I've been thinking a lot about how to approach my 2016 Year in Review episode.
Like many other people, this year has felt particularly long. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that this was a record year for celebrity deaths and crappy politics. I promise not to go into either, although the celebrity deaths, particularly a couple of the musicians we lost this year reminds you how short life is because their music can take you back to a time and place in your life instantly. Both Prince and George Michael were huge when I was in high school (we had some fun music in the 80's). I lip-synced songs by both musicians at school (one was for a dance and one was at an assembly, in front of the entire school... wasn't shy back then either).
All that being said, the last thing I want to do is write about or focus on the negativity... we've all had plenty of that and it's time to turn the page on it.
My intention with this episode and post is to look back as objectively as I can, acknowledge what worked, what didn't, and share why I'm so excited about 2017.
The easiest way for me to break down 2016 is in chunks... we'll look at each quarter of the year (hopefully I can remember everything worth sharing without having to go back to a calendar).
First Quarter of 2016
It's a little crazy when I think about what was happening at the beginning of 2016 and where I was headed (compared to where I am).
I had hired Jason Hornung to create a Facebook ad strategy for my 'podcasting done for you' service. We started working together in December of 2015 and in January I flew back to Wisconsin to spend a few days with him and a few other entrepreneurs as we worked through our ad campaigns, strategies, copy, and funnels. The whole enchilada.
To say it was an intense (but amazing) few days is an understatement.
I learned a TON about Facebook ads in general (and will be going back to his training when I get ready to launch my next campaign), had a very successful campaign (more on that in a minute), and walked away with an education unlike anything else I had experienced. What I mean by that is that is was like a lightbulb finally went off for me after all these years. After having spent the last couple of years in a mastermind (which was a great experience), I understood the value and importance of having a solid foundation and mastery of the fundamentals. I've been talking about this for months (mastering the fundamentals) and will probably continue to talk about it because it's made a HUGE difference.
Outcome of Podcast campaign:
My investment with Jason wasn't cheap, but it was worth it. It was a $15k investment: they did all the research, created my funnel, ad & worked with me on testing and tweaking. I also spent a couple days in his office with a few other entrepreneurs to dive deep into Facebook advertising. It was really a great experience (a little overwhelming in that there was a LOT of information). My total ad spend before shutting the campaign off was $2500. I got one podcast client ($7k) and ended up with her on a recurring retainer as well (so the campaign itself was paid for). During this time I also signed another podcast client ($6k... the first one included a site makeover and we gave her a discount for being a podcast client), so between those two clients and the retainer I've made my investment back completely. I turned the ads off after a month because it still needed more testing and tweaking (it was converting well, I gained about 900 subscribers in the process) and wanted to step back and evaluate things.
During this time I also had website clients I was working with so I felt a little squeezed (hence ending the 'done for you' element of my business).
It is without a doubt worth hiring the right people for mentoring. I got very clear after having worked with Jason that the only type of mentor I would hire was someone who could help me with a tangible piece of my business...