You’re waiting ages for a bus, then three of the stupid things turn up at once. Sometimes business is like that, right? Especially if you’re a freelancer of some flavour.
Feast then famine, feast then famine, then – BAM – you’ve got indigestion. And a headache. And you find yourself rocking quietly in a corner, binge-watching Firefly and lamenting its demise (yep. Still. I’m never going to get over that).
Thing is, that’s a symptom of a deeper problem that’s super-common to small biz owners. Super common. I still find myself succumbing to this particular problem myself at times.
That problem is: time. Or a lack thereof.
I bring this up now because Mike, who is in my Inner Circle, dropped me an email the other day and in it he mentioned that he’s got a new client (hurrah!) and a bunch of stuff to do for his networking group, who’ve given him an accolade for being splendid (hurrah!)… but he also said that he doesn’t know when he’s going to get any time for marketing.
Well, I know how that feels. Been there many, many times. Only last week, in fact, because that always happens when I’m out of the office.
Anyway, the thing is this: stop that thinking right now. Because you really, really do have to make time. Even if it’s only 30 minutes a day first thing, with your cuppatea, sit down and do it.
Cos if you don’t, here’s what happens:
“Yay I’ve got another client!” *workworkwork*
“Ooh! That cool company I sent an action plan to wants to go ahead this week! YAY!” *workworkworkwork*
“Crikey. Another client. I can’t say no, because I need the money and it’s all good stuff.” *WORKWORKWORK*
“ERM. Okay. No time for marketing at the moment! But that’s okay, because I’ve got five clients on the go and I’m not going to be short on cash for a while.”
“Phew! Got all those jobs done and dusted, just waiting for one more payment. Right. Er… Okay. What next? Shit. I’d better get some marketing done. Need to bring in the next bacon.”
*Looks nervously at bank balance*
*Notices increased heart-rate and wonders if a stress-related heart-attack is imminent*
*Binge watches Firefly and cries*
Okay, so some of this may or may not be from my personal past experience. Ahem. But my point is this: marketing is not an event. It’s not something you do to bring in some clients, then drop to work with those clients. It should be a continuous process that brings in a reliable, regular stream of leads from whom you can pick and choose.
Of course, if you can sell products and create funnels too, that’s the ideal, right? The closest thing to a passive income alongside your client work?
Does any of this sound familiar?
Honestly, the number of people who’ve read my book and told me that it was like reading their life (minus the more surreal moments, I suspect) is astonishing. Sometimes the most useful thing is to realise you’re not the only one who has no clue what’s going on.
(Psssst: we’re all making it up as we go along, you know. Terrifying thought, isn’t it? Particularly when you realise it applies to everyone equally including the people in charge of nukes.)
Anyway. If any of this sounds familiar, you should read my book Business For Superheroes because in it, I share all of my adventures in the town of Beans-Upon-Toast and give you a shiny little roadmap for how to get out of that town, through the rolling fields of Feast-and-Famine, and out the other side into the land of great clients, more cash, and less stress.
Vicky Fraser is a copywriter, author, and entrepreneur. She really did run away with the circus… but when she’s not swinging from a trapeze, she’s showing other copywriters and small business owners how to work with better clients, make more money, and stop missing bathtimes, first words, and dinners with angry partners. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Get your copy here.