Using a Waitlist for an Evergreen Course
JB Spilker is a professional bass fishing guide out of Utah. He has taken what he loves and helped hundreds of people through his online course. His mission is to develop people into confident bass anglers who catch fish all the time, every time.
In today’s interview, I interview him about how he uses Deadline Funnel to sell his online course which includes overdelivering on valuable content via email and setting up a waitlist, even though his course is evergreen.
Watch the video of my interview with JB or read the transcript below!
LinksKrakenBass.com Deadline Funnel
Jack Born: Hey everyone, this is Jack Born. I’m the founder of Deadline Funnel, and I’m here with a Deadline Funnel client. This is JB. JB, you and I share the same initials. My daughters call me JB, either JB or Big Daddy. That’s the other thing that they call me. So great to have you here.
JB Spilker: Ah, thanks, man. Yeah, I’ve been called JB since I was knee high to a grasshopper. My mom and dad called me that as soon as I was born. It stands for Justin Brian, but yeah, I’ve been called JB my whole life. And people get it confused, like when your initial, right? They flip it or- and so I always say, “My name is JB, like Justin Bieber,” and it’s like my signature laugh line. To try to break the ice.
Jack Born: So JB, tell us about your business. I’m looking at your website right now, but for the people who don’t know what your business is, tell everyone what you do and how you help them.
JB Spilker: Yeah, so what I do is I love bass fishing. I just love it so much, and several years ago when my first son was born, I kinda got away from it. And then my son was born and I went out fishing with my dad. I’m like, “I wanna do this all the time!” And I went online and couldn’t find very many good resources, and so I created my own. I started blogging like eight, nine years ago. And the whole time I had in my mind, “I really need to make a course to help people.” And finally, a couple years ago, I built my course to help people become bass fishermen. You know, it’s different, and it’s unique. And one thing I realized early on is there’s a lot of hype, and a lot of marketing. You know, “this bait’s the best! This bait’s the best!” And so I struggled personally for a lot of years, and I created an online course that’s something I wish I would’ve had when I started. And that’s kinda the fundamental basics. That’s my big ticket item for my business. I really help people with their bass fishing to be able to become more successful and catch more fish. And I have a lot of- a few different products to help with that, but my main offering is for sure my online course. And that’s the thing that people seem to find the most valuable.
Jack Born: So your website is krakenbass.com, and I’ll make sure that there’s a link to that. But one of the things that I really loved about your website is that the video that’s on there, I felt one of the things that you did so, so well, that really resonated with me was- you have your son in the background and then it became, like the marketer in me, like I’m looking at like, “okay, what’s the hook? What’s the angle?” And I love how you make it about the experience. And the reason why that really resonated with me is because I grew up in Miami, Florida, and although we didn’t fish for bass, we would fish for mahi and other types of things like that. And so my dad was just bananas about going fishing, and he would take us out on our 19 1/2 foot Aqua sport. And some day- like whether the weather was fun riding on the boat, or whether my sister and I were at the ballast in the front of the boat and our knees were getting all bleedy, bloody from getting banged around on the front of the boat, like my dad wanted to go out and fish. And sometimes it would be a horrible experience where we came back with nothing. it was just a day getting baked in the sun, you know, or we came back with smiles on our faces and tons of fish. And so I think your video really does a good job of kind of sending the message that this is about having fun and it’s the experience with family. And you and your son are out there, and your son’s just alive with energy about all the bass that he’s caught. And so I thought you did a really good job with that portion of the video, so congrats on that.
JB Spilker: Oh, thanks, man. Yeah, it really is about the experience, really. And nobody wants to waste their vacation days and not catch any fish, you know. So it’s really, it’s not that hard, but there’s just so much stuff out there that people get confused and don’t know what to do. And so it’s, yeah, it’s been really cool to see the testimonials come back, even, you know? And people catching bass that they’d never caught before, and people entering professional bass fishing tournaments, and doing well, just, you know; they’ve even gone further than me down that road. So it’s, yeah, it is about the experience and that’s what’s fun is when you can help people have better experiences, it just fuels you and helps you, you know, wanna help more people. It’s cool.
Jack Born: Yeah. I’ve gotten a lot of energy lately from doing interviews like this and talking with clients and hearing about all the different businesses that they’re in. So I would recommend for anyone who’s been in business for any length of time: interview your clients, not just from the standpoint that it’s great marketing materials. It’s great spiritual fuel to help recharge your batteries and remind you like, why you do this. So yeah, I can relate to that. I saw the page where you’ve got some of your testimonials, and they’re pretty, pretty impressive. So talk to me, I know that a bunch of people who, we have a whole bunch of different people who are trying to build a business like yours, and everyone has their own version of a funnel. You’ve got a unique version of how you bring people into your world that I wanted to get a little bit deeper into the weeds with you on how you set that up. And it’s not right for everyone, but I just wanted to peek behind the curtain and see the model that you’re using. So can you share what you do? Like what’s the call to action in the video, and how does it work from there?
JB Spilker: Yeah, so my main goal is to get people to see my course and, you know, recognize it for what it can do for them. And unfortunately, I feel like with fishing, like, there’s a lot of, “oh, there’s no way that’ll work” or no- So I actually created a funnel that’s probably a lot lengthier than a lot of other peoples’ to try to help them see more of my stuff and recognize me as an authority; that I actually know what I’m doing.
I offer- one of my popups on my website, my free offer, is a lure color selection chart. It helps them know what lure colors to pick ’cause there’s so many different colors out there. It’s a great resource. And then once they opt-in for that, I actually just, I don’t even say, “hey, sign up for the course.” I actually kind of just do a soft close at the end of a whole chain of about a month’s worth of emails. And I give them all of my best content on my blog for a month, and at the bottom of every one of those emails, I just say, “hey, if you’re struggling and you want quicker results, you can go join my wait list to join my course.” And then once they join the wait list, I send them a series of three free training videos kind of explaining why they’re struggling and what’s preventing them from catching fish. And then I open up the cart. I do a seven day window, and I do one or two emails every day along with text messaging, too. I actually incorporate some text message on my- When they sign up for the wait list, they have to provide a text message phone number, and I find that that really helps a lot. When people are willing to put in their phone number, those people are a lot more likely to purchase my course. So it helps me kinda see better who’s the right audience and who’s buying. But most of the time, you know, if they put in their phone number, they’re purchasing my course ’cause they feel it and need it. So that’s kinda how my funnel works. And what I love about Deadline Funnel is, I honestly really struggled with the traditional course launch model of like, “here’s my course!”, and then taking it, you know, closing it, you know? And I really wanted to have something that was genuine and authentic but help them see that value. And that’s kinda what led me to Deadline Funnel. I think that was the first thing that grabbed my attention.
I launched my course originally, and it was a complete flop. I think I sold like two or three, and I put so much time and energy into it. It just made me so frustrated. And I came across a podcast, The Online Course Guy. “Piano In 21 Days” is his course, and I heard him mention Deadline Funnel and I’m like, “oh, I’m over there.” And he mentioned it- I hopped in later in his episodes, and he mentioned it earlier, and I went to the episode where you interviewed with him. And I was like, “oh, I’ve got to have this Deadline Funnel so I can create a genuine, real deadline to get more people to purchase the course.” And it made a big difference because now I can have it evergreen, going all the time, but I only give them a week, you know? “Hey, this is your one chance to get in,” and it really creates a lot of value. And then when I update it, I’ll send, you know, I’ll give people another opportunity, you know, ’cause I really believe in the results. And yeah, so that’s kind of the nuts and bolts of how my funnel works is, you know, my hook is to get them on that wait list for the course, and I try to warm them up a little bit before they get there so they recognize me as an authority. And then I use Deadline Funnel to create a real hard deadline to get them to purchase. And it’s funny, even though you’d think a fishing course offering a free money back guarantee would be taboo, right? But it’s funny how like that deadline and that guarantee, like all those things play into like get more purple people to purchase the course. So that’s kind of my story, how I ended up finding it. And it was like the first thing I integrated in my course was Deadline Funnel. So I don’t, and I know it’s a big part of why I’m able to convert people into purchasing. It’s been really neat, so.
Jack Born: Awesome. Well, thank you very much for sharing that. And I’m really, really honored to talk with you, like all the other Deadline Funnel clients and to hear how it’s helped your business. I wanna hear a little bit more about how you’re using text messaging because I don’t see very many of our clients using text messaging. So let’s go back to the beginning on the opt-in. I didn’t test this out myself. I saw that you’re asking for the phone number. Is that a required field or an optional field?
JB Spilker: It’s actually required, like I make it required. So that guarantees that I get the phone number, but sometimes people will put in a fake one, you know, but not very often.
Jack Born: So on the back end, what platform are you using to send out messages, and then the follow-up is gonna be, what sort of messages are you sending via text?
JB Spilker: You know, I am really careful not to abuse text message. I want it to sound like it’s super conversational. And on my form, I think I put kind of behind, it says text, like for texts, so they know that I’m gonna text them and I’m not going to call them, you know what I mean? I try to make it sound like it’s less invasive. And so what I do is I really only send them, I send them three text messages. One I say, “Hey, my course is gonna be available at this time.” Go check your emails. I got some free training videos I don’t want you to miss before course launch.” And then when the course is available for them to purchase, I’ll send them a text message that day. “Hey, just wanna remind you, course is available now. Go get it.” And then I send them a text message on the last day and just say, “Hey, last day to get the course. You know, don’t want you to miss out on this opportunity to have better experiences.” So that- I really only just send three soft text messages, but it’s amazing how many people like they look at those, and they see those compared to my emails, you know? Like when you’re doing a course launch and you only have a short window of emails, people will, and they’re on vacation for a week or something like that, they’re not gonna see all those a lot of times, you know? So I found that the text message has been really awesome. I use the platform- it’s called HighLevel, GoHighLevel. It’s a great platform. They have a lot of great forms and email campaigns and landing pages. And I’ve been really happy with what I’ve gotten out of HighLevel, and it integrates easily with Deadline Funnel. You can do the web hook to place it wherever you want in your campaign and tracks things really well. So yeah, that’s how I’m doing text message.
Jack Born: Awesome. Yeah, that’s great. I know there’s a lot of platforms that people could use, but I did an interview with the HighLevel folks. And that’ll be, I think they’ll be releasing that in the next few weeks or months. So yeah, we do integrate very nicely with them, but if someone’s not using HighLevel, there’s other platforms that you can use, but that’s great, thank you. Thank you for sharing that, but I’ve heard that as well. Back years ago, I worked with a guy named Perry Marshall, and one of the things that we found was that getting people to attend a webinar was oftentimes the challenging thing, and you could boost webinar show up rates significantly by sending out a text message reminder because it really helps cut through the clutter, you know, and get someone’s attention right when you need it, as long as, like you said, you don’t abuse it. But for those critical key moments, like for example, the last day, I think that’s a great way to make sure that people know that it is the deadline. Because one of the things that I tell people all the time, this is a big tip that people have heard me say over and over again is to send at least three emails on the last day of the deadline, but I would- now I’m gonna start adding to that, “and by the way, if you wanna go to the next level, add in text messaging. I would send a text message on the last day.” and that’s really cool.
JB Spilker: Yeah, I took that tip from you, and I definitely have three emails going on the final day, and I’ve added the text message, too. And it does, it makes a big difference. There’s always those last minute people that go in and grab it there at the end. It’s always my best day of sales ’cause it’s the last day. I also feel like one thing that’s, I feel like really unique with my funnel is when the last day is, like looking at your traffic to know when people are on your website the most. And for me, for bass fishing, for whatever reason, Sunday, people are on my site on Sunday more than any other day or time. And so that’s when I have my deadline day is Sunday. And that’s when I send out those texts, and I think that’s had a big impact, too, compared to just like, you know, whenever the time is. I always try to be super strategic on when that offering occurs.
Jack Born: So your enrollment window always opens on the same day of the week and always ends on a Sunday?
JB Spilker: Yeah.
Jack Born: So the, for anyone listening, one of the key things to understand is that JB didn’t choose Sunday because he read it on someone’s blog post or heard it on an interview. He analyzed for his site and his audience what he thought was the best day to end it. So for other people, it’s not gonna be Sunday. So just use your own, like check Google analytics, or start tracking and start figuring out, or run some experiments and figure out for yourself. But don’t assume that just because Sunday is the best day for JB, that’s gonna be the best day for you. But that’s really, really smart knowing, you know, knowing your audience well enough to know which day of the week is the best day to end the promotion. That’s great.
JB Spilker: Yeah, and that’s one of- that was actually the selling point for me for Deadline Funnel, like “when” is a really big deal. I read several books about that with marketing, and I love that hybrid campaign that you guys offer that allows for a specific day of the week to close. It is really hard to find that in other automations and stuff. And that was like, “oh, that’s why I use Deadline Funnel is because I can pick when, what time, what day this actually closes.” I found that super, super helpful.
Jack Born: Awesome. That’s that’s a really, really cool tip. So I know that, let’s end this on an inspirational note. I know that there are other course creators who, just like you shared and thank you for sharing this part of your story. You know, it’s not always snow cones and rainbows. Sometimes you put in a lot of effort and then things, things don’t always go the way that we want. And here you are, you persisted and you saw it through to where you are now. So do you have any words of wisdom based on your journey to this point so far?
JB Spilker: Yeah, you know, I’ve been blogging for, I think eight years is a long time, right? I think a lot of people would have given up by now, and I’ll be honest with everybody here, like I’m not happy with where my sales are at currently. They’re dramatically better than what they used to be. And I still have a long way to go, but I really believe in what I have and I really believe it can make a difference for a lot of people. And part of that is making sure you have the right tools in place to be able to make that happen. You know, there’s more than tools, though. I really learned like how you package things makes a difference. I repackaged- people would hire me to take them bass fishing, and that’s part of my, one of my offerings. And they would apologize to me about not taking my course. “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t take your course.” And what I realized, and I would take these people fishing and literally, all the things in my course, they were screwing up out on the water. Like this guy would catch one or two fish, and I changed his fishing line and we caught 35 that day. Like it was insane! And it was just really aggravating to me how people just didn’t understand my offering and what it could do for them. And I totally repackaged everything. And I think it’s just really important that you never give up. And I repackaged it all, and just launched it to the same list with better marketing, with some better training. And I sold 40 courses in a week, which was incredible for me. Whereas before when I launched, I sold like two or three, so there’s a lot to it besides just the tools. And you gotta have the right tools, but look at the whole big picture and think about things from a bigger level because it’s so funny how we, I don’t know, its, I know that I have further to go. I’m not where I wanna be, but I really believe in my offering. And I know that it’s validated and helping people. And I say, just, don’t give up, you know? Use the tools that you have that you know are good and keep repackaging and retesting stuff and improving things. It’s just a bunch of tweaks, you know? We get sold so many overnight success stories. You’re not an overnight success story, but you’re like massively successful. And I think that’s what’s frustrating is we tend to focus so much on like that overnight- I don’t wanna sound like an overnight success story ’cause I’m not, but I know I’m progressing and I know I’m on the right track, and I know I have the right tools to get there.
Jack Born: Yeah. I think your message is spot on because no, I’m not an overnight success, but it’s, you know, I think if you build your business the right way, yeah. Sometimes it takes longer, but you’re not building your house on a pile of sand that’s gonna suddenly your house is gonna fall over. Like it’s gonna be the type of business that’s gonna be built to last. And I think by building it that way, you know, you’re going to be able to look back at the journey that you’ve taken and see where you’re at and you’ve come a long way, and know that it’s built on fundamentals, and it’s built solid.
JB Spilker: Yeah. It’s super helpful. And without Deadline Funnel, like I know that’s what adds to my consistency of sales every week, month in, and I’m trying to always improve it. But I know if I didn’t have those, that funnel with that deadline to where I can look at it week after week and see how many people I’m putting through and seeing how many are converting- You know, without those metrics, you know, those are critical to be able to improve and grow your business to where you wanna go.
Jack Born: Perfect. So where- in case someone wants to hire you to take them out on a fishing trip, where are you located? This is probably on your website.
JB Spilker: I’m in a southern Utah. It’s called St. George, Utah. My hair is, it’s desert red rocks. My hair’s red, like the rocks down here, born and raised down here. So that’s where I’m at. If you ever wanna come visit me, we’d love to go out.
Jack Born: Well, once I get back state side, I’ll try to take a trip out to Utah. Maybe we can go fishing. I’ll make sure to read your, go through your course, so I don’t make stupid mistakes while I’m on the boat.
JB Spilker: It’s awesome out here. We got so many beautiful national parks so close, and low density people. It’s just awesome. I love it. Good weather. I actually lived in Australia, too, for a few years over in Perth.
Jack Born: Oh, nice, I haven’t been there yet. I haven’t been to Perth yet.
JB Spilker: Yeah. It’s pretty similar climate to Perth where I live.
Jack Born: So if people are interested in learning about bass fishing, they can go to krakenbass.com. You can get JB’s course. If you wanna go through his funnel and see all the great content that he sends out, sign up. So JB, thank you so much for being here. I really appreciate it.
JB Spilker: Yeah, you bet, Jack. It was a pleasure, privilege. It’s awesome!
Jack Born: See you.
JB Spilker: Bye.