During client meetings, your smart marketing ideas fly around like popping popcorn. ::POP:: There’s another brilliant idea!
Your clients’ files, marketing calendars and upcoming posts are organized, color-coded and scheduled.
You are a marketing ninja when it comes to your clients.
Your own site…not so much.
It’s funny how we neglect our own sites. We know how to help our clients. We can instantly see new opportunities and break down exactly how to make the necessary changes.
Yet, our own marketing goes untouched. There’s nothing in the sales pipeline. Our marketing collateral is outdated. And bigger projects – like performing a content audit on our own site – seem insurmountable.
If you’ve been beating yourself up about not marketing your business properly, know that you’re not alone.
And also know that it’s time to snap out of it and get to work.
Here are some common challenges freelance copywriters face – and how to fix them.
If your problem is…
You’re trying to be Superman (Or Superwoman.)
You’re handling all your bookkeeping, administrative and web duties yourself. Installing a WordPress plug-in can suck up half a day. Invoices aren’t getting sent because you don’t have time. You keep meaning to blog, but there are templates to update, client work to complete and emails to answer.
Hire a virtual assistant, fast. No, it’s not a luxury. It’s a business necessity. Hiring a VA can take the busywork off your plate and let you focus on more important things. You know, like completing client work and making money.
You know your marketing isn’t “right,” but you’re not sure how or why. What you do know is you don’t like your site, you’re not thrilled with your web copy and your messaging is across the board. You don’t have a niche. You don’t have an unified message. You’re in your own head all the time and you can’t figure out next steps.
If you’re in this space (and yes, I’ve been there,) It’s time to shake up your thinking and do something different.
Here’s a reality check: If you are this stuck, you won’t be able to figure out a solution by yourself. Your brain is officially tapped out. Instead, you’re going to need some outside intervention. Talk to another freelance writer and see how she can help. Work with a marketing consultant or take a training that offers group coaching.
It’s amazing how another person can instantly pinpoint what’s wrong with your marketing and come up with fast solutions. You know, just like how you help your clients. :)
You don’t have a plan.
You’re kicking out your marketing in spurts, but nothing about it feels cohesive. You haven’t researched your keyphrases in ages, you’re never sure what to blog about and you have no guest blogging ideas. You have fantastic marketing brainstorms, but they never get past the idea stage.
It’s time to get anal about your time management techniques. It’s important to get those ideas out of your head and on paper. Try setting aside non-negotiable planning time. My favorite technique is to hang out at a favorite cafe one day a month and map out my marketing. Plus, it almost feels like a “day off” – which is a huge bonus.
Resist the temptation to reschedule your marketing appointment because “something came up.” Something is always going to come up. Take the time anyway. Besides, the break will do you good.
You don’t set aside implementation time.
You’ve got a marketing plan – great! But the implementation is what’s difficult. Client work sucks up your available time. And, wow, the email – it’s like you can spend the entire day just responding to messages.
You know how you schedule client work in your calendar? Good. Do the same thing with your projects. You may dedicate one hour every day to your marketing. Or, one day a week (and no, don’t work on client work that day.) Remember that you are your most valuable client. If you get in the habit of handling your marketing from 12-1 every day, you’ll always get something done and will see some fun financial rewards.
You need accountability.
You’ve tried scheduling. It hasn’t worked. Now, you’re behind, you feel guilty and you think you’re worst freelance copywriter in the world. You have no problems hitting deadlines for your clients. Why can’t you hit them for yourself?
Find an accountabilibuddy. It could be a coach, a friend, your partner or another writer. Write down all of your marketing tasks (including the deadlines) and send them an email outlining your progress. If you don’t hit your deadlines, give them permission to call you on it.
Studies have shown that accountability, commitment and writing down goals will make you more successful, more often. And besides, it’s nice to have someone in your corner who cheers on your success.
What about you? What techniques to do you use to keep yourself on track?