#273 3 Ways to Identify If Your Marketing is Working or a Waste of Time

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Raise your hand if you’re always working on your marketing, but not always paying attention to the results…

No shame, no blame. You have a lot to do in your business, and when you’re doing “all the things,” sometimes you end up working harder, but not smarter.

Here’s the thing – when you can identify which parts of your marketing are working and which parts aren’t, you usually get to free up some of your time by eliminating the aspects of your workload that aren’t getting results.

So I think it’s time we have a conversation about three ways to identify what’s working vs. what’s wasting your precious time.

Trust me, m’dear, the extra effort it takes to overhaul and streamline your marketing is sooo worth it in the long run!

#273 3 Ways to Identify If Your Marketing is Working or a Waste of Time Show Notes

“One great way to think about it is, first of all, you probably don't need a million followers. You probably like to be really successful. How many people would you actually need? Like there's a marketing thing that people talk about a thousand true fans, if you had 1000 people that wanted to buy everything you put out, you'd be a really successful business.”

Welcome to Thrive by Design, the podcast for ambitious independent jewelry brands, looking to profit from their products, get ready to make more and sell more doing what you love, without spending every single waking minute doing it. Hey, and if you're a creative fashion or product-based business, I want to welcome you to the show. I'll be dropping big tips on launching, growing, and scaling your business. Spend more of your precious time using your creativity to make you ready. All right, let's do this.

Tracy: Welcome to the Thrive by Design podcast, Episode 273. Hey there, it's Tracy Matthews, Chief Visionary Officer Flourish and Thrive Academy and I'm thrilled to be here today to talk a little bit about marketing. And I want to talk about marketing, because 2020 has been a really weird year. And I think we can all all agree that I mean, I think some people probably have had an awesome year. I know some of my students are really like crushing it with their sales.

However, I think a lot of people can't wait for this year to be over just because it's weird. Like we're out of our normal vibe. Not everything's open all the way. And it's just not the same as it used to be. In fact, I was talking with my friend Suzy Moore this afternoon. And we were having a fun conversation. She's like, everyone's saying what 2020 is like a crappy year. But for me, it's been the best year ever. She had like an amazing year because she launched her book. And if you haven't picked up her book yet, you should definitely do that. It's called Stop Checking Your Likes

It's about just like owning what you're doing in life and being confident. And she's a master at that, because she literally has fun most of the time and I aspire to be like my friend Susie. And that brings me to something that I think is really important, which is the topic of today's podcast. You have a lot to do in your business. And you're busy all the time. And the reason why I wanted to talk about wasting time versus like figuring out if your marketing is working today is because a lot of times we're doing all the things right. And when you're doing all the things and you're trying to just keep throwing marketing's spaghetti against the wall, keep throwing marketing's spaghetti against the wall, doing all these things. Oftentimes you don't stop for long enough to figure out like what is actually working. And where am I wasting time?

And this is really important. And I want to drive this point home because of Flourish and Thrive Academy. This has been a year where we have really taken stock of like, what do we want to do over the past two years, we've really streamlined our offerings, we've really focused on what we're doing from an education standpoint. And by doing that, there was like a certain element of stepping back because we had to step back to actually take a look at everything that was going on. But what ended up happening is like everything else that we're doing just really supports our main objective, which is to serve as many people as possible, and to get those people results. And to me, like when we had all these things that we were offering from a program and course perspective. For instance, we used to have like, six or eight different programs and courses, it became hard to really like focus on one thing that was actually working. So we've streamlined, I'm really excited because 2021 is going to be an awesome year over here at Flourish and Thrive.

So many things have changed. Like it's been like a really amazing year in a lot of ways. And I'm excited about that. And with that being said, we just hired some new team members over here and I'm thrilled about it. We have a new content manager named Alison and our new community manager NIkia and you'll be seeing her if you're in our communities, in our Facebook groups, etc. And I'm just excited to have them on the team because we're going to be doing some fun things. They're brilliant and amazing and I'm super excited to invite them to the Flourish and Thrive family. And another sad little moment for us though we just say goodbye to the lovely Jessica Bauer. Jess has been our – she started actually as our customer service and community manager about four or five years ago. She comes from the jewelry industry. 

She's a jewelry designer herself. And nine months ago she told me she was starting her own business and that she was going to leave and I just feel so excited that we got like these last nine months with her and it's been thrilling, but it was sad to say goodbye to her last Friday. And it was her last day.

She was a core member of our team. And I'm just sad, sad, sad to see her go, but also super happy for her. It's always like a bittersweet experience when you're happy, sad sighted, I don't know how you actually would say that, because you're really excited about that the new road or path that they're taking, but you're sad to see them go because there's such a valuable team member. So we're sad to see Jessica. But it's all in good fun, because I'm excited to watch her journey as she launches a new lifestyle brand with everything that she's taught and learned over the last couple of years working with us so closely. 

So that's super fun to see. And I love it more than anything. I love hearing success stories from our students, from people who listen to this podcast, from people who have encountered the content that we create and develop and have experienced and worked in our programs, which is super exciting. So I'd love to hear your story. So if you have one, please feel free to hit us up because, you know, we'd love to hear how your business has grown in any way, shape, or form. And that leads me to something really exciting because we just had our planning day for 2021. 

We spend like one day in September, typically we backed it up a little bit longer this year, because we didn't have our usual event in person where we would all meet together and do it due to COVID. So we backed it out, we wanted to get it in before Jess left and we are doing a brand new masterclass or I'm teaching it. But my team has also helped me behind the scenes. And I'm super excited about it. Because I know a lot of people for 2020 it's been a weird year. And they really want to end the year strong. So we're going to be talking about just that.

How to end the year strong with marketing that matters. So today's episode is sort of like a lead into that I suppose. However, this masterclass is gonna be super fun, you really don't want to miss it, because we're going to talk about eliminating the noise. And like, basically, like ditching all the busy work that is keeping you stuck. That is like sucking all your energy dry, I'm going to be talking about the single most effective way to identify and focus on the strategies that are going to actually help you move towards your goals. It's not just about marketing, a lot of us do a lot of things that we don't need to be doing in our business. And when you can really have a clear lens to decipher what is a waste of time, then it becomes much easier to be much more impactful. Plus, I'm gonna be talking about the simple rating system to increase not just sales, but profitability.

A lot of times, you know, I've seen designers, brands and everything kind of go after just like revenue in the door and what ends up happening is that revenue in the door isn't always the answer, right? What we're really looking at is profitability. So if you've just been chasing money, then we're gonna reframe that a little bit and show you how you can identify like where your key profit centers are. Plus, I'm going to be talking about how to rapidly reframe those BS stories that hold you back and keep you stuck in starving artists mode. No one wants to be there. And sometimes even if you're a successful brand, you got stories that are keeping you from that next level of success in your business. So I hope that sounds awesome to you. Because it is awesome for me, and I'm really excited about it. So I'd love to invite you, it's a free class. And all you have to do is to go sign up by next Tuesday to register for free over at flourishthriveacademy.com/strong that's flourishthriveacademy.com/strong. Now, let's end the year strong. Are you in?

So today I wanted to talk about how to identify marketing, that's a waste of time versus marketing that actually works. And the reason why I think this is really important right now is that a lot of people that I've spoken to especially the people who made a lot of money in person events, or in a retail space, they've struggled this year if they didn't have their online aspect dialed in. In fact, I was talking with one of our momentum students, and she has a very successful business on one of our hotseat calls recently. And she was asking me, she's like, you know, Tracy, I know I need to hire someone, but there's this hesitancy because, you know, the money's kind of there, but it's not really there. 

And I'm scared that if I hire someone, I'm not gonna be able to pay them or it's going to take away from my income. And so one of the things that I do when I coach people on this is sometimes you have to hire actually before you're ready. Now, I would never encourage you to do this, if you weren't strategically mapping out, like, what you were going to use that new hire for how they were going to free up your time, and how you're going to train them and all those things, because that's super important. But that's also important, because I want you to think about, like, if you hired someone, and they are trained properly, and they were doing what you needed them to do, how much time would that free up for you to be strategic.

So I think a lot of times, we're stuck kind of in this drama, or this energy of like, I got to do all the things, I got to do all the things, but what would happen if you were able to just delegate some of those things to someone else, and have like, a marker for like, what you could just like, get rid of right at a certain point. So this is where this whole marketing conversation came in. Because, you know, I'm sitting her coaching through people, they're like, yeah, I'm doing all these things. And like, I don't really know what's working, and they're spending all this time. And I'm like, that's kind of a waste of time to do all that stuff, if you're not looking at stuff. So I want to talk about just three simple ways. Hopefully, this is gonna be a short episode. So you could just kind of go in and dig into all this stuff that you can identify if your marketing is actually working or a waste of time.

So the first is to track your traffic. Now, you may have heard me speak about this, I've done a couple of master classes about traffic and traffic driving sources and how to measure traffic. And traffic is great. But you might be doing a lot of different things. And if you don't have your Google Analytics set up with UTM codes in a way to track where the traffic's coming from, you might be doing a lot of things and realize that most of your traffic is coming from one source. And so a lot of the other stuff could just be like, eliminate it.

And the reason why I share this is because like raise your hand it not if you're driving, but raise your hand, you're listening to this, and you do a lot of things, but you're not really paying attention to what's really working to get traffic to your website, or to get people sliding into your DMS or to book appointments or consultations with however you're selling your products or your jewelry. So I have a couple of questions to ask you. Are you taking time to actually analyze the traffic that is heading to your website? Do you know where that traffic is coming from? 

Because a lot of times when you're looking for social traffic, if you're not setting up like, clearly identifying viable UTM codes, and using traffic lead sources, a lot of times all the social traffic that you do and search traffic just gets bundled up into one big segment. So it's hard to identify like, where it is actually coming from. And that brings me to the second piece is like definitely be using UTM codes when you're linking things on your link tree on Instagram or on Facebook, or when you're sharing things on different platforms, because that's going to share where the traffic is coming from. 

You can even do this on your blog and on your website. So you can find the traffic sources like where people are landing and actually like taking that next step to buy a piece of jewelry either online or off. So I want you to kind of make a promise that you're going to start checking your analytics record regularly. If you don't have them set up properly, you're going to get them set up so that you know which pages are working or not on your website. So you can get a heat map or something, some plug into your Shopify site, or whatever it might be, whichever website platform you're using, you can get some sort of heat map or something to find out where people are spending the most time and then also identify what like where people are bouncing off your site. Because that's really important, because you need to be paying attention to bounce rates.

A lot of times the bounce rate, the page that has the highest bounce rate is typically the homepage for a lot of reasons. So this is important when you're kind of dialing in your marketing that you're sending people to landing pages or specific products so that they were focused on their efforts. Now number two is to track your open and click-through rates in your email marketing. Are you doing this? Do you just send emails and pay attention? Are you paying attention to what works? Now, the reason I talk about this is like a while back we launched this bundle called Emails That Sell Bundle Done for you Bundle. And on that bundle, I have a link in the show notes if you want to check it out. It's a $37 product I highly recommend if you haven't purchased it yet and you're selling a physical product that you grab it because for this one purpose alone, your life will be completely changed and your mind will be blown.

If you don't know like how many people are opening your email like half the battle is just get people to open the email and one of the biggest mistakes that I see a lot of makers who are like rookies at marketing and don't really pay attention to this stuff, is that they send emails with like random subject lines or they sound super pitchy or salesy. Or it's like newsletter 101 newsletter 25. If you're trying to sell products using email, you need to capture someone's attention, create interest, and get them to openness. And this is not just for ecommerce. 

The same holds true if you're pitching editors for press or media, if you are pitching stores, if you're pitching personal clients, all these things, because if you can pique curiosity, you can get people to actually take that next step, open your email and read the contents in it. So half the battle is getting them to open it. The second half is to get them to read it and actually click through. So you want to keep your emails short. Unless you have a business that is like informing people on something like Flourish and Thrive Academy, our emails sometimes are a little bit longer only because we're adding value in the email. And not every email that we send necessarily requires you to click through. Because that's part of what we do. If you're not on our email list, and you want tips about running your business, definitely get on it. Because you're missing out if you're not just saying.

But ultimately, the purpose of email in any business is to get people to open the email, read something quickly, click through to your website, and get more information there. So this holds true like you're writing a blog post or blog content, if you're selling products, if you're sending a message, if you're educating, informing all the things, you want to try and get people back on your website. So do most of the heavy work on your website and send them there. So track your email, open rates, track your click through rates, if they aren't good to industry standards, like typically, the average open rate for e commerce and product based businesses is somewhere between 17 and 25%. As your email list gets bigger, that number will shrink.

So I would say anyone with less than 5000 people on their email list like 17 to 25% is good. If you're getting higher than that. Awesome for you. click through rates are typically about three to 6%. So you can do the backwards math and figure out like, Okay, if I get this many people on my email list, I'm getting that click through rate, like how many people how much traffic Am I going to get on my website based on that number. 

Now, for people who really have devoted followers and fans, the number of people on your email list isn't as important as the engagement because if your email is smaller, you might actually get a higher click through rate than the average percentages that I've just stated. So keep that in mind. And keep your people engaged, really important. And then the third tip here is to track engagement and referrals. So when you're posting on social platforms, and other places, are you paying attention to the likes and comments and the actions that people are taking after you post? Yes or no? no shame in this no worries either way. But the more you can kind of pay attention to what's going on right there, the easier it's going to be for you to actually identify what is actually working.

So make sure that you're creating engaging content that your captions are short enough, longer captions are better if you are telling a personal story, or educating or teaching people on things. Shorter captions are better if you're trying to get people to comment and take the next action. So play around with different things, see what spikes the most interest, see what gets the most engagement, more likes, more comments, all those things, but ask questions to get people commenting on things really important. And then part of the engagement piece is really about getting referrals from your previous customers. 

So are you creating a strategy that actually gets people who already know like and trust you, they're buying your products, to share what you do with their friends, that is key and very, very important. So definitely pay attention to an ambassador strategy or referral program or a loyalty program or something that engages your customer base, and gets them to create user generated content that gets them to share what you're doing that gets them to tag you on social that gets your name out there to their friends and family because that is one of the easiest ways to actually get more people engaged with your brand.

So on a final note, I wanted to keep this episode semi short compared to what I usually do. If you're feeling overwhelmed by everything that you have to do, I want you to check in with yourself. I have honestly been several times in this year in serious states of overwhelm myself. And the reason why I'm telling you this is because I'm human and it certain paths in our career, we sometimes take step backwards or we're taking on extra responsibility for whatever reason in our business and I've had to take all long and hard work at all the work that I'm doing, you know, my boyfriend, Jason, it's weird to call my boyfriend. It's really my partner. 

But my boyfriend, Jason says to me all the time, like, do you really need to be doing everything that you're doing in order to keep your business running? And I asked myself that question every day, and sometimes it feels like I need to do everything. And so he's been helping me kind of sit back and evaluate, like the actions I'm taking on a daily basis and to measure like, what are those actions actually doing to feed in to the bigger picture of what we're doing. And what I've noticed is that, when I get into that state, it's not always but it's, it's often for these this year, for some reason. And it wasn't like this before. 

And I think part of that is because there has been a lot of uncertainty. And I haven't had as much support team support this year, because of us taking a step back on potentially hiring and stuff. So a lot of things landed on my plate. So I feel you if you guys think that I'm like different than you, it's just a different level of overwhelm, I guess in a, in a certain way. But I mentioned this, because I have a goal of like only working in my business for 10 hours a week starting six months from now.

And I say that because it's not that I'm not building the business and growing it. But the most important thing that you can be doing as a visionary as the owner of a company, as a CEO, or whatever, once you get to a certain state, I think it's sometimes harder when your business is a little bit smaller, because you don't have the extra cash flow to actually hire people. When you get to a certain state or certain place in business, it's really important for you to be spending most of your time being strategic, thinking about how you're marketing, thinking about how you're showing up for your business, in your in your community, maybe if you're someone like me, thinking about how you're getting the word out there about what you do, and the next level of what your business looks like. Because the big mistake that I see people doing all the time, and I'm guilty of this, too, is that they're working with blinders on. 

And they're so focused in this vacuum and tunnel that they can't see the bigger picture. And the bigger picture is what helps you grow. So if you've ever been stuck or overwhelmed, and you feel like it's almost like torture running your business, it's time to take a step back. Because a lot of times you can't see what you can't see or what outside people can see. Like, I feel like all these things that I'm doing are super unnecessary and Jason's like, babe, I don't think that you need to be doing all of those things. Let's take a look at what really is moving the needle. And so I want to remind you that you need outside eyes on your business. 

And if you haven't done it yet, then definitely me and my team will be happy to do that for you if that's something that you would like help with, because we offer these free business accelerator audits. And I would love to invite you to apply for one because that's exactly what we do if we help you really create a cast and create a big picture vision for where you're going. And then we help you identify what you can't see because sometimes it's the hardest thing, especially if you're working alone or with a small team or you're doing all the things. 

So if you're interested in learning more, head on over to the show notes flourishthriveacademy.com/273. And I'd love to invite you to join us for our amazing masterclass that's coming up. I want to help you and that you're strong. So let's do that with marketing that actually matters and is working. And if you're interested in joining me for this free masterclass that's happening really, really soon. 

Head on over to flourishthriveacademy.com/strong and you can RSVP right there. Select a time that works for you. And let's do this. Alrighty, this is Tracy Matthews, signing off till next time.

Click here to download the show notes

Track Your Traffic

Your website traffic is the most straightforward way to identify how effective your marketing is.

Getting people to your website is the number one priority. So don’t just track your web traffic – analyze it!

  • Which pages get the most hits?
  • How are the bounce rates?
  • Which UTMs are most used?

With this info you can really dial in the marketing and website experience.

Track Your Email Marketing Analytics

I’m always raving about email marketing – because it works! 

Email open rates and click-through rates are key to refining your marketing. Getting people to open your emails is half the battle, so you should be continually testing and adjusting new strategies.

Sound overwhelming? We have email templates, subject line prompts, and all kinds of resources that can make your email marketing a breeze.

If you want to hear me talk about specific open rate and click-through rate numbers, listen to the full episode above.

Track Your Engagement and Referrals

So much of marketing is just playing around and figuring out what works. Your social media is no exception.

Smart business owners incentivize their customers to share their experience on social media and engage with your posts.

The online landscape is always changing, so keep testing out different captions and engagement strategies.

If you want to dive deeper and stop wasting your time on marketing that doesn’t work, listen to the full episode above!

xo, Tracy


FREE Masterclass: How to End the Year Strong with Marketing That Matters

Emails That Sell Bundle

Stop Checking Your Likes by Susie Moore



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