5 Valuable Tactics to Actually Improve Your Business ROI

If you’re a freelancer you’re a business owner. And as such, any time you can improve your business by streamlining or adding processes, the better you’ll do.

5 Valuable Tactics to Actually Improve Your Business ROI

Freelance writers and entrepreneurs have to play all the roles in a business. But if we’re not careful, we can get bogged down in the day to day and neglect the business building part of things.

Systems and processes are the secret to scaling but they take time and planning. And when you’re in the midst of just trying to keep up with your workload, these business improvement practices can easily fall by the wayside.

But if you want to improve your business, you must find time for this important groundwork.

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5 strategies to improve your business performance

Business building is a daunting task, especially when you’re also responsible for every other aspect of your company. Over time you’ll figure out which tactics and practices serve you and contribute to growth and which ones only distract.

There is definitely some trial and error for finding strategies that work for you. Here are five suggestions for places to start to improve the performance of your business. 

Identify bottlenecks

One of the quickest ways to increase your profitability and productivity is to identify and resolve bottlenecks. It’s difficult to notice these chokepoints when you’re zoomed into the details of your business and day-to-day work so take time to back up and look at the big picture.

To find where you can improve processes look at these areas.

Time

If you aren’t tracking your time, start. This feels like extra work, I know, but knowing how long it takes you to complete work is the only real way to understand where your bottlenecks are.

Look at how long projects take to complete and compare them to one another. Pay attention to the ones that are taking longer than they should.

Hourly rate

When you look at your prices versus how long it takes you to complete a project, does your hourly rate make sense?

If you’re unsure, here’s more about how to price your work properly.

Type of work

Look at your current clients and the type of work you’re doing. Is this the work you want to be doing? Are these the clients you want to have?

Here’s more about identifying your ideal reader or client.

Once you have identified the areas that need improvement you can develop strategies to address these areas. 

Automate processes

Technology is rapidly transforming the business landscape through processes like automation.

And these advancements are available for freelancers too!

Look at what’s available. Talk to your network and ask what other entrepreneurs are doing to automate their processes. Consider implementing the tools that make sense.

This may feel like it will take more time to set up and optimize than simply doing things the way you’ve always done them but automating and systemizing will allow you to scale down the road. The value cannot be overstated.

Want to improve your business? Ask for feedback

It’s easy to see your business through rose-coloured glasses. Or to only see issues from your point of view. Ask your existing customers for feedback. Ask trusted colleagues for honest advice. The truth may be scary to face but this is one of the fastest ways to learn where your weak points are.

Of course you may not choose to address every point that comes back to you, but there will be some feedback that you can and should act upon. There’s always something you can improve.

Keep marketing

Marketing improves brand awareness, increases client acquisition and adds to your overall authority within your industry. You will never regret doing more marketing, just make sure it’s the right kind of marketing for you and your business. 

Setting aside time each quarter to plan your marketing will allow you to focus your energy on achieving your goals and improving your business. And don’t take your foot off the gas if you’re full for clients. Your business will still benefit from marketing, even if your main focus shifts from acquisition to another area for a while. Keep marketing.

Prioritize training

How much time do you set aside for continuing education? Whether you’re a solo business owner or you have contractors or staff, equipping your team with the right skills will only benefit your business. Look at your skilllset. Where could you use some training? Consider your team’s skills and identify gaps. Invest in education and you’ll not only keep up with the changing business landscape but you’ll see improvements in other areas too.

If you’ve been in business for any amount of time then you know the landscape is constantly changing. You can count on that! But if you pay attention to areas where you can continue improving then you’re positioning your business for continued relevance and profitability. 

If you're a freelancer you're a business owner. And as such, any time you can improve your business by streamlining or adding processes, the better you'll do.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

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What’s a Social Media Manager and Why Should I Care?

I heard of the social media manager title years ago, but never considered I would or could be one.

What's a Social Media Manager?

I figured it was for someone else, someone who went to school for new media or social media management (things that didn’t exist when I did my bachelor of journalism).

But then my LinkedIn job suggestions started getting…obvious.

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But I’m a writer! Who cares about what a social media manager is!

Here’s a splash of what I see whenever I check LinkedIn Jobs to see what’s new and who’s hiring.

  • Social Media Coordinator
  • Copywriter
  • Office Administrator
  • An Open Letter to _______’s Future Marketer
  • Client Success Coach
  • Marketing Specialist
  • Social Media Manager
  • PR Consultant
  • Marketing and Events Coordinator
  • Brand Publishing Specialist

Keep in mind these are the jobs posted in the past seven days in my area, which LinkedIn thought I’d be a good match for.

If you’re a writer but have collected different skills, experience, connections, etc. you may have a different snapshot. But do you see what I’m talking about?

Two reactions come to mind I must choose between

  1. Wow, this social network doesn’t know me at all
  2. When did I become a social media manager?

So I begin wondering, what’s a social media manager and is it different from what I’m doing now?

Well I’ll cut to the chase, all 10 of these postings are about the same.

The type of work, the skills involved, the experience required, everything. No matter if it’s administrator level, coordinator level or management level. Now that’s confusing!

This tells me something

I need to understand all the ways people think of the skills I have—calling myself a writer without attaching any of the other keywords strips out nine of these jobs. Wow. Yet all require the exact same skills. OK…

What now?

Fluent in social media but wondering how to create a sustainable, effective Instagram strategy? I’ve written an ebook on exactly this topic!

This is a free resource but it’s a part of my resource library and to access it you’ll need a password. Pop your email address into the form and I’ll send it to you.

Once you’re in the library navigate to the social media section and look for “How to Create an Instagram Strategy ebook.”

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Here’s what’s in the modern-day social media manager’s toolkit

  • Fluent in social—all social (paying attention to social trends, dos and don’ts, what’s hot and what’s not)
  • Strong writing skills (with a specialization in content marketing/copy writing)
  • A people-first approach to everything (a service mindset, which not only has you listening to your customers and industry chatter but being engaged in your community)
  • Graphically inclined (not a pro, but you need the basics of design and video production)
  • Comfortable with social selling (and understanding how this is done)
  • Competent at SEO and analytics (yes you will have to run campaigns and reports)
  • Confident public speaker (yes you will have to use Instastories and Facebook Live—you may even have to speak on a panel…in person)
  • An understanding of human behaviour (you don’t have to have a psych degree but you do need to understand what works and what doesn’t, what people want and what they don’t)
  • Reasonable budgeting skills (show me the money! Er…show your clients how you’re spending their money!)
  • Adaptable (this industry is like a river—moving fast and constant, you have to keep up with the changes and adapt as necessary)
  • Curious and savvy (in order to succeed as a social media manager, you need to know what works—but if you’re ahead of the curve you’ll be able to move your clients’ business strategies forward faster and won’t be distracted by fleeting trends or vanity metrics)
  • Strong grasp of marketing (specifically strategy and digital, email, and funnel marketing)

If this seems like three jobs in one, you’re right.

And if it seems like a lot of different skill sets wrapped up into one, you’re right again.

But this seems to be where the industry is at these days and if you want to compete, you need at least a cursory knowledge of these tools.

Keep in mind the typical day-to-day tasks a social media manager executes each day are a little less overwhelming: writing and scheduling posts, running ads, replying to fans and creating graphics.

See? Not so bad. However, the only way this works is with a strong foundation—a strong social marketing strategy.

This is where the real value of a social media manager comes in. If you have good instincts and can build a strong strategy for your client, you are going to see great results.

So stay at it and invest in yourself!

5 Tips for Optimizing Your Social Media Profiles Free Ebook

By the way, if your social media presence needs a little work check out this free ebook in my resource library. You’ll need a password to access the library so pop your email into the form below and I’ll send it to you.

Once you’re in the library navigate to the social media section and look for “Social Media Profile Optimization Ebook.”

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Are you looking to level-up your business on social? Need a social media manager? Let’s chat!

Let me know what problems you’re looking to solve and I’ll be happy to send you a quote.

I heard of the social media manager title years ago, but never considered I would or could be one. I figured it was for someone else, someone who went to school for new media or social media management (things that didn't exist when I did my bachelor of journalism). But then my LinkedIn job suggestions started getting…obvious.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

* indicates required
I heard of the social media manager title years ago, but never considered I would or could be one. I figured it was for someone else, someone who went to school for new media or social media management (things that didn't exist when I did my bachelor of journalism). But then my LinkedIn job suggestions started getting…obvious.
I never considered I would or could be a social media manager. It was for someone else, someone who went to school for new media or social media management.

Valuable Advice for Freelancers | 3 Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Marketing yourself is a huge part of running a freelance business and yet these four marketing mistakes are made all the time. All the time!

Marketing mistakes for freelancers to avoid

There are all sorts of stats flying around about how Millenials all have side hustles and make something like $250 extra per month from them.

So everyone’s a freelancer now, right?

But the thing is, freelancing doesn’t have to be some sort of little odd jobs racket. But how do you turn things around and make real money from freelancing?

Marketing.

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Good marketing.

No marketing generally means no one hears about you or knows what you do.

Good marketing keeps your prospect funnel full and attracts your ideal customers to you.

Bad marketing means you enter the dreaded feast or famine cycle. Or worse.

The consequences of poor marketing is like taking random shots in the dark. Regardless of how great your product or service is, people can’t get a handle on what you do or who you serve.

Bad marketing means your message is muddled, inconsistent or muted.

Here are three marketing mistakes to avoid

Not having a marketing plan

Honestly, you won’t go wrong by investing the time in a solid marketing strategy.

It will take time or money, or both, to put it together but once you have it mapped out it’s a road map to follow. One that shows you where to pour your marketing efforts and helps you ignore all the shiny objects and other trends that only serve to distract you.

Trying to run a viable business without marketing plan is almost an impossible task.

Although you may find clients or grab bylines, your success will be scattered rather than strategic.

Every business needs a well-thought-through marketing plan that will help them target the right customers effectively without wasting a lot of money.

Another thing to note about marketing plans is you don’t have to create or implement these on your own. It’s not for everyone!

Only marketing when sales are low

Ugh.

If I hear a fellow freelancer bail out of marketing because they’re busy or have a full client load ONE MORE TIME….

Here’s the thing. You should always be marketing. Now, the intensity level may wax and wane as you have capacity, but the marketing machine should always be running.

So many business owners think they only need marketing when they’re trying to rustle up work. That, my friend, is how you get stuck in the feast and famine cycle.

It takes time for prospects to get to know you, like you and trust you. Not everyone is ready to hire the moment they hear about your service.

Keep up good marketing habits.

Considering marketing as a huge business cost

Do you think about marketing as a cost or an investment?

If you’re thinking of marketing as a horrible chore, then you’re doing it wrong.

Marketing should be an investment into your future business, and your marketing plan will ensure your messaging and positioning are allowing you to run the type of freelance business you want.

Figure out a way to reframe your view of marketing and stop making these marketing mistakes. If it feels icky then take a look at the tactics you’re using. They shouldn’t feel icky.

Change your tactics, don’t bail on marketing.

One more thing. I think you’ll enjoy my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

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Going Viral: What You Can Do To Make Your Content More Contagious

Have you ever wondering what makes something go viral?

Going Viral

Is there a secret?

What do viral-video makers know that you don’t?

Learn the what and how of going viral and a few tips for what you can do to make your content more contagious.

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Going viral: creating contagious content

It was my niece’s first birthday and her mother threw a party, inviting the whole family to join in on the celebration.

Everyone was excited to share in the festivities but the morning before the party, people began cancelling saying they weren’t feeling well.

But this was my niece’s first birthday! A big O-N-E!

With much pressure on, the family came together to save the party. Those who were feeling sort of better were encouraged to show up anyway and give my niece the party she deserved.

So they came.

And it was a lovely time. Good food, good conversations and good feelings all around.

Later that evening…

I haven’t vomited from being ill since I was a child.

But vomit I did, from midnight till 8 a.m. the next morning.

Who was the culprit?

No real idea, since there were a few people at the party who weren’t feeling 100 per cent and we spent the day switching children, changing seats, and grabbing snacks from the same bowls.

And I learned I wasn’t the only one. Most of the other non-sick party-goers spent the next day beside the toilet.

It all happened so fast.

One moment we were minding our own business, living life like normal, and the next we were swept up into a wave of vomit-filled illness by no fault of our own except for attending the party and enjoying ourselves.

What happened? Our party went viral.

Going Viral: The What and How of Creating Contagious Content

What does “going viral” mean?

Sans vomiting, going viral in Internet terms is seen as a good thing.

It’s what happens when a piece of content (article, photo, video, etc.) is shared, copied and otherwise spread across social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

How many shares does it take before something is considered viral?

I’m sorry to say, there isn’t an exact number.

Viral status is achieved when the proportion of people seeing the content and then sharing it increases over what’s usual.

I know, could it be more vague?

Think of viral sharing like a secret.

If you share a secret with someone, and that person shares it with someone else and then another, and another. Pretty soon everyone knows your secret.

But if the person keeps your secret, that’s where the sharing ends. It’s safe and no one knows about it.

The simple math of virality

Viral content is relative.

When you share a piece of content on social media, how many shares is normal? If you see your shares go up from normal on a couple posts, you can consider those viral.

However, if your shares go up and stay up then it’s the new normal. Not viral anymore.

Going Viral: The What and How of Creating Contagious Content

The more complicated math of true viral content

Of course, a few extra shares here and there doesn’t make a big impact.

We want to know about the life-changing kind of viral content like Chewbacca Mom’s laughing video or Mandy Harey’s deaf singing audition for America’s Got Talent.

How do you get those?

The next level of viral content

When you level up on going viral this is where stuff happens.

On day one a piece of content is shared and you receive your regular likes, shares, and website visits, plus a few extras. This (according to ShareProgress) is called “first generation.”

From there, a few of these first generation people share your content on their social channels and some of their friends check it out.

They’re called “second generation.”

By the second generation there should be more likes, shares and website visits. Now it’s on the second generation of visitors to share your content.

If a few more than the first round do this, then the third generation of visitors should be seeing your content. If this continues then you’ll see exponential likes, shares, and website visits.

This is where things get crazy.

In the simple viral example, you’ll have a bump of activity and then things will go back to normal.

In the next level of going viral, the momentum grows and keeps growing and, if you’re prepared for it, sends your life in a new direction.

Brainstorm Ideas for Writing Worksheet

Do you struggle with brainstorming content ideas? I have a worksheet for that.

This is a free downloda but it’s in my resource library and you’ll need a password to access it. Just pop your email address into the form below and I’ll send it to you.

Once you’re there, navigate to writing category and download the “How to Brainstorm Ideas for Writing Worksheet.”

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How do I make something go viral?

Yeah, sorry. I don’t know how.

Actually, I don’t think anyone does. No matter how many terms I Google, all I come up with is “there’s no formula, there’s no secret.”

But here are a few things you can do to help your content be ready for going viral.

Here are some reasons people are most likely to share something.

  • If they have a strong reaction to it
  • If they have a positive emotional response to it
  • They are more likely to share if they feel inspired by it
  • If they are surprised by it
  • If they find it practical and useful
  • People are more likely to share something if they think it will help someone

Where to go from here

Before you write an article don’t think about what will or won’t make it go viral, instead think about what will help and inspire your audience.

Think about what they’d like to read/watch/hear and then create it.

Be genuine, be real and be positive.

Here’s how Derek Halpern says it.

Positive uplifting content always gets shared. Remember, there’s a lot of unhappy people in the world, and while there are different reasons for being unhappy, content that is uplifting and inspirational helps people get out of their rut…even if it’s only for a few seconds.

I don’t know about you, but I’d sure like to help someone out of their rut today.

If you need help coming up with content ideas or don’t know who you’re audience is, that’s where I come in. Drop me a line and let’s start a conversation. I’m here to help!

Have you ever wondering what makes something go viral? Learn what going viral means and a few tips for what you can do to make your content more contagious.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

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Have you ever wondering what makes something go viral? Learn what going viral means and a few tips for what you can do to make your content more contagious.
Have you ever wondering what makes something go viral? Learn what going viral means and a few tips for what you can do to make your content more contagious.

How to Weave Local Marketing into Your Freelance Business This Year

The great thing about living in a virtual world is that we can easily take our business to the great big world. However, this doesn’t mean that we should ever discount local marketing.

How to Weave Local Marketing into Your Wonderful Business This Year

And, in fact, you shouldn’t.

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How to weave local marketing into your business

Being able to appeal to the customers that are local to you, not only will increase your sales but will also create a loyal, local customer base. 

Local marketing, as the name suggests, is targeting your marketing to your local area. This means that it differs from other types of marketing. 

Here are four ideas for incorporating local marketing into your business promotion strategy.

Try snail mail

I know, I know, everything is digital. But how awesome is it to receive mail? Now imagine ways you can promote your business through direct mail advertising. You don’t have to be like everyone else, find a meaningful way to stand out!

Or, if advertising isn’t your thing, how about physical onboarding or thank-you gifts? Something to consider.

Not only can direct mail be an incredibly effective form of local marketing, but it can be cost-effective too, when done right. 

Extra credit: Small Business Marketing Ideas for the Real World

Connect with other local businesses

Chances are that there will plenty of local businesses just like you, trying to advertise themselves to those who live in the local area.

So, why not come together to see if you can make the most of your efforts.

Not only could they be useful to your business, but, by coming together, you could utilize each other’s local marketing customer bases in order to grow your own. 

Extra credit: How to Write an Elevator Pitch

Attend local events

Another way to make sure that you are recognized as being a local brand is by attending local events.

This is even better if you can make it a charity or community event. This shows that you are not only a business that is based in their area, but also that you care about the local community too.

If you can show this, there is a much greater chance that those who live close by are going to want to use your services or buy your product.

Extra credit: Networking Tips for Introverted Writers

Use Google My Business

Google is the friend to many a business, when used right, which means that you need to understand the key tools that it has to offer you.

Google My Business is one of them and it is definitely tailored on a local level. It allows your customers to find out key information about you, such as where you are, how to get in touch, and also your opening hours.

It is also a place that customers can leave reviews and document their experiences with you in the past, appealing to a whole new breed of clients. 

Extra credit: How to Set Up Your Google Maps Location

As you can see, local marketing is something that you should definitely be trying to get to grips with.

Not only is it important for the present time, but also for the future of your business too.

Local marketing is targeting your local area. Here are four ideas for incorporating local marketing into your business promotion strategy.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

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