What is “strategy”?
It’s a word that causes confusion because it is used in so many different industries. As far as digital marketing and business strategy are concerned:
Strategy is how you make the best use of your current resources to achieve a specific goal.
Using your resources wisely means investing them in a way that aligns with the results you wish to see in the long term. So that begs the question, what are resources and goals?
Your resources as a solopreneur are your time, energy, and money.
Your goals as a solopreneur are the results you wish to achieve in your business that also impacts positively on your life outside of work.
When you work alone, you get to decide how you invest these resources. You get to decide what result you want to achieve. You get to decide the what, when, and how of everything. That freedom is thrilling!
But on the flip side of that – working alone means there’s nobody holding you to those decisions.
- Nobody is looking out for your wellbeing.
- Nobody is protecting your work-life boundaries.
- And nobody will course-correct you when you get distracted and start investing your resources in a shiny new idea that takes you away from your real goal.
The money in your business is a resource that you’re naturally inclined to be careful with, but it’s far too easy to “over-spend” your time and energy – believing that they are in ample supply. In fact, the culture of hustle even encourages us to over-spend!
It’s true that working hard on your passion can feel good. It’s when all balance is lost, and your life outside of work stuffers MOST of the time that you need to focus on how to invest your resources more wisely.
I’m talking to you if you regularly:
- work late into the night,
- work through weekends,
- put work before healthy, social, and creative hobbies
Are your time and energy resources are being misspent?
In this post, I’d like to offer you some questions that will help you to invest your resources wisely.
1 – Are you investing too heavily in social media for little or no return?
You saw this one coming, didn’t you?
It seems like every solopreneur I meet wants tens of thousands of followers. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to have a bigger following too. I’m just really cautious about my time and energy investment.
Building a big following on social media is so tempting! Those accounts with big numbers project a certain level of credibility and authority that we’d all love to have.
Are your social media newsfeeds full of tips and hacks and ideas on how to grow your following by tuning into the latest platform trend or update? Doesn’t it feel a bit like an exhausting, never-ending endurance race though? (Thinking of that stair-climbing machine at the gym.)
When you measure the time invested versus the results achieved, you quickly notice how poor an investment in social media can be. If it’s credibility and authority you’re after, there are so many other ways to do it.
When I work with my clients, we identify the most aligned action possible. We look at their natural strengths and core values and base their strategy on that! Maybe including social media, maybe not. We focus on investing resources in a way that connects with ideal clients and builds credibility and trust instead of trying to just through the hoops of various platform updates to play the endless numbers game.
2 – Are you handling your client relationships well?
Is overdelivering a good way to grow?
In the early days of my business Claire Creative, I consistently over-delivered in an attempt to delight my clients. But what actually happened was that I spent all my time on client projects and my life outside of work suffered massively. I was always working. Answering client emails when I was supposed to be enjoying time with my family, taking the laptop on holidays to do “just 30 minutes” of work. I love to be generous with my clients. I want to give them the tools and strategies to get clients online like never before, and in a way that does not deplete their resources. But what about my own resources?
Before I made changes in my client relationships, I was in a cycle of feast and famine that was entirely my own making.
Feast – So much work (and over-delivering) that I was stressed out, doing no marketing, and not taking time off to recharge.
Famine – No work on, panic marketing, desperately offering discounts and over-promising, and taking on wrong-fit clients.
The message I was sending to people was all wrong. Essentially I was saying “No need to value my time or skills because I don’t”. And the worst part was that it wasn’t even benefitting my clients.
These days I have much clearer boundaries with my time. My clients know my working schedule and respect it. We agree to a clear scope of work and deadline so that we all know what’s going on.
This in turn gives them a more professional experience and I get better testimonials and more referrals. So by investing my time and energy in a more clearly defined client relationship, I get a better return.
Do you invest your time and energy in the right places in your client relationships?
3 – Are you re-inventing parts of your business on a whim?
Are you a tweaker? Oh, baby! Welcome to the big black hole of solopreneurship.
It’s never been easier to set up a website and presence online. Template-based websites mean you can get online easily. Canva is a powerful graphic design tool you can master without years of study. There is an endless supply of inspiration for brand, strategy, and lead generation! So what’s the problem?
If you’re regularly tweaking layouts, fonts, and colours, you probably don’t have a solid brand identity in place. If you’re re-inventing, re-wording, and re-branding every time you show up online, you’re more than likely confusing the crap out of your potential clients and pouring your valuable time and energy resources down the drain.
The worst part of it though is that it feels like valuable, important work. Making things look great feels bloody brilliant. Creating and being creative is a joy! But is it actually bringing you closer to the results you wish to see long-term?
It’s so tempting to ‘get creative’ when it comes to showing up online. It sounds like I’m saying don’t be creative. That’s not it. Rather, I want you to stick to your visual style and core messaging so that your potential clients recognise you when you show up online. They recognise you and know what you do because you consistently show up “singing the same song”.
So. If you’re tweaking. You’re probably missing out on the opportunities that will help you achieve your goals and have that positive impact on your life outside of work.
Are you regularly re-inventing and tweaking?
If you’re looking to get closer to the results in your business that positively impact the rest of your life? I’d love to support you to get further faster. Tap over here to see how I can help.