2017 Goals

It’s the start of a new year, and it’s time to set some new goals. As I did last year with my 2016 Goal list, I’m writing down my goals to keep me more accountable. Also, research shows that by simply writing down a goal, you have a better chance of achieving it.

I’m trying to create smart goals this year – making them specific and measurable.

Online Course Goals

2016 was an epic year for online courses at Video School Online. We created over 20 new courses, mostly collaborating with other instructors. We re-designed our course library page, and served over 250,000 students across a number of platforms, primarily Udemy & Video School Online.

In 2017, our primary mission is to expand the reach of our courses to new students across the globe, with an increase in quality and consistency across our courses.

Goal: The Complete Video Production Series

We’ve started 2017 with a bang, launching our Complete Video Production Bootcamp, which is the first in a series of courses aimed at teaching you how to create videos. Our goal is to have a complete library of courses on video production, from beginner to advanced, so you can learn anything you want related to video production. Literally, I see our courses as an alternative to going to studying film production at a university. The next courses on the list are advanced lighting, audio, color correction, video business to round out our existing cinematography, video editing, motion graphics, and YouTube courses. By the end of 2017, I’d like to have a complete catalogue of these video production courses.

Goal: 300 Bundle Members

In 2016, we launched the VSO course bundles. This allows anyone to access all courses in a specific topic (online business, video production, photography) for a low monthly investment or one-time fee. These bundles are one of the best way to enjoy our courses. As a bundle member, you get access to all new courses in that topic area. If you do the one-time fee purchase, you never have to pay for another course again. Currently we have 109 members. In 2017, I hope to enroll 300 students in our bundles. I also want to add some additional premium content to the bundles – perhaps with a private Facebook group to give students an additional way to learn with each other.

Goal: 400,000 Students

In 2017, I hope to have taught over 400k students on Udemy. This will happen with continued enrollments in our current classes, as well as launching new courses that reach a global audience. One part of this is adding closed captions and translating courses into other languages.

Video School Online Goals

As you probably know, VSO is my brand. It’s the home for my business. And it’s also evolved quite a bit over the year. In particular, the website has changed a lot since launching in early 2013. Honestly, I’m at a happy place with my website. I believe that it serves the purpose that it is there to do: to teach other people new skills and direct people to my highest quality courses and resources. I don’t plan on doing a big re-design in 2017. If anything, I’ll just continue to tweak and add better content.

While VSO started as just a place to share my own online courses, it’s morphed into a place to teach others how to create their own online courses.

Goal: Help Others Teach

I’ve had a course on creating and selling online courses since 2013. That course is still the main way I teach others how to do what I’m doing. I added the 30-Day Course Launch Blueprint in 2016. Teaching online has changed my life dramatically – allowing me to pay off my student loan debt, pay for vacations and a wedding, put a down payment on a home, and invest in my family’s future. And I honestly believe what I’m doing is an honest and world-bettering way to make money. So I want to help more people do the same.

The entire world will only continue to move towards online education in 2017, and my goal is use my experience to help people teach their own skills and passions to the world.

How will I do this?

Goal: Redo Online Teaching Course

Most of what I taught in my original course (which has been updated semi-frequently since 2013) is exactly what I’m doing today. But I’ve learned a lot along the way, especially in terms of marketing a course. My course production skills are also better. Early in 2017, I plan on doing a complete reboot of my online teaching training. It’s been one of my most popular courses, and I know it could benefit a lot of people.

Goal: Start a Podcast

Along with a course, I want to start a podcast. Yep, that’s right. I want to do a podcast. Since I ventured into the world of online business, podcasts have been a steadfast way to build an audience and help others. What better way to help people teach online than have a podcast. I want to do it right, though. I’ve tried starting podcasts in the past. I’ve listened to other people podcast about online business and teaching online. But these things fade away. I will launch a podcast with at least 12 high-quality interviews in 2017. I would love to do more, but I want to keep this goal smart.

Goal: 50,000 Visitors per Month

The above goal will help with this one. This is actually a goal I had in 2016 for VSO. I’m averaging around 35,000 visitors per month to the website. Doing a consistent podcast should help increase this traffic.

Goal: Hire a Virtual Assistant

VSO has grown to a point where having an assistant that can work consistently would be beneficial. It would decrease some of my stress, and allow me to spend time on only the most important tasks. I’ve dabbled with the idea of hiring an assistant in 2016, but 2017 will be the year that I hire someone to help. The first goal is to hire a video editor, who can can on editing our new courses.

Goal: Top 100,000 Alexa World Ranking

Alexa.com ranks all of the worlds websites in order of popularity. At the end of 2016, VSO was ranked 182,391 in the world and 114,432 in the US. AMAZING, RIGHT?! This blows my mind. It jumped about 200k global spots in 2016. Let’s continue that trend with another 100k in 2017!

YouTube Channel Goals

YouTube has always been a favorite way of mine to reach more people. At the beginning of 2015, I had 4,256 subscribers and 349,158 views. At the start of 2016, I had 12,277 subscribers and 1,077,578 views. At the start of 2017, I have around 39,175 subscribers and 3,420,858 views.

The rate at which my channel is growing is increasing. The graph above shows the increase in watch time for the life of my channel. Watch time is actually more important than view count on YouTube, and seeing a dramatic increase in views since September has led to increased engagement, education, and also ad-revenue.

Goal: 100,000 Subscribers

Even though I didn’t hit my 2015 goal of 50,000 subscribers (coming in short just under 40k), I want to double down on my goal setting with 100k subscribers as my goal. With a focus on business and personal finance videos, I believe I can do this. I’ll be using our new VSO Tech channel for most of our video and photo gear videos.

Goal: $3000 Ad Revenue in a Single Month

I reached my 2016 goal of earning $1,000 in ad revenue in a single month in November. Based on the growth of my channel, I believe I can do $3,000 in 2017. A lot of my ad revenue comes from personal finance videos – something I really enjoy talking about and creating videos about. So it’ll be a fun challenge to create more high-quality finance videos for the channel.

Bonus Personal & Business Goals

2016 was the first year that I worked for myself the entire year. Up until 2016, I had had a full time job along with running my side business. I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to grow Video School Online, and help thousands of people around the world while also making a wonderful living.

I’m going to update my personal Impossible List, with my 2016 accomplishments, and add my new 2017 goals to it if you want to check it out. Here are my big ones for this year:

Goal: 25% Revenue Increase

Business revenue has increased every year since I started in 2012. 2016 saw the biggest increase, mostly due to me spending my full-time hours every week growing the business. While I’m always a fan of low-balling sales numbers so that I surprise myself if I beat them, it’d be a bad business practice to set a goal of 0% growth. At this stage of business, a 25% increase in revenue would be insanely awesome. So that’s what I’m going to set my goal as. I don’t share all of my revenue information here anymore. But I do share monthly teaching reports in the business and online teaching bundle, and if you subscribe to my free newsletter.

Goal: Adopt a Dog

Isabel and I would really love to increase the size of our family from 2 humans and 2 cats in 2017 by adopting a rescue dog. I personally want a dog that can go hiking and camping with us. Our house doesn’t have a front gate, and our fences aren’t tall enough to keep in a dog. So the first thing we need to do in 2017 is get a new fence. Then we can start thinking about the dog.

Goal: Build Things

I’ve fallen in love with woodworking. I’m still a complete newbie at it, but I’ve built a couple cool things so far including a farmhouse picnic table, pergola, and bath caddy. My next projects include garden boxes, a potting bench, a towel ladder, and dining table.

Goal: Love Life

This will always be a goal of mine. I’ve had a very great life. And it seems to keep getting better and better. Right out of college, stress and anxiety about personal finances and student loan debt overcame me. It was probably one of the toughest times of my life. As I’ve paid off my loans, this has lifted a huge burden. At the same time, as the business has grown, it’s taken on a new level of stress – the stress of maintaining and growing. While it’s an amazing thing to strive for more growth, I also want to be content with where I’m at… I should be.

I live an amazing life, thanks to many of you reading this right now. I hope that in 2017, I find peace with my own life… especially with work, and enjoy the countless beautiful present moments that will happen.

What are your goals?

Share your own thoughts about my goals, and share a goal of yours for 2017 in the comments below.