Are you looking to work less? Um, yes please!
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I am doing a bit of practicing what I preach and scaling back my workload this month. And how do I know that my business won’t completely disappear? Or you won’t forget my podcast for the next 4 weeks? Because I have made a practice of analyzing my numbers on a regular basis so I can lean into my priorities and work less.
And if “analyze” sounds complicated or scary to you, we can call it knowing your numbers. Or charting your numbers. Or tracking your followers…tracking of course meaning how they are responding to you and not like they are a wild turkey. 🦃
Knowing your numbers helps you to see patterns and growth. It helps you identify where to lean in. And where you can let go. It helps you develop content your community will respond to based on what they’ve already told you they like. And all of this helps you work less by working productively.
If you can take some time on a regular basis to chart all the measurable numbers in your business, you too will start to see patterns. And these patterns are what will help you focus your efforts and show up where your customers are delivering what they want from you.
How Can Tracking Help Me Work Less?
It’s very easy to think “I just don’t have time to look back, I want to keep moving forward.” Trust me, I’ve been there. But all the hustle in the world doesn’t mean you’re connecting with potential clients. A viral Instagram post won’t necessarily translate to dollar signs. Burning yourself out doing all the things in all the places won’t grow that “know, like, and trust” factor with the people you want to work with.
As we head into the busy holiday season and the start of 2021, you might feel overwhelmed by trying to plan what the future of your business looks like. Or you might be thinking “screw it, it’s the holidays, I’ll worry about my business in January.” It can be very stressful when you find your brain in so many places at one time.
But when you can start the practice of knowing your numbers, you can see the places to scale back when your mom life gets busy, like during the holiday season. And when you start to plan for January and quarter 1, you can create content and promotions for your ideal audience based on what they’ve told you they want in the places where they want to hear from you.
Knowing your numbers can also help you create content when your exhausted mom brain just doesn’t know what to say any more. You have a list of what your audience liked in the past…all you have to do is figure out a new way to present it. Or drill down deeper into the topic they’ve told you they want to hear about.
And finally, knowing your numbers helps you stay present with your family. Hear me out…the numbers tell you where to be and what to present, from content to products. They also tell you what is most important…your priorities, if you will. Once you know those priority tasks on a daily or weekly basis, you can schedule a time to complete those, knowing the truly urgent and important tasks will be done. Leaving you plenty of time for family game nights, holiday lights, or caring for sick children. Because, tis the season, unfortunately.
Start Knowing Your Number to Work Less
Creating a way to track your numbers is easier than you might think. Of course, you can make it more complicated if you want. but honestly, a basic Excel spreadsheet works.
To start, in the first column, list all the places you show up for marketing. Be sure to include social media platforms, email opt-ins, blog posts, and website statistics. Next, create columns for each month by name or week by date.
If you are just starting out, tracking monthly may give you enough data so you know where to lean in. If you want to dive into weekly recording, be my guest. What’s most important is that you are consistent so you can see the patterns. Where are your followers connecting with your content? Which items have the most purchases or views in your store? What do your potential customers respond to when it comes to social media posts? This is part 2 of my know your numbers process.
It’s not just the numbers of followers, email subscribers, or sales but also the types of content your community responds to. Are there certain angles of your product pictures that received more likes on Instagram? Is there a certain opt-in that resonates more with your potential clients? How are your website visitors finding you? And which sites refer the most viewers?
All these data points from where you are growing to what your audience is responding to helps to inform what you do going forward. Does your audience love when you post quotes? Incorporate more of them into your feed. Do they like a particular style or color of shirt in your boutique? Search out additional items based on what they like. If you are spending tons of time creating content for Facebook but it isn’t referring any traffic to your website, lean into Pinterest more because customers are actually finding you there. You don’t have to be all the places. And you don’t have to constantly recreate the wheel.
Your numbers tell a story. As a result, that story can help you scale back or ramp up. And giving your audience more of what they want where they want it is only going to improve your reach and, in turn, your bottom line.
As we start this final month of 2020, I encourage you to take a little time to look back as you move forward. Create a list of where you show up and how many people engaged with you on that platform or in that space during the previous month.Next, look at what your community responds to…which posts, which products, what platforms lead someone from your community into potential client territory. And finally, as you start to plan for 2021, use the information you find from your monthly review of your numbers to create content and products based on what your audience already wants from you.
In conclusion, my mom entrepreneur friends, that is how you use the power of your numbers to minimize tasks. How you eliminate extra steps. How you use your time wisely and more effectively to complete tasks quicker. And spend more time with your family during the holidays or at any time of the year.
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