Updated: May 31
2022 was tough. But I pulled through!
There were days when I felt highly unmotivated but bounced back almost immediately. Because in my gut, I knew there was no time to hesitate, doubt myself, or quit. The quietest times are the best for planting seeds, refining structures, and assessing actions. It might have been reckless for me to start a business two years ago, but I'm already here. There's no chance for me to even think about giving up now.
I went back to read my 1st anniversary Entrepreneur Log. It said I had a hard time. But thinking back, the first year was easy. Of course, there was a lot of work, but the results were quite immediate. Leads came, deals were closed, and I earned more than my previous full-time job.
This year, however, with the ripples of COVID, things were much more difficult. It was hard to anticipate things, even those that would have normally happened. I struggled, but I pivoted. I learned to let go of certain things and set my sight further. I motivated myself with tiny wins and focused on long-term gains. I spent a lot of time refining my systems, plans, strategies, objectives, and goals. And I created even more content this year than I did the last. So I am sure everything has been done for the business to be ready for 2023 and grow beyond.
1. Clients and Programs
I stepped into 2022 with two retainer clients, which I've not continued to serve after several months. I was pleased with the data I helped them achieve, they paid me alright, but I was in such dread. They were what others would call red flag clients.
I questioned why and how I got myself in the same rut I left my full-time job for. It was clear I must be more selective with my clients in the future.
So I systematized my retainer programs and did not push them unless the lead was a 100% fit. I made it harder for low-bar clients to consider my program by setting a higher price with a longer commitment time. I need clients to respect my value and understand that it is a two-way street when working with me.
I also pivoted. I asked myself what I enjoyed doing and instantly knew it was mentorship and training. I get to share my experience while mentees get to own their results. It felt more rewarding and less stressful. But that meant I needed to start fresh. I built both programs from the ground up. Even though I only have a handful of mentees, I hope more individuals will notice my mentorship and training programs in 2023, ultimately landing me opportunities to teach at corporate training.
Apart from the services mentioned, different leads have also showcased an interest in personal branding services. Though it is still very new for the Hong Kong market, I have already started related services to test the waters. Clients have complimented my ability to capture their tone and manner impeccably.
Last but not least, the content funnel program that started at the end of last year has achieved promising results. Three clients asked for the service, and the team and I have become accustomed to the program. For 2023, I have assembled other freelancers for a new teamlancing program targeting corporations that do not have any comprehensive content programs in place. Hopefully, we will close our first client soon and continually grow into other sectors with this program.
2. Personal growth and the team
I said I wanted to hire a full-time employee for Joyce Tsang Content Marketing last year. Though I have yet to achieve this goal, the company has grown and become much more familiar with running the teamlancing model. While 2022 was all about building the website, executing content for social, and gaining traction for the brand overall, 2023 was about working on projects collaboratively, networking, and physically traveling to establish recognition for the brand.
I have learned a lot about my target audiences through my experiences. The leads I've attracted have given me first-hand feedback, and the metrics I've achieved based on my half-year review have revealed so much about their preferences and behaviors. I now know the insights people want from me by spotting clear content patterns across all my channels. It has allowed me to refine my content and update my content strategy. I would not have been able to get to this stage without my emphasis on consistency. It is a new chapter for me since many companies I've worked at did not manage to reach this stage before I left.
In 2022, I created a new style of IG content, engaged a lot more on Linkedin, established a BOFU approach for Facebook, sent out more EDMs, further optimized the website, and added two new distribution channels - Youtube and Whatsapp. Not to mention, I have also been actively submitting answers to HARO and attracting fellow marketers with my content, which has resulted in article mentions, interviews, blog submissions, and guest postings like this. The goal is to further strengthen my community by attracting more like-minded individuals with my content so I can provide a powerful full funnel experience. Hopefully, I can also grow my Whatsapp group into a niche movement for content marketing fans in 2023.
Interested in joining my Whatsapp group? Send me a message in the chatbot on the bottom right, and let me know!
Since completing my part-time lecturer role at HKU Space for the Advanced Brand Management course, I have visited several high schools with The CoCoon Foundation.
I can confidently say that education will remain a must-do for me. I gain so much inspiration and a sense of fulfillment at every educational initiative, whether talking to entrepreneurs at the Social Media Summit and Po Leung Kuk webinar or with youngsters through Inspiring Girls and La Violet Charity.
In 2023, I hope to participate in more educational events and continue to share my expertise and passion in content marketing with students and adults.
4. What to expect in 2023
If 2021 was building an agency, and 2022 was pivoting to one-on-one services, I hope 2023 is earning passively. Indeed, providing content marketing services as a boutique consultancy remains core to Joyce Tsang Content Marketing, but I no longer want to be restricted by time.
I can't reach and cater to all my potential leads without on-demand accessibility. And that calls for passive and affiliate methods.
To kickstart, I have relaunched my Inbound Marketing Crash course on Udemy. Secondly, I will focus on growing my Youtube channel with video content to accumulate followers and watch time and hopefully become eligible for advertisement income in 2023. On top of that, I have made digital downloads available on my website for anyone to purchase on demand. To celebrate and mark my 2nd-anniversary milestone, I am also proud to present my all-new merch shop!
My main goal for 2023 is to earn the ability to be highly selective with who I take on as clients. I do not want to spread myself so thin anymore. It would be best to acquire larger consultancy-based projects that would make up the bulk of the company's revenue. I want to spend my time with clients that truly value my expertise. Then, I can allocate more time to create quality content, explore passive income, attract better opportunities, and assemble more teamlancing projects to delegate to my team.
I have to admit I have overestimated and set too high of a goal for 2022. It was a tough but valuable lesson learned. I now know what I should focus on and have become much clearer on the quality I want to deliver. I have taken a year to set foundations to see what it can attract and a year to pivot and refine. For the company to grow, I need to work less in but more on the business in 2023.