CoStarting Week 1 – Intro to CoStarting and Underdog Sites

So I intend to use this blog for more than just the weekly update on my CoStarting project, but this project was definitely the push I needed to get it up and running – ha!

CoStarting Background

I learned about CoStarting from a random rabbit hole on twitter stemming from a tweet tagging my favorite project management app ClickUp (referral link). The basic premise is that you work on a project of your own alongside a small group of others who are also working on their own projects. There are some accountability check-ins throughout the month-long timeframe that you’ve committed together that help make sure you’re making progress on your project and are on track to hit whatever goal you’ve set at the beginning of the month.

Some of the check-ins also have an opportunity to help you get used to sharing what you’re working on and being active on social media:

  • Daily Twitter updates
  • Weekly blog posts, YouTube videos, etc. (some kind of weekly recap/update)
  • Weekly video calls with the group (that are later published online for anyone to watch)

As someone who is more of a “lurker” online and not used to being out in front… I think it’ll be a small step toward me getting used to putting myself out there.

The daily/weekly accountability posts are also great for me, because I frequently push my own projects aside in favor of client work or non-business type projects and tasks. My ADHD loves to steer my interest in the direction of whatever feels most fun or interesting at the time and causes a lot of projects to get about 80% completed then shelved for eternity.

The whole concept of CoStarting and building in public are pretty fascinating and I highly recommend looking into it more if you’re kind of like me and need that accountability and community to keep you moving forward.

Underdog Sites – My CoStarting Project

This is something I’ve put off for years and am finally taking the steps to get off the ground. Underdog Sites is going to be a website platform for people who are just starting out in business — primarily online service providers — who just need a website and some commonly used tools to help get their business off the ground.

I’ve worked with a lot of beginning coaches, virtual assistants, and others who get lost with all the tools available to help support their business. It makes the learning curve of getting started so much steeper than necessary, and sometimes more expensive depending on the tools they choose!

My goal with Underdog Sites is to create a simple platform that will let beginners get started and give them the options and features they need as they grow… all housed in one area so things feel less overwhelming.

Total selfish moment:

It also makes things easier for me to help them because we’d all be using the same tools. Right now I spend a lot of time helping people piece together whatever they’re already using and it can take extra time to sort out the different capabilities of each software.

I’d love to use the time saved by building Underdog Sites to help more people get their business set up and started (I love entrepreneurship!) and helping those already started to grow their business even more.

This Week’s Achievement

My goal for this week was to set up a coming soon page on the underdogsites.com domain for people to sign up to get updates and be notified when I start taking on beta users.

I have most of that done now! The page is there and the subscribe form works so they can actually subscribe, but the copy (words) is all still from a template for the page builder I used to make the landing page:

I plan on replacing the template copy with a rough outline of what I plan Underdog Sites to be…hopefully tonight but it may have to wait until tomorrow.

My secondary goal was to finalize the features in each pricing tier for when the site goes live, but I’ve decided to hold off on dividing up any tiers for the time being. Beta users will be automatically getting access to all features as they’re rolled out so I’m going to focus on giving them a good experience with the platform first, and decide the live version’s pricing/features tiers when I actually get closer to that stage.

This Week’s Challenge

Wow. I had a really hard time fitting in doing something each day for Underdog Sites. I didn’t realize just how quickly my day filled up! I did manage to do something, no matter how small, each day which is awesome — but it really put into perspective how little attention I’ve been giving my own projects and how I can still feel like I’m making progress even if all I do is fix the site cache from my phone before passing out in bed. 😉

Next Week’s Goal

The original plan for next week was to decide on how I want to do pre-sale pricing for beta sign-ups and get some of the wireframes of the user dashboard completed.

I’m not sure how much of this I’ll be able to get done, but I feel pretty good about at least getting one or two wireframes done. The pre-sale/beta pricing will be a challenge because I’m not sure if I want to do a “lifetime access” type pricing or if I want to do some kind of discounted subscription.

If I choose the subscription route… the beta users won’t have access to everything right away, though the plan is to have a scheduled date that they’ll be able to start accessing the basic functions of their dashboard by the time I open up any pre-sale options. Still…with that said, it might be a tough sell to do a discounted monthly/annual subscription.

I might be able to do something kind of like a “deposit” where they pay a certain amount up-front (maybe the equivalent of the first month/year of their chosen subscription period) in order to save their place as a beta user and then when beta testing actually opens up I give them a unique discount-code that credits their account for the amount they deposited.

Lots to think about this upcoming week and definitely something I can debate while working on getting those wireframes completed 🙂

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