New Home Forums Progress Logs A New Log for A New Path…. Cocktail Anyone?

19 replies, 6 voices Last updated by  DavidJ Jurasek 6 years, 6 months ago
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    Chris Gilmour

    Hey Everybody,

    I have not written anything in a cpl months but have been hard a work the whole time. After a slow start to creating my emergency preparedness course, I decided to temporarily put it on the back burner and dive into a completely different project with a much clearer vision. I just wasn’t hitting the nail on the head with my last one and needed a little break.

    My new project is progressing WAY faster: “Sante Wildcrafted Cocktails – Drink to Remeber, Not to Forget

    This is combining a passion for traditional herbalism with a love for artisan craft cocktails and entertaining. I am working with 2 other folks (yay, finally a team, what a catalyst for creativity and accountability!). We are creating a course on crafting your own artisan cocktail ingredients with healthier options than your traditional syrups and such.

    We are making the program very interactive and social. We will be sending students ingredient and supply lists ahead of time, asking them to invite a few friends over, then have them follow along with us in real time, crafting ingredients such as simple herbal syrups, cocktail bitters and garnishes in their own kitchen. We will even teach fun tricks and flair bartending to spice up your home entertaining and bring your cocktail game to the next level.

    Our main target is the home entertainer but restaurants and bars wanting to up their cocktail game could certainly use this as staff training.

    We are also going to launch a Kickstarter campaign to…. well….. kickstart the project. We are starting our kickstarter prelaunch next week and I would love your thoughts on our landing page, the opt in sequence, and our first video –

    Next steps: promoting prelaunch, doing some livestreams, starting to film video for the actual course

    • This topic was modified 6 years, 10 months ago by  Chris Gilmour.

    Bradley Morris
    Mountain Guide

    I’m loving the idea and passion here Chris. This is definitely gonna get some momentum.

    A few things that stand out first for me as a first impression:

    – The idea is cool and the video really fun. I love it. Awesome change in directions.

    – The video is a great start. Your call to actions and message about why you’re doing this is clear. I think it’ll do well enough for your home town crew of people you all know who will buy the course due to knowing and liking you already.

    If you guys are able to in the near future, I personally would re-shoot. Perhaps get some more people there and set the bar stage so people get a feel for what the course is actually about and like. Being outside felt more home-video’ish, rather than professional product quality that I wanna pay money for. Know what I mean? I think the intention of this video will be to give people a taste test of what the experience will be like.

    – I love the overall message and the words that were communicated, I think the environment felt out of place for me, compared to what I was picturing in my mind based on conversations we previously had.

    – The other thing is everyone seemed a little bit nervous on the video, which is fine. If I were to re-shoot the video, I would do the trailer 5 times in one night. I would make a drink and drink that drink for each shoot and just see if the more you drink, the better the video gets. But that’s just me  LOL

    – The website was difficult to read with the back ground. I found the letters didn’t pop out for me, which you want to have happen. It would be kind of cool if the website looked like a bar and the video player up on a TV behind the bar. Might be able to get someone with some photoshopping skills to design that if you like the idea….

    Those were basically just simple things I would improve.

    Overall, you guys are onto something really fun and exciting. I can just feel the culture you’re going to build around these coctail parties. It’s really really awesome.

    Let me know if you need me to clarify anything else. Can’t wait to see my lesson!

    PS – the welcome email came. Great. Lays it out nice and clear.



    Bradley Morris
    Mountain Guide

    PS – I think the video upgrades I”m talking about would be applied after you’ve filmed 1 or 2 cocktail parties. So that you can use what’s here, plus add that into it to be more “trailer-like.” This is gonna be so fun!


    Chris Gilmour

    Thanks, Bradley, that makes sense. The video we made is NOT for the Kickstarter campaign, just for the prelaunch, to gauge interest and start building our list. We plan on creating a way more professional looking video for the actual Kickstarter video. We are currently planning a party in which we will film the whole thing to catch B Roll footage for video intro’s, promotion and the Kickstarter video.

    All your feedback is great and super helpful.


    • This reply was modified 6 years, 10 months ago by  Chris Gilmour.

    Jennifer Summerfeldt

    Hey Chris,

    I watched your video and have been following your thread, because I LOVE artisan cocktails. In fact, I am always in search for the best cocktail. Because of this, I am also an ideal client because my friends and I get together to infuse and create delicious cocktails.

    I thought the video was professional and fun. I agree with Bradley’s comments above, and I also felt like the raw and realness that you all portrayed spoke to me. The only thing that confused me is why you are asking for crowd funding?

    I noticed that I did not want to add my email because I would not be invested in donating to help fund the business venture.  I would however add my email for a mini crash course, which could eventually lead into a sale for a program.

    Is there a way to create this business on a limited budget, so that you are not asking for crowd funding dollars to support the venture? Just a question. 🙂

    I also agree that it was challenging to read the website because of the background.

    Otherwise, I think the idea is awesome and am eager to see where this goes.



    Andy Freist
    Mountain Guide

    “Drink to remember, not to forget.”

    That, my friend, is fucking brilliant.

    I’ll cheers to that!


    Chris Gilmour

    Hey Jennifer & Crew,

    Thanks for your thoughts & feedback.

    Jennifer, can you help me understand your hesitancy to sign up and your thoughts on the crowdfunding a little bit more? I’m trying to understand why you feel this way (as I’m sure if you do, another will as well) and am a little confused.

    You mentioned:

    “The only thing that confused me is why you are asking for crowd funding?
    I noticed that I did not want to add my email because I would not be invested in donating to help fund the business venture. I would, however, add my email for a mini crash course, which could eventually lead into a sale for a program.”

    Here is where my confusion lies:

    1) Why did you feel obligated to support the crowdfunding from signing up? Did anyone else feel that way?

    I just rewatched the video and I don’t think its sounds like we are asking for donations or pressuring anyone to fund us. What we are offering is a free course (like you asked for) and then we mention we will follow-up with you with the details of our crowd funding campaign. In Kickstarter people receive a product (at a very good, 1 time only deal) in exchange for funding. So this is a purchase after you have already tried the sample product. That is not a donation.

    When I watch the video, this seems clear to me, but obviously, it landed with you differently.

    I would like to better understand why? We want ppl to be focused on signing up to receive the free class and to just plant a seed about the Kickstarter. If you don’t mind watching the video one more time then answering my questions, it would be GREATLY appreciated. Thank you SO much for taking the time. This is very helpful!

    Also, on the crowd funding, in response to, “Is there a way to create this business on a limited budget, so that you are not asking for crowd funding dollars to support the venture? Just a question. ????”

    We could take this root, for sure. But my thought is why not crowdfund it and create a higher quality product from the get go? Crowdfunding just seems like a win-win to me for both the producer and the consumer. We get a budget to launch our product and consumers get a better quality product. I’m curious what it is about crowdfunding that does not seem like a good idea to you?

    Thanks again Jennifer, I really appreciate it!



    Jennifer Summerfeldt

    Hey Chris, thanks for reaching out and asking for clarity.  I know how hard we work to produce videos and copy for our dream business, so by no means to I want to add constructive feedback that takes away from the momentum of building this business.

    That said, I will do my best to answer the questions you posed:

    1) Why did you feel obligated to support the crowdfunding from signing up? Did anyone else feel that way?

    I would be more apt to have signed up for a free course, with not mention of kickstarter.  For some reason, I was not inspired to give my email knowing that there is an agenda to also get funds to create the business.  If I loved the free video, I might have bought more. It might be strange, but I am more motivated to buy the product than give money to create the product. Does that make sense? And, perhaps it is because I didn’t get a – ‘I trust you all, and understand your point of view, and feel warm and cozy to want to give to your startup’ – kind of feel.  I know you are giving away a free course and inviting people to sign up for the free course, but the hint of a kickstarter, for me, takes away from my initial ‘yes’ I want to try out this course.

    I’m curious what it is about crowdfunding that does not seem like a good idea to you?

    I had to think about this question.  The quick answer is that it just didn’t pull at my heartstrings enough to want to engage in crowdfunding.  There is a difference between purchasing a product or service, vs investing money in a start up business.  Even if I receive something in return for my investment, I am investing in the idea first and foremost.  So the idea needs to feel really valuable to me.  Maybe it because cocktails are a luxury experience, and not really a need.  Does that make sense?

    It is hard to give such direct feedback.  I hope this helps.


    • I re-watched the video with my herbal friend who also loves cocktails
    • Did you change the tagline on the side to sign up? Or did it always say that?
    • The page is busy still, with the double banner up top – any way to merge those two and create one inviting, herbal inspired, banner? The top banner looks like sugar, which is a bit confusing if you are inspiring for handcrafted herbal infused cocktails.
    • My herbalist friend loved the concept and would be interested in learning more or buying a course, but found the video uninspiring. Her suggestion is to not slouch and gets, the casual appeal, but maybe a bit too casual. The pictures were awesome that were included in the video, and the copy is great. Just a suggestion that the delivery could use some tweaking.
    • I think the bottom line is that the video is missing some oomph, a bit more inspiration that gets my heart singing YES, I need that for my next cocktail gathering to wow my friends!
    • I really appreciated the copy and like I said, would have totally signed up for the free course, knowing that if I liked it, I could buy more.

    Chris Gilmour

    Awesome Jennifer, Thanks for taking the time.

    Your answers definitely helped clarify for me. And yes, I did make a few changes. I changed to a solid black background so the text was easier to read. I added the “no obligation to support Kickstarter” part. I’m not sure if that helps/is a good idea or not, but I was trying to avoid others having a similar experience as you.

    The actual course video’s and our free live streams are going to have a way different vibe then this video. There are a few clips of us mixing drinks in the video which are directly from the course content. After considering everyone’s feedback I think we missed the mark on the “vibe/atmosphere” of this video.

    I think we are going to go ahead with this video for our first prelaunch anyways, just to keep moving forward. We will integrate yours and others feedback in our actual Kickstarter and future promo videos. This one will have a pretty short life and is mostly going out to friends anyways.

    I do find your crowdfunding thoughts interesting as I LOVE supporting Kickstarter projects and think the whole concept is super cool. I like the “were all in this together” feel and the idea of helping start-ups avoid loans and taking on debt by pre-funding ideas. I do understand your perspective as well though. It’s so useful to see how things land with different ppl. Always learning?

    Thanks again Jennifer, I greatly appreciate it!



    Chris Gilmour

    Progress Log – May 15, 2017

    Well, the free course has been up for about 2 weeks now. We have had 120 ppl sign up, about 20 people watched the full videos and of those 20, only 5 have actually filled out our survey. Of those 5, all said they would be likely to support our Kickstarter campaign.

    So right now I am trying to wrap my head around what this means for validation……….. Any thoughts are appreciated it.

    5 for 5 saying they would purchase seems great to me but the low overall engagement (5 of 120) tells me we need a WAY bigger list to actually justify the work and ensure the success of the Kickstarter campaign.

    So I think the next steps are as follows:

    – Continue to build list
    – send personal invites
    – start running free livestream cocktails parties
    – run Instagram contest
    – work on site SEO (take a SEO course)

    With this new plan, it looks like I am not even starting to create the course until the fall now. I’m not interested in putting in the course creation work until I know we have a big enough following interested in actually purchasing it.

    I am looking to build a course through this spring/summer. Just not sure this is the one (yet). I’m looking into a cpl options for launching another course in partnership with an organization that already has a large following like I did with my first tracking course. I am learning how long it takes to really build a following.

    Any thoughts?



    Bradley Morris
    Mountain Guide

    Hey Chris,

    As @andyfreist said in your other post. Your open rate is pretty solid, as are your click throughs.

    5/120 purchasing, could definitely grow into something profitable.

    I think you guys need to be patient and keep going.

    You also need to expand your reach. If you can grow your list to 1000 people, then you’ve got 50 signed up and then you’re starting to get some traction.

    HOW can you grow your email list to 1000 people, so you can pre-sell 50 of your course to fund your team to build the full product? 

    Who can you reach out to that would be stoked to promote you?

    Who could your partner with to be a guest interview or bartender?

    What alcohol or herb companies could you get to sponsor an episode/show? (are they shows, episodes, lessons, etc?)

    The name of hte game for you guys right now is 1000 people on that email list. (in my opinion)

    AND while you’re at it, keep people excited. That PDF you snet out last week was beautiful. I mean to mention that.

    I just haven’t had time to watch it. You may wanna experiment with breaking it down into 7-minute segments or something. Keep playing. You are 100% validated. This is gonna be a big thing. You just gotta keep tinkering and inspiring peopel to sign up for the experience.

    ALSO – What did you learn from your first episode/production that you can improve next time? That’s important. Keep improving your episodes so that every time you shoot one you get 10x better for the next one.

    Thoughts on all this?

    Ready. GO!


    Chris Gilmour

    Hey @bradleytmorris & Crew,

    That all makes sense to me. I have revamped my short term strategy for Sante.

    – Hold off on Kickstarter & Course Creation until we have 500 – 1000 well-targeted ppl on our list. Goal: Sept 2017

    Step 1) Convert Landing page into a blog and start creating content. Goal: Middle of June
    – Livestream cocktail parties
    – Fun & Educational Blog posts about what makes Sante unique
    – A solid Social Media Strategy. I am wondering if Pinterest could be a good main platform for us? Any

    Step 2) Make a simpler (quicker to achieve) opt-in option. Goal: End of June

    Although the recipe in our video is awesome and everyone who has done it loved it, I’m realizing most folks are not going to take the time to gather the ingredients for this 2 step process. I am thinking about creating some sort of way simpler opt-in. Here are some initial thoughts so far:

    – PDF – 5 Essential Tools for Your Homebar (& Their No-Cost DIY Hacks)
    – PDF – 5 Simple Summer Drinks
    – PDF – 5 Healthier Cocktail & Mocktail Option
    – Mini Course – Home Bartending Basics, Build Your Bar & Craft to Drinks to Remember in Less Than a Week!

    – Any other suggestions? What would YOU want? I need something that would entice ppl who don’t
    consider themselves a drink artist to want to up their game just a little bit.

    Step 3) Once we have tested live stream and have a bit of a regular audience. Find “celebrity” or “Guests” to come on live and help grow our following. (Long term goal to have sponsors and affiliate marketing).

    What are your thoughts on the new strategy everyone?

    oh, and as for lessons from filming the first episode:
    – have gain levels up a little higher on mic
    – film during the day for natural light or get warmer feeling lights
    – Get into crafting drink/mix almost immediately and save educational content for when ppl are waiting for things that are cooking or sitting around sipping on their drink at the end.
    – Have live guest drink making participants more interactive to create a more social vibe
    – get more close up shots of hands performing actions
    – take tons of photo’s of EVERYTHING! We need way more photo’s for social media

    Chris G


    Bradley Morris
    Mountain Guide

    Awesome lessons and new strategy @chrisg, I think this is smart so that you don’t pour all this effort in, only to get a trickle of people.

    A question @andyfreist and I asked ourselves the other day was: “What if it takes us another two years to reach the level of success we’re hoping for? What would we change about our plan and approach?”

    You guys have such a great idea here, i think it’s important to remember to play the long game (which it appears you’re doing).

    PInterest is probably a great place to grow a following. Lots of pictures, lots of inspiring stuff, recipes, drinks, culture. The culture is the big thing. Have you written your vision describing the culture you want to create around this course and community? That’s an important one because all your marketing and messaging should be speaking to that culture.

    ALSO – On the “reaching more people” front, who could you guys reach out to to be a part of this? Companies, individuals, etc..? You’ve got a pilot and that’s exactly what you can call it when approaching folks. Who would you feel comfortable to approach for supporting one of your episodes coming up?


    Chris Gilmour

    A quick Sante update here:

    We had a great meeting with our team this week and agreed on our next steps. It seems like we are moving into a “Phase 2” of validation. We are going to run 2 live events in June & 2 more in July.I would love to do more but this is the most my teammates can take on right now as they both have businesses that are seasonal and are working long days at their day jobs right now…. fair enough. They are both into doing lots more come fall/winter.

    So June 14 we will be launching the Sante V-Bar and doing our first live cocktail party. This one we will not do much promoting for. We are hoping for a smaller group of friends to work out the kinks with. We will do a second stream later in the month that we start to promote to a bigger audience.

    Our game plan right now is to host about 6 live streams and get regular social media content and some blogs out with our new opt-in. Then reassess our plan in the fall. If people seem interested and it feels like a little momentum is picking up, we will plan our next steps. If we’re just amusing ourselves then we will likely drastically change the focus and turn it into a much smaller project targeted to a much smaller niche audience in the herbalist/wild food community.

    Now that the short term plan for this project is shifting a bit ( it feels like a good plan to me though), I am starting to think about my original Changing World Project concept a bit and looking at it with some fresh eyes and new experience. I got a few ideas floating around that I will post about soon.

    Chris G


    Bradley Morris
    Mountain Guide

    I think this is a brilliant and wise plan @ChrisG. You guys have such a great thing going here and it’ll just take time to grow the culture that is wanting exactly what you’re creating. Be sure to get LOTS of pictures and video footage (if you can) at your parties that you’re throwing. That’ll be key for the socials and marketing materials (make people sign a waver when they come to use their pics, etc… if that feels right)

    I think you should get back into your 5-day survival prep course you were working on before. It was soooooooo good. Just needed refinement.

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