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If this is your first time reading the blog, I run a small marketing agency/consultancy which I started when I was working a day job. I quit that job in June of 2017 to go full-time with this business.
I’ve decided to start posting a monthly update to show progress on my big goals for 2018 and keep myself accountable – as well as give you some ideas for how to improve your own business or side hustle.
March 2018 Summary
- Recurring: 2 new clients (yes, both came in as referrals)
- Non-Recurring Clients (coaching, one-time projects, etc.): 1 new client (a product of my cold email outreach!)
MUCH better than February’s numbers.
- For the month of March year-over-year: 439% increase
- The year through March: 794% increase
What I’ve Learned:
- Exclusivity can be a killer way to grow your business. One example I heard about this month was of a website designer who, instead of being like everyone else, offers a 2-week sprint for her clients. You get to spend two full weeks with her, she is only working on YOUR website. After the 2 weeks is up you’ll have a completed site – which if you know anything about web design is a miracle upon itself.
This also allows her to make sure her clients have EVERYthing ready to go on Day 1. Instead of waiting for access to WordPress, or the images they want to use, or the copy, it’s all going to be done that time. She charges a decent price, about double what the average designer charges.I think this is a genius way to do business and I want to find a way to incorporate this into my business.
- Books I’ve Read
I didn’t get much reading done this month. Aside from reading the Effective Executive, which is a book I 100% approve of. I didn’t even finish it yet but was blown away by the first 100 or so pages. I plan to re-rent it from the library soon and finish it up.
Goal Progress for March 2018
As a reminder, here are my overall goals for 2018:
1. Step up my networking game – Nailed it!
I went to 4 networking event in March:
- The Soloist Collective – this is a new group that launched in New York and quickly spread to the Philadelphia area. Keep an eye out across the US because it’s expanding rapidly!
- SELF Philly – This is a meetup group for people who are self-employed or are working towards it (as the name implies). It’s always great to hang out with people who are not in your industry, but have great perspectives on business.
- Hubspot User Group Meetup (HUG) – This was an event held at a coworking space called Make Offices here in Philadelphia. As the name implies, many of the folks use Hubspot and are big into inbound marketing. I met a lot of great people here as well, AND won a free month to Make Offices which starts in May! Woohoo! Talk about ROI 😉
- Another SEO Meetup put on by IFTF – This one was about doing automated testing with SEO, and was not as great as the first event put on by this group. I also made a mistake and showed up at the wrong WeWork! So then I had to jump back on the subway and head to the correct one.Of course, that made me about 30 minutes late but it was still a good time.
2. Niche down and focus on a few clients – completed in February
3. Content marketing and inbound leads – Semi-Success
I launched a new Instagram account for my agency, which isn’t traditional content marketing, but it’s going to contribute to that just the same.
1st Quarter Goals:
1. Increase sales by 25% – COMPLETE
Quarter 1 Sales Goal 100%
Woohoo! I increased total sales by 26% so I just squeaked by, but I’m happy with where this puts me.
Productize My Offerings – Fail
I’m still stuck on the best way to go about doing this, so I’ll be pushing this off into Q2.
Redesigning My Site – COMPLETE!
Now that it’s done I feel so much better about how it makes our agency look online.
2nd Quarter Goals
Now that it’s officially Q2, I am going to be working on the following:
Increase sales by 87%
As of this writing, I’m 3% of the way there :O – lot’s to go!
This is going to be VERY interesting. I was barely able to make the 25% increase, and now I’m expecting myself to bring in 87% more than that! Whoa. Stay tuned.
Build Out Case Studies
In March I finally got some testimonials on my site – now it’s time to step this up. I need to start showing the value I’m providing so people are just guessing on what kind of service they are receiving.
Build out a cold outreach strategy – complete – but updates on the way!
While I did already have this setup and running – I am going to change up my strategy a bit. Cold email just isn’t my thing, I’m making people angry and it doesn’t really align with how I like to get clients, so I’m going to be changing that up.
Be a guest on 3 podcasts – restarting
I was a guest on 2 podcasts in January, one went live in February. I want to restart this goal and try to get on 3 more before the end of Q2.
Anyone interested in having someone on to talk about marketing or growing a business? 🙂
The Rest of 2018
Here is what’s coming the rest of the year and the progress I’ve made on other goals so far:
3rd Quarter Goals:
- Increase sales by 77%
- Contribute 12 guest posts – no progress
- Set up a profitable Facebook ads funnel – no progress
4th Quarter Goals:
- Increase sales by 58%
- All out marketing frenzy – no progress
Online Business Tools Worth Mentioning:
- Book Like a Boss – I got this when it was a lifetime deal through AppSumo, but I cannot get enough of it! Essentially it’s like a Calendly, but much more advanced. You can take payments through it, set up tracking pixels with Facebook or Google Ads, etc.Also, you save 25% off the regular price if you go through this link. Just sayin’ 🙂
- ConvertKit – I’ve officially migrated over my entire list to ConvertKit and love it so far. It’s running my “Freelancing With A Day Job” 7-day email series (sign up here if you haven’t gone through yet!). So far so good!
- LeadPages – I’ve been using this one since 2015 and can’t get enough. It just easily hooks into everything and allows you to create pages AND pop-up boxes like this that help you gain more subscribers easily.
I think this March and Q1 brought a lot of challenges, but I’m happy with how they turned out – I met my sales goals and cannot wait to see what Q2 has to offer.