Robin Sargent 0:00
Welcome to become an idol. I'm Dr. Robin Sargent, owner of idle courses. This is the place where newbies come to learn and veteran share their knowledge.
I have here with me today a special guests, Murray Gray, and he is the co founder of a new platform called Xperiencify. It's a learning management system, and it's gamified. And you can sell digital course products on it. But I just know beyond being a learning management system, co founder that Murray has so much to share with us as new instructional designers, or even those that are thinking about adding any type of gamification or motivating your learners to completion. And so, Murray, would you do a better job of introducing
Murray Gray 0:59
who no one really likes to introduce themselves. I mean, some, I mean, some people really love it. But for me, I'm a software guy, I love building platforms. And my happy place is just in creating great software solutions to help business owners get more out of their business, so they can help more people out in the world and make a bigger impact. So I am the co founder of Experience of five with my brilliant partner in life and business, Marisa Murgatroyd, our our company is Live Your Message. And I guess it's it's thanks to everything we've learned in Live Your Message that has led to the creation of a platform. So if you'd like I can, I can give you a little bit of like how we got here. Just to give you a bit of, I guess, understanding of what led us to develop this platform and what it really is so and that will I guess, help folks who are listening, understand what we're doing that's different and why it's important. If you're just getting into courses, if you're just thinking about how can I have a course how can I have students? How can I leverage my time and my expertise to help more people at once, this is a great way to do it with with courses. But most people don't do courses in the right way. And let me explain what I mean. And to explain, basically, let me take you back to 2011. When we started our other company, leave your message. And we started releasing courses just like everybody does. We heard courses were a great way to leverage time leverage amount of work we were putting in just to help more people and make more money by getting in hundreds of students at the same time. So we started putting out courses. And what we noticed pretty quickly was that our student completion rate was fairly low, like it was less than 10%. Some courses were like 6% Completion, some courses were 3%. For the longer courses, some were 5%. And that was not honestly something that we expected to see. Because you think when people are paying your money, they're going to finish the course they buy from you because they're investing their hard earned dollars to get a result. But the thing we discovered organically was that even it doesn't really even depend on the price of a cause anything from high ticket to very low ticket. There's a similar rate of abandonment among students or many people that the people that buy courses and we like is this, we were wondering if it was just us, we were doing something wrong. So we checked with our colleagues, our contemporary people or in our industry, we asked a lot of people and everyone we talked to had similar rates of abandonment of students like a huge amount of students were buying it, some never even logging in some doing a few trainings and then sort of trailing off and then not coming back. And for us in our business, it led to higher refunds than we liked. I mean a lot of refunds because people weren't consuming it. And if you let's say you go to a restaurant and you don't eat the first, the meal, you're not going to really come back and buy from restaurant again. Or you're probably going to walk out and ask for a refund because you didn't like the meal. So we're getting a higher refunds. And the biggest problem we found was that we depend on our students getting results, we want to get our students results so that they want to come back to buy from us again. Because as we all know, as business owners the second and and follow on sales are sometimes up to 16 times more profitable than the first sale, because you've got all that marketing and traffic and advertising expense wrapped up in attracting the first time buyer. So there's a lot of expenses in that first time buyer, once you have them and once they love you and once they want to become a customer for life, that second, third, fourth, fifth sale just so much more profitable, as I said up to 16 times more profitable, but you don't have all that upfront expense to attract them. So we were looking at our cost results and seeing some of these students drop off and never buy from us again. And we realized that was really killing our profit. That was really our business had become reliant upon On first time customers, like so many people's businesses are and they don't really even know it, or they haven't identified that, or they haven't dug into the numbers, and realized, that's what's going on. They're having to work really, really, really, really hard to attract all these first time customers, but they don't come back to buy from you again. So you're continuing to run on the treadmill to keep attracting those first time customers, because that's how you keep the lights on. And I'm sure that a lot of people listening to this, like, I relate to that, because that's where we were, in our business, we were, we were working almost 24/7, exhausted all the time trying to keep the lights on, because we were dependent on most first time customers, because our courses weren't converting when getting results for as many students as we wanted. So that's what we found ourselves back in 2011, through 2014. That's the problem when you create courses that are done in the traditional way. And when I say traditional way, it's the way that most people teach, which is you just create content and put it out there, and people pay for it. And then Bob's your uncle, you've got a thriving course business. And the slash that hit us was that is not as simple as that. So how's all that landing so far? Do you relate to that?
Robin Sargent 6:14
Yes, yeah, I totally relate to that. But I'm actually feeling pretty good. Because I've seen some of my completion rates be at like 50 60%. And, like, bothers me. And people that don't even log in to do the thing that just like blows my mind. So but yes, but are in the early stages. And I've seen it over and over again to where they do like a content dump. Or they'll do a video, a quiz. And they just go on and on and on and on. And that just like you said, it's it's all it's all about the results. And so Absolutely, I'm 100% with you where you're going. So you saw a problem. Yeah, issue with the first time buyers, they're more expensive than repeat buyers. So.
Murray Gray 7:04
So yeah, we ended up finding the solution in the most bizarre places. And we were I think it was the summer of the summer of 2016. If I could if I wanted to put a number on it. We Marissa and I were on vacation in Rome in Italy. And we were walking home from dinner one night in one of the suburbs and we were turned down a dark alley, and we take the shortcut home. And then we had a scuffling in the in the shadows in the side of the alley, and we were like We froze, was thinking that we're about to die we're about to get mugged or something terrible is about to happen. And we're like just steal as anything in the in the in this alley. And then I my eyes adjust to the darkness. And I see it's two people, it's a couple that are hunched over their phones. They look first looking at their phones. And as I stared at them, I realized what's happening. And I sort of set out into the darkness toward them. I said poker mind, and they laughed. And they took off down the alley in search of these little Pokemon creatures. And that was the summer when Pokemon took over the world. Pokemon Go took over the world. And you saw those videos of 1000s of people stampeding across Central Park and 1000s of people on the beach in Santa Monica looking for these, these rare Pokemon monsters. And Marisa doesn't really follow pop culture she's she's sort of head down content creator. So I mansplain the whole book in one go thing to her. And she was just flabbergasted. She was like, my mind is just blown blown right now. Because we have 1000s Look at all these people on this video 1000s of people who are dedicating their time and getting out of the house and running around and chasing these little digital things that don't even exist, how? And she was like, but yeah, I'm selling this life changing content over here in my course. And I can't get people to complete it. I can't get people to, to even, like be interested in logging in. But yet, they're over here doing this thing, crazy thing, it's not really going to improve the lives really at the end of the day. So what are they doing, that we're not doing? How are they getting all these people so engaged and motivated and excited about taking action. But we struggle over here in the course industry in the in the online entrepreneurial industry where we're releasing courses. And we can't get people to log in to take action to complete the thing to get results to implement what they are paying us to, to get access to and what they really most want in their lives. They want to solve problems that are challenging for them. But yeah, they'll spend hours stuck to their screens, but not do a similar thing over here. So we spent long story short, we spent six months digging into like what these people were doing What if Silicon Valley was doing what the game and app makers are doing? What industries like the gaming and gambling industry? What how are they getting all these people so enslaved and addicted to these things? And how can we learn from what they're doing so that we can use similar tools and an ethical way to help give people the resources to dedicate to changing their lives. And that's important because your students are coming to you with a problem, they're coming to you to have to get a result in their lives to get a solution to a problem, or to solve something that is challenging for them. And our opinion, or our belief, is that you have a responsibility as a course creator, as someone who's selling someone that solution to use every tool at your disposal to help that person, get the result in their life they're paying for. And I'm not sure if that resonates, but that certainly is a belief that we hold Yeah. And so that's why we were like, we're gonna take all of the stuff that we can with that we can identify and deconstruct and figure out what they're doing, we're going to take it we're going to apply it to not just our information, because most courses are just dumps of information that really demotivate people, they really made people turn them off and demotivate them and make them want to go and chase Pokemon rather than sort of spend days reading through or watching talking head videos. So we were like, how can we apply everything we're learning to a course? How can we apply all of these techniques and tools that are being used on us by these companies? How can we repurpose them, so that they work for us, for our students, to enable them to resource them to get the results that they most want for their lives? So really, that led us to develop a whole methodology around how to take information that none of us hear from watching this, this recording, none of us have any problem, creating content, or just tapping into whatever you want to call it and creating something that will help people. How do you take what it is that you produce? And have you wrap it in the right kind of experience? And that's important, what experience it had the rapid in the right experience, so that people are going to want to take action and want to put it to use and implement it and and complete the complete the cost of buying? How do you take everything from over here? And how do you how do you deploy it over here so you can get similar results. So really, that led us to a whole methodology around curriculum design, and how to create the right kind of course content to get people excited about taking content and seeing that and getting a change in their lives. And for me, for me personally, it led down a whole other road of how do I implement software to facilitate this whole process? How do we how do I build a software platform that does the creates a similar experience that the app and the game makers are creating, that's more gamified that's more experiential, that creates the kind of experience that people are excited by that they want to come back to. So fast forward to today. And that's really what brought us here. That's what I'm doing my time as I'm creating this platform, so that people who take courses, wants to complete them and get results. Oh, my gosh,
Robin Sargent 13:24
I mean, I don't even know that I said it yet. But I just have to tell the people listening that I love your platform. I am obsessed with it. And I'm trying everything I can to mimic it on my own because I was I actually met Marie because the whole reason we started conversation is because I wanted to move my entire all my courses in my entire program to his platform, because there are easter eggs, you get points for tracking actions, which just like you said, the only way they get a transformation is if they implement and take action, and which is I'm diehard about it in my program. So you can like track actions and get points. And there's easter eggs that pop up and there's like countdown timers, and there's, um, you always get like the big mission at the front as part of the way that you built your software. And there's so many other like small things, I'm sure that you probably could go into some of your features, Marie that I was just like, oh my gosh, that takes all the best principles of gamification. And just like you said, it allows you do create a real experience that you wrap things in because we know that people are motivated by mastery, or by mastering small things and if they can just like get a little reward for even taking that action to get that small mastery, like even better on what you've done for them. And then of course, I've noticed even in my own course that has no gamification on it, and has like a progress bar. Students will Oh, before I change this, they would get mad, because we would keep adding like new workshops or whatever. And so their progress would shrink. And they'd be like, you've missed my progress bar. Now I'm on a 40%. Oh. And so that will actually kind of led me down the road to find experience of five. So yeah, do you want to talk about obviously, so you built the software? Where you have the platform? How did you narrow it down to the things that you do have as far as your features? Or like, what did you really think about as far as learning experience and tie of that whole design thinking work? Does take us down the rabbit hole a
Murray Gray 15:43
little bit? Great question. Thank you for saying all that. It's, it's lovely to be to say that, I think the one important difference between us and other software companies is that the other software companies, and I'm not going to name any names, but the other software companies are kind of driven more by programmers or internal project teams that kind of a driven by, I guess, customer suggestions or are driven by other agendas. And they're not really driven by a vision for what, what is possible. When it comes to this, all of this stuff, we developed this platform initially in house for for linear message. So we were creating features, as we were rolling out our courses to test them. So we would roll out a feature, and we would test it on a launch of one of our products. And we would see if it had any positive impact on the amount of students completing. And that's how we, we basically came up envisioned all of our features, we were testing them in real time on our students, as they enrolled in the courses, and now has they took action. And our platform is driven 100% by hard research data, and by actually using it in our own business. So that's the difference. Here we are, literally, we have probably 100,000 students in the group message. And we're always testing new stuff in the platform. And that's how really how we come up with our feature ideas. I come up with an idea and I got them research and say what do you think about this? She says a lot of embryos implemented, and then we see. So the features are informed by real world needs of our students. So really, that's that's really what drives us. And that's really what I think makes us different to our software platforms.
Robin Sargent 17:25
So just about your background, we I mean, you just started like building your own platform. I mean, is that before you were, you know, a course creator? Do you have experience with that, or you're just like, I'll figure it out.
Murray Gray 17:38
I'm a geek from I guess, by trade. I'm a computer science guy. So I've always been involved in the world of software. And when Raisa and I met, when we got together as as a couple, we also started working together in the business. So we've been life partners and business partners since day one, which is unusual, fairly unusual for a couple. And I kind of turned my problem solving computer science brain to that business to try and solve the problems we were having. And I've always been a platform builder. So it was natural for me to think about, well, we're seeing this problem in our business, how can I solve it with software. So that's what led us down this rabbit hole of, first of all, we built it in house as a tool that only we were using. And then we got enough students asking us to use it, as we were testing. And as we were as we had more and more students joining, they would ask us, can we use your software? Because we love it so much. And for years, we had to say no, it's it's not meant for the general public, unfortunately. And eventually, I got the broad idea that probably I should release it as a standalone product so that other people could benefit from it. And their students could benefit from it as well. And now
Robin Sargent 18:47
we have Xperiencify and so what are some of the things I mean, I know obviously like your platform gives people It wraps it in an experience using your words, I think that's a great way to kind of express it. But when you give advice to people who are thinking about designing their first digital course product, beyond, I mean, obviously like gamify it or someone else tips that you already kind of based on other best practices.
Murray Gray 19:19
I think the first tip I want to mention is not really software or platform based. It's more of a strategy or a course design or curriculum suggestion. And the biggest mistake that beginner course creators make is they tried to create what we call the kitchen sink course. And that is the course that tries to solve every problem that their student might have. And we did that we made the same mistake. Our first course was called message to money. And it was a I think it was like a 12 week course and we went through every kind of problem that someone could have well as they were building and launching an online business. It was branding was marketing. It was paid traffic, it was website design. I mean you You name it, we had it in that course. And as a result, it was overwhelming for people, they would log on, and they would see all the content. And there'll be like, Nope, I'm gonna get back to this later. And that is the phrase or the sentiment, that really is the death knell for the course or for the students. Soon as somebody says, I'm gonna come back to this later, maybe on the weekend, that is the moment when they opt out, never to come back. So my first suggestion to beginner course creators as you create your first course, or your next course, is that you want to think about what is the smallest valuable problem, the SVP that you can solve for your students? So if you take a problem, can you carve out a smaller problem? Can you carve out a smaller problem, what is the smallest thing that you can solve that's valuable to your customer, that they will pay money to have solved, maybe it's just a five day course, maybe it's just a two week course, the advantage of that is you get them so much more likely to finish it, because it's one focus problem that it's solving, it's not 63 problems they're solving it's one. So you can very easily get to get them to the end of that course. And what happens when they get to the end of that course? Well, surprise you, you get to sell them another course. And they're much more likely to upgrade to another course, if they got results at first for the first course. Right. So we recommend creating a series of small, highly focused courses that can lead your students upward in your business or send them through different price levels, up to the high ticket courses, or programs should you have any, and that really just keeps keeps the momentum and keeps the student moving through the business and becoming once they've, I guess bought the second thing from you, they're pretty much a customer for life. Because they've got results, they've got a result from the first from the first thing they bought. And that's really so much so different to every other course they've already already bought, because everybody here on this call, has had that experience of buying something and not getting results, buying something and abandoning it. And if you can be the course creator, that changes that for them, that reframes it to say that to help them rewrite their own internal story of, I'm actually I'm an action taker, instead of a person that buys things and doesn't get results instead of a person that that can't solve this problem, I'm actually person that can solve this problem. If you can rewrite that for them, then you will have them for life, I pretty much guarantee. So first suggestion I have is that solve the simplest, valuable problem or smallest valuable problem that you can for customer in your course. And then I can move let me move on to the actual the platform part of it. Because the things that we implement in the platform, really, I like to think of it as little magic dust sprinkles that you can add to a course that will supercharge the engagement from the students. So you start with your SPP course, your smallest valuable problem course, you drop the content into experience of it. And it works pretty similarly to other platforms. You've got modules, it's a structured with like a course then modules, and then trainings inside, with video trainings and things. And what you want to do is use the features that we have developed like points, for example, you can people when they think about gamification, they love the idea. And then they're like, yes, that's gamified. But when you really come down to how do I do that? That's really where people get stuck, like, what what is it really what are the elements of the gamification that I can practically use in a course. So the first most basic level of gamification is points. And if you look at any Apple game out there, they all rely on the first thing they do is give you points. As soon as you start the thing up, you've got opportunities to earn points. So that was one of the first thing we took from the app and game world is that we want to give people points as soon as they start soon as they enter the course. So we make it very easy for you as the course creator to start awarding points in exchange for action. Basically, that's gamification, in its most basic form, people take action, you give them points. And it may sound simple, I know that it may sound really, really simple, and even try to be honest. But until you experience it, you don't know the power of it. Because as soon as you begin to own something, I feel that experienced that feeling of ownership, that you started to collect some points. That is when the game changes. And that is when you start to have that, I get it. When you start to earn points based on taking action. You don't want to stop taking action, because it's hard for people to walk away from things that they've earned from things that they've worked to achieve. So first thing we we make it easy for you to assign points or award points in exchange for any kind of action in the course, whether it's related to the training content or whether it's related to even just whitelist our email address or you know, add us to your allow list or join our Facebook group, or, you know, go and fill in this student intake form, or go and do this thing, the kind of stuff that we all want our students to do before they really start to dive into the content that we have a hard time getting them to do it. This is the sort of thing you can you can incentivize the people to do with points. And they gladly do the stuff because they're getting points in return. And the
Robin Sargent 25:24
probably, you're thinking like, these points are going to lead to something.
Murray Gray 25:30
Yeah, the points are just the start of the gamification. And they really build and gain in importance, as more and more layers of gamification get added. So you start earning points. And then as well as the points, there are custom sound effects that you can add in. So people have that tact, that multi sensory kind of experience of the tactile clicking the points, they see the animations, they hear the auditory feedback. So they've got a three sensory experience of like touching or whatever the sound effect is that you want to use. We've got dozens of different sound effects in the system, but you can actually give them that kind of, well, what just happened moment, within the first minute of them joining the course you can give them that kind of what the heck just happened moment. And as soon as you can do that with with a course experience, that's game changing, because we all think we know what we're going to get when we join a course. And we're all kind of braced for the boring, raised for the boredom, you know, we're braced for, like, I know this is going to hurt, but I'm going to stick with it until I get something at the end. And that's that's the experience most courses unintentional create, we call them the the action action action action be about cycle. And that's what most course creators are asking you to do with a course if they ask you to take action all the way to the end. So you can get the reward, but most people give up before they get to the end, because there's no rewards along the way. And that's where games are so brilliant. You take action, you get a reward every single time. So we teach our users, our community to create courses, they're actually action, reward, action, reward action reward cycles, instead. And that's what gives people the the gets people into that virtuous cycle of taking action, so they can get the reward taking action reward. And I know again, it sounds trite, but it freakin works. It's so powerful, and you won't believe it to try it.
Robin Sargent 27:29
Yeah, I mean, even right now I add gamification to my program, but I know that when I add points, and those points add up to be rewards, that'll be more valuable. Because right now, I have you know, if you do this, do a messy challenge, like in the in the academy or whatever, then they can get a reward that they submit for at the end. But how much better would it be? If each of the steps that they took on the challenge to get a little reward of points that then add up to they get a notebook that says like, dude, messy, it's like the name of the challenge or whatever, they really love it. They have to go through a lot of work before they find out that they're going to get a notebook if they do it. And so, yeah, so it's definitely a, it's, it's a game changer, right? Just to consistently be getting rewarded in some way. And it doesn't even do, it's not even a burden on the course creator. If you're just adding up points to get to a bigger reward, because you can just give away points all day and just set kind of the thresholds as to what triggers reward, a true reward.
Murray Gray 28:43
Yeah, yeah, you want to you want to reward things that are meaningful. If you just give rewards for this, or this or this, or this. It's tough to become like, oh, you know, it's, I don't really care. But you want to make things give rewards that are meaningful. And also, when it comes to badges, we have a whole sort of custom badge system that allows you to award badges to folks for, for achievements within within the platform. So you could think of it like, once they finish a course they could get an alumni badge, or they get an MVP badge for, for being a valued contributor in the community, those kinds of things. But if you're giving badges for for hundreds of things, they become, again, meaningless. So you want to reward meaningful things. And one thing that we do in our courses is that we give graduation prizes. So that's yet another reason for them to look forward to getting to the end of a course, because they know they're going to get a graduation prize when they get to the end. And we know they've gotten to the end when they get a certain amount of points. And then we actually trigger certain things to happen inside the platform. So that we can we can give them their prize we actually have we pop up a little box that says congratulations that you're you've got 300 points. Now here's your graduation prize, and we asked him to type in like what is being in this course meant for You personally, we ask them a question that can that will usually turn into a success story. And they type it in and they submit it. And that's how actually how they claim the graduation prize. And that is one way that we've generated over 2000 success stories from just one course. In our business, we give them a graduation prize, and we can make it contingent on them submitting a story at the end of the course. So it's kind of ninja where they collect testimonials, but people do it voluntarily. And some people submit pages of this has been like the best thing I've ever done kind of stories, which are magic from marketing, as you know. So we just make it we just do it all through the platform.
Robin Sargent 30:39
What's your prize? I have one of these two. It's like when you reach your big idol goal, you get a mug this has, of course, the Caribbean on it. It's shipped to them, they post pictures of their mugs. I mean, it really is very exciting. Because it's a lot. Academy. Yeah, so what's your prize? I want to know,
Murray Gray 30:58
one of the prizes. I believe. We've actually got two prizes. I think one of them was, in our experience product masterclass, we have trademarked the idea of an experienced product, which is kind of like an information product. But it's different. It's like a an information product. But it's it's an accredited experience for students. So it's a different kind of thing. So we've trademarked it. And then we give our graduates a lifetime license to call their courses and experience products we give them we basically send them a trademark, or like a lifetime permission to use the trademark kind of certificate in the mail, once they submit their story to us, so it's really valuable. People love it. And I post photos on the Facebook group of them receiving a certificate. And it's a great marketing.
Robin Sargent 31:45
Well, yeah, that's a great, that's a great gift, right that they can now. I mean, it's like they're certified experienced designers now.
Murray Gray 31:54
Exactly. Yeah. And what greater way to create advocates and people go out and spread the word than to do prizes like that, just like the mug?
Robin Sargent 32:04
Okay, I want to know, so you have you how long is your platform been around since like 2018 19 2019
Murray Gray 32:12
is when we released to the public. But we've been building this kind of in secret behind closed doors for three years before that.
Robin Sargent 32:18
So you've seen even people who are like me who moved from one platform to your platform, he share a little weird data and insights from seeing other people move from one place to another, like, have you seen their company? Do they report to you that their completion rates go up? And of course they do. So tell me what those
Murray Gray 32:38
what do they do even for me, the most fun emails to get are the emails from the skeptics, and people that were previously skeptical. And they tried this stuff, like they were like, alright, well, let's give it a try. Because I challenged them to prove me wrong. And they give it a try. They migrate. And they add points. And they add celebration, which is like a full screen animation. Really fun kind of screens that you can trigger as students take action. So it's like a video game where you level up. Every time you go to new level, you get like a celebration screen, which really celebrates the achievement and the end the effort. We have easter eggs, as you mentioned, we have the leaderboards and we have the badges that pop up from time to time that like no surprise badges and things, a bunch of different features that we have, that all contribute to make a more more magical experience for the students that they can't really even believe is happening. So I get the skeptics emailing me saying, You arrived, I can't believe I thought this stuff was stupid points. I couldn't care less. I'm very. I'm very internally driven. And I've never ever quit. Of course, in my life, I'm like, congratulations, you're one of the 0.001% of the population, I'm happy for you. For the rest of us. It happens to all of us. So they wrote to me and saying I didn't think it'll work. But I'm getting emails and love love notes from students thanking me for doing this because they have had such a fantastic been engaging time inside the new version of the course. So of course, it depends on how much of the platform you leverage, and how many of the features that you that you sort of turn on as you migrate over. So even if all you do is add points to a course, we usually see like an easy doubling of the student completion rate from before to after, if you added points, and just that string, nothing else. And if you add points and celebrations and the Easter eggs, and we turn on what's called binge mode, and that's that's a fun thing. I'm not going to get into that. And you turn turn on badges and the community and like the other dozen things that we have, you can go from I think the first time we tried to coerce with all of these things. We ended up with a 76% student completion rate from that call. was. And I think the results kind of speak for themselves.
Robin Sargent 35:04
Oh my gosh, that's the kind of thing I get greedy about completion rates.
Murray Gray 35:10
And I think unless you understand the problem, unless you're problem aware, as they call it, where you understand there's a student, there's a completion problem, there is an engagement problem out there with courses right now, there always has been because they haven't changed. In hundreds of years that courses have been done the same way since courses were invented back in the 1900s. Or whenever they're all just talking head kind of lecture style things that are not, that don't jive with the way the human brain works. So I think that until you felt the pain of students not completing your courses, like where we weren't, like you've seen, you don't appreciate the value of the solution. So this is one of the reasons I'm here talking to you and your amazing audiences that I'm here to spread the word about this problem. We like to call it the big dirty secret of the online course industry, because it's the, it's the, it's the thing that nobody talks about, as all of these course creation gurus, who are advertising on Facebook every single day, make seven figures with a course. They don't talk about student completion, because they're not they don't really have the tools to deal with that problem, like we do. So we've solved our problem. And we use our own tool every single day in our business. And it's really coming back, benefiting us in multiple times, in multiple ways. Because we've gone we've just spent millions of dollars developing this tool to solve this problem. So that's, I forgot, I forgot what your question was. But that's really the problem that we're solving. And yeah, I'm sorry, I kind of lost the thread there. But yeah.
Robin Sargent 36:48
You just didn't know you're still hanging on. I guess the only other thing that I really want to know, Marie, because a lot of our audience goes into a corporate instructional design and learning design. Yeah. Do you have any companies that use your LMS as a, like a company training platform?
Murray Gray 37:06
Yeah, that's a great question. And we're only just starting to branch out into the enterprise space. So the companies that are that kind of 10 employees and 20 and 100 and 1000, we're, we're just we're starting to have those contents, that size of companies reach out to us on a regular basis. Yesterday, I had a call with, like a very well known hotel chain, that everyone would know the name and national brands are reaching out to me because they all understand the value of employee engagement with their their onboarding, training, their skills, trainings, their learning and development, they all want to improve it. And they all understand that there's a problem there, and they don't know how to fix it. And so they're reaching out to me asking for, first of all, how are you solving it? What are the tools that you that you've developed for the market? And how can we work together? So in all transparency, we're still having conversations with a lot of companies configuring to figure out what's the best way that XP can work with those bigger companies in order to supercharge their learning and development? But definitely, we are in conversations with a lot of companies right now, to help them because they've got the exact same problem that everyone listening right now today has, if you're a solopreneur, or a smaller business with, you know, a couple of 100 students and you have a course that is not perhaps getting the results that you hope to expect that would so yes, definitely. We're, we're definitely we're branching out looking in that direction right now.
Robin Sargent 38:36
Oh, neat. Okay, so I always ask all of our all my guests, what is your best and final advice? For those that are new to learning design? And I know you've given a lot of your best advice. But do you have just one more tip that you want to share?
Murray Gray 38:54
Learning Design? Yeah, like, for the newbies, make it fun. I think that whatever you can do to make it fun. Like when I design curriculum, when I do courses, I feel like I've pioneered a new way of doing it in my curriculum design. In the world of NLP, it's called pattern interrupt, you might be aware that basically, the pattern interrupt is where you interrupt a pattern or a pattern that's running in someone's mind. So for example, when they joined the course, there's a there is a script or a program running in their heads, that's, that's telling them what to expect. Like, I'm going to join a course, then I'm going to probably have trouble logging into the course. And I'm going to have to reset a password and then I'm going to not get the email and I'm going to go around and around with the support team today is to get access. And then I'm going to finally get access. And then I'm going to see all this content and then it's going to be boring AF then I'm going to have the script of what's going to happen. And then as they start to watch these trainings, and usually the trainings are talking head. They're training they're kind of they're not they're not have really broken up into different interesting kind of segments. They're not like an infomercial in a way, they're more kind of classroom style, if you will. And soon as we hit play on a video like that, again, the patent stuff, too, we know that the patent is the brain says, so I'm going to be sitting here, going like this for the next 40 minutes, as this thing progresses, and I'm gonna have to go and get some coffee to get through this. And then after that, I'm probably going to go away and do something fun for an hour, and then try to come back to this. And that's probably never going to happen. So my biggest suggestion to curriculum design, folks is pattern interrupt, at every opportunity, try and interrupt the pattern that the person is expecting. So as an example, one thing that we do with XP is that as soon as a new student joins through our order form, we don't subject them to any of that password, email, customer support thing, we just take them straight into the course, like they purchase. And then it takes them straight into the homepage of the course, saying, you're here, fantastic. And then once they're in the course, that does a tightening up straightaway. And then once they're in the course, then we start giving them points straightaway. And that's a pattern interrupt. And it's important to understand that when the brain is interrupted, when the pattern is broken, the brain goes into a kind of a hyper alert, hyper engaged state. Because it's like a fight or flight mode, like the fight or flight, I guess, is the best way to put it where something happens that you weren't expecting. And you're like, what was that, like, and the brain goes into overdrive trying to explain what has happened to try and put into a box to try to make a pattern out of it. So we can, because the brain needs to conserve resources, that's, you know, the brains job is to fix problems or to to find patterns, and then sort of power down to conserve resources. So most courses just brain goes into that resource conservation mode, where you're just kind of barely even conscious, and you're just watching the video, you want to keep students in a hyper alert, hyper engaged mode. And the way to do that is to break a pattern over and over and over every 30 seconds, break a pattern. And the way you would do that with curriculum design is gamify it, you want to have easter eggs that pop up unexpectedly unexpected things break patterns, inside the actual training content, what I do personally, is by us, I go to giffy.com giphy.com giffy. And I pull, like memes from there. And I pull, like tiny bits of movie footage, like from from popular movies, like your top guns, and like, I feel a need for speed and I take appropriate things that kind of fit with what I'm talking about. And I pull them into the actual training content. So it's not just me talking at the camera. It's if I'm talking about right now it's time to really, you know, pick this up, and then I'll throw in, you know, Maverick in there going, I believe for speed, and that kind of thing. And I try and do that every 20 seconds or so, so that people never know what they're gonna get. And when it's when things aren't expected. Again, you stay that hyper engaged mode, where you're like, This is great. I haven't really had this much fun or being disengaged in online training in a long time, or if if ever. So that's really my number one recommendation for curriculum design is pattern interrupt, do whatever you can to break a pattern to keep people engaged and paying attention.
Robin Sargent 43:30
That is a valuable piece of advice. surprise and delight your learners break their patterns. I think it's I mean, if they could just even sprinkle like you said, like the fairy dust of pattern interrupt into their curriculum, designing just a whole nother level of vSphere learners. And so, Murray, thank you so much for joining me, thank you for sharing about, you know, your journey and Xperiencify. Everybody should absolutely go check it out. I mean, even if you know you're not a digital course, Content Developer entrepreneur, it's still worth just checking out Xperiencify to see the different gamification elements and how they're applied to the platform. I know it will inspire you, in the very least. And so thanks again. I really appreciate having
Murray Gray 44:20
you. It's been such a pleasure. And thank you for inviting me. I've had a great time. Appreciate you.
Robin Sargent 44:26
Thank you so much for listening. You can find the show notes for this episode at idle courses.com. If you like this podcast and you want to become an instructional designer, and online learning developer, join me in the idle courses Academy where you'll learn to build all the assets you need to land your first instructional design job, early access to this podcast tutorials for how to use the elearning authoring tools, templates for everything course building and paid instructional design experience opportunities, go to idle courses.com forward slash Academy and enroll or get on the waitlist. Now get out there and build transcendent tours.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai