One of the biggest challenges with running a service based business (especially one that runs on the internet) is that it’s easy to get caught up in doing client work and forgetting that you need to keep your site up to date, fresh and relevant.
I’m not referring to the “work on your business not in your business” statement that we hear time and time again (of course there’s a reason we continue to hear this, right?).
I’m referring to you being able to say you “walk the walk”.
Having worked with clients for going on 8 years now, the biggest challenge with getting their new WordPress site launched has never been all the ‘fun’ stuff (colors, logos, mockups, coding). It’s always been about getting the content from the client, right?
Or, in another instance, you get the site launched with all the initial content and your client is ready to take the ball and run with it. Only they never actually pick up the ball.
You visit the site 6 months later and they’ve added nothing.
Nada. Zip. Zilch.
And of course you immediately hear crickets chirping in your head.
This always bums me out. And not from the perspective of having done the site and it sits there waiting for attention… but it bums me out for the client. When they started out they were full of enthusiasm and excitment about getting their message out into the world. Doing their thing. Yet somehow hitting ‘publish’ becomes the hardest thing EVER.
And what’s worse?
This happens to people who create websites for a living as well. They neglect their own sites just like their clients do.
They never update them, never write a blog post and simply don’t engage.
Because they’re “busy” with client work. Which brings me back to the title of the post.
Your Business or Your Clients Business?
You might be thinking “well, my business is my clients business! That’s how I pay the bills!”
And I totally get it. Somehow it feels like there is never enough time in the day and after you’ve spent the day working in WordPress, creating graphics and coding. The last thing you want to do is find that remaining ounce of creativity within you to go write your OWN blog post, create a video or go post on your social networks.
That was me. For a LONG time.
Then I made a simple decision.
Unless I had done what needed to be done on my site and for my business first.
I know that the first part of the day is when I’m most creative, which is where I need to be to create content (most of the time anyways… Sometimes I have those random late night inspirational moments but they’re few and far between). And just like exercise I know that if I don’t get it done first thing in the morning it’s probably not going to happen.
So I had to make the decision that my business came first.
Best decision EVER.
Of course this meant I needed to get ahead of the client work and bring people on board to help me so the communication didn’t stop (ex: do you really need to be the one to email a new set of logos?), but once I got through that initial shift it finally felt like I was the one in control of my day and what I did.
There are times when there might be an emergency or someone needs help with something as soon as possible… and that’s fine. Because my status quo in my business isn’t built on reacting to problems, dropping what I’m doing to support someone is simply better service.
I also have very few days when I end up resentful of anyone because I’m making a choice in how I spend my time.
Recently I realized just how much I could accomplish when my Internet Provider went down for almost 7 hours. Being ‘disconnected’ was a huge gift! (I used my phone for any necessary emails, but that was it). I was able to get videos for a new course edited, posts written and spent some much needed time mapping out the upcoming month in my business. (This of course was after the initial angst of having to internet connection. :-))
Initially this was really hard. I felt bad and somehow felt like I wasn’t actually ‘working’ (which is why we go into business for ourselves to begin with, right? To do something we enjoy so much that it never feels like work?). At this point in my life I know myself well enough to know that accountability works great.
So I set it up with someone I could (and would) be accountable to (don’t ask your friend who behaves the same way you do to be your accountability partner, no matter how ‘committed’ you both are). It only took one time of being ‘called out’ on how I tried to justify not doing what I set out to do for me to get back on track.
How you do this for yourself doesn’t really matter.
It just matters that you DO it.
I also think it’s pretty safe to say that it will be a lot easier to get your clients to create content and drive their business with their new shiny website when they see how you’ve done it.
Walk the walk.