Update on my Kickass Content Coaching Program Launch
Yesterday, (January 15th) I launched an enrollment period for a #contentcoaching program, which stays open until January 30.
The program is geared towards entrepreneurs and #solopreneurs (who wear "all the hats" as they say). These are business owners who provide a service and are developing a personal brand, so writing for their business feels really personal.
The program is an #alpha release meaning I've developed and outlined the program, but this is the debut #launch. I'm looking for honest feedback from the participants to help me work out the kinks, and they get an awesome deal at 90% off.
I didn't do any typical launch #marketing. I'm not advertising on Facebook, there's no email drip campaign, and I'm only sharing it selectively with my network. Here's what I actually did:
Emailed 5 colleagues, clients, and friends about the launch
Added the phrase "PS – I just launched a kickass content coaching program. Check it out!" to my email signature
Casually mentioned it for the last 2 weeks whenever anyone asked me about my 2019 goals or mentioned the word "resolutions"
I emailed my client list at the beginning of the year to announce my new business model (with content coaching) and to share updated 2019 prices
I enrolled 2 coaching clients in the first 24 hours 🎉
I'm super stoked to to see results – especially so quickly! I have made 5 spots available, and sold 40% in a day!! Let's take a look at what worked and what didn't work, so I can scale it:
1. Squarespace tells me I've received 21 unique visitors between January 13-16, but those numbers aren't entirely reliable due to a cookies dilemma that is being sorted out. Clearly, this is a big increase (read: 600%+) over having no site at all 😂
Squarespace Traffic ↑ for Sunday, January 13 – Wednesday January 16, 2019
Most of these numbers are from direct sources, likely the links I've been emailing out. I haven't used target links for different platforms etc, so I'm not 100% certain of the direct link source.
Squarespace Visits ↑ for Sunday, January 13 – Wednesday January 16, 2019
2. According to my Linktree page, the Instagram post has brought me 0 traffic.
3. Out of the 5 colleagues, clients, and friends I emailed, 2 replied to ask questions or promise to share the link.
4. After updating my email signature with the "PS", I emailed 8 people (excluding the 5 colleagues, friends, and clients). 0 responded to ask questions or get more information.
5. This is the hardest to quantify, as I've been casually chatting about the program in coffee dates, virtual meetings, networking groups, and happy hours, but I would estimate I shared this with 30 people at most. 1 acquaintance who heard me share my launch plan goals after speaking about the "how-tos of content strategy" during a small networking group (of 10) asked me for more information, and enrolled on the launch date within 10 minutes of receiving the invitation link.
6. The client update email went out to 30 subscribers on January 9th. 1 former client replied to ask for more information, and enrolled on the launch date within 1 hour of receiving the invitation link.
So, actually I enrolled 2 coaching clients in less than 2 hours 🤯
Both of the enrolled clients had a previous relationship with me – either as a business acquaintance who received free training from me or a former client who knows my work, which tells me to focus on my core network as my target audience.
Both heard about the program when it was shared publicly (announced to the whole networking group and emailed to a group of clients), and reached out individually to discuss it one-on-one – which encourages me to focus on a bulk announcements and allow people to filter themselves in or out.
Both enrolled quickly after receiving the invitation link (which included approving a quote, signing a contract, and making a payment) which tells me I have a high-value offer that speaks for itself.
tl;dr I launched the alpha release of a content coaching program, and enrolled 2 clients in less than 2 hours. This is a breakdown of the limited marketing I did for the launch, an analysis of what worked, and a summary of main takeaways from the data. I've still got 3 more spots to fill and 14 days to do it.
If I look at my mini goals, this week was a failure, but if I look at my conditional, this week was a success.
And I'm always looking at my conditional.
My #minigoals are just a way for me to meet my #conditional, and this week I not only met my #minimummonetary, but I exceeded it! 🤩
That means I'll be adding to my Piggy Bank 🐽
As far as mini goals, creating content – both for my blog and other platforms – was the area I consistently failed. I need to change my mindset from 'finding time to write for myself' to 'creating time to write for myself'.
That said, increasing my Piggy Bank balance is definitely a boost, because having dry or slow weeks is hard on my entrepreneurial ego. It's also a solid reminder that putting my head down and working hard yields results. 💪 There's even a chance I'll get Bonus Bucks!! 💸
I'm half way into month 5 of #contentwriter #pilotidea, and I think I'm really getting into a groove, here. 😎
tl;dr This week I failed to meet several of my mini goals, but I met my minimum monetary and then some any way! I'm adding to my PIggy Bank, and on Sunday I'll see if I get any Bonus Bucks.
So, it's been a long time coming, but I did it! I have a new conditional system.
There are a couple really big changes. Probably the biggest two are:
🚫 There is no more engagement conditional
🚫 There is no more popularity conditional
Yup! I just celebrated my 3 month anniversary as a #contentwriter! #Popularity and #engagement are no longer my focus. I need to scale this #pilotidea into a full-blown business. What does that entail?
Well, first of all, like literally every other successful business on the planet, I need to earn a profit.
There is no second of all.
Everything else that we #entrepreneurs focus on like branding, marketing, networking, productivity, sales funnels, pipelines, etc. is just strategies and channels that we are using in the hopes that it will bring in revenue that exceeds our expenses and taxes. So, yeah, #profit.
The other big change I've introduced is a Piggy Bank 🐷
So, it's no longer about #success or #failure, because I've just spent 12 weeks proving that I can not only succeed every single week, but grow tremendously (minimum 50% #growth every week!).
Instead, every time I exceed my #minimummonetary, I add that excess amount into my Piggy Bank. If I don't meet my minimum monetary, I subtract the difference (between my goal and what I actually earned) from my #PiggyBank balance.
It works just like a profit and loss statement. As long as I have bank in my bank, I continue to push forward and grow this business. If my #bankbalance goes negative, I re-roll with a new pilot idea.
Yup, scary as hell!.
But it also reflects the reality we all live in. If you #invest in yourself, build a #business, and turn a profit, great! But if you take all the same steps and go broke or into debt, you close up shop and move on.
I'm also piggy-backing Bonus Bucks onto the Piggy Bank (get it? 😂)
When I exceed my minimum monetary by more 10%, I pay myself a bonus of 10% of that excess called Bonus Bucks. If the next week, I exceed by 20%, then the #BonusBucks are equal to 20% of that excess. Every week, the Bonus % increases for as long as I'm on a streak. Miss a week, and reset.
Bonus Bucks help me to increase my Piggy Bank when I'm doing really well and help me offset the weeks (or months 😔) that are slow. Or, ya know, if I just want to take a vacation. I can use my Piggy Bank balance as a buffer.
I'm really excited about this change and to see what happens this week! 😬
tl;dr I changed my entire conditionals system. I've dropped engagement and popularity altogether. It's all about monetary for business success, which is why I brought in Piggy Bank (to track how I can surpass my goals) and Bonus Bucks for doing really well. It's not about success or failure each week. Now, it's all about keeping my bank balance in the green.
New week, new #conditionals. I've decided to maintain the current system for the remainder of April. That said, I'm still exploring adding in conditionals to track and measure #popularity and #engagement with private clients, as well as how best to structure a new #system.
But for this week, let's start with the increased conditionals:
Monetary – 3,798 PigPoints
Engagement – 1,921 PigPoints
Popularity – 1,858 PigPoints
A success this week means that #contentwriter will be tied for longest lasting #pilotidea thus far, essentially one week from beating out #videogamestreamer. Content writer is already more monetarily successful and has achieved greater popularity and engagement than any other pilot idea in the shortest period of time.
tl;dr If this week is a success, I'll be tied with video game streamer for longest pilot idea. Content writer is already the most successful for every conditional type. But I'm still considering changing the system.
Since starting this #pilotidea as a #contentwriter, I've explored over 20 different platforms to meet my #conditionals. Many lasted only a day and a select few have made it through each and every week thus far.
But as I start to evaluate this #system, I'm also evaluating my success so far. In looking at how I can grow #writing into a full time career, the answer doesn't lie in platforms. It is in cultivating relationships with private clients, working hard, and delivering good work.
The platforms give me a starting point, and (at times) some leeway. The system in general is meant to provide structure for success and clear metrics that measure that progress. So, if success lies in private clients, then I need to build in the metrics that clearly outline progress in that arena.
Here's where I'm at so far this week:
✅ Monetary – 2,532 PigPoints
🕐 Engagement – 1,372 PigPoints
✅ Popularity – 1,429 PigPoints
More to come on system review and metric changes.
tl;dr In evaluating the PigPoints system, I am reminded that platforms are just a starting point. I need create metrics that outline success with private clients too.
It's been about a month since I began as a #contentwriter, so it seems about time to review.
Let's start with the #milestones 💎
March 20 – rolled as content writer
March 24 – 1st paid #Fiverr gig
March 26 – 1st repeat customer on a platform
March 26 – met monetary #conditional in 1st week
March 27 – published 1st article on #Medium
March 27 – joined Medium Partner Program
March 27 – 1st clap on a Medium article
March 28 – 1st private client
March 29 – 1st Medium follower
March 30 – most monetarily successful #pilotidea
March 30 – 1st week meeting all 3 conditionals
March 31 – published 1st article on #linkedin
April 03 – 1st repeat private client
April 10 – 1st Fiverr upgrade offer accepted
April 10 – 1st Fiverr tip
April 12 – 1st private referral
April 13 – 1st pitch accepted
Yup, and that's in less than 30 days!
I've got some bigger goals on the horizon, but hot damn, this is pretty incredible progress. I've met a monetary conditional every single week of this pilot idea, and all 3 conditionals for 3 out of 4 weeks.
tl;dr It's been about a month since I began the latest #contentwriter #pilotidea. This is a list of all of my milestones in that time.
I've been getting more private clients and repeat clients as a #contentwriter, which is great! 🤓
The only downside is how busy I've been working on that content. It's meant that I'm getting more money from paying gigs (towards my monetary #conditional), but I have less time to spend on my own work (that leads towards popularity and engagement).
I'm gonna say this is a good problem to have. Besides, I can always use my weekends to #write for myself ✍️
tl;dr I've been so busy getting work, that I've been neglecting my own. A pretty awesome problem to have!
After reviewing my progress last week, I've decided there is still room for improvement. Hence, more changes:
For the #engagement #conditional, only claps 👏 from new users will be counted for #Medium
I'm dropping the Alignable #platform 👎
I'm dropping the Slack platform 👎
This week, I'm introducing objective #dropoffconditionals for my own network. My network of friends, acquaintances, and colleagues 👯♀️ get involved in the same way I see #popularity and engagement on other platforms. So, I'm counting them in on the fun!
Popularity has been primarily based on people viewing, liking, commenting on, and sharing what I do. But what is the network equivalent?
Introductions and referrals
Twitter likes, retweets, and shares
Reddit upvotes and comments
Instagram likes, comments, and reposts
Pig Pilots likes and reads
Engagement has been primarily based on people responding to my work, asking me about paid work, and sending queries about next steps. The same is true for my network:
Someone texts/emails/calls to ask me about hiring me as a #contentwriter
I still think Popularity needs a bit of refinement to determine the validity (as well as the calculation) of each point. But I think it's a great starting point.
tl;dr This is a new week, and I'm already dropping platforms. I really want to hone in what is working and discard what isn't pulling its weight – as objectively as possible.
Yup, I've just cut 4 teammates from the roster. ClearVoice, Contently, and Skyword are really just online CVs with a tiny possibility of being contacted for a project. There is no way to actively put myself forward for projects and no metrics of #popularity or #engagement. So, they're out.
WriterAccess may end up being an active #platform and it actually does have #metrics that I can use for popularity and engagement, but the process is moving super slowly. Ain't nobody got time for that!
Maybe if WriterAccess picks up the pace, I'll add 'em back, but for now, they're benched.
After looking into #Medium's Partner Program, I've decided to add it into the mix, for a handful of awesome reasons:
tl;dr I'm dropping every platform except for Fiverr. The others just don't offer enough opportunity to be active or track metrics. I've found one replacement: Medium, but I need more to increase my chances of meeting conditionals.
I earned over 500 #PigPoints™ in #Popularity from #Fiverr
Each view or click = 14 PigPoints™
You can see that I didn't receive any impressions, clicks, or #views (let alone orders or cancellations) from the top three gigs, because I only created them earlier today.
I made a lot of changes to bottom 2 gigs listed trying to figure out what works and how to get engagement. Over the course of this week, after setting up the original gig details, I:
revised the description
recorded and uploaded a video
uploaded new, customized images
changed the pricing structure
changed the title
recorded and uploaded a new video
changed the title again
changed the description again
lowered the prices
reduced the turnaround time
changed the title again
changed the pricing structure again
Even so, there were some things I couldn't change.
Why do I look scared in the video preview image‽‽‽
I chose not to include impressions (number of times my "gig" shows up as a thumbnail) as a Popularity Action, because someone scrolling through a search page with my face next to a 100 others may or may not even notice me.
Initially, I chose to include clicks (from those impressions), but looking at my results, I realized that I'd be counting these numbers twice in my points calculation since they're technically included in views.
So, I've revised the Popularity Action conversion to PigPoints for Fiverr to:
Each view = 14 PigPoints™
In any case, 14 PigPoints x 43 views (24 from gig 1 + 19 from gig 2) = 602 PigPoints™
Since I needed at least 500 PigPoints, it's a #success! That means I extend this #pilotidea for another week, and the popularity conditional drops off until I meet a monetary conditional.
Since I have new platforms, I really need clarify the Engagement Actions for each platform, or find replacement platforms. All of which, I'll do before Monday!
tl;dr I earned PigPoints and met a conditional as a content writer. I changed up my approach a lot, including what counts towards PigPoints conversions. I'm extending my pilot idea for another week, but the popularity conditional drops off. I'll have to meet a monetary or engagement conditional next.
Despite my constant paralyzing fear of #failure, Pig Pilots is helping/forcing me to embrace failure. Each #pilotidea only has a single week to show promise, which means I need to fail fast, and explore as many approaches as possible.
So far, as a #contentwriter, I've tested and dropped the following platforms:
People Per Hour
They either didn't provide engagement, straight up lied to me (yes, I'm still bitter, WittyPen!), or the timeline to get moving is longer than the known shelf life of this pilot idea.
And, of course, the process of pitching to magazines, online publications, and blog-based websites moves quite slowly. Maybe I'll hear back in 3 weeks and be delighted to write the article I pitched this week, but maybe I'll be on to something completely different. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I've got just 3 days left to get 500 #PigPoints™ (in a single category) with any of these platforms:
I don't have any control over what happens next. All of these platforms allow only the client to contact the writer, if and when, they have a project that would be a good fit.
You probably already know, I do not like not having control. 😩
Plus only one of these platforms – Fiverr – has any metric for popularity and engagement. These platforms are first and foremost, tools to find paying gigs. So, my options at this point are:
Drive all traffic to Fiverr to build up popularity and engagement
Badger my network for a paying gig
Twiddle my thumbs and wait for something to happen
Just start writing whatever and wherever the fuck I want
Clearly, 3 is a trick answer. Putting all my eggs in 1 basket is pretty contrary to the Pig Pilots concept. And I've never been one to enjoy spamming the internet. This really leaves #writing. This is a pretty core part of being a content writer, anyway. #solutions 🎊🙌🎉
Regardless of project or platform, getting other people's eyes on my work is my goal. I'm confident in my writing and the value I provide as a content writer. So, I'll be on Reddit, Twitter, Medium, and wherever else, #writingmyheartout.
tl;dr This has been a fail fast kind of week, but time is running out. If I don't find an approach that works, it'll be on to the next pilot idea!
As I mentioned in my last post, the path point to #PigPoints conversion is based on anticipated average results from each platform. That means if I swap a #platform for another, the conversion will also change.
As an example, I've already discovered that #Wittypen is not a good option for me. While I didn't find any information on their website that would exclude international writers from using their platform, after going through the application process and being accepted, I found out that they cannot support international payments.
So, I'm already on the hunt for a new platform to replace Wittypen, so I can keep pushing towards 500 PigPoints as a #contentwriter.
tl;dr I've already discovered that Wittypen is a poor platform for international writers. It's time to replace it with a better suited one.
Since every Pig Pilots has #conditionals to meet in order to extend the #pilotidea, and I am now a #contentwriter, I've got new mini-goals to meet.
Content Writer Conditionals
As a reminder, conditionals drop off the mini-goal list when achieved, and can't be reactivated until a monetary conditional is met, which reactivates all conditionals:
Monetary = 500 PigPoints
Engagement = 500 PigPoints
Popularity = 500 PigPoints
For previous pilot ideas, the conditionals system has been pretty straight forward since I was only using a single platform. But as a content writer, I'm using multiple #paths to promote myself and get hired.
Is a Reddit upvote equal to a Twitter like equal to an Upwork bid?
No, which is why I need a #pointsystem to easily convert actions and results from various paths into equivalent values.
Every path has a formula so that I can convert it's results (#pathpoints) into #PigPoints. The most simple and straight forward conversion is money:
$0.01 = 1 PigPoint
Popularity and Engagement each have multiple paths (which I've limited) to 5, so every platform has a unique breakdown.
Reddit | 1 post point = 7 PigPoints
Twitter | 1 like/reply/retweet = 50 PigPoints
Fiverr | 1 view/click = 70 PigPoints
WriterAccess | 1 casting call/crowd order = 175 PigPoints
Wittypen | 1 invite = 175 PigPoints
Reddit | 1 PM = 175 PigPoints
Twitter | 1 DM = 350 PigPoints
Fiverr | 1 message = 175 PigPoints
WriterAccess | 1 solo/love list = 175 PigPoints
Wittypen | 1 star rating = 70 PigPoints
For all of the Engagement actions, the content of the PM, DM, or message has to be on track to possible gig. That might be a query for more info about my writing experience, requesting details on the topics I cover, or asking how much I charge for a project.
The path point to PigPoints conversion is based on anticipated average results from each platform. Since, it's already mid-week, I've got a way to go to 500 PigPoints!
tl;dr A new pilot idea means new conditionals. Since I'm using multiple paths, I've created a universal point system, PigPoints, to track my progress.