Check yourself

quarterly questionnaire.jpg

This post isn't going to be the standard 2,000 words of me rambling about freelancing, copywriting, and strategy. But at the end, there is a sweet PDF for you to download! (hint hint)

This is all about checking in. 

As a business owner, it's so easy to get caught up in the 'grind.' You wake up, make yourself a large cup o' joe, sit down, and start crossing things off your never-ending to-do list. 

When you're so focused on the tasks at hand it's harder to step back and get an eagle's eye view of it all. How often do you stop and think about your overall strategy?

Well, I talk a lot about my copy process on this blog, and I'm going to talk about it again here.

Smack dab in the middle of my process is a check in point. I send my clients over a detailed outline with loads of notes on the structure, content, and tone I'm moving toward for the project. They look it over, add their notes and comments, and then and only then do I write.

Because how much would it suck to write an entire website and at the end the client doesn’t like the initial anchor for it all?

It keeps everyone on the same page and focused on the project at hand.

The mini-lesson: make sure you're going in the right direction before you dedicate a ton of time to something.

Now that I'm getting closer to my first-year mark of doing this whole business solopreneur thing, I realized I should do a check-in point for my own business. I needed to force myself to take the time to really look at my efforts and if I'm moving closer toward my goal. 

P.S. My goal is to practice my craft, make just enough to support myself, do fun workcations, and work on my forest farm.

Since I'm a total nerd for checklists and surveys I made myself one. 

I took the time to figure out what jobs I loved, what aspects of the business were taking too much time, what types of clients and projects I want to continue working with, and what in my process needs updating. I even poked around my website analytics.

Here are some things I learned:

I should post more on LinkedIn, not just because everyone says you're supposed to, but because LinkedIn brings high-value traffic to my website and even converts every now and again.

I spend too much time in meetings. I track all of my time spent with Toggl and meetings took up about 30% of it. Yikes. Now I'm figuring out how to cut down on meetings so I can spend more time doing, less time talking.

The projects I do for fun or for free bring me the best clients. I write a monthly recap for this amazing meetup called Rise & Design. I have gotten referrals and direct work from that amazing community and all it took was for me to take copious notes and write fun and informative blogs. Easy as pie.

Finally emailing my tiny list consistently has been key. Not only does it make sure I write for myself each week, it also has kept my community engaged and has even brought me a new client.

I tried doing an extended workcation early this summer and learned that my business isn't quite ready for me to do that. It forced me to figure out kinks and now I'm swimming happily along.

My work/life integration is going pretty well. I'm doing a good job of drawing lines where I need to and have been reading a lot more. Check check check!

 

This is only a few things that I learned from my audit.

My challenge to you: take the time to do one for yourself.

Download my questionnaire and fill it out every quarter or mid-year to see how you've grown.

It covers:

+ time - where are you spending your hours

+ money - are you making ends meet

+ marketing - how are your efforts going

+ activities in and outside of your business

+ people- clients and peers

+ life- what are you doing for fun?

 

Download the questionnaire

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