As is customary at the end of a year, I spent some time over the holiday period reflecting on my key business learnings from 2014 to share with you here. 2014 was a year of significant growth for us, which involved making several big changes in the way we (and I personally) do things.
Here’s where you can find the first part in this two-part series, and to continue the sharing, these are numbers 6-10 in no particular order;
#6: Trello Project Management Tool (Free)
We started using Trello when we hired our team, and I’m in love with it already. You start off with a “board” which is how you split out the different sources or milestones. E.g. we have a board for client work, another for tasks relating to in-house projects, and another for our My Teacup Chihuahua web presence.
Next you create “cards” where you list the project or overall task – E.g. “design website header for xx client”
And inside each card, you create your “to-do checklist” where you list out each task within the project and assign it to a team member.
Our Project Manager ensures that all the jobs are added, and from my perspective it means I can easily see which tasks are being worked on, and which are waiting for feedback or have been completed, as well as see what work has been done already on each task. It’s magic – and free!
#7: Hiring staff from the Philippines
I’ve got to be honest and admit that the first time I heard the recommendation to hire employees from the Philippines, I was adamant I never would because we “owed it” to UK based jobseekers to get them into work, and “nobody in the Philippines would ever match up to the quality of hiring in the UK”.
I was wrong.
I started by reading Joe Jonas’ book “Replace Yourself”. Joe owns the site onlinejobs.ph and the book explains in detail how to find, and effectively manage staff you hire from the Philippines.
So I joined the site and we hired our first 2 amazing (Graphic Designer/Project Manager and Web Developer) employees this year. Since then I’ve coached a few of my clients through the same decision, and they’ve hired someone amazing too!
If you’re at the stage where you recognise that you are spending too much time doing tasks that don’t generate income, and want to ‘clone yourself’, keep an open mind, read the book, and decide if hiring a full time remote worker will help your boat go faster.
#8: Multiple funnel entry points
2014 was also the year I first encountered Kat Loterzo after seeing one of her books in Kindle. I was reading her latest book “The £100k a Month Formula” over Christmas, and had an a-ha moment.
Ryan Deiss talks about having multiple entry points into your conversion funnel; that is making more than one Lead Magnet and Trip Wire available, plus having multiple information products. I’ve kind of got this nailed as I have 2 Lead Magnets and Trip Wires so far, with plans for more in 2015.
I’ve also got several information products on offer – the passive income I was referring to earlier.
But the a-ha moment I got from Kat was books… Kindle books.
I’d had this mental blockage that said in order to list a book on Kindle, it had to be “book sized”. That is, at least 20,000 words.
Kat has a dozen or so Kindle books, all priced at around the £2 level, and I realised that her strategy is smart. The more opportunities you present for your audience to connect with you, the more warm leads and sales you can generate.
As long as the book/s add value to readers, they don’t have to be tens of thousands of words. In fact, for some of your ideal clients, the fact that it’s a short book may make them more likely to purchase and read your book, not less!
I published my 2nd Kindle book in November 2014, 7,000 words. Already I have gained one new private client who contacted me after finding my short book on Amazon.
Why not make 2015 the year you publish your first short book on Kindle too?
#9: Trip wires
What many business owners (including myself until last year) are missing out on, is an opportunity to benefit financially at the stage where you’re capturing email addresses from followers.
Although I had heard the term “Trip Wire” plenty of times over the years, 2014 was the year I finally got on with introducing Trip Wires into my lead generation funnel, and gaining a passive income stream.
In June 2014, I took 50 business owners through a 30-day Trip Wire Challenge, and now they too are enjoying all the benefits.
Have you added a Trip Wire to your marketing yet?
If not, would you like my help to get your Trip Wire live within the next month? Go here to find out how
#10: Live training
Leading on from #9, the final learning from 2014 was how much I love teaching live; both training delivered live virtually such as the Trip Wire Challenge and my Social Superstars University programs, and also live in-person, like I’ve been doing with VIP Days and the bi-monthly group VIP Mastermind days.
But even more importantly, not only am I most in flow teaching live, my clients have loved the live sessions too, and they’ve been getting incredible results from the more structured lessons that they participate in.
So for 2015, I am planning to run several live programs throughout the year, with the first one “The Social Expert Bootcamp” launching during January 2015. Keep your eyes open for that if you want to make 2015 the year that you claim your expert authority online, and see a significant increase in your income from Facebook and Twitter.
Now it’s over to you. What were your core learnings from 2014? If you’ve written your own blog post or recorded a video where you reveal what you took away from last year, please feel free to share the link in the comments too.