2016 Year in Review
2016 has been one of the most important years in my business and personal life. I relaunched my brand online, grew it into a 5-figure a month business, and learn tons of new things. Here I share my biggest takeaways and lessons for you.
2016 has been an incredible year in my life. I began the year in maternity leave, not even thinking about or being concerned about work at all –let alone knowing that I would be deciding to move to the US just a few months later. That decision changed my life in many, many ways. It basically meant that I would be leaving all my clients behind and basically be relaunching my business. You see, up until the beginning of the year all the clients I had had for the past 10 years in business had come through referrals. One client would always lead to the next and so on. This is how I had done business successfully since I began working. But by leaving Venezuela, my country, I would be leaving the clients and referrals behind. Venezuela’s currency is control, which means that people don’t have free access to dollars. And, of course, in the US you need dollars to live. In other words, I would be launching my business all over again in a new country and with different rules to the game.
So what did I do to turn that new business into a 5-figure one in 10 months? Here I share with you my year in review.
I launched an online course
It all began with this idea of creating my very own free branding course. It’s funny, without knowing it, I jumped right into one of the more “advanced” things without knowing it. At the time I had 0 people on my email list, no idea what a sales funnel was and my website was pretty outdated. I spent weeks writing, creating, recording, editing and setting up my course and launched it on June 11th. I emailed everyone I knew, shared it on social media, and sent is as a broadcast to my WhatsApp list. Around 400 people signed up which was pretty good considering I had no clue what I was doing. However, as you can imagine, didn’t gain 1 single client from that course. I was pretty bummed out because I was pretty sure it would be amazing for my business. Now, only 6 months after that, I can’t help but laugh because I was so clueless. My biggest mistake was not having a sales funnel, a call to action or any follow-up plan at all. Another mistake was not educating the people that signed up about how branding could potentially transform their businesses. I just went straight into talking about different aspects of a brand.
In 2017 I’m planning a new paid course, but this time with many, many changes that I know will guarantee its success!
I learned a lot: coaching + courses
After that whole course fiasco, I felt pretty crappy. I went on a vacation to Punta Cana with my family and when I came back, I was feeling so stressed and anxious full of doubt and in scarcity mode 100%. I decided to make a change. So, I took a HUGE leap of faith and decided to do 2 coaching programs. One was a business program and the other one was all about mindset.
These 2 programs completely changed my life. First of all, getting my mind in the right place was crucial. I needed to set myself up for success and, up until then, I really hadn’t. I needed to start believing in myself and trusting that I was capable of doing amazing things. The truth is that my self-confidence was pretty shattered at that point. I felt that I wasn’t enough, that I would never be able to reach my goals.
In fact, I believed in me so little, I set ridiculously small goals for myself, just in case. I’m sure it’s something a lot of us do, right? You put these small goals for yourself and once you achieve them, you stop trying to do more. If I hadn’t made that mindset shift, pushing myself and my limitations; there’s so much I wouldn’t have done! You can read all about those mindset changes and even download a free guide to help you with YOUR mindset right here.
Another thing I realized is that I didn’t know A LOT of things. So, I rolled up my sleeves and started researching and learning like crazy. In the past 6 months I have done over 10 different online courses on business and marketing strategies. I have read around 5 books and countless articles and posts with tons of information that I have applied for my business. All of that with a 1 year old and a husband, so…let’s just say I have had my hands full!
I audited + rebranded my biz
From all of this new information I have learned, it has meant that I have a really different focus on business right now. In 2016 I audited my business and made lots of changes. You can read more about auditing your brand here. I eliminated services that I no longer wanted to do (bye, brochures!), I honed in on who my target audience was and got really clear on my mission + purpose:
I create unique brands that attract for entrepreneurs by showcasing what makes them remarkable
I also changed my focus and communication BIG TIME. Before, I used to talk about how I’m a graphic designer that makes logos and websites. Now, my communication is all about the benefits and transformation I help others achieve. This has made the biggest impact on my business so far. It made me understand how important it is that I really understand the needs and struggles of my clients and how I can really help them grow. I think it’s pretty crazy that I had never thought about this before and that my focus was 100% on me, my studies and experience– who really cares about that? What people care about is whether you can help them solve their problems.
Rebranding my business was really important for me to realize all this. Here’s a guide I created to help you in brand your business too. Getting clear on who you are, what you really do and your unique selling proposition will define how you do business. You can download it here for free:
I created tons of content
The next really important thing I did was create this blog! I have always loved writing. In fact, years ago I had a blog in which I talked about my experience growing up in Brazil, Spain, US, India and Venezuela. I had never thought it would be possible for me to have a blog in which I could talk about my other passion in life: branding and being an entrepreneur.
My blog began pretty simple. I would write pretty short articles about branding with good info, but not really any heart. One of the things I learned is that the more of me I share, the more people connect and engage. Pretty crazy, right? People actually want to know about me and my experiences, not just about branding, but what it means to me on a personal level. Here’s the story of how I increased my income by 1000% in 6 months; one of my most popular blog posts so far.
Another big thing I did? I started creating tons of guides and resources for readers and followers. I have had so much fun creating those! I began creating them in October and so far have made 10 guides, both in Spanish and English (basically because I’m insane).
Like this checklist which helps you become a successful entrepreneur:
I put myself out there – a lot
Finally, the other big thing I did this year and a great way to end this year in review, is that I REALLY put myself out there. I had been SO comfortable hiving in a little bubble, almost afraid of letting the world see me, hiding and shrinking in every way possible. Putting myself out there took quite a bit for me. But once I decided to do it, I did it all the way. I created two Facebook groups, one in Spanish, another in English (again, because I’m insane). I became active on Twitter and in Instagram. I setup my business Pinterest profile. I started creating weekly Facebook Live videos talking about branding, entrepreneurship and so much more. I started attending networking events. I joined like 40 Facebook groups and started sharing weekly advice there. What can I say? I did it all and it as SO fun! You can read more about different things you can do to make your business stand out, right here.
All in all, it has been a pretty amazing year. Where I started feeling lost, I’m ending it completely clear on where I’m headed. Here’s a list of some of the things I have achieved and learned this year:
– I have built my business into a 5-figure one in only 10 months
– I have a subscriber list of over 1,000 so far
– I have been invited to do conferences in 2017, something I’m super excited about
– I have created a great, lean business process
– I’m clear on who my audience is and how to reach them best
– My personal brand has grown a ton, and I get tons of new clients from all over the world each month
– Mindset is probably one of the most important things in business
– Being an entrepreneur is a journey where you learn something new everyday
All in all, it has been an amazing year, and I know for sure that 2017 will be even greater. You can read my strategies for the new year and what YOU can do to grow your business as well right here.