Join the Journey #5: Make the Leap's April Progress Report
It's time for my 4th 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 details my sales and marketing efforts. It 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 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 April (Month 4!)
April was a terrible, no-good, very bad month. But I may have figured out why. In short, it's because I'm a doofus.
I use a self-publishing company called Lulu to handle printing and fulfillment. They added functionality to their app to make shipping easier (the setup is complicated today). I attempted to install it but it could never connect. I gave up.
It turns out, that incomplete shipping setup was overriding my existing shipping profiles and people could only order digital books. Or, that's what it seems like. I found out from a friend who asked why I couldn't ship to him and many hours later, the ability to ship physical books came back when I removed that bit of functionality!
Now I'm back on track, seeing daily sales again, but I have no idea how many sales I lost. (Sigh. The joys of self-publishing.)
My Monthly Sales (units)
I sold a total of 9 units, down from 29 in my previous month. The print books were mostly purchased prior to my messing up my shipping profiles. I don't believe digital sales were affected, but I think most people simply prefer print.
I had no team orders. The ones in the pipeline may be "clogged" and I have stopped actively pushing on them. However, I continue to lay groundwork in this space.
My Marketing Initiatives
I had a feature profile on the National Alliance for Youth Sports website. They highlighted my focus on purposeful practice. I also did an IG Live with Vessel Athletics and I was a guest on the Chasing Life podcast. These conversations were great opportunities to touch on key points from the book as well as my work at Go Be More.
I didn't pursue new influencers, but did provide the book to a couple podcast hosts in preparation for future interviews. With that said, I am still seeing a couple orders from previous podcast appearances, which is cool!
I was consistent with my Instagram feed in March, posting 30 times. I only gained 17 followers, which continues to disappoint. What I'm doing isn't moving the needle on that metric. I did get some advice from IG consultant Toni Semanskee and made some updates to my strategy.
I continue to send the same posts to Facebook but I've disengaged a bit from there. It doesn't seem like anyone sees the posts, and my personal friend list is not my target audience.
I published five newsletters in April. I like my content and feel I'm improving and dialing that piece in. I'm reluctant to push this too hard on people, relying instead on new subscribers finding it from the website or word of mouth.
My coach's guide is almost done, as well as a marketing flyer for teams and coaches. I've also done some preliminary research into identifying coaches to reach out to. If you are a coach interested in a package, contact me!
My Goals Achieved
I crossed the 100 followers milestone on IG... And I received a couple more strong reviews for the book. One interesting outcome was I discovered a cousin I didn't know I have who read the book and reached out to me! That's been an unexpected bonus!
My screwup on my store surely had an impact on my progress last month. I'm not sure how much, but it killed some momentum. Gotta get it back now.
My Plans for May
My major goal for April was to finish my offer to coaches and teams. I've let this go too long but need to get it through the last mile.
I published my first article on Podium Runner and hope to publish more. I've done a couple interviews which will come out in May/June, and I'm in discussions to do more.
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 ;)
This month felt like a huge setback. Again more slowth than growth. Hopefully I'll look back at this month as my lowest point. It's hard to imagine it going any lower given the work I am putting in.
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,