Join the Journey #3: Make the Leap's February 2021 Progress Report
It's time for my 2nd monthly progress report, published as part of my "Join the Journey" series. You can read my first installment here.
This monthly progress report detailing my sales and marketing efforts is an effort to both hold myself accountable to making continuous progress as well as provide insight to anyone else considering self-publishing. It's meant to be the Strava to my book sales...a public record for anyone interested to follow.
I'm going to keep it simple and expand it out if I feel there is value. Each month I plan to cover:
- My overall impression of the month
- My monthly sales (units)
- My marketing initiatives (and where possible, results)
- My goals achieved (see my goals here)
- My plans for the following month
Before I get into it: I would LOVE your feedback about this post (and series). What you like, what you want to know, what you found surprising...please leave me a comment and hopefully this will evolve to be something valuable for our community.
My overall impression of February (Month 2!)
I had consistent sales and maintained the roughly one per day rate I established in January. Except in February, it really was consistently one per day. Total units were slightly down, but individual orders were up.
I enjoyed being a podcast guest and need to find ways to do a few more. They are good opportunities to not only promote the book but to improve my public speaking ability.
I got my customer reviews set up on the site and have received my first couple submissions. Hopefully those will continue coming in and help supplement the testimonials and reviews I've received.
I've got a solid routine going for my Instagram and Facebook feeds, and I started laying some groundwork for a team package offer. Speaking of that, I had a pretty profound conversation at the end of the month that has really changed my opinion of what's possible for this book. I plan to share that in a separate post, but let's just say I'm feeling confident about aiming much bigger.
My Monthly Sales (units)
I sold a total of 51 units, down from 67 in my first month. But, if I strip out the team order, I'm just about even with last month. Individual orders are up 9% month over month, which is a better indication of my marketing success at the moment. 38% of customers ordered a workbook (up compared to last month), and 4 out of 5 people (81%) chose the print version.
I had no team orders. I have a couple in the pipeline but with the uncertain nature of the various seasons and restrictions in California, they've been unable to confirm a purchase. More on this below.
10 orders came from my appearance on the Strength Running podcast and 3 orders came from Runner's Tribe.
My Marketing Initiatives
My main marketing channels in February remained Instagram, Facebook, the newsletter, and some podcast appearances.
My biggest marketing success was being a guest on the Strength Running Podcast, which led to at least 10 purchases. The episode aired on Feb 4 and I'm still seeing occasional orders using the discount code I provided.
I was consistent with my Instagram feed in February, posting 24 times. I only gained 31 followers, lower than I hoped for. I've developed a fairly sustainable routine of publishing 6 posts per week, with one dedicated to the newsletter.
I continue to send the same posts to Facebook and occasionally share them to my friends and followers. I've not done any other targeted work to grow my Facebook likes.
Last month I wrote about trying some new strategies. I didn't do that in February and I don't think I'll do that in March. I may modify the content or my captions a bit, however.
I published four newsletters in February and had pretty low subscriber rates. On the plus side, I have nobody unsubscribing. This is another area where I will need to adjust my strategy if I want to grow.
My Goals Achieved
I didn't hit any particular milestones for my norm-referenced goals. I am still just below 100 books sold, though I've crossed that milestone if you include workbooks.
For my self-referenced goals, I have had opportunities to connect with a few more people and discuss the book, from the content to how to market it. I've receive some great feedback on everything from prioritizing where I focus to potential avenues to branch out as I continue growing this.
My Plans for March
My major goal for March is to put together a compelling offer for coaches. Ultimately, if I'm going to achieve my goal of getting all serious runners to read (or at least consider reading) the book, I need to reach coaches.
I will continue posting on Instagram and publishing my newsletter, as I see having a strong base of quality posts and newsletter editions to be their own feedback loop. I'm not seeing a lot of growth now, but I'm in the Build phase ;)
My book is live at Runner's Tribe and I will have a series of weekly articles published there to promote it. Check it out and buy it there to support them!
I will also aim to get more of my initial customers leaving reviews on the website.
I met with a "non-runner" friend to talk about the book, and he had a lot of praise for it. He made a passionate case that everything in it applies to car racing (his true passion). I think he's right. The concepts are universal. Only the examples are running specific.
He also told me he adopted one specific tactic to see if it would work for him--"Tomorrow's Key Three" (from Chapter 7)--and that it's completely changed how he starts each day. He was adamant that this one idea was worth the price of the book.
His feedback and the continued sales have me much more confident than I would expect to be given I still haven't sold 100 copies. But the reality is that the book is good enough. It's doing something unique and it adds clear value to people's lives. People just don't know it exists. Once they do it's going to be big.
What I wrote last month still stands:
This is a long journey, and I plan to achieve success by following the same principles I lay out in Make the Leap: high quality work, done consistently, that feeds back into itself to create outsized gains. I'm still at the beginning where growth isn't really visible. But the foundation is being laid.
Thanks for joining me on this journey. If you have any advice or feedback, please tell me in the comments. I read every one.
Go Be More,