Stumbling in the Dark

I feel like I’m stumbling in the dark.  Is that common among entrepreneurs?  I don’t know.

Updates:  1 more YouTube subscriber – that makes 10.  I’m in the double-digits now, folks.  Watch out, world.

I started a podcast a few months ago (or rather, I set up a podcast, but never published any episodes).  The problem was that I couldn’t figure out how to use the “same content” on my videos on my podcasts.  The main reason is that I wasn’t planning my videos, and some of them were 5 minutes long while others are 20 minutes long.  I wanted to use the same audio track from my videos on my podcast, and just cut in an intro.

So this strategy didn’t work at all, and I didn’t feel good about it.  I’ve always heard that we can get stuck in “in the box thinking” and I think that this happened to me.  The solution to my problem is very obvious.  What I should do is plan the podcast FIRST.  And then just develop my video around the audio track that I’ve already made.  That way, I can still use the same content.  I don’t know why it took me months to come up with this.

My plan is to try to stand out in a slightly less crowded channel.  I don’t think there are as many podcasters in my industry as there are YouTubers, so I am going to try this strategy out for 6 months and kind of reevaluate where I am at the end of that time.

The schedule will be just one video and one podcast per week, but I’ll be aiming for 10-20 minutes.

I am also going to simplify my product offering.  I don’t think I’m ready to offer a “tier” as was suggested to me.  So I am going to see if things improve (i.e. a first sale is made) if I simplify my sales page a bit.

I might run a Facebook ad for my course, too, just to see how that works out.  I might do that in a few weeks – I probably should, in fact.  If anything, it would be a good way to practice copywriting and also test my sales page for effectiveness.

Starting Point

As promised, I am going to post some information to kind of give you an idea of where my “starting point” is.  In reality, everyone’s starting point is zero.  But since I’ve been working on this business for almost five months now, I think it’s only fair to be transparent and let you know exactly where I am.

Sometimes, it’s tempting to think of success as something that just “happens” to people.  But I’d like to support the idea that it’s actually a long, sweaty, bloody process.  And I’m right smack-dab in the middle of all that mess.

So here goes:

  • I have one product for sale.  I have sold it ZERO times.
  • I have 9 subscribers on my YouTube channel.
  • I have 2 e-mail list subscribers.
  • I have 51 YouTube videos on the site right now.
  • I have a website with 30 or so posts.
  • I get between 100-200 visitors to my website per month.

As you can see, I’m not starting from scratch.  But as you can also see, I have not sold any of my product.  I have made a decent attempt at marketing on YouTube, but have not promoted my channel, my videos, or my website on anywhere but my Facebook fan page.

What industry am I in?

My website, product and videos are in the online learning industry.  The product should be evergreen, as I can’t even imagine a day in the future where someone will not need to learn this skill.  People currently spend billions of dollars worldwide to learn it (i.e. there is a current market that pays for it right now), and I think I am offering a unique twist on the learning that not too many people are currently offering (i.e. I am leveraging a skill that I have in order to make my product unique).

My big question right now

So if I feel like I have a decent product, and there is a definite market of people ALREADY paying for this product, and I think my product is unique, WHY am I not seeing the traffic and sales that I’d like to see?

The answer

  • Obviously, I’m not where my PAYING customers are (as the gurus say).  Are they on YouTube?  Maybe, maybe not.  But I am feeling like most people go to YouTube to learn stuff for free.
  • With my YouTube videos, I feel like I’ve used the dartboard method for picking the topics.  (Basically, it seems like I’ve just thrown a dart at the wall and picked topics at random.  They are all teaching the skill I’m targeting, but I didn’t focus effort on the specific topics)
  • I’m not working as methodically and regularly as I should be.  I have lots of personal obligations that seem to encroach my business as much as possible.  So I need to cut that out.
  • I’m not doing any other marketing activities.  So while I might eventually see traction with this non-confrontational method that I am pursuing, I would see it faster if I were more aggressive.

Whelp.  Now it’s painstakingly clear that I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me.  Time to make a plan.  A system to work.  I’ve had enough of GOALS.  Goals are like wishes, sadly.

Next post will be my plan, and maybe some updates.

Till next time,

Mercedes

First Post – Introduction

Hello dear reader.  I am very appreciative of you taking the time to read this post and visit my humble website.

This post will serve as an introduction to what I am trying to accomplish.  My goal is to track my progress in a transparent manner (while still attempting to preserve a tad bit of privacy for myself).  I don’t plan to reveal the domain url where my project is hosted at this point, but maybe I will someday.

For now, I plan to write about the obstacles and challenges that I face in my current business.  I want to talk about the income that I am earning (or not earning, as it now stands), developing information products, making videos, growing my social media following, and of course, my WordPress website.

I’m not a web designer, but I’m not afraid to get down and dirty with things.  So as I go through and overcome new WordPress (or other technology) challenges, I may make tutorials and post them here.  I also have WordPress plugins and such that I love and recommend, so I will definitely share those with my readers.

There are others that have gone down this path.  Some of them I plan to mention in my writing on this site.  I don’t intend that my website be a copy or a substitute for the absolutely incredible wealth of information that is already available to you.  Instead, I am hoping that this blog serves as a creative outlet for you, and perhaps helps you in some way.

I also can’t promise you that there won’t be an occasional rant or emotional vomit about how hard this process is.  It really isn’t for the faint of heart.  This shit’s hard!

In the next post, I’ll post some numbers to show where I am now as far as traffic to my website, current challenges, and some project ideas that I am working on.  And maybe some of that feely stuff too.

If there is ever anything that you would like to know, please, feel free to ask!

Peace out,

Mercedes*

(Mercedes is the middle name I never had.  Someday, it will become my actual middle name.  But as of now, I don’t have one.  My point is that Mercedes is my online pseudonym.  It’s to preserve my privacy, and that of my family.  Thanks for understanding!  I don’t plan on talking openly about this, so only the lucky readers that have been here since the beginning or dug through my posts will know.  Ha!)