In 2017 I have one goal – to be a better marketer. A better marketer of myself. A better marketer for my business. A better marketer for my clients.
To achieve that goal I started thinking about what I can do, and then I saw this tweet.
I had met Jeremy at a WordCamp a few years ago and really liked the idea. A couple weeks and a Slack channel later, we now have a fully remote marketing book club with about 8 or so people. Our goal is to read 6 different marketing books over the year and to collaborate as a book club and to create a deeper understanding of the marketing strategies and information that we read about.
For me this is a huge opportunity. While I do ready a couple marketing books every year, I don’t always keep up with the investment into reading and learning that I should. This group will be my motivation to keep reading and more importantly, to be apart of the discussion.
As a side note… This year I’ve devoted my time to growing my business by reading and learning new ways to help troubled areas. A couple examples would be overall project planning and initiation. While we do a good job and every client goes home happy, I feel like my approach is lacking. This marketing book club is just one example of my commitment to learning that I can use to benefit myself and others with.
Okay, back to it… My goal for during this experiment into broadening my marketing knowledge and seeking better strategies and structures to marketing and business strategies as a whole, is to share my experience. Over the next year I will be sharing written reviews and insights into each book I read, along with periodic posts about the book club experience. My goal is to not only share this knowledge but to create a timeline that I can look back at.
Stay tuned. The book club kicks off in a few days and I should start posting about it soon.
I wanted to write down some of my thoughts on 2016 for a few reasons. First, I don’t keep up with my blog enough. In fact I reset it almost every time I want to work with it. I want to be able to look at this post in one year to see how I’ve grown. Second, I want to be transparent about some of my successes and failures over the year so that my followers can see what it really takes to walk in my shoes. While I would say this year was far much good than bad, I still some hurdles that I need to breakthrough in 2017. Mostly this will be about my business Folsom Creative, Inc. but I will sprinkle in some bits of life too.
- This year I was able to increase the size of my staff from 2 to 4 employees. While one employee left for a better opportunity, it was still possible.
- We came within 5% of our sales target this year and have a have a huge pipeline going into 2017. I expect to double our revenue in 2017.
- We brought in over 100 new clients from another agency right at the end of the year. Talk about a wild ride. I expect to build some great business relationships with these clients and would love to see our referral business increase.
- We expanded our offerings to include more marketing services focused around content and organic growth. We also added managed hosting and maintenance packages to help create a greater bond for our digital services.
- I’m going to have another baby! The 3rd girl and probably the final child my wife and I will have. Mini Van?
- I hate conflict and this year was full of it.
- I had to let go a family member from my staff. He’s a great programmer but has a lot of life to experience before making it work for him.
- I’m not the best manager when it comes to motivating and being up front with employees.
- We din’t grow. While we hit our target, we didn’t see growth this year. I’m optimistic 2017 will be better given our 3rd and 4th quarter and prospects of new business.
Overall I would say the year split about even and that leaves me feeling odd. The hustle of business is exciting, depressing, invigorating, and stressful all at the same time. Sometimes it helps to take a break, reset your mind, and focus on taking on something one at a time.
Moving into 2017 my goals are simple. I need to execute strategies & accomplish goals at a faster pace. Keeping up with that commitment means I need to focus my priorities and to be up front with those around me and those who help me, in order to have greater success.