5 reasons why your business might be underachieving
This is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.
I'm sure you've had moments where you feel your freelance business isn't where it should be. You feel like you don't have enough clients or you aren't charging enough.
This is a question many freelancers face every day and it is unsettling when it enters your mind. For me, it's never left along with the feeling that I'm not good enough.
I'm sure you've had that feeling as well. It seems to make its rounds to each entrepreneur as they leap off the edge into the unknown. I can't tell you how many times it's entered my mind as of late.
Yes, this is what I want to talk about. I want to reveal the times when my freelance writing business hasn't been where it could be. Having a business is hard but it's harder when it isn't where it should be.
My services weren't what my ideal client was looking for.
In my business, I offer more than writing blog posts. I also offer to upload them onto your blog, maintain your social media, and upload your newsletter.
Before that, I offered services that weren't even close to what my clients needed from me. I didn't even realize that because I didn't ask them what they needed.
I offered social media management, blog post writing, and email management. This is before I completely rebranded my business into what it is now: Mystique MGMT.
My business didn't do so well during this time because I was winging it. Winging it is great in some cases but bad in others. This is a case where it is a horrible idea. You can take my word on that.
I was unsure of what I wanted to do.
The idea of winging it appealed to me since I've done that with almost everything in my life. Don't ask me about my grades in school. Let's just say I never studied, okay?
I was unsure of what I wanted to do or what my business stood for. I wasn't sure what I could even offer to my ideal client. My mindset was in the gutter during this period.
I had no idea how to uplift my mindset but I knew I had to do so fast. Otherwise, my business would go under and I didn't want that for sure!
I didn't want to have to go back to a corporate job where I would be helping achieve someone else's dream. Don't most freelance writers like the freedom freelancing gives them?
That's why I took the time over a weekend to do market research. I knew who my ideal client was but I didn't know what they would need from me.
I asked questions of them to see what they had the most trouble with in their day-to-day lives. That's when I discovered my current services.
My blog posts were not good quality.
When I first started blogging, my blog posts SUCKED. Yes, folks, sucked with all caps. I didn't know what I was doing at the time so I was winging it in this area as well.
I wasn't offering anything of great value like you should as a freelance writer. I couldn't get any guest posts because of it. I was pitching topics that were already discussed.
Of course, this messed with my mindset even more since this was in the beginning of my career. I wasn't sure how to structure a great blog post and I had to look it up.
I found a blog post by HubSpot about writing an introduction to a blog post that changed the way I was writing. I had always written the intros to blog posts last because I didn't understand how to do it.
Once I found that blog post, I began to write them first since I knew how to format it. Once I got that formatting settled, my content began to improve quite a bit. Blogging became easier for me.
I had no idea about SEO in the beginning.
If you had asked me a year ago what SEO was, I'd give you the funniest look. I had no idea what SEO was or how to put it into my website.
I knew as little as possible about putting my website onto the internet. SEO was at the bottom of that list even after I found out what it meant.
How am I supposed to know what my ideal clients were searching for on Google? I had done no market research into my clientele at all and it showed in my web-copy at that time.
I finally got the idea that I should find the keywords they are searching for when they need a freelance writer. I got into the headspace of an ideal client and begin to think of keywords.
It got easier and easier, especially when it came to coming up with blog content. They always tell you that having a blog with your website is the best way to go if you want traffic. They aren't kidding!
I didn't market my business at all.
At first, I didn't do any marketing other than a little SEO work. I was completely overwhelmed with everything I had to do to get my business off the ground.
My guest posts weren't getting accepted because I wasn't suggesting very original content. I never thought about using social media for my business at all.
I didn't even think about commenting on other blogs in my niche, in fact, until about a month ago. I had no motivation to put myself out there for clients to find me.
That showed in the way I sat on my behind, waiting for clients to find me. I was all but invisible during this time, not taking advantage of any Facebook groups.
After I figured out that I could use Facebook groups to my advantage, my marketing plan took off. I began to have guest posts accepted and I was gaining traffic from blog posts I commented on.
Things began to look up for my business rather quickly because of the way I approached things. I have a niche that is rather different than what is normally seen and it has a positive effect on people.
Marketing can mean the difference between your business's success and failure. People aren't going to choose a business they don't know anything about, are they?
How am I Doing Now, You Ask?
Now that I've gotten clear on what my brand as a freelancer stands for, my business couldn't be better. I have narrowed down my niche and I have blog posts that are better than ever.
I want to know what areas your business could use some work. Hey, maybe I can help with those areas too! Put them in the comments below, folks!
Lisa is a freelance writer and the founder of Mystique MGMT. She specializes in writing and uploading blog posts, uploading social media content, and uploading newsletter material for overwhelmed creative entrepreneurs. She is a Facebook addict and her website is http://lisafourman.com.