Getting My Business Out There

Business
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According to my emails via LinkedIn and the kind congratulations they contained I should be celebrating a work anniversary this week, six years as the owner of Candid Copywriting. I’ve been self-employed for nine years now however officially becoming CC was a turning point for me and I’ve worked full time as a freelance copywriter ever since.

When I look back to the beginning of my business journey there are a few things I would change. I know people say that your past mistakes form the present “you” however when it came to marketing in the early days the only thing some of my efforts shaped was an empty purse and wasted time.

I did all of the usual stuff, advertised in the local In Focus magazine which cost a fortune and promised a huge return (no one ever admitted to seeing it, let alone got in touch) and attended the formal networking meetings (ego lunches) to no avail.

The problem with starting out I found, particularly with marketing is that you really need to concentrate on your target audience or area and secondly, you could probably do with some help. I was so busy at that point writing copy that marketing was a sideline which it really shouldn’t have been.

Thankfully my advertising misadventures have not cost me too dearly and now, years on I have a thriving business which I love; I have a great book of clients, I am able to pick and choose what projects I take on, I choose my own hours, I really enjoy copywriting and of course what I do is so family friendly.

To be fair though I think I was fortunate, despite my ham fisted marketing efforts early on, thanks to some great recommendations from people who liked my work to others who took me on because of it. If this hadn’t happened and my reputation hadn’t grown organically I’d have been scuppered!

If I was to have a time travel machine which could take me back and allow me to make some different choices I would look at something like leafleting, having someone create leaflets (something quirky yet professional) and have them distributed in the areas I wished to work. I like the idea of the hand to hand approach as opposed to a blanket advertisement in a magazine or similar, it suits how I like to work. I want people to hear what I do and how I do it and want to take a leaflet with my details on!

My advice to anyone starting out now or revisiting their market plan would be to really think about how your business is being advertised. Of course we are all taking advantage of the online (often free) methods of building a brand and advertising ourselves however it would be blinkered to think that you’ll catch everyone in your marketing net this way as there are so many different forms of advertising to exploit, if you will.

What you choose depends on your business, your message and what you are trying to achieve for example. For me gorgeous lads and lasses as walking billboards at an event or busy metropolitan area would not suit my particular business however for some could be a game changer.

It doesn’t matter how established you are, it always pays to shake up your marketing efforts every now and then and trying something new could take your business in directions you’d never imagined.

Did you waste time and money on advertising methods going back which really weren’t suitable for you and didn’t create the buzz you’d hoped for? What would your one piece of advice be for someone starting up now and looking to get their name out? Please do comment as I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Things to Love About the Christmas Season 

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I am known online and off as being something of a Christmas fairy. When it comes to the Christmas season I really am like a big kid. There are so many things to love about the Christmas season and I am very vocal about been in love with the whole shebang!

The Smell

When autumn really takes hold you start to get the lovely wood-smoke smell which seems to remind me of cinder toffee; when Christmas comes knocking it’s pine cones, mulled spice, berries and cold (cold does have a smell!). We tend not to go overboard with home fragrance but I already have a spiced berry wax melt in the burner and it’s helping to build the festive feeling nicely.

The Food

We eat at home (Roy, the boys and I) on Christmas day and have a pork dinner (thrown in the slow cooker in the early hours) and of course there’s stuffing, cranberry sauce, proper meat gravy, Yorkshires, Shloer and all of the other lovely stuff that we look forward to enjoying at Christmas.

Sadly the bread oven doesn't work but it gets a good Christmas polish up (and is a very sneaky place to hide Xmas goodies).
Sadly the bread oven doesn’t work but it gets a good Christmas polish up (and is a very sneaky place to hide Xmas goodies).

The Family

We visit Roy’s family on Christmas Eve to say hello and exchange gifts and do the same on Christmas morning with my family (we all live nearby). It’s great that we all live close enough so that we each other regularly through the year and have managed to keep the tradition up of sharing Christmas together while still having our own time and building our own individual traditions at home. Of course at Christmas we get to spend so much more time with the kids as we are both off which is a huge bonus!

The Traditions

Our Christmas is jam-packed with traditions, from the purchase of my first (of many) Christmas magazine to the Christmas Eve boxes the boys open after tea. My youngest sister and I always go Christmas shopping and out for a Christmas dinner just the two of us, that’s our tradition and we all enjoy the Christmas light switch-on in town (we live in a rural market town with a strong community feel so this is always a lovely evening).

 

Decorating the house together as a family is always a great fun tradition. 
Decorating the house together as a family is always a great fun tradition.

The Gifts

Anyone who says Christmas is not about the gifts at all is a fibber or a scrooge! I love Christmas shopping, finding things I know will make people laugh, that they’ll appreciate or find really useful. I also enjoy the challenge of buying for the two large families (I’m one of six siblings, Roy is one of four, then there are partners and children….) without breaking the bank. I have a special notebook and tick people off as I go, using money saving coupon sites and cashback as I go. The more we save, the more we can buy while staying within budget!

The Music

I adore the music that comes at Christmas time, from the 80’s faves to the more classical tunes. One of my favourites is Oh Holy Night and never fails to put me in the mood! The boys both do a lot at school of course at Christmas and so Little Donkey and similar is played or sung throughout!

What is it that you love about Christmas? Do you have a special tradition? An outing you look forward to or are you like me, someone who thoroughly enjoys everything, from the arts and crafts with the boys to cooking, shopping, decorating and beyond?

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