By now it has become clear that the weekly work diary well, is not weekly. I could make excuses but the truth is, I’ve been failing at giving my business the time and love it needs. After listening to a few of my favourite podcasts, I’ve given myself a kick to realise that the only person standing in the way of me making time for my business is spoiler, me. It’s so easy to prioritise client work and just about everything else before your own business, but it’s also very difficult to grow or adapt that way. Since I’ve been writing more for my blog and putting my focus into a few little business side projects I feel so much more excited about the months ahead! Here’s what else I’ve been thinking about this week.
A note on finding dream clients
The no. one question I get asked about being freelance is how do I find clients? The short answer is primarily word of mouth and referrals, but there’s also an exercise I believe in. This exercise is making a bucket list of dream clients. The idea is that it will help you to get really focused on what you want to do, whether that’s in the beginning of your journey or later on.
I did this exercise a while back and I realised that what I’m really passionate about is the marketing behind tech and SaaS companies. This is the work that’s never a chore for me, that I feel truly passionate about. It’s the work I think about in the shower and geek out over on Twitter. Sure there is other work I enjoy a lot for the right clients and the right industries, events is definitely a second vertical to me and one that has spanned my entire career but it doesn’t hurt to get razor focused. These days when I get approached by a beauty brand, I could take on the work and do a half decent job. I’ve worked with beauty brands before sure, but I’d rather direct them to awesome companies and people I know who can really specialise and then focus on what I’m good at.
Listening, Reading, Writing
I’ve been making so much more time lately to read actual books, write and listen to Podcasts and I am feeling about a million times happier because of it. When I was a kid the highlight of my school holidays was to go to the library, choose the maximum amount of books they would let me check out, go home and read them all within a week. I’d forgotten how much I love doing that and having a busy work/social/family life, it often isn’t possible to just curl up with a book! But in making the time to do so, here’s what I’ve been enjoying over the past few weeks:
Listening – Seeking Wisdom by the guys at Drift is still my favourite Podcast right now. It’s no nonsense business advice that could be applied pretty much anywhere and the rhetoric between Dave and DC had me seriously considering buying a ticket to go to Boston and attend their conference – that’s how good they are. How to get a promotion is a particularly good episode. Listen on iTunes here. I’m also dipping back into Being Boss and love Hashtag Authentic by Sara Tasker which has some really great marketing gems in it every week.
Reading – I basically read this post from one of my favourite bloggers Lauren and went out and bought two of the recommendations. She was 100% right – We are all completely besides ourselves is one of the best books I’ve read in years! It’s difficult to say much without giving away the story so all I will say is READ IT I BEG OF YOU. If you’re a literature geek like me and love books that break the fourth wall it’s definitely one for you. I also bought Caraval by Stephanie Garber which was a nice teen fiction type read and Katie Khan’s Hold Back the Stars which I’m just starting on.
Watching – Bates Motel! We have one episode to go of Series 4 and I think it’s been my favourite yet. As someone who studied Alfred Hitchcock, the way they have done the story justice is incredible and the acting of both Norma and Norman are superb. Next up will be 13 Reasons Why, as the internet seems to be going crazy for it!
Collaborations and just asking
Lately, I’ve had two awesome client/collaboration projects because I’ve just reached out. By that I mean contacting two figures I admire by email, saying hi or finding some mutually beneficial way we could collaborate or how I could provide their audience with value. Both were/are fairly big influencers in their industries, live the other side of the pond (so not much chance for a coffee) and yet both have replied, have been excited about what I’ve proposed and I’m excited to say have said yes! So my business advice this week is…just ask! You never know what might happen.
The Content Creation Gap
Recently I created a presentation called The Content Creation Gap for an in-house marketing team looking to get better at producing the right content for their audience and thinking outside of the box.
We looked at why we need, believe and create stories, how our stories (and particularly our brand stories) become constrained over time and how to break out of this trap. I had a lot of fun creating it and I’m considering making the slides public. I’d definitely love to do more of this in the future too – sometimes I think a good 30-minute lunchtime session can help create a new perspective and give ideas to a static team. I know I wish I’d had more of this when I’d been in-house!