I love hearing about people’s failures.
Cue music: Schadenfreude! Taking pleasure from other people’s pain! S-C-H-A-D-E-N-F-R-E-U-D-E!
Ah, Avenue Q – one of my favorite Broadway musicals (2nd only to Rent).
Okay, so it’s not really because I love seeing others in pain. But I do love hearing about failures.
I believe that we can learn so much from failing – often more than you can learn from successes.
(And you guys know I believe we are all lifelong learners.)
So, today, I wanna share some of my biggest failures of 2015. And of course I’ll also share what I learned from them.
Fail #1 – Wasting time on Facebook
Soooo, I fail at this Every Single Day. (I failed at it again while writing this post! That’s what made me realize I need to put it in here.)
And every single day I work on this.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
- We all have things we struggle with. When you fail, just try again. Don’t beat yourself up. Refocus and keep going.
- Set up a schedule and stick to it. I gifted myself Leonie Dawson’s Create Your Shining Year in Biz and Life Workbooks and Planner to help with time management and goal setting. And so far, they’ve been helpful and inspiring. I’ll share more about it as I work through them.
- Use time management skills. I am constantly working on the ones I talked about HERE.
Fail #2 – Holding myself back because of my excuses
Example A: Not blogging sooner.
I started 2 blogs this year. This one that you’re currently reading all about marketing and growing your business. And more recently, a health and wellness blog on my mom’s site. I knew for a while I wanted to give consistent content, but it took me so long to actually get started. Why? No good reason – just the usual BS that stops you from doing stuff – being scared of putting myself out there and being visible, saying I didn’t have the time, I didn’t know anything about blogging and how to start, etc.
I really enjoy blogging. I love writing. I love educating people. (I mean, I’m teacher at heart. And I did spend 8 years teaching elementary school.) And I extra LOVE hearing that my words have made a difference, that they’ve helped others in some way. And yes, I does take extra time, but it’s been worth it. And it’s pushed me to work on my time management skills that much more.
Example B: Not switching to a Word Press website sooner
We used a template based, point-and-click website for a long time. And while it was super easy to set up, there were MANY functions it just couldn’t do for us.
I was told repeatedly I needed to change over to a WordPress site, and I kept refusing. It was too hard to create it, too scary, would take too much time.
Finally, my friend Joe, who consults with us with my family’s business, held my hand throughout the process and showed me how to do everything.
I’m so glad I did. Our site is now so much prettier and it works so easily with everything else we use, like Lead Pages and Google Analytics.
- Stop holding myself back with silly reasons and consequently hold back my business.
- Also, I feel pretty strongly that if you have your own website, it should be a WordPress one.
Fail #3 – Facebook Ads Accounts getting shut down
I haven’t talked about this much publicly, because it is pretty embarrassing for someone who is supposed to be a Facebook expert to get their account shut down. But I wasn’t always an expert.
At the beginning of 2015, I was still learning about Facebook ads, and I jumped in and tried stuff before I really knew what I was doing and before I knew all the rules (like no more than 20% text, or no before and after pics. Learn more rules HERE).
The first time my account was shut down (Yes, it’s been more than once.), I cried. Literally.
Our business is run around Facebook ads, and I thought I was responsible for shutting down my family’s business. And while, yeah, it did impact our business for a couple days, I also got creative with some work-arounds, started some new ads from new ad accounts, and eventually got my account back.
At some point I’ll write a whole post about what to do if your account gets shut down, but here’s what I’ve learned from this:
- Read through all of the advertising rules before you start playing with Facebook ads. Having too many ads not be approved can lead to your page being shut down.
- It’s absolutely possible to get an ad account back, but it takes time. Be polite, be persistent, and let Facebook know who you are and that you aren’t a crazy spammer.
- Have a back-up fan page admin and ad account admin to be able to switch ads to keep your business running smoothly.
- A Techy Note: If you use LeadPages, don’t send traffic on ads directly to the LeadPage. Host it on your WordPress website.
Fail #4 – Too much segmenting
When I first learned that you could get lots of analytics about how your ads are doing, I was thrilled. (I totally nerd out over stuff like that – especially when it’s Facebook ads related.)
And I had a brilliant a-ha moment – If an ad is running at a decent cost to an audience, and I were to segment it down and only advertise to the best responding groups, then surely it would mean the ads would perform even better, right?!
So, I took 3 like ads that were performing pretty well and spent hours figuring out which super specific audiences were responding best – through age, gender, placement, and interests. I turned those into 12 super segmented ads.
And my brilliant plan…failed. Miserably. In fact, it took my decent costs, and turned them into terrible costs – as in triple and quadruple the amount I was spending per like.
Here’s what I learned:
- Trust Facebook’s algorithm. Yes, no one understands it. But you don’t have to know all the ins and outs (which is a secret anyways) to know that it’s able to take your ad and show it to people most likely to take the action you’re asking. And if a particular age group isn’t responding as well to the ad, the algorithm shows it less to that group and more to the group that IS responding. It’s Facebook magic. Let the magic happen. Quit trying to micro-manage it.
There you have it. My biggest fails of this year.
So now, it’s your turn, what failures (and lessons) did you have this year in your business?
Comment below or share in my Facebook Group HERE.