If you run your business on your own, you know it can get pretty lonely.
Sure, you can whack Homes Under The Hammer on at 10 am every day or eat yoghurt in your underpants in the afternoon, but that’ll only keep your mind occupied for so long.
The fact is, running your own business can get you down.
It can make you feel:
- Depressed, and
- You haven’t got a shoulder to cry on for support
- You don’t know the best way to promote your business
- Your marketing isn’t having the desired effect
- You don’t have enough clients, and
- The clients you do
have don’t give you consistent work
Hell yeah, it does.
You’ve probably considered jacking the whole thing in and going back to the 9-to-5.
Yep, I’ve been there too, many times.
But you never succeed by giving up.
So, let me show you how to banish those blues, talk to others and promote your business – without slapping people in the face with it.
How to beat those lonely business blues
I’m not going to blind you with science. I’m going to help you network with others when you feel you‘re alone in your own business world.
So, shall we get started?
Join Facebook Groups
That’s right. There are so many different ones to join. Go to the search bar on Facebook and type the place where you live, followed by:
Business Networking or Business Page.
Now, I’m not a massive Facebook pages user, but pages like these permit you to introduce yourself and your business. You can chat with fellow sole traders, and you may pick up a client, purely through them requiring someone like you.
Here are just a few pages to look at and join:
- Freelance Heroes
- The Freelance Collective
- The Freelance Lifestylers, and
- The LinkedIn Marketing Group
Also, search for pages that relate to your niche.
For example, I’ve worked with a few wedding suppliers, so I joined groups for Wedding Suppliers. I browse what they’re talking about, join in and mention I’ve written for businesses in the industry.
I don’t oversell. I join in, chat with people, and it could get me business, if not straight away, maybe farther down the line.
Find dedicated Twitter hashtags
Whatever line of business you or your target audience is in, chances are there’s a Hashtag for it.
If you’re an early riser, try: #EarlyBiz – between 7-8am every day
For a mid-morning quickie: #Elevenseshour – between 11am-Noon every day
And for early evening action, there’s: #SmartNetworking – every Monday between 7-8pm
There are many more that are local to you.
- #LiverpoolHour, and
Wherever you live, there’ll be a hashtag.
But don’t stop there. Find hashtags for the kind of work you do. Network with your peers. Share your successes and fears – and find those hashtags that are specific to the audience you want to work with.
They’re there. Find them. Join in and enjoy it – in time you’ll find people who need your services.
Network on LinkedIn
LinkedIn isn’t as stuffy as it used to be (though you’ll find some stick in the muds moaning they want their LinkedIn back – what is this, Linxit?). LinkedIn is much more sociable these days.
Post informative, valuable content that others find useful and you’ll build your circle of contacts in no time.
It’s also a great place to meet potential clients.
Upping my engagement on there not only helped people see I was available to work, thus landing me clients. It also lead to writers approaching me to help ease their workload.
If you want more information on making your LinkedIn profile the bee’s knees, read my blog post: How To Use LinkedIn Like A Flippin’ Pro!
Lots of people hate doing it. I see it as a great way to find clients. And I have three tips on how to get the best results:
- Find a directory that relates to the clients you want to work with
- Read their ‘About‘ page to find out who they are, and
- Personalise your email, mentioning what you’ve learned about them on their website
Many people will delete without reading, that’s just a fact. Personalise your emails because nobody likes a cut & paste job.
Show them that you care.
Speak to them, not at them, and you might make a life-long client who turns into a friend.
Go to Networking events
I’m brilliant online, however, in person, I’m nervous and very quiet. Getting out of the home office and meeting people will banish your business blues. You’ll be amongst others in the same position as you, and you may find you meet somebody who needs to use your expertise.
Plus, there’s usually free food at these events.
Now, who doesn’t love free pizza?
Work in A Co-Working space
They cost money, don’t they?
Some do, but you don’t have to take a year’s lease for every one. Check Eventbrite for local co-working spaces. I recently found a pop-up one near me, and it’s free!
So, if I reach the point where working alone gets to me, I have the option of working in a co-working space where I could bump into creatives such as marketers, graphic designers and web designers who need a copywriter on a project.
Work in a cafe
No, I don’t mean get a job as a Barista – not that there’s anything wrong with that.
No – go to a cafe. It’s amazing what a change of scenery can lift your mood and it’ll make you feel part of the world again. Banish the ticking clock at home in favour of a coffee machine and the smell of eggs and bacon.
Go for a walk. A run. Whatever it is, do it. Every day. Before you start work or during a break. But make sure you do it. It will energise you. Nothing helps lift the blues like fresh air.
Crank the music up and dance around the house
A sure-fire mood lifter!
There are lots of ways to lift the funk you’re in and most of them are as simple as interacting with other people. If your circle of self-employed business owners is small, why not add me on:
Or start a chat in the comments section below.
Don’t suffer in silence – there’s a whole network of us out there, waiting to support you.
Until next time,
PS. If you need help with your business, read my guide How To Make Your Business Kick Ass.