Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Figuring it out

For a couple of weeks or so, I was VERY busy in my web design work, I put three new sites live, and all of my clients were very happy with their sites, and I was thinking that things would just continue to go on that way without having to do much of anything, but this week I have no billable work to do, and I've started waking up in the middle of the night again and going over the bills I have to pay and the money that I have coming in, and it's scary.

I've kept busy -- I baked yesterday, and I've planted flowers, and filled up the birdfeeders, and I've been learning Zentangle. We've been helping our parents figure out what they want to do about moving to assisted living. My sister is having cataract surgery tomorrow, which sets off a whole string of follow up appointments and then the other eye, and I'm going to be helping her with that.

I'm glad that I have the time to help my family, and I'm glad that I have the time to do some things around the house like the baking and the flowers, but I need to have work, and it would be great if I could do both, i.e., stay home and do the fun home stuff and also do the fun work stuff. Because it is fun, to me. That's why I started doing it, because I loved it, and I loved my job. But things change, and in order to make a living doing what I love, I'm going to have to do the work myself.

My portfolio needs to be the opening page of my site, not just a sideline (it was a sideline, of sorts, but no more), and I need to redesign it instead of using a standard Blogger template with a few changes. I'm going to have to hustle for clients, rather than waiting for them to come to me. Because they have come to me, but I can't count on that. I'm going to have to hustle, I'm going to have to actually do the work of marketing myself, which I haven't ever really done, because I hate that part. I love doing the work, and I love helping people get a website online, but if I could skip the sales part, I would.

Bob's the salesperson, and he loves sales, and he's great at it. He said what I need to do is go door to door to small businesses in town and talk to them. Oh man, I just don't think I can do that. It's hard enough, always, to email current clients and suggest updates or ask if they have any work they need done. Sometimes they do, which is nice, sometimes they don't, which is fine, sometimes they completely ignore me. Oh well.

Here's my plan -- you're supposed to put them in writing, right? By the end of May I'm going to have my plan figured out, have my website updated, have new business cards, maybe postcards, maybe Facebook advertising, something like that to grow my business. Then the month of June will be to get the ads placed, get the postcards sent, whatever I decide I need to do.

The first thing on my to-do list today, though, is to go get coffee.