ThemeValet (Week 2) – Growth plan?

So it’s now two weeks since the launch of my new startup idea ThemeValet.com (‘WordPress website setup for busy people’) and I only have two and a bit weeks left to to hit my monthly target of finding 10 customers.

So, how am I doing?

Customers?

Well last week I had three customers, this week I have no new customers.

Wait. No new customers?

That’s right people. Yes, I do have leads and I expect to close at least a couple of them but leads ≠ sales.

Yes, I’ve been sucked into other things (I have a few client contracts I’m winding down, one of which I’ve now handed over completely). But the truth is I let you all down last week. Really, I did.

You know what though, it doesn’t matter. I’m not going to beat myself up over it. All that matters is what I do from here.

More on that in a moment. First, though…

Some good news

Podcast advertising

I did my very first bit of ‘proper’ advertising and which saw ThemeValet featured on Jon Nastor’s awesome Hack the Entrepreneur podcast and I got one lead as a result of it already.

You want to hear the advert? Of course you do! It’s just after the one minute mark (oh and listen to the rest of the podcast too because Jonny is awesome).

Affiliate program

I launched an affiliate program that anyone can sign up for and get 20% on each sale, (so almost $60 on my top package right now).

Want to sign-up yourself? Go to themevalet.com/affiliates and feel my love forever if you make me a sale (particularly this month).

Customer love

But the main bit of good news:

The customers I did have loved (LOVED) the service.

Awesome! This is great. Thanks so much.

It’s been such a relief and a pleasure. Working with you has been just the best investment I could have made to get the site running the way I want it to.

And possibly my favourite:

Thank you! Like a WordPress Christmas morning.

And I don’t think I’m exaggerating and they were ‘just being nice’, it seems like the service really did feel valuable and genuinely helpful to them.

So maybe I’m not crazy and this is a good business idea, but what I clearly need is a regular supply of more people like this (albeit in addition to my first customers’ kind offer to ‘spread the word’).

So how do I find these people?

That’s right, it’s:

The elephant in the room

Do you have a growth plan for ThemeValet.com?
– A friend, on Skype, Monday evening

Well, yes, now you mention it, that’s a very good point.

But wait, I DO have a growth plan. Being honest here though, based on the results so far, it seems a bit wishy washy, at least in the implementation.

So let’s throw out all the excuses and define exactly what I’m going to do during the coming week so a) there will be a plan and b) there will hopefully be growth too.

  • I will contact at least three ‘theme shops’ and suggest ThemeValet as an interesting referral service for their customers (As I mentioned, I also launched an affiliate program, so they can join that too)
  • I will post ThemeValet on Product Hunt (this scares me for some reason)
  • I will, on a daily basis, participate in every single thread I can add some value to on all the relevant Facebook groups I belong to
  • I will find and join at least three more Facebook groups that seem like they might contain my ideal customer (all my customers have come from Facebook groups so far)
  • I will post at least three awesome articles to the ThemeValet blog and promote the hell out of them (without getting spammy)

So now I have some activities planned out, I won’t have any excuses when I write this update next week (maybe you can do the same for your business?).

While on the subject of marketing I’ve also been extremely impressed this week with what I’ve seen from Gavin Bell over at Adworthy.

Gavin and I have an affinity because we both launched our startup ideas around the same time, both as a result of the 7 Day Startup process.

Unlike my fairly placid marketing so far he has been extremely proactive and I’ve been impressed by both the quality and quantity of what he’s doing and I’m sure he won’t mind me sharing a couple of examples here, as an inspiration for me and maybe for you too:

  • First, he wrote a great, in-depth article on ‘The Definitive Guide to Facebook Groupswhich is not only perfect for this target audience, but I agree is still a very underrated way of winning new customers for many businesses
  • Second, he offered initially free (now paid) reviews of people’s social media in one of the Facebook groups we belong to, which drummed up a lot of interest and also showed his expertise
  • Three, he hustled his way to 500+ followers on Twitter.

(And if you’re looking for similar help and results with your own social media, I recommend you check out Adworthy for yourself).

I’ll be back soon with more articles – to hopefully inspire you to be even more awesome in your own business – and another update on ThemeValet.com.

Until then, please subscribe if you haven’t already (it will make my day) and, if you have any comments or questions ,feel free to give me a shout on Twitter or in the comments section below.

PS If you’re wondering what happened to my other startup idea (WP Owner), I haven’t forgotten it – I think it’s a very complementary idea to ThemeValet in fact – but I want to focus on hitting my first month target for ThemeValet first.

4 responses to “ThemeValet (Week 2) – Growth plan?”

  1. Gavin Bell avatar

    Nick, thank you so much for your kind words. Much appreciated!

    1. Nick avatar

      You’re welcome (and thanks for the marketing inspiration!)

  2. Adrian Li avatar

    Nice to see another post, Nick! I already see that you and I share a handful of Facebook groups. I was wondering which ones did you find to be most valuable?

    1. Nick avatar

      Thanks Adrian, I think both the 7 Day Startup group and Jonny Nastor’s Hack the Entrepreneur group (both of which I think we share?) have been really valuable to me for this project. I’ve also had amazing support (for another project) from the Genesis WordPress group and I’ve just joined a new Rainmaker group.

      With so many Facebook Groups though I think it really depends what your idea is. I’m sure you’re pretty clear on it but for others who might be reading this later on, I really recommend Gavin’s article as a great starting point for all the Facebook Group things:

      http://www.adworthy.co/the-definitive-guide-to-facebook-groups/

      Cheers!

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