Our 2019 Business Goals Revealed
Welcome to 2019! 🎊 We don’t know about you but we love being a business owners during this time of the year. A time when so many exciting opportunities are just waiting to be tapped into. Looking back at 2018, we can easily identify the things that worked for our business and the things that didn’t. Since we use this blog as a platform to share useful information with other creative entrepreneurs, we wanted to give you the countdown of discoveries we made in 2018 and how we’re using them to reshape our business goals for this year.
Discovery #5: Social media drives website traffic, NOT sales.
In reviewing our 2018 website stats, social media accounted for 24% of our traffic. However, we cannot link Facebook or Instagram to a single sale we made last year. In fact, the leads that were generated by social media turned out to be fairly poor. Considering the time investment we made in managing our platforms (not to mention the money we spent on paid campaigns), this was a complete bummer.
(To hear more about our frustrations with social media last year, check out this blog post: The Only Reason We’re On Instagram)
Goal #5: Network more.
So what did generate the most business for us last year? Good old word of mouth! If only we could hide behind our computers all day and not have to get in front of people though! Networking can feel uncomfortable but, unfortunately, getting out of one’s comfort zone usually leads to spectacular things!
That said, one of our goals for this year is to do more networking. And by networking, we don’t just mean attending Chamber events and things of that nature. We mean, talking about Little Marketing Genius Every Single Chance we get. Whether it’s during a pedicure or indulging in craft beer at a local brewery, if there’s a chance to plug LMG, we’re taking it!
Discovery #4: We need to streamline our processes.
One key thing we learned in 2018 was that some of the technology we had been using simply didn’t fit our business. The email platform we chose felt clunky. Our invoicing software didn’t do everything we wanted it to. And managing social media accounts was quite the process. The result: spending way more time than we needed to on battling technology!
Goal #4: Invest in technology.
During the last quarter of 2018, we began researching technology that would streamline our business processes. We’re happy to report that we believe to have finally found the right platforms!
Investing in technology can be frightening for a small business owner … especially when revenue is in flux. What we learned is that using the wrong technology can actually cost you in the end.
Discovery #3: People love our blog.
Our blog is by far the most popular section of our website. Nearly all of the leads we get from Google and other search engines are because of our blog.
Throughout the course of 2018, we published posts but our schedule was inconsistent. We hosted a Tuesday Tips series over the summer but then didn’t blog at all in September and October. (This was a huge mistake because the blog had gained so much traction from the Tips series!)
Goal #3: Consistently blog.
We preach it to you guys all the time but didn’t do a very good job of it ourselves last year. We’re a small agency so creating content for our business at the same time as creating content for our clients can be a challenge … but we are always up for a challenge.
For 2019, we’re committing to at least one blog post per week, every week. That’s a lot of content so if you have any suggestions for topics, please feel free to share them with us below! 👇🏼
Discovery #2: The struggle of reaching your target buyer persona is real … if you’re not 200% clear on who that person is.
When we launched Little Marketing Genius, we had a pretty good idea of the types of clients we wanted to serve. However, pretty good is definitely not good enough when you’re talking buyer personas. In order to reach the people you want to serve or sell something to, you have to know much more about them than a few basic demographics. It requires going deeper than that. What hobbies does this person have? What are their favorite brands? What blogs do they read? The list of questions goes on and on.
Last year, we came to the stunning realization of how important getting super specific on your buyer persona really is. We took on a handful of clients that were not a good match for us and we struggled getting in front of those who would be the perfect match.
Goal #2: Create a robust and comprehensive profile of our buyer persona and build a new marketing strategy around it.
We began the process in December and we’re almost finished building out our persona. The next step will be to interview the clients who most closely fit this description so we can learn even more. Building the right persona is an intense exercise to go through but well worth it in the long run. We wish we had gotten more specific on our persona sooner in the game but we’ll chalk it up to yet another learning experience.
Need help revamping your buyer persona? Check out HubSpot’s free Make My Persona tool!
Discovery #1: The riches are in the niches.
Ok folks, this is our biggest discovery of 2018. We first heard about the concept of niching down when we attended Inbound 2018, a conference hosted by HubSpot every year. One of our favorite marketing gurus, Karl Sakas presented a seminar on how to attract the right clients. As part of this, he talked about vertical specialization:
Now, while Karl only consults agencies, this concept can apply to most businesses. We found it to be compelling but drastically thinning out our pool of prospects just seemed too scary for us at the time.
Fast-forward to the end of 2018. We were taking a web design business course by Paige Brunton and she highly recommended doing the same thing. Her words: the riches are in the niches!
Goal #1: We’re niching down!
While we can’t share all of the details on this just yet, 🙊 we can tell you we’ll be making some big changes in 2019! We’re going to get laser-focused on who we serve and the types of services we provide. We started preparing in December and probably won’t be ready to roll them out until the summer of this year so stay tuned!
We can’t wait to see what the New Year brings. We hope you have exciting things in store for your business as well. Comment below if you want to share any of your 2019 goals with us!