Are you trying to grow your creative business but aren’t sure how to measure growth? As the saying goes, you can’t grow what you can’t measure. So if you find yourself asking, “When can I afford to hire support?” or “Is all this time I’m spending on social media actually paying off?” or “Are people even reading my blog posts?,” you’re in the right place! Here’s a quick and dirty run through of the critical numbers to keep your eye on in order to grow your creative business.
Your Email List and Number of Subscribers.
The number of subscribers on your email list may be your most critical data point if growing your audience, exposure, collector base, and student base is important for business development in 2017.
Whether you’re collecting names and email addresses at an event, placing strategic email opt-ins on your website and blog, or asking interested buyers and students if they want to be added to your email list for future updates, the size (and quality) of your email list often directly correlates to the number of sales, sign-ups and attendees you receive after you hit “send.”
Make a habit of monitoring this critical number on a weekly and monthly basis to keep a pulse on the overall growth of your audience and fan base.
Interested in using email marketing to grow your creative business but haven’t picked a platform? These options are great for different reasons:
- Mailchimp helps you to get started for free (up to 2,000 subscriber). Plus there are several awesome reports that keep you informed about new sign-ups, open rates, etc.
- Convertkit is a great next step if you’re in a regular habit of sending emails to your audience and want the flexibility of creating on-boarding sequences and automating your creative business growth.
Social Media Followers & Engagement.
Spending a lot of time on social media to grow your creative business? Ever wonder whether it’s paying off or not? When social media is a priority and becomes a focus, you can clearly see how follows, likes, re-pins, and tweets increase with activity and attention. When your involvement goes up, the social media algorithms reward you with increased exposure to the people in your audience.
But quality social media use can be measured by something less obvious too: audience engagement. When your people are commenting, re-posting, and sharing your posts, they’re engaging with your brand in a deeper way. All the more reason to share beautifully and post list you’re chatting with your best friend!
Like your email subscriber stats, social media is another one to pay attention to weekly and monthly.
How do you know if social media is giving you the most return on your time investment? Google Analytics and website analytics can help with that! See below.
Increase Your Website Traffic & Sales with Analytics
Google Analytics & Website Analytics.
Website analytics answer questions like, “Is all this time I’m spending on social media actually paying off?” and “Are people even reading my blog posts?”
Analytics provide a ton of information about how people are finding your website, how many new and returning visitors you receive, and how long people are staying on your website.
New to using Google Analytics or reading the analytics built into your website? Here are two critical numbers to pay attention to weekly and monthly:
- Page Views — this data point tells you which pages people are going to on your website, which blog posts are most popular, and what content is garnering the most attention.
- Traffic Sources — the traffic sources report tells you where new people are finding you — this includes social media channels.
Don’t have Google Analytics yet? Sign up to see how your website traffic contributes to your the growth of your creative business for free!
Bookings, Commissions, Clients & Sign-Ups.
Offer services? Teach workshops? Coach? Consult? The number of new people who book time with quickly translates into how much money you’re making. In a business sense, paying attention to these numbers is as important as checking your blood pressure!
Give yourself a chance to look ahead — an entire quarter ahead. Ask yourself: “How many new clients can I work with?” “How many students do I need to fill my workshops?” “How many sessions can I offer?” Give yourself a chance to know these numbers in advance so you have targets to aim for.
Accounting Reports: Sales, Expenses, Profit & Loss, etc.
Last but not least, plan to grow your creative business by paying attention to the critical business numbers that reflect everything that’s coming in and going out.
Your accounting numbers can be your best buddies — and they’ll never lie to you! Even if you’re afraid to face them, doing so monthly will help you see where changes need to be made, how to pivot for the month ahead, how much to bring in to cover expenses, and where your sales are coming from.
A quarterly meeting with your CPA can go far too. This trusted person is there to help you understand what the numbers are telling you, and help you plan how you’ll grow your creative business further!
If you want to grow your creative business in new ways this year, make a habit of measuring your growth. Pay attention to things like your email and social media audience numbers. Learn how your website is contributing to your business with analytics. Plan your consulting, coaching, and teaching time in advance. And let your accounting numbers do the talking!
Make a date with your numbers — in fact, why not schedule a time to check in with your numbers right now?
Want to grow your creative business with support?
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