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2017 Business Review and Plans for the Year Ahead

I once read somewhere that the way you spend New Year’s Eve will predict the way you spend the rest of the year. Personally, I was looking forward to ringing in 2018 surrounded by two of my favourite things: good food and good friends.

But if the past year taught me anything, it’s that life rarely goes as planned (so stop wasting your time worrying about all of the elements that are out of your control).

There’s a reason you didn’t see any celebratory Instagram story updates from Luke and I on NYE. First of all, we missed the countdown completely—and not because we went to bed early (that would have been a much better trade off). Instead, we were up all night facing Luke’s second battle with food poisoning (or some awful 24-hour bug) of the holiday.

On a positive note, we were dealing with it together, something we’ve really gotten the hang of, thanks to this whole business partnership thing. And rather than dwell on all that went wrong, this is the prediction I am taking with me into the new year: we’ll handle whatever comes our way, shoulder to shoulder, hand in hand.

2017 Highlight Reel

While the past year brought many challenges—both on a personal and global level—it was a memorable one for Web of Words.

We dedicated a lot of our time and focus to hand-selecting our all-star client list.

It’s so important to us that we partner with clients who reflect our mission and values; business owners who share our belief that the world of social media isn’t about selling, it’s about connecting. We work closely with our clients, crafting posts in their voice, on their behalf, meaning it’s crucial we believe in what they do. Not only that, but they also have to be pleasant to work with. After all, when you spend as much time as we do with your clients, you want to enjoy their company.

 We streamlined our processes and core business offerings.

The content marketing landscape is always changing, making it difficult to stay ahead of the curve. In order to offer our clients our best work, we need to focus on the services we excel at. Sometimes, this means turning down opportunities that aren’t quite the right fit. In 2017, we really became clear on what we want to offer in our social media packages, as well as our website copywriting, video marketing, blogging and email campaign offerings. We now know exactly where we want to invest our time and energy, so we can be the best at what we do.

We grew our team.

Every business suffers from growing pains; it takes time to find the right people for the job. It takes time to find the right fit; and for us, this meant someone who shares our passion for brand storytelling, and supports our core values at Web of Words. The search took us the better part of the year, but we found the addition we’ve been looking for. You can get to know Nicole a bit better  here.

Other Notable Mentions:

  • I wrote my first piece for Maclean’s this year, which led to three additional features published in 2017. You can read them in my online portfolio.
  • Our clients were recognized with awards of business excellence.
  • Our clients not only reached, but exceeded, their goals for business growth in 2017.
  • Luke took our client video marketing efforts to new heights, implementing innovative ideas to set our clients apart.
  • We were able to do the work we love from the places we love, working remotely from the cottage, Florida, and Thunder Bay, among other destinations.
  • I got interviewed for a story in Global News on finding supportive partners.
  • We helped transform websites, restaurant menus, magazines, brochures, and other marketing materials to truly reflect the inspiring brand stories of our clients.

Plans for 2018

As many of you know, Web of Words was first inspired by my original blog created in 2010, Charlotte’s Web of Words. The business has come a long way since then. But I never really planned for it to be more than me, myself and I. I am extremely grateful Luke was able to join my side in 2016, and then in 2017 we were able to hire our Content Specialist, Nicole.

Web of Words is now entering its fourth year. The last couple of years have been spent heads down, doing the (client) work. We’ve been working really hard to build the business. Now, I want to get back to building our brand.

In 2018, I’m making it a priority to return my energy to the platforms that we owe our business growth to in the first place. This means:

  • You’ll be seeing a lot more from us in your inbox as we start blogging more regularly again.
  • You’ll be gaining more insight and tools from us. We’re currently working on launching a new campaign to help you step up our social media game in 2018.
  • You’ll also see a lot more activity on our own social media channels, which have been somewhat neglected over the last year since we’ve been so caught up with our client work.
  • And you just may see more of us around town, as we hope to do even more in-person networking, conferencing and workshopping this year, seeking out groups that resonate with us (if you know of any upcoming events in the GTA, please send an invite our way).

We have other plans as well, which we aren’t ready to share just yet. But follow along with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and be sure to join our email list to stay in the know.

Finally, I want to send a giant thank you to our readers, followers, clients, family and friends. We know we wouldn’t be doing the work we’re doing without your support, and for that we are eternally grateful.

What were some of your most notable moments in 2017? What do you have planned for the year ahead? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.


Charlotte Ottaway

Charlotte is the founder of Web of Words. She helps solopreneurs and small business owners create real human connections online through blogging and social media. Her work has been published in Maclean's, Canadian Business, Zoomer, The Globe and Mail, The Huffington Post Canada and other Canadian publications. Better known by family and friends as Carly, she currently resides in Newmarket with her husband and fur-babe. To learn more, check out her portfolio at charlotteottaway.com and follow her on Twitter @charlottaway.