Join the Journey #4: Make the Leap's March 2021 Progress Report

March '21 progress report

It's time for my 3rd monthly progress report, published as part of my "Join the Journey" series. Going forward this will be available exclusively to Think Better Newsletter subscribers. You can read my previous updates 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 March (Month 3!)

I really slowed down this month, and I'm not exactly sure why. I had entire weeks with no sales, and I saw less growth on social media as well. 

The slow-downs did appear to be correlated with some website changes and my posting about new themes, but I'm not sure there's a real connection there. I clearly have more to learn and dial-in!

I was quite busy, though. I launched a new podcast called Fueling the Pursuit, and that has taken up a lot of mental bandwidth. You can hear my interviews with Meb Keflezighi and Sara Hall here. I hope listeners will gradually find me and give the book a chance. There is a lot of overlap with our target markets.

I also made good progress on my main marketing initiative, which will be aimed at coaches. I finished a draft of a flyer and the template for a "Coach's Guide" to Make the Leap. This all stems from my amazing conversation with Geoff Woods of The One Thing that I wrote about here.

My Monthly Sales (units)

I sold a total of 29 units, down from 51 in my previous month. I actually had a few customers come back to order workbooks, so hopefully that is a sign they want to engage more with the material. 71% of customers ordered a workbook (way up compared to previous months), and 4 out of 5 people (82%) continue to choose the print version.

I had no team orders. I still have a couple in the pipeline and am hoping they will close this month. This is an area I really need to invest in going forward. More on this below.

My Marketing Initiatives

My main marketing channels in February remained Instagram, Facebook, and the newsletter. I didn't do any podcasts or have any significant partners endorse the book.

I was consistent with my Instagram feed in March, posting 26 times. I only gained 15 followers, however, which is a pretty disappointing number. I clearly need to improve either my content or my strategy for reaching new people. Any advice for me?

I continue to send the same posts to Facebook and occasionally share them to my friends and followers. I have also joined a couple groups, but to be honest Facebook feels like a bit of a mystery to me right now. My posts aren't reaching even 10% of the people who like the page. I need to figure it out. 

I published four newsletters in March and had pretty consistent 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.

I'll be making a big push to reach coaches in the near future. I am working on creating materials to support reading the book as a team and offering packages that include great discounts. If you are interested in seeing a preview of these materials, reach out to me!

My Goals Achieved

My Goals for Make the Leap

I crossed the 100 books milestone! It's been almost a month already, but it happened in March so let's celebrate it!

For my self-referenced goals, I am definitely learning...what doesn't work! There are so many stories about Thomas Edison failing 2,000 times before inventing a successful light bulb. I try to keep that perspective as I slowly make progress on this project.

My Plans for April

My major goal for March was to put together a compelling offer for coaches. I've almost got that dialed-in, though the website work I need to do is still pending. I hope to roll that out this month.

I have interviews scheduled with Vessel Athletics, the Chasing Life Podcast, and Running Book Reviews (and potentially a couple others), so those should boost my awareness a bit. I've also connected with a couple larger publishers about writing articles for them.

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 ;)

I will also chase more of my initial customers to leave reviews on the website.

Wrap-up

This month felt like a bit of a setback. I'm not sure that it was, because the work I did may be foundational to my future success. But I certainly was hoping for growth, not slowth (I know that's not a word but I think it should be)!

I'll probably end every one of these updates with the same message, as much for me as for you:

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,

Bryan

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