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Freelance Writing Success, Issue #020 -- Gear Up for 2014
December 10, 2013
Gear Up For 2014
Business Tips to Make 2014 Your Year for Success.
The anticipation of a new year always brings on feeling of a new start. It's a time to re-evaluate what's working and what isn't in your business and improve on those things that are taking up time but not moving you toward your goals.
When you are a freelancer and work for yourself, it's important to take some time and set new goals for the year ahead so today I am offering 10 questions to ask yourself that will give you ideas on what you want to accomplish in 2014.
All I ask is that you consider each question carefully. So many of us tend to breeze through the ideas and advice that can make a big difference in our business and bring us bigger profits. But by considering these ideas and actually implementing them, you can find more success in the new year!
Whatever your goals are for the new year, write them down! First of all, it is so surprising to me that people don't take the time to think about what they want to accomplish, but then don't take the time to write it down.
By having your goals in writing, and keeping them where you will see them you greatly increase the chances of working toward them.
Start by evaluating where you are now and then really think about where you want to be by this time next year. Write down each goal and why you want to reach it. This will help you to really grasp the feeling of why you will work to reach the goal and lead you to take steps in accomplishing it.
2. What Tasks are you doing that you could be outsourcing?
We tend to spend a lot of time spinning our wheels trying to do tasks that are low priority or that we are just not good at or don't enjoy.
Write down time sucking activities and see where you could outsource the ones that will actually free up your valuable time or even bring you more money.
When you know something could increase your profits but don't do it because you just don't have the time, think about hiring someone who can do it for you. The increased profits will pay for the service and it will be one thing you don't have to worry about.
3. Do you thank your clients?
Taking some time to thank your clients does so much for your business. First of all, it shows our clients that we appreciate them working with us when we know they have choices in who to give their business to.
It also allows you to stay in touch and in the forefront of their minds so when they know someone who needs your services, they can feel good about referring you.
It's also just good business. We all want to work with someone we like and a thank you shows a lot about who you are and what is important to you.
4. How can you increase your value to your existing clients?
As a copywriter, my clients know that I can write their websites, newsletters and articles but I have to take the time and tell them that I can also offer a full marketing plan that includes all those writing tasks and implements social media to give them a brand.
What other services could you offer your clients to make their lives easier? Really think about this because you may be surprised at how you can offer more and add a new stream of business to your existing one.
5. Are you networking with the business community?
Networking is a valuable tool in marketing your business. It's a good idea to join organizations and actually attend to mixers because you never know who you may meet that is in need of your service or knows someone who is.
6. What concrete tasks will help you to increase your business in the new year?
It doesn't have to be complicated but having a plan is a must if you want to see results. My best advice is to start with 2 or three things and do them regularly.
The first is to have a website. We are a tech savvy world and the opportunities are huge. Think about it, it's so amazing that we can do business with people all over the world so a website is a necessity. It's the way we decide who to work with in so many instances and a gateway to marketing your business day & night.
The second thing I advise my clients to do is to incorporate a stay in touch plan. The best way is through an ezine or online newsletter like the one you're reading now. It allows you to let your clients know that your here for them when they need you in a way that also offers valuable information to them.
You can also think about using direct mail letters, postcards, monthly recipes, birthday reminders or a number of other activities.
7. Do you have a way to keep track of current clients as well as potential ones?
It's important to have a client database where you can easily locate a current client or one that you have been talking with about the possibility of working with them. Create a system that makes sense for your business and keep it simple so you will use it.
8. Do you consider the phrase what's in it for me? when thinking about your clients needs?
Before anyone hires you, you need to understand that the only thing they care about is "what's in it for me." Meaning, what benefit do they get by working with you?
Knowing what you have to offer is the most important thing you can do for your business. Keep it simple and be sure to tell potential clients how they benefit from working with you.
9. Are you being productive in your daily tasks or are you just really busy?
Checking email six times a day isn't necessary and neither is spending three hours on Facebook. Write down the tasks you want to accomplish the night before so when you begin your workday you don't find yourself distracted by all the shiny objects.
10. Do you have a separate place to work from where you eat and watch TV?
I understand this isn't an option for everyone, but if you can, have a dedicated space for work only so when you are in that space, you know that it's time to work and not time to be on the phone or searching the net for anything other than something work related.
You would be shocked at how this one thing can change your mindset and increase your productivity.
Well, those are my ten tips. I hope you take the time to use what is relevant to you and your work to set big business goals for the new year!
To your success!
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Talk with you soon,
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