Welcome back to The Online Course Show! Today, I’m chatting with Amanda Overs. Amanda has been teaching others to make their own shoes for over ten years and recently launched her first online course. We discuss the importance of community, overcoming barriers, and learning to pivot. Enjoy!
“If an idea just doesn’t work and I put heaps of energy into it… Okay, it doesn’t work. On to the next.”
– Amanda Overs
In This Episode, We Talked About:
- (0:44) David is super chuffed about today’s interview
- (1:40) Revisiting the podcast format
- (2:57) Weekly update
- (4:41) The Clubhouse train
- (8:07) Another platform?!
- (10:26) About Amanda
- (11:30) Why shoes?
- (11:52) How the online course happened
- (14:02) But why would anyone want to make their own shoes?
- (16:30) Why has creating an online course been on the list?
- (17:10) Launch strategy and using existing curriculum
- (19:43) Evolving to simplify
- (21:42) Trial and error
- (24:15) Overcoming supplier issues and other barriers to entry
- (29:20) Community and platform chat
- (35:19) The importance of your community
- (38:23) One of my students made that?
- (41:40) Being okay with failure
- (44:00) What would Amanda have done differently?
- (45:31) Traffic sources
- (50:15) Is there anything I can help Amanda with?
- (52:51) Realizing the potential
- (59:24) Where to find Amanda
- (59:58) Welcome back/ David’s thoughts
- (1:02:09) Pivoting and addressing barriers
- (1:07:04) Online courses as a date night?
That’s all for now, folks! See you on the next episode of The Online Course Show.
Offers and Tools:
Resources and Recommendations:
- Episode 161
- Mighty Networks
- Life As Paper
- Date Night in a Box
- Financial Peace University
- Melt: Massage for Couples
- Angela Fehr
- Michael O’Neal
- Annie’s course
- Liz’s course
Jacques Hopkins: [00:00:02] Regular people are taking their knowledge and content, packaging it up in an online course and they're making a living doing it. But not everyone is successful with online courses. There's a right way and there is a wrong way. And I'm here to help cause creators actually succeed with online courses.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:00:24] Hi, I'm Jacques Hopkins and this is The Online Course Show.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:00:32] And off we go. Welcome aboard. Glad you're with us. I'm your host, Jacques Hopkins, and I'm not alone here. Regular listeners will know that there is a co-host for this show.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:00:42] What's going on, Dr. K.?
David Krohse: [00:00:43] Oh, I'm super chuffed about this episode. I mean, you got a bloody good interview for us here. Really great. I know the listeners are going to love it.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:00:51] Well, you know, she's, Amanda's Australian, actually. She lives in London, but she's originally Australian.
David Krohse: [00:00:56] Are you serious?
Jacques Hopkins: [00:00:57] Yeah, yeah, yeah.
David Krohse: [00:00:57] I did not know that.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:00:58] Yeah. Yeah, I did. I did. I don't think it came up in the conversation. You know, I always do a little research before the interview. And, yeah, you know, I'm pretty well traveled. And I used to not be able to tell the difference and say an Australian, South Africa, English accent, and so on. But, you know, she's also been living in England for, I would guess, 10 years or so. We're getting a little ahead of ourselves. But I totally got what you were doing there, man.
David Krohse: [00:01:25] Yeah, well, yeah. I mean, she obviously just comes across as a lovely person and her accent is great.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:01:31] Yeah. And we'll get there. And that's the that's the type of gentle humor you bring to the show, man. And for those that maybe you're newer to the podcast, I just will quickly revisit this format. You know, I do the interviews, the conversations with other course creators. I do those myself. We play those in the middle of of the episode. But but you are you're the co-host here. It's me and you. And we talk about things on the beginning, at the beginning of the conversation and then at the end. So it's kind of like three there's always three parts to these episodes where the first part we're just kind of saying hi, goofing off a little bit and talking about random course creation topics. Then we get into the actual interview. And then on the on the back side, we talk about the interview, which I really like this format. Do you know of any other podcast that do it quite like we do it?
David Krohse: [00:02:24] None come to mind quite like this.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:02:25] Yeah, I know. I mean, plenty of shows have co-hosts and I've been interviewed on several shows that have co-hosts and I'm always interviewed by both people. And, you know, we've decided you've got you've got a full time job over there. I don't know that that's that's ever going to be a great fit. But it's cool because on the back side, like, I like for you to be the voice of the listener. You listen to the conversation. It's like, hey, you just listen to this. You weren't a part of the conversation. You listened to it like what are some of your takeaways? What did you like what did you not like about it? So that's what we do around here.
David Krohse: [00:02:56] Nice. Well, what's your update for the week, Jacques?
Jacques Hopkins: [00:02:59] I've got a few things. Man, I just I've talked about Upwork plenty of times, but I'm just continue to be amazed by you can get almost anything done on Upwork and almost anything. And one cool thing that I'm working on right now is and if you're not musical, then this might not make a lot of sense, but one thing that's been missing from the course that teaching it live really showed me that this would be very helpful is something called backing tracks where it's other instruments other than piano playing the tune in the certain key and certain chords. And then you play your piano along with those backing tracks. And I posted a job on Upwork recently to get some developed for my course, not only develop like the music side of things, but also sync it up with a video. So it's very clear to the student when they should be playing what chord along with the song. So it actually took a pretty unique skill set that could make the music and the video. And maybe that was my mistake for trying to find one person to do both, because I really only found one person. A lot of people applied to the job. They're like, hey, I could knock this music part out, but I don't know the first thing about the video side. But I found this one guy, I believe he's in Spain and he is absolutely crushing it. Far exceeded my expectations and I would have never been able to do that myself. And I posted one of the examples to my my piano students in the in the Facebook group for my for my paying members. And they were blown away. They were like, this is insane value. Like I'm already played along with it. And I'm like, guys, I have fifteen more of these coming for the course. But just a shout out to Upwork for that, for that, for that win here this past week.
David Krohse: [00:04:39] That's awesome. Awesome.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:04:41] Also. Clubhouse. Have you gotten on the Clubhouse train, man?
David Krohse: [00:04:47] Yeah, no thanks to you. Thanks for thanks for sharing your invites with other people. But yes, I did. I've got to get on it a couple of times here and poke around a little bit. What's your experience and thoughts?
Jacques Hopkins: [00:04:56] What's with that jab, man? I gave you an equal chance to get one of my invites. You're a member of Next Level Courses.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:05:04] I let I let them in on my my invites. Know it's an invitation only right now. I gave them first dibs and you're in there. You could have chimed in. I assume Mr. Social Media was already on there before me.
David Krohse: [00:05:15] But you've got to remember, I cut back on my Facebook usage, but...
Jacques Hopkins: [00:05:18] Dude, I've had so many people like podcast listeners, people in Next Level Courses, probably 10 people are like, Jacques, you've got to get on this platform man. Like you would crush it on this platform, like talk about courses. And finally, you know, what's the tenth person told me I got to get in there. I've got to get in early. I was like, all right. Because every time I don't have an iPhone, it's been iPhone only, right?
David Krohse: [00:05:41] Right.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:05:41] So I was like, fine. And I got in my car and I drove to the Apple store and I bought an iPod Touch just so I could get on the silly app Clubhouse. So if anybody's not familiar with it, it's the newest social media app, audio only. It's live audio. It's kind of hard to explain, but it's different than anything I've seen before and I'm still very much experimenting with it. But, hey, I'm going to be going live later today on Clubhouse. Not that you're listening to this on the same day we're recording this, but I'm going live with several course creators, a lot of people that I've had on the podcast. And I've kind of learned that that's kind of the way you do things. You don't necessarily go live by yourself. It's good to go live with several other people. So we're going to do that today, see how it goes. Hopefully other people will join the room, ask questions, and I can give you an update. I'm not completely bought in on it, but I'm still just experimenting with it a lot. What's what's been your experience so far?
David Krohse: [00:06:38] Well, I would just say that it could easily give podcasts, kind of a run for their money or become a competitor in the sense that, you know, if I go for a long walk with my dogs, there are times that I would pick a podcast and listen. And I think there will be times now that I'll just say, oh, is there anything that seems appealing on Clubhouse and potentially do that instead? So.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:06:59] Well, the downside is that it's live, but the upside is that it's live as well. So if you're on a walk with your dog, you could listen to an audio book which is obviously prerecorded. You could listen to a podcast obviously pre-recorded. You could jump on Clubhouse and you could jump in the middle of a conversation from one of your favorite marketers. Even there's all kinds of topics being discussed. Politics, sports. You could jump in and then it's being presented to you live. And then if you want to, like, raise your hand, you can possibly have opportunity to speak directly to that person, which is really the unique part of this.
David Krohse: [00:07:36] Nice.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:07:37] So keep me posted on on what you find out there. I'm we'll see. We'll see how this goes. I mean, I'm going to try to build up my audience a little bit, and that's that's what I'm going to use it for, is more of just like getting my message out versus consumption. But we'll see.
David Krohse: [00:07:52] Right. Well, I mean, I think that you'll have to share when you're going live on all your other socials so that people can jump over to the Clubhouse at the right time. Correct?
Jacques Hopkins: [00:08:00] I guess. I don't I don't know the playbook yet. I don't know. If somebody can give me the playbook, great. We'll see. Maybe I could develop one. So before we jump in to talking about the conversation, any other updates on your side?
David Krohse: [00:08:11] Well, I did just want to share about one other new platform that I think that some course creators in our audience should look into.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:08:17] I just got Clubhouse. There's another new one?
David Krohse: [00:08:20] Well, kind of it's a little bit different. So Zoom obviously Zoom has had a huge year, but they now have an beta service called OnZoom and it's live experiences. Some free, some paid but essentially you can go to OnZoom and there's, there's painting classes, there's, there's basically going to be classes for everything under the sun that are taught live. And so I was just thinking for people that are looking at becoming course creators that could be kind of their testing ground. Our interview today, Amanda, she was able to create an excellent course because she had taught this live for ten years. And you had this great experience just teaching live and saying I'm a better online course creator because I taught this stuff live. And so I think that looking at this OnZoom and seeing if it's a good fit for you is a great idea for course creators. The other thing is that obviously Zoom has a lot of money that sooner or later they can start to put into building this out. So when it goes out of beta and becomes mainstream, some of their top some of their top experience hosts, you know, Zoom might actually pay for advertising to build up OnZoom with that particular class. And so it could be a situation just like some of the early people that got into Udemy, I mean, they got money thrown behind their experiences and their courses. We might be coming up on a similar opportunity over OnZoom.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:09:44] Sometimes there's a huge advantage to getting in early and, you know, most most things flop, so it's not like something's new, you should definitely be on it, but. But we're talking about Clubhouse, we're talking about this Bitcoin like getting in early for a lot of things, like really pays off. So I'm looking for this right now. Tell me again what it's called? OnZoom?
David Krohse: [00:10:05] OnZoom.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:10:05] Yeah. So, I mean, I'm Googling OnZoom, which are kind of two generic words. Oh, there it is. So it's on.zoom.us. Online events, real experiences, a marketplace for immersive experiences. So we'll link to that in the show notes. I appreciate you bringing that up. I hadn't heard of it. And we'll see where that goes.
David Krohse: [00:10:25] Right.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:10:26] All right. So Amanda Overs, she teaches people to make their own shoes. And we're this is episode 167. And I love coming across new niches of people that we hadn't, niches we hadn't had on the podcast before. And this is certainly one of them. And I was very curious to dive into her story because I knew she'd been wildly successful with this business. And so it was just a true pleasure of a conversation. Super nice lady clearly knows what she's talking about, has a lot of great business insights. And so I'm excited to share this this conversation. So without further ado, here's the full conversation between me and Amanda Overs.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:11:12] Hey, Amanda, welcome to The Online Course Show.
Amanda Overs: [00:11:15] Thanks so much for having me.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:11:17] I'm so excited to talk to you today because I get really excited, especially when there's a niche that I wouldn't have necessarily thought of, right? Teaching people to make shoes. That's just amazing. Well, why is it that this is your thing? Why is it that this is what you're passionate about?
Amanda Overs: [00:11:34] Well, I've already been teaching shoemaking for 11 years. Just in person. So it kind of seemed like the natural next step to go digital with that. But I studied footwear. I've always loved making shoes. And it just sort of evolved from there, really.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:11:52] And so the online course piece of this is is newer to to your world, you've been doing this far longer than you have had an online course, right?
Amanda Overs: [00:12:02] Exactly. Yeah. Yeah.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:12:04] All right. So give me the give me the high level overview of that story. What led up to you wanting to launch an online course?
Amanda Overs: [00:12:11] Well, it's funny, actually, because I wanted to do an online course for years, but the business itself was always really busy. We were running in-person courses like every single weekend. We did private tuition during the week. I had a team of like six part-time teachers that were just like in and out teaching these classes. And we never had access to our own studio space to film an online course.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:12:41] Because you were so busy.
Amanda Overs: [00:12:42] Yeah, because there were always classes in there. And I was just like, oh, my gosh,
Jacques Hopkins: [00:12:46] I see where this is going. I think it may be COVID related.
Amanda Overs: [00:12:49] It's totally COVID related. Yeah. But the funny thing is, I had written out, I write like, you know, your goals for the year, every year. An online course is like on the list every year and it just kind of never happens. But at the very beginning of 2020, I'd written on a white board like Goals for 2020 and it was like do the online course. And the deadline was by the end of the year, which is just hilarious to me now because obviously COVID hit the world, set the whole business at a complete standstill. And yeah, I mean we couldn't even access our studio for that first lockdown. So I was like, well I'm just going to film the online course from home. And that's what I did. So, yeah, the whole ethos behind our shoemaking style has been to teach people how to make shoes from home so we don't use, like, heavy machinery or anything anyway. So it's funny how things work out. You know, it was like as soon as I did it from home, I was like, I should have done it from home. That's kind of how it happened, really, how it all started.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:14:02] Why is it I was thinking about I was thinking about what you do and you've obviously been doing it for a long time. I was thinking about your market. Like why somebody would want to make shoes. And then I was like, well, everybody wear shoes. I mean, I'm well, I don't always wear shoes when I'm working, but I'm wearing shoes right now. It's like, but you know when I need shoes, I go buy them. Like, what's the motivation for people wanting to make their own shoes?
Amanda Overs: [00:14:25] Well there's lots of different motivations. But I'd say our, easiest customer, our most common customer is people who are already crafters. So they might be already pretty heavily in the sewing industry. Well, the sewing community, I guess. So maybe they actively like to make their own clothes and then shoes to sort of feels like the next natural step. Or maybe they just like to make things in general. So that's one customer that we get quite often. But the other customers we get quite often are people who have really difficult feet. Right? So they might have like super tiny feet and they can't get shoes in their size or have really big feet and they can't find nice shoes in their size or they have bunions like, I don't know, whatever other problems they might have.
Amanda Overs: [00:15:12] So, yeah, you can sort of find something in everybody because everybody wear shoes, so.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:15:20] Sure. Yeah. So when people have kind of unique needs or if it's somebody that just likes to make things in general, that reminds me actually I'm thinking of a lady named Liz in my community, that is, she runs a membership on just like making things.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:15:36] She teaches people to make beeswax wraps and all kinds of cool no waste products. And so she's she's going to enjoy this this conversation because you're teaching people to to make things as well. OK, so you've got the physical presence in London. Are people like coming in from all over the world to go to these workshops and in-person courses?
Amanda Overs: [00:15:59] Yeah, I mean, they were.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:16:01] Well....
Amanda Overs: [00:16:03] They were pre-COVID. Yeah. We would have like at least two people who'd come in internationally on every single class. So, yeah, it was quite a diverse bunch of people that we that we had. Yeah. We've had a lot of people go on to like start their own shoe brands as well. So they might just want to come in, learn how to make shoes so that they can communicate properly with their factories in the future or whatever they want to do there.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:16:30] Well, it sounds like you've had a pretty healthy business. Like why has creating an online course been on the list for so long if things are going so well?
Amanda Overs: [00:16:39] Because we get so many international students, you know? So with every international student that comes over to do because it's not just the cost of the course for them, it's also the flights, the accommodation, you know, just the cost of being in London for however long they come for. So we've always had people ask us if there's an online version. So I guess that's why it's always been on the list, is really because of the international nature of our customer base.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:17:07] Yeah, very interesting. OK, so the lockdowns start, you can't really do the in-person stuff anymore. You say, OK, this is the time when I can actually film the course. Ironically, you were waiting for the studio to be available, but then you couldn't even do that. So you film it from home. What happens next? How do you go from OK, now I have the time to actually launching your course?
Amanda Overs: [00:17:29] Well, yeah, it happened quite naturally, I think, because I couldn't do anything else other than the course because we were in a lockdown. So all I had to do was that. And it was I think it worked out quite well doing it from home as well, because it sort of proved the concept. I'm always saying to people, you can do this from home, but then here I am teaching in my studio where I've got everything I need. So I think by actually putting my money where my mouth is and like setting it up in my living room, it gave people sort of the confidence, I think, to trust that it was possible to do it. So, yeah.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:18:11] Did you start with just an existing curriculum? Maybe you started with a course that you were already teaching a person? Yeah.
Amanda Overs: [00:18:17] Oh, I see what you're asking me. Yeah, no, we did exactly that. I took a course that I have been teaching and sometimes twice a month for ten years and just repurposed it. I mean, well I just filmed what I always teach. So I think in that sense it was really easy for me to do. I didn't have those steps and how to teach them inside out because it's just a course that I had already been running. So. Yeah.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:18:44] And what was that? What was that course? What's the topic?
Amanda Overs: [00:18:46] Well, that was well, in a real life sense, it's a three day course. Right. So in that course you might have a group of like maybe six people and over three days they would make a pair of shoes from start to finish. Now, everybody in that group might make a slightly different pair of shoes, depending on what is achievable within that three day time frame. So what I did is I picked out a selection of styles that people typically do on that course and just filmed them all and gave the instructions in that way.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:19:24] So it was more it was more general, I'm asking that because, like right now I'm on icanmakeshoes.com and I see one of the banners at the top is "Join Our Online bootmaking Course."
Amanda Overs: [00:19:34] It's evolved a lot. Right. So when I first launched the the first online course, it was based off that physical course, the three day course. After that, we then launched a mini sandal course, a sneaker making course, a patent making course, all these little courses. And what I realized was that it was just freaking people out and they were sort of like, I don't know where to start. Am I supposed to do this one first or that one first? And if I do this, will I know how to do that? And it was just really confusing people. So we ended up combining all these little courses into the shoe course and just sort of made it like... Well it's called A Beginner's Guide To Home Shoemaking. So we just included more into that one so that it was just a really amazing starting point for people. And then we later did the bootmaking course and now we only really have our shoemaking course and our bootmaking course. And that's pretty much it.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:20:40] I think that's that's a very natural progression to go down is you think more is better.
Amanda Overs: [00:20:47] Yeah.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:20:47] Right? The more courses like you have successful with one, create more. It's very interesting that you went down that path. And what do you think the biggest problem was? Was it just overwhelming for people visiting and trying to figure out what they needed to buy from you?
Amanda Overs: [00:21:02] Yeah, I think so. I think well, I think, first of all, most people don't already feel comfortable with shoemaking because it's a little bit of a different craft. And it's not a craft that I think people naturally feel like, oh, I'll be able to do that, no problem. They kind of need a bit of encouragement to know that it's totally fine for beginners, etc..
Amanda Overs: [00:21:23] So I think people just felt like they didn't know where to start and they didn't want to choose the wrong thing. And if they're spending money, they don't want to do the wrong things. So I think just by sort of having a bit of handholding and just having that one option just made it so much easier for people.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:21:42] How did you how did you know that, though? How did you know that was a problem and that combining it to one course was going to be better?
Amanda Overs: [00:21:49] Trial and error. We put all the little courses up. They would live. They were selling. But every time someone would inquire, they'd be like, I just want I just want a really good, like foundation for a complete beginner. And we'd be like, OK, well, then you need to do that shoe course. So we were just directing everybody to that course anyway. And then we just realized by talking to people, you know, they were confused by these little courses. So we were like, well, let's take out the confusion.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:22:20] How did you how did you launch? Do you have an email list? How did you spread the word about these courses being available?
Amanda Overs: [00:22:28] We did a prelaunch. I just was really active at that time, especially with our Instagram and Facebook communities, we do have an email list, but it's not massive but I was doing Instagram stories every day being like we're all in lockdown. I'm going to make you guys an online course. And then I was doing lives as I was filming it. And then I was like, OK, it's going to be ready in two weeks. We're going to do a presale and then we did a presell. And then when it was ready, we were like, OK, we're going to you know, it's launched. It's here. Here's another sale. And then we kind of got I say lucky but mean it's not lucky because it was lockdown, but our lockdown got extended. So we extended our sale, our launch sale, so to go. So kind of in that period of everybody being like not knowing how long this whole thing's going to go on for and being like, cool, I'm going to use this lockdown to like learn a new hobby. So I think just by being really active and communicative on social media is good, but yeah, we did everything. We sent emails like did the whole thing.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:23:40] Well, I'll tell you, a lot of people wanted to learn the hobby of piano during lockdown. It was good for it was good for my business. And I'm sure things anything you could do at home, which that's that's cool about your niche is you're not you know, you don't need the heavy machinery. You're teaching people to actually make the shoes from home. And so so I'm sure that if you even if you would have had the courses already available, if you if you've been doing this for years, the online course piece, imagine how much even better the courses would have done if they were immediately available once the lockdowns started.
Amanda Overs: [00:24:14] I know. It's so true. It's funny, though. I think the one thing that sort of held it back was just the supplies because we still had to get the supplies to people. So, yeah, the courses have continued to evolve loads. I mean, when we first launched, it was just like, here's the course, find your own supplies. And then it was sort of like, OK, here's the course, we sell most of the supplies and then now it's like kids because it comes with a free kit. So it's kind of as we've evolved and just sort of learnt what the blockers are for people.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:24:48] Interesting. Let's let's talk about that a little bit, because, you know, I've been in business with my piano course for almost eight years now. And I do when when people buy a certain level of my package, I do physically mail them. They get a piano book and some flashcards and a few other things, a t shirt, and people will hear that they're like, oh, well, Jacques's doing that. Like when I launched my course, I need to be doing that as well. And I'm like, wait, hold on, hold on. I've been doing this a long time and I didn't offer the physical package for the first several years. Give me and it's not often that I have somebody on the podcast that that does the physical thing as well. What what is your process for that not being a huge pain in the neck?
Amanda Overs: [00:25:27] It is a huge pain in the neck. It is. It totally is. But at the end of the day, from the moment we launched up until I mean, we're still evolving it, but it's just like how can we sell more? And what is stopping people? And one of the main things that was stopping people was getting access to the supplies. So we already have access to the supplies because we've been running classes for ten years. So it's a bit like it was really easy for us to execute doing that, getting that to people. And it just took away that barrier to entry I think.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:26:09] It sounds like I mean, even far more important for your niche than mine. The piano stuff is just kind of a bonus. It's kind of a physical version of the things you're already getting inside the course. Whereas for you, like you actually need these materials to do the things inside your course.
Amanda Overs: [00:26:25] Yeah.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:26:26] I'm guessing you have like a team in place that packages all this stuff up and does the shipping labels and everything.
Amanda Overs: [00:26:32] Exactly. Yeah, we do. I mean, our whole team has just had to re-jig what we do because, you know, essentially 2020 was the start of a new business for us completely because we weren't really running any any physical courses. So, yeah, our whole studio has just turned into a stock room now and we just pack up orders every single day. And out they go.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:26:58] And you're and you're shipping those internationally all over the world.
Amanda Overs: [00:27:02] Yeah.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:27:03] OK, and that's just part of the course.
Amanda Overs: [00:27:05] Exactly. It's just, you know, the cost of the course is just absorbed, the cost of the materials.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:27:12] Do you know, I think my packages cost me in materials about $40 each. And then when I ship within the United States, it's like $7 and internationally it's like $20. So we're looking at anywhere from like $50 to $60 is my cost. And then the course is about $500. Looks like your course is I can either do 425 pounds or $575.
Amanda Overs: [00:27:37] Yeah.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:27:37] Similar pricing.
Amanda Overs: [00:27:38] Yeah.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:27:39] How much the physical material is costing you?
Amanda Overs: [00:27:43] Yeah. It's actually really similar.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:27:45] OK.
Amanda Overs: [00:27:46] We don't include shipping so that's the one thing we do. We ship internationally. But in order to get your kit you have to go onto our website, select what you want because there's lots of different options. I mean, choose this heel or this heel if you want high heel or mid or flat.
Amanda Overs: [00:28:04] So how it works is the people buy the online course and then they get sent to our website where they can select all of the different things that they want and then they have to pay their own shipping. So that certainly helps depending on where they are in the world.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:28:25] Interesting.
Amanda Overs: [00:28:25] Yeah, we're trying to find new suppliers at the moment so that we can get the cost of the kit down. So that we can absorb the cost of the shipping because that's another barrier to entry, people are like, oh, the shipping is too expensive because the shoemaking materials are heavy. Right? Like all the stuff.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:28:41] Oh yeah, I didn't think about that. Yeah, your shipping costs are probably higher than mine.
Amanda Overs: [00:28:45] They are. Yeah, they are especially going to the U.S. They're expensive.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:28:52] So people get prerecorded videos, they get a physical package. What else does somebody get when they sign up for this course?
Amanda Overs: [00:29:02] Well, it's the physical package, the videos. They get access to our community. We do like Q&A's every now and then and live sessions every now and then, but yeah.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:29:16] Is the community on Facebook or somewhere else?
Amanda Overs: [00:29:19] Well, we have the Facebook community and then we also have a Q&A section within Teachable. So within the course itself, which I actually think is quite good because people can ask questions about a specific step and then you can obviously read up the other questions other people have asked and everything. So.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:29:39] I do think that's good. I'm migrating my course right now from one platform to another. And one of the features that I'm going to include in the new version is under at the bottom of each lesson, like a Q&A section. So that like right when you're on that specific lesson page, you can you can ask questions about it and not have to jump all the way over to the community or to a general discussion. And we can focus in on that lesson. So it sounds like that's what you're doing within Teachable.
Amanda Overs: [00:30:04] Yeah, exactly.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:30:06] Why did you go with Teachable?
Amanda Overs: [00:30:09] A couple of reasons. One, I had already participated in a couple of online courses on Teachable, so I just already kind of felt like I was comfortable with the platform. But I also really liked that you just pay a membership fee and that they don't charge you a percentage for every single sale that comes through. And I just yeah, I just kind of liked the ease of it all. It's quite easy to engage with affiliates and build your sales pages and stuff. It's probably it's probably something that will outgrow at some point, I think. I know there are other platforms like Kajabi and stuff like that that integrate with your email marketing and everything, which will probably grow into. At the moment Teachable just seemed like well at the moment it's serving us well. And at the time it just seemed like the the easiest.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:31:03] Sure.
Amanda Overs: [00:31:04] Yeah.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:31:04] I did. I did a deep dive recently and podcast listeners will know that, but I evaluated like what I would consider like the top 16 different online course platforms because I wanted to share that with the audience. But I was also interested in moving to a different platform.
Amanda Overs: [00:31:18] Which was the best one?
Jacques Hopkins: [00:31:21] Well, so have you heard of ClickFunnels?
Amanda Overs: [00:31:24] Yes, I have,
Jacques Hopkins: [00:31:25] That's where my course has been the past, like four years. That's what I'm moving off to, because what I what I determined was that it's really good at the sales funnel part of things, but not so good at the course side of things. Just really, really simple. The reason I don't have a Q&A and the lessons now is because it's just not possible, basically. It's very just very limited. So that's that's where I've been. The best one is extremely subjective, right. Because everybody's got different needs. So the platform I picked is not necessarily the best for you or for for everybody. I am going to more of a WordPress based solution using something called LearnDash and BuddyBoss. And I'm going to have my community and my course and everything is going to be all in the same place. I'm going to move my community off of Facebook like a Facebook group and into the same place as the course.
Amanda Overs: [00:32:19] Yeah.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:32:20] And the other really nice thing about BuddyBoss and LearnDash is they have a they have a service or a I don't know exactly what to call it, but I can then package all of that up and turn it into a branded mobile app as well.
Amanda Overs: [00:32:34] Wow. That is good.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:32:35] Yeah it is. So in in March that will be a actual Piano In 21 Days app, which is just the same exact stuff that is what you would see when you log it on a web browser as well. So that's we're right in the middle of all that.
Amanda Overs: [00:32:51] But is it a huge exercise? I only I know that it's coming to me and I'm kind of nervous about doing I know I'm going to have to migrate soon.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:33:00] That's interesting that you're already thinking about migrating because, I mean, Pat Flynn uses Teachable, like a lot of big people use Teachable and have lots and lots of students. I personally am not a huge fan.
Amanda Overs: [00:33:10] Yeah.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:33:11] I think I think it's also quite limited. But it's interesting that you're fairly new to this and you're already thinking about switching platforms.
Amanda Overs: [00:33:17] Well, it's just because and and it has been really good like it it honestly has been the best, I think for us like the best possible platform to launch with, but it's just as you get deeper with it and you start like learning more about your students and then they go through different journeys. It actually doesn't integrate that cleverly with other funnels and things like that, right?
Jacques Hopkins: [00:33:45] I mean, it's it's I mean, if you go back and listen to that episode of the podcast where I revealed like, which when I was picking and did my evaluation, like basically I rated Teachable last.
Amanda Overs: [00:33:56] I'm going to go listen to it after this.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:33:58] That doesn't mean and one of the messages I try to convey in that episode, too, is like which platform you pick is by far not the most important thing. Right. You've obviously you're very successful. Your students are getting results like it conveys the information you want to convey. And there's there's far more important aspects. But and I don't think it's probably the top priority thing you need to be thinking about is migrating off of Teachable at this point. But that's just my hopefully unbiased opinion.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:34:28] The top four that I now recommend to people would be Kajabi for sure. And then the BuddyBoss/LearnDash solution, which is what I'm going with, I almost said Teachable, no, Thinkific.
Amanda Overs: [00:34:41] Yeah.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:34:42] And Mighty Networks. Have you heard of Mighty Networks?
Amanda Overs: [00:34:45] No, I haven't heard of Mighty Networks.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:34:46] Yeah, that one's really interesting. In fact, I was really close to going with Mighty Networks for mine because they also offer the branded app solution. The thing I love about Mighty Networks is they were a community platform first and then added... Then they added online courses. Right.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:35:04] They're the only one of all of these that that went that direction like Kajabi and think like they now have some community aspects to them. Teachable has the Q&A part.
Amanda Overs: [00:35:14] Yeah.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:35:14] But Mighty Networks started as just a community platform and now they have online courses and I'm big on community like when I talk about online courses I don't want it to just be some prerecorded videos. Like I want to have community, I want to have some interaction, like I want people to do everything we could possibly be doing for students to find success.
Amanda Overs: [00:35:32] Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Honestly, we wouldn't have had nearly any of the success that we've had if it wasn't for the community. And even just in in what I was saying before, like how the courses have evolved just by literally asking them. It's like instead of just guessing, it's like, OK, this confusing to you, would this be less confusing? And then we were like, what's missing? Everybody was like, I just want to do boots. So, we were like, OK, we'll we'll do a boot course. So which coincidentally, I started filming right when we went into our second lockdown. I just spent my lockdowns recording online courses basically. But yeah, it's like without the community, it just really would have been complete guesswork, to be honest, even down to like the shoes, like the boots that I selected to make in the bootmaking course I put out on our social media channels and within the Facebook community, it was like, do you want this one or this one? You know? And it was all voted for and everything. So, yeah, it certainly made making decisions and it easier.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:36:39] For the communities is obviously great for that. And it's such a novel concept to like, ask your your your customers, your students and your prospective students what they're struggling with or what they need. But the community is also what I found just phenomenal for people just interacting with each other. Like other people going through this same same journey. I could only imagine that your community people are constantly just sharing photos of what they've been able to accomplish.
Amanda Overs: [00:37:04] Yeah. And it's so good for us as well, because as part of the business just evolving with all this new online stuff, we have to sort of look at the fact that we used to gather all of our social content from our physical classes every week we would have at least ten people or whatever through the doors and we get photos of all the shoes and that would be like ten days worth of content. So we don't really get that anymore, so we really rely on the user generated content and the more people interact with each other in the community, the more willing they are to share that content with us and for us to share it. So I think it just takes away like a certain fear that people might have of judgment or something. But if they're comfortable within the community, then they feel really comfortable sharing their work. So, yeah.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:37:58] The other day, just a few days ago, I, you know people are always posting of videos of them playing piano in my community, so I guess similar to them having made a shoe for you. And that's one of my favorite things in the world, is to see those videos and hear people playing who weren't able to play as little as a few weeks prior. For you, are you ever just, like, blown away? Like sometimes you expect certain things, but sometimes it's like they took it just to another level, like, wow. One of my students made that.
Amanda Overs: [00:38:34] Yeah. It happens all the time. I mean, it happens on both ends of that spectrum. Right. Like I get sometimes I see stuff and I'm just like I'm just sort of like, wow, you know, really interesting designs. But yeah, I mean, especially in the last couple of months, like, really, really amazing shoes have been made. And it's it's interesting because it's been almost like almost all of 2020 was the courses were out, but I think it's taken people, months to settle into it, and maybe people have made a couple of pairs of really questionable shoes before they start to make some stuff that's really, really good. So it's really been in the last couple of months that I'm starting to see really, really impressive shoes and boots that people are making. And what's most impressive is when they take instructions that I've given for two completely different shoes and they kind of mesh them together and make their own unique design. And that's amazing. I mean, that's what it's all about, really. So.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:39:47] Well, I mean, some people would say it's all about the money.
Amanda Overs: [00:39:50] Yeah, that helps, too.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:39:53] So going back to like when you were when you were filming your course about to launch type stuff, I guess back in maybe May-ish?
Amanda Overs: [00:40:04] March, yeah.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:40:04] March, ok. You already mentioned that you regretted having all these different courses for sale and then eventually you did package them up. You mentioned that Teachable has got its pros, but it's also got its cons. What else do you think, if anything, would there be like looking back, would you have done different?
Amanda Overs: [00:40:26] I think the only thing I would have done differently is to just have figured out that I wanted to just do these two courses all along. I didn't know at that point that we wouldn't really be running physical classes for the whole rest of the year and now into 2021. So I don't think I would have done anything different, to be honest. It's I think it's all a learning curve. I've always liked to grow my business quite organically and I think the online courses I grew quite organically. If I hadn't have done all those smaller courses, then it might still be something that I'm like, oh, we need to do this, because that's how I that's how I sort of operate. I am constantly doing trial and error and I am totally cool if an idea just doesn't work and I put heaps of energy into it, I'm like, OK, it doesn't work onto the next. So yeah, I'm absolutely cool with that. It's just if I hadn't have done those little courses, I'd probably still have in the back of the mind that I want to try them. You know?
Jacques Hopkins: [00:41:31] That's that's hard, Amanda. I don't like I almost don't even believe you because even at this point, like, I want everything to work, like everything I ever do. I want it to work. Like, how do you think you've gotten to a place where you're OK with failure?
Amanda Overs: [00:41:43] I don't know. I've just always been like that. And also, I, I don't often have failures because I don't do things that I don't really believe are going to work or that I don't really believe are good, you know? Like I'm not out there trying to tell people, like I'm the best shoemaker in the world. And after you do this course with me, you're going to be like, hugely successful. I'm like I've been making shoes for many years. I love what I do. I've been teaching it for years. And here is how I would teach you to do it, to do it as a total beginner. So it's like, you know, as long as I own what I'm doing, it can't go wrong. Someone can't be like, well, I wasn't good at it. It's like, well, that's OK. You're a beginner. Keep going. Keep practicing.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:42:31] Yeah.
Amanda Overs: [00:42:31] You know, but...
Jacques Hopkins: [00:42:32] You had I mean, when you launched your online course, you'd been teaching this material for, I guess, almost ten years. So that's you knew it was going to be a success.
Amanda Overs: [00:42:42] Yeah. I was already so confident with the material because of that, because I've been teaching it already for so long and because I was doing that that prelaunch hype, right? So I knew that people were interested because I was going on Instagram stories and being like, I'm going to do this online course, like, does anybody want to go on a waiting list? And then loads of people like, yeah, yeah, yeah, me, me, me. So I was like, well obviously people want this. When I launched the mini courses, I didn't go on that being like, hey, does anyone want me to launch a small sneaker making course? And maybe I should have done that. That's what I would have done differently.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:43:22] Build up the hype.
Amanda Overs: [00:43:23] I would have. Yeah. Or I just, you know, I think I think I was relying on my community a lot without really realizing the value of it. So I got all this valuable information and had a hugely successful launch. And then I just guessed for a bit. And then I was like, oh, this isn't working. Went back to talk to them, took those courses back down or sort of absorbed them into the bigger course.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:43:47] Not everybody has an audience when they go to launch their first online course, which is one of the biggest problems that I see. And that's why a lot of the times I'll recommend people just like, hey, let's start building an audience first before we think about putting an online course together. If you didn't have an audience yet and got an idea for an online course, then what do you think the steps you would take be?
Amanda Overs: [00:44:14] I'm a really strong believer in doing surveys, so I probably start there. There's so many communities online, right? So it's like even if you don't have your own, you can go to other communities and float your ideas. And I think there's a really blurred line there between people going on public communities or communities that are owned by another brand of business and sort of flogging themselves and saying, like, this is what I do. I'm going to try and sell my product to your community. And it doesn't really work. But I think starting... Starting conversations or contributing to conversations that have already been taking place on communities to sort of try and try and just gauge whether people are interested in what you're doing, I guess, or whether they're interested in what you have to say or what you have to offer. But, you know, it is always way more valuable to have your own community, so I would definitely suggest trying to stop building one before you start. But, yeah, there's a lot of communities out there that you can already utilize as well.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:45:29] Agree, 100%. Let's go back and talk about traffic a little bit. You mentioned earlier that don't have a massive email list, which is it's all relative. I know on Instagram, you've mentioned Instagram a lot as far as marketing goes. Looks like you're almost at 30,000 followers there, which I would say that's not a massive account either. But some people might call that massive. I mean, I've got probably 2,000 followers on Instagram, so that's very impressive for me. How big is your email list and what is your biggest traffic source?
Amanda Overs: [00:46:03] Biggest traffic source is Facebook, Instagram. Email list is like under 10,000. Like around that. But we don't honestly I don't have the biggest success rate in my email list and that's something that we're going to be working on a lot this year because it's just I mean, email is like number one. Right. But it isn't for us. So I know there's like a huge missed opportunity there, but yeah, Facebook, Instagram is for sure our biggest traffic source.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:46:35] Any paid ads or is it all organic?
Amanda Overs: [00:46:38] We started doing paid ads just at the end of last year. But yeah. Up until then it's been totally organic.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:46:48] So when I go to your site once again, icanmakeshoes.com, there is a banner at the top for the boot course that we talked about. And then there's also one of the menu items is online courses, which then takes me to the Teachable sales page where I can go and sign up for either $575 US or 425 in pounds. I'm sure you're familiar with different marketing strategies. Some people don't even allow you to buy from the website and you kind of have to enter a funnel and go through a few hoops. What are your thoughts on just making it available at any point in time?
Amanda Overs: [00:47:26] We're actually redeveloping our whole website at the moment, so it's not that easy to navigate and it's also not that easy for us to track with our paid ads because we're sending people to a sales page on Teachable rather than just sending them to a check out there. So we are improving all of that a lot.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:47:51] So some people, myself included, like you go to pianoin21days.com, you can't actually buy the course on there. Like, I want you to enter the funnel and you can really only buy it through emails.
Amanda Overs: [00:48:04] Well, we've got a few different things running all at the same time. So we have got like two funnels running at the moment which come with gated content. So like a free course, a free mini course. And then, you know, you get a discount if you sign up for the full course and then so on and so forth. But because most of our traffic is coming through social media, we actually have a huge portion of people that are just like it's literally swipe up link and that will come from there. So that's working really well at the moment. So we're going to keep it there. But as part of the redev, I think there'll be a lot more going on with our email marketing and funnels and all that kind of stuff as well.
Amanda Overs: [00:48:55] But I still think I don't know, I'd have to1see really strong success from the funnels I think before I felt comfortable enough to actually take it down, take that automatic buy down.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:49:09] I'm certainly not suggesting you should do that. But there is great power in scarcity and some people will. Some people do it like you do and have great success. Some people choose to just do like two launches a year. And you know that way you can just kind of build up the hype around this event. Just have like one or two just big launches throughout the year. And then other people do more of an evergreen funnel approach where you can't necessarily buy on the website. But through the funnel is always going it. It's not like the live launches. So there's a few options there and yours is working. So it's hard to consider doing other things, but what if one of the other strategies sold five times as many more than five times more success stories around the world?
Amanda Overs: [00:49:56] I know. I mean, I guess as at the same time as you're filming this online course and selling it and everything, I've also been sort of teaching myself how to be an online course provider. So there's still so much that I have to figure out for sure.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:50:15] Anything I can help with?
Amanda Overs: [00:50:17] Yes, help, I guess. Well, I guess it's just figuring out exactly that, like, what are the different, you know, methods in which you can sell and how is the best way to run them simultaneously so that you can test them all?
Jacques Hopkins: [00:50:34] Well, I know like for me, back in early 2016, when you went to pianoin21days.com, it was it was basically a sales page where you could buy the course. And I was making about a $1,000 a month and then at some point 2016I changed that out for a funnel and with the same traffic in the same course I started making about $10,000 a month from the course. And so my very small experiment showed 10x results in doing that because scarcity is very powerful.
Amanda Overs: [00:51:06] For sure.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:51:08] So that's usually what I encourage people to do. Split testing. That would be a little difficult. It would be more probably like saying for the month of February, we're going to try this other approach and see how that goes and compare it to January. For my experience, I would I would think that it would do pretty well. But it's also a matter of what you're comfortable with. And if you just prefer just having it the way that you have it, then there's a lot to be said for that.
Amanda Overs: [00:51:33] Yeah, well, I guess I guess that's like the the main thing we're sort of figuring out now is, OK, we've we've worked out that having these two courses is the best way. But it's like, how do we maintain that? Know those evergreen sales, like you said, whilst we use our time to do other projects and to nurture the community, because really we have to keep nurturing that community in order to get all that amazing user generated content.So, yeah.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:52:06] So that's the biggest thing. Like, you're you're you're still new to this world. So you're you're trying to figure out how to be as successful as possible course creator at this point in time, you've you've been able to have a lot of success already because you're you're already a savvy business person. You already have an audience. Looks like there's still plenty of room for growth and you clearly know what you're doing. But I think if there's there's no limit to what you could be doing here.
Amanda Overs: [00:52:30] Yeah, for sure. It's so true. I mean, when I look at it and I think about other people in this space around the world, there's really not that much competition for me. So it's actually just a matter of getting in front of as many curated eyeballs, I suppose, as possible. So, yeah, I think I'm looking to grow a lot in the next couple of years. And I mean, it's just amazing to see, like we've, had usually doing like, I don't know, 250 students a year on our physical courses. And we had 250 people enrolled in the first couple of months, you know, that was just like so fast. So it really has sort of shown me how much further outreach can be by having the online courses. And now I wish I had done it years ago. It was really funny. I always say to people, I'm like, all I did was recorded a course that I've been teaching twice a month for ten years and I'm just like, idiot, why didn't I do this sooner? But.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:53:45] Yeah, because then I mean, people that's that's one of the great things about online courses, is it allows you to scale that presentation so well, you know, that exact curriculum presentation, like you could do it in your sleep, you know, like the back of your hand.
Amanda Overs: [00:53:59] Yeah.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:54:00] But once you record it now people can watch it without you having to give the presentation.
Amanda Overs: [00:54:06] Yeah, exactly. It's great.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:54:10] So next, tell me about the book. Why, why add a book to everything you're doing?
Amanda Overs: [00:54:17] The book actually came out beforehand. So at the I started I can make shoes at the very beginning of 2010. So at the end of 2019 I wanted to do something special to celebrate ten years in the industry. So and the book actually was my original idea for the business. So when I started I Can Make Shoes, I wanted to write a book and then I was like, well who's going to buy my book? So I'll run a couple of workshops to test out the steps and see if they make sense to people. And then I'll write this book, do some workshops and then they just took off. And the book was just like a redundant idea. So it sort of felt really good after ten years to come back to that and make a book and release and so much better doing it that way around, because then I had ten years worth of experience to put in the book as well. So I guess all blown out of the fact that there really wasn't any learning material available for people to make shoes from home as a hobby craft, you know what I mean?
Jacques Hopkins: [00:55:26] Are you selling more books or courses?
Amanda Overs: [00:55:28] Courses. For sure. But interestingly, a lot of people who buy the course also want the book. It's sort of like, I don't know, like committing to a craft like shoemaking you sort of and this is, I think, why the free kit also does really well, because if you're going to be spending around $500 and you're going to be committing your time to taking on this craft, it's like you do kind of want to get like a package of stuff. And I think that's why people also want to get the book as well. It just feels a bit more official or something gives people a bit more confidence as well, I think that we've got a book out there. You know, we sold like 1,000 copies of the book in one year just through our own website, like not on Amazon, not on anything else.
Amanda Overs: [00:56:18] So, yeah, it's been I think I think the book has given people sort of extra confidence in us, and that's probably helped give people the confidence to buy the course as well.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:56:29] Yeah, there's there's something about physical. I mean, I've had my my 100 page work book that accompanies the course in the portal since it first launched in 2013. Only in the past couple of years I've I had a physical version of that. It's behind me right there. It's a little blurry in the shot because I like to have a blurry background, but that's one of the things that I send out in the physical package. Have you considered maybe sending the book in the physical package or maybe you're doing that already?
Amanda Overs: [00:56:59] We're not doing that already. No, because the book is so expensive. In fact, we've just we're going for another print run now. And our second print run is going to be way cheaper than the first one, which is so good. But yeah, before that, it was just, you know, it was sort of to celebrate the ten year anniversary and it was just done with an expensive spared. It was just the best of the best quality for absolutely every single part of it, which is really awesome because now in round two, everything's way cheaper, but the quality is all going to remain exactly the same, even down to like the paper stock that we use.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:57:39] Wow.
Amanda Overs: [00:57:39] So I'm super chuffed about that. But up until now it was just it was too expensive to include in there. We did include an e-book version, thought. So if you sign up for the shoemaking course, you also get digital access to the book and we don't have digital access to the book anywhere else, like it's not for sale as an e-book anywhere else. So.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:58:02] I got it.
Amanda Overs: [00:58:03] That's kind of like a bonus. Bonus extra.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:58:07] So is your audience just women or do you teach how to make men's shoes as well?
Amanda Overs: [00:58:12] All of the shoemaking techniques that we teach are unisex, but 90 something percent of our audience is women. So I really do target women most.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:58:24] Well, I'm wearing some of my favorite Chelsea boots right now. I'm showing you right now. Can you make, show me how to make some Chelsea boots that I could wear?
Amanda Overs: [00:58:31] Chelsea boots are included in the bootmaking course. But yeah, styles like that are great because they are totally unisex. You know, all you need is a men's last, a women's last, which is the shoemaking block. And the steps are exactly the same. And the same goes for if a man wants to make a high heel, it's like the steps are the same. It's just the size. It is different, you know.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:58:56] Yeah. I just I bet there's something really cool about wearing shoes that you've actually made.
Amanda Overs: [00:59:00] Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. It's a really great feeling. I mean the best feeling is when you're out and someone says, "I love your shoes," and then you're like, "Oh I made them!"
Jacques Hopkins: [00:59:11] Oh man, that would be so cool. Amanda, this has been a true pleasure. It's good to to have gotten to know you a little bit. And thanks for sharing your story with the audience.
Amanda Overs: [00:59:19] Yeah. Thanks for having me.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:59:22] That's going to be a wrap here. So just in closing, let people know once again where they can connect with you, find you online, and if there's anything else that maybe I missed over that, you think that would be helpful for the for the audience.
Amanda Overs: [00:59:36] Yeah, well, anything all the information that anyone would need is on icanmakeshoes.com. And yeah, you'll find all of the links to socials there. Thank you so much for having me. It's really informative for me as well.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:59:52] Awesome. That's great to hear. OK, thanks so much, Amanda. Take care.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:59:58] All right. Here we are back part two of this episode is done. That was the conversation between me and Amanda. Dr. K., welcome back. What did you think about that conversation?
David Krohse: [01:00:08] Oh, it was just so much fun to listen to. And I don't actually think that I would join the course to make shoes, but I could feel how what she does is just really this super exciting life experience for people. The closest I could come to relating was probably back in like ninth grade when I made a tie dye shirt and yeah, somebody complimented me on my shirt, I was just like walking on clouds, I was like, that's awesome. But yeah, it's super cool. Making shoes.
Jacques Hopkins: [01:00:35] Yeah, well I mean, a lot of people like to make things with their hands. Personally, I like to make things like digital things more. I'm not I'm not a bit out there like that. I gave a shout out to Liz, who I think you know a little bit about, in our Next Level Courses community who's absolutely a maker. And there's several like I guess the categories like makers in there. You know, my wife's what she loves... She's got this paper business for, like stationery, invitations. And she loves making these things with her hands. And that's that's just awesome, if that's what you like.
David Krohse: [01:01:08] Yeah, so the other thought as a chiropractor, I mean, I got to talk to people about all different types of health issues, and I was really my ears perked up when Amanda said that some people join her course specifically because they have painful feet, they have problems. And so I was just chuckling thinking of a scenario where some patient tells me they have a bunion or a hammer toe or a size 23 feet. And I'm like, you know, like one good solution would be that you could take this online course and make your own shoes and just the look on their face I could just totally picture.
Jacques Hopkins: [01:01:39] So when she was telling me that, are you familiar with Shaquille O'Neal, Shaq? I mean, you're not the sports guy, but I'm sure you know that is. Well, he went to LSU here. I mean, most people know I'm a big LSU fan, but, yeah, he played college basketball at LSU. And when she was saying that, like, I immediately pictured Shaq just like making his own shoes because his feet are so big.
David Krohse: [01:01:59] That's funny because I actually Googled that he has size 23 feet and that's what I wrote down, so...
Jacques Hopkins: [01:02:04] Yeah, his son, his son is actually playing for LSU basketball right now.
David Krohse: [01:02:08] Oh, very cool. So the other takeaway, I mean, it was just so cool. She was forced to create the online course when the pandemic happened and she shared that within two months she had essentially matched her previous annual enrollment. And I just have to think that there's thousands of stories similar to this around the world of people that pivoted from live events and seminars to online learning. But it's really cool that at the end of the day, she says, it's going to make our business stronger.
Jacques Hopkins: [01:02:39] I think I think Pivot may be one of the words of 2020 as far as business goes. And this is certainly a great lesson in pivoting. But also, like I told her, I mean, what if she already had the online course set up going into it? I think of Annie in Next Level Courses, who teaches people to train their dogs, and she timed it perfectly because she she had an in-person business like like Amanda and she in New York City, she had this in-person dog training studio and she wanted to turn that material she already had into an online course. And she launched that like right at the beginning of 2020. So when the pandemic hit, she had the course already ready to go.
David Krohse: [01:03:21] Mm hmm. Now she said early in the interview, she said that they constantly asked what's stopping people? And I thought that's that's just a brilliant way to address starting a course is just constantly saying, what questions are we getting? So, you know, she said the first thing was that they had complicated the options. So they consolidated just into the two courses. She found out that that potential customers were stressed about where they were going to get the supplies. And so that was where she said we have to include the supplies in the course. And then she talked about how right now the actual customer is having to pay for shipping. And so she's trying to create the solution where people don't have to pay for shipping and that doesn't hold them back. But, yeah, I just thought that was a great way to look at course and always say what's stopping people.
Jacques Hopkins: [01:04:08] I was trying to figure out in my head if I wanted to go the package route that you just mentioned or something else. Yeah, I love it. I mean, that's what I try to do with my piano course. Like, what's what's the biggest reason people get held back? And I mean, I talked about the backing tracks in the intro. I'm constantly trying to make my course as good as possible. And one thing that holds people back, even with my existing course, is, you know, once they start playing along with, like real songs, like it's a big jump from just playing a chord to then playing along with an actual song. And I think these backing tracks will be like kind of fall in between those those stages and help people to make that leap better.
David Krohse: [01:04:47] Now, as you and Amanda talked about platform and you, she was kind of asking you for advice, like, what's the one that you tell me? I was just curious, are you having a lot of people reach out to you and and kind of like ask, OK, here's my exact situation and try to have you recommend one or did that one podcast episode, does that answer most people's questions?
Jacques Hopkins: [01:05:08] No, I think that answered a lot of questions. I think that episode did a good job doing that. I think it was 161
where we went over all the the course platforms, pros and cons of each one. And no, I actually haven't been doing that, but I actually I sent the I sent the episode to Amanda after we talked and she I think she got a lot out of it. I think a lot of people have been looking into BuddyBoss and LearnDash lately, but but do understand the cons to doing it like we mentioned in that episode.
David Krohse: [01:05:38] Are you able to share any more about how it's all going? Do you have actual beta testers in there?
Jacques Hopkins: [01:05:42] No, no beta testers yet. It's going really, really well other than the speed of the launch. So I, I can be quite the perfectionist. What we're doing right now and this is take this part is taking longer than I expected, but I hired a speed optimization expert and so it's a WordPress site at the end of the day. And it's a little it's a little slow, a little laggy. I want it to be as fast as possible for the users, even for the beta testers. So we are currently doing some very, very detailed speed optimization. I found the best person I could possibly find and we're in the middle of that. And that takes like two weeks. I was hoping it would take like two or three days, but it takes a couple of weeks. So we're in the middle of that right now. As soon as that's done, beta testers are coming in.
David Krohse: [01:06:26] Gotcha. Gotcha. Very exciting. I think that we're all curious to see how it goes. All right. So kind of the last thing, Val, my wife, actually, she overheard me listening to this interview and her ears definitely perked up. And she she definitely makes her own things.
Jacques Hopkins: [01:06:43] Oh, no. Did she buy her? Cause she's a chronic course buyer.
David Krohse: [01:06:46] She has not about the course yet, but it did make me think just of... And it wouldn't be this course necessarily. But it made me think of a course as just kind of this date night, like a project that a couple would work on together. It partly has to do just, today is Tuesday and this is Val and my one of our date nights. So this afternoon, I think we're going to make some lobster. We're going to go in like a six mile walk and we're going to watch Virgin River. That's the Netflix show that we've been gradually working our way through about once or twice a week. But in the past, we have actually done classes together. So we've taken an art class and that was a fun experience for us to have as a weekly date night. We've done Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. A lot of people, if you've never done it, you would not think that's something that sounds like a romantic date night. But it definitely brought Val and I together and gave us a common language and common goals. So those were really good experiences. I was just curious, have you and your wife ever done any kind of a course as a date night, or do you get to have date nights right now or just too busy with the kids?
Jacques Hopkins: [01:07:50] Yeah, no, we I mean, we certainly had more date nights, pretty COVID because it's I mean, the classic date night is to get a babysitter and just go to go to dinner. And we certainly love to do that. We live in an area where we can walk to 20 good restaurants and that's that's by design. And we can literally live anywhere in the world we wanted to and we really like where exactly where we live, but where we try not to eat inside if we do go out to eat, try to stay outside, so on. Who knows for how much longer. But in the past we've certainly done those like the wine and painting deals. There's a lot of different ones, Painting and Pinot or Painting With a Twist or Corks and Canvas like those types of things. We've done that a couple of times. In fact, my sister is a very accomplished artist, but she she worked for one of those places for quite a while. And also, have you heard of datenightinabox.com?
David Krohse: [01:08:40] I don't think I have.
Jacques Hopkins: [01:08:41] Yeah. So that's that's one thing. I think I got that from my wife maybe last year for Valentine's Day or birthday and that's the website datenightinabox.com and it's a subscription. And I think I signed up for like a three month subscription and they'll mail you once a month, they'll mail you this box where it'll it'll give you like a suggested recipe. But the rest of it is like some some activity for you to do or make together. And I'll be honest with you, like I got a three month subscription, I think we've only done one of them. It was fun. It was like it was we did some painting together. It was. And it had all the stuff like it it was some tape that you put on the canvas to make it kind of it was it was kind of abstract. All the instructions were there, activities going along with it. It was it was fun, man. It's breaks up the the normal just like go to dinner or just like sit and watch a movie.
David Krohse: [01:09:33] Well yeah. And that I mean that gift of Date Night In A Box, I mean in a way that is kind of like a course that you go through, you get to experience periodically. So yeah, I actually searched the date night online course just to see what came up and the cooking cooking courses were definitely the top one. I did find an interesting one that you could look into interviewing this course creator. It's called Melt and it's an online training program for couples massage classes. And so the little review of it, it says, "It's taught by an Australian massage therapist and demonstrated on his wife via online videos that aren't creepy, overly sexy or weird in the slightest in a series that will last you many, many date nights and give you skills to improve your marriage over the course of your life together." She says, this reviewer says, "This was just what I was looking for." So I thought that one sounded kind of fun.
Jacques Hopkins: [01:10:23] So is that are we talking like you massage your wife and then she massages you like you take turns, correct?
David Krohse: [01:10:29] Yes. And you have this guided online course experience.
Jacques Hopkins: [01:10:32] I'm looking at. I'm like I'm Googling things as you're talking today. And is it couplesmassagecourses.com?
David Krohse: [01:10:39] It could be. That's just called Melt.
Jacques Hopkins: [01:10:41] Yeah. Melt Massage For Couples. It looks I mean, it looks very well done website. Let's... Emily, you're listening to this, doing the show notes. Let's let's put these, this course on the list to see if they'd be a good fit to come on the podcast.
David Krohse: [01:10:54] Yeah, but definitely just looking for other niches, I mean, you think about somebody like Angela Fehr that teaches watercolor.
Jacques Hopkins: [01:11:00] Yes.
David Krohse: [01:11:00] If she wanted to create a date night series, I mean, she might have a different ad that she would run. And then the date night watercolor series, you know, it could be just a little bit more flirty. She can have a little wine while she's doing that. She could even invite her spouse to be on the videos with her as a host. And they can have little conversations. And then you want to pick, like, simple projects that could be done in 90 minutes. But I think that there's probably some course creators out there that could look at what they offer and say, you know, there is room to make this separate course that's a date night course.
Jacques Hopkins: [01:11:34] One of the first coaches, business coaches I hired like 2013, 2014 was Michael O'Neal. He hosts the podcast Solopreneur Hour. A familiar with him?
David Krohse: [01:11:44] No.
Jacques Hopkins: [01:11:45] He's I was I've followed him for a while. He's he's a big time drummer, too, like he's in the music space. And that's one of the reasons I looked up to him, obviously business as well. And so I had a couple of coaching calls with them, just one-on-one on the phone. And this makes me remember one of his suggestions that I never did anything with, he's like, man, he's like, "You know those those those places you go where people paint and then drink wine? He's like, "You could do that for piano. Like they show up and you teach them a little piano and they drink wine. Be a good little date night."
David Krohse: [01:12:15] Oh, fun. Wait, so you...
Jacques Hopkins: [01:12:17] I like my current business model better.
David Krohse: [01:12:19] Was he suggesting an in-person? Was this when you, he was considering in-person?
Jacques Hopkins: [01:12:23] He was just, you know, he's an idea guy, so he was just spit balling, throwing out everything. Just, you know, you got it. You've got to remember, my course had maybe made five or ten sales at this point. It wasn't necessarily the like... It wasn't proven yet. It wasn't proven that like an online course was my thing yet. And so he was just giving me ideas. And this conversation made me maybe think of that from way back then.
David Krohse: [01:12:47] That's awesome.
Jacques Hopkins: [01:12:48] So I think you said that was kind of the last one. We got way off on a tangent. Sounds like overall you enjoyed this conversation. Was was there anything else?
David Krohse: [01:12:57] No, that's it.
Jacques Hopkins: [01:12:58] All right. Yeah. And then the last thing I wanted to mention was the physical packages, because she she's doing that. But, you know, to your point, about like what's what's holding people back, like when they want to make their own shoes without all this heavy equipment and everything, like they're going to need some raw materials. Right? And my people, my piano students, I always tell them I need you to have a keyboard and a pedal. That's what you need. But I'm not I'm certainly not going to ship those things out to people. But I think those are more easily available for people to go buy. And a lot of people have them already. Whereas when you're making your own shoes, it's a little harder to get the materials, especially in the COVID world. So I think it's really cool that she physically sends out the materials that somebody is going to need, but, I get a lot of people coming to me asking me questions about these physical packages because I send them out, they're like they're like, how do you do this part? How do you do that part? How do you do this part? They're like it's a lot of headache. I was like, yeah, it's a lot of headache. You don't if you're a beginner course course, if you've not sold at least a thousand copies of your course, please don't send out a physical package to people. Let that be something you do later down the road. Please, please, please, please.
David Krohse: [01:14:09] Got it.
Jacques Hopkins: [01:14:10] I think that's going to do it, David. I think this is a good one. Man, thanks for joining me here. For all the links in show notes from this episode, you'll find that at oc.show/167. And until next time, get out there and make some Next Level Courses that provide transformation to your students and not just information. Take care, everyone.
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