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2020 Roundup

You MADE it!  2020 is on its way out! But first, let’s take inventory of what has happened not only in the digital marketing realm but what we noticed as business leaders.  Then, let’s prepare the way for a new year!

leave behind what doesn’t serve you and your business

-- Jennifer Sakowski

Podcast Transcript

Welcome to a brand new episode of Raney Day Talks Podcast. I’m your host, Jennifer Sakowski. And this is actually the last podcast episode of this year, believe it or not. 2020 is about ready to close. Did I hear an amen and a hallelujah? You did it, my friend. You have made it. And we’re coming into that magical time where we get to set aside the old and prepare for the new. I love this time, and that’s why when I was challenged of, “Hey, let’s do a last podcast episode,” I’m like, “Let’s call it 2020 Roundup and let’s talk about everything.” So I’m coming at you not just from a business standpoint, not just as a personal standpoint or a marketing standpoint, I’m putting it all together. So the first thing I want to talk about is, what are the big takeaways? So if you think back over where you’ve come from, I wanted to just press into you some encouragement.

Number one, one big takeaway, I mean, we dealt with a global pandemic, everyone, your business dealt with a global pandemic, you can handle hard things. Number one. And if you haven’t taken the time to recognize that, that you can handle hard things, you handled them, you survived, that is an accomplishment in itself. Number two, you’re an overcomer. I don’t know what you’ve been dealt with in your business, in your home front, but you overcame. And I wanted to acknowledge that, acknowledge it in my own life and business and I’m want to make sure that we say it out loud, that you’re are an overcomer. Third big takeaway in the grand scheme of things is that, my friend, you are resilient. If you’re listening to this, maybe your business did not survive, maybe you had to close up shop, I hate that for you, I hate that, but I know that because you can do hard things and that you’re an overcomer, that you are resilient and that you will get back on your feet.

So wherever this podcast is meeting you, I just wanted to encourage you that I recognize it in you, and I hope you do too. Now, as we dial in from those big pictures, let’s talk about you as a boss, as a business owner, what are some of the big takeaways? For me personally, and what I’ve seen, not only for my business, but also from our clients and just in the industry, is that, number one, you have to get your business online. You have to, and it’s important to claim that space online. So if you haven’t done so, and maybe you’ve already realized that, whoa, the impact of not having your site up and your business online, that you have to get it done. And part of that is that you’ve got to launch your store. If you sell products and there’s a way to launch an online store, do it, because that is a big takeaway.

And to have multiple streams of revenue, I mean, that just rolls into our next point of cashflow is important. We’ve seen what happens when our government shuts down here in the U.S. and that it causes us business owners to have to pull from different areas to make ends meet. If we don’t have our business online and we don’t have multiple revenue streams, how are we going to continue our cashflow? So if you had to have some hard come to Jesus talks with your own accountant, or maybe just looking at your numbers, if that’s the case, recognize it. And then also another big takeaway is why having an emergency fund in place for your business is critical. I know a lot of that comes around finances, but let’s face it, if you don’t have money coming into your business, you can’t pay yourself, you can’t pay your teammates, your employees, and it’s probably hard to pay your overhead.

And I’m big if you have to spend money to make money, so where does that leave you this year? And then as we dial even in further talking about our big takeaways from this year, let’s talk about marketing. We’ve seen some trends and we’ve confirmed some trends that we assumed starting off this year, and number one in the marketing world is content is king, you all. It still is king. Google runs the internet space, the interwebs, and we know organically to rank you have to focus on your content. Your content strategy matters. Number two in marketing is that it takes double the amount of touches for someone to engage and to eventually buy into your brand. So if you think that maybe if you just email a couple of times here and there, maybe you send out a couple of posts here and there and then maybe you drop a couple postcard in the mail, whatever your strategy is, double it.

Because it is a very crowded online space right now, and for you to get someone’s attention, you have to remain consistent with your content and you have to consistently reach out to them. So we know for a fact that it takes double the amount of time. Number three, email is not dead. If you think, “Oh, people get so, so many emails.” Yeah, because it works. Even if you have to send the same thing multiple times until they open it, it works. It puts you right in the palm of their hand. So do not mark out or forget about or not include email strategy in your plan for 2021. This isn’t given, but I had to say it, because we’re talking about trends, we’re talking about takeaways, is video is hot. If you haven’t incorporated some form of video into your social media and emails, or even your website, you’re missing out, my friend. You are missing out.

That is the easiest way for your customers and your target audience to identify you and to get to know you. I mean, it’s one thing, why do you think as I’m doing this podcast I’m also recording it? So that way, we can put it on YouTube, and people can see my face, because I think it’s important for them to get to know Raney Day Design. They also get to know me, and this is why I continually show up. Same thing for your business. If you’re not showing your face and allowing your customers to get to know you, you’re missing out. And, gosh, everywhere from TikTok to Facebook, to Instagram Reels, there’s so many opportunities for you to pick up your phone and post a video. So do it. And the last thing is, you know I couldn’t do a podcast about this and not mention it, is your website matters. Whew. I just want to be like, “Duh, here’s your sign.”

If you haven’t taken time to look at your website and recognize that, okay, if somebody comes to my website, what am I telling them? What are they seeing? And picturing who your target audience is, and then looking through their lens to your website and really seeing, am I telling the right story? Am I serving up the right information for them to digest and actually take action in what I’m telling them to do, or get in touch with me to buy my products or services? If you haven’t, friend, pull out your phone and Google yourself and see what happens. And then make a list of what you don’t like and you do like, and let’s talk about it. Because that is important. Your website matters. I mean, those are the biggies from this year. I can’t help, I mean, I know I went through those quick, but that’s what I see. And I see at the base of 2020 is that no matter who you are or where you’re at or where you’re coming from, I know you’ve had to handle hard things.

And that’s why I really want us to focus on what we’ve overcame to get to this point and that surviving 2020 is an accomplishment in itself. If your business is still open and you’re still making sales and growing, I commend you and I hope that you continue to grow, because this year was hard. But also, in this hard year, there were some good. Look back and look at the time spent maybe with your family. Maybe the shutdown was forcing you to deal with some stuff at home. Maybe it was forcing you to take a hard look at your numbers and where your business is going. I know it did me. And I count that as a blessing, because it made me refocus and reprioritize, not only my business, but my home life and how I want to show up at home, and how I have the ability to create the business and the team and the life to serve those goals, just to fulfill me. And the same thing for you.

So I really hope that you take this as a challenge to take time over the next week, write it into your schedule, whatever it may be, but allow yourself to sit and think through what you overcame and what didn’t work from 2020, and what did? Because, transitioning into 2021, there’s several points that I want you to consider. And I even have a tool that I use personally, that I always share with my friends and colleagues, because it works for me. So as you’ve allowed yourself to look back and take the whole year, even pull out, remember some of those episodes early in the year where I talked about creating goals and your vision and your mission, I want you to go back to those, pull up your notes from earlier this year, and look to see, did you hit your goals? And if not, what happened? What kept you from it? And if you did, bravo, I’m high five in you right now, but also look to see, how’d you get there? What did you learn from hitting those goals? And how did it impact you in your business?

Because you know what that means, it’s time to look forward. So the first thing that I want you to do in transitioning your mindset and letting go of 2020 and going into 2021 is, the first thing, leave behind what doesn’t serve you and your business. I’m going to put it out there, because you are not operating in yesterday. You’re only taking what happened yesterday, applying the knowledge and experience that you took from that, and you are looking ahead. So whatever happened, whatever pain that you may feel from 2020, let it go and leave it in the past. Because if it’s not serving you, it’s not going to help you grow. And I’m more focused on seeing you grow than to sit in the past. So, number one point, if it doesn’t serve you, leave it. Number two, gosh, I love this, dream a little bigger. I don’t know what your goals were coming into this year.

As you pull those out and look at them and see where you fell at the end of this year, I want to challenge you to go big. I’m talking something that if you told someone else, they’d think you’re crazy. I want you to go there, because I know that you’re capable of doing and accomplishing anything that you set your mind to. So I’m going to challenge you right now, whatever it is that you would like to do, I want you to sit with it, think about it, and what would it mean to go just a little bit bigger? Stretch yourself a little bit wider. You got that financial goal, why don’t we add an extra zero to it? Why don’t you double it? And what would it take to get you there? Because, friend, we survived a global pandemic, your business survived a global pandemic, you can do anything. So what are you going to do with it? You have a fresh start. And if you’re needing help with packaging all this up, and you are like me, when it comes to journaling, you need something to get you started, there’s this free tool.

This is not an ad. This is just something that I use. It’s called YearCompass. If you Google it, it’s just a free workbook that you download, but it’s strategic questions to help you to let go of last year and to start preparing for next year. I love it, because what ends up happening, I go way off script in the booklet, but it allows me to put it onto paper so I can start thinking through it. Sometimes, and I didn’t realize this until I start talking to other people, but sometimes I think it’s hard for us to think about or take the time to think about what we want. What do we want? What do we want to accomplish? And then trying to put legs to get us there. And if we have these strategic questions to get us started, it’s amazing about what flows from it. So if you are like, “I don’t know, Jen. I don’t know where to begin. I don’t know what to do,” friend, Google “YearCompass” and get started.

The last point today that I want to bring to the table, friend, plan. If you’ve been around these parts and listened to any of my podcasts you know I thrive off planning. It helps me. And I’m not even a great planner. I’m the type of person that you want in a crisis when something hits the wall and you’re like, “Oh, I don’t know what to do.” I go into command mode. I am not a great planner. I’m a great planner for you, but for my own business and within my own home, I struggle. Seriously, I struggle. So what’s helped me is to write out my goals. I know this is a broken record and you’re probably starting to tune me out because I say this so much, but you have to plan your goals. You have to map out, and it doesn’t even have to be detailed in how you get there. You’ve just got to know where you’re wanting to land, because then we can work backwards.

We can put these little mile markers to get us there. We can research. We can ask the right questions. As long as we know where we want to end, that is what is important. So plan your freaking goals. Plan your finances. It’s taken me years. And I thought I was good. I was not good. I was barely okay. But now, getting ready to turn 10 in business, I feel like I’m good with asking the right questions, using the right tools, and having the right people to help me plan my finances. So wherever you’re at with your business, take time, pull up wherever you have your numbers, I use QuickBooks online, pull up, run the reports. If you don’t know what you’re looking at, find help. Ask. Google “accountant”. If you need a referral, I have a gal that is wonderful. So there’s no excuses here. You have to know your numbers.

And if you’re wanting to grow your business and make a certain amount of money more than what you’re making now, you’ve got to plan that out. It doesn’t just happen overnight. So plan your finances. Last thing, if I’m going to tell you to plan or goals, plan your finances, I’m going to tell you to play in your content. Full circle back to your marketing. Content is king, and you need to map out how you want to be perceived online, and then you need to create the posts, the content, and the website copy to make it happen. It’s important. Showing up consistent matters. Even if you feel like no one’s listening, someone’s watching. So plan your content. Take the time and work ahead. Even if it’s a couple of days ahead, do it.

That’s all I’ve got, friend. I hope that you’re inspired from this episode. And if you are, please give us a shout out online. Just share the Apple iTunes episode. You can screenshot us and tag us, Raney Day Design, Jen Sakowski, or #RaneyDayTalks, because I want to know, one, that you’re listening, two, what you’re doing about your goals and how you’re closing out 2020. And I would love to hear how you’re paving the way for 2021. I hope you have a blessed new year and I cannot wait to see you next month.