I’ve been doing web design and development projects for years now, but completely disregarded building “products” out of this work. This can be done in all sorts of different ways. Repurposing/selling unwanted designs or code, “packaging” up commonly requested work requests, or most importantly releasing the knowledge that I’ve learned from each and every project via ebook or videos.

If I had done this all along, I could of been building a valuable email list that could be broadcasted to when I release products in the future. Well I’m obviously looking to change this now. Better late than never! Emails are still very valuable after all these years. Nathan Barry actually just announced a new challenge over on his blog. He’s going to try for 100,000 email subscribers in 30 days. Now I will say that Nathan has a great following already, and will benefit from his current subscribers, but it’s still a big challenge to take on. We’ll have to see how it turns out. I certainly signed up!

My first “product”, if you want to call it that, is a free video series that instructs users how to easily make responsive landing pages with Zurb’s Foundation framework. This may sound odd to you, but I did see a good amount of interest in landing pages on Reddit in the entrepreneur area.They’ll not only make something useful for themselves, but it’s also a good starting point for using Foundation if they haven’t done so yet.

To get the word out about my videos, I’ve started experimenting with Facebook advertising. I had some success with Facebook ads a few years ago with Food Cartopia. I was basically buying likes for the fan page. I was pretty happy with the results. So far I’m not being as successful with my current campaign though. The difference is that before I was really just going for Facebook likes, and now I’m more interested in email subscriptions on the landing page.

So far I’ve tried directing my ads to a few different groups: Fans of Entrepreneur Magazine, entrepreneurship (in general), inventors, small business owners, and fans of Udemy. I’ve gotten at least one click on all ads, but only ONE signup from them! All other signups have come from my Reddit post. So in other words, I’m just throwing money at Facebook and getting nothing for it in return. Not their fault. Mine. I have to figure out what it is that I’ve got to change. I think the main problem is that I’ve started the ads before I have any real meat to the video series. Right now they’re only seeing two intro videos depending on where they land. Nothing that exciting. Still though, I should be able to present something that makes people want to sign up even though the product isn’t fully ready yet. This means that either I didn’t design my landing page right, or this is such a small niche that it’s going to be hard to find the right, interested people.

One thing that I noticed very quickly is that people seem to be very interested in my bare-bones, bright-red “submit” button as an ad graphic.

Facebook Red Submit Button

The other ad that got a good amount of action was the one directed to fans of Udemy, the video learning site. I made this ad for my Preeminent Productions Facebook page so that when someone clicks the ad they are directed to the page, and they could become a fan of it. This worked pretty well in getting new fans of the page, but of course I did not get any email signups this way. I spent about 11 dollars on the this ad, and got 8 new page likes out of it. Around 1.40 a like isn’t too bad I guess.

Udemy Ad

So it’s back to the drawing board. I’m going to try some of the same ads again, but this time direct them to the first video in the series, instead of the intro video.
I need to think about other interests and fan pages that I can target when setting up the ads. I’m also thinking of setting up a tab on my Facebook fan page that has a video player and sign up form right on it. Facebook wants users to stay on their own site. They will most likely reward us with cheaper clicks for keeping people on Facebook instead of sending them to our landing page. That’s it for now. Hopefully I’ll have better results to share in part 2.