About This Episode
Today I’ve got Jacques Hopkins on the show with me, who owns a very successful online business called Pianoin21Days.com. His business is doing well and works in an evergreen way, but Jacques wants to create better sales funnels for his audience through segmentation. So far, he’s been totally overwhelmed by doing that, so today I’m going to walk him through the process.
To start, we talk about Jacques’s process so far. We discuss how Jacques can evaluate the leads that come in through his Typeform and what information is important to know from those leads. Then, I give Jacques ideas for creating funnels and customizations. We go on to discuss how Jacques might personalize his funnels, what that flow would look like, and how to use a tool like RightMessage to accomplish his segmentation goals. At the end of the call, Jacques creates a step by step plan for the future.
What You’ll Learn:
Discover tools, methods, and strategies for creating powerful sales funnels through audience segmentation.
AskPat 1032 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What’s up everybody? Pat Flynn here and thank you so much for joining me in Session 1032 of AskPat 2.0. This is a show where I coach entrepreneurs right on the call and you get to listen in like a fly on a wall and absorb all this information that is discussed in this call, so I’m excited you’re here today. We’re talking with Jacques Hopkins, who owns a very successful business at Piano in 21 Days. He teaches people piano. He has a very successful YouTube channel and he’s at a point now where he wants to be able to create better, more successful sales funnels and he wants to do this through segmentation, dividing your audience into separate buckets essentially, and serving them in different ways. And he had attempted this before, but got completely overwhelmed. I remember when I first started segmentation—which is very smart, because then you can deliver unique messages to different subsets of your audience. It is completely overwhelming. So we tackle that today and we talk about how to actually do this step by step, and hopefully this will be something that’ll serve you as well.
So we’re going to get to Jacques in just a moment; I first want to thank FreshBooks, today’s sponsor, because they’re an amazing piece of software that can help you manage—I like to say they manage our headaches because accounting, and keeping track of your finances from your income to your expenses, to billing, to creating proposals and those sorts of things. I mean, it can be a massive headache, but FreshBooks is the software you need to relieve yourself of that stress and I’ve been using it for so long. I highly recommend you check it out.
They’re actually offering you a thirty-day free trial right now, all-access free trial. If you want to see how easy this is to use, you can check it out at FreshBooks.com/askpat and just make sure you enter “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section. Like literally, you can create a super polished invoice in about thirty seconds. You can set yourself up to receive online payments in just two clicks. You can create a really cool proposal where you can include an outline of your project, a scope of work, and a timeline of your deliverables if you’re doing something like freelancing or coaching or things like that. Super handy software, very, very versatile, no matter what kind of business you have. And again, if you want to check out the thirty-day free trial, all you have to do is go to FreshBooks.com/askpat. You just make sure you enter “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section.
All right, now let’s get to today’s call with Jacques Hopkins from Pianoin21Days.com.
Jacques, welcome to AskPat 2.0. Thanks for being here.
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah, thanks Pat. Thanks for the opportunity.
Pat Flynn: Absolutely. So really quick, why don’t you introduce yourself and your business to everybody listening in.
Jacques Hopkins: You got it. So my name is Jacques Hopkins and I teach piano in a fast and fun way with my own piano course at Pianoin21Days.com. And I created it about six years ago and it’s just seen slow and steady growth. And fortunately, about three years ago, both my wife and I—we were full time engineers—were both able to quit our jobs. It’s just been a huge blessing because around the same time, that’s when we started having kids too. So we’ve been able to stay home with them and spend more time with them.
And so now to this day, Piano in 21 Days is still the main source of income for our family. It’s making about $30,000 a month and it has for the past year or two. So it’s kind of leveled out. The growth has kind of leveled out; but most of that’s because I’ve got it pretty much on autopilot now.
So what I do with it each day is I look at my daily report that my assistants put together for me, and she’s got these KPIs on there that I look at, and it’s basically so I can look and make sure nothing’s broken in the machine and everything still keeps going. And people are happy and people are still able to learn piano. And the other thing I do each day is I send out quick little thank you videos to people that have signed up for my course each day using a tool called Bonjoro, which is something I learned from you because when I signed up for your podcasting course, I got one of these Bonjoros from you and it just blew me away. And I was like, “Well, if Pat can take the time to do this, there’s no reason I shouldn’t be doing this with my students.”
So I do that. That’s what I do with Piano in 21 Days each day. It takes ten or twenty minutes. Other than that, it’s on autopilot and I spend the rest of my time now just doing coaching and consulting with other people, on taking their skill or knowledge and turning it into an online course like I did.
But I do want your help today with Piano in 21 Days because I want some ideas on how to continue to grow it. And I do have one idea in mind that I think could work, and I know you know a little bit about it, and I was at a conference a few months ago and heard a guy speaking about this topic that I didn’t know much about at the time, and that is segmentation.
His name was Brennan Dunn and he was talking about all the benefits of segmentation when he implemented it. You can see increased sales but you can also serve your customer better because you’re able to speak to them more directly and provide them with things that are better suited to to them. And I know that you’ve had, you know, like Ryan Levesque on your podcast, you’ve read Ask and you’ve implemented some segmentation yourself. So really I’m looking for help, if you think a good segmentation strategy is the right move for Piano in 21 Days, and if so, the best way to implement something like that.
Pat Flynn: Man, I love this. I love how very specific it is. And before I get to some of my thoughts and some questions I have for you—first of all just congratulations on the growth of your business and what it’s been able to do for your life and your family, and you’re having kids now, and Pianoin21Days.com is the website, right?
Jacques Hopkins: That’s right.
Pat Flynn: Yeah, congrats, man. That’s awesome. We need to dive into the story a little bit more. We should get you on the SPI Podcast at some time.
Jacques Hopkins: Well, that would be cool.
Pat Flynn: Okay, we’ll talk about that later. But anyway, we’re on AskPat right now, so this is about you. So yes. Segmentation, absolutely. One of the best things that any website can do, it doesn’t matter what it is. It helps you understand who is in your audience, and when you understand who’s in your audience you can understand how to better help them.
And Brennan Dunn is just the king of segmentation these days. I mean there’s a lot of people who are doing it, but he’s creating a lot of amazing tools and speaking about it a lot. So let’s see if we can develop some sort of strategy here that you can use as direction to move forward, so we can take this machine that’s working and make it work even better. How’s that sound?
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah, that sounds great.
Pat Flynn: Cool. So segmentation, understanding the different buckets of people, as Ryan Levesque calls it, in your audience. Have you done anything to understand—I mean I’m sure you know a little bit about your audience, but if you were to divide your audience into certain buckets, if you will, how would you do that?
Jacques Hopkins: So I started to try that process because I know that Ryan Levesque does talk about the buckets, and I started to implement some things and just from a survey perspective. It just got so overwhelming because I ended up getting so much data on my customers and I didn’t know, you know—I just got information overload and I’m like, “Well, I can create thirty different courses for these thirty different types of people.” But it’s just like, that’s so daunting, and I feel like I need to take it one step at a time.
So in terms of the buckets, what I did was after people opt in for my freebie they’re immediately taken to a little survey and I say, you know, “while you wait for this to arrive in your inbox, please answer the short questions so that I can best help you.” And like, 90 percent of people are actually filling out that survey. So over the past eight months I have this incredible data on my students and potential students, but I haven’t really done anything with it yet. And so I know if they’re male or female. I know how old they are, twenties, thirties, forties, et cetera. I know if they have a piano already or if they’re looking for a piano, and if they say they don’t have a piano yet, well, that’s easy, I can send them some information on my recommendations for a piano.
But I ask them what their experience level is, the biggest reason they don’t currently know how to play piano. So I have all this information about these people, but I don’t know how to do anything with it.
Pat Flynn: Quick question. What tool are you using to collect that data?
Jacques Hopkins: Typeform.
Pat Flynn: Typeform, sweet. Yeah. That’s really smart, because now you’re getting all this information. I remember when I started segmenting, I started to get overwhelmed because I could understand that it was a person who was male between these ages, from this location at this level of business. And it’s like, no, you can personalize the page so much that it can reflect that, but it can get very overwhelming.
And I got some great advice from my good friend Ramit Sethi, who said you just want to keep it as simple as possible, and so no more than three buckets is what he told me. And even then, it’s a lot. So number one, the easiest way to begin to segment—and this is likely something you’re already doing—is understanding who are your customers and who are not your customers. And just let me ask you, do you have the capability to know in your email service provider who is a customer and who is not a customer?
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah, 100 percent. I use Active Campaign and there’s a separate list for people that have purchased and not purchased.
Pat Flynn: Okay, good. So people who have purchased, we’ll leave them out. Likely, you know what to do with them. And even then though, however, you can understand like, okay, they bought this product, have yet to buy this product so they could buy that second product. But we’ll talk about the leads coming in from this point forward, if that makes sense.
So for the leads coming in, I think that you have to define yourself, what you feel would be the most helpful information for you to know so that you can know how to better help them. Having a person be male or female is interesting to know, but perhaps based on what you’re teaching it doesn’t really matter in terms of getting into a product. Like, the product will serve that person whether or not they are male or female.
So age and/or gender may not be as important to know as, for example, they’ve never touched a piano in their life, versus they took lessons a long time ago and they just haven’t played for a while. So in your camp, what do you feel would be the most helpful things for you to know about a person so you can better help them? Like, if a person came up to you and said, “I want to learn piano from you,” what questions would you ask me to know more about where you can help me?
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah, so I’m looking through the survey questions that I already ask people and I think one of the top ones to answer your question would be one of my last questions: What is your number one piano goal? And they’ve got four choices: The first one is to write music, the second one is to entertain family or friends, the third one is for personal enjoyment, and the fourth one is to play at church.
Pat Flynn: Wow. That is already telling me a lot about the kinds of people in your audience. And so if I were to answer, “I want to write music,” would you send me somewhere different or start speaking to me in a different way, versus if I wanted to learn how to play piano at church?
Jacques Hopkins: Yes.
Pat Flynn: And do you have content? Do you have programs, do you have different things that you could potentially, then after knowing that information, already send my way?
Jacques Hopkins: No, I don’t necessarily have that information now. That’s part of what’s daunting, as even if you pick kind of a path forward, then I have to go in and implement this stuff, because right now I’ve got one evergreen funnel that’s working very well and I’ve got one course that I sell to people, and as soon as I start implementing some of this, I need to segment them off and market to them and possibly even give them a different product. But if I’m going to do all that work, I want to make sure the first one I do is the right way.
Pat Flynn: Right. Of these four categories, which one do you feel best fits your avatar for Piano in 21 Days? The prior course you have, I mean.
Jacques Hopkins: Right, so I think based on the existing customer base, I think the number one thing would be just for personal enjoyment. It’s not necessarily people that want to play professionally or play in public or even entertain other people. I think it’s just people that maybe have a piano keyboard already laying around that’s just collecting dust that they would just be able to like, just to be able to play it for their own enjoyment.
Pat Flynn: Mm-hmm. So, maybe that’s where you start, with creating a funnel that you know is specifically built for people who have now marked that that is why they are doing it. That’s the best way to do funnelization, if you will, or segmentation, is you start with the one that is the most popular or the one that’s the most populated, and then you build that one out and then you add a second one on and add a third one, and so on.
Now, that’s through email marketing typically, that they would be put down a different path that would allow you to mainly just basically sell them the same things, but touching on what really they want, you know? Obviously you know that the more in tune with who that person is and why they are doing this, the different language you would use and the better the conversions would be, right?
Jacques Hopkins: Yeah. 100 percent makes sense. And I do all my marketing and sales marketing through email. People have to get on my evergreen email funnel to be able to buy my course. And I actually implemented . . . I heard David Siteman Garland on your podcast several years ago, and I implemented his evergreen funnel for his course almost to a tee, what he was saying on that podcast, and everything just exploded when I did that.
So I do the video series, launch, the prelaunch videos. And so when you say to start implementing, let’s talk about the people that want to do it for personal enjoyment, I can break those people out, create a new funnel. Well, then I start thinking, okay, do I need to create three new prelaunch videos just for these people?
Pat Flynn: What do you think?
Jacques Hopkins: I think ideally, yes, but then I feel like if you just kept going down the rabbit hole, you’d end up with twenty different versions of these prelaunch videos.
Pat Flynn: You would. But again, you don’t need to do them all at once, and if you start with just the most popular one or the one that you feel like is gonna make the most impact, then you get to choose whenever you want to do the next one, right? You’re always in control. You can stop whenever you want, but then you might see some really good results coming from that and feel more inclined and motivated to create those other ones.
You’re right, though. You would have multiple versions of those things. But if it is indeed an evergreen type situation, where once it’s done, it’s done, versus there’s a lot of other niches out there that really would have to continually update each of those things every single year. Right? Because piano’s never going to change. Versus like, a lot more like tech-related things like teaching somebody how to use their iPhone, I mean, I just feel bad for people who do that because it changes every single eight months or so.
Jacques Hopkins: I was just going to say I agree 100 percent. I feel very blessed that piano is kind of an evergreen thing. You know, piano hasn’t changed in hundreds and hundreds of years, so I don’t have to update my course with technology.
Pat Flynn: Now, are you at all a little complacent and this is . . . I’m asking this question to you, not to offend you, because I’m asking this question knowing where I was for a while too, is when you build up the machine and it becomes so automatic, it almost feels like you get a little complacent with how things are and you’re like, “I don’t want to have to do any extra work.”
I felt like that for a long time. Like, you know, the whole purpose of this was so I don’t have to do any more more work and it’s working, so why do I have to change it? Is there at all any of those kinds of feelings that might be coming up as a result of it working so well right now?
Jacques Hopkins: There absolutely are. And I have rerecorded my course about four times because there were times in the past where I felt like there were just holes in the course and I didn’t do the very best job I could on the course, but this fourth time that I’ve redone it I’m just so proud of the course, and it’s obviously provided results for a lot of people, but I could be spending a little more time with the students that are going through it, giving them a little more personalized, one on one help.
And I definitely see what you’re saying in terms of, it’s easy once you have this automated machine to just get complacent about it. And I don’t want it to go backwards, either. Like, I want it to continue to be a thing. I want it to continue to be something I’m very involved with, and have my name be synonymous with Piano in 21 Days as well. It’s not this thing that I’m looking to package up and sell one day. This is like, my life’s work to an extent, so far.
Pat Flynn: Right. And your face is on every thumbnail in the YouTube channel and it’s great, like you are building a personal brand here. Jacques is synonymous with Piano in 21 Days in my eyes, at least from what I’ve seen and know about you. So that’s great.
Some other recommendations I have for personalization that may be less work, although I would still recommend trying one new funnel for one of those sequences and just seeing how it works, is checking out some of Brennan’s new tools that he’s come out with recently. I don’t know if you were involved with or have heard of RightMessage or RightAsk. These are tools that Brennan’s created that my team and I are now beginning to implement which tie directly into your email service provider so you can collect tags as you have people come to your website.
What’s really cool about the tools as well is you can collect information about them to begin to segment them even before they’re on your email list. Then as soon as they join your list, you already have this information about them based on essentially what comes up on your website or like, little survey questions on the bottom like “how long have you been playing piano?” like “A, B or C.” Then you know that information about them and what’s cool about this is once it’s in, or even without collecting survey information on the front end of the website, if you’ve tagged them in Active Campaign, you know where they’re at when they come back to your website.
This is what RightMessage does. You can say, okay, anybody who is tagged with this, meaning they want to do this for personal use only, on this webpage show them this messaging. Now, if they have this tag instead on the sales page, show them this messaging or the other messaging. And so you can actually—dynamically with just one website, using the tool RightMessage, based on what tags they have in your email service provider—show them different messages based on where you know they’re at.
Jacques Hopkins: That’s just so cool. And I’m glad you mentioned RightMessage. I’ve looked into it a little bit. You know, Brennan was there giving his presentation on segmentation and he hadn’t quite launched RightMessage yet, but he was telling us a little bit about it and there was also a breakout session and I was able to talk to him for like ten minutes one on one about some of this stuff, but it was just, you know, once I start thinking about actually changing individual things within the page based on what these things are, my mind just goes wild because I have so much information and it’s like . . . And I guess what you’re saying is just start with one thing at a time that you think might move the needle the most.
Pat Flynn: Right. And that’s what we’re doing too, because there are so many variables. I mean I have fifty data points on various people in my audience based on what they’ve downloaded, what actions they’ve taken, what clicks they’ve made, survey answers, and all that kind of stuff. And you can just go deep into that rabbit hole and never come out again, versus okay, let’s just do one thing.
So what we’re doing on SPI now is when people come to the website, if I don’t know like, how much money they’re making from their online business yet, then a little pop up shows up that says, “tell me where you’re at in your online business experience so that we can provide a better experience here for you. Have you started a business yet? No/Yes. If yes, how much money are you making from your business?” And now, on my web page, for example, on the podcasting sales page, I can go, okay, if they haven’t started a business yet, on my podcasting sales page I can have language that says “the perfect way to begin growing your audience so that you can finally build the business that you want.” Versus, if I already know they have a business I can have it go, “a perfect way to scale your business and begin selling the products that you have.” And you can do something similar with your stuff, too.
Jacques Hopkins: That’s really cool. So why not just create separate pages for all these people, instead of implementing a tool like RightMessage to do this?
Pat Flynn: It’s just easier.
Jacques Hopkins: Gotcha.
Pat Flynn: Because it’s all built into the tool. It’s essentially what you’re doing, but you’re just using it in one tool and RightMessage will give you a lot of that information that you collect too. It’s just easier to work with.
Jacques Hopkins: Gotcha.
Pat Flynn: Yeah. Less moving parts. But yeah, that’s what I would recommend. Actually, the funny thing is . . . it was at a LeadPages conference you saw him?
Jacques Hopkins: No, it was the SumoCon in Austin last year.
Pat Flynn: Oh, okay. Yeah. He spoke about something similar at the LeadPages conference a while back, and RightMessage wasn’t quite ready yet. And I remember when it came out it was still like, :I don’t know, it’s a little clunky to me,” and then I just got a demo of it the other day, and my team and I are blown away.
So RightMessage or RightAsk, and Brennan, if you’re listening to this, you’re awesome man. Thanks for making our lives a little bit easier. But perhaps that’s where you start. You could probably, understanding what you know about your audience now, just try a little bit of personalization on some of those key pages on your website.
If you wanted to experiment with like male, female, you could have, you know, like another thing you can do is you could switch out—and this is why you use RightMessage, because you can get this granular with it. If it’s a female coming to the web page you can have a female piano player, and if it’s a male you can have a male piano player as sort of like, you know, whatever, the background images. But again, be careful because you can go really, really deep with it. And I would just say just start simple and let it run for a while and see what happens, and then try something else.
Jacques Hopkins: Right on. That’s great advice.
Pat Flynn: Cool, man. That’s awesome. Anything else along those lines I can help you with or other questions, or are you like, ready to just dive into that stuff?
Jacques Hopkins: Well, I’m ready to dive in and what you’re saying makes perfect sense. I guess the last piece of this that I’d love some input on is, you know, at the end of the funnel is basically the course, like, people buy the course. Do you think that there’s any reason to create multiple versions of my course based on the segmentation things?
Pat Flynn: Do you think that the course would be better serving . . . Like would the content of the course really change, depending on who comes in? Like. would it still be helpful for them no matter where they came from?
Jacques Hopkins: So for example, I do attract a lot of people that want to play at church, and there’s nothing in my course currently that . . . I mean, it’ll help them learn how to play piano, but it doesn’t help them, you know, sync up with other instruments, play church-type songs or anything like that. So I’d hate to redo my course just for that segment. But I guess one thing I could do is have like, a bonus outer-course on how to do that. But I wouldn’t necessarily want to market that to people that don’t want to play at church.
Pat Flynn: No, you wouldn’t. You could have, perhaps on a universal sales page have: “Oh, we also have bonus sections in case any of these things are interesting to you. You play at church or you want to learn how to write music. We have some bonuses on that too,” but using RightMessage, you could, knowing where they came from, have that be the one bonus that’s mentioned on the sales page and then just all those bonuses are in the course.
So I would definitely go the bonus route. So you have a bonus lesson for people who want to play at church, which is just going to basically glue everything together that they are already learning in the course that’s already there for what they want to do. So does that make sense? So if I click earlier that I want to play for my church on the sales page because you’re using a tool like RightMessage, I see the bonus video for how to play at church. And then I go in, I see that bonus and they go, “oh, well there’s even other bonuses here that I didn’t even know about. Like, how to write music and how to whatever the other ones were—how to entertain people at parties. Like, that’s cool. I didn’t even know I needed that. Even better, bonuses I didn’t even know I had access to.” So it actually becomes an even cooler surprise for people in that way too.
Jacques Hopkins: That sounds perfect.
Pat Flynn: Yeah, I love it. Cool man. Well, I usually ask everybody who comes on the show here what the biggest takeaway was. Yours was very tactical I think, but I would just love to know kind of what’s the first step for you from here?
Jacques Hopkins: My first step would be to go back and analyze some of the survey responses and just, really just pick one segment I can break off and just focus there because I was . . . Several months ago I was so excited about segmentation and I started to implement all this stuff and I just got so overwhelmed and there’s so much here and I just froze and didn’t do anything. So I think the one takeaway is, okay, let’s just pick one and move forward with that one and it doesn’t have to be this huge, massive thing.
Pat Flynn: I love it, man. That’s exactly right. Well, looking forward to following up with you later. If you don’t mind, we’ll reach back out to you later, maybe have you come back and tell us how things go?
Jacques Hopkins: Perfect. Thank you so much, Pat.
Pat Flynn: Thanks Jacques. Appreciate it. Pianoin21Days.com, right?
Jacques Hopkins: That’s it.
Pat Flynn: All right.
All right, I hope you enjoyed that call with Jacques Hopkins. You can find him, again at Pianoin21Days.com. I’m excited to see how he begins to take action based on his segmentation. I mean, he actually started the process a while back like you heard, and had even done a survey.
So if you haven’t done that yet, that’s the first step I would recommend, and there’s a book called Ask by Ryan Levesque that I would also recommend to help you understand what kinds of questions to ask. I used that in my business back in 2015 and man, it was a game changing survey that affected the rest of my business and still continues to do so. So, I highly recommend that book.
And I highly recommend, if you haven’t done so already, subscribing to the podcast, so all you have to do is click subscribe wherever you’re listening to this right now so you can get the next episodes that are coming your way, and we have a whole mess of episodes coming your way, too, coaching calls that you can sit in on, just like this one.
Now, if you want to potentially be coached by me in this fashion, all you have to do is go to AskPat.com and find the button in the middle of the page where you can apply. I ask you a few questions and depending on your answers—I mean, it is not completely random but it is, you know, you kind of have to get a little bit lucky. But the truth is, and you know, I’m not a fortune teller, but I can tell that if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. So all you have to do is go to AskPat.com. Fill out the application there to at least give yourself a chance, and make sure you plug in some good answers there so I can read them, and I will be reaching out to you if we are going to schedule a call, simple as that.
Thanks again for listening to AskPat 2.0. I appreciate you. Hit subscribe, leave a review if you haven’t already, and I’ll see you in the next one. Bye.
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