This past September 4th marked the first year of Witchcraft Branding. Yes, you're reading this right. We're in November and I'm only NOW posting this. Over 2 months later. And another spoiler - September 4th is an honorary date I chose to mark Witchcraft's anniversary because this crazy person didn't write down the date I officially launched the website. And this is my first lesson learned since becoming a small business owner:
01. SHIT GETS REALLY BUSY, REALLY FAST.
And not with clients, as you would wish. There's SO much to do to even get your name out there. Keeping up with social media, blogging to keep up with SEO, updating your website with work, keeping track of your expenses, networking. CRAZYTOWN!! What I've learned is to ask for help. You'd be surprised the number of people who want to genuinely lend a hand. Also, find routines and tools to help you automize time-sucking tasks. And start prioritizing your life. What can you do without? Can you meal prep on Sundays for the week ahead so that you have weekday evenings to dedicate to your business? In my case (and what led me to write this blog post 2 months later) do I really need to write that blog post or should I finish that brand strategy the client is waiting for? I know. It's all very overwhelming. Fun, but overwhelming. Which leads to lesson 2:
02. YOUR MIND IS YOUR WORST ENEMY.
Right around that time when either 11 months have passed and all you've done is pro-bono work or when you start getting more unfollows on Instagram than followers, your mind starts to play tricks on you. Self-doubt kicks in and pretty much takes over what little brain energy you have left after doing all those things I listed in the paragraph above. This is when I simply had to trust all those hours upon hours of podcasts I'd listened to that said fraudy feelings are excuses to not get the work done. Sit your ass down and get the work done, because:
03. DONE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT.
As a one-woman brand consulting studio, there is absolutely no time to waste on the irrealistic notion of perfection. It does not exist. Period. Even if something looks perfect to you today - I dare you to look at it in 2 months and not find something you would change. And this does not mean stop caring about doing things right. What I mean is work smart and make mindful decisions that will allow you to get work done efficiently and in a timely manner. For example, an Instagram post doesn't need to take 3 hours to design. Use tools like Canva and Planoly to design graphics templates ahead of time and schedule posts to go out every other day. Does it create the perfect Instagram grid? No. But you're posting something on-brand and staying in the eyes of potential clients. And, oh, those infamous clients:
04. SEALING THE DEAL IS HARDER THAN IT LOOKS.
Sure I have a couple hundred followers on social media here and there. And my friends say I'm SO talented. But where are my paying clients?! The answer is - I still don't know. Some have come to me through referrals and others were looking for exactly what I had to offer (women looking for branding help from a fellow witch that would understand their business). But I learned clients don't magically appear simply by posting on social media here and there or having a pretty website that nobody knows about. I didn't start getting any traction until I did the most fear-inducing thing I could think of: networking. In person. With other real people. It wasn't until I started getting my name and face out there that others started caring about this little side business I'd started a year before. And those people I met started following my journey and trusting in my abilities and then through the crazy algorithms of this small world - their friends and friends of their friends started to find me until one perfect person, at the right time, with the right amount of money, said the magical words : YES, I WOULD LOVE TO WORK WITH YOU. And I said:
05. WHAT IS IT THAT I'M OFFERING?
The lesson I've learned the most this past year is that what I thought I wanted to offer - that makeshift business plan I'd poured hours into - is not exactly what I'd like to offer. My price point was WAY off for my dream clients, my services were off for what my clients really needed from me, my delivery system is off (I'm still working on a way to be able to help more people on very, very tight budgets by doing either group workshops or brand consulting calls), and what I thought I would enjoy doing the most is what I actually would be happy to delegate. But I'm excited to see where this adventure takes me. And I'm half scared / half excited for the year 2 lessons. So this is me, an emoji that I never know if it's half scared or half excited. 😬
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