I am a sucker for numbers. Metrics, data, measurements. These are great stuff, they show you where you are, how things have been working for you, what to tweak, what to do more of and what you can drop to save some time, effort and money.
If you want these numbers to really fuel the growth of your biz, you need to have the right knowledge, to see the big picture, to use the right data, and to have the right mindset.
Have the Right Knowledge and Use the Right Data
To make these numbers and data work for you, you have to know what they mean and what the industry standard is. E.g. I have clients coming to me complaining about their 30% email open rate – not understanding that the average is usually 15% – 20%. Not doing your homework, in this case, creates undue stress and “beating yourself up”-ness. You will also be spending time and energy to improve something that is already going well.
Knowing how many email subscribers you have is important – but it’s just numbers if you don’t know how responsive they are – what is your conversion rate? Knowing that will help you predict if you can launch a product or program successfully. Let’s say you want to launch a group coaching program with 20 people. You have a list of 500 subscriber – meaning you need a conversion rate of 4% for it to be a go. You may think 4% is not much, but in the world of direct marketing, a 1% conversion rate is considered pretty decent. So, do you know how good your list is, in order for you to predict your revenue and success?
See the Big Picture
A lot of times we get obsessed about the numbers, go down the rabbit hole of increasing the numbers and lose sight of WHY we want to increase those numbers. You big picture goal will help you decide what data to look at and how far to drill down.
“Driving traffic”/”SEO” is one of the big offender in my opinion. Nothing wrong with optimizing your site and driving traffic – in fact, it’s part of a sound strategy to build a solid and profitable online business. However, if you place your time, energy and money on the wrong thing – driving traffic for traffic’s sake, you are not going to make money.
If you are running your business (or part of it) online, your goal (I assume) is to make money. If you are just driving traffic without having good content on your website, people will not convert – they will come, decide that it sucks, and never return again. You lose them forever. I always tell my clients to make sure they have good content and solid offerings on their site before they worry about driving traffic because when you start driving traffic, you want the traffic to be high quality and converts (that is, pay you money).
In the “traffic” department, you have to look at more than site visits – how long are people staying? Are they engaging with your content? Do they land on your site, spend a few seconds and click away? Now you can have a better idea what works what doesn’t.
Another “tunnel vision” moment I often see is people spending all their time and effort on “growing social media followings.” Again, sound online strategy, but the reality is, just having a bunch of followers is not going to make you money and have a thriving business.
Do you know how many of these followers are purchasing from you? Do you know if they click through to engage with your content and check out your offers? Oh, btw, with the ever-changing Facebook algorithms and the fast-as-lightning speed of Twitter feeds, how many people actually see your posts?
Of course, there are strategies, tactics, tools and even experts to help you track your social media interactions “all the way to the bank”. For most coaches building their biz solo, especially when you are starting out, the limited time, energy and resources make it a challenging undertaking.
Building a social media following, of course, is important. But don’t lose sight of what you are giving up (e.g. time and effort you can spend on getting clear on your business and message, crafting irresistible offerings and programs, honing in on your enrollment conversation skills and actually talking to people who would become your high-end coaching clients – signing one of those beats selling 200 7-buck ebooks!)
Followers are just numbers if you don’t have the good quality content to engage them, and the right offerings so they can PAY YOU.
Cultivate the Right Mindset
Noticed I said metrics show you “how things have been working for you” – it is great if you are learning from it to make improvements. It is not good if you allow that itty bitty shitty committee in your head to use it to sabotage you, saying things like “you see, you suck/you are not good enough in the past, what makes you think you can make it work this time?”
Another mindset discipline when you look at data is “detachment” – don’t take any of the numbers personally! Facebook changed their algorithm so fewer people see your post on your fan page doesn’t mean you suck! Traffic dropped in the holiday season doesn’t mean people don’t like you anymore! Having a few people unsubscribe from your list doesn’t mean you are no longer wanted!
Wear a curious and objective lens – What is happening “externally” that triggers the change? Identify the triggers and plan accordingly (e.g. if people are not opening emails or searching for your keywords at a certain time of the year, you may not want to do a launch around that time) What have you done differently to trigger the change? If it brings about an improvement, do more! If it causes a dip, try something else!
Numbers Don’t Judge, YOU Do
– don’t make yourself miserable with those innocent numbers!
Knowledge (translated into smart strategies), big picture perspective and mindset – that’s what I do here! If you are spinning your wheels, getting caught up with bright shiny objects and not heading where you want to go, let’s chat. You will be surprised how much clarity you get out of spending just 60 minutes with me in this complimentary My Biz My Way Breakthrough Session.