In January of this year, I opened up my (virtual) Clubhouse doors to My Tribe, so very thrilled to be offering a community + coaching “product” (for lack of a better word) for just $27/month. Y’see, ever since I became The When I Grow Up Coach, I promised myself that when my one-on-one coaching rates started climbing that I’d focus on having more affordable ways to work with me. While I had my share of workbooks to offer and group sessions were priced at more than 50% off one-on-one sessions, I didn’t have a way to actually coach anyone for under $60/session. Until The Clubhouse.
Private sessions! Group sessions! All my workbooks! Discounts! Workshops! Every exercise I ever wrote! It was a lot, and it was all different based on the “team” you signed up for (I had 3 of ’em to choose from, and I won’t go into any more detail because it makes my head hurt). I was excited to offer all these, um, offerings, and at different price points to appeal to whatever the prospective Clubhouse member wanted/could afford. I thought it would be A Hit.
And then, after the first day it was open and I had 3 sign-ups, I wrote this post (seriously, you’re gonna wanna read it if you haven’t already. I’ll wait). Instead of throwing in the towel, I was motivated by all the wonderful women who had already made our private Facebook group a supportive, enthusiastic, quick-responding virtual home – and the wheels kept turning to see how I could improve on the Clubhouse.
I thought the problem was in the page itself. There weren’t many testimonials (since the Clubhouse doors just opened), and the graphics were blech ’cause I did ’em myself, and there were too many external links, and on and on. Thankfully Stacy Stone came to my rescue and worked with me on a Sales Page Do-Over. I loved it so, and thought it would do everything my old page didn’t do (i.e. convert more lookie-loos into sales, better streamline what I was offering, be prettier). And that it did – for about a week or two.
Now it’s June 18th, and I haven’t had a new sign-up since April 30th. April 30th! (How’s that for honesty?) Sure, I haven’t been shouting it from the rooftops, but I’ve been tweetin’ and the button’s on my homepage and…sigh. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again – and give it a second try I did. I scheduled another brainstorming session with Stacy and started dissecting deeper into What The Heck is Wrong With My Clubhouse and How I Can Change It to Make It Rock:
It was convoluted. While I was excited to have multiple ways to join the Clubhouse, I knew deep down that it was confusing to the reader. While Stacy did a great job helping me streamline the copy, I know that if anyone didn’t read most of the page super carefully they were gonna click away not knowing what the heck I was offering. I was also a bit concerned that Choice Paralysis was happening here, since there were 3 options instead of 1. What I Changed: I told Stacy right away that I wanted to get rid of the Teams and offer just 1 type of membership, and we worked on figuring out what Clubhouse goodies to keep (all my exercises, the Facebook group, a discount on everything I offer, a chance to win a private session, a live group coaching call) and which to throw away (the option to buy all my workbooks, monthly private sessions, free spots in my workshops). It’s making everyone’s head way less explode-y.
I wasn’t doing what was best for my peeps. All of a sudden, the pricing was weighing on me. $27/month for the lowest Team was still $324/year, and the other Teams went up from there. I created the Clubhouse to have community + resources + coaching at the most affordable level, and this wasn’t cutting it. What I Changed: I decided to offer an annual membership, and slice the price to $97/year. And in order not to punish my current 30 Clubhousers for being early members, I told them that what they’ve already paid will be credited to their year. So now, many of my current members don’t have another payment until February at the earliest. That made me feel way better, and I knew was something they would appreciate.
I wasn’t doing what was best for myself and my business. Even though it feels a bit slimey to write, I’m not gonna mince words here: I’m out to make a living, and while the Clubhouse was steadily bringing in about $800/month without any new sign-ups, I realized that part of the sign-up problem might be because there was no sort of deadline. Part of that was because I hate launching, and therefore don’t wanna keep “opening” and “closing” the Clubhouse (or anything else, for that matter!), but I couldn’t stop thinking that this was hurting me. Also, in thinking this way, I realized that a swarm of, I don’t know, 100 new members might really ruin the current feel of the Clubhouse, which is super-personal. I mean, my members really know each other – their goals, their challenges, their dreams, their struggles – and if a ton of new people came swooshing in at once, that might be ruined. So not good. What I Changed: I decided to only let 50 more people into the Clubhouse, and then I’ll close it until 2013-ish. So what if I have to re-open it? I can do it when – and if – it’s good for me and my group. And let’s get even more honest here: 50 sign-ups would make a nice dent for me monetarily, as this month has been waaaaay lean as I’ve been recovering from my Boobal Removal (as we’ve taken to calling my mastectomy around these parts) and I haven’t been coaching.
I thought of other goodies to offer that (a) would be valuable for my Clubhouse members and (b) wouldn’t be a huge strain on me. Initially I committed myself to doing a new online workshop every 6 weeks. Well, I did that twice (once in February and once in April), and then I realized that was crazy nutsopants. So, I changed the commitment to every 12 weeks, but that didn’t sit well either. Putting together a workshop from scratch soup-to-nuts takes me over 20 hours, and I couldn’t give the majority of my work every quarter to a workshop (nor did I wanna). What I Changed: I tapped into all the lovelies I’ve met over the years who are super amazeballs gurus, and asked if they’d be interested in working with my members in some way. I figured we’d have a different offering every month from a different expert, all on subjects that I know my Clubhousers would eat up. Thankfully, I got Yes’ from Alexandra Franzen & her client scripts for July, Sara Carbaugh for a social media Q&A in August, Jess Swift on being a full-time artist in Sept, Tiffany Moore with rejection for October, Stacy Stone on ethical launches in November and, last but not least, Emilie Wapnick on being a multipotentialite in December. I’m thrilled thrilled to tap into my network to offer such valuable yet varied content for my members.
It hit home that my business has been evolving, and I need to catch up with it. Because of the working and re-working(!) of the Clubhouse, I realized that my site needed to catch-up with it. When it launched in January of 2010 (!!!), I was still in my full-time Executive Assistant job and was just laser-focused on getting coaching clients. Now, I have workbooks and gift certificates and a Clubhouse to show off on top of my coaching sessions, and I wanna make sure everyone who comes to visit my online home finds what they need. What I Changed: Thankfully, Bekky Pollock (my original designer) is coming to my rescue and we’re working on a website refresh right now. This doesn’t have to do with the Clubhouse directly – because by the time it’s up the Clubhouse will be closed ’til the winter – but it allowed me to open my eyes to how much The Biz has run away with me.
So, am I scared crapball-less that I just let go of ~$800 in monthly revenue on the hopes that this New and Improved Clubhouse catches the eye of 50 new people (or “old” people that checked it out and got confused/couldn’t afford it)? Yes. Yes I am. But because of all the things listed above, I (a) refuse to shut down the Clubhouse anytime soon (b) fix what ain’t broken (c) not fix what is broken (d) get rid of what’s working (e) stop my brain from Making Things Better.
It’s what I do as a Woman of the World (aka full-time entrepreneur), a coach, and a caring human being – and it’s what I’ll keep doing as long as I’m The When I Grow Up Coach and the President of The When I Grow Up Clubhouse.