On today’s episode of the Craft Industry Alliance podcast, we’re talking about online learning with my guest Craig Swanson.
At the age of 18, Craig founded Swanson Tech Support and worked as a tech consultant for 6 years before founding CreativeTechs which lead to over a million dollars in sales.
Soon after Craig co-founded the creative online learning platform CreativeLive, an idea that was birthed from a failed video training program for his IT business. CreativeLive would grow from a small start-up team to 70+ employees offering workshops with top industry leaders like Tim Ferriss and Brené Brown.
Now Craig partners with creators, educators, and influencers by providing the missing piece that they need to get to the next stage of their business and is helping build $1 million dollar businesses one step at a time.
This episode is sponsored by Divine Social.
A marketing agency for craft and DIY enthusiasts.
Divine Social is a marketing agency that helps eCommerce stores who sell to makers, creators, crafters, artists & DIY enthusiasts. They are behind some of the biggest brands in the creative industry, responsible for strategies to move your online traffic from prospects to buyers to raving fans. And now, the team at Divine Social is offering a customized review of your shop to help you uncover what’s keeping you from selling more. Go to divinesocial.com/cia for more details.
We begin this conversation by talking about Craig’s early interest in computers and how he came to co-found his first company, CreativeTechs, in 1994. Craig talks about what he learned about creative businesses through his many years supporting them. It was at that company that Craig first began experimenting with creating live video training. He talks about those first classes which focused on the Adobe Suite and the potential he recognized in them. Craig and one of his clients, photographer Chase Jarvis, took this single element of CreativeTechs and spun it up into a new company. CreativeLive.
Craig talks about how CreativeLive is different from the other players in the ed-tech space, focusing on why the company chose to broadcast each class to a live studio audience and a live at-home audience, and why CreativeLive streams free classes online every day.
We talk about the funding CreativeLive received and its recent sale to Fivrr. We also discuss what Craig worked on after he left CreativeLive, including working with Sue Bryce to build her online photography membership which was recently sold to Emerald Expositions.
Finally, I ask Craig to talk about what he’s excited about when it comes to online education and where he thinks the field is headed.
And, of course, I ask Craig to share what he’s enjoying right now. Craig recommends:
- Airbnb for family getaways during COVID
- Moleskin reporters notebooks for jotting down ideas
- Brick Out