Even if you are your own boss, you still need to conduct a year-end evaluation in order to recognize your achievements and examine opportunities for improvement. Below I'll outline three steps for completing your self-review. But first, a quick story from my ad agency days.
I was on the rooftop of the Rock Bottom Brewery when I landed my first marketing job. Well, I made a connection to interview for the job, for which I later got. My first step into marketing was incredible. I was working as a Client Service Manager on the agency team preparing to launch a Type 2 Diabetes drug. The agency specialized in pharmaceutical brands. I was young and hungry, working as many hours as it took to launch the largest global brand in agency history.
I earned seven performance awards while at my first agency. I was invited to be on the pitch team for a huge new client, another JV for a heart disease drug. I wasn’t around long enough to learn the drug’s brand name, just the generic. But every time I see commercials for it on TV, I am transported back to the late nights in the pitch team hotel.
I watched and took extensive notes as the agency CEO changed the slides at the last minute. I was in on the pitch team joke; someone had to use the word “underwear” in the presentation. The SVP of Strategic Planning nailed it, “Let’s see if I can handle these boards without getting them tangled up in my underwear” he murmured as he prepared to show our creative concepts. He would get a steak dinner for uttering that sentence, if we won.
In these early junior level roles, my customer-service, people-pleaser self flourished. One client even dubbed me "The Fixer."
Not everyone loved me. One of the more senior Quality Control managers had it out for me. I was interviewing for my first promotion. She was the only one on the interview committee who did not feel I was ready. She told me she had told the committee this.
“People are in your role for years before they get promoted. It’s only been 9 months!”
I got the promotion.
Whether others think you’re ready for growth/a promotion or not can pale in the face of the results you’ve helped achieve. Despite no longer working in the agency or corporate marketing world—parts of which I miss—as an entrepreneur, I still conduct an annual review for myself and my business. Here's how to get started in three key steps:
1. Set Goals
Members of my marketing mastermind group, Ascend, are also doing this. We all set goals at the beginning of the year, and, as part of Brand Boost, my signature step-by-step process to create and implement a marketing plan, we established key performance indicators by which to measure and track our success. If you didn’t set goals this year, here is help for getting your goal-setting on track for next year.
2. Record Challenges & Accomplishments
If you haven’t been documenting tough months or amazing achievements along the way, don’t worry! Your website likely has reporting for you to examine your top traffic sources, conversions, most-read blog posts, etc. Examine this data and of course look at your sales figures as well. Identify your top clients, projects, and lead generation techniques/tactics. Also look at areas you can improve. You don’t want to waste any energy on endeavors which are not producing measurable results.
Here are a few of my achievements, insights, and opportunities from my first year in business:
15 New Clients Served; 40% from healthcare/health & wellness industry
Compared to other Marketing websites in the US:
58% of traffic came from social media; better than 89% of sites in my category
Visitors spent an average of 2 minutes 24 seconds on my site; better than 78% of sites in my category
Vulnerability is winning when it comes to storytelling,
Most-Read Blogs are My Birth Story & Stuff No one F*cking Tells You When You’re Pregnant. Despite blogging about professional topics; most find personal life stories and insights more intriguing.
Opportunity for further SEO Optimization. Top sites in my category get over 35% of their traffic from organic search.
3. Create New SMART Goals
Looking at your performance from the past year, capitalize on your strengths and look to target your weaknesses. Some ideas to consider are developing a new product to diversify your offerings or providing new services, implementing or upgrading your website and social media presence, and increasing your staff or outsourcing some aspects of your work (either virtually or in house). Learn How to write a Business Goal here.
My Brand Boost online class graduates already have the template and marketing tools needed to create a fresh, insightful Marketing Plan for 2022. And my Ascend members are currently workshopping their plans during our mastermind calls. Even if you haven’t taken the course or aren't in the group I would be happy to help you set goals and create a strategic Marketing Plan on a page. You’ll fill out a brief email survey to let me know more about your brand and customers. Then I’ll set to work on creating your marketing plan on-a-page for you.
According to an industry survey of more than 3,200 marketers, those who set goals were 376% more likely to report success than those who didn't. Compelling to say the least! Click here for your Marketing Plan on a page offer, which expires December 1, 2021. And cheers to setting goals and accomplishing them.