Imagine this… you have a meeting set up with a very important client — the client who is responsible for most of your income — to discuss a big project. Huge. One that could be a game changer and yield an entirely new income stream. They want you to take the lead on it… and they’re planning to pay you a percentage of the sales. A generous percentage.
At the last minute, you decide to be a no-show for the meeting because you have a deadline you’re worried about for another client.
Would you ever do this?
Of course you wouldn’t! You’d show up for that meeting enthusiastic, focused, and prepared… recognizing that it had the potential to change the course of your business.
But, here’s an ugly truth. Most freelancers I know — myself included — actually do this all the time.
Because you are your most important client with the most potential to alter the course of your business. And if you’re skipping out on time you set aside for business development, marketing, and education so you can meet project deadlines… well, then, you’ve got a problem.
You’re skipping out on meetings with your most important client, and your business is suffering because of it.
How do you stop this destructive tendency? Here’s the best way I’ve found.
In each day, you have a hard landscape and a soft landscape.
Your hard landscape includes things like appointments and meetings. Moments in your day where you are expected to show up for a specific reason.
The rest of your day is flexible. You can set your priorities and work on what’s most important during the time blocks that don’t conflict with your hard landscape.
If you want to start making faster progress on your business, make the time you spend working on it part of your hard landscape.
Set a meeting up with yourself. Write out an objective. Put it on your calendar. Send yourself a reminder. Choose a location. Decide on a time limit. And then show up!
So for example, say that part of your marketing strategy is to write and publish a weekly blog post. If your average blog post takes you three hours to research, draft, revise, polish, and publish, then you might block off one hour after lunch on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Put that time into your calendar with the objective noted for each time slot. The first might be research, outlining, and brainstorming. The second might be for drafting. And the third for revising, proofing, and publishing.
Choose a location. It could be your desk. Or if you want to minimize distractions and really underscore that this time is special, you might move your location to the local library or to a coffee shop with a Wi-Fi connection. Set a reminder on your computer and your phone.
And then treat that meeting like you’ll lose an important client if you miss it.
Get in the habit of doing this, and your business will get the attention it deserves… and you’ll be amazed how fast it grows when that happens.
New on the Site
We had a lot of fun last week doing the live review of practice assignments. Dozens of your fellow members submitted a practice homepage assignment and during a live webinar, I reviewed five of them. The reviews gave everyone a chance to see how to evaluate a homepage for what’s working and what could be stronger. The playback is available so go check it out.
Have you ever heard someone say email is on its way out, and then wonder if using email as part of your marketing strategy is a waste of time? In her latest Reality Blog, Tracy Wilson looks closely at this question and gives you a lot of data to help you make the best decision about using email.
When it comes to writing a strong fundraising package, how you craft your call-to-action is exceedingly important. In fact, according to John Torre, if you write a weak package and a strong call-to-action, there’s a good chance you’ll still have a happy client. He explains in his latest post.
Mark Your Calendar
February 8th: This Thursday at 1 p.m. Eastern Time, join me for our next Monthly Member Update. During this month’s meeting, I’ll discuss a very important question you should be asking yourself right now. Hope you’ll join me!
February 16th: Next week, Tracy Wilson will be with us for her first live Reality Blog Update. We’ll discuss everything from setting goals to staying on track to pushing outside of your comfort zone. It’s sure to be fun! Details will be posted soon.
Also, don’t forget to check out our Hot Seat Challenge. It’s easy. It’s fun. It’s useful. So get signed up!
Around the Web
If you’re interested in becoming a well-paid “A-list” copywriter, there’s a little-known, low-stress path to success. Sandy Franks explains.
Are you confusing easy to read with easy ideas? That could be why your engagement isn’t where you want it to be.
Try these four strategies to make your content stand out on social media.
You can boost a page’s effectiveness by taking a tactical approach… or you can transform it by taking a strategic approach. See how both can work in this video from Marketing Experiments.
That’s all for now. Make it a great week!