The five best things I did for my business in 2018

boss babe

This has been a big year for Lindsey Wagnon | Brand Writer. The business went from concept to concrete with four new clients and considerable traction on following. I’m still navigating so much, but I can pinpoint a few specific things that helped a lot! If you’re a girl boss in the early days of launching a business or side-hustle, I highly recommend doing the following.

I created and kept a strict calendar

In addition to this side-hustle, I work full-time as a marketing manager, am on the church worship team, run plus do a HIIT workout most days and am mom, wife and friend as best as I can be. I also require a 9:30 bedtime on weeknights (much to Philip’s dismay.)

Consistency comes after so much trial and error, and that’s okay.

Pretty early on I realized this side biz won’t fit in if there isn’t time allocated on the calendar. So I went to work finding the time. I currently have 9 hours a week blocked out - and that’s on weeks I’m not leading worship. I’m motivated to keep lists and stay focused during those few hours a week and you know what? It’s been enough! All those time management gurus are right about the fact that you really can squeeze a lot of productivity out of a short amount of time if you do it right. I also learned how to get most of my monthly marketing content written and ready to go in 4 hours, which I explain in detail on a Facebook Live over on my Facebook page.

I got brand headshots

This was THE BEST investment EVVVVAAAAARRRRRRRR. I had been thinking about brand headshots for months before I finally asked my friend Sarah if she had an opening in her photography calendar. In about an hour, she captured the absolute perfect combo of business photographs. I now have a fully stocked library for my website, emails and social graphics. It’s an amazing difference from the poor, fuzzy and badly cropped iPhone pictures I was defaulting to. Good photography is so underrated and can change your brand look and feel instantaneously.

lindsey wagnon branding

I kept a posture of learning

I’ve been devouring podcasts. Building a StoryBrand, Often Ambitious, Rachel Hollis’ Rise Podcast and EntreLeadership are a few of my top picks. I love hearing how others are building their businesses, marketing advice and the great storytelling that comes out of these. They keep me inspired when I’m tapped out or clueless about next steps.

I’ve also been listening/observing my audience. I may have a general plan or direction but I can’t be inflexible to change when I’m repeatedly asked for help with something or recognize a gap in my communication. Your own fans have earned the right to inform your business by being loyal and providing feedback.

True progress comes with specific greatness, not general mediocrity.

I stayed minimal when I wanted to go maximum

I have a hard time being patient. When I have a new idea or hear of something that works great for someone else, I can get laser-focused on that thing. But true progress comes with specific greatness, not general mediocrity. I’ve had to rein in my impulsiveness with the business to focus on making a few things great and waiting for the right time and opportunity to expand into more.

This applies to many aspects of business, but with marketing specifically, you want your primary hub - a website, a Facebook group, a blog, an Insta account to be the absolute best it can be before you start using other platforms to send people there. If they’re disappointed or confused at the ultimate landing place, you’re going to lose them. Many of my marketing plans start with “your website needs work/updating/attention” because this is exactly what’s happening to that ladyboss’s audience.

I nailed down a consistent look and voice

This one was tricky for me because it was truly a development over time. I didn’t know if I liked a certain social template until I’d used it a few times. I didn’t nail down brand colors until I recognized what stock photos I kept gravitating toward. I didn’t understand how much writing a blog on social anxiety would resonate with my audience until I put it out there - and then kept putting it out there.

Consistency comes after so much trial and error, and that’s okay.

What have you done for your business or side-hustle that has been a game-changer?? Comment below :)