The idea of investing in your business is nothing new. It’s been around for centuries.
Ask any expert if you should invest in learning new skills, building a strong business foundation, and marketing yourself, and they’ll tell you, “Without a doubt, YES!” In fact, it was Benjamin Franklin who once said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”
Yet there’s another way to invest in your business that allows you to leverage the resources you’ve already spent and doesn’t cost you anything extra.
This form of business investment is something that every freelancer writer should do. But a lot of them hesitate to take the plunge.
I’m talking about investing the skills you’ve already developed into growing your business.
That sounds so simple and obvious, I know. But I talk to a lot of writers who really aren’t making the most of the skills they have to help grow their own business. What’s odd is they’ll help their clients perfect a social media profile and presence, but their own social media presence is anemic. They’ll write amazing blog posts for the companies they work with… meanwhile, their own blog hasn’t seen an update in months. They know all the ins and outs of writing Pay-Per-Click sales funnels, but they’ve never tried a PPC funnel for their own services.
They learn new skills and can’t wait to offer those skills to their clients. But they won’t use those skills for themselves.
Does this describe you?
Think about it for a moment… how many of your web-writing skills do you use regularly to bring in new leads, to build your reputation, and to land new clients?
If your answer is, “Not many,” then you can definitely benefit from this method of leveraging the investments you’ve already made in yourself.
Multiple Benefits Come from Investing Your Skills Back into Your Business
Before I get into some of the many, many ways you can do this, I want to highlight all the benefits you’ll enjoy from this strategy.
First, you’ll get more from the investment you’re already making to learn these skills. If you put the skills to work as part of your strategy to land more clients, you’ll see a return on that investment faster. You’ll get more out of each and every program you take. When that happens, the shift in your mindset is profound. You no longer have to hem and haw when you want to learn a new skill, attend a conference, or purchase a program. You don’t have to worry about the investment because you’ve already proven to yourself that you know how to earn it back — and then some — very quickly.
You’ll also completely change the position from which you market yourself. If a client looking for social media services finds you through social media… you can just point to their own experience as proof that what you do works. (Not only do you prove it to the client, you prove it to yourself… talk about a confidence booster.)
When you invest your skills in your business, you remove a lot of the marketing barriers that copywriters worry about. Your client won’t need samples. Your work is what brought them to you. You won’t need to make a case for the value of what you offer — they will already believe it because, again, it worked on them.
Another boon to your marketing is that you get to test and track what you’re doing, so you’ll have real-world results you can use to create stronger promotional materials. And if a client does ask you about the results of what you do, you’ll be able to discuss those results with confidence. (Believe me, there is nothing more attractive than confidence in the eyes of a marketer looking to hire a freelancer.)
Needless to say, by investing your skills in your business, you’re going to do better for yourself. You’ll generate more traffic to your website and social media profiles, you’ll capture more leads, and land more projects. Practice this strategy faithfully, and it won’t be too many months before clients are seeking you out… and not too long after that before you are able to pick and choose who you work with and what projects you work on.
That all adds up to a more stable freelancing business. One with a sterling reputation, steady income, and that opens the door to the freedom — both in terms of financing and scheduling — that attracted you to the writer’s life in the first place.
Okay, enough about how great this strategy is.
Let’s look at how to start using it… and you can get started making your business stronger today. Here are three easy steps you can use:
Step 1 to a Stronger Business
First, make a list of all the skills you already have. What do you offer to your clients? What work have you been paid to do?
Put everything on that list and then choose the top three skills you feel most confident in, that have the best income potential, and that you enjoy most. It’s important to strike a good a balance between these three things. (And if you’re thinking, I’m not confident in any of these skills yet, I said most confident not perfectly confident. As you use these skills to build your business, you’ll gain confidence… I promise.)
Step 2 to a Stronger Business
The next thing to do is decide how you’ll start using these skills to further grow your business.
Let’s say, you just completed a program on writing case studies. Pick two or three clients you’ve worked with and do a case study with them on how your services helped them. Then post those case studies to your website and to your LinkedIn profile. Include the best one in the Information Packet you send to interested prospects.
Or, let’s say you just mastered the art of writing a good e-letter. I’m getting predictable here, but launch your e-letter to show off those skills while also nurturing leads so more of your prospects become clients.
Just finished a social media program? Start using Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to market your business.
You get the idea…
Step 3 to a Stronger Business
This one is simple. Take action. Start today. And then keep at it.
Build a schedule to make sure you have the time to continue to invest your skills in your business. This kind of investment has a slow-and-steady payoff. Give it time to work and your business will turn a corner into that place of financial and scheduling freedom you’re aiming for.