AUTHOR’S POST-PUBLICATION NOTE: As of April 2022, I no longer support or recommend the use of Google Analytics and for details as to why that is, check out episode 53 “Why I Un-Installed Google Analytics (And Why You May Want To Follow My Lead”. For analytics software options I do recommend, there’s episode 54, “How To Ethically Track Your Visitors”.
This is a transcript of episode 6 of the OMGrowth podcast, published on December 23, 2020
Knowing your numbers is about so much more than percentages and spreadsheets. There’s really only one reason you should give a damn about your numbers and it’s this: to improve them.
Before you even bother with a report or a dashboard, there are a few mindset shifts you will want to make to become a data-driven boss.
PERFORMANCE REQUIRES THAT YOU START… AND YOU KEEP GOING
No matter what Drake says, you do not go from “zero to a hundred – real quick”. If you insist on rolling out with Drake gospel, you’d be better off “starting from the bottom”.
YOU CAN’T BE BETTER THAN SOMETHING YOU’VE NEVER EVEN BEEN BEFORE.
Stop for a moment and say that with me: “I cannot be better at something I’ve never even been before.”
And this applies to your performance in anything! Whether we’re talking about your revenue, your fitness, your self-care, your hobbies – whatever! – showing up for anything is an incremental process. It isn’t all done at once. (And yes, I’m talking to you, New Year’s Resolutions!)
If you decide to run a marathon but you’ve never run a 10K before, you wouldn’t beat yourself up for not being able to complete a marathon on your first run out, right? If you start hitting the gym, you know not to expect a six-pack after your first session… although we all secretly kinda hope we do, right?… but realistically, we know that’s not going to happen.
Your online performance is no different than how you perform at anything else: incremental growth has more long-term value than trying to one-and-done it all.
BECAUSE THERE IS NO FINISH LINE WHEN IT COMES TO KNOWING YOUR NUMBERS AND OPTIMIZING YOUR ONLINE PERFORMANCE.
And here’s something I know about you: you like it that way because you would never have gone into business for yourself if you weren’t motivated and driven to best yourself – over and over again – in the first place.
Which brings me to my next point when it comes to the mindset you’ll want to adopt as a data-driven boss:
KNOW YOUR LANE
I love corporate environments as much as I do the online world, and if I showed up in a board room meeting with tech tutorials and formulas and spreadsheets, the suits wouldn’t have it.
These are bosses and execs who want to see THE INSIGHTS and TAKE-AWAYS from those things so they can make very boss decisions. Because that’s their job!
So when you decide to learn and do #allthethings related to your numbers, and you feel like a WTF sense of overwhelm… you’re 100% correct to feel that way!
BECAUSE YOU’RE THE BOSS, APPLE SAUCE.
And being the boss means you make the strategies. You follow up on the outcomes of the strategies you made so that you can make those outcomes even better when you make your next strategy. That’s your job, that’s your role!
And I’m the analyst. I here to help you identify what to follow up on, what to look for and my job make it easy for you to see the outcomes of your strategies.
This is also why I don’t teach Google Analytics and instead, I preach the gospel of dashboards: they’re what I bring to the suits and they’re what I bring to you because as a boss, it’s way more important for you to see the flow and results of how you’re marketing yourself than it is for you to be a pro at filtering Pinterest traffic from your acquisition report, gnome-saying?
And this is also why you will often hear me say “this needs to be done in your business and this is a great thing to outsource to a virtual assistant”. Just because it can be done by you doesn’t mean it has to be, and I know the hang-up with delegating your workload is often “where do I start?” and that’s why you’ll so-often hear me say this:
BEING DATA-DRIVEN IS ABOUT WEARING THE BOSSY PANTS. THE MORE BOSSY HABITS (LIKE DELEGATING) THAT YOU TAKE ON, THE MORE DATA-DRIVEN YOUR MOVES AND DECISIONS WILL NATURALLY BECOME.
Which then brings me to our final tip for taking on a data-driven boss mindset…
FOLLOW YOUR ENERGY
As a boss, you have to be mad-strategic about your efforts. It is your job to make decisions – and take consistent action! – on your marketing efforts.
BEING CLEAR ON WHERE YOU’RE INVESTING YOUR ENERGY MAKES KNOWING YOUR NUMBERS INSANELY SIMPLE TO UNDERSTAND.
For instance, if you’re investing your marketing energy into your product launch, then you’re looking at things like SALES CONVERSIONS and REVENUE.
Maybe you’re doing a lot of joint venture collaborations because you want to get in front of new audiences, you’ll be looking at things like NEW USERS and NEW SUBSCRIBERS.
I’ll go more in-depth with understand what data to look at based on your efforts in “The Super-Simple ABCs of KNOWING YOUR NUMBERS in Google Analytics”, but for now, I just want to bring your attention to whatever it is that is getting YOUR attention and YOUR energy, because I’m setting you up to measure the ROI or return on investment – and yes, energy is an investment – but when you follow your energy to measure your ROI (rather than try – in vain! – to look at all of the numbers and all of the things you could doing), you’re better able to hone in on what the results are for the work you’re doing.
It’s easier to spin one plate at a time. And when you have control of that spinning plate, adding another one doesn’t seem nearly as challenging as trying to get both of them up at the same time.
So here are the ACTION ITEMS I have for you today to help foster your data-driven mindset:
1) GET STARTED
Make sure you have some analytics software installed on your website.
2) Say it loud, and say it proud: “I run this mother!”
Stay in your lane and own your role as the boss, because it’s the one thing your business needs most from you to succeed and grow.
3) LOOK AT YOUR NUMBERS
Look at your current marketing plans and ask yourself: where are you investing your marketing efforts and what are the metrics or indicators would comment on your performance in those areas?
If you can take a step back from #allthethings you could be tracking and doing – and take a tunnel-vision approach to honing in on the numbers directly related to the work you’re doing – your gears will start turning in a data-driven way that inspires your next best business decision.
Much like a wash-rinse-repeat formula, being data-driven is its own formula of getting started, staying in your lane, and actually looking at and paying attention to what the odometer is saying about whether you should speed up, slow down or if you’re at optimal cruising speed.
There will always be “more”: more you can do, more data you could look at, more goals to achieve… but “more” starts with “one more” and you don’t get “one more” without “one”.
And the ONE starts with YOU!
So wear those bossy pants – own them! – and it’s OK if they need a little tailoring. Making adjustments is what being data-driven is all about, and being data-driven is what your next best month, launch or collaboration is all about, too!