Well, 2015 has been an epic year for my business.
This year I'm feeling incredibly blessed & proud because I...
- Earned more money from my business than any other year. (In fact, I'm on track to tripling last year's income!)
- Launched another income stream.
- Invested more money in my business than I ever usually would. (When you earn more, you have to put more of it back into your biz!)
- Made incredible new business buddies!
- Published more in-depth blog posts and really made my blog meaningful.
Last year I barely blogged at all. I think there was a solid six months where I didn't publish anything, and then months when I published posts that were about 500 words long.
That's not good enough in this day and age of blogging.
Blogging has evolved insanely since I first started this blog three years ago, but I'm still grateful and thankful that I did start, because my business would not be where it is if it wasn't for this blog.
If you're considering starting a blog in 2016 then go for it. Blogging has brought me most of my clients (or helped them to build trust in my expertise), its what introduced a lot of my readers to The Shelancers Club, and it has provided me with a neat little place on the internet where I can share my thoughts and actually help other small business owners.
(By the way: Blogging for your business is the topic of the month in The Shelancers Club. If you want to watch the latest videos on creating a blog strategy for 2016 and planning an entire year's worth of blog posts, come along and join!)
I've written a lot of blog posts over these last three years. I mean lots.
So instead of writing something new for you today, I thought I'd compile a list of my most popular and shared blog posts of all time. Who knows- there may be quite a few in here that you haven't read before!
2015 was the year of community-building in the world of online entrepreneurship. It's like we all woke up on January 1st and realized that blogging and sending newsletters wasn't enough- we had to create Slack groups and Facebook communities, we had to reply to blog comments and continue the conversation, we had to jump on Skype and actually talk with our readers!
Community building rocks.
But a lot of you are still wondering why you should build a community and where to start.
What if you don't even have your first 100 email subscribers? What if you only have 15? Can you still create your own community?
Your social media profiles are more powerful than you think.
At the moment, your social profiles probably have a few words about what you do and a link to your homepage, right?
But you can do so much more with your profile than that.
Think about it: the more you grow your social following, the more people will start visiting your profile every day. These people are potential subscribers, clients and customers, so you need to strategically lead them where you want them to go.
Without a streamlined profile, you're losing countless potential clients every day.
Last year was a really amazing year for my business. I tripled my income, worked with some ah-MAZING clients on their brands and websites, made beautiful new business buddies and felt pretty darn proud of myself.
There was only one point in my year when I felt disappointed in myself and my business and that was around October 2015.
As soon as Fall hit, I packed my bag and went on my travels. I spent some time in Thailand and travelled from the North to the South, exploring Bangkok, spending nights in hilltribes and lying on beautiful beaches. Then I spent some time in Prague and Berlin.
Because I was busy travelling I didn't put any time or effort into promoting my design services and booking my next few clients. I just hoped clients would find me.
Boy oh boy was that a mistake.
Over the last few weeks, I wrote about 12 myths freelancers believe about social media marketing and why it probably hasn't worked for you yet. (I also made this cute Social Media Action Plan to help you plan your marketing strategies! You can download it here.)
Today, I'm rolling with that theme. But instead of talking about myths or things that have stood in your way of social marketing domination, I want to give you concrete actions you can take to find clients on social media and keep your business ticking.
27 actions to be exact.
Does this sound familiar?
You signed up to Buffer and scheduled a months worth of social media posts, but when they were sent out they barely got any attention.
You replied to tweets and Facebook posts that announced they were looking for someone with your skills, but none of them got back to you.
You came THIS close to deleting your social pages and cancelling your Buffer plan because social media felt like a waste of your time.
You've always winged it and got clients through referrals, so maybe that will be enough to keep your business going?
If that sounds like you then I want you to know I understand where you're coming from.
So you need to book more clients-- fast. You worry about money and how you're going to pay your rent next month. You see all these other freelancers getting booked out for six months but not you- your inbox is quiet and depressing.
You get most of your clients through referrals from past clients or other freelancers, so you focus your efforts on trying to bring in more referrals.
That's a good place to start, but as the saying goes- you shouldn't put all your eggs in one basket.
If you're a newbie designer, you're most likely a college student itching to get their work into the world and start living the freelance life.
Or, you're someone who has an interest or a qualification in design but you're stuck in a toxic day job that eats away at your soul. You want to quit and start freelancing. You want to be your own boss. You sometimes do freelance work on evenings and weekends, but it doesn't bring in enough money to enable you to quit your day job.
You need the income your day job provides. After all, there's rent to pay, food to buy, a car to run... Quitting your job just doesn't seem feasible right now. Especially since the bulk of financial responsibility will lie on your hubby. Leaving him to handle most bills by himself while you build the dream hardly seems fair, does it?
What is Pancake App? Why use Pancake?
Pancake is online invoicing, project management, time tracking and proposal software for your business. You only pay for it once and then you're done! No monthly payments snapping at your bank balance.
Pancake app does what Freshbooks, Quickbooks and Wave does- but better.
I've been using Pancake to invoice my clients for the last two years and even though I've tried a lot of other invoicing systems, they haven't come close to what Pancake can do.
Are you making it your goal to start a blog in 2016?
Or, if you already have a goal, are you planning on putting more effort into your blog next year? Are you going to try and turn it into a hub of advice and community?
Shaping your blog into a space for your community is one of the best things you could do for your business, and it's certainly something I'm going to work on in the new year.
Want to work on it together? Tweet me @neshadesigns with your blogging goals for 2016! I'd love to hear them.
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