[328] The three numbers you should focus on in your business in 2019

the three numbers you should focus on in 2019

Want to make more money in your business in 2019? Then you need to start tracking key marketing metrics in your business. But which numbers should you be monitoring and how often?

In this podcast episode, I share the three numbers you must focus on to grow your business in 2019.

{Click on the player below to listen to the podcast episode or read on for a detailed overview. Scroll down to the bottom to read the show notes}

1.Your email subscribers

First off...a reality check.

While you may make the odd sale on social media, the majority of sales will happen in your inbox. Which is why building your email list is the single most important thing you can do in your business.

But here’s the thing.

The average conversion rate for online sales is 1-2%.

Which means for every 100 people on your email list, only a small number will actually buy from you.

If you’re a coach selling 1-2-1 coaching and need 20 clients a year, you may only need a thousand or so on your email list.

If you sell low-priced products or online courses/memberships you’ll almost certainly need to shoot for 10k or beyond.

When you get more experienced at email marketing, your conversion rates may improve. For example, my Media Diary converts at around 7%. This is great, but it still means the majority of people I’m marketing to are either saying ‘no’ or completely ignoring me.

So whatever it is you’re selling…you need a much bigger email list than you think.

The trouble is, most people don’t give away their email address without a good reason. Which is why you need to create a ‘lead magnet’ to encourage them to join your list.

A lead magnet is a resource/offer you create to encourage people to join your email list. A great lead magnet solves a specific problem for a specific type of ideal client/customer and gives them a quick win.

My audience calculator which tells you how many email subscribers you need to reach your sales targets - is a good example of an effective lead magnet. 

My marketing checklist - which set out the marketing activities you need to do to achieve key income goals in your business (1k, 2k, 5k and 10k a month) is another good example. At the time of writing, it’s added around 1700 new subscribers to my list - in just a few months.

Lead magnet ideas for product-based businesses

If you have a product-based business, you may think offering discount codes is the only way to add subscribers to your email list. But while this can work well initially, you may find people unsubscribe from your list as soon as they’ve used their discount code. This is why creating an information product can be a much better long-term strategy.

I created an information product as a lead magnet for my 2019 Media Diary - a downloadable media calendar you can use to plan out your content for the coming year and includes key awareness days/dates for January.  Essentially, it's a DIY version of the diary - which gives people a taste of what it might be like to use the diary for content planning.

Check out my 2019 Media Calendar. 

If you’re stuck for ideas, remember that you don’t just sell products, you’re an expert in what you sell. 

So if you sell coffee pods, you’re an expert in coffee. Which means you could create a downloadable guide on the best coffee pod machines, how to recycle coffee pods or a gift guide for coffee lovers, for example. 

If you sell handmade children’s clothing, you’re an expert in making children’s clothes. This means you could create a downloadable guide on how to source handmade children’s clothing, how to sell second-hand children’s clothing or even give away some of your sewing patterns (you may think this sounds counterintuitive, but most people will try to follow your patterns, then realise it’s easier to outsource it - and who is the first person they’ll think of?).

If you sell dog coats for whippets like Debbie Humphrey, founder of Redhound for Dogs, you’re probably an expert in All Things Whippet Related. Which means you could create a guide on how to measure your dog for a new coat, give away recipes for whippets or even a gift guide for dog lovers.

Learn how to get started with email marketing.

2. Your website traffic

The second number you need to be tracking in your business is your website traffic. But before you start monitoring the metrics, you must first understand how to drive traffic to your website.

You do this by publishing regular, high-quality content on your website that solves your ideal customers’ problems - on topics they are actually searching for in Google.

For example, my blog post on how to write an effective press release for your small business appears on the first page of Google. Despite being a few years old (I recently updated the post) it sends hundreds of visitors to my website every single week. Not only has this helped me build my email list, it’s also helped me make tons of sales.

Start with keyword research: It’s not enough to publish a weekly blog post on something that’s grabbed your interest. If you want to drive traffic to your website, you need to be strategic about it - creating content around the keywords your customers are actually searching for in Google.

There are many resources out there to help you with keyword research, but my personal favourites are:

KW Finder

Google KeyWord Planner

LSI Graph

Answer The Public

Publish high-quality content weekly: When I look at the people in my industry (marketing and business) with large audiences - for example Andrew and Pete, Chris Ducker and Jessica Lorimer - they all have one thing in common. They publish consistent, high-quality content - week in, week out - and have been doing so for years.

Over the past five years I’ve been building my own online audience, I’ve published over 300 podcasts and hundreds of blog posts and published a book (plus run dozens of free webinars and challenges) - all addressing my ideal customers/clients concerns. Which is how I’ve managed to build my audience - and crucially, my email list.

If you want to attract traffic to your website, I recommend publishing at least one high-quality piece of content on your website every week.

Grow your social media following: Publishing regular social media content will help drive traffic to your website - and your lead magnet - which will help you grow your email subscribers.

Create guest content: Giving podcast interviews and/or collaborating on guest blogs can be a great way to get in front of new audiences and drive traffic back to your website. Learn how to land guest podcast interviews. 

Use Pinterest: Pinterest is a visual search engine that will help drive more traffic to your site. Pinning your own content - and other peoples’ - could have a big impact on your web traffic. Mine has increased 500% since I started using it regularly. Learn why you should be using Pinterest in 2019. 

Be patient: It’s worth pointing out that nobody wakes up being a brilliant podcaster, YouTuber or blogger. You have to learn your craft, and you have to learn through experience.

The key thing is to solve your customers’ problems - and you don’t need to have tons of followers to start making an impact. For example, I bought the t-shirt I’m wearing in the video below after seeing Mama Love London founder Beth Campagna’s video on what to wear with a pleated skirt. I’d never have bought this t-shirt on its own – because I wouldn’t have known how to wear it. Seeing Beth demo how to wear it with different outfits not only gave me the confidence I could carry it off, it reassured me I had something to wear with it. I bought a hoodie and another t-shirt after watching some of her other videos.

I share this because when you start out with blogging/vlogging, it’s easy to get frustrated because you don’t have millions of followers/likes/views.

But if you keep showing up, creating valuable content - and focus on creating the best possible content in your industry/space  - you WILL start to build your audience.

How to track your web traffic 

It’s easy to get bogged down in tracking page views and visits, but I think it's more important to look at behaviour i.e. what pages are people visiting most/least, which pages are they arriving on/leaving from, how long are they spending on the site (and on particular pages). This will allow you to do more of the things that are working and less of the things that aren’t.

To that end, these are the key metrics you should track every week using Google Analytics.

  • Mobile usage (Google indexes this first)
  • Time on site
  • Landing page/exit pages
  • Popular pages/posts
  • Bounce rate
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Buffer
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

3. Your social media followers

First off, I want to dispel the myth that it doesn’t matter how many social media followers you have.

Actually it does matter - a lot.

While quality is always better than quantity, the more social media followers you have (providing they are your ideal customers/clients) the more traffic you’ll be able to send over to your website. This traffic can be converted into email subscribers and sales.

Don't try to build your social media following on every platform though - at least not at the same time. If you've done your research, you should know which platform(s) your ideal customers/clients are hanging out on. So if you know they’re over on Twitter and LinkedIn, it's better for you to really focus solely on those platforms. In fact, it can be a good idea to focus on one platform at a time. When you get really good at sending traffic to your website from one social media platform, you can generally replicate your best strategies on another.

I wish I could tell you there was one magic strategy that would help you grow your following on every social media platform. 

Sadly I can’t.

But what I can share is strategies that typically work on most social media platforms.

These are:

  • Creating engaging content that solves your customers' problems
  • Asking questions and starting conversations (rather than broadcasting)
  • Using closed questions e.g. ‘yes or no’, ‘agree or disagree’, ‘blue, yellow or pink’
  • Automate posts but don’t just ‘set and forget’ (you need to schedule time to respond to comments)

Learn three types of social media content that will make you sales. 

The best tip I can give you is this: focus on becoming the best content creator in your space.

If you do this, you will naturally also start to get curious about how to promote that content.

For example Andrew and Pete are brilliant on YouTube. But they didn't just wake up one morning and create amazing YouTube videos that got tons of views. They learn over time by experimenting: monitoring the ‘watch time’ of their videos and experimenting with different episode lengths, questions, graphics polls, playlists (and more) to find out what was working best for them.  

There's no getting away from it: building your audience is hard. Particularly building your email list. In the short-term it can feel painful - like you're adding one subscriber at a time. But in the long term this is the thing that will have the biggest impact on the bottom line of your business.

Podcast shownotes

  • Some of the changes I will be making in 2019 (0:45)
  • Details on an exciting product / resource I’m launching this week (3:28)
  • Why you need to keep an eye on your audience numbers (8:40)
  • Why you need to focus on your email list (15:16)
  • Why the ‘magic number’ is different for everyone (18:35)
  • The importance of having a good lead magnet (and how to create one that converts) (21:41)
  • Why you need to track the traffic to your website (and how you can increase it) (30:10)
  • How to create content that people are searching for (37:00)
  • How to increase your following on social media (38:40)
  • Why collaborating will help build your audience (40:16)
  • How to use Google Analytics to analyse your own content (and find out what you should be creating more of) (43:50)
  • Why you need to focus on one social media platform at a time (51:40)

Resources

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