For years I’ve been tracking monthly numbers in my business. When I slack off on the tracking, my numbers decline.
It’s the exact opposite of “Ignorance is bliss.” I believe that tracking numbers tells the Universe that you are committed to your business. And the Universe doesn’t give you more of something until you’re ready to accept more.
You can’t expect business growth if you don’t understand where your starting point is!
I offer below a list of items that you could be tracking for your art business. The ones that are *starred and in bold are mandatory.
In my business I am concerned with all of the following. You have to decide what is most useful to you.
- *Number of e-mail subscribers. You also want to know how many new people, on average, subscribe each month.
- Number of Facebook fans (Likes). Also note Facebook engagement: How many people are talking about your business page?
- Number of Twitter and Pinterest followers
- Your Klout score
Watch your open rates, but do so with caution as open rates are deceiving! Look for major swings in open rates. Tweak your subject lines and improve your content if less than 25% of your list is opening your email.
Use link tracking to keep an eye on click-throughs from your email. What links are people clicking on? Where do those appear in your email, and what language did you use with the link?
What did you do to promote your art? Where did you get results? What have you not been doing consistently that you must do in order to see results?
If you sell products or teach classes, you can test and tweak to figure out what language, images, and placement work best for your online sales pages. If you’re extra sophisticated, try split-testing.
*Monthly income. Compare your numbers to last month and the same month for previous years.
*Breakdown of your income streams. Where did your money come from? What venue sold the most work for you?
*Monthly expenses. In particular, you want to know if you’re spending more than you make. If deficits happen consistently over a few years, your business could be red-flagged as a hobby by the IRS. You must aim to make a profit.
You might track the number of repins of your art on Pinterest and the sharing of your art on Facebook. How can you increase those numbers so that more people are exposed to your work?
- *How people find you. Are they finding you through an online search? If so, what keywords are they using? Are they clicking on outside links? If so, from what sites?
- *Top pages for traffic. What attracts people to your site?
- Top images viewed. What are people looking at?
- Most commented-on blog posts. What engages your readers?
- How many people are looking at your site on mobile devices? By the way, have you looked at your site on mobile devices? Is it mobile-friendly?
- *How many students are in your classes? If they’re not full, what can you do differently to get more people enrolled?
- Where did students hear about your classes?
- How much back-of-the-room product (books, reports, CDs, DVDs) did you sell at your classes?
What else do you track?