Running a business is not easy. Whether you are offering online services and programmes, or you are a photographer or designer looking for clients, the competition is fierce, and it is not easy to constantly be seen by your ideal audience. Some days you wonder whether it is all worth it! I go through these wobbles too at times, like every self-employed person. I love my work, and I feel very driven to help other entrepreneurs succeed. But building a business takes time, practice and patience, and when you are a parent as well, life is full on. Today I am going to talk about the importance of doing the inner work.
How do I work with my clients on getting more clients for their business? All of my followers and clients are looking for help in growing their audience, making marketing easier for them – and, of course, earning more money doing what they love. As a coach, I support them with these goals. But what does this look like in real life?
What would you call yourself? An entrepreneur or a small business owner? We often intersperse these two terms because most people don’t give it much thought and feel they are more or less the same thing. But more often than not, we feel the term ‘entrepreneur’ sounds too posh, too much, too pretentious. So we stick with ‘small business owner’. Feels safe, right? But there really is a difference, and creativity is at the core of it. I tell you why you should start calling yourself an entrepreneur from now on, and feel good about it.
Many of you will not have a marketing or business background. You will probably have worked a ‘normal’ office job for most of your working life, or maybe you were a teacher or otherwise employed. Most of you will have started your business as a side hustle before deciding to leave your job completely and becoming self-employed. The freedom that comes with entrepreneurship is amazing, but you will sometimes hit a block. That is normal. But going on yet another marketing course is not the answer. What is my advice?
I know I have been banging on about my 7-week programme From Overwhelmed to On the Ball, but I know that sometimes there is a need. I know that some of you are thinking about signing up, and are still sitting on the fence, for whatever reason. Perhaps because you don’t know what you’ll get out of it. Or whether it will be too much to digest. Or that you are not sure if the investment is worth it. I will give you five reasons why you should not book on my course.
Not long ago I thought that business coaches were for people who run, like, ‘proper’ businesses. Not like me. You know, little old me, who used to work from the spare bedroom, being a creative, and trying to make ends meet. Business coaches, I didn’t even have a clear idea of what they did. I imagined that they’d be talking about stuff like sales projections, the budgets of the company, the targets, whatever, blablabla. Not for me, anyway. But now I am a coach myself. And you know what? It’s not like that at all. I am just like you.
I never meant to be a marketing expert. I studied Art History, for goodness’ sake. Anything corporate or sales-y made me run a mile. It’s just not me. I loved, and still love, arts and culture. The creative industries. I always worked in this sector, and that is where I belong. I was born with a pencil in my hand, picked up a guitar on the way, and always have a head full of ideas. I am an artist at heart, really. So how on earth did I end up being a marketing expert?
Do you ever feel like you want to throw your computer out of the window because you’ve had enough of posting content on your social media? So many creative entrepreneurs feel like they are wasting so much energy at promoting themselves online, but without any real results. It is such a familiar story. Stop beating yourself up, or feeling guilty about it. Marketing is a skill, and it doesn’t have to give you a headache. In fact, it can even be fun! I’ll tell you why.
I get people asking me sometimes: “Why do you give so much information away for free in your Facebook group, and in your blog posts?” It is true, I share a lot of knowledge and tips on how to market your business, and I don’t ask anything in return (well, a few likes are always welcome!). Why do I do this? Doesn’t that mean that nobody will buy from me, because they can get it for free? Sharing my expertise online for free, is something I do on purpose. I tell you why, and how you can use this too in building your audience.
Coaching for creative professionals, how does this work? You may be a self-taught artist or creative entrepreneur, or perhaps you graduated with a Masters in Arts from art school in the past. But you would describe yourself as a creative professional, that’s what you do, that’s what you love. The issue is, with many of you, that during your professional training, the marketing part is often forgotten, or at least not given enough attention. This is why I decided to offer help as a creative business coach, to fill that gap.