How Exchange Server Pro Makes Money
What a great case study! Here we have Paul Cunningham, an IT dude who handles Microsoft server work for a big mining company in Australia. At some point Paul realized that all the knowledge he had gained during his job could be handy to other people. So he setup a blog and started banging away on the keyboard about how to do what he does; setting up, migrating and maintaining Microsoft Exchange servers. Brilliant!!
A boring niche for any of us non-IT people, but a great example of something that just works. I mean think about it. Who is he selling to? Well, he’s selling to fellow IT workers who are scratching their head and busting their guts trying to migrate an Exchange server, but just can’t get it to work.
Fellow IT workers who let’s not forget, are under huge pressure to make sure they don’t lose data or generally f**k shit up – and fellow IT workers who have been given a budget of about $2 to learn how to do it. Step in Paul with his content-laden blog and his info products! Now let’s quickly look at his info products.
He has a video course – or as he calls it, a Bootcamp – with about 9 hours of screencasts showing exactly how to work with Exchange 2010. He sells 2 packages for this course, one of which is interestingly free, whilst the other is $59. I love the free offer, because it allows people to see the quality of the video before they buy the premium version – drug dealer model. But I personally think the $59 is underpricing the course, given the results this course delivers for IT workers (ie saves their ass at work).
Arguably he’s leaving at least $40 on the table. Paul also offers ebooks on how to migrate from an old version of Exchange to a newer version. Another great idea, and just perfect in it’s niched down size. This goes for $37 I think. One thing about Paul’s business is of course the changing nature of technology. That means he is always going to need to update his products with new info. Every time Microsoft upgrades Exchange, there will be new things to add to his courses – and things to remove. And if you’ve seen Microsoft’s transition from say XP to Vista to Windows 8, you’ll understand that this could prove a big stumbling block for Paul living any kind of passive income dream!
But the upside is people who bought his earlier works, will want his new works in order to cope with their own change. So in that sense Microsoft will keep Paul in business indefinitely. So yeah, pros and cons to this case study. But definitely interesting to ideate on how to turn work knowledge into an info product!