I remember being in high school and my mom telling me the smartest person was the one who learned from *other* people’s mistakes instead of their own. [It worked, btw, I was a total goodie 2 shoes book nerd theater kid].
Look, guys: being a solopreneur is HARD – even without dealing with a global pandemic, dismantling systematic racism, and fighting the patriarchy, ok? Do yourself a favor and STACK THE DECK by learning from other solopreneurs; pay attention to what really worked for them, and especially what didn’t work. Of course, every business is different. But there’s a 100% chance reading these 2020 reviews will help you identify blind spots, or give you ideas on how to grow or change your own business.
Here’s a behind the scenes look at some highlights from this year: what worked for my business in 2020, what definitely didn’t work, and a sneak peek at what’s next in 2021 (spoiler alert set a reminder for Jan 18th…)
What worked for my business in 2020…
#1: Changing my offers / updating my pricing
This was the biggest, most comprehensive change I made in my business and it’s also what I recommend everyone do at the beginning of the year, and even the beginning of every quarter.
PRUNE YOUR OFFERS AND SERVICES & UPDATE YOUR PRICING.
First, I got really clear on what offers had the best return on investment and which services needed to be retired. As Marie Forleo says, “simplify to amplify”. If something costs too much time, money, or effort to make – stop offering it. Your business is like a garden; you have to prune stuff back in order for it to rest, focus, and then BLOOM. If you keep watering all the dead and dying stuff, you’re wasting energy that could be spent doing more of what you love.
I got rid of 1:1 clients completely which was a huge financial change at first and I was scared I’d made a huge mistake. But after a 8 months, I got used to saying ‘no’ to the dollar-for-hours copywriting jobs and began to see the payoff reflected in the courses and templates I now had time to create and offer. I can help WAY more people by offering a high-converting email template than I can by charging for one-off custom work & that makes my soul happy. The bank account will follow.
Next, I updated my pricing and business model for the products and services I did keep. I changed my pricing to 3 ‘tiers’ at the recommendation of a biz coach. The tiers are:
Tier 1: Entry-level investment for a mini course or template (between $27-$47)
Tier 2: Mid-level investment for live trainings and more comprehensive templates (around $97-$147)
Tier 3: Premium Offer- my signature course $397 (this is still too low but I’m incrementally increasing prices as I grow)
I also changed my signature course “Copy Class” from an evergreen offer (available all the time) to a cart open/close model. It’s now only open for enrollment twice a year- this allows me to be fully present for my students and encourages people who are on the fence to sign up or miss out!
I also created a new PRICING PLAN for ‘Copy Class’ that starts at just $77. Will report back on the results!
#2: Refining my personal brand
Even professional marketers need to do a brand audit every once in awhile! I partnered up with professional branding expert Brittany Krystle on some content this year and it really altered my perspective.
I also made a big decision that I’m going to invest in hiring a web designer this year. I know exactly who my ideal customer is (hi, it’s YOU! Yes, YOU reading this, you badass solopreneur leaning new things, you!) and I know how I want people to feel when they land on my website and experience my brand. BUT…there’s only so much I can do with a DIY website. Stay tuned for the new site coming spring 2021!
#3: Giving back and speaking out
Black lives matter. Period. The biggest take away from this year is that I, like most of us, have a LOT of work to do in the diversity department. I’m proud to say I was able to donate $1500+ of funds, time & resources to organizations that benefit and support BIPOC and especially black-owned businesses. I’m just getting started.
#4: Editing my own damn copy
Lol. Yup. It had been a minute since I’d edited my own website copy. But knowing what I know, it took me less than an hour to fully re-vamp my website to drive to my new email template offers instead of outdated dollars-for-hours copy services. My sales have tripled.
The reason copywriting skills are so valuable is that you’re *always* going to need them. Your copy is a living thing- it needs care and attention to help you & your business grow!
#5: Pruning platforms!
This was actually insane. Like lots of small business owners this year, I got real about my finances. I audited allll the platforms I was paying for and ended up getting rid of more than half of them- and/or downgrading to a less expensive membership plan.
This ended up saving me about $150/month which adds up to $1800/year!! That’s no small potatoes
#6: Saying ‘no’
Omg. I still have SUCH a hard time with this – but over and over again I learn that my mental health HAS to come first. You cannot pour from an empty cup. Say no to as much as you can so you can FOCUS on your purpose. If it’s not bringing you joy or money, it can go.
#7: Saying ‘Yes’! (To podcasts and partnerships that made actual sense)
One of the best things I did in 2020 was put myself out there to be a guest on podcasts that align with my mission- helping women and solopreneurs build their businesses in a supportive, non-”sales”y way. I found podcasts that TRULY offer value to their listeners and did a crap-ton of guest appearances.
The coolest part of this was I made some amazing new friends in the middle of a pandemic. Kate Kordsmeier, Emily Thomas, Brittany Krystle, Shannon Mattern, Guinwa Zeineddine, Alecia St. Germain, Aaron Hunt, Nicole Swartz, Lauren Quirke…the list goes on. It was SO ENERGIZING to connect with these phenomenal women – not just to talk “business”-y stuff, but to get DEEP about mental health, too.
Because I got WAY more comfortable doing keynotes and podcasts, I ended up booking some insanely huge speaking opportunities as a result. I was asked to give a speech at Hubsopt’s Inbound conference in the fall- the biggest marketing conference in the country. I even won an award or two.
And…ahem…there just might be some exciting news coming about SXSW 2021…couch-cough.
What didn’t work for my business in 2020?
#1: Doing it all by myself
One of my first priorities in 2021 will be outsourcing and hiring. It’s a trust/control thing and I gotta get outta my “perfectionist” mindset! If you’re great at operations, web design, or Kajabi…Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org – I wanna hire you.
#2: A “lazy” launch
OK. So there’s this famous copywriter who talks about the power of “lazy” launches and I’m really happy it works for them but…it produced ‘meh’ results for me. I didn’t do a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT or build-up to the release of my amazing e-mail templates. They’re awesome & they deserved more fanfare, tbh.
#3: Forgetting to recycle content on multiple platforms
I forgot to take my own dang advice! You can 100% post the same content on multiple platforms because not every follower is going to see every single piece of content! In 2021 my wise words will go up on my blog, Pinterest, and LinkedIn as well as my insta & emails!
Also, dudes, I’m convinced LinkedIn is the platform of the future. Instagram will always be #1 in my heart, but as far as business opportunity…I’m seeing huge growth on LI.
What’s next…BIG NEWS!!!!
#1: COPY CLASS IS COMING BACK JAN 18th for 2 WEEKS ONLY!
My signature course that teaches non-writers how to write words that sell is re-opening for enrollment Jan 18th- Feb 1. Learning to write your own copy will save you THOUSANDS $$$ – if you don’t already have it, you can learn more about Copy Class here.
#2: NEW offer: ‘Copy Class LIVE’! – Fridays in February…
This is a NEW offer to both past, and current ‘Copy Class’ students; join me LIVE every Friday in February for a Q&A and in-depth discussion of each module of Copy Class…(currently the only way to work with me!).
This is a supplemental add-on to ‘Copy Class’ – If you need a kick in the butt to start, or like a little extra accountability, or have personal questions you want answered, join me for Copy Class LIVE!
#3: WEBSITE TEMPLATES!
Even though they had a “lazy” launch, you guys LOVED my pre-written email templates and have been asking for website templates, too. I’m working on it to make 100% sure they’re effective and easily implemented for all! It will be a while till they’re ready, but they’re on the horizon!
#4: New FREEBIES!
Y’all know I loooove giving away the good sh*t for free! Expect updated, high-value freebies VERY VERY VERY soon!
Make sure you already have all my existing freebies HERE.
& Check out this new free class I co-hosted with my Friend Nicole Swartz of on Instagram Live, “How to name your brand & protect it with a trademark”