January has been a good month.
I had my official grand opening, I allllllllmost doubled my patient numbers from last month and I took a few solid feeling steps forward on the social marketing front. I'm still finding my feet; I can tell you that I'm super stressed out about my to-do list right now. But the only way to eat an elephant is to take one bite at a time.
One of the biggest bites I took in January is figuring out how I want to rebrand this website. I need a place to talk about more than just the technical aspects of running a business (and fighting with Weebly *eye roll*). I need a place to talk about how challenging it is to be a mom, run a business on the side and cobble together full time work on top of all of that to pay the bills.
I need to talk about parenting and being an entrepreneur.
Eating healthy and eating on the run.
In my December Report I talked about how I stopped working on this website because I wasn't in a place yet to explore my development as a small business owner. I'm still not because I'm so much more than that now.
The Reverie Alone isn't going to be going in a different direction, per se. It's just going to be going in a bigger direction. So stay tuned.
The first big change I made was last month, and that was posting monthly updates on my progress. So without further ado:
Things that worked
One week into the year I got a text from a family member saying they would be willing to watch my daughter and it has been a game changer. I love my daughter and I love spending time with her, but when I’m trying to be both an acupuncturist and a mother I can do neither as well as I would like.
I needed to jump on this opportunity when it came up and I knew that bringing her along could work. And it did, kind of. But babysitting has been amazing. Even if I don’t have patients, I have time to work on new blog posts (which are finally starting to get some attention!) and social media strategy. I can feel the wheels turning!
Using buttons as a CTA (call to action)
I had been having to worst time even getting people to click my affiliate links, let alone buy anything. A major game changer was having a button (marked as an affiliate, of course) that just flat out said, “Buy [item].” 0 to 14 clicks in a day. Boom. I only had 14 visitors to the blog that day. That is a 100% click rate.
Buttons, man. Buttons.
Instagram Pods and Pinterest Group Boards
I went from 900 monthly views on my Pinterest business account to 26,000 just because of my Pinterest group boards. Well, that's not entirely accurate. There was a huge jump on the 16th because one lady from my Instagram pod shared my post to one of her group boards.
We are nothing without community. Join and participate.
Things that didn't work
Daniel? What was I thinking? There is a reason I am not a graphic designer. Stay tuned for a theme update because this blog is outdated and full of sad, and poorly thought out branding decisions.
One of my friends had seen me switching out my Instagram profile links all the time and suggested a nifty app called linktree. The idea is that you can put this one link in your Instagram profile that takes people to a landing page with all the options you frequently refer to.
I tried it for about a week and a half, maybe two weeks and my blog view tanked, I had no affiliate clicks and when I checked my metrics on linktree I could see that no one was clicking the buttons. Maybe it’s something to try once my traffic is better.
Clicks but almost 0 purchases. Hopefully February's social media schedule and the increasing traffic from Pinterest will help.
Things I'm planning on trying for February
In person networking
I'm going to try meeting in person with some local practitioners to see if there is an increase in my patient load.
A new social media schedule
So for the past four months I’ve been using a Facebook and Instagram schedule that’s based off some respective 30 day challenges. Now I’ve learned what is and isn’t working it’s time to refine it.
I’m going to change it to have a new blog post on Thursdays with the link in the profile until Saturday. I’ll put an old blog post up so I can utilize the #Sundayblogshare hashtag for Sunday and Monday. And then on Tuesday and Wednesday I’ll have an affiliate link in the profile.
On Facebook, I’ll stick with roughly the same schedule but on Thursdays I’ll post the new blog post, and then schedule it again in 10 days and 20 days. I’ll put up an old blog post on Sundays and an affiliate link on Tuesdays, all at 10 AM.
Pinterest will remain relatively the same.
Instead of having all of this organized in a google doc I have it in a spreadsheet. If this works out I will be sharing my social media strategy.
I've purchased an e-book for Pinterest strategies. I haven't had a chance to finish it yet and I've only toyed with the strategies so far but I may already be seeing an increase in Pinterest traffic. Unfortunately, this is only on Pinterest and not my website so far.
So that's all I have for January so far. I have a slow but steady momentum where everything just seems to be getting it's legs under it - perfect for winter. I'm working on a blog post that will be more about nut nuts and bolts of how I run my business.
Feels good to be getting back into the swing of things.
Disclaimer: I am not a financial advisor, lawyer or accountant. The information in this post is for general purposes only. Always check with your own accountant, lawyer, bookkeeper and/or business team before making big decisions. I am not liable for any losses or damages resulting or relating to the content in this post.
Jessica Gustafson is a licensed acupuncturist in St Paul, MN specializing in women's health and fertility. She loves working with patients through the Health Foundations Birth Center on Grand Avenue in St Paul as well as doing home visits in the Twin Cities area. Check out the community acupuncture page for more information.
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Jessica Gustafson, L.Ac.
I am an acupuncturist and a mama from the Twin Cities. I needed a place to talk about the nitty gritty of bootstrapping a clinic, parenting and freelancing so I made a blog. Hooray! It was never meant to become what it has, but blogs evolve. I've enjoyed the process and look forward to developing it more as I grow.
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