3 Creative Business Tips to Help You Succeed as a Freelancer
Are you feeling overwhelmed? Avoiding work by scrolling through Facebook? Not sure if business is for you anymore? These 3 creative tips will bring your mojo back.
As freelance business owners, staying motivated can be difficult when we get knocked back, a client lets us down, or we just feel way out of our depth. That’s when setting the ground work matters. Creative reminders about why we are passionate about what we do, can keep procrastination at bay and keep us moving forward.
1. Do the Ground Work: Acknowledge that Business is Tough.
If you hit the ground running, full of enthusiasm to blast into the world of business, then good on you! Being in business is all about passion. If you weren’t passionate and 150% enthusiastic, chances are you mightn’t have taken the leap into being a business owner.
The danger here though, is that when things get tough (and let’s get real – they will), we don’t have the groundwork in place to remind us why we are doing what we’re doing. And acknowledgement of those potholes isn’t about turning back to avoid them, its about understanding how to navigate around them, and knowing how to patch them up so you don’t run into them again.
The best way to tackle them? Be honest about what it is in your business that makes you cringe and want to run.
Maybe it’s book keeping? Tax?
Putting yourself out there to find new clients?
Maintaining relationships with difficult clients?
The trick is to write them down AND include the antidote. Then stick it on your wall in your office or keep it handy in a diary/notebook that you take with you to meetings (or both).
Example: (This is one I struggle with)
Bookkeeping makes me nervous. I am scared of getting it wrong and it costing my business.
I will organise my files and outsource that responsibility to someone I trust
I won’t be afraid to ask for help.
Bookkeeper Name: ABC Bookkeeping Contact Number: 0400 000 000
By pairing the problem with the solution and including the contact details of someone who can help – it can make you feel empowered, instead of overwhelmed when these emotions crop up.
2. Use Emotional Cues to Keep You Motivated.
As human beings we are motivated by emotions in everything we do. Our passion to begin our business was fueled by emotion, just like our consumer behaviour is fueled by our emotions. But when we hit a pothole in our business, our emotions kick in to make us doubt our abilities to continue. Our doubts are fueled by fear.
Fear of failing. Fear of rejection. Fear of embarrassment.
So it’s helpful to use emotional cues to give us ways to overcome these fears. One way to do this is to make a Mood Board of inspiring images and quotes that keep us grounded in our passion.
This might sound like woo – but it’s not. A mood board gives our brain a powerful visual reminder of our emotional selves, our inspirations and core values. This is particularly important in business when our vision can get lost in all of the paperwork and mediocrity of day to day tasks.
You might even have something that your graphic designer created when you work-shopped your logo and brand and this is the type of thing you will be looking at.
As a writer, my mood board has:
- Pictures of books (to remind me my goal is to finish mine)
- Quotes from famous writers on sticking with writing
- Photos of my children (and the extra time I get to spend with them now)
- Pictures of blue sky, fluffy white clouds and sunshine (to remind me I can literally work from anywhere as long as I can access the internet most days)
Depending on your business you might also want reminders on why this business is better than working for someone else. They could be things like:
- Images of cars stuck in traffic
- Images of trains packed with people
- Pictures of office cubicles
- Photos of your kids in childcare/after school care
(But don’t go overboard with the negatives – you need your Mood Board to help you remain positive overall)
In addition to helping you get back to your core ideas on why you are doing what you are doing, going forward, your Mood Board will also help you convey your brand’s core values and keep your copy in check – or help you convey those values to a copywriter.
3. Use your Senses + Listen to Music.
Engaging your visual sense in order to give your brain a positive emotional reminder of why you are committed to your business also works with engaging your other senses.
Every business has a vast amount of tedious paperwork it has to do and boring processes to document and follow, right?
The trick is to engage your brain and your body viscerally, in a positive way before you begin, so that you associate the work you’ve been avoiding with something positive and uplifting.
The next time you have to sit down in your office to wade through the sea of paperwork that has now covered your desk like the beginnings of a cocoon, put your fav music on first!
How much more fun does dancing at your desk sound while you send out those invoices and file away those receipts?
It is really all about mindset.
That brings me to another point. As a copywriter, I don’t even have to be dressed to turn up to work most days (and I love this about my job).
But… And there is a but – I have to be really careful with this because being too lazy to get dressed can influence how I approach my work. This laid back approach not only influences my productivity, but my confidence as well.
Dressing with confidence and even wearing perfume (smell is also a very strong emotional trigger) can all lead to a more positive and productive day.
Do you have tips on what helps you achieve your business goals and stay productive? Share them here so we can all find success and happiness in our lives.