My Month in Review: January 2017

As I already mentioned in my blog post about my goals for 2017, I thought it might be a good idea to share monthly progress updates with you here on the blog!

I do this because

  1. I’m super curious to look back on 2017 and see what I worked on during the year and if I don’t write it down, I’ll forget;
  2. I generally enjoy these type of posts from other creatives because they give me a lot of ideas what I could work on and try next, and
  3. I promised I’d share the good and the bad of running a creative business and I don’t feel like my “typical” blog posts allow for a broader overview of the day-to-day goods and bads. They are focused on one topic, and dive deep, and these posts are meant to be more of a list or summary type of thing. 

Ramblings aside, I do hope you enjoy them! I’d be curious to hear if you do, so please leave a comment below to tell me if you liked the post or if you hated it 😃

First up: January.

My goals for January were…

  • Launching the free Goal Setting Worksheet

  • Launching the paid Goal Setting Program

  • Launch Exploration Calls*

  • Selecting the participants of my CB Scholarship Program & start working with them

  • Clearing out the last project bag collection from the shop

  • Launching the two-tone project bag collection (#hannalisahaferkampbags)

  • Deciding to reorder the #ihavemyshittogether fabrics

  • Filming the crowdfunding video for WOODS and continuing the work on the book

*Free 15 min calls with me if you’re undecided if you want to work with me and would like a quick consultation how we could work together. 

What went well?

Launching the free Goal Setting Worksheet

You guys loved the free Goal Setting Worksheet! My conversion rate on the landing page is unprecedented - a whopping 60.3%! I also got quite a lot of comments from people who really enjoyed it and one suggestion how to make it even better. 

Learning: Do more free stuff that’s useful for creative business owners. Also good for collecting email addresses! 

 

 

Selecting the participants of my CB Scholarship Program & start working with them

When I put the Scholarship out in the world I had no idea if people applied. But they did!! I had some truly wonderful applications and was so, so happy to select three amazing female creative business owners to work with in the next three months. 

Their applications stood out in both the practicality and thought that went into applying - as in they knew what they wanted to work on - as well as how they are going to pay it forward to the female business community. Can’t wait to start working with them - the first calls are happening this week - and share them with you!

Learning: Giving back to the community is awesome. We should all do more of it. 

 

Clearing out the last project bag collection from the shop

Before launching a new collection I wanted to clear out the shelves - which is why I decided to do a new year’s sale that went amazingly well! I didn’t have any expectations at all, but I sold out of every single bag that was still in the shop. (Okay, minus the little patchwork one that I’m just keeping for myself now.) 

I used Etsy On Sale to manage everything - my first time using it, super easy and quick to set up! 

I’m still having a hard time to judge when a sale is a good idea, and when not, but I’m taking comfort in a recent podcast interview (Have Company) with Brandi Harper from purlBknits who said that even she can’t anticipate how a sale is going to go. 

Learning: Sales to clear out shelves might be a good thing to repeat in the future!

 

Launching the two-tone project bag collection (#hannalisahaferkampbags)

Whoa. Where the Goal Setting Program was my fail for January (see below), this collection launch was most definitely a WIN. I LOVED working on these bags and I hope this translated into promoting and selling them as well - because I almost sold out within 24 hours of the shop update. 

I believe that without doing my first shop updates I would have never been able to understand what kind of bags I wanted to make, and this was the first one that I was super, duper happy with. 

Plus, I shared a lot of the process of making them on Instagram, Stories, and did the Live Q&A (see below) - all things that I think really helped with the update.

Learning: Make more of those types of bags. Share the process. Do regular shop updates. 

 

Filming the crowdfunding video for WOODS and continuing the work on the book

I am going to put this under “what went well” even though there were parts of the book work that didn’t go so well in January - most notably the fact that Anna, 1/3 of the project team, left the team. Verena and me are still going strong - stronger than ever before, really - and this project just makes me incredibly happy. 

We did a lot of work on the book in January (which you can read about on our soon-to-be-launched blog), and the highlight for me was filming the crowdfunding video with our amazing videography team Mimi and Dan in Grunewald. 

There’s SO MUCH good stuff happening around the book these days that I am so so excited for February and the start of the crowdfunding campaign, it’s not even real. 

 

Bonus: Using Instagram Live

I used Instagram Live - which is finally available in Germany - for two Q&A session for the Goal Setting program - and it was amazing! There were a lot of really good questions, and one sign up resulting from it. 

I also used it to show my new project bag collection and answer any questions related to that which was super fun.

Learning: I’ll definitely be doing more of them in the future!

 

Bonus: Press mention in The Knitter & interview for Easy Stricken

A while back I was approached by the German editor for The Knitter who asked if she could include a short profile about me in one of their next issues. So naturally, I said YES. It’s the first issue of 2017, and I got my copy in the mail just for the new year and was so so so thrilled to see Creative Boss Consulting mentioned in a print publication for the first time ever!

She followed up with an interview on Instagram for another publication, Easy Stricken, which we did beginning of the month and it’s going to be published in February or March (I think). 

 

What didn’t go so well?

Launching the paid Goal Setting Program

Creative Boss Goal Setting 2017.png

This was a big, fat fail. I had super high hopes for the Goal Setting Program - my goal was to have at least 10 sign ups, and as of today (Jan 31), I have two. Now, some people might say “Why do you put that out there? This is undermining your credibility!” - but I think this is bullshit. I promised you I’d share the good and the bad, and this includes sharing sign up numbers as well. 

Now, the fact that the sign up numbers are not nearly what I expected them to actually proved to be an excellent opportunity to figure out different ways of asking for feedback. Around the middle of the month I sat down and thought about what I could do to better understand why people were not signing up. And one thing I did generated an amazing number of responses:

I asked why people didn’t sign up on Instagram Stories.

I got 10 or 11 super detailed, thoughtful Instagram messages and emails responding to that question - honestly, I was completely blown away by the fact that people were taking time out of their day, looking at the offer and thinking about feedback for me! To everyone who did that - THANK YOU. A MILLION. 

There were a lot of super helpful tips and insights in there - ranging from changing the copy on the page to stress the benefit for the participants (yeah… practice what you preach…) to offering payment plans.

Based on that feedback, I changed the copy on the site, set up different payment methods (Paypal hello!) and a payment plan. 

I wish I could tell you that then sign ups started to pour in, but they didn’t - which is also okay. Maybe I didn’t hit the sweet spot with the program. Maybe it was bad timing. I did learn a hell lot by making it and failing at it and asking for help.

I still believe it’s a damn good program which is why I’m going to take a suggestion that came up a few times and offer it a few more times during the year as a “Goal Review” or “Goal Checkup” Program. 

Learnings: More than I have space for here. 

 

Launching Exploration Calls

That just didn’t happen. I somehow anticipated that which is why I had the option in my mind to do it in February which will happen. This week. (UPDATE: You can actually sign up now for your free 15 min Exploration Call here!) 

 

Deciding to reorder the #ihavemyshittogether fabrics

Mhm. I honestly completely forgot about this goal until about 10 minutes ago when I looked my monthly goals up to write this post. Says a lot, right?

Not a lot happened in terms of sales for the #ihavemyshittogether bags, but then again, I didn’t do a lot of promo work. So decision postponed. Still thinking about doing a limited edition project bag collection out of the fabric I have left, but not decided yet. 

 

The private stuff:

Yeah, there’s still a private life somewhere buried under all my projects - I am making a conscious effort to focus on self-care, sleep a lot, work out, meditate and eat healthy because I know that this is going to give me the power I need for the next months. 

All of this worked reasonably well for January, and then my grandma died. Not unexpectedly, but still. I’ve written about it on Instagram and in my last email, and I don’t feel the need to share more about it here, but I still wanted to mention it because it obviously did have a big impact on my month.

In terms of making, I’ve been trying to finish things that I don’t necessarily need to have on my needles anymore to make as much space as possible for things with a deadline. For details you can check out the last podcast episode shownotes, but I’d like to finish this up with a little list of what I’ve been making, just for good measure (all of them are knitted unless otherwise indicated): 

FOs:

  • Delft Socks
  • Baby Cardigan for a friend of mine
  • Picos de Europa hat for WOODS test knitting & sample
  • Lark Tee (sewing) 

WIPs:

  • Tolmie Sweater
  • Geode Cowl - test knit for a collaboration

 

What I plan for February:

My plans for February are pretty simple:

  • Launch the WOODS - making stories crowdfunding campaign (Feb 9!!!)
  • Tech edit all the WOODS pattern
  • Start the test knitting phase of WOODS (incl. starting to test knit myself)
  • Launch Exploration Calls & get a few more 1on1 projects going
  • Launch collaboration kits with Ovis Et Cetera & The Wool Club for the shop
  • Prepare another two-toned collection shop update

In addition to that, I will continue to work with my awesome Scholarship participants which I’m super excited about and try to plan our vacation (happening in March, yay!).


So - let me know what you think, did you like this little glimpse behind the scenes of my January? Was there anything that you missed?