2022 Annual Review: Top Achievements & Lessons Learned | 24
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I don’t know about you, but I absolutely LOVE listening to other annual reviews. It’s always interesting to see how someone else’s year went based on their own priorities and lessons they learned.
In this episode, you’re getting a glimpse into my own annual review where I’ll be sharing my top achievements and the lessons learned from each so that maybe you can avoid some of the mistakes I made. Perhaps, you’ll even be inspired to try something you haven’t done before. I’m really excited to share this one with you so dive in!
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▶ Listen to episode 23: How To Do an End of Year Review for Your Online Business
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(Note: This is a formatted AI-generated transcript to make it easier for you to read through, but is not an optimized blog post. Please excuse any spelling or grammar errors and filler words – it’s just how I speak LOL)
I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love listening to other people’s annual reviews. It’s always so interesting to see how someone else’s year went based on their own priorities and lessons learned.
So in this episode, I’m going to give you a glimpse into my own annual review. I’ll be sharing my top achievements and the lessons learned from each, so that maybe I can help you avoid some of the mistakes I made or inspire you to try something you haven’t done yet. I’m really excited to share this one so let’s go ahead and dive on in.
Hey, I’m Lucy Reyes, your host of the Cheerful Productive Chats Podcast, where I’m on a mission to help online entrepreneurs like you focus on all the right things and kiss overwhelm goodbye. Here, you’re going to learn strategies that will boost your productivity so that you can scale your online biz and impact lives sooner. It’s your time to shine so let’s get started!
My 2022 Business Annual Review
Hello, hello. Welcome back to the Cheerful Productive Chats Podcast! I am so excited for this episode because I’ve never done anything like it. I mean, sure, it’s like my first year doing this podcast, but in this episode you’re actually going to get a glimpse into my own 2022 Annual Review.
In the last episode, I talked about how I typically go about doing my annual reviews and how you can do the same. But in this episode, I’m specifically going to be sharing what I’m considering to be my top achievements for 2022, along with the lessons I learned from each.
Both good lessons and some lessons where I’m like, eh, because just because it was a top achievement, there are still so many things that you can get out of those achievements to do even better the next time. And that’s what we’re going to be talking about in this episode.
You’re also going to get a little glimpse at what I’m going to be doing differently based on those lessons that I’ve learned.
Summit and Bundle Participation
So in no particular order, let’s go ahead and go through what I’m considering to be some of my top, top achievements of 2022, starting with the first achievement that really surprised me, which is the fact that I participated in 10 summits and bundles total.
Now, this for me is a huge deal. Why? Because this is my first year ever participating in summits, while it’s not my first year participating in bundles. Summits were completely new territory for me.
I still hadn’t really put myself out there. I still wasn’t a hundred percent confident in getting on camera and much less getting on camera and turning in a presentation to someone else to evaluate, and then have that presented in front of potentially thousands of attendees. Like, no, no, no. But last year I did it.
So in total, there were a total of 10 summits and bundles, something that I’m so super proud of. And this was really, really due to going into 2022 with my word of the year being visible.
I had made a decision to do a pivot in my business, which was to focus more on productivity and organization And that really, really felt good to me. And so I knew that, okay, well, I’m doing this pivot. I just came back from this huge break.
In case you didn’t know, in the end of 2020 and beginning of 2021, I took like an eight month break. And so when I came back, I had a lot of reflection to do, a lot of evaluating to do, and that was towards the end of 2021. And that’s when I kind of realized, like, I need to pivot.
And so my word of the year became visible. I’m going to pivot, I’m going to kind of do a mini rebrand of my business, and I’m going to put myself out there. And I did that.
And it’s something that I highly highly recommend to anyone. If you have something to share with the world and you really just want to help your business get a little boost and grow at a much faster rate, then I definitely highly recommend that you find summits and bundles within your own niche to participate in.
Because, let me tell you. Once you start participating and some of the summits and bundles, there is this snowball effect that starts to happen.
Once you start pitching yourself, because yes, in the beginning, people still don’t know you. So you have to be the one to put yourself out there. You have to be the one to go out and find the bundles and find the summits, and send an email and pitch yourself.
But once you do that, and once you get accepted to a few, it then starts to snowball from there and you start getting invited to join more and more and more.
>> Want me to speak at your summit or contribute to your bundle? Visit here for contact info.
Lesson Learned #1: Promotion Calendar
And that kind of leads into my lessons, learned of participating in so many summits and bundles and one year. So one thing that I noticed was because I did participate in so many of these, where they actually mostly all happened in the second half of the year.
So it was almost like two a month and that really took away a lot of space from my promotion calendar to really share about my products, my stuff, my promotions. And I was constantly trying to move my calendar around to accommodate their requirements, and sometimes that ended up me running out of time to do certain tasks or having to rush a project out earlier than what I had initially planned.
So this year I will definitely limit and be more choosy with the summits and bundles that I participate in.
Not to say that I’m going to be doing less than 10 summits and bundles this year, but I’m still going to be very mindful that it’s not taking over my entire calendar.
Lesson Learned #2: Presentations
Another lesson that I learned was that because I was new to presenting at summits, I also needed to create a brand new presentation for each summit because I still didn’t have like a signature topic.
I was still testing the waters to see what attendees would like. I really tried to create something that’s going to be specific to a particular summit based on their topic.
And so creating all of these new presentations that I don’t even know how well they’re going to perform because it’s not my summit, it’s someone else’s summit. And all I can go based off of is how many people that watched my presentation actually ended up joining my email list or my freebie.
So that took up a lot of time in addition to not having a system in place for me participating in these summits or bundles, because, you know, again, it was new to me. It was all new territory.
So this year what I’m going to be doing differently is I already have my signature presentations that I will be sharing about. Of course, if there is a request for something completely different and I have the capacity to do it, then I am more than open to doing that, as long as it fits within what I have going on in my business.
Lesson Learned #3: Funnels
The last lesson that I learned from all of this was because of my pivot in early 2022, I took off a lot of my products that I currently had up for sale and I retired them. I just scraped a bunch of products, which meant that I didn’t have a lot of new products to contribute to the all access passes, the bundles, or much less for me to sell individually.
So that’s kind of what is going to lead into this next thing that I’m very proud of. But before I get to that next achievement, what I learned is I didn’t have these products, much less funnels in place for my new leads.
So I’m participating in all these summits and bundles. And I’m contributing something. I did create like two or three products that I was starting to contribute. but then it kind of ended there.
I didn’t have any funnels in place to show them what I’m about and what I can help them with. And so that potentially, I probably left a lot of money on the table with that, which I’m completely okay with. But that is going to be a big priority for me to change in 2023.
Courses Created (and Sold)
Now the next achievement that I’m really, really proud of stems from what I was mentioning just now about not having enough products. So what do you think I did? I started creating so many products.
But not just any products. I really took my time to really figure out what are those products that I am super passionate about that I really think can help someone.
And I created and sold a total of six different courses, including my signature course and Level Up Your Biz with Trello, which I talk about all of the time. It is my big baby. And it is just this big, magical, unique course that I am not going to get into right now.
But I created that in early 2022 and it is now my baby and I am so, so excited because it was a huge success. I’ve learned so much from that course alone. It has grown since when I first launched it and they will continue to develop and get updated throughout the year.
So that was probably one of my biggest, biggest achievements in 2022. But in addition to this signature course that I offer, I also launched five smaller courses with various price ranges, mostly all towards the end of the year.
And my products alone, not including the revenue that came in from the summit I hosted in October, which I will talk about next, but just my products, not including the summit made up almost 50% of my revenue… which is bananas.
So I am still super proud of those courses that I created, but of course, there are some lessons learned there as well.
>> Take a look at all my products available here
Lesson Learned #1: Product Launching
And one thing is that I need to get better and faster at launching my products. Because a lot of these courses that I created, I kind of created them throughout the year, and then they kind of sat there.
They sat there for a really long time and some of them were basically completed and I just wasn’t selling them because I hadn’t done the emails, the sales page, the graphics, and all of those different things.
So they just, they waited and then, it was, it just too long to get the products actually out there because there’s some of you that might’ve needed it earlier, and I’m sorry.
So this is something that I am actively learning on to really get better and faster at launching my products.
Lesson Learned #2: Funnels
The next thing, is there something already mentioned, which is not really having funnels in place.
So this includes the freebie funnel. So starting with a free PDF, a free something that will funnel that person to sell the course that I created on evergreen, whether it’s on a tripwire or a discount that they get later on or whatever. Like I don’t have currently any freebie funnels and plays besides the ones that go to my Level Up You’re Biz with Trello course.
So yeah, I need to really, really work on getting these in place to really get those products to sell on their own on evergreen and will be a huge, huge focus for me in 2023 and is something that I am in a coaching program for myself to be able to learn and do this faster and better.
Lesson Learned #3: Product Updates
And lastly, the old retired products that I talked about earlier, I am thinking about bringing some of them back to life in a new way to give them a chance because you know, I created them. People love them.
They’re not updated as updated as they can be but I do believe in repurposing as much content as you can. And nothing that you create should go unseen.
So I will be taking some time this year to go back and look at any retired products or products that are not currently for sale and see what can be brought back to life in a new way, even if it’s not the exact same product. But what can I use from those old products in a different way so that way it can still help someone.
Hosting a Summit
Now the next thing that I am so, so super proud of. I can’t talk about too, too much, because it is, it was such a huge, massive project that it would need an entire episode or two or three on its own for me to go through everything.
However, I did want to share it because it was honestly something that I never thought I would do, especially this early on in business. And especially in the year that I’m trying to pivot and do all of these things and figure out where my business is going to go. But I am so glad I did. And that is to host my very first virtual summit.
Oh, my goodness. In October of 2022, I hosted the Cheers to Planning Summit and I am just so, so excited that I did that. I can’t, it’s still mind blowing how massive that project is, but how fun, just how fun and exciting the whole experience was and besides experience, the growth that it brought for the business.
So let’s talk about that. Because let’s talk about why this was such a huge achievement for me.
So besides all the reasons I just said, just my emotional happiness, that this project brought me, it also brought in thousands of new leads, new affiliate partnerships, and relationships with other speakers and collaborators.
It definitely helped increase my visibility for my business. And it brought in an amazing, amazing community with so many attendees that were able to achieve so many wins in the weeks of the summit.
So during the summit pre-party and the summit week itself, there was so many wins and achievements and accomplishments happening within those three to four weeks. And it was just an amazing feeling.
So like I said, to be able to go through everything, all of the positives for the summit, it would take way more than how long I want this episode to be.
But I will definitely be bringing this back as an annual event, but for a different niche or a different topic so definitely stay tuned and I keep an eye out for August 2023, because that is when the next Cheers to Planning Summit is going to be coming your way.
>> Get on the waitlist for my next summit here
Lesson Learned #1: Prep Time
But lessons learned from this. I will share two lessons learned from this summit, just because it does kind of go with everything else that we’re covering. Which is one, give yourself plenty of time, plenty of time to plan and do all of the extra things that you want.
So no matter, not just for the summit, but no matter what it is, the biggest lesson that I learned was if someone is telling you that it’s going to take you three months to host a summit or three months to host a bundle or one month to get a course created, whatever.
Give yourself more time. Especially if it’s your first time doing it. Because you don’t have any systems in place yet. And that was something that I learned myself from the summit, along with a few other projects that happened throughout the year, but mostly the summit.
And I gave myself five months to plan the summit and that still didn’t feel like enough, especially because it was my first time. And that is the key. If it’s your first time doing a new project, give yourself longer than you think it’s going to take.
One, because you have no idea what you’re getting into. Two, you don’t know what you know and what you don’t know yet. And three, you don’t have systems in place for that project. So give yourself way more time than you think you’re going to need.
Lesson Learned #2: Launch Planning
And then the second lesson that I learned was I needed to spend way more time planning the launch portion of the summit. So at the end of the Cheers to Planning Summit, I launched my Level Up Your Biz with Trello course.
And because the summit and itself was such a huge project, I kind of ran out of time to do any proper planning. And I was really, really exhausted during summit week.
If you hung out with me on day four of the summit, then you noticed because y’all were like, “Lucy, go take a break. Lucy, please rest. Lucy, drink tea with honey,” because my voice was already giving out.
So my lesson here is that if I’m trying to do a launch, especially in addition to another project, so this could even be a challenge, and then you have to still plan out a launch after the launch event, give yourself more time for that too.
Even though it seems like one bigger project, it’s actually two projects, and you just need more time to be able to get it all done.
Email List Growth
All right. My fourth achievement is that I 4X’d my email list from the start of 2022. So this was huge growth and I am so incredibly proud of it.
And I do want to throw in that I do scrub my email list a couple of times a year, at least two times a year. So 4X in my email list when I’m constantly or not constantly, but I’m at minimum cleaning it out twice a year is huge.
This is definitely due to participating in summits, bundles, and hosting my own. So I know that if I hadn’t done these three, I definitely wouldn’t have achieved the 4X email growth that I did.
So for that reason, I am still going to continue with the strategies in the new year, but I am going to limit it, like I said earlier.
Not to say that these are the only strategies for you to be able to grow your email list. There are tons of other ways for you to grow your email list. I’m just saying that I know my 4x is really due to these three.
But you could run Facebook ads. Organic traffic really helps, which is something that this business, this website currently doesn’t have. So I had to figure out a new way to really continue to grow my email list.
Now one cool thing that I did notice about this email topic is that I sent out way more emails this year than I ever have before. I do my email newsletter planning inside of Trello. And when I checked my Trello board, it said that I had sent out over 400 emails.
Now, this does include the emails that I send to my mom blog email list as well, because I’m not going to get into that one too much, because that is another, that is a second online business that I actively run. And I do all of the planning in the same Trello board.
However, the majority of these 400 were for this business. Something new that I wanted to try out in 2022 was to send more emails than just once a week.
So, what I ended up doing was I started to send about three a week and if I had a launch or a promotion going, and then of course there was more emails going out.
Of course, I get more unsubscribes now. But because I’m continuing to feed my email as I’m continuing to get new leads. And I really, really try really hard to give value and all of my emails, regardless if I’m promoting something or not, I try really hard to make my emails valuable. And so I don’t actually get as many unsubscribes as you would think for someone who tends to email more.
And emails are a powerful, powerful tool and platform. They are a higher revenue generator, and I definitely recommend you get out of your own comfort zone and try to send more than one email a week. So if you’re currently sending one a week, aim to send at least two and see how that goes.
Yes, you’re going to get more unsubscribes, but if you’re also selling a product, or recommending an affiliate or promoting a blog post or podcast episode, you’re building on that know, like trust factor. And you’re potentially going to increase the amount of sales you get from every email as well. So I highly, highly recommend it.
And lastly, the other thing is that I batched most of my emails ahead of time. So this is always a top priority of mine. Emails is my number one content driver. Yes, the podcast is as well, but I really, really prioritize my emails above everything else.
And so I really make sure to make the time to batch and get those emails drafted. And then every week I’ll go in my drafted email, I’ll update if something needs to be updated and then get that scheduled out. But the email is basically done.
So my entire business truly revolves around my emails and I share my own email planning process inside of my Email Marketing Planner inside of Level Up Your Biz with Trello.
>> Want to join my email list to continue receiving tips like these? Grab my free Weekly Planning PDF here.
Lesson Learned #1: Product Mentions
Some lessons learned though, from emailing so much was that I didn’t really mention my own products as much, besides the times that I was launching.
So if I was in the middle of a launch, then I did really good at emailing about that launch and that new product. But after that, I was really, really bad at letting people know what I have to offer. And that’s something that I’m really going to be working on.
I started working on it towards the end of last year. But not really. So I bet that so many of you, if you listen to the podcast and you’re on my email list, you probably don’t know all of my offers.
So hopefully now that’ll change because my offers can really, really help you get to that next step, get organized, get more things done and so I’m really excited to share that with you.
Lesson Learned #2: Experiment
Another lesson that I learned is not to be afraid to experiment with new email things. So I’ll definitely be brainstorming a few ways to really experiment with email.
But when you experiment, you should also be watching it and keeping track of what you’re doing to see if it’s working, because if it isn’t, then it doesn’t make sense for you to keep doing it.
Lesson Learned #3: Email Organization
And then lastly, the other lesson that I learned was that I really needed to clean up my tags, segments, sequences, all of that because I had so many outdated ones.
When I switched over from MailerLite to Convertkit, then, I noticed that there was so many broken sequences, so many old tagging like duplicated tags. It was just a hot, hot mess.
And so I would really, really recommend that if you haven’t yet, that you go into your email marketing tool and clean up your tags. Go through your segments and sequences or groups or whatever your system calls it and make sure that it’s all working. Check to see if there are any duplicates. Check to see if any can be turned off or deleted and then do it. That way you can keep your email marketing platform organized.
And lastly, the last achievement that I’m going to cover in this episode is the fact that I launched this podcast. So I launched this Cheerful Productive Chats Podcast in June 2022. I recorded 22 episodes last year and I love, love, love, love this podcast so much.
I used to blog. I used to write blog posts, but I am more of a talker. So this just comes way more naturally to me than writing the actual blog post, because I love to talk.
And I try really, really hard to keep these episodes somewhat short, but I am telling you, it can be hard because I do like to talk and I do like to share a lot of detail. But I definitely think that this podcast is bringing in what it was meant to do, which was to provide tons of free value to my listeners, to you, while giving you a glimpse at who I am or what I teach, what I’m about and all of that stuff.
And not just that, but I got to a point where I just couldn’t write blog posts anymore. I wasn’t feeling it. I wasn’t excited for it. And therefore I wasn’t doing it. And this podcast has given me that new life, like Oh My God, I can share something that doesn’t need to go into a course or an ebook or something and I can just come in here and talk about it with you.
So I am so proud of this podcast. I absolutely love it. And I am definitely going to be recording way more episodes this year thanks to my batching system.
I definitely batch record my podcast episodes when I can. And what really helped me kind of stay consistent with this podcast from the beginning was that I did create a system from the start.
I did follow a step-by-step course that helped me tremendously on how to launch this podcast. But from there, I developed my own system that would help me stay consistent with all of the podcast things.
Because just like blogging, just like creating courses, just like creating digital products, just like anything else in the online business, this has all a lot of steps. And so creating this system has really helped me just stay on top of the podcast.
And I’ve really only missed one to two weeks last year with episodes, and that was due to my family being sick on the week where I was supposed to record an episode, and my voice was just not working for me, which I’m okay with because I needed the time to rest. So that’s fine.
>> Subscribe to the podcast and leave a review on your favorite app. New episodes on Wednesdays!
Lesson Learned #1: Repurposing
But I did learn some lessons with launching the podcast last year. And one of those lessons was that I didn’t repurpose the podcast episode content across all the other platforms, as much as I had hoped.
So I am currently in the process of trying to improve that repurposing system so that way I can be more efficient with actually getting my podcast content out to other platforms and really developing a system that’s going to work for me and my VA.
I might even test out a new tool, so we’ll see, stay tuned. And if that tool works out and really helps, then I will share about it with you too.
Lesson Learned #2: Episode Topics
The other lesson that I learned was that even though I have an endless amount of content ideas, like my Podcast Trello board has probably enough episode topics to last me another year and a half. I’m not kidding. And even then, I struggled to pick what I wanted to record next.
I have this endless amount of ideas, and I don’t know which to pick, and I know that’s something that many of you struggle with, not just for podcast episodes, but for blog posts.
But one thing that I really want to do and make sure that I’m doing is that I’m helping you with something that you need right now. And I think that is where part of my struggle is coming in.
And I do have a form where you can submit a question. Something that I wasn’t good at mentioning at all last year, so you probably don’t even know that I have that on my website.
So in the show notes, I’m going to link to where you can submit a question or a topic that you want to learn about, and that will really, really help me figure out my content plan and what I should talk about on the podcast, something that’s going to be specifically helpful for you.
Lesson Learned #3: Email subscribers
And then lastly, the last lesson that I learned was that this podcast actually didn’t help me gain as many new email subscribers, which I kind of expected because I know that podcasting isn’t a you know, a quick thing. It’s just like blogging, it’s just like posting on Pinterest or YouTube. It’s a long-term strategy.
So this also though, this means that most of my listeners are already in my world because I still get downloads every week. But I’m not seeing the same amount of people signing up, and I do try to mention a freebie. I do have it in the show notes.
And that means that most people listening to the podcast are already in my world and that’s completely cool because it’s doing what I want it to do.
But it was a good reminder that yes, this is a long-term strategy, and even though it’s a long term strategy, I really need to work on my repurposing so that way I can really try to hopefully get some more organic traffic and bring in new listeners to the podcast.
So that is a wrap. That is what I am considering at my top achievements of 2022. And while these are my top achievements, I hope that you were still able to get some knowledge from my breakdown, whether it’s inspiration to do something similar, what not to do, or even just the thought process behind reviewing your own accomplishments.
And another thing that I wrote down for myself to improve is to ask you my amazing podcast listeners for podcast reviews on whichever platform you’re listening from, because that is really going to go a long, long way.
So if you’re on Spotify, go ahead and give us some stars. If you’re on Apple, leave us stars and a review.
I would greatly, greatly appreciate it if you could go and leave the podcast a review.
Coming Up Next
Now in the next episode, I am going to be sharing about one of the steps that I mentioned in the How To Do Your Own Annual Review, which was to gather some predictions for the next year.
So in the next episode, I’m actually going to share what I have seen that may be coming in 2023. So I’ll be sharing my 2023 predictions and trends based on what I have been seeing happening in 2022, and what I think is going to roll over into this year. So stay tuned for that episode and I will talk to you next week.
Thank you so much for listening to the Cheerful Productive Chats Podcast with me, Lucy Reyes. To view the complete show notes and all the links mentioned in today’s episode, visit cheerstoblogging.com/24. And before you go, make sure you subscribe wherever you’re listening so you know once the next productive chat is released. Talk soon and cheers to your productivity and success!
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