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How We Fumbled Through Our First Week In Business

April 12, 2016

I mentioned a few blog posts back, that Jonathan and I are launching an online business. 

Or rather…businesses.

We can’t let the cat our of the bag on ALL our future ideas but this past week we launched marketing for our first idea.

The Infertility Survival Guide. 

What is that exactly?

It’s not released (yet!!) but will consist of an online package custom-designed for couples facing infertility. It exists to inform, support, caution, encourage, and inspire.

Infertility has a way of weaving itself into every day. It’s not an understatement to say that infertility has the potential to wreck marriages, finances, health, psychological well-being, friendships, work, and relationship with God. Our goal is to help couples experience infertility without it destroying their life. 

It’s the guide we WISH we had when we were learning about infertility only a few short months into marriage. We know it will bless the lives of others and can’t wait to get this message into the hands of those who need it.

This past week we launched our first set of Facebook ads letting people know we’re here. It consisted of a blog post, free resources, and Facebook ads specific to our content.

And it was nothing short of a complete disaster!

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We’re part of a business-related Facebook group for online entrepreneurs. After seeing our pages getting ZERO traffic on day one, I went to them for advice….

Our ad was the issue and needed to be redone ASAP. After fixing that, our new ad got rejected by Facebook. After that, we got feedback that our free resource wasn’t being sent to people signing up for it. After that, we were told our blog post was information overload and needed to be shortened. And finally after all that, we were told our titles were too generic and lacked emotion and vulnerability.

We tweaked, tweaked again, and tweaked some more and even then, we weren’t seeing any traffic to our page from our ads because it’s really hard to target our ideal audience on Facebook due to limitations about fertility related words on their end.

Needless to say, I was so discouraged….until I realized the truth!

The truth is that this past week was a learning experience. Our free content and ultimately The Infertility Survival Guide are amazing resources. The need is there and the part we have to figure out is how to get our information into the hands of those who desire it. People call that marketing and it’s apparent we are on a steep learning curve.

But that’s OK. We’re new at this. It’s actually prideful to assume we would’ve hit it out of the park on our very first online business, let alone our first attempt at getting our name out there.

I totally understand why people quit when the going gets tough. This week was frustrating, sleep-depriving, and infuriating. Who would want MORE of that?

It’s not the end of the story and that’s what I keep reminding myself. “Rejection doesn’t mean you failed. It means you tried. Try again.” is a quote I’ve had to cling to. There are a lot of rejections behind any success story. The difference between a quitter and a success story is simply that the latter kept trying when times got tough.

We’re going to keep learning, crafting our marketing skills, and growing so we can do what we do best – help people thrive in what matters mostThat’s what it’s all about for us.

With all that said, we could sure use your help! 

If you want to help us out, please consider private messaging friends and family whom you know battle infertility to “like” our Facebook page so they get all our updates .

We will be hosting a few FREE webinars coming up during National Infertility Awareness Week (April 25-29th) and would love your assistance inviting friends to join us. Our final product, The Infertility Survival Guide online package will be available shortly thereafter.

Thanks, everyone! 🙂

Anyone else out there starting or running a small business, let’s connect and cheer one another on in the journey!

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  • Reply Bethany April 13, 2016 at 6:54 am

    I think it’s so neat you’ve started this! Best of luck as you get your name out there 🙂

  • Reply E.S. April 13, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    While I admire your business acumen and enthusiasm, and I was looking forward to hearing about your business products, I’m taken aback by this. I mean this in the nicest way possible. I’ve been a blog reader for several years, and I admire both of you. You have obvious talent and a great desire to serve God. But I can’t understand the monetizing of infertility support and advice. Although you don’t say that you will be charging for the resource, it looks that way from the writing in this post. I really hope you do not. I have struggled with primary infertility for six years, and I am around your age, and also a Catholic. You yourselves must know how alone Catholic couples suffering from primary infertility can feel. I would do anything to help any one of these couples, and would never ask for anything in return. I’ve worked for the Catholic Church, at both the parish and diocesan level, for 5 years. I’ve also worked in adoptions. I know how hard it can be to find good advice and support for young Catholic couples who walk this road. I’ve seen people give up and go to IVF. I’ve also seen couples struggle with serious depression, and become more and more isolated. Any good advice that can be given is really needed. But I don’t understand monetizing that advice and support. I’ve also seen the financial toll infertility can take on a couple. Treatments and surgeries with Catholic physicians generally cost thousands of dollars, even with wonderful insurance. Adoptions cost even more. I donated what I could to your adoption fundraising drive because I understood that personally in my own life, and I wanted to help. I would pay for an infographic on the liturgy or a bible study. I would pay for a guide to Lent or a resource on prayer. But I would not pay for advice on surviving infertility, which is a tragedy. I think it takes something away from the love and solidarity we should all share when walking such a difficult path together.

    • Reply Amanda April 13, 2016 at 3:51 pm

      E.S. Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply. I am so glad you’ve been part of the True Good and Beautiful family now for a few years and even joined in our adoption fundraiser. We can’t thank you enough.

      While I appreciate your feedback and comments, I completely differ from your belief. We know the pain of infertility both personally and in our circle of family, friends, and certainly through our blog. It’s so very painful and lonely to experience. Quite a few people have reached out to us over the years to discuss the struggles of infertility and we tried our very best to respond to and support/encourage those people but it got to be a larger and larger group of people. We were beginning to slack in our responses and replies simply due to time constraints.

      There are a large volume of people who want help, encouragement, and support along the path of infertility. We provide them free content, lots of it in fact, on our blog and will absolutely continue to do so. That will never change. What will change though is our ability to provide relevant, supportive, wise, high-quality, and professional level resources for couples battling infertility. We WISH we had something like The Infertility Survival Guide when we were in the early trenches. It will be chalk full of SO MUCH MORE than what we can offer in an email or a brief conversation. The content it will contain will absolutely be of value. We would NEVER charge for something that wasn’t going to add value to others and positively impact their lives.

      We desire to truly help change lives and this is one way we can do that. We incur costs of our time and resources in preparing something at this level and many will understand that and happily pay a fee for access to it. I am sorry you do not feel the same way but that’s OK. You can still access our free content all you want! Those who want the next level of support and encouragement will have that available to them.

      We are not trying to monetize off others’ sufferings, as you implied above. God’s giving us an opportunity to serve others in a larger way than we could through our blog and we are answering that call he’s given us. Just like doctors or field experts in any subject who you happily pay to serve you, we see it in the same exact way. You could say the doctor profits off wounded and sick people, how dare they! Or you could say that doctor is providing a unique service to others and charging because their time and knowledge have value. There would be no one in ANY business if everyone felt pressures to give away their knowledge or support for free. Specifically in the infertility “business” there are a whole lot of unethical resources to pay for or scams that promise if you buy this book it hold the 3 secrets to get you pregnant. That’s the shame! Not us. We will be giving others an amazing product that can impact their life for the better.

      Again that is how we see it. A heavy majority of our content is free and will remain so but the individuals who wish to go deeper will have the ability to do so and we can finally serve them in a more robust way while still honoring our own limited time and resources.

      Thanks again and hope to see you around the blog again. If you want to take this conversation deeper, please email us under the contact us section above!

  • Reply E.S. April 14, 2016 at 7:48 am

    Amanda, after reading this, I think I do understand your idea behind this resource, and I agree with you. I did not realize the impetus for this – that you have had so many requests for advice, and can’t answer all individually. With the focus on marketing in the post, and the link with 5 free tips for signing up, it honestly presented it (to me) with a heavy money-making/success-generating feel to it. For something like infertility, that really took me aback. But understanding better why you created this resource puts a difference complexion on it. I think marketing for anything infertility related is a tricky thing, because of the nature of infertility. I think it requires more compassion, explanation and empathy than is typically included in traditional marketing. But after reading your response, and why you created this, I agree with you. I think there is need for a high-level resource, and your time should be compensated. I hope your resource will help many people who really need it. And I will purchase it when you release it.

    • Reply Amanda April 14, 2016 at 2:46 pm

      I am so glad I was able to address your concerns. I understand them, especially since we haven’t really described exactly WHAT we will be doing with The Infertility Survival Guide. I am glad you expressed your concerns and were honest with us. I don’t take that feedback lightly. And if you ever think our marketing (we’re learning!) doesn’t speak to or protect and respect those with infertility, let us know. We know this is sooo sensitive but we also have to try and get it out to people who need it…which means marketing which can feel a bit gimmicky at times. We don’t want to be that. We want to be honest, authentic, and life-giving to those who read our blog and eventually but any product with our name on it. In the meantime, we are working our tails off to create the guide and make sure it’s jammed packed with the essentials and more! Thank you for your support and again thanks for speaking up! I bet other people were thinking similar things!

  • Reply Janelle April 18, 2016 at 8:28 am

    Good for you guys! I hope this turns out to be a great way to support, encourage, help, and reach so many more people!

    As far as marketing goes, my unsolicited advice is do your own thing. Your voice IS your brand! Makes branding pretty easy 🙂 As long as things feel authentic to you, your audience will pick up on that. That being said, definitely consider going where your audience is! If facebook doesn’t have “infertility” as a filter option for ads, then maybe consider a sidebar ad on a relevant blog/website/forum. You’ll find your people!

    Best of luck to you guys!

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