I’ll start by stating the bleeding obvious – I’m a freelance copywriter and web designer who has a vested interest in persuading you to Work From Home or WFH permanently.
Covid 19 and WFH
Constantly, I see two extremes in this Covid 19 time. There’s those who hate lockdown, being furloughed or skint, which I get (Matt Hancock thanks). There’s others, like me and friends, who are loving it. I’ve become accustomed to the whole shebang after 5 years at it – though it did take some getting used to.
I personally don’t think that working life and daily habits will ever fully return when the “lockdown” ends. Town and city centres, already suffering from increasing rents and reduced sales, will die further. Many businesses will never re-open, like bars, cafés and restaurants, because Joe Public has been forced to find other things to do, other than shop and eat out.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m a natural born shopper and this aspect of lockdown is what I’ve missed most – wandering round Norwich city centre solo, with friends or family.
Driving to Cambridge etc.
I’m sure too I’ll have pent up spending needs when we’re all allowed out, but, as you’ve noticed, and the news reports, we’ve all gone online.
We communicate and buy digitally because there is no physical way of doing it, apart from essential trips to a supermarket.
But what about work?
We all know now that most businesses can adapt and allow staff to work from home, but if you’re thinking to yourself, reading this, “I like lockdown; I’ve enjoyed working from home; I can see a digital footpath to success” you need to contact me.
Before you do though, to fulfil the titular promise, here’s 10 things to get the journey started.
- Buy a domain name for a new venture
- Invest in a starter hosting package
- Put a plan together
- Think about the logo and colour schemes
- Draft the content
- Research your audience
- Set long term goals
- Ask for help
- Create social media channels for where your audience hangs out
- Keep outgoings as low as possible; don’t undercharge or overcharge and play the long game
Let’s look at practicalities.
- Domain name. You can buy them anywhere but I always recommend tsohost as they don’t have your pants down in the second year. Click here – I’d also recommend sticking to .com or .co.uk and keeping the name short and easy to spell. Get Pro Copy never flummoxes people when I say it. Your name shouldn’t either.
- Buy hosting – this is about £3 a month and tsohost or Siteground are both excellent. You buy their starter packages and you’ve got access to 24/7 support from them, access to a Cpanel and you can set up emails in your company name without asking a web designer to do it.
- Plan. You don’t have to sit down with a business team as a small start up to put a plan together. My plan was simple in November 2015 – make money from writing. I love writing you see. Plan to do something that puts a fire in your loins – as long as it’s legal of course.
- Logo. I always ask clients to draw the logo on a piece of paper, and send it to me. I then have something to work on. Word of warning though – don’t get too hung up on the logo. It won’t make you money. Your hard work at networking, promoting and being found online will do that.
- Draft the content. You must not copy other website content as it’s a legal infringement and Google will penalise you. By all means, read the content of competitors but make yours original. If you find writing a ball ache, you let me do it as a graduate copywriter. I love it, you see – did I mention that?
- Research your audience. Find out if there’s demand for what you’re going to offer. Check Google search volumes. No one is searching for a copywriter Great Yarmouth so there’s no point in me attaining the summit of Google for that. I’m on page one of Google for quite a few other terms – like GCSE English Marking and there’s 500 searches a month for that term, I read a while back.
- Most businesses fail in one year. I’ve got a veritable armoury of business failures under my belt – I get suckered in to a new idea and run with it. Property introduction, estate agency, a mental health forum, a website for coeliacs – all served a purpose but not one has created an income stream. This main business has and it’s why I decided a couple of months ago to ditch the shit that was time-consuming and money-gobbling and return to a sole focus on this one of web design, copywriting and digital marketing. I bought the domain for 10 years too as a mark of commitment to longevity and though I’ve just retired as a teacher, this business will keep me busy until I can no longer function mentally.
- Ask for help. I’ve had some fantastic mentors in my 5 years of freelancing and have learned and been supported by so many. It’s not weak to seek help; it’s good. I get asked for help and not such a cock that I think “No, find someone else.” 9 times out of 10 I help – as I was helped in the first few years.
- A website is all fine and dandy but it’s like picking up a jigsaw puzzle and refusing to take the lid off to do it. You will not get website traffic and sales without a shit load of work in the background. Blogs are needed to plug SEO gaps and answer questions. Social media is not an attractive embellishment – those channels are marketing heaven for getting eyeballs on your website. You need to work your socks off to make a business successful – it doesn’t simply happen from having a pretty website. Trust me.
- Costs. I’m told I’m too cheap as a writer and a web designer. I don’t agree, I think I charge fairly. I’m more affordable than many freelancers and web designers and it’s why I’ve always got a waiting list for work from me. If I charged £2000 + VAT for a premium website, I’ve no doubt that I’d have an empty list. If I charged £150 not £50 for a 500 word blog, I’d no doubt be quieter. I have low outgoings though with working from home and have gradually raised prices as I’ve become established. A great website from me with all bells and whistles costs £650 + VAT usually. You’ll find some half the price and some quadruple the price. But I reckon I’ve hit a sweet point in pricing as very few prospects go elsewhere. Don’t overprice, don’t be too cheap. Keep outgoings low.
Finally, if any of this resonates with you and you fancy a permanent WFH arrangement, get in touch. You can invest a modest sum of money, like I did in 2015 with this, to make your new venture sprout wings.
Call me on 07462923476 or email me: [email protected] and join the growing list of satisfied customers who’ve used me for content, web design and social media marketing.