Not the month I expected, but the month I needed. July was full of distractions and I spent much of my heads down time learning new skills. Didn’t feel super productive, but revenue doubled from last month regardless.
- $760 total revenue
- 6 new free trials (3 converted)
- 4 educator sign ups
- 4 churns
- 83 hours logged (27hrs per week)
This was the first month I was back on Fantasy Congress full time. It was a relief to return to working only one job and I felt determined to make the most of it. And yet, I still didn’t average 30 hours a week. Partially I think this is due to how I log hours. But more importantly, I struggle with time management when I'm not heads down coding. Tasks that involve brainstorming, writing, and researching are prone to distraction for me. So even though I met most of my goals for July, I'm ambivalent about how successful they were.
In spite of this, Fantasy Congress more than doubled it’s revenue from last month! More thoughts on that below. Some other great things that happened:
Got some R&R
We spent a week in Colorado with my family for some much needed rest and relaxation. Being in the mountains, spending hours outside of cell service, not having a schedule…It was the reset I was looking for. Of course, it was nice to see my family too. I only hope that working for myself would eventually lead to more moments like these.
Received a loan
Never in a million years did I think I would apply for a loan. Initially I just wanted a grant (which I didn’t get). But through the process of applying for the grant, the SBA also approved Fantasy Congress for a small $1k loan. After reading the fine print, I realized it was a pretty good deal. Much better than a credit card. Now I have an extra $1k of capital chillin in the Fantasy Congress bank account. Excited to finally have some spending money for promotion and not just covering expenses!
Announce and launch educator features
I officially launched the educator features to my email list on July 13th along with a coupon for $50 off. Email open rates were ok, though they dropped off significantly for the second and third emails I sent in the following weeks. Four people have purchased this plan so far, which I’ll admit, is a little disappointing. I thought the current push towards remote learning would make Fantasy Congress highly desirable to educators and administrators. However, it seems a lot of schools are still scrambling to create and adopt COVID safety procedures, so Fantasy Congress is likely pretty low on their priority list.
Even though only four people purchased this plan, more revenue came from educators this month than all of my monthly subscribers combined. This is an annual plan, which allows me to charge more upfront. But it drove home an important lesson: Where would I be if I had a product I could charge $100/mo for? Such products are likely few and far between, but it’s fun to reflect on.
Pitch 20 media outlets & reach out to 5 potential partners
I had a hard time finding journalists or publications I thought would be interested in covering Fantasy Congress. I met my goal and a handful of people responded positively, but nothing has materialized yet. It was much easier to find similar organizations to partner with. Two partnerships are in the works for August, one of which is a collaboration with a fellow indie hacker! If these go well I'll likely look into doing more.
Try a different pricing plan for recreational players
This goal fell by the wayside in July, though I reflected on it a lot. Instead of an entirely different pricing plan, I will likely experiment with a sale this fall for recreational accounts. Hopefully this will give me some insights about pricing for a minimal amount of work.
- Implement trades
- Implement weekly update emails
- Run 2 ad campaigns
Feedback I've received about Fantasy Congress suggests it's suffering from an issue effecting almost all fantasy sports: keeping players engaged throughout the entire season. People tend to get really excited for their draft, then lose interest as the season goes on. Several customers have mentioned that they want to be more engaged in Fantasy Congress, but the current options for doing so are limited. I'm hoping the ability to trade members of Congress between teams (probably the most requested feature I get), and sending players weekly emails about changes in standings and league transactions will keep them interested through an entire season.
There's a lot more I want to do in regards to making the game more engaging. But in an effort to split my time between building (yay!) and marketing (boo...), I made my last goal for August a marketing one. Experimenting with ads is my plan for the loan money. And hopefully $1k will be enough to find an ad channel/strategy that works for Fantasy Congress.
Even though reception to the educators package was luke warm, July was undoubtedly a success. With the core pieces of the product finally implemented, I'm moving into uncharted territory in my indie maker journey.