September was a pretty unsuccessful month. Rather than focusing on talking to more prospects and finding affordable marketing opportunities, the majority of my time was spent updating our product. However, in light of that, Pence Branding was able to officially launch it's new and simplified member and non-member options.
In September, Pence Branding launched an ad using a free design concept as the bait.
Between September 8th and September 13th, Pence Branding spent $163.14 on a Facebook Lead Form Campaign. For this, we were able to capture 16 leads for an average spend of $10.20 per lead. Of those 16 leads, only 2 responded to our emails requesting more information for the design concept. Of the 2 respondents, 0 became clients.
Unfortunately, the $163.14 is a bit higher than the $140 I predicted our Customer Acquisition Cost to be and we failed to get even just one client. It feels like wasted capital, but I suppose it is important to test. With this, I'm finding the importance of obtaining north of $5,000 in grant funding to further test our marketing efforts to narrow in on a solid CAC number.
At the end of September, in the spirit of guerrilla marketing, we did end up trying something out that proved minor success. Rather than asking prospects if they wanted a free design to try out our services, I did our first Surprise Rebrand across all social media platforms.
With this, I chose a random business in my area and decided to do a Surprise Rebrand without ever speaking to them. After posting to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, The Chop Shop in Athens, OH ended up sharing the design concept and getting over 200 positive interactions on social media. The owner requested Pence Branding's pricing, but the seemed to be uninterested in our membership-style pricing. This led to the product pivot at the end of September.
Last but not least, Pence Branding sponsored its first event, Hackpalachia, an entrepreneurship-focused hackathon for students and young professionals in the Appalachia region. We offered the winner of the event a free brand style guide in exchange for brand awareness.
By sponsoring this event, I was able to network with a lot of professionals and schedule a meeting with the entrepreneur-in-residence at Ohio Tech Growth, a startup resource center with business grant opportunities, mentorship, and up to $2 million in funding.
Late in September, it dawned on me that this had been the second time that Pence Branding has turned away prospects just because they weren't ready to commit to monthly pricing. For this reason alone, I quickly adjusted our pricing model. Now, clients have the ability to pay a flat rate for individual projects or get unlimited graphic design with a membership.
Aside from this, I also updated Pence Branding's membership portal by adding design preset options for common design projects like flyers, t-shirts, websites, and business cards.
Making new designs through Pence Branding is simpler than ever and now with the ability to pay for whatever you need a la carte or $399/mo for unlimited everything.
With the original 3 clients that I had when I was freelancing being "grandfathered" in to our membership pricing at $199/mo (minus web design), Pence Branding is currently sitting it $597 in MRR and total revenue for September, 2019. This was highly unsatisfying to type, as our September goals were 300% growth in memberships, making 10 total members, and $3,040 in MRR.
Regarding the expenses, Pence Branding paid $194 in Office Supplies and Software and $163 in Advertising/Marketing. This makes our total expenses $357.
$597 - $357 = $240 Gross Profit for September, 2019.
Since we failed at large to reach our September goals, I am putting in to place the following goals for October.