Thanks to everyone who participated in this! Just under 100 members responded which is great.
I’ve never done a survey this detailed before, only taken an overall satisfaction rating in August (4.9 out of 5 back then!).
It really helps me to see whether what I am doing is hitting the mark and there are lots of good ideas for improvements too.
I thought it would be interesting for members to see the results and for me to respond to the feedback.
But first the most important event…
£50 Amazon Voucher Winner
The winner of the £50 voucher chosen at random from all responses was….
Hopefully there aren’t two of you or it will be awkward. *checks* Nope we’re good. I’ll email the voucher to you in the next couple of days congratulations.
Results - Satisfaction
Overall Member Satisfaction
This is a fantastic average overall rating of 4.7 out of 5 and whilst the aim is a perfect 5/5 we know as traders that we can’t get everything right. But I can keep trying.
I’ve put countless hours into growing this site so it really means a lot to know it’s generally doing the right things. Thank you.
Layout and Presentation is Good:
Site is fast with few technical problems
I trust FIT to act in best interest of members
Level of Detail is:
Quality of Content is good:
These above 5 are the site basics. Very broad agreement amongst members that in terms of layout, technical issues, content quality, and trust in the advice the standards are high.
Content quality and trust are just so important for any site, and I think particularly when you are doing something on the internet that involves money like FI, it’s always going to attract dodgy characters and social media hype squads.
I set out to create an antidote to all that with this site. It’s over a year since the members area opened now and members consistently agree that my advice is turning out in their best interests. That’s the best thing I can hope for to encourage long term growth in the site.
Site speed and presentation ratings are good. I suspect 3-4 months ago those answers may have been lower but I spent a lot of time in December rebuilding the site to improve this and that seems to have paid off.
There are however some niggles/things to improve that have been suggested – I’ve made a list and will work on them the next time there is a quiet few days. At the moment focusing on producing more content seems to be the right thing rather than too much backend stuff.
Results - Costs
Using the site makes me more money than the subscription cost:
A key question because I wouldn’t have many members if this wasn’t coming out well!
87.6% of members reported making more than the subscription cost using the site information, with 49.5% reporting making a lot more.
7.2% reported about even and 5.2% not covering. The majority of these were members who had been around less than one month which makes sense – sometimes we can get instant results but generally it will take a little while to come through.
I’d also expect members to be at least making more than the cost because if you aren’t finding it useful, you’ll just leave right? It’s only one month not a long term contract.
Current numbers are that around 8/10 people who join stick around longer term and that suggests the majority do find it useful, but not everyone does.
From feedback, most people who have said it wasn’t for them are people looking for very specific tips about who to buy/sell. I provide analysis and suggestions rather than straight up buy/sell orders and there are good reasons for this I’ll discuss later on.
Interesting split between makes more and makes a lot more here. Why are results varying between people with access to the same information?
Some of this can be explained when I sort by portfolio value. Larger portfolio holders (10k+) were much more likely to report making much more rather than more (69% of 10k+ portfolios reported making much more).
That’s what you would expect, the more money you have in FI, the more profits you can make and the subscription cost becomes near negligible at these portfolio sizes.
If there was a clever way of varying pricing to reflect that I would! But I can’t think of one that’s fair or practical. I have to set a price that works for a fairly wide range of people.
However, portfolio value isn’t the only reason.
If we go into the under 5k portfolios only, just under 25% of these report making a lot more than the subscription, 59% more than the subscription, and 18% about even.
This is interesting as even with a smaller portfolio, 82% of members feel they make more than they pay, 25% of those say they make a lot more and just 18% about even.
This is great and suggests that the site is working for smaller portfolio holders too (not that less than £5k is small, it’s actually a lot of money! I’m talking relative to the larger portfolios).
It’s also notable that different people are reporting different results despite having access to the same information.
My theory would be that this is because not everyone trades the same or makes the same decisions based on the site information. Which is how it should be.
I’m always clear that I don’t do anyone’s trading for them – I try my best to be a good assistant manager and support members with high quality information about player quality and give strategy advice.
But each member is the Gaffer when it comes to their own portfolio and they are always going to be the far more important factor in their own results than I am.
It’s great to know that members generally agree that they make at least more than the subscription cost back from the information they get.
(I wish I had also asked about time saved! I think this is an important benefit of the site and I try to take some of the time/number crunching burden off members).
There were also some nice comments about enjoying reading the content as well as just finding it useful. Fellow freaks – I like these people the most.
The Subscription Cost is:
85.6% of members agreed the subscription cost was about right as it is.
I tend to agree and don’t plan on changing it anytime soon.
What I like most about this result is that smaller portfolio holders £1k or less or under £5k were just as likely to agree it was about right as the bigger fish.
It’s a good indicator that you can still get good value from the site with a £1k or under portfolio. Particularly, I think, if you plan on putting in more later and you want to establish good trading habits now.
It does mean that people with £10k+ portfolios are probably getting a pretty sweet deal as they pay exactly the same for more benefit. But, I think pricing out people with £10k or less would be a mistake, and I can’t practically charge more for bigger fish either – I’m hardly going to start checking people’s portfolios!
Interestingly 11.3% of members thought the site was too cheap, with the main worry being that it allows too many people to join if the price is trivial. A lot of these were the larger portfolio holders at 25k to 50k+, but not all.
It’s not often people vote for a price increase but I see the point. One member put it like this: it’s like getting priority seating on an airline – the more people who pay for it the less and less valuable it becomes.
True that, members want an advantage, not something everyone else has. And putting the price up will put some people off joining.
This has a direct relation to the next survey result so I’ll talk about this more below.
I notice FIT advice has an immediate impact on market prices:
Unlike many, I don’t see having an immediate market impact as a good thing. It’s something I try to carefully manage.
I want to get price increases for players I discuss positively sure. But it should be as natural as possible, and I want them to earn those price rises through good performances and positive events.
That’s why I routinely review 50-70+ players a week rather than just sticking green “buy me” tags on 4-5 players. That would be about 10% of the effort for me but I think it would kill the whole purpose of the site which is to provide good quality analysis of a wide range of good options that people can pick from.
If I went to the 4-5 players model I’d just be a glorified social media tipster and there are too many of those already of very mixed quality, all of whom have a direct incentive to push their favoured players because pumping players is how their time is rewarded.
My time is rewarded by small monthly subscriptions, and importantly, I need those to come in consistently over months to be worth it – it’s a powerful incentive to give good consistent advice that stands the test of time.
Now, some short term reaction is inevitable and the more the site grows and demonstrates consistent results we can expect this to become an increasing issue.
As it stands, 69% of members say they see short term market impacts rarely or only sometimes which isn’t too bad. But, 31% of members say they see this often, so it’s clearly happening on some level.
I already manage this in various ways through the style of the site.
A small number of members in the survey have asked for me to be more specific about who to buy rather than giving pros/cons and then an overall assessment. Some have commented that saying something like “looks good value” is a bit soft or non-committal.
I can see the point here definitely.
But this market impact issue is why I can’t do more than that – if I start sticking green buy flags on some players and red sell flags on others it’s going to cause problems.
But, it’s also fair to say that when I suggest a player looks good value, I mean it. And the vast majority of members do report it being clear who is getting positive reviews and who isn’t.
I’ll keep an eye on this. There are various ways to manage it. A subscription increase could be one in the future, although alone that is not likely to be enough and I agree with most members that the price is right as it is.
Also, a higher price might put off small fish but not the big fish who have more clout anyway.
My best idea for this is to limit membership to a certain number, closing the doors and having a waiting list for new joiners. This is good for existing members and possibly bad for me and anyone else who wants to join later.
I’m not exactly in a huge hurry to start turning new members away.
But, be assured that I take this issue seriously and if members were reporting this is becoming a problem I’d do what was needed to get it under control.
But fortunately, I think we’re ok at this stage and the more the FI market grows the less of a problem this can be.
Time as Member:
No reason to include this other than it’s nice to see that the majority of members are very long term and are happy to stick around once they join.
Results - Content
Average rating of each type of content out of 5:
Scouting, Key Strategy + State of the Market and Members Articles were the clear favourties amongst members, getting very high ratings of 4.8 or 4.9 out of 5.
This makes sense to me, these are what I would say are the best parts of the site and if I ever needed to strip it back to the core this would be it.
Transfers, Star Ratings, Guide Prices and Dashboard info still scored well around 4 to 4.2 but there was a notable drop here. Some people still rated them highly but there were many more people who rated these 2 or 3.
This can be fine, not everyone has to use everything. I was actually fishing for something not useful to anyone that I could drop to make time for other things. I’m not sure I found one.
Star Ratings tables were seen as a useful guide but some members commented that some ratings could fall out of date. Fair comment. I update most of the main ones as I go through Scouting but particularly where a player hasn’t done anything to come to my attention for a while, they only get reviewed 2-3 times a season.
There were also a couple of requests to provide reasons behind each rating under the comments. This detailed analysis comes in Scouting, but I can’t do it for every player in ratings it would just date so quickly given I review all 5 leagues every week.
Clearly, I can’t run through all 600+ player ratings each week to keep them bang up to date, it’s just not possible.
I think there is a point here though that I need to be clearer about their limitations. I think I might trim this back a bit and make it clearer that the most up to date info. is in Scouting and that Star Ratings are a ball park guide.
Whilst they can fall a bit behind particularly for the more obscure players, I am generally confident in their accuracy though and lots of members commented on this too.
Quite a few members also said they struggle a bit with Guide Prices. I understand why. There really isn’t a one size fits all price where we should sell and so many factors go into that decision. It’s a tough one but I still think it’s worth trying to put a marker in the sand like this.
It’s not an automatic sell trigger when a player reaches a Guide Price, it’s more the point where I think “Ok, what factors/reasons do I have for this player to deserve to be running beyond the average good forward?”. I’ll see if I can do more to explain them better.
Aside from the raw numbers, there was a lot of great comments and suggestions.
I’ve read every single one and made lists of things I can improve so if yours is not mentioned please don’t be offended. I’ll just pick out the common themes/best of here.
A FIT App!
Quite a lot of suggestions for a FIT App! Convenience being one reason but I think the main thing here is a demand for push notifications when new content drops.
I’ve been trying to get Push Notifications to work recently but due to the awkwardness of Apple, a website can only send pushes to Android which would exclude around half of members which would seem unfair.
I’d need an official appstore App for Iphone to work which is too expensive to be worth it.
I’m currently looking into a low cost option of providing an App that effectively wraps the website up into app form and would allow push notifications on all devices. I’ll only roll it out if I’m happy with the quality though.
Failing that, I think I need an improved way of providing new content notifications, possibly an SMS system or improving the email alerts which are admittedly a bit patchy.
Player Search Function/Scouting History
This was mentioned a few times – the ability to easily see older Scouting entries on players to see what I said previously. These are available in the Scouting archive, but you do have to dig for them a bit.
I think on my current platform it will not be possible to provide a direct link from the latest entry to the others but a search function might be do-able, it’s on the list of things I’ll look into.
I’ve considered this a few times and always settle on no. I love chatting to members and would like more interactivity on the site as the feedback is great.
The idea of a general forum/comments section fills me with dread though as it would attract the wrong sort of person who would try to use it to pump their awful players. The time it would take me to police all that wouldn’t be worth it.
What is FIT doing today Calendar?
This is a good idea and I’ve tried, and failed, to do similar things in the past.
I have my basic routine with Scouting etc but I find I’ve turned out the best content when I get to my desk every day and think “what’s the most useful thing I can do for members today?” rather than get too bogged down in too many processes.
I have recently settled into a pattern of working Sunday-Thursday with Friday and Saturday off and that’s been working quite well.
I will also at some point need to work out how exactly a self employed person takes a holiday without setting their business on fire.
I’ll think about adding some kind of “what’s up next?” feature to the dashboard that gives a heads up of incoming content.
Can I pay for 1 to 1 tuition/help?
This came up surprisingly often! I don’t advertise this as a thing right now but I have provided some 1-1 tuition twice in the past to two large traders with £75k+ portfolios who asked.
I’d be open to more of this time permitting so feel free to email me if interested to discuss, though I suspect it would be a very small number of bigger portfolio holders only who would be interested in this, I’d certainly only have time for 1 maximum 2 per month.
Cover more “non-logical” players who can rise even though they aren’t very good!
Hah! I like it. Well. To be clear I never say don’t hype trade. I say don’t hype trade after the hype has already hit.
I’m all for finding young players who match the trends early and if we find one at £1.50 or under you can bet I’ll be going big on them as per my tight aggressive approach from my free guides.
It helps if they are actually good on FI of course.
If they aren’t, we can/should still trade them but just know when to take the win. It can be memorable/exciting to get these big further rises in players but it is my firm belief that on average you lose more chasing into hype than you make and the pre-season results article was strong evidence of that.
For every further rise I may miss in an overhyped weak player think of all the drops I’ve avoided. And it’s not the case that my money is sat doing nothing either.
I’ll highlight these players as they go but I will generally look harder for the more obscure ones like Stengs/Jones rather than the Sancho/Haaland’s because honestly, nobody needed me to tell them that Sancho or Haaland were going to rise, they might just want me to tell them whether they are actually good so they can trade accordingly.
Bring back the New Trader Challenge!
For those not around back then this was my public portfolio from last season over 18/19 where I blogged my selections over the season. Summary in the link and I think it still has some good takeaways reading it now – particularly on the importance of the tight aggressive approach to success.
Starting with £1k the portfolio grew to £3,208 for a 220% gain and proved a popular feature on Twitter at the time.
It did so well that I got a lot of messages asking if I was going to do it again this season. And for that reason, I decided not to. I’ve got a much bigger following than I did back then and I think if I were to do that now it would be impossible to do legitimately.
The portfolio only had 10-15 players so chances are they’d just get bought too heavily too soon and it would say more about social media than it would about skill.
So. Sorry. But. Scouting is the way to do it from here!
Bring back the Portfolio Clinic!
This is a good one and I should do this soon. The Portfolio clinic article saw me share some Twitter followers portfolios in an article (anonymous) and discuss what may be causing their underwhelming results. Then, suggest what I’d do to fix it.
I enjoyed writing these and they seemed popular at the time. They often highlight some common reasons for poor or average performance that we can fix.
I’ll run one of these soon – if you want me to use your portfolio send it in to email@example.com – I’ll pick whichever looks to have most interesting discussion points.
Site Ratings for the performance strength of teams
Nice idea, it’s on the list.
Discount for an annual membership
Yep, good idea can make this happen.
Scouting should cover leagues like Holland/Portugal more regularly.
Agree, I typically do this as transfer windows approach but if there is one thing I want to carve out more time for it is finding some more hidden gems.