Today I am wishing happy first birthday to my business! Anyone who knows me will understand that this celebration will undoubtedly involve cake. But I am also reflecting (fork in hand) on the year that has gone by.
This time last year I started work for my very first freelance client. By the New Year I had a business name, a logo, social media pages and then in February I launched my website. The year has been jam packed and I am so proud to now have a thriving business with some fascinating, inspiring and lovely clients.
So what have I learned from a year of providing freelance admin and marketing support? The first things that spring to mind are:
- Imposter syndrome is real!
- Own up to mistakes straight away and try to put them right – your clients will respect you for it
- Say no when something doesn’t feel right for your business. Your time is precious!
These are issues that most people face, and having a few strategies and perspectives that really help me in these areas is what prompted me to launch my first online video course – “Overcome the Overwhelm” – which is available on my Resources page. There are so many tips and techniques that have helped me with my confidence, with tackling the day-to-day overwhelm and with thinking about my goals, that I wanted to share them and hopefully free up a little time and headspace for others.
There are a handful of business celebrities who can always inspire me to action and to reach for greater heights, and they have certainly been a big feature of my first year. Denise Duffield-Thomas’ book helped me to think about and set financial goals. Kate Northrup’s Instagram posts encouraged me to launch my first online course – “better an oops that a what if” as she says. Marie Forleo’s interviews on MarieTV and Tim Ferriss’ podcasts are always so interesting and packed with important ideas and perspectives. I would highly recommend those to anyone wanting to progress in their career.
I have also learned a good few things from my clients and the work that I have done for them. If you are running your own business, my advice from one year in would be:
- Always get outside eyes on your website – what makes sense to you because you know the business might not make sense to your prospective clients
- Not everyone understands that messages need to be shared and retweeted. If you are expecting people within your organisation or group to share your messages you need to tell them that
- People will often connect with you on LinkedIn when they won’t engage with mailshots or marketing calls
- It is so worth getting someone in to do your filing if you are overwhelmed with paperwork. The time and headspace it saves will free you up to move your business forward
- Regardless of what you charge, you can make yourself affordable by offering to work within a client’s capped budget, so they know that you will not charge them more than an agreed amount each month. If they want more of your time in any given month that can be agreed separately, but a capped budget gives them reassurance
- Google is your friend! Anything you don’t know how to do, someone has already put the answer up on the Internet
Something that I talk about in my course, and that I certainly try to get across to my clients, is that overcoming the overwhelm and getting more organised is much more about encouragement and positivity than it is about rigid systems and scolding ourselves. We are all far too hard on ourselves for the things we imagine we cannot do. Work with who you are and how you function best and the rest will fall into place.
Oh, and lastly, many online admin jobs are best done in a coffee shop with a latte in hand!
Thank you so much for all of your support. Bring on year number two!