Episode 295

Tracking Business Metrics for Success

March 29, 2022

Love it or hate it, math is a successful business owner’s best friend. Numbers let you see the truth of business performance. In this episode, Emily and Corey of Being Boss talk about numbers and business metrics. They share why metrics matter and how to consistently tune in to your business’ data to make improvements. Learn how to befriend the key metrics in business as a creative entrepreneur.

Learn More about the Topics Discussed in this Episode
This Episode Brought to You By:
"Numbers represent everything in your business."
- Emily

Discussed in this Episode

  • Why metrics and KPIs (key performance indicators) are so important
  • How to define your objectives
  • What types of metrics businesses can measure
  • How you can set up a tracking schedule to record metrics
  • Analyzing data and metrics with a team
  • How to make tracking your business metrics fun

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In this episode, the Track Your Metrics worksheet was mentioned. Download your copy here!


More from Emily

Almanac Supply Co.


[00:00:00] Emily Thompson: Welcome to Being Boss. A podcast for creatives, business owners and entrepreneurs who want to take control of their work and live life on their own terms. I'm your host, Emily Thompson. And in this episode, I'm joined by my podcast companion, Corey Winter, to do a deep dive into gathering and using metrics to rock out your business. Including why you should be collecting metrics, how we do it and what you can do with them.

[00:00:24] Once you have them as always, you can find all the tools, books, and links we referenced on the show notes at www.beingboss.club. And if you liked this episode, subscribe! Share us with a friend, the shtick.

[00:00:39] Ready for another podcast recommendation for your queue. When you're done here with this episode, I suggest you check out the Success Story podcast, hosted by Scott D. Clary brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network. Success Story features Q and A sessions with successful business leaders highlighting conversations on sales, marketing, business, startups and entrepreneurship.

[00:01:01] Just recently, I tuned into an episode with Kara Golden founder of Hint on that living an undaunted life by overcoming doubt and doubters. As an entrepreneur and podcaster. I so appreciated the stories of her deep curiosity and how she used it to pursue her passions unapologetically. Discover Scott's podcast, Kara's episode and more by taking a listen to the success story podcast, wherever you listen to podcasts.

[00:01:35] Corey, I'm excited about this episode!

[00:01:37] Corey Winter: Numbers, numbers!

[00:01:41] Which is ironic because I hated Math. All of school and, which is funny because I went into like a programming degree and I just failed to realize that you'd have to take like 10,000 calculus courses and algebra and stuff, and never really did well on those in like one math class before I was done with the program, I changed my major to something else that did not require math because I hated math so much.

[00:02:08] And now here I am making a living out of working with numbers, full circle.

[00:02:13] Emily Thompson: Full circle. Similarly I was always really good at math until I took statistics and statistics was the first thing I didn't just get, that was like the limit of my, the limit of my like innate capacity to learn, statistics. And now all I do is look at spreadsheets of numbers and things isn't that as much.

[00:02:42] Corey Winter: And yet we're, I'm not really using any of those math classes. I, I don't use the statistics clubs test that statistics classes. Do you actually do any of these spreadsheets? So what were those classes for?

[00:02:55] Emily Thompson: No, I don't even know. I, as I tell my daughter who we've homeschooled, you have to know how numbers work.

[00:03:01] Not necessarily that you're going to use it, but you need to understand numbers. And I will say that I use geometry all the time and I use algebra all the time.

[00:03:12] Corey Winter: Really?

[00:03:13] Emily Thompson: Yeah, indeed. I mean like, like basic algebra really? Don't like not intense algebra by any means, but like, I am always solving for an integer.

[00:03:24] Corey Winter: Well, that is so that's kind of sums up where we're doing here. We are gathering numbers to solve for X in our business. Could I be that right? Is that what algebra was?

[00:03:37] Emily Thompson: No idea.

[00:03:39] Corey Winter: Alright. So what are we talking about?

[00:03:41] Emily Thompson: We are talking about numbers. I was, I was thinking about. This one came to me this morning when you were coming together to record today, and we knew we need you to come up with a topic.

[00:03:50] We sort of talked about a couple of things that were, that were kind of good. They were good ideas, but like, I just wasn't feeling it. We'll probably get to those later. But then this one came to me this morning and I was like, this is it. This is what I really want to talk about. Because even just the other day, David sort of made a joke to me.

[00:04:04] He was like, I don't even know what you do all day. And I was like, honestly, I feel like I spend most of my day just looking at numbers, just looking at, gathering metrics, looking at spreadsheets and otherwise. And really that's a very CEO thing, right? Of just like you were just here looking at your business represented numbers and then making decisions based on those numbers as to what's going to happen next or whatever it may be.

[00:04:30] It just feels very timely. I spend a lot of time looking at numbers and I'm excited to talk to you about this because you also look at a lot of numbers too. I look at

[00:04:38] Corey Winter: so many just before we started recording, I was telling you about how equity terrible. We just got done with this launch. And like, my job was to pull daily metrics for, it was a four week launch daily metrics for every single data point during this launch.

[00:04:53] So like opt-ins for every single thing we had going on and like the trip wire conversions and email metrics every single week, it was like a, like a massive spreadsheet, 200 rows long and like 500 rows or columns wide. But yeah, I'm all about the metrics right now.

[00:05:10] Emily Thompson: Right?

[00:05:11] So, and, and we are as a team right here at Being Boss, we are always looking at metrics.

[00:05:15] We are always sort of having conversations in slack about what's going on with the numbers. I don't want to, I don't want to begin this, that when the units is going to be like a, non meaty conversation where we're just talking about integers, is that what you call it right there? Some meat and numbers represent everything in your business and maybe not everything like, obviously you're fulfilling your values, which may not be, quantitative or your good feels about the things that you're doing may not be quantitative.

[00:05:48] Like all of those things are very relevant for boss businesses. That's kind of what separates us from a lot of the business folks out there is like, I care about values and I care about alignment and I care about, I care about that sort of like there's the softer side of doing business very much. So I don't want anyone to think that this conversation sort of negates any of that.

[00:06:12] This is complimentary to that because businesses are numbers. And if you're a creative. Already stopped listening to this.

[00:06:22] Corey Winter: This is, this is an important episode because there are multiple types of metrics. You have vanity metrics, which we're not really going to be talking about in this episode, like this episode, it's about the metrics that are actually driving decisions in your business.

[00:06:37] Emily Thompson: Indeed. There's some really good meaty stuff in here and what I really want to do too, because I know most of you are creatives and most, most creatives don't love numbers. I hope that this gives you a nice streamlined system for you to start incorporating the gathering and review of numbers into what it is that you do so that you can understand some truths about your business, because I think that's what metrics do as creatives, especially we're a run a lot off feelings, right?

[00:07:11] We are trusting our gut. But. When you pair that with metrics, with the hardcore number facts truth of what it is that you're doing. I think that's when you become unstoppable as a creative business owner, you have to be both. You have to be creative, feel it, feel it, honey, love it for you, but you also have to be a business owner and business is numbers.

[00:07:36] So to get us started, I wanted to sort of, I want to talk about three kind of words for metrics that are often thrown around and kind of give some like differentiation between them. We're going to be talking specifically about metrics, which are just like numbers, that measure things all over your business, because we are gathering metrics, numbers that measure things all over the place.

[00:08:01] And we're going to be using that word probably the most. There's also KPIs, which I will often talk about. I actually have a sort of, I did a keynote at the bean boss conference in 2020. That is no, it wasn't. Was it at the conference? Actually now I'm thinking about, I think it was a, it was at our first gathering also in 2020, where I talk, I do a deep dive into KPIs.

[00:08:28] It is such a good talk. It is one of my very, very favorites because KPIs are incredibly important. You have metrics, which is just gathering all kinds of data. And then you have KPIs, which are your key performance indicators. They are the couple of numbers that are metrics that you are most closely watching and measuring that define success for your business and choosing these KPIs, these key performance indicators from all of the metrics as very key for defining what kind of business that you're growing.

[00:09:00] So if you want more of that, it's in that gathering. Which you can find in the Being Boss clubhouse.

[00:09:07] Corey Winter: Yes. So you can find that keynote in the gathering guided by intuition course, which was the gathering from October 20, 20 inside of the community.

[00:09:18] Emily Thompson: Right. And what is it called or what is the thing called?

[00:09:20] Cause it has a nice name.

[00:09:21] Corey Winter: The keynote is mundane metrics, key performance indicators for focused and form intuition.

[00:09:28] Emily Thompson: Oh yeah. It's, it's a meaty one about KPI's. I love that talk to of my favorite ones ever gave, so that is free to, or it's a part of the clubhouse members. Which is the paid tier of the Being Boss community.

[00:09:40] If you're interested in checking that out, there's also okay ours, which you'll sometimes hear thrown around and this stands for objectives and key results. And these are actually two different things. There's objectives, which is kind of just a goal. Like let's say you want to, grow your community, your, a grow your email list or whatever.[00:10:00]

[00:10:00] And there's key results, which are the super measurable things that add up to you, achieving your objectives. So if your objective is growing your email list, your key result may be increasing your email list from 500 to a thousand subscribers. Right? So that's like sort of a context by which you can use specific metrics to help you reach an objective.

[00:10:21] And then sometimes you'll hear about benchmark. And benchmarks are usually the number that you want to get to, or the number that you want to sort of play around. I often hear sort of industry benchmarks. So things like, a good open rate for your email is two to 5% note. That's a click-through rate, a good click through rate for your email campaigns is two to 5%, but as sort of a industry standard benchmark that you want to be playing around in order to be performing in a way that is comparable to others in your industry.

[00:10:56] So that's sort of some other words for these, but all of those do have sort of separate definitions and general. We're going to be talking about metrics today. Just one of the broad topic of collecting and using metrics sound like

[00:11:12] Corey Winter: fun. Yes. I'm getting goosebumps

[00:11:16] Emily Thompson: like good. I'm glad to hear it. Okay. So. I want to touch on first, like why it is that metrics matter other than the fact, just the broad fact that business is numbers.

[00:11:28] It's also like values and mission and all of that. But when it comes to performance of your business businesses, numbers, I like to think of really those numbers as the truth, more or less of the performance of what is happening.

[00:11:45] Corey Winter: I will say asterix caveat, as long as you are gathering the numbers correctly, because if you're gathering some numbers, but maybe you're not gathering the numbers in the way that will actually tell you the truth, they could steer you in the wrong direction.

[00:12:00] So.

[00:12:02] Emily Thompson: You can definitely do some incorrect comparisons. You can skew your data. We all know about skew data, right. But really whenever you're looking at single data points and the kinds of things that we're talking about more or less, you're looking at truth, like you may feel like that email performed really well, but whenever you compare it to the performance of all the other emails that you've been sending over the past quarter, you may find that it actually did not perform as well as you felt it did.

[00:12:31] So for me, numbers are a way for me to sort of take my, take my sort of skewed perspective out of the equation and just look at the facts of what's happening for this thing and things around it. I also like to use numbers and I think every business owner does to see how the things that I'm doing in my business affect my business.

[00:12:55] So again, there can be a lot of, like, I feel like if I update my email flow, My conversion rates will increase. So I update my email flow and then I can watch my metrics around my email flow to see if that action actually worked for me or not. Right. Similarly, you can use your metrics to decide to take action.

[00:13:19] So let's say, that your email flow is operating underneath industry benchmarks. So maybe it's time for you to take some action around that email flow or whatever it may be. So it just, it gives you a way to sort of make decisions to see what the next most important thing is. A couple of episodes ago, I, talked about Almanac.

[00:13:41] One of the things that I realized in my beginning of 2022 review was that our decreased website conversion rate probably brought on by a website design change at the beginning of 2021 cost me a lot of money

[00:13:58] Corey Winter: that might've been in making a

[00:13:59] Emily Thompson: business episode. I did it in both actually. So I did talk about it and making a business episode, but I also talked about it in, in an episode of Being Boss a couple of episodes ago where I talk about three lessons that I've learned at Almanac, but in review, I saw that really, that we lost, or we missed out on so much revenue because of that decreased, conversion rate of our website.

[00:14:24] That that became the next thing that I was going to be working on in my business. Right. I have a list of 20 potential projects that I can do, but I know that that number, that one metric, the shifting of that one metric, knowing that it's going to potentially make me so much more money, that's where I'm going to put my energy next.

[00:14:43] That helps you make that decision. And then otherwise, I like to use metrics a lot to communicate with my team. As to how their efforts are, coming to fruition or whatever, what is, what, how do you say that? How their efforts are performing, how their PS Hmm. You know what I mean? For some reason that sentence isn't making sense.

[00:15:08] In my one incident, when I say it, it sounds wrong.

[00:15:12] It's how we communicate. So instead of saying that podcast did great, we're saying this podcast did great. Here are the numbers that are proving this sort of feeling that we have or whatever it may be. So it's how we're measuring things along the way. And it's how I want you all to think about your metrics as well, is that these are data points that are going to help you make decisions.

[00:15:37] It's going to help you see the fruits of your labor. It's going to see help you talk with other people, your business, besties, your team members, your partners, your, whoever. The performance of your business and the efforts within it. And it will help you it'll help you maximize your efforts.

[00:15:57] It'll help you sort of tweak all the things along the way to really get you to the best place your business can be across the board.

[00:16:05] Corey Winter: Can we actually talk about what metrics actually gathered now?

[00:16:08] Emily Thompson: Cause we gather a lot.

[00:16:10] Corey Winter: This is my favorite part. Okay, good. Okay. So I actually, so I'd mentioned a little bit about how it, making sure you're gathering the right metrics.

[00:16:20] So I want to give an example and I'm going to talk about a lot about conversion points and just conversions from one point to the next point. And so I'm gonna give you an example. So let's say you have a quiz and let's say you see that, oh, 1000 people took my quiz. If you don't have a benchmark for it, that's good or bad.

[00:16:40] And it might be like, oh, Hey, that's pretty good. But then maybe you see that 50,000 people saw the first question, but only 1000 made it through to the end of the quiz, the conversion from that beginning to end something went wrong. And so that's going to cost you make sure you're looking. The entire data set, not just the end

[00:17:02] Emily Thompson: point.

[00:17:04] Yes. A good review of metrics is definitely a comparison of two or more numbers at any given time. For sure. So in that being sort of conversion rates one way or the other, so when it comes to gathering metrics, we talked to just half a moment there about KPIs, these sort of like key performance indicators, the ones that you really care the most about, and you should definitely be collecting that data.

[00:17:30] But I like to collect a lot of data that may sometimes feel a little useless, right? Like it's just a data point. When am I going to use it? And the answer is you never know, one day you may need to make a comparison between something that feels like not as important to something that maybe is more important to get you the number that you need.

[00:17:52] So an example of this, can I think of an example of this? Do you have an example of.

[00:17:57] I don't know. Let me see. I'm pulling up and pulling up on one of our little, okay. Actually, I feel like website, let's look a website numbers. I'm pulling open our spreadsheet at Being Boss.

[00:18:10] Corey Winter: Yeah. So we're going to talk about a few different categories of metrics that we collect.

[00:18:15] So at Being Boss, we have 1, 2, 3, 4, or five. We have six big categories of metrics that we look at. We look at our podcast metrics. We look at our website metrics, email, social revenue, and advertising. And so you want to start with, with website. I don't

[00:18:33] Emily Thompson: know. I don't know where I was going with that. I feel like I was trying to make a good point, but didn't actually have.

[00:18:40] Corey Winter: All right. So let's, let's go through all this, this data that we at Being Boss collect. Maybe if you don't have a podcast, obviously you will not be collecting podcast data, but we're going to be going through the entire business. So hopefully something will line up for you. So data, we collect let's start with podcast

[00:18:56] Emily Thompson: and you can compare this even to like maybe your blog, right?

[00:19:00] Whatever, sort of a major piece of content you're creating here at Being Bosses or podcast, yours might be something else. So yes, podcasts

[00:19:08] Corey Winter: is where we start YouTube videos. Maybe you're I don't know something. Okay. So obviously the big things downloads just how many people are actually downloading episodes.

[00:19:19] Locations where in the world, people are actually listening, how people are listening. So what apps or devices they're using, I didn't actually put on here, but also just the engagement of the episode. So how long into the episode are people listening? Like, are they dropping off within the first five minutes or are they listening to the entire thing?

[00:19:38] And like, we have platforms that tell us this information. So what do you got for

[00:19:42] Emily Thompson: us podcasts? We're looking at the most important things and also things that may not feel as important. So let's say important things or downloads, obviously like our advertisers want to know. We want to know, for all kinds of reasons, because it really plays into like, is our website performing the way we want it to be?

[00:19:57] Is there email subs, email marketing performing the way we want it to be? Is there a social performing, like all of those things play into those podcasts downloads. So we can, that one data point is related to multiple others. And one that you may think is maybe not important is your locations, right?

[00:20:15] We're an online business. Does it really matter? And honestly, 362 days a year. It doesn't matter, but we are collecting it because I will have three or four conversations every single year where I'm an advertiser or maybe a fellow boss or someone just wants to know where are we biggest. Right. And maybe they're looking at doing some local advertising.

[00:20:43] Maybe they want to, think about a community they want to move into that has people who are like-minded right. Or whatever. It may be. Occasionally those less important metrics become important. And can really be big for us one way or the other. Yeah.

[00:21:00] Corey Winter: And then I forgot to mention, we also look at when people are downloading our episodes, because that plays into, maybe we need to change up what day we're releasing episodes on.

[00:21:10] And the reason we listened to like how long people are listening is maybe like, we've actually been testing this, like do shorter episodes perform better. Cause like we used to consistently release 60 minute plus episodes, and now we're trying to get them to underneath an hour to see if our consumption of the episodes increases.

[00:21:25] So that's why we're collecting all these data points. Like we're, we're seeing every single thing that people are doing on our podcast to see how we can improve it.

[00:21:33] Emily Thompson: Yep. For sure. And also if this is feeling overwhelming, Chill, just take a deep breath and listen for a few because you don't have to do this across the board.

[00:21:45] But you should start doing it for some of the most major parts of your business. Okay. Next up, let's talk about website websites. We're doing all kinds of data points over there too, around traffic, new visitors, return visitors, bounce rates, which is one of my favorite, conversions to opt-ins like so many things.

[00:22:07] Are you, are you gathering that from. Yes.

[00:22:10] Corey Winter: So let's actually talk about that because yes, I do most so, okay. Let's actually back up just a little bit podcasts that we're getting from our podcast hosts. So where we actually host our podcasts that give us a lot of stats. We also gather stats from like apple podcasts or what is it called?

[00:22:26] Apple connect from like that podcast connect podcast connect. They gave us all of the platforms, specific stats. Spotify gives us stats. We get stats from all over the place, for websites. Yes, most of our stats are coming from Google analytics. We have a little scripted installed that helps track interactions and stuff.

[00:22:43] That's why you have a little like pop up when you visit our website, Hey, please accept our cookies. That's what's helping us gather stats from how you're interacting with our website. We have a few other things installed in our website that gives us stats, but yes, most of the traffic and things are coming from Google analytics, which if you have not set up Google analytics, Indeed

[00:23:04] Emily Thompson: indeed.

[00:23:05] And if you're doing website traffic, or when it comes to website metrics, we're also doing things around our opt-ins. So how many times have people signed up for, all of the workshop or workshops, worksheets? So our content upgrades on our, on our websites, we can see the performance of those things over time as well.

[00:23:26] And then we're also doing it email because email is the most important marketing avenue for us at Being Boss.

[00:23:34] Corey Winter: Which is funny because up until. A few months ago, we weren't really looking at our email stats aside from just how many subscribers.

[00:23:42] Emily Thompson: Because they sucked. We knew it. We didn't need to be shown that every day, but didn't, we

[00:23:52] Corey Winter: nowadays we are nowadays, like, we've always known email metrics were important, but we didn't like them.

[00:23:59] So we had kind of ignored them. But now that we're doing the Brewed newsletter beingboss.club/brewed, if you want to get our weekly newsletter, we actually looking at, okay, what's our increase in subscribers every week from issue to issue, how many people are opening the emails. And I'll talk about that one in a second.

[00:24:17] And once people are actually opening the emails, how many people are actually clicking on the things that we're wanting them to click on.

[00:24:22] Emily Thompson: Yes. And it will say too, so actually launching Brewed, the our new weekly newsletter that you really should go sign up for it. And we'll talk about why, or we'll talk about proof of it in a second.

[00:24:35] Is we knew our website or our emails were not performing. And I knew that because every week I was going in there and writing our, I was doing our Sunday emails there for a long time. I was seeing what was happening to the past couple of Sundays. And I was like, Ooh, why am I doing this? Like, no, one's opening it.

[00:24:50] No, one's clicking through. What's the point. Even took a bit of a hiatus there for a while because I felt like my efforts were not paying off in terms of metrics. And so. We knew that we had to do something about our email list. If we were going to have this asset that we will tell all day is the most important marketing asset that an online business and offline in many cases as well, business can have, then we are, we should have a strategy that is performing better than this shit.

[00:25:19] Right? And so we knew that that was a part of our business that needed some attention. So in 2021, that was my big project for the year was creating an email marketing strategy and not even email marketing, but an email content strategy. That was beneficial to our audience, that equated to more open rates, more click through rates and really just us delivering to our audience, something that they found valuable enough to be here for.

[00:25:49] And we knew we needed to do that because we were seeing the metrics from the past couple of years. So we invested time, money, and energy and creating a new email content strategy. And then we started measuring it every single week. And as we've measured it every single week, we keep our finger on the pulse of performance and have watched that email strategy bloom into the most amazing, like literally the best performing email list I have ever heard of.

[00:26:27] Corey Winter: Yes. And we'll talk about that in a little bit. But yes. When you saw the red flag that our past email strategy was not working, you came up with the idea for Brewed. And there was actually, there was, the reason we started doing weekly metrics for the email is because we decided, I think it was like, we gave it, we were going to give it like a month or two.

[00:26:49] And if it was not performing, we were probably going to discontinue Brewed. And, but we saw that the emails were performing good or better than what our past email strategy was. And so that's actually, when we started testing and changing how we did brewed, and we actually talked about that in episode 2 77 to the test and change mindset about how we actually tested and changed small parts of Brewed based on what the metrics were telling us to see if we could perform better.

[00:27:18] Emily Thompson: Yeah. And we have been dialing it in ever since, which has us at a place where literally. Our email is performing better than any email I've ever like any list I've ever heard of. We are like blowing away industry benchmarks in a way that makes me so proud. So proud. Really cool. It is really cool. Which also just means if you're not on it, go check it out because the people who are on it love it.

[00:27:48] Corey Winter: It is the best thing I think we've created in a really long time, which is a ton of fun. And I not just feeling that I have the numbers to [00:28:00] prove it. And we are consistently tweaking and testing and changing as we keep up with those metrics for that. So we are looking at subscribers of course, subscriber growth.

[00:28:11] Which of our forms on our website is performing better, opens open rates, click through rates. All of those things, we are keeping a track of those so that we can have the data at our fingertips when it comes to making next decisions.

[00:28:28] Alright. Before we move on to social, I just want to go back a little bit and talk about the open rate for emails, because there is little sticky point there.

[00:28:38] Most marketing experts nowadays consider the open rate for emails to be a dead metric. Recently a couple months ago, as of this recording, Decided that the mail app on your iPhones, it's basically opening emails for you. And so basically robot opens are counting towards your open rates. And so the number that you see for your email opens is actually probably higher than, than, than the number of people that are actually opening your emails because of robots and apples, screwing everything up

[00:29:12] Emily Thompson: and what I've seen.

[00:29:13] And you can confirm with me on the Being Boss side, but I know what I've seen at Almanac on the Almanac side is that the increase seems to have been about three to 6%.

[00:29:25] Corey Winter: Yes so far, it does not seem to be a huge increase in open rates. It's going to increase as more people upgrade the operating system on their phone.

[00:29:36] As more people are concerned about privacy, they're gonna start opting into that type of stuff. And so, yeah, that's why a lot of people are considering open rates to be a dead metric. And even so far like, the platform we use for email marketing Ontraport, they actually completely removed open email opens from what is considered activity for your context.

[00:29:58] Yeah, so people opening emails is no longer considered interaction with your emails, which is why the click-through rate people are actually clicking on your emails is even more important now than ever.

[00:30:08] Emily Thompson: Love it. So there you go, everyone a little up, up to date news and facts. Yeah.

[00:30:13] Corey Winter: Using that metric rework your emails to be click worthy, even encourage your users to click on something in your.

[00:30:22] Emily Thompson: Which actually, this is why you should go join Brewed, because this is the kind of stuff that would share resources around in that weekly newsletter. beingboss.club/brewed. B R E W E D.

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[00:32:19] Let's talk about social because we all know that social is not my favorite, but it is a very important marketing avenue. And we do collect my thoughts about it.

[00:32:27] Corey Winter: I was going to say, I want you to cover this one cause I hate social so much.

[00:32:32] Emily Thompson: Well, I don't like it either. I don't actually collect these, but I do look at them and I use them to make all kinds of decisions.

[00:32:38] It's one of the reasons why I, have such lukewarm at best feelings around social is because the numbers never make any sense. They are always all over the place and they're not, I can't find very much relation between our efforts on social and the metrics, which just goes to show me that the in, like I hear all the social media people saying, well, if you're pitching about algorithms, then you're not doing it.

[00:33:03] Right. Right. But like y'all. Not smart person. Like I know how to like use a platform test and change and do things. And basically, I just never see a, like a related growth in terms of like, if I'm putting energy into something and getting something out of it, I don't feel that with social and this based on the metrics.

[00:33:26] So we actually do pull a lot of metrics though, to make sure that my feelings around social media. It's not just my bad attitude, but it is actually based on a fact. And so we're gathering things from Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and just general website acquisitions. So how many of those people from those platforms are actually coming to our website?

[00:33:50] And we're looking at, follower growth at how many things we published and how many impressions and engagements that we got [00:34:00] sort of across the board. We're gathering the information from these individual platforms and keeping it in a spreadsheet so that we can, we can add a gland, see what has happened.

[00:34:10] Like I'm looking at, the past several months of social, most. And again, it makes no damn sense. Like I can look at spreadsheets for literally everything else that we do, and I can see the ebbs and flows. I can see like where our effort equated to more stuff or like where we tweak something and it did a bad thing or whatever it may be.

[00:34:32] Social makes no sense to me. If someone, if someone is a social media strategist, and you want to like, just dig into our spreadsheets and tell me some things for fun, shoot us an email, explain this to me. Maybe cause this, oh, is this statistics like, is this where my, like my innate ability to get it in?

[00:34:55] Is that where we are? Maybe anyway, but regardless we do gather the metrics so that we can continue making informed decisions around social media. We're also looking at finances and money in the business, for sure. I

[00:35:13] Corey Winter: believe the most important metric,

[00:35:15] Emily Thompson: arguably. I mean, honestly it is like, if I'm looking at my finances and we're doing great, it's probably because other things are doing great.

[00:35:24] Like all the other numbers are doing great over doing badly. I should probably go check out the website metrics and our podcast metrics.

[00:35:32] Corey Winter: That's the end goal. When, when looking at metrics, right? Like how can I improve metrics over here to make more money? Yeah. Okay. That's the end goal. So yes, I think is the most important.

[00:35:45] Emily Thompson: It is. It is the most important, especially as a business, we've talked about, like we were here for feelings and creativity and like missions and all of these things, but a business is an entity with the purpose of making money. Period hard stop. Right? So this, if you are looking at nothing else, like if we're talking about this and you're like, this is the most overwhelming thing I've ever heard in my entire life, then then fine.

[00:36:14] Don't I have, I have grown businesses into the six figures realm multiple times and not had my finger on the pulse of metrics quite this much. I've always been a little bit of a nerd for a spreadsheet. I will say, like I've always had my finger on some pulses, but pay attention to your money. So I'm always, or every month I'm looking at our profit and loss.

[00:36:36] So incomes related to expenses. I'm looking at profitability of specific streams of revenue. It's something that I'm consistently sort of calculating, maybe less so at Being Boss, because what we do is so sort of nebulous in a lot of ways, like everything is so related to everything else at Almanac, these things are dialed in.

[00:36:59] Right? I know the profitability of products like the back of my hand. Well, I don't, David does, that's his job. I helped him get there. Right. I have too many things stored in my head. He's storing that in his head. We do know those things. So looking at your finances and making sure that that you are getting a return on your investments, that if you put money into this thing, that you are getting some sort of return, keeping a finger on the pulse of your finances is really what all of this is about.

[00:37:31] And then finally I added this on the end because these are like, these are my metrics that I'm tracking. And it's something that we've just sort of gotten into in the past. 10 to 12 months ten-ish months, I think. And that is advertising actually putting money into advertising in a way that I haven't done in many, many years.

[00:37:52] And so I have spreadsheets on that where I am keeping track of metrics around, if I spend this much money on this [00:38:00] ad by what are my impressions, what are my CPMs, my clicks per impression, how many clicks plays and subscribes am I getting if it's related to the podcast, especially, and those sorts of things so that again, I can see my return on investment.

[00:38:14] I can make decisions around which of these advertising platforms are performing better than others, those sorts of things. So. God, that's a lot of metrics. So we just spent like 15 minutes talking just about all the metrics that we gathered. Some of you have stopped listening, and I love that for you now, I don't actually get to stay.

[00:38:33] And some of you were like, this is my favorite. And to those bosses, I say, call me.

[00:38:41] Come into the community and let's talk spreadsheets. And I will say that in the company of other bosses, because I see this in the community all the time, whenever I'm in a Monday meetup or whatever it may be, and someone starts talking about numbers, there's usually a boss that goes, OMG, I have a spreadsheet for that.

[00:38:59] Right? And they'll go like share in the chat or put it into the community. And whenever you are talking to other bosses, when you're seeing that bosses are using these numbers to make informed decisions, that's helping them get results. Whatever it may be. You start opening up to the idea that maybe this is important.

[00:39:18] Maybe you should spend just a bit of time because I'll also save it. That was a lot of metrics that we just shared. We don't spend very much time gathering metrics.

[00:39:27] Corey Winter: Well, we've systemized it. Of course what's easy.

[00:39:30] Emily Thompson: Right. And that's what we're talking about next.

[00:39:33] Corey Winter: All right. How we collect data. And so we actually do it in two different ways to do it.

[00:39:38] Well, actually three different ways. Well, are we doing any daily metrics? Like, are we looking at metrics daily?

[00:39:44] Emily Thompson: Oh, I mean, I'm always looking at bus brown, always looking at podcast data, but I'm not gathering it. I'm just like a little obsessed. At Almanac, I will say there's a couple of data points that and not gathering it, but I am observing it.

[00:40:02] Especially when we're doing like, big sales and you do like you and by you, I don't mean you Corey necessarily, but you listener, if you are doing a marketing push or if you are launching a thing, if you're like doing something, you may have your finger on the pulse of your data daily, hourly, if you are like completely obsessive and I love you for that.

[00:40:25] So there are moments when you need to be significantly more plugged in, but on the regular, we do have weekly and monthly sort of data gathering days where we gather data.

[00:40:41] Corey Winter: Yes. At Being Boss specifically, we do weekly metrics gathering for a podcast because we're really we're releasing episodes weekly.

[00:40:49] So it makes sense to keep up with it weekly. We're looking at email metrics weekly because we're sitting on newsletter weekly. And we look at our community growth because we're getting new members every day. So we want to see month or week to week, how many members we're getting, but then on the monthly scale, we're diving a little bit deeper.

[00:41:07] So we're actually looking at email metrics as a whole. So looking at how each form is performing, we're looking at how many emails we sent, how many people clicked on emails throughout the month, the net or loss of subscribers, on the website, we're looking at the traffic and everything on a monthly scale, because that doesn't really make sense unless you're like you mentioned doing something more actively, like pushing for a marketing, something, it doesn't really make sense.

[00:41:35] Look at website traffic on a weekly scale, but then on the monthly scale, we also look at more in depth community metrics. So how are people interacting throughout the month? How are people coming and going? Are people upgrading throughout the month or people downgrading throughout the month? And so we have recurring things to put this stuff in place, so we're actually gathering it in a timely manner.

[00:41:58] So we can actually look at it and make decisions on a weekly and monthly basis.

[00:42:02] Emily Thompson: For sure. So I actually want to like sort of connect these things. Once you decide what it is that you want to gather. Do you want to know how your website's doing? Maybe you are thinking about getting a new website design, but you want to make sure you're making the right choice, then decide,

[00:42:17] okay, I'm going to be looking at my website metrics for the next six months. How often do you want to be plugging in to collect that data? And so maybe this monthly, maybe it's bi-weekly maybe it's weekly. I do think website metrics are one of those were really bi-weekly is probably the most often I think monthly we'll totally do it for you unless you're making ongoing changes on your website.

[00:42:37] So choose what metrics you want to gather and then choose a frequency for gathering them. Like Corey just explained at Being Boss, we have two frequencies, some are collected weekly, and those are the things that are really being published every week. Right?

[00:42:51] Corey Winter: Yeah. Like if we were releasing a podcast every two months, why would you look at metrics weekly?

[00:42:58] Because not much is going to be changing

[00:42:59] Emily Thompson: indeed. So we don't do it, but we do every week. And then monthly things are sort of like bigger overarching things. So website, community, social media, those sorts of things. And we're doing those on a monthly. So identify the metrics you want to track, to gather and then pair them with the frequency, with which you want to track them.

[00:43:22] And the way we make this as easy for ourselves as possible is we have recurring tasks in our project management system. We do use Asana. They are not sponsoring this by any means, though, again, I've been trying to hang out with y'all for a long time, give us a call. We've been using Asana for many years and in the sidebar.

[00:43:41] So we have a specific project that is called dashboard. And on this dashboard, we have our weekly metrics, we have, and these look like tasks, or they are tasks. We have weekly metrics, monthly metrics. And then I have a [00:44:00] reviewed section, which we'll talk about in a minute. And each of the weekly ones are recurring tasks, tasks to Corey.

[00:44:06] To every, is it Monday, every Monday you're going in and just, just it's a task on your to-do list and gather metrics.

[00:44:15] Corey Winter: It is the first thing I do when I is every Monday morning, I get my coffee and I sit down and I gather some metrics. It is my routine.

[00:44:23] Emily Thompson: About how long does it take you to gather the weekly metrics and gather them?

[00:44:27] Not necessarily like create the post, which we'll talk about in a second, but just gather the metrics.

[00:44:31] Corey Winter: Yeah. So like for the podcast, we're only gathering weekly. I think it's like four data points, so not, not much. And so that only takes less than five minutes. The stats for Brewed, again, really it's the platforms we're gathering stats from make it super easy, like there's dashboards on these platforms.

[00:44:52] So. You go and look at the numbers and you just put them in a spreadsheet so that it takes five, 10 minutes, tops.

[00:44:58] Emily Thompson: Love that. So you're looking at five to 10 minutes a week of just gathering the data points. You may be asking Cory to just say we put them in a spreadsheet. So we have Google sheets where each one of these things has a different spreadsheet and they're already sort of pre done with all of the data points were gathering the frequency with which we're gathering them.

[00:45:17] So he just has to go in and plug them in. And so you may be asking why would I put it in a spreadsheet? Non, like if the dash, if the, if the services that you're using give you the numbers, why put them into a spreadsheet, anybody asking that question?

[00:45:33] Corey Winter: I am, but I know the answer. So I'm going to do it.

[00:45:37] Emily Thompson: What's the answer, Corey.

[00:45:38] Corey Winter: So we can see the trends.

[00:45:41] Emily Thompson: And like, you can kind of argue that you can see the trends if you're like clicking through the dates. But let me tell you, it's going to take you 45 minutes to like click through every month and like look at all the data and kind of do a compare as you're probably going to jot some numbers down in your notebook, whatever it may be to do a comparison of how your [00:46:00] podcast has been doing over the past year or whatever it may be.

[00:46:03] Or you can take five minutes a week to just put those data points into that spreadsheet. And then literally when you want to review your whole year, it just texts you like a flick in the eye.

[00:46:14] Corey Winter: And you can get an, and the reason I love doing it in Google sheets is because you can get like super nerdy with it and color code some crap with some formulas.

[00:46:22] Emily Thompson: Yeah. Right. And so Cory has them color-coded so that we can see like green is when things are growing red or is when things are decreasing. And so you're really like, that really is a flick of the eye, right? Like if it's all green high five, right. If it's turning red, you got a problem. So it really like those five minutes of, preparation makes the review of the data considerably faster and easier.

[00:46:49] So take it. So, David, I just called you David. So Corey is taking five to 10.

[00:46:57] Corey is taking five to 10 minutes every single week to just gather the data points and, and put them in the spreadsheet. We'll talk about what we do with them in a minute.

[00:47:05] Corey Winter: So no, we'll say if you ever want to add a data point to that spreadsheet, it might take a little bit longer because you're screwing some formulas up, but that's fine.

[00:47:15] Emily Thompson: Which is kind of an argument for gathering more than you think you need. Right. Go ahead and gather some data points that you think are going to be important because it is easier to just go ahead and include them than to try to go in and add them later or whatever it may be. Okay. So we have them, we have a dashboard in Asana where if I want to go review it, I just have to go into a sauna click on the dashboard.

[00:47:40] Let's say I want to see weekly podcast stats. I click on it. The Google sheet is linked in the description. I click on that. Super easy for me to find the numbers that I need when I need them. We also have a sort of dashboard channel in our slack. And in this slack, [00:48:00] Corey goes above and beyond and delivers to us a, what would you call it?

[00:48:06] A summation of what is happening in our stats every week and then every month when he's doing the monthly

[00:48:14] Corey Winter: metrics. Yeah. So we'll talk about what we do with those tasks in a second. How I'm collecting it once I am collecting it. I am doing a very quick overview, the highlights, the highlights. And so I'm pointing this out to you, so like they're easier for you to find, and then you can deal with that, what you will, and then you'll do a deep dive when you're actually reviewing the stats yourself.

[00:48:31] But like, since I'm gathering the numbers, I might as well highlight some things that are worthwhile.

[00:48:36] Emily Thompson: Yes. And I love it. So if you love sitting down to gather them, I love getting your little updates. It's my favorite thing to do on a Monday morning too. I come in, I'm usually sitting, I can't do anything until I get your updates.

[00:48:47] Corey Winter: And it's not, it's nothing major.

[00:48:50] Like it doesn't take me that much longer if I'm just like plugging in the numbers five minutes, analyzing the numbers on a very like. Top level thing, a couple more minutes. So like I'm just doing very basic things. Like, Hey, our most recent episode got more first day downloads than our previous episode did.

[00:49:06] Like, it's very like basic stats, but just things to highlight the important stuff.

[00:49:11] Emily Thompson: Yeah, for sure. And it's fantastic. And within that channel in slack, we are also having conversations about them. Right? So as a team, we're able to really connect with what's happening, within our metrics as well within that channel on slack.

[00:49:26] And when it comes to gathering them, I do like Corey is talking about how he gathers the lion's share of the metrics at being Boss. But we do have another team member gathering the social media. And the thing here is you don't have to be the, you as the boss of the business, don't have to be the one who's gathering the data.

[00:49:46] Your job is to review it. I love getting members of the team to gather the data so that I'm not the only one plugged into the numbers. Corey has his finger on the pulse of that website and those pod, those podcasts. And I just don't, I don't know what I was almost about to say and those podcasts, just as well as I do.

[00:50:05] So whenever it comes time for me to ask questions or to consider strategy, I'm not the only point of knowledge within my team. I can sit down, Corey, Corey, what do you think about that, that red cell in that, in that Google doc or in that Google sheet? And we can have a conversation about it because he is just entrenched in the data as I am.

[00:50:25] Corey Winter: And so like at Biddy tarot, one of the main number guys, I'm all over those spreadsheets, I'm not making decisions about any of those, those numbers. I am gathering the data because I know how to gather the data better than pretty much anybody else. And then I'm passing it off. So someone else can analyze what the numbers are actually saying.

[00:50:45] And then they actually pass it off to someone else to make decisions based on that. So like, if, if you have a slightly bigger team, you can have like multiple steps about how the numbers are being gathered to analyze to decisions made.

[00:50:59] Emily Thompson: Absolutely. And if you're a creative who can not like do numbers at all, is there someone in your life who like, can read them and explain to you what is happening?

[00:51:07] Like, I mean, that's legitimately sometimes a thing like there, but you need the numbers. And so Corey's like number guy these days, which I love that you've just really grown into that. But you can also just, you can get a VA to gather your numbers for you. You create a spreadsheet or of their.

[00:51:25] Spreadsheet creators. Tell them I want you to update the spreadsheet weekly as to what's happening in my email or in my email marketing or on my social media or whatever. It may be. It's data entry, right? They, you tell them what data point to gather. They go gather it. They put it, you got it. You got a teenager that's retained.

[00:51:45] They can do this for you. This is not, you don't have to have a PhD in stats or anything to gather data. And you don't have to do it yourself. Someone else can do it. Your job is to review it. So, and then when it comes to doing it, it's really just a matter of like going to the source of the data, for us, it's our podcast host, it's the social media platforms.

[00:52:05] It's our website stats. And then put them in the spreadsheets is simple.

[00:52:11] Corey Winter: All right. So we've got numbers. What are we doing with them?

[00:52:14] Emily Thompson: No, we have really great spreadsheets that are color coded and everybody is nerded out over them, or you've just put them in and otherwise not look at them, which is fine too.

[00:52:24] That's a choice. You do have to review them though. You have to review them. I mentioned in our Asana dashboard, there's like a section for weekly metrics with recurring tasks. There's a section for monthly metrics with recurring tasks. There's also one little section with one little task that says review, and there's a task for me that recurs every single week on Tuesday that is review the dash.

[00:52:49] And so every week I'm going through, but here's the thing I don't even have to very much because Corey sent even those very little updates on slack, right. That is my review is I read through that. And then I sometimes we'll go into specific spreadsheets, and look a little more closely at Almanac.

[00:53:08] I'm going in and I'm looking at our entire Shopify dashboard, our analytics dashboard there to see all kinds of things. So I have, I have recurring tasks for reviewing just like my team has recurring tasks for us, for collecting. And then there are some that need to be reviewed at different sort of stages.

[00:53:27] So I doing like a weekly overview. Every single month, I'm hardcore looking at my profit and loss sheet. So I'm looking at my finances, sort of in another place. Every single month quarterly, I'm doing a deep dive into all the things together and yearly. I'm doing my like deepest comparison of not only the data, but the things that we have been doing that have affected things sort of with long-term flows.

[00:53:53] So data is only good for you if you review it. And so that's a big one. I also really like to review it with. So I am very number minded. It is not a problem for me to look at a spreadsheet. I like my brain goes to a different place when I look at a spreadsheet, it's like a, it's a whole fun thing that happens.

[00:54:13] But sometimes I miss things like, yeah, like right through that cupboard, what was it? A wardrobe, but wardrobe. Yep. Yep. Just like that. So I like to review with people. It's one of the reasons why I love having members of my team doing it, that can look at it. What's the word I'm looking for critically.

[00:54:33] Right. They can critically look at the numbers and sort of give me feedback too and see things that I may not have seen. Same thing with David, whenever it comes to our finances. And also just other bosses, I'm definitely occasionally sharing spreadsheets with other bosses and going, like, what do you see happening on our website?

[00:54:49] And they may have a whole other take as to what's happening and, or other ideas as to what we can do to improve certain data points. So review it regularly. Occasionally with people. I also want to point out here that I'm not reviewing every data point all the time. That's a lot,

[00:55:11] Corey Winter: You're, you're revealing the ones that are important for what we're working on at the

[00:55:16] time.

[00:55:17] Emily Thompson: That we're working on at the time.

[00:55:19] And that I just see are generally important. So our KPIs, right? Those key performance, like it doesn't matter what we're doing. These are always important at Almanac. One of my favorite ones to always keep my finger on the pulse of is our average order value. That is a KPI for me. Oh. And our return customer rate.

[00:55:36] That's a really big one for me as well. So like it, I may be looking at nothing else, but I'm constantly keeping my finger on the pulse of those things. So KPIs are the ones that I'm really keeping an eye on. So in social media, it might be something like engagements or even how many DMS you're getting, on your website.

[00:55:54] Oh, my the bounce rate is a really big one for me, like overall traffic. Sure. But are they staying? That's what I really want to know. So you identify these important metrics, your KPIs, which is where that, clubhouse keynote comes in. If you want to go check that out, those are the ones that I'm watching consistently and all the other ones just are there for when I need them and really yearly, I'm going through all of them.

[00:56:26] And so looking at them as one thing, but looking at them is only beneficial. If you actually do something about. So right. If you have drink, thank you, Corey. If you have metrics that are lower than you'd like for them to be, how can you increase them? If you have numbers that are really great, how can you replicate that in other parts of your business?

[00:56:53] Corey Winter: And so you have to be asking questions, like if you're looking at your websites metrics and you see that the bounce rate is like 90%, okay. Why is that page making people throw up? What can you do on that? Like, is it the speed? Like, is it just taking forever to load? And so people just give up, is there some, is the page just boring?

[00:57:18] So people don't feel the need to stay on it? Like what is it about that page?

[00:57:23] Emily Thompson: Yeah, that's a good point. It is. Is this about questioning the data? Yeah. Why is this like this? Why is this not doing well? Why is this doing well? But this one isn't why is this not doing well? And it's coming up with ideas and then testing and changing, right?

[00:57:43] So with our email list, we review the numbers or at why, why is this like this? Well, apparently the contents are very valuable. Well, what kind of content would be valuable to our audience? Let's try some things out. And we were able to test and change to a place where we took a very sad email and turned it into the best email that I know of in our industry.

[00:58:12] Similarly with actually a couple episodes ago, I shared about that conversion rate situation at Almanac, where I had a number that was really high. Our website conversion rate, like converting visitors to customers was really high, like at the top of industry standards. And it went below industry standards.

[00:58:32] Right. And so I was like, why did that happen? Well, it happened in the exact same month that we launched a new website, something about that new website wasn't working. So now we are like updating things that we were testing and changing. Is it design? Is it the menu? Is it the et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, and changing things to get it back up to where it was.

[00:58:52] So you have to be asking yourself questions and otherwise taking action to make all the numbers in your business. Happy because all of them do play together. And it is. Being a business owner to really optimize the system that you're building to be highly efficient. And to give you the most that it can

[00:59:19] Corey Winter: one more example, over a body Terrell, we were in the middle of a lunch and we were looking at email stats, everything every single day, because we were, we had our, like you mentioned, we had our finger on the pulse.

[00:59:30] We wanted to like be able to make quickfire decisions. So we were looking at these numbers every single day and we decided to do a split test of one email, same idea. Like the content was basically the same, but we were split testing it to one audience. So one side of the audience got one email to get aside.

[00:59:47] The audience got the other version of email and the point of the email was for people to click through to the sales page. On one email, we had text links, like the text itself was linked and. On one of the emails, we put a button, what is considered above the folds? Like if you're looking on your phone at the email, what's on the screaming first open the email, the email that had a button above the fold converted like twice as high people love buttons.

[01:00:15] And that's what the number it does. That's what the numbers told us. Like the other email had text links all throughout it, but the other email had just had a single button right above the fold in that converted so much higher because people just, I guess, don't feel the need to click on text links, but buttons, Hey, that's worth clicking on.

[01:00:30] So that's

[01:00:31] Emily Thompson: for such animals or such animals. I love it. Right. Split testing is a really great way of like testing immediate metrics to see what's working and not working. Right. And like, and, and if you can't find some fun in this, I think you've chosen the wrong thing, right? Like when it comes to when it really, unless, unless you are a boss who really just wants to have a nice little business where you are making, 60, 70, $80,000 a year, and that is just the place where you are happiest.

[01:01:06] And I know bosses like that, and I love that for you. Like you, you do what makes you make the money that you want to make, that you want to do or doing things you want to do. But if you are here to build a business that I think is over six figures in most cases, but especially if you want to get into, quarter million, half a million, and definitely if you want to make it to that million phase and beyond.

[01:01:33] You need to learn to love some numbers you need to like get interested or get an analyst on a hundred percent or hire yourself an analyst. Because, because businesses numbers, and it definitely took me a long time to get here. Yeah, I definitely, we have so many tools now that make it so easy for us to see and gather numbers.

[01:01:58] It's also one of my favorite things about online business is we have access to so many numbers in our business. Like we have a privilege that centuries of business owners have not have had just in the fact that we have access to these kinds of numbers. So we have the opportunity to really go above and beyond what was previously possible because we have access to so much data.

[01:02:24] And so, I've learned to love numbers and now I spend all my time doing, and literally I love a day when I could just be in spreadsheets. Like you mean to have to like write an email or get on zoom. Can I just play in the spreadsheet, please? Like, those are really fun to me. And I think once you get in there and once you start seeing the, the efforts pay off, once you see that, like, okay, I see this thing happening.

[01:02:46] Look, I'm gaining some comprehension. I'm going to get curious about it. I'm going to get experimental with how it is that we can improve it. And you start seeing those things working you'll be sold, trust me. So with that [01:03:00] go tracks and numbers, define your metrics, create some spread sheets. Creative or define a frequency with which you are going to gather these metrics and then define a frequency with which you will review your metrics.

[01:03:15] And then just sort of see what happens with the idea being that you take some action based on it. But you won't know until you're looking at your numbers and have fun. I think it's fun. Corey thinks It's fun. It's pretty fun. Yeah. We like it. All right boss, because you're here. I know you want to be a better creative business owner, which means I've got something for you.

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