the podcast recap episode with aj & rory vaden

Ep 343: How to Scale a Coaching Company and License Your IP with Todd Herman | Recap Episode

Listen to the episode below

Rory’s conversation with Todd Herman was one of the most profound interviews that has been done on this show because it provided insights into a topic that most people know very little about: trademarks.

It may come as a surprise to you, but if you are ever planning on selling your coaching business, be prepared to answer questions relating to the trademarks that you own.

If you don’t have any, start registering some. And if you do have them, don’t hold back on protecting them!

Todd’s interview is going to have a transformative impact on Brand Builders Group, and if you’re serious about scaling, don’t delay listening because it could do the same for your business.

Key takeaways from this episode

  • Why the interview with Todd Herman blew Rory’s mind.
  • The value of trademarks.
  • Todd’s approach to protecting his trademarks.
  • Issues that Rory has had with people stealing his IP.
  • What a single trademark can add to the valuation of your company.
  • Todd’s explanation of what it takes to create a licensing program.
  • How Brand Builders Group is utilizing the ‘train the trainer’ model.
  • Elements to focus on when you are scaling a coaching company.
  • Why the best form of marketing is a changed life!

Tweetable Moments

“This interview with Todd Herman will be one where I look back on our business at some point in the future and say, ‘This interview changes the trajectory of our business.’” — @roryvaden [0:01:58]

“Each trademark is worth approximately $250 000 to your valuation.” — @roryvaden [0:06:06]

“The most powerful form of marketing is a changed life. And when you focus on that, you turn your customer force into your sales force.” — @roryvaden [0:19:28]

About Todd Herman

Todd Herman has been entrenched in the world of elite performers for over two decades working with the highest achievers in Sports and Business to help them achieve their most ambitious goals. Simply put, Todd Herman helps ambitious people do hard things.

Creator of the multi-award-winning Leadership & Skills Development Program, 90 Day Year, and recipient of Inc. 500’s Fastest Growing Companies Award as well as the ‘Rama Award for Wisdom and Leadership’ from the Indonesian government, Todd’s professional programs are delivered to over 200,000 professionals annually in 73 countries.

Named by the Boston Herald as a “Training Superstar”,  Todd has been featured on the Today Show, Sky News, Inc Magazine, CBS and Business Insider among others.

Originally from Alberta, Canada, Todd grew up on a large farm and ranch, where he developed a healthy dislike of chicken coops. Todd now lives in New York City with his wife and three young children and is currently the world’s worst ukulele player.

Links Mentioned

Todd Herman Website

Todd Herman on LinkedIn

Todd Herman on YouTube

Todd Herman on Instagram

Todd Herman on Facebook


The Alter Ego Effect

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Interview with Amy Porterfield

AJ Vaden on LinkedIn

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Rory Vaden

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Take the Stairs

Brand Builders Group

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The Influential Personal Brand Podcast on Stitcher

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RV (00:02): Holy smack, , mind blown. This interview with Todd Herman, this will be one where I look back on our business at some point in the future and say, this interview changed the trajectory of our business. We actually made changes from things that we personally learned on the interview you just heard. Or if you haven’t heard it, go listen to it. This interview with Todd about how to scale a coaching company and how to license your ip, your intellectual property. Wow. part of what is amazing about this is very few people have actually done this. Very few people have actually ever like scaled a coaching business or scaled IP to the point where it became a sellable asset. And so there’s not that many people who actually know the information that Todd shared. And I mean, this is, this is just one of the most powerful interviews for me, just because there’s very few people who can actually talk shop like this, right? RV (01:12): And, and we know something about it. We’ve sold a company a coaching business, but I think it was far undervalued for what it should have been. And I think knowing, knowing many of the thing, like having learned some of these things, I’ll share with you some of my highlights is definitely gonna change the, the future of our, our business. And the way it already is, AJ and I have already taken action on several of these things from when this interview took place. So, first of all, alright, so Todd Herman was, was our guest. We were talking about how to scale a coaching company and how to license your ip. And here’s my top three takeaways. So first of all, my very first takeaway is about the power of trademarks, or I should say the value of trademarks and the, the financial value of trademarks. RV (02:02): So, you know, if you go back and you listen, one of the things that Todd said is he said, look, if somebody’s gonna come by your company, if you’re a personal brand company, is he said, the first thing they’re gonna ask you is, how many trademarks do you own? What? Like, I’ve never, no one has ever said that before. Like, I’ve never, I’ve never heard that before. Because we have not spent a lot of time like focused on our ip. Like, and it’s you know, one of the things he said is he said, look, if if you win an IP infringement case in the US it’s a minimum of $250,000. So he said, we don’t, you know, he doesn’t send cease and desist letters. He just sues people. And that’s pretty wild. You know, like that’s a pretty assertive or aggressive stance. RV (02:50): I mean, depending on how you look at it. But I gotta tell you, this is a place where I feel like we’ve been getting, we’ve been getting the short end of the stick here. There are so many quotes of mine that get ripped off and stolen and put all over the internet there. I mean, there’s a few of ’em specifically, success is never owned. It’s rented and the rent is due every day that originally appeared in Take the Stairs be the Buffalo and my Buffalo story. People are now putting that in their TED Talks. We’ve got you know, this, this story I tell do it scared about do it scared again. That was 10 years ago. We published that in a New York Times bestselling book, and we almost never get cited for those things. And then, you know, my focus funnel from my TED talk on how to multiply time and in a brand builders group, I mean, we’ve got dozens of these visual frameworks. RV (03:45): Now, some of those things are, are, are not trademarks that we can get. Like success is never owned. It’s rented. The rent is due every day. That’s more of like, you know, kind of like a copyright issue. Anyways, we, we need to, we need to do an episode for you on the difference between just copyrights and, and and trademarks. But specifically what, what Todd was talking about is these visual frameworks that you create, which we have a bunch of them, right? Like we have the brand DNA Helix and the modular content method. I mean, we have the, the services spectrum, and I mean on and on and on on, we have the marketing map for book launches. And I mean, every single one of our 14 curriculums has at least two to five frameworks. And in our captivating content course we teach people how to create their own frameworks. RV (04:38): Like we teach our clients how to do this is something that we’re really good at. What we haven’t been doing is actually protecting them legally. And this is the part that blew my mind is he said, each trademark is worth approximately $250,000 to your valuation. So we’ve got 14 topics in our curriculum. We have 14 courses in our full curriculum. Let’s just say that each one of those has three frameworks, some of ’em have more, but if we have three, then that’s, that is 30. That means we have 42, we got 42 frameworks. What is the math on this? I need to look at this. I got so pause for the interruption here. So if we’ve got a minimum, let’s say 42 frameworks in our whole Brand Builders group curriculum and $250,000 each, that is 10 million by itself. That means we could, you know, according to this rough math, right? RV (05:39): And it’s, it’s rough math, but it’s, it’s, it’s based on, it’s based in reality. We could add 10 million to our company valuation by going out and getting trademarks and all this. So guess what we’re doing? We are getting trademarks like crazy. So we have started this process. We are going down that path to get trademarks on these things because they’re super duper powerful. So anyways that is a big, a big, big, big deal. And, and, and a and a big i a big idea. So I think that was fascinating. So you gotta, first of all, it shows you the power of creating frameworks, which if you don’t know what that is, like gosh, request a call with us, y’all like free brand Just do it. And seriously, you’re talking about millions of dollars in, in this one thing. If we teach you how to create like a couple frameworks, it can be worth a million dollars to you. RV (06:36): Like that. One thing that you would learn, and this is one of our biggest specialties, is helping people create their own visual frameworks and things. And and then we’re about to make a specialty of how to get those things trademarked, . That’s, that’s super powerful. The second thing that, my second big takeaway from Todd which is something that we’ve done, we’ve done really well at, but we haven’t spent a lot of time teaching people how to do this, is to go, how do you create a licensing program? Like what does it really take? How do you create the content for a licensing program? And I thought it was really simple and pragmatic how he described this. He said, well, look, first of all, just, you know, record yourself training, do your training, so train it and record yourself. That is, that becomes your content. RV (07:29): But then what you need to do is then go back and record yourself on explaining why you trained it the way you trained it. Record that. And that becomes the, the train the trainer content. And so the train, the train, their model, which has been around for decades is this idea that, you know, like with companies like frankly, Covey was one of the, one of the, you know, they went public for doing this. They were, they’re nine figure business and went public and a huge part of what they did. So I remember I got to meet Dr. Covey. So, you know, this is all based on seven habits of highly Effective People. And the late Dr. Steven Covey and I got to meet his son one time. He came to our house, someone invited him to our house, we had this little get together, and he was explaining to me how they did their whole business. RV (08:14): And, and a big part of it was this train the trainer model where you, you know, let’s say they have you, you have your program, you have your normal course, and let’s just say it takes two days for someone to go through your full experience. Well, when you sell it, you can say, okay, come through the, the full program for two days and you pay X or pay X plus y and stay a third day or a fourth day, and I’ll, I’ll certify you. So not only will you go through the program, you also will become certified to teach the program to other people. And that’s a train the trainer model. Or sometimes people would call it a two plus one because it was like basically a two day public event and then a one day certification training and the content for that third day is what he was talking about. RV (09:02): So what Todd was talking about in the interview was saying, you know, train your, train it record, record yourself training it, and then record yourself explaining why you trained it that way. And that is what becomes the content for that third day, which becomes a product in and of itself that you can sell for lots of money. And then, you know, the way that the Covey, you know, family was describing this to me, is that really what that business model is, is shipping kits. They’re shipping kits. What does that mean? Because they, they, they wouldn’t make their money on the, the certification as much, although you can. You know, there’s, we got a lot of friends that do certifications, make a lot of money doing it, Donald Miller. And you know, like Jeffrey Gier does this, John Maxwell does this where they certify, they certify, by the way, if you didn’t know, this Brand Builders group now is certifying and licensing our content to people to go out and teach different parts of our content. RV (09:55): We don’t license all 14 parts, but there are certain parts of our curriculum that you can get licensed in, and we can, we can help you move faster in your business by giving you our content, you licensing, you’re buying our content, but then having the right to go reteach it and charge, you know, bundle it in with your other services and charge and our content’s amazing. And it’s really, really well, well polished. So anyways, the way that the Train the trainer model works is, so you, you know, you make money selling someone to come to your two day event. You make more money certifying them on how to teach your content, but then where they would make the most money is that they, they could, they could charge whatever they wanted to put people through their class. The only caveat of the arrangement legally was that they had to buy their kits for certifying people through the, the home company, right? RV (10:50): So, so say for example, you paid Brand builders group, you know, whatever, let’s, let’s call $5,000 you know, 7,500 bucks, something like that. Which is often, you know, typically somewhere between 20 512,500 is typically what you’ll pay for like an annual license to be able to teach somebody else’s content, right? And then you get to come and part of that includes, you know, materials and everything, but then when you go out and you, you sell it and you say, all right, I’m gonna host a class on this thing, but then you have to buy the workbooks from us. And what they do is they make these really nice kits with workbook. You know, the, first of all, the book is in there, workbooks are in there. They have little chachkis desk calendars, quote books you know, maybe CDs, maybe little like, you know, action guides or whatever. RV (11:37): And you know, maybe a magnet and flyer, you know, like some, like a map they put up on the wall. All these different sort of like ches that you build around your content and it comes in this box, which is a kit. Well, if, let’s say someone from United Healthcare as an example likes your content, they come through, they get certified, you might make a few thousand bucks from that person getting certified. But what you really want is you want them to, to take 5,000 employees through your content. Cuz now 5,000 people are getting introduced to your content and they’re also buying 5,000 kits. Well, if each one of those kits is a hundred bucks, y’all, what is this? 5,000 times a hundred. I don’t wanna overestimate this. That’s $500,000 from one customer, from one event, you know, from one from one company. RV (12:29): You could make a half a million dollars doing that. And that’s what, that’s what the train the trainer model is. And so that’s just, you know, it was super pragmatic. It was a good reminder of that, that business model. And and that is something by the way, that we are doing. So, you know, if you actually, if you actually go to brand builders, if you are looking at if you’re interested in this, I’m pulling up our own website here for a second just to make sure I tell you, right? But if you go to brand builders and then you go under brand strategy, there’s a, there’s a link that says content licensing, and you should do this. You know, even if you’re not a, you know, if you’re, even if you’re not interested in getting certified on our content to, to resell it you should go to this page. RV (13:12): The shortcut to the page, by the way, is brand builders certified. You can at least go to this page and see how we’re doing it and see how we’re, we’re selling our certifications and you know, just monitor that. But like the book Strength Finders, you know, we interviewed Tom Rath on this podcast. It’s the best selling non-fiction book of all time other than the Bible. And the you know, since the creation of Amazon, I should say. And that’s what they do. They sell thousands of copies every week. Cause they’re a train the trainer model. And so people are buying, like, buying these, buy the droves because they’re certifying their clients and they basically have an army of salespeople out there selling this book and this methodology. So really, really powerful stuff. Again, you gotta be protected. So you need to have your trademarks in place, you gotta have your agreements, you gotta have good frameworks, you gotta have tight content, all the, all the things that we, we coach people on how to do. RV (14:11): But then, gosh, this is how you go out and scale it, which is just like exponential thinking, really, really, really powerful. And then the third takeaway for me from this interview, which was just a good reminder, and you can’t, you can’t hear this enough, and I can’t hear this enough, but I loved that Todd really edified this and, and, and, and hit it hard as he said. You know, everyone spends all their time on the, on the, the marketing and sales side of the business. But when you’re building a truly scalable coaching company, or when you’re trying to create intellectual property that actually has enterprise value, it’s Speaker 2 (14:50): Really all about the delivery. It’s all about the implementation, it’s all about the execution. It’s about, it’s the client success that grows the business. The way that we say this is that the, the best form of marketing is to turn your customer force into your sales force. How do you turn your customer force into your sales force? You help your customer succeed and everything you do, if you, you have to become consumed. You have to become like just completely infatuated and, and, and like totally focused on how do I help my clients succeed faster? You wanna grow your coaching business, that’s the number one question you need to be answering. How can I help my clients succeed faster? What tools can I help them to implement faster? What, what support do they need? What type of training? What type of structure? And it’s all about, it’s not so much, oh, I need to teach you everything. Speaker 2 (15:50): You know, I need to be focused, not so much on teaching you everything you need to know. I need to be focused on helping you get results as fast as you can. I need you to get traction quickly. And so you’re, you’re perpetually innovating. You’re, you’re iterating your content, you’re adapting, improving your content. Not to add more content, but to basically do it, to, to have less and go, what’s the least amount I can teach to get so that somebody has to consume the least amount in order to get the result? And that’s very much what we are. You know, the journey that we’re on right now in Brand Builders group. We’ve got amazing content and curriculum, and now it’s just like we’re constantly going, how can we sharpen this and whittle it down and, and make it tighter? I would also point you to the interview that we did with Amy Porterfield on this show. Speaker 2 (16:40): By the way, Amy Porterfield is now one of our clients brand’s group client, which is super exciting. And we, but before Amy was a client, I interviewed her on the show talking about creating courses and, and we did this whole thing about she was talking about the importance of getting your students to complete the course and, and things that you need to do along that way. And so that’s what I want you to be focused on, right? Like the best form of marketing is a changed life. The best form of marketing is a changed life. The best form of marketing is a customer of yours who wins a a customer who creates a massive result. And this is why we’re talking about our customers all the time, right? Like we just had our 11th customer this last week hit the Wall Street Journal bestseller list 11 times. Speaker 2 (17:28): We have helped a client hit the New York Times Wall Street Journal and or USA Today bestseller list 11 times. We just had our fourth client create a viral TED talk, meaning they wrote a TED talk that got over a million views. This is somebody that we’ve been coaching for years following our methodology of applying the principles and applying it to a Ted, TED talk and getting over a million views a fourth time. We’ve done that, right? Like we, we have four clients, four clients that have gone from zero to over a million dollars in business within a couple years of starting in our program from, from like zero to over seven figures a year. Now, we don’t promise that for everybody. That’s not an income claim. I’m not guaranteeing that. I’m saying though, that we’ve had four people do that. So these are the results that make people like, those are the wins. Speaker 2 (18:21): We need more of that. We don’t need four, we need 400, right? So that is the, that’s the, that’s where you want the obsession to be. Not just how do I sell somebody and get a new client, but going, how can I help my client succeed faster? How can I help them win? How can I what can I do to shorten the learning curve? What tools and templates can I create for them to get them there quicker? And, you know, that is, that is where the magic happens. That’s how you get people to win. The most powerful form of marketing is a changed life. And when you focus on that, you turn your customer force into your sales force. And once that happens, you’re gonna have exponential radical growth. You’re gonna be scaling a business and scaling a company that has real enterprise value that is a high level education some seriously valuable information. Speaker 2 (19:18): The interview with Todd and this, you know, what we’re talking about here. So share this episode. Will you, with somebody who’s serious about scaling their personal brand, not just having one, but going, how do you scale one to multi seven figures and eight figures? This is something we know something about, right? We have had four, AJ and I have launched four multimillion dollar businesses and and an eight figure business. And brand builders group is very much on its way to eight figures. We should be at eight figures within the next year or two. So like these concepts work. They’re powerful, life changing, I mean, changing the complete trajectory of your family tree and you’re learning it for free right here on the Influential Personal Brand podcast. And of course, if you want to come alongside of us and let us be your personal coach and help you implement these things directly and apply them faster so that you can get results quicker, go to free brand and let’s have a chat about that. Until then, keep tuning in here. Enjoy it. Thank you for being here. We’re so grateful for you. Share this with your friends, keep coming back. We love ya. And we’ll catch you next time on the Influential Personal Brand Podcast.

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