Yep, running your own business is stressful.
Sometimes things get so hectic, you wonder if you should take an office job!
Of course, running away from stress isn’t the answer.
You have to find ways to lower your stress — and cope with it when it occurs.
Joining me on the show today is Kaleigh Moore, a successful freelance writer for SaaS and eCommerce companies.
Kaleigh is very driven and ambitious, which enabled her to grow her business very quickly.
But this success also generated a lot of stress.
After hitting a few rough patches, she realized she needed to find a better way of doing things.
In this conversation, we talk about two methods she’s used to lower stress while keeping work fun and rewarding.
The notes that follow are a very basic, unedited summary of the show. There’s a lot more detail in the audio version. You can listen to the show using the audio player below. Or you can subscribe in iTunes to get this show delivered straight to the Podcasts app on your smart phone, tablet or iPod.
Tell us about your business and the clients you currently serve
Kaleigh has been a fulltime freelance writer for six years. Before that, she worked in PR and did some social media consulting and freelance writing on the side. Eventually, she moved into it fulltime.
Today, she creates blog content for eCommerce platforms and software that integrates with those platforms.
On the side, she reports on retail and sustainable fashion for Forbes, Ad Week and other publications.
How are you able to make a good living writing blog content?
It helps to be a subject matter expert. Kaleigh understands the technical nature of ecommerce and software companies.
She also has a lot of connections in the industry. She can pull from her network to get great quotes, which helps with quality and distribution. Her clients appreciate that added value.
Her blog content is long form, evergreen and high quality. Companies can use it in a variety of ways to get great results, so companies are willing to pay good money for it.
Tell us why you had to reevaluate what you were doing and how you were taking care of yourself
Most freelancers are ambitious. We keep pushing and pushing even when we burn out. This happened to Kaleigh.
She said yes to every opportunity and still felt she could be doing more.
She was making herself ill and had to rethink everything.
Today, she practices yoga and makes time to meditate.
She’s also gotten very strict about her office hours. She may check her email throughout the day, but she only responds during office hours.
Did your business suffer when you made these changes?
Her clients didn’t care. They all had office hours.
Nothing she does is urgent enough to merit a response within an hour. This was a self-imposed expectation.
Nothing you do is urgent enough to merit a response within an hour.
How have you been able to make these boundaries stick?
Having a partner to keep you accountable really helps.
She flags her emails to prioritize them because a full inbox creates a lot of anxiety for her.
Once they’re flagged, she knows she will tackle the highest priority ones right away when she’s ready.
Also, she came to realize that not every email needs an answer. If someone really needs something from you, they’ll follow up.
Not every email needs an answer. If someone really needs something from you, they’ll follow up.
And you don’t have to respond to a five-paragraph email with five paragraphs.
How do you structure your day?
Kaleigh does most of her work in two sprints.
She starts the day with a bit of email then does a long work sprint. Then, she’ll take a break and walk the dog.
She’ll come back and do a bit more email and take a short lunch break.
Then, she does a second long work sprint.
She’ll finish the day with another dog walk, email and some physical activity.
Having these two long sprints each day gets her out of the habit multitasking and makes her more productive.
What do you do when you’re under multiple deadlines and stress is building?
Kaleigh is a pre-crastinator, not a procrastinator. She likes to get stuff done ahead of time.
When she gets overloaded or falls sick, she asks for help. She has a network of freelance writers she can reach to.
These writers work in her niche, and she provides them with lots of context for the task. Often, she’s just hiring them to finish something up or provide a second set of eyes.
You’ve been able to reduce decision fatigue by creating templates. Tell us about this idea
Templates are a way to save mental bandwidth.
Writers follow some processes over and over. Rather than starting from scratch every time, she created templates to support each process.
For example, Kaleigh has created:
- An onboarding email template, to speed up the onboarding process.
- A writing brief template, to gather all the details she needs before starting a new project.
- Prospect screening questions, a series of questions to make sure prospects are a good fit.
- A proposal template, to respond to projects faster.
- A follow up email template, to follow up with dormant or non-responsive clients.
Kaleigh has bundles of templates available for purchase on her website.
Do you have any recommendations for writers who want to create their own templates?
Start with an email template where you describe your rates and how you work. Use it when new prospects reach to you.
Kaleigh also has a page on her website that explains her fees.
Listen to what your clients say that they like about you and incorporate that into your copy.
Create an exit email template that you can send to clients at the conclusion of a project. Ask what went well, what you could improve, whether they would recommend you and if so, what they would say.
Any other suggestions?
People tend to look to tools for solutions. They end up spending a lot of time and money on them.
Kaleigh keeps everything super simple. Figure out what works best for you and don’t feel that you have to use the new shiny thing.
Where can listeners learn more about you?
Kaleigh’s website: https://www.kaleighmoore.com
Kaleigh’s template bundles:
Kaleigh’s previous High-Income Business Writing podcast episode:
Plus … whenever you’re ready, here are 4 ways I can help you grow your freelance business:
1. Grab a free copy of my book for ESTABLISHED writers/copywriters.
You’ll discover how to quickly and predictably reawaken dead leads, generate new client opportunities and convert not-yet-ready prospects into freelance writing clients. — Click Here
2. Download a free copy of my new book for writers who are NEW to freelancing.
I’ll show you the 3 things you need to do to get your business off the ground safely and land your first paying client faster. — Click Here
3. Join my implementation program and be a case study.
I’m putting together a new implementation group this month. If you’d like to work with me to grow your income quickly with better clients (and become one of my new success stories). Just email me at [email protected] and put “Case Study” in the subject line.
4. Work with me privately.
If you’re a 6-figure writer who’s trying to earn more in less time, with less stress, I might be able to help you get there faster than you think. Email me at [email protected] … put “Breakthrough” in the subject line and I’ll get back to you with more details.