OK… I know that I’m a bit late to the party. It’s already January 16th and I’m just now doing my marketing review for 2017. But, in my defense, the end of 2017 was a bit nuts.
You see, when I started this marketing company, I would have never guessed that December would be the busiest month of the year for a marketing business. I would have said, NOPE… everyone just wants the holidays to get going and then start refreshed for the new year. Oh… how wrong was I?
Over the last 5 years, it’s been getting busier and busier as we’ve grown. And we keep seeing the same reasons for such a busy year end. They are:
• New clients want to get their marketing set up so that at the start of the year, they’re ready to go.
• Clients have some extra cash right now and want to put it into their marketing efforts.
• Because it’s the end of the year, new clients want to have their marketing set up now, so they can use the tax write off for that year.
Regardless of the reasons, it’s always welcome. I keep thinking that one of these years, it’s going to slow down during December… but NOPE. And believe me… I’m not complaining.
So how did 2017 go? Time for a review.
2017 Marketing Review
2017 was actually a down year for our marketing agency in terms of revenue, but it was, without a doubt, the most successful year yet.
Now I’m sure you’re wondering just how that works out.
You see, we went through the most monumental shift over the last 365 days. Now I’m not going to get into EVERY detail here, but I want to give you a recap and help you understand how important it is to not just set your goals, but to review your progress/set-back. I can break ours down into 3 phases.
Phase #1 – We Need to Niche Down
During 2016 (I know that was 2 years ago… but stick with me), we were offering a number of digital marketing services. We were offering website builds, search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click advertising (PPC), social media marketing, content marketing and pretty much anything that anyone wanted us to do. And that was a BAD thing.
When I started this business back in 2013, I wanted it to succeed (just like anyone would). I just sold my last business and I NEEDED this to succeed. I had a bit of a cushion from the sale, but my heart was in this business from day one. I loved marketing and it’s what I really wanted to do.
Therefore, I would take ANY business that anyone would offer me. Regardless of what kind of digital marketing it was, I would do it.
I’d had experience with all of it and I was certainly better at certain aspects (paid advertising) than I was at others (website builds). But it was business.
So over the next few years, I was doing ALL of this. I had 10 clients that I was doing content marketing for. 3 websites being built. MANY pay per click campaigns. You get the point.
I was all over the place. I was losing my mind because I was so busy. And I was under-performing for my clients because I was doing way too many things.
As digital marketing evolves, you have to keep up with it. It’s always changing and it was impossible for me to keep up with the changing website platforms, the Google Adwords changes, the content marketing updates, ALL of the different aspects of digital marketing changing.
I needed to concentrate on ONE area. Pick one that I’m good at. Choose one that I love to do.
PPC advertising it was!
No more website builds, no more content marketing, no more SEO. Just paid advertising.
So I spend the last half of 2016 and first part of 2017 cleaning out my portfolio. I would find other companies to send my clients to who specialized in what they were looking for. It was time to niche down.
Phase #2 – Trim the Fat
When we started to niche down, I began to notice that even though I was cutting out services, I still didn’t have the time I needed to work on client accounts. Actually what I mean is that I didn’t have time to REALLY dig down in those accounts and keep them improving. So, it was time to figure out why.
There were just too many accounts.
Now, having a lot of business is not a bad thing. It’s just that I didn’t have the right kind of business.
I also need to add in here that I’m all about growing my business and have people who help me with that. However, I wanted to grow it in the RIGHT way and not just measure it my the number of clients that we had.
Once again, we go back to the beginning when I started out this business. I would take anyone and everyone who wanted to advertise their business with PPC marketing. Even those businesses who were spending $100-$200/month (and I had a LOT of these).
The problem with those small accounts is that with that kind of ad spend, it typically takes a long time to get enough statistics to make any meaningful changes to the accounts. When an account is getting only 30 clicks a month, it can sometimes take MONTHS before I can make the right changes.
So, I turned those accounts over to the clients and even sent them a video course that I had done on how to manage a PPC account. Besides, at the time, I was charging a percentage of advertising spend and in some cases that was literally $20/month for me to manage it. And with the amount of time that we spend in the accounts each month, I was losing money in a big bad way.
All of those clients completely understood and were VERY gracious and we do appreciate that and want them to keep us in mind as they grow their businesses. We just couldn’t do the small accounts anymore.
I want to make sure that I put the right amount of time into each and every client that we have as that’s what they’re paying for and if we can’t improve their situation consistently, then a change needs to be made.
Phase #3 – Shift the Mindset
As the year was starting to wind down, I saw our workload decrease, and it was a grim outlook. I was completely exhausted from all the changes that we’d been making. I’d completely stepped back from marketing the business (I know… I know…) and I was burned out and I was truly ready to hang up the towel.
I’d been approached from time to time to interview with companies to help them with their marketing in-house. During a weak moment I thought, maybe it was time to go and work for someone else. I thought I’d give myself a time frame.
It was the end of August 2017 and I said that if the business didn’t make a dramatic shift before December 31, 2017 then I was going to hang it up.
Now, I was OK with this. In fact, I was REALLY OK with this.
I knew that if I was to make a change, then I had to give it the best effort that I had. I needed to know that if I was going to close shop, I had to shut down knowing that I’d done everything that I could to make it the business that I wanted.
So, I spent more money that I’d ever spent on my business in my life and I hired a coach.
Yep, I hired a coach/mentor/guide… whatever you want to call them. I made the conscious effort that I’d been stuck for awhile and I needed to know how to get unstuck and make this the business that I wanted.
And you know what… it was the best decision I’d ever made in my life for my business.
I immediately started to market again, I was attracting the RIGHT types of clients, I was attracting the people I wanted to work with. I stopped doing things I shouldn’t have been doing (and delegating) and started having fun in my business again.
It was amazing. I was being consistent, I was attracting people to my company, I was destroying my goals. It was absolutely unbelievable. I just wish I’d done it sooner 🙂
But the most important part about it was…. I was making a change. The night is darkest just before the dawn.
And because of this shift, we killed it at the end of the year. And 2018, is off to a GREAT start.
So let this be a reminder to those of you who are stuck. Who didn’t have a great year. Who aren’t headed in the right direction. It’s never too late to make a change.
I’m not saying that you should go out and hire a coach (because not all of them are good). In fact, the person that I hired, was someone who I’d been researching for months.
What I am saying is that it’s NEVER too late. I made the decision to shift in August, but didn’t really get it going until November. And in those last 2 months of the year, everything changed. I didn’t wait for the new year… I did it then.
Now, I’m not looking to find another job and work for someone else. I’m planning my goals for 2018 for my business.
If you’re interested in making a shift in your business marketing, let us know. We’d love the opportunity to speak with you about how we can help you grow your business in 2018. Schedule a call with us today at: https://meetme.so/ManciniDigital
I hope you have an unbelievable 2018 in your business, in your personal life and with your family. Here’s to 2018!