👋 I'm Joel. I’m an expert virtual assistant collaborating on egghead.io.
My favorite hobby is making other people money online.
I'll be here on 15:00 Pacific Time on Monday 21s of October to answer your questions, ask me anything!
How does your funnel work?
Let’s say I Google something and land on your website. How do you transform me, a random visitor into a paid customer? Do you ask for my email, nurture me with free stuff and after a while make me an offer?
We're not very good at this, in general. Folks can watch free videos and it will prompt them to enter an email address after 5 or so completed lessons. This has traditionally been our primary signup mechanism.
Recently I turned off analytics so it's hard for me to even reconcile what the funnel looks like at the moment. This may or may not be a good idea so don't take it as advice hah
Is there a blog post or something about why you turned off analytics? Would love to get more info behind that decision.
No, not yet. For the most part, I haven't missed it and have saved $20k on Mixpanel bills this year. :)
How long was it between the first egghead customer and when you were making enough to work on egghead full time?
What did you do to bring in $$ while it wasn't making enough to pay you and John full time salaries?
I spent roughly 4 months between egghead launching and quitting my job. Technically the work was through egghead, but John and I both taught workshops as supplemental income. Actually made more doing that than I do now, but I don't travel anymore so it's a nice trade-off :)
Joel! What are your rates for being a VA?
It's percentage-based! I'm being a little cheeky when I refer to myself as a VA, but it's what I do most of the time. Filling in gaps, making connections, answering questions, and helping others get their work done.
Gotcha! Thanks for clarifying.
How do you get the teachers to come to your site as opposed to just doing it on their own?
It's a shit load of work to make really good instructional material. Some people are really into managing all aspects of the process themselves. We provide a skilled production team with combined decades of experience and expertise to assist without the hassle of hiring and managing a team.
Hi Joel! Loved your episode on the IH podcast. Which channel has been most successful for you in acquiring new users - and has that changed as you scaled?
I actually don't know, I turned off analytics this year and wasn't paying much attention before that. Search is a big one, for sure. We are well optimized for it.
How has the business model and focus of Egghead changed over the years?
it's generally been an iteration on the same idea, but we've refined it as we went. Originally it was "a few individual videos a week from John Lindquist" on AngularJS. We added other contributors, started packaging "courses", and this year evolved that into the idea of workshops.
For a bit there in the middle I approached the thing as a software project and this year stopped that to focus on how we can support creating better more effective learning materials that get learners to the outcomes they expect.
Observationally I notice that there is very little true and proper instructional design being applied anywhere with online education. This is understandable because 1. we all feel like we know how to teach simply by the fact that we have collectively spent so much time inside of classrooms being taught 2. it's a lot of energy and effort to learn and apply instructional design.
Up until this year, we've asked our subject matter experts (SMEs) to also be instructional designers. They've done their best, but now we can remove some of that burden and hassle and just do it for them.
So far it is going very well and I'm excited about it.
We are using Understanding by Design as our primary brass tacks instructional design north star.
Hi Joel, love your hobby! 😉
I am doing an open/close cart for a niche online course (sensitivityreviews.com)
Cart opened today.
I am looking for additional ways to reach my audience (authors, writers, avid readers).
Here is what I have done so far:
Is there any other suggestions you have for me in order to reach a larger audience during my open cart? Am I missing something big (besides paid ads?)
Thanks so much.
How do you recruit new instructors?
Can we make money promoting Egghead?
Nope, I don't eff with affiliate programs because they are sleazy and lead to bad behavior. That said, click here to get your ConvertKit account started today!
Okay, well, maybe money was the wrong image. How about extending our membership for referrals?
this is a really great idea @joelhooks
What made you focus on being a virtual assistant?
it's not something that I really focus on, it's just how I find myself being the most useful for my clients.
Gotcha, thanks! What exactly does being a virtual assistant entail?
have you struggled w/ the idea of white-labeling for instructors vs building the egghead brand? what are some of the considerations?
Not really. We only enter into true and proper partnerships so building and boosting our instructor client's overall brand reflects what we do for that client audience (instructors) and the learners get a very high quality product. It "just works" for the most part.
I'm considering hiring a VA for customer support and admin work. Do you have any tips?
I recommend it. I always send folks to Horkey Handbook to find a VA. It can be a process, and it might not work out. Scope the initial engagement and agree to a trial period. If it doesn't work out then try again.
It takes time. You need to develop standard operating procedures and documentation. They can't read your mind so upfront it feels like MORE work sometimes.
Delegating is a skill that you develop over time.
Is it just me or does the big logo block thing look a bit like a robotic turtle?
I don't know what you are talking about, but I want to because it sounds rad.
That's a Pixar hit waiting to happen!
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I just post my contact info in plaintext:
And then let google sort it out.
seems fine 🤷♂️