I’m on the road with my family and chronicling how I run my online course business at the very same time! This and the next few episodes is going to be short and sweet, because as much as I love my Online Course Show audience, I love my family more. 😉 But that doesn’t mean we can’t dive into how my business and my work process functions while I’m away from home.

“Being able to do something like this and still be able to run my business and serve others is one of the main reasons I got into this.”

– Jacques Hopkins

I hope you enjoy catching a glimpse of the freedom that having a successful online course can provide!

In This Episode, We Talked About:

  • (0:44) Why this episode is different (and an audio quality disclaimer)
  • (1:35) My plan for upcoming episode content
  • (2:50) The very first thing I do when I get ready for working away from home
  • (3:29) My most essential daily tasks
  • (5:13) Am I still livestreaming during my trip?
  • (5:59) Website updates and segmentation
  • (7:36) New training I’m making available on my site
  • (8:34) A recent funnel fire I had to put out – while on a walk with my family
  • (13;03) A realization regarding online courses about online courses

That’s all for now, folks! See you on the next episode of The Online Course Guy.

Jacques Hopkins: And off we go. Welcome aboard. Glad you're with us. This is the online course show. I'm your host, John Hopkins. And I am excited to dive into all thing’s online courses with you today. You may notice a few things right off the bat. My cohost, my normal cohost, dr. David cozy. It's not with me today and he's actually not going to be with me for the next five weeks.

And I'll explain why in just a second. You may also notice. Maybe the audio quality, not quite what it is normally for the online course show. And I'll be honest with you guys. I'm recording this episode and four more episodes going forward from my phone, because I am on the road. We are on a little adventure as a family.

We are traveling East and then West, we are renting an RV and we're just going to have a great little summer vacation, summer fun, being as safe as possible with the pandemic. And this is week one. And so, I thought for the podcast, I would Chronicle. Running an online course business from the road while vacationing with the family.

And just kind of share with you guys how that's going. So, this is week one, and this is what I'm going to be doing with this podcast for the next five weeks. Because to be perfectly honest with you guys being able to do something like this. And still be able to run my business and how my business still will be able to serve others is one of the main reasons I got into an online course world.

And so, I'm really excited about this. This is exactly the type of reason that I got into it. You know, ever since reading the four-hour work week and hearing about Tim Ferriss, all of his awesome experiences, traveling and everything, while still being able to run his business on, you know, four hours a week or, or whatever.

And in my case, it'll be something similar. I’m working a little bit, but not much because I want to be able to spend as much time with my family as possible and as much time doing some of these fun things that we have planned as possible. So, we're only a few days into this trip so far, and it's literally a five-week trip.

A five-week road trip, the majority of which we will be renting an RV. We haven't gotten to that point yet. We have just been at the beach so far and you know, my kids are younger now, so they still take naps. So, I do have the opportunity to kind of get some work done while they're napping. And that's exactly what I'm doing right now.

And that's exactly. When I'm recording this podcast episode. So, what does my process look like when I'm traveling? Well, the first thing I do is I let my assistant Emily know the dates that I'm leaving and the date that I'm coming back because she just needs to be aware of that, that I'm not going to be quite as responsive as normal, and she may need to, it takes some extra liberties.

It makes them extra decisions that maybe she normally wouldn't have. Maybe she normally could run certain things by me when she kind of knows the right answer, but she just wants to run it by me just in case. Well, she knows that I'm not as available and she can just kind of take care of some of those things herself.

So I make sure that she is aware and my team, everybody on my team is aware that I'll be I'll be away and not always available, but I also make sure I do certain things each day, whether it's in the morning or maybe during naps. And so many of you may know what those things if you've been following this podcast or kind of the way I run my business for any length of time, you might be able to guess what those things are.

But first and foremost, I do my Bonjoro is each day. So, if you're not familiar with that, Bonjoro is one of the tools that I use each and every day. And it just allows me to think my new students when they sign up for my course, just with a short personal video. So, I make sure I do my Bonjoro is each day and I'm still making sales while I'm away.

Right now, I'm making probably between four and eight core sales per day, which is just really good for my online piano course; Piano in 21 days. And so, I make sure to send out those Bonjoro to everybody that purchased in the past 24 hours. So, I did that shortly before recording this podcast. So, I'm caught up on my Bonjoro and the other thing I have to make sure I do each day.

But really, you know, I could skip a day, but I really can stay on top of things if I do all these things every day. Bonjoro and then I need to check Slack. Slack is where me and my team communicate, including my assistant Emily. And so, I am checking their once a day just to see if there's anything that just, it does need my attention.

And she, she understands that I'll be checking in once a day. So, she is free to message me there, leave things for me there as are other members of my team. And I will reply to those and give. Everyone, what they need from me, that one check-in per day. And then the last thing that isn't necessarily every day.

And it's really based on what I see in Slack is I might need to log into my email inbox and take care of something here or there, but that's just purely based on the information I get from my team within Slack. So that's kind of my process here beyond that. I am still going live with my piano students once a week.

So, I just, I really enjoy that. They look forward to that. And I did move the time on that. Normally I do it in the mornings, but I moved the time on those live Q and A's to the afternoon because that's when my girls will be napping. And so, I am making sure to do that. I'm going to be recording this podcast.

That's kind of going to be it. At least so far again, I'm just, it's still just week one here, still getting used to this process of such a, such a long-extended vacation trip. And like I said, at the beginning, just kind of peeling back the curtain a little bit, showing you guys how I'm running my business from the road on this little trip.

So that's kind of my process. And also, I don't know if you guys have seen it yet, but I launched the new website recently within the past couple of weeks. So, if you haven't checked it out already head over to Theonlinecourseguy.com and it is revamped, and there are new programs there that I have to help you, or really, it's updated versions of programs that I've had.

And I've really honed in that, you know, there's two types of people that, I can really help with online courses and the way that these two types of people need help is not the same. And so, it's very important that I have one program for one group. And another program for another group. And so if you're a beginner, if you're in the beginner stages, whether you're like complete beginner and you, you don't even have a domain or a course name yet, or if you are going down this path, but you just haven't really launched and haven't made a sale yet, then you're in the beginner category.

And for you, I have a program called the online course accelerator. And so, you can check that out at Theonlinecourseguy.com. And if you are, if you have a course already, if you are a course creator, and that's actually the majority of you listening to this podcast that I've found is existing course graders, just looking for tips and strategies and systems and processes.

And I just, I love helping you so much. And for that, I have a program called next level courses. Which, hey helps you get your course to the next level. Believe it or not. And a lot of people have signed up for the new versions, the past couple of weeks, and both versions have ways that you can actually get in for free.

I have built this entire brand. Pretty much on offering things for free. And the income I make is off of affiliates and it's working really, really well. And so, we're continuing that by offering these programs for free in exchange for certain affiliate signups as well. So, you can check out all that information and the new redesigning the website at Theonlinecourseguy.com.

There's also a brand-new workshop, webinar, whatever you want to call it there with my newest latest. Training the simple path to online course success. I just wrote down success with online courses in the simplest possible way that I could. And what it is the four main components that you need that I've found that exists in all successful online course businesses.

And I break it down for you in this training and show you how you can. If you have a course already, how you can diagnose where your weak point is. And sometimes just fixing that weak point, it makes everything work for you. Or if you're a complete beginner, you can watch that and see what a successful online course business looks like and set yours up the same way.

So, you'll find that webinar, that evergreen webinar over at Theonlinecourseguy.com as well. One thing there was, I was going over my process. A little while ago, a couple of minutes ago. One thing I did have to put out a fire a couple of days ago because I was checking Slack and I got a message from my assistant.

She's like, uh, there there's an issue here. And so, I was actually walking down the street with my family. We're going for a walk down the street. That's kind of right by the beach here. And while I was, I was doing my daily checking on Slack while we were walking. And normally it's pretty simple and there's not a lot that I have to do, but, but this, I saw this, I'm like, Oh no.

Oh shoot. And so I'll tell you guys what it was. And I had to kind of go back immediately and fix it actually. No, that's not what happened. I, I was able to message Emily exactly what to do, and we fixed it that way. But. What I do is when somebody signs up for my course, they will automatically get an email from me after 31 days saying.

Hey, the subject is just touching base. How's the course going. And that email I've pretty much had it set up the exact same way for years now. In fact, I'll be pulling it up here. The body says, hi, first name. It's been about a month since you signed up. And I wanted to check in to see how it's going. Have you not even logged in yet?

Did you log in a couple of times, but so far life has just got in the way. Have you made some progress, but got hung up on a certain topic. Have you made it through the course, hired an agent and are now touring with a Dell, whatever it is, let me know Chuck and people appreciate that email because I guess some people probably think that I manually type that out, but it is just automatically, exactly 31 days after people sign up that goes out.

And I think it's important to touch base with your customers. Every so often I have a touch base email after the 31 days and then another one after 90 days. But I don't want that email going out to be a reason that people. Request a refund, if that makes sense. So sometimes people will just kind of sign up and they won't be super motivated.

And let's just say, I'll get to it later. And then they kind of forget about it. And then the next time they get an email from me is on day 31. Well, I don't want that to be a reminder that they signed up for the course and then request a refund. I don't want me reaching out to somebody be to be that reason, if that makes sense.

So, I've always put that at day 31. So that it's after that 30-day refund policy and my engagement out, isn't the reason that they're like, Oh yeah, I forgot about this. Let me request a refund. And well, I inadvertently mess that up and what I thought might happen actually did happen to an extent. And so, I actually, at shortly before I left on the trip, I added a new email to the sequence.

Two days after somebody signs up. So, 48 hours after somebody signs up for the course, I did a new email to get them to try to join the Facebook group because I have a Facebook group for my students. And it's amazing. And my assistant noticed that a lot of times, when somebody requested a refund, they weren't, they never joined the Facebook group.

And so, I wanted people to really join that Facebook group, see the community. And hopefully that would be one of the reasons just to put them over the edge, to stay in the course. And guys, it's not like my refund rate is super high or anything. I just get a lot of signups. So, it's a numbers game. And so shortly before we left, I added a new email two days after somebody signs up.

And then I pushed that 31. I changed that 31 days later to a 29. Cause you've got the two days in the 29 days. So, I want that email. That touch base to go out after 31 days. Well, the problem with what I did is all the people that were kind of in that arena already in that weight already of 31 days when I changed that to 29 days, well, they came into that weight after I added the Facebook email.

And so, their total weight. Is only 29 days. So, what I thought might happen did start happening. Emily was like, you know, we're getting a lot of refund requests these past couple of days based on this email in response to this email. And she's like, I thought this wasn't supposed to happen because she understood that I intentionally put that email to go out after 31 days.

And I immediately realized what happened. And I was like, look, just go and see automation change that 29 back to a 31. And that's just the way it's going to have to be for now. And so, it was just very interesting that. What I thought could happen actually did happen to an extent for some people. It was very, very interesting.

So that is a, that is one little fire that I had to put out. And thankfully Emily helped me put it out and I just was texting her on Slack and we got it figured out. So, um, not a huge deal, but wanted to share that as something that happened a couple of days ago. And the last little nugget that I wanted to share with you guys for today and for this week is, you know, I kind of reached a realization recently.

There's a lot of people out there that are teaching about online courses. I mean, there's a lot, it's kinda like, you know, back in 2013, when I started my online piano course, there were very few online piano courses out there. And so, I've now been around for quite a while, but now there's just so many online piano courses.

Well, now, you know, I started the online course guy brand and the online course show in 2017. And there were certainly a few online course coaches out there, consultants, people that helped with online courses, but the amount of people today is very, very high. And there's a lot of great ones out there.

There's plenty that I follow and I wish it will upon any of them in less their, you know, not conducting business, ethically or properly. But I just, this is the realization I had is a lot of online course teachers out there that teach about online courses are sharing numbers from their online course business.

So, they say, you know, we've done, you know, $2 million in sales the past year from our online course. Well, typically that's on online courses and I'm always trying to share with you guys, um, results from my piano course, instead of something like that. So, just be aware of that and be aware of what those numbers might represent.
And what I'm trying to do with you guys is just share real stuff from a real online course business in a real niche. That's not moneymaking in this case piano. So, I'll leave that with you guys for now. Thanks, so much for listening and I'll be back next week.