If you missed my last post: Ever read the book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten? Well, all I really need to know about building my BVFLS practice I learned from Santa Claus. Set yourself up for 2021 with the new 12 days of Christmas – 12 lessons every practitioner can learn from the man in red.
On to this week: Yep, the title of this post is a euphemism for an embarrassing and disappointing experience … mine. I imagine every blog/newsletter author is publishing an upbeat missive that celebrates the end of 2020 and spurs you on to greater heights in 2021. (I already wrote that post – see above.) Me, I’m writing a post about painful lessons learned … though it will spur me on to try something new/different/better next year.
The experience relates to my Practice Development INSIDER interview series.
I had wonderfully high hopes for it when I first conceived of the idea in April 2019.
I found an ideally suited virtual assistant to be the showrunner. She formerly worked in training at a large CPA firm, was well-versed in putting on webinars, and, most importantly, could negotiate the NASBA accreditation and compliance maze so the interviews would qualify for CPE credit.
We launched in July 2019.
I thought a ton of people would tune in on the first Friday of every month to learn from “an incredible line up of seasoned BVFLS practitioners who will openly share their experiences, insights, and secret sauce about how they built and continue to grow their practices.”
I had great guests.
Mercer, Hitcher, and Fannon led off the top of the order; Seigneur was batting clean-up.
I had great press.
Andy Dzamba from BV Resources was a frequent attendee and wrote favorable reviews in BV Wire.
I had great emails.
People told me I was getting better at interviewing as the shows went on.
I had great testimonials.
My favorite was: The webinar made me feel like I had walked down the hall to chat with some colleagues.
We kept the interviews short … first to an hour, then 75 minutes.
We priced them fairly … first at $97, then down to $49.
We offered CPE.
We provided audio and video recordings and a transcript.
We created an online store where people could access the archived interviews.
How could these interviews not be in demand?
We ran 18 interviews before we decided last week to fold this tent.
People showed up … just not enough of them.
As in not enough to cover our costs, which included my virtual assistant, guest honorariums, transcription fees, NASBA costs, and archive store hosting.
I was demoralized leading up to the decision last week, and I am still feeling deflated as I write about it this week.
Not because I have never failed before.
But because I feel I have never missed the mark by so much before.
And because I knew I had to make it public so that people wouldn’t wonder what happened to the series.
And so that I could share my lessons with you.
What are the lessons I learned?
Some of the takeaways are positive, others not so much.
Here are six I have so far:
#1 Virtual Assistants. Don’t do what you are not good at. I could have learned everything I needed to market, sell, and deliver the webinars myself … but at what (opportunity) cost. Plus, I found Danielle, and she will be helping me with many future endeavors.
#2 Price. Don’t lower it. We lowered the price (i.e., your investment) from $97 to $49 on the one-year anniversary of the interview series. A lot of people showed up to that interview. I thought it was the price … turns out it was the guest. And, frankly, I was too chickesh!t to raise the price back to the original $97. Price conveys value, and I am not sure if people believed there was enough value there at the lower price of $49. Though at the same time, because of Covid, there were a lot of free CPE options out there that I was competing against. So maybe I have not learned the “right” lesson yet about pricing.
#3 CPE. It is a decision factor. People ask for and want CPE … but they won’t come just because of it.
#4 Messaging. It’s important. For example, there is a perceived difference between ‘practice development’ and ‘practice building.’ Not everyone needs practice development, but most people want to build and grow their BVFLS practices in other ways.
#5 Platform. People didn’t need to show up in person to watch the INSIDER interviews. They only need to be in a place where they can hear the interviews.
#6 Aspiration. I think people want to see someone who can inspire them. But I am not sure if my INSIDER attendees believed they could build their practice the way some of my guests did … that their ‘overnight’ success won’t happen to them. People forget that before someone like Jim Hitchner became JIM HITCHNER he was just jim hitchner.
So I am going to be spending the last two weeks of the year licking some wounds.
But, you ask: I thought you said this experience was going to lead you to something bigger and better in 2021?
* * *
Group Coaching Program
People have been asking for a Group Coaching option.
So I wanted to let you know that I will be starting a program in January.
I am still deciding on 1st/3rd or 2nd/4th Mondays of the month.
There are some other goodies/benefits in addition to the actual coaching.
Are you interested?
Email me, and I will send you the details.
* * *
Where I will be Zooming in
If I’m coming to you, and it’s post-Covid possible, let’s meet up!
> May 21: New York State Society Business Valuation Conference
* * *
Happy Holidays to all!
I’ll be back on January 6.
PS – Whenever you are ready, here are 4 ways I can help you build/grow your BVFLS practice:
1. Join Practice Builder ROUNDTABLE
It’s a Facebook community for BVFLS professionals who are collaborating on how to turn the practices they have into the practices they want and sharing their ideas and expertise on how to do that.
2. Download this Find Your Niche infographic
The riches are in the niches, as they say. But what’s missing is a process that can help you identify your niche. This infographic is the missing process.
3. Take a free Practice Self-Assessment
I have 10 quick questions, and your answers will help you get a sense of how well your practice is working for you.