Have you ever wondered if what you’re doing day in and day out in your business is actually having an impact?
Maybe you’re looking back on the past week, month or year and feel that you have nothing to show for all those crazy long, dangerously caffeinated hours spent hunching over your laptop?
You see others in your space achieving the success you’ve hustled so hard for and wondering when it will be time for your moment in the sun?
We have to decide which stats or metrics will be most meaningful to what it is we are trying to achieve, and then commit to tracking them faithfully.
Unless you have a crystal ball, there’s really no way to know if something will work until you just dive in and try it on for yourself!
But trying new things is really only beneficial if you have a way to see if they actually worked.
Back when I was still just a one-woman show, I legit looked so forward to Monday mornings, because I knew that was the day I would sit down and track EVERYTHING in my business.
Even once I had hired my first assistant and could have handed this task off, I still held on to it for myself for quite a long time.
Because even though sorting through stats and spreadsheets may not sound super exciting and sexy, nothing lights a fire under your butt like being able to watch your numbers grow!
You’ll have all these useful insights that other business owners only dream of getting their hands on, and the best part is that they are 100% relevant to your audience and offerings.
(Not just some general business stats you Googled and have zero clue what to do with.) ♀️
So if you have yet to start tracking any sort of success metrics in your business, this is your PSA to start now, exactly where you’re at.
Don’t wait until you have more or better results to track, or even until you have a clearer idea of where your business is headed.
I promise you, you’ll wish you had started today!
So, what should you be tracking?
There are 4 categories of success metrics you’ll want to keep an eye on.
The first category of success metrics to be measuring in your business is what you are creating, or basically how it is you plan to market your business.
So if you are blogging, vlogging, podcasting, posting, whatever…you want to be keeping track of things like:
How many pieces of content you created in that time period
The general topics your content covered
When and where your content was posted
How many likes, views, page visits, or listens that bit of content received.
Watching your content trends over several weeks and months can help you decide what type of content would be most valuable for you to focus on creating in the future, and even which platform seems to be driving the most traffic to wherever your paid offerings live (A.K.A your website!)
You’ll also be able to spot cyclical trends, and be more intentional with your marketing efforts around the times when your business tends to get more engagement.
This can be something as simple as posting to Instagram at a time of day where your post is most likely to be seen by your audience, to planning months in advance for things like sales and live launches.
It also helps you to understand what’s worth your time and what basically amounts to pencil pushing in your business.
Just to give you an example, for me, Instagram brings in very very little traffic, (probably because I’m not super active on there) but either way, a few years ago I gave myself permission to take a whole year off from Instagram, and honestly never really came back to it until recently when I felt I had a bit more bandwidth for trying new ways of engaging with my audience and marketing my business.
Another thing that falls under this “what you create” category is any paid advertising you plan to do such as Facebook Ads, Google Ads, or Promoted Pins.
We find that our paid promotions tend to have a bit of a life expectancy, and that if left on too long, the cost per click or cost per lead generated starts to creep up and up.
Tracking results and any tweaks you’ve made to your campaigns lets you know when it’s time to ramp up your budget, or when it’s time to hit pause on the spending.
One last important bit of this “what you create” category is the general content that lives on your website.
So you’ll want to check in frequently with stats like your:
Domain authority (how much search engines view you as an expert on your topic)
Monthly site visitors – both new and returning users
Conversion rate – how many of those visitors actually took the action you were hoping they would
Exit pages – or where on your site you tend to lose the most people to that back or close browser button.
And so on!
If you want a list of website stats to track and how to track them, check out my post: How to set up and use Google Analytics for your Squarespace site.
Even if you are using a different platform for your website, the steps I share for finding and tracking your stats using Google Analytics should be pretty helpful for getting started!
Tracking your sales metrics is great for more than just seeing whether you’ve hit your revenue goals for that quarter!
It can actually be the easiest way to spot when something isn’t working on your site!
Building sales funnels is a complicated business, and all it takes is one broken link to seriously kill your conversion rates.
Tracking revenue is important, but it means nothing if you aren’t also tracking your expenses. So be sure to create a tab on your spreadsheet for your monthly profit margins to get a real feel for how things are going and whether things are on the up and up, or whether your business is turning into a very expensive hobby.
If you offer refunds, track those too!
But not just how often they happen!
Consider hopping on a call with customers asking for a refund, because even though some of them are truly just suffering from buyer’s remorse, there’s also a lot of great insight to be shared about how you can improve your offering, and hopefully get fewer refund requests in the future!
This can be tracking subscriber and follower growth and how and where they tend to opt-in and engage most with your business.
If all your leads tend to come out of one freebie and your other freebie is turning out to be a bit of a dud, you’ll know to stop wasting valuable real estate on your website and start plugging the one that’s doing better.
Now let’s talk quickly about audience size!
There’s this general bit of business math out there that I’ve found to be true in my own business, and it basically says that no matter your audience size, you can realistically expect to convert about 1% of those people to actual paying clients and customers.
That’s a drastically different result for a business that has 1K followers vs. one that has 10K!
But is bigger always better?
I recently went through my email list and did a MASSIVE cold subscriber clean-up.
What’s a cold subscriber? Someone who snagged your freebie opt-in gift and has been radio silent ever since. They don’t open your emails, and rather than just unsubscribing they may have even marked you as spam.
Because they are obviously not my people, they were killing my conversion rates, and honestly just bringing down my vibe.
So besides just the physical size of your audience, you want to track their behaviors as well.
Email open rates, how many times people are actually clicking the link in your email, unsubscribes, etc.
These behaviors can tell you a few things:
Whether your audience is even interested in what you’re creating. (And therefore whether you need to be more intentional about targeting the people who are genuinely interested, or your tweak offering).
That maybe your content is just fine but the delivery is all wrong.
Something as simple as changing up your subject line can make a massive difference.
But again, you won’t be able to spot these trends unless you track them!
One last success metric that falls into this category is customer feedback!
When I bring a new person on the PB team, one of the things we talk about is what that team member’s KPIs (key performance indicators) will be.
For me, it might be overall sales and conversion rates.
For my marketing gal, it’s how many new eyeballs we got the business in front of that month.
And for my assistant, who also manages the email inbox, it’s how many people hit respond and let us know how happy they are with our customer service!
So while it isn’t a number that is directly measurable, you definitely want to aim for receiving more and more of these little client and customer love notes on the daily. ✉️
You are the most important person in your business, and if you’re not having fun, you’re constantly stressed, and nothing about your business is bringing you Marie Kondo levels of joy, then you my friend are on the road to burnout.
When you feel burnt out in business, you start to resent your clients and customers, and even if you don’t mean to, it’s going to show up in what you do.
Even if you love what you do, but you are just finding yourself dealing with crazy levels of overwhelm week in and week out, it may be time to sit back and reevaluate how you run your business.
Tracking how you’re feeling and how much time you’re devoting to your business each week will help you spot what needs to be automated or streamlined in your business.
Tweaking your strategies and processes isn’t just about money either, it’s also about finding out the way you like to work, and how your business can support the lifestyle you dreamed of having when you ditched your 9-5 and became your own boss.
I love what past Square Secrets™️ & Square Secrets Business™️ Student Mariana Durst said when sharing her feedback shortly after taking the courses and starting her successful web design business:
“The level of satisfaction I have with what I’m able to accomplish and how I’m able to serve my clients is through the roof.
I’ve built my business from the ground up to support MY lifestyle and MY big-picture dreams.
Square Secrets™️ & Square Secrets Business™️ were instrumental in making that happen!
I take 4 months off a year, and I’m working on making it 6 months off in 2020, while still meeting my financial goals!”
– Mariana Durst
So while checking in on your business, be sure to check in on the person behind the business, to make sure this thing is serving you and your life as well!
So I hope this video/post gave you some ideas of what you can start measuring in your business to make sure you are on track to achieve your own version of success for whatever season of business you are in!
If you’re not sure if you should be tracking something, record it anyway – and after seeing the results of a few months you can decide whether that metric is meaningful to what you do.