Pricing, Marketing for and other updates

We talk pricing, product and marketing strategies for and other update

mileposts - podcast - episode 8 - Pricing, Marketing for and other updates

Loren Winzeler: [00:00:00] Hey, this is Loren Winzeler with another episode of the milepost podcast. It's Friday, and, this is going to be an update episode and, actually spending a ton of time. Packing for snow camp this weekend. but I will, talk about that in a minute. So real quickly updating, on down, I had a great meeting with Jared, our developer yesterday.

[00:00:26] We have. Were these regular calls on Thursday, but sometimes we actually, postpone them depending on what's going on or cancel them all together. But we had a good, good 30 minute call and talked a little bit about, the marketing efforts. I'll mention in a minute, but, it's pretty exciting. We finally bit the bullet and Jared is going to upgrade rails.

[00:00:46] We're on a really old version of Ruby on rails. Based on the, the application that we modified to create the platform. And so in the last week, he started a new repo, downloaded all the new stuff, and it's sort of, Cut and paste features and creating new dashboards and, and kind of have a fresh slate as far as the look and feel.

[00:01:12]so it should be a fantastic 2020, to kind of update the look and feel and, and, both from the user perspective, as a lender as well as, The guests and, and donors as well. So that will be exciting to watch.  second week of February, Was the starting point.  on the marketing side, we talked a little bit about, kinda consolidating strategies and, simplifying pricing.

[00:01:42] So with down payment gift,  I've kind of gotten ahead of myself as far as the pricing. We had a free tier where people could sign up and have one registry, but no marketing or co-marketing associated with the account. we had a paid tier two paid tiers, one that was kind of a solo professional and one was more of a branch tier.

[00:02:06] And then enterprise schedule, a meeting, custom plan. And what we've moved to is, Or what we're in the process of moving to, and this is what I've got to work on next week, is simplifying that pricing down to where there's just the free tier where, the sign up is kind of like a lead magnet. And then the, first paid tier is.

[00:02:33] And I think we're looking at $200 a month, cause that falls into a lot of price points for lender products, but completely remove any reference to running Facebook, YouTube, or Google ads. in the current original pricing model, it was very difficult to explain. Very confusing. So it was, here's the platform, unlimited registries, and at this price point will manage this amount of ad spend at this price point will manage this amount of ad spend. And it got to be kind of confusing to explain because someone would say, okay, I'm in $200 a month, $300 a month, and then if they weren't immediately understanding the ad spend component, they might say, what was that three or 600 or 900 

[00:03:21] I wasn't making it super clear because it can really depend on, that particular lenders area of the country, their city, their area in their state where they wanted to focus. so wiping away the productized service for now and focusing solely on the SAS and committing to a range of leads.

[00:03:43] So it's now up to our challenge to drive signups to your lender page, your geography that then feeds into your co-branded lender page, where they're going to be. Getting help from you in running a registry and then subsequently getting a loan. The other thing that I'm moving away from, which was difficult to explain, was, And I think we'll come back to this in the, in the near future and introduce it after we've got some more success. And that is having lenders use lender rebate and, and credits to pay the fees that accrue. it's just too confusing, to explain, And it creates kind of a barrier or concern as to whether the lender's going to be able to do that with their compliance team, with their branch, with their branch manager, with their company.

[00:04:43] You know, most brokerages, most lenders have a little bit of a variability after a LO comp and after Dodd-Frank to a lock a loan and hold back some rebate or have a little bit of variance between that and what they provide. In other words, the straight out provide lender credit or not. So there's a lot of different ways that it could be done, but it's just too confusing at this stage to, include that in the sales pitch. so we're   pulling that back a little bit and trying to make that a differentiation, to the end user, the bride and groom, to the people using our platform for crowdfunding, their down payment. but we'll have them do that later. we'll add that in later.

[00:05:30] And, heck, we might even just. If we can get enough signups and get enough movement on the platform, start. Adding that in now or paying some initial test case to get some case studies where that worked successfully. We just want people to have success raising a down payment with the platform. We want the fees to be not a barrier.

[00:05:52]So if they, if the lender provides a lender credit, or if we somehow provide a gift at closing, to reimburse a rebate or pay off those fees, to a certain extent, to a limited extent, then, when they buy a house with one of our partners, then we may. look at doing that initially to kind of seed the pot.

[00:06:12] so from a marketing perspective, next week I'll be spending a lot of time on, setting up, our video, YouTube and, onsite. Using a tool called helpshelf, where we host videos in, Vimeo, vooplayer, and maybe vis a Wistia rather, almost said vistia just cause I said, vooplayer and Vimeo at the same time.

[00:06:33] So, Wistia bucking the trend by using a w, which I guess, certain dialects has a V sound to it. Anyway, so, the, Talk about sidetracking. so getting that platform set up, both for audio recording and video, and then, focusing on the sales webinars, I've got to get cracking with, literally.

[00:06:58] A month and a half to do 12 sales webinars to meet the 90 day goal. So I need to really get these sales webinars going. I'm been doing good on content creation, especially using the milepost podcasts as a way to, test some workflows, tests some content creation. the beauty of recording this podcast as I can.

[00:07:22] Slide on some headphones and talk to a recorder and record video and edit it, transcribe it, using descript

[00:07:30] and create content relatively quickly. And I need to start using that for the,  domain, the partner domain, if you will, and the downpayment.Gift, and user side. And, so just get that, that content pipeline working. , that's probably all I'll get done next week. If I have a chance, I want to update a PDF lead magnet that's been running and create a second lead magnet.

[00:07:57] Right now we have a lead magnet for an ebook offer, which is a mortgage guideline, a wedding gift, a guidelines ebook that was created in a tool called beacon and edited in PDF. and, maybe create a video related to that. That lead magnet or create another lead magnet offer that's focused towards the partners.

[00:08:22]So that's the goal for next week, the week after it's going headlong into case studies, where we're going to be running ads in our local markets of Santa Rosa, Rohnert park and Petaluma and Sonoma County targeting brides and grooms locally for some local loan officers that I'm working with, and, I have one committed, I need to find two more.

[00:08:50] That would be a good fit for trying something new and that would eventually pay after they see success. Not just, Oh, I'll test this for you if it's free. so that's, the week after next. and using this. Pipeline, this workflow for audio and video content creation as applied to the down payment gift tool, to use that pipeline, to.

[00:09:20] Start pumping out webinars and to start pumping out case study content. I had a  good start on case study content back in July of last year, July and August, and then hit some roadblocks around Facebook and Facebook ads and the institution of their special ad category for credit employment and housing related ads.

[00:09:42] And that change for. The running ads kind of changed a little bit of how we were going to go to market on Facebook simply because we wanted to be compliant and run ads that would target engaged couples and use the targeting that's available on Facebook and Instagram for engaged couples, but not run a foul of the housing category, the special ads category for housing.

[00:10:13] In any case, hopefully at the end of next week, it'll be short week, only four work days. So a lot of long, days, hopefully, Monday as a day off here locally, I think it's president's day, the 17th, this is Friday. So my son's in Boy Scouts, Scouts, BSA or whatever it's called now. And I'm an assistant scout master.

[00:10:35] I was a boy scout when I was a kid. I'm an Eagle scout. And, I loved all that, those activities, but we didn't do snow camp where I grew up, when, how was it a scout when it, when there was snow on the ground, we just didn't go camping. So, and I think that might've been a side effect of the leaders that we had back in the late eighties.

[00:10:54] But, here in Northern California, we try, we torture ourselves. We drive to the Sierras and a camp out at 7,000 feet in the frozen Tundra. So last year was our first snow camp experience, and my son, who was 11 at the time, he's 12 now and myself camping. I've got a. Good for season 10 that I've used on Mount Shasta, you know, 15 plus years ago.

[00:11:21] But I've got a good four season tent. So we set up the tent, that Friday night, it was Friday and Saturday night, and, man, it was cold that first night. I think it got down to at least eight degrees Fahrenheit, and some say it has zero degrees, so as single digits, basically, it's the coldest weather I've ever camped in.

[00:11:42] When I used my tent, it was in the summertime. In the winter. the mountaineering type expedition. So it's one thing to, pitch a tent on Mount hood or Mount Shasta, Mount Rainier in June or July. It's another thing to go up in the winter. So we'll be up in the Bear Valley area Lake Alpine, or Alpine Lake, at 7,000 plus feet.

[00:12:08] And fortunately the weather forecasts are looking favorable. I mean, it's been warm in the fifties during the sun sunshine, and during the days I think it will be a little cooler, maybe warm tomorrow and then cooling down to, Highs in the low forties and down to mid twenties, temperature wise at night.

[00:12:30] And so there's a huge difference between 25 is a temperature, 25 Fahrenheit and 10 or zero degrees. So, so below freezing, and it might snow or rain on Sunday or Sunday night. So we'll see what happens.  It's hard to, focus when you've got all sorts of backpacking and camping gear strewn out `across  the, sofas and, living room floor.

[00:12:55] And, went and picked up a sled. Since last year we camped near a lodge and we got a lodge as like a backup plan. So if someone was to cold, they could just go in and warm up, sleep on the couch, sleep on the floor. And a lot of people did that. This year we've got reduced number because we told everyone, you know, bring your snow shoes.

[00:13:22] We're not getting a lodge, so we're going to. Park at the snow, snow park and hike down to the Lake and camp in the snow. And there's probably about a five foot base, maybe slightly less, somewhere around 50 inches, between 50 and 60 inches. I'd be curious to see. It might even be less than three feet base.

[00:13:44]Where we're going. I don't think the Lake is frozen. Last year we snowshoed across the frozen Lake, which was kind of fun and exciting. but there was also 12 feet of snow on the ground, and it was cold. So I don't think the Lake will be frozen, maybe in the edges, but it will be, It'll be snowshoeing around.

[00:14:07]so, yeah, today picked up a utility sled that can be, I'm going to use to pull gear with. And, spent an enormous amount of time staring at a camping gear anytime you let me loose and sportsmen warehouse, which is kind of like a, it's kind of like a hunting and fishing style, REI, if you're familiar with REI.

[00:14:30] And, it didn't make it up the street to REI, but, picked up my, a utility sled, which I'll have to rig for, for gear. Maybe I'll post a picture in the show notes and, got some other, random stuff that I think will be helpful this weekend. So if, if this is the last recording I make, we didn't make it No.

[00:14:55] So anyway, I doubt that. It's going to be a concern. Anyway, so, I'm one of, I think three adult, four adult leaders actually going, and I think there's only a dozen Scouts instead of 20 plus. so it should be a good adventure. And, That will be nice to get away. I do plan on taking some photographs, taking some videos.

[00:15:18] I've got a kind of a generic GoPro. I'll go pro three silver died, so I've got a generic 4k. action cam. So I've got to charge those batteries that make sure I've got the right SD cards, micro SD cards, and maybe I can take some videos and pictures and post them up . So, it's always a challenging when you're working on a startup to like give it up for a few days and literally unhook.

[00:15:46]not going to look at email. I'm not going to be in and able to look at email. so. And get away. But once you're there and driving there and getting there, it's great. And on the way back, it's hard to get reconnected. So, but highly recommend it. So, the funny thing is, is I, you know, I did, some backpacking and mountaineering type stuff, and I was in Scouts when I was kid, but, As an adult, I just didn't, I guess I didn't hook up with the right groups of friends, because we didn't do a whole lot of. A camping like true camping, true backpacking, but a Scout's is a great excuse to get your kid involved in that, and suddenly you can relive your youth. So, anyway, so next week we'll be busy once we get back.

[00:16:37] One thing I did, put in my notes here for the show was, Putting off and focusing the sales strategy. So I am really nervous about trying to get some customers going and trying to show some success for down payment gift. And I kind of want to be like, Oh, the webinars strategy. Let's focus less on big picture strategies to start doing more cold calling one-on-one approach.

[00:17:03]And, so cold emailing, cold calling. I've gotta just focus and just focus on the content creation, focus on the webinar strategy, and then follow up with the webinar attendees, follow up with the lead magnet downloads, and just make that the core strategy. So cold emailing, cold outreach and cold calls.

[00:17:25] Gonna put that off until we can get some. More case studies, more success. We need people that are willing to undertake the product with having a lot of faith are trust in it the based purely on me and Jared, based purely on what we are showing we can do. And I remember Dan Martell, I think I mentioned him in one of the early podcasts.

[00:17:51] In one of his calls, he told the story about how Clay Collins with leadpages, just said one strategy, one channel, one sales approach for one year, and just keeping focused on that. and so, and they did a lot of affiliate webinars to grow lead pages early on. And so I think webinars and then potentially using, affiliates as well, after we get some more success would be a great way to scale the business, without doing a lot of cold approach, a lot of cold email and cold calling.

[00:18:28] I do think that. You know, cold calling, cold email, it basically implies that we're going to have commission salespeople now I'm the hundred percent, you know, main salesperson for this . but to make a real effort around cold approach, it's just, just challenging to scale up.

[00:18:46] So anyway, Focused on that one sales strategy for the time being, at least through the end of March. Okay, guys. Hey, thanks for joining us on this episode of mileposts. you can tweet at me @lorenwinzeler, L O R E N, W, I, N, Z, E L, E, R, or That's L O, R, E, N, at mile posts. With an S.

[00:19:15] Dot. O. R. G. Not sure about the org domain, but it is what it is. alright. Thanks so much. Take care.

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