Learn how Josh Hall helps web designers create agencies and make digital products to accelerate freedom in this episode of the LMScast podcast hosted by Chris Badgett from LifterLMS. This is our third LMScast featuring Josh Hall. He’s a Divi design expert and digital entrepreneur who teaches other website developers and designers how they can get more clients and grow their business from a freelance practice to an agency.
If you’ve been around the WordPress and Divi space, you may have seen Josh’s name or face around in Facebook groups or on his YouTube channel. But if you haven’t seen Josh before, he’s based in Columbus, Ohio, and he’s a dadpreneur who lives with his wife and two lovely girls.
Working from home is a big motivation for Josh in his work online. He worked as a web designer and built up his agency as a freelancer and solopreneur. He scaled it up and sold it to a larger web design agency in 2020. Then Josh went full time with his personal brand JoshHall.co.
Josh has a suite of courses at JoshHall.co, and he’s closing in on 900 students, which has been super cool to see him grow his online course website and community. In this episode, Josh shares how he created his student center and forum where he interacts with members who’ve purchased his programs.
Having interaction with the instructor is a big part of the buying decision in the online course space. So offering access to help and support as a key aspect of your membership offering is a great way to bolster the amount of students who will be interested in your programs. (Josh uses Circle.so for his member forum.)
Balancing work and life is something we see as a common theme for successful digital entrepreneurs who want to avoid the burnout that can sometimes come with working in the online course or WordPress space. Josh shares some insights on how he manages the balance and some takeaways you may be able to implement as you build your brand online.
If you’re a website designer or developer, be sure to head to JoshHall.co and check out Josh’s podcast, blog, and tutorial YouTube channel. He’s got great resources answering all kinds of questions in the WordPress space, and specifically the Divi space as well.
And at LifterLMS.com you can learn more about new developments and how you can use LifterLMS to build online courses and membership sites. If you like this episode of LMScast, you can browse more episodes here. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. Thank you for joining us!
Chris Badgett: You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking to create, launch, and scale a high value online training program. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the co-founder of LifterLMS, the most powerful learning management system for WordPress. Stay to the end. I’ve got something special for you. Enjoy the show.
Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. Today I’m joined by a repeat guest. His name is Josh Hall. You can find him at joshhall.co. He’s a course creator. He’s a WordPress expert. He’s a membership site creator. He is just an all around awesome dude. Welcome back to the show, Josh.
Josh Hall: Thanks for having me again, Chris. I’m excited to have an extended chat with you. The last time we did this, we did it for an hour and it felt like 10 minutes. So it was Joe, we were both joking about, let’s have a Joe Rogan style extended call and see where it goes so we can really dive into some of this stuff. So I’m so excited to chat with you again, man. You’re one of my favorite people to talk about this kind of stuff with. So I’m excited.
Chris Badgett: Yeah. And I’m excited too, just because I see there’s so much friction. It’s hard enough to build online business and to build a website, and then for the website to be the product itself and it has all these components. There’s so many areas where people get stuck, or just under optimize, or tunnel vision, or whatever. I’m just really excited to see where we go here today. If this is somebody who’s listening to this for the first time, give me your elevator pitch of who you are and what you do.
Josh Hall: Again, my name is Josh, I’m based in Columbus, Ohio. I am first and foremost a dadpreneur. I live here in Columbus, Ohio with my wife and we have two lovely little girls at the time of recording this, three years old and one and a half. So it’s a wild time and you’ll likely hear them at some point outside my door here during the call.
I love being a work from home dad and husband. And it’s been really cool because I’ve been able to do that for a long time. I was a web designer. I built my agency up as a freelancer and a solopreneur. I scaled it. And then I sold that web design agency in 2020. And I went full-time with my personal brand @joshhall.co. And that is where I create courses for web designers. So I have created at this point, a suite of nine web design courses that help people do two things, either learn how to build websites and then subsequently grow their own web design business.
So I’ve worked over the past couple years with building those courses up, supporting them. At the time of recording this, I’m closing in on 900 students, which has been super cool. Last year, I launched a membership, which is my premium web design club as an extension to bring a lot of my tribe together. And I’m sure one thing we’ll talk about now as well is I’ve created the student center, which is a support forum. I pulled all my Facebook groups or all my groups from Facebook.
Right now I’m supporting my students, building, and supporting, and maintaining these courses. However, I’m at an interesting crossroads with my journey because now I’m entering into new territory with what I like to dub, web entrepreneurs. I’m actually starting to create courses on what I’m doing now, which is, I just released a course on creating a course. I’ve got a lot of questions about podcasting. I want to start at creating a course about podcasting, about video marketing. So it’s kind of a whole new realm and that’s why I’m so excited to pick your brain Chris, because I don’t feel like I’m stuck. I’m not struggling, but what’s happening is there’s just so many different ways to go and I need to get my thoughts down, and get a bit of path that’s cleared out. That’s where I’m at right now.
Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Well, one thing just to frame this conversation, I did a previous LMScast podcast episode with a guy named Dane Maxwell and he talked about finding what he called the holy grail of business, which is to have a clear customer specific result and a mechanism. And I literally, if any of that is off, that’s where 99% of the friction comes. And Dane did a really good job with that. So it’s what I see in people like yourself, who I call education entrepreneurs, they’re super smart, super motivated, super driven, super adaptable, super learn on the fly. And you can change things around the audience and serve multiple groups and stuff, but I’ve seen things where it works well and where it doesn’t. So let’s go into there. Tell us more about how you’re transitioning to, from people who build websites and then teaching them how to run an agency. And now you’ve got this market of web entrepreneurs or what I would call an online business person. But tell me more about the web entrepreneur.
Josh Hall: Well, the web entrepreneur is interesting and I don’t know if this is a market that’s tapped into at all. And that’s one reason I wanted to talk with you about this Chris, is to see if you’ve seen anything similar. I could absolutely completely change trajectories at some point, whether it’s in the near future or maybe a few years down the road to just go online entrepreneur, but I don’t want to be like one of my good mentors is Pat Flynn, I love Pat Flynn. I’ve been through a lot of his courses. I’ve had him on a podcast, incredible mentor, big name as an entrepreneur.
His type of customer though, is all over the place with where they’re at in their journey, what type of entrepreneur they are. Well, one thing that I’ve found that’s been really interesting and I think that could potentially separate me from a lot of the other people like Pat Flynn, who deal with all sorts of entrepreneurs is I have really struck a chord with people who come from the WordPress and web design world and are doing more than just websites. They are now adding courses to their mix, whether it’s for clients or whether they have their own video show. One of my web design students created a podcast based off of his background, which was in law enforcement. He used to be in law enforcement and then he became a web designer. Now he’s doing web design and marketing for law enforcement. It’s really interesting.
So there’s all these different types of people who I’ve just kept a pulse on a lot of my audience and a lot of them are becoming web entrepreneurs. So they’re good with web design. They’re good with WordPress, but they’re adding a lot more to their business. Some people might gravitate towards copywriting, or SEO, or branding, and a web design is a part of what they’re doing. So that’s what has led me to realize that I’ve tapping into a new market and I don’t know if somebody else is already doing that.
Most people are just tapping into the general entrepreneur who may not know anything about web design. And then there are people who are just catering to web designers, which I’ve been doing. But I realized through keeping an eye on my students, having my membership, and then also just listening to questions, a lot of people were asking me questions about creating a course, wanting to know my process. A lot of people have been asking me about podcasting. So I end up repeating the same thing over and over again. And I think I’ve told this to you before Chris, it’s something I preach. If you do something over and over again, make it a template or make it a guide or make it a course that you can just sell over and over and save your time. So that’s the genesis of this idea and where I’m putting my foot into this new pool, if you will.
Chris Badgett: Well, I’ll share some thoughts on why I think this is good and why I’m not scared. I’m almost listening to you looking for any red flags or anything like that.
Josh Hall: That’s what I was hoping for because I didn’t want you to be like, “Josh, I’m worried you’re going to do this.” And we’re going to [inaudible] your audience.
Chris Badgett: The reason I’m not scared is because, well, there’s a couple of things that I see humans having a hard time with, which is exponential growth. Like really understanding that, the law of compounding, but also fourth dimensional planning, really thinking through time. And you’re probably not like this. It’s one of the things that makes you a good marketer, a good community builder. Just you’re thinking about these people and you’re watching them evolve through time.
So two quick, I’m thinking about your avatar, it’s becoming clear in me because we have a lot of overlap here. So like Shawn Hesketh, who has the WordPress101 site, WP101.com happens to be powered by Lifter. But before that he was an agency and he builds sites for clients. And as time goes on, I mean, I don’t know his original origin story of WordPress, but something happened back there.
He was actually a designer, a non web designer. And then he got into the internet and he needed to learn WordPress. And then he ended up wanting to teach WordPress, which is what you’re talking about, somebody who learns how to build a website, then they build an agency, and then they teach. So because this is the same person, we’re just looking at a path, forged dimensionally through time of this type of person. So I really like it.
Melissa Love and Your Community as a Divi person, same story. Offline graphic designer turns to the internet, becomes an agency owner for photographers, and then now she teaches stuff to other marketers and she has something, a platform called The Marketing Fix. And then inside there, her students kept asking her about building courses and stuff. So she’s got a thing about building courses now.
This, because I can see this pattern and I in my mind I can think of 10 more people just like this, you got a niche here. This is a person that we’re looking at. They’re in the cocoon here, or they’re the caterpillar, then they’re in the cocoon, and then they’re the butterfly. It’s just, it may look different, but it’s the same creature moving through time.
Josh Hall: I love that. Melissa is a great example. I can’t believe I didn’t really think. I guess I did not realize that she was doing courses and stuff for people who wanted to learn more courses and entrepreneurial kind of stuff, which is great to hear. I didn’t realize she was too far into that because I view Melissa almost like the girl version of me.
Chris Badgett: Yeah. She’s amazing. She’s awesome.
Josh Hall: Yeah, she’s awesome. I love Melissa. What’s interesting too, what I’ve found to be best is I teach basically, myself from three years ago, like my ideal students are in a place where I was either five years ago to three years ago. And that’s where this idea came from with these different courses that are outside of my “web design courses”. And what’s cool is I love teaching while I’m in it. And while I get I have a great course process now that I’ve done 10 courses and I like sharing that. And I’m kind of needy even to it, I’m excited to dive into my podcasting course, which I plan to do next because it’s been a game changer for me and my business. It’s where a large percentage of my best students come from. So I’m really excited to share that while I’m in it.
And I love doing that for my web design courses. What’s interesting is, I still, I don’t know how much you know about the sale of my business, Chris, but I sold my agency. One of my students actually took it over. And so we worked out a deal. It was not a sexy sell. I didn’t get a yacht after I sold the business. It wasn’t something like that. It was a long-term sale because he didn’t have much capital to work with. My courses were growing. I was making way more with online courses than I was with agency work, and I just… There are a lot of reasons I wanted to sell my business, but he took it over and we worked out a longterm deal.
Now I still have direct contact with him and I oversee him and the team. And he just keeps me up to date with what’s going on, how they’re managing everything. So it helps me stay fresh with web design because I’m already to be honest, feeling a little out of touch with some web design stuff when it comes to code. And I’ll be honest. I don’t know if you know this, the last full website I built was in the spring of 2018.
Chris Badgett: Okay.
Josh Hall: At the time of recording this, this is three years later. I am already feeling a little like, I remember everything and I still tweak around with CSS and I can still build a site from ground up, but there’s stuff that’s new coming out that I just, I either frankly have lost the drive for, or I just, I’ve got bigger fish to fry with what I’m doing. Like I’m much more interested in all of these web entrepreneur based type of stuff, rather than getting into the weeds and the technical aspects of web design. Now basically, I’m at the point now where I’m hiring people to do that.
So all that to say, I think I can still service the people who want to learn Divi, which is the theme that I use and want to learn the processes that I use. And I can still keep up to date on that, but I love having this third option for people to get into if they do want to become more of a web entrepreneur and not just an agency owner.
Chris Badgett: Well, I think you have a choice between two options. And this is very common for entrepreneurial type people where they evolve and they… Basically the way it works is you are going to tire out about a certain subject matter way before your market ever does. So you have a decision. And if you’re an entrepreneur that likes to be building the new, and you’re always evolving and improving yourself, and maybe you’re the you you were three years ago that you were trying to help has now changed so you need to help a slightly different type of person. That’s where you’re in your sweet spot.
So I think the choice that you have is, and there’s not a right or wrong answer here, but are you going to be like a comet where as you move forward, your programs they just evolve and they head in certain directions and the avatar shifting, but the old back catalog? Like for me as an example, I put a WordPress course on Udemy a long time ago for free, mostly for lead gen for our client business.
At one point there was like 30,000 students in there or something like, and finally they kicked me off the platform because it was so outdated. So [crosstalk] I was like the comet, like I became an agency guy and then a software guy, and then I just kept going, but I didn’t pay attention to my back catalog. So the choice you have, I think is, do you want to, in your business, bring in outside resources to update the back catalog? Or are you okay with a slow burn in the comet tail?
Josh Hall: My plan was to keep my courses, my technical courses up to date for the next couple of years at least. I thought that’s very feasible on my end. Luckily, my Divi beginner’s course, I can update that pretty easily. That’s not a huge course. I’m still very well versed in Divi. I still use it. I edit my own site. Even with the people I have working with me, I still will get in and tweak stuff and play around with it. So I would foresee me being able to keep all those update for the next couple of years. After that, I don’t know. I would be very willing now that I have this incredible network to bring people in to support that kind of stuff. But my problem with that is it’s under my brand. It’s Josh hall.co, it’s not webentrepreneur.co or something like that, which I’m not opposed to potentially having a rebrand eventually as well.
Chris Badgett: Well, a couple of thoughts there. If you look at Melissa Love’s Marketing Fix, she brings in guest experts. So it’s not… Melissa Love has a strong personal brand, but her coach and her membership community are like KPC comes in to teach about active campaign. And there’s all these niche experts that come in. So it’s bigger than her.
I’m in a software coaching business or a program with a guy named Dan Martell. He’s got all kinds of other experts involved in the backend helping make the magic happen. But I do think that’s another choice. It’s some people are just like, I want the simplicity of a solo. I don’t want to manage a bunch of other personalities. But then some people are like, “I’m going to make this thing, turn it more into a product brand than a personal brand, but it’s not like a switch you flip it’s a process.
Josh Hall: Well, and what’s interesting is I’ve already gotten to that realm because with my web design club, which is very new at this point, again, that’s like my mastermind style premium community that you are a part of Chris and I know you’re keeping an eye on some stuff. I do that now there, I have monthly trainings for all my members and every month I either give a presentation or more recently I’ve had other people come in and teach about stuff. For example, at the time of recording this, the last presentation was on advanced custom fields. The WordPress plugin. I’ve never used that before. I don’t know anything about it, but I brought somebody in to teach on that.
The next one is about email deliverability and DNS, which my expert guy, Ammar, who you know, he’s the expert on that stuff. He’s doing a presentation on that. And I love it because I can host the call and I can feed him questions and he can share his knowledge and we’re all learning. So I’ve definitely dipped my toe in that end of the pool, just because I figured that’s where I would be heading.
I still think for the foreseeable future I will keep my courses up to date myself, but the way that things have changed, even in the past couple of years for me I would not be surprised if within a couple of years it’s something where I might not be the Divi guy anymore. A lot of people knew me as the Yoda of Divi is what they called me. But again, I haven’t built a site from the ground up myself in three years. So I almost feel like I’m a bit out of touch.
And I wanted to share this with you too. I figured this would come up because this is one red flag for me that made it really interesting. There’s a podcast called Divi Chat where they meet every week. It was one of the ways that I built up my authority in that space. And we were on that chat for the 200th episode of Divi Chat with Nick Roach, the owner of Elegant Themes. And as they were all talking about some technical stuff for Divi, I felt like a little bit of an outsider, because number one, I’m not building the sites out as much with Divi. So I was kind of like, I forgot Divi did that. I didn’t even realize they made that update.
The other aspect of me was like, I’m just not as interested in the tech stuff of the theme now. I just, I think now that I’m in such a different zone with my business, and it’s not that I’m better than anything, but I’m just, I don’t have as much interest in that as I do podcasting and marketing and email marketing and course building. So that’s what’s interesting for me, is I feel like I’m being almost pulled into a little bit of a different niche.
And again, one thing I realized is as I kept an eye on particularly my members who are in my web design club, a vast majority of them are web entrepreneurs. I just launched my new course at the time of recording this about building an online course. And over half of the people who signed up are in my web design club, which tells me they are all really interested in building their own courses for their clients or for their own little web entrepreneur type of businesses. So I found that to be really interesting, because I didn’t know how that was going to go. I didn’t know if three people were going to sign up or 300 people were going to sign up. Right now I think I’m closing on 60 people who signed up for it and over half of them are members. So I thought that was really interesting.
Chris Badgett: A couple of points, one thing I’ve seen some people do with these training sites, it’s really hard to do for a tutorial based training, but there’s a strategy I use just in management delegation where you don’t full delegate, but you do what I call 10/80/10. Where like, let’s say you were going to do a Divi course. You still do the first 10% of it, maybe the front, the intro and the outro, but then you bring in somebody in the middle to do the main thing and they’re up to speed on the latest Divi. And you don’t just get rid of it, but there’s this delegation technique there. You might also be able to license a course from somebody.
And then another strategy I’ve seen people do is pivot from like click-by-click tutorials and try to teach the content without going into specific tools. That can be hard to do with websites though.
Josh Hall: That’s right.
Chris Badgett: But that’s the challenge here. Yeah.
Josh Hall: Well, that’s worthwhile bringing up too. That’s another thing that I’ve realized. And again, it just, I think one benefit of me being so customer minded and high touch with people is that I’m really getting a read on where they’re at. And a few years ago, all of my audience were just Divi users. Right now I would say about 40% are Divi users, maybe half are Divi. The rest of them are also using Elementor, or Oxygen or other builders, or a combination of all three. So a lot of my courses, actually the only course that I’ve created that is strictly Divi is my Divi beginner’s course.
I have some other courses that have Divi in the title, but it’s just because that’s what I use in the course. But when I teach CSS, you could apply that CSS knowledge to any other theme. My web design process course, you can apply that to any theme. So it’s kind of interesting. Whether I intentionally did this or not, the reality is a lot of my students are not just using Divi now. So I feel like it would be stupid of me not to appeal to them as well, because it is what it is. A lot of people aren’t just using Divi for me.
Chris Badgett: Yeah. So maybe there’s a way to repackage it without getting specific into the tools. And this is one when I made that comment earlier about something that people don’t get is exponential change or compounding. Technology is changing and evolving on an exponential curve. Like in WordPress and just watching the page builders come and Gutenberg and Blocks, and then there’s headless, all this stuff is just like, it’s just going fast. So to attach to one brand while in the past it was easier to go with something like Genesis or Divi or whatever just for a long time, the rate of change now in the competition and the thin slicing of all the different options is just accelerating exponentially, which is a challenge for a technology tutorial driven educational product.
Josh Hall: That’s a good point. And I’ve seen that with some of my coopetition colleagues. Like Darryl Wilson, who has a great YouTube channel, he’s dealing with a lot of builders. I thought about going that route. I thought about being a more, just YouTube driven type of tutorial bay. Because that is a strong suit of mine. I love teaching and people love my tutorials, but I then realized I don’t necessarily have a drive to even have hundreds of thousands of subscribers and just have to release a new video every time there’s an update.
I just, it doesn’t suit my personality. It doesn’t interest me. I would much rather build a tribe of people, which is what I’m doing now and know them, and be able to engage with them constantly and know and see their businesses grow and see them create stuff for their family. That’s much more what I build and what I’m excited to build. And that’s where I agree I don’t want the technical aspects to necessarily stand in the way. I want to cover that enough to help people and show what I use and what I know. But I am not the guy to come to for answers about all theme builders. That’s not my brand, not my style.
Chris Badgett: Yeah. Well, let’s dig more into the avatar a little bit here. When you say web entrepreneur, how is a web agency owner and a web entrepreneur different in your mind? Isn’t a web agency owner already a type or? Tell me more about this distinction.
Josh Hall: That’s a good point. They’re close. I guess they’re, I mean, you could absolutely be a web agency owner and be more of an entrepreneur, but I would foresee the difference being a web agency owner is strictly working with clients and it’s for-
Chris Badgett: Services.
Josh Hall: Service. Yeah. Service-based. Web entrepreneurs are entering to a realm where they might be teaching like myself or they might be sharing more courses about what they know that also help other web people. For example, my SEO girl, Michelle, she is just a top notch, SEO keyword research website, editor. She’s great at editing content and stuff like that. Well, for her, what’s been really interesting is because she works with me and my web design agency, she’s become our girl for keyword research and all that stuff. And she’s now working with a lot of people in my web design club and in my network.
And one thing I’ve realized with her is that more and more people are not only hiring her for direct SEO work, but they’re also hiring her as an extension of their businesses. And she is in a prime spot to where she could make a course about how to do keyword research or editing that she could sell to other web entrepreneurs and web design agencies. But she could also do service work too. Like she could really do the best of the both worlds. She’s a perfect example of somebody who could use my kind of stuff with creating a podcast or creating a course that she could add to her services. So it’s really interesting.
And I will say, Chris, I love this. I think this is a very cool, like, you can do whatever the heck you want to do. If you want to do service work and you’re done with that, and you want to move into this realm, you could do that. Or you could do service work and just raise your rates where you’re taking on less and less service work and you’re doing more passive income style work like this with more authority building. There’s so many different ways you could go nowadays, which is really, really cool.
And I think the value of selling what you know, because you’ve got some expertise in it and you’ve paid your heart dues with learning that I think that’s just so cool. I think there’s more opportunity now than ever for people to feel comfortable diving into a course, even if it’s their first course, or like Michelle, my example, she could a hundred percent do a course on keyword research and a lot of people would be all about it because that’s what she does. That’s her thing. So I say all that to say, there’s a lot of examples like that over and over in my circle where I’m seeing this web entrepreneur that is a little bit different than your typical web agency owner that’s just dealing with service style work.
Chris Badgett: So we’re productizing here and there’s the concept of information products. There’s a lot of words here which I’m going to unpack. So some people build training based membership sites. Some people call it a coaching program. Some people call it an online course. Some people call it a membership, some people call it something else, but how tied are you to like, I help people, I help digital agencies, service owners launch scalable online courses? Or is it bigger than just online courses? Or do you want to say focus on online courses?
Josh Hall: That would just be one type of course along with my other suite of… Right now, my plan is to create a whole new section on my website that’s geared around web entrepreneurs. And I want to coin that term because I do think it’s something real and something that, well, I know it’s something real because all the people in my club are signing examples of that.
Chris Badgett: So you help web agency owners productize more broadly?
Josh Hall: There’s essentially three. So last time we talked, I had two main customers, people just learning web design and they wanted to learn Divi and the process, and want to learn WooCommerce and all the tools that at least I know and have shared about. And then the second was people who wanted to start or really grow their own web design agen…
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Josh Hall: As people who wanted to start or really grow their own web design agency. And I have a business course that helps them do that. I’ve got a maintenance plan course to teach them how to build recurring income. Now, there’s this third set of people with my newest course and eventually I’ll continue to build more courses out for me, about two or three years ago, which is the people who have their web design business, they want to add more, they have a drive to either productize their knowledge or; again, like Michelle, perfect example; have something they’re really good at and they want to do that at scale. Or maybe they want to have something that is… It’s almost like a lead-in, like somebody could buy a course and decide, “This is the girl. I want to hire her for our SEO stuff.” So, that’s kind of the new realm. That’s my third kind of customer avatar, I guess if, if that’s [crosstalk] question.
Chris Badgett: Yeah. Yeah. There’s a part with this too, where I’m just thinking my own journey as a digital agency owner, I didn’t just… There wasn’t a day where I became a product guy, like a software product guy. There’s all this overlap, and I built some productized services and then built digital product. Sometimes people focus on, for the avatar, the pain. Like they really want to stop being a time-for-money or working with clients or whatever. But I think the reality is some people like it, they’re just trying to augment. Or some people do want to make a full transition and some people just want to explore and see what happens. I think your market is… You’re probably open to all of the above, is that right?
Josh Hall: Yes, definitely, because it’s the way I was. I was not burned out from client work or service work. I just simply love teaching. I will say, it is way harder to do what I’m doing now than to build a web design agency. It’s much harder. Now, I have more freedom than I’ve ever had in my life. A lot of times I’ll work… Like this week, I’ll probably work 25 hours maybe, maybe 30. I have those kinds of freedoms, but I’ve worked my ass off to get to this point. And I’ve worked really hard at building my name and my authority in this space. And it’s been a very slow burn. I didn’t make any money doing this for the first year. Thank goodness I had my web design agency, although I really didn’t have any products I sold, so that didn’t help, but it worked in combination.
So I’m definitely open to everybody. And I think there’s a great… I think there’s a great opportunity for people who want to do both, who might want to launch their own online course, just to have something on the side to have an additional income stream, could open some new doors, see if they like it. And that may open them up to doing something else. Maybe they want to build their own community or maybe have their own video channel or their own podcasts. There’s all sorts of options by adding this kind of stuff. Just like I did. So yeah, I think a hundred percent, it’s really dealing with people who are across the entire spectrum.
Chris Badgett: So how is a web entrepreneur different from a smart, passive income audience member?
Josh Hall: Great question. We were talking about Pat Flynn with his audience, which is huge. They get entrepreneurs from all over the place. I think the difference would be a web entrepreneur is going to have a pretty good idea of how to build a website, and they’re going to have a good idea about, potentially, some email marketing or at least [crosstalk]-
Chris Badgett: Your techie.
Josh Hall: Set up… Their techie. Yeah, that’s it, their techie. The last time we talked, you had a great example where a good web designer or freelancers going to be part hipster, part hacker, part hustler. This would be the hacker. They know they can figure that stuff out, for the most part. They don’t need to be an expert on email or whatever, but they have a good well-rounded knowledge of all that.
Most of them will be web designers. And this is where I think I have an extra opportunity with these folks, because since I was a web designer for so long, there are so many people who are web designers. And then, a vast majority of web designers get to a point in their journey where they want more. They don’t want to spend their… They don’t want to trade their time for money. They don’t want to just work for an agency. They want to do more. And inevitably, web designers are asked to do more, because a company generally doesn’t hire a web designer and just say, “Build our website. Thanks so much.” They always ask them, “Do you do social media? Do you do email marketing? Can you help us set this up? Can you help set up our Calendly invites?”
Then you get into like a web strategy, so web designers are used to having a lot more to do around with just websites. So I think that’s where this is kind of the step up from that. They can really become a web entrepreneur. Web design can still be a part of what somebody does, but it doesn’t have to be the only type of service. That’s where, I think, this separates this market from the smart passive incomes, the super fast business with James Schramko; who is still my business coach, who I know you’ve talked about before. He’s dealing with people who are mainly just entrepreneurs at heart. They don’t know anything about web stuff.
Chris Badgett: Online business owners.
Josh Hall: Online business owners. Yeah. So that’s the big difference.
Chris Badgett: Yeah. See, this is the thing. There’s a lot of nuance to the niche. I think it was Pam slim, Escape from Cubicle Nation is like a certain kind of crowd. Chris Guilbeau’s Art of Non Conformity crew. Jeff Walker, Product Launch Formula crew. James Schramko, SuperFastBusiness. Pat Flynn and his stuff. Even though they’re similar, they’re different. And in terms of audience building and targeting, if we know the tools… They’re already techies, so they already know WordPress, that’s a great qualifier. 40% of the internet built with WordPress. And you know where to go to market. There’s plenty of WordPress groups and content creators and stuff like that. What’s the biggest challenge around this avatar? Is it a fear of abandoning the base or is it…
Josh Hall: Yes.
Chris Badgett: [crosstalk] Is that what it is?
Josh Hall: It’s like, am I… And that’s why I had planned on supporting my Divi beginner’s course, and potentially adding some more resources. I still might do a How to Build a Divi Website 2022, and have that be a funnel into that course. And once people go into that course, they want to build their business. Once they build their business, they realize, “Maybe I can add online courses.” I could take them through the entire journey with me as well. So I do think that’s something I… Again, for the foreseeable future, I don’t plan to mess with, because like you said, the WordPress ecosystem is so big and so valuable, and there are so many… This is a big thing too, Chris. There are great people in WordPress. And I think there are…
I’d venture to say, and I’m a part of Pat Flynn’s SPI Pro, the pro community. There’s a lot of great people in there as well, but there’s an interesting problem that one of my colleagues who was in a mastermind group in there told me recently. And that was, he joined this mastermind with a lot of people in there, but they were all so different. They were in completely different phases of their business. Some people didn’t even know what WordPress was. Some people were really good with… So that can be really hard to gel with people when you’ve got people just in all different situations.
By focusing on people who are in the WordPress realm and are web designers, even if they use Elementor or different builders, there’s still a lot of commonality there. And my content can really help people that have that base, that foundational base. And like I said, they’re just such great people. Some of the best people I know are folks like yourself and people in and around Divi and WordPress and the different tools. So that’s something I definitely am very careful of protecting. Regardless, I’ve kind of moved on from the Yoda of Divi; I never used that title; so I’m past that, but it is tricky. I don’t want to necessarily get too far from that right now, but I also don’t want to limit myself and I don’t want to neglect the need for this web entrepreneur side of things.
Chris Badgett: Well, I think that whole, the guy thing, of being known for something in a category; like the Divi guy or the web entrepreneur guy; I think it’s okay for your guy thing to change. Like if you had to say this new the guy that you’re becoming, you’re not the Divi Yoda guy, you’re kind of transitioning into a new guy. How would you describe that?
Josh Hall: I think the web entrepreneur guy is [crosstalk] what I had in mind. It’s funny you said that, because that was literally what I was thinking about. If I were to kind of rename, revitalize my brand, it would be potentially The Web Entrepreneur Guy. And maybe I would keep joshhall.co, maybe. I mean, there’s a… To redo a website and do a whole new branding chain, that’s a big deal. I’ve got hundreds of posts that have joshhall.co and podcasts links.
So that’s a whole ‘nother ball game of our, to completely rebrand that. And I guess the positive of having a personal brand is it doesn’t really matter what type of tools or persona I have within my personal brand; it’s me. So I think that’s a benefit potentially. Now I could always rename my podcast. It’s currently the Josh Hall Web Design Show. But if I were to rebrand that to the Web Entrepreneur with Host Josh Hall, or something, that’s something I’m definitely open to.
Chris Badgett: Yeah. Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. My business coach guy, Dan Martell, he was on this podcast before and he was telling his story. He started with a program called the Elite Entrepreneur and he had built a lot of software companies. And one of his friends was like, “Why don’t you focus on SAS entrepreneurs and not just general entrepreneurs? And it really took off for him, he got the focus. You’re like a hardcore problem solver, so you can help a lot of people, but you’re 100% right that if community is an aspect of the product, people want to feel found, they want to have that sense, that feeling of finding the others. So just to put a little color on that, I was building websites by myself in Montana, and I just randomly saw a blog post by Chris [Lama] about this little mastermind retreat he was doing in Cabo, Mexico.
And I went down there with my business partner and that was literally the first time I ever actually stepped out from behind my computer and rubbed shoulders with some WordPress people. And I was like, “Oh, I found the other.” So that sense of belonging of like, “Okay, let’s nerd out,” about E-commerce or marketing or working with clients, and we all have these problems and work-life balance. And it’s like we’re all the same. I mean, we’re different, but we had a common culture that could help us. So it’s super important. That’s why I… Yeah, go ahead.
Josh Hall: That is huge. And that’s what I found with the Divi community. As you know, the Divi community is just one of the top in the online space. What is interesting though, what I found to be fascinating was there’s really… The three levels of my avatar, my customer base right now, are really echoed online with these groups because typically Divi website designers are going to join three Facebook groups, which I do run, a free Facebook group for Divi web designers. It’s called the Divi Web Designers Facebook Group. That’s at 23,000 people now. Now I’m not barely active in there at all anymore, and I have my VA and some other colleagues who do the member approvals and stuff now, so I’m really not… I’m not doing it much in there at all anymore. I don’t know what I’m going to do with that, but that’s kind of the first level for people who want to get support with just Divi.
And then the next step from that is my student center. So this new news, since I talked with you last, Chris, is I’m using Circle, which is the platform that I built my membership through. I had such a good experience with my premium membership that I decided to open up a student center, which is a support center for all my students. So it kind of encapsulates the first two group of people. It’s web designers who are learning Divi and web design and get some support there, but it’s also the agency owners and the business people who are building their businesses. And then that lead them perfectly into the web entrepreneur space, which is where most of my web design club, my members, my premium group, most of the people in there are, again, the web entrepreneur base. And I did not intentionally set that up for those people, it just happened.
It just naturally, the people who are serious about their business and are investing, that’s a premium club, it’s 99 bucks a month. It was 79 for founding members before that ended. They’re paying to be there. And that’s 79 bucks a month, even with the discount rate. That’s a lot for a monthly membership that people who might be making anywhere between 25 to 50 to six figures are paying. So I’ve really collected this incredible group of web entrepreneurs. And I feel like this is an untapped market, and these are the people who come from my podcast and people who are willing to invest in their future.
And they’re like the most cool, helpful, savvy, fun people to be around. It’s great because to be honest, some of the other entrepreneur groups, you get the people who are like, “How do I… What kind of computer should I buy?” That’s not generally a question you’re going to get in a web design group. It’s much more about… They’re savvy enough to be past that entry level point of tech. So, that’s where I think this is an interesting market to tap into.
Chris Badgett: Well, another framework that might help you, there’s this thing called the rule of thirds where the human brain can see three levels, and then beyond that it starts getting a little confusing. If you’re teaching business as an example, the common breakdown is like we’ve got the beginner in whatever this niche is, and then we’ve got the person that’s established and trying to scale. And then we have this top performer inner circle kind of thing. So when I hear you talk about all this, the building the website thing is kind of like the beginner track. The turning your website skills into an agency is kind of another track. And then, the inner circle or the people who evolve past that, or add that to what they’re doing, are building these… They’re productizing, and people don’t always [crosstalk] Yeah.
Josh Hall: It really is beginner business owner/freelancer maybe. I would actually say the middle tier is business owner because they grow in their business. And then it’s entrepreneur. So beginner, owner, entrepreneur. That’s probably the easiest way I could visualize this.
Chris Badgett: Yeah, this is really good. And then it’s a question of… well, people don’t always follow the funnel. Like you may build this path, but somebody may drop in as a burnout owner, who’s like, “Dude, just can you help me like productize or whatever?” Or somebody might stay and, “I just love building websites. That’s all I’m going to do.” And that’s fine.
Josh Hall: [crosstalk] point as well, and one thing… I’m so glad you mentioned that, because one thing I did think is that some people are more entrepreneurial, but they still want to learn web design, so they might be interested in online courses and stuff. Or they might be an agency owner, and maybe they’re not going to personally build websites, but I do have more and more agencies right now, which is really interesting, buying courses for their team. And that’s been fascinating to me. I kind of wonder maybe instead of beginner, if I would just call it web design… web designer, business owner, entrepreneur. Those are really kind of the three.
Chris Badgett: Yeah.
Josh Hall: The three levels. Because I do have advanced people going through my process course, and they’re really good at web design. They just don’t have the best process in place. So that’s where they go through my process course and it helps them cut their builds in half. So that’s an interesting take too. It’s also of cool, Chris, because I think I could have all these courses in these three realms and direct people to where they want to go. If somebody wants to start out from the ground up, they can follow the entire path and journey, they can stop wherever they want, they could dive into whatever they want. Or if somebody is more advanced and they just want to buy the beginner’s course just to teach their team, that’s an option as well.
Chris Badgett: I think we can draw some inspiration from other people who’ve done this as kind of experts. I was just pulling up Guy Kiyosaki’s… Or no, Richard, what is it? The Cashflow… Robert Kiyosaki. You know who I’m talking about?
Josh Hall: Yeah. Yeah. Robert Kiyosaki.
Chris Badgett: So he’s basically… helps people get rich, helps people get wealthy, helps them upgrade their financial mindset. And his strong opinion one way in some things, you may agree with him, you may not. But I always loved his cashflow quadrant. So, this is where we-
Josh Hall: So that’s what… Actually, when I had the idea of the three people, where they are, that was where that idea stem from, is I could… Because the cashflow quadrant is… What is it? You’re an employee, a [crosstalk] self-employed, owner and investor, right?
Chris Badgett: Investor. Yes. So he’s kind of got four buckets there. And I mean, maybe you’re not really doing the employee. I mean, maybe they’re learning web design as an employee, but a model, like a simple model that has four areas or three or whatever, and maybe somebody just wants to stay self-employed and they’re good. Some people want to become the agency owner and then some people want to become an investor, even a passive investor where you’re not even doing any of the work.
You’re just more deploying capital in strategic ways. It’s helpful, just that simple four box formula, kind of shows it’s such a powerful tool. He has one website. So, my question to you is… and I know you’re using different tools, like Circle to provide the community and stuff like that, but are you envisioning these things becoming different brands, or you want it to stay as this web entrepreneur thing?
Josh Hall: That’s [crosstalk] more what I’m leaning towards. This suits my personality too. I am not the typical web person who wants to have a bazillion businesses. Like I said, I have a young family, I love working really hard, but I don’t want to work that much. So that life balance is huge for me and my brain focuses much better if I have a fairly… Even when I look at my call schedule, and I have a ton of calls, I generally, as much as I love interacting with people, I’m extrovert, I tend to get a little overwhelmed. So I don’t want to have too much going on. And all that to say I don’t necessarily want to have a bunch of different brands because I thought about, man, I thought about launching… And I own diviwebdesigners.com.
I thought about being the owner of a tutorial education-based Divi web designers, and have other people do tutorials about Divi and web design. And I just, it never went anywhere because I just didn’t really have a heart for doing that exactly. I didn’t want to… It was just, wasn’t something I was terribly interested in, something topical like that. So that’s where this idea of having more of a personal brand… And again, the web entrepreneur, is that a micro brand under my main just personal brand? Potentially. It could absolutely. Maybe eventually the web entrepreneur is its own podcast, I don’t know, but I would much rather just kind of do one thing and have everyone find me on that one thing. That’s kind of what I’m leaning towards. And maybe even if I just do the Josh Hall Web Entrepreneur Show, maybe it’s different than web design. That’s potentially something I’m looking into.
Chris Badgett: I’ve done a lot of work with like pricing strategy, especially in the past two years. And one of the most common frameworks is like good, better, best pricing where you have three boxes. And I mean, pricing is a huge topic, but if you can set it so that each box is associated with one of these three avatars, it helps the… And if the higher you go, it includes everything before. Also in pricing, there’s a concept of ad-ons too, which are separate, like your community’s kind of separate. But sometimes using that pricing framework; good, better, best; can help clarify like, “Okay, well what do they get here? What do they get here? What do they get here?”
And it gets more expensive. Ideally, just the way the brain works with… They call it the Goldilocks effect with the three beds or whatever. It would flow through this. So the web designer is more price sensitive than the business owner who is even… And then the top, the entrepreneur, is even the less price sensitive. So they get the most value up there. But I don’t know if… What are you thinking from pricing? Because sometimes if you figure out your pricing down to a spreadsheet, just creating the columns and filling in the boxes of the benefit where you can’t… you have to put something in the box, it can clarify that. So what are you thinking?
Josh Hall: That’s a great point. So as of right now, it’s really worthwhile listing out what products I have and how people pay me for this stuff. Because as you know, I have a YouTube channel and a podcast. A lot of my content is free, but does all this stuff that gets the people in the door and gets them excited, and a lot of people who subsequently come from my podcasts go to my bundle, which has all my web design courses for 12,99, which I just looked at the stats on that recently, Chris, I did not realize this, but over half of my income comes from my bundle.
So I know that’s my biggie. That encapsulates the first two segment of customers together, is the bundle. It’s all my web design courses. Now, I would love to build out my additional suite of entrepreneur based courses like a podcasting course, a video marketing course, maybe email marketing. I could absolutely foresee maybe another half dozen courses. And then eventually I’ll have maybe 15 or 18 courses that I could continue to upgrade and support and have like a master bundle for like 3,000 bucks or something like that.
I think that’s definitely foreseeable, but it’s going to take some time to get there. So pricing wise right now, and actually it’s funny you mentioned this, because I had planned on here pretty soon writing out kind of like a guide, a funnel, on my website, that is just like, “Let me help you find what you’re looking for. If you’re just only web design, start here. Here are some free resources. I would start with my beginner’s course to help you learn Divvy,” and blah, blah, blah. If you’re wanting to grow your business, here are some other free resources. And I would go with my business course, which will teach you this and blah, blah, blah.
And then as I build my entrepreneur courses out, that’s where I would say, “If you’re really… if you’re taking the next step that you want to add online courses and other marketing to what you do, check out my entrepreneur suite, and then here’s free resources. And here’s a course that I would recommend for that.” So, that’s kind of what I envision. Price point wise, yeah, the first customer set, the web designers are going to have little to no budget. 97 bucks for a beginner’s course is going to be a big investment.
Business owners, they are much more cool with spending several hundred or maybe a thousand or two annually to invest in their self and grow their team. And then the entrepreneurs who are building six-figure businesses and implementing all this stuff, they’re going to be much more in tune to realizing that an online course about a course or podcasting course is going to add potentially tens of thousands to their business.
So, that’s kind of price bucket wise. It kind of depends on what they would want and where they are in their journey and what they would add. But I’d feel safe to say if I could break this down in the simplest terms, beginning web designers are going to be 250 under per year. The middle tier business owners are going to be in between 500 and maybe 1,500. And then a web entrepreneurs are going to be 1,500 to 5k. Something like that. If they’re really focused on mastermind groups and stuff like that.
Chris Badgett: And let’s talk about community from here, is the… Like the Circle site, is this for everybody as an add-on, or maybe there’s certain parts of it for these different avatars, or?
Josh Hall: Everybody could join it, as of right now. I don’t really promote it much because it’s still so new. I mean, we’ve really developed an incredible online community that is tight knit, but not cliquey. We’re building that out. And that’s where ,again, I realize it’s kind of more for the business owner and entrepreneur. So, I’ve really only been marketing that as more like a personal invite or something that’s on top of my business course or my bundle to where… If somebody goes to the My Beginner’s Course, they’re probably not going to be ready to join my web design club.
And that’s fine. They’re just not… It’s 99 bucks a month or a thousand a year. They’re not at that point yet, but if they’re designing, if they’re building their agency and they’re making more and they want to have an incredible network and access to me and all the benefits that come with the web design club, that’s going to be the perfect next step for them. So the web design club right now is really for the ladder to the owners and the entrepreneurs. And for right now, just for the sake of this conversation, Chris, I think I’ll just call it web designers, owners, business owners, and entrepreneurs, just to keep it simple.
Chris Badgett: Yeah. Yeah. That makes sense. And I think it’s actually completely fine to not really put an application gate, but just to maintain the kind of group you want to maintain, that you have to be a business owner or entrepreneur to even buy that product. It’s like a qualification step.
Josh Hall: Yeah. And I think the price point as of right now, weeds the people out who are just not even going to think like, “Whoa, a hundred bucks a month, what? That’s insane.” I mean, I would have thought that. Maybe five or six years ago I’d have been like, “Whoa, a hundred bucks a month. Are you kidding me? No way.” So yeah, the price point itself kind of weeds people out.
And I think… I’m interested to see how I’m going to market that over the next year or so, because of course I’d love to have 500 members paying 99 bucks a month, but that’s a whole different ball game than having… Right now we’ve got 87. So that’s a whole… It’s very manageable right now. Once we get a hundred plus, I’m going to need to really have my systems in place to where I need to make sure I free myself up. And because there’s a coaching aspect in there with people being able to message me, that’s something I have to make sure I can manage as well too.
Chris Badgett: Just a quick question. What percentage of your week, or how many hours a week do you spend on the community yourself?
Josh Hall: It’s down now much better than it was in the first few months, which I knew it was going to be like that. I’ve been an entrepreneur long enough to know when you start something it’s going to be a lot of work and a lot of hours, particularly with any sort of subscription type model. So I knew it was going to be a lot. Now I have my VA who does all of the email blasts and she does a lot of the ongoing stuff, admin type stuff. That’s been a big help. Most of it’s automated through Zapier and how I sell through my website. So generally what I do, I’m spending probably less than 25% of my time right now on the club. So it’s about a fourth of my week, which is nice because now I’m able to free myself up to work on courses.
This week is kind of a light week. We’re doing an extended call. I’m not working on any core stuff. I might jump in, and I just actually am finishing up the launch for this new course. So, that’s going to be the other big thing I’ll do this week. And I’ll tweak my website, maybe do a few other things like that and some content creation, but it’s kind of a mix between all that stuff. So the club’s about a fourth of my time and that’s where I’d like to keep it.
Chris Badgett: That’s cool.
Josh Hall: It depends on…
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Josh Hall: It depends on how many questions I’m getting and what I’m doing, but now it’s pretty cool. On average, unless we’re creating something new for the club, we are about to roll out member led calls, which I have some questions about just to engage people from all different time zones better. So I am spending a little more time on that now, but once that’s set up, that’ll be time that’s off my plate. So, yeah.
Chris Badgett: I’ve always admired your business coach, James Schramko. I’ve just heard him talk about how he’s interactive with his community. He owns a race course, he’s not putting it on Facebook and I think he’s really led well in that space of how to build a great community and also participate with the people through that format. And he seems to really enjoy it too.
Josh Hall: He does, and he shows up, I’ve been in his membership for two and a half years at this point, closing in on three. And he does show up, there’s never been a time where I’ve reached out in our, because I have a private coaching thread with him. Now we don’t talk on video but I do have just a text thread with him. And sometimes he’s short in his answers. I tend to be a lot more long-winded but he does show up and I’ve found that I use him typically, we don’t talk every week and this is the same thing with my club. Not everyone hits me up every week. They tend to hit me up when they’re really going through something or they want my personal advice.
But what’s really cool now because I did worry about this Chris. I was like, am I going to put myself out there to 87 people who can pick my brain all the time? That’s a lot to keep up with. The reality is I tend to get two to four messages a day and it’d be like being in a Facebook group and hopping on or just getting random emails. Well now they’re much more concise. Some people feel like they’re bothering me and I’m like, don’t feel like you’re bothering me. You’re paying 79 or 99 bucks a month to be here now, text or shoot me a message if you have a question.
Chris Badgett: It’s kind of like a red phone, right? Somebody’s got an issue…
Josh Hall: It’s like an emergency line, or if there’s just something that maybe they saw one of my stuff or they’re like, I know you had a tutorial on manually migrating a WordPress website. Did you have something like that? It’s that kind of thing. Or it’s more high level. A lot of stuff I’m getting now is high level strategy stuff and the tech questions and stuff like that, they’re generally posting in the group. So I can pop into the public threads if I want, but a lot of that stuff is self maintaining.
Now I’m getting the more high level stuff, what’s really cool about that is the club is really the basis for all of my content now. So I’m getting a lot of guests on my podcasts who are in the club because they have amazing stories and they’re building six figure businesses. And so that’s been really cool. And then if I see a recurring question, one question we have a lot right now that’s going on is about hosting. Because SiteGround had some changes with their hosting accounts, which is what I use and recommend. So that’s a perfect opportunity to keep up to date with the top of mind questions that I can then make contact or content based off of.
Chris Badgett: I think I’ve seen this over and over again. The people like yourself who are doing community led growth basically. And it’s actually not that complicated. It’s what you’re talking about, somebody picks up a red phone which means they have a burning problem, pressing issue or opportunity they want to capture. And they’re just telling you exactly what course to make and you hear it more than twice. Yeah, there’s something there. We need to make some content we need to make…
Josh Hall: Half of it is just pointing people to something that’s already out there whether it’s online resources.
Chris Badgett: Traffic control.
Josh Hall: Yeah. Or I was like actually we just talked about this in the group. And of course they’re not going to see everything in the group so I can just search it, find that post, be like here you go it talks about it there. So yeah that’s been really cool. That’s exceeded my expectations because I really was worried about that getting out of control, but there’s been so many pros and benefits to that and it’s my base of recurrent income now, now it’s really helping my bottom line. So when I do launches and webinars and other content to build around all these different courses, I’ve got a nice bottom line that is continuing to grow with these members, which is really cool.
Chris Badgett: Yeah. I don’t know if you’ve read all the Donald Miller stuff about the StoryBrand and being a guide, not a guru or whatever, the guiding thing. I see this a lot in large catalog membership sites where there’s just a lot of stuff. Maybe it’s been around for a while. A lot of what people are doing is they just need help finding the right thing and they need help putting the right sequence together of not just find it, but do it in this order. And one of the things I’m seeing people do really successfully is you may not want to get into ongoing one-on-one virtual coaching, but just by adding a one call at the very beginning of their membership, and then do it again in 12 months to have this strategic growth session where you, and then later you can train a team member to do it, to basically assess the situation and then help them find what the key areas are and then give them a customized plan all in 30 minutes or an hour, that is supremely valuable and helps with onboarding and activation so that they can do that.
Josh Hall: I am coaching one member right now. I don’t advertise this. He just requested it, he already had a six-figure business and he just asks, do you do any type of more intensive one-on-one coaching? We do a call every two weeks I’m just testing it out. And I enjoy my time with him, we’re really in the weeds with strategies, but I definitely have realized it’s just not something I’m interested in putting out there publicly. It can’t scale that, now he’s been a great case study and I’ve love, I’ve seen his business grow dramatically as this particular example. He went from print design to web design. So I shared a lot of what I learned with him, but I can’t really do that at scale, which has led me to be really glad that I did not offer one-on-one coaching via calls, because what I realized is a lot of this stuff we generally can talk about in a smaller group.
So what I am doing additionally with the club is every week I do office hours or I don’t call them office hours, but I do a live Q and A, actually technically I only do three Q and A’s. And then the other week is a member training, which like I said, now I’m bringing in colleagues who are putting the presentation together. They’re actually doing the presentation, I’m just hosting it. So it’s actually only about three hours of my time a month. If I don’t do a member training doing that, aside from lining that up and all the calls and everything. But those have been really great opportunities for me to answer questions directly.
And one thing I found, I’d be curious to see what you see about this with office hours. A lot of times in a group like mine, if I just say, what questions do you guys have? I tend to not get that many questions via text. So what I’ve been doing is throughout the week, as I’m talking with people and I see stuff, I’ll just say, hey, this is a great question. I think a lot of other people would be interested in hearing. Do you want to come on live on the Q and A, we’ll talk about it. It’s almost like a mini coaching session in front of everybody. And I might do one or two of those on a call or I’ll do a website review or something that’s a little more strategy based. So that’s been really, really cool. And the next phase of this, which is one thing I was really excited to talk with you about Chris was because I have a global community in this mastermind. And because I’ve got people as agency owners and well, there’s not really just designers in there.
They’re all business owners and entrepreneurs, but I’ve got people in all different time zones. It’s really hard for people in Australia to make any of my calls because it’s three in the morning for them or whatever. So one thing that became glaringly apparent is when we did a couple member hangouts, they went over so well. They were so highly received. We made it a big deal, come to hang out, everyone can join, we’re all going to interact. The problem is the last hang on I did was 28 people. So 28 people on a Zoom call was very tricky to manage. I had to be very clear about alright take 30 seconds, introduce yourself. It had to be very structured. So it became very apparent that there was all these micro meetings happening between members where they would set up one-on-ones and stuff.
And there’s such a need for like a deeper sense of community and calls. So what we’re just about to open up, are member led calls to where I’m not personally setting up the call and being a part of it. Now I’ve been worrying about all the pros and cons over this for several weeks now, but we’re close to launching this. What we’re working out right now is just the specifics of the tool we’re going to use to do that, which I’m still trying to work out how I can do that through Zoom, Circle is eventually going to add native events and live calls, but I don’t know when that’s going to be. So I can’t really bank on that. So for now we’re sticking with Zoom, but what we decided to do, and maybe this will be beneficial for anyone listening. If you’re still listening to this point is to do Tuesdays as official club calls. So those are going to include Q and A’s, monthly trainings, any website reviews, any weekly call that I do with Josh. Thursdays are going to be member led calls, and we’re going to do four calls that are going to be open at 2:00 PM on different time zones. So 2:00 PM Pacific, 2:00 PM Eastern 2:00 PM London, and then 2:00 PM, I think Melbourne will probably do. So that
Chris Badgett: Every week? Is that every week?
Josh Hall: Every week. And what I’m going to do is I’ve got a handful of members, actually a dozen who have volunteered to host a call once a month or a couple of times a month. So we’re going to schedule them all out to basically host one of those calls. And those will be the perfect opportunity for members to engage with each other and maybe have smaller groups. Some of those calls might have five people or just two or three people. And it can be a really good chance to get to know people better and do it where it’s not a one-on-one, but it’s not a big 28 person call where you can’t talk. So that’s what we’re working on right now, which I’m really excited about. We’re just getting all the specifics together. And what we’re debating on doing is with those calls is having some of those be perhaps talk topical or what a perfect follow up if we have a training.
The next training we’re doing is on email deliverability. What a perfect opportunity to have that Thursday to talk about that in a little more detail with other people sharing about what they’ve learned and following up with that. So that’s the next thing we’re working on just in the web design club itself, which I’m really excited about. Now, there’s guidelines I’m putting in place. I’m writing a handbook. There’s obviously some liability with that with trusting people to represent me and the brand and not have people outside the club join these calls. So we’re working through all that, but we have such a good core group. People who are going to host the calls, I feel confident we’ll do a great job with that.
Chris Badgett: Well I got a bunch of thoughts. I was taking notes as you were talking there. On the office hours deal, one of the things I did, which might not work for you is I instituted a we’re not recording it policy. And what that did is that people open up way more, or they’re less scared about competitions or whatever. Just when people know that it’s not being recorded, it creates a more intimate environment. I’m not saying do that for every call, but it was just interesting that, and I surveyed my people like, hey, if I record these, would you still show up? Or? And I got a bunch of resistance. So that’s just where I ended up, just sharing that idea.
Josh Hall: That is interesting. I do record them and post the replay. We get quite a bit of feedback on the replays. So yeah, I’d be hesitant to that, but that definitely makes sense particularly if we’re doing a bit more of a coaching session.
Chris Badgett: Yeah because if somebody is going to be vulnerable, or it could be certain topics that are maybe a little more taboo, about, I don’t know something like work-life balance or something to just get more into people’s details, it’s just an idea. I started doing them in a webinar format, but then ultimately I ended up flipping it to just a regular Zoom meeting and it was okay. It didn’t fall apart. I can manage it even when the group size gets big, but people do need to be trained up around muting themselves and stuff like that. And at a certain size, my assistant will help and she’ll just manage the crew and also can manage the door, with Zoom with a waiting room they can cross check like yeah that person’s supposed to be in here or whatever. But.
Josh Hall: Yeah I may eventually do that. I think one thing I’ve found for sure is that as web designers on their calls, they’re often working on a project while they’re watching. So…
Chris Badgett: There’s a couple of different learning styles there. I see that too, I got people that are just working and they’re just hanging out, listening to the background and then people that are fully engaged and then people in the middle and that’s just natural. And I think that’s okay. Some people with their camera on some people off, it’s all good.
Josh Hall: And that’s where these member hangouts every Thursday are going to be crucial because that’s their time to be engaged and really network. And it’ll just give so much more ownership for people in the group. Anytime we’ve had people come on camera and do a little session with me or do a training, they’re always so much more engaged rather than just showing up and hanging out in the chat. So I’m really excited about that and to be able to include people from across the world since it is a global community, that’s been very tricky and I feel bad. I feel bad for the people in Australia. I’ve got a handful of members from Australia who have never, I think one has made a couple, one guy got up at 5:00 AM to join a call.
Chris Badgett: Well that says a lot about the quality that somebody does that.
Josh Hall: Yeah, it Does. I feel that because I’m a member of James Schramko’s membership, I’ve never made a live call because they’re all at 3:00 or 4:00 AM. So I just basically use that to occasionally get into the forum and then mainly just to have a direct line of access to James that’s why I’m a member there. So I am excited about that. I’ll definitely keep you posted as far as what we learn with the member calls, but I’m excited that [inaudible] some ownership on that. And Michelle, who I mentioned earlier, the SCO gal, we were having to talk about this because I do have some members in the club who I really just appreciate their insight. Just like we’re doing now. I love hearing your thoughts on this, is she was like, do you realize that people are paying you 79 or 99 bucks a month just to hang out with other people, they could be doing their separate Zoom calls, but they are willing to do this under your brand and umbrella and pay to be there, which is so cool.
And one thing, it was a really cool thought as well is I think that’s going to help people want to stay in the club because if they’re used to their Thursday hangout that they make maybe every week or every couple of weeks, there’ll be such an incentive to stay there because if they want to leave the club eventually it’s going to be like, oh, I don’t want to miss my crew every Thursday. You know? So that’s something I’m excited, it’s going to be a real nice value add for everyone in the club. And it’s going to be great for me as the community builder as well.
Chris Badgett: This is one of the things I talk about with the five hats, the education entrepreneurs, where teaching as one, technologies one, entrepreneurs one, community building is one and community building, part of what you’re doing is you’re literally creating an environment. You’re creating space that has value, its own value in addition to your teaching and your content and stuff like that. So it’s a super important, one of the things I’ve seen too is if you want to jumpstart the call, I see a lot of people doing these 10 minute tactics. So it starts with this 10 minute strategy around some key problem that you’ve been hearing people talk about in the group. And then there’s a solution. And then it moves into the Q and A which primes the pump where if people are like, hey so what questions do you have when you front load the call with a little mini training, it can get people engaged. So.
Josh Hall: That’s a great point. I appreciate you bringing that up because I have implemented that in a roundabout way. I generally do that if no one has any questions that they post, I’ll just have a few posts that were in the club just as backups because I know I’ll dive into them. So I think maybe I’ll plan on doing that the next couple, unless I’m doing a website review or bringing somebody on I’ll plan on, I actually have a Q and A here in a couple of days, I’ll plan on doing that to where I’ll take a few of the questions from the club and then do that mini thoughts training session, and then open it up to questions. I like that idea for sure.
Chris Badgett: I also have just in back pocket, I call them controversial issues even though they’re not really that controversial, but if I’m talking to web people, if we start getting into hosting or email marketing or page builders or whatever, if I need to spur some conversation [inaudible], I’ve got my topics that I can go to as well.
Josh Hall: Yeah. Well the cool thing is too on my Q and A’s, it’s generally anywhere between a dozen and 20 people. So if I wanted to, I have a couple of times just invited people on the spur of the moment and that’s something too where I could say, does anyone want to come on? And let’s just have a little mini hangout here and to see who wants to come on, some people might just want to keep the camera off and just listen. But some people are into that too. So it’s been interesting, those Q and A’s to have that touch point every week. And to just figure that out because it’s definitely, I think it’s different for somebody like Pat Flynn, who has a weekly office hours, but he’s got probably hundred…
Chris Badgett: A million.
Josh Hall: Signed onto that. I’ve tuned into a couple, but the thing with that is he can’t really get too in depth with his answers or because he’s got to move on and try to get to a lot of people. And the chances of you getting your answer or a question answered is pretty slim at this point.
Chris Badgett: So I got another tip there. So I run a call like this for my top customers at Lifter LMS, I call it the Lifter LMS office hours mastermind. And I run that as a meeting with, so not in webinar mode. So when people they’re digging into the call, I’ll always start it on time and I’ll just do my little spiel, how I opened the call. Because if I go in there and let people in, people started talking that they love it. I’ve had some people coming to that call every week for four years. It’s cool, but this is how I open it. I’m just like, especially if I see a new face, I do the full routine, which is, welcome to today’s Lifter LMS office hours mastermind. This is a place to ask strategic questions, could be technical support or strategy related.
Maybe you have a question about some other tool outside of the scope of what we’re trying to do here. I’m going to answer a bunch of questions here, but also I’m not the keeper of all the knowledge. There’s a lot of smart people around here, similar to you, similar experiences that can weigh in on the issues here. So I’m going to take a list and whoever wants to add something to the list, just speak up and basically I’ll write the name like, okay, Dale, he’s looking for email marketing and I don’t linger on it. I’m like, got it who’s else has got something. And sometimes I have a list with three things on it. Sometimes I have a list with 15 things on it and that way I can manage the hour effectively and everybody gets gotten to, and that’s basically how I run it and I always end on time so.
Josh Hall: Okay, that’s cool I like that.
Chris Badgett: Yeah. Another thing actually that I learned from Melissa Love for her deal is she actually recently, I just interviewed her on this podcast about this. She mentioned she was bringing in a lot of guest experts into her community and she started running these coworking sessions, which were more free form and she would use Zoom and breakout rooms to help people. But people literally just wanted to pop open the Zoom, be around their peers, be able to chat, ask Melissa questions, maybe pull into a breakout room, but there was literally no content or anything but just an opportunity to go to a virtual coffee shop and work together.
Josh Hall: I think that’s where our Thursday hangs are going to be really cool. They’re not going to be structured necessarily. Those are just going to be your virtual coffee shop lounge type of thing.
Chris Badgett: Yeah. I mean people sometimes they just want to connect and the virtual connection is very important. The other thing I’ve just found too, just FYI is if I ever, my thing is on Thursdays at 4:00 PM Eastern. If I ever move that on the calendar, for whatever reason like attendance drops, emails come in or whatever. So once you lock it in, try and keep it where it is because people get really used to it, especially if it’s on a weekly rhythm. So.
Josh Hall: Okay. Perfect question, so the member calls are going to be pretty easy to keep those two o’clock, those four time zones, that’ll be pretty easy. And then somebody can’t make it, then you can join another one. One of my members from the UK said that she actually prefers to do those things in the evening for her. So she’ll probably join more often on the 2:00 PM Eastern because it’s 7:00 PM for her in London. So that should be pretty cool. I do have a question from you about the Tuesday calls, which I’m going to be doing monthly trainings, all that stuff. My thinking and my question to you is do you think 11:00 AM Eastern is a better time for those? Or do you think like 2:30 Eastern is better for a Tuesday call? I was thinking 2:30.
Chris Badgett: Yeah. So I’ve tested this a lot. And for me I found 3:00 or 4:00 PM Eastern time is the best. And there are some people that it excludes, it is hard for certain times zones to come, but I got the most, and we’re pretty global, I get the most action and some people are up late and some people are up early and whatever, it’s the afternoon I’ve always gotten the highest show up rate by a double at least.
Josh Hall: That’s great to know. It’s interesting because my group there’s a lot of folks from the UK. So I had thought about doing it at 11:00, but at 11:00 you’re getting into dinner hour for those folks. If it’s like 4:00 or 5:00 and people with family that’s tough. The 2:30 does seem to be a pretty good time. I think either way I’m excluding the Australians when I do that, which is why I think having the member backup calls will be really cool. But I was thinking as well, because even at 11:00 AM Eastern, that means the folks in, on the west side or in the west time zone that’s beginning of the day, a lot of them might not even be working yet at 8:00 AM. So I could see that being tricky. So, yeah. That’s good to know. I think I’m going to roll with Tuesdays at 2:30 and I’ll try to always stick to that.
The only time it is tricky for me right now, I can manage my schedule pretty easily and keep that time slot open. But there are occasionally times where with a young family, we have an appointment or something, I’ve got to move it. So I’m going to try not to do that, but do you find it’s best to move?
Chris Badgett: Oh, I double up. I’ve had this happen a lot and I’ll just do a double session. If I’m out one week, I’ll try to let them know a week in advance and not be all last minute. And then the next one I’ll just run an hour longer or start an hour earlier. And that’s how it works for me. And it’s yeah.
Josh Hall: Okay. I like that. That’s a good point. I really liked that. That’d be a lot easier than saying actually we’re going to do it at 12:00 PM this week. Instead of two, I could see that being confusing.
Chris Badgett: And I’ve done the other strategy, which is like, okay, well, we’re going to miss this week, but I’m going to do two next week at different times and take an opportunity to hit another time zone. Just the show up, people just get really used to the time. So the off time that’s out of the blue is a little really low show up rate. Just simply because of the rhythm.
Josh Hall: I had one of my members said recently, I thought it was genius. They were like, you know what, if somebody really wants to make it, they’re going to make it so.
Chris Badgett: I got another tip for you here. My assistant actually sends an email right as it’s starting, you know you’re a busy entrepreneur, kids like me. You kind of schedule your week I’m sure. But I’m amazed how many people just fly in through the email, pop in 10 minutes late. Like, oh, I just got the email here I am. So starting…
Josh Hall: I’ve been doing it 24 hours in advance.
Chris Badgett: I do that too.
Josh Hall: Oh, okay.
Chris Badgett: So I have a 24 hours heads up and then a starting now, like right now, click the link to join. The other ninja move, which I haven’t done, which I’ve seen a lot of other people do though. And it works for me as a member of a community is to do the brute force Google calendar invite. So I’m in some communities where once it’s on my calendar I’m going, if I accept it. So…
Josh Hall: That’s been the other big reque st from people is to have some sort of calendar, which you can do it through Zoom right? Can you just do the Google invite or do you have to do a special, separate Google calendar invite?
Chris Badgett: Usually the ones I see work, somebody at the education company will just use their Google calendar and go add whatever it is, 30, 50, 500 names to it. It’s a huge effort, but yeah. But it works and the other thing too, that I know you have your own Circle app, but I’ve also seen a lot higher show up rate if we create a Facebook event, I mean you have a Facebook group but you don’t have a Facebook group for your community, but it’s kind of meeting people where they already are. Another thing I would try, I just haven’t done personally is, well, I don’t know, it would be hard since you’re so global, as well is the text message reminder, like, Hey, starting now click here. People come to calls all the time while they’re driving or grocery shopping and stuff, it’s…
Josh Hall: Yeah that’s true. Oh we have that, quite a few people doing that yeah.
Chris Badgett: Yeah. So and then my tip for you on the member led calls, you said you were putting together a checklist or some kind of framework, is to definitely do that. So some of the best ones I’ve seen especially in large catalog sites is they have a teaching framework so that people just get really used to the format and it feels really familiar. And I’ve seen it where people, if you weren’t there your assistant would still be there and kind of help orchestrate the call. Because when it feels like somebody else, they just show up to a webinar or something and it doesn’t feel familiar like the Josh Hall experience, even though it’s Josh’s tech or whatever, there’s just a little bit of a disconnect. But if they know okay this is a part where this happens, here’s the content, here’s I know if I ask a question I’m probably going to get about a seven minute answer or whatever, when people know what to expect, it feels really familiar, comfortable, and you’ll get the most engagement.
Josh Hall: That’s cool, yeah basically putting a handbook together with just the mission of it, what I expect is if you’re going to be a host you are representing me in this brand and this is what I expect. Going to give some starter questions. And then as it evolves, we’ll probably really decide on whether certain calls are going to be topical or just open-ended or just a chance to share struggles and stuff.
PART 3 OF 5 ENDS [01:27:04]
Josh Hall: Just open-ended or just a chance to share struggles and stuff like that. Luckily with my club, everyone who are super active are the founding members and they’re such good people. I’m more so wanting to set the precedent, so when new people join, we have that in place to help people. And I want new people to feel comfortable to really dive into those as well. I think again, that’s going to be a great chance for people to really get engaged. I think that’s going to be awesome.
Chris Badgett: Yeah. That’s a couple of challenges I’ve had is with new people feeling like it’s a little overwhelming. Maybe we’re talking about some tech issues that make them feel like, “Oh wow, this is a little advanced, am I in the right place?” So I always try really hard to make people feel comfortable and especially on their first call.
Josh Hall: Oh yeah.
Chris Badgett: And go ahead.
Josh Hall: I was going to say, I do think that’s where I’m so glad I did not make my web design club my courses, because I would just think, if I had all my courses in this club, Because I had debated on doing that. We talked about that last time about like, “Should we roll everything into a $97 monthly plan?” It would just be so much. I’ve got hundreds of videos between all my courses. It would be way too daunting to figure all that out. So I love the idea of having this as, these are the top folks who now they’re my best friends. They’re my tribe of people.
So yeah, we’re off to a really good start with that. It’s already profitable at this point. I’m spending less and less time now that the systems are in place. So now I’m really ready to continue to tweak it and evolve that because it’s really… And again, it’s the content. It’s not only the people who I love connecting with and helping out directly, but it’s the content that I’m now able to pull from for my podcast and YouTube. And now as I enter into this web design entrepreneur realm, that’s what I’m really excited about.
Chris Badgett: That’s cool. Well, one more tool for your toolbox that I’ve done and seen other people do is the three-day bootcamp, which is a little intense. You can only do it two or four times a year if you want to do it. But it’s basically an extended version that’s not just like a virtual summit, but it’s a really in-depth training where people participate. It’s not just like, “I’m at a conference and I’m watching stuff.” It’s like we’re interactive.
I’ve done stuff with interactive whiteboards, what was it called? Miro or something like that. But teaching instructional design processes and things. And doing these for six hours a day with scheduled breaks and stuff like that. And I was blown away how much engagement and show up and people coming and staying all the way through for that, it’s very intense to pull off. But for example, I brought in a instructional designer friend from Europe who is one of my customers. He actually was the expert on instructional design. We created the container for it, and we ran people through the process. And I’ve done that both during the week and over the weekend, depending upon the market. Sometimes I’ve tried both and they both work.
Josh Hall: I had thought about doing a summit at some point. So maybe it would be something like that. That would be a really immersive type of experience with a lot of different colleagues and stuff.
Chris Badgett: Yeah. Summits are good too.
Josh Hall: Yeah. That’s great. That gives me a lot of clarity with the club. I feel like I’m on the right track with that. It’s a lot of work. Community building is definitely a lot of work but it suits me. I would so much rather have a hundred people that I talk with on an ongoing basis and know, rather than 100,000 subscribers that I don’t know at all. And I think it’s a deeper, more fulfilling path that way.
Chris Badgett: We also have the upsell that you haven’t done yet, which is the mastermind retreat. Did we ever talk about this?
Josh Hall: You mentioned it. Yeah, I know it’s super pop. But I know it’s different with COVID, but I actually do. The last call we had, I heard quite a few people saying they would love to fly somewhere and do a meet up. My goal was to tack on a web design club hangout onto a Word Camp.
Chris Badgett: Oh yeah. That’s smart.
Josh Hall: So I don’t know what that’s looking like, because I don’t want people to have to fly from like Ireland just to meet up at a coffee shop for two hours and then go back. I wanted to make it… they can spend a weekend somewhere to make it really worth their time. So I’m holding out to see what happens there with the Word Camps. I don’t know if there’s any plans for those to be in person.
Chris Badgett: [inaudible] They were canceled for 2021, but the last Word Camp Europe, which I had tickets and plane tickets and Airbnb for was in Portugal. And I was bringing some of my team members in. I was organizing this big party, and unfortunately that all got canceled, but doing some kind of… I think it is smart to tack on. That’s the cool thing about knowing your audience. If people in your audience are WordPress professionals, not just like any agency or whatever, which you’re a WordPress guy, DV guy, that gives you the focus of like, “Okay, well what events can I tack onto?”
Josh Hall: Yeah. And I know there is a difference between just having a casual hangout and meet up versus a get away, mastermind tight group. You’re paying to be there type of thing. I know that’s quite different. So I’m definitely open to that as well one day which would be awesome.
Chris Badgett: Cool. Well what else? Where’s the friction? Your story is so impressive because you just keep iterating and iterating and productizing, and adding value, and building community. So you have the… I see it with the people where it works is you have this passion, this iterative approach, being okay with imperfection. You have to get over that if you’re going to make progress.
Josh Hall: Yeah.
Chris Badgett: So where-
Josh Hall: It’s true. So one of the biggest I think challenges that I’m facing now is just content.
Chris Badgett: … Marketing content?
Josh Hall: Yeah.
Chris Badgett: Or the product?
Josh Hall: I grew my big breakthrough, I guess if you could say was my YouTube channel because I did DV tutorials. I became known as the DV guy. I really built up a great YouTube channel with DV tutorials and web design stuff. That has since really morphed into basically the video show of my podcast. I haven’t really kept track of the numbers. I just crossed 2 million views, which is really cool. But most of that is coming from previous YouTube videos. And because my brand has changed, again, like we talked about earlier.
Chris Badgett: Yeah.
Josh Hall: I’m not the DV guy anymore. So I’m not really interested in making it a DV tutorial channel. So now I’m like, it’s a little different. My podcast just suits me so well. And that’s where most of my attention has been, is just to my podcast and interviews with folks like you and other people who we’ve talked about. But that’s much more of the agency owner and the entrepreneur. I’m not really doing too much tactile web design type of stuff.
Now, if I do an episode on tactile stuff, it goes over really well, but it’s not necessarily a technical web design podcast. So when it comes to content and thinking about all the content I’m going to create around all my courses and stuff moving forward, I find myself in a bit of a tricky spot because now I’m like, “Okay, what the heck do I do with my YouTube channel? Do I…”
Chris Badgett: I got some ideas for you.
Josh Hall: Okay. I’m open. Where the podcast is headed, I’m really secure with that. I guess one of the biggest pain points is my YouTube channel and my social media. Facebook’s weird now. There’s all sorts of crap that’s going on with boosting. My account is actually unavailable to boost right now. Somehow I got flagged and something I don’t know.
Chris Badgett: Other race course I guess.
Josh Hall: Yeah. And so I don’t even care. I get so much good response from my podcasts and my other channels now that I don’t really care about Facebook anymore. So yeah, content marketing, particularly Facebook and YouTube, YouTube is a biggie. That’s where probably my biggest challenge is to think through.
Chris Badgett: All right. I think I got you here. So we’re focusing on the web entrepreneur, right?
Josh Hall: Well, that’s the thing. I still, my YouTube channel was largely the web designer, in agency owner. So that’s where-
Chris Badgett: But they’re evolving, right? So we’re going to have three YouTube channels? Or we going to have three playlists on one YouTube channel?
Josh Hall: … That’s what I have now essentially is playlists. So I could absolutely have… Well, yeah the playlist thing is great. Now, what’s interesting though is, YouTube typically brings much more of the web designer because they’re looking up tutorials. They’re like, “How do I build a website and DV? How do I edit CSS on this part of DV?” That’s where I’m… I always get much more traffic and way more views on technical stuff on YouTube. If it’s about Google Analytics or migrating WordPress, the technical stuff. If I post how to get clients, that’ll get quite a bit. If I post about entrepreneurial type stuff, it’s not going to get near as much traffic. So that’s where… What I’ve realized is, YouTube is great for web design tutorials design stuff and business owner type stuff. Entrepreneurial-based stuff is better on podcast.
Chris Badgett: Nice.
Josh Hall: That’s what I’ve known.
Chris Badgett: Well, let’s look at a podcast funnel here. If for the web entrepreneurs, what are three of their most burning pain points that you’re going to help them with? With your products that you’ve created or not created yet.
Josh Hall: Content marketing for sure. They want to know like, “How do I create traffic?”
Chris Badgett: They want leads.
Josh Hall: Yeah. They won’t lead. How do I get leads that are different than just like a person in a business to business group meeting website? That’s [crosstalk] one. The actual content creation like their services, how do they create their own course? That’s a biggie. Even the other stuff. I get so many questions about people wanting… They’re curious about my podcast. How did I set up my podcast? What do I use? That’s a big one. The tools and tech behind some of this other stuff that’s outside of web design.
So I would say creating the content, getting those leads, and then I think how to integrate it because it’s so open-ended. Just like I struggle right now with figuring out where do I want to go with this? That’s what they’re facing as well. To be honest, it’s way easier to learn web design, learn DV and go to networking groups and start getting web design clients and build your agency. It’s way easier to do that than to have a much more open-ended path of entrepreneurial ship, where it really is up to you to what you want to focus on.
Chris Badgett: All right. So we’ve got our five pain points are creating a podcast, becoming a podcast, getting organic leads, overwhelm just with the whole system of it all, how to actually productize into a training product like a course. And then if you go into a smaller chunk, how to create meaningful educational, valuable content.
Josh Hall: Yeah. And I would say, maybe this links into the overwhelm, but strategy. Just web strategy in general, where do you want to position yourself? That’s a biggie. If maybe a couple of those would be summed up until web strategy? That is definitely a biggie.
Chris Badgett: So I’ve seen this before. You’re like me, so you’re a positive person. So organic leads, if someone’s experiencing pain around that, what does it feel like? It’s like they’re money stressed, right? Is that the pain point?
Josh Hall: Yeah. That’s probably the overarching stress of every entrepreneur and web designer.
Chris Badgett: Yeah. Overwhelm as the pain point on the other side of lacking a coherent strategy just-
Josh Hall: By the way Chris-
Chris Badgett: … Yeah.
Josh Hall: When I sold my agency last year, I thought for sure I would wake up the next day and feel like the world is my oyster. I thought I would feel free and just like, “Oh my gosh, I can do whatever I want, whenever I want.” The complete opposite happened.
Chris Badgett: Yeah.
Josh Hall: I felt completely overwhelmed because now this thing that I created is my full-time deal. And there’s so many different ways to go. And at that point I’d already shifted into doing more high-end type stuff. I wasn’t necessarily just doing DV tutorial. It was a lot easier when I was running my web design agency and I was just creating content for web designers. So it was like the polar opposite happened. And I think that’s probably what a lot of my web entrepreneurs students are facing is, they’re probably used to doing their services. And then once you break into something new, it can be daunting because of the unclear path it’s also new. What we’re doing is brand new. There’s no go to college to become a online entrepreneur. It’s the school or knocks boots on the ground, figure stuff out type of stuff. So I think that’s a big challenge and a pain point as well as the strategy aspect of things.
Chris Badgett: A hundred percent, and then on the other side of productizing, I often see that as a… The course creation, the pain point is imposter syndrome because people are like, “I can’t.” They just can’t see it. They don’t know what to do. It’s overwhelming, but it also feels like there’s all this self-doubt and imposter syndrome stuff. Content chaos, the actual making of the content feels like, I would just call it in general, a creator block. Whether you’re trying to make a podcast or make a lesson or make a YouTube video, that’s there. And then the podcasting, without having a podcast, you feel like… I know nobody’s a strong word. It’s like you just don’t have a platform. You’re invisible is what that feels like.
Josh Hall: Yeah.
Chris Badgett: So we’ve identified five red, hot pain points in your audience and also what the solution is. Each one of those solutions to get organic leads, to have a web strategy, to have a plan for a course, to be able to create the content and to have a viable podcast. Each one of those could hold some lead magnet that you send people to. Outside of that, each one of those pain points could have 10 related podcast episodes. So I’m giving you a year’s worth of content if you had a weekly podcast here. So if we look at web strategy, let’s say we had you created an opt in for a one pager…. Have ever seen like the lean canvas where you draw a business plan on one page?
Josh Hall: I’ve never heard of it that term but I’ve seen similar type of setups to where yeah, there’s some sort of opt in or some sort of following that. That is what I’m doing now is, my original goal this year was to build a bunch of different funnels for design courses, but then I decided to really cater to these web entrepreneurs with some new courses. So my goal is to continue to build out these web entrepreneur courses, addressing those pain points that you just mentioned. And then have and create more of these lead gens and funnels that are going to take people into free resources and webinars and then into those courses.
Chris Badgett: So if we look at the web strategy one, what’s an example? Just more micro problem within web strategy that your people have?
Josh Hall: One of my close colleagues who has a podcast, we actually… He’s in my web design club. And I specifically… This is when I realized most of what I do as far as coaching in the club with just chatting with people left and right is strategy.
Chris Badgett: Yeah.
Josh Hall: I’m helping people look at, “Okay.” And a lot of this, a couple of examples, one, a new member who’s super engaged, he started his own business, join a networking group and stuff like that. But he’s also an extremely talented developer.
Chris Badgett: Yeah.
Josh Hall: And just by being in the club, he started working with a lot of different people in the club. And I told him, you’re really dealing with two different customers. You’re a white label partner, you’re working with other web designers, helping them out with development and back end stuff, it’s super complex. And you’re customer facing with just helping the average business owner build a website. So that’s an example of a typical strategy type situation. Another one similarly is my colleague Keegan. I don’t know if you’ve ever connected with him.
Chris Badgett: [Keegan Lanier]?
Josh Hall: Yep.
Chris Badgett: Yeah.
Josh Hall: So he’s the host of DV addicts. Well, it was the DV addicts podcast, but what I’ve helped him create is, he’s actually completely rebranded and he’s doing a podcast that is based off his experience with getting ready to go full time, because he’s not a full-time web designer yet. He’s actually still working for a restaurant full time. He does web design on the side. He has a heart for teaching. He loves sharing what he knows, and he’s also working with clients. But I told him like, “Keegan, you’re only able to give 20% of your time to any of this stuff because you’re working full time.” And he’s ready to make that leap. So I helped him put a strategy in place to where he is going to share every step of his journey going full time and eventually quitting his job and getting his processes in place working with clients. And then he’s going to become a web entrepreneur where he builds his business up and then shares what he knows through online courses just like I’ve done. So a couple of examples of how we look at the strategy.
Chris Badgett: Those are podcasts episodes right there. The first one is how to pick your core customer. And there’s a whole conversation that can ensue around that. And you could even do it with the person you helped, or do a solo show, or you jam on it, or find an expert at positioning that you interview, do a case study with Keegan about how you helped him, how to transition from part-time to full-time web design with an eye for the future around productizing the journey along the way. The way I look at it, we find the five hot buttons and go to the one that you’re the most excited and passionate and prolific about, which sounds like is web strategy.
Josh Hall: Yeah.
Chris Badgett: And then you can build 10 podcast episodes around that that are very niche problem-focused.
Josh Hall: And that is what I’m doing. All those examples, I fully intended on making those episodes. Both those cases, I wanted to wait till they were a little farther along. And then in the case of the first one, Jacob, who is essentially a service customer-facing, and then also a white label partner, I wanted to bring him on eventually and say, “We talked about this initially, how you began to serve web design customer or web design colleagues as well as different customers.” So that’s definitely where I use my coaching in the club as content. My question here though is, do I keep that all under the Josh Hall Web Design show, or is it worthwhile having a very clear distinction between web entrepreneur and web designer? Or a business owner? Or do I continue to have these three different people, these three different customer types all under my brand @joshhall.co?
Chris Badgett: I think the biggest opportunity here is to figure out how to think about this as one person at different stages.
Josh Hall: Okay, because just like, I’m putting myself in the shoes of somebody wanting to learn DV and web design, and they really like the podcast. They want to learn about pricing and contracts. If they hear an episode about Keegan, who I am teaching strategy on going full time. Well, that would be very applicable, but the more strategy stuff, I wonder if they would just tune that out, or if that maybe would inspire them to say like, “Okay, maybe I need to think deeper about this. Maybe there’s more than just building websites.” I guess that’s something I could think about as well.
Chris Badgett: Some people like to dream too. They like to think about the future and where they might end up and they might aspire, be interested in learning about what Keegan’s do. So they’re looking into the future, because it’s the same person where they could end up. I mean, that’s part of the challenge too. With somebody who evolves and doesn’t go through one transformation, but goes through these three transformations is that they need to see the target. I remember when I was first moving online, I first just wanted to learn how to drive the internet and was fascinated with WordPress. And that’s cool, but I would still listen to podcast episodes with software entrepreneurs on Mixergy, even though they were way… They’ve exited and made all this money and whatever blah, blah, blah. But I would still learn valuable marketing lessons and product lessons and stuff like that.
Josh Hall: Yeah. That’s a good point. And I guess the other aspect of that is, if I were to do three different podcasts, I’m not going to be interested in the technical web design podcast. That just doesn’t interest me. I can hit on that now, but yeah, that reaffirms what I’m doing now with keeping it under this brand and just having these three different subsets of customers, because they really do blend together very interestingly.
Chris Badgett: There’s something called the bowling pin strategy too, which might give you permission to not have to always serve three at the same time, which is that maybe you went to market with the DV and the web designer, and you got this bowling pin and you knock that one down. And then you’re looking at like, “Okay, we need to run web agencies.” And you start to get into the strategy stuff and the entrepreneur and the business building stuff. Then you knock that one down and maybe now we’re going to another bowling pin, but it’s still in the same… We’re still focusing on the same person. And there may be a whole other row of pains you haven’t thought about yet.
Josh Hall: That’s true. That’s a good [inaudible].
Chris Badgett: But it’s okay to transition. I was talking to you before we started recording, I’m like, “I have similar challenges. I’m looking at all these different avatars that use my product.” And for a long time I focused on the WordPress professional. But some of my content is more for the expert industry, like somebody who wants to teach online but isn’t necessarily a WordPress person. But they’re all… Like when I look at my board here, there’s 12 different bowling pins out here. They all need my product. They may not use all the exact same parts of it, but they still need it. And it’s okay if I switch from some expert stuff over to somebody, a business owner, who’s trying to train their employees and they’re trying to think through that and they need an LMS for that.
Josh Hall: Yeah.
Chris Badgett: So it’s-
Josh Hall: Well, that’s great. Yeah, and this conversation has given me so much clarity about these three subsets because I am branching into this third customer base now. And I definitely think either way, I’ll probably tweak my podcast intro at some point, because I’m really just focusing on the first two people. But in the intro it says, “Learn how to build awesome websites and build a web design business that gives you freedom and lifestyle love.” Although I guess that could encapsulate web entrepreneurs well, but I may even simplify that just to have something a little more generic that I have room and it opens the door to talk about technical web design stuff, but then also business and also more entrepreneurial base stuff.
Chris Badgett: If you could fill in this blank, I think it would help you a lot which is, I help blank start, grow and productize something. I don’t know, I got to think about it more. But this statement can help with that. A lot of experts have three pillars. So maybe for you, it’s design, the business, what’s the… I’m looking for verbs.
Josh Hall: Yeah. Well, so far it’s designer, owner and entrepreneur. That’s really the three. So as of right now, my homepage says, “Learn how to build awesome websites and create a web design business that gives you freedom and a lifestyle you love.” Freedom and a lifestyle you love is very intentional. That’s brought a lot of people who are work from homers and people who your vibe attracts your tribe motto.
Chris Badgett: Yeah.
Josh Hall: So I’ve got the first two. Now I need to figure out how to link in web entrepreneurs. And what I might do is continue to build out my entrepreneur base courses and then really start to market that when I have more courses to funnel them to. Because as of right now, the only stuff I’m doing in the entrepreneur side of things is my brand new course on building a course. And then we can talk about that in my club. I don’t have anything on podcasting yet. I don’t have anything on video market. Well, a couple things on video marketing, but that’s a big one, nothing on email marketing. So I think that’s where I’ll probably want to build those courses out and then start to create more content around that. That’s my foreseeable future, but I love that idea Chris, of being really intentional about encompassing all three. So maybe it’s something like learning how to create web designs, a web design business. And I don’t know, trying to think of-
Chris Badgett: These simple exercises around a value proposition and an elevator pitch and all of this positioning statement are hard. They’re hard. And they’re-
Josh Hall: … Oh it took me forever to come up with that little… That what I just read to you is what I have in my podcast as well. That was-
Chris Badgett: … I can tell that was good, because it just rolls. And I’m like, “Yeah, I get that. I hear the resonance.” Sometimes people try to pack too much in too, which is a challenge.
Josh Hall: … It was so tricky. Let me read that again, just because I think it’s worthwhile thinking about a headline like this, because this is the answer of my podcasts. It’s what’s on my website. So learn how to build awesome websites and create a web design business. That encapsulates what you will learn when you go to my site. With those first two groups, those are the challenges and the results. And on top of that, the benefits of doing both of those are so that you can have freedom and a lifestyle you love, which is huge. It also… I’m not saying learn web design so you can be a work from home parent or something specific. It’s whatever you want. If you want to travel and you want to have the freedom to do that, or if you want to have the freedom to be financially free with your family, whatever it is, I try to really encapsulate all those folks. So I think that’s a good base now, as I build my entrepreneur stuff, I’m going to try to integrate that into this brand.
Chris Badgett: Yeah. I was just writing as you’re talking and just playing with it. I help people build awesome websites, agency businesses, and digital products so they can have their freedom and lifestyle that they love.
Josh Hall: That’s good. Yeah, that’s a good call, because to say a web entrepreneur, it doesn’t really roll off the tongue and that kind of thing. So yeah, digital products, because I guess that would be what the ultimate goal is. As a web entrepreneur, you want to sell a digital product. That is what you’re… As I think about a web entrepreneur, that’s a good point Chris, the ultimate goal. It’s easier for me to point out the first group and say, “I’m going to teach you how to build an awesome website. You’re going to learn how to build awesome websites you can sell.” The other aspect for the second level is people who want to have a web design business that they can build and grow. And then the third, I could teach them out of what being a web design entrepreneur, but what is all that….
PART 4 OF 5 ENDS [01:56:04]
Josh Hall: The third, I could teach them how to be a web design entrepreneur, but what is all that leading to? Digital products, right? I mean, that’s what a web entrepreneur would sell. Is a digital product, whether it’s information or consulting services or coaching, something like that.
Chris Badgett: Yeah. I re-read it again as, “I help online creators start build a service business and ultimately offer digital products so they can lifestyle and freedom.” So…
Josh Hall: That’s great.
Chris Badgett: Yeah. I’m kind of looking at it for those three verbs, I’m hung up actually on your business owner, because the website is you’re helping this avatar start. The digital products helps them scale, but what’s the verb in the middle?
Josh Hall: That is building that, that would be, I would say, probably build.
Chris Badgett: Or grow. Yeah.
Josh Hall: Probably grow because most of them are not going to be big agency owners that have 30 people working for them and they have an office downtown somewhere. It’s going to be freelance solopreneur businesses, primarily, maybe with a small team. That is really, start, grow-
Chris Badgett: Scale.
Josh Hall: Scale, I guess. Yeah.
Chris Badgett: Yeah.
Josh Hall: Yeah. Scale through the digital products, but scale can scare a lot of solopreneurs too. I’m afraid of the term scale.
Chris Badgett: What about product ties? Does that sound sexier?
Josh Hall: A little bit. I think that would probably sound better than scale because scale could also be entwined in with an owner it’s like, “Well, do I want to scale my agency?” A lot of people ask me about scaling their agency, which means they want to hire a team and grow, but this is scale on a whole different type of like entrepreneurial level. So I do think sell digital products or productizing, I think productizing is probably the better term there.
Chris Badgett: Well, let me tell you what from your buddy, James’ buddy, Taki Moore, I think he did this, something called the ACES Growth Engine. So ACES stands for attract, convert, expand, scale. So talky more helps people become million dollar coaches. That’s his pitch, that’s his name of his book. And by having those verbs, now we have our buckets of content and products, like attract. That’s the one you were talking about, about get leads, marketing, convert, the sales, expand is what we’re doing here. We’re expanding what this person can do and increase their revenue. And then scale is just taking it to another level. So I’m looking for that model. It’s a growth engine for a particular avatar.
Josh Hall: Yeah. I liked that idea for sure. Because it fits into all those buckets, for sure. I think what’s going to be difficult for me to differentiate here is I think a lot of people who are running their businesses are going to be akin to doing more and selling a digital product. A lot of people who are learning web design are going to be all about growing their own business, where the biggest difference with my audience will be the people who are starting to learn web design and then people who are becoming entrepreneurs. That’s what’s going to be, I think, tricky for me. I don’t want people who are full-blown entrepreneurs to get bogged down with technical content I produce, which they could always just not listen. They don’t need to listen to every podcast episode. And then I also don’t want people who are just wanting to learn web design, be overwhelmed with entrepreneurial stuff, if that’s not even in their frame of vision right now. So I think that would be the biggest trick.
Chris Badgett: Well, maybe you’ll have a hurdle here. Because I think your guy James, at one point I heard him on his podcast talk about, he stopped with beginners and he went to people who are scaling, who were making at least a hundred thousand dollars or something. So he drew a line in the sand and he’s like, “I start here.” And he just let go of the beginners and maybe they still get good free content on the podcast or whatever. But his premium offering is for people, he has that qualifier.
Josh Hall: Yeah.
Chris Badgett: The thing about that might be helpful for you, how do you want to qualify? Do you maybe want to move the line past? Because that’s okay, to change your starting line and do that.
Josh Hall: That’s a great point, Chris. I can’t believe it’s taken us over two hours to get to this point, but I think you’re right. I think potentially where I’m at right now is I do need to limit, or maybe just bump up that starting line, which I kind of already have with the way I formatted my podcast and my website right now, it’s learn how to build awesome websites. It’s not necessarily learn web design. I guess if I were to read that and most of my courses are attracting students who, they know the basics of web design, but they want to know more.
They want to know how to create sites that convert. They want to know the process. They want to know SEO, all that kind of stuff, which I have all my courses around. So maybe I revamp my beginner’s course and Divi starter course, or maybe I lose the term beginner in anything I’m doing to make it more. So if you’re like just getting into web design, you don’t know anything about anything, here are some and that’s where I can have a resources tab, here are some amazing colleagues of mine producing stuff that can help you once you’re ready to start really building websites and make this a business. This is the starting point. That’s something I could look into.
Chris Badgett: Here’s a scary idea for you. What if you cut all the beginner stuff and put that out for free, move that out into not from behind the paywall. And then that’s just generating pipeline for the business owners and the web entrepreneurs
Josh Hall: I’m open to it. I’m definitely open to it. What I would probably do in that case is just maybe have something different. Because all the people who have paid for my beginner’s course, I don’t necessarily want to make that free after they’ve paid for it. So maybe I would just create something different that maybe it could even be something that would be before that, even my Divi beginner’s course, it really is a crash course on Divi and WordPress. So maybe I’ll create a free course or a free something that is, here’s how to get started in web design, an overview of hosting, an overview of my preferred theme, Divi and what WordPress is. Here’s some basics on how to get started. Here’s the next step. And that’s where it could lead into, maybe that first beginner’s course that would set the tone, that’s something. I had planned on doing that anyway, but I think the idea of moving that needle a little further is really interesting for sure.
Chris Badgett: If you were to have a funnel filter in front of your paid stuff and you could only ask three questions.
Josh Hall: Sorry, hold on, Chris. Can you hold on? I was just thinking, this is great. What if I made my Divi course, if I changed the title to not a Divi beginner’s course, but what if I really took Divi to the next level even potentially brought in another expert, like you said, to partner up with that. What if I kept that as more of a Divi advanced course, but then I did a free Divi beginner’s course. That is just, here’s the basics of Divi. Here’s how you build a site, blah, blah, blah. Maybe it’s a couple hours, few hours. And then if you really want to take it to the next level of Divi, here’s the advanced stuff. Here’s where we can really. And that’s the pay, that’s the $97. And maybe that would really bring them to that next tier of designing websites and becoming a business owner.
Chris Badgett: Yeah. And if you’re concerned about your past customers, you can always give them-
Josh Hall: I would just-
Chris Badgett: Just give free access to the new thing.
Josh Hall: Yes, I would essentially make that course, right now I would rename it and I would probably do like a version 2.0 and make it a Divi advanced course. That way everyone who’s been through it, I’m like, “Hey surprise. I came out with this new course since you were enrolled in the beginner’s course, this is the revamped version of it. Here you go. It’s basically a new free course for you.” And then I may have a free one. Yeah. I like that. I like that idea. Yeah. I like that a lot. I’m going to make a note of that real quick. Sorry. I didn’t mean to cut you off. I just wanted to get that-
Chris Badgett: Oh, I’m the same way when I have a good idea. Sometimes I’m like, “Wait, I have too many good ideas. I need to stop-“
Josh Hall: Putting out in the world.
Chris Badgett: So my other question for you is just as we’re zeroing in on the avatar is, if we have a funnel filter, people that have too many leads, sometimes we’ll create a funnel filter, a check box or two that qualifies the lead and the sales process. So if the obvious, well it’s not necessarily the obvious one, but one that people ask all the time is, what’s your budget? Or how big is your team?
I mean, there’s a lot of ways that companies do this to us all the time and we’re not even aware of what they’re doing, but for your perfect fit web entrepreneur customer, if you could ask three things, what would they be? A couple ideas that kind of mind are, and remember we’re disqualifying too, how much experience do you have with WordPress? Zero, one to two, a two plus or whatever. And maybe the zeros are not a good fit. I don’t know. Maybe this goes back. Yeah.
Josh Hall: And I think that’s where having an initial filter on my site right under my title and what this is all about, start here, like what James Schramko has on Super Fast Business. There’s four paths you can go down. So one would be the three. Where are you? How can I help you? Do you want to learn web design, build your web design business or take your online business to a whole nother level? Kind of thing.
Chris Badgett: That’s great.
Josh Hall: So I think that’s where I would tweak that. And then I would probably have a set of challenges or pain points for each one of those. So maybe the entrepreneur would be like, “Are you sick of doing client work, service work?Do you want to productize? Do you want to build something you can sell over and over? Or do you want to build a new audience?” That’s going back to those five things you had earlier that addresses those. So I think that’s a good idea of what to strive for with that.
Chris Badgett: I like it.
Josh Hall: And then all the content, I’ll just continue to, I think right now to put a cap on this, my plan is to first off, build out my entrepreneur suite of courses, continuing to do my podcast, that’s really addressing all three. But maybe I’ll just start sprinkling in some more entrepreneurial stuff. My last podcast episode was about a course landing page that converts. So it’s a little bit different than an average web design page.
So I think I’ll start adding some more entrepreneurial type content and then continue to really service the two and then really build out that funnel. And then I’ll just, as I get more courses out, I’ll have so many options to build content around all of those three. And I really got a good roadmap for the next, probably couple of years, because I would foresee building out the web entrepreneur stuff and that should set me up to have a lot of courses to sell and include and continue to build up my membership. That’s a pretty good vision. This has really helped me put a vision and some tactile stuff to all of this.
Chris Badgett: Can you put a face on each one? For example, you mentioned Keegan as an aspiring web entrepreneur and he’s already moving, but if you can clearly see those-
Josh Hall: I’ve got members of my club, most of all of them, again are the owner. I’ve got a lot of examples of people being web designers, becoming business owners. Now there’s a difference between there too. There’s a lot of my members who maybe I would consider the first tier, which are designers, who just want to do their own thing. They don’t want to grow an agency. They just want to build websites and have sustainable income. And then there’s the people who are like that, but they’re scaling. They want to build a team. They want to free themselves up to work on the business. And that’s what leads them generally to the entrepreneur. So yeah, I definitely have people in all three of those. Because if you’re if you’re going to learn web design, this is a good differentiation too.
If you’re going to learn web design from me, you’re not going to learn web design to go work for an agency. You’re going to learn web design to become a freelancer for yourself. You’re going to work for yourself. So that first bucket, that definitely capsulates that too, which then we get into separating the middle tier out because now I’ve got solopreneurs versus business owners. But I think either way, if I phrase it as, you want to build websites and start your… And maybe my three tiers are this, Chris, maybe you want to start your web design business, maybe you want to grow your web design business and then maybe you want to boom entrepreneur…
Chris Badgett: Productize.
Josh Hall: Productize. Yeah, yeah.
Chris Badgett: Yeah. And I totally get what you’re saying. I could see it on the board behind me, this expert you’re talking about, the web entrepreneur. I have the course creator, the coach and the course marketplace. So even once I pick one, boom, now there’s three more segments under that. And that’s okay. It might be worth doing, like you said, “Oh, well, there’s these different types of agency people.” There might be a freelancer. Well, I mean, the way you divide it up is a little different. But yeah, that’s why I was asking earlier about, are we just doing courses? Or are we doing more broadly digital products? Because if we do more broadly digital products, which is fine, there’s going to be some sub avatars in there. There’s going to be the outgoing coach, there’s going to be the introverted passive income guy. And then there’s-
Josh Hall: I think that’s where I will probably discover what I’m attracting over the year with the entrepreneur. I don’t know too much about affiliate income right now, I have a little bit, I’ve got some affiliate sales and stuff, but that’s not an area that I would feel comfortable with teaching on anytime soon, email marketing similarly, I would feel probably enough at the end of 2021 to feel comfortable doing an email marketing course, but I’m still learning so much right now. I don’t feel in my heart that, I mean I could do like a beginners course, maybe a crash course on email marketing, but if I want to do a course, I want to do a good course. So that’s why I got to this point where I’m like, “I feel great about my course creation process and I feel really good about sharing what I’ve learned.” Because I took core sales to six figures in one year. I feel good about sharing that,
Now, affiliate income, a little bit different, email marketing. So I think I’ll see, to answer the question, to see what type of people I’m attracting. I think it’s going to be a lot of selling knowledge. I think that’ll be a big one. Affiliate income for sure, could be in there. But I think selling knowledge. I’m about to start Pat Flynn’s webinar course. That’s actually something I might pull from and I could potentially teach on hosting a workshop or a webinar and that kind of thing. So yeah, I’m excited. That’s where I think I could very well see that end of the business being built out over the next couple years, because I know how long this stuff takes and it’ll probably take that long for that to really be super clear.
Chris Badgett: What’s your course, you said you’ve got your course creation process down. What does it take you from end to end time-wise to do it?
Josh Hall: It all depends on the length of the course. How many course videos-
Chris Badgett: And are you trying to transition away from any tutorial to all talking head or not necessarily?
Josh Hall: I do all three. So I do talking head just myself. I do talking head with graphics, the main points I cover will start right when I’m talking about. I’ll do more tutorial based. So this last course I created, which is my entire course creation process. Now I do use LearnDash, we talked about before we went live, had I discovered Lifter before LearnDash, I probably would be with that, but I already built my customer base on LearnDash. It’s what I feel comfortable with using. So this course is a LearnDash course, but it’s more than just a technical LearnDash. That’s only one module. There’s three main modules. The first module is creating the content and creating the actual course. Second is building it in LearnDash. So there’s some technical stuff.
I don’t have any talking head in that module. It’s all just screen recording. And then the third is marketing, building the sales page, launching, selling consistently. So it encapsulates my business right now.
Chris Badgett: How long did that take?
Josh Hall: That took, it was interesting because I started the process and then I stopped because I launched my student center, which was a lot of work. So there was a couple of weeks where I got the outline in place and then I’d stop and then came back to it. It was probably fair to say it was a good month of doing that along with running my business here with content creation and everything else, the course is seven hours total, three modules, 24 lessons total. It generally takes me anywhere between 40 to 50 hours on a smaller course to maybe 50 to even a hundred hours on a bigger course. This is a mid range course. My business course was over 30 lessons, that was a big one. That took a long time. That’s like a mastery style course. So that was a whole different ball game. So yeah, I would say a mid range course takes me about a month to a month and a half, depending on how often I’m working on it throughout my weeks and days.
Chris Badgett: That’s cool. Do you have a YouTube? I was just thinking of the idea, you said it, I forget the words you said, something about attracting the vibe of the people or whatever.
Josh Hall: Vibe attracts your tribe.
Chris Badgett: Yeah. That’s really cool. I mean, it’s one thing to run a podcast or do a tutorial, but do you have… Have you ever thought about doing like a documentary style? That’s not just talking head. Yeah.
Josh Hall: I did. It’s my behind the scenes creating a course.
Chris Badgett: Oh nice.
Josh Hall: Which I actually did two years ago. So that was interestingly enough, one of the first opportunities where I started getting people who are interested in doing courses. So again, it goes back to me just keeping in touch with my following and seeing what they’re interested in. So yeah, I did a documentary. Yeah. I filmed it while I built my Divi beginners course. It was my 10 day journey. I built that course in 10 days. So that one wasn’t too long, but I documented the whole thing and spiced it up to an hour and a half documentary. So that’s out there, you can just search Josh Hall Behind The Scenes Making A Course. And that was really cool. And I actually mentioned that in the new course I just launched.
I said, “If you want to see what it looks like when I create a course with balancing family and everything, that’s how I did it.” So now I think I’m getting into more and more of that type of content. Because again, I feel a little out of place when we talk about Divi specific stuff, because I’m not focused on that as much now. I’m hiring people to do a lot of that stuff now.
So I want to, I want to keep my authority there going for a little while longer, but I’m definitely much more, I think that’s going to become more of the entry point for people, particularly because a lot of my students, like I said, use other themes. So I don’t want to limit people. If somebody uses Elementor, I don’t want them to think my content isn’t going to apply to them. So the focus will be on the latter two, for sure. Just servicing the first group of people, learning web design enough and then really diving into the latters because there’s all sorts of resources for people to learn web design. There is less for running an agency at my level, where we’re at.
Chris Badgett: It’s just coming to me. So I’m just sharing it, in terms of a lead magnet or some kind of challenge funnel marketing piece to help with the question of, which product should I make out of my… Basically helping them figure out like the angle from their agency life, that if you had like a lead magnet or a free course or a video about that, help them go from… They have the-
Josh Hall: Owner to entrepreneur or?
Chris Badgett: Yeah. Because there’s a lot of overwhelm around. Yeah, that sounds cool. But I have no idea. I can’t read the label from inside the bottle and I have all these things and I use all these tools and I’m good, which products should I make as a web design business owner? There’s something there. And then they’re basically a perfect fit for the next phases of you.
Josh Hall: That’s true. Yeah. Because I can teach how to build a chorus, how to do a podcast, how to do video marketing. But those are all the tools to do something. The other two are very clear, learn how to build websites, learn how to grow your own web design business. The third one is a little more open-ended and I guess maybe it is the ultimate goal. Like we said a little bit ago, is selling a digital product, whatever that is, whether it’s coaching consulting, info-product, affiliate income, whatever that could be potentially.
Chris Badgett: Yeah. Like-
Josh Hall: An online business, maybe create your own online business. I don’t know. Maybe it’s something like that.
Chris Badgett: And marketing, the big idea where the domino falls and the sale becomes easy. I think when the web design business owner realizes not only that they want to make a digital product, but which one they should make, they’re really ready to move forward and-
Josh Hall: And that’s where keeping an eye on my students who are in that fit right now is going to be super beneficial. That’s why I’m so glad I had my web design club. Because I’m getting a first row seat at what’s working. I can see what Keegan does. I can see what Jacob does. I’ve got a couple other students who are doing online courses and adding other stuff to their businesses. I can see what they do. And that can all be the framework for helping people with this third entrepreneurial tier.
Chris Badgett: Yeah. That’s awesome. Well, I’m super-
Josh Hall: Maybe our next call we’ll have that all solidified.
Chris Badgett: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Well, it’s really good to catch up and I’m really excited to see where you’re going and I think it’s good and I would just encourage you to spend more time just around that positioning statement and just get those fundamentals dialed because everything’s easy when you have the fundamentals. And another Australian dude, have you ever heard of Simon Bowen? He teaches these models, how to draw visually to create frameworks that are super helpful for people who are pitching anything or creating a strategy. They’re super awesome. But like Kiyosaki’s four quadrants thing. These are models and once you have the model and the value prop, a positioning statement, it’s really cool, he has a particularly powerful one called the Genius Model. And if you were to create your genius model, that would just give you everything you need to know about the avatar and what content you need to make and build a framework. So check that out. He’s amazing.
Josh Hall: Cool man. Yeah. Yeah. I’m excited. This has been great. It’s venture into new territory, but it’s still in the realm of my people. So I’m really excited about this man, Chris. Thanks so much. This was a blast kind of doing an extended talk to really dive into this, this isn’t something we could have got through in an hour or so.
It was nice to be able to do this. I appreciate your time, man. And hopefully this has been beneficial to anyone who listens because it’s a long coaching style call, but I think this just shows the amount of strategy that goes into something like this, that is purely uncharted and is very tailored to whatever, because somebody could take what I’m doing and apply it to a different industry. So yeah, hopefully this was beneficial. I definitely have some more clarity. I was a little daunted going into this to figure out what to do, but now I honestly can say in full sincerity, talking with you, I feel more clear than ever and have a really good path to follow to where I know what I’m going to work towards here, which is really cool.
Chris Badgett: Cool. Awesome. Well, I’m super excited for you. I can’t wait to see what comes next and, and thank you for coming because it’s an inspiration, like I was saying, you embody the qualities of not being perfectionist, continuous improvement. These are some of the psychographic qualities of people that I see in my audience that work out well, is you got to have that and you just embody it and you’re passionate and you really care about your core customer. So those three things are present, which means you’re going to do great. And that helps you overcome the roadblocks. So I can’t wait to see the next evolution.
Josh Hall: That’s awesome, Chris. I appreciate it, man. This has been a blast. I really, really appreciate your input. So here’s to the next step and then I can’t wait for the next round, when we get to talk about this more detail, see what’s worked.
Chris Badgett: Awesome. Well thank you for breaking the record on the podcast length.
And that’s a wrap for this episode of LMScast. Did you enjoy that episode? Tell your friends, and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the next episode. And I’ve got a gift for you over at LifterLMS.com/gift. Go to lifterlms.com/gift. Keep learning, keep taking action, and I’ll see you in the next episode.
PART 5 OF 5 ENDS [02:23:32]