01 Jan Lessons in Marketing from 2017 and the 2018 game plan
Everyone’s heard the phrase: “The shoemaker’s children always go barefoot”… and I’m sure in pretty much every profession – that saying rings true to some degree. And in mine, it’s no exception. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in 2017, is to never get too comfortable and NEVER slack on your marketing.
Almost going bankrupt
As a relatively new digital agency owner, things were going great, looking up. Business was streaming it and we could hardly keep up. That was the middle of 2017. I started slacking on our own marketing and purely focusing on client work, not sending out our own marketing mailers anymore, rarely posting on social media and not paying attention to the website or stats at all.
For a while it was fine. And then suddenly there was nothing.
Looking back at the business stats, I really could have seen it coming. But I didn’t keep an eye on the stats. I looked at client stats every day – but hardly ever at my own stats.
And suddenly this little agency almost went belly-up!
I considered closing shop.
I became really depressed.
Everything seemed hopeless.
Usually, when someone says the phrase “look at the bright side” when things were as ominous as they were at this point, I want to punch said person in the face. But this time it was me, having to tell myself: “look at the bright side.”
Starting over is hard. But starting over with a lot of lessons learned and a lot more knowledge is actually quite exciting.
Imagine if you had to go back to high-school… but with all the ‘life experience’ that you have now. How differently would you approach each of the situations that at the time seemed impossible to you?
In a way, it’s like that.
When I entered the world of entrepreneurship two years ago, I thought I knew everything about how to run an agency. I did my research. But I had no real life experience… and working at someone else’s agency – is not quite the same as running one.
Starting over with more experience
I’m sure there are still many more lessons that I’d need to learn about the world of entrepreneurship. And two years doesn’t make me an expert on the topic. But I sure as hell know a lot more than I did two years ago.
This makes starting over exciting.
(I totally recommend watching this video by Gary Vaynerchuk: Why I love losing – there’s some harsh language… but some really good points!)
The 2018 game plan
1. No more generic content
The blog section of this blog – and every single agency I’ve seen out there – is so generic. It really feels like everybody is writing the same content over and over again. And so were we (the few times that we did post).
We won’t disregard the helpful, actionable content entirely and there will definitely still be tips, training and more on the blog. But we’re bringing it a step closer to home and we’re making it personal.
You can look forward to 2018 content being real experiences, real campaigns – that either worked or didn’t work. But no more generic online researched content that probably never added any value to you or your business.
We will share exactly what we are doing, how it’s working, or not working, and what you can do in your business to apply the same principles and get new leads and clients.
2. Testing new marketing channels
Throughout the year, we will be testing blogging, vlogging, podcasts, video ads, Facebook ads, youtube ads, Instagram ads, email marketing, different types of funnels, online courses, digital downloads and more.
And we’ll share them all with you right here.
I will do these tests both in my own business, but also for clients (as appropriate) – and will share the results with you every step of the way.
3. Inbound Net everywhere
In 2018 you’ll be seeing a lot more of me and Inbound Net. And not everything will be perfectly curated. Because let’s face it… that’s not real!
I strongly believe that in 2018, people will be craving for real connections more than ever before.
And that’s what we’re going to provide.
Live videos, real talk, webinar training sessions.
It’s about connecting with you, showing you what we’re actually doing. And documenting the growth of this ‘new’ business.
Documenting. Not just creating.
4. Inbound Net Rebranding
You might have already noticed, but we’ve undergone an entire rebranding! As part of the ‘starting over’ strategy, we’ve decided to start trading under our actual registered name: Inbound Net (PTY) Ltd.
With that, we’ve redone our entire website, brand designs and more. We’ve started phasing it in slowly, but from the 1st of January 2018, we will be officially INBOUND NET.
If you have any questions, advice, stories to share or just want to say hi, please leave a comment. Other than that, have a wonderful festive season and may 2018 be your best year yet!