A behind-the-scenes look at what's coming up in 2019
In this past year’s 2019 subscriber survey, y’all told me you’d like to see more of the behind the scenes of how I run my business and what I’m actually up to, so this post is an effort to do exactly that!
The scary thing about telling the world on your blog what you’re up to though is that it puts on the pressure to actually make all the things happen . . . Eeeek!
So, I’ll just start this off by saying, thing change around here sometimes.
I told y’all last year that I was planning to start a daily vlog. That didn’t end up happening 😂.
Last year I also followed through on my 2018 plans for 6 months and then completely changed what I was intending to do in the second half of 2018.
I by no means see this as a negative thing. In fact, I see it as a massive benefit of running a tiny business! I can pivot pretty darn quick to create whatever y’all ask of me and I think that’s so fabulous.
I had absolutely no intentions to create a course on how to become a Squarespace website designer, but I listened to what y’all had to say, and the desire for that course was super clear.
So I cancelled all Q3 & Q4 2018 plans to create what you asked for, and it was hellah-successful, so I’m super glad I changed my plans.
Anyways, so this is what I intend to do in 2019, but let’s be real, a few things are probably going to change and that’s A-Okay with me!
So I’ll start off by answering a few specific questions you all had for me about future plans.
Do you ever think you will hire other designer to work with you (kind of like Go Live HQ) or do you like being a one woman show?
As much as I truly want coworkers, I freaking loveeee the freedom that comes with being a one woman show. The idea of running an agency really isn’t appealing to me at the moment.
When I think agency I think managing a team of designers, a lot of meetings, client deadlines and ongoing projects all year long. Honestly, that’s just not my jam at the moment. I love how my business is currently structured so that I can take off weeks whenever I want, go travel to far off destinations with no internet and just live my life.
I feel like the agency model doesn’t fit that as well. Now of course, if I were to run an agency, I could always tweak it from the traditional model to better fit my lifestyle and I know that.
I realize that as the first designer that comes up for the search term, ‘Squarespace website designer,’ I get a lot of web design inquiries and a lot of people rely on me to help them create a site. So my current set-up is that I have 2 (superrr talented) designers I send all inquiries to, but past connecting the designer and the potential client, I don’t do anything else.
Basically, I have no immediate plans to hire other designers and run an agency. I’m not saying it won’t ever happen, but there’s no plans in the near future that involve going in that direction.
Why aren’t you working with clients anymore?
In 2017 I realized pretty quickly that I was getting so many booking inquiries and there was no chance I could take on every project that came my way. I then was faced with the option of going the agency route (hiring other designers), or creating a digital product that could serve the masses.
I went the digital product route and created a course teaching how to build a fabulous Squarespace site. I went deeper with my course that any other Squarespace course currently out there. I taught all the secrets and hacks I know to students so they’d finish the course as Squarespace experts too.
If you read my Year 4 Business Anniversary post, the reason I switched from client work to courses becomes pretty clear.
In 2018, my two courses served over 300 students. In custom site design work, I served 5 clients. It took me 7 months to create, market and sell the courses. It took 4 months to serve my clients. The courses brought in about 5x the income of clients.
The impact and income possible with a digital product was much greater.
In my heart, I also really wanted to go the courses route because I knew that a custom site design was just not attainable budget-wise for a lot of new entrepreneurs and business owners. I wanted to enable the average person to create a fabulous website, not only the people who had $5,000+ to spend.
And lastly, in terms of lifestyle, courses fit my idea of living my best life better.
Do you have any new courses you’re creating?
At the moment I have no new course plans, but in the future I could imagine I’ll create more.
I have really learned to take my marching orders on what to create from what y’all tell me. I did that with my Square Secrets Business course, and its success blew me away.
So I’m currently in the phase of listening to what most clearly comes through from y’all on what you want to learn. Once it becomes clear what y’all want most, I’ll get to work creating a new course.
What are you up to next? What are your 2019 plans?
Let me just start by saying, I’m so stoked for this year! Last year I built a heck of a lot and moved pretty darn quick with this business, and I plan to steamroll on through getting-sh*t-done in 2019 just the same as before.
1) Marketing via a podcast!
Now I’ve built my courses, my goal is to get them into the hands of everyone who needs them, which means I need to get in front of those people.
So, in 2019 I’ll be content marketing, content marketing and content marketing some more!
Which means that you can expect to see a heck of a lot of content that’s aimed at helping you build and grow your business online from me this year!
Personally, I also miss having coworkers and chats with others who do what I do, so I’m merging those two things together and creating a podcast!
This will enable me to bring in the big names to teach on the many other important aspects of building your business online that I’m not an expert in. It will also hopefully mean I get to actually interact with humans during the day and not just be me-and-my-laptop-all-alone-24/7.
And, if I can figure out the tech, I also intend to have the recording of my guest and myself on YouTube too, as I know y’all want videos from me as well.
2) Ensuring my students are successful
Apart from content marketing, I’m going to be serving my students in my courses.
I truly love the Live Q+A calls I do with students and chatting in our Facebook group. And I’m pretty sure students really like getting their questions directly answered by their teacher, so it’s a win-win.
I truly want each and every one of my students to follow through and be successful. Their success is my success, so them going out and killing it is a big deal to me.
3) An online shop
Lastly, I do have plans in the works to create an online shop of digital products. Think guides, content outlines and templates for online marketing and your website. There’s a lot of knowledge I’ve built up in terms of marketing and websites that I want to make available to y’all, which doesn’t necessarily require a full-blown course, so an online shop is my answer for that!
It’s funny because my podcast and online shop were plans I intended to execute in the second half of 2018, but obviously with creating the new course you all asked for, they got pushed back.
I also intended to maybe fit them in somewhere else in the year, but I found that it wasn’t possible to do those 2 projects well if I was also serving clients. So now stopping with 1:1 clients allows me to serve more people via free content and affordable digital products which I love.
My year outline
January - Get my life/business together
February - Square Secrets course launch
March - Start podcast
April - Batch work mass recording podcast episodes + 1 week ski vacation in France
May - Square Secrets Business course launch
June - Batch work mass recording podcast episodes + create online shop and initial products
July - Vacation in Canada
August - Square Secrets course launch
September - Create online shop products
October - Batch work mass recording podcast episodes + 1 week vacation somewhere warm
November - Square Secrets Business course launch
December - TBA
If you didn’t watch my Insta story the other day, you’re probably wondering what get my business/life together in January means 😂. I ignored a few very important parts of my business and life last year because I was moving so fast on other projects.
I have a lot of loose ends I need to tie up now, including hiring a bookkeeper and changing my accounting practices, doing some Canada taxes paperwork, updating my email Welcome Sequence for new subscribers, editing my site and copy so it better aligns with what my business offers, and about 25 other things. Those are all things I plan to get together in January before I move onto other projects.
And in my personal life, I’ll also be going to language school to improve my German in January, February, and March. I’m conversational in German at the moment, but not yet confident.
I’m so, so thankful that my income isn’t tied to hours now, because in previous years when it was, learning German took a back seat. But as I’m sure you can imagine, living in a country where you’re not confident in the language can be a real pain and I’m ready to get off that struggle bus now.
So there you are, that’s why I’ve made the decisions I did and what my 2019 is going to look like! See you along for the ride!