The 10 Metrics for Authentic Business

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You’re diligently working on your authentic business… but how do you know if it’s going in the right direction?
Or maybe you’ve hired a coach or consultant to help you, but how do you know they’re really helping?
I recommend these 10 metrics to gauge your business success. In this post, I’ll explain each one.
  1. Content Consistency
  2. Content Reach is Growing
  3. Engagement on your content (likes, comments, shares)
  4. Audience Research is giving you market insights
  5. CTA responses (audience starting to respond to your calls to action)
  6. Collaborations are growing
  7. More clients or sales
  8. Profit is growing or stabilizing 
  9. More or better client case studies
  10. Time spent feels more purposeful

You don’t have to track all 10 immediately. However, aim to understand each one of these, starting from the top, and begin to notice whether your business is going in these directions.
1. Content Consistency

Creating content consistently is a key discipline for your authentic business, and also a powerful tool for maintaining and growing your creativity.
By creating and publishing content consistently (you get to determine how consistent), you are becoming smarter in your field. You are creating more content that can attract potential clients, as well as be turned into paid assets such as books and courses.
If you’re not consistent with creating content, you are stagnating in your knowledge growth, and you don’t appear to potential clients to be on the leading edge of your field (and truthfully, you’re not.) Start creating consistently today.
Read more: Creating authentic content consistently

2. Content Reach is Growing

It’s been said that “Content is King”. If so, then “Distribution is Queen.” 
If you’re creating content, but few people are seeing it, then the content isn’t able to make its impact. 
Therefore, we should also measure the ongoing gradual growth of how many people are regularly seeing your content.
If you have a Facebook business page, this number is easy to track. Just go to your Page Insights and look for “Post Reach” and see whether it’s going up or down, month to month. 
On Youtube it’s also easy -- log into your Youtube Studio and look on the right side for Last 28 Days: Views.

3. Engagement on Your Content
As you reach more of the right people, there should be more engagement in the form of likes, relevant comments, and shares.
Also notice if the comments are increasingly more meaningful over time (more than just “Amen!” or “Thanks!”)
Simply put, seeing engagement means that your content is having an impact on people.
Eventually, start to track these numbers. You can do this yourself or have your VA (virtual assistant) do this. 
Study the engagement trend over time and adjust as needed to keep your content going in the right direction.

4. Audience Research is giving you market insights
Reaching more people is great… but what kind of people are you reaching?
This is where Audience Testing comes in. 
On Facebook -- look at the engagers of your recent posts. Look at their FB profiles. As you browse their interests (on their profile, click “More” then “Likes”) does it match your values? Do they seem like they could be potential clients?
On Youtube check out the profiles of your commenters to see what info you can glean from their playlists and uploaded videos.
Over time, you should see that even as your reach grows, your audience is becoming closer to your Ideal Client profile. 
Another important part of Audience Research is Fan interviews.
As you have more content engagers, you’ll have more opportunity to reach out to them to invite them to talk with you 1-1 about their purchasing habits.
These conversations can yield amazing insights about how you should be packaging your own skills and services and how to be promoting your products effectively. 

5. CTA Responses
For every 5-10 content posts, publish a CTA (call-to-action) post. 
Options for CTA posts could include:
  • Subscribe to your email newsletter
  • Schedule a complimentary conversation with you
  • Vote on the topics they most want you to write or make videos about 
  • Vote on the topics of your potential courses
  • Sign up for your upcoming course
  • Sign up for your services
  • Buy a product you recommend as an affiliate
Over time, you should see the responses to your CTA posts grow. Be patient.

At first, you might not get any responses for awhile. And even though you might have some engagement on your content, people typically respond a lot less to CTAs. That's normal.

Still, as your engagement grows, so will the responses on your CTA posts. It takes time, but you’ll see it happen. 
One important note about email lists. The healthiest email lists are built without an opt-in freebie. Subscribers should join because they actually want to receive your ongoing newsletter, not just because they wanted that free download or whatever you were dangling.
Therefore, my own email newsletter doesn’t offer any free thing other than the ongoing newsletter. See for yourself: George Kao Newsletter.
As your content engagement and CTA responses grow, so should your email subscribers grow over time.

6. Collaborations are starting to happen, and growing
To reach more of the right people, I recommend two methods:  
If you find yourself having more consistent collaborations over time that are yielding results (in terms of more audience reach and ideally more clients as well) then your business is moving in the right direction.
Plus, you’ll be enjoying more friendships!

7. More clients or sales
If you are taking action and measuring the above things we’ve discussed here, then naturally, you should be getting more sales of your services and products.

Obviously, this is a very important metric to watch.

8. Profit is Growing or Stabilizing 
It’s one thing to make more revenue (more clients or sales)... but it’s even more important to grow your profit, which is revenue minus expenses.
If your business spending always grows faster than your business revenue, you'll lose more and more money over time.
In the beginning of your business, when you have no clients and no sales, you will need to spend some money (perhaps on business courses and paid advertising) and therefore, profit is normally negative in the beginning, usually for a few months or in some businesses, a few years.
As you take strategic action and start tracking the above metrics, you should start making more profit.
As you earn money, do your best to “live below your means” including in your business. Rein in your costs. Find ways to automate (for example, with Zapier) rather than hiring more people. 
Definitely notice how much you are spending on business/marketing training and support. 
Read more: How much to spend on growing your business? What to buy?

9. More/Better Client Case Studies
The true measure of a successful service is whether you are making more and deeper positive impact on your clients.
How will you know?
By creating more client case studies over time:
  • What problems did they come to you with?
  • What transformational moments did they have in your work together?
  • What have the results been?

10. More Purposeful Time
This is the ultimate metric.

If you are:

(a) following
The 7 Disciplines of Authentic Business, and
(b) you’re tracking the metrics above and it’s going in the right direction...

...then you should feel that your time spent in your business is feeling more and more purposeful.

As you learn more joyful productivity, you’ll find yourself enjoying more of your business day, and finding more fulfillment in the impact you are making.
The more of these 10 factors that are going in the right direction, the more confident you can be that your business is on the path of success!