Hello and welcome to 2018!
If you’re new around here, I started sharing quarterly updates about my business to give you all a peek at what it’s really like to start a business from the ground up.
They say to write blog posts that you like reading and I love reading these types of blog posts.
My hope in sharing these with you is to inform you on what it really looks like to intentionally build a business, encourage you when you’re feeling like you can’t go on, and help you realize that this ‘ish is a twisting rollercoaster that is always evolving and changing.
If you want a bit more background on my business as a whole, check out my update from last quarter.
I wanted to share what Q4 of 2017 looked like for my business as well as a look at what’s coming in 2018 and my word of the year. Hope you enjoy!
Uhhh, what? Where did this come from?!
This was not on my radar at all to attend, but one Thursday night I got it in my head to look up conferences in my area and lo and behold, FinCon popped up.
I had heard of FinCon before but had never considered going because, well, a financial blogger I am not.
But on this Thursday night, I was desperate to meet new people in person. I was having somewhat of a breakdown, feeling alone in entrepreneurship and really craving being around other people physically.
I’ve talked about the rollercoaster of running your own business, and of course, my husband and friends (both in the flesh and virtual) are amazing, but there’s nothing that beats in-person meetups where you can talk with other people who get it.
So when I saw FinCon pop up, and I was vaguely familiar with it, I decided on a whim to attend. I mean, it was happening 10 minutes away from my apartment so I basically had to go, right?
Attending this conference changed the trajectory of my business. Bold statement, but it’s true.
I had several huge realizations during this conference, but the one that stood out to me most was that for my own personal development and for the betterment of my business, I need to be going to more in-person events.
I met a group of girls at the conference that I immediately connected with, I got to meet Pat Flynn who was the person that introduced me to this whole world of online business, I even got a couple of clients out of it (maybe more, a few are in the works)!
Overall, my business is all about building relationships with other people and the best way to do that is in person. I have 4 conferences planned for 2018 and I can’t wait to see how else I grow as a person and business owner.
Lesson learned: Prioritize in-person meetups, whether it’s ones that are in your own city or traveling to conferences across the country.Check out how Q4 2017 went down for @BrittneyLLynn's business and see what her word of the year is for 2018! https://brittneyllynn.com/2018-word-of-the-year Click To Tweet
Speaking of connections…I connected with so many amazing people in Q4. Most were via a video chat or phone call, but several people I got to meet in person!
Alli Hoff Kosik
This girl and I were meant to meet. You may remember her from episode 010 of the podcast but that was just the tip of the iceberg.
We’re working hard on a fun project these next few weeks that I can’t wait to share more about and we’re even attending the Ignite Your Soul Summit with Amber Lilyestrom in April together so to say we became fast friends is an understatement. Can’t wait to meet her in person!!! Check out Alli’s blog if you want to know what it’s like to be a freelance writer.
Nevica and I are in the same circles online and I’m shocked it took us until last quarter to finally chat. Turns out, we’ve had several of the same clients and had no idea!
Nevica is one of the kindest people I’ve ever met and boy is she good at her job. I’m hoping I can find an excuse to travel to NYC to meet her. Are there any entrepreneurial conference I should go to in NYC?
I’ve followed Jessica for over a year now (can’t remember how I found her blog!) and since we started our businesses around the same time I’ve always loved following along. She’s also a fellow PR gal and I loved getting to talk shop with her.
She just celebrated her 2nd anniversary of leaving her corporate job and shared her top 10 popular blog posts. All are must reads!
Jaimie and I have been Insta-friends for a while but we exchanged services in Q4 and this girl…LOVE HER.
In exchange for her giving me an Instagram strategy (that allows me to actually BE myself), I gave her a 90-minute PR intensive and we both had so many breakthroughs. I love witnessing those “aha” moments with people.
Met up with my clients in person
I got to meet FOUR of my clients in person during Q4. This never happens so to be able to see four all in the span of a week was amazing. I feel really lucky to get to work with some amazing women (and men!)
It’d be amazing to meet all of my clients one day, but I currently have three overseas. Looks like I need to plan an international trip 😉!
Went to a FinCon meet up
Lucky for me, the FinCon team is actually based here in Dallas and they have a local meetup every quarter. Of course I had to attend after going to the conference!
Everyone that’s in the FinCon community is incredible (and so nice), I feel so fortunate to get to hang with these people. I even got to speak with PT, the founder, of FinCon for a bit about PR. Who knows, maybe I’ll get the opportunity to help out even more! I already booked my ticket for this year’s conference :).
Lesson learned: Have Skype dates, phone calls, or grab lunch with people you admire. You never know what ideas could pop up out of these conversations.
Let’s quickly review my Q4 goals before we get to the good stuff: my word of the year for 2018!
My word of the year for 2017 was Growth and holy heck did I grow.
Whew, I got tired just typing that out!
But in all seriousness, 2017 was an incredible year of growth for me, in more ways than I expected. The part I’m most proud of is the mental and emotional growth I’ve done.
Going to therapy regularly really helped with this and while it may seem odd that I’m sharing this part of my life with you, it’s not to me.
My mind is what runs my business. If I’m not mentally in a good headspace, I can’t be the best business owner I know I can be. Going to therapy and having someone to talk to about my fears, struggles, and stresses extremely helped me. It’s even what I credit for accomplishing all I did this past year.
If you aren’t taking care of yourself, who else will?
Now, for my word of the year for 2018…
I’ve never been someone who likes the spotlight. I’d much rather be behind the scenes. Which is fine, I’m not ashamed of that in the least.
But, I do think much of that has to do with fear of being seen, not necessarily because I do my best by being behind the scenes.
I’ve never liked rocking the boat. I prepare myself so I know exactly what to expect in any situation. The thought of offending anyone or even disagreeing with someone gives me a lot of anxiety, so I often say nothing.
These things aren’t inherently bad, but there are times that I wish I’d spoken up.
I want to be more visible in my own personal life: sharing my thoughts and ideas about topics that may be different from other people, standing up for the people in my life, standing out in my faith and Christianity, etc.
I also want to be more visible in my business: going on podcasts, landing more editorial interviews, doing more live videos, etc.
Putting myself out there will, of course, help me continue to grow as a person, but it will also help my business. I already had someone message me sharing that they appreciated me sharing press I’ve gotten for myself because it shows that I actually do know what I’m doing for PR.
I need to practice what I preach for myself, even though it’s slightly terrifying.
I hope you enjoyed my Q4 business update and getting a look at what’s coming up next for my business.
I’m excited about the rest of 2018 and would love if you shared your goals for the year too! Leave a comment below so we can cheer each other on.
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!
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.
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).
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.
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!
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.
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.
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:
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!