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2016 Year End Review: What Worked, What Didn’t Work and Whats in Store For 2017

Can you believe that 2017 is just around the corner?  Like d$%mnnnn….where did the year go?

It just trips me out just how fast time flies in the span of a year.  Alright, I’m off the soapbox.  Now onto the post.

I want to welcome you to my first edition of my annual year end review.  2016 was a pretty good year for the YourChicGeek brand.

I’ve had the opportunity to work with some of the most awesome business owners on branding projects, website/blog redesigns and even teach peeps via my online courses in my mini-university.

All in all (especially since is this is a new brand) things have gone well.

Fair warning to you, this is going to be a pretty lengthy post my friend.  So let’s get into it.

What Worked for Me this Year?

There are several things that I did to grow my business with the internet this year and they are as follows:

#1: Blogging

When I read articles declaring that  “blogging is dead” I think to myself…what a bunch of B.S.  Blogging is far from dead my friend…

Here’s the deal:

I can tell you from past experience and from running the YourChicGeek brand that blogging works like a CHAMP!  

It’s through blogging that I was able to establish this brand, use my blog as a marketing asset, showcase the products and services that I offer, and share content that I publish here.

And….It’s through my blog that I have gotten to interact on a more personable level with my audience.  

So I can tell you without a doubt it works. Sure it takes time to get traction, but the return on investment far outweighs the negatives.   

#2:  Content Marketing like a MOFO!

Wow, what can I say!  I Blogging is one thing, but content marketing has really been the ONE activity that has driven new eyeballs to this site on a small budget too.  

I knew that If I wanted to get my content discovered online, I would have to market it like crazy!  And that’s exactly what I did using tools like Hootsuite and Revive Old Post.

For content marketing, I pretty much followed followed the 80/20 rule; 80% of my time was spent marketing, and 20% was spent creating the content.

#3: Social Media Marketing

You guys, I HEART social media.  Like for real.  I think I’m gonna get a T-shirt that says that.

But seriously…

Social media marketing is one the essential business activities that has netted me the BEST return on my investment (second to blogging).

I mean, let’s face it, these days, using social media in some capacity is extremely important, especially if you want to get your business in front of more people.

I primarily used Twitter, some Facebook Ads, and optimized by blog posts for Pinterest  with bigger graphics.    Here’s a screenshot of what my images look like for Pinterest.

Blog Images Optimized for Pinterest Traffic

How Social Media Has Worked For Me

It is Through social media marketing, I have:

  • Received all kinds of invites to participate in virtual summits
  • Booked sessions and worked with new clients
  • Collaborated with fellow biz owners like Shannon Henderson of ImShannon.com (who is seriously so smart…i just dont have words for how blessed I am to connect with this gal) anddd connected with one of my FAV bloggers ever — Lisa Irby of 2CreateaWebsite.com (Whatuppp Lisaaaa)
  • Made a sale of a workbook (the second week of launching my site)
  • Connected with Mark Schaefer of BusinessesGrow.com — who is one of the MOST respected and smartest people I’ve ever met.

So when I hear business owners say things like social media doesn’t work, I’m baffled because I know that it does indeed work!/b>

#4: Running Webinars and Live Events

So…I’m an introvert by nature. Well actually an ambivert (a mix).  I really have never liked putting myself in the spotlight much. But, I also knew that it was time to get my arse from behind the computer and get in front of my audience.

Earlier this year, I decided to run my first webinar on designing graphics with Canva.  

Can you guess what happened?

I loved IT!  I love teaching and sharing my knowledge with my community anddd running webinars helped me build up my email list too. Oh and webinars are excellent tools for presenting offers to your audience and convert like crazy!

What Didn’t Work?

Even though there were some things that did work… here are a few things that didnt work out so well for me.

#1:  Trying to Market on Facebook Organically – UGH!!!!

I came to the realization that Facebook is a play for play network yall.  It’s as simple as that. What ticks me off with the network is that no matter how much you try to get your content in front of your audience organically because of their algorithms and crap, you won’t get far.

#2: Blogging Consistently

I’m gonna call myself out big time on this one. Yes, I blogged.  But I didn’t blog as consistently as I should have. BOOOOOOO to me!

#3:  Following Every Trend Somebody Says is HOT right now (aka getting Squirrled)

I don’t know how many times I listened to a guru say “oh you need to do this and you should try that”.

Why do I say this?

Well, I’ve learned it’s important to do what is bringing you the biggest returns on your business investments (like your time + money).

For instance, if you are putting a lot of time and energy into using one main social media network to market your business, you should be checking your analytics to see if its working. If it’s not, then it may be time to move on from it.

I found myself getting “squirreled” too much, chasing one fad after the next.  Not gonna happen next year. That’s for sure….

#4:  Spending Money on Coaching Programs that I Wasn’t 100% Mentally Invested in or Ready For

I am all about coaching and getting assistance where you need to in business.  However, I do not believe that is a wise idea to spend money on something that you know you aren’t going to use.

#5: Instagram Marketing

I tried my hand at Instagram marketing, but it just didn’t work out for me folks.  Truthfully, I didn’t really have a plan.  I am excited to give Instagram another whirl on next year..so we will see what shakes out with the network.

What’s In Store for 2017 and What I Will Do Differently?

#1: Writing Better and MORE content

The plan:  I will be blogging more regularly next year and getting a concrete content calendar in  place to structure the content that I will write for this blog.

My goal is to publish one blog post once a week.  I am going to continue to focus on quality versus quantity for sure.  

#2: Raising My Prices for Client Work + Done for You Services

The plan:  I am on a mission to do less projects but charge more for the client work that I offer.  As it stands, I am offering two services: Website + Blog design services and building digital marketing arsenals for clients.

While I love working on projects, it takes a lot of time to put things together. So instead of focusing on volume, I am planning to work with a select few clients per month.

#3: Increasing Conversions to the Blog and Funnel Optimization!

The large optin box that you see popping up converts around 3.68%  – 5.78%. This is based on data that I pulled from Thrive Leads.

The plan:  I want to work on increasing conversion rates to this optin box by running some A/B tests with Thrive Leads, and also changing some of the verbiage around too.  

I have been studying up on conversions like crazy here lately to try to optimize this blog as much as possible since the traffic to the site is pretty low. Crazy thing is that I still make sales!

Here’s what I’ve learned:

I read an article from one of my FAVORITE bloggers Yaro Starak from Entrepreneurs Journey where he mentioned that Conversions Count MORE than Traffic!  

I have to say, that Yaro is right on the money for this article.  We get so caught up into getting more traffic and visitors to our websites.

Yes traffic is important…..

But…. if you have tons of traffic coming to your website but you aren’t converting that traffic into new subbies, sales or new clients for your business then something is off big time!  

Therefore, 2017 will be the year of focusing on increasing conversions to the blog, serving the audience I already have, and building out more funnels instead of launching products and etc like a crazy person throughout the year.

#4: Hosting More Live Events  and Free Training!

I’ve done a few live webinars and events this year and they were great!  

The plan:  In 2017, I am planning to definitely increase the number of live events that I put on for my audience.  I am super excited about it too!

#5:  I am stepping up my Pinterest Game (Big Time)

I won’t lie, I heard people talk about Pinterest all of the time and how great of a traffic source it is.  I didn’t believe em until now.  

What Changed?

I listened to a webinar that Melyssa Griffin did on Pinterest traffic and checked out the stats from her blog…That girl is killing it with Pinterest.  

So, I decided to give Pinterest a whirl earlier this year and i’m excited to say that it is my #1 Traffic Source right now.  

 

 

The plan: So in 2017, I am seriously going to optimize all of my blog images and content for Pinterest traffic. I am also planning to join more Pinterest groups, as well as continue automating my pins with Boardbooster .

#6:  Step up my Instagram Game

Even though I didn’t do as well as I would have liked with Instagram marketing, I am going to give it another whirl in 2017.  I am planning to get an IG posting schedule in place and outsource the majority of the work my VA.

I am looking forward to seeing how things shake out.

What Are Your Plans for 2017?

Phew! I’ve spilled a lot of beanz in this post.  I am so looking forward to what 2017 has to offer.  

I’d love to know from you, what are the 3 biggest things that you are working on for 2017? Let’s hear them in the comments section.    

Kim
 

Kim, YourChicGeek is a tech savvy diva + founder of YourChicGeek.com. She is passionate about teaching small biz's how to create a web presence for growth + impact. Kim has created several online courses that help small businesses grow and flourish online. You can contact Kim to hop on a quick 15 minute call to chat about your online marketing goals.

  • Sherman Smith

    Hey Kim,

    It’s crazy that 2017 is almost here. This gives all of us a push to make those necessary changes for the new year.

    Sounds like you had a great year, meeting all types of people and doing great projects. I try to keep up with Lisa Irby’s video and she always have a wealth of knowledge.

    It’s true that we focus too much on vanity metrics. If youre not making any conversions then those metrics don’t mean too much.

    For the last couple of weeks I’ve noticed that I’ve been getting a lot of shares from Pinterest despite the fact I’m rarely on it. But I make sure that I share topics that my topic audience is interested in. I believe that is the secret sauce.

    Thanks for sharing your experience of blogging. It’s definitely not going anywhere soon!

    Have a good one!

    • Heyyyyyy Sherman! Happy Holidays to you friend! Yes, Pinterest is seriously amazing for traffic generation. I’m finding that it’s much harder to get organic traffic these days and its pretty much a bit dangerous to rely solely on Organic traffic to, especially since Google’s algorithm changes to much.

      My main recommendation to you for Pinterest traffic is to try to use longer images to pin your content there and also add keywords to your descriptions. I am sooo looking forward to what 2017 has to bring. Cheers to ya Sherman 🙂

      • I will keep that in mind! Looks like I’ll be doing more infographics for next year. Organic traffic is getting tough. I see that Google prioritize ads over SERP. Lets make 2017 an even better year Kim

        • Yesss indeedy Sherman. I still do SEO and all but I am going to focus more on alternative traffic sources for sure. Wishing you a grand 2017 🙂

  • Hi Kim !

    Nice + detailed post. I also have learned not to financially invest in coaching programs I am mentally not ready for. It is a waste of money and honestly in the past I end up coming away more confused than I was when I signed up. LOL.

    Pinterest is serious. I had 3 posts go viral on there in the summer and seriously, up till now, those posts alone drive around 400 sessions/500-700 page views per day without me doing anything to promote them. So I am a big believer in the platform and optimizing your images for it. I hope to do even better in 2017.

    All the best to you girl. I know you will do wonders in the coming year !

    • Heyy there Gee! Girl you have really gotten me even more amped up to get on board the Pinterest train for next year. I am so super excited about it now that I am getting some traffic from the site. Not much…but a little. I am currently working on my editorial calendar for the next year and am super pumped about whats in store.

      So glad that we’ve met chica. Here’s to wishing you a fantabulous 2017 and beyond! #PinQueenz

  • Lisa Irby

    Kim!!! I’m just getting around to this. Thank you soooooooo much for the shout out girl! You have been WORKIN’ it in 2016!!! I can only see bright things for you in 2017. Keep up the great work and it was so great to meet you this year.

    Every time someone asks me about branding or visual design I send them to you because you are a great example of perfect branding. I love how everything is consistent from your blog to social media.

    Isn’t Pinterest great??? I cannot believe my hair site homepage has almost 300,000 pins/shares. Blows me away at the viral traffic opps available there. I just love going to my site’s Pinterest feed and seeing what people are sharing everyday. And yes, the key is certainly to pin LONG images. I’ve found that 700×2500 pixels works really good.

    I am very impressed that you’ve also been able to make headway in the blogging/marketing space with Pinterest. I haven’t had much success there but then again I also never really focused on it much either. So good for you!!

    My goal in 2017 is to focus on ONE thing instead of trying to do too much. I love so many things about online that it’s hard to focus and that is my biggest downfall online. But I’m gonna do it! LOL

    Have a wonderful 2017 and Happy New Year!

    • Whaddduppppppp Lisa! 300k Pins!!!! (Holy Moly Moly). That is seriously amazing stuff. See..you and Gee have really gotten me amped up for Pinterest on next year.

      There is a lot of potential there for sure. I’m sooo super grateful that we connected this year like for realz chica. I can’t wait to see what you have in store for 2k17 as I know its going to be awesome.

      Thanks for stopping by and heres to a fantabulous 2017! Woop Woooppp!

  • Gia Maxwell

    I appreciate this post, sista! You pretty much have the same goals for 2017 as I do. I will admit that it has been a pleasure watching you grow this year and I am definitely going to be setting my game up ASAP!

    • Heyyyyy Gia! I want to first thank you sooo much for all of your support this year. I’ve learned a lot, and have grown the brand…but I am so super excited about whats to come for 2017. I am wishing you all of the success in the world chica (for realz) :-). Happy New Year to ya!

  • Another awesome post, Kim. I’m also working on my own end-of-the-year assessment, and I’ve already decided to get more serious about Pinterest. Buffer was really helpful for me this year, as well as eClincher. My major goals for next year are completing my four 90-day goal projects. That would be a huge advancement for me if I get them done. Thinks for your inspiration.

    • Hellooo Bakari! Woo hoooo to you my friend and yes Pinterest is amazing like for real. I am wishing you all of the luck in the world with getting things completed for your 90 day project goals. I have so much still left to do I feel like I am all over the place… lol! But, it is all good

      Happy New Year to you! 🙂