That got me thinking, and I realized that I need a new starting point for those who have only just discovered my podcast. I’ve learned a lot since my first episode, and I’m summarizing it all right here in this new Online Courses 101 episode.
Have a purpose for why you’re doing this and what you want to create… Push through and do not give up.
Nate Dodson was with me right at the very beginning of my podcasting journey, so it’s only fitting that he’s joining me for this episode. I hope you like what you hear!
In This Episode, We Talked About:
- (3:14) A quick introduction for those of you who don’t know me yet!
- (4:08) Website updates and a brand-new community for online course creators
- (4:52) What I have to offer you – even if you’re a complete beginner
- (12:34) An introduction for Nate and his online course journey
- (22:28) Nate’s coaching experience with me
- (24:11) Where his course business is at today
- (26:05) How Nate answers the “what do you do?” question + his microgreens business pitch
- (29:36) What he feels he’s gotten right (and wrong) with his online course business
- (32:17) My own online course journey
- (42:14) How I got past a long-term revenue plateau + my current average revenue
- (44:38) What I think I could have done better early on
- (47:30) What I do each week to keep my piano course “machine” running
- (50:20) Why Nate and I have a seasonal approach to working on our businesses
- (51:28) The reason we meet on a weekly basis
- (56:41) The why and how of webinars
- (1:00:31) Nate’s advice for aspiring course creators
- (1:03:17) Avoiding a mistake that far too many new course creators make
- (1:07:21) Our tips and favorite resources for people who want to take their course to the next level
- (1:18:12) Where to start if you are interested in starting your online course journey
We covered a lot of ground today, so I’m curious about which parts of today’s episode stood out to you the most! Feel free to drop me a line and let me know your favorite part of the conversation. Plus, don’t forget to check out all the resources and goodies linked below! Until next time…
Jacques Hopkins: Regular people are taking their knowledge and content, packaging it up in an online course and they're making a living doing, but not everyone is successful with online courses. There's a right way and there's a wrong way, and I'm here to help course creators actually succeed with online courses. Hi, I'm John Hopkins, and this is the online course show.
what's going on everybody? This is jock Hopkins, and welcome to episode 89 of the online course show. If you've been around for a while, then you may notice some changes happening both on this podcast and on the online course, guy.com and they're all good changes, all designed to help you with online courses the best way possible.
So let's talk about this podcast. This is going to be kind of an . Online courses. One Oh one episode. So excited about this episode. I'm actually bringing back a guy to, to chat with about online courses that many of you may know because he was on roughly the first 20 episodes of this podcast. Nate Dotson, a lot of people have been asking for him to come back and update you guys on where he is with things, and that's exactly what we're doing in this episode.
But. We also just talked about online courses in general and how we recommend people go about online courses. So we talked to beginners who don't have an online course yet, and the steps that you should be taking to be successful with online courses. And we also talked to people that have online courses already and are interested in taking their online course to the next level and really doing things the right way.
So a quick history of this podcast and because I've found that a lot of new people are finding this podcast, a lot of new people are finding this podcast interested in online courses, and they're jumping all the way back to episode one and starting there and starting to binge on the episodes, which is great, but I want to give people a new starting point when they find this podcast and this is it, episode 89 this is going to be an amazing starting point if you're new to this podcast because.
Episode one was a couple of years ago. The audio quality, I'll be honest, was horrible. I've learned so much more about podcasting since then, but also I've learned so much more about online courses since then. So I've got some updated strategies, tips, techniques, information for you on online courses. So please start here and not necessarily episode one.
Now, if you do decide to go back and listen to say the first 20 episodes, you'll notice that that is me and Nate every single time. And at that time it was basically me. Coaching Nate on the podcast. That's how this podcast started. Nate had an online course, but it wasn't doing anywhere near as well as he was hoping, and so we would just pick a topic and I would kind of coach him on that topic.
And what happened was after about doing that for about 20 episodes, 20 weeks, Nate kind of got up to my level and he was doing really, really. Really well with his online course and still is to that day. And he will update you here in a few minutes on how he's doing with his online course microgreens, farmer.com but for those of you that are new to the online course sky and me, Jacques Hopkins, just really quickly, I am the creator of piano in 21 days.com.
That is my online course that allowed me to quit my job and allow me to get good at this online course stuff that is still the primary source of income for me and my family. And I will update you guys in this interview with Nate on where I've been going with piano in 21 days lately. And what's kind of the current status.
Of it, but piano in 21 days is almost completely outsourced and automated. So that means I can spend the majority of my working hours helping you with online courses. And that is what I'm most passionate about today is online courses and helping people start online courses, but also take existing online courses to the next level.
And that's exactly what you're going to get out of this podcast. So I mentioned the new site. Let's talk about that. You can go to the online course, guy.com and you'll notice a completely revamped site. And let me tell you some things that are on that site that are really going to help you. First at the top, you're going to see a link that says community.
Click on that, you will be redirected to a free Facebook group that I'd love for you to join. This is a group of online course creators and aspiring course creators to communicate with each other, and I'm in there and it's just a great community for. Course graders in general, and so please go ahead and join that community.
If you're listening to this podcast, then you are going to be a fit for that, so you can go to the online course, guy.com click on community at the top, or you can just go to Facebook and search for the group. The online course community. Next, I have all the information on the online course guy about my course that I offer on how to succeed with online courses.
This course is for beginners, so if you've never made an online course sale, this course is for you. It's called the online course accelerator, and it's designed to go from nothing to your first course sale within eight weeks. All right, and the reason that I set it up that way is because making your first sale is the hardest.
Your second sale is going to be even easier. Your third sales going to be even easier than that, but this is how to do online courses the right way from the beginning. So like I said, either you don't have an online course yet, so either your, your brand new online courses and you're starting. Completely from nothing.
This is for you. Or maybe you've started down the path of online courses, but you just haven't made a sale yet. So clearly you're not doing things the right way. If you're one of those two people than the online course accelerator is a good fit for you. And I'm offering a free seven day trial. I'm not doing any sort of fancy sales tactics or anything like that.
I want the course to sell itself for you. So if you're interested in that. Go ahead and go to the online course, guy.com click on online course accelerator and you can sign up for a completely free seven day trial of that course and get started right now. Now, for those of you that have an online course already and have made sales but are interested in taking it to the next level, I have an eight week mentorship program for you guys where we actually work one-on-one very intimately to help you reach your specific goals, whether that's ramping up your sales or ramping down the time that you actually need to spin inside your business.
I can help you get there and that program is called next level courses and that is. Of course application only. So if you're interested in that, then go to the online course, guy.com and click on next level courses. The last thing I want to tell you about that you can find on the new website is a very, very special offer I have to anybody out there that's not using one of my favorite, favorite all time tools, and that is click funnels.
If you sign up for a free trial of ClickFunnels using my affiliate link, you will get all kinds of stuff from me. Now. First, let me tell you why you should be using click funnels. If you're a course creator or an aspiring course creator in click funnels, you can actually host your entire course, so you don't have to necessarily be using teachable or Thinkific or Kajabi or something like that.
You can use click funnels to host your course, and I absolutely do that for piano in 21 days. Nate does that for his course as well, which you hear about in a little bit. That is a great. Platform for hosting your course, but not only that, you can do order forms with click funnels. You can accept people as money to buy your course with click funnels, you can make landing pages, you can make funnels, you can make opt in pages, you can do all kinds of things with click funnels.
And that's one of the reasons I like it so much is because it does so much in one platform. They also pay their affiliates really well. So when you sign up for click funnels, the it, it costs $97 a month. And. When you sign up using my link, I get like $40 of that per month. So that's why I'm willing to give away so much.
When you use my link to sign up for click funnels, and this is just what I'm talking about here, is just when you sign up for a free trial of click funnels, they offer a 14 day free trial, and as soon as you sign up for that trial, I will send you all of these things. I will send you my exact . Membership site template that I use for piano in 21 days.
So you can import that right into your click funnels account and build your course. I will send you a template for my top three course sales funnels, so you can't just put a buy now button on a website that doesn't work. You need to have sales funnel to be able to properly sell your course. The top three, all nine core sales funnels that I recommend, and many of you that have been listening to this podcast will know this, but.
There's the PLF funnel, which is product launch formula. There's a webinar funnel and there's the VSL funnel. You will get my templates, my exact templates for all those funnels in your click funnels account when you use my link to sign up for your free trial. You'll also get a full website template from me, so my piano in 21 days.com full website was on just ClickFunnels for over a year, and I will give you that entire template as well.
I'll give you my order form templates for piano in 21 days. And I will give you a free course called click funnels, for course creators when you sign up through my leg. And that's so that you know how to use all these templates and know how to be a course creator inside of ClickFunnels. Once you sign up for all of this stuff.
So you'll get all those templates and this course. Just go to the online course, guy.com and click on tools at the top, and then you'll see a list of all these things that you'll get. And there you will have a link. To go ahead and sign up through my affiliate link, or you can just go to the online course, guy.com/clickfunnels and sign up and I will email you all of those things.
So that's a lot of the cool things happening around here. Let's go ahead and transition to the interview with Nate, and it's more of just a conversation about online courses and really just, this is the online courses one-on-one part of this. And so what we talked about was we started and we just kind of reviewed our stories.
We told our stories about how we got started with online courses. I talked about how I got started with piano in 21 days. About six years ago. Nate talks about how he got started with microgreens. Farmer a few years ago, we talked about where we are now and what we've been up to lately with our courses, and we also talked about.
Our advice for those that are just starting out for people just starting out with online courses haven't made a sale yet. What would we do if we were in that position and what are we recommending to other people today to succeed with online courses? And of course, we talked about for those that already have an online course and have already made sales, but they're just haven't reached their goals yet.
What are we seeing out there and what advice do we have for those kinds of people as well? So it was just a fantastic. Conversation. If you're in the online courses at all, you cannot miss this. Let's get into the conversation with Nate Dotson right now. Hello, Nate Dodson. Welcome back to the podcast.
Nate Dodson: Up, man.
Jacques Hopkins: Good to be back. Yeah. It's, it's funny cause you know, we meet every week on our little accountability meetings, but people have been asking for this episode, man, people want to hear back from Nate Dotson on online courses. I can't imagine why. I mean, I'm just, I must just be such a charismatic character.
Something man, something. So here's what I want to do, Nate, I want to jump into kind of your story and my story, and this is going to be kind of an online courses one Oh one episode, but just to set things up a little bit, I want to talk about the evolution of this podcast, because if you remember, this podcast started as almost me coaching you, and we would, we would have a topic, and that was like the first.
20 episodes was, we'd have a topic and I would kind of run through my thoughts about that topic to you and you would ask questions. And what I'm finding now at this point is a lot of new people are finding the podcast, and we've done over 80 episodes now, and obviously you're not on every episode anymore.
Well, people are jumping all the way back to episode one, which is not a huge problem, but the audio quality was pretty terrible back in episode one. You know, me and you, we both know significantly more about online courses today than we did, you know what was that, two years ago or something? And so I just want to kind of have a reset point for people and a place that people, a new start here point for people. And so to kick it off, now that I've set the stage there, why don't you tell people a little bit about who Nate Dotson is as far as online courses go?
Nate Dodson: Yeah, absolutely. So it started for me when. I was launching an urban farm in Bloomington, Indiana. And, it just was digging around all over the internet for information and came across the guy that was teaching people about urban farming. And he had a webinar. And in his webinar he pitched a $1,000 online course and I saw people in the comments section. This was a live webinar. And I saw people saying, I'm in, I'm in, I'm in. And I was still working on my business plan. I was farming, but I was also still developing the business. And so I went over to my business plan and I wrote, create online content, like.
Jacques Hopkins: Find something you can teach.
Nate Dodson: Because this guy just made $30,000 in this one hour presentation. You know, he talks about making $100,000 a year farming, but he just made $30,000 in a one hour presentation. So this is one of the ways to make more profit as a farmer to make a higher income as a farmer. And then I just, you know, kept thinking about what, what could I teach? And one thing that we were doing on the farm that was working really well was the micro greens. They were our most profitable crop. They were bringing the most attention. It was my favorite thing to grow because it was so easy. It was all dialed in and timing was great, but it's just, I loved microgreen so I was. Like, I'm just going to focus on micro greens. So I recorded, a half dozen YouTube videos. I spent a day to write a short ebook. It's 10 pages. So microgreens quick start guide. And I created a very simple one page landing page where they could opt in for the free ebook and it signed them up for a MailChimp autoresponder email program.
And just went from there. I put the YouTube videos up and I had a call to action at the end, head over to micro greens, farmer.com I came up with the perfect name right off the beginning. I love that name. And, head over there and download your freebie. And then I just was busy farming and people started finding the videos and opting in and I went back a few months later and there was like, I had like two to 400 subscribers, I think, something like that. And people were emailing me asking questions. I was just responding to their questions. People kept talking about my awesome labels for my packaging. So I put all my labels together in one little simple package. I think I sold it for $49 and sent out a few emails to my list and made like 3,500 bucks off a small list, people buying my labels, and then that was really motivating. That's what really made me say, wow, I have to take this more seriously. So I started planning that summer for an online course, and. Filmed the whole online course, spent a couple months filming it, editing and building the thing and launched that in the fall. This was probably nine months after I originally put up the YouTube videos and had a pretty good initial launch. I think I had like a thousand people on my email list and sold like $8,000 worth for $99 course and that's, that's.
Jacques Hopkins: What started it all. This you, you mentioned the fall. What year was this? Believe it was 2016 okay, so fall of 2016 so a little over two years ago now. And so that, that initial lodge, while you launched the labels first and did an did pretty with the labels, but obviously the end goal wasn't just to sell these label templates.
You had an idea for an online course ever since watching that webinar from this other guru. Way back when, and by the way that I don't think you mentioned his name. I know that that was Curtis stone who's actually been on this podcast. I just looked it up back in episode 42 and I know from my experience too, like before I had anything for sale, just hearing those stories was just an incredible amount of motivation to have your own thing.
And I could just, I can picture you watching that webinar with Curtis stone and most people on there on that webinar were there to consume his farming content and get better at. At urban farming, but you're looking at it and like counting up how many people bought these this thousand dollars course and be like, this guy just got a $30,000 payday.
Like, why can't I get a piece of that? Why? You know, even if it's 10% of that, like I could take $3,000 in one day for an online course. You know? That's, that's so cool.
Nate Dodson: Yeah. And I'd read the four hour work week, years before, so I already knew a little bit about online business. I'd been experimenting a little bit already. And, you know, sometimes it's better to do as people do rather than just do as they say, kind of pay attention to what people are doing. That's where the real gold.
Jacques Hopkins: Is. Hmm. That's, that's a really good point. I think that's, that's something that me and you try to do when we meet weekly, as we talk about things we've seen out there that are working, not necessarily information people have taught us as much, but like, Hey, have you seen what this guy's doing on this launch?
Have you seen what this guy's doing? Or let's be PC here at what this girl has done with, with her online course and so on. And so we run those ideas about each other and, and I think one thing that has helped us continue to grow and be successful is these weekly meetings, which I want to talk about later on in the episode.
So, but now jumping back to fall 2016 you have your course available. You do this initial launch for around 8,000 thousand dollars, which is a lot for anybody that, especially for a hundred dollars course because you sold a lot of copies. It's not just about launching one time and being successful, you've got to be able to sustain success as well. So what happened next? I.
Nate Dodson: Started to be more interested in this digital products thing and online courses. You know, once the money started rolling in, I said, I need to take this more seriously. And focus more on this than the farming because this is a higher value thing to do with my time. And I noticed people like David Siteman Garland was selling online courses through automated webinars.
And so I started to dive into that world a little bit. I was. Going online, listen to podcasts about it, trying to educate myself, figure out what to do next. I set up a simple automation on MailChimp, so when people signed up.
For my free ebook now, they went through like the first five emails, pitch them on my online course. So I started making a few hundred dollars a week every week, automatically selling the course. And I think shortly after I launched the course, maybe a couple of months after that, I came across you on Nick Lopers podcast, the side hustle show. And, I said, I want this guy to coach me. I reached out to you and I was on the phone with you like an hour after I emailed you, or something like that, and I paid you to coach me. And that's when things.
Jacques Hopkins: Really took off. Yeah, Nate, that was a, I just searched through my email. That was March 30th, 2017 and I think I've told you before that the way. The way you reached out and the and the way you put that email together. I think it was very impressive. Do you mind if I read that email right now?
No, go ahead. Yeah, so you said for the people listening to this, keep in mind I didn't know who ne Dodson was at this point. No idea. And I was interviewed on side hustle, the side hustle show with Nick Loper, and I think it had just come out like that morning and I, and I didn't realize what it was going to come out.
And then I think you're the first person that ended up reaching out to me and I saw this email and it said, hijack. I just listened to your interview on side hustle nation. It was awesome. Congrats on all your success. I'm trying to follow the same path and I'm starting to have success. I've done a little over 20 K the last six months selling info products on growing and selling microgreens.
And you gave me a link to microgreens, farmer.com all traffic is coming from six YouTube videos I did over a year ago. Then they go onto a click funnels landing page, $49 one time offer and a six email MailChimp autoresponder sequence, which I sell them on a $149 course. Though I just pause the sequence because I'm planning to do a webinar and raise course price to four 97 and testing pay traffic.
I would love, love, love all caps for your personal guidance and some accountability. While I ramp this thing up, I have so many things I want to do and I just want someone to call me out on my BS and start implementing. I heard on the podcast that you are taking on consulting and I would very much appreciate your advice on a one-on-one, regular phone call type basis.
You can use me as a case study for your new product, including video, testimonial, recording, phone calls, et cetera, if that would be helpful. Let me know if that's any interest. Totally understand, if not best of luck and everything, you're up to Nate. So I think that was really, really good. I mean, you told me a little about you and who you are, but also, you know, you talked me up a little bit and stroke my ego a little bit and how much you wanted to work with me and even provided some ways that you could provide value to me and you weren't looking for like free coaching or anything.
Nate Dodson: You weren't, you weren't looking for that in exchange for these things. You were just wanting to pay me to coach you, and then also trying to throw in some extra of value as well. And so I think I gave you kind of a price and we were on our first coaching call like an hour later, I think. Something like that, that right now, now that you read that, I'm like getting the chills because that is the one best thing I've done. So the number one thing I, I've done, the best task I've done is write that email to you. That is what has propelled my success.
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah. And it's, and it's not that I am, you know, the, the top guru in the world on online courses, especially. Back then. I think it's, it's just that by sending that email, you got an outside opinion and perspective. You got outside guidance. Sometimes we get in our own head and we're like, there's so many things we can do, and just having, having somebody there to bounce ideas off of and accountability and all that. Yeah. It is the key. So I think what you're trying to tell people is not necessarily send Jack an email right now.
It's figure out who out there is five or 10 steps ahead of you and reach out to them. Exactly. Yep. All right. Awesome. So, so what, what are, what happened from there, Nate? I mean, what, what happened after we started working together and, and what direction did you end up taking with these things? Because in your email, you're specifically calling out some things, raising your price to four 97 testing paid traffic, doing a webinar. What happened next? I started.
Nate Dodson: Paying you for coaching and just basically followed your advice. And there was some points where I pushed back like raising my price to four 97 I can't believe I wrote that in the email because it was really hard for me to do that. And you wanted me to go to that price point right away. And I think I went to two 97 for awhile, I think for almost a year. But otherwise, I pretty much followed everything you said to the tee. I was pretty coachable and that was, that was, That's really crucial. You know, if you're going to pay someone for coaching, just do what they say and have a lot of faith in that.
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah, I remember I wanted you to go to four 97 but you weren't comfortable doing more than two 97 which was still a doubling your price, and you start at 97 then you went to one 47 when we started working together. Then one of the first things we did was go to two 97 and then. One of the first things we did as well was just improve your funnel, and we went to more of a product launch formula style funnel, which I've certainly talked about on this podcast before, and I think you, you started getting results pretty immediately with that funnel.
Nate Dodson: Yeah, absolutely. I think it jumped up where I was making. Like five to $8,000 a month, eight to $10,000 a month, pretty quickly.
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah. And then eventually, you know, we, we kind of turned our coaching sessions into the start of this podcast. Like I was saying earlier, and, and man, it just got to a point where I had kind of conveyed everything I knew about online courses.
To you and in you started making about the same amount of money as me, and I was like, man, we're just, you know, we're kind of on the same level now. That's when the coaching sessions on the podcast tapered off. And I had you back on the podcast a few times and now, now you're back on it again. And man, he's just, just keep getting better and better and doing better and better with your online courses. So fast forward to today. I mean, tell people where things are with your online course and maybe where, where they're going to be going to. Yeah.
Nate Dodson: Things are going really well. Eventually, I did launch a webinar and I have a webinar on it's evergreen webinar right now. It's automated. I used kind of the perfect webinar script from Russell Brunson, and that was another big jump in my, my results. I think I went from around $10,000 a month to around $30,000 a month in sales. Then. And since that time it's, it's been about the, what's the next level? And that's been a team putting a team in place and paid traffic and paid traffic hasn't produced great results yet, but there's no way I'm giving up. It's one of those things where you got, try and keep testing and eventually you kind of can strike gold sometimes. Keep going for it. But I've been putting a team in place now and that has been really valuable. Just just knowing that there's other people working on this business and especially the customer support. I have a customer support person, Melissa, that's just amazing. That's just took huge load off my shoulders and freed me up to kind of think bigger. And you know, I have my sights set on trying to get it over a hundred grand a month by the end of this year, and I'll be over halfway there this month. I think I've done almost 20 grand this week alone. So it's, it's really pick it up. It's.
Jacques Hopkins: Pretty crazy. So, and when you say your goal, so your goal by the end of this year is to be bringing in $100,000 a month, right? Yes. And that's, that's a revenue correct. Yes. What a, what kind of expenses would you expect at that level? I would like to keep it.
Nate Dodson: Keep expenses to a 40% okay, so I mean 60 60 K it profit.
Jacques Hopkins: That's pretty good. But you're not there yet, but you've got some things you're working on to, to hopefully get there. And. You're right now, you know, our expenses are still very, very low. Typically bringing in revenue wise at least $50,000 a month. I mean, I think you were telling me a story one time where people, not in the online world, like people you know in person will ask you like w what you do for a living and you tell them about this course and it's, and you just, you don't say, you probably don't say, yeah, I make $50,000 a month.
But you say like, yeah, it's a $500 course and I sell two, three, four of them a day, and so people can do the math in their head, and it's like, wow, that's unbelievable. Yeah. From a microgreens course. Yeah, it is unbelievable. Yeah. So they, let me ask you this. I mean, a lot of the people listening to this podcast, so people have an online course already, just looking for some tips and inspiration.
some people are like total beginners and just getting started with online courses and maybe they're even evaluating if they want to go down the online course path and they, they definitely want to have some sort of business on their own. Maybe a micro reads business is a fit for some people listening to this.
Nate Dodson: You know, maybe talk a little bit about what that offer is, and speak to those, those people. Cause some people may want to just jump on your webinar and buy your $500 course and create their own business that way. Yeah, absolutely, and I have a lot of my students are seeing success now. I've kind of innovated on small scale, local farming where I'm having people grow these micro greens. You can do it on a small section of your house. If you go to micro greens farmer YouTube channel, you can see my tiny little setup I have in there. You know, on one, two foot by four foot rack, you can crank out 800 to $1,000 worth of product every week, and you distribute it to restaurants, farmers markets.
And the thing I've really innovated on is helping people get home delivery programs going. And tons of my students are doing this now and having a ton of success.
So they have people that are paying them every month recurring. They're growing the product to order, and then they're bringing it and delivering it on people's porches, putting it in coolers. It's a way for people to get their greens. They usually either sign up once or twice a month and they're getting just these, the healthiest greens, micro greens are four to 40 times more nutrient dense than mature vegetables. So they're, they're like a legitimate super food and everyone wants to be more healthy. Eat more greens and they want fresh local foods. So this is sweet waiting to get that into people's hands. And it's just a fun business. I mean, if you don't sell all your product that week, you have a bunch of microgreens for your family to eat. So you're saving some money on groceries. It's kind of like a food security thing, you know?
And if times get bad, you still have a lot of really good nutrient dense food that you can crank out in your house. and it's just, it's as fun. People, people know they're buying a high quality product and they're really grateful. It's, it's not like being a used car salesman where you feel like you're ripping people off. You really feel like you're doing a, a service to the community. And it's just, it's just a really fun, it's the most fun vegetable you can sell at the farmer's market and people get really excited about.
Jacques Hopkins: It. Yeah. So you're not just all about. You know, the sales and selling your course, and, and, and trying to grow this monthly revenue. You, you genuinely believe in your product, obviously. And, and it's, and it's genuinely helping people as well, which, you know, people can see testimonials and. There's tons of testimonials in your webinar, and so this, this obviously works for the, for the right type of person. So if that sounds interesting to anybody out there, or if you just want to see a really good webinar that sells an online course, then I'd invite people to definitely check out microgreens, farmer.com they can just go there and register for the webinar.
Nate Dodson: Right. Nate. Yup. Absolutely. All right, cool. Well look, I want to jump over to, to kind of my side of things and, and, and how I got started and where I am at in just a minute as well. But kind of the last thing I want to touch on with related to your story and what you just went over is in, in your opinion, can you tell me maybe a couple of two, three things you think you did right in this whole process and, and a few things you did wrong?
Yeah. What I did, the main things that I did right are. To pay attention to what other people in the industry are doing and you know, add kind of those to my to do's, coaching and accountability was the best thing. As I already said, the best thing that I did. Sticking with something and just keep going.
Having that grit, not giving up, just keep, just keep going, keep going. It's hard. Sometimes it's really hard and I wanted to give up so many times. You know how I am, where I have a new new idea every week or every day. I'm always. It, it's, it's always been hard for me to stick with stuff. So that's, that was a huge win of mine. And then the webinar was awesome, was a huge win. It's a mindset, the perfect business to S to Irma, the perfect opportunity to sell via webinar. And then one thing that I didn't really intentionally do but was probably one of my biggest wins was I created an a category. I created a new category. So I basically came up with the terms.
Become a micro greens farmer, start a micro greens business, and Russell Brunson talks about this in his book, expert secrets, and there's other books about it. One of them is called like red ocean blue ocean. And that's the ocean strategy, blue ocean strategy. And that's, that's basically what I did is one of the big major breakthrough things you can do for selling a product is to create and define the category itself or create a brand new opportunity. So those are probably the big, big things. Anything you did wrong, maybe you would do differently if you had to do it over again. I would have ramped down my farming sooner probably to focus on this. I would have raised my prices sooner. Tried to implement the webinars sooner. Hired it, started hiring a team sooner.
Jacques Hopkins: So just.
Nate Dodson: I've just been slow going like, yeah, but that's kind of my personality. I have trouble just doing things fast and I kind of go in waves, but those, that's the main thing is just kind of speed things up and get a little more focused.
Jacques Hopkins: I think you've found a lot of the pieces that are working for you. At this point. And so it's just a lot of, I would have done this, this, and this sooner because you finally found all the pieces to the puzzle and know where they go. It's just, it took you awhile to get there. So I said, but it's so easy to say that. You know, looking back and be like, okay, I know for a fact this works.
So I wish I would've done it sooner. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. But you did a lot. Right. And there's no question about that. I had some successes and plenty of failures along the way as well. so I kind of wanted to jump over to, to my story now and feel free to interject and ask questions along the way for me. It kind of started with four hour work week. You, you mentioned that book. I think a lot of aspiring entrepreneurs had their eyes open with that book. For me, it was like I was going down this, this one path my entire life.
I remember in kindergarten, my kindergarten teacher, because I was. Quote unquote good at math. Like she, she's like, you need to be an engineer one day. Like it was fact. It wasn't like, I think you should be an engineer. You'd be a great engineer. She just looked at me and she's like, you need to be an engineer one day. So it was just like in my head, like all my life, like, I'm good at math, therefore I'm going to be an engineer.
Cause I wasn't like, I wasn't good at reading or writing or, or, you know. English classes or anything wasn't particularly good at sports, but I was good at math and therefore I thought I had to be an engineer, so my whole life pointed in that direction. I was getting my degree. It wasn't till my senior year at LSU getting my electrical engineering degree that I picked up that book for a workweek, and I'm not sure why exactly I even put picked it up, but I read it and it just opened my eyes to a whole.
Different world of possibilities. This guy was traveling all over the world doing these really, really cool things and making a lot of money in passive income, which I don't even know if I knew that term at that point. Passive income, and I knew that I wanted, I wanted a part of that, but I even had my job lined up by the time I.
Read that book. So I ended up going on like a three month backpacking trip in Europe by myself between when I graduated and when I actually started my job. And I know when I was doing that, I was like, yeah, this, I could get used to this, you know? And so I ended up starting my job cause I needed, I needed money and it's still interested in me to some extent.
I didn't. Absolutely hate my job, like a lot of people do it. It wasn't about hating my job, it's just that I wanted more, I wanted more freedom and travel and more money and, and all that. So I pursued several different businesses over the years, and I ended up working at that same job for, for eight years.
And I tried, you know, I tried starting blogs and I tried inventing some physical products and I tried making an app and, and I never made any sales at all from any of that. And it wasn't until. I came across online courses that I found success and what happened for me is I would work a long day at work and come home and have these side projects I thought I was supposed to be working on and I would just be kind of drained and stressed and, and I'd be procrastinating and I would think I would need to be working on these things.
But what I found myself doing instead of working on those things was I was playing my piano and it just kind of occurred to me at that point. One day I was playing my piano. This was early 2013 that if there's any way that I can incorporate the piano into whatever business I ended up succeeding at, I think that's going to be kind of the best of both worlds because it's something I obviously like because of the position I found myself in.
And then if I can actually work on something I like, like you, you know, you're in microgreens, you actually like biker greens, you know, you didn't, you don't, I don't think you mentioned again in this podcast, but I know you've, you've got some health issues. You've got Crohn's disease, like eating healthy food, especially something that nutrient dense is very, very important to you.
Right? And. Mean, piano isn't like my one passion in life, but it's obviously something I enjoyed and I was like, you know, I kind of have this different way to play piano. It's more of an engineer's approach to piano. I wonder if there's other people out there that would like to learn how to play piano like this.
And literally like that night or the next morning, I was listening to the smart passive income podcast with Pat Flynn, and I was just. Pulling up the latest episode and he had a guy on the podcast, his name is Steve Nixon, who was talking all about the success of his online piano course, and Steve runs, I think his site is free jazz lessons.com so he's all about jazz piano, but it was just amazing to see here the possibilities kind of like you with listening into Curtis stone, but also to get validation that.
It's possible in my specific niche, and it's not like I was listening to Steve and saying, okay, well this has been done before. I can't do it. No, I had my own unique spin. I had my own unique voice with regards to how to learn piano, and I didn't create a whole new category like you did, but I gave people a new opportunity.
To learn piano very, very quickly without sheet music, without all the drills and theory that normally comes with piano lessons and trying to eliminate most of the barriers that normally comes with trying to learn piano. People think it takes years to learn how to play piano. And then you have to go to a teacher once a week, and by coming out with a brand that says piano in 21 days, that completely, you know, goes against everything you thought you knew about.
How to learn piano. And so, so that was my new side project and it took me probably eight months to get it. The course finally available. You know, I knew a, a very, very little, a bit about internet marketing at that point, just from listening to things like the smart passive income. So I, I like you put a few videos on YouTube and I put a landing page up.
I don't think I got near as many initial visitors and views as you did on your YouTube channel. But I started, I got a few email addresses and I had a few email addresses. Of people to launch to once my course was finally available in late 2013 and you know, I, I don't really only heard the success stories.
You don't hear about the failures a whole lot. So I'd hear on these podcasts like Steve and just tons of other different niches and online courses of stories of people that would hit launch for the very first time. And it was just an immediate success, you know, and I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.
And so. I had no other thing to believe besides that. Like as long as I made it and hit launch and put in some work and put it out there to the world that it would be a success. Cause that's the stories I would hear. And I hit go. And like that night I had no sales and I would just keep refreshing and I was just waiting and I could see a couple of people have opened the email.
I'm like, why aren't you buying? Why aren't you, you know, why aren't you checking out? And so I went to sleep and the next morning. I woke up, I'm like, please, you know, you hear about people making money while they sleep. And I checked it and I still hadn't made a sale. And my wife, I was married and at the time we didn't have any kids yet.
She was obviously sympathetic. She says, Hey, why don't you, why don't you run out? You know, get yourself some, some coffee at Starbucks, you know, feel free to give me something as well, just try to get your mind off of it. So I did that. And I'm in line at Starbucks, and I think I've told this story before, but that's when I made my first sale, my phone dong, and I was just.
Checking the CA's and my wife as it were, but it was a notification that I made my first sale and it was just the most incredible feeling. I'm sure you can think back to your first online sale as well, but it was for the first time in my life, I had made some money on something that me and only me created, like this thing didn't exist.
I put it out there and somebody wanted to pay me money for that. I had made paycheck, like I'd gotten paychecks for eight years or at that point it was more like five or six years, but it was like they hired me for a job, like to work in their, in their system to do their thing. This is something that I dreamed up, put it out there and made a sale.
And so that one sale, just getting that one sale. Gave me everything I needed to, to really figure this thing out and make it work longterm. And that's our, one of the things I tell people today is for those that are beginners, is I want to help you get to that first sale as fast as possible, because that first sale is the hardest, but it's also everything you need to get moving and validate.
And the second sales even easier, and the third sale is even easier. And so I've got a course now on. Helping people get started with online courses. What else, which I'll talk about a little later, but you know the kind of the sub heading for that course, it's called the online course accelerator is from nothing to your first sale in eight weeks.
And that's kind of why based on my story there. So I launched it. Made a sale big a few days later, made another sale, nothing to write home about in terms of of quantity, I think it probably took a couple of years to get up to like a thousand dollars a month, but just slowly but surely I did. I was able to quit my job on December 31st, 2015 and it's not because my course was bringing in enough to support my family, but it's because we had paid off our mortgage.
We had been completely debt free and we had some savings to where. We could live very minimally for a year without, if it didn't work out with piano in 21 days. And we had at that time, a six month old baby as well. So we started having kids and my wife stopped working once, once she gave birth to our first daughter.
And because I quit my job, I was making about a thousand dollars a month from piano, 21 days for the . First time I was able to focus on it as if it's my job cause it was my job finally. And I was able to ramp it up pretty quickly to, to about 30 K in revenue. a lot of that 10 to 20 of that was expenses cause I was doing a lot of advertising and things.
But you know, being able to profit. You know, $10,000 a month was enough to, to support my family and call it a success. And so that was, that was my 2016 and early 2017 and that's probably about the time that we met Nate was when I was about at that level and it officially kind of called as a success. And when I was interviewed on that Nick Lopers podcast for the first time. Awesome. That's a great.
Nate Dodson: Story.
Jacques Hopkins: I like it. I'm a fan because it's, it's, it's brought me, it's who I am now. And it's, You know, ever since reading the four hour work week, it's like now I've got the life that I envisioned way back then, you know, 12 years ago. And it's just so cool. And so. I continue to grow piano in 21 days is very automated and outsourced at this point. I spend more of my time on my other brand, which is the online course guy, recording these podcasts, helping people succeed with online courses. But I was a, I was kind of stuck at that 30 K a month, revenue, you know, roughly 15 in expenses Mark for a couple of years, honestly.
And there's. There's a few things I did about four months ago that significantly jumped up the business, and I can talk about those things for people that are looking for ways to. To kind of, get out of a plateau and help keep, keep growing things. One thing I did was I finally released a new course that people had been asking for for years.
What I teach in piano in 21 days is an accompaniment style of piano. Meaning ideally you would have a singer or it'd be part of a band of some sort, but people keep asking for how to play the melody on the piano and how to start playing by ear a little bit. I don't know how to do those things. But I outsourced a course on how to do that.
I found just the perfect guy. He flew down for a week and recorded this course that I called melody and ear training in 21 days, and I made it a part of my $500 package. Before that, most people would buy my $300 package. Now by far, people buy my $500 package and buy it at a higher rate. So that was, that was huge.
I also injected a webinar into my existing funnel, and that was purely based on seeing the success of your webinar. Nate. You switched over from a PLF webinar to more of a webinar, excuse me, a PLF funnel to more of a webinar funnel. And then I think you, you still have the PLF kind of on the back end.
Well, I decided to kind of put a webinar more in the middle of my funnel and a and that people really, really enjoy that as well. So I think both of us would agree that combination of a webinar and PLF funnel. Can work very, very well. Those are really the big two things that I changed and now, you know, my expenses are basically where they were, but I'm consistently. Have a revenue of over like 50 K a month, which, Hey, I'll take it. Yup.
Nate Dodson: Yeah. And one thing I would say that you're, you've been done really well, is to engineer this thing. You know, you've maintained your engineering mindset throughout this whole thing and really created a system that allows this business to thrive without you. It's building your team and outsourcing, and it's just. Dialed in I, I mean, I can't think of anyone that does this better than you. I feel.
Like your, your team just executes flawlessly. You have all the pieces in place. It really flows well. So that's one thing you're definitely doing right. What are some of the things that you, you could have done better or you wish you would've done different?
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah. Thanks Nate. And then that's a good question. So. I think that I could have done much better on like the the free content side of things or really hitting YouTube harder. It became clear from the beginning that YouTube was a, is going to be a very valuable resource for my particular niche, obviously for years as well, but I didn't really double down on that like I should have.
I probably could have invested in some better camera and audio equipment. Early on once I had a little bit of success and get more on a regular posting schedule, YouTube is still, to this day, one of the biggest traffic drivers for my business. Yet I've only got a handful of videos up there and you have other channels.
Who have other piano learning channels that have hundreds of thousands subscribers on YouTube, and I promise they're not, they don't have a funnel that's as dialed in as mine or have a product that's as good as mine or making as much money or have as satisfied customers as as I do, but they've, they've really hit that YouTube very hard.
And that's also a great resource for people that can't afford your course. They can still. Consume some information. You can still impact them in a positive way even though they're not directly paying you money and Hey, to be honest with you, like YouTube is getting better and better at being able to, you being able to make some money.
Just on YouTube too. For a while, I had all my ads turned off on YouTube because. The advice I was given is you want to have the, you know, kind of the best experience for people and they end game is to sell them and all of my online course or your own product as opposed to just the ad revenue. But I think the newer philosophy is, Hey, most YouTube videos have ads now, so it's not really a negative experience because people are expecting that now.
And so they can kind of live hand in hand. And also what I've heard is that YouTube is going to be more interested in. Showing your video to people because they're going to make some more money off of it when you have ads running on it. So I make several hundred dollars a month from the YouTube ads as well.
And then the other thing, I think one big thing I would've done sooner is doing a little bit of affiliate income type stuff. I think almost any, any, anybody in online courses can find an area that they can bring in some additional income streams other than just the sale of your courses through some affiliate income.
For me, it's obvious. Recommending keyboards and pedals and, and pianos and any other accessories. Somebody might need keyboards stance. And once I started sending people my recommendations and making videos on YouTube for those, that equipment that I recommend, and then just having Amazon affiliate links in there, that was an easy way for me to start making a different income stream over $1,000 every month just from that.
And that's once again, helping people. You know, a lot of times the money follows where you help people. And so I'm kind of embarrassed at how long it took me to do something like that because that's only been the past like four or five months. I could have been doing that a long time ago. Yup, absolutely. So how much time are you spending.
Nate Dodson: Now on working on your piano in 21 days per week?
Jacques Hopkins: Four hour work week, man. No, I don't know. It's less than four hours for sure, because I. Have my, my assistant or writer, just like operations manager, whatever you want to call her. Emily, I know you, you mentioned somebody you have as well.
You know, she helps me manage my email inbox and my YouTube comments and Facebook comments and she helps me write some blog posts and content creation here and there and review things and she helps me do a lot of stuff. So she, she does a lot of the things that I was doing before. And then. A lot of the, you know, the funnel is all automated and everything.
The one thing I try to do each and every day is just personally thank everybody that signs up for my course. That's something I've done for over a year. And then I use a tool con called bun Juro, which we've talked about too. So very easily just record a 22nd video just personally thanking people to sign up for my course.
So I do that each day, and I just check to see if there's any emails that need my attention each day. And then I look at my daily report that Emily puts together for me, which has, you know, how many email subscribers that I get. Yesterday. How many sales did I make yesterday? Just a dashboard where I can see everything in one place.
So those are the kind of few things that I do each day. Beyond that for piano in 21 days, I don't really need to do much else besides make sure the machine is running. I like to think of it as a machine. It's like people come in to the machine on one side and an owl, hopefully the other side is a happy customer and most of what's inside of there is outsourced and automated and that at this point you've got a pretty.
Pretty dialed in to where I can, you know, I'm not looking to just kick my feet up and lay on the beach for the rest of my life. I certainly enjoy the beach and like taking vacations there, but now I'm able to spend that allows me to spend most of my time, my working time. Obviously I spend talking about our family and whatnot, doing probably what I love most as far as if I could come up with a job and that's helping others with online courses. Yup. Very cool.
Nate Dodson: Are you are you are every once in a while doing some, a little bit of a big project with piano. In 21 days you must get an idea, you see something. So you're kind of always staying open to different ideas. We have our monthly mastermind with one other guy. You kind of bring your ideas and you come back to it and think about it then and then maybe every once in a while you'll have like a new idea you want to implement and you'll kind of hammer down on it for a week or two, implement that and then take another.
Jacques Hopkins: Eight weeks of four hour work week kind of situation. Exactly right. I mean, there's not a lot of people that know me better as far as my work goes at this point. They, than you do. So you're pretty dialed into to the way that I work as well. And yeah, it's, it's kind of seasonal in terms of improving that existing business. I mentioned four or five months ago.
I did a couple of things that really move the needle in my business. And yes, that took a lot of time at that particular time. Now outsource the course, but I had to work with this guy to develop the curriculum and then he came down for a week and we had to record it together. And you know, obviously I outsource the, the video editing and stuff like that.
I'm a big fan of outsourcing, but then, I also had to throw in a webinar there and I didn't want just any webinar because I've tried webinars before and failed because I didn't know what I was doing. I wanted it to have, you know, the most effective piano webinar on the internet. And it's hard to actually measure that, but I'm very, very proud of the webinar that's out there today that I put together.
So yeah, it's, I think it's thinking seasonal at somewhat seasonal for you. I mean, I know there's times where you're just like, I don't really want to work this week. Like, I want to play with my kids this whole week, you know? And most of the time you have that luxury. Yup. Absolutely. So you mentioned, we've, we both mentioned kind of our weekly meeting a few times now, so let's get into that a little bit.
Because I think that's a huge help for both of us. And we, when we first met, we would meet basically on a weekly basis cause I was coaching you. And then that coaching kind of turned into the podcast and I would help you on the podcast. But then after we stopped recording the podcast, we'd still, you know, ask each other questions.
And then once that ended, we stopped w we weren't meeting weekly anymore. And I think about a month of that, we were both like. Man we got, so we both got so much out of those weekly meetings, let's, let's just meet as just kind of accountability partners and mastermind partners type of thing. So we've been meeting weekly ever since then. So why don't you tell, tell people what you get out of those meetings and in your opinion, why. Why we do those. Yeah. The main thing I do get out of it is just.
Nate Dodson: Accountability for tasks that I want to do and for growing my business. So we have a system where we encourage, really encourage each other to set penalty goals. We call them, so their goals, but if you don't meet those goals, you owe the person a 100 bucks. So we're typically setting one to three of these penalty goals every week. And it's their specific goals. They're smart goals, they're measurable. And if we don't have them done by the next time we meet, then we owe the other person 100 bucks. And we, you know, we don't want to pay each other a hundred dollars. That's not, that's not the point of it. The point of it is to, you know, get work done and be, have some real accountability and some real consequences.
Because when you're working for yourself, there really is no consequence for you not doing something. You know? So you have to credit, create artificial consequences. And then the other big thing I get out of it is just you're way smarter at this stuff than me. So I can ask you like little questions and you always have answers for me. I typically have like one to five things I'm asking you every time where you're, you're explaining to me. And then we also talk a little bit now. About what people are doing, what other people are doing in the industry. And we're going through a one funnel away challenge with click funnels, which I'm not sure if you post the show notes to these podcast episodes, but you could always give people the link, your link for that cause that's really awesome. The one funnel way challenge, it has these 30 day blueprints of what other internet marketers would do. So we've been going through one of those every week as well. And that's, that's our basic.
Jacques Hopkins: Format. Yeah. That is really cool. That's something we started doing recently is going through one of those, cause it's all these really successful people. A lot of them have online courses. Answering the question, what would I do for the first 30 days I've had to start over. So we're looking at those together on a weekly basis to just generate new ideas and strategies and things. It's like we were talking about earlier, just just trying to see what other people are doing and yeah, I mean.
You said that I'm so much smarter than you. You know, I think one of the reasons this works is because we're a good compliment to each other. We, our strengths play into each other really well because we're very, very, very different. You know, you don't, you don't have an engineering background, right. So I feel like.
You know, I'm, I'm kind of left brain. You're, you're more on the right brain side of things and you're, you're more of like an outside the box thinker. You're an idea guy and thinking at a very high level and you, you give me a ton of cool ideas and then I'm more like surface level and you're like. How do you get this to connect to this?
And you have no idea. And I'm like, Oh, you just do this, this, and this. And it's that part of is really easy for me. But other things are very easy for you. So we compliment each other very well. And I think if, if somebody, you know, like looking for an accountability partner looking to do something like this, I think from my experience, it's probably best to, to find somebody that's their strengths.
Compliment your strengths and, and you're not. You're not the same person, you know? Absolutely, yep. So yeah, that's, that's something we do each week and we kind of, each time we get on, we start by talking about our last week and making sure that we each did the things that we said we were going to do. We always have like an email notes so we can refer back to the previous week and do that.
Most of the time we both accomplished what we said we would. But there have been times where that $100 had to be exchanged. I'm not sure that you've ever had to pay me Nate, but I know I've paid you three or four times or the past year for various reasons, but it's also important when that does happen to understand why like an Nate's really, you're really good about, if I do pay you that $100 you, you really make me understand what it is about that that made me not get it done.
Was it something I should have never said I was going to get done, or were there other things that happened during the week that. You know, I, I still should have gotten it done. And so I think that's really, really important as well. So we talked about the last week and then we'd talk about what's coming up this week and set goals, what we want to accomplish over the week, and then, and then just anything else we want to, any other ideas we want to bounce off of each other because you know, from my perspective, if I had this idea, I'm like.
Man, I really want to do, you know this with piano in 21 days. So like there's not a ton of people I can ask for feedback on. I mean, I guess I could, you know, I'm in some Facebook groups and this and that, but that's a really valuable time for me to just get another opinion other than myself. Even if you don't know much about the particular topic, it's like, Hey, what do you think about this?
You're going to give me your honest feedback on it, and I think that's a, that's a really valuable part of it as well. Yup. I want to jump back to something you said earlier when you were talking about your webinar. I want to talk about webinars for a little bit because a lot of people think that.
Webinars can just be like this magic pill. You know, people are talking about webinars. You should put a webinar out there and it's going to work. I tried webinars several times with piano in 21 days through the years, and I just assumed webinars wouldn't work for piano in 21 days cause they never did.
But I think doing them right is the key. But you said something earlier and you said specifically that your business and your online course is just the perfect thing for a webinar. Can you, can you dive into that a little bit and tell us why. Yeah, I would say it's because.
Nate Dodson: Webinars are ideal for new opportunities really, because it, there are things that need a little bit of education and you kind of, and you can really present, you can really show why it's set up to be such a good opportunity. It's just, I don't really know why that is. It's just a set such a perfect medium for framing a new opportunity. It's hard for me to articulate that. Do you know what I'm saying?
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah. I mean, if you. My webinar, your webinars, both. Basically the script that's laid out in expert secrets by Russell Brunson. You've got to present their webinar the correct way, but he, his script, his formula is just the perfect way to educate people properly about this new opportunity and why you need to be a part of it. And so I would argue, Nate, that unless you have some, some form of a new opportunity, then you're not really going to be successful with online courses.
So as long as you're having some sort of new opportunity as opposed to what he calls just an improvement opportunity. Here's a better way to do this. Now this is a kind of a new way to do this. Then. You, you really need that to be successful and in a webinar's just one way to, and one of the best ways to, to convey and educate people on this new opportunity because when somebody just goes to microgreens farmer.com or they hear about it or whatever, they don't truly understand and appreciate it.
What it is that you're offering and how you can positively impact their life. Same with piano, 21 days to an extent. It's like the first thing that comes to people's mind typically is this is a scam. How could you possibly ever learn piano in 21 days? So a webinar. Works in properly educating people how that's how that's even possible.
Nate Dodson: And so by the end of the webinar, the goal isn't necessarily, okay, now this person has all the tools they need to be able to do this. It's okay. Now they understand how this could work for them. And the next step is to purchase this program, which can then take them all the way. Yup. Yup. And there's a component of scarcity involved. There's time. Restriction. That's a really nice feature of webinars. If you just, you could kind of create a webinar and just upload it to YouTube, but it's the process of them selecting a time and then they get a notification. This is starting in half an hour. This is starting in five minutes, log on now. It's an event. You're creating an event, and then afterwards, you know, like the webinar's coming to a close, like it's time.
To go ahead and place your order if you want in. And there's a. You know, followup sequence, if you have one where we got the replay for one or two days, it's just such a perfect place to be able to inject a little bit of a scarcity to help push people over the edge and get them to jump into your, to your training.
Yup. So if you're listening to this and are considering a webinar to do it right, I think we both recommend expert secrets. and, and there's some, I've done podcast episodes on webinars as well. There's more to it than that because it's not as simple as just the webinar itself. There's also the emails associated with it and getting people to sign up and actually attend and actually want to stick around and things like that.
So you can go back to other past episodes, or I've got some resources at the online course, guy.com which I'll tell you about in a little bit as well. next. Nate, I want to talk about on that note, you know, people that are trying to, to be successful with online courses, and let's first speak to the people that are more on the beginner side of things.
In your opinion, at this point, knowing everything that you know about online courses, and I know to some extent you've even helped people with getting started with online courses as well. What, what are your recommendations for people just getting started here to, to find success? My recommendation would be to think first about. Adding value. You're trying to add value online.
So that's the first key to attract attention is to find some way to add value. So whether it's starting a Facebook group and posting information in there. Posting information in other Facebook groups, posting on YouTube, Instagram, you know, you got to think about your platform and then kind of focus hard on one platform in the beginning. Stick with that one platform and go deep in there and be one of the people that sticks out on that platform. I think YouTube is still a great one. Well, I've stuff is starting to become more of a big deal. If you could go live every day on Facebook or something, you could really stand out or live on Instagram, but kind of see where, where you think the Internet's moving towards and try and get on one of those leading edge platforms and then go deep on that. And. You know, and, and understand really why you're doing this. Have a, have a purpose for why you're doing this, what you want to create, and kind of keep that in mind.
Maybe post a picture on your wall of your vision board and what you want your life to be like after you do this. So you're motivated to keep going and that'll help. That'll make it a lot easier for you to just. To push through and not give up. So that's another big thing is just keep going on this. Keep making steady progress. Don't see this as that you fail. If your first video doesn't, doesn't isn't a big hit. That's very rare for that to happen. I think on YouTube, like one out of every 50 videos that people post becomes viral or something like that, it's like it's pretty rare, so you really have to put in the time and keep going. And then we've mentioned several times, accountability is huge in a coaching.
Accountability in the beginning is even more huge. If you can find someone that's a level above you and you can pay them, you want to be paying them. Whether that's buying a nice online course where you have to throw down a good chunk of money and investment right up front, or just hiring a coach that you need to have some skin in the game. So that's a huge one. And then I would say, you know, focus on building your own platform. That's one thing we both done, but a lot of people that are, are thinking of getting in the online course game. They might go with like you to me or posting a course on one of those other sites. And I know people do have success in those things, but I think it's, it's more challenging and you're, you're better off to create your own platform. I think those are probably my main tips for someone getting started.
Jacques Hopkins: I agree 100% with everything you said. One of the big things I would add, in my opinion is I think a lot of people start out kind of in the wrong order, and they think, they think that one of the first things they do need to do is basically make the course and you make the course and then you put it on.
You, you, you find like a LMS learning management system like Kajabi or Thinkific or teachable or click or click funnels and upload it there. And then all of those platforms come with like sales pages or landing pages that you can promote the course on and you kind of go through it in that order. And now you have this buy now button on this website and there's a course that actually exists if people click buy, but then.
It's like, Oh wait, I don't have any traffic coming to this source. I don't have a platform. I don't, nobody knows who I am. And you spent all this work and now you have to go figure that part out. And that's kind of the way that I did things back in the day. And so now I teach people of, or reverse it, and I want people to.
Start making sales before they even actually have that course yet. And the way that you do that is you start, you have a platform, like you said, Nate, and you pick, pick YouTube, pick a podcast, pick a blog, or even pick something like Instagram or Facebook, but like stick to that one platform and post once a week, three times a week, every day.
Like you, you should know very well, whatever this topic is that you're teaching about. And so start putting content out there for the world on a regular schedule, and then have what I call the basic funnel to send traffic to, which is basically a landing page where people opt in for something of value, typically a video.
Then page two is that actual video where you're giving something of value in that video, and the call to action is not to buy anything from you. It's to schedule a phone call with you. And that way, once you get people on the phone, you can sell them one of a few things. You can sell them coaching. That's one thing that people don't do because they get into this world of online courses because they want to make passive income and sell something.
And once you sell something, you don't have to deliver on anything. But that's a great way to get started and we'll only make you better at the online course part of things. So for example, I could have started like doing. Remote piano teaching sessions, you know, and start selling that at first. Or the other thing you can sell instead of coaching is a future course and offer a discount to it.
Hey, this course is going to be available on this date, and it's going to be, you know, four 97 but, but I've got early bird pricing. Now at at one 97 or something like that, and that's a way you can start selling it as well. And then once you start making one, two, three, five, 10 sales of that, like that should be all the motivation you need to actually record the course then, because then you have a date that you've promised these paying customers to, but you've also got some validation of your idea.
And, and by doing all of this over the phone, you get just an incredible amount of direct feedback from people on, on your offer and understand what their objections are. And if it's even something, there's a market for out there. So that's the way that I recommend people. Get started in a broad sense. And so for those that are, are just getting started and have not made a single sale yet, I've got not a new product, but a new version of, of my beginner's course called the online course accelerator, which I mentioned, and.
And that information is all in the online course. guy.com I usually actually had a phone call. You had to get on a phone call with me to get into that course version one of that course. Version two is now available, and the way I'm doing it now, and I think you have told you this, Nate, but I'm just doing a free trial.
You get a free trial for seven days now just to try it out because I want you to see for yourself what's inside of that and see if it's going to work for you. And then. If it is, you can stick around and pay the full amount, which is nine 97 so, but for those of you that have not made a sale yet, and once you with online courses and do things the right way, then I'd encourage you to go to the online course guy.com and check out the free trial of the online course accelerator.
Next. Nate, let's talk to the people that. Are little, a little further down the road. Somebody that's maybe made a few sales or are even making already making a few sales every week or month, but they're just, they're, they're looking to scale up, maybe looking to scale down their time. What do you recommend for people that are looking to take things to the next level? Looking to take things to the next level?
Nate Dodson: I would, I would start out with kind of a, getting a clear vision of what you want. There's a book that I recently read called vivid vision, so I'm working on this more right now for myself. Just kind of seeing exactly what you want and then reverse engineering working backwards from there. Accountability is still huge at this level. Even if you're already having success, just as important, get the accountability in place, focus on the bigger wins. Don't get bogged down in the little daily tasks. Kind of focus on the, I call them needle movers. Focus on stuff that's really gonna move the needle and cut out distractions.
It's a huge one. Nowadays. People get, they started online business and it's just so tempting. You have Facebook and stuff like that. Just email that you can dive into every time. So try and build it into your schedule. Some deep work time blocks. There's a great book called deep work, and he talks about setting aside like a few hours to work on your one thing.
Keep it simple. You know, one, just one good funnel is all you really need. That's Russell Brunson. That's click funnels slogan. You're one funnel away, and that that really is the truth. Just focus on creating that one funnel and tweaking that and making it better over time. Keep making it better. Keep making it better.
Don't expect it to be a success right off the bat. You just got to keep building upon that. And then building a team is crucial when you're going to keep moving forward. That's something I've just started to do here this last five or six months and it's, it's been huge. It was a real barrier for me. It's something that's just really challenging for me to kind of let go of that and start trusting people.
But it's, it's been miraculous. It feels like a big growth point in my life and, you know, have, have grit. Just keep going, play the long game. Don't give up. Don't, don't get distracted, and then set some limits on your work. So when you start working for yourself, it can be challenging to turn it off. You don't just close the door and go home for the day. You know, you work at home. So that I think that's really important to, to to not get bogged down in the hustle and.
Jacques Hopkins: To really set some limits for yourself. I'm going to answer the same question and part of what I'll say is mirrors what you said, but I'm going to put it like this. For people that want to kind of take their existing online course business to the next level.
I think norm, normally what I see is the, the biggest needle mover, if you will, is in one of three areas or, or a combination. But if you want to get to the next level, focus on one of these three things, maybe first and then move on to the next one. So one is. Optimizing your funnel, and you mentioned this date, it's one of the biggest problems I see is people are making sales, they have baby somewhat of a funnel in place, or maybe they don't, but it's like you're hesitant to mess with it because it's somewhat working, but in, in most cases, there's a lot of optimization we can do with your funnel.
And then two would be traffic. Maybe it's as simple as doubling your traffic. You know, you want to double your sales. Let's figure out how to double your traffic. You know, are you posting a video on YouTube once a month? All right, well let's change that to once a week. Are you, you know, is your, is your YouTube videos?
Are they high quality enough? Are you doing things the right way? Let's, let's change that. So are ramping up SEO traffic or even paid traffic like traffic could be, that could be. All there is to it, to, to take you to the next level is traffic. And then the third thing, it could be outsourcing, right? So some people are maybe making $10,000 a month or $20,000 a month, but they're killing themselves to get there because they're replying to every email and they were applying to every Facebook comment and Facebook message and Twitter comment and, and handling all the support requests.
And that come through and they're the only ones working in the business. That's the other big thing that you could focus on and start outsourcing these tasks and a lot of people, you included, you know, you're, you're scared to outsource that very first time because it feels like you're almost, you're just like letting go a part of you and having to trust this random person that you weren't familiar with before.
But I think you could agree with it. Like once you start outsourcing, it's almost addictive. Yeah. Right. And, and as long as you go about it the right way and get the right people, it's got this kind of exponential effect because then eventually if you can get to a point where you're doing only the things that you need to be doing, right.
Like for me, nobody else. Well for the most part can can be on camera for me. Now there, I've mentioned outsourcing courses, so there are things you can do there. But if I'm, if I'm doing a YouTube video where I want to convey a certain message, like I've got to be on camera, but there's no reason that. I shouldn't, like, I need to have somebody else producing that video for me, right?
There's nobody else that like can be the CEO and like run my company and make these really important decisions, but some of the smaller level decisions, and there's just so many things you can outsource. And if you, if you're the type of person that's been hesitant to do that because you just feel like you're letting go too much, then I would encourage you to just try it because you could always go back.
Right? So outsource one thing and see how it goes. And if you hate it, but you can always go back and, and not have any regrets about never ever trying it. So once again, those, those three things were a better funnel, more traffic, and, and, and outsourcing more or better would be my advice to somebody taking it to take things to the next level. Can I add one more thing to mind? No.
Nate Dodson: This is, this is my, this is my specialty too, is, is think big, like you talked about. That's the kind of one thing I'm good at is the big ideas. Well, that's another big key to success, I think if you're already have some traction, is spend a little bit of time each week and think like, what are five to 10 things I might be able to do to 10 X this. Try to try and have that 10 X mentality. That's something I've kind of pushed on to you a little bit through our masterminds at our meetings. But you know, Tim Ferriss asked himself like, what if it were easy? Just like trying to think of what, what are those things that could really be a game changer for your.
Jacques Hopkins: Business? Yeah. Cause sometimes we, we underestimate what we're, what we're able to accomplish. In fact, I think there's a quote maybe from Tim Ferris that are really like, it's, it's, it says something to the effect of, we, we like to overestimate what we can accomplish in a day, but underestimate what we can accomplish in a year.
And so that's just. Conveying like short term versus long term, like a lot of times, you know, let's look at a week, like a lot of times I'll overestimate what I can accomplish in a week and then I ended up having to pay you $100 but as as humans, if we're thinking more like six months a year, it's easy to set the bar too short.
And you mentioned specifically. You know, 10 acts and know there's a book called 10 X secrets. What is it by grant Cardone? I think it's 10 X rule or something like that. The 10 X rule. Yeah. Which is all about is, is setting goals that are like 10 times bigger than you would have otherwise set. And that's what really, really, really successful people do. So yeah, don't sell yourself short. I just thought of another one. Focus a lot on relationships to relationship building.
Nate Dodson: Like there's a dream 100 strategy that Russell talks a lot about, and that can be a huge key as well. Cool. Awesome. So we've mentioned a couple of books as well. Let me ask you this, Nate, what are some of your top books that you'd recommend to, to course creators are aspiring course creators, vivid vision, by Cameron. Harold, I think is the one that wrote that expert secrets for sure. Those are two we've already mentioned. Start with why. I thought it was a good book.
I think actually wanted someone in that, you know, recommended that to me. Someone in one of your groups. Yup. Who I think is a good book. More so there's the concept of like thinking who not how. And I, I, there's a sky. I love Dan Sullivan. The strategic coach, he's writing a book right now called.
Who, not how, but it's this concept of when you. When you want something done, when you're looking to grow your business, like right now, I want to create. A physical product that's. The best in my niche. That. Settle, attract all the people that grow micro greens. To my website. So instead of thinking, how do I do this, I should think who, who can do this for me? But the book who was also good and. Yeah, that's all I can think of off.
Jacques Hopkins: Hand. Cool. I typically recommend three books, four course graders. There's plenty of more, but the very least, I think, I think we should all be reading or have read these three experts secrets. We've mentioned that it's on this episode. You just mentioned that expert secrets by Russell Brunson is the top recommendation I have a second would be StoryBrand by Donald Miller, which is just a incredible resource for. It's kind of a different way to think about marketing and really how to sell and market without being salesy at all and how to do it with story and making your customer the hero of the story as opposed to you and, and so for example, like it really got me thinking that when I'm marketing, it's like I need to talk about how the person looking at this.
Like they, they can do this. Like they have the, they have the ability to play piano. People everywhere have told them that it's going to take years. Or that they can't do it or they don't have time for it, but they've got this inside of them and they just need a guide. Like myself to help them get there, but I'm not the hero.
They are. They're going to, they're the ones that are gonna break through this and actually learn how to play piano. And that, that book helped me to see that. And then the third one, kind of different, different topic, but very important because of the impact I know it personally had on me. And I think it had a positive impact on you as well, would be profit first.
And I think, that's, that's kind of an accounting system. It's a way to manage your cashflow and your business, but there's not a lot of good training out there. And we kind of get started and start making sales and it's like. You don't really know what to do with that money and where it should go. And this and that and profit efforts, helps you to see exactly the right way to do it.
And I wish I would have implemented that system far sooner in my business, but I'm so glad that I have it today. So once again, for me is expert secrets, StoryBrand and profit first. I also really liked the one thing by Gary Keller for productivity. I think we had two full episodes on this podcast about the one thing.
Oh, wow. It was me and you. It was you back in the day. Okay. Yeah, I think it was in the teens, like episode 15 and 16 or something, and we got into it so much. We broke it up into two episodes. so somebody listening can definitely check that out as well. But Nate, it's been really good to catch up with you on this level and to kind of reset the podcast and talk about our stories and what we've been up to and our recommendations out there for the people listening. So that's gonna about do it. But is there anything else you want to share with the audience before we go?
Nate Dodson: No, I don't. I don't think so. It's just if this is something that you're. Interested in, you know, at some point. You got to take the leap. You know. What does that first action and how can you. Start. Building time into your schedule. Can you build, put in a half an. Hour a day? Can you start putting. In. Two hours each Saturday and each Sunday. Kind of build it into your schedule and. Take that first step? And then it just realize that you're, you're on a, you're just starting your journey and you're in this for the long haul. And I think. The best first step for. Them to take is to check out that your free course, the, the free trial.
Jacques Hopkins: It's sweet course. Thanks. Thanks for that, Nate. Well, and thank you so much for your time today, man. I think people are just going to get an insane amount of value of listening to, to this conversation between us. Well, that's going to do it for now and we'll, we'll certainly have you back on the podcast one day, hopefully soon. Awesome.
Nate Dodson: Thanks to you.
Jacques Hopkins: All right guys. That's going to do it for another episode of the online course show. You can find all the detailed links and show notes from today's episode by going to the online course, guy.com/ 89 and don't forget to check out the new website at the online course, guy.com and all the new resources that I told you about in the introduction.
You can join the free Facebook community there. You can get more information about my course on courses called the online course accelerator, which I'm offering a free seven day trial for. You can get information about next level courses, which is application only, and that's for people that are already succeeding to some extent with online courses, but one to succeed.
Even more. And of course, don't forget about my offer for ClickFunnels. When you sign up for click funnels through my affiliate link, I will provide you with all kinds of templates and a little course if you're a course creator or aspiring course, greater than you absolutely should be using click funnels.
So that's going to do it for this episode. Guys, thanks so much for being a part of this. People have been asking me for this episode for a while and I'm so glad that I finally got to deliver it to you.
Let me know what you think of it. And I will talk to you next time.