Well 2013 is nearly done and Wow what a year it has been for me both personally and business wise. If I’m honest 2012 was a tough year for me but what a difference 12 months can make.
What has been the difference this year? Simply more success and feeling better about myself generally. I cut off the dead weight both in my business and physically. Late 2012 I had a number of staff on my books who just simply weren’t performing there were a large range of issues with them some you wouldn’t believe but maybe that should be another blog for another time. Add to this I started to feel unwell and realised that my weight had ballooned in 2012 (maybe due to the comfort eating and the odd Stella to drown my sorrows ha) but I was nearly 16 ½ stone uncomfortable and feeling generally unhappy with myself. Turns out that drink a bit can be bad for you! So my new year’s resolution was to get fitter (well slimmer) and to plan a more successful 2013 for Click Convert. I’m a simple man and I thought about what would make me happier and the answer was to lose weight and help more clients (which type of means more money in the bank).
So have I achieved that this year? The answer is a resounding YES! The next question is how did I do it? I would love to sit here and tell you a fantastical story of how I made a pilgrimage to somewhere like Tibet on a Yak and spent 6 months training with Shaolin Monks and found myself spiritually but that’s not how it happened.
I began the money task in January 2013 I surrounded myself with a really talented hardworking team that I trust implicitly. This is important (remember my blog a few months back about talent) then I worked out a strategy on how we were going to improve the service and offerings we have. I am a true believer in Pareto’s principle (the 80:20 principle) this is true in every business 80% of your customers bring you in 20% of our turnover and vice versa this can be said about Google AdWords too, 80% of advertisers are failing or just getting by and 20% are doing well or fantastic. However I looked at this in more detail and when you look at it the truth is that the truly successful business that we work with are really in the top 5 % and they are making 95% of the profits think (think I might call this “Langley’s Law” the 95:5 principle. Now I saw this and said to myself that my aim this year was to make sure that I and my clients were in that top 5% and now in December I can say that has been successful. As I said the issue with AdWords is that 80% of advertisers fail. What you need to ask yourself is am I in the 80% of people or am I in the 15% doing well or am I in the top 5% taking 95% of the profits? I know where I wanted to be when I set up my business and I’m sure you are the same it wasn’t just a means to an end or just get by; it was to be a success and MAKE MONEY! If that wasn’t your motivation then you shouldn’t be wasting your money on AdWords you’ll just end up bankrupt.
Bankrupt now there’s a word we all loathe and fear, however although the government and the media would have you believe that this year we have begun to get out of the recession but and it is a big but, I have seen more businesses go bust this year than in the other three years I have been running this business. Now there are a number of reasons for this but general fall into 3 groups – those growing rapidly or more accurately having to grow rapidly to fund the increase AdWords costs. If this group even pauses for a moment cash flow issues soon catch up. Usually this group are like a firework rocket exploding at the top of the curve. Our second group realise that costs are running away with them and attempt to bring the AdWords beast under control, often turning off campaigns en mass, but whilst they seem to solve the problem immediately by month 2 of the ‘Big Cull’ sales suddenly sales fall off a cliff as the conversion funnel dries up. Our third group often have seen others explode into failure before them, so take a reserved cautious approach, never spending much and shun risk at all opportunities. They never generate real sales and as a result struggle along never realising their full potential. All these groups suffer from what I now call the Ad Myth. But that’s something much, much bigger I will tell you about in the New Year.
Google AdWords is becoming more and more complex and in truth it is now the most complex advertising media out there when I began as an AdWords expert it was simple there were only text ads. Now you have to contend with PLA’s, Dynamic remarketing, search remarketing, Geo targeting, conversion tracking, estimated conversions and a whole plethora of new features which if left unattended can run away with your spend.
You may think this is a little tenuous but once the business had began to improve I then had a little more time to think about me, so around March I had a little scare health wise I had began getting sharp pains in my side about 6 months before but didn’t have time to go seek proper advice being a bit obsessive I fell into the trap as many people do and called upon Dr Google! I think throughout that six months I had everything from trapped wind to full on bowel cancer. I don’t mind telling you there were a number of times that it really worried me what was happening and I was scared to see what was really going on. However in March I bit the bullet, the business was improving month by month and I thought if I’m going to be making all this money then I want to be around to spend it.
In March I realised I needed proper professional advice on what was wrong with me. I saw my doctor went for a number of tests and it turned out to be a dietary issue (phew!) this was something I could deal with by taking the right advice. I would really describe the ‘dietary issue’ as being a fat git who drunk too much. Over the years I had read many articles and tried lots of fad diets all of which made a difference for a very short period of time maybe a month or two, after seeing a dietician I started to focus on getting my weight down. I set myself a target of losing 3 stone this year and in September when I went to California to visit Google (plus I threw in a small road trip in Corvettes with 30 friends across 3 states ending in Vegas – that’s another story involving Penn & Teller!) I had achieved my goal, I was down to 12st 11lbs a total weight loss of around 3 ½ stone. The reason being was I took a 3 stage approach to this and guess what it works with my business too.
Firstly Focus, this is important with anything you do in life if you want to succeed! If you are not in a position to wholeheartedly follow through with anything your doing then you are doomed to fail I did it with my weight I realised it was something I HAD TO DO. When you are focused on what you are trying to do it becomes easier and the same can be said about AdWords I speak to too many people on our AdWords health check who say I just put a budget on AdWords and let it run! WHAAAT! Really? You just give money to Google and aren’t concerned about what happens? Why bother spending that money in the first place?
Secondly Measurement, How do you know what your achieving if you don’t continuously measure your performance, admittedly with weight loss I became a little obsessed with this part. I would weigh myself 2 to 3 times a day. The guys in the office thought I was mad, however I knew that I had to do this for myself to keep me focused and to try and understand exactly what was happening with my body after I ate certain foods and had maybe fallen off the wagon a little! I am a sucker for a pizza and if I’m away from home it’s not always easy to eat well on the road. The thing is thought by using a measurement I could keep track of where I was and what I had to do to improve and the same can be translated to AdWords if you know where you are up to and what you need to do to improve it, it becomes easier to keep focused.
Finally Control, if you’re not in control of what is happening then it can easily spiral out of control very quickly and easily. This can be disastrous and can cost you your business or health. I realised quickly that if I took control of my diet this would slow down or stop any further health issues in the years to come. Let’s face it if you are running your own business then you’re in it for the long haul, very few people start a business with a view to selling it within 12-24 months and of those that do want to do this even fewer are successful. The point is if you are in control then you can drive to your own destiny. When you start a business the last thing you want to do is out the responsibility of your livelihood in the hands of a complete stranger because believe me there are many Glory Hounds and Toads out there whose only interest is in themselves and they will turn on you as quick as a flash (I know this from experience).
So I asked in the title “Are you Happy with this year” my answer is yes, I’m slimmer, feel more confident, more comfortable with myself (you should see the number selfies I take now I am not a fat git) and more successful That’s what makes me happy however I’m already planning on next year being an even happier. If your answer is no or it was Ok, then come on get with the programme and do something about it. Don’t procrastinate any longer, there’s no such thing as a free lunch in this world and you need to make it happen. Richard E Grant (what a guy) proclaims in his programme on his secret hotels show that ‘luxury is free to those you can afford it, and impossibly expensive to those that can’t. Make sure luxury is free to you in 2014.
Have a very Merry Christmas and Make 2014 a year of action, not reaction and call us NOW, don’t wait for us to call you and get our expert advice and let us help you get into the top 5% who are the real successes in AdWords in the New Year.