The end of the year is always a time for reflection, especially when it comes to business. The quiet time allows headspace for thinking upon all of the challenges and wins of the year gone by and the time when the big dreams come back into perspective for planning out the year to come. This year has been a massive year of growth for me and this business, so to wrap up this year I wanted to share some of the good, bad, ugly and fun!
I’d love to hear in the comments below what your best moments of 2017 were and what marketing strategies you want to try in 2018.
Let’s get into it…
3 marketing tactics I’d like to not see in 2018…or ever again really
- Automated click funnels where you have zero connection to the actual person promoting them. I don’t know about you but I dont just go around handing out cash to random people I dont know in the street so I’m not going to do it online either.
- Follow / Unfollow on social media. This makes you and your business ingenuine and ain’t nobody got time for time wasters. Numbers don’t replace connection.
- Email nurture sequences that deliver emails daily or multiple times a day. Seriously, cut that shit out. It’s annoying.
3 digital marketing influencers who have rocked my world with awesome-sauce information this year…
If you don’t know them, take 5 now and go and check them out online.
3 entrepreneurs who have changed the way I approach business in 2017…
- Tash Corbin – You don’t have to do business the masculine spammy overbearing way. Feminine business is fun and easy and feels good. Not sure why I needed permission to do business in a different way, but I did, and I’m grateful for the lessons Tash shares that has reset this frame of mind.
- Laura Elkaslassy – You should be paying yourself first and that reframing your money mindset (albeit bloody hard!) changes your whole trajectory.
- Dina Behrman – You can go big now, you don’t have to get all of your ducks in a row first, don’t let fear stop you from being heard.
3 things that didn’t work for me in 2017…
- Waiting until it was chaotic to start building the Optimise & Grow team… learn from my mistakes, this didn’t work well, don’t do it.
- Relying heavily on PPC advertising to sell a product when I had no time to invest in a launch… an expensive lesson to learn, again, I don’t recommend this path either.
- Achieving work/life balance… insert *laughing/crying emoji face here* … and I also don’t recommend working 18 hour days all day every day, it does NO ONE any favours. Get some sleep.
3 marketing strategies that worked better than I thought in 2017…
- 3 successful launches for my own business without a webinar or Facebook Live. (Yes it can be done fellow introverts!)
- The Facebook Group has brought in many wonderful people from all across the globe whom I love to see every week. They are supportive and lovely and all doing seriously awesome stuff in the world. Come and say hello.
- A consistent image grid on Instagram… I tried it to see what all the fuss was about because Insta pros push hard for the aesthetic appeal of a defined 3, 6, or 9 grid. It took a while to get into but now I love it because I don’t have to think “what should I post now”, I have a guideline ready. Also it did have a positive effect on followers and followers that actually stick around longer than a few days.
3 marketing strategies I am continuing with in 2018
- Search Engine Optimisation – because the investment is working amazingly!!
- Content Marketing with blogging at the core to support the SEO strategy.
- Pinterest for audience expansion and leads.
3 marketing strategies I want to expand on in 2018
- Guest blogging, learning and connecting on industry community sites.
- Instagram for business – Follow me here and here if you also hang out on Insta.
- Adding more fun and lightness to marketing activities, after all marketing is promoting something you’re passionate about… so you should enjoy it, right?!
3 tech tools I couldn’t live without in 2017
- Acuity – Made booking meetings, group sessions, payment plans, and cross-timezone scheduling a total breeze. Loads of time saved with all of its integrations too. Winning!
- Google Analytics – C’mon it had to get a mention here. It always keeps me in the loop as to what’s happening on my websites, what’s working, what’s not, where to leverage etc.
- Asana – While it has some limitations, this year has been so much simpler having this app for my business. Collaborations, SOPs, project management, reminders … all the stuff floating around in my head could be removed to this central location so I can see what’s happening.
There’s a bunch more though and you can read about them here.
3 things I changed in my business this year
- I changed email marketing provider from Mailchimp to ActiveCampaign for greater functionality, reporting and CRM support. Running my 5 Day Challenge the way I wanted to wasn’t as straightforward as I would like in Mailchimp, and in ActiveCampaign there are options to have multi-layer automations that support customer development and education.
- I switched from Skype to Zoom because Zoom has better connection quality and functionalities like share-screen, recording (my end or consumer end), and group calls on the basic level. Plus the integration with Acuity saved me a tonne of time by automatically creating a unique zoom meeting link upon customer booking and send it to the customer via email reminder. *Winning*
- I integrated the Profit First money management method and it has changed so many things for the better. And, what’s even better is the fab things I get to treat myself or my business with at the end of each quarter when profit is dispersed. This system has been amazing for combating many mindset hurdles.
3 lessons I learnt in 2016 that I nailed in 2017
- Stop all the learning and actually implement some of it.
- You don’t have to do business the spammy masculine way.
- There is not going to be a magic bullet course or challenge or article that tells you how to make your business “work”… you make the rules and YOU CAN DO IT.
3 aspects of business that got me ranty this year…
- Business owners seeking only to outsource/hire when they can pay below the minimum wage.And freelancers, even if you’re starting out or really need the money, if you can earn more on the minimum wage at the grocery store than what someone wants to pay you for a professional job, then please say no. They are not your ideal client – ever. Say no to make space in life for more of your ideal clients who value you, your time, and your expertise.
- You don’t have to have a course, funnels, Facebook lives or Facebook ads to have a successful business. And what’s more, having all or any of those things will NOT instantly grow your business or solve your problems or be easy.
- VA’s aren’t marketers so don’t expect them to be. Virtual Assistants are there to be your assistant in delivering your strategy, but not to create, manage or optimise your strategy. Virtual assistants are super awesome and just like you have skills in certain areas… not every area of digital marketing and business administration. Seek out a VA who has skills in the areas you need. Just because they can schedule social media for you doesn’t mean they can create great graphics, or interpret the analytics, or fix your website… etc. I’m seeing SO MANY VA’s burning out, or not feeling “enough” because of the pressure from clients to be everything and do everything. That’s really not fair for the team member/s who are supposedly giving you more balance and time for what you love.
3 things I learnt in 2017 that I wish I had learnt earlier in my business journey
- Money blocks are totally a thing and it’s never too soon to start mastering your money mindset.
- It’s ok to say no and set boundaries – if the client can do it, so can I and so can you!
- I don’t have to be everywhere and do everything, it’s ok to have a refined skill set… think GP vs Surgeon.
3 big topics that came up in the Mastermind this year
- Business legals and contracts. If you don’t have them sorted, just do it and thank me later :P
- Client management and onboarding. A lot of conversations on how to make the initial client relationship building process smoother and how to instill boundaries and respect within business relationships.
- Understanding WHY we are doing something so we can enjoy our businesses more… i.e. Why am I spending time on Facebook? if it’s just because someone said that’s where you have to be and you can grow your business there … that’s not a good why… if you totally hate it and it sucks the fun out your day… then don’t it! there are hundreds of other ways to grow and market your business.
3 fall off my chair amazing moments of the year
- Created a multi-page document design and client had no revisions – perfect first go – WIN!
- Had a soft launch for a client ebook with 1 facebook live and a couple of facebook posts resulting in 100+ downloads in 7 days – WIN!
- Smashed my income stretch goals – WIN!
3 dumb things I did in business this year
- Forgot to switch off a PPC ad campaign and didn’t realise until the automatic bill came through *sigh* – Don’t be like Robyn in 2018, check your ad campaigns are completely switched off.
- Wasted a bunch more money on trying to get Pinterest ads up and running for my business… turns out there’s lots of things you cannot have in a Pinterest advert like shapes or text that “looks like a button” … Don’t be like Robyn in 2018, read the design terms properly.
- Put off recording the 5 day challenge videos because of nerves right until the last minute which coincidentally I was sick so all the videos sounded terrible and had to re-record them… and have to rerecord again because the sound quality of the second round was awful too. This was the universe telling me to just get it done and not procrastinate next time. Thanks universe *sigh*.
3 things I would like more of in 2018
- Holidays. These have been few and far between so far in my business journey but I think it’s now time to make more of these holidays happen.
- Clarity. The big goals have changed so much over this year I dont really have a clear idea of what they are any more so I feel I need to work on that this Christmas break because I know without the clear vision or purpose everything will stall.
- Conversations. Conversations with entrepreneurs on how to achieve their vision or fulfil their purpose the easy way. The enjoyable way. Without compromising quality, delivery or mental peace. I’m thinking the mastermind will be the place for these conversations.
3 pieces of advice I tell clients all the time that I should really do myself as a priority in 2018
- Optimise the meta descriptions of my blog categories and tags.
- Google yourself and clean up all of the old and broken links.
- Make it clear on the website what you do and how people can work with you.
3 websites I love to visit when I need some perspective
- ClientsFromHell.net – Excellent for a laugh and realising my problems are not that bad.
- GoodFuckingDesignAdvice.com – Excellent for a big kick of motivation.
- Pinterest.com – Because it’s pretty, and organised, and inspirational, and relaxing. And I can visit my vision board to remind myself of the bigger picture.
Now for some more of the personal stuff that I’ve saved for the troopers like you who have made it all the way to the bottom of the post *thank you*.
3 things I do each morning in my business life
- Drink coffee.
- Delete a tonne of emails with sucky subject lines during breakfast so that after school drop off when I start the work day I only have relevant emails to address.
- Check social notifications for anything requiring immediate attention or a reply allowing me to settle into the work day quickly and without distraction when I return at 9am.
3 things you may not know about me
- I freakin’ love Lego. Building things, designing things, love it. And my kids love it too because I build and then they play. When they move out, one bedroom will become a Lego room I think… #watchthisspace :P
- I am a Doula. Not very often now but I am blessed to have this opportunity to support women and families in my local area who want the extra support in their birth journey because I know how valuable that extra support can be. This side-job is amazing and gives an instant reset on perspectives that there is more to life than the day-to-day grind.
- I don’t swim at the beach. That is kinda a given now that I live in North Queensland and pretty much any body of water has at least one deadly creature in it at any given time (think crocs, sharks, jellyfish, snakes, algae) BUT it stems from life as a kid getting stung or injured anytime I went near the water so now I just enjoy the sand and looking at the water :P
3 things I have in my office for inspiration
- A matchbox car to remind me of my goal to get a new car sometime soon.
- A motivational poster from GoodFuckingDesignAdvice – see it here.
- A whiteboard with lovely messages from my kids.
3 things I need to work on in 2018
- The ability to switch off occasionally (I mean seriously, it’s Christmas Eve and I’m in my office writing this blog post).
- A backup plan for when illness strikes because this wasn’t handled well this year.
3 business things I am grateful for in 2017
- The BEST EVER clients have come into my world this year. I’m not just saying that either, they really are inspirational.
- The testimonials and gratefulness of said clients – makes my day every time!
- Serious tech integration wins. I love it when it all just *works*, don’t you?!
Alright, that’s enough sharing for one year haha over to you. I’d love to hear what you have in your office for inspiration, or what strategies you tried this year that worked, or business strategies you want to try in the new year.