Though this article is written for coaches, many solo entrepreneurs can use these tips in their business!
Are you in love with measurement? Or not?
As a business coach, I find that I have two types of clients: One is deeply in love with Google Analytics and spreadsheets and can quote me their page view numbers instantly; the other thinks measurement is a total waste of time. Both are wrong. Ultimately, the metric that matters in your business is whether or not you are making money! The tricky part (and where metrics helps) is knowing exactly what is contributing to the success of your business. Also, as you start adding members to your team, metrics give you a meaningful way to measure performance.
The place where people go wrong is measuring numbers that don’t matter quite as much in terms of their business. As Lars Lofgren of Kissmetrics says in his article about the vainest metrics, the goal of metrics is to help you make better decisions.
Which metrics should coaches be measuring?
In the Decisive Minds Method, we suggest that our clients measure 5 different areas: Social Media, Email, Web Traffic, Conversion Rates, and Sales. In this article, I will talk about what to measure in each of these areas, and how to use these measurements to make better decisions in your business.
To help you get started, watch my video on Tracking Your Numbers, and download my Decisive Minds Coaching Business Metrics Tracking Sheet.
Social media is an important part of building trust with your community. It can also be a huge waste of time if you aren’t tracking your results. Unlike the rest of the metrics that we’ll discuss, it is difficult to track social media directly back to sales. The goal is to get sales and leads, but it is also about building relationships that might not directly end in a sale. For example, in the past month, I’ve received several invitations to speak based on my social media activity. Yes, there will be sales involved – but they’ll be tracked from the speaking engagement not from the original conversation sparked by social media.
At Decisive Minds, we track the increase in the numbers of members in the community, how many people are viewing each post, and how many are sharing it. The sharing metric is the most important because it shows us that our content is on track. Want to know how to set up metrics for social media, check out this in-depth article from the Buffer blog on measuring your social media.
We measure open rates (how many people open an email vs. how many people the email received the email), and click rates (how many people who open an email click on a link) in our e-mail marketing. Ideally, if you regularly unsubscribe people from your list who are not opening emails, or who are not at that email address any longer, you can also measure how much money you make per subscriber on each of your offers.
Tracking your open rates can help you learn which headlines and topics work best. It can also help you learn how often and when your audience wants to hear from you. Want to learn how? Check out this article from Paul Taubman of Digital Maestro how to let your audience tell you when to send emails.
When people talk about metrics, they usually start with web traffic, or the number of people who visit a website in a given period of time. After all, the gorgeous charts produced by Google Analytics make it easy to get obsessed with page views and bounce rates (the amount of time somebody spends on the site). In a lot of ways, site traffic is only meaningful in relation to how often people take action. That being said, your metrics can tell you if your customers are getting lost on your site and not taking the desired action. Brian Bearden of Upstream Marketing wrote this post about some ways to make sure that your site is easy for your customers to navigate.
The goal of all marketing is get prospective customers to take action. A conversion rate is simply the percentage of people who took an action divided by those who could have taken the action. So, we can calculate the conversion rate of a sales page that offers a coaching program by taking the number of people who viewed the page and dividing it by the number of people who signed up. If we are holding a webinar, the conversion rate would be the number of people who viewed the sign up page divided by the number of people who signed up for the webinar.
This is probably one of your most important metrics because it is action oriented and directly measures the effectiveness of your marketing in making sales.
Finally, in the end, the goal of ANY business is to get sales, not just eyeballs. If you are not making money in your business, then something is not working. To help stay on track, we measure sales, expenses and offers made. Offers made refers to actually asking the person on the call to buy something from you.
We measure expenses because a lot of times, this is why your business isn’t making money. You can often add profit just by cutting down on purchasing unnecessary web software or ebooks.
Offers made, is actually the bedrock of a successful business. I have seen clients turn their businesses around by committing to spending 15 minutes a day making appointments and actually offering your services to the person on the call with you. It doesn’t count unless you make the offer.
Does all this sound overwhelming? It’s not. It is easy if you have a plan.© Copyright 2016 Michele A Scism