Relaunch an Online Course in 21 Days
This project is marked: pass
We took an existing course that already had sales and just dressed it up a bit to re-market it. It worked really well in the beginning, but became harder to sell over time because of the high price point and lack of aggressive marketing strategies.
Welcome to the first challenge on Money Lab. This is an experimental website where I document my money-making projects. I’ll be transparent and entertaining. I don’t want to bore you with the details. I’d rather delight you with the details.
Re-launching an online course created by Jason Zook back in 2014 called “How to Get Sponsorships for Anything.”
Jason stopped working on it because he wanted to work on other projects. “I had worked pretty hard on selling the course for over a year. Even though there were hundreds of students taking the course, it felt a bit overwhelming to manage everything on my own,” he told me.
The sales process was pretty solid. My experience tends to speak for itself, which is nice, but it is difficult explaining that getting sponsorships isn’t easy. I wish there was a way to speed up the process for everyone! But alas, it’s a process that takes time and effort (the courses just speed it way up and give you lots of tools, tips, and tricks).
I got really bored of doing the same sales webinar. Obviously I could have changed that sales webinar before, but it freakin’ worked! I’m excited to be investing in the content side of things and to be partnering up with someone who’s as whacky and crazy as I am.
After I bought the course myself, Jason suggested we revise and relaunch his course, and document it. I’m excited because 1) I didn’t have to build the course, I can just re-brand, 2) it’s a product that I’ve used and can stand behind.
We jumped on Skype to hash out the plan.
Day 01: Creating The Relaunch Plan
I have a sore throat. It sucks. I have to talk to Jason though about this plan. I already pushed it back a day. We talked for three hours and here’s the step-by-step plan we came up with for the next 21 days:
1. Jason Creates Partnership Agreement
We hate the idea of contracts, but it’s the smart thing to do. I didn’t do this with my last partnership and I regret it. I gave this job to Jason because I won that bet.
2. Matt Sets Up The Website
We bought GetSponsorships.co on my GoDaddy account for $9.99 and tomorrow I’ll buy a Hatchling Hosting Plan on my Hostgator account.
3. Matt and Jason create Bonus Content
We came up with these videos that we plan on recording over Skype on February 14th. Yes, it’s a date.
- Asana for Managing Leads (I will script out and record this on my own using ScreenFlow)
- 10 Good Minutes on Scripts
- 10 Good Minutes on Follow-Up Emails
- 10 Good Minutes on Rejection
- 10 Good Minutes on Pricing
- 10 Good Minutes on Text Expander (I will script out and record this)
- Sponsorship Cheat Sheet (Jason will create this)
- How to Apply your Value Prop to your landing page
- Audiobook (Jason will export audio from all videos to MP3 and zip to Dropbox)
4. Jason Gets Technical
Since Jason already created a course platform and has a Stripe account for getting paid, he will create the sales buttons using his software BumpSale. I’ll add them to the sales page and create custom thank you pages for each package.
He’ll also create the new packages in the course platform he created called Teachery. This will take care of the technical side of how the course packages will be paid for and delivered.
5. Set Up Email Marketing System
We’ll be using my Mailchimp account to create an email list. When Jason sold this course before he had 597 existing subscribers, which we’ll add into the new list.
Jason will be in charge of creating a few emails to warm up the existing subscribers. They’ve been on this list for a few years with zero contact. We decided to call these few emails Taint Tickles. Don’t ask why.
- Taint Tickle to Existing List: Wednesday February 24th
- Taint Tickle to Existing List: Wednesday March 2nd
Jason will also re-create the 7-Day Autoresponder course in the new MailChimp account for any new subscribers to the list going forward.
The Launch Schedule
Tomorrow, I will create the first step to launching, which is promoting a webinar.
On launch day (March 3, 2016), we will host a free webinar on the site called “How to Get Sponsorships Without Feeling Like A Sleazy Salesman with Jason Zook.” Anyone who attends will be offered 50% off any course package good for the following 48 hours. If you’re interested in attending, go here: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/sponsors
Leading up to the launch day (on Monday the 22nd and Monday the 29th), Jason will email his list of about 8,770 subscribers letting them know he’s relaunching his course.
Storage and Communication Between Jason and Matt
I created a shared Google Drive folder for me and Jason where I’ll store all the design elements, documents, and whatever else we need. I started a Google Doc with an overview of the project. Most of that you’ll see throughout this post, but here’s the technical details we included at the top of the document, which outlines all the technology we plan to use for this project:
- Domain: GetSponsorships.co ($9.99 – GoDaddy.com)
- Hosting: Hostgator.com ($42.96 w/ Coupon Code for 60% off Hatchling Plan)
- Web Platform: WordPress
- Email Marketing: MailChimp.com
- Analytics: Google Analytics and Search Console
- Payment Processor: Stripe.com
- Course Platform: Teachery.co
- Sales Software: BumpSale.co
Day 02: Setting Up The Domain Name and Hosting
I woke up to a few emails from Jason because he added some comments to our shared Google Doc. One was about using Slack.
I don’t like Slack. I want to like it. But either I chat and get nothing done, or nobody wants to chat with me…and I get nothing done.
I bought a Hatchling Shared Hosting plan on my Hostgator account. I got lucky because Hostgator sent me a Flash Sale email this morning and I got 60% off. I only paid $42.96 for 12 months of hosting.
I installed WordPress and created a pre-launch page promoting a live webinar on launch day (March 3, 2016).
Day 03: Redesigning the Logo
Jason told me this morning that he couldn’t find the original photoshop file for the logo he bought from Fiverr. I needed to re-design the logo so that it’s vector. I created four versions that will be used on different backgrounds. I also chose a new font that matches the pre-launch landing page. It’s Open Sans.
I keep track of my tasks in Asana. I created a new project called Get Sponsorships and started assigning myself tasks. Asana runs my work life; If it’s not in Asana, it doesn’t get done. When I’m finished my to-do list, I’m done for the day.
Day 04: Recording the Bonus Videos for the Courses
Even though it’s Valentine’s Day, Jason and I scheduled to record the bonus videos that will be used in the top-tier course package. My sore throat has now become a full-blown cold and I feel like shit. However, my biggest pet peeve is when someone is late or cancels things with me, so I vow to never do that with anyone else. The show must go on!
Today we are filming the following videos:
- 10 Good Minutes on Scripts
- 10 Good Minutes on Follow-Up Emails
- 10 Good Minutes on Rejection
- 10 Good Minutes on Pricing
- How to Apply your Value Proposition to Your Advertising Page
Getting Technical About Recording These Videos
I recorded our Skype chats using ECamm Call Recorder. I set the recording options to record in Multi-Track. This creates two separate .MOV files for me to work with: one with me and one with Jason.
I will be using Adobe Premiere Pro to edit the Skype calls. I pay $50.00 a month for the Adobe Creative Cloud and I love it!
Day 05: Editing the Bonus Videos
After recording the videos with Jason yesterday, I took the rest of the day off. I laid on the couch and binge-watched episodes of Happy Endings on Hulu. That show was so under-rated! Therefore, I didn’t get anything else done on the project, even though I wanted to start editing.
However, I feel much better today and started editing the videos we recorded.
The first thing I wanted to do was create a short, custom intro for all the videos. Jason had joked on our call that our theme music should be One Direction. So…our theme music is Perfect by One Direction.
I used Adobe After Effects to create a simple intro that only shows the logo pop in and fade out. I also created a lower-third that pops up to show the title of the video. Here’s a short clip:
I ran into a little trouble with the audio and video not syncing when I imported it into Adobe Premiere. For each video I had to run both clips through a free Mac program called Handbrake to fix what turned out to be a framerate (FPS) issue. I had to set Handbrake to “Constant Framerate” rather than “Variable Framerate” to fix the syncing issue.
Once I converted all the videos from a .MOV to a .MP4 through Handbrake, I was able to import the footage and create a multi-camera sequence in Adobe Premiere. This allowed me to play the video and switch back and forth between shots of me and Jason, depending on who was talking. This is a feature I found out about by Googling it.
Day 06: Making More Videos and Uploading Them
I finished editing and uploading the bonus videos for the top-tier course. I had to script out and film two videos today:
- Asana for Managing Sponsorship Leads
- How to Use Text Expander for Emailing Sponsor Scripts
Both of these videos were recorded using Screenflow for Mac. I didn’t need to cut anything, but I added some zooming animations within Screenflow before exporting the whole video to Adobe Premiere where I boosted the audio and added the intro and title.
I put them onto our shared Google Drive folder and Jason uploaded them to his Wistia account so they can be added to the course.
I spent the rest of the day working on designing the blog. I created a single.php page within WordPress that is very similar to the design you’re looking at right now since I reused at lot of the same code.
Jason shared some good news today about traffic to the site already. He sent me a screenshot of his GoSquared account (he uses that because he claims he’s allergic to Google Analytics). It turns out we’re getting a little trickle of traffic. That’s promising! We’ve had 10 people sign up for the CrowdCast webinar we’ll be hosting on launch day.
Day 07: Designing The Blog
I worked on tweaking the blog design a bit. Instead of going through MailChimp like a normal person, I decided to use the MailChimp API to create a custom form with AJAX messages. This also allows us to skip the double opt-in process.
Here’s a video walk-through of the design process so far:
Day 08: Writing and Designing The Sales Page
The sales page will be the homepage of the site. I took Jason’s existing sales copy from his old landing pages for both courses and mashed them all together in a Google Doc. I wanted to make sure I had all the copy in the right order before starting the design. Here’s a quick shot of the Google Doc:
I had Jason look it over to make sure everything was good to go, but we could always change it later. Also, he wrote the copy and was happy with it from before, so the only editing I did was just to clean up the phrasing here and there.
As a designer and coder, I love keeping libraries of re-usable code, and I designed a killer landing page a few months ago for a friend of mine. I was able to use that code as a base for the design, and then changed the copy and graphics. I use Coda 2 for Mac to design websites.
I spent about 2 hours cleaning up and organizing the sales copy first thing in the morning. Then, I went for a quick workout and started on the design at 1pm MST. I finished the entire design at 6pm taking me a total of only 7 hours. My personal record!
Day 09: Editing The Sales Page
Jason loved the design of the sales page. That’s what he told me on Slack.
However, he had an idea on how we can make the packages look better.
At first, I had every single video listed out with an image of the video in each package on the page (I wish I took a screenshot of it before I changed it). But Jason thought it would look better if we grouped the offers together. So instead of listing out EVERY video, we would create a single image and description for ALL the videos. Here’s what he sketched out:
In the process of editing and redesigning the page, Jason came up with some good copy edits for the titles of the packages. This is what we landed on:
- Package 1: Just the Podcast Course ($199)
- Package 2: The Full Sponsorship Package ($499)
- Package 3: Become a Master at Sponsorships ($699)
I also spent some time making sure that the site was fully responsive for mobile devices.
Day 10: Taking a Closer Look at The Sales Page
Today half sucked. Both of my sites went down for six hours (SwimUniversity.com and RoastyCoffee.com since they’re both on the same server) from an unknown MYSQL error. I spent two of those hours on the phone with Hostgator begging them to put my sites back online. I decided to tweet my frustration to them and both sites went back online immediately after. Go figure. (This is what I’m eluding to in the video below, and why my sanity level dropped.)
Just for a quick peek before you watch the video, here’s a shot of my design interpretation of Jason’s sketch above:
The landing/sales page is designed, coded, and ready to really be scrutinized and edited – probably up until the last day of the challenge.
Here’s a look at the semi-completed page. I had some additional code that didn’t need to be there, but all-in-all, it’s good to go!
Day 11: Marketing Skype Chat with Jason
Now that my Asana task list is looking pretty empty, it’s time to start planning on how we’re going to promote the courses on launch day (March 3, 2016) and going forward forever and ever.
Prior to our Skype chat, I wrote down a list of every possible marketing/promotion tactic I could think of. I never sold a course before, but I’ve read about so many others that I had a good grasp on the tactics.
Here’s our Skype chat about marketing which is about 40 minutes long. Jason talks about how he promoted the course originally back in 2013 and we come with a solid plan which is outlined below.
The Original Marketing Plan from 2013
Jason promoted his course when he first started on his very popular website IWearYourShirt.com. He had built an email list of over 25,000 subscribers. He sent them emails inviting them to live Webinars about getting sponsors. He did this a few time until he exhausted the list and people stopped showing up to the webinars.
Then, he started running Facebook ads to Webinars. At first he spent $500 converting that into $2,500, but as he kept doing it, those numbers grew closer together and he stopped.
We will not be doing weekly webinars to a list or Facebook ads º. We want this project to be sustainable and we want it to grow. We’re going to focus on creating evergreen (long-lasting) content that continues to drive traffic for as long as the project is alive. This will take more time instead of doing a big launch, but we hope to make more money in the long run and achieve true passive income.
The Initial Re-Launch
- Jason will email his list of about 8,000 people from JasonDoesStuff.com two times and invite them to a one-time video workshop (webinar) on launch day.
- We will send two emails to the existing email list of about 500 people inviting them to the video workshop on launch day. The goal is to get 200 to the workshop.
- We will write one massive guest post called “The Ultimate Guide to Getting Sponsors for Your Blog or Podcast,” and pitch it to a popular blog that will publish on or near launch day.
- I will promote the launch on my personal Facebook profile and some Facebook Groups that I think will find the content useful.
- I will write, record, and film a rap video about podcasting that will target podcasters. I will focus on making the video shareable instead of promoting the course, which hopefully will be a by-product of the video release.
- Spend money on Facebook Retargeting to Content ($20/day).
- Launch a new, short-run podcast called “Sponsorship School” sometime in the near future to promote the courses.
- We’ll be open to doing interviews on other podcasts if they want to talk about sponsorships. We may even reach out to a few popular podcasts.
- Continue to blog and create infographics about getting sponsorships.
- Submit our courses to Mighty Deals and/or App Sumo.
- We’ll take submissions for anyone who wants to become an affiliate/partner with a hefty commission. I’ll add a link to the footer and maybe reach out to a handful of people I know personally.
Day 14: Making The Podcast Rap Song
For the last two straight days (Day 12 and 13), I’ve been sitting in my office creating a rap song about podcasting. I finished it today!
To be honest, it was really fucking hard. I spent Day 12 writing the beat using Reason (a MIDI program for making music). The next day I wrote the lyrics, which was the hardest part. Today, I recorded all the vocals, mastered the track, and sent it to Jason. After he heard it, he demanded I jump on Skype. This is what happened…
For the rest of the night I’ll be working on a plan for the music video. I don’t know which day I will film it, but my goal is to have this challenge within a challenged completed in less than 5 days.
Day 15: Setting Up The Payment Workflow
I needed a break from the rap song. I wanted to work on something mindless. To be honest, I wanted to take the day off from working altogether, but I still had some juice left in me to get some non-creative stuff done.
We decided to make things easy with the payment processor. We were going to use Jason’s Stripe account with his Bump Sale program, but instead, we’re going to use a Gumroad account under my name.
The Five Step Payment Workflow For GetSponsorships.co
- Customer lands on the sales page and clicks the buy button on the package he or she wishes to purchase.
- Gumroad overlay pops up. They click the “I Want This” button and enter in their payment information and email.
- Gumroad sends them to a custom Thank You page that I set up in WordPress. (You need an upgraded Gumroad account to do this for $10/month). When Gumroad sends them to this page, they append different URL variables like this: getsponsorships.co/thank-you/?id=12345. That “id” variable is what I use to display which packages they can see and log into.
- Customer clicks the set up links provided to them on the Thank You page, sets up a Teachery account, and now has access to the packages they bought.
- I paid for Zapier ($20/month) so I could set up 3 different Zaps to connect Gumroad to MailChimp. When someone buys a package via Gumroad, their email address and the name of the package they bought is sent to MailChimp. Then, MailChimp sends out an automated email thanking them for their purchase and provides the login links once again so they can store these in their inbox.
Everything is has been tested with real money (Jason’s money, which I refunded). The process is solid and seamless.
Also, in MailChimp I’ve created four segments in the GetSponsorships list:
- Bought the Podcast Package
- Bought the Full Package
- Bought the Master Package
- Have Not Purchased Yet
This will allow me to send custom emails to everyone depending on what they bought or haven’t bought. Not really sure how this will be used yet, but it’s nice to have set up.
Day 16: The Podcast Song and Planning The Rap Video
This morning I started working on the shots needed to create the rap video. I asked Jason to jump on Skype to help me come up with some of the shot ideas. He also got us a sponsor for the video, so we had to plan that out, too.
Steph offered to help me with some of the filming, but we have to get most of the footage in the morning because of sunlight issues. Here’s a layout of our plan:
I’ll have another update in the next few days after we film the video and I start editing. I will probably go into hardcore work mode to get this done in just two days like I’ve done with my other rap videos. I find giving myself a time constraint reigns in my creativity. Otherwise I’d be renting stretch limos and mansions for filming.
Here’s a long video update all about the podcast song itself. I go into detail about how the song was created using both Reason 6 and Logic Pro X for Mac:
Day 18: Filming The Podcast Rap Video
We set out early this morning to start filming this rap video. My girlfriend, Steph Halligan, offered to help with the filming. She’s the best!
We started out filming on the roof of our building which has a spectacular view of the Flat Irons here in Boulder, CO. The sun hits them best in the morning, so that’s the shot we needed first.
Problem: it was super windy and I was lugging around expensive, heavy equipment on cheap tripods and stands. The wind also made it difficult to hear the music to lip sync to. I was stressed.
There was a moment that changed the rest of the day. Jason texted me a photo of him getting ready for a video shoot from back in the day. It was meant as a reminder to have fun while filming. I forgot this.
During our second location, I was still pretty bummed, but Steph said, “remember the photo Jason sent.” After that, I dry humped the air for a full minute and started having a blast. You can see it here at the end of the teaser video (Facebook Link).
The third location really lifted my spirits because it was this really cool tunnel we found off the bike path filled with graffiti and an old leather chair. We spent a lot of time filming here.
The day turned out to be a success! I got a lot of footage and started editing as soon at I got done filming around 3pm. We shot for about 6 hours. Here’s some photos.
Day 19: The Worst Fucking Day
Today was awful. Started off fine, but quickly got worse.
Jason and I thought it might be a good idea to hire someone to help us run Facebook ads to the course after the launch. I happen to know a guy and talked with him on Skype. Turns out our audience is a too small right now for him to help us, but gave me some guidance (I will probably create an update about this later if we decide to run them).
The website has been acting up since day one. Every time I tried connecting to it with Coda to do any design work, I would get a connection error, that would go away if I just refresh. This was also happening on the browser. This lead to Google having a hard time connecting to it, which is not a good sign at all.
I tried contacting hostgator, which is always a nightmare. To make a long story short, they suck and I had to quickly come up with a new plan to switch hosting providers before the launch. This caused me to lose my shit and stress out to the max, which stressed out Steph, and now it feels crappy in this apartment.
This has been a long time coming, but I decided to switch to WP Engine for ALL my web properties. I’m tired of dealing with shitty service just to save money. I want peace of mind, which I never got with Hostgator.
This has severely jacked up expenses for this project. I paid WP Engine $1,992.00 for the next 12 months to host all my websites. I’ll be moving over 5 sites. I’m going to say that this project will cost $29/mo for hosting since that’s what it WOULD cost for a single site with WP Engine.
I didn’t get a chance to work on the rap video today, which really bums me out. Hopefully I’ll have some time tomorrow.
Day 20: Editing The Rap Video
Yesterday sucked. Today started off rocky. However, I only have one single goal today: finish this goddamn podcast rap video!
I got up earlier than normal. I set an alarm for 7:30am. Woke up, made breakfast, ate that breakfast, then locked myself in the office and edited my balls off. Which is what I did. No balls anymore. All gone.
I had to get some more shots to round out the video. Adding a sponsor to the mix slowed things down, but not as bad as I thought it would be. They were very responsive. I took some photos and a quick video of the process just for funsies:
After about 14 hours of editing, I finished the video. Well, I finished enough.
I anticipated that Jason would have some notes since we were working with a sponsor. He did, I agreed with them, and decided to go to bed instead of working on them. I was fried!
Here are some more photos from today:
Day 21: Getting Ready for The Launch
The first thing I had to do today was finish editing the rap video. I took Jason’s suggestions and made a few improvements. It’s done! It’s uploaded! I’m relieved!
Things are really wrapping up today and it feels pretty good:
- We sent the final rap video over to the sponsors and they loved it!
- Our writer and graphic designer finished the three blog posts we wanted done before launch. They’re published and ready to go! It cost us $675.
- I decided it was best to create a YouTube Channel for this brand to host the podcast rap video and any video we do in the future. So that’s all set up.
- Someone already bought our largest package for $699 and we haven’t launched yet! We don’t know where they came from yet, but we hope to get some feedback soon 🙂
For the rest of the night I’ll be working on creating a step-by-step action plan for launch day. So far I have a few things I know will happen:
- Upload the video directly to Facebook and share with Jason
- Email every personal involved and podcaster we know!
- I will share the video in a few Facebook Groups that I think will like it.
- We’ll tweet out the YouTube Link
- Post it on LinkedIn (Hahahahaha! Yea, right!)
- Jason will share it in a couple of Slack channels he’s part of.
- I will email it to the Money Lab list, and Jason will email it to his Action Army list.
- And we may post on Reddit. I don’t know.
If you have any suggestions on how we can promote this rap video, share your ideas in the comment section below!
The Launch Day!
The day has arrived. The course is live! And I’m fucking relieved. But also, kind of sad that it’s all over.
To be honest, it was stressful towards the end. But I think I’m going to miss having all this work to do. Thankfully, I can work on more projects for Money Lab. And I made a really great friend from this experience.
Jason and I had a blast. We enjoyed jumping on Skype almost every other day, if not every day. I’m sure we will work on another project soon. Perhaps even a podcast. Who knows?
Promoting the Rap Video
I set my alarm for 7am. I woke up, but I was so tired I snoozed till 7:15am. When I did get up, I went directly to the computer and started uploading the rap video to Facebook. Oh! Here’s the video:
The next step was to email every single podcaster I know and ask them to share the video on Facebook or YouTube.
Then I shared it in a bunch of Facebook groups I’m a part of, which really helped it take off. As of writing this, it’s 3pm and the video has 2,821 on Facebook and 171 views on YouTube. Not too bad. My Hashtag Hustle video got a little over 20,000 views on Facebook when it was all said and done. However, no sales of the course were made because of the video…yet.
Then I share it on Twitter and LinkedIn and Reddit, which got very little traction. It’s all been on Facebook.
The Live Workshop
We had 164 people sign up for the workshop and 58 people attended. We made 3 sales during the workshop at 50% off for 24 hours (so that number may go up – hopefully). We made $698.50.
To be honest, I was hoping to hit $5,000 sales after the webinar, but that was based on only hopes. No real numbers. No science.
The workshop was a lot of fun though. We stayed on for 90 minutes and answered everybody’s question. Might be something we do again in the future for the fun of it.
We’re going to let it coast through the weekend and see if we get any more sales. Jason and I are going to record a wrap up video talking about everything we did and what happened when it was all finished.
The Final ReCap
The best part about this challenge was making a new friend. It was fun to work with someone I respect and who works hard like me.
Jason made me have fun. I mean that in a very positive way. When I was feeling stressed or pressured, he reminded me to enjoy myself. I can’t thank him enough for helping me with my first Money Lab challenge and trusting me with the course he built.
One of the most surprising parts of this was the sponsorship for the rap video. The folks at Acuity Scheduling were fun to work with. They embraced the crazy idea of sponsoring a rap video about podcasting. They had a lot of fun writing the sales copy and sent Jason and I bottles of Champagne, hats, and gold chains as a thank you.
How Much Money Was Made?
Let’s break down the expenses first. Then what we made and figure out the profits! Here’s what we spent (note that many of these cost recur monthly):
- Domain name from GoDaddy.com: $9.99 (annual)
- Website hosting from WP Engine: $29 (monthly)
- Mailchimp for email marketing for the year: $10 (monthly)
- Gumroad as our payment processor: $108 (annual)
- Zapier to add buyers from Gumroad to Mailchimp: $20 (monthly)
- Four written articles for the blog: $800 (monthly)
- Three graphics for the blog: $100 (monthly)
- Total for the month of March: $1,076.99
Here’s all the money we made so far as of March 6, 2016 (three days after the launch)
- Rap video sponsorship deal with Acuity Scheduling: $4,000
- Two sales of Podcast Course with 50% launch discount: $199
- One sale of Full Course with 50% off launch discount: $249.50
- One sale of Master Course at full price before launch: $699
- Five sales of Master Course with 50% off launch discount: $1,747.50
- Podcast Rap Song MP3 (three people asked if they could buy it, so I put it on Gumroad and asked them to pay what they wanted): $8.99
- Total revenue so far: $6,903.99
Our total profit for this challenge so far in March has been $5,827.00.
What I Learned From This Challenge?
I’m not immune to work-related stress. I always believed I was. I’m a human after all. Who knew? I was challenged in ways I never thought possible. I worked harder than I’ve ever worked before.
During the last week of the challenge, I stopped working out because I believed I didn’t have enough time. That was a mistake, and one that I will NOT make again. I also spent very little time with friends in person. However, I did spend a lot of time with Jason over Skype. It wasn’t all bad 😉
Working with great people is great! Jason has been a breath of fresh air. Even working with Acuity Scheduling was eye-opening! I didn’t know working with sponsors could be so fun.
I’m surrounded by supportive people. I need to remind myself of all the positivity being thrown my way. And I need to learn to take compliments.
When you work with great people on a project you truly care about, you’ll work more. You’ll get up early and go to bed late. You’ll be excited to get to your computer and start coding, or filming, or whatever you’re good at. You’ll find ways to work, even when you’re not AT work.
I had a lot of stress working on this project, but even more fun. I challenge you to have more fun working. Even if you’re work seems boring, there’s always a way to add enjoyment. Case in point: every time we get a sale, this appears in our Slack channel:
I want to thank Jason Zook for coming up with this challenge idea, and allowing me to handle re-building and relaunching his sponsorship course (and for making me try Slack again). Thank you to Caroline Winegeart (Jason’s GF) for supporting us and for loving the rap song 🙂
Thank you to my supportive girlfriend, Stephanie Halligan. She rubbed my back when I was feeling stressed, talked me through some difficult challenges, but most importantly, just cared hard. I love her and can’t wait for her support on the next challenge.
To Acuity Scheduling and Omar Zenhom for making the rap video fun and profitable. To Brian Wu and Musique Designs for helping Jason and I create, what I think will be, the most successful sponsorship blog on the internet.
How Much Money Have We Made After One Full Year?
According to Gumroad, we grossed $9,469. That’s excluding refunds and fees.
- $2,200 on getting articles written for the blog.
- $325 on illustrations for each article.
- $60 on Gumroad premium.
- $240 on Zapier to import Gumroad buyers into Mailchimp.
- $275 on Mailchimp.
- $475 on experimental Facebook ads that didn’t work.
All expenses equals $4,017.55.
That means, we made $5,451.45 in a full 365 days.
- 12 Podcast Sponsorship Courses (originally $199 and now $99)
- 3 Full Sponsorship Courses (originally priced at $ $499 and no longer sell)
- 74 Master Sponsorship Courses (originally $699 and now $349)
NOTE: These numbers do not reflect actual sales numbers. Some of these sales went to people in Jason’s Buy My Future community for free and other places.
What Changes Did We Make Over the Year?
We stop selling the Full Sponsorship course and rolled everything into the Master Sponsorship course. Leaving us with only two courses: the podcast one and the Master one.
And we lowered the price of both courses.
We assumed if people signed up for our mailing list we could create a kick-ass funnel that will convert subscribers into buyers. While it worked in the beginning, it started slowing down once we weren’t as involved.
We assumed again that people would have no problem paying $699 for a course that could make them way more than that by selling sponsorships.
Turns out that’s one hell of an impulse buy.
What’s The Stats For The Year?
Over the course of 365 days since we launched, we’ve had:
- 60,544 page views and 45,357 users visit the site.
- 37,788 views of the homepage.
- 7,229 read the most popular post on the site for an average of 5 minutes.
- 1,385 new subscribers on the mailing list.
After launch, we ran one more sale at the end of October offering 50% off for a limited time. That’s when we had our second sales spike.
What The Fuck Happened?
This project began as an experiment to see if we could set up an existing product to make passive income.
Making money by doing virtually nothing is bullshit. You have to do something. We did the bare minimum and got what we deserved.
That’s not a bad thing either.
We put up a few posts in March of 2016 that ranked well in Google over the next six months. That’s where most of the traffic comes from.
Our email sales funnel consists of a 7-Day Sponsorship Course and all of our articles. It takes about 30 days for someone to complete the funnel.
We’ve consistently grown in traffic every month since launch without publishing. And we’ve grown our email list to 2,200 subscribers by putting in a simple opt-in bribe for that traffic.
Traffic to email subscribers converts at around 4% (and that fluctuates from time to time).
What We’ve Learned
In hindsight, we have an expensive product that needs to be aggressively sold – not just impulse bought on a random website someone found by Googling “podcast promotion.”
We both believe that if we had a sales funnel that was more hands-on, like doing weekly or monthly webinars, we could sell more. But that model does not interest us, and we knew that from the start.
What Does the Future Look Like?
If we can both make an extra $2,500 a year from this project, that would be wonderful – it’s the gift that keeps on giving.
We might lower the prices to see if that helps sales. But there’s no plans on the books for that yet.
We won’t be producing anymore articles to gain traffic. We’ve been gaining traffic slowly, so what we have is working.
The only thing I see us doing is holding sales once or twice a year via email. Truthfully, this project is gravy for us.
But maybe if we want a little extra pocket money, we could always host a stupid fucking webinar for jerks.
Want More Information?
If I left anything out of this article that you’re interested in, ask me in the comments. I’ll update the article and ping you about it.
Otherwise, I’m happy with the way this first Money Lab project turned out.
Do I wish it had done better? Of course! But even if the project earned $50,000 I would have said the same thing.
The complex inner turmoil of an entrepreneur I guess.
I had comments for a while because it was a "best practice." However, fuck that! I prefer to have personal conversations via email or Twitter. So, let’s do that instead.