How the founder of the popular newsletter Girls’ Night In launched a new online community and membership that’s garnered 4,500 people on the waitlist

Alisha Ramos

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Three years ago, Alisha Ramos took her passion for hosting girls’ nights in further than a bottle of wine, a takeout order, and some good friends sitting on a couch. When she founded the Girls’ Night In newsletter in 2017 — which has since grown to include more than 170,000 subscribers — she never could have predicted how great the demand would one day be for a product that could capture the feelings fostered by this kind of cozy, intimate, and casual event without other people in the room. 

What started as Ramos’s side hustle in 2017 has grown into a larger community and media brand. The newsletter has remained Girls’ Night In’s core product, but as readership has increased Ramos has sought other ways to bring people together and help them take better care of themselves. 

In the fall of 2019, Ramos and the six other full-time members of the Girls’ Night In (GNI) team launched a beta version of their newest product, a program called The Lounge that would bring community members together at in-person events hosted in comfortable home settings. Feedback was positive during beta tests, and Ramos was looking forward to rolling out The Lounge publicly in late March or early April 2020. 

“And then COVID-19 happened,” Ramos told Business Insider. “Obviously, because of safety reasons, we could no longer meet in person, which was the heart and the core of The Lounge and the magic of what [it] was in its first iteration. As a team, we had to step back and really figure out — does our community still need this? If not, do they need it in a different form?” 

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The GNI team spent the next three and a half months formulating a new “plan of attack,” Ramos, who worked as a design director at Vox Media and as a design lead at NAVA before founding GNI, said.

“The way that our business model is mapped out, our business is not reliant on The Lounge,” she said, adding that GNI brings in revenue through brand partnerships and affiliate marketing as well as membership fees. “We have many different revenue streams that we can lean on. That gave us some breathing room to figure things out.”

Widespread financial concerns have the GNI team reconsidering their pricing model

It was clear that an adapted version of The Lounge would need to move from in-person gatherings to remote events as a result of the pandemic, but Ramos worried about how to price the product appropriately under the circumstances. In its original imagining, membership to The Lounge would be supported by an annual fee in the range of $200 to $250.

“Suddenly, that felt really not feasible for many folks,” Ramos said. “We knew that we did not want to launch this product without understanding where our community was. We wanted to meet them where they were.”

The GNI team decided to offer a monthly membership option to make The Lounge feel more accessible to interested community members. When the newly …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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