What to Expect in 2014

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what to expect 2014 jonloomer 700x365 What to Expect in 2014

I’m admittedly not a big planner or forecaster. I find predictions to be mostly a waste of time since we don’t know what is going to happen — it’s just a guess. And while I may have some initial plans, I end up being more of a “from the seat of his pants” kind of guy (which I know isn’t ideal).

That said, I also realize how important it is to have a vision, and I do consistently sketch out what I hope my business will look like at the beginning of each year.

This website changed substantially over the course of a year in 2013, though that change was gradual (at least to me). I expect more big changes as we head into 2014.

Any changes, of course, need to have purpose. So following are first my priorities and then my plans for executing those priorities in 2014…

Priorities

Training Courses: This is a huge shift for me from year to year. Heading into 2013, training courses were nothing more than a concept. I focused the vast majority of my time on writing blog posts.

But now I know that the present and immediate future of my business lie in training courses. Therefore, I’m going to focus on improving current courses and creating new ones.

If you previously purchased the Power Editor course, that is being moved over to Infusionsoft. All future courses will be built with Infusionsoft going forward.

The Insights course is unfortunately a bit behind schedule since I was hoping to first relaunch the Power Editor course. I now hope to have it completed by the end of January (in the meantime, you can get it for half off!).

I hope to launch up to four courses this year. That could be a matter of relaunching current courses (those who have already purchased won’t need to pay again), creating new courses from scratch and partnering on courses. Lots of ideas floating around here.

Other considerations include a private community (with a low monthly fee) and a certification program.

Videos: During the first half of 2013, I experimented quite a bit with video. It was one of my goals for the year, and I attacked it.

I set up a basic studio in my basement and went through three cameras. But once I started working on my training course, weekly video took a back seat.

A big reason for this is that it simply wasn’t efficient for me. I’d spend 30 or so minutes recording, and then the editing and publishing process would take several hours. It isn’t my expertise and I don’t have the time for it.

So I plan on simplifying this process by hiring someone who is an expert at video editing. I’ll spend the 30 or so minutes to record and then send the files to that person to edit.

What does this mean? It means the weekly video blog will be back (though no ETA here). It also means that I plan to redo all of the training course videos to make them more professional.

Podcast: It’s put up or shut up time for my podcast (The Social Media Pubcast). While it does well (the typical episode gets 6-12,000 downloads) it’s not clear to me where it fits.

I have hired someone to edit these now, so it’s no longer a burden for me. I record and send the files in to Dan Jost, who edits. Very easy.

But the main issues have centered around monetization and measurement. A download doesn’t tell me much since I have a widget on the side of each blog post. So people could be listening, but only for a few seconds or minutes (I don’t know). And it’s not clear if it is leading to much revenue.

I’ve stopped writing a weekly recap of my podcasts since I don’t find those posts to be particularly popular. To keep with the them here, I need to be more efficient.

So I do plan to continue the podcast, but I need to see some growth this year. One goal is to have my podcast featured in iTunes. When that happens, it’s a sign that I’m on the right track.

Imagery: There was a time when I created all of my own images. What a mess that was!

This year, I want to pass that off as much as possible to someone who actually knows what they’re doing. In this case, it’s Lea Heckley (who also happens to be a designer for ShortStack).

I now have Lea working on regular design projects that include ads, Facebook apps, cover photos and now infographics.

Lea created my first Facebook ads glossary infographic, and others will soon follow. Stay tuned!

Write Less: In 2012, I wrote more than 320 blog posts. It had a purpose, and I don’t regret writing that much.

In 2013, that number dropped to 230. However, much of that happened through July — before my training courses — when I was averaging over 20 posts per month. I now keep it closer to 15.

This number needs to drop because my priorities have changed. Writing a lot is good for traffic, but I need to drive people to the things that make money. And since traffic hasn’t dropped (it’s continued to rise), the need to write as often as I once did no longer exists.

I do love to write. But I need to cut back. And this also means diversifying more across types of media (video, podcast and infographics).

Email List Building: This is the most important item of all!

I’m not reacting the way most are regarding the reported drop in Organic Reach on Facebook (read this, this, this or this). The main reason for this is that I’ve always diversified, and I realize the importance of advertising. But it’s a good reminder never to put all of your eggs in one basket.

If 90% of your traffic was coming from organic Facebook posts, it’s possible you’re screwed right now. But having 90% of your traffic come from one place is always an enormous risk.

It may surprise you that only 11.5% of my website traffic came from Facebook during November and December of 2013. On the flip side, 63.3% came organically from Google.

Interestingly enough, however, the revenue that has come from Facebook and Google are nearly identical. So Facebook is certainly more efficient for me.

But that Google percentage worries me. I appreciate all of that traffic, but it could disappear overnight. As a result, building an email list is incredibly important.

My list is now into the 12,000 unique user range. Still somewhat modest, so I need to get it into the 50,000 range by the end of the year.

Campaign Automation: A big part of increasing my email list will be through campaign automation. I need to do a better job of funneling people appropriately.

I’ll continue to build my list with the help of a widget at the top of each post and the Pippity plugin. The mini-webinar is also a list builder.

But I will need to focus on new methods to build my list in the coming year with the help of unique content.

Weekly Schedule

Okay, so how will all of this look when executed? Hopefully, something like this…

Monday: Blog Post
This one should be set in stone. Every single Monday, expect to see a blog post from me.

Tuesday: Blog Post (If Necessary)
I wrote many Tuesday posts in 2013, but that will be scaled back to an “as needed basis” in 2014. If there is something to write about, I’m writing. Otherwise, this day will be set aside for video and podcast recording.

Wednesday: Weekly Mini-Webinar
The weekly mini-webinar has been a great list builder, so I’ll continue this into 2014. Since it’s informal and short, I don’t find it takes much of my time, all while providing high value.

Thursday: Video Blog
Once a week, I’ll answer your questions in the form of a video blog published to YouTube. I’m not yet sure if this will include a blog post, but I’m leaning towards YouTube publication only.

Friday: Podcast
Every week, I’ll sit down with a guest (or go solo) and discuss the world of Facebook marketing over a beer on The Social Media Pubcast. Very casual and relaxed, resulting in a 30-40 minute show.

Breaking News: As Needed
I can’t avoid it. If big news is announced, I’ll need to write about it instead of waiting until Monday or Tuesday to write.

In the end, I hope this means I am down to the following:

  • 100 Blog Posts
  • 40 Video Blogs
  • 40 Podcasts
  • 40 Mini-Webinars

While I expect to be far down from the 320 blog posts I wrote in 2012, this is still 220 pieces of content! And it doesn’t include the work going into the training courses.

What Are Your Plans?

What are your plans for the coming year? Let me know in the comments below!3

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About Jon Loomer

Jon Loomer is a digital marketing consultant with a unique perspective on social media. He was introduced to Facebook in 2007 while with the NBA (back before Pages) and has been using Facebook for business ever since. Stay in touch by liking his Facebook Page (Jon Loomer Digital).

  • http://www.postplanner.com/ Scott Ayres

    Love the thought process. Like you I am not a planner at all, but that is likely reflected in the amount of work I get done.. Will be interesting to see if your web traffic and revenue stay the same or increase with cutting blog posts..

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Well, a big reason I’m cutting is that traffic continues to go up even when content creation is down. I’ll certainly continue to monitor that, but there’s currently just no reason to publish as often as I once did since I get more traffic now than I did when I was publishing more frequently. Not to mention that the other content creation (podcast, video blog, webinar) should be driving traffic to the site.

      • http://www.antavo.com/ Zsuzsa Szabo

        For me you seem to be a planner! Very inspiring.
        As Derek Halpern says no need to create tons of content, some few quality pieces are better if you promote them well.

        • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

          Thanks, Zsuzsa! Thing is, I’ll still be creating tons of content, but just in other (and hopefully more efficient) ways. But I’d also say that even after two-plus years, I remain in something of an experimental phase. I do expect there will come a time when my total sum of content is much less.

  • http://www.julietaustin.com Juliet Austin

    Thanks for sharing, John! You are amazing at content creation. A true inspiration!

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Thanks, Juliet!

  • http://www.davidlorincz.cz/ David Lörincz

    I wish you the best in 2014. You are my model in bussiness :-) Looking forward to insights training.

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Thanks, David! I wish I were the model for fast training rollouts. There’s always something right now. I’m still hoping to get some more done before I catch my flight tomorrow, but next week should get easier. Tough holiday!

  • http://iag.me/ Ian Anderson Gray

    Fantastic article, Jon. Just what I need at the moment as I am planning my 2014.
    I’m not a planning person either, but I’ve had a bit of epiphany recently with the realisation of how disorganised and unfocussed I am! I listened to an episode of Amy Porterfield’s podcast on the importance of planning and got so depressed! The reason was that I could see how useful planning was, but how on earth was I to become organised. I was recommended Mark Forster’s book “Do it Tomorrow” by a friend and it’s been so helpful. Planning is so vital for a business. Of course, your plans might change, but if you don’t know what you are supposed to be doing on a particular day and the reasons behind them then you’re going to be inefficient.

    I love the reasoning behind your decisions. They are business decisions- ones to grow your business and increase your revenue. You are also delegating tasks- something that I am starting to do. Of course, when you get someone to edit your podcast or videos you’ll be paying for that- but time is money- and I assume you’ve come to the conclusion that paying someone else to do it is more efficient.

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Hey, Ian! I’m certainly not the model to follow for planning. And I know just what you mean about Amy (and I know what podcast you’re referring to). People like her make it seem so easy.

      Right, hiring others was done for two reasons. First, they can do it better than I can. And second, I can dedicate that time to other things. It just makes sense!

  • http://www.buildandbalance.com/ Michael_N

    Jon,
    This is a pretty straightforward plan and it looks productive. I’m wondering about a couple of things such as:
    1. Who will you partner with in 2014 to leverage their list of 50k+?
    2. Will you diversifying your advertising spend in 2014 or primarily focused on FB ads?
    3. Are you ramping up your public speaking at conferences? I know you’re on the speaker list for SMMW14 in San Diego, which is awesome. Are you going after other events like Content Marketing Institute’s big show?

    Of course, it’s entirely your call to answer these questions, but I’d love to see what your thoughts are in these other areas.

    I’m about 60% of the way through FBMAU and really digging the course. Looking forward to the Insights course. At first I thought, “Why would I pay to just learn how to read the stats, but then when you said most people don’t even know how to read the Export (me included), I figured I needed it.” Keep up the great work in 2014!

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Hey, Michael!

      1. I have one particular partnership in mind that is being discussed. But this is not a priority for me. In general, I find partnerships to be difficult. So it has to be the perfect fit.

      2. Good question. I don’t use AdWords given 63% of my traffic comes from organic search, and I probably won’t this year either. I’m considering giving Twitter ads another shot. I’ve experimented with website retargeting, but I haven’t seen much success with it. Facebook will continue to dominate my ad spend, regardless.

      3. Not really. This is not a priority for me. I don’t want to be on the road much since one reason I do what I do is to be more available to my three kids. It’s gotta be the right event.

      Hope this answers your questions, and thanks for the kind words!

      • http://www.buildandbalance.com/ Michael_N

        Jon,
        Thanks for your thoughtful reply. The key takeaway for me from your answer is “This is not a priority for me.”. I respect and appreciate your clear focus on your priorities.

        • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

          Yeah, focus is really important. It’s far too easy to try to do everything. The one goal not listed here is success without overwhelm. I don’t want to be up past midnight every night (like tonight, unfortunately), making me tired through the day and impacting my time with my kids. That’s not success for me.

          I know that I can lose focus easily. Can’t do that!

  • FJ

    Super, Jon. I have only recently encountered your work and have benefited immensely. It has seemed to me that your very generous spirit might get in the way of the optimal revenue stream that your expertise could provide, so I’m happy that you have a plan to generate more revenue. Also, I love that you are team-building and delegating. All most inspiring. John

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Thanks, FJ! Honestly, I know I leave money on the table. And really, I’m fine with that. I’m not in this to be rich. I’m in it to be happy.

  • Tricia

    Happy New Year Jon!Thanks for sharing your plans for 2014.My first order of priority for 2014 is to have a private coaching session with you! Need to tweak my Facebook Accessory business “Accessory Channel”. Made a couple of sales from my Facebook Fan page in 2013 and was excited about it. I know I have a long way to go to turn it into a 6 figure business.
    My inspiration to have a Facebook accessory business presence came from, two stay at home moms who are currently selling accessories on Facebook grossing a 1million in sales in 2012.I have 30 years of accessory experience and figure that if they can do it, so can I. Just need a mentor like you to take me to the top! Talk with you soon:) Keep up the good work and your transparency. Cheers! Tricia

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      That’s great, Tricia! You have the passion, and that’s most important. Looking forward to chatting!

  • http://www.networkmarketing-local.com/ Bertie van Greunen

    Hey Jon, thanks for this great article.

    I am not a big planner as well, but seriously need to reconsider for 2014.

    One of my goals for 2013 was to learn Google Hangouts. I have been attending quite a few shows as well and the traction those people got were astonishing.

    I have met so many interesting and like minded people that i have decided to work on some workshops and perhaps video tips that can be embedded in my blog.

    The beauty is that you can have these shows and send the link with the recording to your podcast editor and use that audio as a podcast.

    Another thing is that Google index these videos which will ultimately help with ranking, although i know that it is not that important anymore. One thing i really do like is that fans can watch your show on their FB app or on your web/blog page.

    So one of my goals will be to start a show on tips for network marketers or small businesses how to build a network and turn those followers or fans into clients.

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Really good goals, Bertie. I’m impressed with Hangouts as well. I was on a show a couple of weeks ago, and it was definitely slick. I have to figure out how it works into what I do, but something to consider!

  • http://www.antoniocalero.com/ Antonio Calero

    It makes sense to put some order to your weekly content, otherwise it will become hard to cope with – especially with three kids at home :) Happy New Year, btw

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      That’s right, Antonio! Happy New Year to you, and good luck this year!

  • http://www.oursocialtimes.com/ Jeremy Taylor

    If you’re not sure how worthwhile the pubcast is and one of your main goals is to build your email list, why aren’t you linking the two? I’d have thought that it would make sense to require registration to listen to the pubcast. Yes you’ll have fewer people listen, but the value of a listen would be much greater (and would get you well on your way to 50,000).

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Hey, Jeremy. I don’t consider myself a podcasting expert, but this would seem to be an unorthodox approach. Sure, I could require subscription to listen to my podcast on my website, but people listen via iTunes, Stitcher, etc. as well. And I definitely don’t want to prevent them from listening that way.

      There may be a question of whether it’s right to make listening to the podcast available in the sidebar or not since this may prevent people from subscribing via iTunes. But I don’t think putting it behind an email subscription makes sense here.

      That said, I think there are ways to connect the two in other creative ways (submit a question to be answered, get exclusive access to certain content mentioned on the show, etc.).

      Thanks for your thoughts!

  • http://www.jeffrutherford.com Jeff Rutherford

    My two cents Jon. Don’t get hung up on measurement re: audio podcast, but don’t give it up either. Cliff Ravenscraft and others have pointed out that listeners are devoting 30-40 minutes of their time to you via the podcast. How many of your readers are spending 30-40 minutes on the page at a time reading blog posts, etc? Again, measurement is lacking for podcasts, but I think there’s a huge residual impact that the podcast will have. Regular podcast listeners, when they think Facebook marketing will automatically think Jon Loomer – and will be huge word-of-mouth evangelists for you and your brand.

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Great points, Jeff! I think what bothers me the most is that I don’t know how many people are actually listening beyond a few seconds. If they only listen in the sidebar (and I’m pretty sure Cliff doesn’t like using such a widget from Libsyn), the likelihood is pretty high that they don’t listen as long. That’s why I am focusing more on finding ways to get subscribers via iTunes.

      Looking forward to figuring it all out. Thanks for the feedback, Jeff!

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