Episode 312: Show Notes
Today we are taking you through everything that we have messed up on! Products, launches, events, campaigns, everything! We have made a checklist of all the things we kind of wished we had done differently over the last few years, but at the same time we do need to say for the most part we think the mistakes were necessary and don’t believe in wanting to travel back in time to fix past problems. We all make choices as best we can at the time, so hypotheticals do not really exist in real, present tense life.
All that to say, we do not really regret any of these decisions but want to play this game where we can look back at things and see where we might have gone wrong. Also, it is important to remember our experiences are not yours. Things that did not work for us, might be amazing for you and your business. We are not making blanket statements about all businesses, because most things work for somebody at some point in time. Most mistakes are more about wrong time and wrong personnel than anything else. So without further ado, let’s get into our flops!
A Big and Unnecessary Waste of Money
A little while ago, we spent $15k that we really did not need to. In fact, all in all it probably came closer to 20k and if you want to hear all about the gory details of this you can go back and listen to Episode 190, where we break it all down good and proper. In this case we can really see how we should have done things differently; we could have taken more time and we would have saved all this money. We essentially used a marketing company who did not understand our brand at all and the fit was just not right! But we learned big lessons through this experience like when to take note of red flags and why not to go searching for things you don’t specifically need.
Related to that was our experience of leaving ConvertKit. This happened when we thought we could find better functions from other mail providers and after trying two others we realized ConvertKit was the one for us all along. This was also their own journey of metamorphosis and developing with their customers and we trust that we found our way back to each other at just the right time! We also have a full episode, number 218, where we delve deep into this subject and help you find which mail provider will be right for you. What we will say here is to not get hung up on features you do not have but do not need! Your biz is not dependent on software features and you do not always need to move over to new things that take time to learn and adjust to.
Don’t Get Distracted by the Shiny Features
In the beginning we were using WebinarJam to host our online things, then we switched after a recommendation and then switched a bunch more times! After about 3 or 4 months of not being sure which platform to use we just decided to go back to WebinarJam and feel like we could have saved some time and energy never having left. This is another reminder to often just stay with what you know, most of the time you can do without the extra features because they are really not going to change your business. It’s up to you, not the platform and its features! Our first membership program was quite a debacle but we feel like this was a matter of timing rather than a bad idea.
In 2015 there were hardly any membership sites around, so the technical side of launching a membership was what made this a bit of a flop. We made a bunch of choices with paywalls and platforms that we pretty much regret and learned about the hard way. Some of it turned into a real nightmare but luckily we got away without too much injury. All of it was a pretty big learning curve of the bootstrapping variety. We love this side of entrepreneurship and are all for doing what you can with what you have but there is a limit and you have to know when you reach it. Do not make a bigger mess than you already have, especially when it comes to members’ info! Anyway, two years later was a much better time to launch our paid membership and the lessons we learned turned this into a great product!
Live Launch and the Accompanying Challenge
Last summer we were trying to get people excited for a launch we were prepping and decided to release a pre-challenge to drum up some anticipation. It really did not work and we wasted quite a bit of time and money on something pretty useless. In truth we have done things like this in the past and even since then, and it has worked well, but for some reason we got it wrong that time. We had a ton of people take part in the challenge and then very little conversion to the actual webinar which was pretty sad for us! To be honest it took us about 6 months to get back on course after that little speed bump. As entrepreneurs, some of us chase revenue and could care less about profit but for us profit is the bottom line’s bottom line! We have 20 mouths to feed now and we want to make sure everyone and everything is covered even in the lean times. Last year had some serious learning curves but we still managed to keep our profits the same as before which is really all that matters to us.
Dropping the Ball on Marketing that Just Works
We used to be so good at Instagram and Pinterest, it was like our bread and butter, people! We really knew how to grow our reach and were getting new followers all the time. We used these for traffic and so it was weird that one day we stopped caring about them and left these channels to just sit there. It’s only now that we are starting to crawl out of social media cave and really see that we have let opportunities pass through inaction in this arena. That being said you cannot beat yourself up too much over these sorts of things, but we could have made more of this opportunity for growth. We can see how we lost some traction over the course of last year by doing less but this was a good experiment in itself, so we can also say it was worth it. If you go back and listen to the first few episodes of this very podcast, you will see that we started out as a marketing agency essentially. Around this time as we were transitioning into what we are now and we definitely made some choices about working with people that we should not have. These were not train crashes but were a step in the wrong direction, pulling us away from our real purpose. Looking back, we could have made different decisions, it is what is and we have learned what we learned!
Two More Things We Have Learned
A big lesson from all of this, is that webinars are our absolute favorite thing we do! We are so good at them! When we started making evergreen webinars, recording in our own time and trying out that funnel we also saw how much of an impact that having a live audience makes. We did one pre-recorded webinar and it just felt so flat we did not even release it, we just re-recorded it live and saw the difference. Again, this lesson was great for us, we will be sticking to live ones only from now. The takeaway here is to really understand where you perform best, self-awareness of your good space. If you start to make headway in this regard you will be well on your way to not repeating past flops and mistakes and building a better biz today!
A Big and Unnecessary Waste of Money. [0:04:17.2]
InfusionSoft, ActiveCampaign and ConvertKit. [0:07:01.9]
Don’t Get Distracted by the Shiny Features! [0:10:28.4]
Our Very First Membership Ever. [0:04:22.1]
Live Launch and the Accompanying Challenge. [0:20:22.5]
Eventually Giving Up on Downsells. [0:30:50.3]
Dropping the Ball on Marketing that Just Works. [0:33:25.8]
Jacking Up Prices Early On. [0:36:40.4]
Two More Things We Have Learned. [0:40:21.4]