Are you feeling as distracted as I am?
I don’t know if it’s the warming weather or the lifting restrictions or some personal stuff on my mind, but I’ve been having a stretch of absent-mindedness. Just me?
(Psssst: New here? I write a monthly recap of my journey to becoming a service-based business owner. Along with my [very honest] highs and lows, I share a helpful tip, trick, and tool of the month. Interested? Sign up to get first access every month!)
Last month seemed to fly by. I’ll keep this email short and sweet… as May was, and as June is sure to be, too.
Although my specialty is website design and copywriting, I also dabble in some branding work.
Recently, I had the opportunity to create a comprehensive brand strategy guide for a client. Our goal was to clarify the heart, messaging, and visual identity behind the brand.
With this guide, all team members and partners will be on the same page (literally) about how to communicate the company’s values, benefits, and goals in future sales and marketing efforts.
This project was a fun creative challenge. It made me realize how much I wish every client would go through an exercise like this. It’d sure make my job easier, and it’d help the client better understand and convey their why (and their how) for months and years to come.
In fact, I’m contemplating making brand strategy a core part of my services going forward. Think it’d be valuable?
As a “words of affirmation” person (and, you know, a human), I love hearing compliments about my work.
Who wouldn’t, right?!
It was encouraging to get some very positive feedback from clients this month — such as this response to a 32-email sequence I sent for review:
“You absolutely killed it! Thank you so much for the great writing!! I really love so much of what you have written for our brand. I think the first drafts are the final drafts!! So great!”– A happy client
Remember last month, when I told you I tracked my time for three weeks straight?
I finally got around to calculating those totals, so I could see more clearly where my time was being spent.
Here’s how I did it:
I’m sure there are other, better ways of tracking your time, but so far, this is working for me!
In case you’re curious, I found that, over a three-week span in April:
Overall, I wasn’t shocked by where my percentages lay. That encourages me that, despite a wonky schedule, I’m largely achieving the work-life balance I’ve sought since “going off on my own.”
(Of course, it’s possible that I was more intentional with my time during those weeks when I was tracking it so diligently. But hey, isn’t that part of the point of this exercise?!)
I don’t have any glaring “lows” that come to mind this month, but it’s true that I’ve been a little less attentive than I would like, especially when it comes to my inbox.
Between family events, social gatherings, client meetings, house projects, and upcoming plans, I’ve been a bit scatterbrained.
Which is no excuse!
Knowing the summer will only continue to swell with travels, golf tournaments, and other fun things, I am committed to trying to improve in my communication and my on-top-of-it-ness. (Is that a word?)
I think one of the biggest misconceptions about freelancers is that they never have to work with other people.
In my experience, freelancing is more social than many “regular” jobs.
You have to market yourself, sell yourself, and collaborate regularly with clients, vendors, and other freelancers. (Not to mention all the “following up”!)
Starting my business, I knew I would have to go against my introvert tendencies and really put myself out there to not only book clients, but also exceed their expectations.
So I’ve been trying to pick up the phone, schedule the Zoom, and get my butt to the coffee shop when I think it will help.
And you know what? The more I do it, the easier it gets.
I’m certainly not perfect in this regard, but I’m trying.
If I can, you can too.
Was your website built on Squarespace?
(If so, I approve — Squarespace is the #1 platform I recommend to clients for its design, features, and ease of use.)
Here’s an easy hack for Squarespace users:
When Escape key login is enabled in your settings, you can simply press Esc while visiting your published website, and the login page will open, allowing you to edit your site quickly.
Alternatively, you can click into the address bar and add /config at the end of the website URL.
If you’re a designer who hasn’t been taking advantage of Creative Market’s free weekly assets… how on earth have you been getting by?!
Creative Market is a massive online marketplace where artists sell graphics, fonts, templates, and more.
Every Monday, the marketplace offers six “Free Goods of the Week,” which you can download (and get notified about) by signing up for a free account.
I’ve been snagging free assets since March 2017. Aside from Google Fonts and Typewolf’s “10 Best Free Fonts That Aren’t Available on Google Fonts,” Creative Market is where I’ve found all the free fonts I’ve used while designing websites.
There’s my May recap for ya.
(Did I say it was gonna be short and sweet? Oops…)
Thank you so much for joining this business-building journey of mine. I hope you always find some helpful tidbits here.
If you want to help me make these updates even better, please fill out my three-question survey if you haven’t already!
Have a joyful June!