156: “How do I manage the day-to-day vs. higher level vision?” Plus Other Questions Answered by Jacques (A Next Level Courses Q&A Recording)
Among the many perks of being an online course creator, something that never ceases to delight me is how amazing the course creator community can be and how much we can all learn from each other! That’s why I’m loving my Next Level Courses group and the course creators who are there teaching in every niche imaginable.
Today’s episode showcases a live Q&A with my Next Level Courses students. Every week we meet online and dig into all things online courses together. Some are new to the online course world, others have been doing this for some time But no matter where each member of the group is at, it’s awesome to be able to put our heads together and encourage each other to take things to the next level.
In This Episode, We Talked About:
“It’s not just for passive income… we genuinely want to help people.”
– Jacques Hopkins
- (0:32) What makes today’s episode different
- (2:17) The premise behind my advice
- (2:46) Bringing on my first guest and regular Next Level Courses Q&A attendee, Kristi
- (4:19) Growth and transitions
- (8:46) What makes Kristi’s approach unique
- (10:37) How we initially connected and started working together
- (12:07) Thinking about how processes evolve
- (14:23) Priorities and scheduling
- (19:12) Kristi’s takeaways from a previous podcast episode
- (21:48) Bringing on my next guest, Renato, for questions about webinar engagement
- (27:48) Cleaning up email lists
- (30:14) Advice and questions for Renato
- (33:01) Implementing Profit First
- (34:58) Bringing on Andrew, and thoughts on how to pronounce a very common word from the online course world
- (36:10) How to improve storytelling and demonstrating value
- (41:16) Thoughts on Andrew’s webinar
- (42:59) What he’ll be working on next
- (44:08) Bringing on Liz for questions about showing social proof
- (50:47) How to frame the opportunity
- (56:24) Transitioning from in-person teaching to online community-building
- (58:04) Bringing on Matt to discuss evergreen funnels and cold traffic conversions
- (1:02:31) Evaluating ups and downs in sales
- (1:05:42) How important is consistency vs. flagship content on YouTube?
- (1:11:00) Building trust without revealing too much of the “secret sauce” early on
- (1:16:54) Wrapping up + why you shouldn’t procrastinate on signing up for Next Level Courses
That’s all for now, folks! See you on the next episode of The Online Course Show.
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Jacques Hopkins: [00:00:02] Regular people are taking their knowledge and content and 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's a wrong way. And I'm here to help course 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 am Jacques Hopkins, your host here. And normally there is a co-host with me, Dr. K, who is a lot of fun to be part of this podcast with me, but he's not here today. He's actually out this week. So one thing I thought we could do for this week's podcast episode is share with you guys, the podcast listener, what it's like inside the Next Level Courses Q&A. Next Level Courses is one of the programs that I offer here at The Online Course Show and TheOnlineCourseGuy.com. I've been doing it for a while now and technically it's for those that already have a course and are looking to take it to the next level. It's a mastermind of sorts. There's about 70 people in there. And one of the main things that you get is a Q&A session - group coaching with me and the other people in the group. And we do that pretty much once a week. And so we are actually doing that right now. I'm recording this right now, our weekly Q&A, and I thought it'd be fun to share with you, the podcast listener, what one of these sessions is like. So that's what we're doing here today. Hopefully, you can get some insights. You can get some inspiration and motivation to move forward with your online course business.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:01:44] That's one of my goals is I have gotten a lot of feedback from others that just listening to the coaching sessions, the group coaching is good: good for your own business, even if you don't participate. So that's Goal 1 and Goal 2 is if you're on the fence about Next Level Courses, maybe this will convince you one way or another whether it's right for you, because this is one of the main things you get as a member of Next Level Courses. So the way this works is, and for those listening and for those here with me live, there's a lot of regulars here, but there are some new people, too. I answer questions. I give you advice based on what I would do in your shoes? I don't give legal advice. I'm not saying that anything that I say here is guaranteed to work by any means. I'm not even saying it's the best possible thing you could do. I'm saying that if you want my advice, if you want to know what I would do if I were in your shoes, that's what I'm going to tell you here today.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:02:39] So everybody that's in line here, I'm going to bring you on one at a time and we'll do our, you know, five, ten-minute session together. To start out with for the benefit of everybody, as usual, please tell us your niche a little bit about your course and then tell me what you're kind of struggling with. Tell me where you are now, where you want to be, and then I will do my best to help you with what I would do to get there. So one of our regulars here is first, Kristi, I'm going to go ahead and bring you on. So normally, once I click on somebody, it takes them ten or twenty seconds to go through the necessary testing of audio and video to go ahead and come back in. So Kristi is currently in no man's land while we wait for her to come back. But that's how these Q&As work, is I will simply answer and give advice based on what I would do in that particular situation, and you can do with it what you want. So first up today is one of our regulars. Hi, Kristi.
Kristi Dranginis: [00:03:35] Hey, Jacques!
Jacques Hopkins: [00:03:36] Hey, how are you?
Kristi Dranginis: [00:03:37] Good, thank you.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:03:38] Yep! Niche! Course!
Kristi Dranginis: [00:03:40] Niche. Course. Oh, right. Hey, you're already starting with that. Uhm, so my name is Kristi Dranginis, and my niche is birds. I help inspire and teach people how to learn more about birds. I have a book that Jacques inspired and helped me to, I guess, create the initial idea for and help me along in the process quite a bit as that was being produced about a year ago and it's been super successful. It just filled this, like, perfect niche in my business that was a bit missing. And yeah, it's been awesome. And for this morning, my reason for being on is two things: one, I think I gave you all an update last week because you've been following along in my progress with increasing the price of my master's course. And so I increased it whatever, like a couple of months ago now quite a bit. It's a couple of thousand dollars now. And I was very nervous at first to do that. And with Jacques' encouragement and a few other people, I did that. Had a bunch of my current students sign up and just accept the offer. They were stoked to do it. And then I was invited to speak on a webinar last week with this woman that I have done some work with in the past and she has a similar clientele. Very different. We're all in the traditional skills world. Like so as she teaches people how to braintan buckskin and make clothing with it, and she was just recently on one of the big shows called Alone. The Alone Show it's a Discover, err... What's it called? Not NatGeo. Might be a NatGeo show. I don't know. History Channel! That's what it is. On the History Channel. And she made it pretty far and so she's got a big following. Anyway, the kind of people that she was bringing on I really thought would be aligned with my kind of work. And so I normally don't do this. I normally don't promote or pitch my master's course to people I haven't previously worked with because it doesn't make a lot of sense. But I thought I was like, "You know, I think her crew are people that I could really work with." And so anyway, at the end of my talk, I announced my master's course and I just inspired people about it. And I had two people sign up for an interview. And last week I had one gentleman sign up for the course. Then this week, I just found out this morning that the second woman who did the interview with me accepted the master's course. These are two people I've never worked with before. They were both like, "Yeah, let's do it." You know. So it's just huge. It's like it's really a game changer for me. And it's yeah, it's changed a lot for me and how I navigate my business right now. It's allowed me... I'm in this interesting sort of like middle ground and that's the reason I wanted to come on and ask you my question today. So one which is to give you that update, to tell you like, yes, I got more students. This is great. But the other is... Yeah, just to say that I'm sort of in this middle place, like for so long I've been in this place in my business where I was just like struggling to keep up, you know, just trying to make ends meet and just, like, taking care of business. Like, whatever was in front of me, like, I would do it. And now I'm in this place where I'm in a position where I can plan, you know. So I can plan for the future: plan ahead, anticipate what's coming. And so I'm doing that planning but I also still need to take care of the things that are, like, happening every day. And so one thing I don't think I've gotten super good at yet, and Russell... There's a video I don't know, it's one of kajillion different videos that he's got, but it's one of these videos where a guy came on and was just talking about, you know, being... Going that next level in your business and continuing to go to the next level and then the next level, and the next level. And so he had it in like these categories and he was saying, like the first sort of level of success in business, you sort of know you've reached that place when you can just like kind of follow a schedule, like do what needs to be done. And I feel like I maybe am at that place right now where I want to be doing that. I want to have consistency in my business. I want to be like, OK, on Mondays, this is what I do, on Tuesdays, you guys get a YouTube video for me on Wednesdays, like whatever.
Kristi Dranginis: [00:07:46] And I know that you've mentioned that before. You've talked about at least a couple of years ago I think even. You talked about the schedule that you follow. You know, you're just like, "Yeah, on Monday at from nine to this time I do my bookkeeping, or I go through my records or I sit down with my team, and my... whatever it is. And I just, I think I'm just looking for some coaching, I suppose to just to help me on that path, because I... It's like I want it for myself, but I think what I find is that every day there's just so much that I still need to do on just like a management of my course sort of practice that I don't necessarily like, there's other things that haven't made it into my schedule yet, like just kind of get pushed off. And like for weeks now, I've been pushing off my YouTube schedule. It's like I want... I know that's the next thing I want to do. I want to get YouTube's schedule going but like, I keep pushing it off. I'm just like, I don't have time to do that right now. I don't have time to put that on my schedule yet. You know?
Jacques Hopkins: [00:08:41] I completely, completely, completely understand. And as you know, I have a lot of thoughts on this. So I love this question. There's a lot I would like to address in what you've said. I just love talking to you, Kristi. I mean, birding, first of all, your niche, right? When people like, if I get interviewed on other podcasts or just people in passing say, "What are some of the interesting niches that you've come across?" Because a lot of courses out there like "How To Start an Online Business, How To Start An Online Course," but like, there are real people out there like you that are passionate about this very niche thing that teach other people that are very passionate about this very niche thing. I didn't even know what birding was until we met. Apparently there's like a whole mainstream movie about it, which I've since watched. What was that movie with..?
Kristi Dranginis: [00:09:22] Yeah, it's called The Big Year.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:09:23] The Big Year.
Kristi Dranginis: [00:09:23] It's with Owen Wilson and Jack Black.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:09:23] Owen Wilson...
Kristi Dranginis: [00:09:25] Yes it's super... definitely not the kind of brooding I do. It's like that... There are a lot of people like that. You know?
Jacques Hopkins: [00:09:32] Yeah. But yeah. I mean you're just such an inspiration. I mean you've got a six-figure business; you're helping people all over with birding like it's... and you're passionate about it, they're passionate about it. It's so, so cool. You recently raised your price of your kind of main offer and we've talked about this in recent weeks but just for the podcast listeners, I want them to know that you sell your course in a very interesting way. It's something I've never really seen before. But I've talked plenty of times about selling the course like selling your course over the phone, especially a higher ticket item like yours is around $2600, I believe.
Kristi Dranginis: [00:10:06] Yep.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:10:06] But you're actually selling it like on a video call and you're kind of doing your webinar 1-on-1 to people.
Kristi Dranginis: [00:10:13] Yeah.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:10:13] But to me, like, that's very inefficient in a lot of ways but that just goes to show your passionate about this. And I think a lot of people in a money making niche wouldn't go take the time to do that, but it's obviously converting very, very well. Congratulations on those two recent sales that you made from people who didn't know who you were a week or two ago.
Kristi Dranginis: [00:10:32] Yeah, no relationship with them at all. You know.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:10:34] Amazing.
Kristi Dranginis: [00:10:34] Yeah. Yeah.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:10:36] Amazing. And then since the podcast is on my mind right now, by the way, like me and you met because you came on the podcast.
Kristi Dranginis: [00:10:43] Yeah, totally. And I forget because I think it was your assistant that found me. I worked... because I asked a bit from you, I was like, "How did you even find me?" And you're like, "Oh, (Name of assistant), my assistant was like researching cool people in these cool niches who have courses..." And blah, blah, blah. And I was like, "Oh, neat." And then I just started following you and I was like, "This guy is awesome." I love that you told your assistant... That is honestly one of the things that inspired me to work with you in a more in-depth way was because of your consistency. You had this beautiful message that you want to share with people. You're so authentic, like, I just really appreciated, like, who you were and how you showed up for people. And again, like your consistency, you are always improving, always looking how to make things better. And yes, I was just like, "Wow, I'm so glad he interviewed me because he's awesome."
Jacques Hopkins: [00:11:27] Well, I mean, that means a lot. Thank you. I really, really appreciate those kind words. But as we started talking, I was like, "What episode was Kristi on?" And it was Episode 31, which was a long time ago and the first like 20 episodes, I didn't really interview anybody. So you were the one of the first people that I ever interviewed.
Kristi Dranginis: [00:11:47] Wow!
Jacques Hopkins: [00:11:47] I think both of our businesses are in a significantly different place.
Kristi Dranginis: [00:11:51] Yeah.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:11:51] And that was over two years ago. Like, we need to have you back on the podcast in the future for a full episode.
Kristi Dranginis: [00:11:56] How sweet.
Jacques Hopkins: [00:11:56] This is just like another sample here. So I wanted to mention that. So if anybody wants a little context, a lot has happened since then, but Episode 31 was when you were first on. You mentioned.... So, I love this conversation about planning and vision versus like day to day operations. That's kind of what we're talking about and you mentioned that you heard me say something a couple of years ago about my schedule or routine. I think what you're referring to is I released a video a couple of years ago called The Four Things I Do Every Day In My Online Course Business. And those four things, it's my Bonjoros. Right. So the videos that I think new members into my course, that was one of the things. Checking email I believe is one of the things but remember, my assistant Emily goes in there first. So email is very, very minimal for me. One of them was to kind of check up on my bookkeeping like I was using FreshBooks at the time, just making sure the income and then the expenses just all looked in order. If I did that every day, then I knew that I never had to, like, significantly catch up on it. Since that video, I've now outsourced my bookkeeping, which has been a game changer. I use Evolved Finance, EvolvedFinance.com. They specialize in bookkeeping for online business owners. They are phenomenal. It's kind of a premium product, but you get a premium service in return. So, you can look into them. I don't know if you're quite at the level. I know you have to be making at least six figures in revenue for them to consider you as a client. But you, Kristi might, you know, might be time for something like that. Others listening, Evolved Finance, amazing, amazing. And that's off my plate now. They do such good work there. And what was the fourth thing that I would do every day? I might have to look that up and check before the end of this.
Kristi Dranginis: [00:13:45] I mean has it changed? Do you do different things every day?
Jacques Hopkins: [00:13:48] Oh yes, it's significantly changed because you've got to think, in my business, two years ago, it was just me and Emily who's like my Executive Assist