The Biggest Day For Our Business Yet

Next week is a huge week for us....it may even big the biggest day for the blog and business ever.  After a month of hard work and months of planning we will be launching a paid membership site.  



It's exciting. It's scary. It's nerve wracking. It's the first big project we've worked on together.  Of course we've tag teamed on other projects - like the release of Cutting a Profit - but in that case Bob's main goal was to make sure I had time to write so we could get the book out. 

This is different. 


This is different in so many ways because I had no pre-existing knowledge of how the platform worked. I had no advantage.  We literally were both starting from square one - together.  That makes this project even more sweet.

The idea for the membership site started before Bob even joined me in business.  It's actually one of the big reasons we decided to take this entrepreneurial leap of faith. We knew a membership site for Silhouette School was a great idea, a great concept, and had great potential.  But we also knew there was NO way I could build it on my own - not with all of the other competing priorities on the blog. And not with all of the additional work and demand it would create once launched.

So back in April or May I scribbled down a list of content ideas for a membership site. It included premium content in the way of video tutorials, an exclusive ebook, commercial use files, members only discount codes from our favorite retailers/partners and a few more things - some of which we incorporated, some of which we ultimately decided wasn't a good fit, and we've actually included some things in the membership site that weren't even on the original list.


We pretty much tabled the membership site for the summer since the kids were on summer break from school. I used that time to focus on getting Cutting a Profit out.  But I can tell you the minute they stepped on that school bus on the first day of school, we started working on the membership site.



We didn't even have a name or a platform yet, but we were working.  Bob took the lead on finding the membership platform which we used to build the site.  We threw around a few names and decided Silhouette U was perfect - it goes along with Silhouette School, but gives the 'higher learning' and 'elite' vibe just in the name.  We came up with a logo, price points, membership terms, and worked out how it would best be linked to Silhouette School blog.

Once we got controls on the back end of the platform we literally fumbled around for three days. Neither of us knew what we were doing. This was a whole new system that we didn't know how to work. While I have some website building knowledge it's very limited especially because I've been working on the same system for years. This was totally new to both of us. At one point something clicked for Bob - he finally 'got' it.  So I told him what I wanted the bones of the site to look like and he set it up (and told me not to touch it!).  Then I went in and started adding written content and graphics. As we built it out we tweaked and we futzed and we changed this, that and the other thing.

Bob had a massive to do list that he literally checked things off and added things on by the hour.  We spent several days recording videos - sometimes with way too many takes - just to launch the site. We will add more monthly, but we recorded 16 videos to start all of them between 5 and 10 minutes.

This was the ultimate tag team effort. Some of the videos I could record on my own and others I needed Bob since I was on camera.  However they were recorded, I would pass them off to him for editing. I taught him how to make title graphics for each video and I referred back to Fiverr to get a video animation made.  I took on a massive task of organizing a team of graphic designers and realized it was so time consuming I needed help. Bob quickly picked it up and has made it that much more organized.

Almost exactly a month later and the site is built and ready to launch.  But there's no such thing as "If you build it they will come" on the Internet. You have to market the heck out of your content or it will get lost in the vast world wide web.
 
It's part of the reason why Silhouette U's been done and ready to go for a good week now and yet it's still listed as 'coming soon.' We need time to market it. We have a whole marketing plan which of course takes full advantage of Silhouette School's wide reach, engagement and voice.  I've talked about Silhouette U on Instagram, Facebook, Facebook Live, and on the blog in the form of a giveaway.  We've created and continue to push a Silhouette U email list which is key for a successful launch so all those who are signed up can be alerted by email!  It all creates buzz, excitement, and knowledge of the new site and hopefully that means a successful launch on October 4.

I always get super nervous launching new products - whether it's a book or one on one tutoring or speaking at a new event.  But I always think back to the day, shortly before I launched my original Ultimate Silhouette Guide.   I asked Bob how many ebooks he thought I'd sell and he was so confident in 800. He that that would be amazing.  We've sold more than 20,000 ebooks. So...let's just say my hope for 1,000 Silhouette U members in the first few months is along a similar line :)

I'll be sharing more on how to successfully launch and market new blog-related products on Boss Lady and Bob in the coming weeks.

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