Listen to what people are asking you.
Monica shared a wealth of insight on how to leverage Pinterest in different ways and what has worked best for her own online courses. I’m still mulling over what I learned in today’s episode, and I think you’ll enjoy what you learn, too!
In This Episode, We Talked About:
- (2:20) Monica’s online course history and course creation evolution
- (6:54) A story about validating personal knowledge and turning that into product
- (8:19) Why she’s such a fan of her favorite funnel
- (9:52) Where Monica’s traffic comes from
- (11:30) The reasons that Pinterest ads can be challenging for some
- (13:33) Monica gives me recommendations on how to get started with Pinterest for my business
- (19:27) Where Pinterest stacks up in terms of ROI
- (21:27) What stage of your course creation process you need to be in to use Pinterest successfully
- (24:01) Monica’s experience with Facebook groups
- (28:09) Setting boundaries as your online community grows
- (30:18) Advice on keeping course content updated
- (35:00) A favorite tool that Monica has used to improve conversion rates
- (39:26) Why she’s changed her opinion of Deadline Funnel
- (41:11) Monica’s advice for new course creators
We covered a lot of ground today, so I hope you’ll drop me a line and let me know your favorite part of the conversation! Stay tuned for another great episode coming soon.
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 up everyone jock here. So glad to have you listening to another episode of the online course show. We've officially crossed over that 100 episode Mark and made it here to one Oh one and I've gotten some great feedback from you guys on last week's episode where I actually featured my wife. So thanks to everyone that reached out with kind words, and if you missed it, definitely check that out.
And if you're new to this podcast and go back to episode 89 which was an online courses one Oh one episode with all my best tips and advice for both those just starting out and for those that have a course already and just looking to make it as successful as possible. This podcast is for all things online courses.
Like I said, for beginners. And for people that have courses all already. Now, today's topic is one of honestly always been a little scared of, mostly because I've never really understood it very well, and that's Pinterest, but today's guest is going to clear it up for us. Monica froze teaches moms how to succeed in online [email protected] but she's really found her niche in teaching Pinterest.
So we were able to hit this conversation from a couple of different angles. One is just hearing about her courses, her background, how she got started, and her advice on succeeding with online courses because she's doing very, very well with that. And the other angle is she gave some really great advice on how course creators can be leveraging.
Pinterest to drive traffic to your site, into your course. And we talked about both organic strategies as well as Pinterest ads. So let's go ahead and dive right into a fantastic conversation with Monica froze.
Hey Monica, welcome to the online course show.
Monica Froese: Thanks so much for inviting me. Sure.
Jacques Hopkins: So look, you were worried to be focused on online courses. Obviously other topics can come up, but to set the stage, give us an idea of what your library of online courses is.
Monica Froese: Well, like many, I think it's morphed a little bit over time. So when I started my first online course, it was geared towards moms who want it to leave their corporate careers. And start a business online.
So I had, I started blogging because I had a pretty bad postpartum story and I wanted to escape my corporate career. So that's what I resonated with. Those are the types of people that followed me. It was a tough niche though. It was, in my opinion, it was a little bit too general. It was hard for people to know, should I take this course or should I not?
So then I got into Pinterest and, but really the reason I got into Pinterest was because. At the time it was exploding for blogging traffic, and I went where the buzz was and what really kind of occurred to me about that was that Pinterest, everyone was focused on the wrong thing. Everyone cared about traffic and nobody cared about the conversions from Pinterest and going down that rabbit trail, I ended up on Pinterest ads, which really turned out to be like my signature course.
What everyone knows me about for is Pinterest ads, also known as promoted pins, and so now my catalog focuses very heavily on Pinterest.
Jacques Hopkins: What kind of quantity of courses are we talking about? Is it just one pinchers course in one? My mom stole my business course.
Monica Froese: So I do have the month, the online business course still up though. I've been saying I'm going to retire it for about a year, but who has time for that in the Pinterest catalog course wise? I have right now three, but soon to be four. So it started with the organic Pinterest course. Which truthfully, I'm not very passionate about. I really love talking about ads, and then affiliate marketing on Pinterest was a great way for people who weren't quite yet with their own products, and it was just like a need that was easy for me to fill. Then the third one now is the big one, Pinterest ads, but I will be adding a fourth hopefully in the next two months, all around Pinterest funnels.
Jacques Hopkins: Excellent. I love it. All right, so you're obviously no stranger to courses. You're not a newbie anymore to this. What is your process? I mean, you've mentioned that you've got a new one coming out soon. Walk us through your process for courses.
Monica Froese: Process in terms of creating it or how I come up with the idea.
Jacques Hopkins: Well, you know, let's start at the beginning for my idea and then how you take that idea all the way to when the day comes that you're actually making sales from that idea.
Monica Froese: So at this point, it's a lot of what people ask me. So it's very easy for me to understand where the gaps are because my customers will let me know. And the thing about, I'm very, very, very passionate about narrowing my topic in the course as to not overwhelm my students. And so I launched the Pinterest ads course for a beta in November of 17 so we're almost coming up on two years for it.
And all along I was very clear that you had to have a product, a service, you had to have a converting funnel coming into the course. So the ads were meant to amplify what was already working. The problem is is that some people know what's already working and some people don't. So. One of the things I did early on was I have a course Facebook group, which we can talk all, I have a lot to say about that topic, about having a group that goes with the course, but there's good and bad to it.
The great side is that you quickly can pick up on what's missing, and so I would, it might've been a mistake, but that's up in the air. I would talk, I had a module all about funnels inside of impractical promotions, which is the Pinterest ads scores. So that people had an idea of what funnels convert it well before promoting, but everyone wanted me to show them how to do it, and I kept happening to say, Hey, this course is how to do Pinterest ads.
And if we start veering off into funnels, we're going to lose focus of the main thing that I'm helping you with. And then it's really hard as a course creator to keep people on the same page. So I kept repeating myself that we're only going to talk about Pinterest ads and. Basically I was, I was losing like half half of the people because they weren't ready with a converting funnel.
So that's the gap I've known for at least a year that I need to fill. But Pinterest ads changed so much that I, and they went public a couple of months ago, which changed things even more. And I'm very passionate about keeping my course updated because I, I have taken a lot of junky courses. That are very outdated and I just refuse to sell something actively cause it's, I'm actively launching with the course.
I refuse to sell it if it's not up to date. So that's taken a lot of energy in the last year and I finally feel like I got to a place where I can get another course up and running and do it justice.
Jacques Hopkins: So are you saying that because your audience, it was very clear that they needed more help with the funnels, so you're like, okay, I'll make them of course on this topic.
Monica Froese: Yeah, that's pretty much what happened. And then what really solidified it for me was I'm in a, I'm in a mastermind and we meet four times a year, and these are brilliant business women that, I mean, they're super smart and some of them are making significantly more money than I am, and I would consider them to be my mentors.
And we got in room and we decided that the topic was going to be funnels, and I started walking everyone through how I run my funnels, and it became super clear that I'm, I understand what I'm talking about and I can help people even with bigger businesses than mine. And I decided walking out of that room that I had to do it because I think sometimes.
We downplay how much we know about something when we live in it every day. So I sort of blew it off as like, I'm not really an expert on that topic. And they told me, you are an absolutely an expert, you know, way more than the average person. And plus your students are asking you for it. So what is holding you back? So now here we are ready to create the fourth course.
Jacques Hopkins: Okay. So you're obviously an expert in a lot of things, including funnels and, and that's obviously an important part of say success with something like Pinterest, which sits on the kind of a top of a funnel. You know, that's the traffic source. And if somebody is finding you via Pinterest and then comes into your system, but then you don't have a working funnel, what's really the point?
Right? What is the point, right? So I know you have online courses, you've worked with a lot of people that have online courses. Do you have like a GoTo or favorite. Type of funnel for online courses.
Monica Froese: For selling my online course. I have been very launch heavy and what worked super well for me and has worked super well is the challenge model. So I accidentally fell into this too, I will say, but looking back, it was a genius decision on my part. So the very first launch I had public was based on a three day challenge. And I turned that three day challenge into an evergreen free course that people can access all year round. And it's pure teaching.
It's not pitching. And because of that, it's very easy for people to recommend go take Monica's free course and I give them actionable steps to take to get them to the point that they're ready to promote their first pin. And so it's very easy for people to recommend to me because they're not sending me, they're not sending people through this sales pitch right away.
And through all the data I've gathered, I have over a thousand students in the course, and I've done the launches quite a few times at this point, so I'm very well aware of what converts. 82% of people went through the free course, which I do with the live challenge once or twice a year for that. And I offer a, like a one-on-one ebook as a trip wire after they sign up for the course.
It's $19 and 67% of people who buy the primer go on to buy the bigger course as well. So. If that model works super well for me, unfortunately, launching is also extremely exhausting. So we're working on evergreen now. That's the big push I have going.
Jacques Hopkins: Okay, good. So you're in the process of changing that over. All right. So how are people finding you? You know, you're obviously helping a lot of people. It's successful courses, but, but how do people come across your stuff?
Monica Froese: So I think word of mouth has been huge for me. So I had about. So I should say, when I created the beta back in November 17 I was in my third trimester, so I was pregnant.
And if anyone knows me when I'm pregnant, I don't like being pregnant at all. And so the last thing I wanted to do was create a course. Luckily, I've really great friends in this industry who told me I had to do it, and it was a wide open space to do so. So what happened was after I launched that, I created the beta launch that first time and completely shut down.
I was like, I'm having a baby, don't talk to me. And the course was closed. It had gotten enough word of mouth that I had some substantially big influencers contacted me while I was on maternity leave saying, Hey, I heard your courses. Great. Can I get into it? And I got to a point where my husband's like, you need to come out of your shell for like a day or two and just open the cart for these people because they are begging you and you're crazy not to do it.
So I did. And that led to some really big affiliates like Kate, all from simple pin media as one of my dearest friends, and one of my biggest supporters and a few other big Pinterest courses out there also got behind it because they didn't teach Pinterest ads and we did some JB webinars. And so I have amazing, amazing affiliates.
And also I find that it's really easy for people to say, Oh, I'm going to create a Pinterest course, and they can. Teach organic strategies, but very few people understand the data and the conversion mechanisms behind ads. And so people shy away from it with putting it in their course. So it's gives me an edge.
Jacques Hopkins: Well, as somebody that doesn't really understand Pinterest or use it very much for my business. Can you give me like a high level overview of why that is? Like why is it so much harder to, to do ads, right, than it is organic on Pinterest?
Monica Froese: Well, I mean, I don't think it's that much harder. But I think it's the age old question of why people are so focused on page views as bloggers. cause that's where I started with that. I started with bloggers. Now I have a lot more e-commerce people that are in the course as well. But bloggers, especially early on, get very, very focused on traffic. And Pinterest is actually a really easy way to understand because of the visual. Side of it. And a lot of people in the mom blogging space that get into it have used Pinterest already as a user, so it wasn't foreign to them.
And so it was just easier to pick up on. And that's sort of how I feel about that. But once they get the traffic, they didn't know what to do with the traffic. That was the big disconnect between a lot of the Pinterest courses out there. They showed you how to get the traffic. They showed you how to create the images, keyword your descriptions.
Nobody said, okay, now they're there. What do you do with them? And that blows my mind. Why we don't talk about that. So in my own quest to figure out how do I convert this traffic, what's unique about this traffic? Then I dove into the whole, well, Pinterest is a search engine and people are actually searching for something.
So they want a solution. So they're more in an active mindset. And instead of sending them to things like a long word of blog posts, there's opportunity to get them on your email list. And. Convert that into a sale if you have something to sell. So once I figured out that, I said, well, I don't want to wait for my pin to take off organically.
I want to get targeted traffic. So how do we do that? Well, you do that with targeted ads, and that's how it all started. And that's the where I teach from, because Pinterest is a little bit more crowded than it was four years ago. And it. It takes longer for things to take off, and now that they're publicly traded, the only revenue that they make is through promoted pins. And that being said, the reality is it's going to be more necessary to learn how to do it. If you want to be a business that survives on Pinterest.
Jacques Hopkins: I would love to talk about and like an actual example if you're up for it. I'm a little biased here, but you know, I've got my piano course and I don't have a presence on Pinterest, but I would love to get maybe some tips.
Obviously not, you know, giving away all your best information that's in your, behind your paywall. But like if I'm coming to you and I say, Monica, I've got this piano course, got a working funnel, it works great. I've got a proven product, you know, thousands of students. But I don't have a presence on Pinterest. Do I start on organic? Do I start on ads? And how do I get started?
Monica Froese: So what's your target audience? Who buys your course now.
Jacques Hopkins: 50 years and up? Men and women typically retired or about to retire, and I've always wanted to learn piano, but don't want to spend a long time to learn.
Monica Froese: And geographically, are they mainly in the States?
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah. There there are probably 60% in the United States, about 30% in the United Kingdom, and the rest is like Australia, Canada, New Zealand.
Monica Froese: Perfect. All places you can target with promoted pins. We got that down. And then your funnel, what's the working funnel that you have.
Jacques Hopkins: Oh, see, that's, that's a, that's the secret sauce right there. Basically, it's a combination of, it's, it's evergreen and it's a combination of a product launch formula with some webinars in there as well, and some other, some other cool things, but it's about a 12 day evergreen funnel with all those pieces.
Monica Froese: So offering a lot of value before you're offering on the value.
Jacques Hopkins: And the opt in at the beginning is basically the first five days of my course in a, in a workbook form.
Monica Froese: In a workbook farm. Perfect. Absolutely. Your people are on Pinterest like cause that's the first question, right? Are your people on Pinterest? I think people are very surprised because a lot of the chatter is that moms are on Pinterest and they are absorbed millennials.
So don't get me wrong, but so are the previous generation a lot, a lot of, of, people who are entering retirement are on Pinterest. It is very female dominated though. So if I were you and I was going to go get on Pinterest for your course, the thing is, do you have a blog and do create a lot of content about it.
Jacques Hopkins: Yes.
Monica Froese: You do. Well, you're like a dream come true. Why are you not on Pinterest? Because I have, there's two different things that happen here. One, I'll get people that come to me and say, well. I don't have a blog or I just don't put out a lot of content, but I have this great funnel. Can I promote it?
Absolutely. You're not going to have much of an organic strategy though, because organic Pinterest really is heavily focused on the content you're putting out, so you have to have a lot of different URL to send people to a lot of different pins. So that's like the organic side. But if you want to promote, you can go directly down the funnel path.
What's important to understand is the keywords. So understanding what the people are searching, and sometimes it's not as obvious as like the literal keywords that people are searching. What else could they be. In some ways you can think of it like Facebook, where you're thinking of the audiences that you want to target to get your course in front of them.
In a lot of instances, you can. It's their literal cue. When I say literal keywords, I mean it's, you can figure out what people are putting in to arrive or what they're looking for, but people might not be putting into Pinterest. I don't know off the top of my head. They might not be putting in something like learn piano. They might, they might not. We'd have to look, but what other things are they interested in that you can get your ad in front of?
Jacques Hopkins: See that's, that's where you're getting a little too deep for me. Like it's so easy for me to advertise on something like Google, right? Because people are searching for how to play piano and you just put it out at the top.
But if you're asking me, you know, like that I haven't had as nearly as much success with something like Facebook ads. Cause then you have to start talking about, okay, what are their interests, you know, what other pages would they like? And things like that. It's way more abstract for me. I like to more straight forward approach. So the answer to that, I'm not sure.
Monica Froese: Well, let's, I'm going to pull up Pinterest right now and we're going to put in how to play piano and see what comes up. We're going to do a real life example here. Okay, so how to play piano, how to play piano. So right when I put that in, the way this works when you start to keyword on Pinterest is right underneath it.
They actually make keyword research super easy because underneath it, they give you these little boxes. So I call them long tail keywords. So when I put in the main keyword, which is how to play piano, then I see at least at least 10 related keywords to this or long tail keywords. So you have how to play piano for beginners songs.
Learn with both hands, chords by ear for kids. So what that's telling me is it's, it's a searchable term that people are actually going to Pinterest and searching. So right there you could put up a promoted pin with, at least in new you already, I've just found you at least 12 keywords right here that we could use.
And what you do is you like pull up. Pins that look similar to what you're teaching and look through their pin descriptions and what other keywords are they using, like what other variations are they using, and just make a quick spreadsheet, get at least 50 ish keywords. I, I tell my students they actually have to find a hundred but I'll tell you 50 cause it's not that hard to find 50 boom. You put it into the campaign and you're off to the races. It's actually really not that hard.
Jacques Hopkins: Wow. That doesn't sound hard. I mean, is that something where I could just hand it off to a virtual assistant and even just saying, Hey, take Monica's course and then settle this up for me, or is there, would it need a lot of my interaction.
Monica Froese: You can absolutely have a virtual assistant do it. I hate to be biased, but I would tell them to actually take my course first. And this is why, because I think setting up the campaign is actually fairly straightforward, but reading the data is where people fall down. And a lot of times, a lot of times I hear, well, it must just be the pages and converting, and it's not the page.
It's the campaign that they're not understanding the data. That to me is the secret sauce. Like if someone said, what's the secret sauce chair course? It's how to read the data and make changes to scale the ads.
Jacques Hopkins: Okay. Cause I had success with doing things like that where it just say, Hey, you know, VA, go take this course and then implement it. Not necessarily something with ads, but like social media, you know, using Instagram or something like that. But I'm very intrigued here now with Pinterest and these ads, can you expect a higher ROI than other platforms? Is that the main reason you're so passionate about this?
Monica Froese: Yes, you can. Okay. Pinterest is a long tail game, first of all. So they're not quick wins. And probably the thing that people cannot stand that I repeat myself over and over again is you cannot, I ban you from looking at your data for at least seven days. You just will not see the data. You'll make ill advised choices if you make changes before seven days and now they've released, you can optimize for the conversions.
You have to make people wait at least 14 days before checking the data. It is a long tail game that you're in it for. It's not a quick win like you can get on Facebook. So I often actually use Pinterest in combination with Facebook ads. So for example, like I'm on a launch model for the course, so it's only open for maybe five days at a time.
That's not very long to get a Pinterest ad to optimize. So I will drive. Pinterest traffic either to the free challenge beforehand or I will to some of the value added blog posts I have, and I'll be collecting that data right on the Facebook pixel and when the cart is open, I go really heavy on Facebook ads to close the sale.
So that's like one way I use them in that I use them together. The other thing is Pinterest is really becoming. Very quickly. One of their main priorities is to be a shoppable platform, so and not just shoppable for e-com. Physical products like digital products are a huge, huge thing on Pinterest that I think go unnoticed.
A lot of times it's just that's, those are the truth because people come, I think the biggest thing, it's like Google, when you think of Google, right? People come with a problem and they go to Google for an answer. That's exactly what people come to Pinterest for, and so if your solution fits the demographics of Pinterest, there's absolutely no reason why you cannot promote your solution.
Jacques Hopkins: There. So the people listening to this podcast, you can really put them into two groups. Those that are more in the beginner stages of their only course, they either have an idea and they're working on the course. Maybe they have the course, but I haven't made any sales yet. Or on the other side, it's people, I guess more like me where I have a course.
I have a working funnel continuing to make sales ever somebody like myself, like the wheels are spinning like I'm like, you even said like, why are you not on Pinterest? At this point, but is that, am I correct to think that only the people that are, have a working funnel are making sales already are the ones that he should even think about it? And if the more beginner person that's listening to this right now, should they even be listening? Should they even be listening to this?
Monica Froese: Okay. So I built the early stages of my list, mainly on Pinterest ads before I had anything of substance to really sell. If you know what your course is going to be about, you obviously need a email list to be able to sell your course so you can get into Pinterest ads for that.
You're not going to get immediate ROI. So if you were. At the beginning stages before you have your course created and you're not quite ready to do invest in ads, but you're putting out content around that topic, then you can absolutely start your organic Pinterest strategy with creating pins and getting those circulate it and keywording them well.
And then when you're ready to start collecting the email addresses for your course topic, you can jump into the promoted pins. I do think it is wise to have somewhat of an organic strategy before you just jump into ads on Pinterest so you understand how the platform works, you understand the keywords, you understand the images that will get clicked on because that's huge.
They've made some changes within the last couple of months that the images that I use organically are different in some regards to what I would recommend for a promotion. Mainly that Pinterest users are used to clicking on an image and being taken to what we call a closeup. So you click on an image and you get to go to a close up of the pin where you see the title of the article and the meta-description, and then the Pinterest description.
But with promotions. Now, when you promote something on Pinterest, when you click the pin, you no longer go to that closeup and you're taken directly to that website. So to minimize clicks. That aren't going to convert it to be super clear in your ad what they're going to. So if they're going straight to a sales page, make it really clear with like a shop now, or just, it should be abundantly clear. It does not have to be that clear when it's organic though. So there are some differences in the images between the two strategies.
Jacques Hopkins: Monica, this is really fun because we get to have this conversation like in two areas cause you're giving me all this great knowledge about Pinterest for all my courses. But then we're also talking about your take on online courses in general too. I love this. Let's jump back to more general online courses and your experience with them. And I want to hit on a topic you said that you are very familiar with and very passionate about and that's Facebook groups for your online course.
And to set the stage, let me kind of give you my take on it first and see what you think. I fought this for a long time, right? I'm all about automation. Like let's do his little like manual stuff as possible. And I fought having a Facebook group cause I just thought it would be one more place that I had to moderate, you know, and to take care of.
And I fought, I fought and fought and finally decided to give it a go. And exactly what I was hoping would happen happened. They interacted with each other and continued to reach out to me in the places that they always had the places I want them to. It was a huge value add because now for the first time, my students to communicate with each other.
Monica Froese: Okay, so you maybe did it right there. Let me say, let me preface this with, I absolutely think a big portion of my success came from having a Facebook group. The word of mouth and the fact that I was. Able to be so present with helping problem solve people's issues and get them past the hurdles of how their campaigns are performing.
Absolutely. I would not go back and not have a Facebook group. It was very much key to my success. The problem happens when one, you don't set good boundaries and two, it gets so big that you just can't. You can't scale to all of the questions coming in there, which actually all of it's setting boundaries.
Now that I'm talking, I'm saying it, it's all about setting boundaries. So what happened to me was, well, and I think we should also address the fact that I had people pay me two years ago, a fraction of what I charge for the knowledge, and they're now, they've gotten all the updates, they still get access to me.
So I'm really. I'm not sold on it. Moving to a recurring payment at this point, like I know a lot. I know a lot of gurus out there who have pushed me. I've listened to podcasts about it, but I had been pushed by some of my own mentors to, you need to be charging for the support that you're offering. So I think I have not made that decision to do it.
I don't think I will anytime soon, if ever, but I do think that I did not set healthy boundaries, so it really came to a head probably when I reached. Three, 400 people in the group. I was getting tagged and every single post, and we're not talking about an easy type answer, we're talking about in depth answers where I need to know a lot of data points from people to be able to give them an educated response on what they should or shouldn't do.
So the first thing I did was instituted office hours so that we could try to clear some of that. Unfortunately, people were still very conditioned that I would answer. not only in depth, but I would answer fast. And it got to a point where the group itself was just so overwhelming to me, and it was detracting from everything between keeping the course updated, which I said I'm super passionate about, and I believe that that's how you should be as a course creator.
And then the people in the Facebook group, keeping that, keeping, answering all the questions. I had no time for anything else and it actually started making me hate what I was doing quite significantly. It was not good, so I had to make a change. So what I did was I hired a community manager who started actually just about a month ago.
It's my first payroll employee actually. And that was a very shocking to a lot of people that I chose for my first payroll employee to be a community manager. But the way I looked at it was the majority of my revenue comes through my courses and my customers are the number one thing in the business.
You know, keeping your customers happy and word of mouth, if you start falling down there. You know, what business are you going to have left? So I knew I had to remove myself to a degree from the Facebook groups. I, I call her my first line of defense. So she goes in and answers threads. She encourages engagement with tagging other members that we know are good at certain skills or uncertain platforms, and I upped my office hours.
I'm going to start doing two times a month, and we're just streamlining the processes behind it. So I would absolutely say that I do not think my growth would have been what it was without the Facebook group. But setting healthy boundaries early on is key for it to be scalable, in my opinion.
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah. I think to your point though, I think it's tough because you said a lot of the success has come from exactly what has overwhelmed you, right? Just you being in there, you answering people's questions, you answering them quickly and helping them out. That's easy. When there's 10 people in there, or even 50 people in there, once there's (300) 500-1000 people like that. It's just not possible. And you've gotta be having your attention elsewhere. So you said to make it scalable from the beginning. Do you think the best way to do it would have been a hire this community manager from the beginning or just plan on that transition at some point like you've done.
Monica Froese: So there's a few things because it's such a technical topic, I would have had more form, like this is the information I need instead of a lot of back and forth. So if you have a question about this, you need to give me all of these data points. That would have been the first thing. I didn't set good parameters around the information I needed. There was a lot of back and forth in regards to that. I also would have done office hours right out of the gate and I would've done more than once a month.
Because what that allows you to do is say, Hey, that's a great question. Sure. A lot of more people would benefit from that. I'll cover it on my next office hours. Honestly, answering 24 seven was not a good way to set expectations, so I would not advise doing that. I absolutely think you can be present and give them the information they need without it dominating your life.
I mean, it really got to a point where when it really struck me is someone came to me that I is, gives me great advice, and she said. Why do you tell them meaning your students when you're going on vacation, she's like, that's a lot of information to give them. I mean, you should be able to go on vacation because I feel such a strong sense of responsibility that I show up and give them what I promise, and that's why other people also pushed me to make it a recurring membership because because of how much I show up, it's worth, and I do think people would pay for it.
I absolutely do. I'm not convinced it's the right way to go, but I over-communicated I always wanted people to know I'd be there. I just had bad boundaries about it. So there's just better ways to do things with systems like aligning your communication and systems.
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah, I mean, it sounds like you've got a ton figured out, but that, you know, we'll, we'll never all have it all figured out. Right. We're always learning, figuring out the best ways to do things. And I love the office hours thing. I think that's a great idea. So you've mentioned a couple of times now about keeping your course updated. Now, I'll tell you, for me, I don't think this is as important because piano is much more evergreen than something like Pinterest ads.
Right? So when you say keeping your course updated, I assume you mean so that the content of your course is always aligned with something what your student can actively be doing? Right. So if the dashboard changes in Pinterest ads, then it might be time to update your course. Is that what you're referring to?
Monica Froese: Yeah, so there's two things. I do think it's very important. If you have not created a course yet, I think I would advise you to think long and hard about the systems that you're showing people in your course and how much you're willing to update when they update. Because in essence, my business is at the mercy of Pinterest.
Pinterest could change. Everything about the way ads run, and I would have to stop what I'm doing no matter what I had planned, really, and go and fix it. And here's the thing, if I didn't, I would have a thousand people knocking on my door saying, what do I do, Monica? So I have two for one. And so that's the first thing.
Consider, do you want. Your main revenue source to be tied to someone else's business because trust me, it's lucrative in a lot of ways if you're good at that, but it's something to consider, right? And then the second thing is, okay, so my updates and, and I've had actually educate my students on this. I made a decision early on that I was going to include limited video.
Now, some people have very strong opinions about courses. Not being video-based, and this is what I got. I got very strong opinions and I was willing to share this with my students because I felt I felt so strongly about it, which was, if you want timely updates from me, I cannot be rerecording videos every month.
It's not feasible. And the bigger we grow, the harder that will be to do. So I made a decision very early on that it was going to be mainly text-based, and I do not think. That that impacts the value of it whatsoever. As a matter of fact, I think it makes it more valuable because I can keep it that much more updated.
Jacques Hopkins: I love it. We did a whole episode on just text-based versus video based courses, and I don't know that that really came up as an advantage to tech space, but I, that makes a lot of sense. If you're in a niche that does change and update quite often.
Monica Froese: Yeah. I mean it's easy for me to, like, Pinterest has this habit of switching very minute things, but that people can get hung up on if you don't know like where this button moved here or this button moved there, they kill me with it sometimes.
Where did the button go? And then I have to go find the button and update the screenshot. But can you imagine having to re rerecord several videos cause one button moved. I mean, it's just not scalable. And I have taken so many ads, courses from different people in Facebook, the Facebook realm particularly, and I have to say I'm often going through those courses and everything looks different.
And as a user, that's extremely frustrating. It's not helpful to me to watch a video when my dashboard doesn't look like what the video does. And I get so distracted by the fact I don't know what I'm supposed to be clicking on, that I'm not even learning what they're teaching me.
Jacques Hopkins: I feel the same way. I, I've taken a course on like, I think it was Google ads or something and something was different and I'm just going through it and things aren't matching up.
The creator even put in a blurb, like under the video, it's like, Hey, Google ads has updated this. You know, we'll get a new video up soon. It's like, okay, but that doesn't help me right now. You know?
Monica Froese: Right. Exactly. I update the course, like major overhauls at this point because of how much they're changing about four times a year, and that doesn't even include them. Little updates I do. And then I always say, maybe if I go back to a big point about the Facebook group, that why it is valuable too is I can always keep people updated in there. So there'll be things where. I'm, we might not be ready to change the course yet because it's not tested, but it's something that I want to make them aware of and I can give that information in real time in the Facebook group.
And I find that that's the best way to do that too. So that's one of the things I say in between updates. I'm constantly updating everyone in the Facebook group and I find that we can really strategize better with trying like out of the box type strategies that are not ready for the course yet, but we can test them in the group and then I have enough data to go off of putting them in the course.
Jacques Hopkins: I love it, and you know, not to brag or anything, but the piano hasn't really changed in the past several hundred years. It's been the same ADA keys and whatnot. So that's not really something that I have to think about personally. I usually only update the course if I feel like I can do a better job, like if I can teach it better.
Or if I get a better camera or lighting or whatever, but there's no, there's no new button or buttons aren't moving here and there. So I feel, I feel good about that. But, you know, I have a course on, on courses too, and I, and I do have to think about that with, with that. So let's, let's transition a little bit.
I just have a couple more questions for you here, Monica. This has been a fantastic conversation. Next I wanna ask you about tools, some of your favorite tools that you use to execute your website and your online courses. Maybe your top three to five favorite tools.
Monica Froese: Well, I'm going to start with proof as my first one. I really love proof. I love data with my funnel, so I'm constantly monitoring that. And I also have a lot of different funnels, but the biggest one, which is my free course, which is a three day free training, I added proof to the opt in page, and if you click on the proof notification, it will bring up the lead box.
And that. Increase the conversion on that page from 58% to 72% when I added a approved notification. So we'll say, Hey, this many people enrolled in the last, well, I guess enrollment numbers are relative, but I have 20 on the low end going through signing up in a day to over a hundred a day. So my proof notifications look pretty good.
But the on page conversion went from 58% to 72% when I add it proof notifications, not to mention that when the sales page is open and I use, Hey, this many people have bought the course, that also increased the conversion on the sales page too. So.
Jacques Hopkins: A couple of follow up questions there. I use proof as well. And just for people listening, to make sure they understand what it is, it's the little pop up that comes up, like in the bottom left that says, you know, John opted in for this 30 minutes ago. Betty opted in for it 45 minutes ago. And usually let's say from where right about the same thing. Right. So one question for you is, you said one thing you did to increase conversions was allowed it to where if somebody clicks on that, your lead box comes up. How the heck are you doing that?
Monica Froese: Well, when you set up the proof notification under settings, you can put a link for what happens when they click on the box. So I just put the link to the lead box directly back the same lead box they'd get if they click the enroll now button. And I was actually quite shocked by how many people actually click on the proof notification.
Quite a few do. And I, I hypothesize it happens. More a mobile because I feel like it takes up more of the screen. I'm mobile and I went back and forth between if I should leave it or not, and when I figured out that I could just link to the lead box for the proof notification, I left it on mobile. So I left the notifications on there and it's been working great.
And also I have a lot of. This is sort of like, not course related, but probably interesting. And on the proof side, I have a lot of funnels that are not B2B. So they're for my mom audience on the consumer side, and it's not the primary focus of my business because I'm very invested in my courses. So because of that, I don't actively collect testimonials and it's a really great way for those funnels to run and show social proof.
Jacques Hopkins: Okay. Love it. That's a great tip about the lead box. Second follow up question about proof. Is this, you mentioned like kind of converting over to evergreen funnels right now this is a topic that Abby, Ashley and I have talked about who's, who's another very successful and of course grader that we both know cause she's somewhat using proof as well.
But on a sales page I have, I don't understand how to effectively use proof on an evergreen sales page. Here's what I mean. Abby just did this massive launch and she used proof and an increased her conversions, but like she sold 300 courses in a week. Right? Mine's always evergreen. I'm selling three to five courses every day. I personally don't think having proof on a sales page when it's evergreen is going to be near as effective. What do you think about that?
Monica Froese: I have talked to Abby about this very topic. So Abby and I are both MRI causes accelerator program. So we are learning similar frameworks for setting up our evergreen funnel. And actually I'm going to be deviating from it a little bit, but, she just posed this question in the group about proof notifications on evergreen. And I leave mine on, and the reason I leave mine on is because the proof notification itself keeps getting clicked, which sends them directly to my checkout page.
So as long as people are clicking it, I'm going to leave it on. You can set parameters though, right? So I would have to go on and look, but I think my parameters set to don't show up. I don't have at least 10 sales in the last 30 days. So it's not going to show if there's just one person that bought or two people that bought.
So we have to have any, and you could set it for seven days, so as long as 10 people bought in the last seven days or whatever you want that parameter to be. So it won't even show if it's not going to show a good enough number for you to feel like it's going to be enticing and it makes it look appealing.
Jacques Hopkins: I think that's a great kind of middle ground to say because they have those parameters. It's like, okay, if you're worried that it's going to have the opposite effect by showing too little proof or too little social proof, then we can just set up those parameters to alleviate that. So I love that. All right, well, we got way off on a tangent.
Monica Froese: We're talking about tools proof. I'm a fan too. I agree. Any other tools that you, that you really like up there? Well, I was really resistant to deadline funnel for ever, and now I use it on everything. Deadline funnel is really made my life so much easier. Even to the point of, I would be the girl who stayed up to close my sales pages at ungodly hours, and my poor kids then were like, why are you so miserable the next day, mommy?
Well, that's because I was up to 3:00 AM closing per specific time. So the deadline funnel to me has been amazing. So I use lead pages so far. That's going to be my next tool that I would mention. I'm pretty well versed in in lead pages, so I used their countdowns historically, and it's limited. It's not, you can't think it across emails, and there's all these limitations.
So from an evergreen standpoint, deadline funnel has been a game changer in my opinion. I love lead pages for my actual setting up of the funnels, and I use Thinkific for my course site. I love Thinkific. But I do not love their checkout. And that is the biggest single pain point that I'm dealing with right now.
And honestly, something I feel like you don't know when you get started, but a lot of times when you choose a core site early on, you know, you don't know all the things that are going to end up being issues down the road. So I had no idea how important order bumps and upsells and things like that were going to end up being to the bottom line revenue of my business.
And you can't do that with think of a checkout. So now I'm. Going to be moving to thrive, Thrivecart, and that's like the up and coming project for the the rest of the year. So those are the tools I use. But if I had to say like the two I love the most and I think actually have impacted conversions, it would be proof and deadline funnel.
Jacques Hopkins: Love it. Love it. Okay. Look, last question for you, Monica. I appreciate you being so generous with your time. What advice do you have for somebody just getting started with online courses?
Monica Froese: Listen to what people are asking you because I ignored what people are asking me for a year. And so it was a whole year cut off of my course creation that I could have been making a lot of money. People were asking me repeatedly to put it, how I run my Pinterest ads in a course, and I just thought, nobody's going to buy that from me. I don't have a Pinterest audience. I talked to moms, but they did buy it. So it was great advice and I should've listened to it sooner.
Jacques Hopkins: Great advice. All right, Monica, thank you for joining me. I think there's definitely gonna be people interested in the Pinterest courses and probably mostly the Pinterest ads course. So let people know where they can find your stuff and specifically those courses online.
Monica Froese: Yeah, so everything right now lives under the redefining mom brand, and if you want to get into the free course to get started with Pinterest ads, it's at redefining mom.com forward slash ads ads.
Jacques Hopkins: Thanks Monica.
Monica Froese: Thank you.
Jacques Hopkins: That is going to do it for this episode. Thanks so much to Monica for joining me on the show today. You can find all of the links and notes from this episode by going to the online course, guy.com/one Oh one. And Monica and I talked about a lot of great tools in this episode. If you want to support this show, then head to the online course guy.com/tools or just click on tools at the top of the site and you'll find that my top 10 tools, for course creators and my affiliate links to most of them.
If you're interested in any of those tools and plan to sign up. Anyway. Then I'd appreciate you using one of my links as a way to support me and my work here. So guys, that's it from me for now and for this episode.
I will talk to you next week for more online course show.
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