On today’s show, I talk with Graham Cochrane. When he was in college Graham was set on becoming a musician. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned. He had to get a job that he didn’t like, and even started living off of food stamps for a while.
In this episode, you’re going to hear how Graham turned things around and how he became successful using YouTube and selling online courses.
Now Graham teaches others how to do business. He will give us some of his best business advice, and we also do a little role-playing. I like to put people on the spot, give them a scenario, and see how they would lead somebody through it.
This is a really inspirational and motivational episode. In fact, a lot of Graham’s story parallels my own story and timeline.
It’s going to be a lot of fun, and also super, super educational.
YouTube From Scratch
This course will be added to the All-Access Pass in early 2023.
Learn how to start a YouTube channel and get your first 1000 subscribers, so that you can qualify for YouTube's monetization program. This is a course for beginners who do not yet have a YouTube channel.
Graham Cochrane is the author of “How To Get Paid for What You Know” and is a business coach to over 3,500 premium customers worldwide. He founded The Recording Revolution, a 7-figure online music business, in 2009. He now hosts over 80,000+ monthly followers on his podcast, YouTube, and blog, talking about business, mindset, productivity, and psychology. Graham has been featured in Business Insider, Yahoo!, and The Huffington Post. He lives in Tampa Florida with his wife, two daughters, and a girl bunny named Willow.
- Graham’s website
- Graham Cochrane: How To Get Paid For What You Know
- The Recording Revolution
- Follow The Recording Revolution on Facebook
- Check out The Recording Revolution on YouTube
- How Graham discovered his niche
- Graham’s process for starting from scratch and building a business
- Tips for transitioning from free content to paid
- How Graham built his email list
- The difference between business coaching and creating content
- What to do with self-doubt and “imposter syndrome”
- How to price your products and increase your revenue
- Graham’s strategies for scaling your business
- Follow Pat on Twitter and Instagram
- Power-Up Podcasting®
- SPI Pro
SPI 579: How to Easily Monetize Your Knowledge with Graham Cochrane
Who is anybody to do anything? Everyone had to start somewhere. At the end of the day I don’t think people care if you’re an expert or not. I think only you care.
When you’re like, “Who am I to do this?” it’s a very narcissistic question. You’re looking inward at like, “I’m not good enough, and I need to be an expert.”
You’ll get further in life if you stop looking at yourself. Instead, ask “How can I serve somebody? How can I help somebody?”
That was Graham Cochrane. When he was in college he was really set on becoming a musician. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned. He had to get a job that he didn’t like, and even started living off of food stamps for a while, but he was able to make it turn around.
In this episode, you’re going to hear Graham’s story, and also how he became a really successful musician, but in a different kind of way using YouTube and online courses. It’s going to be a really inspirational story. In fact, a lot of his story parallels my own story and even the timeline.
Hopefully this will be an amazingly inspirational and motivational episode for you to listen to.
Graham also teaches a lot of people how to do business now because so many people were asking him how he did it. We’re going to understand how he does it.
We also do a little role playing because he’s a business coach. I like to put people on the spot sometimes and actually put them through a scenario and see how they would lead somebody through it. We go through that here as well.
Graham Cochrane, you can find him at GrahamCochrane.com. He also has a book which we’ll talk about in the middle of the episode.
I hope you enjoy this. It should be a lot of fun, and also super, super educational.
Graham, welcome to the Smart Passive Income Podcast. Thank you so much for being here today.
Oh man, it’s an honor. I’m excited about this.
I’m excited too, because I know that you have been involved with generating passive income and helping others make a living online as well. And we’ll get into that for sure. But I want to get into you and your origin story. I’m told that you have come from a long way to get to where you’re at today.
Like where, where did this journey really start?
Yeah, it started with music for me. my dream was to be a full-time musician. I wanted to make music videos on MTV, which is, it’s not a thinking thing anymore. Really. So I’ve got a dates me, but I wanted to be a rock star.
And, I was always on the stage either in theater and music. And so that was my trajectory.
I actually really took a hard swing at trying to make that a reality, and had some
What does a hard swing mean?
Yeah. Like all my friends wanted to be rockstars and then they all started to drop off as like, they realize why I want to get a real job and I want to have money. And so they got more serious about a career.
And I, I was like holding out, like, Nope, I don’t want to have a career other than music. So for me, that was making records, making demos, trying to get things pitched to record labels all through college. yeah, I mean, I really, I thought it was going to happen. So like I had no plan B, so I went and I went home.
Where you as a singer guitar player or a particular
Yeah, singer songwriter and guitar player. So I did the rock band stuff. I’m a big nineties grunge, you know, Soundgarden sensible pilots. That’s my world.
That’s what I’m talking about.
And so, okay. So that’s your dream. You’re submitting samples and demos, I imagine. And, and does it just not take off, like what’s going through your mind when maybe it’s not going the way you thought.
Yeah. Like the agreement with my family was my parents and grandfather had saved money for college. So they were all like, you’re going to college, whatever you do after that, we don’t care. So I realized there was a whole industry of audio engineering and producing. And so you can actually get a degree and hang out in a recording studio at school.
And so I thought that was a fair compromise. I’ll go get a degree. I’ll play in the studio. I’ll learn. I was interested in music, recording in technology even back in the day. So I thought that’d be fun and I could learn. But my secret mission was make a bunch of records, get, you know, take song, writing classes, shop things around.
And by the time I graduate have a record deal. and when that wasn’t starting to happen in the, in my senior year and it was, it seemed like every. Conversation was like, yeah, this is okay. Or we like it we’ll sign you, but we’re not going to pay you. And it was like deals that weren’t really deals.
They’re just like no risk on their part. I realized I got to get a job and this is, this is not how I thought it was going to go. So that, and plus I was engaged to be married. And so I was like, crap, I gotta actually provide something. So that was the beginning of a sad series of like three to four years where I was like, sort of drifting and like figuring out what’s my next.
What was your next step? Did you get a job in, if so, what was that job?
I sold radio advertising for a local radio station, in a small town. And that was awful. I realized early on that I was awful at sales. Go figure right now, sell for a living, but I was awful at that.
And then, I ended up transitioning it to, I worked at a jewelry store for awhile, and then I transitioned into working at a software company called Rosetta stone, where they teach foreign language stuff.
And I was an audio engineer for them. So I was sitting at a booth and just press record. And it would be like, you know, El Gato we’d bring the guy in and he would just say all the phrases in Spanish. And I would just, it was the most boring, it was a cool company, boring job. And I did that for a few years, until really until the, the global recession 2009.
We made our way down to Tampa where we are now lost two jobs that year had our first baby bought our first house. So, and then we lost the jobs after that. and that’s where I found myself. Like, I’ve got to find a way to make a living. In my only skill I had from the audio engineering days was freelance recording and mixing bands.
I was doing that on the side. I just, I was just for fun and for extra money, but that’s when I started to try to find out how can I ramp this up? And that was the beginning of my business.
Oh, amazing. I mean, it sounds very similar to my story. Having gotten laid off after getting engaged and having a plan, a not going to work and then kind of just wondering what was going to happen next. And then, you know, many people know my story of building an architecture website to help serve those people in that kind of took off.
When did you find that you were on a new Path in life that you thought maybe this might be the way.
Yeah. So when I moved to Tampa, I didn’t know anybody. So in this is the way my brain worked. I thought, how am I going to get clients locally? If I don’t know anybody, I’m going to try and connect and network, but what if I could. ‘cause I could do remote work. I could produce records, remotely people record it somewhere, send it to me.
I could finish it. So I thought if I get on the internet and have a blog, eventually I started a YouTube channel. It was just like lead generation for a freelance businesses. What I thought I, and I had no strategy other than people are going to Google stuff. So I might as well try to show up there and maybe they’ll see what I’m doing with what little client work I did have then maybe they would hire me.
And what that turned into was people liking the. People liking that. I was explaining things to them in a way explaining very technical skill. And this is kind of your, your world explaining a technical skill in a way that’s easy to understand. and people are like, oh my gosh, can you please make more videos?
Can you please do more blog posts? Sure. As long as I’m not in a gig, but a high need to make money off of this. So that was what was interesting was the first time I realized I was building a bit of an audience and there was a hunger for this stuff. And that’s when my head started to swirl. And I didn’t know, I didn’t know you existed back then.
I didn’t know anybody existed. And I was like, how do people make money off of their content? That was the question. And that’s, that started me on the Path of, you know, trying to figure out ads, sponsorships, and then eventually stumbled into digital.
That’s really cool. What was the content that you creating about that people started to know you for?
Yeah. So I, I decided to my target market was people who are going to record their music either themselves or in a studio. And then they didn’t feel comfortable finishing it. Like we’d call it mixing and mastering. So I thought. Educate them on the recording side. Since I saw the shift in the, in the industry, much like camera’s got cheaper and digital and people could become photographers for cheaper.
Same thing was happening in audio in the early two thousands. So I was like, dude, I know all my music friends are so confused about equipment and gear and how to use it. So I, I make, I made educational videos on what to buy, how to use it. then, and then the techniques of how to actually make your music sound professional.
And I thought that it would be kind of like a giver watch one of those Frank Kern ads where he’s like showing you how to create a funnel. And you’re like, this is really complicated. I’m just going to hire you to do it kind of thing. Like I thought I would complicate people or they would just see that it’s hard and they would hire me, but they were hungry to do it themselves, which like I was.
And so I realized, man, I’m kind of championing them and empowering them and they don’t want to hire me, but they want to learn.
That’s interesting. So you’re giving me all this amazing free content. You are building a name for yourself in this space, helping people with their mastering, but you have to make money somewhere.
So where eventually did you lead into to eventually start generating an income from the audience that you were building?
Yeah. I mean, I started with some sponsored posts and like banner ads on my website. it’s a manufacturers and stuff like that. But when I, I F the light bulb hit me, right. When I decided to teach a piece of software in the studio, we use called pro tools. It’s kinda like the Photoshop of the music world.
And, it confuses people. And I feel like I was pretty good at explaining it to my friends. And so I thought I could teach. Start to finish, like how to, how to like look at the software and use it and feel comfortable in it. But it’s going to take me three to four hours walking them through it virtually.
So I can’t just post, I think YouTube back then, this is 2010. YouTube would only allow me like 15 minute video uploads. So I was like this going to be a lot of YouTube videos. I was like, what if I just film it and put it in a zip file and like come up with a PayPal link and use I web on my Mac and make a little site and like just email my baby little list.
And I don’t even know why I knew about building an email list, but somehow I knew would thank God I did. and I, I decided to sell it and I just, everyone else has said. Courses for like 19 bucks back then and in the music space. So I sold it for $45 because I thought it’d be, it was way better than all those other ones.
Cause they were boring and a and somebody bought it and that was insane to me that somebody paid me $45 and they got a digital download. And then I was like, oh my gosh, like that’s not much money, but this could happen again. And again and again. And so for me, as someone who I would say is not entrepreneurial by nature, that was the moment that I started to see the vision of, oh my gosh, this could actually be something and buy something.
I was hoping like two grand a month. So I could maybe freelance two grand a month and make two grand on the digital side. And I’d be a happy camper.
Yeah. So tell me what happened next. I mean, you had that first sale for 45. You’re feeling stoked. Was there any feelings of, well, this is just a flash in the pan. It’s like, this is the only sale I’m ever going to get or did it just start to ramp up kind of.
No, I, I had, I just had so much faith that it was going to work. I didn’t know how fast, and I didn’t know what I was doing, but it had to work. Right. So like my wife and I, for context, we were on food stamps for 18 months. I had my like family members sending me money. It was like the most embarrassing, lowest part of my life because I had felt like. Know, yeah, I’m 26. I have a kid. Where am I going with my life? I have a college degree. I should just go work at a grocery store. Why am I blogging about audio? Recordings is dumb, but, it had to work because I felt like I had to prove myself. Right. If I felt like I didn’t want to go back to a cubicle, I didn’t want to go back to wearing a shirt and tie.
And I was like, if, if it could work, it would be worth fighting for. So I just, I spent all my time. Creating as much content on YouTube as possible because it’s stoke the flames. It was creating a little movement in that little audio niche, and that drove people to the email list. And that, that allowed me to create I’ve created multiple courses.
I tried a bunch of different topics, different price points. It took me about two years to finally hit a course that my audience really connected with. and the audience was also growing at that time after a year and a half of creating content three or four times a week. And that’s when I knew. W this is going to be a full-time income.
Like I think we made $60,000 in my second year and I was like, it’s game over. Like, I’m a happy camper and we could, we could see how this could grow even more. If I really pressed.
That’s really amazing. So 60 grand in a year after a couple years, and thank you for providing that context, you know, a lot of people hear these stories and they’re like, oh my gosh, you were an overnight success, but it sounds like it did take a slow churn to make this happen. But then, you know, the exponential growth, especially on YouTube can, can happen, you know, rather quickly, I mean, Something from nothing in two years like this, this is really amazing.
How big was the audience at this point on your email list when you were making 60 grand a year and also how much reach were you getting on YouTube? Just so we can get some perspective.
Yeah. So I think like after my first year, I might’ve had a, like a thousand people on the email list. and that was like me making again, like three pieces of content a week, every week for a year. one video, two blog posts. So I was just, I just, I was laid off. So I had time. So I did that. And then I think year two, I had 7,000 people on my email list and it was by the end of the year.
And that’s when I kind of, most of the revenue came in the last six months of that year. after I launched that other course. So it was, you know what it’s like with content where it’s this steady grind and when I I’m coaching people now with their businesses, right. And they’ll tell me I’m doing everything you’re saying I’m posting consistent.
No growth and I’m well, how long have you been doing it? You know, six months. Three months. Yeah. It’s like, man, if you go, if you look at my YouTube data or email this data, it looks like nothing’s happening. And then year and a half into two years, you start to see the hockey stick. And in year three, like that was the magical year where I wasn’t doing anything new, but year three, we doubled to like 140 K that year just by continuing to be faithfully consistently publishing content because.
People share and the algorithm favors and things start to pick up when it’s slow. Right. And that’s why it’s hard. I think the first couple of years are a grind for people just because you don’t see the quick results. Not some people do I’m envious of those people, but not.
At most people, it doesn’t happen like that. And so, again, grateful for this real story before we move on to the next phase of what happened and how you got into business coaching and the kinds of things that are working today. I’d love to know for your courses, from the audio engineering stuff, how, people were finding your video, how were they getting into the courses?
You had mentioned an email list. was there a lead magnet? like, what was that process to get them eventually to.
Yeah, that was the one thing I learned early on. And I think. And I read a simple article somewhere about like, Hey, you got to get them into an email list and the only way to do that is to give them value, which I love. I mean, generosity like drives everything I do. And so I was like, okay. So I early on, I was giving out an ebook.
I think It was called like the number one rule of home. it was an ebook, which it wasn’t, it wasn’t even that great, but, but, it was like, it was one simple idea fleshed out And it was a counterintuitive idea and it was juicy enough that people said, oh, I want to read that. I want to check that out And so I was building an email list and then from there it was just a simple funnel.
I mean, I wouldn’t even call it a funnel, but it’s like five emails. It would teach them some more stuff. And then it would offer my course and they would buy my course. And then I added to that as I added more courses, but that’s pretty much been like content driving the lead magnet to the email list.
Then they read some emails and they see that they’re valuable. And then they have an opportunity to buy.
Does it sound too complicated?
No, it’s pretty simple.
Yeah, that’s great. And so this brand, like, does this brand still exist? I know it was awhile back, but is it still around? Where can people find it? The audio engineering.
Yeah. So it’s called the Recording Revolution. It’s still exists. about a year ago. I stepped out from being the content creator, so I did it. 11 years straight. and then, I have a partner in that business now who was on the marketing side, but now he’s, he’s really kind of bringing on other personalities as it were to teach the material.
And this is sort of like a necessary step for me. I was running two businesses for about three years and I really just felt a call in a shift to like, I have to go all in on this business coaching brand that I never thought I would. Stuff there we can unpack in terms of identity with my first brand.
And this is who I was. And, but yeah, it still exists. It’s just not me anymore. I’ve just, I’m just the CEO and I’m behind the scenes, but it’s people still find it and they still get value out of it. So we want to continue to serve them. Just, I just can’t be the guy to do it.
I’d love to know about that transition actually. it’s a perfect transition. And as. Your own identity. I mean, to have a brand under your belt for 10 plus years, I mean, similar to me PatFlynn is very much tied to smart, passive income for the longest time. And now it’s a lot more than that. It’s a bunch of bigger team.
We have SPI Pro it’s really about the community now, not just me, but what was the push And pull for you then? What was the, the drive to remove yourself as the content creator as the face, but what was also like, if anything, making that very difficult.
So the drive was, I just wasn’t as passionate about music recording as I once was. The music led to this business where I kind of fell into online business. The business changed my life in two ways. One financially, never thought I could make this kind of money as a musician. Number two, it showed me a new love, which is business.
And specifically, specifically a business that like empowers your lifestyle to love your family well, and love your friends well, and take care of yourself and have time, right? It’s the things we love, right? That’s what this podcast is all about.
So that love grew so much that I was like, I am bursting at the seams to talk about this, and I know there’s other people talking about it, but I feel like I just, it needs, I need an outlet.
So I started a business coaching brand just to have an outlet. And then it grew, and my love for it grew and I early on realized, okay, I could just do both. But then the problem was my passion for music sort of diminished and diminished and diminished. And I was like, I feel pretty disingenuous, like making a video about music.
Recording used to be the highlight of my day. And now it’s not I’m doing it because I need to keep the content schedule going. I need to, the language I would use is feed the beast and, and, and it printed money and it was took care of my family, but I just had a crisis of like, I don’t know if like nobody knows I’m good on camera.
I can, I can show up and do it. And I could teach this stuff in my sleep, but I just didn’t feel good. Like I would go to bed feeling like. These people are so excited about this stuff and I’m not anymore. And then that scared me because that was who I was like my whole life. So, yeah, man, I felt like I had to step away to be, to be transparent and to be a genuine person, but it was really, really hard because that’s how I was known in my world.
And to myself, I identify doesn’t mean.
Yeah, well, that’s incredible. And thank you for being vulnerable and open about that. I think that’s very relatable, especially for, for me but moving into the business coaching stuff. Tell me about how you eventually got clients for that and how that all began because. If your audience was all audio engineering And, recording and, people mastering and mixing, where did you get business clients from?
In 2015, I think there, I started to get some press on me nationally about like here, here’s this music guy, he started a business and he’s making this amount of money. And, and, and so when did a couple of articles dropped on me, all of a sudden I got all this attention from outside the music space and people were like, oh, cool.
How are you doing what you’re doing? I’m not it. I don’t care about music, but I want to turn my, you know, Jim into an online business. How do I do that? So that was the year. I was like, oh, people are interested in this from me. And I started coaching people, you know, behind the scenes. One-on-one. And that was when I had that itch to, I felt like I wanted to do what I did with the Recording Revolution was to, I wanted to create a resource online where I could dump all my thoughts, all the ways I think about business.
And so that’s when I launched scream, cochrane.com in 2018 to just put myself out there and teach what I know, same model, content marketing, everything I do is organic. I don’t, I haven’t paid for ads in 12 years. it’s all content. You know, I I’d reached out to friends and family, people that follow me on Facebook.
Like, Hey, I’m, I’m a business coach now, which was super against for me, super awkward because a, the space is a really big space with.
In the space. And as a, let me just say, like, you’re one of the good guys in this space, so I’m grateful for people like you. I think a lot of the people in this space I’m ashamed to be associated with, and most people don’t know maybe me as well as, as, as well, as well as they will.
But like, I’m like, oh, I really want to get in that space. Cause I know who was in that space. And I would hate to be at the same table with them. No offense to them. I just don’t. But, but I felt this call to, to actually, you know, be light in darkness as it were and displace some of the, the, the darkness in this space and just be a, a voice.
So I felt like I had to, but I was scared. I was nervous, fears of like, Hey, do I have anything? To bring to the business coaching space. It’s pretty, pretty crushing. People are crushing it right now. Plenty of good voices. Is it, is there any people left that truly need help or are they getting all the help?
It seems very saturated. So all those typical things that new content business owners have, which is, oh, it’s crowded. It’s already been done before. I’m not original, but all the same imposter syndrome things. I teach my people to not, not believe I was believing in this second brand, but you know, just starting to create content YouTube.
YouTube is a glorious thing, man. I mean, again, slow build that first year I published a video every single week and then one of the videos finally picked up and it had to do with like starting an LLC or a sole proprietor is like one random video that popped and then more people found other videos. And so, you know how it is, you have those 80 20, I mean, it’s more like 99, 1, like the one, the 2% of videos that drive all those leads, but they come eventually if you’re consistent and that started to pick up speed and it’s been a, it’s been a glorious ride.
That’s really cool.
You know, coaching is very different than creating content. How were those first experiences for you to get coaching in place and discovering yourself as a coach and what that was like? Cause there’s, there’s a, there’s a, there’s an art form to it. Right? How did you become, you know, a great coach.
I don’t know if I’m a great coach. I I’m working on it. I’m actually literally in a coaching group right now by a great coach to help me become a better coach specifically. I want to learn how to ask better questions. Yeah, I know. I wanna learn how to ask better questions cause I’m a, I’m a communicator first.
So by coach, that language is how I view myself because I feel like I’m supposed to come alongside people and empower them because people need information. They need to know how to do the thing. But they need to feel like they can actually do the thing. Right. And that’s, what’s missing in so much information products out there.
It’s like, here’s how you do it. But do the people walk away from your video or your course or your membership site or whatever, and feel like not only do I know how, but I could see myself actually doing it and I feel motivated to do it. I think I’m good at that second part. Maybe more than even just having unique information.
I try to do that in my videos and my podcast, but with the coaching clients, that’s something that I started. I started out with coaching clients one-on-one and I learned a lot more. I almost use coaching as an opportunity to learn what do people who are either already successful and they want help growing because a lot of people hired me to help them scale or people who are stuck getting started.
What do they struggle with? So I just use it to research. I was really surprised at what people wanted out of business. I figured it was dollars. I figured it was a certain. Yeah. Like what those dollars could afford them to do lifestyle wise, but it really was like a lot of things that I want time, slow.
Like they want to slow down. They just want to be able to slow down. They want to be able to be present as a husband, father, wife, mother. and so a lot of that I’ve learned and try to incorporate into the language of my brand is like, I’m not trying to just help you build a business. I’m trying to help you live more, give more to the things and people you care about how.
Like find your lane in life where you feel like you’re actually thriving. And so that was interesting to learn that other people were interested in that too. I don’t think everyone is. So I get some people think like this guy is not really that interesting to me, but for the people that want that they connect.
And so I feel like I just try to bring that and empower them to believe that they can do that. Whether it’s through a video or through one-on-one.
I feel that, and I know that you’ve put a lot of yourself into this new book that you have that just came out a couple months ago. At the time of this recording being published. What’s the name of the book? Where can people get it? What’s it about?
Yeah, it’s called how to get paid for what you know, not the most creative title, but pretty straightforward. The subtitle is turning your knowledge, passion, and experience into an online income stream in your spare time. And the thesis is pretty simple. I really believe that everyone is sitting on a goldmine of an idea.
Everyone has. Something that they think is normal, and pretty ordinary to them that is extraordinary to someone else. and all, all we’re doing in this space is getting paid to share what we’re good at, what we know, what we’ve helped people do in the past. And I, in the book, try to tell a little bit of my story to show people that like, Hey, I wasn’t an entrepreneur didn’t know anything about entrepreneurship.
But then quickly move on to here’s the opportunity we have right now in this knowledge economy. It’s an insane time to be alive. People think, oh, it’s, you know, It’s past, I don’t think it’s past, I think we’re at the beginning of a 30, 40 year wave of where this is going to be, how people engage with information and, and grow their skill sets.
And so I think now’s a great time to just systematize what, you know, and put into an, an automated system. So I walk them through the six steps to build the business, launch it, automate it, and then if they want to scale it from there, they totally can. Whether it’s just, Hey, I want to make an extra thousand or two a month pretty, pretty passively.
Or I want to go full time on this.
Nice. I love it. I agree. I think it’s a perfect time. I mean, we saw this coming out of the pandemic. A lot of people getting laid off, a lot of people, you know, soul searching, looking for a new direction. And we need as much, not just information, but inspiration and people out there like yourself, like me, like many others who are good people in this space to step up and serve those people.
I want to, you know, we’ll put the links to the books and everything else that you have to offer on our show notes page. And again, thank you for mentioning that, but in terms of your process to help somebody who literally. On a walk right now, or they’re at the gym and they know they have something inside of them, but they’re not quite sure what it might be or they’re having no self doubts.
What is your process? I’ve taught my process many times here. I’ve written books about it as well, but I want to highlight your process for taking somebody who is literally starting from scratch and maybe thinks to themselves. Yeah, I might have something, but I have no idea what it? is. And I don’t even know if it’s going to work.
How do you, how do you coach that person through to building something and creating potentially something.
Yeah. I mean the most important part of all of it is the idea, right? like, what are you, going to build the business around and do it? Does anybody care? you know, so I think there’s two parts to that. Right. Everyone has a lot of interests, you know, I see, you know, a Stormtrooper helmet on the back of your thing. I was at star wars. Galaxy’s edge this weekend, hanging out with stormtroopers and so star wars, like that’s a passion you have. so that’s great. Put it on the list. Can you monetize it? I don’t know. You know that you probably could, but it just depends. So it’s like you, you figure out what do you like, figure out what do you, what do you like?
What literally do you know things about, and people. Really have a hard time. Cause like, I don’t know anything when you know, you know, things, what I ask people. What if, what do people come to you and ask you for help? Like for whatever reason people ask me, Hey grant, can you help me put together a budget?
They helped me get started investing in my retirement account. Like for whatever reason, word’s gotten out in my little community, like, oh, Graham likes to, he’s helpful with his money. He can help you with his money. So people come to me. So in theory, if I were starting over, I’d be like, huh, maybe I could make a business, helping people with their money.
What have you helped people in the past? Do, what do people ask you for help with? What do people say you’re good at? Even if those things are boring to you, just write them down. And then of course write the things you’re very interested in. I, that list for me would include eating pizza, football, star wars, you know, personal finance, all those things.
I’d write all those things down. And that’s interesting and good and all, and that’s, you have to start there because I think this kind of business, you have to really be passionate about it. Some businesses you could own and it can run and you don’t have to care about the product necessarily, but for this kind of business to work, you really have to think, could I talk about this for 10 years and enjoy for 10 years?
So yeah, you start there, right. But like Mike Rowe says like, you know, you don’t follow your passion. Right. But always bring it with you. So it is important to bring it with you, but really it’s about what’s market. And so that’s the second part of the, where does that intersect with what, what are people already paying for?
Our people are paying for things having to do with star wars. I mean, gosh, I was on a Disney. Like a mouse, hacker.com the other day, like trying to figure out how what’s the best way to show up at Disney Hollywood studios and like get to rise of resistance before it breaks or people the lines three hours long.
And I’m like this, person’s got a lead magnet for this Disney checklist for your itinerary. I’m just loving the business model. So they found a way to monetize their love of Disney. But you have to know what are other people interested in this are people buying books on this? Are they spending money on this?
And if so, you can find a cross section between what you’re good at. What’s marketable. Even if you don’t understand how to monetize it. You don’t want to get ahead of yourself. You just want to find what is, where is there an intersection that you could tease out and then do some research on and find out what keeps people up at night around that?
Yeah, I love that. I mean, putting all those ideas out there is really important. Even if they seem like bad ideas, you might find that there’s some good combination between a couple of those ideas or you might find. As soon as you put them on paper, you’re like, that’s a ridiculous idea. And then boom, you can throw it away.
It’s out of your brain now. And you can make more room for other things with the Stormtrooper helmet that you see behind me. I was thinking about the same thing. You know, a lot of people are looking for information about how to save time when they go to Disney and you just prop that up. And it’s cool to see that there’s businesses, there’s YouTube channels about this kind of stuff.
There’s YouTube channels. The Disney lore and old liberal rides that are no longer available that my son and wife watch all the time. I could potentially start a business on Etsy, right? Taking storm trooper homeless that are white, like this one behind me, and then either coloring them or spray painting them a certain color or making them themed on.
Maybe there’s a squid games, Stormtrooper helmet that I could sort of commission from. You never know. Right. And then you just maybe create, create one and see what happens. And you never know things might happen from there. Now, when it comes to, maybe you have an idea and it’s like, okay, this might take what’s the next step from there. Cause that’s often the time where that little voice inside of our head goes, you’re not qualified to do that. Or you’ve never done that before, or there’s other people doing way better or already done that before you, why are you even trying to do that? How do you combat that voice in our.
Do you, that is the thing that keeps people from doing stuff like w nail on the head, like, who am I to do this? That’s the internal. And man, and people are different cause right? It depends on your, your scheme and how you grew up. Some people genuinely struggle with this in all aspects of life. They view life through the lens of like, who am I to do anything?
And so there might be some deeper soul work that that person needs as opposed to someone who has a lot more confidence naturally from their personality or the way they were raised. But if without going into the depth there, cause I’m not, I’m not a therapist, but it’s like, man, who, who is anybody to do it?
That’s the first question, like a we’re all just humans. Everyone had to start somewhere. And at the end of the day, the way I look at it is I don’t think people care if you’re an expert or not. I think only you care. Like, so when you’re like, who am I to do this? It’s a very narcissistic question. If I’m going to be honest, you’re, you’re looking inward at like, gosh, I’m not good enough.
And I need to be an expert. I think you’ll get further in life. If you stop looking at yourself and instead look at how could I serve somebody? Could I help somebody? could I help them get a little bit farther than where they are? I don’t know a ton about, like fitness or nutrition, but I’ve learned a lot in the last three years since I’ve gotten really serious about both that there is a possibility that I could help.
Some people who have never worked out before or never considered how to eat. I could get them a lot farther than they are just by what I know. And I’m not a credentialed expert and I don’t have like cool letters after my name. And that’s how I felt with the music space. Like I didn’t, I, I had an audio engineering degree, technical.
But I wasn’t, here’s what, here’s what I got told. I on Facebook groups that back in the day, there would be people blasting me because as I started to, as my channel started to blow up in that space, again, audio engineering is a small niche. It’s gotten a lot bigger on YouTube, but I was at the time, if not still like one of the largest players in that space.
And there would be people that would say, who is this guy? Why, why, why is the Recording Revolution so popular? Who is he recorded that I know, does he have a Grammy award? And there were some haters that would say that kind of stuff. It was hard because my insecurity was, yeah, I don’t, I don’t have a Grammy.
All my clients are indie artists. You’ve never heard of them. the only credibility I have is when I teach you something and you go implement it, you get results. And to me, I had to make peace with, can I help people? Are they getting results? Even if it’s one person and that’s my credibility and that’s my permission to go help another person and you have to kind of tune everything else.
Is that the kind of coaching you offer to others who are getting started? And they’re like, I don’t know if I’m going to do this and is it is the one result for one person, a great strategy to get started with?
I think it is because that’s all we’re doing on a mass scale, right. Is helping people. So I think it’s proof of concept if a there’s people that need this help. Right. That’s the most important goes back to the idea thing. And that’s where. Affinity groups on Facebook and other places are there YouTube channels on this already?
Anytime you see it already happening, that’s a good sign that there’s a need. But then if there is, I’ve talked to real people and, and find out like what’s been your biggest struggle with X, or what’s your biggest hope or desire as it relates to your fitness or your nutrition or your parenting or whatever it is, and get the real words and have deep conversations.
And I think if you can help somebody, one person get resolved. Hey, that’ll give you a boost of confidence, but B then that’s the exact same thing that like you and I are doing on a mass scale, you know, using content to reach more people that maybe we don’t get personal interactions with every one of them, but it’s the exact same concept.
And it’s that true value. Add that if you can do that with a person, then you’re going to win online because there’s plenty of people who can get in front of an audience online, but they have nothing of value to add. So then it doesn’t work. Or if it works, it only works for a moment until people realize this is just garbage.
Yeah, you’re just helping more people do the exact same thing you do. One-to-one
Love it now, since you’re a business coach, I think it might be interesting if we do a little robot. Can I come at you with a business that’s kind of maybe just got off the ground, but it’s kind of struggling. You can coach me through how to, how to scale that up.
Let’s do it.
Okay. So I have a brand online. It has a blog and a YouTube channel similar to you, but I help people run marathons.
And they’re first marathons typically, and it’s going okay. I have an ebook that helps people with a training program. A lot of my top performing videos are about, you know, nutrition for marathon training, you know, eight to 10 week plan to help people get to that point where they can eventually run their first marathon, but I’m only making like three sales a week, you know, it’s not bad, but every other day I might get a sale and some days I wake up and I don’t see any sales.
And, you know, I just don’t, I don’t know what to do from here. There’s a lot of other people who seem to be owning the marathon training space. And I’m just kind of like a little guy who has run my First marathon. My friends asked me how to do it, and I put together this program, but it’s not, it’s not really getting anywhere.
And like, Graham, how do you, how do you scale from here? Where do I go from here
Yeah. So can I ask clarifying questions?
As you as any good coach would yes, please.
Yeah. So how much content are you producing and how often and where is it? It’s just on you.
It’s on my blog and on my YouTube once a week on each basically. And they’re, they’re usually around the same kinds of topics that you would expect in the marathon space. And sometimes it’s about reviews for shoes. And I do have some affiliate income come from things like that. but it’s, it’s generally just, you know, training tips and what not once a week on each of those.
Great job. I love that you’re reviewing shoes already. and what is it you sell? Is it. Do you have anything else
It’s just an ebook with a training program. And there’s also a bonus sort of dietary program that can, that comes along with it.
And how much has it cost?
Okay, so right. There’s two things. I would say there’s two levers you could pull right to grow. One would be. Move away from the low price point of a $29 ebook as your core offer and turn it into a course that could be 99 or 1 49 or more. And it could be the exact same material, but presented in a video course.
Where they can leave comments and you can answer their comments. And maybe there’s a, some bonus areas with all kinds of downloadables and stuff, but the value is the value perception is much higher if it’s a video course. So that way, if you are making three sales here and there instead of a $29 sale, it could be $149 sale.
And then, so there’s, and then obviously you could add more products. So what else do people need? do they need something before that ebook? Do they need something after that? Could they could, they want community. A lot of people that bought my products early on liked them, and then they felt like they had no accountability or people to talk to about it.
So could you create a community for them that they pay every month, a small fee to be a part of. So there’s that dial the product, I’ll crank it up. And then on the content, I love that you’re posting once a week to YouTube. If you can post more, be as prolific as you can, if you can’t, I’m not opposed to once a week, but I would say who else?
Who has a. Or bigger YouTube channel. Could you connect with that’s maybe a complimentary niche to use, so maybe it’s not all the other marathoners that are teaching the same thing, although you might find some friends. And I like to view everyone as a collaborator or potential collaborator, not competition, but most of them are going to be territorial and say, no, maybe, but is there someone else in a fitness niche that’s not necessarily just for runners.
Who or people who are beginner runners that then you could partner with and you could be the expert on marathons and you could create some exclusive content for them and their audience. That might be interesting. And then you can hijack that their audience that’s the language I like to use it. Someone already else has built an audience.
So why don’t you get in front of them and siphon some of them over to what you’re doing. And those two debt levers. If you dial them up, you’ll be on your way to scaling your income and then your reach, which will scale your income.
Love it. I know this is a small session and typically you be working with people for a lot longer and go a little bit deeper, but I like the direction I liked the, I liked the way you’re thinking about this in terms of, well, I could create more content, which would bring more people into the funnel. Or I could work on the product side and I think the product side would
Make the most sense to start out with, because I do feel like a lot of my audience is selling products at similar prices and, and should be creating courses and should be going a lot higher and price point a big pushback I get with that, that maybe we can get back into the role-play is Graham will, if I charge more, when that mean I’m like leaving a whole bunch of people out that might not be able to afford that.
Like, I want to help as many people as possible. That’s why I’ve priced this. So.
Yeah, that’s how I felt as well.
I’ve learned a lot from just experimenting with this, right? I’ve learned low price products, no offense to anyone. This is not a blanket statement, but my experience has been low low price products, bring lower quality customers who aren’t really serious and they’re not really committed.
So I found, I, for example, I had a product that was really five mini courses. And I wanted to let people buy them individually if they want it because they’re on different topics, but they all go together. So you can either buy the bundle for $69, which is still low price. It should have been more, but, or you could buy them individually for 17 little mini courses.
And I found after a year of launching this product, that the people that bought the $17 ones, that’s where all my refund requests came from. And anyone who bought the bundle for 69, almost a zero. And so I thought, well, what if I just get rid of the $17 option and force people to have to buy them all at 69?
Would what people complain? What? I still get sales. I made more money because people were like, well, I’ll just get the bundle then. And then nobody complained to nobody refunded or a few people did. And I realized I was attracting the wrong kind of customer for one. And that’s huge. And even though you want to help everybody, you really don’t, you don’t want to help everybody.
You only wanna help people who are serious about wanting. And people that are going to throw a five, $10 here and there aren’t really serious. They’re not sure yet. And they might need someone else to help them, or they might need to come to a place where they’re actually ready for a transformation. Like when, like Dave Ramsey says when you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired, that’s when you actually get transformation.
And so I would rather have a course it’s a little bit more higher price, a little bit more aspirational because people can find a way to buy anything they want. We do it all the time. That’s all we have a crazy deficit and debts all over the place. I’m not saying people should go into debt for your products, but.
We’ll find a way and it’s really your job to communicate the value of it, and then attract your ideal customer.
I love that. That’s so true about the kind of customers you attract at that price level. And the other thing that I often say when people share that with me is, well, you’re not leaving those people out because those people have all of your amazing free content to get access to. Right. But for the people who, like you said, are committed, who are serious.
They’re going to need a higher price point to feel the impact, and also feel like there’s skin in the game. So I, I love that solution. And then the other thing is like, you know, I’m helping people run a marathon. What’s the first step. Maybe it’s running the 5k. Maybe that’s a challenge. Maybe that’s a lead man.
Or maybe there is another product in there. That’s for the first step five K we’ll get to the marathon later. Cause that’s such a big ask. So, thank you for role-playing with me on that. And I appreciate that. I love that style. Yeah, there’s just so much we can unpack here, but I think people should go and check out your book if they want to get the step-by-step, where can they go get the book?
What’s the name of it?
Yeah, the book’s called how to get paid for what you know, and it’s available anywhere. Amazon Barnes and noble, wherever you buy books.
And if you want, I do have bonuses that I was offering for pre-order, but I’ll still give you bonuses. If you go to GrahamCochrane.com/book and bring your receipt there from wherever you bought it, we’ll get you a hundred dollars worth of bonuses, some audio training, and a bunch of other goodies.
Awesome. Any final words of advice for those who are in the audience who are just starting out or who are in the same boat as they are our marathon trainer. What’s one piece of motivation you can offer before we head out today.
Yeah, I would say if you’re like me, I would set, I like big goals, but I like realistic goals. Like it’s overwhelming when you see people making a ton of money online and you’re not getting enough traction. So I would set yourself a little mini goals that. Right for you and just hit those and celebrate the heck out of those, because you need that internal motivation to stay in this business long enough to get to Pat like your level.
You just have to be in the game long enough and you will burn out if you’re discouraged because you’re not reaching someone else’s goal that you’re not really ready to reach yet. So be Patient. To your point, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. So I love it. Like pace yourself. Don’t burn out the world needs what you have to offer.
So set up your business in such a way that you can stay in it for a long, long time.
Awesome. So GrahamCochrane.com. Check out the book on Amazon and we’ll have all the links on the show notes and everything. Graham, thank you so much for coming in today. The inspiration, the knowledge I appreciate you.
And it’s my pleasure, Pat. Thanks.
Alright, I hope you enjoyed that interview with Graham Cochrane. Again, if you pick up his book, you can go to GrahamCochrane.com/book to get some bonuses, which is really cool.
That was a nice surprise, Graham, super inspirational. I’m so excited to hear what people think about this episode, because your story very much parallels mine and includes a lot of the same things that helped me early on that I know can help people who are here listening or watching this right now.
So thank you again, so much. GrahamCochrane.com. You can get all the links and resources that were mentioned in this episode at the show notes page at SmartPassiveIncome.com/session579. Again, SmartPassiveIncome.com/session579.
I think this is an episode that a lot of people are going to talk about, and hopefully a lot of people connect with Graham, too, because he’s obviously a great, great person with a nice heart who is here to serve you.
I also love when people come in and they talk about a success story that doesn’t involve them teaching business right away, but they start with a success story underneath their belt, first. That was very important when I started out, and Graham obviously has his story about his Recording Revolution, and everything that went down in the audio engineering space.
That was really cool to see, and I just love his open transparency with relation to his transition and how that felt. I think a lot of people could relate to that as well.
This was so much fun. Graham, thank you so much.
I appreciate you for listening all the way through, and if you want to make sure you get episodes like this in the future and not miss out, make sure you hit that subscribe button.
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Thank you so much. I appreciate you, and I look forward to serving you in the next episode. Until then, peace out, cheers, and as always, Team Flynn for the win.