Baby Business Bruised Knees

This post is for all of you who are not doing things that you know you should be doing for your business because of something that happened in the past. Babies learning to walk and entrepreneurs growing businesses have a lot in common. They try to stand up but they fall down – a lot. Especially in the beginning. And often there are bruised knees (and bruised egos) involved.

It occurred to me recently that sometimes you can forget that the result you got in the past might not be the result you would get if you tried the same strategy now. Let me share a personal, and rather humiliating, example.

When I was in my business for a few months, I thought that it would be a good time to launch a product. I read a lot about launches, creating compelling products, and also watched several webinars. I learned as much as I could. Then I decided that I shouldn’t do it alone, and that it would be more fun to have a partner. (Two heads are better than one, right?) So I found another coach who was very interested in developing the product with me. So far so good. 

Both of us had only recently started to engage on social media. Neither of us had a big platform, although the other coach did have a small list of newsletter subscribers and a few hundred Facebook friends. I was able to get a focus group together and the group candidly shared the information they were looking for, what they would be willing to pay for it, and everything we thought we needed for compelling marketing copy.

I built the website without any of the standard highlighting, blinking arrows, long sales page copy, etc. We both hated those tactics because they made us queasy. We created a compelling basic offering of a six-week e-mail course and two eBooks. Then we added some group coaching at a higher price point and some additional one-on-one coaching for the highest tier. We had a package for everyone, or so we thought.

Our focus group gave us testimonials that we posted around on social media. We really tried to make it happen. And our stuff was really good! What was the end result? Crickets. Nothing.

We knew lots of people but we did NOT have a large enough pool of people who had an interest in the type of thing we were selling. End game.

To say I was heartbroken and pissed off doesn’t really cover it. Now almost two years later I am putting off writing another eBook and creating some kind of product. Bruised knees heal but ego bruises can still sting.

What I am failing to take into account is that my “platform” is very different now. I have a strong social media presence. I am community manager for | Business Unplugged™. I have friends with really big platforms who might be willing to help spread the word. In fact, the entire situation is different and doing some kind of a launch at this point could work out really well for me.

So that’s my embarrassing story. Lots of people’s first launches fall flat. It’s more the norm than having a big success. But it shouldn’t hold me (or you) back from doing the next one. I learned a lot. And I got some clients from the focus group. All in all, it was time well spent.

So I am committing to starting on a product of some kind and a new eBook. It is going to be the start of a new suite of offerings from Point A to Point B Transitions Inc. and I am getting excited. Check back and give me a little grief if I haven’t started in a few weeks, OK?

What are you putting off as a result of some bruised knees in the past? Anything I can help you with? Maybe we can cheer each other on? I’d love to hear about your project in the comments below.

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