Building In Public

2020 was the year of Visualize Value and Jack Butcher.

Every once in a while you come across someone who opens your eyes to a new way of thinking and exploring—Jack was that person for me this year. I was initially introduced to him by a friend who told me about the Daily Manifest, a simple yet extremely effective daily planner. I began using the planner and started paying attention to the images he would create and share on Twitter and Instagram.

I enjoyed them so much, I even created a few of my own.

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After the images came the Visualize Value Slack, then the Mighty Network Community, then the classes, and I’m sure there’s more coming.

Jack Butcher put on a masterclass on how to build a community and launch various products—he has become known for “build once, sell twice”, but I’m not sure the brilliance behind his launch strategy is appreciated as much as it should be.

As Visualize Value grew on all platforms--Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram--the numbers behind it all were readily available for all to see as Jack was building in public.

As Jack influenced me to create visualizations to communicate and to try and make $1 on the internet, he also influenced me to build in public as well.

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An Online Class For The Subscription Model

I recently launched an online course for financial advisors helping them to understand and build a subscription model. It includes 8 videos, a workbook that helps customize the subscription model for the advisor, and monthly office hours. I want to make sure the course shoots 100% from the field when it comes to advisors earning their investment back quickly. The course is currently in beta and I already have plenty to share.

The beauty of building in public is the transparency involved—I’ll be sharing sales, marketing, and other information that shows the progress being made to bring the subscription model to every ADV.

First Lesson Learned

I learned an early lesson with the marketing of this first course. Unlike Jack Butcher, who had a genius game plan for the many levels of Visualize Value, I had little game plan--I just thought I'd be able to leverage my existing advisor network to get started. I publicly mentioned the course only a couple of times as I was recording the videos. Naturally, video production and editing took longer than I expected—I did it all myself, so had to fit it in with client reviews, integrating a new financial advisor and launching his content strategy, my own content, and the rest of life. The initial interest and excitement around the first mentions all but died out by the time the course was ready.

I also created a landing page but didn’t put much effort behind directing advisors there. I did manage to build an email list of 150+ advisors, but much like my other initial efforts, I did not take advantage of the list by having an email campaign to nurture those relationships. I’ve always known my strength is creating content and an area for improvement (or outsourcing) is distribution--this confirmed it. My failed marketing effort highlighted the need to build a more serious marketing campaign for this course.

The end result is I did not fill the 10 seats I had hoped to fill for the beta group—I’m keeping it open because I want to get feedback from advisors to make sure the course is covering everything and warrants an investment of $1499 (the beta is $500).

As I get the feedback from the beta group, I’ll begin laying the groundwork for a true marketing campaign for the course. It will involve:

  • Email marketing campaign
  • Advertising on my podcast
  • Subtle marketing to The Advisor Of Tomorrow subscribers
  • Google Ads
  • Retargeting (I’ll be following some of you around social media 😀)

I’m excited to dive into this formal marketing strategy. Content creation, specifically consistently creating a lot of content, has worked for RLS Wealth and The AGC™ but with the subscription course (and future courses) I am going to need to experiment with other strategies and intentional distribution because the advisors who can benefit from the course most likely aren’t on Twitter, they aren’t listening to my podcasts, and there is a good chance they don’t even know who I am.

Through an improved marketing strategy they will—and I plan to bring them massive value as they build their practice for the future.

So now for the numbers:

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I'll be updating this chart and also tracking engagement via social media, email, Google Ads, and retargeting.

I could have folded the subscription course after the less than stellar beta launch but that's not my style. I know the class is good in its current form and it will only be better after some feedback from the advisors who signed up.

I also know I'm going to learn a lot over the coming weeks and I'm looking forward to sharing it with you.

If you're looking for some inspiration heading into the new year, check out Jack Butcher's online courses:

HOW TO VISUALIZE VALUE — DESIGN FUNDAMENTALS

BUILD ONCE, SELL TWICE — THE PRODUCTIZATION PLAYBOOK

Here's to building in public 🥂