If you watched my I Quit My Day Job: 22 Month Update on Monday, then you know I wasn’t my usual chipper self. I know, I know, it’s hard to believe – but above and beyond the boob cancer, I was disappointed in the recent launch of my Clubhouse. It was something I was working on in the back on my brain for months, and real actively for 8-ish weeks. Everyone I told about it reacted super favorably, and would offer tons of encouragement and kudos. I told my Mom and my husband, “I think I’m going to make a lot of money this month – my Clubhouse is opening up and I think the members will be pouring in!” I even asked my Virtual Wizard if she’d want more hours, as I’d love to hire her more often since I’m gonna get a nice foundation with The Clubhouse Money. Let’s say I was Law of Attraction-ing it up, but in a I-really-believed-it way. I was sure. I was confident. I was On To Something.
I wanted to launch it on my birthday, but that fell on a Saturday and I thought I “shouldn’t” do it then. I thought of opening the clubhouse doors the day before, but Friday was the “wrong” day, too. And Monday was a national holiday, so nobody would be paying attention then…(right?) So Tuesday the 17th it would be! I wrote the newsletter and scheduled it for 7a Eastern that day, and scheduled the blog post to go up a few hours prior. I let in The Sneak Peek People the week before, using them to make sure the welcoming process was smooth (which I could not have come close to doing without the help of my Virtual Wizard, Arwyn!), to see if anything was broken and/or confusing, and to give some life to the private Facebook group before the first “official” person came in on Tuesday at 7:01a Eastern (I presumed). 18 people were already there, and I felt confident that at least another 20 would join them that day.
The first “official” Clubhouse member came in at 1:16p Eastern. I told myself, “Everyone had a busy morning back at work…the sign-ups will be pouring in now!”
The second member came in at 2:48p Eastern. I told myself, “OK, here we go – be at the ready!”
The third member signed up at 9:51p Eastern. I told myself, “(Gulp).”
And then I went to bed, too tired from the early-morning doctor’s appointment, my lack of sleep from the night before, and my unnecessary waiting at the computer. But even though I knew there were “more important things” to be upset about (read: boob cancer), I couldn’t help but be disappointed.
It’s now a full week after “launch”, and I only had 1 other person “officially” sign up, at 1:06p Eastern on Monday the 23rd. That is absolutely positively not to negate the other 19 people in the Clubhouse -not at all! But those are my Brooklyn Brunch Business Babes (yes, we get together monthly to drink mimosas, eat bagels and talk about Woman of the World stuff) and my Grads, the former group gettin’ in because I value their contribution and feedback, and the latter group because I love my Grads so freakin’ much that I wanna do special things for them all the time (in this case, I refunded their first month if they joined the Clubhouse before Tue the 17th). Yes, they absolutely positively count, but…they didn’t “count.” You know what I mean.
I tried not to break down the 27 hours I prepped for the Clubhouse (I told ya Freckle comes in handy) into the money I made, including the refunds. But I did. $138 divided by 27 hours is (gulp) $5.11/hour. If I include my Grads, and assume they won’t drop out after the first month, then Month 2 right now would bring me…$327. That’s $12.11/hour, and that goes down the longer I continue to work on The Clubhouse (I’ve spent an extra 3 hours on it today already).
I mean, can you see The Travesty? The Embarrassment? The Head Scratching and Brow Furrowing, especially as I get emails and blog comments and tweets about how amazeballs The Clubhouse is and “Congrats” with it?
I have to admit, I wasn’t gonna tell you this in detail. It’s why I was all “I’m disappointed in my launch…” on the video instead of “Only 3 People?! What the Frackin’ Frack?!” I don’t like talking specifics when it comes to the money I’m making, but this…it couldn’t be ignored. It couldn’t be brushed under the rug. I felt the need to share, especially after the comments I got on Monday thanking me for the honesty and the vulnerability. I can’t help it – I’m committed to documenting it all here – the ups, the downs, and The 3 People Launches.
Well, I wouldn’t be a life coach without document What Went Wrong (and How I’m Gonna Make It Right), so here it ’tis:
I sent the newsletter at 7a the day after a long weekend. I literally wanna hit myself. I “should” know better. People at corporate gigs were rushing in to work and didn’t come up for air until lunchtime at the earliest. Moms were getting their kids ready for school and out the door after time off. Men and Women of the World (aka Entrepreneurs) were also digging out of Inboxes and probably feeling a bit guilty for not working the day before. If I sent that email on Wednesday or Thursday – or even 6 hours later on Tuesday! – I think it would’ve made a huge difference. In my Mailchimp campaign report, I had a 3.6% lower open rate than normal, with 1.4% less clicks than usual. I’m still above the industry average (my open rate is usually 36.7% while the industry open rate is 15.2%), but if I’m comparing myself to myself…this didn’t measure up as it usually does. How I’m Gonna Fix It: I’ll send another newsletter this afternoon, admitting my screw-up and telling everyone the details. I think they’ll get it.
I didn’t tell any of my cohorts about it. OK, that’s not true. When I’d see/talk to/tweet ’em and they’d asked what I was working on, I would tell them all about The Clubhouse and, as I mentioned before, they’d be super enthusiastic. But, um, I didn’t let anyone know when I was opening The Clubhouse, so I didn’t have my usual amount of help in spreading the word. This is also tricky because I can’t set-up The Clubhouse membership through e-junkie (because the Clubhouse payments are subscription-based, and e-junkie doesn’t support that), which runs my affiliate programs, and so I can’t offer anyone to be an affiliate for The Clubhouse. I’m trying to think of other ways to compensate those who refer Clubhouse members my way, but still – it doesn’t excuse me not asking! How I’m Gonna Fix It: I’m gonna send out an email to my beautiful, lovely, amazeballs colleagues, clients and cohorts, asking for some tweets or a blog post or some other way to help me spread the word. I’ll also probably put some sort of affiliate-like thing in place, but more of a whoever-refers-the-most-people-gets-something-every-month thing, just ’cause I can’t track the direct clicks.
I didn’t advertise. Not only was nobody spreading the word for me, but I was barely spreading it myself! I know that it’s a good investment to take $100-$200 and take out a blog ad on some of my favorite Interweb homes. I mean really – what the heck is wrong with me? How I’m Gonna Fix It: Stop beating myself up and reach out to Alexandra Franzen, Kind Over Matter, and Kelly Rae Roberts STAT.
I rested on my laurels. I have to admit – I might’ve gotten a bit cocky. With 6,000+ Twitter followers and 1,700+ Facebook fans and 2,000+ newsletter subscribers…I mean, I don’t think my numbers are huge, but I just figured there’d be at least 20 people who’d be picking up what I’d be putting down, yaknowwhatI’msayin? I put the button on the homepage and made the Clubhouse page “live” and wrote/recorded a song and scheduled some tweets and a blog post and the newsletter and thought, “Well, I built it!…Where the hell are they?” It still has to be active at this point, people. I can’t just put something new up and expect to make thousands. How I’m Gonna Fix It: The emails and ads above are a great start, with actually reading How to Launch the S*** Out of Your Ebook being a good follow-up (I can’t even admit how long I’ve had it, because it’s ridiculously long).
I had almost 200 people look at the Clubhouse page that day…and only 3 joined. While I was super proud of how that page looks and how the copy reads, I knew there had to be something missing if something like 98% (math ain’t my strong suit) of the peeps who checked my page out (which must’ve meant they were somewhat interested) clicked off. Um, the page has now been viewed 354 times in the past 7 days, and…only 4 sign-ups. So, I spent 3 hours today pulling quotes from my Clubhouse members as to why they joined, making them pretty on Picnik (don’t tell me it’s closing – I’m still crying about it), and adding them to the page. I also took out the few times I said I needed to build something “hands off” for myself, as I now think it could give the wrong impression that I won’t be around the Clubhouse very often (which so ain’t true!). How I’m Gonna Fix It: Ya know, I have a feeling I’ll be tweaking this page lots as time goes on and I get more Clubhouse feedback. I already added a new question to the FAQs, and within the week I wanna add a free downloadable exercise to that page, too.
I listened to the “shoulds”. I originally wanted to launch this on my birthday, but since it was a Saturday “nobody would pay attention.” Well, on one hand I convinced myself of that, and on the other I decided to run a 34-hour sale in honor of my 34th birthday for my newsletter peeps only (no tweets, no blog posts, no Facebook updates) that started – you can probably guess this – on Saturday morning. I sold 27 workbooks by the time the sale ended on Sunday night. If that was the number who ended up in my Clubhouse that weekend, I woulda been thrilled. Thrilled! How I’m Gonna Fix It: Tell the “shoulds” to take a hike and continue to conduct my business the way that feels good and makes sense to me.
I also have to stress that at no point in time did I want to take The Clubhouse down. The Facebook Group still has 2 dozen really active creative ladies sharing their goals, their challenges, their blogs, and their stories to connect with, support, and help each other. I’m still psyched to coach them as a group – and offer a free session to one of ’em – each and every month. I’m thrilled that there’s a built-in audience for my products and workshops (next virtual workshop’ll be on An Effective Escape – aka quitting your day job without having to live in your parent’s basement – on Feb 22nd). I’m happy to (finally!) have a place where us creative types, who usually feel so all alone, can meet each other and not feel, um, so alone anymore. To ask them to Shamelessly Share what they’re working on and read about their mentor-seeking and agricultural-training and new-blog-launching and event-planning and product-designing and Etsy-shop-launching and media-site-creating and ESL-training and Mommy-dancing-encouraging and lingerie-producing selves…well, I’m not going anywhere, and neither is The Clubhouse.
Y’know, I have a feeling that in a year I’ll look at the few hundred people who’re there and light up, knowing I Did That. And ya know what? Even if there’s less than a hundred, I’ll still be proud, because I would have achieved what I set out to: connecting, coaching, and serving more clients at a (much) lower price point. So no matter what…I Did That. And I’m proud.
This is where you’d expect a button to join my Clubhouse, but seriously – overkill much?! Also, it’s my Mom’s birthday, and she’s the bestest Mom in the whole entire freakin’ frackin’ world (sorry other Moms), and I just had to link back to this post because it still rings true. Even though we’re going through the s*** now, we have each other – and I know that’s the most important, because my Mom taught me that. Here we are toasting to her last year – we’ll have another one tomorrow!