GHDR Review 7: Marketing Muddle

Not a whole lot of Groundhog Day Resolutions (GHDR) progress this month, though I have been busy!

The major insight this month has been that it’s my attitude that determines the amount of energy I have, not sugar-sensitivity or lack of passion. I’ve been identifying the things that get in the way of a good attitude. I’ve also come to the conclusion that software is a direction I need to move toward, so I’m gearing up to start down that long path.

A Restatement of Purpose

In the aforementioned attitude guide, I reframed my goals as follows:

Status Goals Those are the two underlying drivers of the Groundhog Resolutions Goals I have. It’s funny, that in the 3 or 4 years I’ve been doing them, it’s taken this long to really feel confident enough to say, “yeah, these are the ones.”

With this separate framing, it occurs to me that I should make GHDRs only about concrete goals, instead of combining them with framing. That is kind of a big DUH revelation, one that I should have seen coming. Conceptually, though, I need to know the WHY before the WHAT; it just never occurred to me that having a separation of framework and action might have useful properties. Those properties are the ability to compartmentalize the big pictures stuff in one place, and make the tactical work of getting the job done completely separate. Focus, I think, maybe be easier to achieve.

Last Month Recap

Last month I wanted to maintain “continuity on my goals”, and I did that by maintaining the SOC process journal and writing every day. However, I actually forgot that this was the whole point of it, as I stopped writing in it about a week ago to take a break. I’d mined a few useful insights from the process, and this ended up becoming a fruitful–but tangential–side adventure.

I’ll have to create some better continuity management tools. That’s why I’m thinking software now, because if there’s one place I visit continuously, it is my computer. If I can create a centralized dashboard of all my projects and immediate concerns, that might help keep me focused.

What Got Done

I had finished the Gun Safety poster, ordered sample packaging and printing on a couple different kind of stocks, and then ran head-on into the realities of marketing. I didn’t really have a firmly-defined market in mind, other than “people who want to buy this diagram”. But what exactly was I selling? I showed the printed piece to a few friends with varying levels of familiarity with shooting sports, and realized that there were several marketing cases. Each of these had its own pricing structure, and at that point I lost my enthusiasm and shelved the project for a while to think about it. I’ll put it back on the schedule this month.

The major accomplishments, which I have just scoured out of my blogging output (Wunderlist has taken a vacation this month, storing older projects):

  • A desktop wallpaper project for Colleen Wainwright’s $50,000 fundraising drive for WriteGirl, the LA-based charity that teaches girls how to write.
  • Gantt Chart fixes, Resource Time Tracker (RTT) refresh, a new Academic Year Compact Calendar, and an “Attitude Guide”
  • Over 20 daily process posts, tracking where my time went and how I felt about that over on the SOC Journal, to practice maintaining continuity on my goals.
  • Plenty of insights on decision fatigue, mental energy drains and replenishers, and some pretty old attitudes that needed readjusting.
  • Preparing a reading for a pair of friend who are getting married this weekend.
  • Broke my early-to-rise schedule yet again, after realizing it wasn’t as important as I thought compared to maintaining a positive attitude.
  • Joined an RP fleet on “Star Trek Online” and learned how to create missions using the content tools, which is getting me thinking about storytelling again in the context of design.

I’ll call this month a STALL. Sigh.

The Numbers

They are holding steady from last month.

Product Projected Revenue Actual Revenue Notes
AdSense $70 $0 Accrued $127 since June, not paid yet.
ETP pads $400 $570.61 Drop of $130 (incl ship cost)
PDF 12-pack Cals $5 0 no orders. May have to do update.
PDF A5 7Task ETP $20 $10 one orders
PDF A5 5Task ETP $10 $20 two orders
Donation $10 $5 One donation received
Simple Websites II $100 $0 One signup, but can’t take cards yet
ETP Pads EU ??? ??? Independent operation
Gun Safety 11×8.5 ??? 0 Stalled on marketing

Things are holding steady, with a not-surprising dip in calendars (not that they were selling at ALL). I have noticed, though, an uptick in calendars. With the beginning of the school year, people are thinking of planning! I should have anticipated this and had some new product ready-to-go. Maybe that needs to be a separate website.

I’m going to add some new data: web traffic

Month Pages Uniques Notes
June 92K 26K From Mint
July 85K 25K From Mint
Aug 104K 30K From Mint

Top 10 Searches (according to Mint)

  • david seah
  • macbook pro decals
  • mackbook decals
  • printable ceo
  • macbook pro stickers
  • emergent task planner
  • compact calendar
  • macbook decal
  • gantt chart excel template
  • desktop size

The interesting thing is that there are a lot of searches for david seah, but that might not mean anything because it’s a common name in Singapore. There’s a lot of “macbook pro decal” clutter, because I have a list of such places, and it’s a mass-market kind of thing. The products with the most awareness out there (or search friendliness) are the compact calendar, the printable ceo, and the emergent task planner. Gantt charts continue to be an opportunity.

Next Month

I’m still thinking about a new MMA in the form of a Fountain Pen Notebook or Hard Bound Mini ETP, but the newest activity on my mind is the consolidation of software development efforts. I’ve heated up the programming journal to start logging effort there. Ideally, I can make a self-hosting continuity focusing web page in the coming month.

I also need to push through and complete this new marketing pass on the Gun Safety Poster. Instead of launching right into selling, I might have to visit a few local gun stores and see what THEY think about it, and perhaps adjust the product to meet their needs. I hate approaching people for stuff like this, though, so I’m going to work through that.

2011 Groundhog Day Resolution Posts