On today’s episode, I want to dive into the 4 things that I learned from those 2 failed businesses. In hindsight, it is so obvious why both failed.
But when I was in the trenches, trying to get customers to buy or download a free app, it just felt like I was doing everything possible already.
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So a couple of days ago, I was getting interviewed on a podcast and the host of that podcast asked me about my entrepreneurial journey before I started Chrys Media, which is my Messenger bot marketing agency.
And so I was telling her about how I had 2 businesses before Chrys Media and they were both unsuccessful. The first was similar to Classpass, I created an all-access pass to fitness studio and healthy food places and it was called Yo! Fit Pass. The name itself was hilarious, but I think when I launched it, I wanted an easy and catchy name to remember.
Yo! Fit Pass lasted about a year, we had a few customers, and after a year I decided to pivot the business idea to an app that would allow you to find fitness studios and healthy food places closest to you. That app was called Miso and again, it was really tough to get it off the ground.
And so on today’s episode, I want to dive into the 4 things that I learned from those 2 failed businesses. In hindsight, it is so obvious why Yo! Fit Pass and Miso failed. But when I was in the trenches, trying to get customers to buy the pass or download the app, it just felt like I was doing everything possible already.
And the first lesson that I learned is when you’re starting a new business, one of the first things to focus on is getting yourself in front of your target audience. You can get yourself or your brand in front of your target audience through creating consistent content, paid traffic, and partnership collaborations.
This is so important because no one will know that you exist if you’re not showing up in front of them. And when I look at what I tried to do with Yo! Fit Pass, because I didn’t have the budget to run paid ads, I tried to get media coverage in our local newspapers and magazines.
I remember I used to send out emails to journalists for the sports section or lifestyle section and while Yo! Fit Pass was featured a couple of times, it didn’t really rock the boat.
Same thing with Miso, when we launched the app, again no budget for paid ads so I tried to get app featured in newspapers and magazines. I remember I tried creating a podcast called In The Fit Zone and I was interviewing fitness professionals, but I wasn’t committed back then like I am right now with this podcast. And so that podcast, since I was creating new episodes every single week, it eventually just died off.
What I would have done differently now that I have more experience and more knowledge on helping businesses, is to focus on creating relevant content such as YouTube videos and guest posts on different blogs. I think there was so much more that I could have done back then for both businesses to get more brand awareness that what we got then.
And looking at my business now, the reason why Chrys Media is still going strong is because I've been actively putting myself out in the spotlight: starting this podcast, my YouTube channel, speaking at conferences and online summits, going on podcasts... every week I'm getting interviewed at least once.
I have people reaching out to me organically because they heard me talk about Facebook Messenger bot marketing on a podcast or a Facebook Live and that is the power of getting your brand in front of your target audience.
The second lesson that I learned was when I look at all the content that I created for those 2 businesses, I noticed that I wasn’t talking a lot about why they need Yo! Fit Pass instead of a gym membership, or why they need the free Miso app instead of searching for a gym near them using Google.
You’ll want to offer the why and the what, but never the how. I see a lot of coaches doing this right. So they talk about their stories, they talk about the issues they faced and the issues they see their clients face, so that’s the Why.
Then they talk about what kind of transformation you can get if you sign up for their program or course or membership. That is the What. But they don’t teach you in their content they How, they don’t walk you through step by step how exactly to get over that issue or that problem.
So you want to get people to pay you for your service or product to get the how. In your content and marketing, talk about WHY people need your product or service. Talk about the transformation they'll get. Talk about why you and not others. But don't teach the HOW.
I talk a lot about Messenger bot marketing and digital marketing all the time, but I never share the how part. I talk about why businesses need a Messenger bot, I talk about why businesses are struggling with marketing, I talk about why they need my agency service or join my mastermind and what kind of transformation or change they’re gonna get, but I don’t teach them how to do their digital marketing or build their Messenger bot. I want people to come to me for the how part.
And that’s what you’ll need to do with your content as well. Check to make sure that your content is not focused on showing people exactly how to get to their goal or the result they want. Make sure you’re talking about what’s the problem, first, then what’s the solution and why you or why your business.
Which brings me to the third lesson, no amount of marketing and promotions can salvage a product or service that does not fit what the market wants or needs.
And hindsight 20/20, that was a huge problem for both Yo! Fit Pass and Miso. Both business ideas sounded great, right? You could visit any gym and then afterwards go and have a healthy meal. You could use Miso app to find gyms and healthy food places near you. But, were both businesses needed? Did they solve a huge problem? Not back then, and I don’t think till this day.
For a few people, they were a nice to have. But for many people, they didn’t really need a fitness and healthy food pass, nor did they need a Miso app when they’ve got Google and Google isn’t broken.
And so when you’re looking at your business and the service or product that you offer, are you offering something that people want or need? Is it something that people are willing to pay for?
Because that’s another thing that I found with both of the businesses. They were great ideas, I had friends telling me they loved the business ideas, but they weren’t willing to pay for it. And that was because the problem that this pass was trying to solve is not big enough for people to switch their gyms and buy this pass.
So with Chrys Media, I am selling a marketing service that not all businesses might want, but for those who do, they’re willing to pay for it.
If you want to see if a new business idea or a new product or service idea is something that people will pay for or desperately needs, then one of the things you can do is to pre-sell this idea and see how many people will put down their money even though the product or service isn’t ready.
The last lesson that I learned is you have to niche down. Niching down is often referred to choosing an industry or picking a gender. But you can also niche down with your product or your service.
Niching down so that you don’t market to everyone might seem scary as you feel like you're shutting the doors on potential customers. But the fact is, the more niche your marketing message gets and you know exactly who you serve, the more your audience will resonate with you.
With Yo! Fit Pass, it was so broad. I was trying to sell my membership to anyone who was interested in healthy living. Do you know how many people are interested in healthy living and at the same time have different likes and wants and needs and habits?
What I should have done back then was to focus on one group of people who would find the membership pass the most useful, for example, new moms who wanted to lose their pregnancy weight. That way, I could have easily created content just for this group of people, get testimonials that would speak to other new moms, run events for new moms.
Same thing with the Miso app. It was meant for all travelers who wanted to work out while traveling. Again, people travel for different reasons, so one marketing message will not resonate with all travelers. So what I should have done back then was to say maybe this Miso app is just for business travelers in town for just a few days and need a gym to work out near their hotels and healthy food places near where they’re staying so they don’t miss a session or start eating unhealthy on the road.
Right now with Chrys Media, we focus on high-ticket service providers, especially coaches. It’s not that we cannot serve other types of businesses, and we do. We have had clients who were skin clinics, for example. But in my marketing and my content, I’m always calling out my target audience. And someone who does not fall under my target audience wants my service, yeah maybe why not if I can help you, but I’m just not gonna call you out in my marketing and in my copy.
Those were the 4 lessons that I learned from 2 failed businesses. A lot of business owners are very ashamed of their failures, or if they’re new, they are so afraid of failing. And failing sucks, it does, but it doesn’t and shouldn’t deter you from future success. Each failed business or a failed launch is packed with lessons that you can learn from.
Something doesn’t work? Ask yourself why didn’t it work, what went wrong, what could you have done better, what went right? If you’ve had failed businesses before and you’ve just soldiered on without taking a step back to evaluate and reflect, then I highly encourage you to do that right now. Because those lessons that I learned back in 2017, they have helped me today in 2020. So don’t ever be discouraged by a mistake or a launch that didn’t go well or a business that just couldn’t get enough customers.
That’s all for now. Don’t forget to check out the Hack Your Online Business mastermind for online business owners. I’ll be sharing a lot more in this mastermind. This mastermind is led by me, your marketing mentor, and is focused on marketing for online business owners as well as being a support group and community with other online entrepreneurs and myself.
Over the past 10 years, I’ve been in digital marketing and running my own Messenger marketing agency, Chrys Media. I’ve spoken on stages such as Social Media Day and Social Media Week and have taught marketing to brands like Thinkific and MeetEdgar.
So in this 3 month mastermind, we’ll be having themed months, all focused on marketing and accountability. The goal is to get you closer to your business goals and achieve them. So if you want to learn more about the Hack Your Online Business mastermind that has very limited spaces only, go to hackyouronlinebusiness.com/mastermind.
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