Automation, Entrepreneurship, marketing, Projects

Dipping My Toes into Email Marketing Automation

As part of my entrepreneurship challenge, I’m now dipping my toes into email marketing automation to take advantage of all the contacts I’ve collected through the years and try to deliver value to them based on their interests.

So far I’ve imported over 25.000 contacts to Mautic and a few of the imports are still on hold. There will have to be a major cleaning afterwards. I feel a bit like the star of Going Postal, overwhelmed by the amount of mail to deliver. (Yes, I’m a huge Terry Pratchett fan thanks to Leo Exter.) I’m not sure how many I should be delivering everyday, but it will have to be big to go through all.

What I’m trying to do with this learning experiment is to segment all the contacts that are interested in following up with certain subjects, to be able to deliver the appropriate content to each one of them from the multiple sources where I create among our shared interests. Ideally I will learn how to deliver this content at the best time, going beyond newsletters.

On top of this, I will be catching up with a lot of you and revitalizing my network. I like to have a computer assist me into launching meaningful interactions and taking over when I add value. I tried a while ago with a CRM that did not live up to its promisses, but the premise still fully resonates with me.

Some of you may be saying:

naughtyboygoingpostal

But I don’t think I’m a naughty boy. I’m offering a genuine opportunity to catch up and to send content based on the interests of the people that have gone through my inbox. I’ve organized so many events and initiatives that I have a lot of contacts. Most of those initiatives where volunteering and I have already proven the quality of my value delivery.

If you get an email from me asking for your interests it means that it is working!

goingpostaltachan

If not, you can always signup here to receive information from me about the interests that we have in common.

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Coworking, Entrepreneurship, News, Progress Report, Projects

Results Project #1: Flop

The launch of coworking.space has been a flop. The first KPI is far from being fulfilled. 18 spaces signed up but almost none of them edited their landing page. The first one that did, completely ignored the guidelines and did not even include a link to their site even after telling them about it. The only coworking space that followed the guidelines was Betacowork, my former coworking space (where I still work 1 to 3 days a week), and with a lot of help from me.

None of the help offers nor the requests for feedback where responded to.

This is a strong signal that there’s no interest in this iteration of coworking.space. The directory of landing pages is not relevant.

I still think there’s a lot to do to solve the main problem of coworking spaces: sales.

As my friend Ash says, love the problem not your solution.

I’m stopping work in this iteration of coworking.space but will keep on trying to find solutions that can be helpful to bring more business to coworking spaces around the world.

What I’ve Learned

  • How to whitelist a URL in Facebook.
  • How to use my main GSuite account to send and receive emails with multiple URLs (like the one of this blog)
  • How to setup emails with GSuite and WordPress to use my OVH domain.
  • How to setup a WordPress multisite.
  • How to auto update WordPress plugins with one line of code.
  • Bits and pieces of WordPress. customization and use of plugins.

Next Project

The next project in the challenge will be a short one to activate some of the thousands of emails in my mailbox and segment them based on their interests. More on this in the next post.

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Business Ideas, Coworking, Entrepreneurship, News, Projects

Launching at Least One Project Every Month: My Entrepreneurship Learning Challenge

After the sale of my coworking space I took a few months of vacation to charge up and care for my family. I needed to spend time with myself and to get ready for my next entrepreneurial challenge. There’s no doubt in my mind that my next step is as an entrepreneur: I want to create a business, buy one, or join one as a partner, not get a job.

From all the experience I’ve gained through the years one of the best things I got is increased confidence, plus a much better educated gut instinct. I know I don’t know and it does not bother me: it drives me to learn!

Learning

Ramon Suarez as a kid

From the moment I was born I’ve been learning and changing. Not only kids learn and change (yes, that’s a pic of mini-me to give you an idea of how much I’ve changed at least physically), adults keep on learning and changing their whole life.

Challenges and learning do a lot more than keep me alive, they make me thrive. Looking for new businesses has added more wood to the fire and is pushing me to learn more. Whatever business I end up doing, what drives me are the learning are the challenge, so I’ve learned to roll with it.

Thinking

Thinking Idea

In the past few months I’ve done a lot of thinking trying to come up with business ideas and also on how to come up with those ideas. I’ve gotten a list of over 160 ideas so far thanks to the business idea generation framework I’ve come up with (more on that later) and have much clearer priorities and knowledge of myself. But the inaction was killing me.

Taking Action

After a couple lunches with entrepreneurs friends I figured that I could not wait any more to find the perfect project. I have to take action on some projects to be able to learn what I need to learn. Getting things done and working drive my motivation up and allow me to confront situations that may end up becoming a good business opportunity and along the way. I need to learn a lot more about many things to do what I want to do, and the only way to get the knowledge I need is through practice.

Business Idea Generation

When I started looking for business ideas I was a bit lost. There’s tons of info on how to validate ideas and work with them to product-market fit heavens, but all I found about generating ideas was for corporation working with their teams. I did read a lot of it, but could not find anything that was fit for entrepreneurs working by themselves. So I decided to apply some common sense and brain grease to come up with my own.

Thanks to this effort I generated a list of 145 ideas in my first sprint, and I keep on adding ideas regularly. I’ve reduced the list to 10 businesses opportunities or projects with a very delicate methodology.

Jack Nicholson hitting a door with an ax

The definitive business idea is not there yet, or at least I cannot see it clearly, but I cannot sit around only thinking. My brain slows down if I don’t get more done! I have good lists of ideas to launch businesses, to invest, and to learn. I also want to have multiple projects running at the same time, to gain more freedom from them and also more financial freedom/independence.

After a couple lunches with entrepreneur friends I noticed exactly that: I’m thinking too slow and complicating things too much. So I went and launched a first project with a domain that I love: coworking.space (more about it below). I also run an artificial intelligence experiment with the help of my brother.

This is not enough, but it has lead me to the next thing (or things, actually).

Be the first to know when it is released

My Entrepreneurship Challenge: Launch at Least One Project a Month

I’ve decided on setting up a learning and practicing challenge before I go on and do another idea sprint.

This is an exercise in entrepreneurship learning that will bring many rewards. From talking to friends and all the stuff I read and listen to, I’ve decided to launch at least one project a month. Some of then may be a bit longer, others may be shorter and some are ongoing (like revamping this blog).

I’m looking for a main business and side hustles to coexist. I’ll keep on launching projects at this pace until I fill my days. Those that do not thrive will be set aside to free time for more projects.

My progress will be shared through this blog, namely in via the Progress Report category. You can track the projects here.

Sign up to follow up on the subjects you care about

Monthly Projects

So far I’ve got the following projects in the list:

  1. coworking.space : free directory listings and websites for coworking spaces. The aim is to drive coworkers to them. I’ve launched it publicly today. You can sign up and add your coworking space here. I set up the site and early adopters are adding their spaces. One more week to promote it and then I will move on to the next project. I’m sure there are many more things to do here. Looking forward to hear from you.
  2. Email segmenting: One of the under-utilized assets that I have is email addresses. With all the events and initiatives I’ve organized I have a few thousand email addresses. I will send an email to each of them in batches to catch up and move them to different email lists based on their interests. Setting this up and getting it running should take less than a week, although the emails will be rolling out for months. Add your interests here.
  3. Business Idea Generation Framework: I already have the structure and the framework. Write the content, promote it, get feed back, tweak it. This will be my first dip into email dripping. I have to improve the name. Get the info.
  4. Coworking Course: A lot of coworking space operators need help. My book The Coworking Handbook has already done a lot of good. I’m sure I can help a lot more with a course and that I will get more meaningful interactions. Plus, I’ll learn how to make an online course. If you want in, signup here for a special launch deal.
  5. 10m Air Pistol Shooting Course: Shooting a piece of paper for hours is my hobby. I’ve been doing it for a year and a half and it has helped me a lot with many aspect of life. It is like long awareness meditation (be present!). On top of it, it is the first time that I’m any good at a sport. Finding a coach and people to teach me has been hell. I can help a lot of people around the world shoot better with what I already know and this will also help the sport. Get my pistol content.

There are more projects in mind but I have not yet decided on acting on them. This list will grow and evolve. The next projects and updates will be published here. Follow the blog via RSS or add your email here.

How long will I be doing this?

I’ll be launching new projects until I have enough of businesses and projects going on to keep me busy, happy, and earning enough income.

Ongoing Projects

  1. ramonsuarez.com;
  2. olympicpistol.com;
  3. The Coworking Handbook.

Will You Join the Challenge?

If my challenge motivates you :

  1. Make sure you subscribe;
  2. Give me tips, make suggestions, ask questions… interact with me via comments and social media. I value your help;
  3. Share my posts actively with the world;
  4. Challenge yourself and do the same! (And please send me a link to your post announcing your challenge so that I can share it).

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