“Numbers are scary!”
No, they’re really not. I know numbers can be completely overwhelming and frustrating for some people, but the truth is that numbers are an entrepreneur’s best friend.
I’d say that the majority of the time, any problem you’re facing in your marketing can be identified and easily solved….
if you know your numbers!
If numbers are typically a source of confusion, frustration, and overwhelm for you, join me for today’s episode of The Hirsh Marketing Underground Podcast.
I’m going to break down how you can:
- Set realistic goals for your business
- Work backwards to create benchmarks for those goals
- Identify problem areas in your marketing
- Crush your goals
All by knowing your numbers!
It’s time to cast away your fear and anxiety over your numbers and find clarity.
Tune in, and let me know what your thoughts on today’s episode are over on my Instagram page (@emilyhirsh)!
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Hello, everybody. Welcome back to the podcast if you are a regular listener, and welcome to all my new friends. If you’re new, I am currently at the time of recording this, I’m getting ready to bring myself and my three kids… sometimes I can’t even believe it when I say that. Like I have three kids. Holy crap, I have three kids. Does anybody else do that? It just happened so fast. I am going to be going to California for one month, leaving the Texas heat for like four and a half weeks and go stay with my mom. My husband’s coming for like a part of it, but bless him. He does not want to stay at his in-laws’ house for a month, so I don’t blame him. But we live in Texas, but I really don’t like it here in the summer. I’m going to like it here. It’s good. Like, I like my friends, and my house, and my yard, but I can only go outside basically from 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM and then it’s so hot.
So I’m super excited to be in Northern California by the beach. My old life. I grew up in that town, so I knew everybody there and just friends and coffee shops I love, and all of that. So by the time this comes out, I will be there and loving life, but it’s a lot of work to get myself and three kids ready to go for one month. I shipped like literally 100 things through Amazon to my mom. Like diapers, crafts toys, because I’m like, I’m not bringing all this stuff, so we’ll just send it there. So I did that and actually got help while I’m there, and nanny, and my mom has somebody who cooks food for her so she’s going to cook food for me. So exciting.
Anyways, so today I am pumped. I’m going to be talking about numbers, which if y’all know me, I talk about numbers a lot and I actually am titling this episode Numbers. Are. Everything. because they are. So I am just kind of like rolling around in data and numbers today because we run our company July through June on an annual basis. So not finances or anything, but just like goals and actual company planning, because we don’t like to do annual planning around Christmas time. It just doesn’t work out very well. And so I got this recommendation from someone and have done it for the last two years, but basically we set revenue goal, client goal, any annual company goals we set at the end of June. So I just did that and we’re going into July, like fresh and it’s super cool. Like, you know, you had that feeling in January when you’re starting a new year and you set your resolutions or whatever, but it’s kind of fun to do it in the middle of the year too for your company.
So I am deep into numbers because we set our revenue goal for the next year. We set the number of active clients we want on our roster for the next year. We set the number of Ignite students that we need to, or we want to, sell in the next year. And then we set a retention rate goal. So those are my four goals that we set in our company. So we have four annual objectives, and then those drive our quarterly objectives, which drive our monthly objectives, which drive our weekly commitments, Alex Charfen’s cadence laid out for you, which is amazing.
So anyways, what I wanted to talk about is his numbers, because I talk a lot about numbers in your marketing and how you need to know your ad spend and how that drives, you know, your sales goal, drives your ad spend. And all the numbers in between from cost per lead, cost per purchase, cost per conversion, conversion rate, cost per application. All of those steps, you need to have goals and then you need to actually track against it. But what I want to talk about here is just how numbers can drive almost everything in the process that we just went through with our annual planning, because you can take all of this information that we talk about, about numbers, like directly correlating to your ads and your marketing and apply it to your whole business.
So what we did is we just set our revenue goal, right? And then we took that revenue goal, I didn’t just pull that out and be like, “it would be nice to make this much money.” We set a goal based on, okay, “here’s where we’re at right now. How many clients do we think that we can sign basically every single month for the next 12 months? And then what’s the retention rate that we’re gonna – that we believe we can achieve and also are going to aim to achieve? And then how many clients can we end up with in a year? And if our average client payment is X, what does that equal for revenue?” And so my year, none of like, none of your goals that you set that are no numerical base – which a lot of goals should be, because then you can actually measure them, should just be like guessed.
A lot of times what I hear entrepreneurs do is they’ll be like, “well, I want to make $10 million.” Okay, well, what would that require? And so then you have to backtrack and be like, “okay, well, if I want to make $10 million, I have to sell X amount of my product or service. And if I have to sell X amount of my product or service, that means I have to get X amount of applications or X amount of webinar registrants.” So it’s still related to your marketing, but your big business goal, you can also take into consideration where you’re currently at any like consistent organic traffic or data you get.
So for example, we know, so we have data upon data. Like, I track a lot of data, but one thing is you don’t just track data to track. Like you take that and then you have to create summaries and conclusions based on it. So when we’re setting these goals, I’m looking back at like the last 12 months, and I’m looking at what was our average sales conversion percentage? What is our average qualified application percentage? What’s our average show up rate? And kind of plugging all that in to get out, “okay, if I want to sign 10 new clients a month, this is how many applications I need based on all of these numbers.” So for planning purposes, it’s very beneficial that you’ve got backtrack data.
But anyways, what I was saying is when you plan a goal, a big company goal, whether it’s an annual goal, a quarterly goal, a monthly goal, you can’t just pull it out of thin air and be like, “this sounds cool.” Or like, “this feels like the right number. Let’s go do it.” You’ve got to backtrack and have actual numbers connected to it of like what’s the milestones to achieving that goal? So for us, if we have a revenue goal, we know the two ways we drive revenue is through clients or Ignite students. So then we’ve got a number attached. How many new clients every month and this whole next year, do we need to sign to accomplish that revenue goal? How many Ignite students do we need to sell to in order to accomplish that revenue goal? How much of that revenue goal is Ignite versus agency? Like I had to separate that out. “Okay, what’s doable?” And then going a layer deep. “Okay, if I want to sell this many clients, then I need this many applications based on all of our data, based on our close rate, our application qualified rate, our show up rate to the calls.” And you can calculate all of this and then actually get a solid number of, “okay, I need this many applications every single month to hit all the goals above it.”
Same with Ignite. If I sell it through a webinar, how many registrants do I need? If I’m going to do a launch and I want to sell, so we’re doing a bigger launch in the fall. Where about half of the sales will come from. So I know, “okay, if I need to sell this many in the fall, then I need to have this many people signed up for my live launch experience.” Right? And so now what it does is it creates so much clarity about where we’re going for the team. Like, okay, if we want to achieve these big goals, that might, especially for your team, if you have a team member… Like to you, you’re kind of like, “well, I know we can do that” because you believe it. You’re an entrepreneur. You go after it, but for your team, it might seem very far off or it might seem like, okay, whatever, it’s just a number.
But if you break it down with the actual steps and the milestones that you have to take to get there, then you will create so much more clarity and success for your entire team. So now when we go into our quarterly planning or a monthly planning, we’re coming back to those goals and we’re like, okay, where are we at? Like, are we hitting that application number every month? Are we hitting the close rate? Are we hitting the show up rate? Are we hitting the webinar signups? like whatever all those goals are. So I truly believe that having this clarity in your company is so important.
And the other reason I did this podcast is I have a friend and client who – she’s a friend. So I’m supporting her with her ads a little bit and just kind of helping her go a lot deeper with her funnel and just giving her some advice. But there was a moment where she was like, “well, I don’t know if this is working, or I don’t know if I should do this or this or this.” And kind of that feeling, you know, when you want to just like change everything because it’s not necessarily working exactly how you wanted, and in this case, it was starting to work, but it just didn’t feel fast enough. And so she wanted to change everything and was like, “I don’t know which thing to choose or how many of these things I should do.”
And I just brought it back to the numbers. Like, let’s go into the spreadsheet, let’s look at the last three days data, and the last seven days data, the last month’s data, and figure out what we need to do. And just come back to here. Where’s our goals? Here’s where we’re at. Like, we’re really close here. We’re far off here. There’s action items associated with each number goal. And so when you come back to numbers, you really like, it’s calming because it’s not this far off, like we’ll have the sales goal and I’m not reaching it and I don’t know what to do, so I’m just going to hustle, and I’m going to work harder, and I’m going to do more, and I’m gonna change this, and I’m gonna do this in a new funnel, new product, new offer, new messaging, new audience. Whatever it is like, how often do we do that? Where we’re maybe not hitting our goals or growing as fast as we want, but we don’t maybe even have the clarity of what that means. But so we just like create a bunch of to-do’s and things that we have to go fix, or implement, or build new, or launch something new because we’re trying to accomplish that goal, but we’re not even clear what that means.
And so if you break down everything in your business with these big number goals that will drive your marketing, that will drive your sales, that will drive even your delivery and your operations. So what we do is we have this revenue goal and then we created everybody who would contribute to that revenue goal. So I set these numbers with my leadership team. So we then created like, okay, well, if this is our revenue goal who contributes to this, obviously everybody does. Hang with me if you’re like, “wait, no, don’t you.. isn’t it like growth?” But so the marketing team, right, would contribute you signing new clients, getting new applications. The sales team would contribute to the close rate, the quality of the leads, uh, the show up rate, all of those things. Then our operations and delivery team is contributing to the retention and the referrals and the actual client’s experience.
And so we all play a part and we all have metrics attached to that part. So the marketing team has metrics like how many leads, how many applications, how many calls booked. Sales team has closed rate, show up rate. And then operations team has retention rate, referrals and how, you know, satisfaction rate of our clients. And so everybody owns their part. And if everybody is clear what part they own to that goal and like what their milestone is, what their goal is within the goal, we can all work together collectively and clearly, and get momentum in that, you know, with that goal.
So we just did our annual planning where we did that and we clarified all of that and I just feel, it just feels so clear. It just feels like, okay, well, this is totally possible. I want to note one more thing here. This is just kind of a side note, but it’s important. So I used to like, as an entrepreneur, and you’re probably like this too, like I set pretty out there goals. You know, I have high expectations and I often times think I can grow faster than I really can and set goals that I may not even reach, cause they’re so high, but it doesn’t matter to me because I don’t really care about the goal. I care more about like the journey to get to the goal. And once I get there, I’m like, okay, what’s next? Let’s go to the next level. Let’s raise it up.
And I’ve always been like that, untiI met Alex Charfen who explained that your team needs to accomplish goals and feel like they’re winning. And like the general population, like not entrepreneurs, don’t want to show up and feel like they’re losing every day. So once I learned that a couple of years ago, we shifted our goals that we set so that we can win. And so we actually undershoot our revenue goals and our client goals. We do this on a monthly basis too. If we think we can launch 10 new clients, we put eight. If we think we can launch, you know, eight, we put six because we just want to, we want to win. We want to meet our goal, like middle of the month instead of end of the month.
At first I was like, that’s stupid because then you’re kind of teaching your team to not try hard enough or like low ball it or whatever, but I’ve watched, it’s not true. I watch my team now, like on the huddle, for example, when we are meeting our goal in the middle of the month and we have all this momentum and we launched four or five clients in one week and how excited they are about that and how serious they take the gold when they actually feel like they can accomplish the goal. Versus when it’s like, here’s our goal, but we never meet our goal. So it’s kind of a fake goal. We don’t really care about it type of message, because we’re like, it’s an impossible to achieve goal. They just like, they don’t get excited about it because why would they, if they’re kind of set up to lose? So that’s one thing to note.
Like when we just did our annual planning and we set our revenue goal, I did have a moment where I’m like, that’s it like, I think we can do way more than that. So what I did was I set my own goal, like privately. Like okay, this is the goal that the team has. This is the goal we’re going to crush. It won’t be that hard for us. And I know we can absolutely crush it. But my personal goal is a little bit higher than that, but I’m going to keep that to myself, write it down, review it, you know, and that’s fine.
And I really didn’t believe that this worked, but it really does. Like if you get your team hooked on setting goals and then achieving those goals and really excited about like crushing them, they will all be so much more excited about being a part of that and a part of accomplishing whatever it is. Like sales leads, you know, accomplishing every project. If you make the timeline impossible, then they won’t be excited about it and they won’t really care cause it will feel like a fake goal. Which tells entrepreneurs a lot of times that’s fine. Like I don’t care because I just, you know, move to the next thing, or I just care more about the journey than the goal. But your team really does care about accomplishing that goal. So that’s just one thing to note.
So anyways, summary of this episode that I just want to really emphasize for you guys is that numbers are everything in your business, and so often I have conversations with entrepreneurs, whether they’re at an event on a group training, I’m doing on a guest training, I’m doing for somebody else’s audience in conversations with my own friends. And so often people are like overwhelmed, or they’re confused, or they’re frustrated about something in their business that most of the time, can get clarity through numbers. Or they’re like, “well, this thing isn’t working, or we’re not selling enough of this or this isn’t converting, and I don’t know what the problem is, maybe marketing doesn’t work for me and my sales person is broken.” And like they don’t know, but they know there’s a problem. And that feeling that sucks, that feeling.
And a lot of times a situation like that can have clarity with numbers because once you get clarity with the numbers and you have here’s the expectation, here’s our goals, here’s what we believe we can accomplish. Versus the reality. Here’s where we’re at here is, you know, what we’re actually doing. And you can compare those two that tells you where the problem is, and when you have clarity around where a problem is, or where you need to put your energy and effort and time, you’re able to go fix it. Which will move you forward, which will get you out of that frustration or confusion or overwhelm that you’re maybe feeling. So the way that starts is with numbers and really honing in on and focusing on what are our numbers? What’s our data? What’s our goals? Like where are we now? Where do we want to be? What are we achieving for? What are we striving for? And then how are we going to get there? What did like many milestones.
The other mistake people make is they’ll set like a big annual goal and they’ll be like, okay, go like achieve it in 12 months. Okay, but what does that mean for like this month right now, today? How are we going to move forward to that goal right now? And that’s really important too, because your team can’t see like that. Like your team can’t see that oh a whole year, you know, multi million dollar goal for the year and then be like, okay, great. What do I do today to get me to, to help and be a part of accomplishing that goal? And it’s not just show up at their job. They need to know like what part of my job contributes to us accomplishing this goal? Because everyone in the company, whether they’re delivery, sales, marketing, operations, whatever is contributing to those big goals for your company. And you want to clarify for your team how they’re a part of it so they know when they don’t do a good job with that, or they struggle with that, how that impacts the big goal of the company and where the company’s going.
Alright, you guys, so numbers are everything. Two things: set goals with numbers, work backwards from those goals. So you have a step and a milestone all the way down to today. This is what we’re doing to drive it forward. Second thing is track your actual data so that you can even set better goals. If I went into my planning and I didn’t know how many applications we’ve been getting every month, how many calls, our average close rate, our show up rate in our conversion rate on webinars, all those things. If I didn’t know any of those things, it would make it a lot harder for me to set goals. You’re guessing, and you’re trying to pull it off of averages, which you have to do in the beginning, but once you start getting data, you don’t have to do that. And you’re able to set goals that actually feel super achievable because you’re basing it off of real life data. So track your actual results in actual momentum so that then you can compare that to your goals and you’re able to set realistic expectations of what you should be doing and how you’re going to get there, and your whole team is on the same page and it is so beautiful. All right y’all, thanks for tuning in and I will see you all on the next episode.