Posted: 2nd January 2016
10 Top Tips for 2016 – or Wot I Learnt in 2015
1. Add a Facebook Admin
If you have a Facebook Business Page, make sure you add a trusted friend to be your Admin. They can then re-appoint you just in case Facebook locks you out. It has happened…
2. Ask for 50% upfront
If you’re providing a service such as copywriting, ask for 50% of the cost before you start work. If they value what you offer, they’ll pay. If they quibble, you might want to assess whether they are a good bet to work for.
3. Buy a laptop
Tablets were not designed to run a small business. Invest in a cheap laptop so you can easily switch between emails, social media and spreadsheets. Your frustration levels will drop dramatically.
4. Don’t leave your digital shop window to languish
Your website might be last on your list, but 90% of customers go to Google or websites to research products and services. If you’ve talked about ‘this year’ and mean 2015, you need to update it. Any typos will put customers off, so make sure you check.
5. Work out your elevator pitch
It doesn’t have to be fancy. Two clients approached me after they heard me at a WiRE meeting saying “I love words”.
6. Don’t be afraid of the competition
I know lots of fellow copywriters and social media bods. We all excel in different areas or prefer to do different things. So refer each other or team up. There is space for everyone!
7.Too shy for networking?
If you feel shy networking, sign up for courses in business. You will learn something new and have the chance to meet local firms and fellow entrepreneurs.
8. Try a Twitter Hour
These are great live tweetalongs for local areas or industry sectors. Search for #WiREHour on Tuesdays between 7 and 8pm. You can make new contacts, ask questions or just sit back and watch the banter unfold. In 2015 the #BroomOfDoom and cockerels were a hot topic so who knows what 2016 will bring.
9. Have fun
If you’re not having fun working for yourself, then what’s the point? Embrace the flexibility to pop into the shops or go to sports day. Yes it’s a balance, but remember why you decided to set up your own business in the first place. Don’t replace the tyranny of the boss with that of the clock.
10. You are awesome!
I seem to spend a lot of time trying to convince my clients how amazing they are. It’s a trait in women in particular that we always find ourselves wanting. Remember there’s a whole tribe of 9 to 5ers who would love to set up their own business but are too afraid. Give yourself credit for taking that leap.
By Helen Reynolds of Ink Gardener Copywriting and Social Media
Helen loves words and hates jargon. She’s worked on the web since 1996. She can talk techy but can translate it for non-geeks. Her specialities include writing Google-friendly web content and coaching businesses in social media. Helen also runs an Ink Gardening Round for updating web content, writing blogs and sending out Tweets and Facebook messages on behalf of clients. She’s based in North Yorkshire but can work nationwide.