Dave Lukas Chats with Craig Swanson
308: From $100 to over $50 Million, How Successful Businesses Think with Craig Swanson
This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Craig Swanson. Craig Swanson is an entrepreneur, business coach, and co-founder of the online learning platform CreativeLive. Creative live went from a $100 startup to raising over $50 Million in VC funding becoming a massive success. After leaving CreativeLive, Craig has become the secret weapon behind course creators and business owners such as Sue Bryce, Susan Stripling, and Kaisa Keranen by helping them into the multi-million-dollar mark and even acquisition! Craig is also the board chair of the Seattle Entrepreneurs Organization Accelerator.
I’ve always loved digital assets as a business model. An entrepreneur can take their expertise in an area and have the ultimately scalability with a digital product, course, etc. And Craig has perfected the model. I am excited to get into all of this with him and to share all of his wisdom and experience from his incredible entrepreneur journey.
Follow Craig on LinkedIn
Craig started his first business after dropping out of college providing IT services to graphic design companies in Seattle. He did this for 25 years. And then he spun off an internal project which was Creative Live and built it up to massive success. He left there in 2016 and started what he does now - a small investment and incubator company with a fund that invests in and partners with a select few online creators per year to build niche platforms. He also serves his role in EO and is part of their accelerator program.
Talk to us about building a digital business. What should we know?
How does someone identify the market and see if there is a fit? How do you test the market?
At the 9 min mark, Craig gives an example of how they test a market with a client. It’s best to just listen.
Which type of product makes the best digital business?
What is the process you go through to build the business around the product?
What are the best ways to market and sell a digital business?
What are some ways to build an audience from scratch?
How do you grow an email list?
How do you build a personal brand the right way?
4 elements to scale any business?
Any tips on how to create the value ladder?
At the 36 min mark, Craig gives an example of how they do this…
What are the traits of good, high performing businesses vs. those that underperform?
At the 42 min mark, Craig and I talk about how businesses are much like life as they grow and gain experience.
From your journey, what do you feel are you most important and impactful lessons you’ve learned?
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It is designed for anyone to sell anywhere, giving entrepreneurs like myself the resources once reserved for big business - customized for my needs - with a great looking online store that brings my idea to life, and tools to manage my day-to-day and drive sales.
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