It’s 5 PM, and you’re exhausted. You’ve worked with 7 clients today, your voice is hoarse, and there seems to be no air left in your lungs. You move away from your computer to go back to your family, but the guilty thoughts keep bothering you…
“I haven’t blogged for 3 months.”
“I need to send a newsletter, but what do I write?”
“I haven’t responded to the inquiries that came in today.”
“I could be earning more money instead of putting together a puzzle!”
“I gotta post something on Facebook!”
You want to feel good about yourself as a business owner, so you decide to prioritize the tasks at hand. Seems like “posting something on Facebook” won’t take that long.
You rush back to your computer thinking what you’ll do next. “Dinner, clean up the mess (possibly), kids’ baths.” You click “post,” and then you notice a Facebook chat open and a promising, “Hi, can you help me with this project?” pops up.
Do you leave this “potential client” hanging, along with the ones you haven’t had time to respond to? Do you go back to your family, thinking when you’ll respond? Do you write something “really quickly?”
You may wonder if I’ve been spying on you, but if you’re a one-person business owner who’s running everything and doesn’t know how to work smarter, I know your life might look something like this.
I know because I’ve lived through it. It is that slice of life that prompted me to rethink my entire online business and come up with a system where things don’t require me to do something “really quickly” every single day, 20 times a day.
In this post I’ll share three of these systems with you.
#1: Social Media Scheduling
This behemoth takes a lot of your time even if you’re organized and know what you’re doing. At least in this case, chances are the time will pay off.
Most of the time, however, we push social media on the back burner and share something a couple of times a month (the “really-quick” method), which has little value to your audience.
So what do you do?
1. Determine your core message (yes, that’s before the memes, gifs and phrasal verb posters!). What change do we want to see in our readers? When people change, they are eager to work with us. If you teach creative writing, you don’t want your audience to read about photography, you want to give them the reason to want to write.
PRO TIP: If your core message is, “Creative writing helps with overcome depression” then you can’t be sharing posts on how to improve punctuation. You need to select materials that correspond to your core message.
2. Do research and create your social media swipe file. Put together a collection of blogs, vlogs, podcasts that will help educate and inspire your audience to want that change.
PRO TIP: Use a planner to take notes + content ideas. We’ve got several pages devoted for that in our Opted Out Planner for Smart Online Teachers and Coaches.
#2: Client Onboarding
How do people contact you about hiring you? If you have 5 options on your website, you may want to reduce that number.
Here’s the easiest process you can create (and automate):
1. An inquiry form on your website/social media.
2. A warm automated response with a welcome pack.
3. A follow-up email with a link to schedule a free call with you (or a questionnaire).
4. After the session provide a contract, followed up by an invoice, followed up by the first assignment (or log-in information, if appropriate).
For client management, such as contracts, automated emails, etc., I use Dubsado (get 20% off your first month when you use this link*).
* The links above are affiliate links. Here’s what it means. Your support matters!
#3: Motivation and Focus
If you want to be more productive, you have to pay attention to the way you think, the way you live, the way you work.
Reflecting on your achievements and setting your intentions will increase motivation and focus so you don’t run around from one hot plate to the next.
Reflection is important for people working solo or those thinking of adding new members to the team because without knowing who you are, what you want and why you want it you can’t run a meaningful business.
So coaches or teachers: beware of burnout, loss of focus and exhaustion. Just like vitamins and supplements help our immune systems stay strong, a daily motivation boost makes your work more meaningful to you and others.
Here’s what you may consider:
- Make time for your creativity: do you like drawing, doodling, reading, writing? If you work online, find things that help you move away from your computer, even for as little as 15 minutes a day. Read more.
- Set aside some time weekly (or daily) for reflection and journaling. Become a member of Holstee so you get monthly reflection guides + weekly motivation dose (use the code mutonono3 for 30% off on your first 3 months).
- Engage with a community and find a mentor. What I love about our Smart Teacher’s Library is people find each other and then create small masterminds to keep each other accountable. Learn more about us.
Not everyone speaks about the importance of motivation for running a business, but this system helps you find unique solutions in less time. Exhausted minds can’t concentrate or prioritize.
Put effort into working less, working smarter and staying motivated, and you’ll notice how your business grows without you pulling every string.
If you want to start on a journey towards being a business owner, not just a hustler of your time, you need to surround yourself with people who want to build a business, not busY-ness.
I’ve created Smart Teacher’s Library for teachers and coaches like you: you’ll find the resources, worksheets and a community + 2 coaches who can answer your questions weekly. Join now (your first week is free) and start organizing your business!