Entrepreneur, Business

December 2017 Breakdown: Lessons Learned + Milestones Reached

Episode 162: Show Notes

Happy New Year everybody! We’ve just returned back from a 12-week holiday and today, we travel back in time to do our monthly review of December 2017. We also plan for January 2018, tackle our Quarter Four breakdown, review our stats and set goals and projects for the new year. We hope this episode will inspire you to thoroughly review your own past business year and set thorough goals and projects as you move into 2018.

Happy New Year everybody! We’ve just returned back from a 12-week holiday and today, we travel back in time to do our monthly review of December 2017. We also plan for January 2018, tackle our Quarter Four breakdown, review our stats and set goals and projects for the new year. We hope this episode will inspire you to thoroughly review your own past business year and set thorough goals and projects as you move into 2018.  |  The Strategy Hour  |  Think Creative Collective

In this episode, we outline the difference between a goal and a project, take you through The Follow Through Method and encourage you to always to set your good, better and best scenario for your income goals. We’ll be sharing what we’ve learned and what we’ll be doing differently in 2018. Just a heads up: This is going to be a long episode of calculator crunching and in-the-moment chatting! So grab some coffee, get comfy and know that 2018 is going to be great if you break it down!

Reviewing Our December 2017 Goals 

  1. Checking off the goals we made for December 2017:
  2. Travel Funnel Starts – yep, it started.  
  3. Wrap Up Loose Ends – we took off the month of December to kind of tie up everything.
  4. Christmas Vision Board Party – check, we did it.
  5. Have Our Director of Ops Do Some Trello Cleanup – nope that did not happen.
  6. Onboard Inbox – we had a new person come in to take over our inbox and that happened smoothly.
  7. Ads For Summit – we did get those started.

So what did we accomplish in December? Well, we took the month off and we didn’t really actively pursue anything. Improvements we can take from December were that we could have probably been making more tangible milestones for our team to be working on while we were off. Giving them specific projects, goals and tasks while we’re gone would be super helpful. Another thing we could have improved on was our preparations for taking December off. We perhaps could spread these tasks out over the year rather than cram all of our preparations into the last month before we took off and wound up sick for most of the holiday! Which is what happened to Abbie.

Quarterly Goal Check In

Actual cash in the bank this year was $395,000 and when we were estimating sales we were over $600,000. We will gladly provide a more concrete number here when we have one but for now, we are ecstatic with those numbers! Our goal was $500,000 this year but to have sales over $600,000 is more than we expected! Another goal was to set another Essay Launch which we did and start a funnel, which we did and take December off, which we did. One of those goals is also to upsell email funnels and we’re still interested to see how that works! If we take a look at the average total worth of every student, every student is worth $114. If we look at total paid students, they’re over $140. Our average subscriber is worth $21.90. We had another goal having 3165 paid students valued at $139, which would get us 440k. Looking at it half way through, we were panicking because the value of the subscribers was so dramatically different. We were struggling to build our list quickly enough to reach our revenue goals. But instead of panicking about getting new subscribers we worked on nurturing the ones we already did have and launching our signature project in the middle of the year helped. We ended up at the end of the year with 2274 paid students and 6937 total students.

Stats for Email, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and iTunes

Facebook: likes for the end of the year were 11,276 and Pinterest had 1560 re-pins and our clicks were 4340. Blog: audience was at 22,448 and actual visits were 19,933, page views were 37,515. If we compare that to last month, visits are down by 10,000, page views are down 5000 and audience is down 5000. So we need to address that. Instagram is at 28,750. CovertKit was at 17,856. Our iTunes was up by 3258 and the Facebook group is 16,914. Our January end of month audience – the blog ended at 49.9k visits and we ended in December at 19.9k visits. So let’s talk about that. We were personally managing our Pinterest at the beginning of the year and then we delegated it. We started doing fewer blog posts and stopped focusing on the blog as much because our revenue was increasing. Pinterest went down as a direct relation to the blog going down. What we’ve realized is that the things that got you to six figures might not get you to seven. Is blogging going to continue doing great things for us? We’re not sure.

We’ve started relying more on social media and email to do the work for us. Social media to get them in and email to nurture them. And we own email. Our Instagram is not really growing and we’re also not paying attention there anymore. We started the year on Instagram at 1.2k and we ended the year on 1.7k – the slowest growth we’ve ever done. We ended January on our Facebook at 3.3k and ended the year at 11.2k. We ended on our January email with 10.9k and ended in December with 17.8k. Which is also a pretty slow growth. iTunes: we ended January 2017, our first month of podcasting, at 1180 and we’re ending December at 3.2k, per episode download. Teachable ended at 19,351. We went from 10k in January to 12k to 14k to 19k with teachable – which is awesome! Notes for December? Payment plans are good and they allowed us to take December off!

January 2018 Affirmations: Grasp

The word we’ve chosen for this is “grasp”. We delegated and outsourced a lot of the money-making aspects of our business, which is great, but we have lost a bit of control on how and when our business is making money because of it. This has made us a feel a little more disconnected from our business. We could keep doing what we’ve been doing in our business and probably have another freaking amazing year. But we just want more. Not necessarily more money, but things to be working in a different way, a smarter way. Our goal for this business has always been multi-million. Always. From day one. But that doesn’t have to be your goal. You don’t have to be stressed out if our numbers and goals don’t look like yours.

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The things that got you to six figures might not get you to seven.
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What’s On Our Quarterly Sheet?

Here, we’re looking at our four quarter goal business worksheet. Quarter 1 Goal: Create a working funnel system. We have broken this goal down into six steps: creating a Trello ad, hire and implementer, hire a Facebook ads person, rehash opt-ins and hire a Trello expert. The last step, to be honest, we’re not even sure what we mean by that. So basically, we need to reprint an entire new worksheet and revisit this goal. We need to reiterate the difference between a goal and a project. The goal is to have a working funnel system and the project to be the six tasks or steps we take to get there. Bearing that in mind, we need to sign an income number with it to make it a tangible goal we can tick off.

Income Goals For 2018: Good, Better, Best Scenario

In a good scenario, we want to average $65k a month. In a better scenario, we want to average $83k a month and the best scenario would be $100k a month. So do we create a funnel that averages blank amount per month? If we look at what Trello is bringing in monthly, it has averaged $3,854 per month and we think we can more than double that with intention. $34,000 for best, better would be $26,560 ($26,560 at the end of Q1) and good would be $20,800 per year. We know if people buy Trello they are more likely to buy something else. So is Trello going to be a number one focus for 2018 and what projects do we need to complete in order to make that a thing? One thing we do know for sure is we need to develop a solid video ad for Trello, utilize a better opt-in for better funneling, AB test follow up sequences and get the momentum going with some livestreams and a social push to opt-in.

Our Project Hierarchy as of 2017

Trello first, which would lead you into Rock Your Biz, which would lead you into The Strategy Academy. Initially, we included Trello into Rock Your Biz and it just seemed overwhelming. But for our second launch of Rock Your Biz, we took it out and we walked people through how to use Trello prior to using Rock Your Biz. We even ran a challenge around the systems, gave you an inside look into Trello and thought that sales for Trello would just increase because we’re talking about it some more. We thought the materials in Rock Your Biz would be able to propel them further but what we realized it was hard to sell because it felt like they had enough just doing the Trello course on its own. Our second launch was not as big as we thought it was going to be and that was just because of confusion and messaging. So, we decided we just wanted to have one giant program, a smaller program that leads into it and then an even smaller program that leads into that. So we restructured Rock Your Biz to add even more into The Strategy Academy, have pulled out The Follow Through Method and kept Trello separate. So the product hierarchy now is: buy Trello and take it further with The Strategy Academy. That’s what’s happening this year.

Good, Better Best for The Follow-Through Method

Good would be $17,550, better would be $22,410 and best would be $27,000. So we need to develop a video ad, an opt-in for the funnel, a social to opt-in, AB test follow up sequence and livestreams to webinars. So where are we financially at this point? Quarter three is July, August and September – so launching in September and preparing to launch in July and August. Another thing to be mindful of is in 2017, 17.7% of our total income was affiliates and so we can’t drop it. However, collaborations make sense in the first half of the year. Monthly; good would be $11,050, $14,110 for better and best would be $17,000. No big deal.

Don’t be scared guys. 2018 is going to be awesome and we talk about how you can lay out your goals and projects in the Follow Through Method at followthroughmethod.com.

Highlights

  • Reviewing Our December 2017 Goals. [0:04:15.1]
  • Our Quarterly Goal Check In. [0:08:40.1]
  • Stats for Email, Facebook and iTunes. [0:16:00.1]
  • January 2018 Affirmations: Grasp. [0:36:10.1]
  • Income Goals For 2018: Good, Better, Best Scenario. [0:43:57.1]
  • Our Project Hierarchy As Of 2017. [0:54:00.1]
  • Good, Better, Best for The Follow Through Method. [0:56:35.1]

Today’sGuest

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ABAGAIL & EMYLEE

The Strategy Hour Podcast

Instagram | Facebook

We help overwhelmed and creative entrepreneurs break down their Oprah-sized dreams to create a functioning command center to tame the chaos of their business. Basically, we think you’re totally bomb diggity, we’re about to uplevel the shiz out of your business.

KeyTopics

  • Follow Through Method.

  • New year.

  • Project goals.

  • Setting goals.

  • Business goals.

  • Opt-ins.

  • Yearly review.

  • Monthly review.

  • Trello.

  • Social media stats.

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