Home – New Forums Get productive April Marches On – A newly minted soloist

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  • #987496
    Tom ISW
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    Hello all,

    My name’s Tom and I, as of today, am the head honcho of I Sell Words, my copywriting, content and consulting business.

    A month ago, after doing this part time…and after hours…and on weekends, I decided to go prime time. A short sit down with boss, a handshake and off I’d go a month later.

    That was, well, a month ago.

    My goals are simple goals, but “stretch” goals. Nothing too lofty (A Maserati in every driveway! Especially the one in Monaco!) but goals that are achievable and bit out of my comfort zone.

    – Attend at least one networking event, either advertised here or organise one of my own.
    – Increase my billable hours by at least 25%.
    – Work “on” the business less, i.e., having my marketing/websites/financials 100% order. (…or is that too lofty?)

    I’ll be tracking my progress here in the coming months. I think forums (fora?) like these are great for keeping us motivated since it keeps us accountable. I hope to learn from you and maybe impart some of my knowledge to all of you! (Keyword there being “maybe.” Probably.)

    What were some of your goals when you first started? Do you have any advice?

    #1163016
    MissSassy
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    Hi Head Honcho Tom

    Flying Solo is a hub of warm and helpful people

    Your goals are great but have you worked out ways of achieving these goals and put a time frame on them as this will help you to be more accountable.

    Happy to help

    #1163017
    Dave Gillen – Former FS Concierge
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    Hi Tom,

    Welcome to the forums, and thanks for your great introduction! Best of luck with your new trail and please do keep us posted on your progress. :)

    Dave

    #1163018
    Tom ISW
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    • Total posts: 180
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    MissSassy, post: 188504 wrote:
    Hi Head Honcho Tom

    Flying Solo is a hub of warm and helpful people

    Your goals are great but have you worked out ways of achieving these goals and put a time frame on them as this will help you to be more accountable.

    Happy to help

    Hi Kelly,

    Thanks for your reply.

    I have written down a plan to achieve these goals, but I haven’t put a hard and fast time limit on them. I think 30 business days seems achievable.

    I’m also using tracking software such as Xero, 88 Miles and Workflowy to track my progress. 88 Miles really helps separate how much I’m actually working from just unpaid marketing/working on the business.

    Thanks for the tips :)

    And thanks for your reply too, Dave!

    #1163019
    Tom ISW
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    • Total posts: 180
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    As an update:

    So I’ve posted my goal (on walls both plaster and electronic) to get more business in 30 business days. Here’s how I’ve fared:

    – I landed two new clients – one as a one off, and one with great potential to be quite consistent!
    – A business meeting with a potential client.

    What I did was reach out to my own networks. I left my “day job” because I thought my skills could be used better (and paid better) by people who don’t have the resources to hire a full-time marketing/comms/PR/writer what have you, but still need someone to do it.

    Still need to get along to a networking ‘do, so that’s next on my radar.

    I’ve also signed up for ServiceSeeking. The “leads” they throw at you are quite infrequent in my industry, compared to say, plumbing or electrical work. I’m considering buying a membership – does anyone else have experience with this? I’d like to hear your thoughts.

    Thanks all!

    #1163020
    Tom ISW
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    • Total posts: 180
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    Another update:

    – I’ve had a few one-off clients with some potential for long-term work, which is good.
    – One big potential lead turned down my proposal, which is kind of a bummer.
    – I haven’t attended any networking events as of yet. However I’m going to a meetup this Thursday that’s centered on professional development.
    – I’m turning towards outsourcing my financials and eventually get a virtual assistant.
    – Reading up on negotiation skills and taking online courses as much as possible.

    My goal for this month is to find and lock in those long-term, consistent clients.

    #1163021
    Anonymous
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    Great work Tom!

    I love the way you’re keeping track of your progress and sharing it with us all.

    Don’t worry that prospective client wouldn’t have been right for you anyway… there’s obviously something much better heading your way!

    Good luck,
    Jayne

    #1163022
    ShaniW
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    • Total posts: 32
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    Hi Tom,

    Congratulations on setting out on your own! I love the way you’ve posted regularly here to be accountable.

    Thanks for the heads-up about 88Miles. I hadn’t heard of it before and it looks good. How have you found it so far?

    Looking forward to celebrating your gains with you!

    #1163023
    Tom ISW
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    ShaniW, post: 191036 wrote:
    Hi Tom,

    Congratulations on setting out on your own! I love the way you’ve posted regularly here to be accountable.

    Thanks for the heads-up about 88Miles. I hadn’t heard of it before and it looks good. How have you found it so far?

    Looking forward to celebrating your gains with you!

    Thanks Shani!

    88Miles usefulness really, really depends on your vigilance. It’s up to you to begin and stop the timing. You have to form a habit around it, I think. I docked it as a tab in my browser and still forgot that it was there.

    It does email you at the end of each work day to log your time manually, but I didn’t find it useful enough to actually pay for. Maybe some day down the track.

    Timing myself and logging it in a workbook is essentially free. I offer a fixed price service, not an hourly rate (in most situations.) It was helpful in figuring out what fixed block of time I should charge.

    #1163024
    ShaniW
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    crushtor, post: 191093 wrote:
    88Miles usefulness really, really depends on your vigilance. It’s up to you to begin and stop the timing. You have to form a habit around it, I think. I docked it as a tab in my browser and still forgot that it was there.

    It does email you at the end of each work day to log your time manually, but I didn’t find it useful enough to actually pay for. Maybe some day down the track.

    I have to agree with you there. I find it incredibly difficult just to keep my motor vehicle log up to date, so on second thoughts perhaps this isn’t for me. I do schedule my day and time my tasks using 30/30 , which is free and I love. I’m not sure how adaptable it would be in terms of logging clients’ time though.

    I subcontract to oDesk as a Social Media Community Manager and they have a nifty app that sits on your desktop with all of your current contracts listed. When you go to start work, you click on the team you want, click ‘Start’ and it tracks your time back to the main site, taking screenshots every 10 minutes or so to prove you’ve working on what you’re supposed to. It’s a bit “Big Brotherish” that way, but in terms of tracking what you’ve done and keeping a record of it, it works like a charm. It would be great if there was something like that on the market.

    Thanks for the further info about your experience with it.

    #1163026
    Tom ISW
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    Thanks for the tip, Shani! Unfortunately I’m a big Android fan, so no app for me.

    As for other news, things are starting to slow at my end, which is giving me pause for thought.

    I’ve made a few good connections, but I want to push more and more, but I feel a bit stuck about what my next move ought to be.

    Quite puzzling.

    #1163027
    ShaniW
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    crushtor, post: 194836 wrote:
    Thanks for the tip, Shani! Unfortunately I’m a big Android fan, so no app for me.

    As for other news, things are starting to slow at my end, which is giving me pause for thought.

    I’ve made a few good connections, but I want to push more and more, but I feel a bit stuck about what my next move ought to be.

    Quite puzzling.

    Sorry to hear that things have slowed down for you a little, Tom. How did your networking event go? Are there any potential leads you can follow up from that? What about social media and joining groups via G+, FaceBook, etc? How about Bizz Buzz or something similar?

    You may very well have tried all of the above – just tossing out suggestions in the hopes that it sparks ideas for you.

    #1163028
    help4bis.com
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    • Total posts: 268
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    crushtor, post: 194836 wrote:
    Thanks for the tip, Shani! Unfortunately I’m a big Android fan, so no app for me.

    As for other news, things are starting to slow at my end, which is giving me pause for thought.

    I’ve made a few good connections, but I want to push more and more, but I feel a bit stuck about what my next move ought to be.

    Quite puzzling.

    Don’t give up now mate…

    Let us have a look….

    What is your business goal, so get your business canvas and put to paper. You sell words so that should not be to difficult.

    Your website…. yes… well it is not really a sales funnel or something appealing. Get some help from the people here

    You say your words sell… but it does not reflect in your work online (not attacking you just put a fl…re up your bum). It might be the colors, it might be the content…
    But you sell words and you start of with video???

    Have a think about this concept…

    Your site page has ONE WORD on it, one different every day/week whatever. Some uncommon word….this attracts people to have a look what you are up to and also shows that YOU are creative :-). Something catchy.

    Make your text bigger and your images smaller and less texts.. WORDS not sentences.

    Your services are, although all related not so much reflecting my initial thought. Copyrighting, content yes but the other stuff… not sure. Re-think.

    So what you should do…. Un-Puzzle….
    Do a business canvas, see the previous link… read through it you will find issues. Let me know the issues, can’t pay you but can provide you with website help, design, hosting etc.
    Happy to have a chat on skype help4bis and bounce some ideas….

    The key is that YOU get clear WHAT:
    – your key activities are
    – key resources are
    – what you offer….
    – who your customers are and what channels you going to use.

    I have a mate who makes a good living just doing what you do on fiverr…. :-).
    Can’t see why you would be stuck.. but if it is…. let’s get you unstuck :-)

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