Knowledge of Superludi: how Vlad Nozdrachev sells education for hundreds of thousands of dollars
During the conversation, Vlad Nozdrachev, the founder and head of Superludi, asks to immediately identify the positioning: this company does not belong to Andriy Fedoriv, however, Vlad is one of the partners in the Fedoriv agency. “If you see that the button does not work or something is not right somewhere on the website, do not write to Andrey, contact me,” says Nozdrachev. Superludi is his project, in which Fedoriv is an investor and a strategic partner.
The idea to start creating an educational project appeared in 2017. According to Nozdrachev, there are two versions of the launch: an official and an unofficial one.
“Andrei Fedoriv spoke a lot. At one point, we realized that the score of speeches goes to dozens, the reports are repeated. There was an idea to somehow scale it, once there was a request, and at the same time we wanted to connect other people who were “super” in their areas: super in business, in sports, in relationships. So, the idea to launch Superludi appeared.
There is a less popular version: I somehow came up with the idea of running a content department. The audience of this department would not be massive, but rather consisted of potential customers: through the content we would let know that you should not be afraid of bold decisions, and there are those who can prove it,” explains Nozdrachev.
Putting it all together, we decided to launch the project Superludi in 2017. The first lecturer was Andriy Fedoriv with a large eight-hour marketing report.
In preparation, says Nozdrachev, they managed to have their eyes blackened. First, the course was recorded for four months. “Andriy came to the office at 6-7 am, while there was no one. He turned on Rammstein, put his energy together and we started recording.” Since no one had any particular experience of recording many hours of courses, the content was constantly updated, the markers went one by one, and this took a lot of time.
However, it turned out that writing everything down is only half the battle: it still needs to be sold. “And here we realized that we did not have anything set up: the site, payments, customer acquisition, amount of money it would cost us, the team. In the beginning, it was utter chaos,” recalls Nozdrachev. A separate difficulty was the recruitment of the team, the search for competent people. “Everyone for some reason thinks I’m angry, they are afraid to work with me. I need to smile more,” Nozdrachev laughs while shooting, complaining about the difficult search for really good frames. But the experience gained was not in vain. The second course with Nina Levchuk, who talked about building a personal brand, was recorded in just one week.
They put an atypically high price tag for Ukraine, starting from $200, and for an extra charge they provided additional bonuses. And the customers paid.
Nozdrachev does not give exact figures, however, he assures: several tens of thousands of dollars were spent on everything. But sales have gone on hundreds of thousands. The bill paid goes to thousands of people. Due to the fact that the courses were online, they were able to sell them not only within native Ukraine. The sales went well in neighboring countries, as well as Germany.
In early July, Andriy Fedoriv published an angry post on his page: unknown persons resold his course on the net for nothing – 200 UAH instead of $200. As Nozdrachev says, his team managed to catch the scammers who were trying to make money this way. They decided not to file application to the Police to start a criminal case, instead they agreed with them about the correctional work for public organizations.
“In some countries, fraudsters or other types of loss of profits of the company is immediately laid in a budget in the amount of 8-12%. We understood that we had lost a lot of money, but these people would still not have become buyers of the course. We decided to act not so much because of lost profits, but rather because of offense: we tried to make a decent product, and they almost gave it away for free on the net,”explains Nozdrachev, reproaching weak protection of digital content producers in Ukraine. According to him, the scammers resold the courses for tens of thousands of dollars.
Despite the success, Nozdrachev did not continue the story with the development of long hours-long courses from one speaker. At one point, the sale of the Fedoriv and Levchuk courses was closed, you cannot buy them now. The Superludi team announced that they are preparing for a big relaunch in a new format, and there is no such thing in Ukraine.
Why did Nozdrachev stop selling what was already making money? First, the story is difficult to scale since finding people who are willing to spend dozens of hours on a course filming is difficult, plus you need to take only the best. As a result, the future of this story seemed uninteresting to the company’s founder. Secondly, having restarted Superludi, Nozdrachev went, as he himself assures, to a qualitatively new level in the preparation of content. “I no longer wanted to sell what we did before,” explains the entrepreneur.
The new format provides a major change in the material feed. Firstly, there will be no more hours of speeches by one speaker. Each of the Superludi has a course from one and a half to two hours, divided into several short blocks from a couple to 10-15 minutes. All of it has additional text materials, they help to better understand the material. Nozdrachev quarterly releases a block of four courses, essentially four speakers, each of which presents a specific topic. The first courses that will be shown are by Volodymyr Popereshnyuk, Andriy Fedoriv, Andriy Zdesenko and Edgar Kaminsky. It is known that Yevhen Chichvarkin and Vasyl Khmelnitsky have already been shot for the next year.
New seasons were filmed on expensive RED cameras, and the choice of a contractor was a real challenge: few were willing to take on the project. As a result, the team gathered on their own and it gave its profit. As Nozdrachev says, the picture quality is incomparably higher in comparison with the first season. Along with it, there were new costs and expenses: the estimate for shooting a single speaker in some cases reached about $10,000.
The monetization model has also changed. If earlier you could buy an access to a set of lectures of one person, now an access immediately includes the price for four courses, but for a certain time only– a quarter. As soon as 90 days pass, access is closed. In order to stimulate a new payment, Nozdrachev plans to add 4-5 new courses every quarter, after which the user will have an incentive to extend access.
“Look around: people often pay 10,000 UAH for a ticket to a conference, where they, among 500 other people, sit in an uncomfortable chair and listen to the most famous speaker talking about motivation or about something else of little use. Here, a person receives information from top speakers, in super quality, with a lot of additional materials in any place convenient for him or her. It costs money,” Nozdrachev says. In addition, he had already checked his hypothesis: the lectures of Fedoriv and Levchuk were sold well.
There are plenty of competitors. They will fight for the client with everyone who does similar online projects: there are not so many of them in Ukraine, but they still exist. A large reservoir is business conferences, there have been a lot of those lately. And last but not least, YouTube bloggers – there is a lot of them on the market. However, Nozdrachev is sure that education is on the rise now, so there is enough space for everyone. In addition, as the founder of Superludi says, he was inspired to create such a product by his “aversion to the classical education market”: “I have seen enough people who can scream at their listeners or rub them into nonsense. And it does not matter that a person has no experience in business – for some reason they are listened to, although this does not make sense. We do things differently.”
After the conversation, Nozdrachev is going to go to the location, to the new office of Superludi, which is under construction now. This is the last year when he needs to combine two jobs, the teamhelps him in it. “I am in Fedoriv, and in the educational business. This is difficult and can only be done if you assemble the team correctly, build all the processes,” he adds. Before the relaunch, Nozdrachev is visibly nervous, but he confidently answers the question about the future. “I know exactly where we will be in December 2019,” says Vlad, immediately responding to the answer to the question “where?” – “We have preliminary agreements with potential partners in three different cities to launch the same product, but with their local entrepreneurs. We sell them expertise, knowledge, we help them, and everything else depends on them. We will get a great synergy. In addition, there are ideas for other products. However, their announcements will come later,” Nozdrachev concludes.
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