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Trying out a new offer is uncomfortable.
Right now it feels like I could sleep for sixteen days straight. Some mornings I wake up thinking, “What the hell, Tarzan? Are you trying to make your life harder?”
I’ve been doing Email Stars for enough years that my promotions are predictable and safe. There are always new people raising their hands to join. I know it works.
But my latest offer is untested. And selling something with a $12K price tag without all the shiny promises that normally accompany a high-ticket offer is, well, it’s new for me.
I hosted a call this week with a few of my Email Stars who are also planning to launch a group program for the first time.
“What if only two people sign up?,” someone asked. “Do I still run it?”
Those are questions I’ve asked myself too. Plus the more devastating version, “What if no one wants it?” (or to put it the Tarzan way, “WHAT IF I DIE ALONE?”) 😱
The closer you are to your creation, the more fixated you’ll be on buyers validating your big idea, on a certain number of people clicking through to your dope sales page and saying, “Yeah, FIRSTNAME! You’re the man! Sign me up.”
And I’m, like, *really* close to this one. So close that I brought it up in therapy.
“Maybe this is just a ding-dong idea I thought was cool because I was on drugs.” I told my therapist Jen. (True story—read this email for more.) “But this feels like a song my whole body wants to sing. I really, really want it to work.”
Then, in her trademark fashion, she parsed a phrase that has stuck in my head for the last three weeks:
“Be careful not to put too much weight on this bird that it can’t fly.”
“Do you really need it to be eight people,” she asked. “Or would four be enough? Imagine the exquisite care you could offer to them, and have lots left for yourself?”
That felt like a thousand pound boulder being lifted off my shoulder.
Maybe eight people will say “yes” to my new offer. It’s certainly possible. Probable even, according to my most trusted business advisors.
But the truth is I can afford to detach from eight as a sales goal. That’s important because it also prevents me from accepting members who aren’t an ideal fit, which can muck up the experience for everyone.
But what about YOUR new offer? How much weight have you got on your bird, and how could you let some of it go?
If you’re launching a group program, you need to know your minimum. How many people do you need in order to make the math work? Regardless of how many people you have, you still have to:
- host the same number of calls and events
- write and schedule all the email communication
- moderate a virtual group somewhere
- create all the checkout links, zoom rooms, landing pages, etc. (tho you can reuse that next time, and it’s nice to get paid to create that stuff)
But there may be other things, like 1:1 work and answering customer service questions, managing payments, etc. that will be much less.
As for your customers, how many participants do THEY need for rich conversation, diversity of opinions and experience, and to feel a sense of community? Chances are two people won’t be enough.
…but I bet it’s slightly less than you think.
You should know your minimum BEFORE you price your offer. I know some business owners who are okay being paid to create the content for the program and have a few beta testers. But that may not be a luxury you can afford.
Either way, think of ways you can take some weight off the bird.
- Start with a Google doc instead of a fully designed sales page, so you don’t have to recoup that cost
- Be your own “program concierge” and take care of members yourself
- Use the tools you already have, instead of buying a bunch of software and new tech to make it work
If the weight on your bird isn’t financial but more around your bandwidth for providing exquisite customer care, can you get mentorship / oversight for yourself as a facilitator?
It takes a ton of courage to put something new into the world, but, as I’m now experiencing, there is nothing quite like watching your bird take flight, flapping its little wings and doing loop-the-loops for the first time.
Yes, it makes me want to sleep for sixteen days.
But it’s also bringing some incredible humans into my life who I really can’t wait to hang out with for the next 9 months.
And, honestly, even when a new offer fails there is always the triumph of being able to say, “Look! I dreamed up something big and then I went out in the world and did it.”
So what if it didn’t fly like a fleet of white pelicans in a perfect “V” formation.
The next flight will be better.