Wow, another year of Excel.TV in the books.
I have to say, of all my years working on this company, last year was perhaps the most formative. At a certain point last year I woke up and realized I needed to focus 100 percent of my energy on creating something super valuable for the Excel community.
Some of the changes you might’ve noticed, some perhaps not. Here are some of the awesome highlights we accomplished last year:
- Provided multiple free webinars on Excel, Power BI and R! We’re still very much doing these free webinars. If you’d like Jordan (that’s me) to speak at and/or support your user group, let me know. I can do it remotely (I have the technology!). But I’m also speaking all over next year, and I’d love to stop by and checkout your group.
- We began corporate training of our 4-day Microsoft Analytics Accelerator. That’s two days of incredible Excel content and two days of awesome Power BI. We’ve received a lot of buzz about this 4-day course. Seems like it’s what teams are really looking for as they transition to Power BI.
- We released 24 videos to our YouTube channel and grew subscriptions by 2,500 this year!
- We grew our mailing list by almost 10k people!
- We started focusing on where a lot of our community hangs out – Facebook! Before, we were just posting old content on a release schedule. Today, we have an awesome Facebook Page and Group! We would love to see you join us.
- We also hired a social media company, 98buckssocial.com, who are responsible for some of the content that comes out.
Coming Up This Next Year!
This year, I have lots of speaking engagements. If you see that I’ll be in your neck of the woods, please feel free to email me (Jordan at excel dot tv). We’ll coordinate a meetup.
- 1/30/2020, Private Client Consult, San Diego, CA
- 2/7/2020, Association for Talent Development, Ankeny, IA
- 5/2020 (tdb), San Francisco Treasury Symposium, San Francisco, CA
- 4/17/2020, Excel Summit Amsterdam, Amsterdam
- 4/22/2020, Global Excel Summit, London, UK
- 5/10/2020 , TDWI, Chicago,IL
- 6/22/2020, TDWI, Kansas City, MI
- 9/15/2020 , Institute of Management Accountants, Dayton, OH
We also have a number of new changes we’re going to be making to the website. I’m going to let Rick take it over from here.
Yo! Rick Here! Howdy Everyone
Jordan came down to my home in Fleming Island, Florida late last year for our annual strategy sessions.
No, we didn't just smoke cigars and pet my dog. We also drank beer and went to the dog track.
Oh yeah... Excel TV.
We separated what needs to get done this year into a few big categories. We largely get each one up and running before starting the next one. Giving us the focus we need.
#1. The Website and our Community
In short answer is that we are moving to a Membership model. Actually, this is what's first up for us and the focus of our first quarter. We launched our membership site a few weeks ago. Here is a quick video that explains it all.
If you are looking to join the Excel TV Academy now, we have started adding new lessons and the price has been raised. You can find it here
What's up for the rest of the quarter? Adding more free content of course. Blog posts, videos, etc. But we will also focus on filling out the membership site. A Members Forum ready for the Academy within the month.
We will also look to add content weekly. That means new lessons.
But we also need to clean up the website. Right now you are hit with so many distractions when you come to the website. So many products, courses. It's all going to be consolidated over time. to support the Academy. That's the first quarter. And we are already almost half way there on the calendar, so there is a lot of movement between me and Jordan to get these things across the finish line.
So in short, quarter #1, get the Academy up and running and ensure the website (or everything we have on our property) is set up to support both the Academy and our Free Content. Clean up our house.
#2 Social Media
If quarter #1 was cleaning up our house, then quarter #2 is inviting our friends over for dinner.
We will have a more in depth strategy about how we tackle Social Media, particularly Youtube and LinkedIN. Here are some of our stats to use as comparisons.
- Facebook - Through our Facebook Group (3,862 Members) and Facebook Page (7,889 Follower) we have a loyal following. We have no goals to necessarily build this page. You won't likely see ads from us to "Like this Page" anywhere in the near future. But we do have goals to continue to bring great content to these pages, thereby serving our audience. In early September we started adding daily content to the Facebook Page. From September through the end of the year our website traffic from Facebook grew 68% year over year. So we will continue to serve our community through content through Facebook at minimum 5 days a week.
- Instagram - Excel TV does not have an instagram account. In the second quarter of this year, we will. Stay tuned.
- LinkedIN -We have 168 followers of the LinkedIN Excel TV Company Page. As you can see, the page needs some work and daily content. In the second quarter we will focus on this. When companies seek out our services it is likely they will go to LinkedIN, so we need to have a better presence there. People who use Excel. Data Slingers. Well, they may not be on FB, but they are damned sure on LinkedIN. Last year, our website traffic from LinkedIN grew by 68%. This is largely driven by personal posts from Jordan on his page. We will expand that to our LinkedIN Company Page in the second quarter of 2020.
- Twitter - Twitter is growing like crazy for us. Check out the Excel TV Twitter page here. We just passed 4,000 followers and are one of the fastest growing Excel Twitter pages around. I see us passing 5,000 later this year. Again, this is because we are adding daily content. We will continue to do that in 2020. But as you can probably tell by my tone, our goals aren't necessarily to grow our social media "follower", but rather to put out the type of content on those mediums that is of value. We measure that value by how many people click through to our website. From August till the end of 2019, our website traffic from Twitter grew 347% year over year. Like WOW.
- Youtube - This is maybe the one place that I want to grow exponentially. Here is our Excel TV Youtube channel. We have 8,266 subscribers as of this writing. We get roughly 10k views a month. But c'mon man... we are Excel TV. Videos is what we do. We are going to look for every means possible to grow our presence on Youtube in 2020. Both in subscribers/views and in referrals back to our website. Year over year the traffic from Youtube back to our website grew by 96%. As we hit the second quarter, we will put some strategies in place that should double the traffic year over year again. This is a focus in the second quarter.
In the second quarter, we also intend to start our journey in advertising, dipping our toes in the pool and seeing how cold it is. The platform and nature of the advertising is yet to be determined. This will be in support of the Academy.
#3 Look good for Google
If #2 was inviting our friends over, then #3 is inviting over the whole fucking world. Most people search Google to try to find how to do things in Excel. We think we have some pretty good content and we would like more people to see it. This may require changing some things about the website. Looking at January 2020 year over year, our traffic from search engines improved by 18%. Honestly, we should be putting out the type of content that allows us to double our traffic annually. In the 3rd quarter we will put serious effort against this.
So that's it from me. That's the numbers and our strategy for growth in the near term. But of course, none of this means anything if we don't add value to the community. So expect free content to continue to come from us on a regular basis throughout the year. Over the coming weeks, you will notice some slight changes to the website. It's all part of our plan to clean our home and make the experience at Excel TV the best it can be.
Jordan again, in addition to all of this, we’re going to be focusing on creating a unifying social media strategy. In the age of connectivity, we see that we could be doing a lot more to stay connected and create a community where everyone can learn, share and grow together.
Fear not. We’re here to help you excel yourself, your skills, and your career.
New year, new rules.
Rick & Jordan