We’re changing things up a bit today: on this episode of The Online Course Guy, I am the guest, and the host and interviewer is actually Evan Johnson of Path to Podcast Success! I had the pleasure of chatting with Evan a short while ago, and thought that the topics we covered could be of value not only to his audience but to mine.
Be consistent and stick with it.
I hope you enjoy this role-reversal interview, and hopefully learn something you can use in your own online business or podcast.
In This Episode, We Talked About:
- (1:29) An introduction to today’s episode
- (2:11) My biggest fear before starting my own podcast – and how I got past it
- (4:08) Branching out into interviews
- (5:10) Talking podcast format evolution and recurring themes
- (6:00) My business funnels and the role my podcast plays
- (9:08) Starting out with basically zero audience
- (10:24) My podcast production process
- (13:41) How much time does outsourcing save me?
- (15:51) The benefits of having a podcast
- (16:53) Is outsourcing worth it?
- (19:02) Where I found my team
- (19:09) What I wish I had done differently when I was starting out
- (20:51) How I built my audience
- (22:45) My thoughts for people considering starting their own podcast
That’s all for today, but Nate and I will be back soon with more cool tips and great insights from the world of online business and courses!
Jacques Hopkins: Episode 114 is brought to you by Bonjoro. Bonjoro is one of my favorite all-time tools to use as a course creator because it allows you to keep being so personal, but it still makes things so easy. Bonjoro is a tool that allows you to quickly and easily send a short personal video to anybody with an email address.
So everyday I log in to my Bonjora account and I'm able to so, so easily send one of these short personal videos to everybody that bought my piano course the day before. My students so appreciate it and I don't think I'm ever going to stop doing these. You can get a free 14-day trial of Bonjoro and try it out for yourself by going to bonjoro.com/jacques. That's Bonjoro dot com slash J A C Q U E S.
Regular people are taking their knowledge and content, packaging it up in an online course and they're making a living doing it, but not everyone is successful with online [00:01:00] 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 Jacques Hopkins and this is The Online Course Show.
And off we go. Welcome aboard. Glad you're with us. This is The Online Course Show. I am your host Jacques Hopkins, and I'm excited to dive into all things online courses with you today.
Today's episode is going to be just a little bit different than normal. I was interviewed recently on a podcast about podcast, and it was a really good conversation. And I know there are many of you out there with podcast or thinking of starting a podcast to go along with your online course. And in this conversation with Evan Johnson of Path To Podcast Success podcast, I share a lot of my systems and processes for creating and sustaining a successful podcast.
So I grabbed the audio from that interview where he [00:02:00] interviewed me, and I am sharing that with you guys in this episode. So without further ado, here is the full conversation between myself and Evan.
Evan Johnson: Jacques, thank you so much for being on the Path To Podcast Success today. I've been really looking forward to our conversation.
Jacques Hopkins: Thanks for the invitation. Appreciate it.
Evan Johnson: So I'd like to start off in the same place with everybody, and that is what was your biggest fear of podcasting when you were first starting out and did that fear end up coming true?
Jacques Hopkins: It mostly did not come true. I had the idea for the, for the podcast that I currently have for, for a while, probably over a year before I actually implemented it, because you know, most podcasts are my impression is that most podcasts are interview based, at least, you know, in the business entrepreneurial space. You typically will have a podcast host. You interview somebody much like we're doing right now. Right. And I think my big fear was just the process of reaching out to people and then being like who are you? Like, why? Why would I ever come on your podcast? Either that or just getting ignored.
And, and so that was certainly a fear. And then in finding the right people and that, so what allowed me to alleviate that fear was starting the podcast in a different way and not doing any interviews the first 20 episodes. And what happened was I was coaching somebody on, on the topic of my podcast, which is online courses. I was coaching somebody on an online course. We had like one or two sessions and, and it was going really well and I was like, Hey, his name is Nate. I was like, Hey, let's stop, stop paying me for these sessions and let's just do these sessions as a podcast.
And I told them about the idea for the podcast that I've been having about online courses and he was all for it cause he was getting, he was going to get free coaching. I was going to get kind of a, a cohost, but it was also me coaching him and I didn't have to worry about the whole interview thing cause it was me and the same guy every time.
And so the first like 21 episodes of the podcast were just like me coaching him and he would provide updates. And so it worked out really well. And then I was 21 episodes in and I felt way more confident reaching out to people.
Evan Johnson: Okay. And so did, was it after the 21 episodes, did you branch out and had more interview guests?
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah, exactly. So eventually we kind of ran out of topics to talk about just with me and Nate, and he had done really, really well as well. He honestly, he had, he caught up to me like, we got to the same place. He's, he kinda got to my level revenue wise, and he did really well with his, with his course. And so we, what the intent was with the coaching and broadcasting that on the podcast, it served its purpose and we were kind of done. So then I needed to take it to another evolution and I was ready to start doing interviews and I felt, I felt a lot more confident about that.
So I started reaching out to people and just and doing the interview format where I would just interview successful course creators and try to provide inspiration to others that are maybe beginners, thinking about doing an online course or have an online course already looking for tips and motivation and those types of things that they could get, they could get from other people and not just me.
Evan Johnson: Yeah. Okay. So, and now, did you ever end up doing a multiple episodes with one-person format again, or after you finished with Nate, did you just branch off and do every episode of different interview guests?
Jacques Hopkins: So it's mostly been interviews. I do some solo shows. I have had Nate has come back on the podcast several times, of course. But you know, the coaching, the coaching is my one-on-one coaching is, is one of the biggest revenue streams of that side of my business, you know, The Online Course Guy, and of which the podcast kind of sits at the top of the funnel.
And so I don't, I'm not looking to give away my services for free all that often if the right fit came along, I'm not opposed to doing it on the podcast again because I think it was really great for the audience, but it would have to be just a really, really great, really great fit, I think.
Evan Johnson: Okay, so lets just talk a little bit, and you mentioned that the podcast was at the top of your funnel, and you've been talking a little bit about revenue streams and things, so, so tell us how your podcast fits into the overall picture of your business.
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah, this is, this is the second business I've ever started, that that's made at least a dollar, right? So I've started, a lot of businesses have had a lot of flops. I have an online piano course, which is how I made my first dollar online, and it's still the kind of the main way I provide for my family at this point.
But I spend more time on my newer business, which is The Online Course Guy online, online course coaching and consulting. So the podcast is on top of that. When I, when I, for my piano business really the main traffic source the top of the funnel is a YouTube channel and piano is a much more visual thing to learn about.
It's kind of helps to see the instructor's hands on the keys and whatnot. When I was going to create the new business, I was trying to think. Okay. Is, is YouTube channel going to be best? Like you know, some, some people start their business on the backbones of Instagram or Facebook or whatever, and with online course training, I was like, let me, let me try podcast that could work.
I listen to a lot of podcast and it could be a really good way to consume this type of information. It turns out it is, and it's amazing the conversion rate of a podcast versus other forms that, I think that's just because of how intimate it is. Like you're in people's ears. And if I get on like a coaching call with somebody that found me through the podcast, it's amazing.
Like how well they know me, like I'm just meeting this other person. They, they seem to know me so well, and that's because they've basically hung out with me for so long, you know, bingeing the podcast. So I just wanted to mention that it's amazing the conversion rate because I have a, you know, as my subscribers are far less on my podcast and say my piano YouTube channel. But I feel like the conversion rate is much higher.
Now to actually answer your question downstream of the podcast, I have a course, course on courses. And, and I offer a free trial to, to people of that for seven days. You can try [00:08:00] it out and then it's $9.97 after that. That's more for beginners. So if you, if you don't have a course yet, or maybe you have one, but went about it the wrong way, haven't made a sale yet, that's, that's for. And then for people that already have a course that are looking for some more one-on-one attention I have a mentorship program that I called next level courses. Everybody that's ever signed up for that has always found me because of the podcast. And, and I've, I've been able to build up, build up that rapport with people through the podcast, and it's a $6,000 program. It's not cheap. So there's that.
I also, one, one cool thing about this, this business, and it's not necessarily directly podcast related, but it. You know, it's got some there's some advantages of the podcast is affiliate marketing. I wasn't able to do a lot of that with, with my piano business, but with this, like, I'm able to recommend a lot of the software tools that I use, that I am already using, and then making a commission on that. So that's a, that's a big part of the revenue strategy that I have on this business as well as recommending Clickfunnels and Activecampaign and Bonjoro and a lot of the tools that I'm already using, I recommend it to my listeners. They sign up and I get a nice monthly income from that as well.
Evan Johnson: Okay. So let me ask you this. Sounds like your podcast was kind of the launching point for that second business, online courses. Did you have any kind of an audience or community around that business before you launched your podcast or did your podcast pretty much start from nothing and then worked your business up to more notoriety?
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah. You nailed it. The podcast essentially launched the business. People know me a little bit in like piano circles, but I didn't have a name at all in, in like online business, online courses, entrepreneurship, coach, any of that.
Evan Johnson: Yeah.
Jacques Hopkins: Like nobody knew who I was a couple of years ago. And so I launched the podcast as a way to launch the business as well. And I mean, I signed up, I didn't know much about it. I signed up for one of Pat Flynn's courses on podcasting because I wanted to go about it the right way and slowly try to stay consistent with it, build an audience, and I mean, that's, that's literally how I built the audience, the leads, the business is with the podcast and let everything happen downstream of that.
Evan Johnson: Yeah. Perfect. So let me ask you this. Well transition a little bit into your process. You said you know, you, you, you got one of Pat Flynn's courses aside, that's how I found you. That's how we met is through Pat's, one of Pat's courses. And so I want to ask you what your process is. How much time do you spend on the backend of your podcast, and do you outsource any of it?
Jacques Hopkins: Evan, I love this question, man. I geek out on processes and automations and systems. I was an engineer for eight years. Technically, my title was I was an automation engineer. We automated processes or whatnot. So…
Evan Johnson: Okay.
Jacques Hopkins: While I don't work there anymore. And I work for myself now. I still like that type of thing.
Evan Johnson: Yeah.
Jacques Hopkins: So I am currently pulling up my podcast checklist, and I have an exact. I have an exact process I go through for each episode, so to, to get an episode completed, I have 19 steps to get that done and I probably won't bore you with all 19 steps.
I think that it's important, even if you plan on outsourcing something like producing a podcast episode, I think it's important to figure out every single step that it's going to take to get it done, whether you're going to do it or not. And preferably you do it at first and then you can break out the individual steps.
So for example, the first five steps all have my name on it. The next steps, 6 through 12 all have a guys, his name is Glen, he's in the Philippines and he's, he's my audio engineer. So a lot of the podcasts, the actual episode production is then in his hands from 6 through 12. Step 13, 14 and 15 all have my, my, my assistant's name on it because that is, just to give you an example, third step 13 is to do the show notes. So that's for her.
Step 14 as a quality check on the audio podcast. So I'm not doing the quality check on my audio engineer's work. She is. And then she has another step. Glen has step 16. Emily has step 17 again, and then I have step 18 and 19. So I've stepped 1 through 5 and then 18 and 19 so I have to get the ball rolling and I have to close it out.
Everything in the middle happens by other people, but it wouldn't be done nearly the way that I want them or as efficiently if I didn't have these like steps laid out. And every time they, every time any of us finishes a step, we'd mark it down and we all know where, where an episode is and add in the process.
Evan Johnson: Now is this, are those steps, it has their names on it and that's just to outline who is doing which steps, but all of the steps. So if someone were to, what I'm trying to ask is if someone is doing the podcasts on their own, what a checklist like that be a good idea for them to kind of…
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah.
Evan Johnson: Keep it in their head. Where they are and what they need to do?
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah, exactly. So I think what you're, what you're saying is even if I didn't have Glen and Emily and it was all me with this, would the, would the checklists the same and it would, it would just have my name by every 19 steps. And that's important because if it's all in your head, I mean, if you don't have it anywhere, it's easy to skip a step.
I mean. There's 19 things here. Some of them might take 20 seconds like it's, it's not an overwhelming process to get an, an episode up, but there's a lot of little pieces and parts that you've got to make sure you don't skip. And so even if you're by yourself 100% you should be doing something like this so that you don't forget a step.
You can keep organized. You know where you're at. Sometimes you have multiple episodes. That are not finished yet and there are different points in the process and I couldn't imagine managing all that without, without something like this.
Evan Johnson: You kind of begin the process and close it out, like you said. How much time do you think that takes you and how much time do you think the middle part being outsourced saves you?
Jacques Hopkins: Well, step 1 is enter is interview prep. Step 2 is conduct the interview. So that's, that's a big chunk of time and that's, that's the most time consuming part for me is to just do the interview. And then, you know, step 3 is sending, send the email, send a followup email to the guests, or just a thank you and a little survey I have for them.
Step 4 is record the intro and the outro and, and then step 5 is just organize those files. So that Glen can do what he needs to do next. So interview prep, conduct interview, that's about an hour. Send an email to guests. Follow up is, is no more than 5 minutes. Recording an intro and outro is no more than 10 minutes. Organizing everything's like 5 minutes. So we're talking about a little over an hour, probably in total.
And then at the end it's just a few minutes to some quality check things. And one more, one more thank you and letting, letting the guests know that the episode is live. So overall, you know, hour, hour and a half per episode for me, but to your point with asking the question, if I didn't outsource step 6 through 17 that hour, hour and a half is probably more like 5, 6, 7, 8 hours.
Evan Johnson: Yeah.
Jacques Hopkins: Right? And that's time way better spent elsewhere because the combination of Glen and Emily is going to do, not only do they free up the time for me, they're going to do a better job than me, cause I, I'm not an audio engineer. I don't need to be editing my own episode. I sure as heck don't need to be writing my own show notes. That's probably the worst thing I'd be good for.
Evan Johnson: I know what you mean. Yeah. Stay in your zone of genius. You know, someone else is out there with the skills and the knowledge and the desire to do things like audio editing, a show notes, well, you know, pay them to do it and stick to what you like.
And usually, I mean, you can't really outsource doing the interviews and those are usually the most fun parts anyway. So ideally in the process, you only really need to be doing the interview. You know, reaching out, interviewing someone, and then telling them your show is live exactly what you do. So that's really all that change you would be doing. And, you know, it's good to see that. Yeah.
Jacques Hopkins: If I didn't, if I didn't enjoy doing the interviews, there would be no point in me having the podcast.
Evan Johnson: Yeah.
Jacques Hopkins: I do it so that I have content for my listeners. Also, I'm making good connections with people like it almost would be worth it even if it wasn't going to be a podcast just to, to make connections with other successful course creators all over the world because as soon as I say I have a podcast, it's called The Online Course Show like that, that instantly gives me a bunch of bunch of credibility and once it gets people to want to talk to me. Good. Really good relationships have come out of just me interviewing other people. I've even had people sign up for my coaching programs that have been on my show too.
Evan Johnson: Yeah, that's amazing. I know. I, I haven't, my podcast, my podcast, Path To Podcast Success. I haven't even launched it yet and I've already gotten business connections and just good friendships from, from guests, you know, that I've had on when I'm just doing the recordings. So, yeah, I mean, even if the audience is small, there's always a benefit to podcasting.
So let me ask you this, since you outsourced, that means you have to pay some people and you have to shell out some money for, for those services. Is it definitely still worth it to, to pay that money? When your podcast in and of itself might not bring in revenue, even though like it's usually a podcast as a part of an overall marketing strategy. So the podcast by itself may not bring in revenue. Is it still worth it to outsource?
Jacques Hopkins: Yes. With a few caveats. My risk tolerance isn't very high. Like I, I'm not, I'm not a risk taker by nature. And I like to bootstrap things when first getting started, like when I started my piano online course business, like I bought a $10 domain. And other than that, there was very little expenses and I was very scared to spend any money until I was making money.
Evan Johnson: Yeah.
Jacques Hopkins: But I could have. I could have been successful sooner if I would have outsourced sooner. And what I didn't understand at the time that I do now is because of the way the world works, or the internet and the global economy and all of that.
You can find very, very skilled people for very, very little money that really wants and need the work as well. So if you're on a budget, you're just getting started. You can't afford much. I mean, go find somebody in the Philippines or some, you know, find somebody in, in a third world country that's talented and is looking for the work that you can pay, like $5 an hour, which, you know, in some countries that's a very, very good wage.
And that way, you can be focusing on other things. You know, I like to say at this point, like I only do the things I need to be doing, right? I need to be the one on the microphone. Or if I'm filming a YouTube video, I have to be on camera and I have to be like the CEO of my company just like overseeing major things. But other than that, like other than those things, I can pretty much outsource everything else. And so even if you're just getting started, there's, you could find some inexpensive but very, very talented people.
Evan Johnson: Where did you go to find those people? For those out there who are, you know, who may not know all the different places you can go. Where did you go to find, say Glen, for example?
Jacques Hopkins: Upwork.com.
Evan Johnson: Yeah. Awesome. Okay, cool. Now we've talked about your process and the different things that you've done and how you got started. Now that you are a veteran in the podcasting space, do you have a regret of the podcasting process from when you started to now knowing what you know now?
Jacques Hopkins: Well, I, you know, I, I find a lot of people we'll go back if they find it. So I'm thinking of 94 episodes in or something like that. Once they find the podcast, they'll go back to episode 1 and start listening and binging, which is cool, but like episode 1 is my worst episode, you know? And so it's [inaudible] that they're going back there the audio quality is horrible.
I, for whatever reason, I don't know how this happened, but it is my computer and ended up using the wrong microphone when I was recording that episode and at the time, like I didn't have an audience at all, so I just published it because the content was good. It's just the quality was horrible.
And so I regret not scrapping that and like re-recording it. And then even from there like episode, you know, two through 10 or whatever, like I didn't have a very good mic. I didn't get a great mic at the beginning. And so I guess just the regret is not, not making sure it was top quality from the beginning.
Now all that is just, it's out there and it's not horrible. Like, like I said, the content is good, but it's out there and it could have been better. And today, like I'm pretty, I'm pretty good about making sure that when I put something out there, it's going to be top quality, but I guess I just took it for granted back then because it didn't really have an audience and maybe it was me not expecting anybody to ever listen, which is a horrible way to approach it.
Evan Johnson: Yeah.
Jacques Hopkins: That would certainly be my regret.
Evan Johnson: So I'm curious. You said, you know, when you started out, you didn't have an audience. Did you do any, how did you promote your podcast? How did, if you didn't have an audience, did you just kind of publish it, launch it, and then put it on a social media page and then wait for people to come find you or what did you do?
Jacques Hopkins: That's kind of like the big question with any business. Like how did you get people to find you? I, that's, that's the hardest part. That's, that's what I struggle with my own piano course. I thought you could just build it, and then it would just magically sell. So with the podcast, the approach that I took was, you know, obviously include search like words that people put, potentially search for in my title and my description. So like The Online Course Show, you know, people are searching like online courses in a podcast directory. You know, that's how most people I think have found me at this point is like, they're interested in a podcast about online courses.
So that's, that's important. I didn't, I didn't call it, you know, the Jacques Hopkins show or, or, you know, it's The Online Course Show. Then I just, you know, took like Facebook, Facebook personal page and a, and a, made it all about The Online Course Guy and the podcast and the website and everything, and then started joining a bunch of Facebook groups about online courses and getting in there and actually helping people and lending tips and answering people's questions and trying to be The Online Course Guy and sharing successes and failures from my own online course.
And I'm just trying to make a name for myself in those communities, not being spammy, not, you know, people would ask a question I wouldn't be like, Oh, go check out episode 41 of my podcast for that answer. I would just gin, genuinely try to help them. And you know, if they, they wanted to learn more about me or my brand, they could click on my profile and see that and then get where they needed to go.
Evan Johnson: Yeah, no, that, that is a fantastic way to build engagement from, you know, from zero pretty much so. So as we kind of wrap up the show, I like to end with the same question for everyone. And that is for those listeners out there who are still unsure, right, about whether or not a podcast would be right for them and their business, what would you say to them? What would be your number one tip?
Jacques Hopkins: Well, I don't think a podcast is right for everybody, that's for sure. And so if there, if you think it about it then, then I'm not going to just say go for it. I would say make sure it's the right platform for you. I like to tell people, and my lane is kind of online courses, and so I'm sure people listening to this could be considering a podcast or a business around a podcast and all kinds of different niches, not just an online course, but I think this still applies as I like to tell people, pick one platform when you're, when you're starting out and be consistent with it and stick with it.
That could be YouTube, that could be a podcast. That can be just on, on Facebook or Instagram or a blog. Right? And think about what it is you're trying to, what your topic is and which platform is going to make the most sense for that. And if that's podcast, great. And then the next piece of advice I have is make sure you have like a actual strategy around it.
It's not, you're not just podcasting for the sake of podcasting, like hopefully there's, you have a plan to help people and to make money from it too, and don't just hope that you're going to get big enough to where you can get a podcast sponsor and that's the endgame, right? Hopefully you can, you can funnelize it and it's just kind of the free part at the top of your funnel. And, and you build trust with people and then you can sell them your own products or maybe affiliate products downstream of that.
Evan Johnson: Okay, perfect. Yeah, that's, I'm a podcast certainly isn't right for everyone, but if it is right for someone, then it will be a huge help.
Jacques Hopkins: Okay guys, that's going to do it for episode 114 for all the notes and links from today's episode. You can find the show notes by going to theonlinecourseguy.com/114 and guys, I know I always tell you about the show notes at the end of the episode, but if you've never checked it out, go check it out. We do a really thorough job of summarizing the episode with links and everything. We also have a full transcript of the episode as well, so definitely check that out.
Once again, it's theonlinecourseguy.com/114 and guys, if you're not a part of the online course community yet, then you definitely need to check that out. That is a free Facebook group for course creators, aspiring course creators, anybody interested in courses in all different stages. Just communicating, chatting, masterminding together. You can check that out by going to theonlinecourseguy.com and clicking on community at the top, or if you're already on facebook.com just search for the online course community.
Once again, that is completely free. I'm hanging out in there. A lot of former guests from this podcast are in there and a lot a lot of listeners are in there as well. So go check that out. The online course community, and if this is your first time listening to the podcast, make sure you jump back and listen to episode 89 for the online courses 101 episode.
That should definitely be the next episode that you listened to. And if you haven't done so already, I would sincerely appreciate you leaving a review for this show on your favorite podcast platform. Thanks again everyone, and we'll talk to you next week.