September Business Review

 

It’s time for me to check-in, tell you what went well and what didn’t go as planned in September.

September Biz Review

I started checking in and recording these episodes last month as a way to keep myself accountable and show up in a different way for my audience.

If you've been around for a while or just tuning in the first time -- thanks for being here. I know there are literally a thousand different podcasts to choose from and I am thankful you are here. If you could, please take a second hit the ‘subscribe button’ then leave a review of the show I would LOVE to hear from you and see who’s tuning in each week.

I’ve been keeping track on analytics and growth in my business for close to a year now but just started recently publishing them live.

I don’t know about you but I love diving into the numbers and data as a true way to see what’s working and what’s not working.

So, some big things that went down in September:

  • I finished my first full month of hosting the Brand Gathering Membership for creatives who feel overwhelmed and stuck in a rut with their business and want to grow their income using brand strategy and social media.

  • I had my highest revenue month EVER in business for the second month in a row.

  • Lastly, I celebrated my birthday by channeling my inner-Sherlock Holmes and participating in a Dinner Detective party.

As much as I absolutely love my 1:1 clients, I want to diversify my income and start replying more so on recurring income through my monthly membership.

Before August 100% of my income was from design clients. This month 2% of my income was made through the Brand Gathering, which may seem small but it’s a HUGE win for me.

To see progress is exciting and makes me want to achieve the transition from 1:1 to recurring even more.

Since this was my first full month hosting the membership, I noticed something I wasn’t sure what to expect when it came to running a membership and that’s the churn rate. Churn means the numbers of members that cancel or don’t renew their membership.

The Churn Rate for my first month was 35%. Which in all actuality HORRIBLE, but I am giving myself grace since it’s my first month and I think my messaging needs some finessing. From what I read (because I am experiencing a learning curve too) your monthly churn rate should be less than 5%.

As I said, I think one of the problems was messaging starting out. That’s a hard one to nail from the get-go. I am getting member feedback about what they like best so we can focus on that in marketing. And understanding what they don’t enjoy so we can cut down on fluff and focus on more content that creates results for members.

I’ve found within my brand + website design clients, I really enjoy creating a relationship with those I love working with and creating monthly retainers with them. Nearly 50% of my remaining income comes from retainer clients. For me, it’s easier to plan my income when I know month-to-month what to expect. Plus, I hate the chase for clients.

You get booked 3 months ahead, you rest for a month, then it’s back to hustling for clients. I was tired of that cycle so retainer clients were my way to move away from that chase.

If there is something you hate about the way you run your business, brainstorm a way to change it. That’s the beauty of running your own business -- you can make changes as you go.

Alright, moving on into the analytics. There were a few weird things that took place in September when it comes to my analytics.

  1. My Instagram growth and engagement plummeted for seemingly no reason. Month after month I was seeing 5-6% growth within my Instagram. Keeping with the same scheduler and not really making any big changes I only saw a 1.5% growth in my Instagram. I also noticed it during the month. I was averaging 12 comments per photo and last month I was averaging 8 comments. I am continuing with the same strategy this month and I will compare this month’s to see if it’s a trend or just a fluke for the month.

  2. I blogged 3 times during the month of September and saw a MAJOR decrease in website traffic. Nearly a 50% decrease in visitors. The only thing I can think of is I wasn’t promoting the posts as heavily as normal but that’s something I want to keep an eye on.

Using Meghan Maydel’s new activity tracker inside Airtable, I was able to see exactly how many clients I reached out to this month as well as how many potential clients we were in regular contact with this month. So, during the month of Sept., I reached out and pitched my services to 105 people. We were in regular contact with 224 potential clients. Which lead to 2 new clients and projects booked for the remainder of 2018 and 5 new members inside the Brand Gathering Membership.

This is my first month, using her Ultimate Incredible Marketing Tracker so I am excited to see how October goes. I will link to Meghan Maydel’s Tracker using Airtable in the show notes if you’re interested in that.

Looking forward to October, I am running my first small promotion for TBG, which just wrapped up as I am recording this. I was offering a free 13-day trial to the membership. I will cover those numbers in next month’s biz review.

For October, I am focusing on Facebook and using Live Videos to bring content to my audience.
I am also focusing on creating funnels to my membership using email marketing. I am 3 new funnels running as of Friday and I am excited to see if they bring in any new members to the membership and tweaking those in the remaining months of 2018.


Lastly, I have 2 remaining Brand + Website spots I would like to fill for 2018 before raising my prices next year. So I am testing out Facebook Lead Generation ads using the workshop Samantha Grant did for TBG. If you’re interested in that, you can join the membership for less than $20 by using the promo code PODCAST at thebrandgathering.com

To plan each month and reflect on the prior month, I use Powersheets and they have helped my set and achieve so many goals in the last 6 months of using them. The 2019 collection is being released Oct 24th and I am so excited to get my hands and start planning out 2019!

If we’re not Instagram friends, come find me at Carrylove Designs, say hello and tell me how you’re planning out each month!