Communications Rebel Turns 1: A RetrospectJan 25 2014 · Rebel Yell
Communications Rebel turns 1 this January. And what a year it’s been! Looking back at the first year of my new brand, I can say that there were some unexpected developments and frankly, some goals I failed to reach. (Or at least I thought so…)
But it wouldn’t be a business (or life) if everything went according to plan. And the most important lesson that I learned in year one of Communications Rebel is that you don’t want to be caught off-guard by an unexpected turn of events but embrace the opportunities that arise from it. Pivot, adjust in accordance with your values, and move forward.
Year 1: What Surprised Me
When I launched Communications Rebel, I put all my eggs into one basket when it came to connecting and engaging with my peeps. That basket was my website. With a lot of experience in digital communications and content marketing, I naturally focused on my online presence and turned to blogging and social media to connect with current and future clients.
My launch special brought in some amazing rebel sessions with Elizabeth Adams Bean, Britta Wein, and Jon Sookocheff. I was thrilled to help each of them dive deeper into their mission + their voice and unlock their potential.
What I didn’t expect come from these sessions were more clients. Word of mouth was powerful and led to new clients and relationships that my online activities and outreach failed to bring in. (I admit that while I’m building Communications Rebel, I’m still working a day job. Working 9-to-5 plus a 2-hour commute limits the time and effort I can spend on blogging and other marketing activities for CR.)
In addition to the Rebel Sessions that entrepreneurs booked in 2013, I started working with my first long-term client: Dr. Fitzgerald, founder at the Santa Monica Wellness Center, had heard about my work through Emperor’s College where I was managing communications projects at the time. She needed help with her blog, social media, and building her brand.
Again, a client that came recommended. Dr. Fitzgerald didn’t check out my website and my offerings until after our first meeting.
I had underestimated the power of word of mouth. Moving forward, I want to remember how valuable one person’s recommendation can be. This is teaching me to be prepared for new business at all times. While we might have prepared for incoming business as a result of our own pro-active outreach and campaigns, we mustn’t forget leads and new opportunities that can come our way thanks to existing clients’ recommendations.
I want to think about how I can reward my current clients for their amazing gesture. The fact that clients have recommended me to others is not only flattering. It also tells me that I must be doing something right. And that excites me!
Year 1: What Was Challenging
Yes, I’m working a day job as I’m building up Communications Rebel. Nonetheless, I didn’t reach my goal of getting my first 500 newsletter subscribers and a blog readership of minimum 500 per month. (Yep, building a blog readership and growing your fan base in 2013 doesn’t compare to building your blog readership and growing your fan base in 2008.)
However, on second thought…why am I so obsessed with these numbers? I know that people are inundated with messages on social media, e-mail newsletters, RSS feeds, blog subscriptions, podcasts and mobile content. More people have adopted social media practices, and the Internet has become one crowded content highway. I know that.
But I also know that you can break through the clutter – one person at a time. And the stress is on one person at a time. It’s not a race to the finish line (=highest possible number of subscribers or blog readers). In fact, what I’m telling my Communications Rebel clients is this: You want to connect with the people that are resonating with your message. Your peeps. Your gang. The people that get you. Those that are inspired by your message and that inspire you.
While it’s flattering to look at numbers and celebrate a birthday milestone…the bottom line is: it’s not about the numbers. It’s about what difference you’ve made in the lives and businesses of your clients. That’s what your measuring stick should measure. The satisfaction score of each reader, subscriber and client that you’ve touched through your work.
It’s challenging to let go of benchmarks that corporate America has taught us so well. It’s definitely challenging for me. But I’m aware that if I change my focus from pure numbers to real people – I’m in tune with what Communications Rebel is all about:
Attracting the rebels, the change-makers, innovators and entrepreneurs who want to make a difference by challenging the status quo and offering services and solutions that change the world for the better.
Year 1: Thanks to YOU, Communications Rebels!
I wanna give a shout-out to the amazing entrepreneurs and business owners that I’ve had the honor to work with in year 1. You all rock!
Watch out everyone – these Communications Rebels will change your world as you know it:
Elizabeth Adams Bean, Design + Photography
Dr. Patricia Fitzgerald, Owner, Santa Monica Wellness Center + Huffington Post Wellness Editor
Annette Husmann, Owner, Eco- and Upcycling-Market
Marlene McKee, Owner, Nutrition for Health and Longevity
Britta Wein, CEO, Lunapads Germany
Dr. Claudia Wendt, Germany
Rebel on -
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