Annual Review for 2021
Leaving social media, becoming a UK number ONE chart topping podcast host and turning 40.
Every year I think about writing a blog to sum up my year…..and never get around to it, which means all those 12 months of learnings and reflections of ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’ stay secreted away.
So, I’m finally pulling my finger out of my butt and writing it here in blog form for the world to see.
HERE’S How I Structure MY ANNUAL REVIEWS:
- What went well last year?
- What didn’t go well last year (and what did I learn)?
- What am I focused on this year?
For each question I take some time to look through my monthly review (I do a monthly qualitative and quantitative review and then narrow it down to a few highlights in each category).
What went well last year?
I left social media and I love it!
I was working with my coach Greg Faxon at the start of 2021 and shared how much I just didn’t like social media. It’s an amazing tool for so many people, but it’s just not for me. I’ve battled with it for several years, had success with it in growing my previous business, but it sucks the life from my soul (ever watch Stargate Atlantis with those Wraith life force sucking creatures?….that’s how it felt for me).
Listening to so many of my clients as well, they were feeling the same and saying the same, and so with permission from Greg (yes I needed it), over the next few months I planned my exit strategy, which felt risky as f**k as my coaching business is only 14 months old (so I don’t have years of SEO or referral partnerships behind me). It not only feels right and I feel a weight lifted off my shoulders, but I have achieved so much more since I left because my brain has had the chance to be creative and I have more time to invest in other things like…
My group programme – Momentum
I had known that I wanted to create a group programme for some time, but wasn’t sure when I would do it. Within 4 weeks of quitting social media I had decided on and sold places on the Beta version of my group programme Momentum and had my highest income month (revenue) in my coaching business yet.
I worked with some awesome clients, one client smashed her goal and reached her first £10k month, and other client quit her day job and landed a £14k contract in just 2 weeks of working with me, and another client with health issues says the peaks are so much higher and the troughs are so much smaller (aka he’s feeling awesome and his income is consistent as a result).
Launched a number 1 chart topping Podcast
In the exact same week as I began delivering my group programme I also launched my new podcast Marketing Without Social Media with Viv Guy. Oh, it was also the week I turned 40! My podcast went live (thank you Apple) on the 3rd December, but as it was my birthday weekend I didn’t check in with how things were going, and so it wasn’t until the 6th that I realised I’d hit number 1 in the Marketing podcast charts which was freaking awesome.
Learning: Do more of what you love and stop doing what everyone else says you ‘should’ do, because inevitably you won’t do it well or be able to sustain it and therefore it won’t benefit you!
I decided after seeing this horrible pic of myself that, since it was 3 years since I’d had my last baby and I now weighed more than the day I gave birth to my daughter (yep, seriously!) that I needed to get my body and fitness back as I didn’t feel good and my energy was pretty low.
I signed up to a 12 week challenge at my friend’s recommendation (the power of word of mouth marketing at it’s best here) in my friend’s village with Lou Barker Wellbeing.
I had intended to do classes on zoom but realised in the first week that I really wouldn’t stick to it….so started dragging my arse to circuits classes and lifting weights 3 times a week. I did super well and dropped 7.8kg by the end of October. I then maintained until 1st December…at which point I was in ‘knackered beyond belief’, nearing burnout, birthday celebration mode….and it all went to shit. In the next 31 days I put on 4.5kg (1.5kg was off in the first week!).
Learning: sometimes we loose focus and fall down, but it’s ok and you can pick yourself back up again.
My focus this year was on organic audience growth, but in all honesty I didn’t do a lot with this until September. It was then I launched my own Free Business Boost Bundle. I brought in a number of other businesses to partner and contribute a course, workshop, training, ebook or whatever they wanted to the bundle.
This did ok as a list growth activity, but not as well as I’d hoped. It did however provide people with great resources and the feedback was fab, plus it led to several contributors booking clients as a result.
Lesson – get more people involved and realise the tech will always take you longer than expected. The great thing is everything is in place should I choose to do this again….on a much bigger scale though!
Anyhow, the biggest list growth things for me were; guesting as an expert in other peoples groups (masterminds etc) and participating in Bundles (other peoples). I grew my list over 500% from these activities which are organic and free!
I turned 40. Had a party, which caused me so much anxiety in the lead up as I had a fear nobody would come (especially with Covid and Christmas) and which triggered lots of crap from my teens when I was bullied. I’ve realised I love hosting small get togethers but I won’t be doing any parties again as they just trigger me!
Other wins for 2021.
I kept my 2 daughters alive and seemingly thriving. The eldest started ‘big school’ i.e. Reception!
Got a new car (my other one died on the way to Hereford in the Easter hols)
Had a holiday in Wales and in Cornwall (and the sun shone)
Visited my Aunt and Uncle (who aren’t my Aunt and Uncle, but we call them that as we’ve known them all our lives) in Berkshire in October.
And I’m still waiting to see when I can get us all to Australia (without the 2 week hotel quarantine which would kill me with 2 little people) so I can see my sisters, my brand new niece and my other niece and nephew. It’s now 3.5 years since I saw them and it’s haaaaaaard.
Favourite Books of 2021:
How to Break up with your phone by Catherine Price
Million Dollar Coach by Taki Moore – I love the way he writes and gives examples throughout. Really refreshing.
Anything you want – Derek Sivers
– refreshing lessons on how to do things your way in business.
What didn’t go well last year?
The wrong fit
I onboarded a 1:1 client who wasn’t a good fit. We both soon realised it and agreed to part ways totally amicably, but I learned my lesson and made sure that from then on I would dig in deeper and coach more on my strategy calls so that I am only taking on people who are the right fit and I’m confident that I’ve qualified them in that call.
Launching a podcast and launching and starting a group programme in the same week were a bad idea. I was highly stressed, it screwed with my boundaries (yep I was dashing back to my computer after I’d picked the kids up and shoving the tv on for them!), my health suffered, I couldn’t sleep, was grabbing a glass of wine in the evenings to try and slow my brain down (not good) so I could sleep and the result is I spent 10 days of Christmas knackered beyond belief, put on 4.5kg (after my epic fitness and weight loss) and had a shit tonne of mum guilt.
Lesson – even when an opportunity arises, consider at what cost that Yes comes at! A great line from Michael Hyatt is, “for every yes you are saying no to something else”.
Made a bad investment
I invested £3k in a group programme that was not right for me. I knew it but was totally caught up in the FOMO. How did I know it wasn’t right? Because it was really social media heavy and also, the philosophy and point of view was totally different, which is let’s teach you a gazillion marketing things and try and get you to do them all……not the way I believe you should do business at all!
Took my foot of the gas and paid for it.
I had a rocky couple of money months. I was still running my Brand photography business in 2021, finishing up contracts with some of my Annual brand clients (who I love dearly), this meant that when I started work on the Business Boost Bundle with the juggle of two businesses and kids, and only working a 20 hour week…… I stopped emailing my list (wincing as I write this now!!!). That combined with the fact that I didn’t feel that onboarding new clients in late June and July was great as I take all of August off (which meant I’d be asking new clients to have a 4-5 weeks break from 1:1 coaching as soon as they were onboarded).
It meant I spent August worrying about my revenue come September and meant that September was a shitty revenue month then as my list needed nurturing again to warm them up before selling.
Lessons: Email your list every week….make it your number 1 priority.
Didn’t read a self development or educational book daily.
I’d set myself the goal to read every morning. It was really hit and miss though as my eldest is an early riser and would come in midway through my morning routine. I tried getting up even earlier but was knackered. I discovered that reading at night (I read fiction at night) doesn’t work for me as I can’t switch my brain off.
Lesson – It’s ok not to do everything now and sleep is always the most valuable thing your can give yourself.
This fits in both places. I did a lot of work on my mindset which is a positive, what hasn’t gone well is that I am still way too tough on myself. I’m spent time thinking my word of 2022 should be ‘self love’ (ok, 2 words). Here’s an example of why. I reached number 1 in the podcast charts in the UK and instead of celebrating that, I s**t on my own parade because I came up with reasons it wasn’t brilliant. Self love is an ongoing work in progress for me.
Lesson learned: Be kind and speak to myself with the same praise and positivity I do for my children.
What am I working on this year?
This year I feel drawn to keeping my business as simple as possible. 1 core offer with Momentum. As tempting as it is to create more offers because there’s a need for them, this year I’ve decided to keep things as simple as possible. I’ve done a lot of experimenting in the past couple of years and now it’s time to just breathe and keep things simple, grow and nurture what’s working and focus on building on those elements.
This year connecting with more hubs is big on my list. Now I’m not on social media I’ll be reaching out to connect in other ways and develop partnerships and new connections. It feels like something that I’m drawn to and I know that connecting with people (in actual conversations on zoom or in person) energises me and I want to do more of this. I’ve aslo decided to provide more value for my audience wih free coaching sessions every month as I enjoy supporting and connecting with people in person.
This year I’m aiming to:
- Double the revenue (and increase profit margin) of the business.
- Double the size of my mail list
- Run monthly workshops
- Double the downloads per episode for the podcast
Continuing to self care and prioritise me.
This year looking after my health with nutrition, exercise, sleep and maintaining my boundaries is of utmost importance to me. I did say I’d do a tough mudder challenge with one of my business buddies Charlotte Carter (who is super fit and super fast!!!!), so that’s on the radar too.
Working with another team member.
My awesome and invaluable VA Nicola is taking leave at the end of January to have another baby so it’s going to be odd and a big change working with someone new when she’s off. I cannot express how invaluable having a great team member is. Nic is the opposite of me and that means that all the stuff I hate she loves and vice versa. It’s a perfect team dynamic and I’m going to miss her.
Lesson: Spend time finding the right team member/VA and your business will thrive.
So, there you have it. My annual review for 2021.
P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are 4 ways I can help you get consistent clients without marketing on social media:
Listen to my podcast
It’s got tonnes of useful, actionable help and insights from myself and my industry peers from across the globe to help you to grow your email list, attract leads and sign clients. — Click Here
Join my Monthly Marketing Mentoring calls for service based business owners like you who want to market without social media.
It’s my new monthly mentoring space where smart business owners get their questions answered so they can learn to get more freedom, finances and focus in their business. — Click Here
Join my Momentum Program and get clients.
If you’re under £5k a month right now: I’m working with a few service based business owners (think coaches, consultants and therapists) for the next 6 months to help them sign clients, and hit £5k/m — without social media. If you’d like to get some clients this month, message me with the word CLIENTS, and I’ll get you all the details. — Click Here
Work with me privately
If you’d like to work directly with me to take you from inconsistent months to £5k+ months without the constant hustle of marketing on social media… just send me a message and with the word “1:1”… tell me a little about your business and what you’d like to work on together, and I’ll get you all the details.