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I’m sure you’re thinking the same thing… but it’s been insane how darn fast 2014 flew by. It seems like just last week I was sitting at a local coffee shop I like to hang out at on “non office days” writing up my 2014 goals… and getting with our team and jotting down how we’d rule the world in 2014.
And the funny / scary thing is… the years only get faster.
Before we know it we’ll be looking back on 2015 reviewing how the year went… and asking ourselves if we did what we wanted to do the previous 12 months.
That to me is a huge motivator. Knowing that time is going to pass whether I get focused, excited, and make stuff happen or not. So we might as well give it all we’ve got… ignore the naysayers… and crush it in life and business.
So… with the end of our first full year in business here at InvestorCarrot… providing what high achieving real estate investors all over the country are calling “the best real estate investor websites I’ve seen” again and again (we’re attracting more top notch investors in each market than any other website system for real estate investors)… I want to dive into some of the things the InvestorCarrot community was able to achieve in 2014… some of our biggest wins and failures as a young company… and what you’re in store for in 2015 as an InvestorCarrot community member (whether you’re an active customer of ours or not… you’ll benefit BIG TIME in 2015).
7 Things We’re Insanely Proud Of For 2014
2014 was a great year for us as a company and for our customers… here’s 7 things we’re proud as heck of for 2014.
1. Tons Of Customer Love And RESULTS (Leads and Deals) In Our Thread Of Awesomeness
Around the start of 2014 we started something we call the “Thread of Awesomeness” here at InvestorCarrot as an internal team tool to help us all keep our eye on why we do what we do. Each week… when any member of our team interacts with a customer who has an AWESOME result or experience… we throw it into this chat thread that we use internally as a team… called The Thread of Awesomeness.
I wish I could show you all of the hundreds of awesome comments customers sent us in 2014 (we averaged 7 per week!)… but this snapshot below from just 1 week in December is a pretty good representation of the types of “AWESOMENESS” happening for our Carrot members using our system.
That stuff keeps us motivated to do what we do… and our team
2. Nearly 500% Increase In Traffic and Leads For Our Customers!
This kind of speaks for itself. Almost a 500% increase in traffic to our customers websites.
A few cool stats for the year…
- 2,052,930 page views
- 656,736 visitors
- Nearly 1 million visits
- An average visit time of almost 2 and a half minutes (average… our most successful members are seeing a time on site of over 3 minutes!)
- And this winter our customers generated nearly 10,000 leads per month to their websites (and growing)
3. Spreading Carrot Delight To Our Customers With Crazy Great Support!
One thing I said I wouldn’t compromise going into launching InvestorCarrot was on support. In fact… “delivering wow” to our customers is one of our Carrot Core Values (which we both live by and work by). To us here at InvestorCarrot great customer experiences is a heck of a lot more fun than crappy customer experiences. It makes it fun coming into work when the customers you work with really like ya.
Customers can rate their experience with us when they connect with us through support and over this past 12 months 90% of our customers rated us as having GREAT service, 8% rated our support Okay and 2% poor (can’t make everyone happy eh :-)… that’s on 3,233 tickets we resolved for our customers in 2014!
Another cool metric we’re proud as heck of… that 98% of InvestorCarrot member support requests were replied to within 24 hours… 89% in under 6 hours… and most in under 1 hour during work hours! Try us and see :-)
4. Our Carrot Team Grew Stronger
Going into 2014 we had a full-time team of 5. With a couple team adjustments and shifts over 2014… we re-focused on the core of what we’re great at… and brought aboard a kick butt new team member in November… and strengthened our relationships with a few key partners to help in areas where we’re not ready to build in-house teams quite yet.
5. Releasing Dozens And Dozens Of Software Updates, Trainings, And Complete New Features
(like sms alerts and more!)
During 2014 we held 50+ LIVE weekly Carrot Coaching Calls (which are included in all Content Pro plans at no additional cost), simplified the software over the way it was to end 2013, added additional features like sms / text message lead alerts, more integrations like Zapier, simplified YouTube video embeds, Content Pro content marketing system, and more!
We’re releasing updates to the software on an almost daily basis… and plan to ramp that effort up in 2015 to really focus on a few big game changers for our customers to help you generate more traffic and leads. Keep an eye out :-)
6. Restarting Our Carrot Blog With Great, Useful Content To Help You Grow
In November we launched the new design of this blog and renewed our commitment to bringing you behind the scenes content that will help you move the needle in your business each week to generate more leads, rank your websites better, increase your website conversion, and improve your happiness as an entreprenuer.
Keep an eye out for our weekly posts in your inbox and join in the conversation each week!
In fact, what do you want us to write about more in 2015? Let me know in the comments below :-)
7. Growing A Profitable, Fun, And Effective Business Starting With Just Our Sweat, Focus, And Hard Work
Too many companies try to hide the “sensitive” parts of their business from their customers… like revenues and profits… but really there’s no need to hide your successes or failures from your clients.
In fact, by growing a profitable company it’s actually a great thing for customers. That means more cash for innovation, more cash for building an even stronger support team (which we’re looking to hire another Customer Success Hero in early 2015!), more cash to move faster to keep YOU… our customers ahead of the curve from your competition.
So we’re proud as heck that we’ve grown a company this past year and a half that is very profitable, without outside funding, with a small team 100% based here in Oregon, that is doing great things for (and with) our customers. Without this big win… the other “wins” above honestly wouldn’t matter… and we’ll continue to grow and manage this company to ensure stability and innovation for our customers and our own families in 2015 and beyond.
3 Biggest “Failures” And How We’ll Improve Them In 2015
With the great year we had… also came some bumps and bruises that we survived. Most of them were self inflicted and totally avoidable… but lessons we had to learn in order to grow stronger to the point we are today.
1. Losing Focus Of Who Our Core Customer Is
This is a biggie. At times during the year we lost our way and created things in our software and marketing efforts that focused on the wrong customer. Our ideal customer is a high achieving investor. Someone who is motivated, who isn’t using real estate as a new business “opportunity”… but rather a serious career, and who is ready and willing to invest time, money, or both to accelerate their results online.
You’ll see a tighter focus on this type of person in 2015 which will dramatically improve your results.
2. Not Building The Business WE Wanted To Build
It’s really easy to listen to outsiders and let their opinions influence the way you live life and grow your real estate investing business. We did that a bit too much at times this past year as well… growing InvestorCarrot at times in directions that really didn’t resonate with me at my core on the reason we created this company in the first place.
Now with a renewed focus on our vision, why we exist as a company, our ideal customer that we can help the most, and the life we want to live… we’re already on an exciting and more focused track to crushing it in 2015… the way WE WANT TO DO IT.
3. Lack Of Organization And Focus At Times Led Us In Wrong Directions
This one is honestly directed mainly at me as the CEO of the company.
This has always been a weakness of mine and something I’m continually working to improve. me personally… not being as organized as the leader of the company as I need to be. Which led to things like announcing releases in the software and training and not hitting many of the dates I put out there, etc.
So the last 2 months I’ve personally had to make a renewed commitment to being more organized. My team has helped with this a lot and we’re now relying better on systems to track our projects, communicate better as a team, and be more focused and clear on our goals and objectives each month and week.
I’ll write a post in 2015 walking through what we’ve done to really start the transformation to working more focused, organized, and be less busy on a daily basis.
Some Things To Expect From InvestorCarrot In 2015
As great of a year it was in 2014… it won’t compare to the year we have planned out for 2015.
Yes, we’ll be continuing to build out the best inbound online marketing platform for real estate investors with additions to help you rank your websites better and easier, track your rankings instantly, increase the conversions on your websites even further, get more leads, manage those leads more easily with systems (like Podio, coming soon), and more!
But what we’re going to really focus on in 2015 is not just features… but finding better ways to help you get personalized guidance to get you the results you want in your business and your life.
- Our New Marketplace – Soon you’ll be able more easily find the tools, resources, training, and help to get you even better results. Look out for this in January 2015
- More Industry Best Training Opportunities– Our Carrot members have come to know and love our weekly LIVE Coaching Calls with me and our other team members… but we want to spread the love in 2015. Starting in January everyone in our Carrot community can come to a new monthly training call open to all subscribers to our email list.
- More Personal Guidance – Our customers have asked, and we’re making it easier for you to get more personalized help as you need it as a Carrot member. This means more ways to connect with people who can help you implement your SEO, PPC, and lead gen strategy… more ways to get tailored action plans to what you need to do to get results in your market.
- Honing Our Inbound Lead Generation Tools Within Carrot – We’re proud of what InvestorCarrot has grown to become. But we have a greater vision for how we can make your life easier and more profitable in 2015 with better tools to help you rank your website, generate more leads more easily, and spend less time customizing things on your websites… and more time doing what you love to do.
We’re really excited about 2015 and are thankful for a great community of investors who are really supporting what we’re doing here at InvestorCarrot to help transform the way high achieving real estate investors use the internet to grow their real estate business.
How Was Your 2014 And Where Do You Want To Improve In 2015?
Let’s continue the convo in the comments below!