new books and ask to be included in their next book. If they see yes, then I include them in my press releases, etc.
In addition, I reach out to my contacts on LinkedIn, too. Finally, I offer to teach my course at an adult education course in a local community. This is a great way to get the word out about my course and make some money. For example, one of my courses teaches people how to move from a big city to a modern-rural area. This incorporates my years of experience as a real estate and investment advisor into a single course.
Do you have a lead magnet?
Free downloadable PDFs have always worked for me. I always include free giveaways in my press release.
What’s the traffic strategy that works best for you?
Traffic strategies that work for me include:
- Being included in books
- Adult community education class
- Press releases
- Podcast and radio interviews
- Interviews in trade magazines
- Speaking at local events
- Sold my books to real estate agents and investment advisors so they can give it away to their clients
What online course platform are you using?
I use Udemy.
Do you like it?
I really like the simplicity of the platform and the revenue share model they offer.
Are there any features you wish it had?
For my purposes, it has everything I need for my courses.
What made you decide to use your chosen platform over others?
Prior to deciding on Udemy, my team and I wasted countless hours with plugins that didn’t deliver what they promised with the additional risk of being hacked. So after many months of wrestling with the hassles of our LMS, we decided on Udemy.
What other tools do you use to run your online course business?
- Email: Aweber
- Audio recording: Audacity
- Video editing: Camtasia
- Video conversion: Aimersoft and Movavi
- Mindmap: Mindjet
- Press Release: PRUnderground
What books or training programs have you found useful on your journey to a successful business owner that others might find valuable too?
- Russell Brunson – Traffic Secrets
- Jeff Walker – Product Launch Strategy
- Dan Kennedy – The Ultimate Marketing Plan – Also, any book by Dan Kennedy
- Made to Stick by Dan and Chip Heath
- The Boron Letters by Gary Halbert
Do you have any big mistakes you’ve made along the way that you’d be willing to share?
Probably the biggest mistake was thinking that my experience isn’t worth anything. When you really think about it. The only thing an individual has to sell is their intangible experiences.
For example when you hire someone to build a house, why hire a builder when you can go out and buy a hammer, a saw, a drill, lumber, and some nails? You can go into any Home Depot and buy the material to build a house. The reason you hire a builder to do it is they have the “experience” to build it.
Please share some idea of revenue.
In an earlier question, I mentioned I created a course that taught people to move from the big city to a modern-rural community. Here are the numbers for that course …
The adult education program charged $50 per person for a two-hour course. I had 30 people take the course. The split was 50/50. So I earned $750 for teaching a two-hour course and received free publicity along the way.
I taught this course a total of 10 times during the fall, winter, and spring semesters. For that, I earned a total of $7,500 for 20 hours of teaching the in-person course. That is an earning of $375 per hour spent each semester. I taught this course for three years in the format.
This is in addition to online sales. The most important thing to remember when writing a book or creating a course is the book or the course isn’t going to make you rich. It is what you do with the book or course after you finish it.
Please tell us a little about what the money you’ve earned from your course has done for you.
I look at my earnings to support my lifestyle. This means I first design the lifestyle I want for me and my family and then create the income to support that lifestyle no matter what that lifestyle.
In addition to revenue are there any numbers you would like to share?
My ultimate goal is a lifestyle. This means I work backward to make the numbers work. For example, for me to hit my lifestyle goals I need multiple streams of income from several diverse sources. No overlay and they need to be complementary. Since every revenue stream is cyclical, it has to have an offset stream of revenue.
- YouTube Views: All channels – 100,000
- Number of courses sold: 150
- Recurring customers: 1,500
- New books and courses created: 10
- Offline classes: 25
- Training sold to real estate agents and investment advisors: 150
What has creating your course done for you personally?
To quote the great Jim Rohn, “A life worth living is a life worth recording.” That is a great quote, because if you don’t record your life experiences, who else will?
Also, I would like to share a story from my younger years. My grandmother would tell us growing up, “The more good you do in your life, the more proud you will be when you get older.” That is a great quote.
While I didn’t fully comprehend the wisdom in that message until I was much older, I fully understand now that life isn’t about driving a new car every year or living in a huge house. While those are nice, it is about discovering who we are as individuals and unfolding the talents and skills already inside of each of us.
Do you have a story of a transformation from any of your clients?
I had a couple who took my adult community education course several years ago. During the course, they were like many other students sitting in the classroom. To be honest, I really didn’t remember who they were until they called me a few years ago. You see, when they took my course, this couple were in their mid-fifties and a few years away from retirement. They weren’t sure what they were going to do when they retired. Anyway, the wife called me, and to paraphrase what she told me over the phone,
“I wanted to call as say thank you. My husband was so depressed about retiring. He spent his entire career working on the line at an auto company. He felt he had no other skills. After taking your course, we put a plan together and move to a small town in Northern Michigan. He is so happy now. He tells me how he enjoys helping local groups rebuild park benches, community sheds, etc. And best of all, he knows can come home after a fulfilling day of volunteering and forget the stresses of the world.”
What advice do you have for people just starting out?Stop wasting time thinking you can’t make a difference in other people's lives with your lived experiences. Get out there and start sharing. - Andy LaPointe Click To Tweet
Of course, not everyone will care about or buy your course, but who cares? Just get moving.
Learn more about Andy LaPointe of cryptowisdom.com:
- Website: cryptowisdom.com