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SPI 563: The 3-Phase Approach that DOUBLED Josh’s Revenue Online

I love when we bring people back on the show, because we get to hear about their journey since then.

Today we’re speaking with Josh Hall, from He’s a web designer and web developer. He teaches and coaches people how to create businesses as web designers.

Josh was last on the program in episode 456. He talked about turning his side gig into a full-time business. Since then he’s turned his full-time business into a 2X full-time business, meaning he doubled his revenue!

When you think about doubling your business, you think of doubling your conversions or 2X-ing your traffic. That’s not what we’re talking about today. Josh gives us a very specific three-phase approach he used to achieve this.

This is one of those episodes you’ll likely need a notepad for if you’re serious about growing your business.

We’re going to talk about online courses, memberships, bundling things, price points, and all that kind of stuff. There are some surprises here, too.

There’s a lot to uncover — and a big congrats to Josh because he’s definitely made some awesome stuff happen. We’re going to share it all with you in today’s episode.

Today’s Guest

Josh Hall

Josh is a web design coach and the founder of In Transit Studios, a web design agency based in Columbus, Ohio.

Josh is passionate about helping people learn how to design websites with WordPress and Divi and build their own web design businesses. Josh wants designers to experience the freedoms he’s fortunate to have as a professional web designer and business owner.

You’ll Learn


SPI 563: The 3-Phase Approach that DOUBLED Josh’s Revenue Online

[00:00:00] Josh:
It was a big year and I worked hard, but I typically did not work more than 25 to 35 hours a week.

The trick was to grow and build the business, but not work 80 or 90 hours each week.

The key is being really strategic and smart about what you’re doing, and I boiled that down to three things and three phases.

[00:00:43] Pat:
I love when we bring people back on the show, because we get to hear their journey since the last time they came on. Today we’re speaking with Josh Hall, from He’s a web designer and web developer. He teaches and coaches people how to create businesses as web designers.

Josh was last on the program in episode 456. He talked about turning his side gig into a full-time business. Since then he’s turned his full-time business into a 2X full-time business, meaning he doubled his revenue. He gives us a very specific three-phase approach he’s used to achieve this. There’s some surprises here, too.

Oftentimes, when you think of doubling your business, you think doubling your conversions or 2X-ing your traffic. That’s not what we’re talking about today. This three-phase approach is very smart. It has notes about my book, Super Fans in it, which I really enjoy. Josh’s knowledge and care for wanting to help the listener—that’s you—is very apparent.

Make sure you stick around. This is going to be a good one. This is going to be one of those episodes that you’ll likely need a note pad if you’re at all serious about growing your business.

Josh and I talk about online courses. We talk about memberships. We talk about bundling things, price points, and all that kind of stuff. There’s a lot to uncover here, and a big congrats to Josh because he’s definitely made some stuff happen. We’re going to share it all with you right now.

Josh, welcome back to the Smart Passive Income Podcast. Thanks for joining me again.

[00:02:08] Josh:
Thank you for having me again, Pat, I’m excited for a round two.

[00:02:13] Pat:
Episode 456, we heard about your journey from side hustle to this life-changing business of yours. Can you remind us really quick for those who didn’t listen to that episode?

[00:02:22] Josh:
Yeah. So now I am a web design coach. I was a freelance web designer for around seven years before I started teaching. And then I was scaling my web design business for a few years. And then eventually I sold that in 2020 to one of my students. And I now teach full-time through my online courses and a membership as well, which I’m sure will do.

[00:02:40] Pat:
That’s cool. Okay. So online courses and membership, that is the business right now from a high level. How’s it been?

[00:02:47] Josh:
2021 was awesome. Pat, I think I reached out to you and let you know kind of where I was at. And I think that’s what probably prompted this talk. it was, it was the first full year of being full-time online courses and membership. And I hit my goals. I’m extremely excited that. Where it’s at and what I’ve learned.

And actually I think something that I I’d love to kind of help everyone listening and in this episode is how I almost doubled my student base. So w the last episode we chatted on, which I think was, was a 4 56 and the swab specimen, because. And that episode I had just crossed 700 students. Now I’m just about to cross 1200.

So within, just over a year, I’ve nearly doubled my students and I’ve learned a lot and I’m excited to hopefully give some value to everyone. Who’s in a similar position,

[00:03:33] Pat:
And everybody wants to know now. Well, how did you nearly double your students? Ha.

[00:03:38] Josh:
A lot of things that went into this. And of course it was a, it was a big year and I, I worked hard, but. I did not generally work more than 25 to 35 hours a week on average. And this is the biggie. I’m a life. I’m a, a life balance enthusiast. I have two young daughters, a two year old and a three-year-old and a wife love working from home.

The trick was to grow and to build a business, but not work 80 or nine hours a week. And that’s one reason I love following you, Pat, is your know a life balance enthusiast as well. I know. Really the key to that though, was to be really strategic and smart about what I’m doing. What’s really, I kind of boiled down to three things in three phases, phase one is to, do you want them all now?

And then we can dive into them? Or do you want me to keep everybody on suspense?

[00:04:24] Pat:
Let’s do the roadmap just so we know what’s coming.

[00:04:26] Josh:
Yeah. So phase one that really worked for me was to warm my students up and, or potential customers. Really getting them engaged and primed and ready to buy. So that was phase one. And a lot of things went into that, but I’ll kind of hit on both the ones that worked for me phase two, was to create an absolutely amazing first impression.

Which is key for digital courses, particularly when it comes to limiting refunds, you want to make that first impression. Awesome. So that was a big key to helping keep in my students engaged, keeping them really excited to finish a course and not get a refund. and the third aspect of this, the third phase is to keep them engaged in wanting more.

And I’m happy to share what I’m doing with current students to make them feel like they’re just getting value over and over and over again. But more importantly, To keep them wanting more. Cause I think the problem with most course creators, and we talked about this in the last episode, Pat, was that with an online course, one of the challenges is you sell it and then that’s it.

And there’s no sort of recurring income behind that. It’s a one and done and you want to keep them coming back. So those were the three phases that I looking back as I reflected in 2021, those were the three areas that really helped me grow my student base, nearly double it and provide an awesome revenue and income for my.

[00:05:40] Pat:
When you talk about your student base, are you talking about specifically course students or members or what, how do those two things play with.

[00:05:48] Josh:
They are generally the same, most of my members and my coaching community, which is my web design club. They are mostly students. Although some people have, interestingly enough, more recently, some people have got coaching directly from me. In that community before joining my courses, which are more one-off.

So, they really, they work hand in hand and I followed a very similar approach to what you do, Pat, with smart, passive income, which is to have these courses, but then have a membership aspect and the community aspect. And that’s a big reason why I started that, at the end of 2020 now with my membership.

But yeah, they really go hand in hand. Very nice.

[00:06:25] Pat:
Awesome. Well, I do want to talk about the membership, but let’s go into this three phase process. First, you had, you said 700 students. How did you warm up or new upper new students to get them excited about coming in.

[00:06:41] Josh:
So I found for me, it really all boiled down to some good free content, but the question is okay, free content sounds great. But what does that mean? Like you’re right. It could be anything, there are three main. And I still do these three main free pieces of content. Number one are tutorials and podcasts.

So you were a huge help for me, Pat and helping me start my podcast, which is still my number one, converter. It’s just been a, this was the whole episode. The last time I was on was we talked about what an impact that made on my business. It’s been massive. It’s brought some incredible students who are serious about their business.

I found that with podcasting, so that’s a biggie. And then I also have a YouTube channel with tutorials around the tools that I use in web design and just basic web design business principles. But. You definitely have to be careful. What, what type of content you create? Because I’ve found some content is really geared for podcast.

If I want to talk about something for a half an hour or 45 minutes, it’s not going to go over as well as a YouTube video. So my YouTube videos are a little more short, condensed. Sometimes they’re more visual. And then the podcast is for long form content. So those two things have been the key for growing my own.

And now I’m, I’m, I’m at 170 some podcast episodes. And my YouTube channel is just surpassed 2.5 million views. So that’s been going really strong. but there are different types of content, but that’s kind of part one in the, in the free content.

[00:08:08] Pat:
Okay, that’s great. And the thing is with content, especially free content, that you can put on these platforms, how do you know what content to create? you know, obviously within coding and development, or any topic, there are thousands, if not tens of thousands of things you can talk about and create content about how do

[00:08:25] Josh:

[00:08:27] Pat:
What gets put in there. Do you do any keyword research? How are you determining what valuable content to create?

[00:08:34] Josh:
I took a very organic approach with creating my content. I do some basic keyword research, but honestly I was a web designer for 10 years. I know the challenges I faced and when I actually built my audience in my online brand, all I did was I created tutorials and videos and content, about the questions that I wish somebody would have shared with me when I was going through my journey.

So it was pretty easy and very organic. And actually, I didn’t do a fancy keyword research or anything in the beginning. I simply just posted videos about what I thought would help me. And they did, they resonated with a lot of people and that’s how I built my audience up. And then when I started doing courses, I kind of had a YouTube channel and already it’s already there to so courses too, but yeah, as far as the initial free content, that first touch for me, it’s mainly podcasts.

In video tutorials on YouTube. but there’s a layer back to this, which is a little more in-depth training because these are just surfacey pieces of content. well I like to call these breadcrumbs and then the full meal of course is a course. but there’s kind of a layer in between these bread comes and a what I like.

Maybe consider an appetizer a and the next level back is a webinar or a masterclass or something. That’s a little more in-depth than a tutorial and visual. And those two things combined have been key for, for free concept.

[00:09:54] Pat:
Okay. So I was going to ask, how do you get those who are watching or listening to this free content then come in? Can you talk about that process and how you go about these appetizers?

[00:10:05] Josh:
So good news is you can definitely get people I’ve found to sign up for courses with just some small free. If you do enough of it and it’s consistent, you can really build trust and authority. And I did that before I did any webinars or any masterclasses or anything like that. I just had tutorials and podcasts.

And then I would mention my courses. I would always have some sort of a upsale to a course, or I would have a promo or a special to be able to get into a course after watching it tutorial. But I found this need to where again with this, since we’re sticking. The food description here, those are kind of the breadcrumbs, but I wanted to give people a little more to further build that trust and authority.

And thanks to you Pat, going through your webinar course, that was a game changer for me. And I just want to say this publicly for being really confident with creating masterclasses and webinars, which have been a big time boost, that’s actually one of the top contributors to nearly doubling my core students in 2021 was doing these masterclasses and webinars that people will sign up for.

And the really cool thing about having some sort of content approach for webinars and master classes is you capture an email list or you capture an email in your email list. So the, the only problem with free tutorials and podcasts. You don’t quite know who’s watching them. I mean, you get some demographics, but they’re not in your email.

Well, when somebody signs up for a cheat sheet or a masterclass or a premium type of appetizer, a teaser before, of course, that’s, that’s when it became really, really powerful for me. So that was kind of the second part of that equation to really make them feel comfortable and warmed up before investing in an actual.

[00:11:42] Pat:
How do you know what to create a webinar or masterclass about?

[00:11:45] Josh:
Those so organically. I just kind of know as a web designer for 10 years, what the biggest pain points are. But a lot of times, since I have an audience, they’re letting me know what type of questions they have. Oh, here’s a, okay, perfect segue, Pat. That’s a perfect segue to the kind of last piece of this first phase, which are live stream. took a lot of inspiration from you as I do in all aspects of my business. obviously, you know, a lot about going live and what’s interesting is. I got comfortable doing live streams in my coaching community because I was doing that once a week. And then I thought, why don’t I do this for my students, similar to what you do with students having office hours.

I don’t do them once a week right now, but I do them at least once a month. And so I got more and more comfortable going live. And this way, answer that question about the type of content to produce. I just recently over the past, probably four or five months started going live on YouTube and. Going live is really interesting because you would think it’d be so much work, but I’ve actually found going live to be the least amount of work compared to a podcast episode or tutorials, because you just go live and just answer questions and those questions will come organically when you start to open up.

And I found a lot of the people who joined my live stream. They don’t even know they had a question about something, but once they hear somebody else ask it, then they’re like, oh yeah, they’re talking about getting content from clients. I have a question about this as well. And then that is actually what often prompts me to, to see these similar type of questions.

And then I know, okay, these are the type of areas and categories that I’m going to create content on. And the live streams have been a biggie because they just say they ask their questions. And if it’s repeated, I know if I get the same question two or three times, You best believe I’m going to make a podcast out of it, or I’m going to do a YouTube video of it, something visual.

And that’s been kind of my, my formula for knowing how to figure out what content to create in this first, warming up phase.

[00:13:43] Pat:
Love it. So to recap what we’ve spoken about so far, the podcast and YouTube kind of working in tandem with each other, the YouTube being for more shorter, but, more visual specific tutorials, which obviously matter a lot to the people who are within your community and who are interested in coding and web development.

And then the podcast likely more storytelling, a lot more conversation. Do you have guests come on the podcast or is it.

[00:14:06] Josh:
I do. And, I would definitely recommend if anyone’s going to check out my podcast, go to episode 100, because it features here a good friend of mine, Pat Flynn, on that episode. So I do have more entrepreneurial folks as well, because what I’ve found also, this is a big distinction and hopefully this is helpful for somebody who is doing technical.

Based content versus just strategy or business content. I tend to keep more business and entrepreneurial type of subjects on my podcast. Whereas my YouTube channel was a little more technical. That’s more visual. That’s more like to the point. For example, I just released a video on Google analytics quick.

Not a great piece of content for a podcast, cause you need to see what’s going on. So that’s how I decipher those two and yeah, to have folks like yourself, I have awesome entrepreneurs on this show and then a lot of web design business owners and people who are in the game. So that’s kind of how I differentiate those two.

[00:15:00] Pat:
Gotcha. Okay. And then within those channels, know, YouTube specifically going live. That gives you ideas in terms of what people are asking about, they ask about the same kinds of things. Light bulb goes off. You say, Hey, I’m going to create like an actual class or a masterclass, or even might be as simple as a PDF.

You had mentioned like a lead magnet or a cheat sheet. If you will, to just answer that question, which brings people onto an email list. then on that email list, maybe they’re getting access to then a webinar or where they get to learn from you specifically, is that where phase two comes in, as far as the first impression that you spoke about Sort of warm people up to create a great first impression is that, that moment, like during the webinar and such.

[00:15:39] Josh:
Yeah, this all segues because phase two is really when they actually become a student or an actual paying customer. There is one thing I would love to point out though, Pat, before we talk about them actually purchasing recently, I heard about the three CS of sales and I, I wish I knew who this was attributed to because I’d love to give the author proper credit, but the three CS of sales that have really just stuck out to.

Our connect, converse and then convert. So what I struggled with, and I think what a lot of people in business struggle with is you connect and then you immediately want to convert. So it’s like, Hey, I’m Josh. This is what I do buy my thing. And this is this isn’t true in networking. This is true on online sales, whatever it is, that middle piece of converting, or excuse me, conversing before converting is.

Crucial and really everything we’ve talked about so far, as far as tutorials, podcast, episodes, webinars, and masterclasses lives. These are all in that. Converting and connecting phase before, or excuse me, I’m conversing before converting. So it’s really, really important. I would highly recommend everybody really think about how you can converse with your audience.

And sometimes this is an actual conversation, like a discovery call or a sales call, but for a digital course, creators and entrepreneurs who are doing more content based stuff, you really do have to decide, what am I going to create in that converse? Middle really, really important middle piece in order to warm them up, build that trust authority.

And again, I’m ready for phase two, which is actually, you know,

[00:17:15] Pat:
Awesome. That’s great. when it comes to the sales process of your course, you know, I watch one of your webinars or masterclasses what’s the sales sequence. Like, do you have any scarcity or urgency baked into a decision?

[00:17:30] Josh:
So I do tend to get sales that trickle in on a weekly basis is nice. But, for the biggest sales periods of mine, they come from. Generally a webinar where there is urgency and time sensitivity. This is a big, you teach this in your webinar. Course. I hope at school for me to say this,

[00:17:48] Pat:
Of course. Yeah. I mean, you’re only promoting it, so thank you.

[00:17:51] Josh:
Well, I really, I didn’t really understand the importance of urgency until I went through that course and saw how powerful, an actual, a webinar with like an offer that ends it’s really, really important.

And I’ve actually experimented with both. And I still do. I just to kind of test the waters and see what works. I do have some evergreen on demand masterclasses that people can sign up for. And again, sales will trickle in. because there’s just an offer for a discount for courses and they can buy whenever, but I’ve always got the biggest jump in sales when I have some sort of urgency and I don’t do like site wide sales office.

But when I do, I always get a massive influx of revenue in those periods, but I try not to do that too often. black Friday was massive for me this year, but other than that, I’m really trying to go with the webinar and masterclass route with time-sensitive deals rather than sales. For a lot of reasons, but yeah, the scarcity And the urgency is huge for each one of those.

And again, sales do come in for all of my courses, but I think what we’ll talk about next will kind of show how I’ve been able to keep sales more, a little more consistent through the next couple of days.

[00:19:01] Pat:
And before we get there in terms of emails that are sent out during those sequences, leading up to the end of a sale or a deal, how many emails are you sending? Are you sending one per day, 10 per day? Give us a little insight on sort of the

[00:19:16] Josh:
It’s definitely different between a webinar offer and an actual sale period. If it’s a sale period, like a black Friday, I generally have my sales go about a week to 10 days. I don’t like them to go too much longer. but at the same time, you do want to give people a chance to see the sale and get to it if they happen to be on vacation or something like that.

So what I’ll do is I’ll do a, an email for when the sale starts. I always get an influx of sales then, and then. I think this is pretty common for all digital course creators. You generally get the most sales the last day, or like the final call for an email sale sale. I’ll generally do four to five for a sale period.

I’ll do like one in the beginning and in like three final ones, I’ll give them like a 72 hours, like heads up in a couple of days. This is over and then I’ll do two or three. maybe, maybe a 24 hour, a 12 hour and then a four hour, like last call kind of deal. That that’s my typical approach for, for sales periods.

But again, those are few and far between, so for webinars it’s similar, depending if it’s automated, like an automated email sequence, but generally the same amount, like after a webinar you’ll generally have maybe seven days or so to. You know, to make that purchase official, because I want to give people a chance to watch the replay too.

If somebody signs up for a webinar, they can’t watch it. Like I did this with you Pat, when I actually, so this worked on me as a customer of yours because I watched your webinar. Course what an R and I went through that. I couldn’t make it live. So I watched the replay. And then you had an offer for your webinar course, and that’s exactly what I did.

So that’s the model that has really worked for me as well when it comes to these master classes and webinars. And I guess it would be worthwhile maybe talking about the difference. And I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on this Pat, but I view masterclasses is often just on demand that can always be watched and you might put them behind tutorials or anything like that.

Whereas a webinar is a little more personal what’s live. And, I think having a mix of the two is really helped me at least. So I don’t know. What are your thoughts on that? Do you view that the same as far as the masterclass in a webinar?

[00:21:19] Pat:
Yeah. I mean, to me, those are interchangeable words. I think it depends on who you’re asking, obviously, because I have called webinars master classes. Those recorded ones, webinars. They’re just prerecorded webinars. So, you know, as far as definition, it’s kind of up for grabs, but I definitely think that prerecorded stuff that’s in an evergreen sequence works really, really well, especially if it’s with relation to where people are coming from and the specific problems that you’re solving and how quickly you can solve.

And then also the webinars are great because they have that live aspect. live ones that you can answer questions, people often go, how do I know this is not recorded? And then I say, Jim, I’m reading your comment. How do I know it’s not recorded? Does that prove it? And people get really flipped out that, okay, you’re here live cool.

Let’s learn together. And it feels like classroom. And if there’s value, obviously like a teach the webinar course, it leads into that sale nicely. it can be a win for everybody, which is, which is really.

[00:22:11] Josh:
You know, and the last thing I want to say about that in regards to like webinar or masterclasses versus live stuff. I did a YouTube live. And I looked at the metrics because it was shortly after one of my sale periods. And I have, I use MailChimp. I had that integrated with my website so I can see the revenue and stuff.

I ended up making almost three times as much off of a live stream, email sequence than I did from a sale. So that showed me. The power of going live because when I went live on YouTube, I answered these questions and I’ll never forget, like, not an hour. After that live stream, I had a bunch of sales come through and I remember all the people live.

So I really want to encourage people to think about going live, whether it’s on YouTube or whether it’s more, I mean, it doesn’t have to be super professional. It could be live on Instagram or wherever you are on Facebook, but, bare some serious power and going live. It really builds trust and authority and likeability.

I S I dare say almost more than anything else, because it’s, you, it’s raw. You can only like you can’t preplan lives. You just it’s off the cuff. You answer questions. And if I ever don’t know an answer, I always just let people know. I’m not sure, but I’ll look into it and I’ll post it on the replay or something.

So that’s been huge for all that first phase.

[00:23:26] Pat:
Amazing. A quick question is just came to mind. Is, are you running any ads to support your sales in any way?

[00:23:32] Josh:
Yes, I do have ads on my YouTube channel. I, but I don’t have sponsors or ads for my, for my podcast that is completely organic. What pays for the podcast are my courses. So, I don’t make a ton on ads on YouTube, but being that I do have two and a half million views. Now, a couple of years ago, I was like, I should probably turn ads on.

It’s a nice

[00:23:52] Pat:
Okay does the ad sense revenue from YouTube

[00:23:54] Josh:
It’s as, since never.

[00:23:55] Pat:

[00:23:55] Josh:
Yeah, but I’m not,

[00:23:56] Pat:
Don’t have sponsored stuff.

[00:23:57] Josh:
Yeah, not right now.

[00:23:59] Pat:
And are you yourself running ads for promotion of your courses at all?

[00:24:04] Josh:
I’m actually doing ads more so from my masterclasses now, particularly for a cold audience, I really don’t like to approach a cold audience with an actual product. And some of my courses, Pat are 300, 500 bucks. I have all my courses in a bundle, which is 1500. so. Bring that to a cold audience. So I’m really, this is one reason I’m really pushing this, this free content, these masterclasses and webinars that are free.

So I feel totally fine doing a Facebook ad for a free master class because it’s free. Whereas I don’t want to be like, Hey, I’m Josh pay me $300 right now. So that’s the one thing that’s really helped me in regards to ads, but I don’t do too, too many ads. I still mainly go with the organic approach and I love that.

[00:24:48] Pat:
Cool. okay. So let’s talk about after a person joins your course, you had mentioned that the, we can keep them in and get them not just to finish the course, but potentially want more. How do we.

[00:24:58] Josh:
Yeah. So this is kind of a two part. So this is part two of three, and then we took a while on the first one. So I’ll try to expedite this one, but when people join a course, what I’ve found is the number one thing is to give them an absolutely amazing first impression.

[00:25:13] Pat:
Oh, so after payment is this second phase.

[00:25:16] Josh:
Yes, you get,

[00:25:17] Pat:
Gotten confused. Cause I had asked earlier about impression that a person gets before they get in the course, which or masterclass, but oh, we’re talking about. The sale is not the end. In fact, that’s the beginning.

[00:25:29] Josh:
That’s well said the sale is not the end. It’s the gosh. That was a great Pat. I’m going to want to use that quote. It’s not the end. It’s the beginning. because yeah, you make a first impression with free content, but you have a chance to give a little more of a controlled first impression. When somebody is a customer, you can do this with an email sequence.

This is a biggie for me. I last year integrated a, I think I’ve got five or six emails that once somebody becomes a stupid. They automatically go to them every day for a few days. And then, a week later one comes in and they basically just welcome them in and say, here’s some other free content that I want to make sure you know about just in case someone doesn’t know, I have a podcast or YouTube channel.

I let them know about that. I have a video on how to get the most out of a course. So people actually finish it and go through it. so that’s a part of the sequence. I have a couple upsells in there to make sure they know once they become a student, they get a special student discount, which we’ll talk about in a little bit, so they can use that on additional courses.

I have a fun video. That’s kind of a behind the scenes of me actually creating a course. Like I take people on this little journey of a, of a 10 day journey. From my home office to coffee shops and hanging out with my family, walking my dog, just my journey and what my day looks like and creating a course.

So those are all on an email sequence, but this is probably the number one thing I’m most excited about to talk about in this episode. And this is the number one thing that has increased conversions and increase this amazing first impression with new students. And that is a personal video. Now, this is tough to do at scale.

Like at your level, Pat, I’m sure you don’t, I don’t see how it would be possible for you to send a personal video to every new student, but at my level, I’m getting generally 10 to 20 new students a week on average on sale periods. I might have them backed up, but, I have made this a weekly. Of my routine every week, every Friday, now I send out personal welcome videos to new students.

So a student has already been one for awhile and they buy a new course. I don’t send them a, a video just because they’re already a student, but to new students, I do this. And I can’t tell you Pat, how big this has been with making this massive first impression, because I guess I would pose this question to everybody listening or watching right now.

When’s the last time you signed up for a course and the instructor sent you a personal video saying welcome welcoming. Great to have you. Here are some resources. I guarantee it’s very unlikely. I’ve never had it happen to me. And again, that’s not a slight on new Pat or anyone,

[00:28:04] Pat:
No, I used to

[00:28:05] Josh:

[00:28:06] Pat:
It was too PA. There were too many students.

[00:28:08] Josh:
So two minutes in. So what I would say is my challenge would be to do it until you can’t do it anymore. and again, at this level 10 to 20 a week on average is totally fine for me to manage that. And these aren’t long videos, these videos are generally 45 seconds to a minute. I just haven’t banked up.

You know, if, if you joined a chorus, I’d say, Hey, Pat, just wanted to pop in and say, welcome to the course. Awesome. To have you in. I wanted to make sure you knew about your student discount. If you have any questions about additional courses, let me know. I’m really excited to be on this journey with you and web design.

That’s a very quick version of what I send out and the responses I get though, are incredible. Like some people will reach out and they’re just beside themselves that I would take the time for them to do that. Some people say I’ve been following you for years for you just to say my name. Like it just gave me a jolt.

It’s incredible. So it’s really, really cool. And there are some times where I’m like, oh man, I’ve got like 25 videos backed up. I re do I need to do this? I really feel like doing this, but every time I do it, I leave feeling like I’m so glad I did this. It makes such a big impact. And again, going back to what I said earlier, if you have a refund policy, you want to do everything you can to limit that.

And by creating an awesome first impression. With a personal video, it’s one of the guaranteed ways to lower your, your refund rates. Because suddenly they’re like, oh my gosh, just send me a video. Now I’ve maybe I really do want to jump on this course if I had planned on sitting on it. And if they build that trust and likability your way, less likely going to get those refunds coming in.

So that’s been huge for retaining, you know, the students and then really building that strong relationship as a customer.

[00:29:43] Pat:
How are you recording and sending these videos? Do you have any systems in place to make this easier? Because it could be something that I could imagine that if you on your point and shoot or DSLR camera, then you have to unload that, pop it into your computer. You get the person’s email address, upload it to Dropbox. I mean, there’s a lot of other things. To do. How are you making this and systematic.

[00:30:04] Josh:
Two parts to this. I use loom for recording The video. If anyone has not checked out loom it’s awesome. The free version is great. I have the pro version, which has some fancy features to it, but usually the free version is fine. I’ll record a loom. And then I just write a little note as the title. That’s like, personal video to Amy from Josh, and then I have an email to him.

That I have saved and all I’ll do is switch out the name and the, so I literally, I could do one, like, let’s say 10 videos that will take me less than a half an hour. If it’s 20, plus it will take less than an hour, usually, which again, sounds like it could be some work. It beats planning out ads and some of these other marketing aspects, when you can just make an awesome first impression.

And for anyone who is doing service type work, I did this as a web designer later on in my career. Once I landed a project, I sent my customer a personal video and it worked for them. So I was like by golly, it worked for me as a web design service provider will definitely work as a course creator. It’s just, you do it more at scale as a digital creative.

I can’t recommend that enough. And then once I do that, they’re already triggered with that email sequence that follows up. And that man, that formula has just been gold for me, for sure.

[00:31:19] Pat:
That’s awesome. know there’s some other tools out there similar, loom is. Great tool. We use it on our team with circle and all this great stuff too. I’ve used Bon Jorah, quite And there’s another one called BombBomb that I know some other people have used anyway. There’s there’s tools out there to make this easy because it can sound like but again, The first impression being, wow, I just spent this money.

Okay. Already, I’m getting a personalized video. Like, wow, I must’ve spent my money in the right place. So. this reduces your churn refunds, but also could lead to other things. Right. And Like, you said, the customers that you have, are often buying new things And other things, how are you helping them through the course and then into something else?

[00:32:03] Josh:
Yeah. The email sequence for that has been key because they’ll often go through The chorus and then every few days there’ll be getting that email sequence that I had set up for them. So. Keeps me in their ear. And I will say too. though, I did want to mention this with the, with the welcome videos, the personal video, it does not have to be fancy.

I’ve done them. my wife would be in target. I’d have, I’d be in our van and the girls will be in the back and I would just use my phone and use the loom Apres, and then just record it on my phone. I’ve done that too. And that works great. Like you can, you can keep it personal, real authentic does not need to be overly produced or anything.

But then yeah, the key is to really engage them even further in. Eventually the phase three, you want to get them coming back and have something that upsell for them. so I do have a student support center, which has been key for this. And you have something similar with SPI, well you have the

[00:32:53] Pat:

[00:32:54] Josh:
Pro the membership of the academy.

Yep. So very similar. And I’m using circle as well. Love circle, for my students center, which is a support center. So I let people know they’re going to be supported in there. And then we do monthly Q and A’s with me. So again, it’s high touch at first and I let them know how supported there’ll be, which really bill builds that trust and that likability.

And then once they get through the course, hopefully they get an awesome result. And then we hit phase three, which is where they hopefully either buy more courses or for me get, get coaching in my coaching.

[00:33:27] Pat:
How are you promoting that next step? Is it only after people complete? And is that automated or are you reaching out again personally? I’d love to know the sales sequence from existing course student to the next level.

[00:33:41] Josh:
It’s kind of three areas. initially in my welcome video, I do mention that they get a student discount. So they’ll hear about that twice. Within a couple of days, I’ll send them a video or depending on when they get my welcome video, it might be within a week. I try to do them once a week. so within the first week, let’s say.

They’ll get the automated sequence. So they know they have a student discount and I send that immediately. Once they join a chorus, I send them an email that says now as an existing student, you’re a part of my student loyalty program and you get this special student discount for additional courses. So they know about that.

And then when I come in with my welcome video, I just remind them about their student discount. We all need to be reminded on stuff. We’re all busy and scattered often, particularly people building their businesses and learning web design. So I let them know multiple times they know about that. And then the third piece where I always remind them about the student discount to encourage them to buy more courses is in these monthly Q and A’s that I do for my students.

And I’ll often talk about that and my podcast and free content as well, but I’m much more intentional when somebody actually becomes a customer. I want them to know. You are a valued student of mine. My motto is to not be a cable company, meaning I don’t want to give the best deals to. Customers I want to give my best deals to existing customers.

I can’t encourage that enough and that’s been key. I just let them know multiple times over. They have a student discount and they can always use it on any number of courses moving forward. And then, if people generally go to two to three courses of mine, I let them know that there is the option to upgrade to the bundle, which has all of my courses with a big saving, if they want to do all of.

Which my courses, it may be different for some course creators. If you have topics that are a little more scattered, mine is kind of like a, a little mini, actually one of my students called it a little mini web design academy. So it takes you through learning web design, SEO, design, the tech side of things, all the way to building your business and starting a hosting and maintenance plan to build recurring income.

So it’s really the start to finish freelancer academy. Ooh, man, I may have just come up with a branding name for. but yeah, there we go. but that that’s been a biggie for me. And I will say my bundle Pat was over 50% of my income in 2021. So a lot of my current students upgraded, and this, this just speaks to the power of what we’ve talked about so far, building that trust with free content.

Make it an amazing first impression, get it, giving them some results and then having an upsell opportunity for them with a lot of people call it like a 10 X product, something that is way more expensive than a a hundred dollars course. And a lot of my students upgrade to that and that’s my goal. And then the third piece to that is, is to get them into my membership for coaching to, to keep them engaged monthly.

[00:36:32] Pat:
Gotcha. Okay. So let’s talk, pricing really quick. How many courses do you have and what are the average price points of them?

[00:36:39] Josh:
I have nine web design courses ranging from the low end. I have one course at 67, but it’s just kind of an entry course, all the way to 500 for my, my, my business course, all my courses do end in sevens. I don’t know what your thoughts are on pricing, Pat. I know this is something that will be debated to the end of time with pricing, but I like to have recurring type of products and services into nines.

And I like to have one-off courses ends in seven. I don’t quite know, but it’s worked for me so far.

[00:37:12] Pat:

[00:37:12] Josh:
Again, everyone asks me about pricing. I know there’s no right or wrong, but, yeah. My courses range from 67 to 97 on the low end, most of them are in the 2 97 range. And then my top one is 4 97. So all those nine courses vary in between that.

[00:37:29] Pat:
And how much is it to get the bundle?

[00:37:32] Josh:
The bundle is, 14. I just contradicted myself cause that’s 1499. Although I did that because essentially what I did was I added all my courses up in it costs, I think right now all of them at their current price ranges are like 2100. 40 something. and then I just took a flat 30% off that way.

If somebody wants to purchase the bundle or upgrade, they essentially would just get 30% off across the board. That’s what made it easier for me figuring this out math wise, you don’t want to make me think about math too long. so

[00:38:05] Pat:
So like 1500 bucks.

[00:38:06] Josh:
Yeah. 5,000 for everything.

[00:38:08] Pat:
So the idea being that a person gets in, they see one or two of the courses and they go, wow, I, I like all of this. And then they get hit with a bundle option. almost a no brainer because they would be saving money instead of just buying everyone individually, they, they can sort of get.

[00:38:24] Josh:
Exactly. Exactly. And pricing is really gonna depend on your type of customer and the programs and the courses. Like some of my courses are just two to three hours to get through. Some of them are massive. My business course is a huge course. I mean, I could, realistically I could probably charge double or triple what I have for that, but I know that my audience, a lot of them are just starting their business.

Budgets are fairly tight. They’re learning a lot. I wanted to keep it affordable, but also at an investment range that they’re willing to invest in. It’s going to put some skin in the game. I didn’t want to have a business course for 97 bucks, but a $500 investment I’ve found for my market to be a really kind of happy medium, because there are similar programs that are a thousand, $2,003,000.

But, I’m eventually going to add more courses that are a little more, high-level. And a little more business centric and scaling citric, and those I’ll be able to charge a more premium because my client base will already be making, you know, a certain amount to be able

[00:39:22] Pat:

[00:39:23] Josh:
In that.

[00:39:23] Pat:
And then your membership, which is a recurring payment. which you encourage all your students to join, I imagine, but also your bundle, like what’s the price point for joining the membership and getting access to you for coaching and things like that.

[00:39:38] Josh:
That is 99 a month, or you can go annually and it’s only 9 99. So you save, I think it’s like a what? Yeah, a couple hundred bucks if you go annually. And this is the key, this is I’ve really, really enjoyed online community and learning more and becoming an online community builder. I’ve found that again.

Go, let me just reiterate the problem with most courses, particularly if they’re a one-off courses. You do not have a repeated customer. So the goal as an online course creator and having some sort of consistent stable income is to build that recurring income. So with the. Membership. This is my coaching community, essentially.

And those two words are key with this coaching community. It is not one-on-one coaching with me. Like video talks. I even at my level, I cannot, I don’t have the time to be able to do that. but there is a coaching aspect. When somebody joins my membership, my web design club, they get to chat with me directly through circles, private messaging.

So that’s a biggie. I always let every new member know. And then on the landing page that a big perk of joining this is that you get the chance to private message me as much as you want. And I was terrified Pat, about starting this because I thought like right now I have 87 people in my membership.

Which is not huge, but by golly, we’re getting close to that being a six-figure business. Now, in fact, my goal for this year in 2022 is to, well, I should be able to hit six figures within just a few months, as of right now. but I was terrified of having 87 people messaging me every day, but. Just like the case of many subscription services.

It’s usually just a few people that are asking me ongoing questions, and I actually have to encourage my members to message me. Like I want to know, I want to build deeper relationships with this core group of people. They’re my tribe. Most of them are students, but again, it’s been interesting. Partly because of my live streams, people are wanting coaching first and they want immediate direction and my insight, and then going into their, the courses and really refining their business, which is awesome.

It works out either way. but yeah, so it’s 99 a month. I do, I often will have some sort of promo or offer for, for people to join. but yeah, the, the price range is right around there and it’s been. It’s just been a really seamless experience for me as a course creator, to have one-off courses that are targeted to a certain subject and then a membership, which is coaching for me.

But again, the second piece of that is community. So it’s so much more than a free Facebook group where I probably don’t even need to share why I don’t want to have a free fee, which I actually do. I have a free Facebook group. It’s a support group for web designers. It’s 24,000 people. I ver I’ve rarely log into that anymore.

I started it back in 2016. It was kinda my, my group initially. And now it’s just become this other beast that I’m trying to figure out what I want to do with, but, having a premium community really gives you opportunity to control the experience with circle. I’m sure that’s why, you know, you chose circle for SPI pro.

You can you can really control the entire experience. You can do so much, whether you can embed it and integrate it with the. Platforms and websites. So it’s been a really, really nice addition to my business and keeping the people who want to stay in touch with me and want to get coaching, to keep them there again, that engagement and keep them coming back from.

[00:43:08] Pat:
Nice dude. Well, well done. You’ve come a long way, even since episode 4 56, but even thinking about that interview, we did together. How you started out, and the podcast and its impact on your business. And now you’re making these really smart decisions. And now you have is very in alignment with what we’ve done.

Right. We have the courses, we don’t have the bundle yet, but we like that idea. In fact, we’re exploring it. And then

[00:43:32] Josh:
I would buy it. I would buy it as a, I have like, I four-year courses right now I would a hundred percent buy the bundle of it was an option.

[00:43:38] Pat:
Thank you. And then, of course, as a member of SPI pro, you know, that we’re doing community as well. And, and, it’s just great to see you in there. And you again for all the inspiration today. I think this is going to be really helpful to a lot of people and thank you for it clear. And It’s obviously your favorite number is three, because everything that you talk

[00:43:55] Josh:
Everything’s three.

[00:43:56] Pat:
In three is right. So, any final words of advice for the creators out there, especially when getting into courses and providing value to their audience in that way, what advice would you offer them now that you’re on this side of it all?

[00:44:07] Josh:
Yeah. If I could go back. When I first started doing courses, I would have encouraged myself. To focus on existing customers, existing students. again, going back to what I just said a little bit ago, I don’t, I want to be the opposite of a cable company. I don’t want to give the best deals and put all my focus and attention on new people.

It’s important. It’s important to attract new customers, but I found if you really, really work at making the experience amazing for your. Customers or current students, they will buy from you over and over. And if you offer an upsell that is recurring like a membership or coaching or community, a lot of people will do it.

And I, I delayed doing this cause I just wondered, like, who’s, who’s going to pay monthly. I already have a free Facebook group. People already asked me questions. Who’s going to pay for this. Well, I found out a lot of people have, and I really haven’t even marketed my community that much. That’s going to be a biggie for 2022.

In fact, it’s interesting. When you interviewed me for the first episode that I was on, I had started my membership that month. I actually had started it like three weeks before you, you talk to me. So now that we’re over a year, well, over a year into running this community and I build it up. It’s been a solid, solid income stream for me.

That’s consistent. I just, I can’t recommend everybody enough to seriously consider having a premium add on a membership or a community along with your courses. but if I could say. Of all the stuff we’ve talked about. I know it’s a lot, some people are probably super inspired, but they’re like, I don’t even know where to start with all this.

Like I can’t imagine what, what do I do first? If I could give somebody a challenge to do one thing, it would be a personal video to your next customer or your next student. Just give yourself a test. Do it once a week. Even if you have to do it at scale, and there’s a lot of people, just try it out and see what results you get and see what type of responses you’ll get.

I guarantee it’s going to stoke the fire, that to keep that going. That’s what I would do. I’m going to do one thing. It’d be those personal.

[00:46:05] Pat:
I mean, there’s a reason why I wrote about it in Super Fans, doing these personalized videos, they do make an impact. And even if it’s specifically for not a customer to sign up, but one who has already signed up, like you said, to your existing customers and making them feel special is definitely a way to go.


[00:46:22] Josh:

[00:46:22] Pat:
Forward to seeing the numbers grow, Josh, thank you again for coming on today. Where can people to your podcast, find your YouTube channel and check out all the other things you have going.

[00:46:30] Josh:
My website is If you want to just go there and see everything that’s going on, although are there is anyone here listening, who is interested in my courses and just want to see what it’s all about, or particularly for web designers who might be here or web preneurs, you can go to

SPI, and I will have a, a, a certain something there for you for anyone who’s interested in, in courses. And I just want to say again while I have you, I just want to publicly thank you for all of the content you’ve produced and what you’ve done with your brand. You have been a massive, massive impact on me and my family.

I mean, I feel really fortunate to have gone full time with courses and have found you right around that time because your podcasting course got me completely. Set up on my podcast, but just use webinar. Chorus was a game changer. I went through amped up podcasting. I’m actually going through email course right now.

So thank you, dude. You really? Everything that you’ve learned and implemented them share, it has filtered right down to me and, hopefully I can filter what I’ve learned and put my own spin on stuff to everybody else. So thank you, man.

[00:47:33] Pat:
Thank you. That’s what it’s about. And you know, we’re all paying it forward and, you took the action. So congratulations to you and forward to the next chat.

[00:47:41] Josh:

[00:47:41] Pat:

[00:47:42] Josh:
Sounds great, man. Thanks.

[00:47:43] Pat:
Alright. I hope you enjoyed the conversation with Josh Hall. You can find him at if you’re curious about his online courses. As he said, I cannot wait to chat with him again because he’s continuing to innovate.

As you can tell, it’s not a huge business, but he’s supporting his family. He’s able to continue to work 20 to 25 hours a week. This is exactly the kind of business I know a lot of you who are watching or listening to this want. Balance is important to you. You don’t need to work 60 hours a week in order to do very well. He’s created these new income streams as a result of new courses and a membership.

He’s about to hit six figures in earnings with his membership, selling to his current customers to provide more value. It’s about going one inch wide and one mile deep, meaning continuing to serve your customers in different ways and in deeper ways, versus always trying to create new customers and expand outwards.

Well done, Josh. I appreciate you.

If you want the show notes and all the links that we mentioned here, head to Again, that’s

Thank you so much for checking out this episode. I look forward to reading your reviews on Apple and/or Spotify. Give the show a quick review if you have the opportunity to do so.

I look forward to serving you next week. Make sure you hit that subscribe button so you don’t miss out on all the great content and success stories that are coming your way, as well as actionable tactical advice to help you as a creator, as an online course producer, as a podcaster or as YouTuber, or whatever it is that you do to serve your audience. We are here to serve you.

My name is Pat Flynn. Thank you so much. I appreciate you.

As always, peace out, and Team Flynn for the win.

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