Weekly Finds

Welcome to One Woman Shop Weekly Finds - where we members of the community scour the web to bring you a curated list of posts, links, and resources that we they think will help your business—and maybe even your life! This week’s curator: career coach and creative startup strategist Heather Rees.

Looking to increase creativity or cultivate that really great idea? Stop brainstorming - at least in the traditional sense - and start “brainwriting”. That’s what the ladies and gents at Fast Company are telling us, and for good reason: the first ideas said out loud are usually not the best ideas, but they end up getting the most attention. Don’t fall down that trap.

Have dreams of moving to Bali and working 20 hours a week from a hammock while pulling in six figures? This guy has a reality check for you. It’s time to start asking for help and utilizing community to think bigger, smarter and more strategically about your exit plan, oh solopreneur.

There’s been quite a lot of talk and debate about the changing nature of content marketing. Duct Tape Marketing gathered a superb collection of insight from some of the industry’s best. Take notes and get ready to act.

There’s always a new way to make your blog better -- and the focus often falls on photos. These 15 tips from Design Your Own Blog show you how to avoid the mistakes that most often occur when using images on your blog.

If you’re a purpose-driven entrepreneur whose bottom line is more than just profit, then you’ll enjoy this collection of 100 inspiring do-gooders. When you’re done being inspired by these entrepreneurs and their enterprises, take the quiz to find out what kind of do-good entrepreneur you are.

There are real prices to pay when you start your own business – and they're not always the kind that come out of a bank account. This article explores The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship. One Woman Shoppers: how much of this sounds familiar to you?

Think you don’t have time to build your business? Consider Bryan Orr: he has eight kids, runs a 27-person company and has a side gig. His attitude toward time management and hacks for getting stuff done are worth considering.

Weekly Finds

Welcome to One Woman Shop Weekly Finds - where we members of the community scour the web to bring you a curated list of posts, links, and resources that we they think will help your business—and maybe even your life! This week’s curator: content creator Nell Casey.

Despite hearing a lot about Trello recently (a free project management app based on visual boards), I had trouble seeing how I could make it work in my solo biz. That is, until I found this awesome video from Michelle Nickolaisen of Bombchelle on how to use Trello to organise your guest posting. A bonus: it’ll open you up to other possible ways you can make Trello work for your solo biz, too.

Good headlines are super important to ensuring that people actually click through to read your blog and find out how clever you are - you know that. But writing a great headline that’s interesting, funny and smart is a challenge. This post from Kate Toon on Writing Headlines: The Ultimate Guide is crazy helpful. (Yes it’s long, but sooo worth it!)

Fostering your personal brand is incredibly important in this digital age. Here are three steps from copywriter Chelsea Krost that you can take today to build your personal brand and grow your business.

Suffering from social media overwhelm? Take a deep breath, and check out these six super simple ideas to streamline your social media to do list from Stephanie of Stylings and Stories for Design Sponge.

If you’re anything like me, the space that I work in really influences the quality of my work. It’s a constant battle to keep my desk clear, but I’m working towards a chic and tidy workspace.

A great thing about working from home is being able to pop down to the kitchen whenever I want. But due to my extreme laziness, lunch often consists of a handful of nuts and a piece of bread and butter, or a roll from the local takeaway. No more! I’m making my way through this list of 35 Quick and Healthy Low-Calorie Lunches from Greatist.

Finally, I leave you with a challenge. One thing I’m sure we could all do a bit better is focus when it comes to our work. Check out this article from Marketing Your Creativity on How to Get More Done Everyday as a Creative Entrepreneur. As we start a new week, how about we all promise to try “strengthening our focus muscle” together?

Weekly Finds

Welcome to One Woman Shop Weekly Finds - where we members of the community scour the web to bring you a curated list of posts, links, and resources that we they think will help your business—and maybe even your life! This week’s curator: web developer Tiffany Breyne.

As a solopreneur, it’s important not only to pay attention to your income, but to have a positive relationship with it! Leah Manderson takes this scary topic and makes it approachable. Check out How to Change Your Money Mindset + 7 Mindsets To Adopt Today for some tips on how to do just that.

Video has undoubtedly become a major marketing asset for many businesses. Not sure where to begin, or how to prepare? Sarah Morgan of XOSarah breaks down her strategy for video blogs in 7 ways to shoot a better video blog.

Gold star find: learn the e-newsletter philosophies of 13 well-respected business owners who have a successful email following. Visit Abby Kerr and The Voice Bureau to download her free e-book, The Oeuvre of The E-Letter.

In case anyone needs it soon (just sayin’)… A Script For Quitting Your Job from Create as Folk.

Have you heard this advice before? “If you’re unhappy and you know it, just change!” But how? Kim Lawler lays out some realistic action steps for creating change in Why “If you’re not happy, change it” is the worst piece of advice… ever.

Need to figure out how to get things done without wearing yourself down? Watch Natalie Sisson of The Suitcase Entrepreneur talk about how to manage your time, energy and business like a boss. (It’s 3:30 and well worth every second.)

Oh, Sarah Von Bargen. What would life be without her endless wisdom and wit, especially when it comes to running a business? She does it again this month on her small business blog with 8 Things You Can (and Should!) Do When Business Is Slow.

One Woman Shop Chats with…Halley Gray

Welcome to One Woman Shop Chats, an interview series where we- you guessed it- chat with solo business owners. Want to chat with us? Email us!

halley gray evolve and succeed

Hi Halley! Tell us about yourself and your business.

I'm Halley Gray, founder + marketing strategist at Evolve and Succeed. I work with online freelancers and business owners (who need clients) to get them booked out in advance. My clients go from struggling to being booked out (up to 8 months). Marketing at its core is persuasiveness. The ability to make your customer feel understood, liked and excited which in turn makes them buy more.

Are there any things commonly accepted as truths in the business world that you flat out disagree with?

That making 6 figures is viable for most first-year, first-time business owners. If you're new to your industry, running a business and being online then there's no freaking way that's possible. If you make enough to cover your bills and not go in debt then you're a success in my eyes.

If you could do just one piece of your business forever, what would it be?

It would be listening to people talk about their businesses and helping them come up with new ways to sell their stuff easier (and with more sales) each time.

If you had to describe yourself or your business in one word, what would it be?

Bullshit-free.

What is the #1 lesson you've learned since being in business on your own?

That great sleep is expensive and that money doesn't buy happiness but definitely great mental health.

What's your one piece of advice for new solo business owners?

The first year is tough but keep flexible and experimenting. I really do recommend getting custom marketing help so that you can sell better.

How has running a business changed you?

It's boosted my confidence! I was pretty out-going before but now I've started doing amateur comedy stand-up nights and I love it! (Although it makes me wanna puke every time.)

Give us a shameless plug for your latest project/product/freebie!

I'm booked out for the next 6 months but I'm running in-person workshops on getting you more clients and booked out in advance in DC, Portland and San Francisco this September. Grab a ticket if you want more clients.

Editor's note: Halley's e-course, Supercharged Sales Pages, is now available! 

Weekly Finds

Welcome to One Woman Shop Weekly Finds - where we members of the community scour the web to bring you a curated list of posts, links, and resources that we they think will help your business—and maybe even your life! This week’s curator: designer, art lover, and shop owner Tess Blankenship.

Dreaming up headlines can be quite the headache. Go with the pros and follow these tips to write great headlines in less than 10 minutes. You’ll keep your audience reading to the end.

Feel like your online time is sucking your life away? Check out RescueTime to see how you’re really spending it. (You might not want to know the answer.) Use the tool, then start a plan for change!

Summer’s not over yet: there’s still time for beach reading. For an interesting business read to add to the mix (to me, business reads typically don’t feel beach worthy) this 12-book list has a bit of everything.

Every minute counts in the day for us solopreneurs, so I’ve been loving adding a ‘done’ list to my ‘to do’ list with the free tool iDoneThis. At the end of the day, I feel super accomplished -- even if my completed tasks didn’t necessarily start out on my ‘to do’ list. Celebrate!

Thinking about PR but don’t know who to approach on a topic? Help A Reporter Out (HARO) is a great aggregator of contacts and leads. It’s still a hit-and-miss game for getting picked up, but it’s a starting point (and idea generator, too!)

WordPress users: don’t miss this great summary of 20 fab WordPress plugins for better posting, blogging and sharing. Super helpful if you’re looking to update or just launching your site. The best part: allmost all are free!

As a designer, I’m a huge fan of learning new creative skills. So I was happy to find Creative Live - the format is interactive (and, as the name suggests, live), includes accompanying workbooks/worksheets, and is free! Classes can be purchased if you want to watch at your own leisure. A tip: if you register but can’t attend the entire class, registration allows you to at least download the workbooks/worksheets for parts you might miss.

Shop Talk: Job Titles

Welcome to Shop Talk, where we chat about everything from the business processes and procedures you swear by to how you handle tough situations (like letting go of a client) to what gets you up on Monday morning. Give us a sneak peek into your business and let yourself inspire (and be inspired by!) our community.

When going into business for yourself, one of the challenges is determining your job title. How do you sound authoritative without coming across as pretentious? Will it be Managing Director? Principal? Founder? Owner? Or maybe something less traditional- Head Social Ninja, The Big Cheese, or La Jefe? Or maybe it doesn't even matter at all (as Courtney points out below).

We asked members of the One Woman Shop community to weigh in on what they call themselves in their solo business. Here’s what they said:

As a solopreneur, it is critical for you to change your LinkedIn headline! Many people don't realize that LinkedIn automatically populates your headline with your current title. Go in and edit that to make you stand out! For example, if you are an owner of an SEO company and use "Owner / SEO Consultant" as your title when filling out your LinkedIn profile, LinkedIn will automatically populate "Owner / SEO Consultant" in your headline. Go in and edit it to something like "Small Business SEO Expert". That makes you stand out!

-Amy Schofield, Schofield Strategies

Mine says: The Jaclyn Of All Trades.

-Jaclyn Mullen

I refer to myself as a Copywriter & Brand Strategist. In conversation, I usually follow that up with 'That means I help businesses understand what their brand is all about, and turn it into messaging that attracts their favorite clients.'

-Amy Chick

As a copywriter, almost every client of mine is perplexed over finding the perfect job title. My advice? No one cares.I don't have business cards (I strictly refer people to my Facebook page) and I call myself whatever makes sense to the audience I'm speaking to. For example, when talking to online entrepreneurs, I call myself a copywriter. When talking to "normal" people, I say I'm in Marketing and Communications for small businesses because very few people outside of Mad Men fans and online entrepreneurs know what a copywriter is. What you call yourself simply isn't as important as everyone makes it out to be (which is the same way I feel about logos). The important thing is that your title gets the point across. I prefer people pick clear titles instead of trying to be too creative or clever!

-Courtney Johnston, The Rule Breakers Club

My title has changed a few times over the last 3 years. First it was Owner/Principal, then it was Founder + Principal Strategist ... but those seemed a little too stuffy for for my personality and style. So now it's Brand Strategist + Storyteller. Still a little conservative but also a bit whimsical.

-RM Harrison

I have it easy with job titles since what I do is pretty straightforward. I used to just stick with “editor,” but now I’m starting to add “writing coach” to the list, too.

-Ashley Brooks, Brooks Editorial

Several others responded to our question and said that they called themselves Chairman, President, and Proprietor, respectively.

What job title have you given yourself?

Weekly Finds

Welcome to One Woman Shop Weekly Finds – where we members of the community scour the web to bring you a curated list of posts, links, and resources that we they think will help your business—and maybe even your life! This week’s curator: freelance writer + editor Meghan Bliss

You have a website, right? Good. Is it accomplishing what you created it to accomplish? If you’re not sure, or if you think your website could use a helpful boost, download this FREE e-book from Donald Miller at StoryBrand about 5 Things Your Website Should Include to make it more successful.

Alli Worthington, cute-as-a-button (and highly successful) consultant and strategist, has quickly become a favorite source of mine for inspiration on the freelance life. She writes about the comparison trap as The Worst Way to Measure Your Success in this uplifting article, including ways to fight off the urge to compare ourselves to others.

In that same vein, Stephanie Halligan’s comparison cartoon is just one of many hand-drawn comics she writes as creator of The Empowered Dollar, where she uses her sense of humor (and a great artistic flair) to talk about paying down debt in favor of living a freer, fuller life.

Not in the mood to read right now? Check out the weekly podcast from The Accidental Creative to listen to discussions about creativity, curiosity, and more. It’s also be a good listening companion for those sleepy mornings when you just don’t feel like hitting the gym (because that’s not just me, right?!).

As if you needed another reason to ditch the cubicle in favor of solopreneur freedom, Sean Ogle writes about the 14 Things Location Rebels Can Do That Employees Can’t, including working from golf courses, enjoying midday matinees, napping when the urge strikes, and embarking on “epic quests” to achieve lifelong goals. Sounds like a win!

Okay, this read is on the longer side, but it is so. worth it. The Crossroads of Should and Must is an essay written by Elle Luna that examines the idea of a career versus a calling, including how the two can (and should) coincide. If you’ve ever felt weird for wanting to pursue a non-conventional or artistic career, her words will make you feel less alone...and much more empowered to take that leap of faith.

And finally, if you’re feeling overworked, uninspired, or under-appreciated this week, read this short and sweet Love Note to Entrepreneurs. Now give yourself a mental hug (heck, and a physical one) and keep on kicking butt.