My Challenge Today: Filling 25 Seats in a Bootcamp

I spent a week pulling together a website and script for a bootcamp to be held in San Diego California on March 12th.

This bootcamp is for entrepreneurs who are struggling to get their idea up on a website and get it connected to social media channels. One of the hardest things for first-timers is just know what the heck to do. Where to start? We’re not just going to talk about the steps, every attendee is going to actually do it. Every attendee will walk out of our bootcamp with a website set up with a landing page that is ready to collect emails. All of their social media accounts will be set up and connected bidirectionally (where appropriate) to their website. To do all that, we’ll help them with DNS configuration, WordPress setup and theme configuration, company email, mailchimp (for email captures and newsletters), setting up various social media accounts for twitter, facebook pages, and others and then tying them all together in a cohesive whole.

At the outset, I made the decision to build our bootcamp with the very same tools we’ll be teaching every attendee. Something known as “dogfooding” whereby you’re using your own products as the ultimate demonstration that your company and reputation stands squarely behind what you’re selling.

I had an intense work week, building the bootcamp website while also managing other prior contract engagements. Along the way, I also retired my Cybrains company logo. I’m proud to say we now have a website all set up to take orders to seat attendees at the bootcamp. The next challenge:

Find 25 people in 20 days.

At the moment, we are at essentially ground zero. My business partner in this joint venture is Jorge Arellano. I’m the expert and he’s the sales guy, but we’re in this together, so we’re constantly brainstorming how we’re going to get the word out to the San Diego Community.

Where do we begin? Jorge’s ideas are all about covering physical ground, posting flyers all throughout town and where young entrepreneurs are likely to congregate, or connecting with friends and asking for help or referrals — that is, getting on the phone and hustling. Meanwhile, I’m all about how to connect to my target audience online. After all, computers are what I know live and breathe.

The one thing I have never tried before is Twitter’s business ads. I’ve seen it mentioned many times, but always ignored. Until now. Yesterday, I started a $12/day campaign to promote the bootcamp and so far, it’s generated about 3,100 impressions and 9 clicks through to the website:

One of the biggest challenges with pay per click campaigns is not losing your shirt while conducting such a campaign, because it’s quite easy to get caught up in the numbers and just start throwing a ton of money at it. At the moment, I don’t know what keywords are best, but “coaching” seems to be the main one garnering the bulk of the clicks.

Because I’ve never done PPC on Twitter, I’m not entirely sure what keywords are getting bought in this campaign. I’m sure there’s got to be a breakdown somewhere, but I haven’t found it yet!

The other thing that’s bugging me at the moment is the geographical regions. I removed everything and added only San Diego. Yet, most of the impressions served so far are outside San Diego:

Where outside San Diego, I have NO CLUE because Twitter’s dashboard simply does not reveal this info.

So far, the only paid advertisement we’re doing is Twitter Ads. Everything else is organic. Blogging here on Medium, tweeting on Twitter with natural engagements (I have about 300 followers there).

With the venue booked, we’re now actively pursuing locking in our very first attendee. This upcoming week shall be a very interesting one as we figure out just how to fill those seats! Stay tuned.

If anyone reading this has any suggestions, please share! I’m open to ideas and learning for those who have gone before me.