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    My Black Friday breakdown

    By Kieran Drew
    💡
    This is an edition of my old newsletter Digital Freedom.

    It's lightly edited but otherwise untouched. I've kept them on the site to show how the journey has evolved.

    Welcome to November’s business breakdown.

    Each month we take a peak under the hood of my business, discussing:

    • Freedom (leverage)
    • Revenue (income and expenses)
    • Growth (social media and newsletter)

    Last month I launched a new product, hit a big milestone, and set up a high-leverage system to 10x my business growth.

    Let's dive in.

    The Freedom Meter

    11 months ago, my diary was rammed with calls and client work.

    But one reason I became an entrepreneur was to disconnect my time from money, so I set a goal to reduce my ‘low leverage’ income to below 10% by the end of 2023 (it was 35% in January).

    I didn’t expect to hit it.

    So I’m delighted to share this with you today:

    Let’s explore the numbers.

    November net income: $72,564.03

    Gross Revenue

    This is my 20th month as an entrepreneur, so to cross $600k is honestly ridiculous. I’m incredibly grateful. I’m also feeling the pressure as things move so fast, but part of the fun I guess!

    One forcing function for growth I’ve set is to run one offer per month.

    In November, I ran three.

    As you can imagine, it was intense. But you can make serious progress when you work in sprints, especially if focused on high-leverage, compounding tasks (I’ve explained some cool stuff I’m working on below).

    Here’re the revenue sources for November:

    Income breakdown:

    • Affiliating = $10,276.06
    • Sparkloop = $47
    • 1-1 Coaching & Consulting = $500
    • Digital Products = $70,415.44

    I won’t dive into expenses for brevity’s sake this month (mainly education and a few refunds), and you might notice I no longer have group coaching. I decided to cancel my remaining clients because the offer originally was meant to end in January. I was grateful people stayed on, but I needed bandwidth to work on new things.

    New business relationships

    The first offer was an affiliate deal for John Bejakovic’s brilliant email course Simple Money Emails — with a bonus webinar where he coached my emails live.

    We had a blast.

    I set this up by reaching out to John. He has no social media presence but is an expert in the copywriting world. I’m the opposite — all audience, no clue. This deal gave him exposure to a new world, my fans discovered his ideas, and cheekily — I got a coaching session for free.

    Win-win-win.

    I’d recommend you reach out to experts in a similar situation. I have a list of writers, copywriters, storytellers, and entrepreneurs who have impacted me most. 2024, I’ll try get on their radars.

    Black Friday

    As John’s offer ended, I had an idea for my third product. I thought I’d launch in January, but after a chat with my mentor, we decided to launch Black Friday.

    I finished building it Friday morning, and felt like Gollum leaving his cave after some seriously big shifts in my flat.

    When my girlfriend told me I should probably cut down on Yorkshire tea

    I also ran an offer on High Impact Writing at the same time.

    I’ll be honest my friend — this was my first Black Friday as a real entrepreneur, and how to handle it was a tough decision (last year I gave all the money to charity for a year long challenge I was doing, which is one way to solve the problem!).

    Let me explain the two schools of thought.

    1) You don’t discount

    Everyone’s doing it and it’s better to zig instead of zag. Plus it might annoy your current buyers who invested full price.

    2) You do discount

    There are people in your audience who can’t afford your stuff. Simple. And they wait for Black Friday to pick up courses they had their eye on. I’ve had to turn down many people who asked for Parity Pricing over the past 6 months.

    In the end, I decided to discount.

    One thing I’ve learned my friend:

    Most decisions are not as black and white as polarising people would have you believe. Someone told me I was sticking a middle finger to my fans. I was devastated. So I reached out to some fans, and guess what?

    They wanted me to run an offer.

    They were encouraging because they knew I have good intentions with HIW. And when I thought about courses I’d bought recently, I felt the same. One lesson I’m taking forward is that if you have decisions to make, ignore social media and speak to those who matter:

    Your customers.

    (And if you are a customer of High Impact Writing, and you were annoyed at the discount, I get it. You’ve got some cool things coming in 2024 so sit tight).

    Let’s talk about the new product.

    The Magnetic Content Masterclass

    This is a monthly recurring offer where I breakdown the copywriting and psychology-based principles behind great content. The aim is to help entrepreneurs attract and create more fans. It’s a weekly video and written masterclass, plus a monthly live webinar.

    I won’t lie, I was terrified at launch.

    The scariest part about entrepreneurship is building something that didn’t exist before. You can prepare all you want, but ultimately, the market decides what is valuable. A tight deadline helps because you stop overthinking, but also increases the risk of a flop.

    Black Friday was a soft launch — only available to current buyers, and I’m grateful to say 163 people picked it up.

    This is a 11.5% uptake from current customers and a 17.4% conversion on the sales page (I have no idea if this is a good stat for warm traffic, so if you understand these numbers, please reach out, I’d love a 101).

    It’s now unavailable again whilst I collect feedback and iterate on the product. I had a lot of success with this open-close-refine-relaunch method for HIW (read more about it here).

    But here’s where it gets exciting.

    A complete disconnect between time and result

    I now have three products:

    1. The Viral Inspiration Lab (VIL)
    2. High Impact Writing (HIW)
    3. Magnetic Content Masterclass (MCM)

    I told my girlfriend Jena I’d stop three-name words. But damn, I can’t help it. Our business conversations are now linguistic gymnastics.

    3 products give you serious potential to do something I find fascinating:

    Layering leverage.

    Combine product with media and software and you can achieve crazy output with relatively low input. Let me explain what I set up so far during the launch.

    If you bought HIW, you were presented with two additional pages.

    1) An invitation to VIL: 67 people picked it up (20% conversion)

    2) An invitation to MCM: 51 people picked it up (15% conversion)

    But for the 1,100 people who already owned HIW, I pitched MCM.

    Again, if you bought, there were two extra pages.

    1) An upgrade to yearly payments (12 months for the price of 9): 26 people picked it up (21% conversion)

    2) An invitation to VIL: 8 buyers (7% conversion — most already had it)

    So far pretty cool huh?

    But it gets better.

    For the content, I sent two emails per day. But I used ConvertKit’s Liquid to adjust the emails based on segmentation. This meant the 45 minutes I spent writing had a staggering impact — entirely automated.

    Let me doodle this for you.

    This is a massive difference to where I was last year, with zero systems and one very average product — so I just want to encourage you to keep building.

    Combine writing with automations and replicable assets and you can go from 1:1 output to 1:1,000. Grow your audience and it’s like gasoline on the fire. Every word you publish works tirelessly for you to build relationships, reputation, and revenue.

    This is how a ‘normal’ person can get abnormal results.

    The revenue’s great. But what excites me most is the amount of time you win back once you build skills and systems.

    What’s next: Where I’m heading

    This year, business has been amazing, but I’ve been thinking a lot about the future of my brand.

    I love writing. I wholeheartedly believe it’s the greatest skill in the world and everyone should do it. Not just from a business perspective either. There’re few skills as effective at creating so many great consequences in your life.

    I’m fully committed to spreading that message.

    But I don’t want to be the writer whose only writing is writing about writing on social media. There’s nothing wrong with it inherently, but I’d like to aim higher.

    We know growth requires you to step outside your comfort zone — but you have to appreciate the comfort zone is ever expanding, so you gotta keep pushing.

    So I’m taking a leaf from David Perell and launching my new website by the end of the month. For 2024, my aim is to write 48 essays exploring what I’m learning around copy, psychology, mental models, and entrepreneurship.

    I think these will be long form (>1,500 words each).

    I know longer education-based content seems like a dying breed as everyone flocks to daily emails. But depth feels like the smarter long term bet. Perell’s personal monopoly was one of the first concepts I stumbled across online. I’m ready to make it happen, and hopefully we both find it fruitful.

    Cheers for reading,

    Kieran


    Kieran Drew

    About Kieran

    Ex dentist, current writer, future Onlyfans star · Sharing what I learn about writing well, thinking clearly, and building an online business