It’s been a full year since I decided to redesign my website, rebrand myself and my business and align everything I do with my values.
A year ago, I decided that I would only do what feels right. I was clear with my objectives, and I decided that I wouldn’t use any marketing technique that felt uncomfortable for me.
I decided to use social media in a very limited fashion, there are no share buttons on my site, and there are no links to my social media accounts. For social media experts, I went completely crazy.
On top of that, I removed all pop-ups, welcome gates or any other thing that could annoy my readers. I also decided to stop giving a freebie to lure someone to join my subscriber list.
Once I was free from the idea of doing those things, I decided that my subscribers should get the articles before I published here on the site, as they have given me a vote of confidence by allowing me to reach their inbox every week.
If we take a good look at all the changes I made, we could resume them as I would take all the traditional marketeer convention and toss it out the window to focus only on what made my energy flow positively.
And the results are astonishing to me.
First, let’s get the obvious out of the way, none of my social media accounts grew in any significant way. I think I won like ten new followers on Instagram, and I lost a few on twitter, but as I’m not focusing on those platforms, I don’t feel like those results really matter to me.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for all the followers and likes I have, but they are not the way I measure the success in my business.
The next is something that I pay more attention to, my email subscribers. At the beginning of last year, I started with two subscribers: A dear friend of mine and my own test email.
At the time of writing, I currently have 14 subscribers, and yeah, those still include my friend and my test email, so a grand total of 12 subscribers.
To be honest, I had more than 12 people subscribing to the list, but I tend to remove anyone who doesn’t open any email for 3 months, so that brings my list down.
The reason I delete subscribers is that I don’t want to bother people in their inbox if they are no longer interested in what I have to say. I think that frees them from the burden of ignoring my emails and at least I don’t contribute to creating a messier inbox for them.
So, these 12 amazing people who are still subscribed and open my emails nearly every week. Thank you! I’m grateful because most of you have emailed me back about my writing. I try to do my best every week for you, and you have a special place in my heart.
“But, Alex, those numbers are abysmal, how can you be happy about them?”, I hear you say.
Simple, because my goals revolve around having an engaged email list, happy customers who rave about working with me, and revenue growth.
When I take a look at those numbers, I know I’m heading in the right direction.
My list engagement rate is a nice 73%. That means people are opening at least 3 emails every month. I call that a success!
I have collected a significant number of testimonials, referral clients and a considerable amount of people that work with me on a monthly basis. Compared to last year, I have a constant flow of work from old and new clients.
As for revenue, it’s up a staggering 120% compared to last year. It’s still now where I want it, as I still want to grow my business more so I can help more people achieve their goals, but I’m quite happy with the results so far.
So with that out of the way, I want to share a couple of things that I have learned along the road.
Don’t pay attention to vanity metrics, focus on the numbers that really matter to you!
For me, a massive number of social media followers and subscribers are not important at all. Those numbers don’t mean that much to me as I prefer to have a small audience that loves what I do instead of a vast audience that is somewhat interested.
You should take the time to define what’s the most important thing for you and your business. Revenue is one of the easiest ones, as you can do a lot of things with more money, but you should also include other metrics.
For me, as I said above, is customer happiness. I love to see people happy, as that help them grow their business. It’s a win-win situation!
Be ready for any setbacks along the way, and anticipate any curve balls!
You don’t need a magic crystal ball to tell you all about the future. Life is full of surprises, some good and some bad. If you prepare for bad times, you will have an easier time moving forward.
For example, during this year, my family and I have experienced a ton of health-related issues. Nothing life-threatening, but that definitely took me away from my computer.
Since I try to manage my work and stay ahead of most of my deadlines, I was able to take off a few days to attend to family matters and to devote more time each day to my health. I also took the time to build a good emergency fund, so I wasn’t strapped for cash.
So, take the time to build a nice emergency fund that covers at the very least 3 months of your expenses. Believe me, it’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.
Focus on your health and well-being
As I have said countless times before, you are the heart and soul of your business. If you are not able to work, both your life and business will suffer.
I had to learn this lesson the hard way. You see, I’m a natural workaholic, I love what I do, and if I’m not careful, I can keep working until I collapse in front of my computer.
Learning to take breaks, exercising and devoting time to prepare healthy meals was a huge challenge for me as I felt I was taking time away from my work.
But soon I found that if I was well rested, ate good healthy meals, exercised regularly and had good mental hygiene, I was able to tackle even more work within less time.
If you feel amazing in your own skin, you will radiate positive energy, and your body and brain will be able to tackle any challenges in front of you. Suddenly, you can go from wishing the day had more hours to not knowing what to do with all the extra time you have.
Believe me, every minute you devote to your well-being is worth far more than an hour trying to complete your work fueling your body with caffeine.
And last but not least, be grateful!
It doesn’t matter if you are facing huge challenges or if you are navigating smoothly without any worry. Always be grateful for what you have.
The past few years have been quite challenging for me, but I have learned that I always have a reason to be grateful, even if it’s just as simple as being thankful for the roof on my head and the food on my table.
I know this may sound “woo-woo” again, but it’s easy to overlook the small things in your life that bring you joy. I urge you to devote at least a little bit of time each day to acknowledge them.
There will be days when being grateful is hard, but those are the days when you need it the most. When you feel like you have no time for gratitude, stop, and just find one thing you are grateful for, I bet you will feel better after that small break.
And before I stop writing, I want to thank you again for joining me on my journey. I know you take a bit of time of your day to read my articles, and I’m genuinely grateful for that. And I hope my writing keeps helping you even if just a little bit during the next year.