This is a transcript of episode 35 of the OMGrowth podcast.
Lanie Lamarre 0:00
For Season 2 of the OMGrowth podcast, I knew I wanted to bring in guests. And I definitely knew I wanted these conversations to be about the types of OMGrowth Moments that we talk about on this podcast…
Which makes our first guest the perfect gateway to all of us, because if you hosted a summit or even attended a summit, I would bet that Krista Lee Miller and her signature product Summit In A Box had a lot to do with it, because that’s her jam.
And the reason she’s so flipping successful at this is because her focus is on delivering strong connections, collaborations and making a difference in the lives of everyone involved. No biggie, right? But despite her success in the summit prep niche, not everything she touches turns to gold. And when I asked her if she would be willing to talk about this on my podcast, I’m tickled pink, she said “yes!”. So without further ado, this is Krista Lee Miller’s OMGrowth Moment.
Lanie Lamarre 0:53
Krista Lee Miller! I am so excited because we were chatting recently and you were talking about something that I really do think people think about – that people do – and it’s like a weird, “let’s not talk about it” thing. So I asked you if you were willing to talk about it, and you said you were – so you recently were going to launch… it was like a workshop series, correct?
Krista Lee Miller 1:18
Yep. Exactly. A three-day live workshop series.
Lanie Lamarre 1:21
Right, and what was your runway for launching that product?
Krista Lee Miller 1:27
So it was probably 30 to 60 days of my own planning. And then I had a two week official launch period before it was going to actually start.
Lanie Lamarre 1:36
And then you started, and what happened?
Krista Lee Miller 1:39
So yeah, I started I sent a couple emails to a decent sized email – I think I was emailing about 7000 people – and I promoted a couple of times on Instagram where I have a couple 1000 followers there, I posted into my Facebook group to a couple 1000 people.
And it was very sad!
You know, I’m used I’m used to running summits where I open the open the doors – or even selling my summit box program! – and it’s sale sale sale sale. And it was like, “is something broken? what’s going on?”, because sale notifications aren’t happening.
And then, oh, shoot, there’s one…. so everything is working but there’s just no sales.
That’s basically what happened and I think in a week, we had five sales and it was not what I was expecting.
Lanie Lamarre 2:22
Now I know this because I am proud owner of Summit In A Box (Krista’s signature product). But you do tell people, “listen, you’ll sometimes have more people coming in than other times, and don’t panic when people aren’t registering or buying your All Access Pass”, right?
So how did YOU handle it when the sales weren’t coming in? And were you having those conversations with yourself?
Krista Lee Miller 2:46
So after the first day – the day after the cart opened – I messaged my assistant that we have a sale notification and told her we need more of these. And she was like, “yep!”.
And I was like, “we’re just gonna see what happens” exactly because of that – I’m so used to coaching my students by saying, “it’s okay, if you don’t have hundreds of signups on Day One – just wait it out”. So that’s kind of why I said, “let’s see what happens when this next email goes out. Let’s go Live one extra time. Let’s do one extra post on Instagram Stories and just see what happens”.
So I wasn’t really panicking, but it wasn’t happening.
And then we got to, like, a week out and my outlook on it kind of started changing a bit.
Lanie Lamarre 3:28
And you had invested, like, not just your time and creating all these materials, but you had like you had money invested into this launch, correct?
Krista Lee Miller 3:36
Yeah, so I had my Facebook ads team all ready to go; I had hired a learning designer to come on and create all of the workshop content with me, which was amazing and not cheap; my assistant had put a ton of work in, my designer had put a ton of work in.
We were ready to go and we probably spent $2000-$3,000 at that point with getting everything set up and ready to just be awesome.
Lanie Lamarre 4:04
And then you had to make the decision of – well, you didn’t HAVE to make the decision, you could have kept going on – but you did decide to cancel the workshops.
Krista Lee Miller 4:13
Yeah, so from that second day where it was just kind of quiet that started being in my mind like, “okay, at what point am I going to cancel?” and I decided if I get at least 20 people signed up, I will do it. I won’t be happy about it, but I’ll do it.
So my original plan was that I would make that decision if there weren’t at least 20 people signed up after that last chance email went out. I would have called it off but we got to – like I said, I think a week out – and we had five people signed up and at that point it was becoming stressful.
It was making me anxious. I had just come come off of maternity leave so I was like used to no emotions around work whatsoever – totally in “baby mode”, taking care of my girls – and now, all of a sudden, these negative work feelings were creeping back in and affecting my day-to-day with them, distracting me from them.
I was like, “this just doesn’t feel good. I don’t want more of this.”
So from there, I had the two options: 1) I could force it, I could write more emails – you know, promote harder and harder – trying to figure out how I’m going to convince people to sign up for this… I could do that, or 2) Maybe like, let’s just let it go.
And there were some struggles around making that decision but that ended up being the decision I wanted to make. I did not want this to affect my day-to-day for the next week: I didn’t want it to take time away from my girls and if it wasn’t feeling fun anymore, I decided I just wasn’t going to do it.
Lanie Lamarre 5:52
Yeah. So that makes that decision easy for you – that sort of feeling of, “it’s making me anxious and this isn’t even something I want to go through with any more” sort of thing.
Krista Lee Miller 6:03
Exactly. Like, I knew we would get to the first day where I would have to show up live for that workshop, and I would be a ball of anxiety, totally dreading having to go live for what would have been two or three people.
It’s not that I don’t value those two or three people that would have shown up, but the energy just wouldn’t be there, it would have felt forced, I would have felt embarrassed and awkward. Like, oh my gosh, they see that there’s only this many people there – it just wouldn’t have felt good, it would have just been terrible when I had to do it the next day, and the next day.
Even thinking forward to that was giving me anxiety- – like I knew how much I would hate having to show up – and I realized the biggest reason I wasn’t canceling the workshop was because what other people will think, “oh my gosh, she launched this thing and it didn’t work”. All judging judging, so I said “I don’t care. Yeah, I launched a thing. It didn’t work. Cool.”
A lot of times I launch things and it doesn’t work. So maybe this will humanize me, you know? There have been and I’ve had lots of failed launches in the past. So this has not been me being like, “Oh, look at how cool I am. I can launch things.”
I have one product that sells well and that’s all I sell. So it’s been a while since I’ve launched something and had it flop and I was like, “You know what, it might kind of stink, but also it doesn’t have to. I can use it as a way to relate to other people to show them that this is okay. It’s okay to do something doesn’t go well. And you just like you change your mind, you change your mind because of something you learned.” So that’s what I did and I cancelled it.
I sent that email to my list like, “Hey, here’s why I cancelled.”
I have never gotten so many replies and thank you messages, and oh, it was incredible. My assistant saved tons of them for me to just go through and read and just see the difference that made for people.
And then, well, I guess one other thing that was holding me back were these six people that signed up. Like, I feel bad for them and I don’t want them to think that I’m not trustworthy to buy from in the future so what can I do here?
So, we gave them a full refund, of course, before we even sent them an email and then we gave them a coupon code saying, “hey, if you decide to join Summit In A Box this round, we were going to open the doors later this week and you have a coupon code for the amount we just refunded to you as an additional discount to the program. And we will send you a t-shirt, mug or water bottle of your choice – our branded swag – so we just offered to send them something there.
And one person replied that they were disappointed but then she just booked like a day of Voxer with me to get her questions answered – which I thought was really cool and a good sign – but she doesn’t hate me. She’s paying me now to come in like and do this one-on-one work.
Lanie Lamarre 6:52
She definitely doesn’t hate you. I mean, she’s throwing money at you.
Krista Lee Miller 8:58
Yeah and we spent a day chatting back-and-forth so it turned out really well. I’m glad I made that decision, for sure.
Lanie Lamarre 9:03
So someone who’s in your position – no matter what they’re launching, whether it’s workshop, or summit, or their product, or whatever it is that they’re launching – and the launch is not going the way they hoped…. well, I would always say that before you get into any kind of launch, you should put these baseline numbers in place to sort of figure out like, “what do I feel comfortable with?”
Something that you I think you did really well was saying from the jump, “okay, like I need at least 20 people for this to be worth – not only my while – but my energy and my enthusiasm”, right?
But when you start to see that those numbers aren’t happening, what would your advice be to somebody experiencing that?
Krista Lee Miller 9:45
Yeah, so I guess I would say, look at the numbers again and look at what you’re doing again just to make sure that you have done enough. Like, don’t push yourself but has your audience gotten at least a couple chances to see what you’re doing? Is there anything you could communicate differently? And that’s something that went through my head – like, there is a disconnect here – because I know what I have is incredible but my people clearly aren’t seeing it. Where’s this disconnect? See if you could figure that out but I couldn’t figure it out.
I was thinking of asking my mastermind group or trying to get with a copywriter as quickly as possible to sort this stuff out. Then I was like, I just don’t want to! I don’t want to put any more energy into this right now and make it more stressful for myself.
So maybe that’s something I would encourage you to look at as well: is it affecting you or anything else in your life negatively? If not, then cool and keep trying different things. If that doesn’t bother you, go for it.
But if it’s starting to affect you negatively, I think that’s when it’s really time to be like, “okay, why shouldn’t I cancel?” and see if you have a really good reason to keep pushing forward. It’s something that you could either be stressed about, or that you could just be like, “bless and release – I’ll try again next time”.
Lanie Lamarre 11:03
And I think a lot of people do what you did – where they invest their time, they invest resources, they invest energy, they invest money into launch – and they see it as being sunk cost that they’re, like, “I now have to do the work to recuperate that” instead of taking a step back and being like, “let’s figure out where the disconnect is, whether it’s my messaging, whether it’s my actual offer”, trying to figure those things out a step removed, as opposed to doing it in the storm of it, in all the chaos.
Krista Lee Miller 11:32
Yeah. And that part did sting – going like, “okay, I’ve spent a couple thousand dollars on this and it’s gonna be wasted” – but then I was like, “okay, I can either still have that money I’ve “wasted” and feel emotionally and mentally drained… or I can just skip that second part.”
And yeah, having spent that money does stink but I can also now look at ways to reuse all that moving forward. Like, that workshop content I made with that learning designer – I didn’t just throw it away, I’m going to think of something else to do with it when I’m more reenergized about it – but I need a little break before I do that. But it will come back in a different format at some time and it will still be awesome.
So it’s not like it all totally went to waste, either.
Lanie Lamarre 12:16
I’m so proud of you for doing all of this, because I think we’ve all been in that position – or at least, we’ve seen people in that position – and they just truck through it, feeling not great about it, which isn’t even the bad part: the bad part is when you’re delivering a product or service that you’re feeling resentful about not only having to do, but also towards the people that you actually did care about before you were put in a position that you didn’t want to offer the product when you knew it would be a different experience for them than you wanted it to be, you know?
Krista Lee Miller 12:49
Yeah, totally. I agree. There’s a time and place to push through. But I think it comes down to how you’re looking at it and what your energy is around it. And I think I would have been one of those people – if it was before maternity leave when I had had that priority reset, I probably would have just pushed through – but yeah, when it’s affecting you negatively, it’s just time to take the other route.
Lanie Lamarre 13:12
Absolutely. I love that you were willing to share this, by the way, because I feel – like I said – these are things that we all whisper to each other behind closed doors, but we don’t actually share them out loud.
Then people see your income reports or whatever from your last summit being like, “oh, it was a hugely successful summit, and she’s hugely successful at everything she does” and you are hugely successful at most of the things that you do.
But you also get these other things that you have to tweak and perfect. That’s how you get better. That’s how you grow. It’s by improving the things that are already there in front of you.
So I’m super grateful that you were willing to share that story with us. Tell everybody where they can follow you, where they can learn more about hosting summits because you rock socks at it, by the way. You make it so easy and someone like me – who likes systems and templates and things to just be all like mapped out – you do a great job of delivering that done-for-you part of it.
Krista Lee Miller 14:07
I love me some templates. Yeah, you guys can find me on Instagram @summitinabox or my website is summitinabox.co. And to give you a little taste of like our systems and templates, we have a free timeline calculator that you can grab where you enter the date you want your summit to start and it calculates your due dates for some of like the bigger picture tasks to help you get an idea of what your timeline should look like to start planning and make your summit process a whole lot easier. And that’s at summitinabox.co/timeline.
Lanie Lamarre 14:37
I will put that link in the show notes. Krista, thank you so much for being here.
Krista Lee Miller 14:42
Thank you for having me. This was fun.
Lanie Lamarre 14:45
You have the links to that timeline calculator and Krista’s socials (above) in the show notes. And you know, I’m a big fan of examples and this is a great example of how there’s no such thing as a failed launch. If you’re willing to look at what’s working, what isn’t and consider what you’re willing to reinvest in for your results to be even better next time.
So please subscribe to the podcast, share with your business besties because – sooner or later – we all get these types of feelings about something we launched. I believe that if we can hear and normalize more of these stories and how to reframe them into a potential OMGrowth Momeny like we have here, it benefits us all way more than ignoring that these exists in order for those success stories to happen because they do have to exist for those success stories to happen.
So thank you for listening to the OMGrowth podcast. You rock socks – bye!