Hi there! I’m trying out a new type of blog post where I share the ins and outs of what goes on behind the scenes of my business.
In all honesty, I’ve been hesitant to share these types of posts because it’s intimidating to me. I don’t have a huge following. I’m nowhere close to making millions. Who would care what’s going on behind the scenes of my business?
But then I realized these types of posts are my favorite to read. And just like how I started the Day in the Life series, you should write posts you like to read.
So, here I am, writing a post that I would want to read if I were just starting my freelancing business. Hope you enjoy!
Q1 2017 Business Update + Goals For The Next Quarter
But first, a little background
I started my online marketing business in January 2016. I had just moved to Dallas with my husband and dog, and we decided now is as good as time as any to start my own business, since I had to quit my job in Wisconsin to move here. We had zero connections in the area and I also had no online presence whatsoever and had never freelanced before, so I was building this thing from the ground up.
I initially offered social media services, but ironically most of my clients hired me for other online marketing services. Below is an explanation of the types of clients I work with and what my services look like.
Retainer client services
Most clients I work with are on a monthly retainer, where I do the same type of work each month. I occasionally do one-off projects (website copy, email funnels, podcast research, etc) but I primarily stick with monthly retainer clients. Here’s a breakdown of what my current clients look like (by the way, these are in no particular order in which I got them).
Client #1: Online Marketing Manager
I started primarily ghostwriting blog posts and email newsletters for this client. Then it progressed into other one-off projects (content audit, online shop audit, etc) and eventually, she asked me to come on as basically her online marketing manager. A lot can fall under that title, but here are a few of the tasks I do: Ghostwriting for their blog, email newsletters and funnels, create and launch marketing plans, grow their affiliate program, brainstorm and implement new ways to market their business…the list goes on.
Client #2: Social Media Manager
My only social media only client! I was introduced to a local real estate group that needed help maintaining and creating content for their Facebook and Instagram profiles. It’s been fun having a local client and a great way to get to know Dallas! I go into their office about once a week for an afternoon. I’m also starting to tour houses with them, so that will be really fun!
Client #3: Assistant to her clients
One client, whom I met via Craiglist (strange, but true), I help with her clients. She is an amazing copywriter and needed extra help with social media content creation, copywriting, launch planning, etc. So she is technically my client, but I get to work with her clients which has been an exciting way to connect with even more people!
She now lives locally so it’s nice to work with someone in person, instead of my usual virtual meetings.
Client #4: Ghostwriter
This client, who ended up being local (we met in a non-local Facebook group!), has me ghostwrite her blog posts every month. I’ve also written her email funnels.
Client #5,6,7,8, 9: Public Relations and Outreach
Holy public relations, Batman! Public relations has been booming for my business and for that, I’m so thrilled (and grateful!). PR wasn’t even on my mind as a service to offer when I first started but now it’s probably one of my favorite services.
Public relations and outreach can mean a lot of different things. I think when people think of PR they automatically think of a publicist for a celebrity, and while some of my clients are pretty big in the online world (not celebrity status…yet 😜), I also work with some clients that are smaller than you’d think.
Here are some of the PR tasks I’m doing for clients:
- Podcast outreach (getting them as a guest on a podcast)
- Podcast guest management (helping them get guests onto their own podcast)
- Writing pitches to media (this can be magazines, local media, websites, blogs, etc)
- Campaign management (for any special launches or projects they have for their business, i.e. a book coming out, a new series, etc)
- Influencer outreach (I use the term “influencer” loosely here because I believe making connections with all sorts of brands and industry people is important…not just people with a “huge” following)
As you can see, I do a variety of tasks but it all relates to online marketing and PR. I personally think small business owners can really benefit from using PR as a way to help grow their business. Perhaps I’ll do a blog series on it? Let me know if that’s something that interests you!
I put it out into the world that I wanted to sign on one more PR client this current quarter, and I ended up with 3 in one week (I talk about this later in the post). Talk about putting your goals out into the universe!
One thing I recommend to anyone starting out
My biggest tip for people just starting out is to talk about your business to everyone you know. Go to in person meet ups, talk with people on the phone or on Skype. Almost all of my clients have come from some sort of networking or referrals.
I’m currently coaching a small group of women and I gave them this advice, and what do you know…after only two weeks of coaching they all had potential clients come out of the woodwork and hired them for their services. This works, people.
I strongly believe that not enough credit is given to building relationships with other people to grow your business. You never know who you will meet, who will be introduced to, and what kind of work will come your way.
So currently a majority of my income comes from client work, which is awesome! However, now that my client work is on somewhat of a routine, I’m ready to dive into other revenue streams, which I’ll talk about below!
What’s coming up next
I have four big goals for Q2, which is probably not attainable but I like to torture myself 🙃. I’ll be super happy if I accomplish 2 of them, #justbeingreal.
1. Get one more PR client
My PR clients are so fun and I’m really hoping to grow that part of my business.
Ironically, at the time that I wrote this I didn’t have any prospects for this yet but now that I’m editing it, I’ve landed not one, not two, but THREE new clients! Writing your goals down actually works!
2. Launch a podcast
I’ve wanted to launch a podcast for years. I never had a solid topic idea but I knew I didn’t want it to be strictly marketing related. Once I launched the Day in the Life series, it hit me, this could make a really good podcast.
Several people (strangers even) say I should launch a podcast because I have a nice voice (ha!) so maybe that’s the universe’s way of telling me to start this dang thing.
Since I’ve already accomplished goal numero uno, I’m moving forward with the podcast. I’m sending out emails this week for potential guests, fingers crossed they say yes!
3. Grow my affiliate income streams
I should probably put an amount of money to this but to be honest, I just want it to grow at least some amount, ha. I feel like I’m established enough now that people can trust the products and services I recommend.
I take this very seriously and am only going to ever recommend products I know and love. I’m not looking to make a quick buck, I’m looking to grow authentic relationships with my followers, no matter how small my little group is.
4. Launch a digital product
I’ve had this on my list for…6 months? And I’m just now getting around to it! I think my biggest struggle I have had is maintaining my client work in addition to growing my own business. Client work is a priority for me right now, so anything new I want to launch always gets put on the back burner.
To help out with this, I’ve finally come to the conclusion that I need help. Up until this point I’ve done everything on my own.
Yes, I have a list of services I invest in, but I’ve never hired out or outsourced for any work and after a long discussion with my mastermind, I realized I don’t want to be a solopreneur working by myself.
I want a team that works by my side (either virtually or in-person). I don’t know why it took me what feels like forever to admit that but now that I have I’m hitting the ground running outsourcing #allthethings.
Currently, I’m in the midst of working with a graphic designer (ugh, I HATE doing graphics), a project manager (I can somehow do this for other clients perfectly well but for my own business? Nope. Not happening and nothing gets prioritized), and a virtual assistant.
I’m feeling better already starting these conversations with these potential contractors because I know once we get going I’m going to feel even more motivated to continue to grow my business. It’s true that “it takes a village” and I’m sure at the end of this quarter I’ll be wondering why I waited so long.
So that’s a comprehensive look at where my current business is and what I’m hoping to grow in the next 3 months.
If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below!
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