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Anita Siek is the founder of Wordfetti, a human-centred copy and brand house and template shop for brands that don't do “normal”. Anita is also one of my dear friends, and today she is joining me to share her journey over the last few months and how she identified what wasn't working in her business and how she pivoted to the needs of her audience.
– How to identify areas where your business model is no longer sustainable or scalable and mapping out the path forward.
– When reflection brings clarity and how the process of understanding your audience's needs can lead to new beginnings.
– How she pivoted her membership to stay relevant when Chat-GPT swooped in and “stole” her members.
– The surprising things that happened when she launched her new membership whilst travelling.
Today, I'm so excited to bring back one of my biz besties and also my now real-life bestie, Anita Siek. We're chatting not so much specifically around her area of expertise, but this is just a real raw chat around the behind-the-scenes of running a digital online business.
Now, Anita Sikh, if you're not familiar with her, she is the founder of Wordfetti, a human-centered copy and brand house and template shop for brands that don't do normal. She helps brands to stand out through psychology and words. That has become her signature thing and we're talking today a little bit about how she identified one of her offers, her membership, was no longer working. And in this particular case, the advent of chat GPT meant that her members were leaving because they no longer needed her membership as it was.
And we talked about the process that she went through to identify how she could make it relevant and useful for her members again. We also talked a bit about her experiences with launching while traveling. I know there's this big misconception that launching is this really stressful thing and it can't be fun and Anita is here to tell you that actually it can be really good and really fun.
So let's jump into the chat with Anita.
Anita, welcome back!
“Hello everyone. I am Anita. I am the founder of Wordfetti. I like to say that we're the human-centered brand, strategy and copywriting house where we help brands that don't like to do normal, stand out and make more sales through the power of psychology and words. So I am deeply fascinated by language and communications. Words are the medium for us to feel something, words for us are a way to get our audience to take action.”
Now, you've been through a lot of shifts in your business in the last couple of months, and I'd love to know how you started to identify what wasn't working in your business. Like what were those first signs that something wasn't aligned?
“So I think the first sign was more me personally, and then one was me seeing it happen in the business. So there were shifts in the business as well.
So the first part was, I think this is probably back in 2019 or 2020 before I launched the second arm, the digital arm. We were predominantly a service-based business. So Wordfetti was really known as the A to Z done-for-you copywriting agency and we were growing as that. And you know, on the exterior, it sounds really great and awesome that you're booked up to three months in advance, but that is actually a massive indicator that the business model that you've got sounds nice, but it's actually not sustainable and it's not scalable because you are now booked two, three months in advance.
And I think for me back then, there was definitely an episode of burnout. I remember it was a photo shoot I was supposed to do with the team that day, I blacked out completely and Dean had to take me to the doctors and they were just like, oh, you need to probably take some time off work. Do you need a medical certificate? I'm like, ah, no, that's not going to work. And I went to that photo shoot feeling so blurry in my eyes, and still to this day, not many people know that was my moment to know, whoa, something is not sinking.
And I guess the second element, which has happened time and time and again, is when I start to see members leave. And I was like, oh my goodness, what are we doing wrong? And of course, there was chatGPT that became a thing. And that was a really big indicator of the fact we needed to completely refine and uplevel our offering with one of our memberships.”
Yeah, let's take it back a step though with the membership. What was the membership back before chat GPT?
“Probably four years ago, one of our hottest digital products was caption templates. People loved them. Like we used to sell them off the show. We used to sell at least one or two every day and towards around 2020, I was like, okay, well people want more. Like, people were like, can we get the next version? Because it was only like 130 caption templates.
So we created version 2.0 and then people demolished and used all of the templates, obviously. It was just like, when is there going to be a third version? I'm like, okay, y'all fine. Like, I'm going to create a membership. That was the biggest indicator for me when there was something that was ongoing and they needed something in terms of accountability.
So we launched our digital course already and we decided to create this new, in a way, membership, but I say membership lightly because it was not one of your traditional memberships like Netflix where you can join and then leave, join in, and leave.
And I'll talk about that in one moment because this is more of a me thing as well. But this membership, what it ultimately was called Caption Fetti, and it was exactly like what it sounds like. It was just monthly caption templates delivered to you and content prompts and it went amazing for around a year and a half.
And then that was when it started to dwindle, probably around the end of 2022 when chat g p t became a big thing and I knew this was going to happen if I'm to be honest, as soon as I saw chatGPT and also our messaging related to what captions, what we were creating and Caption Fetti was all about creating captions.
So I was starting to see members just dwindle or be like, look, I love what you're doing Anita, or love what you guys are doing, but it's not something we going to have anymore.
And I get it, and I canceled our launch at the beginning of this year. Because of that, I was like, I can't just relaunch something that I no longer feel 150% about because if I wobble, my audience is going to wobble.
So, that was the biggest indicator for me to actually shift.”
“And I just going to quickly speak to why I didn't do the monthly canceled anytime element. This was more of a me thing. We did initially do that for one month and then I started to see everyone leave in the first month. And I was like, I can't do this. I can't have people leave every month.
It hurts my heart like I'm pouring. I and my team are pouring so much love, sweat and tears into each and every single one of these resources, and you guys don't want it. So I made it a 12-month commitment, which also sings to my belief that content needs to be consistent but I also believe now in hindsight, that decision also cost a lot of members in their ability to kind of road test and see whether or not this is for them.”
So with that membership, did you close it down and then start a new one or did you pivot it? What's been the journey with that?
“After canceling the initial launch for Caption Fetti again earlier this year. I was like, okay, so I have really two options, potentially three. One, just close it. Two pivot, three, maybe do a little bit of a fusion of pivot, but also up-level it, because if I pivot and I'm just like, no, this is going to be something completely different now.
Then we actually still had quite a number of members like that. We probably lost a good 40% during that period, and that's quite a bit. So around four months, we lost like 40, like, quite a bit. So I decided to go with the third option, which was a bit of a mush of pivot, but also a complete repositioning of the offer.
And there were three key elements to this.
The first element was obviously our existing members. I needed to communicate to them what this new vision looked like before I talked to anyone else and got their input.
So I spoke with as many of the members who were willing to give their time to understand, how can we improve the good, the bad, and the ugly. So there was that phase, which was really understanding what our members needed.
And I think as part of that, we also upgraded every single person in Caption Fetti into our now new membership Word Fetti Club. It definitely has a lot more value. There are live master classes in Word Fetti Club where I'm covering every month something new.
We upgraded everyone in Caption Fetti into this new model, the Word Fetti Club. So that was the first stage.
The second stage was, I guess, really articulating how we were going to launch this. So we actually befriended chat GPT with our new messaging and with the trigger event, we invited people who joined that workshop to join Word Fetti Club.
Then the final thing that we had to look at was retention.”
What made you go from the 12 months to the months to months now?
“So after speaking with my members, one of the biggest reasons why they were hesitant, and every single time someone leaves, I want to ask them just two, three questions, and the majority of the time it's budget, but as we all know, budget really means priorities.
So the big element that people said they wanted to leave was the fact that they were just the element of, I joined this but I didn't realise like what? It wasn't until I joined that there was no taster and people who didn't end up joining.
So like a non-buying survey that we did was just like, we had no idea what it would look like. Like we read testimonials, but how would it apply to our business? So, for me, I do stand by the value that we deliver every single month and I also know we're not for everyone, but I think my biggest intention with this new membership and what I'm really finding is people are joining yes, for the content, but they're staying for the community.”
Tell me a little bit about the experience of launching and traveling at the same time.
“It needs to be a thing. It was the best experience ever. Like I'm now craving it. I almost feel like it's gotten to a stage where I feel like it needs to be part of my investments because I showed up in a completely different manner.
And my audience felt it. So the thing is what are my biggest values and things that make me me, and things that, if you were to ask me, what are the top three things that give you meaning in life?
One of them is travel. It's travel freedom. Being in a city or a place where I can explore, I can talk to people and just immerse myself in a completely different place and not feel like I'm just in one. Look, I love Brisbane, and I know you and I have talked about this, but it's like I just love being in different places and traveling.
So for me, I had always thought. I can't simply combine this thing that I see as so fun travel with something so serious called launch. I can't travel and launch if I travel, I going to experience and have fun. You can't launch and have fun and travel and it was a very quick decision.”
How were you feeling going into that launch knowing that you wouldn't be at home, you'd be out, out and about traveling?
“I originally was like, if there was one time in my life that I could just do something. It's this time right now, like, I don't know, it just was like a massive intuitive nudge being like, do it. Just do it. You have nothing to lose. Have some fun.”
“I think the first thing is, I feel like when it comes to launching something new, I feel like I have nothing to lose. I don't know if that makes sense, but it's like I have nothing to lose. So I show up and I'm like, you know what? I'm just going to have fun. I'm just going to experiment. I'm going to give it my all. But I think once you get to the second, third, fourth, and fifth launches, you are now benchmarking your results.”
I'm curious to know like, based on how this last launch went while you were traveling, what changes are you going to make to your future launches, whether you're at home or traveling for them?
“There were probably two, three things that I wrote down. The first thing that I wrote down was really, I guess, the feeling that traveling gave me to feel the way that I did. For me, that was a mixture of just feeling the exploration and doing things that I like completely. Just do the things that I loved that day instead of feeling like I had to measure my day based on this list of things I had to do. So that sounds so obvious, doesn't it? Like, but in the middle of a traditional launch for me, I'm like, okay, day one I need to launch, write the launch emails.
Day two, I need to do this. Whereas over there I just had the list and I get to pick and choose. So I actually had no launch content plan when I was over there. My launch content plan was literally based on my intuition during that entire two weeks. So I didn't pre-plan my content. I did have emails, so I do going to be honest, I did not pre-plan my socials. I brought my mic with me, so I also did podcast episodes while I was away, but it was very much intuitively created my content. It wasn't just very like, flexing and fluid.”
Do you think you'll do that in the future?
“I've actually been playing and testing with this launch. So we're in the middle of a launch at the moment, and it's very much based on what I really feel like putting out there. If I don't feel like putting something out there.
So that was one of the first things that I kind of wrote down.
It was like that feeling of really choosing what I wanted to do, having choice to do what I wanted each day, instead of measuring it based on Monday. But I actually seriously do see it as an investment now where I actually go away and launch, like destination launching is going to be a thing for me and I want to embrace that more.”
“I think one thing that I am pretty good at is in the morning. I always have time to myself. It's so important for me that my first meeting is with myself. I don't always journal but it's just that it could be as simple as just me hanging out with myself. I've got two dogs, so I just hang out with my dogs and I just hang out with them. I call them my therapy dogs. I just sit there outside in our garden, and that's about it.
So really making sure I take the time to explore, go out, take the dogs for a walk, all of that.
The other thing is just actually making the time to see friends and loved ones.”
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