Today we’ve got Jacques Hopkins back on the show, from Pianoin21Days.com. We last heard from him just sixteen episodes ago in Episode 1032, when he was looking for guidance with segmenting his audience. Today he’s back to tell us about what happened since then, where he’s focusing his energy, his defined goals for Piano in 21 Days, and how things are going with his second business, TheOnlineCourseGuy.com.
This is another installment in the Where Are They Now? series that I’m doing here on AskPat 2.0. We’ll be checking in with more entrepreneurs from previous coaching calls in the future, plus coaching calls with entrepreneurs you haven’t heard from yet—stay tuned! And hey, hit me up on Twitter or Instagram @PatFlynn and let me know what you think. Always excited to hear from you!
Jacques begins the call by updating us on the status of his business. Piano in 21 Days has never performed better, he says, and part of his success has been due to RightMessage. He explains how that works, how he’s segmenting his audience, and why he chooses not to do any one-on-one coaching for piano. We pivot to talk about where Jacques is focusing now: A new business that teaches how to create online courses. Jacques describes his ideal customer for his new business and where he thinks he can be the most help. He wraps the call by talking about the why of what he does. This is an inspiring one—thanks again, Jacques!
If you haven’t picked up your ticket yet for FlynnCON1, now is the time! My first-ever live conference is going down in San Diego, July 26-28. If there are tickets left, you can grab them at FlynnCON1.com.
What You’ll Learn:
Discover inspiration for building online courses and how simple tools can be catalysts for massive growth.
AskPat 1048 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What’s up everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 1048, the final episode of AskPat here in 2018. I want to thank you all for the support this year. It’s been an amazing run, and I cannot wait for next year because we have a lot of great people lined up to get coached by me, which is exactly what I do here. I coach for free, in exchange for having them publicly share their coaching process, because I know it’s going to help many other people too. Just like Jacques here today, who was interviewed back in, or actually coached back in Episode 1032. He’s back on today in the final, Where Are They Now? episode of the year. We’re going to get back to the regularly scheduled coaching process next year, very soon, in the next episode. If you haven’t subscribed, make sure you do.
Today we’re going to be talking again with Jacques Hopkins from Pianoin21Days.com. You can also find his YouTube channel at Piano in 21 Days. He has an amazing success story, and you can hear how far he’s come since Episode 1032, but even just sixteen episodes later, you’re going to see how much process and progress is made and what he’s done and where things are going.
Before we get to that though, I do want to thank today’s sponsor, which is FreshBooks. They’ve been an amazing sponsor all year to help support the show. If you need any bookkeeping or financial help with your tracking, expenses, income, or your tax related items, especially invoicing—if you do any invoicing of any kind they make it super easy. In less than thirty seconds you can create an invoice so you can get paid and keep it tracked. They even allow you to understand who has yet to even open those invoices that you send out. One of the most amazing companies out there to help relieve some of the headaches that we have as entrepreneurs who should be focusing on other things. Yes, obviously accounting and bookkeeping is important, but leave all the hard, difficult stuff to software like FreshBooks, and you can focus on building your audience and growing your business. If you want to check it out for thirty days for free, all you have to do is go to FreshBooks.com/askpat and make sure you enter “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section. All right, now let’s get to Jacques and let’s see how he’s been doing.
Jacques, hey, welcome back to AskPat 2.0. I’m excited to catch up. How you doing?
Jacques Hopkins: Doing great. Thanks so much for another opportunity to do this.
Pat Flynn: I’m excited. Last time you were on, which was several months ago, Episode 1032—which we’ll link to in the show notes so everybody can listen to it. You have this amazing business. Piano in 21 Days. A growing YouTube channel, a thriving course business. The last time we talked, you had some questions about segmentation in your audience and how to better serve those kinds of people who are coming to you when there are various kinds of people, from the person who is just starting out who wants to dabble, to people who want to perform, to all different types. I’d love to hear from you and have you give us an update on how things have gone since our last call.
Jacques Hopkins: Things are going really well. Not that they weren’t going well back then, but they’re going even better now.
Pat Flynn: That’s awesome.
Jacques Hopkins: Thank you so much for again for that first session. Piano in 21 Days is a very much automated business. I don’t have to spend too much time in it, but I’m always thinking about ways to grow it and we talked in pretty good depth about segmentation last time and where I was struggling. Last time was I had all this great data, because when somebody opts in for my free five-day workbook on learning piano, right after that they get a survey. Almost everybody fills out that survey. I have all this unbelievable amount of data, but it was so much I didn’t know what to do with it. You really helped me to really focus on one thing at a time, and I’ve done that.
I’m the type of person where, when I know what to do and I feel confident about the best path forward, I’m all about it and I’m all about implementing. I implemented pretty quickly and the past couple of months have been definitely the best months ever for Piano in 21 Days. This month is certainly on pace to do even better.
Pat Flynn: I’m so excited for you. When you say, “better,” tell me what that means to you.
Jacques Hopkins: Piano in 21 Days was doing about the same revenue, profit and everything, for a couple of years because I had most things on autopilot. As far as looking for ways to grow, segmentation sounded like a good way to potentially serve people better and then hopefully increase revenue and profit as well. Doing about 30k a month, 15 – 18 of which would be profit beforehand, but the past two months have been right at 40k revenue with no additional expenses really, other than RightMessage. This month, so far, it’s November 14 and already at 26k revenue, so things are going well.
Pat Flynn: Hey, congrats man. You had mentioned a tool, RightMessage. Is that one of the first things you began to work with?
Jacques Hopkins: Yes. RightMessage is awesome. I was on the fence about it and you convinced me to use it as a great segmentation tool. It’s fantastic. It’s funny, I went to sign up for their trial after we talked and Brennan Dunn, I got an email from Brennan who’s the creator of it within five minutes of signing up. At first, I thought it was a canned email, but it wasn’t. I pulled it up here because I wanted to share it with you. He said, “Hey, just saw you sign up for RightMessage trial. My girlfriend was sitting next to me, saw your name, and was like, ‘That’s the piano guy, right? I’ve been wanting to buy his course for ages.'” And he said, “Anyway, just wanted to say hi. I’m one of the founders so if you need anything, let me know.”
Pat Flynn: That’s awesome. Tell everybody who doesn’t know what RightMessage is. What is this allowing you to do?
Jacques Hopkins: I know you’ve been using it as well. It’s a segmentation tool; it allows you to show different thing, different text, different elements on different pages of your website to different people based on who they are and where they are in your sales cycle or what type of person they are. For example, I can show a different headline or image or different elements to somebody who has not subscribed to my email list yet, or somebody who has subscribed to my email list but hasn’t made a purchase yet. If somebody’s in the sales cycle and I know that they want to sing while they play piano, versus somebody who doesn’t want to sing while they play piano, I can show them different things and even offer them different products or bonuses.
Pat Flynn: Yeah, that sounds pretty epic to me. You implemented that and how are you segmenting in your audience in particular? You had mentioned the singing and not singing . . . or was there one segmentation that has been eye opening for you more than any other?
Jacques Hopkins: No. I wouldn’t say there’s one. The big takeaway from the last time we talked was don’t get overwhelmed by the data. Pick one thing at a time, focus on that. I started with the one that I didn’t think was necessarily going to make the biggest impact, but the one that I thought would be easiest. I started with the people I knew didn’t even own a piano or keyboard yet, but yet had still opted in to my workbook and everything. Obviously they wanted to learn, but they didn’t have an instrument yet. What I did for those people was I delayed the sales funnel so they didn’t get pitched the course right away because they don’t even have an instrument yet, and I instead for that week delay I sent them information about the pianos and keyboards that I recommend. That allowed people to get valuable information on the tool they need, but also had significantly increased Amazon affiliate income.
Pat Flynn: That’s awesome. It’s not just the courses you have, it’s Amazon and affiliates and other . . . Do you do any personal, one-on-one or group coaching or is it all online automation kind of stuff?
Jacques Hopkins: For Piano in 21 Days it’s all online course. It’s not live or one-on-one.
Pat Flynn: Is there a reason why you choose not to do that?
Jacques Hopkins: Piano, to be honest with you, it’s not my number one passion in life. The way that I play and teach piano, I found out, there was a market for that because it’s a non-traditional approach to get results very quickly. You’re not going to be a piano expert with me and the course serves that audience, and I’m not really interested in being a one-on-one piano teacher. I never have been. My day job was an electrical engineer, not a piano teacher.
Pat Flynn: I think it’s so great that you know that about yourself and what you want to do. You decided to fit this business in, in a way that fits who you want to be, and I think that’s so smart. A lot of us, we get some success and then we keep pushing further and we often push beyond where we even probably should be because we just are getting so jaded by the initial success, what other people are doing. You could probably make several thousand dollars a month extra by doing group coaching or one-on-one coaching or even events and things like that. There’s many opportunities there, but you’ve said, “Nope. I don’t want to do that. This is a thing that I want to be automated.” I think that’s so smart, because most people keep going without even knowing what they’re doing or getting into.
Jacques Hopkins: Cool, thanks.
Pat Flynn: I’m on your YouTube channel. There’s a video here, it’s literally, the title is “Learn Piano in 4 Minutes.” You do have this very unique way of teaching, and you might think that’s clickbait, and actually the second comment here says, “What the heck? This guy is not clickbait. Very good info.” It’s a four minute video. Exactly four minutes and you teach it and it’s great. I love the style and that video has 624,000 views. You just did one not too long ago that has over 120,000 views. But I also noticed that over the past few months you actually haven’t been publishing much on YouTube, yet your business continues to still grow. I’d love to know if you’ve just given YouTube all it needs, or are there other things that you’re focusing on instead of YouTube right now? What’s the play there, because I thought YouTube was the primary exposure channel for you?
Jacques Hopkins: It absolutely is. That “Learn Piano in 4 Minutes” is a big way that people find me because it ranks very highly for searching for “learn piano,” or “how to play piano,” both in YouTube and Google. That video’s done very well. Continues to do very well. My channel does very well and is a big traffic driver. My courses and my brand is called Piano in 21 Days. I don’t have a ton of information about piano to share with people. Everything that I know about piano, I put in my course. I share a little bit here and there on YouTube and so I feel like I’ve almost exhausted the topics for free videos on YouTube. And maybe that’s just an excuse, but that’s the reason for it. Also, when things are going well, it’s easy to be lazy, and I think that maybe I do need to get on some sort of regular plan for YouTube, even if that’s once a month or once every couple of months.
Pat Flynn: That’s again, up to you. I’d love to know what your work is now. What are you focusing on at this moment in time?
Jacques Hopkins: That’s a good question. Once I really went about hiring a team and doing a lot of automation and outsourcing, and found myself not having to work on Piano in 21 Days very much any more, this was about a year and a half ago, I got to ask myself for the first time in a long time, “What do I want to do with my life and what am I good at?” Instead of really going even deeper into piano, I decided I gained all this valuable knowledge about online courses, and so I started a new brand on coaching/consulting for online courses to help people do what I did with my hobby and turn it into a successful online course. I spend more time on that side of my business, even though Piano in 21 Days is way more responsible for the income for my family, and so that’s more of my time these days is spent there, on my online course business.
Pat Flynn: Plug it. Where can people go to learn from you and how are you teaching it? Is this more on a one-to-one basis and working with clients, or are you approaching it in the same manner that you did Piano in 21 Days with online content, free stuff?
Jacques Hopkins: The brand is The Online Course Guy and I have—one of the main outlets, there is a podcast. Big fan of Power-Up Podcasting. I’m in there and highly recommend it for anybody wanting to start a podcast. I joined it a while ago and up to eighty-two episodes on the podcast.
Pat Flynn: Congrats.
Jacques Hopkins: Thank you. I do have a course on how to start an online course, but honestly, that hasn’t produced very many success stories. I don’t know if people are fizzling out with that or what, but what I have been successful with is—what I found is I’m better at helping people that already have courses that want to either ramp up their volume and everything or help with the automation outsourcing and lower the amount that they have. I find I’m better at helping that type of person than somebody brand new, trying to launch their first course.
Pat Flynn: That’s good to know because now it changes where you put your effort into. When it comes to—and you’ve obviously become an expert at this because you’ve done it so well with Piano in 21 Days. When it comes, in terms of automating your course and with the people you’re working with now, what’s the common factor that’s holding people back from being able to do that?
Jacques Hopkins: There’s a couple of things. I think a good sales funnel. A lot of people have a course on a page, people can buy it any time, but having a good sales funnel, preferably an evergreen funnel—but also people are scared to outsource. They are doing every single aspect of their business and are spending all day in their email inbox, doing customer support, editing videos, doing their own ads. I’ve probably been able to help people most with letting go and starting to outsource things to other people.
Pat Flynn: Do you find that’s pretty much a mindset thing more than anything?
Jacques Hopkins: Yes. People are scared to, they feel like they’re giving up part of their business, and they lack the trust to be able to do that the first time. But what I find, once they outsource one thing, one time, then they’re far more eager to outsource the next thing.
Pat Flynn: That’s exactly what happened to me. It took me six years to outsource my podcast and then once I started doing it, I was like, “All right. What else can I hand off because I’m getting so much time back.” Which, is crazy. The final question I have for you Jacques—and again, congrats on all the success and I’m excited to see you with minimal work on your end because you have the team, and you’re building new systems, just how big this goes because it’s continuing to grow like you said. The final question is, what are you doing beyond work? What has this online course enabled you to do and what is your why?
Jacques Hopkins: That’s an important question. I have, for the past just about three years, been able to stay home, work from home and my oldest daughter is over three. My youngest is just over one, so for the entirety of my second daughter’s life and most of my first daughter’s life, I’ve been staying at home and not really working a full-time job from home even. Just watching my kids grow up, spending time with them, being able to have lunch with them or just pop out and say “hi” here and there. Being able to travel with them, or when my second daughter was born I literally took two months off and didn’t do anything and made just as much money with my business because I had the systems in place. To be able to do things like that is what I always dreamed of; it’s why I started listening to The Smart Passive Income years ago. I’m stoked that it’s here and I’m able to reap the benefits of it.
Pat Flynn: You’re doing it; you’re living it. You’re an inspiration. The reason why I wanted to finish off with that is because your episode is the last one of the year for AskPat, and it’s the last of the Where Are They Now? episodes before we go back into a regular rhythm with new coaching students next year. By the way, if you haven’t subscribed to the show yet, we’ve got a lot of great shows lined up for you. Make sure you hit Subscribe Now to AskPat.
A dose of inspiration for you. This is why I do what I do; this is why Jacques does what he does, is to spend more time with family and to do—your version of that might be different, for those of you listening. But whatever it is you want to do, like building online business, setting up these automations: This gives us the freedom and I wanted to remind you that this is possible and this is what you’re working for. That moving into 2019, just to keep going, keep finding those answers, and if you need help along the way, you know this show and my other podcast and my channel, it’s all there to help you. Like Jacques, there’s going to be many other people who can help you as well for whatever your interests are in this space. Jacques, thank you so much for the inspiration, motivation. One more reminder for where people can go and see you in action.
Pat Flynn: Awesome man. Thank you so much for coming back on and Happy New Year.
Jacques Hopkins: Thanks, Pat. Always appreciate it.
Pat Flynn: All right, I hope you enjoyed that episode with Jacques. Man, amazing business, hardly touching the business at all on YouTube. I cannot wait to see what comes next. Many great things, and I’m so glad that he’s teaching other people how to do what he’s doing because he’s obviously mastered it. You can check him out in all the references that we’ve made on the show, and I also want to give you an opportunity to get coached just like I did with Jacques back in Episode 1032, and potentially come back again to tell us how you’ve been after taking action. To do that, all you have to do is go to AskPat.com and fill out the application. Let me know about your business, what you need help with, and things that you envision that would be in your future if you just had a little bit of help and I will, potentially—I can’t possibly reach back out to everybody and have them on the show because we only publish once a week currently, but it’s not going to happen unless you try, right? Go to AskPat.com. You could also listen to the other episodes in the archive there and again, I just want to thank you so much for all the support this year.
If you haven’t gotten a chance to check out the event page for my first big live event, we’re having 500 members of Team Flynn, that’s you, come to San Diego between July 26 and July 28 of 2019. It’s just around the corner. I’m so excited. Check it out: FlynnCON1.com. It’s going to be unlike any conference that you’ve ever seen or heard of. We’re definitely pulling out all the stops and trying something different; I’ve had eight years experience speaking and I know exactly what I like and don’t like, and I’m putting them all into one FlynnCON, SPI community. You guys are awesome. Thank you very much. I appreciate you and make sure you subscribe to the show if you haven’t already. Cheers and Happy New Year!
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