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Biz Advice

The Stephanie Kase Podcast, Ep. 26: 10 Lessons Learned in 2022 about Business

December 12, 2022

I’m so excited to be sharing this episode of the Stephanie Kase Podcast! Today, we’re getting a little bit juicy with 10 lessons I learned in 2022 about my business. This is honestly stuff that was hard for me but they’re things I needed to learn. Looking back on these ten things will help me decide how to approach similar moments in 2023 and in the future, so I think it’s good to sit down and talk through all of this. Without further ado, let’s jump in!

#1: Make strategic investments.

I’m the Queen of making quick investments… without always thinking it through. And, I’ll be honest: there’s definitely been investments I made that were NOT worth it, and I’ve lost thousands of dollars over it. But, one thing I’ve learned this year is to be not be afraid of making investments, but just be mindful and strategic about making the rightinvestments. One of the best ones I made this year was the team members I invested in because I needed someone else to come onboard and be a bigger part of my brand. Maggie was a seriously good investment for my business and she’s allowed us to do so many cool things. It’s interesting to see that those good investments might not always look the way you imagine.

#2: Be willing to trust others.

This definitely piggy backs off of #1, but I had to lean into the idea that I can’t do it all. It’s okay to ask for help and admit that sometimes other people can do things better or faster than you. You don’t have to be amazing at everything in your business! Being willing to trust someone with the day-to-day of your business can be a game changer.

#3: Prepare for unexpected life events.

When I think about this year, our personal life has been a bit crazy. In February, Michael’s mom passed away. I gave birth to two babies this spring a month early and now we’ve moved to another state. Oh, and Michael quit his job during the move. We’ve had a lot of big things happen. So, I’ve learned to make sure that our business was setup to prepare for these things. Having a solid team in place (especially Maggie) helped allow me more margin in my life to focus on what I really needed to be doing. It was amazing. Delivering the babies early was the same. I wasn’t prepared – the work wasn’t done and I remember sitting in the hospital doing thumbnails for YouTube while the babies slept in the NICU. While we created a maternity leave plan, I just hadn’t done everything yet. So I think learning to plan ahead a little more would have helped.

This lesson isn’t about learning to predict the stuff that happens, but it’s making sure you have plans in place if something happens to you or you need to step back!

#4: Work ahead on creating content

This is something I used to be better at and I’m struggling now to create work ahead consistently. But, I know that when it’s done it gives us more flexibility. We were really ahead during my maternity leave because I had worked so hard to batch things before I went out. Now, I’m getting there again but I almost have to relearn it with the babies at home and our new schedules. But, it’s something that can be really helpful for me and the team. When I have weeks I can batch prepare a few podcast episodes or videos, it makes it easier on the weeks where I need to be in mom mode more or something like that.

#5: Focus on automating your sales.

A year ago, I didn’t have that much in terms of my sales automations. I heard that people did it, but I wasn’t really. Now, I’ve been able to automate so much of it and it’s a game changer. Automating these sales has given us confidence and consistency that allowed Michael to leave his job because we have consistent revenue coming in. When I say automating sales, I mean getting our email sales funnels setup and just right (learn more about that here!). These funnels now go from our videos through our products, with extra pitches for upgrades and those kinds of things. One of the most important parts has been to add our freebies to all of our content. Now people are finding those freebies without us having to promote them actively every single day.

#6: Nurture the audience you have – instead of always chasing new leads.

So, this is my opinion I guess, but from what I can see in my own business… growing your audience won’t always fix your sales problems. You need to make sure that you’re selling well and selling organically before you start with paid advertising or you keep chasing new leads. Just because you get new followers doesn’t mean you’re going to make more money. You have to make sure how you’re selling to them works. That’s why I think that sometimes nurturing the audience you have is better. Talk to them, learn what they want and need so that you can serve them well. They already know, like, and trust you. So let them be your focus.

#7: Social media is mean to be social and your email list is made to sell.

I heard this at a conference from Megan Martin and I just feel like it rang true for me! I think about this so often with my own brand. Honestly, I don’t make a lot of direct sales on social media, but I know it’s a great way to connect with my audience. It’s also a great place to provide free value so people want to sign up for my freebies and get into my sales funnels. I’ve seen how powerful email marketing can be and I think this is just a huge lesson I can continue to learn!

#8: Focus on what is already working, not what you always want to do.

As an entrepreneur and visionary, I have a lot of ideas. But sometimes it feels hard to know what to do first. Awhile back, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do next. I’d been toying about a course related to Instagram but I wasn’t sure if it was what I really wanted. I listened to my audience closely and they told me they DID want that – my Reels content performed well, social media tips on videos were rising on my account, and it was clear that it should be my next step. While I had some hesitations, I’m glad I did it because now we have something close to 900 students in the Reels Mini Course. It’s amazing. It was important to listen to my audience and know what was working well to make that next step.

#9: You can do a lot with ONLY organic marketing.

I have to say that there’s been moments I’ve worried something is wrong with me… I’m an online business owner, I have digital products, and I don’t use Facebook ads. There must be something wrong with me. Because everyone in our space does paid ads! But, in my experience, I’ve just found I don’t need to do them. I’m not in place where I want to pay a big fee upfront for an ad and hope that I see the benefit down the line. While we do retargeting ads, we don’t do ads for a cold audience – but it’s good for us. Our profit margin is higher and so far, it’s not really made sense for us.

With the choices we make to focus on our existing audience and build strong freebies and funnels, we haven’t had the need for paid ads. It’s worked for us and reminded me how much you really can do with organic marketing!

#10: You don’t need to see the full picture before taking the next step.

This is something I’ve struggled with a lot. I don’t know where I’m going with my business. It feels like I don’t know the end goal but, I think that’s because I’m a huge fan of knowing what my audience wants and letting that drive what I do next. But the bottom line is that I don’t have to know what’s next to keep going. I can still create content, which is something I truly love, without knowing the direction things are going to go in the next year.

There’s my 10 lessons learned in 2022! I love learning about my business every day and connecting with all of you. Your input and engagement truly matters to me. I want to know what you need for the next year ahead!

Reels Resources 

I also offer a free one-hour Instagram Reels class if you want more help with how to grow your reach, followers, and customers with Reels in 2 hours a month! You can sign up for that HERE. And, if you have questions or want some extra support, I’ve got a FREE Reels Growth Facebook Community that you can join. I absolutely love getting to chat with everyone and help them work through their questions about Reels!

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If you’re listening and you have ideas about what to talk about next, please send in your requests! I really do want to know what you want to hear about in future episodes. Email me at [email protected] with your questions!! I can’t wait to hear from you! Don’t forget to leave us a review on Apple Podcasts, too. We appreciate all of the support and love!

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