I first met Jennifer Puno (all her friends call her Puno, which is to say, if you met her you would call her Puno) at a party. Well not exactly a party... it was a meetup for Squarespace users, because we're nerds like that. But she's exactly the kind of person you would find at a party, right in the middle of the dance floor and pulling you in. She's also a serial entrepreneur, UX smarty pants and uber creative. Girl can also crunch some numbers! We asked her to share the system she's developed for tracking her growth, because we firmly believe if you don't know your numbers you don't know what's really going on with your business.
Every week, you are pouring your heart and soul to your business. Doing everything you can to sustain it. You’re staying up at night thinking… is this working? When will all this work start paying off?
I hear this a lot: “This week, I feel good. I’m getting a lot of traction.” When I ask, “How do you know that?” That damn cricket starts rubbing it’s wings together. Eff you cricket!!
Feelings are great, but they come with other feelings like fear, confusion, and overwhelm. Once you have laid out manageable goals, you’ll have a better understanding of where you are now and how long it’ll take to get there. You’ll be able to turn fear into confidence, confusion into clarity, and overwhelm into let’s DO this!
For Map (@madewithmap) and ilovecreatives, I created a spreadsheet that allowed me to track my business growth. If you don’t have a revenue based business (yet), you can use this spreadsheet to track your marketing efforts as you figure out your business. Marketing is the other half of this business beast and starting early is a great way for you to begin carving out your community.
Now, grab the spreadsheet and make a copy.
Where You’re At
The first thing you need to do is fill out the Name of the Number You Want to Grow (A). Examples: Instagram followers, mailing list subscribers, pageviews, etc. Then, fill out the actual number (B) that you are at now. That’s right, go look it up! You’ll be looking this up all the time.
Where You Want To Go
See that percentage number (C)? That’s your growth percentage. Scroll all the way to the right until you see 6 Month Milestone and you’ve got what 10% week over week growth will get you. I had 1,023 followers on @madewithmap and six months later, we grew to 10,000 followers without the luxury of being featured, press, or paying for followers. True story!
Play with the growth percentage and take into consideration week 1 and 2. Are you confident that you can add that many next week (D)? If you aren’t, then maybe your six month goal isn’t realistic based on your current marketing strategies. You’ll need to change up your tactics, lower your growth percentage, or lower your six month goal. I would advise that you never go below 5%.
Er… Compound Growth Percentage?
Often, people think of linear growth. For example, “I grow my instagram following by 1000 each month!” That’s linear growth.
The problem with linear growth is that when you start, there’s no way you can grow by 1000 a month! Sha, I wish. When you start you’ll grow with very small numbers. Eventually, you’ll be able to grow even more each week. Alas, the party has to end at some point. Your growth percentage will eventually go down because of internal limits or you’ve tapped out your market. That’s the good ole’ S Curve for ya.
Check in every week, not every month.
Before I grew a team, I would check in every Monday and fill out this sheet to see where I was. If you did this once month, you would get so overwhelmed with your goals. If you did this once a week, you’ll have 24 opportunities to experiment and iterate as oppose to just 6. Take these weeks as a time to change it up! What got you here, won’t get you there.
Do your business a favor and stick to this every week for the next six months. Once you’ve hit your goal, just stop and work on other parts of your business. Just promise that you will never miss a weekly goal. Or, check your expectations and limitations so you don’t get super discouraged. Remember, it’s not as good as you hope, but it’s not as bad as you’re making it.
Enroll in Puno's Instagram Marketing Course. Make sure to add us as your referral!
About the Course
Puno has grown @madewithmap to 80,000 followers in one year with no "experience". She did not have the luxury of being featured by instagram and did not buy followers. She's completely transparent about everything so you can takeaway an actionable strategy. From emails she's written to how she does the "Mine + Grind", think of this class like an in-depth case study of exactly how she grew @madewithmap. She has taught this course at General Assembly multiple times and it is now available online. Yay!
Tell us: How do you track your growth? What numbers are important to you and what numbers do you ignore?