Imagine rocket firecrackers going off around a cartoon head. Now imagine that is my head. That's my reality at the moment- and it's been my reality for over 6 months. No wonder I'm fraying at the seams (and hitting the dark chocolate much too often). Sweat? Check! Determination? Check! Hard work? Check! Aspirin? Check!
I'm starting a new business with a partner. You may ask what is so difficult about that. Well, let me elaborate on the different learning levels this has launched, all of which have very steep learning curves.
Program development: We have spent months developing the program and the materials, piloting it, and obtaining revision and testimonial responses from the pilot participants. That's just the days. During the nights, we've had long convoluted conversations about pricing and pricing structures.
Marketing materials: We've had to decide on a title we both like, a tag line we both like, what the brochure should say and look like, what should go on business cards, and do we want some interesting giveaways?
Website development: What is the best format for a website? How do you make it engaging enough so that it both visits visitors and encourages them to stay long enough to visit some of its pages? Who is your target audience (and no, it appears that you have to be a lot more specific than simply saying: “Everyone.”)) What sections should be on the website- and what should their titles be? What should the content cover? How do we make the content sufficient but but interesting and useful?
White paper: Should there be a white paper as a free give away? What should it include? How long should it be? Where should it be located on the website? How should interested people access it?
Blog: Should there be a blog and, if so, what should it be named and what topics should it cover. And where should it be on the website and how can people subscribe and what is the best way to add blogs?
Video: Should we have a video on the website? What should it say? Who should say it? How do we film it? What software do we need? How do we get the video uploaded? How do we find it once it's been uploaded? Why do not the YouTube links work for more than one person? Why is everything so bloody hard!
Social marketing: Where does social marketing come in? Should we be on Facebook or LinkedIn or Twitter, or some other social media site we do not know anything about? What constituents “being” on those sites? What should we post, when should we post, how often should we post?
Marketing: How do we market our program? Just beginning to answer this question has required hours of online videos and webinars, plus in-person marketing seminars, some free, some definitely not free. Everyone seems to have their own idea about how best to market a product or service. A lot of it focuses on marketing to the person who will use the product or service. Unfortunately, we need to market to the person who will purchase the service for others to use, so a lot of translation is necessary to make the incoming information relevant for our needs.
Webinar: What about a webinar? What's a tantalizing title? (And now that we know about a headline analysis site, not many titles are very tantalizing, let me tell you!) What format works best? Can you both educate and sell at the same time? (Appropriately, yes, but it's not easy to do).
What should the content be? Can you do a downward spiral? Again, can you both educate and sell simultaneously?
Clipart / Photos: Should we use clipart or photos of real people on our website and in our webinar materials? How long will it take to find free copies? (The answer: hours and hours and hours of searching online). As a matter of fact, nothing happens quickly. It all takes hours.
Pop ups: Should we market with pop ups on our website and, if so, what should the pop ups say and how would people sign up for a white paper or for a webinar?
Webmaster: While all of these decisions are happening, then being second guessed, then being made again, every new pieces of content, format desires, and logistical requirements need to be communicated to a webmaster. The poor webmaster. We bombard her with ideas, each broached in a stream of emails, some of which cancel out each other. Photos, links, headings, documents and ideas are on a continuous loop, with some jumping on as others jump off.
It's beyond feeling like herding cats. It's overwhelming. I will not mention the meltdowns that occur daily- and that's just me before breakfast.
Will it all be worth it? Only time will tell. I sure hope all of this hard work will have desirable results. I'll try to keep that in mind as I jump back into the fray.