If you’ve ever studied a foreign language, you’ll be able to appreciate my guest today! Hadar Shemesh is a language coach, public speaker, and online course creator who’s on a mission to help ESL/EFL-learners with one of the more challenging aspects of being a non-native speaker: accents.
You can always start small.
Hadar provided some great food for thought about why some online course creators might go the route of live launches instead of an evergreen model. I enjoyed our conversation and I think you will too!
In This Episode, We Talked About:
- (1:35) My outsourcing update
- (4:35) What David’s been working on recently, plus a story of how he almost got shot
- (10:35) Hadar explains a key branding decision early on in her course creation process
- (12:24) How she began her online course journey with a built-in audience and validation
- (14:16) Why Hadar does live launches and how she keeps her business sustainable
- (19:06) Tips for people who choose to do live launches
- (20:55) HOW many students signed up for Hadar’s most recent launch? (Plus how she manages the launch itself)
- (22:50) Where most of her sales and traffic come from
- (25:!1) Repurposing content
- (27:21) What does Hadar’s team do?
- (28:17) How her YouTube videos are so important to her success
- (31:54) Building an audience on YouTube
- (34:11) Hadar’s advice for aspiring course creators
- (36:47) Her favorite tools
- (39:06) Thoughts on the importance of testimonials
- (41:13) Hadar’s tips for anyone considering creating an online course
- (42:52) Dave and I discuss the live launch strategy
- (45:18) A big takeaway for me from the interview
- (47:28) Running out of content – or not
- (48:38) Wrapping up
Thank you for listening in – I hope you enjoyed what you heard! We’ll be back with another episode soon.
Jacques Hopkins: Episode 120 is brought to you by Bonjoro. If you've been listening to this podcast, you know, I'm a huge fan of Bonjoro because I just think it sets up that relationship with your new student on the right foot by sending them a nice short and sweet personalized video.
I've got so much automated in my business, but these Bonjoros are personalized, and that's one reason they work so well, but it doesn't take very much time to do them. Get started with your free trial of Bonjoro 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 all nine 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. This is The Online Course Show. I'm your host, Jacques Hopkins, and here with me is our cohost David Krohse,
David Krohse: Hey there.
Jacques Hopkins: And we're excited to dive into all things online courses with you today. David, welcome...
David Krohse: Thank you.
Jacques Hopkins: ...To episode 120.
David Krohse: What's been going on with you?
Jacques Hopkins: Man. Just, just being the online course guy. Runnin piano in 21 days. Runnin my family, runnin my household here as well. One thing interesting I wanted to share with you and the audience is, is I hired, I made a new hire here recently, and it's not the traditional sense of hire. It's not a full time person or anything. You know, I've got. I've got my assistant, Emily, who handles so, so much for me and my business.
And then I've got kind of my full time video and audio editor, Fred, who is, you know, edits this podcast. Hi Fred. And then beyond those two, like I've got a lot of different people that I count on just when I need them. I've got a, amazing graphic designer and WordPress guy and just anything I could possibly need, but one, one, one type of person that I, it's kind of crazy that I don't have, but that's probably, probably because I fe-, I felt like I could do this just fine on my own is like a ClickFunnels guy, right?
So. Most, most people out there listening know, I'm kind of a ClickFunnels guy. I use it for my landing pages and order forms and my course. And, and, and I'm a big fan in general of, of ClickFunnels. And, and by the way, I offer a lot of free templates and things when people sign up for the free trial of ClickFunnels using my affiliate link. That's theonlinecourseguy.com/clickfunnels when you sign up for that free trial through that link, you'll get all kinds of great stuff from me, including a course as well. But, I've always done things myself, and it's so easy to do things yourself. But I started working on this task to, to, to update one of my order forms because I've seen some order forms out there that I liked better than mine.
And, and I sat down a few days ago and I was starting to work on it and I'm like 45 minutes in and, and I haven't gotten very far because I'm just running into certain challenges and I'm like, man, I just like, I want to get this task done cause there's more important things I need to be working on. You know, putting out YouTube videos, making podcasts content and so on.
And I was like, you know, I have always tried to make my goal of only working on things that need me. Right? I've gotta be the one recording on this microphone right now. I've gotta be the one on camera on my YouTube videos. So editing ClickFunnels order forms, that doesn't need me. So I put a post out there on Upwork.
I found somebody amazing who started working on that, and I, and I love now having someone I can count on to make amazing ClickFunnels pages, funnels and updates for me on that platform.
David Krohse: That's awesome. Where did you find the person? Did you meet them at the conference or?
Jacques Hopkins: No, no, I just, you know, anytime I want to find a part-time contractor like that, upwork.com and make a post, I always do like a video with Screencast-O-Matic in my post so people can, you know, hear my voice, build a little trust with people. And also I like to put right at the end of the video I always say this, I say in guys in your application, tell me your favorite color. And that way. I know, cause it's very important to me that why they watch that video and that they, that they're to have attention to detail and that they follow instructions.
And so if somebody is applying to my job and they don't tell me their favorite color, I automatically nix them from the, from the candidacies.
David Krohse: Nice. Sneaky, sneaky.
Jacques Hopkins: Yup. So it's working really well and excited about that man. What's, what's been going on with you?
David Krohse: Well, so I'm just about ready to release this webinar launch and decided I've got the main webinar recorded, but I wanted to create a cap, a couple little essentially like lead magnets that would pull people into that page. So the idea would be that there'd be the main webinar, and then a couple of days later they'd get this, like, here, come and watch the super high value video. Then, you know, a couple of days after that they get the second opportunity to see the another one. But one of them in particular I'm really excited about because it just has kind of this click baity title where I'm like, people are going to be curious about this story.
It's essentially, cause again, this is going for chiropractors. And chiropractors, most of us would like referrals from medical doctors and like personal injury attorneys where they'd send people to us who had been in car accidents. So it's the medical doctor and personal injury attorney marketing strategy that works wonders and nearly got me shot.
I'll go ahead and tell the story. So the, essentially the marketing strategy. Again, before I moved to Iowa, I practice out in Washington state and we got this envelope in the mail from this local physical therapist, and he essentially explained that myself and the other doctor in the office were in this photo contest.
And so there was a picture of like him and his family on a hike with a Lake in the background. Then it had a postcard with two questions on it, like what Lake is this? And then some other random question about that area and multiple choice answers, and it was a postcard more it was addressed back to his office.
And so for the next like five weeks each week, we got one of these. Well, eventually I met the guy through this, the cycling club. And I asked him about, I said, Hey, did that work well? And he said, dude, that's been by far the most effective marketing that I've ever done. So anyways, I moved to Iowa, all excited to open my office and I was like, I'm going to do this too.
And I decided my theme was going to be doors of Des Moines and so I picked these like six historic significant buildings. And then my girlfriend from Washington State was out visiting and I was like, this'll be really fun. We got a two and a half hour window. We can go out and take pictures of these six buildings.
So, but we, we had to like meet my parents afterwards. So we are on a pretty limited time amount but we got the first five duns, done. And the sixth one was this like historic mansion called Terrace Hill. And I remembered when I was in sixth grade, our class came down and like toured it. I just remembered it as this like big historic mansion.
And so we like this girl, Molly and I, we like pulled up and parked on the side of the street and we like ran up and took a couple of quick pictures of the first door, then ran around. There was a second door on the far side and we took a picture. And then we're like running back to the car and a policeman comes like running toward us with his gun out, pointing it at us, and he's like, you know, stop, stop.
And so we stopped just like in total shock and he comes up, he's like, what are you doing? And then I tried to explain like, which obviously this is already a rambling story, but I'm like, I'm a chiropractor. I've tried to do a photo contest as a marketing thing. I'm like, what is the deal? And he said, well. He said, the first family lives here. And I was like first family, but my girlfriend Molly was the one that said it. She said, the president lives here? And the guy's like, no, no, this is the governor's mansion. He's like, the governor's family lives on that second and third floor of this building.
Anyways, he let us go. Nobody got shot. Any ways that that marketing program, we did it three years in a row and it definitely built relationships with medical doctors and attorneys. So yeah, I think, I think that I'll be able to get a bunch of chiropractors to jump in and hit that landing page. The other thing I wanted to mention just briefly is my Facebook group has kind of gone dead where if I post something, I don't think anybody's seeing it.
And so, so what I'm going to do today is actually, I've seen other people do this in groups, but I'm going to say. Alright. I'm considering sharing these two super high value things, you know, the medical doctor marketing strategy, and then this other one, if you are, if you're interested in seeing this, you know, type yes below. And I think that I can get like, you know, 60 to 80 people to actually see this. And then I'll be asking those people, I'll be like, I'm only sending this out by email. And so just confirming that they're actually receiving my emails. So that's a strategy that I'm going to do later today to try to essentially revive a somewhat dead Facebook group.
Jacques Hopkins: Very cool. Well, first on the story, I mean, I think it's, it's really important to tell stories like that in our marketing. I try it, you know, almost every time I put out a video or even an email, like there's going to be some sort of story in that I think story's incredibly powerful. We learned that and we'll in Expert Secrets, but, but obviously StoryBrand by Donald Miller, which are both basically required reading for, for listeners of this podcast.
And as far as the Facebook groups go, yeah, I think Facebook is going to show post in Facebook groups to people when, when there's more engagement and more interest in those posts. So if you put a post out there and people are constantly replying, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. And liking it and all that, then that may be a way to kind of revive that a little bit.
David Krohse: I hope so.
Jacques Hopkins: I like that strategy. You gotta you gotta keep putting value out there for, for Facebook to want to show your stuff. Facebook, Facebook likes Facebook.
David Krohse: Yes, it does.
Jacques Hopkins: And they want to, they want to keep people there and with, with as much good content as possible. So. All right, David. Well, let's, let's jump over to the, the interview. The focus of today. I had a really great conversation with Hadar. She, she doesn't do evergreen launches. She does two live launches a year and does them very, very effectively. So if you're out there and like more of the live launch strategy, this is a good one for you. So without further ado, let's go ahead and play the full interview with Hadar right now.
Hi Hadar. Welcome to The Online Course Show.
Hadar Shemesh: Thank you. Thank you for having me.
Jacques Hopkins: Let's start this way. What came first for you? Your brand or your course?
Hadar Shemesh: Oh, I think it's definitely my brand, but I didn't know it was a brand until I started creating courses.
Jacques Hopkins: Explain that. What, what do you mean you didn't know as a brand?
Hadar Shemesh: Well, it's just me. Right? So it was for years, it was just me teaching with my name and the name, cause they start, I have a YouTube channel, but I didn't consider it to be a brand. I just thought that I'm a teacher teaching. And then things ended up being, you know, things gotten bigger for me and bigger.
And then I said, okay, how can I scale up and how can I reach more and more people? And then I said, I started, you know, creating courses and going online. And then I realized that I'm a brand.
Jacques Hopkins: Okay. But you know, when I say brand, your brand is obviously you've got your name, but you've also got The Accent's Way. Right? So has, has your YouTube channel always been called The Accent's Way?
Hadar Shemesh: Yes. But also, it's a funny thing because when I created that name, it was just for me, it was I had my name in Hebrew that I use as my, as I was, cause I started just as a private teacher and then I thought about how to translate the name. So it wasn't something that I came up with. It wasn't all planned. It was just. Something that I did on the go, but I ended up like staying with Accent's Way and creating a website under The Accent's Way, so, so yes, that was definitely there before, before my online courses.
Jacques Hopkins: How did you get started with, with online stuff? Was it, was it starting a YouTube channel or was it somewhere else?
Hadar Shemesh: Yeah, I think it started with my YouTube channel. Actually I wanted to create a course first, and I created a video for the course and I uploaded it to YouTube because I thought that I'm not going to use it. So let's see how, what happens if I upload it to YouTube and then I left it there and I forgot about it, and then I can came back a few months later and I realized that it had like 50,000 views and, okay, that's interesting.
It was just, I just put it out there, but I didn't think people are actually going to watch it. And then I realized, and I uploaded a few more YouTube videos, and that went really well as well. So I decided to be more consistent about it before creating a course. And then actually I did not create any courses and I only created content for about two years.
Jacques Hopkins: Well, it sounds like, you know, I talked to a lot of people who just kind of start something and they start building an audience and they start building a brand. They don't really know where it's gonna go.
Hadar Shemesh: Right.
Jacques Hopkins: Where it's going, how they're going to monetize it. But in your case, it sounds like you had this online course idea from the start.
Hadar Shemesh: Well, I was working with groups, live groups for years. So I knew like the, the concept of building a course, I already had a course structured and I have purchased online courses myself and I said, why don't I do that? But then I pivoted and I decided just to create content online, having that, you know, like in the back of my mind, I knew that I'm going to do that someday, but it took me a long time to create a good base, to gain the confidence to actually build the course eventually.
Jacques Hopkins: Okay. Now when I go to theaccentsway.com I'm trying to find your course. All right. At the top there's a few things I can click on video magazine podcast about, and then there's online workshop. Is that your course?
Hadar Shemesh: Yes. But it's not I only launch it like a couple times a year. A couple times a year.
Jacques Hopkins: Why is that right? Cause I can't enroll right now. Accent make-over speak English like a badass registration is now closed.
Hadar Shemesh: Right.
Jacques Hopkins: Why is that?
Hadar Shemesh: Well, first of all, when I launch a course, because I used to have it open all of the time and people would register, but one of the things that I discovered is when I closed registration and then I open it, of course the demand is much higher because they create scarcity. So that's just as, that's my strategy, first of all. Second, it's really time consuming to go into such project because they really want people to be engaged and be a part of the group. And it only happens if everyone goes into it together cause I mentor them. And I have mentors who coach people in the Facebook group.
And when people do it separately, they tend to to just quit really soon. Really early on. And I've noticed that when people do it together, that's when people actually stay almost until the end. And they develop friendships and accountability and you know, they do peer learning, which is basically what, that's my vision. So it's not just them consuming the content alone. So I think that has a lot of value and it had a tremendous impact once I decided to close registration to create that demand. The need for a course. And then, you know, when I open it, it's, I opened it for about 10 days and the results are great. So I think that's a good strategy.
I should launch more often, like three times a year. But launches have been the first few launches were really demanding like they were. I was exhausted by the end of the launch, but now it's much easier for me. Now I have a system in place. And I usually just rinse and repeat.
Jacques Hopkins: Well, there's no doubt that launches work, which is why you're using them. And I would, I would venture to say that you're probably getting most of your enrollments on that first day of the launch and the last day of the launch. I would imagine that if you combine those, it's significantly more than the other eight days of your launch period. But most people wouldn't want to just launch twice a year because that's not very consistent income throughout the year. So when you're not launching, how are you making money?
Hadar Shemesh: Well, I do have an offline school too, so I do have coaches and I coach and companies, so that brings in a nice stream of revenue but also, because I have payment plans, I do have income coming in con, consistently, eventhough I don't launch, you know, it takes about five or six months until you know the, this all payments are paid, and then we start another launch again. So I have these two.
Now I'm creating smaller products to launch in between because, so it's like smaller launches. I can, it's easier to manage, so I don't have to go all in. I can just write a few emails. So I actually created like this smaller version of the course for people who want to do it on their own. And I'm going to also offer it as a down sell for people who haven't registered. So they'll still have something because, and they were engaged during the launch. So.
Jacques Hopkins: Are you familiar with, with, with evergreen launches?
Hadar Shemesh: I, I, I definitely want to do that at some point. The system around it is a little kind of like intimidating. I do love live launches too. I love it. Like I love the webinars. I love the energy around it, so I'm, I feel like I'm procrastinating it because I really enjoy it and I'm not sure it's going to have the same impact as my live launches that are, you know, really like always super surprising. They are very successful.
So for me it feels like if this is working for me, I might keep that. And I am working on a membership site right now that I'm launching in just a few days. I have my be, beta launch and just a few days for teachers. And I have another membership site planned to start in like a few months. So I feel like this will bring in the, you know, the consistent revenue every month. And then in addition to that, we'll have the three launches for the courses.
Jacques Hopkins: Well, you mentioned that one of the reasons you like doing it the way you do it is for that kind of, everybody comes in together and it's almost and, and people can go through it together and that's certainly an advantage of live launches. I was just curious your thoughts there as somebody who seems to be pretty set on the live launches now, if somebody, if somebody else listening to this is also into the live launches, but maybe isn't as successful as you've been, do you have any tips on doing live launches?
Hadar Shemesh: That even something that feels like a mistake or failure or you miss something, it's always a great opportunity to learn cause I really feel that I have made a lot of mistakes and I've spent a lot wasted a lot of time and you know, like the wrong emails and sending it to the wrong segment. And, but I have learned how to do that on my own. Now I have a team, but before that it was just me. And I feel like this has become successful only because I was able to do a few less successful launches. So that's one thing.
And to plan ahead. That's really helpful. At least have most of the emails written out and kind of like the webinars ahead of time. If you launched with webinars or a challenge or, but at the same time, always be innovative because when you feel that something is not working or when you feel that this is, you know, that you get bored with it cause this is what happened to me the last launch.
I felt like I was doing the same thing as a previous launch and everything was planned out. And then I decided to just add in a challenge. Just for fun and it was good. So, but it wasn't planned out. But still I was able to do that. And I think that when you plan in advance, you leave room for creativity and discovery. And I think now I know how to combine the two for next time, like the challenge and the, you know, the, the rest of the launch.
Jacques Hopkins: Just so I get an understanding of like magnitude and success here. Can you give us a ballpark number of how many students enrolled the last time you live launched?
Hadar Shemesh: The last time I launched, I think it was 320 or 340 something like that. And before that 300 something along those lines.
Jacques Hopkins: That's a really, really good, I'm sure you know that.
Hadar Shemesh: Yeah.
Jacques Hopkins: That's fantastic. Congratulations.
Hadar Shemesh: Thank you.
Jacques Hopkins: And I guess your next launch is, is coming up in March.
Hadar Shemesh: In March, yeah.
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah.
Hadar Shemesh: In March I have for this course, but I do have the launch for the membership site, which is going to be a lower scale launch.
Jacques Hopkins: Do you do you change things up with the, with how you launch each time or, or once it works, I mean, you three, you've got 300 people and you've got 300 over 300 people like you just, when it's not broken, don't change it.
Hadar Shemesh: That's. It's so true but I am, I have this, like, it's in my nature to always try and change stuff up just because, and it's not a good thing necessarily, because if it has worked in the past, I mean I should just keep it so I keep it. I just, I just try to improve it each time. But I do use the same I the webinars, I still use the webinars, the good emails, like the sale, the sales page that worked.
I am not touching it because I did do. I did. I did change it drastically and it started converting a lot better the last two launches. So this is something that I'm not going to touch. So basically everything that worked for me. I leave and then I'm just adding up some stuff like those, you know, maybe a challenge or an offer for a scholarship and do something around that with Instagram or try out new things that I haven't tried before once I, because they feel more confident about all the other stuff that I feel I can explore other things as well. And then see how you know. How it affects the results.
Jacques Hopkins: Now, when you do these live launches, are most of your sales coming from your existing email list?
Hadar Shemesh: Mostly from my email list. The last launch, I also used Facebook ads. Before that, I haven't. So last launch, I also experimented with Facebook ads, but it's not my strong like I'm not very, I'm not that experienced with Facebook ads and I definitely want to put more emphasis there in the next launch.
Jacques Hopkins: Well, I mean, let me just jump into the where, where I was trying to go with that. And that's how are you generating most of your traffic? Right? And I'm not just talking about traffic during a launch, because a lot of traffic, I'm sure comes throughout the year and then ends up on an email list and then you're launching to them.
Hadar Shemesh: Right.
Jacques Hopkins: But in general. Right? You can have the best course in the world. You can have the best sales funnel in the world, but if you're not getting any traffic, then it doesn't really matter. How are you generating traffic?
Hadar Shemesh: I release a high quality video every single week. A lot of freebies, so I do have a lot of lead magnets that I share with my videos, so I do build up my list consistently. I now have a podcast, so I release two pieces of content every week and I repurpose them. So basically I try to reach my audience wherever they are at, and I definitely feel the impact. Once I started my podcast, I feel that my list has grown significantly, but we're constantly connected on Instagram and on I have a Facebook group, a very active Facebook group.
I'm very active in the comments on fi on YouTube. So I, I'm not only releasing content, I also, you know, I'm also constantly engaging with my audience on a day to day basis. So they, they've been asking me, when are you going to launch? They all know the title, the name of my course, they're all waiting for it. There is like a wait list with 2,000 people on it. they're waiting for it. And once I'm ready to sell there interested in buying, cause they're already, they already know me and how I teach. And they want it. They want more.
Jacques Hopkins: So several traffic sources. YouTube, Facebook group. You mentioned a little bit of Facebook ads, your podcast.
Hadar Shemesh: Yup.
Jacques Hopkins: You mentioned a word that I'd like to dive into a little bit. That word you said was repurpose, right? What is, what is content repurposing mean for you?
Hadar Shemesh: That means that if I create a video on YouTube. Then I also turn it into a podcast episode. I create an introduction, so I speak a little bit to the audience, so they feel like it's one of my regular episodes. And then I tell them what we're going to do is we're going to listen to an audio from my video, my YouTube video, and, and then I share the audio.
So I talk about it in the rhythm of the podcast, right? Like so it's a little slower. I speak a little more cause my YouTube videos are very concise in terms of how I teach, not that concise. I do like to talk, so, so I do introduce it and then I, I add the audio and vice versa. So if I create just a podcast episode, I put it up on YouTube with an introduction, a video introduction, me telling them, Hey, I have, you know, I'm sharing with you now the audio of my podcast episode and you can subscribe there. So I send them there as well. And that helps me also grow my podcast audience.
Jacques Hopkins: Are you, are you taking little clips and putting them on on Instagram or other platforms as well?
Hadar Shemesh: Yeah, absolutely. So I do, sometimes I upload the entire video to IGTV but that doesn't work as well because if the YouTube video is longer than I, I usually cut it and put it up. Sometimes I record my podcast on zoom, like what we're doing now, and I recorded in addition to, you know, the recording software, I record on Zoom and then I cut clips from it as well.
So this is something else that I, I've done and it has worked nicely. Put it on Facebook. I put it on Instagram. But I do address each platform differently, so I don't just like copy paste everything. I write different copy. And I do edited differently sometimes if I can, if I have the capacity at the time.
Jacques Hopkins: You did mention earlier that you have a team, so do you have somebody maybe dedicated to doing this repurposing of content or is that something you're all you're doing?
Hadar Shemesh: I do. I do. So right now, the entire team, like we, I don't have one person doing just the repurposed content, but I have an audio guy and I have like my virtual assistant and I have a video editor. So usually they know what they need to do. I ultimately tell them what parts to take. But even that, I'm trying to delegate as much as possible. So you know, cause cause creating two pieces, two different pieces of content, that's a lot of work and you know to right the newsletter and to read the posts and all of that. So I am trying to delegate as much as possible to my team.
Jacques Hopkins: So you said you put out at least one new high quality video every week on, on YouTube, and you've got, I'm looking at it now, you've got 237,000 subscribers on YouTube. How different do you think your business would be today if you didn't put out a weekly video on YouTube?
Hadar Shemesh: Totally different. Well, it'd be nothing like what I have today. It has everything to do with, first of all, YouTube is the biggest platform that I have, like biggest audience, and I think video in particular for what I do and what I teach is the best way to connect with my audience and to truly give them value.
I do feel that, you know, the, like the podcast now is also really, really helpful in making that true connection with my audience. But I don't think I would have had the courage to do that without, you know, the history and the experience that I have creating videos. But it absolutely has everything to do with, you know, with where I am today and with the community that we have community on Facebook, cause it all started with the YouTube channel and the videos there.
Jacques Hopkins: I think that's a great reminder for people because a lot of times when somebody gets into online courses, wants to get into online courses, they start with the course and, and forget about the audience part and the the free content part. Right? And to hear from somebody like yourself from how important it is to have been releasing those weekly free YouTube videos in terms of building your audience. How long have you been doing that?
Hadar Shemesh: I was just talking about that on one of my podcasts episode on the compound effect, how like for the first year or two, I would release a video and then would only get a few hundred views. And it was so frustrating. Sometimes it was like such a complicated video and like so much time put into it and then I would upload it and nothing, crickets, you know, like three people commenting. But I would still upload a video every single week no matter what, even though it took a long, long time. And it was just me and my partner.
But I knew even without having a course, I knew that there is a reason why I should keep on creating content and doing this. If I want to scale up, if I want to be able to build something more sustainable.
Jacques Hopkins: But how do you not run out of ideas to put out a weekly video?
Hadar Shemesh: Oh, I just, I just talked to my people, like they keep asking questions. I just listened to what they need. And also I do, I have been teaching for 10 years. I know every, like, I know it. I know how they think. I know how we think because I'm a non-native speaker as well. Right? So I know the struggles that I have gone through, and every time someone asks a question. I tried to understand what is standing behind it.
So a lot of times it's not even because I don't just teach pronunciation, I don't teach how to speak with a clear accent. I teach the psyche behind it, like the how to even perceive yourself as a non-native speaker. The confidence that you need to gather the obstacles the, all the things that make you feel self-conscious.
The limiting beliefs, like I think it's an integral part of speaking a second language and it has to be addressed. So a lot of times they just listen to how they speak and what they say. And I tried to identify the thing that the limiting belief behind it, and I address it and I speak to that. So because I'm this constant connection with them. I, I never run out of ideas. I hope I never will, but you know, all it takes is one question to ask them. What do you want to hear?
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah. I think, I think as long as you keep listening to your audience or not, it doesn't even have to be your audience. It could just be people that are a good fit to be in your audience. So maybe, maybe somebody out there is listening. They don't have a big audience like you do. But if you go listen and hang out where your potential audience is...
Hadar Shemesh: Right.
Jacques Hopkins: You can still be listening to what they're struggling with. And I hope you don't mind that you know, so many questions on YouTube. I'm very impressed by your channel and your process there cause I, I really feel like people like to overcomplicate things and that you can really build a successful online course business with just a YouTube channel.
Hadar Shemesh: Yup.
Jacques Hopkins: And a funnel and a really good course.
Hadar Shemesh: Absolutely.
Jacques Hopkins: You know, those three things, it really doesn't have to be that complicated. So last thing on YouTube, are there any other tips or anything you'd recommend for success on YouTube?
Hadar Shemesh: Well, I do think now I've come to see that the no matter like what you put in the video, I mean, you really need to come up with a really good title to get them to watch, because at first I would put something that is really legit, like trying to, trying to explain what they're going to see in the video, and it's all about copywriting. It's all about marketing. And I had to learn a lot about that in order to create better content. Also, when I create videos, I also think about the audience, so I never just share with them new content or I share my lesson, but I also tackle the objections and I do everything that I would do in a sales page in a video.
Because I would say, well, you must be thinking that I don't need to learn this because this, this, and that. And then, you know, and then it's easier for them to go into it. And I think that's also something that has been really, really powerful for me. Like once I started doing that, I saw the difference and I saw the engagement going up. Responding to comments is really important. You can just put a video out there and you know, just like ignore what people write to you, cause they'll write it for the first time and second time and then they'll be like, okay, what's the point? And of course the more comments you have, the video is pushed more to the suggested page, right? So you do want to have a lot of engagement specially in the first few hours of the video. So it will show up more and YouTube will push it more. And then people click on it more.
Jacques Hopkins: What? What advice more in general for for course creators are, are really people who have an expertise in something like you do with, with teaching people to speak English like themselves. Right? What, what advice do you have for, for people with this knowledge that want to take that and turn it into hopefully a successful online course?
Hadar Shemesh: I think that you can always start small, like you don't have to create your signature course right at the start. You can start with a small webinar, a small workshop. If you find yourself like procrastinating or stuck because you, you, you have the knowledge and you don't know what to do, then you can start with just like the live course. This is how I started. I actually started this course with a live workshop and I actually built the website on the go, so I would upload the content and then I would upload all the exercises that they needed week, maybe by week, and then I had something basic and vet from there, it was a lot easier to go into something more, more advanced.
But I think that from , from, you know, like where I was before to what I have today, that would be impossible for me to do without that middle step and like to sell the course before I actually have it. So for me, who was actually powerful and it got me to finish up the course, it got me to do the course. And also, I mean, a lot of people get. I hung up on the equipment and you know, like I can't film it because it's not going to look professional and this and that. My course was filmed on zoom with a pretty basic webcam, and that's still my course. And I, you know, my launches are six figures and people rave about the course after.
No one has ever said anything about the quality of the videos because it's all about the content and how it's laid out and the support that they get and the feeling that they've accomplished something that they're actually going through some change there because they really, really do support them. So if someone is scared about the technical part or. Like it really doesn't matter that much. You can always improve it once you start bringing money in and then you'll be able to pay people or to take some time off to invest more time into designing it to work all the rest.
Jacques Hopkins: I love that. I was, I was talking to a very successful course creator recently, and she recorded her first course with, with her iPhone, and that was several years ago. And even today, she still records new courses on her iPhone. Really just to prove a point.
Hadar Shemesh: Amazing.
Jacques Hopkins: And how easy it is to record courses and how you have these tools just right in your pocket. So speaking of tools, what like software or other tools do you use and recommend for executing your online course business?
Hadar Shemesh: Well, I do, I use Camtasia to record my, if I have a and slideshow and I, you know, like I use it with voiceover. That's what I use. I use basic tools like my courses. I, I is on a WordPress site, so we created it right now. So I'm not using other platforms, but that's it. We have a bunch of plugins and you know, but the actual creation of the course is really simple.
I connect with them through zoom, so we have those live webinars, weekly coaching sessions where I coach them on zoom. We uploaded to the website. Really simple. I don't use a lot of, a lot of fancy software. I really don't need to.
Jacques Hopkins: For hosting your course, you're not even using like a Teachable or Thinkific or anything like that?
Hadar Shemesh: We built it. I think it's just because, well, email for email I use ActiveCampaign.
Jacques Hopkins: Okay.
Hadar Shemesh: That's what I use. Yeah.
Jacques Hopkins: Oh, very nice.
Hadar Shemesh: And a Facebook group. Yeah.
Jacques Hopkins: Facebook group. Yeah. And so, I mean, basically you're killing it and, and you're not overcomplicating things it sounds like. You've got your processes, you've got a few tools that you're use, and you really just kind of keep things simple. Is that a fair assessment?
Hadar Shemesh: Yeah. I mean, it's not that simple because there, there's a lot that goes into it. There's a lot, you know, all the I do work with the automations and, but, but other than that, yes. Like, you know, it's just all the details that go in together in the customer support and all of that. But other than that, really like in terms of the tech part. It's, it's very, very basic.
And if I didn't have someone that would, because my partner and I, we work together, my husband and he just, he happens to be, you know, a graphic designer and he creates website, websites. So he happened to create my website, but he was in there, I would have just easily taken on, you know, Kajabi or Teachable or something else like that really doesn't matter. The simpler it is, the better because you really want to invest time in what really matters, which is your audience or your how you create your offer. You know, your messaging. That's it.
Jacques Hopkins: Next I want to ask you about testimonials. How important do you think having testimonials from people that have gone through your course or even just seeing some of your free content is in terms of getting new students into your course?
Hadar Shemesh: Super important. Super important. That's crucial I think because people need that. They need to have like that social proof that it has worked. And I don't do the before and after. It's an accent course, but I'd never want to put my students on the spot even though I could, you know, show some amazing results. I just want to share their stories and I do it.
I like with videos, I have a ton of testimonials on my page, and I actually actually like in the next launch, I'm going to have a separate page just for testimonials, so I'm going to weave them in into the the sales page, but also have another website just with testimonials and case studies and before each launch, share an interview with one of my students so that also leads up. So it's a sort of testimonial and that leads up to to the launch as well. So that's, that's how I connected.
And because at the end of the day, there are a ton of people who do what I do. The most important thing is how people feel about, you know, the experience. Anyone can go to like a good copywriter and write good content, right? Yeah.
Jacques Hopkins: Sure. But most of the time people are just going to send you testimonials, unsolicited. Do you have a process, a process in place to get testimonials?
Hadar Shemesh: I do send them a survey at the end of the program, and I also have a section there where I say, if you're interested in sharing your testimonial here, a few questions and a place for them to add a picture. And sometimes I would just, you know, they usually write posts on Facebook, so we ask them if we can use the, their posts in to, to use it if people are uncertain whether or not they want to buy the course and they're more than happy to recommend, or would allow us to use the their words.
Jacques Hopkins: Very, very cool. This has been a jam packed with lots of lots of great takeaways. Hadar thank you so much for joining me today. To wrap up.
Hadar Shemesh: Thank you so much.
Jacques Hopkins: Let us know. Let us know if there's anything else you want to share and where people can find your stuff online.
Hadar Shemesh: Well, what I want to share is that, you know, if you have something to share, you have to do it because it not just because creating courses is nice and profitable, and you know, like it's, it's also super interesting to do that, but also because you serve the people who need you and you give value to people that you don't know, which is incredible.
Like knowing that someone on the other side of the world is benefiting or is enjoying and changing their lives because of something that you have created. And it doesn't matter if it's, you know, or that teaches you how to play the piano chain, improve your English, or build your business, right? Like people need small changes when and when they feel that they have improved in one area of their lives. It starts going into, you know, it has a ripple effect.
So it really does improve people's lives when they do something that they love. And you can find me on theaccentsway.com and on Instagram, it's hadar.accentway. And then YouTube. It's Accent's Way English with Hadar.
Jacques Hopkins: All right. Thank you so much Hadar.
All right. That's a wrap on the conversation with Hadar. David, welcome back.
David Krohse: Thank you.
Jacques Hopkins: As we were leading into the interview about Hadar's two live launches that she does a year, and you know, I kind of pressed on her a little bit about that, you know, have you heard of evergreen funnels and all that, but she seems pretty set in her ways here and for good reason.
And you know, there's no one strategy that's going to work for everybody, and it sounds like these two live launches every year working just fantastic for her.
David Krohse: Yeah. I mean, I loved the interview. I mean, at some point she said that she's done a six figure launch. And so, you know, with the way that most of the sales come in on the last day, I'm thinking like she, she probably has had like $100,000 day.
And I mean, just to think about that is like mind blowing. Like, I mean, she might be addicted to that rush because I don't know. That would just be I mean, my biggest day of online course sales was like maybe $2,800 I don't know. Do you know your biggest single day?
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah. Just for me, my biggest single day was just over $6,000 in revenue. Yeah. So I, and which is, which is, which is amazing, but there wasn't anything super special about that that day. Just things things came together. I like to think about like, okay, what if I was doing two launches, two live launches a day for piano in 21 days? I get, I bet I could get some pretty big launches going on, but like I said in the interview, I'd rather spread it out.
You know, I want that consistent income, but I was thinking, you know, she's got a lot, she's got a lot going on. She's got kind of an in-person school there where she lives in Tel Aviv and I think the, the live launches could be a good strategy for if you do have a lot going on, right? You've got, you've got several different projects, several different income streams, and these, these could be a way to just kind of mix up your year and throw something else in there like she does.
And so I think if I had more going on, maybe more more coaching and more revenue streams that maybe it would be a good strategy. Another part of it is, you know, she mentioned that she mentioned the payment plan. You know, if you, if you've got a six month payment plan and you're launching twice a year, well that you're going to get income throughout.
You know, imagine if half those students elect for the payment plan, you're going to get a lot of revenue for those next six months. And then once those run out and launch again.
David Krohse: Yeah, no, it would be. And she mentioned, you know, it's really great for her to see these members within it, build friendships. I mean, it just sounds like she gets much better follow through with the way that she's running and actually people getting the great results.
So I definitely, after listening to this one, I would say this was one of the most inspiring ones where I was like, one of the course ideas that I have, I should just do it as a challenge and basically pre-sell it and do a group. And you know, I haven't done that. And it's been confident that confidence that's kept me back, but I feel like I could do it and have fun and it would motivate me to put out a course quicker. So yeah, she was super inspiring for me.
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah, 100% she's, she's obviously on top of things now. I had one other big takeaway from this conversation. D, can you guess what it was for me?
David Krohse: It's about repurposing, isn't it?
Jacques Hopkins: Well, yeah, close. I mean that re-purposing what, what my big takeaway leads into repurposing and that was the consistent YouTube con, content, right?
She said that her business would be nowhere near what it is without that consistent YouTube content. And I preach that guys, you can't just have an online course, put it out there, maybe try running ads to it. Like let's get on a platform like a YouTube or a podcast and start putting out authentic free and consistent content, content.
And Hadar has been doing that for awhile and she's grown a very, very healthy, a YouTube channel, YouTube following. And that is directly related to her success as an online course creator. And if you look at her YouTube channel, like she's doing things right, she's got great thumbnail, she's got compelling titles, she's doing it right, but like she said, it wasn't an instant success.
She had to just stay consistent with it and slowly build it over time. And so I think almost every course creator out there should have a YouTube channel where they're putting out consistent, consistent content. And so that was a, that was a great, a great reminder for for that.
And then she, you know, she does the same thing with the podcast now too. She added to it when she, when she streamlined YouTube, she started adding another platform and a podcast and that she takes both those and repurposes the content. Amazing.
David Krohse: Yeah, I loved it. That idea of, of taking like, I mean, if you take this podcast and then just do an intro for YouTube and then risk roll the podcast, I mean, it's all about having your content wherever people are at. So. Very good.
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah. Or taking my YouTube videos and maybe having some of those as podcast content and then taking clips, putting them in different places, places. I think, you know, repurpose is, is a big buzz word right now. And not a lot of people are doing it effectively or the right way. Once you, once you nail it down, it's, it's pretty effective and it's, that's one thing I'm working on right now. You know, focus on some core pieces of content and then repurpose those in, in other places.
David Krohse: Yeah. The only other thing that I had was she, you asked her how do you keep coming up with content and you know, I mean, she made it simple. She said, just see what people are asking in the groups and see what they're sending in his questions and just let every question you get asked the content that you, you end up developing. So that was super helpful.
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah, I don't, I don't think I could ever run out of content, you know, if I think about this brand, the online course guy, even if it's, even if I run out of like questions. And things people are saying, me within my own audience, I could jump over to other people's audiences. You know, I've, I've been looking at like the Teachable Facebook group and the Thinkific Facebook group, and people are constantly struggling with things, with online courses.
And so I could take each one of those and turn them into a, you know, a nice piece of content and, and you could do the same people listening and whatever niche you're in, it doesn't just, you don't have to just listen to your specific audience. You can go out there. And see where your potential audience is hanging out and listen to what struggles they're having and do your best to help them solve those issues and that will make you successful.
So that's going to do it for this episode, David, thanks for joining me and thank you out there, everybody that's listening. If you want to find the show notes, the links from today's episode, you can find those at theonlinecourseguy.com/120 and don't forget, I've got a course on courses and it's free.
So check that out. It's not going to be free forever. It's called The Online Course Accelerator, and it can get you from nothing to your first course sale within eight weeks. So check that out at theonlinecourseguy.com and click on Online Course Accelerator at the top. And if this is your first time, then I recommend the next episode you listened to his episode 89, which is our online courses 101 episode.
Thanks again everyone. We'll talk next week.