Once upon a time I had a soul sucking office job. I hated it. I would dread going to work every morning. Those 8 hours in a cubicle couldn’t go by fast enough. Previous office jobs were the same. Absolute torture. And it wasn’t that the people were horrible (most of them were great). It was the monotony of it. Here I was a recent grad already hating my life. And I was expected to do this for how many more years? Yeah, no thanks.
But luckily for me (or rather unluckily at the time), circumstances changed. The work environment became toxic and I knew I had to call it quits, for my sanity and health. There was no planning ahead. I just quit.
Then I started a website. It wasn’t anything fancy. Just a creative outlet for me to share all things pretty with the world while I figured out my next step. Before I knew it I was making friends from all over the world.
Then one winter day in 2013 I got an email that would change my life completely. One of my new online friends had needed a new logo and wanted to know if she could hire me to create her one.
And the rest is history. That one email opened up so many doors for me. I went from unemployed web designer to a small business owner.
All because of a website.
Cubicle life is behind me and my days look much different:
I wake up after 8am because I am definitely not a morning person.
I go out to lunch with friends during the week.
I take the last 2 weeks of the year off because I want to. AND I get time off in the summer and random days whenever I want.
I avoid the weekend grocery store crowds by doing my grocery shopping in the middle of the weekday.
I don’t have to report to anyone. I am the boss.
And you can do the same. Escaping your dreaded 9-5 is possible. You just have to put in the work.
It starts with a website. Any one will do. You don’t have to be fancy (that time will come). Instead focus on creating a website that is 1) easy to use/navigate; 2) explains exactly how you can help people; and 3) collects email addresses.
Your goal here is to get visibility, so remember: progress over perfection.Your website doesn't have to be perfect. Remember: progress over perfectionClick To Tweet
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Creating a website that is easy to use is easier than ever. I’d recommend a domain from Namecheap and hosting from SiteGround. Then install WordPress and install a pretty theme. My personal favorites are from Studiopress. Customize the colors and fonts to match your brand, but don’t go crazy. At this point, you just want a website that works.
Then it’s time for content. Focus on your ideal client. Explain how what you do benefits them. What problem do you help them solve? What benefits do they get from working with you? Sell yourself! But remember to keep the focus on them. They really don’t care who you are, they just want to know how you can help them.
Lastly, add some optin forms. You want to collect people’s email addresses so you can stay in contact with them. Because let’s face it, they probably won’t remember your site 3 months from now. But if you pop up in their inbox on a monthly basis they certainly will. And the fact that they provided you with an email address means they’re interested in what you offer. So cater to them and build a relationship.
All of the above won’t work right out of the gate. Why? Because your website is one of millions. People won’t know if exists unless you tell them. So once you have your site up and running, get out there and make yourself visible! Use social media to share your blog posts. Make meaningful connections with others. Provide value.
Then see what works and what doesn’t. Maybe you have to provide a better incentive to sign up for your email list. Or maybe your services need to be tweaked.
Growing your business is going to be hard work. You can’t launch a website and expect your life to change the next day. Focus on getting your name out there and forming connections. Keep working at it and don’t give up. Use your soul crushing 9-5 as motivation to make your business work.Want freedom from the cubicle? Find out how a website gave me the freedom to escape the 9-5.Click To Tweet