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INTRO The mark of my three-year journey is in three months (or learning from failure.)

Walter.LV

New Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Apr 21, 2018
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thecopywritersjourney.com
Hello, fellow Unscripted entrepreneurs!

On September 2019, I'll be three years into my entrepreneurial journey.

I haven't read The Millionaire Fastlane, but I've listened to Unscripted start to end at least three full times. It got me through some rough patches.

What's my background and How did I start?

So I'm from Riga, Latvia. It's a small country in the Baltic states (Northern Europe.) Our population is roughly about 1.8million, and most of the young folks are still emigrating to other EU countries due to the relatively poor economic state.

On August 2016. I graduated with a bachelors in physical therapy (physiotherapy), and I started working as a physio in March that same year.

I was making five euros (with some change) for every hour that I spent with a patient. If I was at the job but didn't have a patient, I made nothing.

Rather quickly, I realized that my finances aren't working out the way I expect them to. For the first six months, I was making roughly 380 to 400 euros a month... and I had figured that my ceiling is 800 (spending 160 hours one-on-one with a patient.)

At the same time, I had this gut feeling that this isn't what I want to do for the rest of my life.

And I realized that no matter what I do, or how hard I tried, there is a limit to what I can make in this market.

Even before that, I started dabbling in internet marketing. I learned about this copywriting skill that has the potential to resolve my money problems.

So as I kept getting more depressed, I just said the F-with this, I quit.

And I did.

As you can probably imagine, all of my family and relatives had their opinions. Everyone, except my dad, was pissed. He's been Unscripted his whole life, so he understood, but couldn't or wouldn't support me. I was on my own.

I had some money saved up that would last me almost a year, but I was very positive and naive, so I thought that I would make it... How wrong I was.

Since I was very passionate about helping people resolve their back pain problems, I found an online course by a doc in New Zealand who had an info product on the subject.

I studied his sales page, built up a page on Facebook, wrote a free report on back pain, then wrote an email campaign that promoted the product, built a landing page and started running Facebook ads.

After all, that's what the gurus had told me to do, so it has to work. I'm gonna be an overnight internet millionaire...

So I launched it, spent about $300 on that promotion, chickened out to spend more, got like 120 leads on that list, sold 0 products and was back to square one.

Ok, so what am I going to do next? I'm out of cash...

Luckily for me, my mom had a construction project, where I helped her out for that summer and made some money (this was one year in.)

Then came the fall and a close friend of mine was building an e-commerce store (not a Shopify dropship with suppliers from China.) But a real store, with real merchandise that they shipped out themselves or sold in an office.

He's 8 years older than me, and we've been friends for a long time. He was out of the country and needed me to get the merchandise (shipped to my apartment) and start selling it through classified ads (our local version of Craigslist.)

We didn't agree on a particular amount of money for the job nor the specific hours or job description. We just had an agreement that everything's going to be ok. Big mistake.

Rather quickly, my apartment was full of merchandise, I was hustling his products and after about 1.5 months I had made 500euros, even though we'd agreed on 800. He just didn't pay me and told me that we had a misunderstanding... hmmm, okay.

Around that same time, I learned from yet another guru, that you could sell lead generation services to businesses. And I figured that I knew how to generate leads from Facebook (even if I didn't quite convert them to customers previously.)

So I jumped in.

This was January 2017. So roughly a year and a half in.

The first client I got was from a Facebook post. I wrote a post about how I've been dabbling with Facebook ads and would help anyone get clients off of Facebook for free. Just spend 100 euros on ads.

My first client was the sister of one of my acquaintances. She's a make-up artist and wanted to work at weddings doing the make-up and hair for brides and bridesmaids.

We got about 13 leads for 80 euro ad spend, and she managed to close 2 or three clients.

The thing I learned from that campaign was that you need to have a high customer lifetime value (at least $1000 over the lifetime) or it's not economically viable to advertise.

The next campaign was for a friend of mine who bought 6 or 8 canoe boats and wanted to do a boat rental.

The mistake we did in that campaign was that he didn't have a person who would handle the leads on the phone (I should have hustled and sold on the phone.) So we had a landing page with a phone number and people could subscribe to get the offer in the email, and many (about 25 did) but there was no follow-up, no way to convert, other than slapping a phone on a webpage with some sales copy.

(I ran into a problem - I got the message that something went wrong, so I posted the rest as a first reply, I hope it's ok)
 
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Walter.LV

Walter.LV

New Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Apr 21, 2018
12
18
17
thecopywritersjourney.com
Now the next campaign we did was the most successful one so far. (this is September, 2018.)

This was for a client who owns and runs a Herbalism school (he teaches people how to gather and use medicinal plants for all kinds of ailments.)

He had been building this business for about four years and had a deal with at least one alternative medicine journal where he would write articles, so he already had some brand awareness.

Once I learned about his business, I wrote the sales copy (headlines, the lead, features/benefits, course description, the offer e.t.c.) and designed the landing page. (all of the campaigns had a three-three step funnel. 1. Facebook Ad 2. Landing page, 3. Sales call.)

This campaign just clicked from the start. Within the first few hours, we had our first leads, so I knew we're on to something. We spent a total of $138 (US) and got 122 leads, out of which 86 applied for the six-month program (at 600 euros each.) This wasn't an online course, but a live seminar program.

From this campaign, I learned, that you need brand awareness, and an engaged audience before you can (successfully) run direct response ads.

This was also my first paid campaign. (I made about $600 USD total.)

Earlier that summer I had applied for a 5-week Startup incubator in Silicon Valley.

Long-story-short. I was pitching this crazy idea about an online course where people could learn how to get rid off back pain themselves. Pretty much everyone was giving me awkward looks when I told them the idea and the mentors told that it's just not going to work.

So at the final pitch day, I pitched this idea of building an app where people could stand in front of a camera (at their homes), and do some physical exams (like at a physio's office), and then an AI algorithm would analyze all the test results, and give them a specific treatment plan based on that assessment.

I didn't win the pitch contest, but I improved tremendously. During the first pitch (on day two or three), I was shaking, trying to read from a paper in front of a camera and 80 other entrepreneurs. I completely bombed as I tried to utter the words (English isn't my first language.) At the final pitch day, in front of investors, I delivered my pitch almost flawlessly.

What's more important though, is that I got my next client. It was a tech startup that was building smart insoles for shoes.

We defined the value proposition, I did the market research, found out their competitors, and wrote the sales copy for the landing page.

When we finally launched, the leads were coming in very slowly and they were very expensive (something like $12-$15), so I worked hard trying to find the right audiences and doing copy testing.

Once I finally optimized the campaign and leads were coming in (at $3-$5 a pop), I got a call... "we have to stop the campaign."

Basically, they figured that the whole value prop is wrong because what they're offering right now is not what they'll be offering to the end consumer, so "we just have to change one headline."

That headline was the whole value-prop of the campaign. My gut was telling me that this isn't going to work, and I tried to object, but in the end, we changed it and relaunched.

And of course, the campaign was failing, no more leads were coming in...

What I learned here, was that I needed to set clear expectations and define the scope of the project.

It could have been a successful project. But it wasn't due to flawed decisions.

Once I was done with that project, I figured that I needed to move on and hustle fast to get new clients.

I learned that you could just find businesses online and send them a cold pitch in the email. So I started manually getting email addresses, and names of physio businesses in the U.S., and got banned from a private practice Facebook group.

Then I would just go to yelp, type in chiropractor in (location) and just email them one-by-one (about a hundred a day.)

I was getting some feedback from the marketplace, but it was taking way too long, so I learned about these things called web-scrapers. So I did that and sent out about 2000 emails total.

What I learned was that:
1. Either the leads weren't qualified (aka had no money)
2. Or I just couldn't close them.

I got one practice in Florida, we started the campaign, but the leads were coming in at a very high price ($15), and we just weren't a good fit. The communication was off.

What am I doing right now and plan to do moving forward?
So at this moment, I'm driving for Taxify (it's our local Uber) to pay the bills, and occasionally I might get lead from there.

I also realized that since I haven't put out any valuable content, I have no brand and trust, so I'm building a site about copywriting, direct marketing, social media campaigns and sales funnels (I'd add a link if I'm allowed to.)

The purpose of the site is two-fold:
1) Attracting an audience by posting valuable content, and promoting affiliate products (like direct marketing books, and one copywriting course)
2) Attracting potential clients for my services.

The reason why I'm not hustling for clients here locally is that I really want to work internationally and do the campaigns in English.

Anyways, this is where I'm at right now. I know that this has taken me way more time than it could have, and I'm dissatisfied with my results.

I'm finally committing to this 100%, so I'd appreciate feedback on how I should pursue further (even if it's brutally honest.)
 

Kybalion

Renegade Master
FASTLANE INSIDER
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Oct 5, 2018
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72
112
Čau, Valter! Prieks, te redzēt vēl kādu latvieti!

(translation for those, who are not Latvian )- Hey, Walter! Glad to see another Latvian around here!

I don't really have any feedback since I have started this journey just 6 months ago. Anyways, I hope (and know), that everything will work out for You. Keep hustling fellow Latvian!
 

VIVEKSINGHJADONS

VSJ
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Sep 18, 2018
47
83
123
India
Welcome to the forum buddy. You are taking a lot of action and that is the most important part of getting Unscripted. Best of luck and keep hustling...
 

reedracer

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jun 2, 2019
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Kansas City
It seems to me you are real close but just have not yet hit the right mix. Keep moving forward!
 
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Walter.LV

Walter.LV

New Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Apr 21, 2018
12
18
17
thecopywritersjourney.com
It seems to me you are real close but just have not yet hit the right mix. Keep moving forward!
Yes, I have this gut feeling that I'm close but you know how it is. When you've been doing it for some time, you get to a place where you know that it might take you 3 months from now or you could keep struggling for the next three years.

Gotta keep the head up and keep on pushing.
 

Surf16

Bronze Contributor
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Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jan 6, 2019
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California
The purpose of the site is two-fold:
1) Attracting an audience by posting valuable content, and promoting affiliate products (like direct marketing books, and one copywriting course)
2) Attracting potential clients for my services.

The reason why I'm not hustling for clients here locally is that I really want to work internationally and do the campaigns in English.
Keep hustling and taking action.

You sound motivated and are learning after each experience. That is invaluable.

What ever happened to the "back scanning" app? That seemed like a good idea. Did you shop that around to other App Developers? Now that you have your presentation skills dialed in maybe you could focus on getting that idea out to more people.
 
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Walter.LV

Walter.LV

New Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Apr 21, 2018
12
18
17
thecopywritersjourney.com
Keep hustling and taking action.

You sound motivated and are learning after each experience. That is invaluable.

What ever happened to the "back scanning" app? That seemed like a good idea. Did you shop that around to other App Developers? Now that you have your presentation skills dialed in maybe you could focus on getting that idea out to more people.
I was pursuing the back pain self-help biz idea for so long and didn't quite make anything out of it so after the final pitch day I just figured that:
1. No one's going to give me any capital to go build this startup
2. I've got only copywriting, and online marketing skills but no coding or tech skills at all

I just kind of looked back and figured that I wasn't completely focused on either digital marketing or the back pain thing, so I figured that I have to do one thing really well if I want to succeed.

Btw, if you're interested, I found this biotech company that has software built where they place sensors on a human body and then a camera sees these sensors and can measure all the movement angles, so theoretically that idea is possible to pursue.
 

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