It’s been awhile since I just chatted here, so a big wave hello to you all. The New Year always seems to be the time we all feel pressured to get our act together (or, is it just me?) and that can feel a tad overwhelming in my opinion. Fitness, health, career, organizing, relationships–I mean can’t a girl enjoy a glass of wine and some first-of-the-year calmness? Anyway, I tend to avoid major resolutions and putting a bunch of pressure on myself. BUT, I do pick 1-2 areas and get things “in order” a bit. On the personal side of things, I chose to revamp my diet by kicking off another Whole30 (see how I also didn’t make some crazy fitness goal? Baby steps people). On the professional side, I decided to use January to get “it” together a bit in the administrative area. I posted about this on Instagram and got such a great response that I thought I would elaborate a bit here.
I’m going to share six tips for bloggers and small business owners that I think are simple to do but can really be game-changers. As a blogger and small business owner it’s extremely important that you’re able to respond to opportunities quickly. Whether its’s an email that comes your way, a potential client reaching out via social media, a last minute networking event, or an unexpected piece of press. I realized that when these things came my way, I was often scrambling to reply because there were things I didn’t have together. For example, I would need to update my media kit, or my bio was out of date, or darn it … I had run out of business cards (again). So, this month I decided to pick a few things to “get together” so that when opportunities came my way, I was ready for them. And, it actually already paid off! Two cool things came my way unexpected last week and I was in a great position to respond quickly–without stressing out and stopping what I was doing to update things. Woo hoo!
The “it” will be slightly different for you depending on your business. I suggest thinking about past instances when you were scrambling to update things. Or sweating it when you needed to respond to an opportunity. Start there and tackle just two things this week. Believe me, you will feel more prepared and less stressed in the future. Here are a few areas to think about getting into order.
1. Your media sheet/press kit
Every blogger and social media influencer should have a simple media sheet or a press kit. This is something you can provide potential clients and brands when pitching or negotiating working together. It gives them a quick, but robust, look at your audience and reach as well as highlights any significant work you’ve done. In the past, I used to scramble updating this whenever someone requested it, but last year I decided I would update this on the first of every month. Every first Monday of the month, I open up my media sheet and update my numbers (blog metrics, social media metrics, and email subscribers). Not only does this mean I will have an up-to-date version to send out at a moments notice, but it also forces me to take a look at my numbers and benchmark my growth. Understanding how things changed month-to-month allows me to adjust my strategy and think about my content in a more strategic way. An extra bonus!
2. Your bio
This used to be the hardest thing for me. I mean, who likes to write about themsleves really? But when you get a press opportunity, do a guest post, or take a speaking event, you will likely need to provide a short bio of yourself. This year I created a document and created an updated short bio of myself. I plan to update it 2x a year to keep it fresh. This already paid off, as I was unexpectedly asked to speak at Alt Summit (more on that to come)! I happened to have a bio ready to send and it felt so good not to have to stress about it!
Oh, go ahead and update it on LinkedIn while you’re at it! Just copy and paste, you’re done.
3. Your portfolio
A portfolio will look very different for different businesses. But the point is to make sure you have an updated gallery, PDF, or Dropbox link with your best work that you can share with others when needed. Take some time to pull that together now and you will thank yourself later. Personally, I have a Dropbox folder with images from events and brand work I’ve done. I also started a Pinterest board to gather a glimpse of some Pinterest-specific brand work I’ve done.
4. Your business cards
I’m notoriously scrambling in this area. In fact, I don’t even have any made for my next conference in 3 weeks. Oooops. But this is something you can do once per quarter if you use them a lot. If not, order them twice a year so that you always have them on hand when you need them.
5. Your invoice template
Do you bill clients or brands for work you’ve done? Take a moment to make sure your invoice template is up to date. Contact info, rates, payment preference. This one’s easy to do!
6. Your sell sheet/services sheet
When is the last time you really thought about your rates and put it in writing? Take a moment to update your sell sheet or services sheet so that it’s ready to be sent to anyone interesting in working with you.
Bloggers & small business owners: 6 Things to do now, that you’ll thank yourself for later. Click To Tweet
I hope that this has spurred some ideas of areas that you can get together now in order to be more prepared (and less frantic) in the future. I know personally, this has helped me feel more confident and ready to respond to new opportunities.
Is there an area that I missed? Share in a comment so we can all help each other get our acts together! :)