This is the second post recently I’ve written about failing. But it’s more failing to meet my own expectations, which are often arbitrary and a number picked from thin air.
I again failed on my monetary goal ($1,000) but certainly did not fail on my learnings going into next year. I saw this coming on Thursday.
This Black Friday was my first as a full time creator / indie hacker and I was after a nice tasty payday. I’d seen the success of others posting their revenue screenshots and wanted in on the action. The problem was I hadn’t put the years of work into audience building across platforms that they had.
Let me do a reflection on what went well and what I need to do to make next year a (subjective) success.
- My course, 2 Hour Podcast, sold 7 copies for $135
- My wallet business, Whitstable Craft Co, made 2 sales for $125
- My podcast membership, Indie Feast, made 1 sale for $33
My goal was to make $1,000, I made $293.
29% of my goal.
The order was more or less what I was expecting. The course had seen more success than either of my other 2 products in the past and I set it at an absurdly low price ($15). I also technically made $220 over the “BF deal period” as a few people latched onto it early.
I thought the membership and wallets would be close. I was pleasantly surprised with the £94 I made with the wallets because I think that beats my single day sales record. I was hoping to go big and beat the year of sales (£360) but I knew that wasn’t really attainable. The sales for these gave me the biggest smile on my face, so thanks to Jim & Michael for buying a few.
As for the membership, 1 sale was a little disappointing. It’s actually left me questioning the viability of the product going forward. If I couldn’t convince more than one person (thanks, Ben) to spend £2 a month on extended ad-free episodes it might not be something that has long term potential. That being said, I’m now at £100 MRR so I might be being too harsh.
Where it went wrong
The good news is that it’s pretty obvious what I didn’t do right. I was relying almost solely on my Twitter audience (2k followers) which have already been sold on my products a few times over.
In fact, it’s quite impressive that most of the $293 from the day came mostly from Twitter which I’ve only been actively building for the past few months.
I didn’t just share the deals on Twitter, I dusted off some inactive channels to see if I could increase the signal. But lack of attention on those channels meant they had <1% effectiveness.
Here’s some more of my activity:
- LinkedIn post (1,500 followers)
- Email to Indie Bites database (100 subs)
- Post to Whitstable Craft IG (500 followers)
- Post to Whitstable Craft TikTok (22 followers)
- Email to Whitstable Craft database (33 subs)
- Lots more tweets!
Where to improve?
I said at the top of the article about seeing other people’s success and wanted to replicate it. I didn’t realise I couldn’t replicate it having 10% of the audience and only 3 months spent building.
They also shared their deals on more than just Twitter. Well, so did I, but there was not enough volume on the other channels to make a difference.
Over the next year I need to spend time building traffic and email lists across all my products. If I can launch deals to those that are actually interested rather than just my Twitter followers (who are still extremely supportive) then I’m gonna see a more balanced success.
I’ll also need to consistently be growing other social channels, especially for my wallet brand. TikTok is a huge opportunity for me. I have 22 followers but every video has gotten almost 1,500 views. My post yesterday got 600. I’ve seen others have success while putting effort into Instagram too. I’ve already got a nice base of 500 followers but rarely post.
I didn’t really fail
My sister sent this to me and it reframed it a little for me. £200 in one day of people paying me for things I’ve created over the internet, having only been doing this properly for a few months.
I should be proud, not disappointed.
Onto the next year ?