2017 was a great year for my business, I more than doubled my turnover, recruited my first regular consultant (and had a few other regular consultants helping) and got some amazing new clients on board. What a year!
Though this may be primarily a travel blog, I love sharing tips and advice from running my own business and hope to share more posts like this in 2018 (do let me know if you like them or not?). After all, it is my business that has helped me continue to ‘get around’ this year. Whether that is through earning money to pay for my own holidays (I know actual proper holidays!) or clients across the country and the world I’ve had to travel to. Most importantly, last year, my business enabled me to pay to renovate my first property!
Anyway, without further adieu, you want to know how I did this, right? Well, it has definitely been a combination of different factors that helped make 2017 my best year in business yet and after giving it some thought here are what I count to be the 7 most important things that have helped She Gets to Work grow.
7 ways I grew my freelance business in 2017
1. Learning new skills
You should never stop learning, whatever you do, and this is never truer than when you work for yourself. I work primarily in digital marketing and UX Design and this as most things are ever changing so you really need to stay on top of what is happening. This year I increased my UX skills and Google AdWords, alongside keeping on top of the latest changes in social media advertising and organic digital marketing.
All of these have helped me stay ahead of the crowd and be able to offer an up to date service to my clients.
Make sure you stay on top of the latest trends in your field, read blogs and books, go to conferences and events and soak up all the extra knowledge you can.
2. Getting a longer-term big client on board
I wouldn’t have grown how I have without my main client who has helped me get a sustainable regular income throughout the year. Working 2-5 days a week for one client has meant I always know I have money coming in each month and taken off a whole layer of stress and panic wondering what is around the corner.
I love having smaller clients and working on different short-term projects, but having one regular client has meant a sustainable income during the quieter weeks from my other work. It’s great that my regular client is actually a collection of smaller projects too, so no boredom here! Hurrah!
3. Recruiting a consultant(s) to help me
As things got so busy this year I decided to recruit a little help and haven’t looked back. After a lengthy application process, I found Sophie, who has been an absolute dream to work with since she began in August. Sophie has enabled me to focus on a mix of business outreach and my main clients while she has helped keep this little blog ticking along, as well as work for a variety of clients.
There is only so much you can do as one person, so recruiting help has meant I can keep growing my business without having to live without sleep 😉 I have a handful of other consultants I draw upon for key pieces of work too, which has helped me be able to offer additional services to my clients too.
4. Having a reason/need to earn more money
This may sound silly, but I think having a reason to earn money has made all the difference. 2017 was an expensive year, to say the least. I have been renovating my property from an empty shell of an old office building into my dream flat and ground floor commercial property, now available for rent. More on renovations coming soon, but I can tell you it is expensive! Pretty much every penny I earned last year went on my renovations, as did much of my time!
Having something you absolutely have to pay for like a mortgage and renovation costs certainly does wonders to spur you on and work harder! I think I can honestly say I have never worked harder than I did last year and I am hoping the motivation will continue even though my renovations are just about done.
5. Networking in London
Networking has been the main way I have found new clients, primarily through recommendations from people I know. Old work colleagues, uni friends, school friends, family friends, past clients… the majority of my income is from people I know. Not directly from them, but they put me in touch with potential clients or suggest me to their boss/charity/organisation they work for. They say it’s not what you know, but who you know and sadly that is often very true.
Recommendations are the best way to get new clients, so don’t be afraid to promote what you do to those you know, as chances are they might mention you to someone they know who is looking for services you offer. Promote your wins on social media, talk to your wider family about what you do and regularly get the word out to those you know about your business. You never know, your next client could be found when you’re brunching with your mates!
6. Diversifying my income streams
I’ve mentioned this already, but learning new skills, and thinking about what skills you already have you just hadn’t thought of ‘selling’, could be the answer to a greater income. I make money through a variety of different forms, blog partnerships, blog advertising, blog press trips, regular UX design clients, social media advertising, digital strategy, training on a variety of things and soon (hopefully) rent too.
There are so many different new ways to bring in an income these days, many from your kitchen table without having to invest much at all. So get creative. What skills do you have? What service can you offer? I can guarantee someone out there is crap at something you’re amazing at and needs your help!
7. Working more
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but so far I don’t have a magic formula to make thousands of pounds whilst I sit on a beach and drink margaritas. There definitely is such a thing, as loads of bloggers and online businesses seem to have managed it, I just haven’t made it there myself yet! Pretty sure those bloggers etc put in the hours first too.
I’m still working on my passive income and I know that when I find it I will deserve it, as for now I am definitely putting in the hours! Work hard and reap the benefits folks!
Have you got any more tips to add to how you grew your business? I would love to hear as I’m always looking for new ways to grow!
Was this useful? If so please do give it a Pin or share on social media, I will be eternally grateful 🙂