You know when you get an idea and then all the stars align within a day to validate your idea. Well this is what happened for this topic. I’ve been thinking a lot about how I spend my time and which of that leads to short-term revenue and what leads to long-term growth.
These are very different things. It wasn’t until I participated in a long thread in a FB group that I realized that there are a lot of solopreneurs who don’t keep these two things in mind. When they’re shifting towards a new business model, a new offer or a stretch goal, it can really take away our time from earning right now.
So how to balance the two essential sets of activities - earning now and growing for later - and not work around the clock?
First, here’s more on my time constraints ...
My time is incredibly tight. I don’t have it in my to work long hours. I’m simply not good at it. I crave real experiences. Being on the computer doesn’t always feel real to me. Confession.
I’m also growth oriented. Not in an over-achiever kind of way, in a maximize opportunities and make impact kind of way. I love to create opportunities. I sought out personal growth at a young age. I’ve travelled and explored. I’m an optimizer.
So in order to make money now and shift and grow, there’s a lot to do.
I’ve put these activities into four buckets to help me and you get it all in the calendar:
Bucket One - Client delivery
This is the category in which you actually get paid.
This includes all of the activities related to your client deliverables including time spent with them meetings with your staff or theirs, billable hours, anything related to a sub-contractor you might be using on a client project.
You have to do this to make money.
Bucket Two - Getting clients
This category contains all the activities you do to get new clients. Things like direct outreach, networking, discovery calls and meetings. It’s all about direct sales and building relationships with people who might hire you down the road.
What’s important to now here is that you do all this and have a very profitable and rewarding service based business. You don’t need a list, a funnel or to commit to content. This is a relationship building and sales strategy and it earn a really great income for a service owners. And it’s mostly a one-to-one model and does have a cap out if you’re trading time for money.
The next two buckets are all about positioning a business for growth.
Bucket Three - Creating content
To create a brand that gains followers, fans and potential clients you’ll need something to attract them to you, based on your skills, experience and knowledge and their problems.
Sharing what you know, a glimpse on how you teach and being useful and helpful comes by sharing meaningful ungated content so your potential followers can see what you’re all about.
And showing up regularly with this content consistently will grow your audience over time.
Bucket Four - Building your audience
To create a brand that gains followers, fans and potential clients you need consistent engagement with them to build up relationships. They don’t have to be deep one-one-one connections but you need get to know others in your industry and get known by them. A business’ health is based on relationships.
This bucket is all about leveraging your content by posting it in different places. Making sure you get your amazing information in front of your audience and engaging with them on it is key. There’s no point creating content without getting out to your ideal audience. Creating interaction is extremely valuable for growing your online brand. If this is what you want, you need to take time for it.
It takes 1-3 years to build your audience to one that’s ready to buy from you. In this time you’re working people in your network, tribe on your list or in your group closer to buying as well as growing your number of people who are paying attention. 1-3 years before you’ll get results is realistic.
Where to spend your time on a tight budget
So how much time to you spend on each of these? As a solopreneur or even with a VA it’s super hard to do all of this.
Because of this I like looking at each of these buckets as projects. I tend to batch them into month long chunks and switch focuses every month. It’s possible do something from each bucket, each week and that works if you like structure. I find it easier to do a push in one of these areas every month or two.
I move through each bucket during the episode plus talk about some of the time-wasters that need to be done with caution and mindfulness of how much time they take up.
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