Didn’t think I’d ever say how grateful I am for injuries. This past week or two I’ve slowly reintroduced both gym sessions and running into my weeks. My mood has increased ten-fold!
It takes something as simple as leaping up and clicking your heels together, over a rocky surface, on the side of a mountain, in sandals, to just sprain your ankle.
Who’d a thunk it.
So I’m feeling extra happy this week to sit down (rather meekly mind, thank you split squats) and write my weekly blog post. And yes, go me for making this two weeks in a row!
I’m also putting this down to…. drum roll… deleting Instagram!
Ok, so not quite deleting. But that little hack the developers over at Facebook have called “temporarily deleting your account”, because you know, God forbid you actually wanted to be rid of it once and for all.
Having read Cal Newport’s Deep Work and Digital Minimalism, I just, you know, realised things.
That you don’t need to scroll through over a thousand different Instagram accounts to find out how to connect with your target audience, or know where’s the latest cool and hip cafe to hang out in in Limerick (Canteen just wins hands down ok?!).
I decided to give it up for a few weeks back in July and surprised myself by how much I could get done by 11am without distractions.
I also flew through a couple of books that I’ve been meaning to read.
Those little niggly feelings I’d get about not living “the dream”, or not achieving a number of feats by this age, were quickly flooding my thoughts. And this was all by 7am, before I’d even lifted my head from the pillow!
A big takeaway for me was the idea around just letting it all go. If they’re really your friends, you’ll stay in touch through other media. Realistically, we’re not wired as humans to maintain contact with every single person we meet in our lifetime. That’s just so much information.
If someone had a big impact on you, take their number. Or write in your diary about them that evening, or take a photo (for your own consumption, not to gloriously post online!).
I know for sure that if people who know me are reading this, they’re definitely rolling their eyes! I always used to think Instagram was where I needed to be to grow my business..
After much consideration, it’s really not.
Any marketer will tell you to build your website and email list out as much as possible, and not to rely solely on a social media platform.
Because at the end of the day, if those platforms go and you’ve used all your resources on them but don’t have any coming in through your website, it will be difficult for you to build your brand back up.
Medium.com is another great platform for writers. It’s something I’ve dabbled in and plan on building up in the coming months. What’s great about this platform is that you can post a blog on your website and also post it to Medium (through the import tool), so you’ll always have two copies of your article online.
With Medium it’s even easier to drive those clicks back to your website and get readers signed up to your newsletter.
Last week I took a massive step in my writing journey and invested in a business coach.
Notice how I called it a writing journey? And not a “business”? Yep, still struggling with that one.
I’ve taken on a lot of varying clients over the last year, which has been a fantastic experience.
People often say, oh it must be tough working on your own. That couldn’t be further from the truth!
Everyday I’m emailing and chatting to all sorts of people, and I honestly think if that wasn’t core to my job then I wouldn’t be sitting writing this.
Taking on a business coach (well there’s actually two of them, which makes it even more exciting because they both offer such diverse insights!) allows me to take a step back from the intensity of trying to nail every aspect of my work, and instead focus on what’s important.
A big part of this is developing a new service package that is specifically tailored to my ideal clients. I’ll also be implementing new systems to better manage my time, client onboarding and personal content.
I always thought investing in a business coach was something you do waaaay down the line. When you’re already well established and earning the big bills.
Why wait? A big part of working for yourself is learning something new about how you work or act in various situations, especially the parts you’re not so good at. Sometimes you just need to put your hands up and say, hmm I’m struggling with this, I need help. Rather than expending extra effort and resources, just pay someone who knows what they’re doing.
If you’re feeling stuck, definitely reach out to someone in your industry or in a similar position. Sometimes all you need are words of affirmation and a virtual hug to set you up for the day.
Aaaand other times you need to sit down and reassess what’s not working. For me, I noticed time and again that I was accepting all sorts of clients because I struggled to say no. I knew I needed to develop some kind of package but that devil on my shoulder (yes, the mini little PrenDEVILle hehe) would just shake her head in disbelief at this “limit” I was setting myself.
I’m happy to report that the first coaching call was super successful. I have the first steps in place to get my writing business in order. It’s exciting to have that guidance and help. I can reach out with any qualms, and have the reassurance of knowing that these are tried and tested methods.
The first of those is a tip I’m going to share with you, whether you’re a freelancer writer or digital marketing assistant in a large firm;
Get a new email address for the sole purpose of newsletter subscriptions.
Might sound simple, or it might seem like a complete waste of time and energy!
As a writer, you’re expected to:
- Write well and;
- Know the topic you’re writing about VERY WELL.
I bet you’re having another one of those ‘who’d a thunk it’ moments.
Hear me out.
Writing and marketing is a never ending process of learning, yet opening up your email inbox every morning and lunchtime can be a daunting task.
“Oh crap, forgot to reply to them..” or “Ooooh my favourite blogger has released an awesome list of tools you can’t live without!” and “Damn! My subscription is due for renewal TOMORROW??!!!”.
It can be a liiiiiittle overwhelming at the best of times.
Creating a separate email account for your favourite and absolutely necessary newsletters feels like cleaning out that spare room you’ve been putting off for years.
I culled the newsletters in my original email inbox (yes, another cull even though I did a COVID-cull earlier in the year!), and the ones I absolutely loved I also unsubscribed, but then resubscribed using my new email.
Now that might sound tedious, but it’s so worth it to open up my usual email and see there’s only a handful that need responding to.
I’m also less distracted. I make the time to go into my newsletter email now when I WANT to, not because I’m already in the email, flitting around.
I guess you could say this week’s Amble Through The Brambles was delivered in a far less distracted and preoccupied state. I hope to keep it that way.
Hellooooo digital minimalism!
This week’s quote is a little different to my usual ones, shout out to a friend who’s philosophical wanderings have me wondering.
“After your death you will be what you were before your birth.” – Arthur Schopenhauer.
What are you going to do in between the pendulum swing of pain and boredom?!