People have had it with glossy big launches. It's all too much. It's "6 figures" this and "funnel" that. The intimacy has gone.
On a call on Saturday someone said to me "oh I'm so star struck that I'm talking to you!" To ME - WTF. This is silly. I'm as real as real can be. Let's not be putting me on some kind of pedestal!
The ugly truth
For the last week I've been in Spain - the intention was to chill out in the sun and recharge myself ready for the next round of Misfit to Maven in 80 Days (M2M80), my signature group coaching programme designed especially for misfit entrepreneurial types. BUT things did not go quite as I planned.
Firstly, EasyJet overbooked our flight and very almost didn't let us on. (This in itself showed me how much I have changed. Gone is the girl who lost her shit about her plans being 'ruined'. In her place is a woman who embraced the uncertainty and rolled with the punches, laughing as we finally were told, yes you can fly.)
Secondly, my new 3 phone package which I'd set up especially to have internet in Europe and be able to create a hotspot and get a couple of hours work done each day, did not work at all. The less said about that the better.
So, I arrived a little on the back foot. But, I'm getting ahead of myself, let me give you a little backstory - I'm a certified life and business coach who works with misfit entrepreneurs to enable them to feel less ARGH and more AHHH. It's my mission to help creative types to create lives as extraordinary as they are; that feel as good on the inside as they look on the outside. I walk my talk and work with microbusiness owners and solopreneurs helping them to find their internal sense of belonging, so that they can live to their greatest potential and be bolder, freer and happier NOW.
I do this 121 with private clients that want to work on something quite specific, or through my group coaching package which also allows my clients to find new supportive peers, learn from one another and create a new normal where their 'not normal' is more than okay.
This round of 'Misfit to Maven in 80 Days' will be the 3rd time I have run this programme in this format and the 5th time I have run a small group coaching package. This programme is more like a mastermind than a course, more of an intensive or a retreat than a membership site, and offers the best of both worlds by combining the power of a group experience and personalised 121 support from me.
Each time I have added extra content, honed my skills, and made the experience even better for my Mavens. For the last three rounds, ever since I upgraded the programme (the platform I host the membership area on, the video conferencing software, the interactive PDF workbooks, the guest trainings) I have also made it a tradition for myself to go away for a mini break just before we begin to recharge myself so that I come back restored, rejuvenated and ready to serve. So far it's been LA, Istanbul and just now, Alicante.
Each time I have set myself goals: the type of people I would like to get to join the programme; the number of people; income goals; and goals around the level of ease and fun I would like to have promoting and running it.
This time was no different, except it was.
This time I decided to invest in help, to set up funnels allowing more people to learn about me and how I can help them, and schedule the whole launch before I left for Spain, meaning that I could enjoy answering messages, and having discovery calls while I was away, and come back to a full roster of clients.
In total I spent:
£3k on having my funnel set up
£121 on Facebook Ads
£600 on VA assistance
£1800 on PR help (this wasn't just for this launch though)
£42 on giveaways
That doesn't include the time I spend in my Facebook group nurturing relationships, coaching for free, and hanging out with my tribe.
That doesn't include the cost of running the other aspects of my business.
That doesn't include the webinars, summits, podcasts and other promotional activity I have done in April.
There are a few other things I should mention.
From April 1st to May 11th my book has been at 50% off on Amazon in order to promote the book, raise my profile, and allow more people to get to know, like (maybe) and trust me. I've been running an incentive where people can sign up for the free bonuses (a contracts and templates bundle worth £400) in exchange for leaving a review.
I had a large London book launch, and gave away 100 copies of my book to press and attendees. (£1450)
So... what was the result?
Failure to Launch
The first 3 days in Spain it was gloriously sunny, and yet I was still a little stressed out because although I had increased my list by 198 people, NO ONE HAD SIGNED UP at all for the programme.
On my 4th day in Spain it rained all day, so I watched rom com's all day and contemplated what was going on. Why were my prospects all so non-committal?
No Strings Attached.
I got on the phone and I emailed people on my list who had clicked but not signed up. I asked my graduates.I asked my peers.
"Why are you reading all my content, interacting in my group, liking my posts but not signing up?"
The answers I got were all about the money - but let's be really honest here, it is never about the money. It's always about priorities and perceived value.
The graduates from the last round were telling me that M2M80 experience was life-changing; way more powerful than they expected. When I followed up they expanded and said that they were now feeling inspired, motivated and taking action like never before. They all said that they felt that they have grown as people and are more confident in themselves and their businesses. They would recommend working with me in this way to all of their peers and yet, I was getting no commitment from anyone new.
How to Lose a Man in 10 Days
As I watched Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey do their dance of obvious mistakes I wondered had I sent out too many emails in the last 10 days?
Did I come across desperate? Or needy or crazy?
Where's the line between enough to be memorable and enticing people into action, and too many?
Did people just not need what I'm offering anymore?
The fact is that my book has sold more copies this month than ever before, and the 5* reviews continue to roll in and yet, no one signed up...
The emails I've gotten in response to the summits and podcasts and features in the last month have been plentiful and the feedback is always "I wish I could work with you!" and yet, when presented with an opportunity the same excuse again and again:
Not enough money. Not enough time.
But here is the ugly truth, that's BULLSHIT.
As Good As It Gets
If people aren't buying it's because I didn't create enough urgency.
I didn't make people feel bad enough about the situation they're currently in.
I didn't twist the knife.
I didn't show them what a shit show their life will be if they don't take some action and do something different.
But, I don't want to be the woman who influences with fear and scarcity.
I want to show people that there is a life beyond overwhelm and exhaustion.
That burnout and breakdown do not need to be the norm.
That stepping completely outside of the box, into a new paradigm where you live a life on your terms, being all of who you truly are without the hundreds of masks you've learned to wear, is abso-fucking-lutely OK and entirely possible!
I want to show you that there is enough, that you are enough and that you are safe and supported and that the universe (and me) have got your back.
The BIG question for me becomes, how do we create urgency without fear?
So, where do I go from here?
Since starting to write this post on Friday on the way home from Spain I have meditated, danced, laid in the park in the sun, hustled my hiney, hosted a webinar, emailed my leads some more (hello unsubscribes, I'm clearly not for you), rang people, carried on being me, and reminded myself that my value is not determined by money made, held or spent. I've worked to get a group together, by offering extended payment plans and chatting to individuals about their specific needs so that:
- I can pay my rent and eat
- I know that I've done everything within my power to bring a group together (I love coaching in this format, creating community and normalising authentic intimacy between peers is incredibly important to me!)
And, consequently I now have 2 people signed up, and a couple more thinking about it.
But, the fact remains - what is going on with BIG launches? How do I (and you) connect with people and get them to commit and go from consuming useful free content to taking some action with personalised support and accountability?
And, should I stop coaching in this format?
What Women Want
I had a power chat with my amazing VA and my mastermind group and brainstormed ideas for spring cleaning my offerings and helping you to figure out what to do instead of funnels and formulas and here's the conclusions and questions I have ended up with:
- I want to shuffle the format of what I offer. It's time for a spring clean of my packages so that my group offerings are less of a big push, followed by an anti-climatic thud. Instead I want more of a constant trickle that allows people to sign up to a way of working with me, and in community with their peers so that they can move from the brink of burnout and breakdown to a new normal, where they feel supported.
- In order to do this I want to help people to place more value on community, the experience and their feelings rather than the figures.
- I'm thinking of making M2M80 an evergreen mastermind with regular office hours, or using my FB group to match pods of 4-6 people who want to up-level their lives with me and my programme as their guide.
- I'd like to explore allowing people to pay what they feel they can afford.
- I have a lot more questions about how we differentiate between real heartbased business and those using it as a buzzword.
It's Not You, It's Me
There's something else that is important for me to share, and that's the difference in me now than even a year ago. I've not taken any of this personally. My value is not dictated by how my business performs. My version of being a successful entrepreneur means treating business as exactly that. I have felt my feelings, rested in the discomfort and chosen to stay authentic, honest and curious.
It is with curiosity that I ask - how can I best serve you?
What format and price point do you want your coaching?
How important is community to you?
What would make signing up for a life and business group coaching programme specifically for creative solopreneurs a HELL YES?
I'd love your answers, thoughts and ideas in the comments.