The Future of My Business & The Kim Doyal ShowJanuary 21, 2020 January 22, 2020 /
It’s been a while since I’ve recorded a podcast and for what it’s worth, it’s been intentional.
After giving myself some time last fall to process the loss of my Mom (which is still ongoing, but I think I’m on the other side of the shock and intense grief), I thought I’d just jump back into the podcast and it would be business as usual.
Obviously that hasn’t been the case.
I have a couple of interviews to publish from last fall (and will), but something felt off.
I’ll get into that when I talk about the future of the show, but before I go there, I need to bring you up to speed with what has happened in my business in general in the last couple of months and then we can talk about where things are heading.
First of all, December for the Content Creators Planner was phenomenal.
We had our highest sales month (at the time), doing over $40,000 in sales for one month.
I haven’t shared on this show yet what has been happening with the planner in a while, so let me explain how we got there (and if you missed it, we did an hour-long live stream where we pulled back the curtains so-to-speak and shared our journey over the last year. You can watch the live stream here).
This is the short version of the live stream.
We started running paid ads ourselves back in May and were profitable from day 1. Neither of us are ad experts (although there is no shame in me telling you that Jodi’s brain is wired to understand the nuances of ads much better than mine), but we know our product, our audience, and the problem our product solves.
We created the planner because it solved a problem we were having.
Because of the personal challenges we both faced last summer, we didn’t do a whole lot of testing with the ads but would occasionally increase our budget or try a new audience. Our goal with the planner during those difficult months was simply to keep moving forward, which we did.
When September rolled around we realized we had money in the bank we took our first draw against the sales (not a lot, but it felt great to pay ourselves considering we started working on this project a year prior). Then we realized neither of us really had the time, skillset, or desire to focus on scaling our ads, so we reached out to a friend I met in a mastermind 6 years ago (and had stayed in touch with) who I knew was great at what they did (running paid traffic) and set up a call.
A month after our initial call we decided “let’s do it.”
We hired the ad team, committed to spending more on ads (all the data showed that we were highly profitable), and held on.
All this began at the end of October.
End of November we did $6185 in sales, and in December we ended at $41,681.
To say our minds were blown would be an understatement.
I still remember when we realized we would probably hit $30k… we were floored. So when we ended the month over $40k it was the icing on the cake.
Fast forward to January and we’ve surpassed last month’s sales.
However, I don’t want to mislead you and tell you we’ve just been sitting back watching the sales come in. We work pretty closely with our ad-team and we saw a big drop last week after some changes were made. The tough thing with advertising (we’re only running on FB & Instagram right now), is that any time you make a change the algorithm needs to “re-learn” and it takes a few days to adjust.
While it looks like things are getting sorted, it’s also massive validation that you cannot solely rely on one or two channels of traffic, which is often what people do. Especially when it’s working.
So that’s the current status of the planner and that side of my business.
Let’s pivot to my personal brand, site, and business.
I’ve got two clients we do content marketing for and that’s moving along nicely. I’m not going to take on any other clients for content marketing so I can stay focused on these two clients as well as growing the planner.
That being said, I’ve been pondering how to proceed with this podcast and my personal brand while growing the Content Creators Planner without duplicating my efforts or cannibalizing one for the other.
The focus on my personal brand has also been content marketing and strategy, I’ve been thinking long and hard about how I want to proceed (I’m not giving up my personal brand) and feel that I’ve finally come to the next logical step and progression with all that I’m doing. Now that you’re up to speed with both brands, let’s jump into the future of things and where I’m headed.
The Future of My Business & The Kim Doyal Show
Before I share what my plans are, I want to dive a little bit into my mindset and how I came to make these decisions.
This March will be my 12th year in business. It’s hard to believe so much time has gone by. So much has changed in my life in that period of time. Plenty of ups and downs (which is pretty much just life) and lots of growth. We’re all a work in progress and I’ve made a very conscious decision to make that a priority in my life.
I’ve shared before that I still see and speak with my therapist that I found when I lost my husband (which was in 2003). When I initially found her my intention was to get through the grief of losing my husband. When I went in to see her I was very adamant that I wasn’t “doing therapy.” I was only there for grief counseling.
Which cracks me up (and I don’t even remember saying that, but it sounds like me).
Fast forward to today and investing my time and money into doing the work with her has been the best investment I’ve ever made in myself. Not only is she an amazing therapist, but our spiritual beliefs are similar and she’s completely opened my mind to a different way of moving through the world.
I’ve always been a very driven and optimistic person and based my self-worth on how productive I was (I truly wore ‘busy’ like it was a badge of honor). The problem with basing your life on how much action you take or how busy you are is that you don’t give yourself the space to feel if what you’re doing is really working for you.
This was much more obvious to me when I was working fulltime before starting my business. It took a while to connect the dots on this working for myself.
Here’s the crazy thing… and I really hope you hear this:
NOTHING will help your business grow as much as getting in alignment first and then taking inspired action.
In fact, it was when I truly surrendered that things started taking off.
I began meditating consistently (or somewhat consistently) in November of 2018. The more I meditated, the less reactive I was and the more I accomplished. The last few years have been very challenging for me personally. Things are still challenging with my son (the only difference is he’s on his own now) and the loss of my Mom was something I was not even remotely prepared for. However, I know there is no way I’d be where I am today in terms of being able to hold all this had it not been for the personal work and meditation I do.
I allow myself whatever time I need and I’ve shifted my idea of what self-care is.
As much as I love my massages, baths, and downtime, self-care is also doing the things that need to be done, even when you don’t want to do them because it instills trust in yourself.
It’s saying no to things and people that no longer serve you.
It’s setting clear boundaries, asking for help, and honoring the commitments you’ve made to yourself.
Which is what has brought me to where I am today.
Making decisions and moving forward with my business in a way that serves me and how I want my life to look.
So, let’s start with my personal brand.
Obviously, I’m keeping the site up. 😉
I’ve decided that all my courses will be run under the Content Creators Planner brand. They’re going to be updated and refreshed so they look like part of that brand (as well as being re-recorded) and I will link to them from this site. It just didn’t make sense to me to be driving so much traffic to that brand, growing a list of customers who wanted more help with content marketing and strategy and then to keep my courses under this brand and cross-promote. Jodi and I have discussed this quite a bit in terms of how this looks for us since these are assets I’ve already created and I’m happy to say we’ve come to a great agreement that works for both of us (and honestly, Jodi was more concerned than I was about this… like I’ve said before, this has been the easiest partnership I’ve ever had).
I’ve got 3 courses we’ll be moving to that brand and will release over time this spring (the thought of being in a crazy, perpetual launch mode gives me a headache. We’ll map out the best process for doing this for our audience and release things strategically).
We’ve also got a new ‘Content Promotion’ course we’re releasing next month (this is brand new and complements the planner) which is our primary focus, then we’ll get to the other courses.
As fas as my KimDoyal.com site, I’ve got some copy to update and will be clarifying the messaging on the site so that what I do is crystal clear.
Coaching & Consulting
This isn’t something I mention very much, which, probably seems a little silly. However, this has also been intentional. Coaching and consulting require completely different energy and as much as I love doing it, I can only do so much in a week. Because of the growth with the planner and life, in general, these past 6 months have left very little time for creating and I miss it terribly.
Not to mention the irony of someone who is selling a content planner but doesn’t have enough time to create content.
I’ll be re-doing the messaging around my coaching and consulting offers, making them more predominant on the site (with crystal clear pricing) and sharing those offers this year (not sure how frequently, but I will continue doing it).
This is something I’ve always loved doing and would like to do more of.
I’m not sure when I’ll put this up on the site (probably the second half of this year) but will be putting together a speaker sheet and possibly pursuing a few speaking gigs. I have zero attachments to what this looks like right now, but I’d like to see where it takes me.
Content Creators Planner
I can’t share too much with you yet with this brand, but we’re ridiculously excited. At the time of this writing and recording, I’m a few days out from flying to Atlanta to spend 3 days with Jodi planning out what our goals are for 2020.
I’ll give you a little tease and will share details when we have them, but here are a few things that are in the works:
- Content Creators Podcast
- Creativity Published Newsletter
- Content Promotion Course
- Content Kits
- Version 2 of the planner
- Trello board version of the planner (and masterclass for that)
- LIVE event in the fall
I don’t have a time frame or dates on any of that yet, but I can say that the content promotion course, Trello board, and podcast are happening first (goal is by the end of February on all 3).
So that’s pretty exciting…
The Future of The Kim Doyal Show
Coming full circle back to the beginning when I said “something felt off.”
After I pivoted from ‘The WordPress Chick’ to my own brand, I simply changed the name of the podcast.
Maybe not the most strategic decision at the time, but I pretty much live by the idea that “imperfect action is better than no action” and this felt right at the time.
It’s been almost 7 years since I started podcasting. On one hand, the format that I’ve been doing started to feel a little boring. On the other hand, I wasn’t sure what a new format would look like or what I wanted to do. Which is why it’s been so sporadic.
A couple of things I’ve decided…
- It’s time to update the intro: this will also reflect where I’m at today, what I’m doing, and what the podcast is about
- The old interview style doesn’t work for me anymore
- I want to do more solo shows – with some shorter episodes in between the hour-long shows (which I still love doing)
- Getting into some of the intangible topics that affect us as entrepreneurs
One thing I haven’t talked about on the show is my spiritual beliefs.
Now, before you decide to hit unsubscribe, let me just say that I’m not about to start getting into this as a general topic. I will never discuss religion (I don’t practice any religion) or politics (just writing the word politics gives me a headache haha).
What I will share on a more personal & deeper level is how I integrate this into my business and the results I get.
Nothing has impacted me in my business the way this has. Choosing what I focus on, shifting my beliefs, and telling a different story.
When I do interviews, some of them may be around this as opposed to business strategy (although I do intend to continue those as well, they’ll be more conversational as opposed to interviewing style).
I’ve thought about asking my therapist to come on the show, but I’m not sure how I’d want to do that (or if she’d say yes, technically she’s retired, I’m just the “What About Bob” client that won’t let her go – and Google that if you’ve ever heard of the movie).
In terms of the shorter episodes that I’d like to include as well, those are going to be more ‘off the cuff’ episodes where I share a thought, idea, or something that’s just happened that I think will provide some value and insight for you.
These may be in the car, while I’m on a walk (provided I don’t have the dogs with me), or just when a random idea strikes me.
I’ll be figuring that part out as I go.
All that being said, I want to thank you.
If you’ve hung around and are still part of my tribe, I appreciate your patience.
I’m truly grateful for my subscribers and community and am excited about this next chapter.