How to Calculate Your Social Growth

I’m reading Michael Hyatt’s book, Platform, at the moment. What I love about reading material fromknowledgeableexperts is that it makes me think more in-depth about ideas I don’t normally consider.

How to calculate your social growth - http://alewbsocial.comI’m often asked by clients about which metrics they should be noting. It doesn’t matter if they are an author or speaker looking to build a platform, or an entrepreneur looking to get found online. The question is always the same.Which metrics are important?

My reply is often this. The metrics that are important differ depending on the goal you’re trying to reach. Without knowing that goal, collecting data is almost pointless.

But here’s a metric that Michael pointed out that jumped out at me, because it’s more of a self-reflection. It’s the percent change in the last twelve months. This can apply for a website (as in Michael’s example in his book), or a social profile. It reflects the rate of growth in the last year.

Understanding this number helps you to recognize how effective you are at doing what you’ve set out to accomplish. Whether you’re building a platform or increasing visibility for your brand or product, you need to build a following, and that starts with creating relationships with people who value what you have to share. Whether or not they are coming back to your site on a repeated basis, and whether your information is finding it’s way out into the Ether is a huge part of that. But time spent on the site also has an effect on:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Subscriptions
  • Sales

Here’s an excerpt from Michael’s description that explains how to calculate the percent of change in the past twelve months:

Here’s the formula: unique visitors in the last thirty days, minus your unique visitors for the same period twelve months ago, divided by your unique visitors for the same period twelve months ago, multiplied by one hundred.

A similar formula could be applied for a Twitter profile, Facebook page, LinkedIn account, etc. so long as you have the numbers needed for the calculation.

Looking at my own site, I’ve had a 347% increase in my website traffic since November 1, 2011. Unfortunately, I don’t have a full year’s worth of data yet, since I migrated my website in October last year. But in another couple of months, I will. The main point here is, I must be doing something right, and that’s encouraging to know.

If we base our assessment of our success on the number of comments we receive, it can seem like our efforts are getting us nowhere. But knowing that my message is being heard and noting that my page/visit count is also going up means I have more people coming to the site and they’re digesting more of what I’ve shared. And they’re doing that because they value what I have to share. In the process, relationships are being built as we engage with one another, content my readers value is shared within their networks, and more people are being helped by what I have to offer.

That makes the effort worthwhile.

So, how about you? What are you doing to influence and monitor your social growth?

Book Review: The Pumpkin Plan by Mike Michalowicz, or How to Grow a Killer Business

The Pumpkin Plan book cover by Mike MichalowiczIt’s been awhile since I’ve written a book review on my blog. It’s not because I haven’t been reading. I have. It’s just that there have been so many other things calling for my attention, like writing my own Top Ranking eBook, preparing for the launch (September 5th) of a book I co-authored, and keeping up with client work, family life and other obligations.

So, when Mike Michaelowicz, a.k.a. The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, asked if I’d be willing to review his latest book, The Pumpkin Plan, I had to give it some serious thought before making the commitment.

In reading the book’s description though, I realized it was one I was going to want to read regardless, so may as well help with the launch! The book’s subtitle is “A Simple Strategy to Grow a Remarkable Business in Any Field.” It’s more than that though.

In this book, Mike explores the idea that many entrepreneurs are broke in every sense of the word, working 5 to 9, eight days a week, yet still living check to check. As much as I hate to say it, that sounds like me and many of the other entrepreneurs I know!

Every one I talk to has the same complaint. They want to work less and earn more. Whether it’s selling their service, product, book or speaking topics, it takes hard work. We keep thinking that we’re so close to “making it” that we keep plugging away at it, never realizing that we’re going about it all wrong…

That’s what drove me to read The Pumpkin Plan. I needed to find my own way out of the rut I was making and into the business I knew I could have.

Mike was inspired by the methods used by farmers to grow giant pumpkins and saw the applicability of those techniques for growing a wildly successful business that dominates the competition.

The plan is simple:

  • Plant a prizewinning seed.
  • Get rid of the losers.
  • Nurture the winners.

As I ate lunch with a friend the other day, a message came through on his phone, and he started talking about how he’s got this blood-sucking client who contacts him multiple times a day for support. After reading The Pumpkin Plan, my first thought was “Get rid of the loser!”

While this is a hard thing for any business owner to contemplate, blood-suckers keep our businesses from growing because they sap us of the time and energy we could be spending to blow the minds of our best customers with our innovation and unparalleled service.

This same principle applies whether you are an entrepreneur struggling to attain the riches of time and money you know are waiting for you, a speaker offering too many one-off topics to be appealing to as many event coordinators as possible, or an author looking to market your book to absolutely everyone.

Plant a prize-winning seed. What’s the core strength of what you have to offer? When other people talk about it, what do they say? If you don’t know, ask your best clients or customers. Here’s what one of mine had to say…

Top two things I love about Aleweb.
1. Actually knows what needs to be done.
2. And on the rare occasion that you don’t know, you know exactly who does. As result, I don’t have to pay for fiddle-around-trying-to-figure-it-out time.

Get rid of the losers. Rotten pumpkins stunt the growth of healthy ones. So, know your customers. Figure out which ones drive sustained growth and ditch the rest! (If you’re like me, ditching a customer sounds hard. But Mike gives 4 examples of simple ways to do just that, and they’re easy!)

Nurture the winners. This means more than just upselling to your best customers. It means finding out what their real needs are and then blowing their minds with innovation and unparalleled service, doing the things that you are already best at doing. Talk about aligning your business with your purpose! In this stage of the plan, you are working with the customers who already value you for what you are best at, and are giving you ideas as to how to give them more of it!

So, if you’re looking for inspiration, thoughts and practical ideas of how you can go from growing your everyday, garden variety business to growing an awesome, killer, cream-of-the-crop enterprise, you need to read this book and work the plan as you go along.

To learn more about The Pumpkin Plan, watch a video from Mike, and download the first chapter for free, check out his website and the related free resources.

Disclaimer: A free review copy of this book was provided to me by the author. No further compensation was made or promised. Additionally, no affiliate links were used in this post. Aleweb is based in a state where we can’t be Amazon affiliates. Darn!

 

Have you read The Pumpkin Plan yet? What action steps have you taken toward growing your own giant pumpkin?