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March 20, 2024

3 Mistakes I Made in My Business

Kevon Cheung

Founder & Head Teacher

Mistakes are awesome.

I learn the most when someone walks through the mistakes they made and what they learned from them, so I try my best to share my mistakes too.

I know that they are more useful than the usual "3 tips" kind of content.

Mistake #1: I pitched at the wrong time

I sent out 2 offer emails for Find Joy in Chaos and Email Course Engine to 2 segments of my list.

Sales were terrible.

I was reflecting on what went wrong:

  1. Each of my products solves a particular problem, but I was not catching people at the right time when they faced the problem. Even though the intent was there, the timing was off.
  2. When the timing is off, sometimes you can make it up by adding urgency, e.g. people like to do a discount with an expiry date. I did put up an expiry date, but my offer came with a bonus of a Q&A live session. It was possible the offer wasn't attractive enough.
Learning: Pitch an offer when people are actively thinking about a problem.

I recorded a retrospective to share with my Build in Public Mastery community and here's the part I talked about it.

Mistake #2: I had the wrong positioning for my products

I love observing how people understand my different products and what the products do. Do they get it? Are they confused?

Even a slight confusion is bad.

I've been running my main program, Build in Public Mastery, and a 30-day challenge, Build in Public Sprint.

In my mind, they are very different. Mastery implies a full-on program for you to reach mastery status. A sprint implies a community challenge sort of activity.

But to many people, the difference is not obvious at all.

Sprinters would often mistakenly say they are in the mastery program. That's how I know.

What they understand is that both products can help them build in public. Each product has a different approach, but the end goals are the same. They probably only need one of them.

Shoot, that's not my plan.

I'll be honest with you here — when I created Build in Public Sprint, other than giving people a chance to practice daily, I also wanted some sprinters to go on to take part in my Mastery program. Clearly, that didn't work out.

My post-mortem analysis is that it isn't clear why they would need to do the Mastery program if they had already learned from me in the Sprint program. Both products are called "Build in Public XXXXX" which adds to that confusion.

Learning: Position your products so that each of them solves a clear problem. Pay attention to how you name them too.

Mistake #3: I optimized way too early

I wanted to deliver the most relevant content, so I set up something like this.

Actually a lot more than this! This is just one small part.

I check how you identify yourself (creator / SaaS founder / writer / consultant / biz owner) and give you a story of my student from the same group.

It is a good intention. Personalization means I'm not wasting your time reading something you can't relate to.

But as I analyzed the data, I saw that I didn't have enough subscribers answering this question to make a huge difference. Most people still went through the default path getting the same emails.

It is not worth the effort to invest in complicated processes when the volume is not high.

I imagined using the time & effort I put into this complicated process to share more practical and useful knowledge with you. Yup, that would do much better.

Learning: Are you working on optimizations that can only serve a very small group of people? You can grow faster if you invest in work that more people can see.

If you want to dive deeper into my strategies and lessons learned in building my $100,000 creator education business, you can get my free 45-page case study here.

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What does it take to teach & EARN online?

Here's a case study of how I built a $100K education business.

Read for free

What does it take to teach & EARN online?

Here's a case study of how I built a $100K education business.

Read for free