40. Getting Started with Cohort Based Courses (CBC's) with Andrew Barry

Online Course Creation

Andrew Barry and I talk about his experience with Cohort Based Courses (CBC's). In his opinion we are at the start of the CBC gold rush. People are craving human connection, and this format of teaching gives students more than just education, they get community as well. He answers one of the most searched questions, how to get started with a cohort based course. It was one of my best interviews. Enjoy.

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Show Notes:

[00:00:00] Burhaan Pattel:

So Andrew, welcome to the Marketing Stack Podcast. And if you're listening on the podcast or watching this on YouTube, uh welcome. Andrew is I would say probably one of the prolific people when it comes to just managing Twitter and sort of tweeting prolifically. Uh, I, I, I I see so much from you and I'm wondering, like, how do you actually go through all of that or create all of that?

[00:00:27] Burhaan Pattel:

But to give you a brief introduction to Andrew, Andrew is on a mission to help rapidly growing companies, educate their people and their customers in unique and engaging ways. That's what's on the website. And I will add to the fact that he's working on cohort-based courses specifically is also involved with the Collective with two other very influential creators which is a 12 month accelerator program. And, um yeah, he's a fellow South African, which was my appeal to reach out to him to have a chat on the, on the podcast. So, Andrew welcome.

[00:01:03] Andrew Barry:

Thank you, Burhaan I'm very, very excited to be here.

[00:01:07] Burhaan Pattel:

So my first question, obviously, because of the South African background, like we had chatted briefly on the DMs on Twitter, about timing of when you were at KPMG, because I was at KPMG around the similar time and I like your face is kind of familiar, but that world is just so huge because there's literally hundreds if not thousands of people walking through the offices all day long. What was your I mean, I know your background in terms of moving to the U.S because of the education piece and all that, but like, you started your career with, uh, auditing that, that, that from you as fascinating, because it's like, okay, let's hound beans first, and then let's get this other thing out.

[00:01:53] Andrew Barry:

And then teach people how to count beans.

[00:01:56] Burhaan Pattel:

Yeah. So, talk to me about that a little bit.

[00:01:59] Andrew Barry:

Yeah. Um, I, I, so I always kind of like used to do quite well at school. And you know, what is, I guess, ambitious and that I thought I'm going to be the CEO of a company that was sort of the career track that I left school thinking. So I'm in South Africa being a Chartered Accountant is like one of the best sort of stepping stones for that path.

[00:02:20] Andrew Barry:

So like oh it made sense. Then I started studying accounting, auditing stats, you know, all that sort of stuff. It all. I mean, it was interesting and it was, I mean, it's sort of interesting, but I got it came naturally to me, so it was fine. So I just carried on following that path and qualified as an accountant got a job at KPMG and started working there in the sort of apprenticeship.

[00:02:41] Andrew Barry:

And I just realized like very quickly that I did not enjoy it, the actual work. And so, yeah, so that then I started, luckily right at the beginning, these, these consulting firms have a lot of focus on training. So we go to these long, you know, week-long training events. And I would I would meet and get to know the four or five instructors that we had, who are just, you know, two years ahead of us maybe early managers three, four years ahead.

[00:03:07] Andrew Barry:

And I just, I was like, I want to be these people. They are having so much fun. They get to stand up and teach people during the day and, you know, socialize at night. Just seemed like the coolest thing to do. So I just made that commitment to want to do that made a lot of connections and have conversations with people. And yeah, eventually started doing that. In South Africa, I just absolutely fell in love with it.

[00:03:31] Burhaan Pattel:

Cause it basically, it comes down to, instead of checking what's wrong or what mistakes companies are making in their books or hiding or whatever the case may be, uh, compared to let's help people do better at what they want to do or what they find.

[00:03:47] Andrew Barry:

Yeah. Well, so initially it was teaching the, so I'd gotten to the I think it was probably less supervisor. Like it was like second, third year I had to, I had to put my time in right before I could start teaching internally. And so then I first started teaching interns that were coming in, so they were maybe three years behind me. And then, and then sort of like first year or first year was in second year. So like built up like that and eventually started teaching partners on technical updates.

[00:04:14] Andrew Barry:

And then I started in a part of the KPMG business, which was selling training to clients. And that's also what I started to get into the world of actually marketing and education products and learning about that. So so yeah, it was very much like a progression of teaching, very junior people all the way up and eventually getting that whole spectrum.

[00:04:33] Burhaan Pattel:

And it's funny how like I have the same or similar experience in terms of seeing the KPMGs or the big fours, like a lot of corporate companies have that sort of progression or that career path for people where it's in the beginning, you're learning to do something, then you're sort of helping other people do that thing, whether it's as a supervisory or managerial role, and then moving into like selling and then helping to grow the business. And I think from a creative point of view, there's a parallel there because I think that path is similar. Would you agree?

[00:05:07] Andrew Barry:

Yeah, that's a great, great point. I really liked that. Yeah, because yeah, I, I think as a early stage creative myself, let's say I'm, I'm learning all the time from the people ahead of me. And the great thing about the space is people are so so willing to share. It was almost like part of the model like you to create, you have to share your knowledge with people, which is fantastic. Right? So you can get learned from all of these incredible creators who are a friend of mine, Justin Mikolay calls them 10X creators.

[00:05:38] Andrew Barry:

And they're they're 10 X and in three dimensions of it. So they like tend to the power of three times better than us as, as creators all day as me as a creative, because they, they create high quality content. They have systems in place and I mean, I'm getting there, like you mentioned the Twitter, so that's all systems, right. That's like makes me more prolific. And then they, they have leveraged the ability to create, leverage and get their word out to more people. And yeah, so it's a cool space to be in because you just get to learn from people and everyone's so willing to share.

[00:06:11] Burhaan Pattel:

One of the things I wanted to ask you was, so you moved to the U.S through KPMG. They, they brought you over, you had some some of that going on. For somebody like me, like I've, I've wanted to come to the U.S for a very, very long time. Would you say that moving to the U.S helped your career?

[00:06:33] Andrew Barry:

Yeah, definitely. So practically it was, I was, I got to experience a different side of the thing that I'm good at now, which is teaching people and creating, learning experiences. So I, in South Africa, I was delivering all the training here. I learned to develop it. So I got really into like cognitive science and all that sort of stuff. So, you know, but that could have been anywhere in the world. I think the fact that it was the states as well. I don't know this is, this is a, this is a South African thing.

[00:07:02] Andrew Barry:

I, and I've just recently written about this. So, you know, so Africa is sort of the tall poppy syndrome. Like you don't want to stand out in front of anybody, and sort of like stick your head up above everyone else. And like, so that's, so you kept him check. And I would say everyone kind of knows everyone. It's just a smaller communities and stuff. Whereas I came here and it was just like a blank slate, you know, I moved to New York and you can, you, you can spend your whole life in New York and can still be anonymous.

[00:07:28] Andrew Barry:

It's it's incredible. So that gave me this freedom to really explore. What I wanted to do and, you know, I mean, it sounds like cliche to say, like find yourself, but it's, it really was like, you just have so much freedom to do that. You don't have to worry about what people who've known you before, think about you and, you know, so all of those sorts of things that are out of it.

[00:07:50] Andrew Barry:

And then the fact that in the U.S has actually encouraged to talk about what you're doing and to like, to you know be proud of, of achievements and that. Some would say it goes too far and that's, you know, that some people definitely did but I think that was really cool to be like leaning into the fact that, okay, like, this is the thing that I'm good at. People are telling me that it gave me the courage, I guess, to pursue it.

[00:08:15] Burhaan Pattel:

So the, yeah, it's interesting you say that because I felt kind of liberated when I left South Africa, um, six and a half years ago. And to the point where I didn't feel like I had these eyes on me all the time, um, it was a strange thing because when I got to Bangkok, I was like, who? And I realized nobody cared, nobody, you know, everybody's doing their thing. There's like 9 million people in the city. They're friendly. They're open, you know, they're, I mean, it's Thailand, like who has a bad experience here.

[00:08:49] Burhaan Pattel:

And it's taken me a long time mentally to adjust, or I'm still adjusting to that whole thing of like, oh, it's okay to tweet about this thing that I'm working on. Or it's okay to mention amount of money that I've made for a client in terms of even a case study. And I think a lot of people have that problem. So even though we have the freedom to express ourselves creatively, that inner talk is putting us down. So what advice can you give? Not only me, but also the audience listening.

[00:09:25] Andrew Barry:

Yeah. I mean, I think you nailed it when you said no one else cares. And I just getting more specific on that. So that, I think that's probably also true for South Africa. I think It's just you know, just, you just don't see it as it's yeah that, that you had to come yet to sort of see it to not, I think it's true for most people. No one cares. And that's actually really liberating because it means you can experiment and make mistakes. And no one gives a shit, no one, like no one remembers your mistakes.

[00:09:54] Andrew Barry:

They will only remember when you made it. And this, if you flip this around, it's the, it's the overnight success that took 15 years thing because people only see that success. And it's like, no, that actually was a lot of like people messing up and messing on making mistakes. That's just learning. Right. And just learning then learning and then eventually something hits and you get traction and whatever. So, so yeah, I think that was one private where it's just like, just be, be okay with the fact that actually like lean into the fact that you should just experiment.

[00:10:29] Andrew Barry:

I'll make this practical as well. I just feel for those listening that I'm going through this right now, I'm launching a product on Tuesday and I'm like, I still do this. I'm obsessing over the sales, copy the, you know, the emails that I'm sending out, all this other stuff and I just like, I just need to sort of talk to myself here and be like, okay, just get it out. No, one's going to care if it's not perfect. Also these people know, like, and trust you already, you just, I'm just doing it to like a sort of warmish audience.

[00:10:57] Andrew Barry:

And, and kind of like, know that you don't just have one shot, you're going to have more shots of this. You just got to get it out. And most importantly, get that feedback. So there's no, one's gonna, you're going to keep second guessing yourself, but the best people will tell you what to change and what's improved will be those that see it for the first time.

[00:11:15] Burhaan Pattel:

Yeah. I, I totally agree. In fact, I was just listening to an audio book now where he, the author spoke about the difference between regret and. Oh, goodness. I'm blanking on the other word now, he spoke about re you know, the, the fact that you might regret something if you don't do it, but then you, you if you do do it, then there's the pain later is, is a different feeling. So you have that pain for the short term versus having the regret later on.

[00:11:46] Andrew Barry:

Which is worse. Yeah, totally. Yeah, I totally agree.

[00:11:50] Burhaan Pattel:

He used a nice word there but I forgot what it was.

[00:11:53] Andrew Barry:

Yeah, I'm sure it'll come to you.

[00:11:55] Burhaan Pattel:

You spoke about the systems, to get your content out. And obviously that leads into the title of the podcast, which is the Marketing Stack. So what is your stack and what, what are you using?

[00:12:07] Andrew Barry:

Yeah. So. So, first of all, I, I think it's, I think of it in two buckets. I think it's really important to a bit, to be able to create quality content, you've got to consume quality content. Right. And now that that's, so let's unpack that part. Cause that's sort of, I think honestly, the engine that's the key to everything. So, so, first of all, how do you figure out what to, so this, so there's two actually I just recently wrote about this.

[00:12:30] Andrew Barry:

There's two sort of aspects to the capture part, which is there's a philosopher from like the Renaissance era called Erasmus who came up with this idea of the commonplace book, which was literally a book that, that obviously then like people would write in you know things, people said, ideas like just it's the scrapbook of ideas, right? And the power of this book is that over time, as you, as you flipping through it, you start to make connections between otherwise disparate ideas and that's creativity.

[00:13:02] Andrew Barry:

That's when you see like, oh, this thing can be applied in this way. And, and you start to like that, honestly, like I, there are no such thing as totally original ideas. Or new ideas, at least the originality comes from combining things that have already existed in new and interesting ways and putting your own spin on them. So having a commonplace book, a place where you can store all of that is the one part, and then you've gotta know what to consume.

[00:13:27] Andrew Barry:

Cause we, we end this like fire hose of information. So you have to have a way to filter all of that. And then you can turn to another great, mind from, from that, from the past a physicist Richard Fineman who talks about he sort of says, like to a paraphrase to genius is the, is the ability to have favorite problems that you filter the world through. And every time you get a new piece of information, you test it against one of these problems and you see if it helps. And then every now and then it does and people call that genius. Right.

[00:13:59] Andrew Barry:

So it's, I found really helpful to have like actually literally write down, I think he says 12, but so whatever your list of favorite problems that you're always thinking about, and then anytime you come across a book or a podcast or a tweet, it's you filtering it through that? And you're like, oh, could this help with this problem? Or this question that I'm thinking about? So practically how I do both of those things is, is so I store it in Roam. All of, all of that stuff I used to use Evernote for this Notion's another option, but having a central space to just dump everything, not worrying too much about organizing it at the beginning.

[00:14:36] Andrew Barry:

That's quite key. You just want to be able to capture it. And be able to search it obviously. And some have some like maybe some ability to well obviously the ability, but have some tagging that you do initially so that, you know, like what was this related to and then I use, and then, so then capturing sources from outside, I use a tool called Read Wise, which I find incredible. You listen to a podcast you save a clip, it adds it automatically to your own. If I you know yeah. Say the tweets, if a highlights, an article online, it just saves it all into Roam.

[00:15:02] Andrew Barry:

So that just goes into an inbox and every now and then I'll go through it and go, oh, that's interesting. You know, that's about leadership or managing a team or whatever, and I'll just start to categorize stuff. And then. Then we switch into, so that's the capture side and we switched in in to creation. And now we're going to sit down and write about managing a team. It, you could pull up all of these sources and just sort of stare at them for a bit and be like, you know, what's speaking to you, what's jumping out at you.

[00:15:29] Andrew Barry:

What are you interested in? And then that's where I start, because I think if you're interested in something, you're going to be able to really follow that rabbit hole. And then, you know, hopefully you find that this is doesn't always happen, but you find others are most interested in it. And then you, you know, you've got something but yeah, so that was a long-winded answer, but that's sort of the process.

[00:15:48] Burhaan Pattel:

No, that's perfect. And I'm glad that you answered it that way, because for a very long time, I think this has been my struggle apart from just not wanting to share too much online. There was also those things of well, what am I going to create? What am I going to write? What am I going to make a video about? And I didn't have the feeder system. And so once I learned about the feeder system and I actually like, oh wait, that might be a thing to try. It became a lot easier to find ideas. And then going to look at sources and like, oh, that person said this about this.

[00:16:24] Burhaan Pattel:

And this person said this about that. I think it's this. And then it's like, oh, okay. Now we can make a 5 minute video or a 10 minute video about it because now I have an opinion and I can compare it to somebody else. And that I learned through Ali Abdaal's PTYA program. Yeah. Because he talks about, he has a couple of different ways to create content, which he calls the, I think the content machine or idea generation machine.

[00:16:50] Andrew Barry:

Infinite content engine or something.

[00:16:53] Burhaan Pattel:

Yeah. Something like that. Yeah. And I know you were influential in helping him create the part-time YouTube academy. So. Two questions there is. How did you get in touch with him and to how much of an impact do you think PTYA made? Or your influence on creating PTYA made to the success of his business?

[00:17:19] Andrew Barry:

First of all, really good segway that was impressive. So yeah, that's, that's an interesting story because it sort of relates to what we've just been talking about actually as well, in that, you know, once I started having this and I was in now packaging ideas and sharing them online. He so he announced it back I think October of last year, I only started sort of sharing stuff published yet in August. And then. So it's basically been a year and then, and I had like 300 followers back then, and I think I'm over 4,000 now. That growth was just slow and steady and starts to compound. So like there's no, there's no like formula for this.

[00:17:52] Andrew Barry:

There's no, it's just have to constantly publish good quality content. And find people that are interested and then get to know them, make friends with them. And so I actually, I don't think, I didn't even know Ali was following me at the time, but I, someone else tweeted that they were joining his course. I'd been a huge fan of his up to that point, it's like, he's doing a course on this stuff. I mean, I'm in, I just, I just responded like I'm definitely gonna do it. And like, he then responded to my tweet. Just said, Andrew, I've been following your concept for ages. I have no idea what I'm doing. I'd love for you to help me.

[00:18:21] Andrew Barry:

And I think he even said this in the tweet I'd be willing to, to respond to your, your seats in the program, if you did that. It's like, wow, this is, that was like a massive turning point for me. So we jumped on a call or we spent an hour chatting through stuff, but yeah. He he's incredibly humble about the way he talks about my influence and just his brilliance. But he, so he was like talked into doing a live cohort, he didn't want to do that. He wants to, to like, he's been on Skillshare for ages and he wants to create an out of self-paced thing, but he was talked into it.

[00:18:53] Andrew Barry:

And he's like, I have no idea how this is like how to do this. I just, I, and what he's really good at as well he brings people in and he was always got coaches and he's got, so he basically asked, yeah, we chatted and we quickly figured out that I could help him figure out the scale side of it because a lot of course creators when they start, we'll start with like 20, 30 people and that's, you can manage on your own because Ali's audience, his first cohert had over 300 people in it.

[00:19:18] Andrew Barry:

Like that's a whole other ball game. Okay. And so what he needed to do, he needed to really robust mentorship model and so I helped him develop that. So, and, and we sort of, we came, you know, I came with a, my idea of what it looked like, which is this idea of destination and journey groups. And so Ali basically sets the destination in, in the live sessions that he does, and then the mentors set the journey, they created space for the journey. So that's just to be able to talk about, you know, not as quite intimidating learning from Ali Abdaal, cause he's just like so prolific and so successful.

[00:19:54] Andrew Barry:

But if you can, if you can then talk about what you've learned with people that are the same stages of the journey as you you've really accelerate your, your learning at that stage. And so yeah, we, we helped, I helped them design that he came up with some really great ideas to calling them peer supporters because they weren't really mentors yet. And it was his first cohort, so he didn't have alumni so we, we definitely collaborated a lot back and forth and came up with just a really cool program, which, which now he's, he's taken on to a whole nother level. But but yeah, that was, that was really fun. It was really cool to also see his behind the scenes.

[00:20:28] Burhaan Pattel:

Well I did tweet about it, but I'll tell you now in person that, his course Part-time YouTube academy was my single best attended course in my life ever. Bar none. It's like, I doubt that I'll be able to attend a better one, or if it is better, it will be like massively better. The bar he set very high from it. But the thing is this, right? So if a lot of people are maybe in my situation or even like you just starting something that you're, you said you launching on Tuesday is, you know, a lot of people don't have the resources. We don't have this pool of people and we don't have maybe money for all the tools that are required to pull all of this off. So if one does want to create a co cohort based course, where do they start?

[00:21:25] Andrew Barry:

Yeah, it's such a good question. And I've thought about this so much since I ran the on-deck fellowship early this year, and we had 150 people in that program, there was a huge range of experience levels. And most of my experience had been with helping people that were quite mature in their business and were able to be like you say, bring in resources and all that. But what I really was yeah, it was really empathetic to the people just starting out because I was that before and I got, I got lucky and I got this sort of jump or, you know, hit like kickstart with joining on deck.

[00:21:59] Andrew Barry:

And that helped me launch that. But without that, I would have, what I would have done this is what I would recommend to people is start small and be okay with that. So if you, if you can truly create transformations for people, then your course will grow. It won't grow as quickly as you wanted to because the height, I mean, it's just hard to get attention and to, and the marketing side of it as, as you know, I'm sure you know, more than me but it will grow like it, you just, you just have to keep focusing on that.

[00:22:31] Andrew Barry:

So I always say to people, the best place to start is to do things that don't scale, get on one-on-one calls with people. Have hosts little workshops that only five people attend do a lot of those kinds of things because your goal is to. There's two positivity. You've got to, you've got to distill what, like your basically it's, I call it the vehicle for transformation. So the transformation as a course creator that you can teach others, you have to have gone through yourself. So Ali Abdaal has got 2 billion subscribers on YouTube. He's not teaching people how to start that journey.

[00:23:05] Andrew Barry:

His VFO for that is the course and the, you have to make five videos and just the idea of publishing consistently and all that. Then you've got to find a problem with solving. So you've got to find like, then that's the hard part, right? That's you've got to like find the markets that's going to buy that thing. I always say like the, the thing, the vehicle for transformation doesn't change much. Cause it's your experience. It's your authentic self. It's all of that. So you don't, that doesn't change too much. Maybe 20% of it. This part the, the problem with solving can change all the time.

[00:23:37] Andrew Barry:

So your job as a course creator Is to find that fits where those two fit and only way to do that is to test it against as many different problems as as you can, until you find that fit. Right? So that's why I say get on, get on, a one-on-one calls with people, get on in these workshops and really listen to what people are struggling with, because what you'll find is then you just need to make 20%, maybe less tweaks to, to, to solve that problem, because it doesn't matter if you're not solving the problem. Right. You've got to, you've got to do that. And then you've got that sort of like opening to just, you know, all of your experience and expertise can, can start to flow into.

[00:24:19] Burhaan Pattel:

Yeah. And then there's also the possibility of transitioning into it because while a cohort based course might be the best case scenario, there are other things that can be done, like recording the videos, uploading them to a platform and then selling it. To build up a little bit of capital so that, you know, you test the content that way without actually doing it all live, or you just go super basic, put a sales page up, landing page up and then host it on Zoom. Like it doesn't have to be lots of people around, you could do it, do it on your own as well.

[00:24:55] Andrew Barry:

I almost recommend that actually, because I find the best way to could to get to your ultimate course is to run it live because you get instant feedback and you'll make adjustments. So it's, unless you'd like really sure that, that of your content, I wouldn't recommend going down the route of recording a whole batch of videos, especially if you put a lot of effort in production. But I like your suggestion of like, do it super basic. Again, like if you're solving a problem and people don't care how fancy the videos are, right?

[00:25:27] Andrew Barry:

Like that's, that's something you can reinvest in over time. But initially some of the best things I've seen, other people do like weekend boot camps. And if you'd like can take people through a two day thing and you really solve the problem for them, they'll come back to you again and they'll tell their friends as well. So like that. And that's how you'll, you'll grow it. And then you'll learn like what else you can help with. And eventually a two day thing becomes a two week thing and, you know, whatever and longer.

[00:25:52] Burhaan Pattel:

I see them as confidence builders. So it's like little steps to build confidence, not only in marketing, but also in your own product. And like you said, map matching that transformation to the people who want that, who want to solve their problem. It's something that I'm going through at the moment, as I'm putting a few courses myself together, and even, even in terms of pricing, like I'm pricing it way lower than what I should be or I could be, but that's just because I'm testing it. Like I'm just trying it out and seeing what people are going to say.

[00:26:27] Andrew Barry:

What do you think about sorry. Do you mind if I, because the other thing is you, that people should be thinking about is you don't actually have to have the course built out yet. You can sell it without that. Right. What do you think about that? The idea of pre-selling something.

[00:26:44] Burhaan Pattel:

Yeah, a hundred percent. If you can deliver or convince somebody, even just over the phone without even having a landing page. Then what you are trying to teach, what you are trying to help the person with, then you can collect money for that. And as long as they're okay with waiting a couple of weeks or, you know, a couple of days, or whenever you're going to launch officially and you have enough people.

[00:27:08] Andrew Barry:


[00:27:08] Burhaan Pattel:

That's, that's perfectly fine.

[00:27:10] Andrew Barry:

Yeah, I think that's the key. Like you just have to convince people that what you are building is valuable and then there's a reward as well, to be an early believer an early adopter, you get the discounted price, you get to help shape the course. Yeah. Lots of cool things.

[00:27:26] Burhaan Pattel:

I also think if you are open about the fact that it's an alpha or a beta launch people are a little bit less, the expectations are less. And so it's kind of like, yeah. Okay, well, we'll give you a try. Yes. We want something out of it, but the community then becomes the important component. Okay. Let's learn together. I'm one step ahead of you. Let's let's let's let's build this thing.

[00:27:56] Andrew Barry:

I love that. I think that expectation gaps is so, so cute to think about write that down.

[00:28:02] Burhaan Pattel:

Oh, I made you grab your notebook.

[00:28:04] Andrew Barry:

Yeah. That's a that's idea capturing man no matter it happens when you least expect it.

[00:28:10] Burhaan Pattel:

A hundred percent. I had somebody on, on the podcast a couple of weeks ago, Tom Libelt. And he, he used, he said something very interesting, which I wanted to get clarity, clarity from you on, cause he said cohort-based courses are the same as group coaching. Can you dig into that a little bit?

[00:28:31] Andrew Barry:

I don't agree with that. I think they're similar, but. First of all, it depends on the size. So cohort based course of six people can be very much like a group coaching thing. So I think that's, that's a key, key part of it. If you, you know, like I said, typical size is like 20, 30, 50, that's that's a range that it's a very different ballpark or a ball game, rather because, I mean, I th I went through this with ODCC, so. All I've been doing is, is private and group coaching up until that. So that was the first time I actually had ran a cohort and that's 150 people.

[00:29:11] Andrew Barry:

So it's like an extreme, I was like the polar opposite of what I'd been used to do. And it's just, it's a totally different ball games. So you have to, you have to be able to compress your ideas down to the like simplest thing. You have to be able to come up with application, uh, implementation advice for people. And you have to create the environment for them to be able to take that action, like accountability, peer to peer feedback, support, all those kinds of things. Which is really hard to do at that scale because people have such a vast, a vast range of experience with that.

[00:29:52] Andrew Barry:

Group coaching I've found is just way more individualized. You can give specific feedback to people and just help them with an unlock on something. Right away. And then they go off and do something else and then they get stuck with something and you can help them and really great coaches have that pattern recognition that they can go like, oh yeah, I've seen this before. Like here's a couple things you can try, but you know, so yeah. I think they're very different. But it's definitely the, the scale part of it that, that amplifies that difference.

[00:30:21] Burhaan Pattel:

Yeah. Yeah. What would you say is the current market for cohort-based platforms, because obviously we have platforms to host like video calls. We have platforms to host videos to you know, for prerecorded content. I know there's an, there's an upsurge like Google trends has just recently, in fact, January started showing some graph activity on the search term cohort based courses. What are you seeing in terms of development and the progression of platform specifically for this format of teaching?

[00:30:57] Andrew Barry:

Yeah. That's a great question because it's something that I'm seeing now all the time. So we a couple of the big ones in the space now, Maven announced a $20 million seed round, earlier this year. And they are cohort based course platforms. So people go in there, host their, they sort of teach you how to do it. And then they you host your course on there. They, you give, or you give a share of your revenue. Disco is another one that a candidate that's really fast and up and coming also bench backed.

[00:31:28] Andrew Barry:

And then I, I was at a conference two weeks ago in San Diego. And so from that, I had a lot of conversation. I just, I just saw there was so many, there's another one I'm aware of now Israel, quote, uh, clickto.live, and they focus on helping brick and mortar education providers go online. So another very interesting spin and niche that they're focusing on. I know of two people that were in my cohort of ODCC are building a platform. And so to answer your question, it's an explosion. There are just so many of them coming coming up virtually. I should mention that.

[00:32:02] Andrew Barry:

I know Ish really well, they're another one that's focusing on the space. So everyone has tried to solve this problem that, that I think you've sort of alluded to this you you know use Zoom to, to, to host because we use Slack to communicate and have the community connect with each other. We use Luma to like to do the registrations for live things. There's lots of like different platforms that people that connect with Zapier and all these things.

[00:32:28] Andrew Barry:

And these, these tools are allocated to like solve that problem, make it, you know, the one and only stack. And probably the marketing side of it as well, to be able to build funnels and all those kinds of things. So yeah, I'm, I'm extremely excited by the space. I think it's, I think it's huge. And I think just the online education market is, is just an absolute boom. Like we're at the beginning of the gold rush.

[00:32:52] Burhaan Pattel:

Yeah. I'm, I'm actually really happy that it's come this way because. You know, I think we went through this era of having a lot of like recorded content and there will be a lot of recorded content on platforms, but the you know, even though people are saying, oh, there's live support and there's this Facebook group, but for me, the Facebook group acts more of like a Q&A type of a space rather than a collaborative space. And then even like, what you've set up with like the peer supporters and the other people that are involved in facilitating and the reviews and all of those things. And obviously I only speaking of from what I've seen in, in Ali Abdaal's course, but the experience is like way different to just consumption and then doing on my own.

[00:33:41] Andrew Barry:

Yeah. Yeah, totally.

[00:33:44] Burhaan Pattel:

Yeah. Speak a little bit about that because I think obviously being, you know, like, we're what a year and a half you're in seven months into COVID and people are now lacking more engagement, more connections. The consumption model is good for YouTube. Good for those types of that type of content. But in terms of like active learning classroom style learning. I think CBC is definitely the way to go. Obviously you agree, but do you want to speak a little bit more about that?

[00:34:16] Andrew Barry:

Yeah. So people are craving human connection, right? That's and I, and I should see this. I think what's interesting to add to this conversation is I see this in the corporate side as well. So my, my sort of main business Curious Lion. We work with B2B, with companies to help them create training. And back in the day, when I first started, we were just helping them create e-learnings and videos and whatnot. A lot of like asynchronous stuff. But now we've gone all in on our only product now is helping companies create cohort based learning sprints. So, and it's this idea of a flywheel of learning. So the problem that we solve for companies is creating a culture of continuous learning.

[00:34:58] Andrew Barry:

So it's exactly what you're saying. It's bringing people together. And because you can't, companies do this, but it's not effective is just, you can't just broadcast new training courses for them to say, Hey, we've got this LinkedIn learning, now go and take as many as you want. Right. It's just not, it's just not effective where people really learn is getting together on a Zoom call and talking to each other. And having some, and so then you can use some asynchronous content beforehand, say, Hey, watch all of this or read this or whatever. And it gives them a common language or a lens through which to them have those discussions.

[00:35:34] Andrew Barry:

But it's, it's in the discussions that people learn so much because they're like, oh, you are having this, this issue. I had the exact same thing. Here's what I tried. And that person's like, I trust you because you're in the same spot, you know, you're on the same stage as me or your same level as me, whatever. So yeah, we just, we're seeing so much success at companies with that and people, and it's kind of like, well, it's not, there's nothing magic about this. Like we're just bringing people together. Right.

[00:36:00] Burhaan Pattel:

It's not rocket science. Yeah. And it it's interesting. So you use the word learning because, and you use the word transformation earlier. There's so the transformation only happens with action and the way to get people to act is to put them together, to work together in groups. Because when there's accountability. That's when more stuff happens, it's just kind of the way that we've always functioned as human beings.

[00:36:26] Andrew Barry:

Yeah, exactly.

[00:36:28] Burhaan Pattel:

Anything else you want to talk about? I we're, we're running a little bit out of time, obviously.

[00:36:33] Andrew Barry:

Um, I think, I think in general for, for the sort of stuff that you're doing, what I think what's interesting and a big problem for just for all course creators, a big challenge I'd say about that is building an audience and thinking through that marketing side of it. And I, I, I don't maybe as a final thought, one of the things I often think about is how similar teaching and marketing, cause you have to, you have to like get someone's attention.

[00:36:59] Andrew Barry:

And trust in both those fields to be able to then either educate them or sell them something. Right. And so often you're doing both. To educate, to sell or, even, even the reverse is true. Sometimes you have to sell them on something an idea to be able to then educate them about it. So I think it's super interesting. I think the world of marketing and, and teaching, are very, there's a lot of overlap.

[00:37:24] Burhaan Pattel:

Especially now, because I think we're moving more into knowledge based content, especially. So it's like build the trust and that trust becomes the marketing component, which is now going to attract people into like, oh, what else does he, or she have before it was all like just salesy stuff or, you know, Hey, buy this car. It looks nice and it has a fancy caption, so, and you're a fan of the co of the brand. So it's an indication around that.

[00:37:57] Andrew Barry:

Yeah. Communications is a key part of that and it's this move from that traditional TV media, which was centralized. Like if you bought, you have to buy that time and then you broadcast that message to people. And now it's decentralized and you can have conversations with people and and I think what that means is that there's a move away from needing volume which you have to have for, to justify that the TV type to ad buys to LTV lifetime value of customers. Right? So building relationships with them that lasts years and that they buy multiple products from you because you're helping them on their journey. And you're, you know, you're growing with them and they're growing with you.

[00:38:42] Burhaan Pattel:

Yeah. One last question, before we end off. Why Twitter?

[00:38:49] Andrew Barry:

That's a great, this is great. Cause I need to, I need to clarify my answer. Yeah. So I was, I mean, the pithy answers that it's been by far the most powerful tool in my growth in the last year. I think why that's the case is it's the meeting place for ideas. It's the place where you don't. And I tried like tell some of my friends who are not on Twitter.

[00:39:12] Andrew Barry:

So those on Twitter that are like, no, it's, it's, it's an absolute cesspool of, you know, you're following the wrong people. Like you need to not follow news and you need to follow people that have that share ideas and then it becomes less of a broadcast platform and more of a conversational relationship based platform.

[00:39:32] Andrew Barry:

And all the magic starts to happen in the DMs. That's why, you know, that's how we're on this podcast, you reached out to me and I apologies my, my son in the background, I do that all the time for my podcast. And it's just like, you just, you get to know someone through their ideas they share and if you're, uh, you know, and and there's a shift from going from being a voyer, to being sort of a creator and that's people, um, you know, there's, there's a process to go through to do that.

[00:40:00] Andrew Barry:

But once you start to do that, vacancy your ideas, and then it's easy to see where that they connect to your, Hey, like we're thinking about the same stuff, you know, we should probably jump on a call, right. So it's just, it's such an organic way of doing that. Like there's, there's never been, you know I've always like, had to, it's always been like geographically sort of separate, right? Or like you always, you were in a community already. This is like a free permissionless. You can join whatever community you want. You just have to find them.

[00:40:28] Burhaan Pattel:

Yeah. I use tweet deck sometimes to search keywords and just have a column of like finding people who are talking about similar stuff. And that helps me to also in the content creation phase to curate ideas of like, okay, what are the different people I'm thinking around a specific keyword or specific topic that does sometimes help me fill some gaps for me. Where can people reach you? Where can they find you? You have a podcast which is very nicely named.

[00:41:02] Andrew Barry:

Yeah. Um, yeah. Thanks for mentioning that. It's how did you learn that. It's super fun. I get to just pick people's brains and understand how they built up their expertise and and learned from them. So, so definitely check that out. Twitter is the best place to get in touch with me. The handle is Bazzaruto B A Z Z A R U T O, and otherwise check out the website, curiouslionlearning.com because that's where both the sort of company side and creative side, I'm starting to sort of build that out and explain to people how we can potentially work together. So, yeah.

[00:41:39] Burhaan Pattel:

Cool. Andrew, thank you so much. I had a good time getting to know you and chatting to you here. I appreciate you being on the podcast and meeting with me.

[00:41:48] Andrew Barry:

Yeah. Thank you so much. You have fantastic questions. I really enjoyed this.

[00:41:53] Burhaan Pattel:

Thank you.

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