As we close the book on 2022, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on my journey as an online entrepreneur. It’s been a year of learning, growing, and sometimes failing. But through it all, I’ve come out stronger and more determined to succeed.
In this post, I’ll share some of the things I improved on, the areas where I fell short, and my plans for the new year. Whether you’re just starting out as an online entrepreneur or you’ve been in the game for a while, I hope my experiences can provide some insight and inspiration for your own journey.
Disclosure: This blog post may contain affiliate links. If you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products and deals that I truly believe may be useful or helpful to you.
Things I improved on
At the start of this year, I committed to emailing my list at least once a week. I kept to that for the most part, and even sent multiple emails a week during promo periods.
It was uncomfortable at first- not getting any responses to the emails, getting unsubscribes with every email, running a full promo and making little or no sales… but I think I like email marketing.
The gurus didn’t lie when they said it converts better than other platforms. And you’re not under pressure to post something every single day!
Also, when you get into stride, you realize there’s almost always something to email about- a promo, a new thing you learned, new content you created, or some insight that might inspire or motivate your audience.
I participated in a good number of bundles this year. It was a rewarding way to collaborate with other creators.
I also wrote a guest post for the Freeat50 blog, and had an article published in the PassionBreakthrough Magazine. I meant to do more guest posts but didn’t get around to it.
I think collaborations are a great way to build connections and reach new audiences. I hope to do more next year.
I created 7 new courses* this year – bringing me to a total of 9 active courses and 1,647 active students. At least two things helped me achieve this:
- Moving from MemberVault’s free plan to ThriveCart Learn meant I was no longer limited to 3 products and 100 students. Creating courses and promoting them without worrying about limits was a game-changer for me.
- Participating in bundles as a contributor pushed me to create new products so I wouldn’t have to submit the same thing to every single bundle.
*Course in this context includes workshops, toolkits, mini-courses, etc
Things I dropped the ball on
I had a truckload of ideas for showing up on social media, but I couldn’t make the time commitment, especially as email marketing was giving me more results with less work. I intend to give it another try in 2023, either on my Instagram page or in my Facebook group (or both).
I was going to write a blog post a week, at least. And do guest posts and HARO to build my backlinks, and pin everything on Pinterest… Welp! I did a handful of blog posts and that was it.
Fleshing out my courses
I consider my courses to be living documents that will be updated and improved constantly. However, I didn’t get around to updating a bunch of them this year. I intend to do them early 2023, and maybe even run live rounds to encourage students to implement them!
Things I didn’t even try
Live trainings/Podcast guesting/Summits
What do these three have in common? I would have had to show up on video, show up live(ish), or both. And then I’d have said something and spent the next 48hrs wondering why I said that thing, or why I didn’t word it better. Add to this the struggle to get the perfect lighting/audio/background setting for videos.
Things I spent the most on
Compared to the past two years, I was pretty reasonable with my software purchases. I got Thrivecart which is a bit pricey (but totally worth it). I also got Riku, Brizy Pro (not really software), and ContentFries.
I purchased about 8 course bundles this year (this does not include the ones I got access to as a contributor). I also bought 20+ standalone courses- Mostly low-ticket products offering quick wins in subjects I’m interested in.
I added more to my PLR* collection, including a bundle of templates I can sell as templates (template-ception). I’m excited about the different ways I can use them- expect a lot of cool new offers from me (and free upgrades for existing products!)
*PLR is whitelabel content that you can edit and sell as yours.
Things I didn’t spend on
I’m not yet at that point in my business where I think I need (or can afford) coaching. I’ve been juggling my business with a demanding 9-5 job, two toddlers, and the general demands of adulting. I wouldn’t have had the time to implement what the coach said.
My 2023 focus is on creating more time and implementing the things that I know. However, there have been a couple of moments when I needed more clarity and direction, and it helped me to chat with Tara Reid and Diane Tarshis (separate events).
I’m a DIYer. I know a lot about a lot, so it’s easy for me to get things done without having to pay someone. I will consider outsourcing in the future though, especially the mundane tasks, and the ones that would do better with a professional touch.
I know how to run Facebook ads, but they generally haven’t been profitable for me. So I didn’t bother much with them this year. I might not bother much with them next year either. Organic marketing works too, if you do it right.
Dianne and I started chatting early 2022 about tech, collaborations, and online biz in general. She has amazing energy and a knack for connecting people (I got my guest blogging opportunity from her FB group). It was a joy to see her skyrocket her biz in 2022. Her FB group went from hundreds to thousands and she hit her 2022 goals in the first quarter!
Maylene might be the sweetest person I’ve met on the internet. We connected in a Facebook group and got talking about videos and online visibility. She challenged me to show up more and constantly cheers me on. I wish her a happy and abundant 2023!
Funmi “Fleau” Uju
Fleau is 1 of 3 in a 3-woman WhatsApp group we have going on. We supported each other throughout 2022 with ideas, feedback, encouragement, and more. She’s also the FB ads queen and I’ll be hitting her up when I’m ready to start running ads.
Irene and I met in 2016 (so not in the “new friend” category but…), she’s my only real-life friend that gets what I do. It’s great to be able to chat her up and vent or gush about the latest tech I discovered or my latest new idea. Our friendship has been wacky and full of adventure and learning. She’s the absolute best!
My favorite buys of 2022
Before Thrivecart, I had my sales pages on SwipePages, checkout pages on Studiocart, and courses on Membervault. It was tedious trying to get all the moving parts to work seamlessly together.
Buying Thrivecart simplified my tech setup A LOT and made it easier for me to create new products without worrying about the limits. Unlimited products, unlimited students, unlimited pages (can I get a whoop! whoop!).
And if design is not your thing, you can even buy sweet premade Thrivecart templates like these ones here.
Bundles were a recurring theme for me in 2022. I bought them, participated in them, and even created a course about participating in bundles.
I believe bundles are worth every penny (that is if you like the lineup of courses in the bundles). Even one or two useful courses can cover the cost of an entire bundle!
I’m challenging myself to go through at least 3 courses in each bundle I get, because the value is in using the products and implementing what you’ve learned.
The deals that got away
I’m not yet at that place where I can dish out $1000+ to invest in my business. But if I were, I would have grabbed these offers:
Uncage Your Business by Rebecca Tracey
I tend to want to do all the things, but I know that I should start with a specific niche, product or audience, articulate my message, and simplify my marketing process.
There are many programs that could help with this, but the sales copy for Uncage Your Business legit spoke to me!
I’d have been like “Shut up and take my money” if I had that kind of money.
WP RockStar by Julia Taylor
I’m a WordPress gal, and I’ve happily set up websites for a few clients (people I already knew personally). But I’ve been putting off making this a proper service because I want to get it all right from the start- the software, agreements, proposals, onboarding questions, maintenance period… so many things to factor in when offering a web design service. And WP Rockstars appears to have all that covered.
This would be an easy investment to recoup.
The Bundle Formula by Dama Jue
There are so many benefits to hosting bundles, and you get to build your list and your affiliate army practically overnight. The ROI on this could be immense, and being able to do it easily with someone else’s proven system? Priceless!
The Everything Offer by Elizabeth Goddard
This would have been a great opportunity to get access to some of Lizzy’s higher-priced products, especially the Rock Your Day of Voxer offer. Would have saved me the trouble of trying to conduct video calls in a house with two rambunctious toddlers.
Things I want to do in 2023
Show up consistently on social media
I currently have 500+ Instagram followers and almost 300 members in my Facebook group. I want to show up consistently on one or both platforms. We’ll see how it goes!
Regular live trainings or challenges
I want to get comfortable showing up on video. Video marketing is a great way to humanise your brand and share what you know without overthinking it.
Going live gives you the opportunity to connect with your audience in real time, answer their questions (and maybe pitch your offer).
A live video can also be repurposed in many ways, so if you don’t already do videos, consider adding them to your 2023 plan.
Create and sell templates
Probably Canva templates, maybe printables or lead magnets, maybe Notion templates or spreadsheets. I haven’t entirely decided. But templates are great to have in your basket of offers because they work well as standalone products, or as bonuses to increase the value of your offers.
Things I may consider doing in 2023
Launching a podcast
I like the idea of a podcast. Showing up, connecting, and teaching without worrying about my hair, lighting, or whether the background is elegant enough. I already have my podcast software ready, got the mike, and about 50 podcast-related courses to blitz through.
But will I launch a podcast in 2023? Stay tuned to find out!
Hosting a bundle or giveaway
I bought and participated in a lot of bundles this year. And I’m really playing with the idea of hosting mine. But I already have a long to-do list for the year, so I may or may not squeeze this in.
Offering a service or services
I’m generally a confident and self-assured person, but I think I might drop dead if I offered my services to someone and they weren’t satisfied.
I’ve been told that this anxiety around offering services is normal (yep, imposter syndrome). So perhaps, I might maybe consider offering a service next year.
Things I will do less of in 2023
I love bundles- both as a buyer and a contributor. I’ll still do bundles next year, but LESS (or fewer). And here’s why:
Between June and December 2022, I participated in 9 bundles. This helped me to grow my list, make sales, and connect with other creators. But joining too many bundles can get you caught in an overwhelming cycle of bundle promotions.
I noticed that most of the emails I sent to my list were more about bundles and less about value, or other things I had to offer.
I also created a bunch of products for the purpose of submitting to bundles, and I want to take some time to flesh them out – content, funnels, and all.
So I’ll be taking time to connect with my already-existing audience, and to update my already-existing products.
Overthinking, over-strategizing, and not enough “doing”.
I get stuck in a perfectionist loop of researching, planning, and preparing, and then researching and planning some more, because I’m never satisfied with the standard of the projected results.
So in 2023, I will show up with a little bit of mess, some disarray, and hopefully more consistency, more value, and more results!
Even if that means taping the Nike slogan to my mirror.
Disclosure: This blog post may contain affiliate links. If you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products and deals that I truly believe may be useful or helpful to you. Thank you for your support!
You are a hardworking and amazing content creator. Your brain is pretty much a well of ideas and to be honest I am waiting to see you blow up this year because you have put in the work.
Thank you so much Funmi! I really appreciate your support and encouragement.
I know we’ll both do great this year.