This post is part of my year of alchemy, you can find the whole series here or subscribe for future updates here.
This month I had a few things happening personally so slightly derailed on my commitments, but managed to keep the pace and continued to service my members. Here’s how March went down:
This month I took a big hit financially. One of my members marked their first payment as fraud. Payment was through stripe and they took the money back plus a fee of $25. So it may not seem like much but the $9 membership fee, plus the cost of the seeds I sent to her as part of the early bird offer, plus the stripe payment fee, plus the fraud fee left me $46 out of pocket. Which was almost half of my launch.
I contacted the member, she confirmed it was an error on her part. I submitted evidence showing an actual email from her saying it was a mistake and that she still wanted to be a member plus all the transcripts of her access to the material – but my claim was still rejected. Stripe have a policy that you cannot contest or provide further evidence to fraud disputes, after asking around I found that everyone who has had a dispute has had it rejected. I am not sure if this is just a blanket thing that is happening to online business or just stripe taking us for a ride. I also spoke with someone who works in a bank and they said you should be able to back and forth to work it out.
The member has signed up again with a different card after the ordeal and I am crossing my fingers they hang around for at least 4 months just so I can recoup the money.
I am going through the process of following their guidelines to avoid a bank rejection from the dispute, but I am tempted to ditch stripe completely after this. Some things that need to be collected include the billing address and the 3 digit code on their card, so if you’re setting up payments for anything online make sure you collect these details.
I had my first cancellation this month.
I was in two minds about it. Firstly I felt sad and I had failed.
But I had a feeling the content wasn’t going to be quite on the mark for this member, and I really should have accommodated for it, but time got away from me. After the cancellation I sent a follow up email (which she didn’t respond to) and let her access the content for an additional two weeks.
So for the first month my drop rate is 8%.
Content hamster wheel
I am still in the swing of things but really need to get ahead. Which I am finding difficult as the nature of the content really is seasonal. It’s still all in flow though and I am not finding it overwhelming yet.
My main issue now is trying to figure out what I blog about and put out for free vs what I keep for my members only.
Something I need to work on is getting the engagement up within the community. I am posting regularly being mindful not to over post, but I this is one area that I really need to work on.
SUMMING UP FOR March
This month I’ve learnt more about what checks I need in place for collecting payment.
Email subscribers – 385 (11 new, 10 lost)
Instagram followers – 4935 (+454)
Facebook followers –474 (+12)
Average Monthly website hits – 1692 (-121)
Money earned – $120
Money spent $87.13
Payment Fees $5.91
Vimeo (video storage) $12
Jetpack (spam/backup/security) $12.72
Fraud fee $34
Total this month: $32.87
Total carried forward: loss of $172.27
Hours spent on the project – Approx 20
I keep needing to remind myself it’s a marathon not a sprint.
MY COMMITMENT FOR April
- Get ahead with the content
- Get my optin incentive revised
- Get my May launch plan sorted
- Work hard on getting member engagement up
Launch number 2!
Until next month, if you’re not on the list to get my regular updates on this project and are wanting to follow along you can sign up here.