Join the Journey: May '21 Progress Report
It's time for my 5th monthly progress report, published as part of my "Join the Journey" series, 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.
My overall impression of May (Month 5!)
May started poorly but got a little better as it went on. For the first 10 days or so I had an issue with my shipping (detailed last week) that kept me from selling the book. I fixed that and things got more or less back to normal.
I did an interview with Running Book Reviews which was truly enjoyable and which has led to a few orders. I also recorded another interview that I anticipate will come out soon.
Most importantly, however, is I finished my Coach's Guide, built a Team Packages page, and am ready to start approaching coaches about getting the book in their athletes' hands! It took me a couple months longer than I'd hoped to get to this point, but I'm excited to be here now!
My Monthly Sales (units)
First, a correction about April. It turns out I sold 8 books through global distribution (Amazon, Barnes & Noble) that I wasn't aware of at the time. So that made April's debacle performance just a slightly lighter debacle.
In May I sold a total of 21 units, up from 17 the previous month. I had a few customers come back to purchase workbooks and about half of my new customers came after listening to one of my appearances on the Strength Running Podcast and Running Book Reviews.
My Marketing Initiatives
I was on the Running Book Reviews podcast and I recorded another interview that a will hopefully go live in June. I reached out to a number of other podcast hosts to see about being a guest but did not get much traction so far.
I published an article on PodiumRunner called Don't tell me your personal record, tell me your 3rd best time. I hope to continue publishing articles there at least once per month.
I was consistent with my Instagram feed in May, posting 30 times. I only gained 23 followers, which continues to disappoint. I continue to send the same posts to Facebook but got zero engagement. It doesn't seem like anyone sees the posts, and my personal friend list is not my target audience.
I published four newsletters in May. 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.
I made a big push to finish my coach's guide, now I need to nail down my actual marketing strategy.
My Goals Achieved
I didn't accomplish any of my original goals during this past month, though finishing the Coach's Guide and teams page were significant milestones for me.
My Plans for June
My major goal for June is to drive some team sales, or at least to initiate those conversations and refine my offer.
I hope to publish another article at PodiumRunner and get a little more published here on my own blog.
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 had a lot of positives. It's very frustrating to not see progress when you're putting time into a project, but that is part of it. I need to keep iterating and trust that the book is good enough, it's just my marketing strategy that needs to improve.
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 email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Go Be More,