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How to Survive the Quiet Months as a Self Employed

The earning potential of a freelancer or self employed is limitless, unlike being an employee. As a self employed person you determine how much you want to earn so long as you back it up with the work that will make that figure possible. In a 9 to 5 you’re only entitled to a fixed salary from month to month.

There are pros and cons for each career path, so it all depends on what matters to you. Working from home works for me and my family at the moment, and I don’t see that ever-changing. I enjoy my work and the flexibility it brings. Plus, I make more money every month than I did at my previous traditional 9 – 5 job.

 

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Although being self employed is great, there are times when you face those dreaded quiet months where the inflow of projects or gigs is slow. This can pose a challenge in your life. However, if you’re prepared for those quiet months you’ll be unperturbed when those months knock at your door. Here are some quiet months survival methods for when you are struggling with new ideas to bring in money.

 

Survival Tip #1: Plan ahead

As much as planning for success is important, you should also factor in moments when things may not work according to plan. That’s where most self-employed miss it. They don’t expect that anything can go wrong, but that’s nearly impossible in real life.

Have a list of all the things you want to achieve next month and how you will make them happen. Now on another list write all the mishaps that could probably happen and how you would get over the problem.

This little exercise will give you a realistic perspective of your monthly goals as well as a road map out of possible things that may go wrong. The idea is not to focus on the negatives but rather help you make necessary improvements to smash your goals.

 

Survival Tip #2: Contact previous clients

Clients are the livewire of your business. So, if you’re having quiet months then you have a problem. The good news is that you don’t have to go very far before you can get clients.

One of the ways to get clients to patronize you is to reach out to your previous clients. Ask them if they have any projects you can help them with. Give them offers that will make them come back.

If they aren’t ready to hire you for the month, don’t stop there. Ask them if they know anyone who would need your service or product. You’d never know how many gigs can come out from just asking. Reach out to various corporations and see what happens.

 

Survival Tip #3: 10X your outreach

During those dry spells, you have to put yourself out there constantly and consistently so that more people can know about you and the products and services you offer. The more people know about what you do, the higher the chances that someone will buy from or hire you.

There are so many ways you can put yourself and your business out there. You can join meet-ups or other networking events and connect with people. Guest posting to showcase your expertise and attract your target audience is another great idea. You can help your target audience with problems or questions they have as a way to let people know what you can do. Pitch to companies or small businesses you can offer your services to.

 

Survival Tip #4: Promote on Social Media

Never estimate the power of social media. With the help of social media, you can be based in the UK, but still reach people as far as Detroit or from China. Ensure you always promote your business on social media. Make use of the social media platforms that work best for your kind of business and get the word out there.

 

 

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These survival tips are tried and tested by me, and have worked beautifully for many years now.

How do you handle the quiet months in your business? Do you have any tried and tested tip to share with other self-employed persons? Please drop a comment in the comments box below.

If you enjoyed reading this post, remember to share it on your social media platforms.

 

*Collaborative post.

 

 

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How to Effectively Work from Home

Working from home is a great opportunity. If you have the privilege of working from home, I say grab it with 2 hands. It is good to be able to work from home or anywhere you find yourself. But it can be very tricky when it comes to finances. Working from home can also have both a positive and negative affect on your mental health.

It’s very important to set up a good space to work in that will allow you to work effectively and feel comfortable. The following tips are helpful for anyone that works from home whether you are launching your own fashion label, studying an online RN to BSN program, or are employed by a company.  

 

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Here are five tips to help you squeeze the most from working from home.

 

Setting up the work space

The first step, in setting up your office is to declutter the space.  A distraction free environment will allow you to focus on work. So set up your owkr space and get rid of any clutter or distraction. 

 

Furniture

There’s a very strong chance you’ll need a desk, even if you are working from a laptop. You will want to spread out and be able to focus on your work.  The most basic office furniture checklist comprises a desk, a supportive chair, a bright lamp, and some type of file storage system.

What you sit in is extremely important, as you’ll likely be sitting in this chair upwards of eight hours a day.  For this reason you’ll want a chair with decent ergonomic support and plenty of padding as you don’t want to be suffering with a bad back due to your desk and chair set-up.

 

Work when you should

It’s all too tempting for you to lose focus on your work when working from home. Especially with the many social media platforms. You have to have the discipline to work when you should, or you will spend the time doing nothing productive. 

 

Have a routine

Working from home can be both a blessing and a curse; on the one hand your commute is now limited to going from your bedroom to your home office, which has huge benefits in terms of convenience, but it can create a less focused emotional state if you’re used to a morning ritual of getting dressed in business attire (rather than sweatpants or your dressing gown) and being around colleagues in a similar state of ‘working’.  

 

The most important thing in terms of having a routine, is that it provides structure and keeps you focused – set yourself a lunch hour between a set time each day, or adopt the approach that many successful people take which is to get dressed for work, as if you were going to the office, rather than sitting around in your underwear.

Do you work from home? What do you think of these tips? Please sound off in the comments section below.

Thanks for reading.

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6 Ways to Build Brand Awareness for Your Small Business

Have you ever thought of ways to build brand awareness for your small business? Regardless of whether you own a brick and mortar business or an online based business, you need to promote your brand.

When your target audience recognizes your brand and acknowledges your brand as the go to for their specific need then you have been able to create brand awareness.  Brand awareness is what will make your business name stand out from the rest.

If you’ve been struggling to get your brand recognized by your target audience, you will find these 6 ways to build your brand awareness tips useful.

 

Build brand awareness with a unique personality

This to me is the first thing that you need to get straight. Most small business owners think that if they “copy” their competitors they will be able to leverage on the existing market. The truth is that people get tired of seeing the same thing over and over.

What will make your business stand out is when you do something unique and when you have a distinct personality that people can relate with. Decide on how you want your target audience to remember you. Once you’re clear on this, all the activities that you do to channel your brand awareness will be very powerful.

 

Put your story out there

Sharing your story and brand message is an effective way to put your brand out there. People relate with stories easily and at an emotional level. The aim behind sharing your story is to create a connection with your target audience.

You can tell the story about how you started your business or your client experiences. The best place to share your story is on social media or to guest post in industry related blogs.

 

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You can also put your name and your story out there by taking it everywhere you go. A good way to do this is to have your brand name/message printed on T-shirts. The great thing about this strategy is that there are now companies like Printsome, who offer quality bulk T-shirt printing services. This is fab way to raise brand awareness.

 

Set up a referral programme

Referral programme is an effective way to use word-of-mouth to spread the awareness of your brand. It works by creating an incentive for your clients for referring your product or service to their friends. When their friends/readers pay for the product or service you offer, they are immediately given a gift which may be in form of a discount.

 

Engaging in local partnership

Partnering with a parallel or complimentary local business is another good way to increase your brand awareness. You can leverage on the existing brand awareness of a local business to build your own brand awareness. Find out how your product can be used as a way to compliment another local business. For example, if all you sell is lipstick you can partner with a local business that specializes in selling eyeliners to create a combined package that people can buy.

 

Influencer marketing

Influencers with a large and engaged follower base can help increase your brand awareness. You can reach out to influencers to help you put in a good word for your business and the products or services that you offer.

When it comes to making use of influencers, make sure that they have good engagement rate and that they are targeting almost the same audience you are appealing to. I offer blogger outreach services alongside blogging, so do check out my portfolio page for more information.

 

Invest in ads

To get the word out quickly, investing in ads is the best option. With a little investment you can have your brand name out there. You need to make sure that the copy on the ad is compelling enough to get your target audience’s attention.

Facebook ads are quite effective as almost everyone is on Facebook. The Facebook ad targeting is so sophisticated that you can easily laser in to your ideal clients. I would be writing a post on my experience with Facebook ads in a few weeks, so do watch this space.

 

How do you build brand awareness for your business?

 

*Collaborative post.

 

 

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