Talk to anyone in sales and they will all tell you the same little piece of ancient wisdom: It’s a numbers game. No surprise here, but if you’re a freelance writer you’re in sales. This is an excellent time of year to dive in and have a look at those little beasties. Reviewing your numbers helps you to identify any gaps there may be in your marketing efforts. In general, having a good look at your numbers will help you to set up how you do things in the new year, on a new day.
Look at these numbers
- Google Analytics – Assuming you have a web site with a blog, your first stop in the numbers game should be at your Google Analytics page. Most of us head on over and have a peek at these numbers on a fairly regular basis, but often times we look at the unique views and we move on. There is so much more to see. You want to take as much time as necessary to review all of the metrics and think about what they mean. Where are your viewers coming from? How long do they stay? Which page do they land on and which page do they leave from? What posts draw the most traffic for you and what similarities are present between them? Are the trends moving up or moving down? The answers to these questions should drive how you structure things in the future.
- Marketing – Other than the web site analytics, how are your marketing efforts holding up? Look at the amount of money you spent advertising and what income was derived from those efforts. Is your print advertising working or do you need to consider focusing your efforts in a different medium? Do you know which medium is responsible for bringing each of your clients over the past year? These are important questions. If your marketing budget is as limited as it is for most of us other freelancers, you can nigh afford to be wasteful in your efforts.
- Financials – Dealing with the financial records is my absolute least favorite part of having a freelance business. If I wanted to look at financial data, I would have become a dad-blamed account. Okay, now that I have that out of my system, I have to tell you that there really is no choice in the matter. Chances are at some point in the near future you will need to inform the government of all the loot you hauled in and what your cost was to haul in the said loot. Hopefully you kept things organized enough to easily find these documents. As well, if you were a very good girl or boy, you kept track electronically so that you could have a short look at your spreadsheets from time to time.
Freelancing by the numbers is not necessarily difficult. It’s a matter of taking the time to have a look at the numbers and adjusting your course based on your interpretation of the results. The other important point is that the numbers game should be played on a regular basis throughout the course of the year – not just at year end.
Posted by: George