Hello there and welcome to this new post series where I share details with you of progress here at YVM during the previous quarter.
For years I've loved the idea of income or progress reports like this. The idea of showing the full story behind a business. What it's like, what happened, decisions made etc etc.
The idea resonates with me because it speaks to one of my core values of transparency. I want to share the full story. The highs, the lows, the struggles, the decisions and let you see as much of what we do at YVM as possible.
Let's start with what happened over the past 3 months...
The foundation of YVM is the Facebook Group I setup back in 2017. It's very much the focal point. During the past 3 months the numbers have kept level as you can see below.
At the end of 2018 I decided to stop focusing so much on growing the group and instead to focus on delivering more value to the existing members. During this quarter I've been working hard to setup various systems to make this happen. Now that these are in place I am able to put some more energy into attracting new members.
I will start attracting new members by using more public online methods such as a Facebook Page, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn etc. Up till now I haven't had the time to keep these going consistently.
In January on a bit of a last minute idea I decided to run a challenge. The idea was that this challenge would be used to promote the YVM Small Business Accelerator Programme here at YVM.
Around 90 people signed up and I can say it was a massive success, in that it really helped lots of people.
"Being an entrepreneur is a challenge, but so is anything worthwhile. Thank you Paul for showing me the possibilities!" Penny Thresher
"Sometimes we just need to hear things in a different way or by a different person at a different time. For me this was great timing. Thanks so much." Lorraine Pannetier
"It really helped me already and I think it is a brilliant challenge." Chantal Van de Louw
However, my idea was that I would promote the paid business coaching programme that I run, the YVM Small Business Accelerator.
I did promote it but not as much as I planned. I quickly realised the challenge didn't naturally lead onto promoting a business programme. It was more of a life coaching programme...
After a couple days of running the challenge I realised that business owners weren't just after help with their businesses. There was a lot of non business work that could drastically improve their lives.
I started to play around with ideas in my head. Rather than complicate things I just thought if people get so much from a cobbled together 5 day challenge why not just expand it.
I let the idea develop further over the weekend after the free challenge finished. The final feedback was great. People said they wanted more. They said they wanted regular check ins. They loved the challenge aspect.
I had my ideas but in front of me the participants of the challenge told me what they wanted. At that point I knew I would do something with this.
My first decision...choose someone to run the programme with me. I've realised working with people is far more enjoyable and in fact beneficial for all parties including myself. I knew exactly the person to ask.
I gave the idea some further thought and gave it about a week until I made contact. I wanted to be able to clearly explain the idea. She loved it. We started having weekly calls discussing ideas and outlining the programme.
Despite living quite far apart we were also able to meetup which was fantastic. As of writing we're developing the programme, planning a free challenge in June and will be starting the first enrollment in July.
That's all I can say at the moment. More details about the programme and the amazing inspiring woman who I am proud to collaborate with on this project will be shared soon.
This year I moved to opening and closing the YVM Small Business Accelerator. It makes far more sense and works better for all concerned. We had five new members sign up during this window taking membership up to 44.
I wasn't prepared as I hoped, I had a lot of behind the scenes stuff to sort out. I didn't have the consistent sales posts going out, nor emails and I didn't do enough selling in the group. This is something I will be resolving for the next launch.
We didn't hit the sales goal of 20 I set. I did a review of the launch and identified key areas to improve including Sales Page, Sales Messages, Video, Affiliate, Sales Post & 1-2-1 Calls.
During this quarter I felt like the YVM website wasn't really adding the value it should've been. I didn't feel like it was helping members of the YVM Community as I would want it to.
It was kind of just sitting there looking OK but looking at the analytics and hearing feedback from members it wasn't being used much.
I decided to change all that by turning the website into the key YVM resource it should be. I want it to be another key place where members of the YVM Community can self serve themselves doses of advice, support and inspiration. This would be through blogs, webinars, downloads, guides and much more.
In March I made the switch to putting the site on Kajabi and start the process of creating the above. As of writing this we've just moved into April and the self service help is starting to be rolled out.
An example of this here are a selection of free downloads that are now accessible...
I've taken a lot of inspiration from a site that helped me a lot called TinyBuddha. My aim is to create a similar style website with daily content, inspirational posts, guides etc for business owners looking for help with their business or life.
The website will also act as a way to grow our email list, bot list, social media accounts, waiting lists, promote programmes, explain about YVM and much more.
With the new YVM website resources available I also moved our email list from Mailchimp to Kajabi as well. I emailed the Mailchimp list 4 or 5 times letting them know we'd be moving and that they'd need to sign up if they wanted to continue receiving mail.
Around a third moved over to the new email list with the new list standing at the 75 people mark. This should be bigger but I haven't consistently focused on growing AND nurturing the email list.
This again is something that has been remedied with a regular email schedule planned. The list will predominantly be used to add value and share free content with the occassional promotional email around one of the YVM launches.
Email list open rates are low though. Which is why I'm also focusing on building the YVM Facebook Messenger Bot List. These messages are all about keeping members informed as to what's going on at YVM.
They got a lot higher open rate and far more clicks than email. Moving forward I want to get people on the bot list as I can then ensure the free things like blogs, webinars etc get seen by more people.
I'm not using the bot list to promote things currently. With the messenger list it's not like email where you can sell to them anytime, people need to have engaged with your bot within the past 24 hours to sell to them.
Again the key here is consistency. Adding one person at a time to the lists over time will make a huge difference to the overall YVM audience and thus attention we can attract.
Social - Another key thing I wanted to do in 2019 is grow the YVM audience. Existing members often invite / tell people about YVM. But I wanted to do my part too.
Which is why I start up the YVM Twitter / Facebook / Instagram accounts again. I know these sites can attract new people to YVM. These platforms will be used to promote the free resources, training and community available.
Personal Profiles - I have also made a commitment to post more regularly on my personal profiles - Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. I want to attract like minded people to me by sharing more of my story as a nomadic house / pet sitting entrepreneur.
Accounts - I signed up Ian Ball from IDB Accountancy to sort out the YVM accounts and get us up and running on Xero. A good friend of mine based in Derby who has setup his own accountancy business providing accounts but also support / coaching on the financial side of running a business.
And those are the highlights from Quarter 1 folks.
With each quarter that passes I feel like YVM evolves to another level. This quarter even more so. I feel that we've got a solid foundation and I am now bolting on new elements as required.
My vision for YVM is that it provides mentoring, training, coaching and support for a range of audiences, topics and areas. The shift to develop a programme that focuses on life coaching is the first step in that journey. My plan is to focus on these two programmes and get them working really well before I consider doing anything else.
This was also the first quarter I truly focused on the long game. I stopped worrying about what short term results meant and instead focused on adding value to, helping and supporting as many members as possible. This was extremely liberating and allowed me to enjoy the business so much more.
Overall I'm really pleased with progress made during this quarter. I've established a great programme that helps business owners grow profitable businesses they love, the structure of YVM is taking shape nicely and I have an exciting new programme collaborating with an amazing person.
I'm very excited about the next quarter for various reasons...
New Programme Launch - the life coaching programme will be developed, marketed and launched ready to start the first week of July.
Meetups - members keep asking for them so I'm going to start doing informal relaxed meetups. Definite locations include Tunbridge Wells, Derby & Worthing.
#11amCB - I will be starting to do weekly interviews for the YVM Community. These will be getting members of the YVM Community sharing their inspiring stories.
Consistency - with the website update I can now focus on delivering consistent high quality content via the blogs, resources and podcasts.
SBA Launch - there will be another launch of the SBA Programme bigger and better including an affiliate programme.
And then there will be all the usual facilitating of the YVM Community Group, marketing, business admin and a few behind the scenes things which need tying up too.
All in all my 90 day planner is full and I'm ready to hit the ground running.
Thank you so much for reading this report, I hope that it brought you value in some way.
And of course if you're not already a member of our free group on Facebook, consider this my personal invitation to join the YVM Community.
Paul Bassi ( Founder of YVM)
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