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2018 is going to be the year I grow my business 498%. At least according to the goals I set for myself it is. 🙂
I really want to grow my business, not only because…well who doesn’t want more money, but because I want to expand my reach and be able to start handing off tasks to the employees I plan to hire.
I don’t want to this be a mega business, but a decent size (10-12 employees) would be nice. As a solopreneur, I can only help so many people before I have no time left in the day.
Also, about 2 months ago I got really competitive. Don’t ask me why or how, but it just happened. I want to beat what I have going right now by about 1,000%, so I figured 500% is a good place to start 🙂
How am I going to do this? Well I made up quarterly goals, as well as overall general goals for the year, so I’ll start there.
Overall Goals for 2018
Step Up My Networking Game
I am going to go “all in” on networking. That means meetups, conferences, meeting people on the street, etc. Networking played a huge part in being able to leave my day job, and I need to get back to that.
I plan to use good old Meetup.com & Eventbrite to find local meetups. I’m also attending some other events/conferences, maybe I’ll see you there?
- FinCon Masters – April – New York, NY
- Podcast Movement – July in Philadelphia, PA
- Success Incubator – September in in Orlando, FL
- FinCon – September in Orlando, FL
- Philly Tech Week – April/May in Philadelphia, PA
- And some others yet to be decided on 🙂
Niche Down & Focus on a Few Ideal Clients
I am planning on focusing on one type of customer this year. I don’t want to mention it just yet, but one of my favorite clients currently is in this area and I want to try and create more of those experiences for myself.
This will help me develop a marketing plan, start producing content for that type of client, and be able to focus my efforts on getting really good at that one thing.
I’m also going to be using Chet Holmes’ “Dream 100 Method” from The Ultimate Sales Machine. Essentially, he says to pick the top 100 clients you’d like to work with and go after them relentlessly. So, I made a Google Sheet and am working my way towards filling out that list.
Content Marketing & Inbound Leads
Because I am niching down, it’s going to be easier to create content for those specific people I’m trying to reach. The idea here is the draw your audience in with your content, either through search or social media, and they get to learn more about your business without you having to more manually go out and reach them.
It’s a much more sustainable approach, but also takes a lot of time to be worthwhile. Not only in creating the content, but Google takes time to index your content and people need time to learn about you, whereas with referrals, you know someone they know and that speeds up the process tens of folds 😉
Bringing on an extra set of hands, AKA Hiring Someone
I’ve known it’s been time to bring on an extra person for a while now. I’m just getting overwhelmed and need someone to take on those repeatable tasks that take too much effort and I haven’t figured out how to automate….yet.
The moons collided and someone I know is losing their job, so it’s a perfect time to bring them on for a trial run with my business. I’m excited about it and am hoping this is more long term than a trial, but either way I need help for a few months at least.
Those are my “overarching” goals, whereas they touch a lot of areas of the year and so I couldn’t really pigeonhole them into a specific quarter.
On top of those, I have set quarterly goals for myself as detailed below.
Q1 Goals for 2018
Sales Goal: Increase sales by 25%
This isn’t too big of a jump, but I will also still be solo for most of the 1st quarter so I didn’t want to reach too high.
I don’t really feel comfortable sharing sales dollar amounts, I am totally okay with the percentages, which is why that’s what I’m putting here.
Productize my offerings
I need to get super clear on what I’m offering, to whom, and I want to be able to put prices on my site to help people “self-select” if we will be a good fit. Being able to put my services into packages (AKA Productizing) will allow me to more easily show them what kind of value I can provide. It also reduces the “scope creep” of having something think that a service was included when it’s actually not.
In addition, this will help me build out concrete systems of tasks that I can more easily keep track of. I’m feeling really good about this one and am excited to implement it.
While I’m not planning on hiring a web developer and spending thousands on a new site, I need at the very least a good copywriting overhaul. So I’m going to be spending some time and building out the new site, with new value propositions so I can attract the right kinds of customers.
I’m planning on getting a fresh theme – probably using the Genesis Framework from Studiopress – I’m a big fan of them because everything just works, and you can customize your site without needing to know too much tech jargon.
I also need to get a new homepage in place, and getting those productized packages on the website. Like I said, not a complete overhaul, but enough to move the needle. I’m loving all this business jargon in here 😉
Q2 Goals for 2018
Sales Goal: Increase sales by 87% over the previous quarter
THIS is a big jump and I’m excited about the challenge. That’s literally almost doubling my book of business, but I think it’s doable given I will be able to focus more on sales than admin and other tasks.
Build Out Case Studies
I feel like an idiot for not doing this sooner. I’ve helped a bunch of clients reach their revenue goals and have not done a good job of showcasing that anywhere (literally, nowhere). #shame
Having case studies on my site will not only show people I know what I’m doing, but will show them the kinds of projects I like to work on an am good at.
Building a Cold Outreach Strategy
This is yet to be nailed down on exactly what it is, could be a cold email strategy, maybe even phone calls. I’m not sure and I think I’ll probably use a few different channels.
The main thing to take away from here, is that this will be when I stop relying on referrals to bring in the bacon. Hell, with a sales goal like the ones I’ve set, I literally can’t rely on referrals only.
Be a Guest on 3 Podcasts
Getting my brand out there is going to be tough, but I think podcasts and audio are a really good way to do that. While I don’t have my own podcast, yet, being a guest on some could be a great strategy for spreading the word.
If this falls through, I’ll replace the podcast for contributing 3 guest posts to other sites. Either way, getting in front of audiences aside from my own very tiny one.
Q3 Goals for 2018
Sales Goal: Increase sales by 77%
Another big sales goal leap. When I made these goals it was more about the dollar amount and how many clients I think I’ll be able to handle, so these percentages are pretty eye opening, and I hadn’t calculated them before sitting down to write this. Interesting.
Contribute 12 Guest Posts
I’m hoping my last goal of 3 guest podcasts doesn’t turn into guest posts, because that would make this goal quite a bit harder to accomplish.
As you can probably tell, that means contributing 1 guest post per week for the whole quarter – I think I might be insane.
Setup a Profitable Facebook Ads Funnel
As you may know, I run Facebook ads, but I don’t run them for my own business. Yes, it seems crazy but like I’ve mentioned before, I get 95% of my clients from referrals. I haven’t needed to run Facebook ads.
But I also told you about my big sales goals, and so I need to find more channels to get more clients coming in. Since I know Facebook ads, I’m going to use that knowledge and create my own sales pipeline (hopefully).
Q4 Goals for 2018
Sales Goal: Increase sales by 58%
Trust me, this doesn’t seem as high as the others, but the end number this will put me at is where I want to be. It has me very excited for 2019 right now 🙂
All Out Marketing Frenzy
“What in the world are you talking about?” I’m sure that’s what you’re thinking. What I’m thinking is that I’m going to be testing out a bunch of different marketing tactics to end the year strong. This includes but is not limited to:
- Cold Email
- Content Marketing funnels
- Cold calling
- Heavy social media stuff
- Facebook ads
- Twitter ads?
- Email Challenges
- Maybe even sending postcards to people
- The future is yet to be seen….
At first I didn’t have a clear Q4 goal – and I suppose this still isn’t clear – but I want to try a lot of different tactics and see what pulls in the most ROI. I know I will have even loftier goals to hit in 2019, and testing different channels is the only way I’ll know for sure what is working.
Alright, that’s what I have as far as goals go. Of course I have my own goals for this blog too, but it’s so new I’m keeping those to myself for now 🙂
What about you, what are your goals for 2018?