Measuring growth in our business ventures with a quarterly review can feel like a complex and all-engrossing task of its own. Keeping track of metrics like followers, email subscribers, and site views… all these numbers can feel very cold and unfriendly at times. Especially when we are trying to generate enthusiasm to build new and exciting opportunities for your business.
I think for a lot of us the reason why we struggle so much with our data and numbers in business is that we tend to lean more on right-brained thinking – artsy and visual thinking – than the left brain – logical and linear thinking.
These very different parts of our brains coexist in such a beautiful way that inspired me to write this post about how to start using your data numbers to grow your business, even if you relate to being more of a right-brained thinker.
One of the biggest ways I’ve used my data (Google Analytics, MailChimp, Social Media to be a few) to impact my business decisions is to bake what I learn into a quarterly review. At the end of each quarter, I review the last quarter data, interpret and digest what happened in relation to my goals, and then use that knowledge to shift my plans.
I want to be honest with you. I don’t always enjoy pulling this data and taking a look at the numbers.
I’m sensitive and sometimes I get emotionally triggered as to what some of those numbers are really saying about my business (and it’s not all good). And yet, tracking these numbers has become a very natural and powerful ritual.
I take a good hard look at what is working and not working with what I’m doing online, either where I am spending my time or money, to how I’m focusing my attention on a launch and attracting the right time of visit to our site.
Below are three areas of my business that my data has greatly informed in my last Q2 review (and that has shifted my work now in Q3). I hope this will inspire you to start looking at your data more often!
In Q2 I had one of my most successful course launches and one area I paid particular attention to was where I was getting the most traffic from as I was actively promoting and doing webinars for my launch.
Being able to directly see where traffic was coming from (and which traffic was leading to actual course registrations) shifted where I was focusing my efforts.
Key Metrics I Reviewed:
- Marketing Channel Conversion Rate
- Webinar Conversion Rate
- Site Visits from Affiliate Referral Posts
My Big Takeaway:
In this launch, the biggest learning was that I was getting more traction writing for affiliate sites and building those relationships instead of creating content for my own blog. I also compared this traffic information with how people were opening my emails and attending my launch webinars, to connect the dots on which topics and subject lines were resonating more with my audiences.
Launches can feel like an emotionally intense roller coaster, but bringing in some awareness to my data brought many decisions down to earth for me.
One of the most important learnings for me last Q2 was that doing too many different types of marketing for my ideal client was ineffective, confusing and draining. I knew that I had to start getting smart about where I spent my mental juice looking for client leads and how I presented myself as a brand.
As I could feel myself getting close to feeling completely burnt out, my body knew something needed to shift but the data was also giving me all sorts of signals as well.
When I published something cohesive with my branding and that I energetically fully believed in, I was getting the most meaningful comments and interactions from women following me. I also noticed a positive spike with vanity metrics like page views, email opens, and subscribers.
Spending time with these numbers (even though sometimes looking at email open rates can bring on negative emotions) got me to consider more closely my branding as well as redefining who my ideal client really was in the first place and what kind of problem I was solving for their business.
Key Metrics I Reviewed:
- Site Visits/Leads from Marketing Channels
- Site Visits/Leads from Affiliate Sites
- Podcast Downloads
My Big Takeaway:
Because of all this analysis, I’ve made extensive adjustments in my marketing to simplify and only focus on the efforts that are serving me and my ideal client in the best way with my present situation. At the end of the day, this was my podcast and affiliate marketing. It felt scary but I decided to put Instagram and Emails more in the background, and even though I still do them, I’m not as focused attracting quality traffic from these sources.
Again, my focus was on attracting meaningful leads, with the awareness that my data was bringing me.
Another essential area of my business that I’ve been focusing on for awhile is paying attention to all the qualitative data (not hard numbers or statistics about my business) floating around my ideal client by seeing what kinds of things she’s posting online.
Things like what they suffer with right now in their business, what they are reading, what they are listening to, how they like to be worked with, how they like to be sold to, and what services they do buy, were all questions I became more and more in tune with answering.
At the end of the day, this is really about my client’s data and how what I do in my business can serve them. Suddenly, I was becoming a curious listener, picking up from other podcasts, blogs, interviews, emails, Instagram Stories, anywhere my client was emitting a signal on the internet.
Key Metrics I Reviewed:
- Types of Issues Ideal Client Suffers with
- What services do they buy online
- How do they like to work online
- How much $$ do they spend on digital services per year
My Big Takeaway:
Luckily, all this data is pretty readily available, it was just a matter of becoming more open to finding it and then storing it in a place that I could easily access later. For me, this is a combination of Google docs where I store words and language they use, service ideas, and any other information about their business.
I also have paper documentation (because I’m a total paper freak!) with about 10 different real women I’d consider my ideal client and that I’d love to work with someday. Some of those names are pretty dreamy but I like to think big. I’m constantly paying attention to what these women are talking about on their social media or email newsletters and filling in the gaps with how their needs and my services can collide (in awesome and world changing ways!).
Again, this type of data feels “warmer” and more human, but it’s still important information I can use for building services that really resonate with who I’m looking to sell to.
Looking Forward to Q3
Already this quarter has felt so different than the last in terms of where I’m spending my time and energy and I know the data has played a huge role.
I’ve started putting together notes for my next course launch based on the data I collected from the last launch and I’m feeling much calmer about my goals since I know what numbers I’m starting off with.
I’ve shifted my marketing focus and the content I’m putting out there based on data from Google Analytics to make sure I’m attracting the right type of audience, that eventually I might sell something to.
Finally, my services are feeling more in line with my goals and it’s because of the qualitative data I’ve been uncovering from real women, either through asking directly or listening neutrally to for nuggets of information.
As always, just looking at your data to make decisions isn’t enough.
Just like left and right brain, you need to incorporate both intuition and data to really fully be present in your business decisions. Making decisions where you feel a mix of fear and excitement in your stomach, when you hit send on that email pitch and jump in your seat, shaking off the nerves, can be the best for your business, especially when you know the data is backing you up.
At the end of the day, all this business stuff is a big experiment to play with, to be 100% present to and learn to enjoy at your own rhythm.
Cinthia is the part data-nerd, part creative mastermind behind Digimorph. With over four years of corporate experience in digital marketing and web analytics, she is on a mission to inspire women entrepreneurs to unleash the untapped power of their data without feeling all the overwhelm.
She offers two Google Analytics courses: Google Analytics course for Web Developers and Web Designers and another for Bloggers who want to grow their biz strategically to bring in more opportunities!