It’s January 2nd 2020. It’s just ticked over 10:30pm. I’ve had a few days off…not many as I was on an Event on the 30th December. But as I’m steadily getting in to the flow of the new year mayhem, I always like to look back at the previous year to think, WTF just happened!
I remember vividly those first few days of 2019. Mainly because today has been the same. As soon as New Years Day had passed, the Enquiries came flooding in. And today as I type this, I’ve just sent my 9th Quote of the Day. 4 of which I couldn’t do as I’ve already got 45 in the Diary for 2020. And another 3 that were waaaaay out of my coverage area. By January 31st 2019, Virtually Every Saturday through to the End of September had been booked up. And because people couldn’t get the Saturday they wanted, the Fridays and Sundays went pretty sharpish too.
For a lot of Businesses, January is time to implement new changes etc. New Goals. New Ambitions. Sod that! I’m with the Accountants. I’m flat out most days trying to keep my Inbox to a Minimum. January is MENTAL for me with Admin.
For me, my time of “New things” is either November, or February. Luckily, as I know how January's tend to go, I did spend a lot of time in November planning stuff for this year. And i also made a promise to myself, to be not as shite on Social Media.
I decided that 2019 was the dry run for Building my Personal Brand. And with YouTube, I’ve made a pretty good start. 2020 will be spent doubling down and growing even more. Less emphasis will go on Instagram and more emphasis will go back on Facebook as my second Social Platform, after YouTube of course. YouTube for me now is pretty close to being a Full Time gig. I do probably spend a good 15-20 hours a week on Filming, Editing, Writing, Planning, Posting, Tinkering, Tweaking, Learning and Engaging…and it’s showing a pretty good return. Not massively directly yet…but it's coming. Affiliates, Ads and brand Stuff is starting to tick it. But more so, YouTube has become an out and out Marketing Platform for me and my services…even though I do Spiced Rum Reviews!
2019 The Event Stats...
As I did last year, I’ve spent about an Hour in Xero, looking at the Cool Stats. So here we go…
158 Events catered for....That’s an average of 13 per month, or 3 a week!!
Which breaks down as follows…
96 Cocktail Masterclasses
34 All Inclusive Cocktail Parties
17 Gin Tasting Nights
9 Consultancy and Training gigs for Bars & Pubs
2 Rum Tasting Nights
Putting the 9 Training gigs to one side, those Events also break down like this…
83 Hen parties
29 Corporate Events
Want another cool stat too?!?
I’ve purchased 109 Bottles of Passoa. So that can only mean, we collectively made 3000+ Pornstar Martinis Last year!!!! Because, I don’t really use Passoa for anything else!
So, what Trends have I noticed?
Well, the amount of Hen Parties stand to reason. Hen Party planning can kick off a good 8-12 months in advance, so those enquiries always come in early. Going in to 2020 with 45 Events already booked in, 34 of them are Hen Parties!
But the one thing I did notice was the Gin Tasting Nights. They’ve died on their backside! Just the 2 booked so far for 2020. And my last one was actually waaaay back in September. In fact, I only did 5 from April through to September, the other 12 were Jan to March. Does this mean the Gin Boom has finally subsided? Evidently so. In contrast, I’ve done 2 Rum Tastings since September, I’ve got 3 booked for 2020, and one of those Enquiries I’ve dealt with today, has been for a Rum Tasting.
Repeat Bookings were actually a big trend last year too. Which is really humbling. I’ve not really had too many previously. Well, there’s 5 core groups of Friends that book me most years, but since I purposely niched into the Small Events in 2016, fully by 2017, it was kinda like starting my Business again. I’d gone from Bigger Weddings and Birthdays to small Family and Hen Parties of anything from 10 to 35 people. But what happened last year was amazing. 39 of my Events were repeat Clients! 39!! Loads from 2016, one from 2015. Then the rest being from 2017 & 2018. In fact just taking a quick peek at 2020. I already have 7 repeat bookings in, with a further 2 waiting to give me dates for a Party. I LOVE that and I can’t thank you guys enough. Some of you have become amazing friends, that’s the biggest compliment anyone can ever given me!
I previously mentioned YouTube being a big part of what I do now. In truth, I can’t give you an exact answer why. In my Networking circles for Years, everyone has been banging on about Video. So I purely started out thinking it was something I HAD to do. I’ve always felt comfortable doing it, it was just that I could never find the right content. I WANT to educate, but doing Cocktails didn’t sit right. There's loads of Cocktail Videos online. Plus I also wanted to be known for something and build my Brand. But as I say, I had no idea how I was really going to do that.
Anyway, the tail end of 2018 saw me starting to hit the Gin Reviews hard and that went all the way through to June 2019. Right up to the point I could (a) tell the Gin Boooom was slowly dying and (b) I finally admitted to myself that I didn’t really like Gin and getting excited about it was just a bit, well crap!
So I took the decision to go arse deep into Spiced Rum. I LOVE Spiced Rum. Always have done. It's Fun. It tastes good. And you can kinda wear lairy Shirts. And it’s about to Explode and no-one is doing it really. So by July 2019 I was solely filming and producing Spiced Rum Videos.
2019 YouTube Stats
As I love my Stats, (Seriously, you should see my 5 Sheet Excel Spreadsheet (aka “Business Dashboard”) that I fill in every Sunday. I Track EVERYTHING In my Business. Literally EVERYTHING).
Anyway, as I love my Stats, here’s my YouTube Year...
136 Videos Produced
1340 Subscribers gained. (Total now is 1830…so not Huge at all. But I’m living proof you don’t need a huge Subscriber base)
Started the Year with 150-200 Views a Day
December 28th saw me hit 2000+ views a day!! And now averaging well over 1000 a day. In fact the last 7 Days of 2019, Daily Views didn't drop below 1630! (Today though, as everyone is back at work, it was back to just about 1000).
Now here’s the cool thing. Unlike Facebook who count a view as a mere 3 seconds. As in, if you’ve literally moved your finger down on the App to scroll Up…those seconds of that habitual action where a video is on screen, will actually count as a Facebook View. YouTube is TOTALLY Different and much harder work. To get a View on YouTube someone has to physically click into your Video and Watch it for at Least 30 seconds. That’s just 1 view! So when I told you I had over 140,000 Views last year, that’s well over 8000 HOURS of Watch Time!! (8,839 hours to be precise!) My whole channel averages 3m 47s as an Average Video View! That’s insane!!!
So what's to come in 2020…
Well, I’ll be going harder on YouTube. Same amount of Videos. 2 a Week. But trying to up the quality…and the Entertainment factor. I produce close to 10 minute Videos now, so I’d love to try and bump that Average Video View close to 5 mins. I just have to get funnier…and waffle less!! There’s already some potential Spiced Rum collaboration Projects in the mix too. AND I’ve been asked to visit a UK Distillery to go and spice up my own Rum. That’ll be cool!
As for the Events. Well, I’m not sure how I can grow them. 3 a week is a lot when YouTube is a Full Time Gig too. We’ll see what goes on there, but as I mentioned earlier, November is a good planning month for me, so November 2019 already saw the Introduction of a New Cocktail Menu for All Inclusive Parties...and a new “Middle Tier” for my Masterclasses. I now offer 3, 4 & 5 Cocktail Masterclasses. Because, well you know, sometimes, 3 wasn’t enough, but 5 was too many. Especially after I take everyone down at Ground Zero with a shot of 75.5% Tiki Fire.
My Online Presence...Here’s the cool thing I’ve been playing with though. I’m not a huge fan of Instagram these days. It’s too busy. I don’t get the Engagement and you can’t share stuff on it easily. Instagram want you to build a fully inclusive ecosystem. But I don’t like that, because if Insta goes tits up for a day, maybe 2…or even just dies (Tik Tok is coming Hard), then your Friends, Fans & Followers just disappear. So while I’m using my Website for Blogs and the Videos…and YouTube as well. I’m Actually going to be making more effort with Facebook. I already get loads of interaction on my Facey page. And it’s so easy to share and talk to you guys.
But why is that Cool?!
Well. Facey have something Called “Top Fans”. Anyone who has been following my Page for the last few months, will have seen the battles to gain, retain & regain “Top Fan” Status. Which helped my FB Page get Noticed, which obviously gave me loads of Engagement. Now behind closed doors, I did send my Top Fans various Christmas Pressies to say a Huge thank you. Because you guys ROCK…and as I say it helped massively.
Come on, get on with it… why is that Cool?!
Well, as I want to grow my own Personal Brand this year even more. I’ve decided I can utilise this Top Fan thing even more. So each Month, I’ve going to be giving away Prizes and Gifts to say thank you to one lucky Top Fan, who’ll be drawn at Random by some cool App I’ve found.
Prizes will Include Spiced Rums, maybe some Gin and Tonics, Cocktail Sets and maybe…just maybe, Next December's Winner, will win a Free Cocktail Party!! That’s the Plan anyway!
So How do you become a Top Fan?
Simply by Liking, Commenting and Sharing my Stuff on Facebook…regularly.
It’s that simple.
If you stop...you lose your Status and Facebook gives it to someone else!
I will announce it properly on my Page, but if you’re reading this Blog, then make sure you LIKE, FOLLOW, and either “See First” or “Get Notifications” on my Page. Don’t worry, I ain’t gonna Spam you with 3-10 posts a day. But most days there will be a Post, with some days being a couple if I have something Funny to share too.
I also want to do something Cool with “Stories” too. But that’s still in planning. I don’t really like the Stories and I don’t want to just put content out there for the hell of it. It has to be interesting for you guys! But I’ll find something. Because, well I do have 2500 people to entertain on Instagram!!!
So here’s to 2020!
Thank you for all your Love, Support, Cuddles and Selfies in 2019. Lets Smash 2020 even more.
Love StB x
PS…not bad. I started at 10:30pm as I said at the top. Smashed this out by 11:16pm!