Have you recently thought about packaging up your knowledge and experience into an online course that you can sell over and over again?
If so, you’re not alone. The reality is, there’s more opportunity than ever to create a digital product (like an online course) that you can sell online at scale. But I’m guessing you have a lot of questions…like:
Will anyone buy it?
What tools should I use?
How do I even create the course?
How do you launch and sell it?
I’ve also learned a lot about online courses since starting them in late 2018 and now bringing them to a 300k/year business and frankly, I’m just passionate about talking about courses as I am talking about web design.
In this special podcast episode, I’m letting you in on my recent conversation with Oliver Schöndorfer of PimpMyType.com who’s venturing into the online course realm but has a lot of questions about how to package up his knowledge and expertise into a course (or courses) and how to sell them consistently.
If adding an online course to your suite of assets, side hustle or passion project is on your “of interest list,” I hope this conversation gives you some solid direction to help you get started!
P.S. If you didn’t know, I have a whole course dedicated to helping you plan, create, build, launch and sell your first online course that’s available now:
It’s outside my typical suite of web design courses but has already helped over 100 students all over the world with adding an online course to their mix!
In this episode:
00:00 – Introduction
05:20 – Update of Oliver
06:56 – Finding value
09:07 – Free tips to course
13:40 – A trial run
17:29 – Too many cooks
19:32 – Breaking it down
21:54 – Fighting perfectionism
25:42 – Result confidence
30:21 – Learn early then adjust
32:43 – More course complexity
35:43 – Evergreen or cohort
38:09 – Price considerations
39:15 – European tax
40:57 – Comparing platforms
44:13 – Email platform
46:17 – Timeline for selling
48:46 – Selling the launch
52:09 – Percentage of buyers
55:27 – Time breakdown
1:01:26 – Summer course goal
Connect with Oliver:
Featured links mentioned:
Episode #193 Full Transcription
Hey, friends, welcome into the podcast. This is episode 193. I’m really excited this one because just like the last time I had a solo episode spot for my podcast, I released a little q&a segment that I did with one of my web design students, I’m going to do something similar in this one as well. Except this time, I am chatting with a very close friend and colleague of mine, Oliver Schondorfer, who is the man behind pimpmytype.com.
Now if that sounds familiar, it’s because Oliver was actually recently on the podcast back on episode 173. We talked about five tips for pimping out your web typography. And then as Oliver and I got to know each other after that episode, he expressed to me that he was interested in taking his knowledge and expertise in typography and then eventually doing an online course. He has a thriving YouTube channel right now, which I definitely recommend subscribing to. And of course, you can go to his website at my type.com to for all the resources. And he also does coaching.
But the next big thing for him is because this is kind of a side hustle kind of a passion project for him. He wanted to do an online course. So we’ve been talking back and forth. And then he also recently did a monthly training in my web design Club, which is my coaching community on pairing typography. And he expressed to me that that was kind of like the the foundation that helped him decide, I really want to make all this an online course.
So in this episode, this is actually just a coaching call. It’s just a casual chat between me and Oliver. And him asking me some really good questions about how to make a profitable online course and how to take everything he knows, and all his expertise and packaged it into something that’s going to be useful to meet people where they are and to be able to sell something over and over and create a an online product, an online course that he can sell over and over again, to take this passion project to something that can be more sustainable for him.
So it was really awesome to chat with Oliver through this, you’ll find out that he actually has version one of this course already out, he kind of did a test run a trial run of a course had some good experiences with it had some bad experiences, just like we all do launching something new. So it was kind of fun for me to talk with Oliver shortly after this test run, of course, because we got to do kind of a post mortem and kind of see what worked well, what worked, what didn’t work so well. And I think we came up with a really, really solid game plan for him to create the next version of his course, which is going to be a little more robust, and I think is going to serve a lot of people around the world.
Especially web designers. Because all web designers myself included, it’s likely we know quite a bit about typography. But we still have a lot of different questions, which is why I highly recommend if you haven’t yet, go back to Episode 173. And check out that full episode where we talk about pimping out your web typography. But for right now, enjoy this casual conversation I have with Oliver about my recommendations on how he can launch and sell a profitable course.
And we mentioned this in the episode. But I don’t talk about this too much because this course is outside of my suite of web design courses. But I do have a standalone course about creating and selling an online course. And we talked about this in the episode. If you are interested in that and you are interested in selling your own online course, my course is available for you right now. You can go to the show notes for this episode of One night, Josh hall.co/ 193. And there’ll be a link there where you can check it out. And that is my entire process for creating, building and launching your own courses. So it’s kind of like a much more extended version of this interview. So that’s available for you right now. If you want to sell your own online course I’d love to guide you through every step of the way. But right now, here’s Oliver, let’s talk about what he’s going to do with launching his profitable online course. Hopefully, by the end of summer 2022. Here we go.
I figured we’ll just kick in and jump and I’m excited to to hear about what questions you have and what you have, especially since we chatted last time. And I think we talked earlier this year, right when we had.
I think it was in March. The first one we had was in January, I think or right after Christmas, something like that.
Yeah. And then mega training in March.
Yes. Yes. The training in March and after that. Yeah.
Gotcha. Yeah. So what’s been happening, you know, since then, I mean, you came on the podcast and had an awesome talk about typography. And, you know, it’s just, it’s interesting because I feel like typography is just not something that too many people talk about, unless it’s just in the graphic design world. So I think yeah, And now you have like a web interest in a website of things. I feel like that just separates you immediately. So, so yeah, since then, like, How’s how’s everything gone? Since you were on the podcast? And since you did the monthly training for my web design club has it? Have you done anything new? Have you done anything more of his stayed the same? What’s it look like?
Yeah, yeah. First of all, thanks a lot for your advice. Back then, when we had or when we talked after the podcast recording in January, I was kind of, yeah, I like my project, pick my type. And is everything going? Well, regarding I’m gaining more followers and traction, and people start writing me stuff that I’m helpful to them and stuff. But I also figured out that it’s not really sustainable since it doesn’t bring any income.
And at first, I just was trying, I wanted to have an outlet to perform and entertain and educate and stuff and see if this goes well at all, and works out at all. And if people find value in it, and this, it was the case was proof. And so I gain more confidence. And then the challenges shifted more or less towards how can I make this more sustainable since it consumes one or two days a week almost doing my newsletter, and YouTube and blogging and all this stuff? I really enjoy it. But the problem is, I don’t earn anything, because I don’t sell anything, which was I guess obvious.
Yeah. Well, I think that was the big takeaway that we talked about, right? I think that was after our podcast interview that we were just chatting. And, and I told you like, it’s probably you know, like, it’s kind of it’s not set up to succeed, because you’re not you’re not selling anything yet. So it’s, unless it’s a passion project. And you just have all the time in the world. Yeah, we got to back it up with some sort of offer.
Yes, definitely. So at first, it felt like kind of not being true to myself, because now I offer something and sell something. But I’m over that by now, since people see value in it and find it helpful. And it’s more giving them an offer that brings them further and faster. Yeah, so that’s, that’s good. And what I could take away from our first conversation was, where as it Why should anybody buy an online course at all? Because I’ve got this stuff on YouTube, and it’s on my blog, and they can more or less, okay, I could extend it and go into more detail. Definitely. But to the why. And then you just said people don’t want to do get all the breadcrumbs are they want this process from A to B to C? And yeah, just to be aligned on that. And this made click.
Yeah, I clicked right. It was the same for me all over like it. I think I wish we would have recorded that first conversation because it was so good. I got done after after talk with you. I’m like, Man, that was a good little session we had that was, you know, unexpected. But it’s a common, it’s a common thing that I think anyone who is considering an online course, or any sort of digital product, or productize type of service, it’s like, why would somebody pay me for something that I give away for free, but the reality is any sort of online program, whether it’s short and simple and sweet to the point or whether it’s large and in depth. Again, the free content is just bread crumbs, it like you said it really it’s not the full meal.
And people a lot of times can piece together, they can go to your YouTube channel and look at all the different videos, but everything’s out I hate to say out of order, but there’s no like point A to point B start to finish type of program there. Now, sometimes playlists in certain organizations and videos that are like, intentionally like one step two, step three step can help. But it’s still not a, I don’t think it’s worth I don’t know if I want to say worth a paid program. But it’s not intentionally set up, like something that is going to get you from point A to point B.
So the cool thing is, is just like I experienced, even though you have all this content out there, and you have all this stuff, it doesn’t mean that you can’t repurpose it. And it doesn’t mean that you can’t charge for a lot of your free stuff. It’s just how it’s packaged. And I know one thing I learned because I almost felt bad about that, particularly when I created my CSS course for Divi because I had all these tutorials with CSS, I’m like, it’s, you know, technically you can take all these videos and watch them in an order and kind it’s kind of like a mini CSS course. But then I realized I want to go deeper. And I want to meet students at a level that like I show them the basics and it shows them the next point.
So a lot of my lessons in my CSS course are basically just more in depth versions of my tutorials. So that’s the big point I want to make right there is your free content is it gets people get to know you they follow you they trust you. Now it’s time to learn We take them in a intentional journey. And that’s not what they’re going to find on the YouTube channel. So I that’s the way I look at at least I hope that makes you feel like, okay, I can, you know, it’s like all your free content is content is not all for nothing. It’s it’s there, it’s it’s served its purpose now you can repurpose that you can repackage it. And you can even make it better. And of course, you could take your tutorial and just make it better.
Yeah, yeah, that’s, that’s a good one. And I also kind of after that, so I got over this hurdle of thinking, okay. There’s something that’s helpful to offer a course. And then a more or less get down the road with one one particular thing. I have this I have a mailing list and people who sign up for the mailing list, they get a question I only sent one get what’s your biggest challenge right now when it comes to typography? And some of them reply to me. And the most replies are covering something about picking typefaces, or combining typefaces.
If I would have to find out solitary issues or topics this would be picking or combining typefaces. And the thing with picking typefaces is this is more or less something for beginners. Since when you’re more into this topic and stuff you are familiar with. How can I pick a typeface? You can always improve on that? Of course, definitely. But you will find a way. But the thing with combining typefaces this is something that’s challenging to designers, even if they’re in the industry for years.
There are no hard and fast rules for that. Yeah,
Right. That’s what I experienced. I was definitely challenged which I don’t know if you looked at my site recently, but I did switch from Open Sans I finally lotto lotto Yep. Which I love and actually works out great for my brand, I feel like, but even when you present it in my web design club, that that monthly training, everyone was on the same page, everyone was like, Yeah, I’ve been web designing sites for five years, or however long it is. But typography is just kind of one of those things that I know a little bit about, but not a whole lot about. And that’s the case with most web designers.
Even folks like myself, who came from graphic design background, you know, I’m probably knew a little more than a lot of people getting into web design, but come to find out typography, just like everything else is a whole new world. So I only knew this, the surface level stuff. So yeah, I think there’s I think there’s a lot of need for that. And I think you’re an interesting position, Oliver, because you are again, like I said earlier, your web. But typography could work in graphic design. Yeah, there’s kind of two, there’s kind of two different like paths there with like, knowing typography, and then or choosing typography, and then combining them. But I could see those fitting in one course, quite honestly.
I mean, yeah, you could probably do separate courses on those. But it would be nice for me to take a course on typography, to get to know basic typography and then know how to combine them. So the I think, technically right there, you could probably have two modules in an online course. And then you could put five or 10 lessons in each one of those modules, shorter bite size style videos, and that’s two modules. And then depending on how big that course would be, maybe if you could figure out like a third module that would maybe be implementation across, you know, web and different types of examples, then I would be all in for that course. Learn how to typography, learn how to combine them and then implement. I mean, it take over your structure. I don’t know if you have an outline in place. But that’s, that’s, yeah.
Yeah, actually, I’m on things when I did the training on your, on your community. I kind of said, Okay, I’m going to do a course by May 15. I’m going to launch it. Yeah. So and, and also blocked this time in my, in my calendar. And before that, I did a workshop for the League of movable type, which is very specialized in typography and stuff. And they have a lot of people who are just listening for the typography stuff. And I’m, which is a podcast, and I, I, I kind of was afraid to talk to designers, since I’m a designer myself. And it feels like it felt like I always tried to talk to developers and web designers and stuff since I’m then the one typographer design in the room.
So this kind of gave me an advantage. I could help them this way. I also enjoy the conversations with people that do coding and stuff. And a lot of my audience is from that background, but I kind of neglected the fact that a lot of designers learn about typography as well and start out and was a bit intimidated by that. But then I figured out that not every designer, as you just mentioned is so much into typography, like I am right. And my confidence grew and my self esteem and then I offered this course for the leaker full with the type.
And then I also aligned with them, they were very helpful since they have also deep insights into the industry. And I made an outline exactly, as you said, and really blocked some time in May, in in the at the end of April and beginning of May to outline my course, and wrote something down and send it over and got a lot of feedback. And it was maybe more or less exactly what you said. Picking typefaces and combining typeface, okay. And from my audience, I also asked my mailing list and people who wants to give feedback to going to get early access and discount and so on. And the reactions more or less well, why do we mix this stuff together?
It was, it was more or less, why do you put this beginner stuff inside there? And then it was horrible. It was a horrible process? Because first of all, I wanted to focus on combining typefaces. Then I said, No, you have to know how to choose the typeface to combine a typeface? Yeah, then I put it together. And everybody was like, Yeah, but now it’s like, Why do you put all that beginner stuff in there? So and, and then it, it kind of felt obvious to me that I would make a separate course only focusing on this specific thing, how to combine typefaces. And then I gathered gathered some feedback around that one. From my from my, from my audience, and people who signed up for it and made this outline, it was just a horrible process, because it felt heartbreaking. Because you worked so hard for this, it was only the outline, and then you did Jared apart.
So you did the outline. But you did you actually record the course videos and have an actual course for somebody to go through? Or was it just the outline?
No. First of all, I did the outline. And I think I spent way too much time on that way too much time on that. And way too much. I blocked way too much time for the outline. And to get feedback. I could have scheduled some projects on the site there just to give everybody some time to respond. Because people don’t respond immediately. Of course, they will within a week or two weeks and give me feedback on that. But yeah, I just sat there and waited, and refined and refined and refined. And it kind of made me crazy. And yeah,
So the thing is, I learned this early on as a course creator, I’m actually glad that I just created the course that I wanted to create and not ask for feedback, because I think the issue probably had is you probably had way too many cooks in the kitchen. It’s like putting all your ingredients out and being like, hey, what do you think about this, and I had a lot more garlic and someone’s like, I don’t like garlic. And then someone’s like, we put a little more salt and somebody’s like, well, I don’t want not too much salt, I’m gonna get you know, I’m gonna retain water. And then you’re gonna have people who are like dosa pepperonis in there, bro. And you’re gonna have people who’s like, oh, I don’t eat pepperoni.
So that’s kind of what I envision right there is, you know, you’re like you’re cooking something, but everyone is adding their input. What I would do Oliver, is make your course make what you think would be best. And I learned this. You mentioned Amy Porterfield episode on the podcast a little while ago. And the reason I mentioned that is she said something that really stuck out to me. And that is and this applies to service work as well. Even if you just do web design, you offer your web design services, you will attract outliers, There will be people who are pretty advanced in typography, and are still gonna go through your course and the way you should present the simple basic stuff to them is a even though we’re going to dive deep into pairing and combining thoughts, I still recommend you brush up on the fundamentals.
And you’ll you’ll probably take a lot away from the basics that maybe maybe you didn’t know, or maybe it’s a good remembrance, good reminder. So that’s what I would do create your course, if you really feel like you should do a beginner, and then a more advanced with the combined kind of stuff. I personally to make it simple I would just do one course I would. You could go a couple different routes, you could launch three different courses. But just like anything, you’ve now got three different products to manage. You’re going to have email tagging, that’s going to be different for three different courses. Where do they go for support, you have different levels, you could make a bundle option for all three, but then you’re now you got three different courses that people could upgrade and downgrade.
So that’s getting a little complex unless this is like your full time deal. So what I would personally do one course, typography, whatever we call it type, you know, web design typography or if it’s graphic designers to then it could be typography for web mastery or something like that. And then or just typography mastery, or whatever we call it. And then your first module is the learning typefaces, module two is combining and pairing and then I still think one missing piece to that is like how do we actually implement this, like our conversation on the podcast, we talked a lot about web design and how menu fonts and typography, how those work with like headings and body text. And then like, different types of subtitles, and like accent text.
I would love some lessons on how to implement in websites, and then good examples. And then maybe even graphic design, like how to implement stuff and postcards or business cards, or whatever it is. So I think that would be really useful is like, one, step one, step two, okay, we got typography, feeling good now implement and feel really good about actually implementing this, personally, Oliver, I would do that. And this is just, this is what I would do, I would do one course. And again, you will get people who are more advanced, and they’re gonna be like, I don’t know if I need the first module, but I would just recommend that they still go through it, or at least go through the lessons that appeal to them. And then you have your beginner people who are like, I don’t even know what pairing means with like, what does typography, start with the basics, and then you’ll get into the more advanced, and then you’ll learn how to implement.
And the reason I would do one course, is because you’ll get a feel for what works well. And you’ll get a feel for the results they’re getting. And then next year, if you’re like I’ve got, you know, quite a few students who have gone to have got really good results. But now there is a need for like really advanced, whatever paring fonts like advanced, then you could go ham on a an advanced style course for just that subject, you know what I mean? Like, I would start simple cover all of it in a more simplistic style way as much as you can, and then we’ll see how it goes, then you can add more layers to it. But that would be the simplest kind of way to start.
Okay, another step I already took. So, okay, that’s the That’s good advice, for rethinking this. But what I actually then did regarding recording the causes and stuff, I’m a perfectionist, and I know that I have to fight this. I have to trick myself into doing stuff that’s not making me or does not polishing it too much. So I kind of pushed this away and said, Okay, I need a perfect outline, I need this and that and then record. And then I’ll just say, screw and then I got into teachable and whatever and platform it as Okay, no, I just want to keep this simple. And I need some kind of confidence boost and see if this works at all, if this delivers results at all to people.
I had the workshop, okay, but this was very focused very short. And but it was done through this league of movable type. And I didn’t have any direct access to the students. But and so I just tried, what can I do with my own mailing list? And I decided to launch the course anyway, and just do it as a live course.
Yes. And last week, I did this and I had had the course recorded, although, and with the promise and also the outlook that this will be eventually transformed in an on demand video course. And everybody who signed up for the first one, we get the recordings. Anybody who’s signing up right now will get the recordings of the teaching sessions, and later on get access to the course that then will be within with this individual videos. Yeah, it’s not it’s always chapter marks on YouTube and stuff. But the thing is that I really had to try this out to see if people would get results. If the exercises I called challenges because it sounded nice.
No, that’s better. Yeah. Challenges are hot term right now to
Everything is good. Yeah. And better an assignment or home?
No yeah, no, no school.
So the challenges are better. And to see if they understand them, if it works for them if they get things out of them. And I also added a coaching call to each student to get feedback from them, but also to give them feedback to the challenges. And it it was last week, and it was intense.
Yeah. That’s it’s a lot. I like how you did that, though. I think it’s a great way to go to do a version of the course live like a simplified version. And then yeah, see how it goes. And then you get a good feel for what you want to add on and change for sure.
Yeah, and it went, it went quite well. I was surprised that six people signed up for that really surprised me. They also showed up except for one who was sick, but they all showed up and it was across time zones from India to the United States.
Oh wow. So You had like a what? Probably like a 90 90% show up rate which for any sort of live thing. I mean, if you can get half of your signups live that’s incredible. Yeah. So now this wasn’t an you know, a more like intensive style course. But I mean, what? So you did the course for 300. But it’s 249 for people who signed up, so that’s awesome. Like that’s that prove that, hey, you got a little bit of cheddar and now you’re able to deliver what you have. So yeah, that’s really cool. I did not realize that this already went live Oliver. That’s, that’s cool. So we’re talking like, right after we’re kind of doing a post mortem to see what worked and what didn’t just take it to the next level?
Yes, sure. Since the I know now I have some confidence now that this worked for some people, and they liked it. And I also got some results. People said, Oh, I didn’t say today, I had one of the coach coaching calls and the students said she or the students said she was very, she was more or less clueless why things didn’t work visually, when you combine type is she knew it didn’t work. But she didn’t know why. And now she more or less can describe and see why things don’t work out. And this was really made me really happy that this result was achieved for her. And yeah, now I’m more or less in this. Yeah, now I’m thinking about, okay, new level new devil. What’s the next step here? Now? Eventually need? I see the benefits of doing this live?
Okay. But it’s not scalable. It doesn’t work. And a lot of people said I would have loved to join it. But I didn’t because it was live.
Because they couldn’t commit to one and a half hours at three days. I understand this, even though I offered to replace replace, they didn’t want that. So I get that. I think a lot more people might be interested in it when it’s remote and on demand on demand.
Yeah, yeah, for sure. I found that live works for either some sort of like live training or live workshop, that is something that’s time sensitive, that’s not a course necessarily like a full program. Lives also work well for support. I’m finding like, in a couple of days, I have my monthly q&a for my students, which are all my students across all my courses. I love going live for them once a month and answering questions.
So I think you could probably for the next round, save yourself some hardship by basically offering the courses on demand, and then have that live component like, you know, if it’s a six week kind of deal. Maybe one module opens up every week. And like week one is one module, and then you go live maybe a couple times that week or once that week, answer any questions, then next week is the next module. And that way people can watch them at their own pace within a certain timeline. And then they can pop on live for q&a type questions if they have them. That’s a model that’s really popular now. I was
Cohort model or. Okay, there’s a fixed time where the course starts, you have to sign up for it in that timeframe. And then the lessons get unlocked throughout the upcoming weeks.
Yes, that is one model. Yeah, it’s kind of a cohort also is that they call it like the drip style courses, where week one is module one, week two is module two. The cool thing about that is you can tweak anything if you’re still working on the course. Or the the route that I went is I just do the full course. And I just launched the full course in its entirety. That worked well for me, mainly because I’ve been working with hungry web designers who a lot of them, they’ll just bust through the course in a couple of days, like when I took Pat Flynn’s podcasting course the power of podcasting, I did it in two days, I spent six hours each day and went through the course throughout the entire day.
And by the end of two days, I had my whole game plan ready to rock and I’d already had my artwork pretty much done in the description. And I kind of built my podcast while I went through the course. And then it was ready to rock within like two weeks. I headed out the next month.
So there’s definitely a you know, a few different ways to go. I think it’s kind of overwhelming sometimes if you if you try it live and then do it all evergreen, but I think a happy medium is the whole like the cohort style, particularly Oliver for you because it’s with a lower amount of students. This is really tough if you get like 100 people because then it’s like, well, I can’t do 100 coaching calls. And I said, you know, that just breeds more complexity. So I think you’re in an interesting spot where Yeah, I think with a smaller audience, even if it’s six people, you get feedback from six people and then what happens with six people or work with 12 But it’ll work with 24. And it’ll work with 50 and 100 eventually.
So then you can kind of get more at scale moving forward. But for right now, a little more, you know, Oliver time is probably very, very worthwhile, because you’ll learn a lot, and they’ll get more access to you. And they’ll kind of become, you know, super fans, as they get to know you and get the results.
The early adopters have the advantage of having since I have more time on my side since Yeah, my resources are I planned this. And if it’s six people or 10 people, this is definitely working. But for, for, as you said, hundreds of people it will not it will then be an open call or something like that.
Yeah so here’s, here’s my question, Oliver is, so your current course, I meant to ask this right from the outset. But yeah, you basically the way are making money right now is you have this online course now. It’s pairing type pairing type faces, like a pro. And then you have coaching calls, which do people pay for coaching calls, just like a one on like, an hour type of thing?
So those are two income streams with my type, right?
Yes, yes. And I have a type audit. So I have, I can audit a website based on the on the typography. And if it’s working well, and what the problems are, especially when is that freeze
Is that the free? Yeah. Is that the front of you? Or is that
No, that’s the free is the free review this just a short? Oh, yes. Yeah, the Oh, yeah.
Those are good services. Now, let’s just taking that all the next level, I mean, I would definitely recommend doing the the typefaces, the cool thing is to or excuse me, the course and figuring the core stuff out. Because that will lead to more coaching calls if they want to book them, and you can charge a little more premium. So I’ve done that in the past sporadically. I don’t I’ve never advertised that because I don’t love doing one on one calls just because I can’t scale it. But I’ve done some of those at a higher rate. And I’ve you know, I’ve had mainly that’s just for people in my club who asked about it. If they want a little more Josh, I can offer that, as you said, you know, it’s different. It’s for serious web designers.
But that to say Oliver, I still so version one of your course pairing typefaces. I still feel like this first trial run, you know, sounds like it went well, overall, yeah, you got some negative feedback. And anytime we do something, this personal share your information, the moment somebody says I just didn’t really like it, you’re just it’s crushing. It’s like, it’s way worse than building a website. And somebody’s not liking it. Because this is like all this is my knowledge like this is, this is what helped me at all, it’s crushing.
So it’s good to know, for anyone doing an online course, you will get people who it just doesn’t for whatever reason, it just didn’t click with them. Maybe they were really busy. Maybe they had a bad week. And they’re like, oh, this, you know, okay, if we try this course, I don’t like it, you know, you just never know, I’ve had to grow a thicker skin as a course creator. But I personally Oliver, I kind of feel like still, this could be your your your trial course that could still be available to everyone eventually, or everyone who registered, but I still kind of wonder if it’d be worthwhile, you know, having either one course that combines everything.
Or if you feel like this is your course for pairing, then open up that, you know, typography beginners course, that just helps me out from the ground up from Yeah, then you can have, again, more courses, but a little more complexity. But that is always an option is just to have a different course to me, though, there’s still just this glaring missing piece here. And its implementation to me. And I’m sure you cover some of this in the in the pairing course because I know you did it and our our web design, my web design club, our monthly training, which sounds like that was kind of the testing waters for the course. Right? And
Yeah, so you kind of figured out what worked and what, you know, comments you got and what seemed to be like the biggest points. But I still feel like there’s a lot of implementation that would be really helpful for people to actually go through, like, look at good examples show how to build a site, or just the basics of like typography and a website in different periods. So I you know, whether that’s its own course, I don’t know whether it’s an add on to this course or another course.
That’s probably what I think the biggest thing you need to figure out is, do I go two Courses? Or do I combine them and make, you know, a master course, what you could do in that case is everyone who’s purchased this, if they want to upgrade to the new revised master style course edition, they could get like, you know, 50% off or something like give them a really good Ray are even more like get them in. Maybe they’re even like your beta testers, and they can give you that feedback, and then you can launch it for everyone else.
Yeah, yeah, that’s a good that’s some good advice. I was also struggling right now after this course and doing it since the question is how the cohort based model I understand the question is always how you launch this and how you create create some momentum for launch. And I know what it’s about doing the webinar and stuff from Pat Flynn as well. And this is something helpful to people, then you can also add your cane or the course launched. Definitely get it. And I’m more I’m not sure why. But I’m more feeling drawn. Yeah, drawn towards towards the Evergreen model.
Yeah, now that you’ve extended now that you’ve tried out live, and even even the court, so the cohort can still work with the Evergreen model, it would just be like, here are the modules, or here are the lessons Module One is open, you know, just complete these by the end of the week, and then we’ll do a q&a or via people all over the world, maybe due to Q and A’s, like Thursday, maybe Thursday is the day that you do your Q and A’s. And then that you’ll kind of wrap up that first module. And then they move to module number two, but they can still revisit module number one, you know, whenever. Now, okay, the other option, Oliver is to not do the live calls like that not do the live Q and A’s and just have them go through the modules. Or you could have the whole course open the whole time. And then you could just do like weekly calls for maybe a month or something like that.
So I know I’m throwing a lot of different ideas out. But I guess I’m just trying to see what strikes you as like, Oh, I like that. Yeah, sure. You know, that’s what I like doing. And what I’ve learned is that had I started doing live calls, like q&a is for my students back in the day, I would have got much more feedback, I probably would have sold a lot more courses, because they would have upgraded, I would have definitely engaged them a lot more. Because when I opened my courses up, initially, it was like, here’s my new course. And then I was hoping to get feedback, but I didn’t really have much support for them. Other than like a Facebook group at the time. So yeah, I think again, because you could do it, you know, at, you’re not at a point where scale is big issue right now I think more high touch is worthwhile, you’ll really get a feel for what their challenges are and everything.
Yeah, that’s a good one. So that feels good, since I could make it evergreen, but also give them access to a coaching call or something, then to give them feedback or see how they went.
Yeah, you could, yeah, you could offer maybe like, you know, one thing I’m considering is doing a similar type of setup eventually here with like, a business mastery type program with people who are already, it’s not going to be for beginners, but it’ll be for people who are, you know, at a range where, okay, they’re like, they’re ready to get to six figures, they need some tactile help. And then that’s where we’ll do it together, I’m considering something similar to where they would get like one call in the beginning, and then one call at the end. And then they have the rest of the time to work through the course on you know, within a certain amount of time.
So that’s something I’m considering now that’s a premium type. It’s kind of it’s kind of like service meets, or it’s like consultation meets online courses. So that that would be something you know, for your price point at 250. That’s very fair for a call with you. So that might be something if you go that route, if there’s like coaching involved, and maybe it’s a $500 type course or more, but if you just go evergreen, and then answer questions via zoom once a week for four weeks, then yeah, for 250 is fine for that or even I would probably say if you mix like the beginner plus the pairing plus an implementation module, that might be like a 397 style course or 399 whatever you want to price it.
Yeah 90 97 is always Yeah,
That’s what my that’s my top selling courses my Divi beginners course it’s 97 but it is it’s a beginners course it’s it’s pretty clear it’s you know, you’re just learning to Divi it is some tutorials somebody just show me the basics not all of it just give me what I need to know that’s that’s the course and it is priced as a beginners course.
Yeah, okay. Yeah, I get that. So and when it comes now to this is also the thing definitely I can make the recordings and do everything and and edit them and force myself to just do them and don’t over edit them and redo them. Yeah, just going with it. And I think this will work out but I know you use LearnDash for your for your stuff. I was a bit intimidated by that since I let’s say I want to keep friction as low as possible. So that I of course I know how to do web design stuff and customize things. Yeah, but again, don’t want to lose myself there and I was drawn towards a provider or a platform where they also handle all this billing. They get the share, but I think it’s more or less fair since we have to do this VAT tax thing in Europe where you have to
Right, right? Yeah, it’s different for you being in Austria, right?
Yes. Yes, yes. And so this is something I have to pay attention to. And it would be easier if they, if something, some platform handles this, even if they get
Well, so teachable. So you did the first version on YouTube, right? It was just like, you just wrap people
Via zoom, then I put it on YouTube as a private video. I gotcha. Gotcha. And, yeah. And I what the payment was done, I tried to find out what’s the easiest way via stripe. So
Okay, you just did like a little payment option in stripe and just made the button for that.
Yeah, they paid and I sent an email, it was very low tech.
Yeah, that’s fine. low tech is a great way to start. So yeah, with online courses as far as the platforms, so I use LearnDash. But it’s definitely more complex in the setup process, just because I’m using WooCommerce to actually sell them as products. And there’s a different yeah, there’s mine’s a little more complex, because I already had an online store. I wanted to keep on using what I had set up. So yeah, I’ve been happy with LearnDash. To be honest, though, if I were starting today, and I wanted to stick with something WordPress native, I would choose lifter LMS.
So it’s like LearnDash. It’s got a lot of the, I think probably more robust capabilities just a little simpler on the setup side, and they have a lot of that integrated. So I and I’m friends with Chris Badgett the founder and he’s awesome their team is awesome. If I were starting today, I would do lifter LMS and if anyone’s interested go to Josh hall.co/lifter LMS actually, I think you could just go to just hold up CO slash lifter that will take you there but that’s the WordPress version. If you want to just go as native as possible like course program then teachable is generally what I recommend that’s for people who they don’t even know what WordPress is they need a developer to handle that kind of stuff. teachable is the way to go the only thing is you still have to set up like a payment processor and because teachable doesn’t they don’t include payments right? Or do they or do they offer Okay, yeah,
They do the thing that what do you have to do again and this is always this drags me down is you have to set up a landing page for that and again, and I actually don’t need that since I have it on my site for the course yeah, yes. Right. You have to style everything all over there. If you don’t have a website cool, but
Yeah, but to be honest, like Pat Flynn’s courses are on teachable and yeah, like when you click to go to this podcasting course it’s a teachable page and it’s not great. It’s definitely it’s you know, because they’re limited with teachable teachable is not a Website Builder. It is a course program that has an option for a landing page. It’s I mean, obviously it works they’re doing seven figures in courses so it’s working but but yeah, it’s definitely probably not you know to your to your Oliver ways as far as your your design style and stuff so I I think lifter LMS would probably be a lot simpler for you. It’s kind of a it’s kind of a hybrid between teachable simplicity but more options WordPress related. And then it’s an awesome team so okay, for anyone who’s like why don’t use lifter? Josh, I’m considering it’s just oh my gosh, migrating 10 courses to a whole new platform. No, I don’t know if I want to open up that can of worms.
Yeah. But is it is it also including a payment process? There?
They do. Yep. They have? Like, you can hook right in with PayPal and Stripe through that. You can use WooCommerce if you wanted to. But you don’t have to. Yeah, it is. It is native. So since you’re a WordPress guy, Oliver, that’s what I would do.
Yes, yes. Thanks for the advice. Yeah. Check that out. Okay.
Do you have an email? Do you have an email system to manage all of your students? That’s the other big one.
I actually don’t know. Okay.
Yeah, I would do I would just do MailChimp.
Yeah. I have I have Okay, for my newsletter.
They have a lifter they have a lifter tagging system. So yeah, that’s what I would do is just add MailChimp. The reason is, you want to make sure you keep your students compile. I mean, you can manually do a spreadsheet, but even if you get to 25 or 30 or 40 students What a pain. So you want to you know, set it up to where you have just a basic tagging system that you know, they purchase this course they got this tag there, they’re in my email and they’re tagged in this course kind of thing.
Yeah, okay. That’s that’s also good to know. Yeah. In this all this ultimate, ultimate decision stuff, optimization stuff. I’m not really
The other thing is I mean that yeah, I have oodles of connections now I can pair you with somebody who can help you with automating some of that stuff. If you’re willing to invest in somebody building that out for you, and then you focus on the rest of it. That’s always an option.
Yeah, sure. I get maybe I get back to that later. For starting out, I want to focus on setting it up and ultimate, ultimate automatic stuff will be followed by that.
That’s what I would recommend because you’re savvy if you are somebody who’s like, I don’t know what WordPress is, I’d be like you need get some help get some help if you’re gonna do that. But yeah, and to be honest, you don’t need to automate that much right now. Oliver, I didn’t when I started when I got started. All I did was add the learned ask for WordPress plugin that are learned asked for MailChimp. No, was it? Sorry, it’s MailChimp for WordPress but then it LinkedIn with LearnDash.
So I could just tell a MailChimp like I created a tag. And then when somebody joined my maintenance plan course, they got that tag. So that’s that’s kind of how I did that. Again, there’s a bunch of different tools. But yeah, keep it simple that way, at least you know how it works. And then once you scale it, once you automate, then you can hire out some help if need be. That’s definite what I recommend, okay.
What would you say regarding the timeframe, since I now did this course I’m still selling it. Nobody bought it. I think it’s in the nature of since there was a date, it was live sessions, and now everybody can buy but they think of why should I because there’s no urgency, I think,
Also, I don’t know if people are gonna love buying something that was live, they’re gonna feel like they’re missing out. They’re gonna feel like I did I like, you know, like, do I still get to talk to Oliver III? I wouldn’t plan on probably getting too many sales at this point. Unless you market it again, intentionally. I think this was a good I don’t know, it’s probably way more work than then he made but it was a good first trial. And you see what works probably helped your teaching style, you probably figured out do I like doing slides? Do I like doing talking head do I like both as far as how to record the course. I think that’ll really help.
Now, the next phase, I would potentially again, personally, I would get going on the new outline, again, your outline what you know, based off of your feedback so far people need and then get that in place and then start working on the next course and I depending on how long that would take summertime like late summer often is a good time to launch. If you want to, if that’s way too long, and you want to launch it sooner, that’s fine. Or if you want to wait till like late summer like an August style launch. That’s a great that’s when I launched my maintenance planning course August and September are often really great months because people are done with vacations. And then they’re like they’re getting into it. They’re getting into the fall so seasonally in Austria, I don’t know if I was gonna say it’s pretty similar, right? Yeah. Although your
Vacation into August, and in September, everything, everyone’s coming back.
So whether it’s just more beautiful all around, right? Definitely. I’m not sure. Do they call it? Do they call it vacation in Austria?
On vacation? No. The German word OR?
Well, yeah, cuz like, I know, my Aussie friends. They go on holiday, or my UK friends. They go on holiday and like all holidays like Christmas. We go on vacation here in the states actually.
Yeah, it will open German. Okay. But vacation is more like traveling. Yeah. I think it’s also like more more holiday would be then a day where it’s off and something to celebrate also. Yeah. So I think it’s a bit similar. We would say it’s vacation. Yeah.
Okay. That’s cool. Yeah. Just kind of curious. Anyway, yeah. It’s a great time. It’s a great that would give you a buffer to do this course of what I would do. In the meantime, though, Oliver, is why you get the outline done. The question you mentioned earlier is like, Okay, how do I build anticipation, because I don’t want to just say new course and then nothing. So a lot of different things you could do. This is where it gets really overwhelming. I actually think selling courses is way overwhelming, then making the course and fulfilling. So you could definitely do a live workshop that would like lead into the course for sure you could do that.
The only thing. The only thing about that is if you launch a course with a live workshop, you’re probably just going to give the people who sign up for the workshop a deal, like a discount or a promo. And you don’t want to exclude your whole audience. Because what if I was on your email list and I didn’t sign up for your workshop, but I still want the course you still want to offer the course. But then it gets tricky. Then it’s like well, I’ve got people tagged in my workshop, but now I don’t want to send them the email for my other campaign. So what I would do personally, is just really go ham on your YouTube channel on like, maybe like bite sized pieces of the course. I Like maybe how to choose fonts for websites, if you don’t have a video on that.
Maybe even that’s in the course. But it’s just a bite sized version, and just build that content, build your email list. And then once it gets closer to the course, then you can start mentioning the course law like the launch. Now, you don’t want to mention the launch of a course in a video that’s going to be on YouTube forever. So yes, you’d mentioned it in your email, that’d be the biggie, that’d be the biggie. And then what you can do potentially, is once your course launches, or it’s about to launch, you could add like an in screen, or you could do something on your YouTube channel, that I think there’s some more features now where you can add something that’s different than the video right? Like an outro? Or is it just the in Screen option either way? And then you could you could start plugging your course in those videos. And then go back through all your descriptions and say, for the full course, you know, sign up there.
Yeah, definitely. Yeah, that’s, that’s also some good advice, since you’re always have to build up anticipation, momentum and stuff. But I think this webinar stuff for free kind of teaching, whatever, regarding the launch of the course, is always very helpful. And it is some kind of momentum and anticipation and so on. Yeah.
And you could still do that I don’t want to discourage I did that. Recently, I did a little three day workshop on getting clients. And that was a segue to my business course. So I didn’t give that offer to my entire email list. I just gave it to the people who signed up for that, for that webinar. It converted pretty well, not as good as I kind of hoped. But it may have been timing and some other things involved. But if you get people who are more interested, because they went through a training, they’re going to be much more apt to buy. But at the same time, I’ve launched courses, just I let people know, hey, my next course is coming up, you can either preorder the deal, or here’s a bunch of content. And then here it is. And I that also goes really well. I mean, that’s how I build a six figure course business doing it that way. Yeah. Now how many people are on your email list?
Right now it’s roughly a bit less than 1300.
Okay, that’s a great size, though. And I imagine the way your brand is they’re pretty engaged. So that’s great. Like, shoot, if you sold 10%, if you got over 100 students, all on math time, let’s say this new course is 397. Hold up. Let’s say you do, that’s just as my price model. But let’s say you discount the 297 times 100. That’s $30,000. Almost. So that could be pretty cool. I think that’s a reasonable goal with a list of 1500 of their end game.
Well, you’re not too far off, though. I mean, even just, you know, a handful and then a dozen, you could still get to that point. It’s definitely possible i, the reason I think that could go well is with the Evergreen style. And with a little more like marketing, whether it’s socials or YouTube and stuff, you could, you could gear up for that. The other thing you could do Oliver is instead of doing a workshop, I would, since you have a strong YouTube presence, I would go live on YouTube and just do like q&a is potentially like the month leading up to it, and say, you know, you can preorder the course, for the discount, we launched here, and then it’s going to be available for all the content. And then I’ll continue doing live q&a for all students.
So that’s always an option, too, is instead of doing like a training and free workshop is just go live on YouTube and plug the course that way leading up to it. It’s always an option along with like free, you know, free videos that you’ll do once a week or once every two weeks. That kind of thing.
Yeah, definitely. Okay, that’s never really saw the possibility that’s 10% of my list could purchase a course.
Yeah, I mean, I mean, that’s a good, that’d be a good you know, sale, for sure. But if you give some time to really build it up and market it like it’s your big flagship course, now, you have some social proof, you have people who have went through the pairing typefaces module, essentially, I would consider that kind of the module in the course. And again, for all those students just tell them, I’m revamping this to be inside of this bigger course, you’ve already invested in this. So if you want the full course, you get it for you know, again, 50% off or something like that. So it’s a special deal for them.
Yeah, so you’re really feel what about regarding the content? I would say it would be around maybe five hours with your material. Nobody wants to watch video material. Yeah, I think that’s an answer. But it is a fair amount of video for let’s say $300 or something.
Yeah, I mean, there’s no exact number I’ve thought about that. Like I almost charged courses by the like hour like if a five hour course that probably be like a two or $300 course but If it’s five hours of information on helping people make money, then it’s really you know, it could be worth 1000s of dollars. And I’ve thought about that in my business course. So yeah, I would say like, if your goal is like, let’s say, let’s just for for easy sake, let’s say you’ve got three modules that each have, you know, probably what, five or 10 lessons in each, something like that. What’s your current layout?
So you’re currently on day one had five, day two heads six, day three had six. So maybe maybe like 25, let’s say 25. Lessons, three, three modules, 25 lessons. In each one of those videos, I’ll just for the sake of this a 25. Lessons was 10 minutes? That’s two and 15 minutes. Why did I do this to myself? 60 up 60 Oh, shoot on 250 divided by 60. That’s gonna put us at four hours just over four hours. So if so I do that to say there is my equation with my terrible math skills and play to say 25 inch lessons for this course, if you can keep videos between 10 to 15 minutes, that’s ideal. And then boom, you got yourself a four to five hour course that’s a 100% worth 397. Or, yeah, I would do I would do 397. For this 500 You get into like, okay, that’s, that’s a 397 plus selling it for like 297 or 299. That’s, that’s going to be a sweet spot, I think for you.
And again, even let’s say you sold this is my favorite part about figuring this out, because then you get inspired and this will help you get it back. Get it out. Because it’s like, okay, let’s say a 297. With the sale I sell 38 courses. That’s over $11,000. So that is a great, that’d be a great little, that’d be a great first wave. So, so yeah, that’s what I would do, man. Based off of everything we talked about so far. Yeah, that is the way I’d go. I really feel like this first little like workshop style course you did was a great testing ground. But yeah, it feels to me like this was just part of something, I would probably venture to say a lot of those students would love a little bit of a more full, like the basics.
Yeah, the more advanced stuff. And then again, I personally, I would love to see like here, let’s take everything we learn. And let’s do this. Let’s like, mock up a website or look at websites and really, you know, potentially go some some that type of route. So yeah, that’s my recommendations, man.
Cool. Thanks. Thanks so much. It was a lot. Luckily, I can listen to this later, then.
Yeah, so actually, I think we’re recording this, I think I’m actually going to get this out this week at the week we’re recording this because we’re not doing I don’t think we’re going to do the video version of this. But I just moved in to our new build. And I’m getting my office set up, as you said, it looks a little bear in the background. But by golly, we’re getting there. And I think I’m gonna go ahead and get this out. Because I think it’s a really timely, it’s a timely episode and kind of session for people who are interested in, you know, putting their info into something they can sell over and over and over again and help people at scale, which, I mean, I love web design. And I’m super passionate about that. But because I do courses, I could talk about this eight hours a day. So it’s kind of fun to talk courses.
Yeah, definitely. Definitely. Yeah, thanks a lot really helpful. And, yeah, I kind of go with it, I figure out if I’ll do this, because I’ll just start with the bearing type and figure this or polish this more or less and build it out. And yeah, I just see how the feedback from the others go and to figure out if I should add something in the beginning, or if it was good for them or not, and, and then decide on that.
Yeah, cuz I even feel like real quick as we wrap this up your episode on my podcast. Let’s see what number was that? That was one was 73 173. You talked about pimping out your type for web typography. There was a lot of lessons in that that probably wouldn’t be in the pairing course, but are so valuable. So so valuable. So I personally would either do two different courses, and then have a bundle option where they could get both for like, for a deal, that’s always an option. Oh, you totally could because that way, people who have the pairing course could just get access to the new version. And then they could buy the simple one if they wanted to, or the other course.
Or they get to get the two combined. But again, I if it were me, I would just do one course. Yeah, it just it lessens the complexity with number of Students and tagging and any sort of refund that they come through that kind of thing. So, yep. Okay, cool. Yeah. But yeah, man, don’t over you know, don’t this goes for everyone who is either making a website or building a course don’t overthink it. Get that I what I would do is give yourself a timeline to like, make an outline version one sleep on it, make outline version two, but it up and go, especially the first one. Just get it out there. Just see what works.
Make it good. But you don’t obsess over it being absolutely perfect. And I don’t know if you found this with recording. But once you start recording videos, you get into kind of the flow state. Yes, yeah. Okay, so I’m not alone. Generally, when I do videos I’ll have I’ll try to do a module on one day, like five videos or something. And the first video takes forever to get going. And then I just start cooking. And then I have like, no edits on the rest of them generally, because I can go pretty dang quick. So yeah, they’ll help you just remember Oliver. The first one’s always the worst. So you’re probably past the worst of it.
That’s awesome. Yeah. Thanks so much, Josh. Really was helpful. And really, thanks a lot for your time and
No problem. And I’m glad we did this Oliver, keep it up. And I’m excited for what what I’ll see here by the end of the summer, I think.
Definitely commitment to putting something out before the end of the summer that
You gave yourself a deadline last time I would do the same thing. Yeah, that’s the only way
Surprisingly, I made it. I was surprised. I made it even two days earlier. So and I was shocked and signs up. Right. Oh, stop it, but somebody signed up for it. That’s awesome. I had to do it.
Yep. Yeah. Well, the cool thing is too I’m glad we talked now we were going to talk last month but we were getting ready to move. It was just I just didn’t didn’t have the bandwidth for but it’s kind of cool to do this after your testing run because now we’re able to see what worked and take it to the next level. So here we go, man. I’m excited for you.
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