Hey friends, I’m excited to send the first episode from Scotland your way!
Today I’m talking about launching and let me tell you, there is so much to think and dream about. Launching can bring up so many things for small business owners… if you are feeling nervous just thinking about the title know that you are not alone. Here is what I am sharing about:
- My story with launches and how my first one failed spectacularly
- Why I believe having a launch free business model can work and why I am now launching anyway
- The three focus points I am centring (honesty, generosity and community) this summer and the tools I am using to re-launch the Embodied Business School.
This episode is for you I’ve you’ve been feeling icky about launching, want to explore doing things differently and need some practical ideas and tools to spread the word about an offering you’re excited about.
Listen to the Embodied Business Podcast
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⋒ Hi, my name is Yarrow and I am your host.
My Embodied Business podcast explores what it means to build a livelihood with integrity, joy and anti capitalist values. I offer practical guidance on tech, strategy, ethical marketing, creativity and money and interview other small business owners who do things their own way.
You can learn more about my work, listen to other episodes or join my community at PinkWellStudio.com
You can also sign up for my newsletter - I share free workshop invitations, resources, ideas & new episodes about once per month! ⋒
Hey, everyone, my name is Yarrow and you’re listening to the IRA business podcast. I’m really excited because this is the first episode I’m sending to you from Scotland. So we just arrived last week and took a couple of days. And suddenly, I’m not gonna lie, it’s stressful to back up again, and to make the long overland trip. But we are super, super lucky with the place that we’re staying in the weather has been beautiful. So far, it’s been rainy days, but it kind of felt really cosy. And then there’s also really a lot of sunshine. And the area that we’re in is great. And we’ve already seen a lot of art and met some friends. And so I just feel really lucky that I get to work for myself from home, and therefore experience different areas and experiment and just enjoy that freedom of Yeah, being flexible in that way. So today’s episode is all about launching without feeling achy, which I know it’s something that is on many people’s hearts and minds. If you’ve been listening to my podcast and following my work for a while, you will know that I have strong feelings about launching and that I’ve avoided it for a while. And I found a way of avoiding my business or business model that was to a great extent launch for free. And I really loved that and enjoyed that. And I will tell you a little bit more about why that was and why I am now launching something and what the story behind that is. But most importantly, I want to share a couple of tools and frameworks or ideas and approaches that has really helped me find a way to launch now that feels good to me, that doesn’t feel icky or overwhelming or or salesy or anything like that no credit excited, you know, like doors haven’t even opened yet. So I can’t really speak to how successful it was going to be. But I know that I’m going to measure success in my own way anyway. So I’m just open to this being an experiment. And I’m excited to see what happens. So I want to begin by talking a little bit about why we launching things. So as a business owner, if you come up with a new thing, and that could be a service or product or a quiz, obviously there comes a time where you’re going to have to offer it to your market and you’re going to have to start talking about it. Sometimes he will open and close the cart, so to say. So there’ll be a limit of time that people can buy something. And other times there won’t be. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t officially launch it in a way. So having kind of like a timeline with a launch isn’t necessarily required to think about ways in which you can communicate your offering, or bring something new to the market in a really exciting way. So I know people, for example, that offer services all year round, but they have specific pay periods each year where they’re launching them. And that makes total sense because you’re not always in this totally open energy where you’re having fewer calls all the time, or where you’re talking about what you’re offering a tonne. And for some of us, I think it can be really helpful to shift between these different energies. And for me in the last two years, I actually wanted to be in a continuously open energy, I was feeling quite shy about committing to a closed group of people, and leading them through an experience do I have made great experiences myself and being centred programmes, I really wanted to be able to let people join whenever they wanted and leave whenever they wanted. And they still do. And I will talk also about that a little bit more in detail. But, but I am also now seeing the value of launching a bit more. I think the reason why so many of us, including myself are really resistant to launching is that it is so often done in a way that feels really icky and overwhelming. There’s a lot of comparison numbers fly around. And it can kind of sometimes feel like the worst of capitalism really to be launched at. So to say, to be made to feel like we have to buy a certain thing in order to be a certain way, or to become complete or you know, to sell some kind of hole that really can be filled with another product in a way. And don’t get me wrong. I think there’s there’s so many beautiful people out there who offer really amazing tool like tools that can help you think about what what is missing in your life and establish practices and habits and ways of thinking that are really supportive. But at the end of the day, it’s us who have to do the work. And so I think it’s a problem and we’re being sold the idea that we can buy the thing that’s going to fix us. So anyway, now I’m going to talk a little bit more about my story with launching. So I am in the fifth year of my business now. Yeah To draw.
And I also have dating rewards, which you might know, which is a little bit younger. But anyway, and then my fifth years, I feel like I’ve really arrived in this place that I’ve been wanting to be in all my 20s. And I’m really excited and happy and up for doing this work until I retire, which I’m not sure when is going to happen when that’s gonna happen. But that’s, you know, that’s not the focus for now. All I’m saying is that I feel that this work is sustainable. For me, I’m still really excited about it, I’m still really excited about exploring it from different angles, serving more people being more creative. Yeah, just just finding myself more in that process and the work that I do. And, and the first two years of my business, I wasn’t really launching anything in the conventional sense, I just one day was kind of ready to start offering web design packages. And I was, at the time really is active in Facebook groups. And I just said to a couple of people, you know, like, Hey, I can help you with that. This is my prize is what I can offer. And then some people said, Yes, and that’s how it all started. So I never at the time really had like an email campaign, or a tonne of social media strategy, or even like a really good website, where is my own website? Looking back now, it just really wasn’t that great. And I learned a tonne in the meantime. And that makes total sense. So yeah, that’s just the way it is and the journey. So the first two years ago, I said, I was mainly working through recommendations, I would build a website for someone, they would recommend me to their friends, and it kind of grew from there. And I really, really liked it that way, because it felt organic. And I didn’t have a tonne of overhead, which is great, because I was I didn’t have a tonne of money as kind of started this business really deep in my overdraft. And so working this way has really worked for me. And it helped me really get to know my clients and what they’re struggling with. And I kind of feel like these first two years, I was often advised or even like shouted at about developing courses and programmes and making passive income. And I’m really glad that it took my time because I needed to become confident in myself as a teacher, I needed to learn a lot more about the tools that I wanted to share eventually. And also, I just needed to grow into myself as an entrepreneur, which was like a journey in itself. So I’m really glad I took my time. And then about two, two and a half years in, I created my first course, which was a DIY web design WordPress course. And I spend a tonne a tonne of time, energy and money into the production. Of course, without really having any plan about how to launch it. I had the sense that it was something that was needed. And I you know, I was hearing from people all the time, they really wanted to learn how they could make their own website and I was like, great, I can teach you I taught myself I’m really excited about this. But I didn’t really have a system in place to kind of, you know, spread the word create excitement, I was really vague about my pricing. And I had a very small newsletter list and not a huge social media following. So no way, you could say that that launch flopped. I did and within the first three months even make the money back day spend on the production. But that was really so important to me because I got to experiment but myself by myself, you know, I was just being playful. I was seeing what I could do by myself. And I just wasn’t ready in my headspace yet to make an investment to get support from someone else. And to really take that to the next level. And that’s okay, because you know, like, I still funded my life. I had great experience. I lived in different places I had, you know, like had a mother’s but good income and things grew from there. And so yeah, anyway, and then two years ago, roughly two years ago, I can’t be submitter now, but and I kind of attempted to launch properly for the first time. So I ran a free summer workshop series I think it was called the DIY summer school. And it was six workshops that people could sign up for. And it was really amazing was such a cool playground because I really grew my list I got to know so many people, tonnes and tonnes of people really showed up for those live workshops and that gave me so much confidence in teaching and getting organised around preparing materials and communicating and sending out emails and that kind of stuff. So that was really cool. And my plan was that I would in July and August offer all these free workshop so I was really pouring so much energy into that like this is probably that was an offering that other people would have charged like $500 for
but I was just like so keen on over delivering And then selling something that I kind of went crazy in a way. And when September came and it was time to launch, I totally freaked out. And I want to be support and as and I’m really embarrassed about this. But basically, I sent like one or two emails and said hate. So you know, I hope you had a great time and my free so much challenge. And if you want to take this further, here’s what I now offer it to a small group of people and I want to lead you through this bigger course that’s going to kind of deepen your understanding and ability to work with these things. And I didn’t have the signups within 24 hours. And then two came in with it within a couple of days. But I took it down, I just stopped because I was so anxious and so freaked out. And I knew I could only make this work financially for myself, if I had at least 12 to 20 people sign up, because otherwise I would just spend way too much time and energy delivering the programme. And the price was pretty low as well. So I just couldn’t justify doing that. And I didn’t have a strategy in place to really promote it in a way that would get those people together. So I just took it down and fed. Okay, you know, this was a great experience that gave me confidence as a teacher. And I’ve grown my list and my community and I’ve served a lot of people for free. And that was it. And, and I think many people make that experience. I know it’s not me, it’s not just me. So that feels good to remember. And then another year of the data, or actually just half a year after that, I came across Patreon and get root got really excited. And I still am I think Patreon has made such a huge difference in my business and in the way that you know, like on a bigger scale, how I see my life unfolding and what potential I see and how much I love teaching and community building. So I have 160 patrons right now, right now, which is phenomenal. I’m so excited to be serving these people. And I’m so honoured that they’ve decided to support my work with a small pledge everyone. And it’s really worked for me to just, you know, think about what I wanted to offer and just let people sign up for that any time. So in the past, I was offering basically two programmes through the Patreon actually notice the hang up. So the first programme I started offering is called the magic of embodiment. And people can pledge three, seven or $11 and receive access to monthly packages, or self care and magic. And there’s meditations and terrorist breads and fog, herbal recipes and ritual ideas. And it’s really cool. And we also meet once a month to write and journal together and do some self care and community care. And that feels really cool. That has grown really quickly. It was really easy. So there was no big launching. I just started talking about it on Instagram and on my podcast and my newsletter. And it was pretty, you know, it is it is really affordable and accessible. Relatively obviously, it would never be accessible for everyone. But relatively accessible. Definitely. And so yes, lots of people say yes to that, which is really great. And then another thing I offered in spring this year was a 33 day journaling programme called Estes and radical love where people get a journaling prompt every day, that’s also accessible to all patrons. And I thought that was such fun to create and such fun to go through with every one as well. And then my other big offering is a do a business school. And that used to be available for a pledge of $11 on Patreon and is now no longer available that way because I’ve made a lot richer and we recorded all the videos as group coaching calls now. So it’s going to cost a little bit more money, though not a tonne is still really affordable as a whole on the whole compatibly. But yeah, so that’s been really fun. And I kind of launched the Patreon in the sense that there were periods where I was offering free one card readings for everyone who signed up that week. Or I was, you know, like, really having a focus on promoting one particular offering such as the season of radical love so that everyone could start it together. But in other ways, if you wanted to see a lot as something that happens in a specific period of time, then I never did that because it was always open. And it always is open and people can leave anytime. So yeah, this this is my story. We’re launching and now we’re arriving kind of in this summer and I’m relaunching the DIY Small Business School. I have loved teaching this programme for a year now.
And I’ve seen people have really amazing results and it’s been just incredible to teach what I’ve learned over the years and to kind of Yeah facilitate this way of building a business that that I feel is, I don’t want to say you need because you know, obviously, we’re all special snowflakes and stuff. But I do feel like there’s an emphasis and my work on doing stuff yourself and being authentic and relatable and making things fall and being honest and grounded and nurturing. And also creating really low cost software systems and keeping things really affordable and easy to manage. So those things are really important to me. And starting in late August, we’ll have monthly group coaching calls, there will be monthly live workshops, there will be more participation and love in the community over and mighty networks. And I will also offer a quarterly business planning workshops. And because these are the things that after reading this programme for a year, I’ve really seen were missing in a way, I really think that the core programme, with the video trainings that I have recorded is really comprehensive, it really teaches you everything you need to know from putting together offerings to social media strategy to thinking about building your newsletter list and all that kind of stuff. But it is also really hard to really implement all of that if you don’t have the support of a group. So that’s something that I really wanted to offer. And in that sense, it does now make sense to launches in a way. But there’s lots of things, lots of ways around that lunchtime balloon a little bit differently. I’m just wanting to share my process in case, there’s something here and that framework that could work for you, too, if you’re thinking about launching something. So the I’ve kind of identified three focus points. The first one is honesty, I really want to be upfront with the information that I’m giving people. So the DIY Business School is going to be $222 in the pre launch period, starting on August 15. them haven’t totally decided when it’s going to end yet, but I will let you know as soon as possible. And you will definitely know and there will be plenty of time to decide and make decisions. There will be payment plans as well. So you can make three to six payments, whatever works best for you. And they won’t be more expensive than the one of payments. So it’s just totally up to you how many payments you want to make, but I’m not gonna punish you for taking longer to pay, which is totally okay. Another part of honesty for me is also giving people plenty of notice and time to make that decision. So I’ve put together a size page on my website, and I’m really trying to be super clear about what this programme is and isn’t so that people have enough time and space to decide whether it’s for them or not. And speaking about, well, it is not I also want to be clear that it’s not one on one support, for example. And people still have to do the work and you know, put them the energy for whatever it is that they want to get out of it. I think that’s especially true for the community. I think I love Love, love my network mighty networks. But people do get out of it. What they put in that is generally how it goes with groups. And this programme is no different. So I can promise people that they will be supported by 20 people if all they ever do is show up once a year to ask a question. You know, I think this is like a mutual exchange and something that we have to grow together. And I also had promise people that they make a certain income or that the journey of building a business is going to be easy for them. It wasn’t always easy for me. And we’re all in such different places. We all have different privileges and backgrounds and abilities and skills and resources to utilise. So I just really haven’t make any promises around that. Another part of honesty for me is being really open to questions. So I have a an FAQ question section. But then I also have a little forum where you can send in other questions that you might have. And then yeah, that’s it. So those things I kind of have identified as part of really wanting to be honest. And then the next kind of focus point for me is generosity. So I’m trying to focus on creating value in my community rather than throw throwing money at at companies all the time, I will be running some social media ads. And I’m not sure yet what
my budget is going to be. And exactly what that’s going to look like that’s actually something I’m going to look at later tonight. And I’m not, you know, I’m just not sure yet. But basically, really my focus is on the giveaway, which you’re super Welcome to take part and I’m giving away lifetime access one spot at a dry business school as well as five hours of personal mentoring with me, which is really exciting. I’m actually not available in that forum anymore. So That’s worth over a bit over $600. And you can share share, you can enter through the link in my show notes, or on the blog post. And if you share the giveaway, you’ll also get more entries. So I think this is a cool way of building community and giving value away rather than running ads and giving more money to social media companies. And also creating a bunch of freebies with the intention to be of service. So I’m communicating clearly with the freebies that people do. Sign up for my newsletter, when they you know, when they sign up, they will hear about me offering something but they can opt out at any time. And I also think that I want to be really clear that I’m super happy for people to take that offer. Even if they know they’ll never buy the business school for whatever reason, either. Because maybe they can’t afford it, it’s not the right time, they’re not sure if that’s really for them. All of that is totally cool. If you just want to come to my workshops, or you want to do to framing a course but you know, the school is not going to be for you. That’s okay. I still really think that offering something for free, is a great way to build community and give people a chance to get to know your teaching skills well, because that the school is a is an investment. And you I think should have a feeling for what I’m like and what you can learn from me before you make that decision. So I feel good about having freebies and doing this giveaway. And then the last one is point as community. So I’m asking a lot for feedback, especially with the people that are already in the programme, I really want to be sure that I’m solving problems that people actually have rather than kind of inventing problems that no one needs are giving people the feeling that they’re not in love, or that they have to do something differently or be differently in order to be successful. I also want to create a sense of collaboration rather than comparison. And so one thing I’m doing, for example, is that encouraging people to share the group what they’re currently working on. And I think because there can sometimes be the kind of like, yeah, culture of just promoting, like it’s no one’s business and never giving any value and Facebook groups, we as community hosts sometimes think that it’s not safe to let people promote. But I think actually, especially in my community has gone the other way that people feel really shy and they don’t want to be, you know, promoting too much or be salesy. But actually, they are so lovely and are showing up for other people all the time. And so I totally want to give them the space to share what they’re currently working on and to ask to feed for feedback and maybe find people that are interested in what they have to offer. So I think we just have to really find ways of trading with each other and community that feel good and honest and transparent. And, and I know it’s possible, I really want to do it. So yeah, these are my kind of my three underlying focus points, honesty, generosity, and building community. And the practical things that I’m doing as well as the giveaway, I’m using King sumo.com for the giveaway, and that’s free, I’m using the free version. And then I’m running a workshop later in August about more ethical ways of marketing a business and building a business, which I’m really excited about you be obviously the first to hear about it. And then I’m going to be sending a couple of newsletters, I’ll be posting a tonne of Instagram, I’ll do some video streams, maybe I’ll be live even if I’m really brave. So those are the kinds of things that I’m doing. And I might be adding some ads as well. I’m not sure yet. triggered if there’s I’m not gonna lie. But let’s see what’s happening. If you see my ad, please like it, that would be amazing. And yeah, I’ll let you know how it goes. I think in September, I’ll record another episode to kind of recap what I learned from this launch and how the community has grown. And if you have any questions, or if there’s anything that you want to add in the meantime, then obviously please let me know. I do think that launching can make sense sometimes in and perhaps we’re going to bring close groups of people together to be in an experience together.
Or if we have seasonal products or, or quite frankly, honestly, if we need a cash infusion in our businesses, I think that that’s not something we talk about enough. You know, I think that’s so valid and fair to say, actually working for myself is pretty precarious and what for whatever reason, I needed cash and fees and right now, I’m moving houses for example, an item and I’m not sure yeah, I’m gonna move and so that was a big factor for me. And I think that it’s fair to say as a business owner, I need cash. So yeah, thank you so much for listening for being here. I really want to hear your thoughts and I hope that you will check the giveaway out and let me know if you have any questions about that. Thank you so much.