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I'm a former corporate employee who decided to ditch the 9-5 and start my own business.
Now, with a lukewarm cup of coffee in one hand and a baby on my hip, I'm sharing all my best business, branding and website tips.
educator. designer. mama + wife
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It’s a good idea at the end of the year to reflect what worked and what didn’t work for your business. Looking back at the entire year helps you remember the things that you achieved (yay!) and also the things that didn’t work out how you had hoped.
In order to successfully plan your year ahead in business, it’s important to look at what worked out well for your business as well as the things that didn’t go so well. Putting forth a new plan to grow your business by expanding on what’s worked so far and perhaps rethinking what didn’t work so well can help you reach your goals faster.
Here’s a look back at what worked well for my business in 2022 as well as the things that didn’t go as well as I had hoped.
1. Revamping My Website
By early 2022 my 1:1 client work was becoming less in demand than my Showit and Canva template customer sales. I realized after taking a closer look at my business website, that my homepage only catered to my 1:1 clients and not so much to my template customers. This meant I could be losing template sales and not showing all that my shop had to offer.
I decided to restructure my most popular pages (after looking at the site traffic in Google Analytics) and worked my way towards revamping my entire website. This transformation proved to be a huge success for my business in 2022 as my template sales increased by 184%!
Business Tip: Evaluate who your target audience is and imagine their experience when visiting your website. Are they able to find what they need quickly? Do they understand what your business is about and how you can help them? Are you answering any questions they may have? If you’re nervous to update your entire website, start with just your homepage to test out the waters.
Join my branding course to finally understand who your target audience is and how to attract them to your business!
2.Selling Showit Website Templates
In 2020 I joined Showit as a Design Partner and wow did it change my business! I had been creating client websites using Showit and fell in love with the interface. It was so user-friendly and as a designer, I loved that the design possibilities were limitless.
After applying to become a Design Partner and being selected by Showit, I earned more clients who wanted me to create their custom website and I also started working on a collection of Showit website templates. Offering website templates allowed me to share my expertise and design talent with new customers who had a smaller budget than my 1:1 clients.
In 2022, over 150 people created Showit websites using my Mackenzie Isla, Haisley Ryan, Brianna Rose and Camilla Rae templates. I’m so thrilled to have been a part of their business journey and to share my business growth over the past year with Showit.
3.New Branding Photos
One of the most important parts of growing my graphic design business from home, has been having my own branded photos. I was lucky to work with brand photographer Ashleigh Malangone on branding photos back in 2017 and I’ve been going back to her for more ever since! In early 2022 we did another shoot and it really helped foster the growth of my business.
1. Social Media
While I love looking at other people’s feeds on Instagram, I just don’t love maintaining my own social media accounts. In 2022 I started adding reels with some success and actually enjoyed it once I got the hang of it. But then at one point during the year I decided to take a break from maintaining my social media accounts. I felt a sense of pressure to constantly update and it wasn’t very fun anymore. I know once I get inspired again I’ll get back to it.
2. Client Projects
Early in 2022, my 1:1 client projects slowed down for a myriad of reasons: slow economy, less availability and less demand. Clients were pulling back on big investments due to fear of an economic recession and I decided to focus more on my template shop. While I miss working 1:1 with more clients, I see the trend leaning towards business owners investing in courses, marketing software, DIY templates and short term projects like VIP days.
3. Running Facebook/Instagram Ads
With the 2022 Black Friday sales season on the horizon and my template sales soaring, I decided to take a course in running Facebook and Instagram ads for my template products. I spent a small amount of money on ads to do some test runs and while my ads had a good amount of views, almost none of them resulted in an increase in sales. I was also disappointed in the audience that my ads were shown to. After looking at their profiles, they did not seem to be a good match for my ideal customer. I’ll be trying ads again though in the future!
Looking ahead at 2023 for Sugar Studios I’ll be continuing to work 1:1 with new and existing clients while developing more Showit website templates, Showit add ons, Canva templates and an exciting new course in the works.
Cheers to a healthy and successful New Year for you and your business 🎉 🥂
What do you think of this article? Do you have any questions for me? Ask me in the comments box below!
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I help business owners save time and money by offering high-quality Canva and Showit templates. Stick with me for the best branding tips, website how-to's and business advice so we can grow our beautiful business together.
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