Day 33: The Snail’s Pace Sprint – Our Slow & Steady Race to Launch Knowlo
As the calendar flips to Day 33, we’re continuing down our pre-launch checklist that CofounderGPT and I came up with in Day 31.
If it feels like we’re moving at a snail’s pace, remember that this is our side-hustle. Our main hustle Vacation Tracker has been demanding a lot of our time recently because things are going well and we need to ensure they keep going well.
But, we’re getting there slowly but surely. This rocket is almost ready for take off.
Website problems (again)
Before we resume with our checklist, we had a major problem with the website last week. Kind of seems like a deja-vu of what happened on Day 11, only without the migration.
Someone messaged me last weekend to tell me that this is what our website looks like:
The homepage layout got completely screwed up and half the elements that are supposed to be there are not. Meanwhile, the elements that are there are all over the place.
It gets better. This is how most of our blog posts look like now:
For some reason, all these question marks started appearing in some of our posts in the places where the apostrophes (‘) are supposed to be.
We did absolutely nothing on the website prior to this happening. So it’s very strange that our website would go crazy on us without anyone touching anything.
We spent several hours investigating and figured out what the problem is. To make a long story short, since everything is set to automatically update whenever a new update exists for WordPress or a plugin we’re using, something that got updated basically broke the WordPress template that we are using:
The WordPress template we chose uses Elementor as a core component. And when WordPress decided to automatically update Elementor, it broke the template layout and the font we chose to use with the template. So we had to revert to a backup and prevent the automatic update. And then we had to contact the person who made the template to find out why this is happening.
This is the very abbreviated version of what happened. We’re still waiting to finish resolving all the issues. The problem was taking so long to identify that we had to ask our WordPress freelancer to help us with this and he’s still in the process of working through the issues that this update the Elementor caused for us. Hopefully we’ll get all this sorted out before our next article and more importantly, before we launch the Knowlo beta.
Where were we?
As a reminder, here is the checklist that CofounderGPT suggested:
We’ve mostly worked through the first 4 items on the list. We actually did a few more things than what CofounderGPT suggested and we’ll keep adding things to each item as we work from 5 to 10 on the checklist.
Marketing and PR
Slobodan and I agreed that doing a classic press release for Knowlo is kind of a waste of time. First, it costs money to publish press release on any serious site where someone might read it. Second, to do this properly and to promote our press release, we would probably need a person or a company which knows about this sort of thing. And finally, who reads press releases these days anyway? I know of exactly 0 people who found out about the products they use day-to-day through a press release.
So no press release. But we will get CofounderGPT to write a blog post for the launch, some social media posts and a plan for a series of blog posts around the problem we are solving, the solution and the journey we have taken so far. For the last piece, we’ll just create a plan for now and then we’ll publish a series of articles when we start onboarding users.
The version of ChatGPT that we use for CofounderGPT is a little different than the version of ChatGPT you may be using. Specifically, we are using embeddings to feed back all of our previous conversations and articles to ChatGPT to give it context around the things we are working on. It doesn’t work perfectly, but it does solve the problem of having to shuttle prompts back and forth between Slobodan and me so that CofounderGPT always knows where are at any given moment.
So with all this previous context, here is the prompt I used for CofounderGPT to write our introductory article:
Generate a persuasive and attention-grabbing introductory blog post for Knowlo that will motivate readers to click the “Sign Up” button for our beta launch. The article should have the following:
– Tone: It should exude enthusiasm, optimism, and the spirit of innovation.
– Opening Section: A captivating introduction that introduces us (Knowlo) and outlines the inspiration behind building Knowlo. Use storytelling elements to make it relatable.
– The Problem Section: Clearly explain the problem we’re solving, using statistics or real-world examples to highlight its importance.
– The Solution Section: Go in-depth on how Knowlo plans to solve this problem. Use persuasive language to convince the reader that Knowlo is not just a solution, but the best solution out there.
– Beta Announcement: Insert a section where you announce that the product will be in beta for the next few months. Make sure to use language that invites the reader to be a part of our journey, emphasizing that their feedback is crucial for shaping the product.
– Exclusive Offer: Highlight an exclusive offer where people who sign up in the first four weeks will receive a limited edition of Knowlo for the first six months. Use scarcity tactics by specifying that the offer is limited either by the number of users or number of tooltips.
– Call to Action: Conclude with a strong call to action, encouraging readers to click the “Sign Up” button. Make it irresistible.
– Format: The article should be long-form, broken down into well-defined sections, each with their own title.
Your primary aim is to generate excitement and urgency, leading to maximum sign-ups for our beta program.
How did I come up with such a fancy prompt for this? I’ve actually started using CofounderGPT to help me write better prompts. So with the help of custom instructions where I tell CofounderGPT that it is an expert prompt engineer, I provide what I want in the prompt and then ask CofounderGPT to write the prompt. As you can see above, it does a pretty good job at being a prompt engineer.
There is a second technique that I have started using but which I can’t vouch for as of yet because I haven’t used it enough to say whether it works or not. But a lot of people are using it and getting pretty good results. Basically, you get ChatGPT to iteratively ask you a bunch of questions about what you want to do and then it writes the prompt for you. I’ve tried it a few times and depending on what I’m doing, it sometimes produces good results and sometimes less good results. Here is a link to the Reddit post where I found it if you’re interested to try it for yourself.
Next, I asked CofounderGPT to write a Tweet (or an X?) and a LinkedIn post announcing our beta. Here is the prompt for the Tweet:
Generate a compelling tweet to announce the launch of the Knowlo beta that maximizes reach and drives people to click through to our website to sign up. The tweet should include:
– Tone: Energetic, exciting, and future-oriented.
– Intrigue: Create an element of mystery or excitement that grabs attention immediately. This could be a rhetorical question, a bold statement, or a surprising fact.
– Value Proposition: Briefly mention what problem Knowlo solves in a way that resonates with potential users. Make it immediately apparent why they should care.
– Urgency and Exclusivity: Hint at a limited-time offer or exclusive access to increase urgency.
– Call-to-Action: Include a persuasive and direct call-to-action that leads people to our website to sign up for the beta.
– Hashtags: Include the hashtag #CofounderGPT in the post.
Your goal is to craft a tweet that is so compelling it not only gets retweeted but motivates people to act immediately to sign up for our beta program.
And the prompt I used to create the LinkedIn post was slightly different:
Craft a LinkedIn post to announce the launch of the Knowlo beta that maximizes reach, encourages shares, and drives people to our website to sign up for the beta. The post should:
– Tone: Maintain a professional tone, but don’t shy away from injecting energy and excitement. Strive for a balance between authoritative and approachable.
– Hook: Start with a gripping first sentence or question to immediately draw readers in. LinkedIn users often see just the beginning of a post in their feed, so make it count.
– Value Proposition: In the next few sentences, articulate the unique problem that Knowlo solves. Use language that will resonate with business professionals and startup enthusiasts.
– Urgency and Exclusivity: Include a line about a limited-time offer or exclusive access, to make the proposition even more enticing.
– Call-to-Action: Insert a persuasive and clear call-to-action, encouraging readers to click through to our website for signing up to the beta. Make sure the CTA stands out.
– Hashtags: Include the hashtag #CofounderGPT in the post.
– Length and Style: Keep the post concise but sufficiently detailed, adhering to LinkedIn best practices. Aim for a post that’s long enough to convey the message but short enough to retain interest – typically around 3-5 short paragraphs.
Your primary goal is to craft a LinkedIn post that is shareable and motivates professionals to take immediate action to sign up for our beta program.
As usual, all these prompts gave good starting points but we had to refine them until we had versions that are ready to publish.
Finally, I asked CofounderGPT to plan for a series of articles to introduce the product which focus on the problem we are solving, the solution we’re providing and the journey we have taken to get to the MVP. We’ll be writing and publishing those after we start onboarding new users.
The suggestion to segment our list would be awesome if our list was huge. But it’s only got about 100 people on it so I think segmenting that would be a waste of time. For now, we’ll just let everyone know that we’re launching the Knowlo beta and to provide a link where they can sign up. We’ll also draft a second follow-up email which we’ll send out 7 days after the first.
For the first email, here is the prompt I used:
Compose a high-conversion email to notify people who have signed up to our Knowlo waitlist that the product is finally ready for beta testing. Your aim is to maximize the number of people who move from the email to sign up for the beta. The email should include:
– Subject Line: Create a compelling subject line that sparks curiosity and urgency, ensuring high open rates.
– Tone: Keep it short, crisp, and to-the-point while maintaining enthusiasm and professionalism.
– Intro: Acknowledge that we’ve been building in public and direct them to our blog to read the full story, but make this an aside, not the focus.
– Exclusive Access: Make it clear that they are receiving this email because they are on our exclusive waitlist, and now have early access to try the beta version of Knowlo.
– Incentive: Mention that they will receive their first 10 tooltips free for the first six months. Frame this as a reward for their early interest.
– Call for Feedback: Explicitly state that their feedback is not just welcomed but essential for making Knowlo amazing.
– Smart Pitch: Encourage them to take immediate action without overselling. Use tactical language that highlights the benefits of acting now.
– Call to Action: End with a strong, unambiguous CTA that guides them to the next steps for joining the beta.
Your goal is to balance brevity with persuasive power to get the highest number of sign-ups for our beta program. Make the recipients feel privileged and excited, yet also convey the importance of their role in this beta phase.
For the follow-up email, I used a modified prompt which was also created by CofounderGPT. I specified that the follow-up email needs to be very short and funny, with a finality to it. After a few iterations of each, I saved two versions of each that we can potentially A/B test with our mailing list.
Tracking and Analytics
Slobodan and I plan on spending a lot of time over the next couple of months talking to potential users and actual users of Knowlo. But there is a limit to how much you can learn from interviewing customers. So we’re going to be trying to correlate what users are telling us in interviews to what we’re seeing with our analytics tools.
One of the most important things we can do in the early stages of launching a product is to set-up good analytics to track product usage. To do this, there are many different tools available which can provide detailed information about what people are doing inside your product.
We’ve decided to stick to Mixpanel and Google Analytics, the same tools we use at Vacation Tracker. We’re also going to set up Hot Jar which will make screen recordings of users clicking and moving around inside Knowlo. Google Analytics is always free, but Mixpanel and Hot Jar are paid products which have free startup plans. So for now, we won’t incur any costs for using these tools.
That’s a wrap for today. We’ll finalize the last three items on the checklist and publish the pages that we created on Day 31 in the next article.
Time spent today: 10h
Total time spent: 224h
Investment today: $20 (ChatGPT Plus)
Total investment: $1,306.60USD
Beta list subscribers: 94
Paying customers: 0