The dream is real, y’all! Whether you work on your “hustle” full time or you balance your biz with another full time job, we get it. Sure, it would be easier to have every day, all day, to work on your dreams, but in reality, bills have to be paid and a girl’s gotta eat.
So where do you spend your extra sliver of precious time and energy once you come home from the 9 to 5? What are the key things that you should be focusing on that can propel your business forward? It’s easy to get side tracked on doing the “fun” things, but especially in the beginning there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes grunt work that’s just got to be done.
Since we know it can easily get overwhelming for you to know where to turn your focus, we’ve broken down the 5 key things that we think will make the most impact on your business.
1. Start With a Clear Mapped Out Version of Your Week (Friday)
We suggest laying out your week on the Friday before, if not a whole month in advance. Sounds crazy we know, but if you can learn what is actually doable in the time you have, you can plan accordingly. Setup all the baby steps and must dos inside Trello, set dates, and then the Friday before copy the tasks over to My Week. Even if you’re not necessarily blogging (which we think you totally should be!) we bet there are still things that you can map out and designate days for to get completed. Not only will you have a clearer vision of what needs done, but you can clear up your headspace so we can be present with friends and family during the weekend. You’ll know that Monday is covered!
2. Spend Some Time Being Present Online (Everyday)
It’s really easy to get stuck in our own little “creative” bubble, but the power of being present online is incredible. We make sure to post on our favorite social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest) multiple times a day. If you know you can’t be on your phone at work try a scheduling app like Later (for Instagram), Post Planner (for Facebook and Twitter) or Tailwind (for Pinterest), so you can plan everything beforehand.
It’s also beneficial to be present in any online groups you might be in. (Need one to join? We'd love to have you in ours! )
Becoming known for what you do is so powerful, and it easily transitions into more referrals. More referrals means more work (which is money in your pocket). Try answering questions as they come up in groups, adding advice when it’s asked for, and always try to give more than you promote. Work on building an authentic and knowledgeable brand.
3. Get Back to Clients or Customers (2-3 times a week)
There’s no reason you need to respond to emails every single day, so let yourself off the hook with this one. It’s easy to get sucked down the rabbit hole of Gmail, so dedicate 2 to 3 days a week where you respond to clients or customers and limit it to 20-30 minutes max. If you blog, this could even include responding to comments on your posts.
It’s never fun from a client’s perspective to hear crickets when they’re interested in your product or service, so be in tune with your response policy. It’s good to let them know up front (like on your contact page) how many hours or days it might take you to reply.
That being said, if this hustle is your full-time, make it as professional as any other job and always respond within 1 to 2 business days.
4. Take Note of Your Results
When you’re still working the full-time job you’ve got even less time to lose than most. It’s very important for you to take note of what’s working for you as quickly as possible, as well as what isn’t, and to be able to adjust accordingly. On the other hand, you want to be able to see what is working well and see how you can replicate this for other parts of your business.
Use our favorite method of “tweak and repeat” to try new things and measure the results. Not everything is going to work for you (wouldn’t that be great?!) so take note, make small tweaks, and try again.
5. Work on Getting in Front of More People, not Necessarily Making More
It’s so, so easy to convince yourself that if you “just make one more thing” or provide “one more option” that that will be the thing that’s going to make it or break it for you. Unfortunately, this just causes you to invest more money and time into the creation of goods or services that nobody knows how to buy!
You’ve got to work on getting in front of more people, being talked about by your peers, and being heard. You can try emailing business that are on a similar level with you and who reach a similar audience to see if they’d be interested in doing a dual shout-out. Or try sending freebie products to big name brands to see if they’ll share it on their social media.
Try to spend your week strategizing between one and three ways in which you could market your brand, and map them out. Then pick one of these to implement the next week, and see what works. You might be surprised by your results, and by who says, “yes!”
We believe in you and we know you can do this. Working a full-time job while working your hustle is no joke, but if anyone can, you can. If you feel like you need some extra help with getting it all organized we definitely suggest you check out TrelloForBusiness.com and heck, while we are at it, we got a super sweet freebie to unlock some awesome time savers.
We’ve put together our top 22 keyboard shortcuts for Trello and Mac users. What the what?! And we’ve conveniently put it in a PDF so you can print it out and reference it anytime you want. Genius, I know. You can thank us later.