I make mistakes. A lot of them.
Most of the time (luckily) I catch myself early enough in my mistake making process that I can learn a bunch of lessons and get out early before things get crazy… (managing risk is an art form… and only the paranoid survive…).
And this week I narrowly missed making a massive mistake that probably would have ended with me in the hospital recovering from a brain aneurysm… and that’s not even an exaggeration.
This past week my business partner and I announced the launch of a “follow-along” style $100k passive income challenge.
You may have seen the FB post flying around town.
It was a challenge that was inspired by guys like Neil Patel, Pat Flynn, and others who have openly shared their live results in building online properties. I love that stuff, and we knew it would get us crazy good exposure which we could leverage to increase our copywriting/consulting fees.
We invited you (readers of this blog) to join us in a private Facebook group to get updates, ask questions etc.
It was going to be awesome (I’ll reveal the full details of our master plan further down in this post) but we had to close it down (for reasons I’ll explain).
My initial reaction was to just crawl in a hole and let the Interwebs distract everyone until this “blew over” and everyone was on to the next bright and shiny blog post challenge…
But then I remembered that we had 90+ members in the FB group within the first 10 hours of announcing this… and we were generating more FB group “optins” every second at about $0.06 a clip… (we ran ads)
So instead of just letting this incredibly embarrassing learning opportunity go to waste, I thought I’d share with you our plan, what we learned, and what you can take away to implement into your own business (trust me, you’re gonna get some really good ideas from this post).
So, here goes confessional time!
What We Had Planned On Doing
NOTE: Ideas are worthless. Action is everything.
That being said, maybe someone can put this idea into action because I think it’s pretty damn brilliant.
Pete and I were going to document our journey through weekly blog posts, bi-weekly Q & A webinars, and video breakdowns as we built out this property:
That’s a pretty typical blog post challenge type series. We’ve seen it a hundred times.
What we were going to do differently was this:
Step 1. Grow The FB Group To 1,000 People
We know from tested experience that at about 1,000 people free FB groups start to grow organically, the conversations start to be amazing, the content generates itself, and it’s easier to run… so all we had to do was get 1,000 people into our free group.
All we did was run a simple FB ad. We ended up generating 90+ “leads” in the first 10 hours from simple little FB ads at about $0.06 per person to sign up.
Within 10 days we would have met that goal. Easily.
It would have cost $60.
Step 2. Close The Group And Give A TON Of Free Stuff Away
At that point (at 1,000 people) it was our plan to close the group to new sign ups.
We were going to provide updates, give Q & A webinars, and release our templates and worksheets we use to build businesses all the time.
We wanted you to feel like you were getting a $297/month group coaching experience totally free.
And we wanted 1,000 people to experience that.
Step 3. Monetize Two Ways
We knew that we couldn’t charge for information once the first 1,000 people were inside the group.
That would be the ole’ “Bait & Switch” sales tactic which I freaking hate.
But we did eventually want to sell the information we had provided.
Our plan was to give you all the freebies & goodies we could and get your feedback on improving it. Like one big beta testing group.
We were going to ask you to be an affiliate.
Not like, get up in your face and threaten you with expulsion, but we figured that we could convince enough of you through the power of just overwhelming you with value that you would be able to take the info we were giving you for free and sell it as an affiliate in the best way possible:
By saying, “This information changed my business and made me money. Get it here.”
That would have been a win-win-win situation for everyone. The very definition of leverage and scalability.
Except that we found a little potential legal problem that is the main reason we had to shut the whole thing down in the first place… (Which I’ll share later in this post).
The second way we were hoping to monetize the group would have been to offer discounted copywriting services.
Since everyone in the group would have been creating information products (if they had followed along with our business model) there would have been at least 1,000 people in need of at least an optin page, a sales letter, and some emails.
Potentially, $1,214,000 worth of copywriting work just in the free group.
But we found a huge problem with that also which contributed to our having to close it all down.
Why We Had To Shut It Down
We found 2 major problems:
Reason 1. Conflict Of Interest (Potentially)
My current attorney is an ex-Army Green Beret. No joke.
He’s like this guy only scarier because he could kill you with his bare hands without you even realizing it… and then defend himself in court and probably win:
Anyways, he’s expensive and he terrifies me. Which is why I pay him.
But he’s also made me SUPER paranoid when it comes to legal issues.
And Pete and I realized that some of the information that we were going to be sharing in the FB group… some of our copywriting clients charged their customers kind of a lot of money to learn.
Conflict of interest. Basically. Potentially.
Now, before you get the wrong idea… we weren’t stealing ideas from our clients to turn into big monies.
You can already find everything we were going to teach you for free online. Check out Jon Loomer, a few basic content marketing blogs, and learn how to write copy (by hand copying a sales letter a day… I still do that…) and you would have gotten everything we were going to teach.
Our problem was… perception.
You see, we write for some of the biggest names in the IM space. I don’t mean like the biggest dudes on the Warrior Forum… I mean guys and gals that have us wrapped up so tight in NDAs we can barely even tell people we’re writers without having to double check the fine print.
People whose names transcend the space itself. People who’ve appeared on Oprah and shiz.
People who probably don’t want to reveal that they get sales copy that converts for their 6 figure launches for only $697… because they’ve got copywriting friends who charge 10 times that…
And I don’t want to lose them just because of a potential misunderstanding.
People before money. The current relationship capital to dollar exchange rate is like 400 to 1. And you can’t reverse the exchange.
Yes, there hasn’t been a new idea in almost 100 years… and after having written for over 1,000 product creators in the past 15 months I think I maybe saw 4 unique products that weren’t like anything else… but try telling that to an upset client…
So, in order to respect our clients and ensure that no misunderstanding happened we nixed the whole operation.
Reason #2. Just Look At My Schedule And You’ll See Why
A few days ago I got this awesome question from a reader:
So, to answer this fine gentleman’s question, and to show you why trying to run a half decent Facebook Group at the same time would do me permanent bodily harm… here’s my schedule:
I do this ^^^ 6 days per week.
6:00AM to 11:00PM.
This allows me to:
- Finish reading 2 – 3 books per week (mostly non-fiction… I’m trying to incorporate more fiction so I can create better stories… but it just doesn’t seem to be happening...)
- Hand copy sales letters, poetry, and fictional prose for at least 6 hours per week… that’s 6 hours each week of deliberate practice that I know my competition ISN’T doing…
- Get in 7 solid, uninterupted hours of client work each day which I generate about $197 – $297 in value for my clients each and every hour…
- 2 beautiful hours of phsyical exercise out in the woods, at the gym with fellow martial artist fanatics etc. Those two hours in the middle of the day are my little oasis from the craziness that is entrepnuership and “the hustle“… SIDENOTE: I’ve had more good ideas in those 120 minute sessions than doing anything else. ever. Excersize, it will make you rich…
- 2 – 3 hours per day to work on my fiction business, create content for this copywriting/IM business and generally goofing around online answering emails, social media etc.
- 2 precious hours to spend with my wife and son uninterupted… I wish I had more of this time in my day…
Do I stick to this schedule everyday?
Mostly stuff gets thrown in there and my schedule looks more like:
6:00 AM to 2:00 AM
Where I do everything you see there PLUS other stuff.
Do you see why trying to run a successful FB group where I’m throwing down value bombs every week would be nearly impossible?
I wouldn’t have time to tap into that $1,000,000 worth of sales copy even if I had wanted to. I just don’t have the room in my schedule.
It’s why I don’t really try and promote myself as a copywriter. We bill $6,000/week worth of work just off of recurring clients.
I would have created all this potential sales value… only to not be able to actually do anything with it.
And that would have decreased my ability to deliver high quality stuff consistently.
Here’s how I see it:
There is literally NO REASON to embark on any project UNLESS you can give 110% of yourself.
Value creates oppourtunity.
Oppourtunity creates earning potential.
It starts with Value. The Value that YOU CREATE from simply working your ass off.
If you can’t give yourself 110% to a project… then you shouldn’t do it.
It’s better to say “no” 1,000 times than to say “yes” one more time than you’re able.
It’s my biggest problem and it’s caused me serious grief over the years of being self employed. Learn to say NO to certain oppourtunities so you can say YES to the success you want.
Anyways, I’ve had to say “no” to following through with the $100k challenge.
It bums me out because I think it would have been really, really fun… and who wants to turn down almost a $1,000,000 worth of potential copy work… plus backend information marketing sales…
But there are only so many hours in a day.
And right now, I’m doing exactly what I want to be doing.