“Invest in student success.”
– Gina Horkey
It was great to get Gina’s perspective on the past year of her business and what she’s working on! I hope you enjoy the conversation.
In This Episode, We Talked About:
- (1:59) Consistency and growth
- (3:22) How to approach copywriting
- (6:45) My update on sales for this month and year so far
- (7:59) Affiliates and my process
- (10:29) The Win of the Week
- (13:29) A book recommendation
- (15:45) Catching up with Gina since our last conversation
- (19:04) How her online course business has given her more confidence
- (21:15) The magic of content repurposing
- (25:05) How Gina is restructuring her content and platforms
- (28:29) Setting up a course that may change hands in the future
- (29:17) Keyword research as SEO
- (30:29) Maintaining and separating multiple brands
- (32:48) Gina’s decisions on personal visibility on different brands
- (34:44) Outsourcing content and profit-sharing versus contracting
- (40:45) The importance of diverse income streams
- (45:41) How entrepreneurs are pivoting during the pandemic
- (47:06) Finding life-work balance
- (52:05) Gina’s advice for new course creators
- (55:47) David and I discuss Gina’s strategy for multiple brands
- (58:05) The value of coaching and accountability
- (1:01:57) Thoughts on affiliates, profit-sharing, and other options
- (1:03:59) Finding work-life balance and why I love my online course business
- (1:06:05) Refunds and guarantees
- (1:08:34) Wrapping up
That’s all for now, folks! See you on the next episode of The Online Course Guy.
Jacques Hopkins: All right guys. You've heard me talk about ClickFunnels before a lot of times, and that's because it is an amazing tool for course creators. I've been using it for many, many years now, and I recommend it to just about any course creator out there to host your course, to build your funnels in it, to have your order forms.
There's so much you can do in click funnels, and there's so many things it can do well, and when you sign up for ClickFunnels using the link I'm about to give you, you get so many. Great things that are going to empower you to use it. Well, you're going to get all the templates I'm actively using for my online piano course, plus my training on how to use ClickFunnels as a course creator.
So get started now with your free trial and get all of these things from me by going to the online course, guide.com/click this episode is also brought to you by another one of my favorite tools on Juro. Every time somebody signs up for my piano course within the next 24 hours or so, they will get a personal welcome video from me and bond George is the tool that I use to make that super, super easy.
You can get started with your free trial of Bundoora by going to dot com slash doc now on to episode one 33. Where Gina Horkey returns. Regular people are taking their knowledge and content, packaging it up in an online course and they're making a living doing, but not everyone is successful with online courses.
There's a right way and there's a wrong way, and I'm here to help course creators actually succeed with online courses. Hi, I'm Chuck 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 as usual is our cohost David. Cozy.
David Krohse: Hey, what's up?
Jacques Hopkins: And we are excited to dive into all things, all nine courses with you today. Just like that, David, we are on episode 133
David Krohse: Dang. Moving right along.
Jacques Hopkins: Moving right along. It's amazing how, how things just kind of increase as you do them with, with consistency and frequency. In this case, we've been doing it every week and, and that's really, I think the key to growth in anything is just slow progress over time and sticking with it. And that's what we've done with this podcast here.
David Krohse: Do you keep an eye on the actual downloads and see an increase there?
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah, just just slow and steady, right? There's, there's been no, you know, one significant jump here and there, whatever. I mean, it's just slow and steady, slow and steady growth. We're really pretty niche down here. You know, there's not a lot of podcasts that are specifically on online courses.
You know, one of the, one of the big marketing podcasts that I've historically ever listened to, one of it's really had one of the biggest impacts on, on my journey as an entrepreneur, as far as passive income by Pat Flynn. Many people know that, and I was just listening to one of his most recent episodes, and he had a course creator on, they were just talking about the, the, the story behind that person's course.
Yeah. And, and that's great. And that's a great episode for course creators, but that's what we try to do over here. Every episode is, is make it inspirational and motivational for specifically course creator. So we're doing our best over here. Right. So what's been going on with you, David?
David Krohse: Ah, not too much up here. The main thing. I started listening and looking into this, Jim Edwards, his copywriting process. So he's the guy that's kind of affiliated with ClickFunnels as far as their kind of copywriting guru. And it was just interesting. You know, me personally, I love podcasts, and so I started by looking up and seeing if he had a podcast, started listening to that and enjoyed some of the stories.
And so then it invited me into the free Facebook group, got in there and. I mean, he has a bunch of super fans. People would get his book and without really being incentivized to do it, they're like taking pictures of themselves. They're like, I'm halfway through, and my highlighter ran out. And so it was very, very compelling.
So I bought the book, I received it last night, made it through just the first couple of pages, but I'm excited to jump into that. I mean, I actually really enjoy the writing process, and so yeah, I'm excited about jumping into the, jumping into his copywriting advice and just, it was interesting just to experience kind of all the social proof that really made me say, yeah, I'm in the right spot.
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah. Copywriting is a topic I haven't really studied, gotten into very much. I've never been big on like writing and you know, English and reading and those types of subjects who always my worst in school. And it's probably just like a mindset thing. Like I just assumed from a very young age, I was bad at it.
So I assume I'm bad at it today, so I haven't really gotten into it too much. I'll tell you. You know, the, the biggest place that I do focus on copywriting is just when I'm writing up an email. And the way that I do it, it's pretty simple. I just like picture my customer avatar, like my ideal customer picture.
I'm right there next to them and we're having an actual voice conversation and I write my email just like that. And it's super casual. It's like, Hey, what's up? I just grabbed an ice coffee sitting down to chat with you. You know, this is what I want to drop to you today. This, you know, this knowledge bomb.You know, just like super casual conversation with my ideal avatar. I don't know if that's right or wrong. That's how I do it and it's a, it can be a lot of fun.
David Krohse: I think that's super smart. I think one of my weaknesses is trying to write it like a ninth grade level when I should be writing it like a third grade level.I mean, all the. All the advice would say that, you know, you need to keep it simple and just, yeah, like you said, conversational.
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah. I'm not, I'm not super familiar with, with Jim Edwards. I was actually the most, the most exposure to him. I actually experienced very recently because he and Russell Brunson are doing something new.
It's called, I think funnel Fridays, where every Friday they kind of build a funnel together and, and Russell does the, the click funnels side, the building out of the logistics. And then. Jim Edwards, we'll do the copywriting and then they, they put on a timer and see how quickly they can do it. And I've mostly ignored them.
But this most recent one was, was about memberships. And so honestly, I tuned in to see if they were going to, he was going to shed any light into the future of, of the, kind of the, the way that ClickFunnels handles memberships. Cause you know, that's where my piano course and all my courses are hosted. And I know yours is as well.
Inside of ClickFunnels and no, they didn't shed any till any light into the future of it, but it was kind of cool to see them build out a funnel in and see Jim Edwards process for, for copywriting on a funnel as well.
David Krohse: Well, where would I find that if I wanted to tune into that?
Jacques Hopkins: Oh, you're putting me on the spot.I would just Google funnel Fridays. Okay. I'm just on, I'm on their email list and I saw, you know, when I saw the word membership, it peak my interest and then I clicked on it.
David Krohse: Nice. Well, Hey, I got to ask you, do you have a final number for this past month? I mean, you were having this amazing month. I talked to you right before it ended.
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah. I ended up signing up 152 new students to piano in 21 days, which is by far record normal under normal circumstances when we're not quarantined and all that. A good month is like 125 new students, something like that. And that ended up coming in at like a hundred and 134.6 K in revenue, which that's top line, you know, that's not profit, that's, I still have expenses and you gotta pay taxes on all that, on that and everything.
But at the end of the day, it's just a record month. Everybody's staying home. And like I said before, I had things in place beforehand and. And now I got all this surge of traffic right now and it's converting like it was before. It's producing happy students like it was before. My community is more engaged than ever before.It's really amazing. So I'm just, I'm, I feel so blessed and honored to, to really be a part of this. It's really a lot of fun. Well,
David Krohse: congratulations. That's awesome. And thanks Pam. I mean, it's something that makes people enjoy being stuck in their house. So how, how cool is that such a win win. The other thing I wanted to ask about is you've talked about starting the affiliate process.
I don't think you ever even actually shared what service you're doing your affiliate system through, or maybe you have, but I, I've never looked into that. Like what's the process like of starting to do affiliates.
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah, you've got it. You've got to have some tracking, some affiliate tracking software of some sort.I use ClickFunnels because I'm already using ClickFunnels, right. And, you have to be up there to $297 a month plan to get what they call backpack, which is their affiliate management software. So a lot of people that have signed up through. Through four click funnels, because of my advice, they're still in that $97 a month plan, and so to pay another $200 just for an affiliate program may not be the smartest move.
It's really up to you. I was actually, I already had to bump up to the two 97 plan because of the just quantity of funnels and pages that I have. So it was already there when I decided to use their affiliate program. So it really didn't cost me anything extra. But for example, you know, Nate Dotson is, is using, I think he's using thrive.
Something, something thrive for his affiliate program. Even though he uses click funnels for his course because he's on the $97 a month ClickFunnels plan, and now he's using thrive cart. That's what it is. So you don't have to use ClickFunnels. That is what I use. It's fairly seamless. You just drop in some affiliate pages inside your existing funnel, and a lot of people use the affiliate program there and it seems to be working for me.Nice. Are you thinking about having some affiliates.
David Krohse: David. Not really, but I mean, I tell people about your piano story and I don't know if I've gotten anybody to sign up, but you know, let me get my goal. I think I could.
Jacques Hopkins: There you go. Well, maybe you need to learn piano yourself, David, and then you can be like, look what I did.And just 21 days. Have an affiliate link not as wild about that one. Keep working on
David Krohse: me. It'd be a while I had like.
Jacques Hopkins: yeah, no doubt.
David Krohse: I'm still traumatized from my mom trying to teach me in second grade ruined our relationship.
Jacques Hopkins: Goodness gracious. Well, a lot of people have bad memories of piano lessons as a kid, and that's one of the reasons my program has been so successful is because peer people come back to it years later, always regretting not actually having learned, and they don't want to go through that same process they did the last time.
They want it to be fun, they want it to be fast, and that's what I've got to offer at piano in 21 days. Boom, sales pitch. I'm going to get a lot of new signups from all nine course show listeners anyway. Anyway, let's do our one of the week. This has been a lot of fun. This is for listeners and course creators of all types to leave us a little audio message of a recent win, a a big, you know, milestone hit and students are our sales volume recent.
Big launch, something like that. And we've had a lot of fun with this here recently. And so this week submission comes from Ayana Webb who, Hey, speaking of piano, she's an online piano teacher as well, and she just crossed a big milestone in her business. So let's go ahead and play this week's win of the week.
Ayana Webb: Hello, my name is Ayana web and my website is www dot the musical web. Dot com that's www dot T H E. And U, S I, C a L w E B b.com and I actually mainly sell online piano courses and I've pretty much been at this thing for about four or so years doing some trial and error when it comes to driving traffic to my site.
And recently I have tapped into a sales funnel or a system that really. Launched my sales, and as of last week, I have reached officially over 1000 hate students and I have also reached over 100. Pay students into my monthly membership programs. So hopefully if things keep going the where they're going, I'll be able to reach up to six figures by the end of May, 2020 so hopefully this is inspired some other people, if you are running into any issues, just keep going. Find somebody who can teach you the ropes in terms of driving traffic and scaling your business. Cause that was one thing that revolutionized mine. So thank you for listening.
Jacques Hopkins: All right, so a thousand paid students into our monthly memberships, a membership and her goal. It sounds like she's, she's on track for six figures, I'm guessing, by the PR for the year.
I don't think that's a monthly thing, but six figures was her goal by the end of may. I wish she would have let us know what this big change was that she made this, this, this funnel that she implemented. It would. I would have loved to have. He heard more details. And then she also said that just the traffic into this funnel was really what put her over the top.
So congratulations to Ayanna and bank. Thanks to her for sharing this week's one of the week. What, what'd you think about what she had to share?
David Krohse: Yeah, definitely. That was an exciting one to hear and like, like we said, you know, what was the takeaway? Like, you know, you got to find that one thing that takes you to the next level.
So the specific funnel or sequence that moves you up or advertising strategy. I mean, I love that this highlights, you know, there's room for multiple people to have success within all these different niches. So, you know, you're not scared to have another piano person on here because there's room for lots of people to, to have success.
Jacques Hopkins: And at the end of the day, you can really only ever be working on one thing at a time, at a time. And that reminds me, David, I actually did a lot of yard work yesterday. I pressure washed a lot of pressure, wash my fence, my driveway, and all the while I was listening to a book. And I almost finished the entire book, and I don't know about you, but I love Mike.
He's the author of profit first and many other books. I don't know if you've ever read anything by him, but he's got a new book out called fix this next, and it's all about just diagnosing your business and figuring out where you should put your focus next. And he's got this whole har hierarchy of business needs.
And you know, for example, you can't really focus on profit until you actually getting sales come through. I think at the very top is his legacy. Like you can't focus on your legacy if you're not making any money, and so on. Really, really, really insightful. He even talks about, you know, synergistic relationships with your so-called competitors. And so there's a lot, a lot that we just talked about that makes me think of that book and how great it is. So I highly recommend that. And really all of Mike McKella, what's his books.
David Krohse: Here. I thought you were going to say traffic secrets for sure. You started that.
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah. You definitely started traffic secrets.No, I haven't made it all the way through yet. It's, it's, you know, a lot of traffic secrets, you know, you can kind of pick and choose. It's almost like a choose your own adventure type thing too. So I don't know that it's something I'm ever going to read cover to cover, but I'll all bounce around here and there.
So working on it, David, thanks for calling me out. All right, man. Well, that's going to do it for our intro. Why don't we start transitioning into our core content of the day, and that's our conversation with Gina Horkey, who has been on the podcast before. She was first on an episode 82 and that was a fantastic conversation because.
It went places I wasn't necessarily expecting. She's very opinionated. She's very successful. She knows what she's talking about with online courses. And I was really pumped to invite her back on the podcast to see where I would go next. And so there was a lot of great, a lot of great nuggets, topics that we got into, and we'll go ahead and play it.And then as normal, you and I, David, we'll come back on the back end and kind of do a little analysis like normal. So does that sound good to you?
David Krohse: Sounds great. Let's roll it.
Jacques Hopkins: All right. Let's, let's go ahead and play the full conversation between myself and Gina Horkey right now. Hey, Gina, welcome back to the online course show.
Gina Horkey: Hey, happy to be here.
Jacques Hopkins: So I'm definitely gonna point listeners in the kind of the introduction to this, to our previous conversation where you shared your story of how you got into courses and, and what's, and, and then w your story as it progressed. But it's been about a year since since I've talked to you. And of course, since the listeners have heard from you. So let's start off by just giving us an update on kind of what's been going on in the past year with your business.
Gina Horkey: Yeah. It's been kind of a fun growth period, and I'd be probably remiss if anybody is tuning into my story. So almost a year ago, I actually went through a pretty large life change.
I decided to go to rehab because I had some issues with alcohol. And so I'm a little bit of a Phoenix right now, but I feel amazing in more ways than just like physically and mentally, but really creatively and having this pretty concrete vision of where we're going in the future. So that doesn't need to be a large part of our conversation, but it points to the fact that life is challenging and business's challenging, and sometimes we don't handle it.
In the most healthy way, but I'm happy to say I'm on a different path now. You know, if you take a look at our conversation the last time for people that do decide to tune in, I entered the space in 2014 and I created my first online course within about eight months. Of starting my business and it was teaching on what I then became kind of an expert in, which was building a freelance writing business.
And the version of that course versus what we're producing these days is so different. And it's really fun because I took a lot of notes and I openly share my story by like blogging about things. And so I know numbers and I know just feelings, I guess, that I can revisit over time. And I think reflecting can be really, really healthy and seeing the journey.
That you've taken and kind of how things have transformed. And for me, that was, you know, writing one or two lessons every morning in the month of December, or excuse me, November of 2014 for this email course that was 30 standalone lessons to now, you know, having a pretty professional and repeatable way of releasing new online courses to the marketplace.
So there's still skill specific. Actually even more so than ever before. And we're building out brands around each of our courses these days rather than housing. Everything on our main website, which is Horkey handbook.com so the most recent one we are, I can highlight as an example, is called podcast production school.
So we have been listening to what the market means. And we started with freelance writing and kind of get started as a virtual assistant course so that people that didn't know a lot about this marketplace could dip their toes, figure out what services to offer, maybe even repositioning some of the skills that they had from their corporate positions to land those first few clients and figure out this whole world of online business. Cause that's pretty different. Then working in a nine to five do you remember those days?
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah. You know, I think about it all the time, and you know this, this episode will be released several weeks into the future, but I'm sure we'll still be on some form of lockdown from what's going on with the, with the globe right now.
And even just how it'd be Hannibal handling the pandemic. It's like, wow, it'd be so different if I was working my nine to five versus running it on my business. Totally different.
Gina Horkey: Right. And I think, you know, one of the things that learning this world. Has given me is a lot of confidence. I don't think I'll ever go back to a nine to five or corporate America, but I'm sure that you can totally relate to this as far as like being able to really confidently walk into like any marketing department of some major companies or small businesses and be like, Hey, I know how to help.
Like you don't have to actually probably do a lot of training. There might be some things that I can teach you at this point based on what I learned, and I don't mean that to sound cocky at all. It's just like I've invested a lot of time and definitely resources and learning hard skills that I've applied first and foremost of my business at this point in the game.
In the past, I offered them a services and I actually got paid to learn as a virtual assistant myself, which is great. But that's anyway, it's just kind of a full circle mind blown kind of realization that sometimes they use as if all of it goes to hell in a hand basket. I've got this backup plan.
Jacques Hopkins: Well, I think that that's very true. There's a big difference between working a more standard job and just like receiving tasks from somebody higher up, and then you have to execute on their vision versus building something of your own. For from the ground up. I mean, I've, I've done about one point $5 million in sales with my piano course alone, and I think that there's a lot that goes, that goes to that.
Like I've had to learn so much on my side to be able to accomplish something like that where, you know, seven years ago before I had gotten started. Alright. You know, I was a completely different person, completely different person. So I love the way you put it though. Just being able to walk into other companies and have the kind of confidence, right? Not necessarily cockiness, but confidence that you could actually teach them something. And so you certainly, you know, showed that as well.
Gina Horkey: And just being an asset and imagine your resume saying, Hey, like one point $5 million in gross sales in the last five years, or something like that. And online marketing and course creation. Yeah, it definitely sets you apart from the crowd. And I think another thing that you probably could agree with that we've learned is so much about positioning. ourselves and our businesses and things like that that you just don't learn in kind of a regular day job. So back to kind of the journey podcast production school again, is kind of the most recent example that we have.
A couple of more in the works where we're really mastering teaching people the hard skills. Of different services that they can offer. So under podcast production, there's probably a half a dozen to a dozen different services underneath that umbrella that you can learn how to do and you can offer it.
We packaged it as podcast production school because if you're a podcast producer, typically you learn and know how to do all of these things in your life. Involved in a lot of parts of the process. So if we break down what types of services these can be, it's definitely editing audio. It can be writing show notes, it can be doing the marketing and the promotion of the show, which goes all the way into like learning.
Social media is a big part of that for many people. It can be a repurposing content. If you were to ask me my favorite. Method of work and maybe even word of the year, like repurposing is the best thing ever. And for those of you that aren't familiar with this term, it's basically doing work once and figuring out multiple ways to redistribute it so that you can get momentum in your business.
Jacques Hopkins: So many things to unpack here. I'm like furiously writing notes, Jean, I'm so excited about this. And I remember last time we talked, like the conversation didn't necessarily go the direction I expected it to go because you seem to know a lot about different aspects of online business and have pretty strong opinions about it, which is one, one reason I love you.
And so last time, and, and you know I love you from a biz B professional only, right? And. So refunds and disputes. That's, that's one thing. One big thing that came up last time. I'd definitely encourage people to go back and listen to that conversation. But a few things I want to dive here based on what you said, repurposing content.
That's a big initiative over here as well. One thing I'm trying to do is focus on long form content. You know, focus my form on my time, on the long, long form content like this. Like some likes, some live streams, and then have my team go in and, and. And splice out different pieces of that and then repurpose it on other platforms. Do you have a kind of a dialed in system for repurposing content.
Gina Horkey: So this is going to give away our secrets probably, but this is what we were learning and implementing right now that I just feel so excited about and it is with these new brands and these new courses is figuring out a way to become a credible expert, which can be through self publishing on Amazon, both in like a digital book as well as one that they can order that's already printed for them.
And then that translates into blog content. And then that also could translate into recording. Like people will like record a black post, right? And straight up like read it. I don't know that I feel real great about that strategy just cause I think it would be kind of boring, but you could have a blog post on a certain topic and then you can have a real candid conversation and like a podcast interview that you film and the filming.
Part of it can go to YouTube, but the podcasts can even get transcribed if you want it to start there rather than starting with the blog posts. and then little bits and chunks can go towards using it for promotion on social media or, you know, a newsletter. So I'm, one of the people that I really look up to is Neville Neville metaphor off from copywriting course.com.
And he's just brilliant with repurposing content, but I just really love how much effort he puts into creating really great content. And then not only does it live in its blog, but then people are, he's using it as his email funnel as well, and it's not like, Hey, here's my intro paragraph. Go click back to the blog in order to read it.
Ain't nobody really want to do that. They want to absorb that material based on that medium of communication that they've already given you permission to talk to them with. All right.
Jacques Hopkins: so let's get into this where you talked about kind of restructuring how you're doing courses and where the courses live, right?
So am I understanding correctly that Horkey handbook is going to be kind of the hub, but then you're also going to have your other courses like this new podcasting course on his own domain.
Gina Horkey: It is on its own domain. So it's podcast production school, that comm, which I'm also excited about kind of that new branding. So a lot of the things that we bring out in the future, we'll have the school part conditioned or associated with it working. I'm always going to stay as the place to. Come to if you want to find or become a virtual assistant. We also have our freelance writing brand under there too, and we've talked about does this need to be on its own place or should it continue to live here?
The biggest thing is that we want to be very direct in our communication with our target market and why you're showing up on our website and what you're going to get out of it. So we have like our courses and workbooks page on our site that will show all of the offerings that live on working handbook and probably won't be moved.
Excuse me. So that is our flagship course, which is 30 days or less to virtual assistant success. And then we already do have some skill specific ones in there, project management and email management, but they don't need their own domain. So those are more of like either our frontline services that anybody can really master in a pretty short period of time if they're not sure.
What they want to do, and that's what the intention of getting their business up and running really quickly and earning a decent income as a result. Now, when we're looking into brands like, you know, doing podcasts production, like that's definitely a very specialized level of. Services that people are probably going to or be willing to pay more for them.
Maybe email management and customer service. Although I did really well offering most services. I didn't bill hourly and I was making upwards of a hundred dollars an hour. By the time I. Parted ways with all of my clients very amicably. I've loved them all. They're amazing. But yeah, so we're being very intentional and building this out in its own domain, partly for the purpose of if we want to sell it in a future, like it's going to have all of its own channels when it comes to social media, it'll have its own checkout provider and its own email management.
System for doing our sales funnels and all of that jazz. So it's still owned by our parent company, but it's a very standalone brand and it has Gina Horkey associated with it, which makes it super fun. But you wouldn't have to have that. A part of it in the future, like it's not all dependent on my name and me, if that makes sense, because we're going to have super great content that lives there.
That should be published by the time people are tuning into this episode. We're working on that book that we'll have on Amazon. Again, just marking our territory. So to speak, with being credible experts in this field. And we can be very intentional about creating that content and creating it for a book and for blog content.
And even for a course, the course is going to be the premium and it's going to be a while. It's, it is already in existence and has been since the fall of last year. I mean, that's where you're going to learn the tangible hard skills. That's where you're gonna know how to edit that audio and write those show notes and do all of those parts that I outlined before.
A book is going to be a little bit more like. Theory and practical application will teach you how to take it from that mindset to your first few steps. We're not going to teach you how to establish a six figure business and this book, for example.
Jacques Hopkins: That makes sense. Yeah, totally. It's very interesting that you're kind of starting your own like online course company from scratch and I realized that it's falling within like technically your, your.
Your business entity now, but you're building it so as separate so you could potentially sell a one day. And it's interesting for somebody who's maybe doesn't even have a course yet to kind of follow you, your, your path with this podcasting production school and see how you set things up. And from what it sounds like, it kind of sounds like. The main revenue source is going to be a course, right? You're going to have book sales and there there might be some affiliate income, maybe.
Gina Horkey: marketing assets. Let's.
Jacques Hopkins: be, there you go. So am I hearing correctly that the, the business model is around core sales, but you're still gonna put out all kinds of other content around it, which then funnels people into eventually hopefully buying the course?
Gina Horkey: Yeah, and you know, one of the things that we're getting really good at is like keyword research. Doing SEO for these brands, and instead of trying to fight for all these top keywords within Horkey handbook.com we can be very strategic about going after these podcasting ones with this brand in particular, and the way that we're going to do that as creating the best content on the internet.
For those keywords that we're trying to rank for. And so we're not going to be lazy about any of this. And the great thing about this business that I've built is that I know all of the people, right? So like we're not doing all of it ourselves either. Like it's great that we know what. The keyword research results are, we know how to create a really great outline and take a look at what needs to go into that post, but we don't have to be the one creating the content and doing the research and doing the actual writing anymore. Although we definitely have strong opinions on the quality that needs to be produced.
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah, really interesting. Cause I know like my, my SEO guy warns me about. Trying to get too broad within the same domain, right? If you know, just hypothetically, I have a piano in 21 days.com sell it all my piano course.
If I ever wanted to sell, say a guitar course, he says you'd kind of want that on a different domain. You wouldn't want to start all of a sudden running guitar articles on your piano website because that might actually bring down your, your piano relevance. So
Gina Horkey: they're both music related. So to the average person, it makes a hundred percent total sense. But from an SEO guru standpoint, it doesn't.
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah. And you know, I've got this brand too, so I have a little bit of experience with kind of two completely separate brands, but it is tough to keep things separate. Right. So some like software packages that I sign up for, I kind of use both brands in the same account. I'm curious to see what level you separated that, but also your team. Do you kind of have the same people working on all your brands, or have you separate that out as well?
Gina Horkey: Yeah, so we're in the midst of kind of figuring out some of that stuff, but from a tool standpoint, for the. Companies that we're subscribing to, we're doing sub-accounts because I want the data to be separate.
So it's not even from a cost standpoint that we're looking at things. It's just that if you ever want to sell something, you need to know your data and you need to make sure that that's a sellable asset. Being that it's a stand alone kind of product as well as those tools suite that goes along with it.
So we use drip for all of our email marketing stuff, and so we just have sub-accounts then for each of our drip things. And it's great because when you're logged in, you can just literally toggle to each of the different brands and you know, super easy, but everything lives on its own place and it's very organized.
Outside of the other things that we're doing. We use Sam Hart for our checkout provider and we have sub-accounts for that. And that is awesome because that's where all of our financial data loves when it comes to sales and affiliates and all of that good stuff. Everything's on WordPress cause that's just our preference.
So everything will have its own domain and then, you know, theme. And we're using some of those similar things when it comes to a team. We were kind of doing both. So we have kind of our A-players these days that do social media, that do content creation. Definitely the website staff and. When needed, we're borrowing them for different parts of the brand, and then other times we were doing more of like, okay, we don't need an ongoing person for this. We need more of a project person for this. And then again, we're looking inward to our community first and foremost.
Jacques Hopkins: to find those folks. One of the challenges and struggle in, in selling an online core space business is that a lot of times it's very reliant on the creator and the owner. Right? So on this, on this new brand, on this new website, are we going to be able to see you anywhere on it? Like are you teaching, are you teaching the courses, or is it very apparent that it's you? Or is it a lot of people.
Gina Horkey: No. So I've strategically partnered with experts in these different fields. So for the podcast production brand, Haley Thomas and I had actually created the project management course together, and then she pulled in her podcast producer, and her name is Mel Scroggins.
So the three of us are the ones that have come up with the course and are working as a team in order to do all of the things, and we have our online course, and then we have a paid community that goes alongside it. One of the things that we've done pretty brilliantly, if I can break about anything, is that our differentiating factor or unique kind of sales. Opposition isn't a USP. I think I'm coming around to these. Sounds.
Jacques Hopkins: good. Let's roll.
Gina Horkey: with it is that we are super concerned and invested in our students' success because we know that, Hey, we want to sell something that people get results from because we're just passionate about like. Changing the world, but be that we're providing as many of the solutions as possible to help them to get there, which includes introducing them to client leads.
So we're actually helping to build their businesses. They still have to do the hard work of learning the skills and putting in the time and representing themselves effectively. But we're, I'm allowed or we're. Making it so that we can introduce these business peers or entrepreneur friends of ours that we run in circles with, or even doing some paid advertising on their return or on their behalf.
Excuse me. In order to get these people that have a need in line with the people that are able to deliver on that need and help them.
Jacques Hopkins: Now I've got a little experience with, with having somebody else be on camera and like be the one teaching the primary teacher for a course. Probably not. Not as much as you.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on how to kind of, how to structure that in general, because I do get a lot of questions about that too. It's like, Hey, Jack, I've heard you talk about how, how you've outsourced individual courses. Do I just kind of pay those people a royalty fee? Is it more of a onetime fee? How do you set a set up the legal stuff? I'd love to hear your response to that.
Gina Horkey: Yeah. So I'm not doing the teaching and when it comes to like, especially the tech skills. So Mel is doing a lot of that, but Haley also brings some things to the table when it comes to project management, marketing and promo, which are highly needed within this scope of services as well.
So I'm totally okay knowing that they're the subject matter experts and just giving them some advice around what tends to work well because of what I do really well is teach. And I have a formula that, you know, we've kind of figured out over time on how to help people to become as successful as possible.
It is short of amount of time and effort. You know, you're still like putting in the sweat equity and things like that. But we figured out how to remove all of the barriers or roadblocks with our students that are preventing them from taking action or gaining the results that they're looking for. So when it comes to the structure of how we've run this.
You know, it started with the very first skill specific course that we partnered with somebody on, which was Hailey in June of 2018 maybe is when we kind of struck that deal and like how it all came about is that I knew again, that our audience was saying, Hey, I want to learn specific skills. I want to learn specific services that I can offer different than what I already know how to do.
And she was killing it. So she was one of our very successful students. And that's been the fun part for me too, is most of the people, at least in the beginning that I've gotten involved with as subject matter experts, had complimentary skill sets. To me that were different. And so there were things that I couldn't teach without really, you know, ingraining myself into those worlds, which wasn't something that I was super stoked to do.
So we just kind of talked about, you know, what may make sense based on the fact that we had the audience. And I was talking, I think to my business coach, and he's like, whoever is marketing it, it's the bigger portion of the pie over is actually selling it is the one that should profit the most. And it does make sense because if you have a great product but you got no customers.
Ain't nobody doing well. Right? So we ended up doing a 70 30 split, and that was the fact that we had the audience. We were doing all of the tax stuff. We had all of the tools, any of them money invested was on our behalf. So they were responsible slowly for creating the content, and it was a huge learning experience for them as well, which is again, something that we've been able to kind of bring to the table and some mentor syrup and some teaching around things that they didn't have that experience or like it wasn't on her radar at all to create a course.
And it's been fun to see kind of her grow in this area as well. So 70 30 split, we own it. And both of us have agreed that we cannot create a competing. Product while we have this business relationship together. And then there were some nuances in there that we don't necessarily do it anymore, but at that point, we did like a royalty that was paid when the content was created so that even if it didn't do well.
That they made some money from all of this hard work in the process. And then we have a buyout clause as well, which it used to be like you could buy us out or we would buy you out. And now when we're offering new deals, it's just like, Hey, if you want out of this, here's what we're agreeing to, which is, I'm looking at.
Oh, I'd have to look it up to give you the specifics. So I'm not going to try and pretend cause I might get it wrong, but it's very much fair based on sales and revenue and we've exercised that right. And in a couple of cases, which is great because then they can kind of remove themselves from having to update any of the content in the future or even the headache of any of it. And on our end then we just keep all of the profit.
Jacques Hopkins: point forward. And this was the project management course.
Gina Horkey: correct? Was the one we started with. Yeah.
Jacques Hopkins: So Gina, why not just go to Haley and be like, look, I have this idea for a project management course. I think you'd be perfect to be the one kind of behind camera to the one teaching it. I'll pay you X amount of dollars to, to create a, do the whole thing, turn it over to me, and then I own it. And then the relationship is over. Why not go about it that way?
Gina Horkey: Cause I wouldn't feel good. About taking that deal. On the other side of it, I mean, I see a lot of promise in the people that we've partnered with, and I don't need to make all of the money.
Like that's not my mission in life. Like we do pretty well between our two businesses because we have Horkey handbook LLC, and then the Pinterest side of things is its own company as well as its own domain and all of the things between those two. We did like almost 1.2 last year. Which I feel really good about.
We tend to try and pay our people really well. So our team members, and they can tell me if I'm wrong, we just had a team meeting last week and we have clear communication and authentic conversations around all of these topics. I want to see everybody win. I don't want to just be the one that makes all the money, because honestly, if you look at, wait, a nice lifestyle, so we've been married this summer for 15 years.
We have two kids. Thank you that our Shelby's going to be seven and Braxton's eight and a half. Right now, we don't have this very high falutin lifestyle and I don't have aspirations for that as well. Like we're very much just experience kind of focused and quality time focused as well. So I think I'm pretty good at business and it's interesting because like I grew up real poor.
I did not have mentors or influences in my life. Of like successful small business owners. And so sometimes I kind of like pinch myself and I'm like, yeah, I'm running a big girl business over here. How did this happen? But yeah, I guess that's my long winded answer to the fact that I don't need to maximize profitability for my own benefit.
Jacques Hopkins: No, I love it. I love hearing that perspective. I appreciate you sharing it with us. I think that more than just myself will benefit from that. Let's shoot. Let's shift gears a little bit. I'm curious to know your thoughts on the importance of diversifying your income streams. We already established that in this new business you're setting up, the primary revenue source is going to be strictly core sales, but are you diversifying the income in any way or is just setting up that business a way for you to diversify overall?
Gina Horkey: Yeah, it is a way for us to diversify overall. I don't know that I would ever sell working handbook.com and because that one is so personally branded, it would be maybe a little harder. I know of people that have sold personally branded businesses, and a lot of times they also get hired on as like an employee to maintain the brand.
So I know that that exists and they've got that upfront chunk of change, which is what kind of they wanted. Plus they don't have the actual responsibility. Or the risk anymore, and that's a possibility, not something really that I'm interested in. I don't know that I would sell any of these businesses either.
I like to create things is what it comes down to. And you know, as we learn. More and more about what works and what doesn't work, then it's just kind of fun to experiment on these things as well. So diversifying, you know, we've always done some affiliate marketing and I used to offer services, obviously in the past, and then our own products and services are definitely.
Where it's at. I had this soul pathology session the other week, which is a little bit like a psychic medium kind of thing. A friend gifted it to me and it was super enlightening. All you give us your first name and your date of birth, like your month and the day that you were born, and she could've Googled me, but there's no way she could have spoke at this rapid pace for like an hour.
And some change about all of these things, and she doesn't ask you about her questions. She just kind of tells you about things. But anyways, one of the things that she told me is that I'd probably start like a consulting arm in this next year, and I'm not pitching that at all right now. I have no plans, but kind of based on the models that we've stepped forward in these different courses and brands and all of the things.
And so it's kind of intriguing to me because I've, I've been interested in consulting, not so much one-to-one. Like business coaching. I've done that in the past and not really interested in that in the future, but. That could be a way to diversify. We did recently diversify from online business space to buying a piece of property.
We actually own four properties, so we've been at this a little while. Wait, has been in our house since 2001 so we haven't moved around a lot. And then we had the opportunity in his small hometown to buy a piece of property for a dollar as long as we built on it within a year's period of time. And so we have like a.
A pole building down there that we rent out. It doesn't, it's like $180 a month, but we've received it for the last 10 or 15 years or something like that. So definitely pays for itself. And then we purchase a piece of property up by my parents, which is in Northern Minnesota and haven't built anything on that one yet.
But then just. Couple of months ago, we bought our first like investment real estate. It's a single family house down in South Padre Island, Texas. So we've been going down there for the last five years, and we've always rented the same condo, which is beachfront and beautiful. And we live in Minnesota. It gets super cold for like six months of the year.
And so we go down there for two. And we weren't seriously looking. And then we started seriously looking when we were down there and we found this amazing place. And it's funny timing because then COBIT hit and you can't rent anything out short term. And so I'm kind of praying that we can get down there again and like be the first people that have stayed in this house that we.
Kind of beautifully furnished or whatever, but we bought it in an intelligent way I think, and that we knew that we could afford it. Whether or not we rented it out. That was like our agreement between the two of us, cause we don't want to, we don't want to fight about money. We've done that in the past.
We've been there, done that, and it is not kind of a fun relationship deal. And so we thought, okay, if we go in with the intention of knowing we can bankroll roll based on our current budget, then this is. Something that makes sense. So we're looking at property appreciation, but then as we're able to rent it, which the high season is June, July, and August, then you know, hopefully we'll have some profit from that as well.
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah. Well, one of my good friends, Nate Dotson, who's been on this podcast several times, has a pretty successful course, but he also diversifies. He diversifies with a lot of things, but including real estate, like you, I'm not big into real estate, but he does, and his course actually isn't doing as well with the pandemic.
A lot of courses are doing. Even better. But his is not because he teaches people to start an in person business, which isn't, it's not a great time for it now, but he's not really too worried about it because he's so well diversified. So it's really interesting. And I know, like for example, Amazon just slashed their affiliate rates in half and even more in some cases, depending on what the item is.
And you know, there's some businesses out there fully reliant on Amazon affiliate income and overnight boom, revenue cut in half. So that's why I really wanted to hear your thoughts on the diversification. Yeah.
Gina Horkey: You know what I think is super interesting right now is just how people are pivoting. So a lot of these in person business owners, like you know, my coach just recently shared his sisters during on his podcast.
She's a yoga teacher and they're taking everything online and doing zoom in the meantime. And then, I don't know if they're building on an app or what they're doing, but all sorts of businesses are, I heard of like a physical therapist where you don't have to be one on one doing services anymore. That might've been this.
Kind of core of your business once upon a time, but a lot of it is figuring out kind of the needs of people and meeting them where they are, how you can, and I think that's so fun to see a lot of these traditional brick and mortar businesses. See that there is another way and it can be a less, a more flexible way and a more lucrative way.
Jacques Hopkins: as well. Yeah. I've been impressed by seeing the pivots as well. I think it's easier to pivot when you can kind of need to, and a lot of people in that position where they're, they kind of need to figure something else out. I was, I was having a. I was having a chat with my gym owner, the gym that I normally go to and haven't been to in a month or two.
And I mean, he's got a pivot. So he came to me just looking for online course ideas. So it was really interesting hearing all the different businesses that in the different ways they're affected by the pandemic. Gina, you are obviously passionate about your business. You said a little while ago, you love creating things.
I'm curious about this. This is something I'm struggling with. Lately. I absolutely love my business. Like I love work. You know, before when I worked a full time job, I hate, I hated Sundays because the weekend was coming to a close. I hated going into the office Monday morning. I didn't necessarily hate my job.
I just was sad that the weekend was over and I was having to do this thing and go work for somebody else and get tasks from somebody else. But now I absolutely love my job. Here's my problem. I have, I have trouble shutting it off right when my work day is over. And I'm going to hang out with my wife, with my kids, or maybe it's the weekend we're going to do something.
Like, I feel like I'm always just thinking about my business. They get about new ideas, different ways I could do things and when I'm going to get back to work. Do you have any advice for kind of shutting it off and separating your business and family life.
Gina Horkey: I mean, I'm not perfect. as we explored earlier in our conversation, I mean, I hit kind of this imploding period where I had to make some significant changes, and one of those was removing alcohol from my life, which also allows you to like, think clearer and have more energy and be.
Generally happier, at least in my case, I'm not. I'm going to go on any kind of tangents there and telling people how to live their lives. But you know, I just came off a period of working really hard because we were in the midst of one of our launches. And that's tends to be like a period where my family gets neglected and I feel some guilt around that.
But we also, before that came off of almost three months of being together almost nonstop. And so I fit in, work in little pockets, but for the most part it was family. It wasn't work during that season. And so I think that we're all striving for this like elusive balance that everything has to be 50% 50% work and family.
And that's not necessarily true. And Dave Ramsey spoke to this once where you just have seasons of life where maybe your business is getting more and then your family is getting more. If one of these is always winning out like the business, then you're going to have to put some sort of. Safety Gates in place to notice that, because if you're just head down and work, we can be workaholics and we can get kind of obsessed about this kind of stuff.
And I don't know about you, but I never look at like marketing the same like commercials and all of that. Just it brings you ideas because you're studying how people are marketing their businesses and stuff like that. So what I'm doing currently that seems to be working now that we're not in that launch period, is I actually don't start my day until 10 and I ended at.
Sex, so that's an eight hour period of time. Do I have to work eight hours? No, I just know that I also have a lot of projects working and things like that that I want to make sure that I'm on time for deadline wise. And so we get up and we are a family in the morning. We don't do any TV and it's not cause we're like super strict, crazy people.
It just, we know like especially with the kids being homeschooled right now. Which luckily we had experience with when we were in Texas because we bring them out of public school and unenroll them so that we can homeschool them during the time that we're there. It's just a couple of focused hours, right.
But if they get into video games or TV before they have to get into school, just makes everybody crazy or crazy and crabby because it's like a fight of getting the stuff done. And so we have calmer mornings. We just got a dog. So we have this wonderful little scotch Collie named Charlie, and he just brings a lot of joy in our lives, but he has to be walked, you know?
And so. Never have. We met more of our neighbors on this dead end dirt road that we live on because we're out walking the dog and everybody's around with Kobe. And so we just kind of have stepped into a routine of breakfast and walking the dog. And you know, I get ready for work and they're doing their thing, playing with actual toys instead of video games.
And then they're doing school and I'm doing this. And then they tend to get outside for quite a few hours in the afternoon too. And then I wrap up my day. At dinnertime, so I can't be late unless I don't want to eat or, you know, family dinner to us is kind of important too. So we just plug in during that time.
And. I don't know if that helps or doesn't help, but it's all about like routine and making sure that you have some of those safety nets in place to kind of have cutoff times because it's easy. I can wake up and get on the computer at seven o'clock in the morning and I could go home for dinner, but I could get back on and it ends up being 14 hours or more, and that's just not healthy. Longterm. It might be for a season.
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah, no, that, that definitely helps. I mean, I just thoroughly enjoy working, working on my business, and it's not really about the money anymore. Like before my full time job, like I had to log hours in order to get paid, you know, I was getting paid hourly and so now I know that if I just take a day, random day off, I'll probably make the exact same amount of money.
That day, whether I was working or not. So it's, it can be hard and it can be hard for my wife to see that too. Cause she knows that a lot of my income is passive as well. So that's one thing I'm working through right now is just try to. Try to flip switches better and be more present in whatever I'm currently working on.
Gina Horkey: Yeah, being present. That's that hard one. There's a really great song that I'll have to send you after the fact, but it's all about like living in the moment and how quickly life passes you by, but it's like a smart song, not like a super sappy song that you're like, yeah, that's dumb.
Jacques Hopkins: No, cool. If you send it to me, then we'll, we'll drop it in the show notes if it's in time. We'll look. Gina, this has been a fantastic conversation. Once again, I'm sure we'll have you back on one day in the future as well. Kind of one more, one more question here. Where are you before we wrap things up, if somebody out there is just kind of kinda struggling, like they're starting, they've started online course business, making a few sales here and there, but you know, they're, maybe they're still working there full time job. They just haven't figured out how to make it work yet. If somebody is coming to you with that situation, what advice would you have for them?
Gina Horkey: Yeah. I think investing in student success is probably towards the top because the more successful your students are that they're able to get results, then it's just going to spread like a positive reputation on your behalf.
It also makes you feel good, so it helps you to search for that. Next. Person to help to change their lives in whatever little way that that is. And then I think the other thing that was helpful for me, especially in the beginning, was an affiliate program. So I was finding ways to get in front of other people's established audiences.
And there was this mutually. Kind of beneficial exchange. I mean, you talked about Amazon and lowering their commission. A lot of course providers are paying what, like 40% is what we pay on average. I've seen some as low as like 10% and sometimes there's reasons that they can't pay more with business relationships and whatever in the mix.
But if a, an affiliate doesn't have to do anything except for like bring you into their fold and obviously they need a license. No one trusts you in order to present you as a solution to their audiences problems that affiliate doesn't have to do any of the customer service, which if we're honest, is not the fun part of our business.
Although every inquiry that comes into your inbox from a customer service perspective is a sales opportunity. So if you're not looking at things the right way, with the right mindset, and that's typically a more optimistic, positive being of service. Mindsets, then you might not be getting the results that you're looking for.
And again, it's just not as much fun. But if you can really like. Adopt the fact that you're a changemaker and that you're bringing some solutions to some problems and you're helping to better people's lives. Like if you can grasp that, your work does become a lot more fun, and it's more about spreading the message and providing those solutions than it is about each sale and how much money goes into your bank account.
But it's a slow roll for a lot of people getting started. I remember my first five people were beta testers, right? And I found them in this Facebook community that I was a part of. And you know, my goal was to help them to become successful. So I actually had some case studies or testimonials or whatever.
And then I think I sold our first course for $25 a pop. And it, you know, even at that rate was, was hard going at the time. But you know, it's turned into what it is today.
Jacques Hopkins: Now I love that. It's a good reminder that. That all the things that you could be doing, all the things you could be focusing on, because there's so many different pieces and parts here.
There's probably nothing more important than student success at the end of the day when we're talking about courses and that just that can then just create a big feedback loop and create everything else, make everything else better. So thanks for that reminder as well, Gina, and a pleasure to wrap things up. Just remind everybody where they can find your stuff.
Gina Horkey: Yeah. Well nowadays, if you want to check out Gina horkey.com so G I N a. H O R K E y.com. We didn't own our own domain for a while. Somebody else did and they wanted to charge a lot of money for it, but then they let it go and we picked it up for like 300 bucks last year.
So we're building out that website. If this is five weeks out or however many, then it should be rare Indigo, and you'll get a sense of who I am as a business owner and as an entrepreneur. And then you know, some of the problems that we tackle and finding solutions for. Amazing.
Jacques Hopkins: Thank you, Gina. All right. That's a wrap on the conversation with Gina. David. Let's get into it, man. The first and biggest thing that jumped out at me was how she's just kind of creating a new business and it's kind of, it's its own all, all encompassing business and she's kind of trying to keep it all separated. And I just really liked the thought of that because I've got, you know, I've got my two businesses are really brands that fall under one business and nothing's really super separated.
And I don't personally ever intend to sell anything that I've created so far. But it's really interesting just hearing her process, somebody that knows so much about creating courses. Starting over from scratch with its own dedicated business. It's, it's really, I wish I could just like follow it really closely and see everything she's doing inside of that new business.
David Krohse: Yeah, definitely. Yeah. I mean, it sounded, it sounded complicated. It sounded like a lot of moving parts, a lot of partnerships. I went back and listened to her the last episode, and yeah, she's got a lot of. A lot of pans on the oven or whatever, but she seems like she's super, super high power and high high effectiveness at getting things done.
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah. And, and it seems like she has a great team to now she's, one of the things she knows she's known for is training virtual assistants. So you would think somebody that trains virtual assistants or, or teaches people to do that and to hire virtual assistants. Would have a good virtual assistant team of her own.
And it sounds like she definitely does. And, and their team really empowers her to get all the stuff done that she's getting done, which is super cool to hear. But yeah, I just like, as she was talking about that, like it would be really cool to just get some sort of really detailed right along with when there's a successful course creator that's kind of starting over rather than them just telling you what they would do to actually, you know.
See that entire process. I know Pat Flynn has done that several times where he has, he's like, look, I'm going to start a niche business and document the process the entire way through. He started a whole food trucker, info product business. He started a podcast with that and, and all kinds of stuff, and he just kind of documented the whole thing and then he ended up selling that business.
So that wasn't specifically an online course business, but it would be cool to see. I'm not saying that I'm going to do that. I've got too many things I'm working on right now as it is, but that's something I would like to see and something that I was thinking of as Gina was talking about her new business.
David Krohse: Yeah. The biggest thing that I noticed, I mean, she said, I believe at 1.2 million in revenue for the year, she still has a business coach. She mentioned that just briefly, and so I would have liked to dig a little bit deeper. Like. What's the value of the business coach to you? How did you find that person?
How often do you meet? You know, like, I don't know. I guess I was wondering, do you, I know that you meet weekly with Nate, but do you actually empower him to like be your coach and be like, jock, you didn't have to do this, or what? What would be, what would be your take on like having a business coach.
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah, I feel like I could definitely use one. I think there's always room for that no matter what level you are. I'm sure that Judas business coach probably has a business coach of his own. You know, and it's funny because her specific business coach, this is second time I've heard somebody I've talked to in the past month or two that had this same exact business coach Greg of studio one designs.
He probably mentioned it on the podcast. He, you know, he was on 10 or 15 episodes ago, also has James Schramko as his business coach. I think he's one of the big business coach viewers out there, and I'm trying to get him on the podcast, by the way, because he's got courses of his own too. But yeah, I think, I think business, a business coach is potentially very, very.
Valuable, you know, and I mentioned fix this next by Mike McCalla wits in the intro, and that's yet another topic in that book is how important it is to have a business coach because they can analyze your, your business and the decisions you're making in your business from a much less emotional standpoint.
Right. An unbiased, less emotional standpoint. help you to run things by them. And so no, I don't have one. Currently, I've got several masterminds I'm in and people that I see that I trust that I can run things by, but I don't specifically have a coach, but I feel like I, I probably should. What about you?
David Krohse: Do you consider yourself to be coachable? Highly.
Jacques Hopkins: Yes, I do. I think I take advice. Well, yeah, and you know, on the note about Nate, you know, he, we, we meet weekly and he actually challenged me on something last week and he like assigned to me something this past week. And it was very, it was, it was very welcome. It's something I hadn't really thought of and.
I, I told him when we met the next time, I was like, look, you're in trouble, man, because all I could think about all week was this assignment you gave me and it kept me up at night. He's like, good, good. It should have kept you up at night. So
David Krohse: To share what.
Jacques Hopkins: it was. No. No, not yet. Not yet. But it was, there's probably nobody that knows my business other than myself, more than Nate, and so he's able to do things like that. So while he's not texting me, my coach, he's, I've empowered him to help me. Hmm. To think about things like that. And I do the same for him in his business.
David Krohse: Yeah. I think that, being coachable is not one of my strengths. I, there was a period, you know, there was a period of time I had a chiropractic business coach and eventually that kind of fell apart because he just, I don't know, I mean, I was trying to, he wanted me to do, it felt like he wanted me to do 30 things at once and I was like, I can only focus on like eight.
And it fell apart at some level. I don't know. He was a nice guy, but. Kind of left me with a bad taste in my mouth. But I do think that getting that outside perspective in that direction toward the one thing, obviously is, is really powerful.
Jacques Hopkins: What's with all these situations, leaving a bad taste in your mouth, you know, now you're, you're not coachable. You don't want to take piano lessons because of your bad past experiences. You've gotta get over this, David, come on.
David Krohse: Yeah. Well, I mean, I like to set my own path like I do, I get stuff done, but it's kind of in my own time and it's, it's in my own direction. So. I mean, I have fun with it, but yeah, even with my bicycling, like some people follow an exact plan and I'm like, when I want to go for a ride, it's like, which direction is the wind blowing and how far do I want to go? It's like, I don't know. I'm kind of fiercely independent, I.
Jacques Hopkins: guess. You gotta you gotta be your own person as well as well. So David, any other takeaways from this conversation with Gina?
David Krohse: I found interesting, the discussion of like when you bring somebody on to make a course together and whether you do it as kind of a joint venture or. Pay one time. I mean, I have to say like I thought that your, your idea and way of doing it sounded better just based on the simplicity and clarity. So if you pay somebody just a set fee to record the course for you. What I was thinking is that then if you do have affiliates, if they want to, if they want to increase their earnings in the future, all they have to do is promote it with an affiliate link.
And especially if you're doing that generous number, like the 40%. That I think you're doing with piano in 21 days, and I think she mentioned that number as well. Then. Then that co course creator can ultimately create that income stream, but it seems like it would keep everything cleanly, like cleaner. So yeah, I'm all about clean and simple, simple, wherever possible.
Jacques Hopkins: I think there's definitely pros to both approaches. I've had great success with just paying a one time fee and now I own the assets. But you know, if you remember way back when I interviewed Caitlin Pyle on the show from proofread anywhere, I don't even know what episode it was, but it was, it was quite a long time ago.
And she does. She did the, the kind of royalty model as well. Same as Gina. And I remember her saying that the reason was that, that she just wanted to empower that person and that person have some ownership in it. And, and I think the key is if you want PR, if you want that person to stick around and be involved in the business for the longterm, then that's the way you do it.
But if you just want to hand over our product and I'm really not have that person involved, then you pay the one time fee. And so it depends on what you're going for. I have, I have my reasons to kind of want to stay alone and not have other people involved in the business. And then, you know, people like Caitlyn, Pilar or Gina Horkey want to want to outsource the course, but pay a percentage, have some ownership, and let that person stay around and help manage the whole thing as well. So definitely pros and cons to each approach.
David Krohse: Definitely. You were saying that lately you've been so excited and having so much fun in your business that it's hard to like turn off the focus at night and so yeah. I was just curious, like what's an example of something that's like making you most excited? Like, you know, you're there in the evening and just a thought comes to you, like what? What are you most excited about other than just like a really. Really great amount of sales.
Jacques Hopkins: No, it's just my, my community. If my piano community is just blowing up right now, they're just so excited about learning. They're having great results, and I just love what I do. I love helping people with online courses and I love helping people who never thought they'd actually be able to play piano. Play piano. And it's so ironic because one of the really catalysts to, to get me into this whole world of online business and entrepreneurship is the four hour workweek.
And I was just so enthralled with the idea of an actual four hour workweek and having this business running. But now that I'm actually, I've created the businesses that I'm most passionate about, like what I would do if I, you know. If I had all the money in the world, I'm doing what I would do and I want to work more than four hours per week.
Like I want to do this and when I'm bored, I want to work on my business. Like this is what I like to do. And I always look forward to getting back to work. And so that's at the end of the day, that's kind of what I was referring to is because of how much I enjoy it, I'm always thinking about it and always wanting to get back to it.
David Krohse: Definitely. Yeah. And I was thinking, I'm like, well, you know, what would be the advice that I would give in that situation? Like. The ideal thing would be to find family activities that are as fun as your business, but in the midst of a, you know, we're still in quarantine. And so, you know, some of the things that might be fun to do is family activities. Just, you know, there's some like, to one extent or another shutdown.
Jacques Hopkins: But, and we, and we love to travel as a family. Just one of our big things we love to do. And that's pretty difficult right now. But no, I mean, I'm not, I wasn't trying to say that in general, we. Our board or whatever, but I mean, I guess to an extent we are because we're staying home. But yeah, that's, that's one thing is to try to keep life, personal life as exciting as business life. So thanks for that.
David Krohse: Yeah. The last question or kind of note, I went back and listened to the last interview with Gina, and there was a point where she talked about the. Kind of like guarantee how long it was.
She went into actual business coach mode with you and she had some specific recommendations. She said that personally with her courses, there was a seven day guarantee. And then she also said that people couldn't take more than 15% of the course and get their money back. And she, she recommended that you drop your guarantee down to 15 days and that you outsource the refunds. And so I was wondering if you actually took her advice on either those or where your refund policy currently is.
Jacques Hopkins: I did outsource the refunds, so definitely did that. I did not change the refund policy from 30 days, though. I just really, really want to provide my students and customers the best possible experience.
And I think having a refund policy is, is an important part of that. And. I don't have any requirements for somebody getting a refund other than the timeframe. And if somebody comes in at day 31 and ask for a refund, I do give it to them. And I've thought about it, making it even longer. And, and you know, I've, I've even toying with this idea of a lifetime refund policy, like if any, anytime you ever want your money back.
Just cause I don't think it would change things very much. I think if at the end of the day you have an amazing product and give an amazing experience, then people will want to be a part of that and, and reward you for that as well. And so I think that by shortening the refund policy and being really stingy about it. There may be potential issues about your course or something in your mind about weaknesses in your course.
David Krohse: I will say when she talks about the reasons to decrease the refund policy down to a shorter amount of time, her main motivation was because she does a lot with affiliates and she wanted to be able to pay affiliates every two weeks.
And so that seven day policy allowed that. So as you start to head toward doing more affiliates. I guess that could a cause in general, if somebody makes a sale for you, you want to get them paid within about 30 days. Is that correct?
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah, yeah, definitely. So right now, my refund policy is 30 days, so therefore I don't pay affiliates until after that 30 days. So that's a great point. You know, your affiliates are essentially your customer as well, so you want to find the line between treating them well to your students well and your affiliates well. So that's, yeah, that's a very good point. By Gina and yourself.
David Krohse: That's the main things that I had.
Jacques Hopkins: Cool talking about affiliates in the intro and outro today. All right, well another fun one as normal. David, thank you so much for joining me as the, as the cohost here, and thanks to Gina for coming back on the podcast, always like having her on and thank you to everybody out there listening as well. You should know the drill by now. We do show notes for every episode and you can find those for today's episode by going to the online course, guide.com/one 33 and there's plenty of other resources about online courses.
At my site. You can find videos, you can find all the tools that I recommend. You can find the link to our free Facebook community there and a bunch of other stuff by going to the online course guy.com thanks again. We'll talk next week.
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