Episode 17: My 2020 year in review: what worked well and what didn’t

Welcome to The Rachel Kurzyp Show

You’re listening to episode 17.

Today I wanted to do something a little different and bring you behind the scenes into my business and my strategic planning process.

You may remember back from episode 15, where I shared that I reflect and review the year that was in December. It’s the first step in my 5-step strategic plan process.

So I was writing down my reflections, going through my stats, scrolling through Insta remembering what I did this year and I thought that you may find the learnings useful too. And at the very least, you get to be nosey. Because if you’re anything like me, I love learning what’s actually happening behind the scenes.

Everything we see – the emails, IG stories, workshops – are the tip of the iceberg. They’re the end product. And often we don’t hear the strategy or decisions that were made months and even years before.

That’s what I’m going to do today.

And to make it easier I’m going to share my top learnings under three categories: mindset, strategy and marketing.

Let’s dive in.


Learning 1: I’m no longer a one woman show

I haven’t been a one woman show for a while now. I don’t have staff e.g. employees but I do have 7 YES 7 contractors that I work with on a regular basis. When I recently hired my online business manager, I sat down and thought about all the things I do in my business, what I’m already outsourcing and what I can let go even more.

And I couldn’t believe that I had 7 contractors. And I couldn’t believe how much I was still holding onto in my business. For example, creating IG graphics, updating my website, uploading copy into my email provider etc. It was in that moment that I realised I was now seeing myself as a CEO or overseeing something bigger than just me.

My actual thought process was take them – I wanted to get them off my to-do list like yesterday – I could see that doing them was holding me back from working on activities that were going to grow my business and supporting my clients even better.

With previous financial investments and commitments such as this, I had to really think long and hard about the pros and cons. But this time, I just knew that even if I lost some profit at first, I would gain it back later. Outsourcing was a smart financial investment. And when I signed the contract for my OBM, I’ve never felt more relieved in my life.

She has my back and I no longer have to keep everything in my head. And that’s what I need. So if you’re thinking of outsourcing, hiring or getting support some way, do your due diligence obviously. But I think it’s a smart move. Every business owner I know who I look up to and believe is successful has a team supporting them behind the scenes.

It’s very hard to replace your corporate salary, increase your reach and grow your community, and create products and services etc. all on your own. Running a business requires so many skill sets and you can’t possibly be great at all of them. Hiring people who are great at areas and skills that aren’t your jam, is future proofing your business for sustained success.

I knew this to be true but now I have proof and my whole mindset has shifted. I can now see how it is possible to reach my income goals, serve more people and still run my business my way. I feel like I’ve got my freedom back.

Learning 2: I wanted to finish off the mindset section of this ep by saying that there is never a perfect time.

This year has been hard for various reasons. And I can’t count the number of times you, my community, has DMd me asking if now is a good time to: quit your day job, launch a service, start using FB ads, get professional photos. The list goes on.

And I get it, you don’t want to waste your money, time and energy and you want to be respectful of people’s circumstances and world events. And this a good thing. I do too.

However, I think 2020 has shown us that there is never a perfect time to do anything. We can’t predict the future and a lot of things are outside of our control. I know for me, If I had waited for the perfect time this year to launch, create, build, show up, I wouldn’t have made any money and I wouldn’t have done so many things like launch this podcast.

So while we do need to be mindful of world events e.g. elections, global movements, we need to be careful we don’t fall into the trap of not taking any action. We are doing our clients, the world and ourselves a disservice when we hold back. I know you all are amazing humans who want to make the world a better place, otherwise you wouldn’t be hear listening to this, so trust your instincts and follow your values, and you’ll make the right decision. That’s what I’ve done, and I’ve still managed to meet 80% of my financial goal for 2020 AND tick off most things I had on my to-do list.


Learning 1: people want to have more access to me.

The biggest feedback I always get at the end of a free training or my group coaching program is that my community learns so much when they get to hang out with me live. And I love hanging out live too – maybe it’s the teacher in me but I really enjoy the immediate feedback that you get when you’re chatting and teaching in real time.

If I could hang out all day every day live with you all, I would. However, I know this isn’t possible so over the last year I have been playing around with my business model and building m suite of products and services. I originally planned on TCFM my coaching program being my high-ticket program where you can get 1:1 coaching support. And then CCWC my course, was going to be self-paced without any of my support in real time. And then I was going to have smaller products from ebooks to workshops.

But after starting down this route, I felt lots of resistance and for a long time, I couldn’t figure out why. Then I realised it was because I didn’t want to become a product/course -based model where access to me was limited. And that’s not what you wanted either.

I know people say the only way to increase your income and maintain your freedom is through digital courses and products. BUT this isn’t true. And I’ve proven that with my hybrid approach used in TCFM. So I’ve followed my gut and taken your feedback on board, and I’m changing things up in 2021 so I can continue to support you on a deep level BUT also allow my business to continue to grow.

I haven’t shared this publicly yet, but I’m introducing a 6-month high-touch mastermind which is for everyone who has completed TCFM and those who are ready to diversify their income and move away from DIY services. Like TCFM this is a hybrid program – there will be course components with 1:1 coaching + group support layered on top. I’m hoping to launch this in March next year. Spots will be limited and TCFM students will have the first opportunity to join. So stay tuned.

TCFM is changing to a group model, where we will have weekly 1-hour coaching calls. And you’ll still have a 1:1 access to me via DMs and I’ll still be looking over all your content. This program will only be offered 3 times a year (instead of 4 times like this year).

And finally, CCWC will no longer be evergreen and self-paced. I’m changing this to a live program that I launch twice a year so I can provide group coaching calls and additional support as you move through the course work.

And I’ll still be offering free training, workshops, and low-cost products to support you as your business grows and your needs change. The lesson here, you can determine your own business model and change your mind at any time if things don’t feel right to you.

Learning 2: Getting people off the gram

I love Instagram BUT I think depending on it as your only sales channel is a risky move. It’s time consuming, you have less control, and it doesn’t convert nearly as well as email. So I’ve been testing out different strategies to get people on my email list.

For the last 6 months, I’ve been using FB ads to increase my subscribers. I promote my content marketing freebie 7 types of content and it’s been converting well. The conversion rate is around 80%. This has allowed me to grow my list by 600%. I started a new email list in October last year. So I’m happy with this result.

I’ve also been trying waitlists for my services so that I don’t have to do live, public launches as much. These haven’t done as well. People do sign up; however, I still get a lot of people enrolling via my content on Instagram. People often need an incentive to sign up to waitlists, so I’ve been playing around with bonuses, money off, and limited places.

None of these has been more effective than the other. I haven’t given up on the waitlist strategy, however I do feel like people have been responding better to free trainings, workshops and freebies because they are getting something that supports them now in the moment and it gives them a chance to get to know me. And I know my community likes to hang out with me and other service providers and coaches before they invest.

So the lesson here is, start investing in your email list now, before you need it. I wish I had invested in mine sooner.


Lesson #1 problem-focused content worked better than urgency-focused content

What do I mean by this. Well when I emailed content around bonuses ending during open cart periods, subject lines like Fast action Bonus expires tonight. Didn’t really resonate. But subject lines like what would it mean to you if you could take Friday afternoon off did resonate. I’m not entirely surprised by this because we’re all used to the standard urgency buy now headlines so tune them out. However, click rates were higher in emails with problem-focused subject lines too showing me that you want honest conversations about what you’re struggling with, what solution I can provide and how you can work with me. So I’ll keep doing this.

Lesson #2 Use personalised marketing tactics

When your email list + community is small, it pays to provide personal touches in your marketing. I’ve been trying out a video app called Bonjoro so I can share personalised invitations + thank you messages to people who choose to work with me. People say they love that it feels personalised and they weren’t expecting it so it’s a welcomed surprise.

I also sent personalised DM invitations to everyone who viewed stories about my FREE content marketing challenge that I ran in November. And people in my community who I thought would get a lot out of it. I had a 90% success rate and most of them thanked me for letting them know because they wouldn’t have taken action otherwise.

Lesson #3 polls on IG not great for market research anymore

I used to love surveying my community via IG polls to help me choose what content to create, see what problems they are currently facing etc. This strategy hasn’t worked well for the last 6-8 months. Probably because the bots + spam messages ruined the experience for all of us. So I’ll be thinking of new ways to conduct market regularly research next year.

Lesson #4 mix of video, text and images worked best for conversion

Most of us understand the power of video, however I’ve really seen the difference it can make this year. IGTVs and IG Lives have been a great way for me to attract new followers and convert current followers into clients – both high ticket programs and low-cost products. These trainings with strong CTAs have been the trigger for most people. I believe if I hadn’t of added strategic videos to my launch content, I may not have converted so well.

Lesson #5 the power of podcasting

Launching this podcast has been the best decision I’ve made this year. The positive impact it’s had on my business as blown me away. It’s resulted in clients, new followers, podcast guest speaker invitations, collaboration discussions and been create for email sign ups and SEO. And because of this, the pod will play a key role in my marketing next year.

Well that’s it from me, I hope you’ve found this behind the scenes look at 2020 helpful.

I’m taking a much-needed break and won’t be back here on the pod until Jan 13th.

So I wish you a safe and happy holiday and I can’t wait to hang out with you again in the new year.

As always, thanks so much for tuning into today’s episode and for your love, support, and feedback of the show.

It really means a lot to me.

If you’ve found what I’ve shared valuable please leave a review and hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss when a new episode drops every Wednesday.

Hi, I’m Rachel

I support multi-talented business owners to get clear on what makes them tick and desperately needed in their industry so they can make more money.

Should you start a podcast?

Should you start a podcast?

Do you genuinely want to start a podcast? Or do you think it’s the only way to grow your audience, share your expertise and produce evergreen content?


Should you start a podcast?

Should you start a podcast?

Do you genuinely want to start a podcast? Or do you think it’s the only way to grow your audience, share your expertise and produce evergreen content?