What do cookies have to do with online course creation? That’s what we find out today with my guest Anton Kraly, founder of Drop Ship Lifestyle. Not only does he have a unique story, but he’s become a very successful creator teaching people how to set up their own successful businesses in a non-traditional way.
Give [your course students] a clear path to success.
We delved into some important insights on this episode, so I think you’re going to find Anton’s interview very enlightening!
In This Episode, We Talked About:
- (2:18) What is David waiting for when it comes to webinars?
- (3:49) A hurdle I recently got over with the help of outsourcing
- (9:14) Introducing Anton and what he does
- (10:13) The roundabout journey that turned Anton into an online course creator
- (12:35) Resources that did (and didn’t) help
- (13:36) Transitioning into building a course and the moment Anton realized this would be a success
- (16:23) How he handled his course being plagiarized
- (19:29) What he would do differently if he was starting over
- (21:31) A favorite moment in Anton’s course business journey and what his course offerings actually are
- (22:14) How he handles pricing and updates
- (22:53) Why and how to do live events
- (26:19) The value of testimonials
- (28:13) How Anton motivates people to enroll in his course
- (31:44) What tools he uses
- (32:45) How being a course creator has benefitted Anton
- (33:59) Advice for new and aspiring course creators
- (35:03) The impact of The 4-Hour Workweek plus some failed past business attempts
- (38:08) Live events – would I host one?
- (40:40) Discussing course theft, new interview questions, and more
- (44:40) Wrapping up
Thank you for listening in – I hope you enjoyed what you learned! We’ll be back with another episode soon. Until then, have a safe and healthy week.
Jacques Hopkins: You have a lot of choices on where your online course can live, but why not choose a platform where you can also have your order forms and amazing sales funnel so that your course actually sells and where you can import all of my proven templates for free to get a 14 day free trial of click funnels.
And get all of my proven templates that I use to this day for piano in 21 days. Head to the online course, guy.com/click this episode is also brought to you by Bon Juro. There is no simpler way to send a short thank you video to your new students. Then Bon Juro within 20 total seconds. I'm telling you guys that's.
All it takes, I can literally record the video and have it sent to my new student. There are no other steps. There's literally nothing else to do. Start your free trial of Bon Juro by going to dot com slash Jacques that's dot com slash J a C. Q. U. E. S. now, let's get on with episode one 24 from cookies to mega online course success featuring Anton Krahly.
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 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. Glad you're with us. This is the online course show. I'm your host Jacques Hopkins, and here with me is our cohost David Krohse.
David Krohse: Hey, what's up.
Jacques Hopkins: And we're excited to dive into all things, all nine courses with you today. David, welcome to episode 124.
David Krohse: Thank you.
Jacques Hopkins: Man. I really love doing this podcast. It is so much fun. I know. I say that a lot. I appreciate everybody out there listening. Appreciate you joining me for all these. Episodes you've been on for probably the last 20 of them as the cohost. what's going on in your world? Man?
David Krohse: Oh man, it's, I've been doing well over here. My wife and I went on a great vacation out to San Diego, tried to surf, survived was the main thing there, but had a great trip.
And then as far as the online course, I, I've had a lot of fun. I came in one Saturday, or maybe it was a Sunday and just worked on copywriting and coming up with new emails. I'd say that I'm all ready to go. Just kinda like waiting anxiously for you to release your new click funnels. Webinars system. So yeah, that's, that's the main thing here is I'm excited to see your full, full system.
Jacques Hopkins: So for everybody out there listening, you're not getting any special treatment day or you're waiting just as long as everybody else to see it. Yeah. So we've been talking about evergreen webinars a lot on this, and many of you know that I've switched away from ever webinar. To something else. And as a hint, it is purely on ClickFunnels, but it's, there's more to it than that.
There's definitely more to it than that. It's really exciting. It's converting better than ever. Webinar. Got a lot of great features and it's, it's, it's much better for me and it's way better for my end users as well. So by the time this podcast comes out. It may be ready. Well, hopefully we'll be ready, but stay tuned to our free Facebook group, the online course community for a, for all the latest and greatest updates related to that, but I'm glad you're getting things ready for that and we're excited to see your, your evergreen webinar up using that new system.
David Krohse: Awesome.
Jacques Hopkins: Cool man. What's going on? What else is going on.
David Krohse: Not too much over here. what have you been up to?
Jacques Hopkins: We were in Disney world last week, been at the, well, a couple of weeks ago now, and been at the grind ever since getting back, you know, the whole time I was in Disney, we were having a great time, but I. Oh, we'll come up with all these new ideas and I'm just like so excited and just love my work these days. But one, the interesting thing noteworthy that that happened in the past couple of days is I've had this task really project on my list for over a year, just completely re repelled by this, this project don't want to do it, but I really wanted it to be done.
And what it was is. Several years ago, I set up this new email address through Google G suite, and it was for, you know, many, many people know. Several years ago, I thought my path to having my own business was going to be. A digital marketing company because I had learned all this great knowledge through piano in 21 days.
It itself wasn't making a full time income, but I was like, you know, I kind of have this new passion for marketing. Let me just help other companies. And that was way more broad than what I'm doing now. Right? It wasn't just online course companies and businesses, it was just, Hey, let me help businesses with digital marketing.
And that turned out not to be what I was super passionate about either. But I created this email address, Google G suite, and then I ended up putting. Piano in 21 days, my piano and 21 days account and email. Underneath that. So I've all, I've never been able to delete that email address. Cause piano in 21 days fell underneath it.
And so I needed to like migrate it over and make it its own thing. And I just like, I can't, I remember contacting Google support about a year ago and they gave me this whole process and it just seems so daunting cause I had have a YouTube account associated with it in Google ads and all this stuff.
And so finally, one day, a couple of days ago, I was like. You know, jock, you're, you're pretty good at outsourcing at this point. I bet there's somebody out there that has done this exact thing you need done and done it many times and is amazing at it. And so I don't know why it took me so long to realize that.
So I posted on Upwork within 24 hours, I found an amazing candidate and we schedule it for like the next day and it literally took him an hour and a half and he, he moved over all my emails. My YouTube stuff, like everything that needed to be done. He did it perfectly. His customer support was amazing. He was phenomenal.
Only took an hour and a half, and it's been on my list for over a year. So just a, just a reminder out there that you don't always have to do things yourself. In fact, they can usually be done a lot better depending on what it is. By somebody else and it was just, this is this guy. He's in his twenties his name is Francisco.
He's in El Salvador, and that's what he does. He helps people manage their G suite accounts and I couldn't be more happy with the work he did for me there.
David Krohse: Well, I appreciate you sharing the stories about outsourcing. I shared a couple of weeks ago that my wife is starting a blog and I actually encouraged her, I'd follow this guy named them his courses, the millennial money man.
And he has actually this affiliate program to start people with a blog. And so it looked like super simple. And so I convinced my wife, she wanted to start a blog. I'm like, just take this. He has the course, he sets up all your WordPress plugins. But what it came down to is that. Essentially she needs to learn like the entire ELA mentor plugin system.
And my wife just hates technology. It's, it's, it'd be like if Nate was asked to do this, and he's just like, this is terrible. And so she got partway in and then it just sat there for a while. And just the other day I was like, Val, I was like, jock outsources everything. I was like, well, you can find an Elementor expert.
I'm like, I think an expert could do what you're struggling with in like 40 minutes. Like it probably 2030 bucks. I'm like, it's time to just outsource this. So I appreciate your, you always sharing those stories about outsourcing because my wife and I, whenever we get time, we're going to record a video like you do a screencast video of exactly what she wants done. Just take her to the next step where she has her blog blog, ready to go.
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah. Millennial money, man. That's Bobby Hoyt right. Oh, I don't know what his actual name. Yeah, I'm pretty sure. And it's funny cause I'm actually interviewing him tomorrow for the podcast. So yeah, absolutely. So he's, he's lined up for me to talk to tomorrow and or no, actually this Friday, I believe, which, you know, some people probably know, we record these a few weeks in advance, so it'll be several weeks before that episode is ready.
But yeah, we're lined up to talk. I'm excited to, to hear a little bit about him. Well. That's awesome. Yeah. Bell's liked his course. It's just she does not want to be an element or expert. That's not the ambition. What I always say about outsourcing is like, if I can spend my time better elsewhere. Also typically there's going to be people that are going to do whatever task.
It is far better than I would be able to do it. Right. There are certain things that I'm very, very good at, but most things in the world I'm horrible at and so I might as well, you know, if I have an idea about something, I might as well get something, somebody that is. That is an expert at it, and if I would've done this thing myself, like not only would it taken me significantly longer than an hour and a half, I probably would have screwed it up.
There's things I didn't even think of, like I didn't even think about my YouTube account. I was thinking purely as far as emails go. He's the one that brought it up. He's like, do you have a YouTube account associate with this? I was like, yeah. Yeah. And it makes me a lot of money. It's very, very important.
So if I would have done it, maybe I would have just deleted the whole thing. So, and then you mentioned the screencast videos. That is super important when you're outsourcing to people that aren't sitting right here. Next to us is give your instructions in a screencast video. I can't tell you how many times my contractors, especially the new ones that are just starting to work with me, are like, that was amazing.
Like I wish everybody would give me instructions like that because now I know exactly what you want. . All right, David. Well, let's go ahead and transition to our interview conversation of the day. And that is with a guy named Anton who, who helps people start eCommerce businesses, drop shipping businesses.
He is a, he's very, very successful at it and been doing it for quite some time. So there's a lot of great takeaways from this conversation that we'll discuss on the backend. So let's go ahead and play the full interview with Anton. Right now.
Anton, welcome to the online course show.
Anton Kraly: Yeah. Thanks for having me on. Excited to do this.
Jacques Hopkins: I'm excited to, to get into your story a little bit here, to start with, why don't you tell us kind of who, who is it that you help and how do you help them.
Anton Kraly: Sure. Yeah. So I help people that are looking to get into e-commerce, really even a step back from that. People that are looking to build an online business, and the way that I help them is through eCommerce, which is what I've been doing myself since 2007 so sharing what I've been building since then.
Jacques Hopkins: 2007 so how did you get into that? And then at what point did you decide to package this up into an online course?
Anton Kraly: You want a long story of how I got into it or get through it real quick?
Jacques Hopkins: Let's go for the long story because if I don't like part of it, Anton, we'll just edit it out and people never listened to it. So let's tell me what you got. I want is a much like emotion and passion as you can give me.
Anton Kraly: We'll still go relatively quickly, but yeah, I, I graduated from school in 2006. Upstate New York. I went to SUNY Albany, I'm from long Island, moved back there, and I was looking to buy a business. Didn't know anything about online business. I thought you need it to be like a coder or have a bunch of money to hire a design firm to build you a website.
So I bought the only business I could afford. Which was a $25,000 delivery route for a bakery in Brooklyn. And basically what I bought was a truck and the rights to drive to Brooklyn every morning, pick up cookies and drive back from an Island and sell them to grocery stores. So just doing that for a few months absolutely hated it.
My goal wasn't to do that forever. It was to build it up, flip it. Buy another business with more money when I had it and keep doing that. After a few months of running that business, the book before I work, we came out, so give a ton of credit to that book. I read it. It introduced me to eCommerce in like one chapter about Yahoo stores.
I said, you know what? I have access to cookies. I. I think I could try to build a website. So I built a website to sell cookies from New York, figured out how to set up Google AdWords in a weekend, and within a few weeks, that little online business was making more than that delivery business that I paid 25 grand for.
So that's what got me hooked on e-commerce. I started to sell more and more expensive products, originally importing from China and just building more and more websites. Ran stores like that from probably 2007 to 2013 where that was all I did. In 2013 I sold a network of sores that I had built, kind of was bored, had some downtime, went online trying to find other e-commerce people to connect with.
Unfortunately, didn't find much besides a website called the warrior forum.com where there was not good information, but again, I was bored. I had time. So kind of just started to. Interact there, answer people's questions, you know, kind of went from there. People liked what I had to say, eventually made some videos, and that was 2000 either late 2012 early 2013 somewhere around there.
Jacques Hopkins: I love the long version. I'm really glad you went with the long version there. So a little bit to unpack people listening to this mostly are watching or listening and not watching, but you'll, you'll notice that four hour work week is one of the few books that are on my shelf right behind me. So that, that's certainly had a big impact on me.
When it came out, you know, 2007 2008 timeframe. But for me, when I was going through it, you know it, he talked a lot. A lot of the examples he gave were e-commerce, right? So those are a lot of the business ventures that I tried to start and fail that. And I really didn't have success with online business until I created an online course.
So that book eventually shaped. My path for online business. But it's interesting hearing you picking that book up around the same time and actually succeeding with the e-commerce part of things. So props to you on that and succeeding in something where I completely failed at it. So you started, you had a lot of success with it.
You went onto the warrior forum, which I've certainly, you know, found when I'm Googling things and finding answers on the warrior forum. And you started answering people's questions, so then you realize, I guess that you had this knowledge about these eco commerce businesses. When did you decide to package that up and turning it into an online course?
Anton Kraly: Yeah. I just, I I like, yes. I would say probably after a few months of me going on the forum, every once in a while answering questions, receiving a lot of private messages or DMS from people saying like, Hey, this is my store. Can you take a look at it? Or, Hey, I'm looking to get into this. Can you mentor me or do you offer consulting?
And I really had no interest in that because. Don't like the whole time for money thing. Again, going back to four hour work week, like once I found out that you don't have to trade time for money, I was kinda hooked. So I just said no for a while. And then eventually I was like, you know what, let me just make a series of videos and kind of share what I do.
So the first thing I did was actually map out what I do whenever we build new stores. So like. From a to Z. And then I made a series of videos. I think there were seven of them that were between 10 and 15 minutes long each, and that was it. So very bare bones. And that was what I would send to people when they would message me and say, Hey, do you offer consulting or can you review my store?
Jacques Hopkins: So was your, was this venture and online courses kind of a success from the beginning, or was there a certain kind of tipping point where you knew it would be a success?
Anton Kraly: Yeah, I would say it depends what you consider a success. Like from the, as soon as it was created, people were buying it. It was only $37 I think the first a hundred people bought for like $37 again, it was a totally different product back then, but yeah, people, people were buying it.
It's not like I was making real money from it or anything, but people were happy. I guess when I really saw it as a success was in 2014 when I decided to do an events for our members and we had about a hundred people from all around the world come out to Chiang Mai and Thailand where I was living at the time.
And just like seeing people in person and seeing they actually came to Thailand, I thought we'd have like 10 people we had. I think 120 something show up. It was. That was when I was like, Whoa, this is real. Like this is affecting real people's lives. And not just seeing their, you know, username, I'm, I'm meeting them, shaking their hands, hearing their stories. So that's when I knew like, this is, this is real. Wow.
Jacques Hopkins: That's, that's super cool. Now I imagine that it hasn't just been all rainbows and butterflies throughout the time. Is there a, is there a time that you can tell us about where you were struggling or had an obstacle and you had to overcome it?
Anton Kraly: Yeah. In general, like anything that comes up, like technical stuff is pretty much daily and like that stuff I'm used to from the eCommerce side of things.
And you know, I can, I have, I have a high stress tolerance. I would say one thing about the course business that's different than the eCommerce business that I had encountered and that I probably spent way too much time like stressing out about. A couple of former employees actually were let go and they like went out and tried to just like clone the whole entire program and you know, position it as like their own thing.
And that was something I wasn't used to. And I definitely let it stress me out a little bit too much for a few months there. But yeah, I was not expecting that.
Jacques Hopkins: Well, what do you do about something like that? Cause I've certainly heard of cases like that where not necessarily like a former employee or anything, but. People will go, we'll see your stuff and you know, funnel hack you or even buy your course and then try to try to replicate the whole thing. Is there anything you can do about that?
Anton Kraly: Yeah. So the first thing that I did, I guess it depends like what you want to do, depending on how extreme it is, but I saw some of these videos and screenshots of particularly one of their members areas where they literally had like half the screen was inside of like my members area where they were trying to just like say what I say, and I was like, come on.
So obvious. So I ended up, reached out to my network of. Friends that are business owners. I got in contact with some really good, like IP attorneys and basically explained, you know, this is what's happening. And they said what most people, I guess would say, which is you could send a cease and desist, which was saying like, don't do this anymore.
But then if they don't do it anymore than what are your options? And this is where you really have to make a decision. Because one of them is you could do nothing. And the other one is you can actually Sue them. And it's not expensive to like start a lawsuit. But if you're suing somebody for a substantial amount of money and for a big claim like that, and they don't just, you know, throw up their hands and say, I'm not going to fight this, it can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Like most of the attorneys I said said like, be prepared. If they try to fight it like 200 grand, like that's, you know, just be prepared to spend that. And I really thought about it and at first I was like, you know what? I'm doing it because. Shut him down like it's worth it. But then I thought, I know who these people are.
That was my personal situation. Like I know who they are and I know that they're not doing this because they're passionate about it or because they have the knowledge. So I said, let me just sit back and just wait and wait for them to fail. And honestly, that's what happens. So you can go after people. If, if I saw like if I thought that like, wow, like they were stealing my stuff and like they're going to actually have a real impact for the longterm, I would have proceeded with the lawsuit instead, I just thought, you know what?
Let me just. Not be happy for a couple of months while I watch them advertising and let them burn all their bridges and screw over customers, unfortunately, but then put themselves out and that's, that's what happens.
Jacques Hopkins: Very, very interesting approach. And I love that attitude about, it seemed to have paid off while we're talking about this subject. I mean, what grounds do you even have to stand on though? I mean, my course is piano in 21 days, right? So I can get, if somebody buys my course and then. It rips all the videos and then sells them somewhere else. I get how that's clearly illegal, but if somebody goes in and takes my course and then just takes the curriculum and makes their own course, and they make piano in 2120 days and, and they, they kind of, you know, they record their own videos, but it's basically my content. I mean, is there any intellectual property even there? Is that even.
Anton Kraly: I don't, I don't know. I wouldn't think so with that situation. But what I had was literally PDFs that were from my company where the company name was changed, and what I had was video is again, like where you could see part of like my website on the screen as they were making their videos.
So it was a very clear cut case of like, there's no denying that this. Is a clone. So if you have somebody, you know, transcribe all your videos that were my videos, and then just set it in their own words, I don't think there's much of a case there for, you know, a lawsuit or a cease and desist or anything.
Jacques Hopkins: Interesting. Thanks for sharing your opinion on that. All right. So knowing, knowing everything you know today and then looking back to when you started your online course, is there anything you would've done differently.
Anton Kraly: Yeah, probably I would have tried to reach more people earlier on, that, that first, you know, series of videos I was talking about that were like 15 minutes each. There were seven of them. I was so scared to like actually charge money for that. Again, it was only 37 bucks, but I, I thought like, I had no idea. For me it was a coin flip. Of like, is someone going to buy and then email me and be like, what is this? Like give me my money back right now. Or if somebody's going to say like, you changed my life and I didn't know because on my end I knew the knowledge was there, but the production quality was terrible.
I was on like, what was it in 2013 so like an old probably Dell laptop with the microphone built in with like the worst PowerPoint slides you'd ever see. Just explaining my process, you know, people. Did buy and the feedback was amazing, but I was still like kind of hesitant. Like I didn't think the production quality, the knowledge was there, but I didn't think the production quality was there. So what I would have done is just not worried about that as much and tried to reach more people faster.
Jacques Hopkins: What would you say is, has been the best day in your, within your online course business so far?
Anton Kraly: Yeah, it would definitely be one of the day. Is that one of our live events that we do every year? Probably like the one that stands out to me would be from 2017 we were in, in Playa Del Carmen in Mexico that year, so we had like a hundred something people out there. We were at some adventure park just hanging out, having a great time. That same day we had pushed a whole new version of. Our main program, which is called the dropship blueprint live.
And like it was cool. It's like I kind of talked about it in my talk that morning a little bit and then said like, okay, now it's in your members area, just like login. So everybody was super excited about that. That was there. And then we also reopened our program during that, so like people that weren't at the event but just to our email list.
So it's just all this stuff happening at the same time, the same day. And it was like, it was super exciting for the whole team and everybody there in general. So. That was a, it was a fun day.
Jacques Hopkins: Well, you started to talk about your programs and obviously the live events. You say you do those yearly tell, tell us about what your offers offers are, what, what are all the different programs that you offer.
Anton Kraly: Yeah, we really only have two primary ones, and the main one is called the drop ship blueprint. So it's from my company drop ship lifestyle, and that one is the steps that we use every time we launch a new store. So taking people from, how do you pick a product through, how do you do research? How do you build a website? How do you get suppliers, how do you optimize for conversions? How do you get traffic? How do you hire, how do you outsource? How do you automate. So the whole process. And then we have another program that is basically that. Plus we'll do more of the work for you. So we'll build your online store. We'll set up all your analytics and tracking. We'll set up your first Google ads campaign and we, we have a coaching program that those, program members get for a year to where they have one on one coaching.
Jacques Hopkins: If somebody wants to sign up for the drop ship blueprint, is it one time fee type of thing or is it monthly membership.
Anton Kraly: Yup. It's a, everything that we have currently is one time fee.
Jacques Hopkins: One time fee. Okay. So they pay once they get lifetime access. Yes. Till until all the updates do we update at least once a year and everybody gets that at no charge once they're in.
Anton Kraly: Great. So can you ballpark for me about how many students you have? Yeah, less time. Like on our website, I think it says like 9,300 or something like that, but it's probably 12 13,000 now. I don't know. Need a way to update that in real time.
Jacques Hopkins: So quite a few. You're, you're not new to this.
Anton Kraly: We gotta get 'em out. Yeah.
Jacques Hopkins: All right. So let's talk a little bit about that, about the live events. Cause that doesn't come up a lot. Why did you decide to do a yearly live event and is it just for these, you know, 10,000 existing course members.
Anton Kraly: Yeah, the, the live events are for members only. And the way that that came up was when I was living out in, in Thailand. I was actually, I was living at that time in 2014 I was living in Vietnam, but I was on a diving trip with one of my buddies that also runs dropshipping stores. We're in Krabi, I remember in Thailand, and we were hanging out on the beach after day a dive in lakes, Raegan beers.
And we were talking about like, how crazy is this that we're here right now doing this and that, you know, there's just. People that don't even know this is like an option. Like I didn't know that was an option a few years before I was there. So I thought, you know what, like have this community, let me send out an email to our members and see if we can get like 10 people to come hang out for a weekend and just experience this to see like what there is and you know, available.
I remember I sent out the email and we had. Like over a hundred people almost immediately say, I want to come. So that's what made me like think like, okay, we're not just having 10 people hanging out for a weekend. This is going to be an event. And it was so much fun and got such good feedback that first year that I just said, you know what? We'll do this every year. So since then, you know, we've done it. At least once a year, all over the world.
Jacques Hopkins: As somebody who's done this, let's say hypothetically, I wanted to do something similar, let's say for course creators and wanting to get people together, somebody who's done this w, what advice do you have?
Anton Kraly: The first thing I would say is don't do it to make money, because it's definitely not a moneymaker, like it's great for community building. It is great for marketing too, because everybody, you know that's there. Y'all videos, y'all have testimonials, things like that. You'll have some of your. Best people coming together to share ideas, but don't go in thinking like, this is a profit center because we are we just started breaking even on events and like. I'm still surprised where even been doing that. The other thing I would say is try to keep it relatively small. We found that right around a hundred people is the perfect number because too many people, not everybody really gets to meet, and some people can kind of feel left out, but a hundred, we can kind of bring everybody together.
And the other thing that we've done since day one that I highly recommend is don't just do a conference where. Everybody's in the room at 8:00 AM and you will walk out at 5:00 PM and then go to the bar. The way we do it is we do educational sessions in the morning, so typically eight or nine through about noon, there'll be two or three presentations.
Then we all have lunch together and then we'll get on buses and go do something fun that's local to wherever we are in the afternoon. So you have a learning in the morning. And then before your brain gets fried and you can't take it anymore. You know, you're hanging out and you're having fun and you're just networking with the group. So that's been a big reason. I think that people like our events so much.
Jacques Hopkins: One of the things that comes to comes to mind is probably the biggest obstacle in my head for doing something like that is just literally planning in, I feel like I would need to hire just like an event coordinator. I'd imagine you're not planning out these whole events, but yourself.
Anton Kraly: So it's actually really funny. That first one, you know, I sent out that email. I thought we'd have a few people. I was planning on renting like a big Airbnb somewhere, and then we got that response and I was freaking out because I was like, I don't know what I'm doing. I can't have an event. And back then I was dating who was my now wife, and I was like, listen, can you just help me with this?
So she. Basically planned that whole first one. And what's funny is ever since then, every single year she's planned all of our events. So she handles all of that for now. I think we're going into our seventh year of it. So yeah, I haven't had to, I wouldn't be able to make right now find life plan.
Jacques Hopkins: No, she'd be gritty though. My wife's a great plan. I didn't even think about that. That would be awesome. I'm going to say, Anton said, I need to get you to plan an event for us. All right, so you mentioned testimonials a second ago as a live event. being a good way to get testimonials. I find there may not be a better thing to have in your business then than good testimonials and a good system for generating consistent testimonials how important do you think testimonials are for your business? And do you have a, kind of a process in place to get new testimonials that you could share.
Anton Kraly: Yeah, they're extremely important and we don't have, we've tried different things to like automate how we collect them in the past and nothing's ever really produced consistent results.
Some things that we do is, I don't do this as often as I should, but I have a podcast that's usually just me talking for like 10 minutes about something happening that day, but. For awhile I was interviewing some of our members as well, giving them a chance to share their stories. Also being able to ask me for help.
That brought in a whole bunch of really good stories and more long form. Something else that we've done in the past is say, Hey, we're going to have this new design of a drop ship lifestyle tee shirt or something like that. If you send us a 32nd video. We'll ship you a tee shirt for free. That works really well.
Sometimes, like if people post success stories and one of our private groups or our forum, we'll just send them private message like, Hey, really appreciate it. If you can send us in, you know, a video, and then if they do, we'll just send them something for free usually without them asking. And actually I'll share one more tip that.
Has probably generated the most for us. I actually, I'm doing it later today, but once a month I do live coaching calls for our community and their group calls, so whoever wants to could hop on and go to webinar or they ask me whatever they want, I just answer it. And after those calls, we have an automated email that goes out that just says, can you rate your, your feedback on the call?
It's a Wu form. They can rate it one to five stars. Then they can type in any comments. And what we do is when they are responding, we'll reach out afterwards. Say, thank you so much. Can you leave a testimonial? And then again, if they do, we'll say, you know, appreciate that and we'll send them something just kind of as a thank you, but without letting them know upfront. It's more of an after. And after thing.
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah. Yeah. Very cool. Thanks for, thanks for sharing that. All right. So in your opinion, is there like one or two things that you're doing that you think put that really put people over the edge to actually give you the money? I mean, as you probably aware, it's hard to convince people, strangers through the internet to actually, you know, pull out their card and give you the money. And as marketers of our, of our products, we have to do a good job of doing that. So do you think there's one or two things that you're doing that really put people over the edge to actually buy from you?
Anton Kraly: Yeah, definitely. I would say the biggest is just proving to people that I actually know what I'm talking about, because even if, like I said at the beginning, you know, before I even thought I was going to have an online course, I was just answering people's questions on a forum and that's why I created a course, because people were saying, Hey, can you help me?
And a lot of people go out there and they'll make a webinar or something, which we have. Webinars are great, but that's all they'll have of a Facebook ad. Go to my webinar and then try to. Within, you know, 90 minutes or so just to convince them to trust them 100% and give them their money. I try to do a lot more than that.
So I have a YouTube channel that I've had since 2014 have that podcast. We have a blog, send out informational emails and not just sales emails because people aren't stupid. At least the majority aren't. So unfortunately, like people that. Are trying to game the system will get customers, but the good customer is the ones that will actually do the work and get results.
They're looking to see you actually know what you're talking about before they invest. So put out that content share before they buy. That's worked amazing for us. And then I would say the other one is before they buy. Giving them a clear path to success. So letting them know what the actual end result is.
So for us, the goal is that every member builds a highly profitable semiautomated store. And if I just said that like, here's a Facebook ed, learn how to build a highly profitable semiautomated store, that's cool, but how are they going to do that? So what we try to do is say, listen, here's the first step we're going to teach you.
Here's the second, here's the third. And take them through that process before they invest. So they're not just blindly hoping that. I do have a system for them. We're showing them that before they buy, and that's helped a lot too.
Jacques Hopkins: So not just, you know, people would like to talk about the transformation, like what is your, what is your ideal customer going to look like when they start your course? What are they going to look like at the end of your course? What you're saying is that it's not as simple as that. You actually have to prove to them that you know what you're talking about. To get from it from a to Z.
Anton Kraly: Yeah. And not like in detail through every step, but pre like let's say like for me, you know, it's how to build a highly profitable semiautomated store.
Show them the first of all, I've done that, I do that. This is what I know, and then show them what the path looks like from where they are now, which is not having a business at all to here's how you pick a product, which is the first thing, and not actually showing them, this is how you pick a product, but I'm going to show you how to pick a product and I'm going to show you how to do research to make sure it's not saturated.
Then I'm going to show you how to build a website and Shopify that books like this and send them some of our links. And I'm going to show you how to get suppliers, and these are the suppliers you want to use. So just laying it out so they're not just totally putting their faith in you and that you actually have a system for them.
Because I've been in different members' areas before where there is no clear path of like you to follow it and when you're ready for the next step. So. This isn't something we talked much about like in our pre-selling, but I think one of the reasons our members do get really good results is because in every module of our course, it ends with action tasks.
So they get access to everything as soon as they enroll. But when they're in module one, the last lesson is the action tasks. And it says, if you don't complete these, don't move on. But if they complete them and they move on and they complete module two and move on, and they keep going, they're going to get results because they're actually doing the work. So I think having that system and giving them kind of an overview of what that looks like before they buy has really helped us get more people to, to buy.
Jacques Hopkins: So what platform are you using for your course that allows those tests like that?
Anton Kraly: It's a mess. We use so many different things right now. The main, it's, it's WordPress. We use infusion soft, so we use Memberium for like the content locking, and then I think we're still using sensei, which is a plugin from, I think Wu commerce commerce. Yeah. We have like a million things strung together. It works. I don't know how, I don't set that up anymore, but yeah, I think it's those four things together.
Jacques Hopkins: Are there any other tools or software in general that you use in your business that you're, that you're really liking.
Anton Kraly: Yeah, and I'll just say for everybody, like with, with tools, this is like the thing that's holds us back the most in business are tools breaking and things just not working as they should.
So everything is going to be problematic. If it wasn't, everybody would be rich, but I would say my favorite is Zapier. And I saw you have that on your site too. Love that tool so much. Anytime we have weekly meetings with our team every Monday and like one of the talking points is, okay, what else can we automate this week? It's set up, it works, and that's, that's been a game changer for us.
Jacques Hopkins: Awesome. Yeah. Obviously I love Zapier as well. All right. So we talked about four hour work week earlier, and one of the things that really drew me into to having like my own business, but a kind of a freedom business online, not a brick and mortar store, not having a ton of employees. All that was was hearing Tim Ferriss, his stories in that book of what, what it allowed him to do, you know, from living in Buenos areas for a long period of time, learning how to salsa there. You know, he rode motorcycles, sports, cars, you know, go into Japan, all the different things. I'm like, man, that's a cool lifestyle.
With the, with the business you've created, the online course business that you've created, do you have any like one really cool purchase or, or one really cool experience that the online course business allows you to do.
Anton Kraly: Yeah, I guess just go with this. There's so much, but I like the book, same thing. Experiences over material. That's pretty much how I live. Like I don't have many material things what I do, but nothing crazy. But like the biggest experiences I would say being those extended trips. When I first went to Thailand, my plan was to be there for three weeks. I had a three week trip booked and I ended up staying for nine months that first time I was there.
So probably that, just having the ability to. To not have to get back to something. Right. You can make money with the computer, doesn't matter where you are, so that would be it.
Jacques Hopkins: Very cool. All right. Last question for you. It's a big one. What advice do you have for those listening to this that are maybe more on the beginner side of things.
Anton Kraly: I'd say two things. First, if you're serious about this, just make sure you, you have to be passionate to make it work. That's why I've been doing this so long. You see a lot of people pop up and burn out. It's because they don't care enough either about what it is they're helping people with or about actually helping the people get results.
So it's not just passionate about your thing. It's also passion about getting people results with that thing. Once you have that, I would say like you will succeed as long as you don't stop and don't be afraid of what of your program looks like. Don't be afraid to hit record because as long as the information's good, again, that trumps everything. It trumps production value every day of the week. So yeah, be passionate anytime.
Jacques Hopkins: That's been a pleasure. Thanks so much for joining me today to wrap this up. Let us know if there's anything else you want to share and where people can find your stuff online.
Anton Kraly: No, I think we covered a lot, but yeah, if you want to check out my website, just go to drop ship lifestyle.com and I've everything linked up off there.
Jacques Hopkins: And Todd from job ship lifestyle.com thanks so much.
All right. That's a wrap on the conversation with Anton. David, welcome back.
David Krohse: Thank you.
Jacques Hopkins: Let's, let's start by talking about the four hour workweek, because I'm amazed at how many entrepreneurs even, you know, 1213 years after that book came out, are still talking about how much of an impact that book. Has, and you know, like I told Antonia, that's one of the few books sitting on my shelf right behind me.
It's not that I continually continually reference it to this day like I do with a book, like expert secrets. It's just that it had such a big impact on my story, and I found it so interesting that he took that information and actually applied it to e-commerce. and I did the same, but I failed miserably.
You know, a lot of people know I kind of failed with six different businesses before piano in 21 days. Succeeded in a couple of, those were like e-commerce, like selling physical products and man, my mind just bombed. But that's awesome that Anton is clearly smarter than me in that arena and made it work. And now that's what he teaches.
David Krohse: Well, wait a second. I remember you had like an alternative to like an Apple TV, but like. What were your other, what were your other actual econ. Oh, and then a sit stand desk, right?
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah, exactly. So the first one was the Hopkins HTPC, which stood for home theater PC. That was before Apple TV came out right before, and like Roku and all those Firesticks. This was many, many years ago. I was like, man, I. I as a nerd, like I love having my TV as a computer as well cause you can do so much. You can pull up what browser, browsers play videos that way, this and that. But my product cost over a thousand dollars cause it was a, it was a custom built, you know, PC. I remember the tagline that I came up with was the best thing to happen to your TV since DVR.
Cause you know, D, you know a lot of people, I don't, I don't have cable to this day, but like. DVR is a big deal for people and that they can go back, record, whatever. And so I was like, this is going to be like, just as big as that, being able to have a computer as your TV. Well, it turns out that is a great idea.
But a platform designed for a TV and for far less money is an even better idea. Like Apple TV and Roku and all that. So, so yeah, I never sold a single one of those. Nobody wanted my, you know, $1,200 price point there. And then the other thing was. I got into the whole standing desk craze many years ago and I was like, why can't there be a good solution to convert your existing sit down desk into a standing desk?
Because people would, you'd find all these plans for people to build their own standing desks. It's like, okay, why can't we just convert it? And so I designed this thing to like go on the bottom of your desk to raise it up. Well. Shortly after that, a product came out that was significantly better. I think it's called like Varidesk or versus ask or something.
You put it on top of your desk and then that can go up and down, way better designed than what I came up with.
David Krohse: Sure.
Jacques Hopkins: That one was called desk Docker.
David Krohse: Yeah. Well, it's amazing to, yeah, with Anton, I mean, his initial product was cookies and so it's just so, so interesting. I mean, the stepping stones of our lives like. I mean, obviously now he has this whole community that follows him and, and just really could do anything that he wants work from anywhere. But it's started with selling cookies online. So I love that starting point and hearing that backstory.
Jacques Hopkins: And he started talking about the live events and he's been doing that for. Oh, what'd he say? Like seven years now or something. That's, that's really interesting because, you know, we get a lot of people get into the online course world because of the, the, the allure of the passive income and, you know, working from your pajamas and this and that. But to be able to break through that and get the community to take together is a, is really cool.
And, you know, click funnels does a great job with that. They get their conference together, they have it that they have 100,000 active users and 5,000 people attend their conference, which is . Pretty good. Pretty good rate. Yeah. So I've never seriously considered like a, like a piano in 21 days, you know, meetup or conference or anything like that. One day I hope to get like an online course, a community meetup and Anton's situation is definitely an inspiration to be able to do that.
David Krohse: Yeah. That was what I was most excited about was the online course guy weekend in paradise. I was thinking about where we should do it and Saint Saint Lucia was what I came up with. I don't know if you've been there. Or looked into that, but my wife and I always love to hike, so I'd love to go on a hike with all the online course creators from around the world.
Jacques Hopkins: Man, just trying to, just trying to set the bar high for the very first one, David, maybe. Maybe you can play in that one man, if, if the, if it does happen, I think the first one would be like maybe new Orleans, like down the road from me, pool city that people like to go.
In fact, me and Nate and another course creator did meet up in new Orleans. About a year ago or so to just kind of mastermind together and that was really great, but it'd be great to get, you know, 10 20 it was interesting how Anton talked about how he didn't expect many people for that first one, and you know, a hundred people it to go. So you never know what it, what it could turn out to be.
David Krohse: Yeah. No, I think that sounds super fun and yeah, sign me up. Cool. Not to plan it though, just to go.
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah. Like I said, I wrote down new may make my wife play in the next event. So those were kind of the big takeaways for me is, is the live events is something I think I should be considering here in the future.
And then of course the impact of four hour work week on me and a lot of entrepreneurs, a lot of people in our space. Any other takeaways on your end? David.
David Krohse: Well, I noticed that you asked the questions that I mentioned, you know, the biggest obstacle, the best day in the online course journey, and then the coolest thing that he got to buy or experience.
So all three of those questions, I mean, they brought smiles to my face, so I really, really appreciate it. Just hearing a step more of the emotion and the. The rewards and the struggles that are in the course course creators journey. Certainly that part about having like an employee go in like steal your entire course was pretty mind blowing. Like that's awful.
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah, no doubt. I know Nate has shared with me before that somebody that actually purchased his course then. Went out and started a similar online course business to him and he's like, you know, I don't know what to do about this, but that person didn't steal like his videos or his specific content.
It's just that he took his course and his idea and everything, but like Anton was saying, like. It didn't really affect Nate's market share. In fact, I don't know that that other guy has, has sold any copies of his course cause Nate is Nate. Like people want to learn from Nate. Like people want to learn piano from jog.
It's not, you know, if somebody else all of a sudden bought or took over piano in 21 days, it just wouldn't be the same. And, and hopefully that's the same for other people's online course businesses out. There's that. They've made them unique, they've made them their own. And then that's just one of the benefits that comes from that. Is that. You've got your loyal following, and it's not just the, the concepts in and of themselves, it's you as well.
David Krohse: Sure.
Jacques Hopkins: I started asking some of your questions and, and originally when I started interviewing people, I wanted things to just kind of be as organic as possible and just like kind of have a conversation, a casual conversation about online courses. But. Bringing out stories and people specific stories, and people are super cool and it's sometimes it's nice to be able to prep those stories. I know when I go on other people's podcasts, it's maybe nice to kind of figure out what direction they want to go that way I can think about which stories would make sense in certain places.
And so. The reason I was hesitant to ask some of those certain questions is because I wasn't really prepping the other person for them. But I am starting to do that. I'm starting to let them know, like, look, I want it to be pretty organic. I want it to be casual, but in some cases, I might ask some of these questions, so just let me know ahead of time if any of these you're not comfortable with or don't.
You know, don't feel comfortable answering and that's going, that's going really well so far. I think it's a good, happy medium. So, you know, credit you David for, for bringing that up. And I really appreciate that suggestion.
David Krohse: Definitely appreciate it.
Jacques Hopkins: Anything else, man from this, this conversation?
David Krohse: No, except personally, I actually started the four hour work week and I made it part way through and then it got, I mean, that book, if people haven't read it, I mean it has this like inspiring component, but it actually has all the action steps.
And so I was listening on audio book and I think it got to like the actual like drop shipping part and just like, these are the like steps and it just got really boring for me. But so many people rave about it. I, I feel con I feel inspired. I'm going to go and just finish the book because. Man, it's just changed so many people's lives. So yeah, I would encourage all the other course creators. Let's, let's all just read that book and finish it, even if there's a couple parts that seem like not relevant.
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah. And, and I didn't really end up taking many of the steps in that book. It was more about just the inspiration. Before I read that book, I didn't even know. Having an online business like this that you know, is pretty automated and outsourced, it was even possible. I thought to be an entrepreneur, you had to have a. Brick and mortar store, a bunch of debt, bunch of employees, this and that. And reading that book changed that in my mind. So ever since reading that book, I want it to have an online business where I had little to no employees.
I had a lot of freedom, could work from anywhere and could outsource and automate to a point where I was working four hours or thereabouts. Or it's not just about working four hours, but being able to write. So I go through seasons with piano in 21 days where I'm working a lot because maybe I'm rerecording the course or I'm going through some new initiatives, but when I want to go to Disney world for a week, or I want to go to France for three weeks, I know that I can and work on it very little to none, which is really the goal all along.
So thanks for that reminder out there to everyone to pick up that book cause it's super, super powerful for those that have the entrepreneurial bug inside of them. So that's going to do it for this episode. Thanks to everybody out there for listening to yet another episode of the online course show.
Thank you David, for joining me for another one as as the helping me with the hosting duties here. For all the notes and links from today's episode, you can find those show notes at the online course, dot com slash one two four and if this is your first time listening, then I'd invite you to go to the next episode that I'd recommend you listen to is 89 that's our online courses one Oh one episode.
Thanks again. We'll talk next week.