Category Archives: WORK

Introducing ‘Friends With Business Benefits’: A podcast for creatives

December 3, 2018

LISTEN / WORK

Friends With Business Benefits Logo

I’ve launched a podcast!!! If you follow me on Instagram you *may* have heard me talking about it. 😉 Friends With Business Benefits is live and available to download on your podcast app now.

I’m co-hosting the show alongside my business bestie Franky (also known as Love Audrey). Franky and I have been having regular co-mentoring sessions for almost two years. Working for yourself can be lonely at times but through our monthly co-mentoring meetups we’ve found the support and accountability we were craving in our working lives. You can hear all about what co-mentoring is and how we do it in our very first episode. Also, Franky’s blog post on five things she’s gained from co-mentoring is a great read if you want to know more.

Our podcast will be an extension of our co-mentoring sessions, as we share our conversations and delve into the type of topics that have come up for us again and again as we navigate self-employed life. We’ll be chatting about money and pricing, habits and productivity, social media and marketing and everything in between. We’re hoping our fellow freelancers and creative business owners will find the show enjoyable, useful and relatable and we absolutely want to hear your opinion on these topics too. Share with us using the hashtag #friendswithbizbenefits and tag us in your posts @_charlieswift and @loveaudrey83.

Subscribe here

I’m ridiculously happy to be ending 2018 finally being able to call myself a podcaster and I’m so excited to share these conversations with you.

Four struggles I faced in my first year of business

October 14, 2018

WORK

Woman working in cafeWith my maternity benefit pay recently coming to an end, thoughts of returning to work have been occupying my mind. Before having our baby in December, I had spent just over a year working for myself. I’ve been reflecting on my first year of business and especially how I can try my best not to repeat some of the struggles I faced.

I’ve had this post sitting in my drafts folder, nearly completed, for a few weeks now but, for some reason, I’ve not quite been able to finish up and hit publish. It would be understandable to perhaps be feeling vulnerable in sharing about difficulties I’ve faced since becoming self-employed -but I could tell it wasn’t that which was getting to me. My problem was actually with what I had originally titled this post – ‘Five mistakes I made in my first year of business’.

Of course, it’s not as though I haven’t made mistakes whilst running my business.

When I set out as a fledgeling freelancer, having been made redundant autumn 2016, I dived headfirst into self-employed life without a whole lot of forethought and with no business plan to speak of…I think it was pretty inevitable that I’d make mistakes along the way!

But that’s just it – mistake making is such an intrinsic, and even integral, part of running your own business that I’m not sure it’s helpful to use that word at all. It just feels too judgey and I want this to be a judgement free zone. Whilst it’s good to be able to reflect on how things are going in your business it’s important not to beat yourself up for past decisions. Running your own business is a constant learning curve.

Anyhow, now that’s cleared up, on to these struggles (not mistakes) that I encountered in my first year of business. There are some that I have an inkling of how to overcome and others that I am very much still working through. I think they are all pretty common struggles for those who are self-employed or running their own business – maybe you can relate?

Cafe interior with wooden furniture and big cactus plant

Five struggles I faced in my first year of business

One // Not having a set offering

I think it’s a common tendency when you’re starting out freelancing to want to be all things to all clients. I know I worried that someone might not want to work with me if I didn’t offer a particular service they were looking to outsource. I took the attitude of doing any and all work clients wanted to pay me for. Never really stopping to think about what I specifically wanted to be doing and, more importantly, if there was any type of work I did not. This meant I ended up doing work that didn’t always play to my strengths and some that I downright didn’t enjoy.

I found that another issue with not having a clear offering is that, of course, everyone wants something slightly different. And whilst tailoring your service to a client’s specific needs may be important, having a different package for every individual is pretty unsustainable. I realise now that through trying to people please I was actually diluting my output.

Moving forward… I know there’s always going to be trial and error in business when it comes to offering. I think the key is to keep it as simple as possible, constantly honing in on what works best and not being afraid to change things up if I recognise that something isn’t working.

Two // Undercharging and over-committing

I think you’d be hard pressed to find any self-employed folk who haven’t struggled at some point with how to price their products or services. In that first year, I had some clients on an hourly rate and others on a set monthly price; honestly,  my pricing structure was all over the shop! As with my offering, I pretty much let my first few clients dictate how much I charged based on what they were looking to pay. This inevitably led to undercharging. And along with that comes overcommitting, because reducing a service and rate to meet a client’s budget often doesn’t actually reduce the work-load.

Moving forward… I think it’s important to start by getting really clear on your numbers. How much do you need to charge to cover your costs and time? How much do you want to make? Then there’s the mindset work needed to feel able (and confident) to charge your worth. This is all very much a work in progress for me!

Cafe interior with wicker furniture and house plants

Three // Not having faith in my experience

One of the (many) ways my self-doubt likes to show up is to give me bouts of amnesia when it came to trusting my previous experience. Sure, I might have been working as part of a team in the past, but that shouldn’t negate the years spent working on some pretty awesome creative campaigns and managing clients accounts day in day out should it? Nevertheless, working for just ‘little ole me’ really rocked my confidence in my ability at times. Why was I suddenly so anxious about even replying to email enquiries?!? Going it alone can be downright scary, that’s why.

Moving forward… Things to do to help to build confidence – gather client testimonials and customer feedback, talking things through with a coach or co-mentor, doing guided meditations to cultivate a positive mindset. Also, remember that even the most badass lady bosses you admire have days when they feel like they don’t know what the f⚡️ck they’re doing.

Four // Lack of self-promotion

Ironically, even if you work in marketing it still feels really hard to market yourself. I wasn’t totally awful at putting myself out there but the fact that the majority of my clients came through already established relationships or word-of-mouth connections tell me there was a lot more I could’ve been doing in terms of outreach.

Moving forward... Ultimately I want to create content that will resonate with my dream clients and establish relationships that will lead to people wanting to work with me. I will be doing this by showing up consistently on Instagram and sharing my story and learnings here on the blog. The consistent part is definitely something I need to work on. I also have podcast and newsletter launches in the works too!

***

Do these struggles resonate with you and your business? Or perhaps there’s something else that you struggle with even more? Goodness knows I’m about to encounter a whole new set of struggles as I navigate being a working mum. Come, share your struggles with me on Instagram and let’s figure this shit out together!

Introducing my new website…

August 23, 2017

WORK

Holding iPad with hanging leaves | charlieswft.com

Hello lovely readers, I would like to introduce you to my newly launched website charlieswift.com: digital marketing & social media for creative businesses.

I’ve been working self-employed/freelance for almost a year now and felt the time was right to have a separate site for my services and offering. I specialise in providing social media, content creation and online marketing for small independent businesses, creatives and bloggers.

On the site, you’ll find full details of the services and packages I offer. I can also put together a bespoke offering that is tailored to your requirements and budget. If you happen to be looking for help or advice with marketing your business or project online then check out my site and get in touch if you’d like to chat about working together. Or if you know anyone who might be interested in my services it would be awesome if you sent them my way!

Screen shot of charlieswft.com

For now, I just wanted to share the link with you guys and continue with the task of putting myself out there. However, there’s a lot more I’d like to share in upcoming blog posts about the whys and hows of creating my own website. The practical stuff, such as how I created the site and got ready for launch and why I want to keep it separate from my blog. And also the deeper stuff like how I’ve been feeling stuck and creating a new site has helped me find focus in my business.

In time I plan to include a blog on the site featuring tips and advice for marketing small business online. If there’s a particular element of social media or digital marketing you’d be interested in learning about as a small business owner, a creative or a blogger then do let me know and I’ll be sure to feature it in my content planning. Also, keep your eye on my social media for a launch giveaway I’ll be running soon.

If you would like to get in touch about working together I’d absolutely love to hear from you. Drop me a line at charlie@onceaglimpse.com and we can arrange a little virtual chat over a cuppa.

The Rhythm Of My Working Day

April 29, 2017

INTENTION / WORK

My-working-week-JORD-Watches-2“The value of a watch is not in being able to tell how much time has passed, but in being aware of the need to make that time count.”

I’ve written this post in collaboration with JORD wooden watches, this quote from their website sums up something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. Now I work for myself and my time is entirely my own to schedule and manage how I see fit, I find I’m acutely aware of the need to make my days productive and make the time spent working count.

Something that has become apparent in the half a year that I’ve been freelancing and working from home is how much the routines and rhythm of my day can impact on the way I work and my productivity. I don’t necessarily work on set tasks on particular days and my workload can vary from week to week so I like to think more about the way my days flow. Each day may look slightly different but if they follow the same rhythm it can keep me on track. There are a few habits and rituals I practice to help me out…

My-working-day-JORD-Watch-blossom

Time to focus

The early hours are all about getting in the right headspace to set me up right for the day.

Meditation helps me clear my mind and focus on one thing at a time and has become an important part of setting the rhythm for my day. I sit down to meditate as soon as I’ve got dressed, usually for 15-20 minutes in the morning before switching my computer on for the day. Sometimes I’ll take 5 minutes later in the day to do a min-meditation, this can be really useful to help switch from one project to another.

Although I love working from home I did use to enjoy that time spent walking to the office in the morning. So a few days a week I will make sure I get out of the house for a run at the local park or even just a short walk around the block.

My-working-week-JORD-Watches

Time to work

When it comes to getting down to work I’ll usually find myself sat at the dining table, or at the desk in our spare room.

Working from home by myself all day I’ve been so much more aware of any shifts in my focus and attention. Of course, there are no traditional distractions such as colleagues chatting or the office phone ringing but there’s still factors that will throw off my concentration. The very nature of working in social media means that constant notifications from multiple client accounts are inevitable, emails ping in, the housework can be hard to ignore and the postman even more so.

However, I’ve discovered that if I’ve got a long to-do list, I really benefit from adopting the Pomodoro method of time-management. It works by working in bursts of 25 minutes to focus only on one task and then taking a 5 minutes break. I really recommend it for people whose brains, like mine, try to think about a hundred things at once!

I always try to have a break away from my screen at lunch time. I love that being at home means I can always prepare a simple but nourishing lunch (often involving eggs). As the weather gets nicer I’ll take my plate outside and enjoy the sunshine at the garden as I eat. To accompany my break I will put on one of my favourite podcasts. I’ll usually turn to an inspirational creative show, such as Being Boss or Make It Happen, to spur me on with motivation for the afternoon.

As I said not every day is the same, sometime a have a busy day of meetings, a lot of writing to do or a day being more creative. The good thing about establishing a rhythm over a set routine is that it allows the flexibility to chance-up what I’m doing but stay on track.

Time to unwind

I suppose for some, the beauty of setting your schedule means being able to work outside of the traditional 9-5 office hours. I can see this being great if you’re a night owl or have children to consider, but for the most part working a standard day makes the most sense for me and means that once my husband gets home we have the evening to chill out together.

It’s funny, as I always thought I would be someone who preferred a less structured schedule but I definitely need a rhythm in place to keep my from feeling overwhelmed and to get the work done.

My-working-day-JORD-Watch-blossom

Keeping Time

I’ve written this post in collaboration with JORD wooden watches. I haven’t had a watch for years but the moment my Frankie 35 sandalwood watch arrived from JORD I fell for it completely and it’s barely left my wrist since. It’s a simple pleasure but it’s so nice to be able to keep track of time during the day without looking at my phone!

If you’d like to fall for a JORD Wooden Watch yourself you can enter to win a $100 voucher here. Open until May 14th.


Luxury Wooden Watch

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...