Whelp – turns out this is the year where I do one of those “year in review” style posts.

In the past I’ve talked myself out of it for one reason or another, but this year I’m sharing for a few reasons:

1. I believe it’s important to recognize and celebrate our own progress. Small business can be exhausting, and there’s always another item on our to-do list – but from time to time it’s helpful to look back at how far we’ve come.

2. My hope is that by modeling this with my own business, and my own progress, I’ll encourage a few of you to do the same and find lessons or inspiration in what you’ve already done.

3. And the final reason for this post is to shine a light on the people, ideas, and tools that have helped me, with the hope that they might help you too.

Numbers

My business is modest, to be sure – but I figure we may as well start with some numbers so you have some context for how things work around here, and so that I can look back on this when I write next years post.

In 2019 my website had 67,231 page views (58,968 unique).

The bulk of this traffic was driven by content marketing, with small percentages coming from paid Facebook traffic, and affiliate promotions.

In 2019 I made a concerted effort to focus on my YouTube channel – which resulted in more views, and total watch time.

I did add 196 new YouTube subscribers – but was surprised to learn that it was a few less than I had added the previous year without making it a focus.

Regardless, I’m going to call 32,953 new views and over a thousand hours of watch time a win.

OG Membership

You’ve probably heard me talk about the private community that I support, the OG Membership. In 2019 we added 5 new members a month (60 for the year).

At the core of the membership is our Facebook group where nearly 2,000 posts were started, accumulating almost 15,000 comments.

I’ll skip the sales pitch for now, but I wanted to include this group in the update because it’s the most stable part of my business, and consistently accounts for 40%+ of my monthly revenue.

Accomplishments

If we’re always chasing another milestone then it’s easy to forget how many we’ve already tackled.

Here’s a list, in no particular order, of some of the bigger accomplishments Monkeypod saw in 2019:

1. Launched The Automated Webinar Automated Webinar

For years I avoided doing an automated webinar simply because the ones I had seen felt salesy – but Demio offers an evergreen feature, so I decided to take it for a spin with the Monkeypod version of an automated webinar about automated webinars. There were exactly 100 registrants for this webinar last year, and 100% of those registrants attended the webinar (high attendance is the primary benefit of it being on-demand).

I spent $425 on Facebook ads for this webinar, creating 43 new leads and earning 86% ROI. You can sign up for the Automated Webinar Automated Webinar here.

2. Launched the ALU Case Study

This was a professionally edited 32-minute case study showcasing exactly how we used Infusionsoft in every stage of the customer journey during the launch of the ALU MBA programme. This project stretched me in a number of ways, and while I’m proud of the role I played in this, I also think this does a great job of illustrating how automation can be used to enhance your customers experience. Check out the case study here.

3. Hosted a Customer Journey Workshop at Successcon

This four-hour workshop was a punctuation mark at the end of an excellent conference. I’m clearer than ever on the importance of nailing your customer journey, and this short video walks through an example of how you can identify and articulate journeys in your business.

Oh, and we also squeezed in a Monkeypod meet-up.

4. Hosted two Monkeypod Retreats

Again, I’ll skip the sales pitch for now, but the Monkeypod Retreat is a rewarding and demanding event. I’ve been open about my turbulent relationship with this event, but I made significant progress in 2019 and the October edition of this event was the most seamless version yet.

If you want to read about Lidiane’s experience at the retreat, she wrote an unsolicited recap of her experience here.

5. In June we recorded and launched the Campaign Builder Finishing School webinar

This project was a doozy – the premise was that we set out to record, build, and launch an evergreen webinar in just one day. Then, just for kicks, we decided to livestream the whole thing.

All things considered, it was a success – but I definitely couldn’t have pulled it off without Bret, Myke and Josh.

Check out the lessons we learned from this experiment here.

6. Launched the Keap Starter Kit

When Infusionsoft rebranded to Keap, it wasn’t long until I started getting requests from Keap users asking if I had any training for them. But it didn’t feel right to just add Keap content and courses to what I was doing with Monkeypod, for a variety of reasons – so I partnered with Brian Keith to design, record, and launch the Keap Starter Kit, specifically dedicated to helping Keap users get started quickly.

We also have an affiliate program – so, if you think you may recommend the Keap Starter Kit then make sure you sign up here.

7. Rebuilt and relaunched the CB Trilogy course

The CB Trilogy covers the campaign builder and has always been my post popular course – and last summer I redesigned and re-recorded the entire thing, and then relaunched it during a 24 day road trip.

You can check out the free trial for the course here, or just check out the launch lessons and statistics here.

8. Launched the Marketing Automation 101 Mini Course

I interviewed about a dozen friends of mine to ask them what they wish they would have known when they were just getting started with marketing automation, and the result is the Marketing Automation 101 mini-course, it’s live now but I haven’t formally launched it yet.

I’m describing this course as the foundation for your foundation – and it’s for anyone who is brand new to marketing automation, or is looking to get back to the basics. Check it out here.

Content

I always appreciate people telling me that they enjoy my content, or that they’re impressed by how regularly I am putting out new blog posts and videos; because the truth is it’s hard work.

My advice to anyone who asks is to treat content like a muscle – it gets stronger as you exercise it, and it atrophies when you don’t.

The 8 items on this list above were fairly significant undertakings, but each of those pale in comparison to the aggregate amount of time and effort that went into producing content for my various platforms.

I didn’t add up all the social channels, but in 2019 I published 24 blog posts and 50 YouTube videos.

Top blog posts from 2019:

  1. Action Planning Framework
    Use this framework to get more projects finished, while avoiding scope creep
  2. Campaign Builder 101
    The campaign builder is Infusionsoft’s most powerful feature – this blog post shows you how it works
  3. SEO for YouTube
    Just like SEO for your website, but to help your YouTube channel grow

Top YouTube Videos from 2019:

  1. Modern Forms for PlusThis
    This single feature makes PlusThis worth the monthly investment
  2. Looping Infusionsoft Campaigns
    This covers when and how to do this (it’s not as hard as you think)
  3. Monkeypod Webinar Campaign
    This is the campaign I use for all my webinars, help yourself

If you’re here, and you like this stuff, then I’d recommend subscribing the the Monkeypod YouTube channel and, if you haven’t yet, subscribing to this blog.

Travel

Sara and I love traveling – and so as Monkeypod has grown a focus of mine has been to not only to preserve my flexibility, but also to create opportunities to travel.

2019 featured a number of short trips for both personal and business reasons, Arizona and to Michigan (twice each), Las Vegas, Baltimore, Washington DC – and a handful of short excursions across the border into Mexico

But we also snuck in a few more significant trips – we took a three week road trip covering 3000 miles up and down the west coast during the month of July (while relaunching the CB Trilogy course), and then in August I attended Tribe Live in Toronto – which naturally meant meeting up with some Monkeypod peeps north of the wall.

Whenever Sara and I try to travel on purely vacation mode, I find that I wind up doing a certain degree of work anyway – so this year when we planned two weeks exploring Australia, we intentionally made it a hybrid work/play trip, and prioritized visiting some of my favorite Aussies (and one Kiwi).

Shout Outs

It feels cliche to say, but the longer I’m in business the more I realize how many people I depend on.

So, if you’re reading this, thank you.

Thank you for reading, watching, and sharing – it all matters.

Thank you to all of you who trust me enough to invest in one of my courses, join the OG community, or attend a Monkeypod event.

Ultimate Marketer of the Year – Brett Fairbourn

A special shout out to one specific OG Member, and a friend of mine, Brett Fairbourn. Brett is the VP of marketing for CrewTracks, an awesome SAAS company in Utah.

CrewTracks is doing big things, and Brett’s efforts there were acknowledged when he was named Ultimate Marketer of the Year at SuccessCon in 2019.

Read This

I’ve never been much of a reader, but for those of you that are I wanna shine a light on two different books I read that both exceeded my expectations:

  1. The Messaging Connection (Get It)
    This book challenged the way I thought about marketing, and specifically the mediums through which we market. if you’re using SMS in your marketing, or even if you aren’t, then this is worth a read.
  2. Hack the Buyer Brain (Get It)
    This book is a data driven look at buyer psychology, and how it affects each stage of the customer lifecycle.

Full disclosure – I know the authors of both of these books, but I’m endorsing their books because I read them and found them valuable, not simply because I like the person who wrote them.

Listen to This

I wanna give a shout out to two podcasts I dig, both of which were started in 2019:

  1. Red Beard Radio (Listen)
  2. All Systems Go (Listen)

Again, in the interest of transparency, I know the folks behind these podcasts but I’m recommending them because of their own merit.

Grow Here

One of my unofficial goals for 2019 was to actually invest in my own development. So, I did.

– In March I booked two-day makeover with Sixth Division where I worked with a coach to unpack my business, get clear on some metrics, and prioritize the things that deserved my attention. I have nothing but good things to say about the crew over at Sixth – they set the bar high and consistently deliver.

– Over the past few years a few friends had told me about Stu McLaren and his course Tribe, designed specifically for membership model businesses. So, in May I signed up and began his 8-week flagship course and it was nothing short of incredible. If you have, or want, a membership offering in your business then start with this free guide and then take a look at Tribe later this year.

– A few months ago I made a connection between two OG Members, and shortly thereafter they invited me to see the platform they had built – Superfreelancing.com. It’s a course designed to help freelancers grow – and I started going through the content just to be polite, but I was astonished by how damn good it all was. If you’re a freelancer of any kind then stop reading this and go sign up right now.

What Next

Honestly, goal setting has never been a strength of mine – but I want to improve. So, if you have goal-setting advice or resources please send em my way.

Here are a few goals I can share for 2020:

  1. I’m planning to launch two more mini-courses: with the goal of increasing my reach, and creating valuable free content that leads to my progression path of courses
  2. This is the year I take SEO seriously: I’ve always produced a lot of content, but this year I’m going to get serious about maximizing its reach
  3. Rebuild and relaunch the LCM Real Life course: It’s my personal favorite course, and it’s due for an overhaul

I’ll also be leveling up the Retreat again, and working on a handful of under-the-radar projects that I’m not quite ready to share yet – just know that they’re mysterious and awesome.

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Alright – thanks for reading this one. What’d I miss? Anything you’re curious about?