There’s a lot of research about the effect that gratitude has on happiness, and I’d argue, the same goes for reflection.
This is why despite the rollercoaster of a year that was 2020 (to put it lightly), when we reflect back on it, we’re still able to find the light.
Reflection is also that bit of hindsight that allows you to connect the dots and see your own progress, in a way that you can’t always do when you’re moving full steam ahead.
We strive to make reflection a regular practice around Copy Uncorked, which is why you’ll find our annual review below.
Just tuning in? Catch last year’s recap here.
Before we get into the highlights and skimmable version, here’s the transparent, paragraph-version.
First, I am wildly thankful for this year. For having a job that allowed me to safely work from home (no mask required) and complete 100% of my work virtually.
On the business front, we were relatively unaffected by COVID and even saw an increase in leads as more people moved online, pivoted their offerings, and developed new products/services. I know that was NOT the norm for most people and I don’t take one second of that for granted.
The influx was welcomed growth—and…also a lot to manage some weeks. I’d originally planned to take the entire month of May off, as well as 1 week in August, 1 week in October and 2 weeks in December for travel & various events. Obviously, none of that happened and so I continued to load up our calendar. Perhaps out of fear or the nagging thought “Well, what else am I going to do anyway?”
So I worked. A lot. We created and launched an entire course, worked with our highest number of clients yet, developed digital products, onboarded new contractors, spoke on podcasts and in masterminds, MOVED from one house to another for crying out loud, experimented with new services, andddd drank a lot of wine.
Truthfully, come December, I think that all started to catch up with me as I worked to finish up projects that admittedly spilled over into my “I’m-taking-two-weeks-off” time. Not to mention, just ALL the heavy things we dealt with and had to carry as a society and world this year.
And still, I am grateful. I feel honored to have been trusted with a number of people’s words this year. I will never take that lightly.
Ironically, I’m even grateful for having experienced depression, anxiety, and burn out in college because it equipped me to better deal with it all today. I am human, like all of us, and so, I am not immune to it.
But I’ve been able to remain realistic and optimistic, while knowing there are changes I need to make to protect not only my mental and physical health but also focus on relationships and greater impact.
So, I will. We will as a brand. And we will do it while striving for continued improvement in the ways we show up & serve you.
…K, how about that fly-by version, yea? 😉
59 Emails Sent
Which averages to 1.13 emails/week – not bad! Although I see that increasing a bit in 2021.
7 out of 12 months Champagne was the most popular wine quiz result
Who doesn’t love a good glass of bubbly?
149 Total Instagram Posts
Just under 2.5 posts/week
+2,150 New Instagram Followers
+2,510, bringing us to just under 5K (top-performing posts were Kaitlyn’s home office)
42+ Total Client Projects
Including a few with return clients
2 Conferences / Retreats
TCC IRL in San Diego, CA
Creative Retreat Outside of Bozeman, Montana
4 New Products
The Copy House (Website Copywriting)
Welcome Email Series in a Week
Client Experience Bundle
Trello Project Management Masterclass
Live Launch Academy & Business Expansion Blueprint with Shannon Lutz
Lemme just say…she’s the real deal. Although I’ve completed the course videos, I’ll likely be working through the rest of it for the next couple of months. Mind-blown.
(2) Brand Shoots with Melissa Gilmore
A solid brand shoot is always worth it in our opinion and I’m already looking forward to doing a couple in 2021. Melissa’s style always feels high-end and elevates any brand.
TCH Branding Work with Drop Cap Design
Kadie again worked with us on the branding for The Copy House and I seriously love its logo. She kills at timeless but perfectly modern design. I don’t know how she does it. We’re working on something else together Jan through March 2021 that I can’t wait to share with ya’ll!
Growing the CU Team
In addition to Kelsey not getting sick of me yet 😉 – we also collaborated with a number of other copywriters and designers to deliver high-quality work to our clients. It’s so refreshing to be able to collaborate with others throughout the work day and actually feel like you have coworkers!
Migrated from Trello to Clickup.
Despite our pervasive love for Trello (and having 2 Trello-based products in the CU Shop), we did in fact migrate our internal & client project management to Clickup. With the team and brand growth overall, we needed a more collaborative and customizable interface to support those changes. We had Sam Foley of A System for Everything (and a member of The Copy House™!) and Brooke Sager of The Blaire House (also a CU client) work their magic and it felt like the biggest load off my shoulders.
We likely will be changing up the existing Trello-related products in the CU Shop but for now we still stand behind them as we implemented the same exact system and structure, just within ClickUp. Trello is also free and we’re on the paid version of ClickUp, so I still highly recommend it as a more beginner option.
Decided to wait to relaunch The Copy House™ in 2021.
I really, really wanted to relaunch TCH this fall, but chose to prioritize the client work we had on the books as well as make some changes to it in 2021. More specific details about what and when will be coming out in the New Year.
Hired a payroll company (in addition to already having a bookkeeper) and went to S Corp status.
Another welcomed weight off my shoulders is outsourcing the major monthly financial tasks like bookkeeping, taxes, and payroll. This change will also set us up for more efficient tax spending overall.
– Surpassing my total revenue goal at 118% (final numbers TBD as I’m writing this before the end of December!)
– Attending TCC IRL and then being interviewed on the The Copywriter Club Podcast
– Launching The Copy House™ and later also having it approved and listed on the Terrain platform
– A high number of clients who returned for continued project work
– Diving headfirst into launch copy with really positive results
– Traveling to Montana in November to spend a few days with some of my closest industry friends
– Decision making (there’s SO many to make as a business owner on a daily basis)
– Our moving / house buying process (being self-employed in the year of COVID did not make it smooth sailing but in the end, it all worked out)
– Self-care & boundaries (as mentioned, work + life all felt like a blur this year but playing tennis & golf with my husband definitely kept me sane at times)
– Overbooking & client timeline delays (there will always be uncontrollables, particularly given this past year, but this is something we’ll zero in on more in the new year)
– Very little travel and a different dining scene due to the pandemic (my go-tos for change of scenery!)
– I tend to be more introverted so keeping up with social media started to feel like a lot but I’m working through it! (and I did bring #CUat5 back!)
Word of the Year
Bold / Boldness
I shared a little bit about this in a #CUat5 video but I feel as if this word chose me. I sat back and kept my head down for a lot of 2020. My values and beliefs are important to me, along with stepping fully and confidently into my role as a business owner. Not to say that I haven’t been ‘confident’ but I know what’s gotten me here won’t get me to the next level.
And I think a bold, disciplined spirit is the secret sauce I need to get me there.
Q1 & Q2
Multiple DFY client projects will be taking place
Launching course offering(s)
Hiring a business coach
Reducing my personal 1:1 client load
More concrete, advanced planning
Community building through the Copy Cru, Instagram, and The Copy House
Focusing on impact
Saving for a potential kitchen renovation &/or other house projects
Discipline in my personal health & fitness routines
Prioritizing time with Jesus
Never stop creating or exploring
Play the long game
Give credit where credit is due
Create more than you consume
Keep showing up
Clarity not content is king
Good copy sells because it serves
Copy x design
If you stayed with me until here, thank you. Your interest and enthusiasm for the CU brand means the world to me and I truly look forward to growing into 2021, together.
Not sure where to start or what’s missing? Uncork the essential brand copywriting elements for your business, complete with examples so you never feel stuck or bottled up with your message!